[r-t] Handbell Touch and minor principle

Ted Steele ted.steele at tesco.net
Thu Nov 23 11:44:07 UTC 2006

Thanks for that Simon. I like the name Coal Minor for Nottinghamshire; I 
guess we should have called it that in Doncaster too as we first rang it 
within sight of the nearest pit.

Did you ever discover a reason for the difficulty with Forward? I know 
it is hardly rung but the problem is interesting in its own right. Do 
you know if it is actually impossible to get the extent or just very 
difficult ? 

I also recall looking at the simple extension from 34-34.16 to 36-36.18 
etc. This gives a simple treble bob type principle where the bells make 
3rds and 6ths either side of a 4-5 dodge. The plain course is 32 changes 
and appears possibly to provide the basis of methods; eg 2nds at the end 
gives a method with regular lead ends and the treble following the path 
of the principle. My suspicion is that the degree of falseness in 
methods based upon this principle would preclude much variety of 
composition and also that the musical possibilities would be limited and 
perhaps unusual. My theoretical knowledge is too limited for me to be 
sure but I would be interested in any observations from members of the 
list. No doubt this also has been looked at in the past but I can find 
no record of it.


simon humphrey wrote:
> This principle, on 6 at least, was quite well known in the Nottingham area
> in the mid 60's.  It was called Coal Minor then, I don't know what its
> proper name is now.  We rang it as treble bob hunting, but making Kent and
> Oxford places alternately on reaching 3-4.
> I was very puzzled as to why should be so easy to produce true extents of
> it, when an extent of the closely related Forward (34-34.16) is nigh on
> impossible to obtain.
>> This leads me to recall a little principle for six bells that is so
>> simple that it must have been seen before. I found it years ago and made
>> a few short touches that we rang in the Doncaster area in the late 70's.
>> It even got rung at a district meeting and I heard tell that some other
>> bands had picked it up. We just called it "whatsit". The work is pretty
>> much like doing Kent and Oxford TB places alternately separated by
>> treble bob work at front and back. It extends readily to higher numbers.
>> Notation for one division of Whatsit is:    -34-16.34-34.16.  This can
>> be understood in terms of the three bell hunting at front and back or
>> simply in terms of the contiguous places. It extends differently in each
>> case. The places approach gives the most natural looking extension but
>> the former option where 34 becomes 36 or 38 etc gives some interesting
>> points in the middle.

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