Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

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Stedman Doubles

About Stedman Doubles

Stedman in all stages is unique, it is by far the most widely rung principle. However, because it is very different from the treble dominated methods it tends to be a specialist calling.

Stedman Doubles has all of the slow work attributes of Stedman on higher numbers.

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Method Structure.

The structure of Stedman, together with an approach to learning the method is discussed in some detail in the Introduction to Stedman.

The double blue lines:

Double lines for the three different  pairs

Diagram: 5r.01 Stedman Doubles, the three pairs.

Place Notation


The Blue Line features worth noting relate to the slow work and the three different ways of leading.

The whole pulls bridge the six end between a slow and then a quick six at the start of the work, and vice versa just before the end of the slow work. The whole turn hand and back is always made in a quick six whilst the back and hand is part of the slow six.

Slow sixes start with a point lead at handstroke and finish with the same bell making a point lead at backstroke.

Many more features of the method can be illustrated but the key requirement is for the work to be sufficiently well memorised for the ringer to be able to ring a plain course. Once that skill has been achieved many more aspects of Stedman will be observed.


Ringing Stedman Doubles.

Track the treble

Tracking the treble is irrelevant, this is a principle.

Positional Awareness

Positional awareness is a key feature of Stedman. Learning the Slow Work thoroughly is very important in order to be confident in the spacings.

In towerbell ringing the dodging direction is critical to the physical control of the bell, this does not apply to handbells, and especially does not apply to Stedman Doubles because the changes of direction come along very quickly. Therefore it is suggested (as practiced by the Webmaster) that dodging up is thought of as "4ths, 5ths; 4ths, 5ths; 4ths, 5ths;" where the comma and semi-colon split the pairs into Hand, Back;.

Conversely, dodging down is thought of as "5ths, 4ths; 5ths, 4ths; 5ths, 4ths;" where again the comma and semi-colon splits the pairs into Hand, Back;.

And so, for example, the first slow six, for 1-2, would be memorised as:
"(Friday and Up):
Point 2nds & 4ths, lead & 5ths; lead & 4ths, 2nds & 5ths; 3rds & 4ths, 3rds & 5ths

Place Bells, Pivot Leads

Place bells and pivot leads do not seem so important in Stedman although awareness of the symmetrical bells (Quick bell in quick six, "Wednesday" in Slow six) is almost automatic. The pivot sixes for the double lines (Friday-Monday for 1-2 and Thursday-Tuesday for 3-4) are very noticeable.

Staging posts

Dodging together gives a brief moment of relaxation.

Awareness of other bells

Awareness of the work of other bells develops gradually as familiarity with the slow work structure, six by six, develops.

Ringing the Method

Stedman is a standard method, it should be rung on handbells, and the extra learning involved will stand a ringer in good stead in the tower.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs are not needed in Stedman Doubles.

Occur in 4ths and 5ths places in either a Slow six (3 becomes 345) or a Quick six 1 becomes 145).


Touches of Stedman Doubles.

Two singles placed 60 changes apart will give the extent on 5 bells.