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Above the treble
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Also sometimes known as a tail stroke, this is the stroke rung with the ringer's hands on the tail, rather than on the sally.
Ball of the clapper
Bell chamber, usually at the top of the Church Tower, where the bells are housed.
Bell advisor (Diocesan)
An expert on bells, usually appointed by the Diocese to advise on bell related matters. Sometimes abbreviated to DAB (Diocesan Bell Advisor).
The engineering works where bells are cast. Often bell foundries will also be able to advise on / carry out bell maintenance work, augmentations, re-hangs and repairs. Many foundries also supply ropes, stays and other sundries.
This is the space in the bell pit in which a bell hangs (and swings).
Bell restoration fund
A fund set up by a tower or local ringing society to fund projects which restore, maintain or install bells.
Below the treble
A bob causes three bells to rotate in the coursing order and is generally the most common type of call.
Another term for ceiling
Boxes round the treble
The extended piece of work at the back of Cambridge (in the last two places of the change)
The work done 'on the front' in Cambridge, rung by the bells in first and second positions.
Cambridge surprise maximus
Cambridge surprise minor
Cambridge surprise royal
Canons are loops which are cast into the crown of older bells, usually fixed to the headstock by metal straps.
A smooth metal or wooden circle fitted which the ropes pass through, either in the floor / ceilings of the tower or through rope guides
Circle of work
A metal rod with a ball on the end which strikes the inside of the mouth of a bell. The clapper is hung from a pivot below the crown of the bell. The clapper swings back and forward as the bell rotates.
The hammer of a Church clock, usually striking a bell in the tower. On a swinging bell (for full circle change ringing), the hammer is usually pulled off and held out of the way of the bell during ringing.
Also known as the intermediate floor or middle floor, this is usually a room which contains the mechanisms for the tower clock. Bell ringers often use this area to store paraphernalia such as spare stays, spare ropes, flags etc. Bell ropes will usually run through ceiling bosses on the floor and ceiling of the clock room and this can be a point for extra wear on ropes if there is anything rough or sharp on the holes.
The ringer who conducts - she or he takes responsibility for a piece of ringing, including any necessary calls. They may also check and correct any trips or mistakes in the ringing if required.
A row of changes with pairs of bells crossed over.
Not to be confused with a similar term - Crossed which is when two bells become accidentally swapped over during a method, causing each to do the other's work, so the touch will not come back into rounds where it would be expected to.
The critical first step to forming a back splice
The pattern of work where a bell takes one step forward, then one back (changing places on only one stroke).
Two dodges rung consecutively
Double Norwich Court Bob Major
This is a plain method, rung on 8 bells
This describes a method rung on 5 bells.
A knot (usually a bowline) which does not untie if pulled. This is to stop the tail end falling on the floor when the bell is not in use. Indicates to the ringer that the bell is most likely 'down', but it is always adviseable to check before ringing in case the previous ringer has mistakenly used this knot instead of an 'up knot'
A modern type of rope. Dyneema has a strong polyethylene core surrounded by polyester. It is low stretch (like Pre Stretched Polyester) and very durable. It is a little more expensive than hemp or pre stretched polyester but is rapidly gaining popularity in many towers.
Even bell methods
A method rung on 4,6,8,10 or 12 bells (an even number of bells!)
The maximum number of unique changes in a method.
Flax is widely used as a fibre for Church bell ropes. Quality can vary due to the growing conditions and harvest of the flax used. Like hemp ropes, flax can absorb moisture and stiffen in damp conditions. Ropes can also change length depending on the weather.
Four blows behind
See Long fifths
(or Bell frame) The framework in which bells are hung. Old style frames were usually made of wood, but more modern installations are usually metal.
Fraying or Frayed
To unravel or become worn
Fully muffled bells have a half muffled fitted to each side of the clapper.
A gudgeon is a metal shaft attached to the ends of the headstock, forming an axle on which the bell swings.
A knot which is used to tie a loop of rope around and object, then back to itself.
Hand stroke lead
This is the stroke where the ringers hands are on the sally.
Heat shrink sleeve
High temperature plastic sleeves used for protecting areas of rope, such as splices in the top end. These protect the rope as it goes through ceiling bosses and rope guides and prevent it from catching or being damaged.
Heat Shrink Sleeving
Often constructed of vinyl plastic, this is tape which is stretchy and durable. Often used in rope splicing to keep the individual strands separate and easier to work with.
Jump the wheel
A rope 'jumping' or 'slipping' the wheel is when the rope comes out of the channel in the wheel during ringing. It can indicate a distorted wheel, a problem with a pulley, or a misaligned wheel. Ringing with very good handling and a taut rope can sometimes mitigate the problem if a particular bell is prone to its rope slipping the wheel, but it can indicate an issue that needs resolving in the belfry.
A fastening or join
Striking one or more blows (usually two) in first place.
Sloped boards set in rows in the belfry windows to stop rain getting in, but to allow the sound of the ringing out. Usually made of wood.
Lying behind is when the bell rings for more than one consecutive blow in the last place in the change.
This describes a method rung on 8 bells.
A method rung on 12 bells.
The term used to describe a method rung on 6 bells.
A pad which is usually made of leather. This is fitted to a clapper to muffle the sound when it strikes the bell.
Natural Fibre ropes
Natural fibre bell ropes are usually made of either Hemp or Flax. They are hard wearing and durable, but have some disadvantages such as being affected by the weather conditions and humidity, they can also be a little bit stretchy. In towers with a long draught, many people prefer to splice on a man made rope above the sally to reduce stretchiness.
Open bells is a term describing bells which are rung without muffles. For example at a funeral, the deceased's family might request half muffled bells for a service, or they could instead ask that bells be rung 'open' in celebration of the life of the departed.
Pieces of Work
The position of a bell in a row.
A way of describing a certain block of work in a method. It means the first work that bell does during a lead of the plain course. E.g if you are 'fourth place bell' you are about to do the work which the 4th does at the beginning of the method. In the example of plain bob doubles, the fourth place bell would hunt into the lead, hunt to the back and do four blows behind.
Plain Bob Doubles
Plain Bob Major
Plain Bob Minor
A touch with no calls, starting and finishing in rounes.
Sometimes known as Terylene rope, this is widely used for the top end of a rope and can be spliced on. It is less stretchy than natural rope and is very hard wearing. As it is not a natural fibre, it doesn't absorb moisture so is therefore not affected by weather conditions. It is particularly adviseable for longer draught rings of bells where stretchy natural ropes can be trickier to ring.
Pull off cord
This is another term for the clock hammer cord (or wire). Usually found in the ringing room, it's used to secure and disable the clock hammer from striking on the bell during ringing. During a belfry maintenance check, clock hammers and their mechanisms are usually checked to make sure they are in good order and not likely to fail.
An occasion held in the United Kingdom as a day to commemorate the contribution of military and civilian servicemen and women who have served in the world wars or subsequent conflicts. It is marked on the nearest Sunday to 11th November, sometimes called Armistice Day. Church bells are usually rung half muffled for services on this day.
The rim of a wheel, also known as the shroud - the sides or edges either side of the sole.
The area of a tower where the ringers stand to ring - this might be a balcony ring, on the ground floor, or an enclosed room higher in the tower. It is separate from the belfry or bell chamber.
A vertical tube to guide the rope past obstacles between the bell and the ringer. Or a sloping tube to guide the rope at an angle, similar to a running board
A circular ring, mounted above the sally in the ringing room, but below the ceiling to steady the lateral movement of the rope. Usually installed in towers with a long draught.
This describes a method rung on 10 bells.
Seconds (making seconds)
A radial piece of wood in the middle of a bell wheel
Wooden bar attached to the headstock. Usually made of ash wood. By resting against the slider, it supports the weight of the bell just past the balance, so that the bell can be stood in the 'up' position
Named after Fabian Stedman (a late 17th century ringer), this is a popular principle rung on an odd number of bells.
The person responsible for the maintenance and inspection of bells, fittings and ropes.
A single length of fibre, twisted around with others to form a rope.
The end of a bell rope (below the sally). A tail is normally doubled by tucking itself back for a few feet, so that the length is adjustable.
A synthetic polyester fibre, obtained from petroleum. Used as a 'top end' for ropes because it is durable and does not feel stretchy to the ringer.
Three - Four down dodge
Three - Four Up Dodge
Long bolts used to stabilise and tie together wooden headstocks.
The bell with the highest note in a ring of bells (usually also the lightest bell).
Treble based rules
Also known as treble signposts, this is ringing a method by watching the position of the treble. As an example, when ringing plain bob doubles, a ringer might be prompted to make seconds whenever they hunt to the front of the change and the treble is leading. They might be reminded to do a 3-4 down dodge after passing the treble at the back.
Three dodges rung consecutively
A knot which is used to stop the tail end falling on the floor when the bell is not in use. It will untie easily if pulled. It usually indicates that the bell has been left in the 'up' position. Ringers should always double check though by testing whether a bell is up or down, in case the previous ringer has left the wrong knot in error.
Bell wheel - attached to the headstock of any bell which has been hung for full circle ringing. Usually made of wood (traditionally Elm), wheels are assembled in two halves to facilitate getting them up into the belfry where they as assembled. The bell rope is attached to the middle spokes of the wheel.
A whipping knot, or whipping is binding twine around the end of a rope to prevent it from fraying. Whipping can be made nteat by tying it off or sewing the ends of the twine through the rope itself.
A wood eating larvae - of several species of beetles. Infestation with woodworm can affect wooden belfry fittings, weakening them and spreading if left untreated.
Wrong Place Method