Trying a new calling of Cambridge Minor

For quarters of Cambridge Minor I usually call three wrongs, three homes for the short block, giving 600 and a quarter peal length of 1320. Many people prefer to call something slightly shorter, and one well-known calling for a 576 is to call the tenor 4ths, wrong, home, 4ths, wrong, three times. The way this works is that calling wrong then home swaps two adjacent pairs of bells in the coursing order (from 5324 to 3542) and calling 4ths swaps the first pair with the second pair (from 5324 to 2453). So inserting call at 4ths before and after the wrong and home sequence gets to the same place overall. Because the tenor never rings 3rd place bell, there are six leads missing in comparison with the standard 720, so the length is 144 changes shorter, i.e. 576.

The slightly disconcerting aspect of this calling, especially when ringing handbells, is that between the home and the 4ths, the tenors are coursing the wrong way round. They don't get to the back together, so there are no backstroke 65s, but it feels unusual.

This morning Tina and I attempted a quarter of Cambridge with Julia, in Ringing Room, and I decided to call this 576. Unfortunately we didn't get the quarter. We rang the 720 very well, and then in the second part of the 576, I made a trip with the 5th just before the lead end with the bob at home. The 5th was doing 3-4 places up, but it didn't make 4ths the second time, and I found myself coming together at the back. I knew I was doing something wrong, then realised that I shouldn't be together at the home, called the bob late, forgot everything about what the 5th should have been doing (making the bob to go into the lead of coursing the wrong way round), and said stand.

So that was disappointing. What I find difficult about minor is that it's all so fast, the lead ends come up so quickly, and if I'm lost I find it very difficult to recover. I need to remember to pay more attention when approaching a bob.


While chatting to my Dad, I mentioned coming unstuck with 4ths W H 4ths W, and he said "Why don't you just call twice 4ths and home, three times? It's much easier." He's right, of course. So then I decided to change my suggested calling for a 576 in volume 2 of Change-Ringing on Handbells, went into the file, and found that I had already written about twice 4ths and home, and not the more complicated calling!

Submitted by simon on Tue, 17/11/2020 - 09:29