[r-t] Stedman Doubles in Campanologia

edward martin edward.w.martin at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 12:01:03 UTC 2011

On 10 October 2011 11:43, Robert Bennett <rbennett at woosh.co.nz> wrote:
>   "Compass" mant how high the bell swung, so "cutting compass"
> probably meant that it swung less one stroke and more at the next. Ringers
> probably got a lot more pull at backstroke and relatively less pull at hand
> in Stedman's day.
I don't think that is so,
I would agree that it is probably the reason why open handstrokes were
originally established back when bells were rung 'dead rope' and there was
no sally-stroke, therefore no choice in the matter.
However in Stedman's day when they did have a sally-stroke, (according to
Stedman. Campanalogia p.27) :
"The peal of bells on which the changes are to be rung, must first be raised
up to a Sett-pull, which compass is most proper for the ringing of changes;
for then the notes of the bells may be had at command. Therefore before the
young practitioner can be capable of ringing changes, he  must be
extraordinary well skill'd in the managing of his bell at a Sett-pull, which
is absolutely requisite for this reason: In the ringing of changes, his mind
will be so busied and wholly taken up with the consideration of the course
and method of them, and his eye continually wandring about to direct his
pull in the following of the other bells, that unless he has extraordinary
skill in the managing of his own bell, and can set it "(ie hold it on the
balance)" in a manner hood-winkt, he will be apt either to drop or overturn
it; or else on the other hand, for want of skill, his eye and mind  be so
fixed on his own rope and bell to guide the managing of it, that he cannot
at the same time  mind the course of the changes, and then no wonder if he
is in a wood, which consequently follows . . . therefore 'tis not enough
that the young practituioner can set a bell it may be half a  score times
together when 'tis an even wager that he either drops or overturns it in
those ten pulls, but he must be so perfectly skilled as that he can set it
thirty or forty times together, both fore-stroke and back-stroke without
dropping or overturning it and without looking directly either on his hands
or rope whilst he sets it."
It seems to me that by this time they could (had they so wished) have rung
in Devonshire cartwheel style or have continued in the established tradition
of always having open handstrokes - no longer because they had no option,
but because they now chose to do it that way


> The pulley, or "rowle" as Stedman refers to it, probably added a fair bit
> of friction at handstroke when the rope was bent round it. At backstroke,
> the rope would be free of the pulley. This probably suits right place
> ringing, and also the open handstroke lead. Hunting the other way required a
> bit more effort.

>  There was a lot of information about bell hanging in the earlier book
> Tintinnalogia, which section was supposed to have been contributed by
> Richard Duckworth.
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