Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Plain Minor Methods

  Plain Minor - St Clements

St Clements

On Sundays:
St Clement's College Bob Minor

About St Clements

For towerbell ringers, St Clements is one of the standard plain methods. It gives good practice at dodging in 1-2, and extensive practice at turning round in thirds place. It also has the major comfort factor of pure Plain Bob above the treble.

St Clements College Bob Minor is relatively popular, there being 48 recorded performances on BellBoard at the time of writing.

Site Sections:


St Clements has a structural division of work below the treble with a triple dodge in 1-2.

Method Structure.

Place Notation:
X 16 X 36 X 36, 12, Bob 14, Single 1234. .


St. Clements change-rows and grid

Diagram: 105.03.00 St. Clements, plain lead, change-rows and grid.

Plain Course structure
For any one bell the method has three leads of fluid hunting, and two of static dodging. The method also preserves the natural coursing order and hence the static / fluid split.


Learning St Clements.

The Structure

The heart of this method is the triple dodge in 1-2. The hunting above 1-2 and Plain Bob above the treble are straighforward.

The Rules

St Clements - the rules
Ring Plain Bob above the treble.
Under the treble, the bells in 1-2 perform 3 consecutive dodges (a 3-pull), while the bells between 3rds and 6th place ring plain hunting.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

St Clements, 1-2

St Clements College Bob Minor on 1-2

Diagram: 105.03.01 St Clements, 1-2.


St Clements, 3-4

St Clements College Bob Minor on 3-4

Diagram: 105.03.02 St Clements, 3-4.


St Clements, 5-6

St Clements College Bob Minor on 5-6

Diagram: 105.03.03 St Clements, 5-6.

Place Notation


Note the pivot lead:
5ths place bell makes the thirds at the half lead
3rds and 6ths place bells ring plain hunting on 4 above 1-2
2nds and 4ths (coursing pair) dodge together in 1-2.

Place Notation and Grid

The grid is a better memory tool than the place notation. Visualise the grid and the place notation automatically follows.


There is no value in deriving pictels for St Clements.


Ringing St Clements.

Track the treble

Awareness of the position of the treble is a key skill for most bellringing methods, and a significant help in ringing St Clements. Some hints and tips for developing the skill are given in the techniques section.

The structure of St Clements is defined by the dodging in 1-2. Count the dodges on the backstrokes and you will know that:
Count 1: Treble is in 5ths
Count 2: Treble is in 6ths
Count 3: Treble is in 4ths. (i.e. time to stop dodging).

Positional Awareness

St Clements give great practice at finding thirds place.

Place Notation Elements

The plain course only contains 4 elements (X, 12, 16, 36), the emphasis is on 36.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

Note the pivot lead (the central lead of the plain course):
5ths place bell makes the thirds at the half lead
3rds and 6ths place bells ring plain hunting on 4 above 1-2
2nds and 4ths (coursing pair) dodge together in 1-2.

Awareness of other bells

Following other bells in St Clements is relatively easy because of the preservation of the natural coursing order.

Coursing Order in St Clements

The structure of St Clements College Bob Minor preserves very well the natural coursing order for the working bells.
The bells dodging in 1-2 exhibit the natural coursing order from lead to lead.
Between the lead end and the half lead three bells in natural coursing order lie behind.
These same three bells then make thirds in turn one each for the triple dodge in 1-2.
These same three bells then lie behind again between the half lead and the following lead end.

Ringing the Method

The value in ringing St Clements comes from the combination of dodging in 1-2 and hunting in 3rds - 6ths places. A novice handbell ringer will derive benefit from studying the spacing of the bells both to achieve good striking during the dodging leads, and to make the single adjacent blows in 2-3 at the correct stroke with accurate spacing.

Handbell change ringers look for "landmarks" that enable a moment of lesser concentration. The triple dodge at lead in St Clements is one of those landmarks.


Bobs and Singles.

The calls in St Clements look and feel like Plain Bob.

But note. The bell that makes the bob or 4ths at a single has just rung three dodges in 1-2 up, and it goes back and does 3 dodges 1-2 down.


Touches of St Clements

It is normal to use the tenor as the observation bell .
5ths place bell is the pivot bell and hence the first lead end is 142635

The calling positions for the tenor are:
In, Before, 4ths, Wrong, Home.

For a very simple touch (4 leads), call the second to make 4ths at a bob, and do that again to bring the ringing back into the plain course. The calling pattern is Bob, Plain, Bob, Plain.

 St Clements - simple touch


For practice at singles, call six singles in succession to give 6 leads, 72 changes.

 St Clements - touch with 6 singles


The standard callings for Plain Bob work for St Clements, e.g. the following 120, 360, 720:

Two courses: Wrong, Home, Wrong, Home:

 St Clements - standard 120, 2 courses


For a 360, as per the 120, but omit the final bob, and repeat twice.

 St Clements - standard 360, 6 courses


For a 720, as per the 360, but call single at the final home and repeat.

 St Clements - standard 720, 12 courses