Thomas A. Alspaugh
Ringing Plain Bob Doubles in a Touch

# Basics

In a touch, the roles of the bells change (including possibly yours), so which bells are your course and after bells can change. It is helpful to consider what can't change.

1. The treble. The treble is unaffected by calls.
2. The order of the landmarks. A call may change where you are in the sequence of landmarks, but after the change the sequence (beginning from your new starting point) remains constant.
3. What passing the treble signifies. The relation between where you pass the treble on the way out and which landmark you reach next remains constant, except of course when a change affecting you is called after you passed the treble but before you reached the landmark.
Pass the treble
(going up) in:
Then do: Then pass the treble
(going down) in:
At the back = 4-5 Dodge 3‑4 Down 3-2
3-4 Long 5ths 4-3
2-3 Dodge 3‑4 Up 5-4 = At the back
1-2 Make 2nds 2-1
Underscored places are those in which you ring over the treble.
4. You always Make 2nds over the treble.
5. You always pass either the treble or the other bell in 2‑3 (going out) and 3‑2 (coming in). Your dodges are with this other bell. Which bell is the other bell may change, but that you will pass your other bell in 2‑3/3‑2 will not change.
6. What you do with your course and after bells does not change (even when which bells they are changes):
• Long 5ths is over course-after-course-after.
• You are always turned by your after bell (= your after bell takes you off lead) (= ring in 2nds over your after bell after ringing your second lead) except after you Make 2nds.

# Bob

Calls are made coming up to a lead end, the pull at which the treble strikes its second blow in leads and thus ends its lead.

Figure 1 shows a lead end at which no bob was called.

1. Red is Making 2nds and will then continue the 2nds work (Dodge 3‑4 Down). It will dodge with Green, the bell it passes in 2‑3 on the way out.
2. Brown is Dodging 3‑4 Up and will then continue the 3rds work (Make 2nds).
3. Blue is Dodging 3‑4 Down and will then continue the 4ths work (Long 5ths).
4. Green is making Long 5ths and will then continue the 5ths work (Dodge 3‑4 Up).

Figure 2. Bob called

Figure 2 shows the same lead end with a bob called. The bob is called before the handstroke at which the treble comes into lead; the lead end is the subsequent backstroke.

1. Red was going to Make 2nds and then continue with the 2nds work.

Instead, Red Runs Out (what hunting out is termed at a call) and thus is in 3rds at the lead end and does the 3rds work: it hunts out to the back, in to the lead, passes the treble in 1‑2 and Makes 2nds (as though it had just done Dodge 3‑4 Up).

Later, it will be dodging with Brown, whom it passed in 3‑2.

2. Blue was going to Dodge 3‑4 Down. Instead, it Runs In and thus is in 2nds place at the lead end and does the 2nds work: it continues in to lead, hunts out to the back (passing the treble in 4‑5), and does Dodge 3‑4 Down (as though it had just done Long 5ths).

It dodges with Green, whom it passed in 2‑3.

3. Brown was going to Dodge 3‑4 Up. Instead, Brown rings a second blow in 4ths (Make the Bob) and thus is in 4ths at the lead end and does the 4ths work: it hunts in to lead, then hunts out to do Long 5ths (as though it had just done Dodge 3‑4 Down).

Later, it will be dodging with Red, whom it passed in 2‑3.

4. Green was going to do Long 5ths, and that's what it does. Green is unaffected by the call.

Later, it will dodge with Blue, whom it passed in 3‑2.

The least information to memorize:

Would have done At Bob Then
Make 2nds Run Out Hunt in and Make 2nds
Dodge 3‑4 Down. Run In Hunt out and Dodge 3‑4 Down
Long 5ths Long 5ths
(unaffected)
Dodge 3‑4 Up
(unaffected)
Dodge 3‑4 Up Make the Bob:
two blows in 4ths
then Run In
Hunt out and Long 5ths

An additional conceptual step, but more useful in the long run:

Would have done At Bob Then
The work at
2nds start
Run Out,
will be in 3rds at lead end
(as if finishing Dodge 3‑4 Up)
The work following
3rds start:
Make 2nds
The work at
4ths start
Run In,
will be at 2nds at lead end
(as if finishing Make 2nds)
The work following
2nds start:
Dodge 3‑4 Down
Long 5ths Long 5ths Dodge 3‑4 Up.
Dodge 3‑4 Up Make the Bob,
will be in 4ths at lead end
(as if finishing Dodge 3‑4 Down)
The work following
4ths start:
Long 5ths

As while ringing the rest of Plain Bob Doubles, where you pass the treble is always the same at a bob, no matter which other bells are doing what work:

What you did Where you pass the treble
Run Out Does not pass the treble
Run In 2-1 down
Make the Bob 3-2 down

All bells for
Plain Bob Doubles
All working bells
(2-5) perform
their landmarks at
the same time

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