Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Plain Minor Methods

  Plain Minor - Double Oxford Bob

Double Oxford Bob Minor

About Double Oxford Bob Minor

Double Oxford Bob Minor introduces the maximum amount of structure that can be packed into a right place plain method. If the band needs dodging practice, this is the method to go for.

Also, the court places which are linked to dodging at the lead ends and half leads are good practice for methods such as Cambridge Surprise Minor and Yorkshire Surprise Major. Further features of this method make it a good lead in to Treble Bob and Surprise.

Site Sections:


Double Oxford Bob Minor is highly structured with double court places and triple dodging both front and back.

Method Structure.

Place Notation:
X 14 X 36 X56, 12, Bob 14, Single 1234.


Double Oxford Bob Minor change rows with grid

Diagram: 105.06.00 Double Oxford Bob Minor, plain lead, change-rows and grid.

Plain Course structure
Double Oxford Bob Minor is a static method with long frontwork and long backwork joined by double court places.


Learning Double Oxford Bob Minor.

The Structure

This is a static method. Individual bells progress from two leads of frontwork via places to two leads of backwork.

Because this is a doubly symmetrical method, the features found above the treble are repeated, upside down, under the treble. NB 3-4 pair are mainly well separated, apart from dodging together in 3-4.

Whilst 5-6 dodge together in 5-6 and in 1-2, there is only ever one of the pair in court places. The coursing bell then either dodges in parallel or makes the opposing place. This feature is strongly related to methods such as Cambridge Surprise, and the double blue line artefacts so generated can be treated as pictels.

The Rules

Double Oxford Bob Minor - the rules
This is a method to ring either visually (by grid structure), or numerically via the Place Notation. The structure is hard to express in concise language.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

Double Oxford Bob Minor, 1-2

Double Oxford Bob Minor on 1-2

Diagram: 105.05.01 Double Oxford Bob Minor, 1-2.


Double Oxford Bob Minor, 3-4

Double Oxford Bob Minor on 3-4

Diagram: 105.05.02 Double Oxford Bob Minor, 3-4.


Double Oxford Bob Minor, 5-6

Double Oxford Bob Minor on 5-6

Diagram: 105.05.03 Double Oxford Bob Minor, 5-6.

Place Notation


Single bell Blue Line features have been noted above. Some Double Blue Line Features have also been noted. However, this is a method rich in structtural features and will repay time spent studying the way bells work together, or work apart as the case may be.

Place Notation and Grid

Learning Double Oxford can be approached equally well via the Place Notation as via the visual grid. Choose which method suits you most.


A glance at the grid will reveal the treble hunting up and dowwn through 4-bell "cages". (This is a way of remembering the Place Notation as well). Pictorially these "cages" are useful, and the method can then be disected into pictels, viz:

Suggestion: Use a visual image of successive sections of the grid as a basis of remembering the grid structure, viz:

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - element

Hunt and dodge 5-6 above

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - element

Dodge in 1-2, hunt above

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - element

Dodging both in 1-2 and in 3-4 at half lead

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - element

Dodge in 1-2, hunt above

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - element

Hunt and dodge 5-6 above

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - element

Dodging at lead end

The above pictels are drawn to be easily memorised. They do overlap! The treble does not leap backwards and forwards it is one smooth continuous path.
These chunks of grid are easier to memorise than either the place notation or the whole grid.

Pictels are one of the memory techniques suggested for learning Cambridge Surprise Minor. Hence the progressive nature of Double Oxford Bob Minor


Ringing Double Oxford Bob Minor.

Track the treble

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

Following the treble whilst ringing Double Oxford Bob Minor is a "chicken and egg" situation. Ring by Grid, pictels, lines, place notation, and you will see how the treble fits in. Ring by the position of the treble and you can fir the structure around those positions. Eventually you automatically ring both by some form of structure and the position of the treble.

How do you get to the standard where structure and treble come together? Simple. Ring the method a lot of times, 1,000 courses is not too many.

Positional Awareness

The static nature of Double Oxford Bob Minor lends itself to seeing bells in 1-2, in 3-4, and in 5-6.

Place Notation Elements

The method only contains 5 elements (X, 14, 36, 56, 12), all of which will already have been rung.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

e.g. For 3-4 pair, the pivot point is when they dodge together in 3-4 under the treble.
For 5-6 pair, the pivot point is when the pair triple dodges together in 1-2.

Awareness of other bells

Because of the static nature of the method, together with the coursing order, there is usually time for a quick thought about where the other bells working with yours will at the following lead end.]

Coursing Order in Double Oxford Bob Minor

Natural coursing order is well preserved in Double Oxford Bob Minor. The doubly symmetrical nature of the method means that the half lead is rung in pure coursing order as much as the lead end.

This is a very helpful method.

Ringing the Method

Double Oxford Bob Minor is worth ringing just for "fun". However, it is a serious staging post towards more complex methods and can be approached using a number of techniques that are valuable in ringing more diffcult methods.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs and singles are much the same as in Single Oxford Bob Minor, the court places make life interesting.

Bobs cause the dodging in 3-4 to become hunting in 2-3 and 4ths place. Consequently three bells in succession make 4ths and turn round. However, the first of these has just made thirds, so the bob takes the dodge off the end of the places. The second has just finished a three-pull and goes back to do another three-pull. The bell that ran out makes 4ths and 3rds and dodges 3-4 up at the half lead.

Singles The interesting bell is the one that makes thirds at the single. The affect of the single is to cut out all of the dodging work on the front.


Touches of Double Oxford Bob Minor

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.

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - simple touch


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

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - 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:

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - standard 120, 2 courses


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

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - standard 360, 6 courses


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

 Double Oxford Bob Minor - standard 720, 12 courses