Chapter 7 - Sixty on 3rds

Chapter 7 - Sixty on 3rds #

You have started to master closed handstroke leads, your ringing up is better than it used to be and your ringing down is approaching awesome. Chapter 4 introduced some call changes which form the first section of this “Sixty on 3rds” peal which is such a key part of the Devon call change culture and the test piece in Devon Association call change competitions.

So what is it and how do you do it?

As I said in Chapter 4, Sixty on 3rds is a call change peal comprising a formulaic sequence of sixty different changes. ‘Sixty’ because it is 60 changes long, and ‘on 3rds’ because the peal is based around Queens which has a historical alternative name ‘3rds’ (as in musically the successive bells are thirds apart). It is not designed to be musical in the traditional sense but is no less musical than, say, a 60 of Bob Doubles. It becomes easy to call once you know how it works, and ringers who ring it all the time will get to know it as well.

The basic principle is that the treble hunts up and down the change (only to 5ths place) while the other bells do a systematic cycling round from Queens. One call affecting bells 2-5 (I’ll call them the ‘working bells’ for ease of reference) is made before each hunt of the treble up and down.

To demonstrate the callings in 60 on 3rds I am going to use the following video from Dunsford. This is a very good peal rung by the Shaugh Prior band. The whole of the peal is here so I will walk you through the couple of blocks of calls and explain what the principle is, then you can print off the sheet of the calls and watch the rest of it yourself.

Run the video through to 1:06 and watch the first three calls being made to get into Queens by 1:35. What happens then is that the treble is hunted up to 5ths place – 13 15 12 14

The next block of changes starts at 2.10 and moves the 3rd up to 5ths place, and after each step the treble hunts up or down.

So the calls are:

35 (first move of the working bell)

41 21 31 51 (hunting the treble down to lead)

This has completed by 3:00. Then the 3rd is called up another place:

32 (second move of the working bell)

15 12 13 14 (hunt the treble up to the back)

34 (final move of the first working bell)

31 41 21 51 (hunting the treble back to lead)

So that is all the work of the 3rd being moved to the back. The next bell to work its way to the back is the 5th, and this starts in the video at 4.36. The 5th is systematically called out to 5ths place until it is following the 3rd, and after each move the treble does its shuttle manoeuvre (I think it’s a bit like a shuttle going backwards and forwards on a loom)

52 (first move of the working bell)

12 15 14 13 (hunting up)

54 (5th moves up one more place)

31 51 41 21 (treble back to lead)

53 (final move of 5th) STOP VIDEO THERE

Half Peal #

That gets us to a very convenient point, at 6:35 on the video. The 3rd and 5th have done their work and are sitting at the back before the tenor. The treble has hunted up and down a few times and the change is 124356.

At this point you can just call it round for what is known as a Half Peal. My band has found this to be a convenient place to stop, either because we are knackered, or it has taken enough time and we want to ring something else, or because the ringing hasn’t been good enough and we’ve not wanted to prolong the agony.

This band however carries on and you are going to try and follow the rest of it, so pick up the video again from 6:35. If you want to print off the figures they can be found here.

The 2nd is going to be the next working bell (giving the 4th its first opportunity at leading), and finally the 4th.

The 4th gets into 5ths at 11.18 in the video, and this gets the bells back into Queens. The bells are called round, and then lowered.

And that’s all there is to it!