The Mystery Explained!

By Helen Beaufoy

Recently, a learner asked me what it meant to be “in 2nds place”, or “in thirds place” etc.  It brought back memories for me, as I was completely mystified about it for a very long time when I learnt to ring.  The trouble is, it is so very simple that experienced ringers don’t always think to explain it to their learners. 

Ringing Rounds is like standing in a queue.  The Treble is the leader of the queue, the two is ringing second in the queue, the third is behind him, the fourth is next, and so on.  When the order of the bells is jumbled up, for instance in call changes, the bell that is leading is at the front of the queue.  The bell following him is “in seconds place”, the bell ringing third in the queue is “in third’s” etc.

Next time you are ringing call changes, try to work out what place you are in.  Work out who is leading, and count how many bells are ringing in front of you in each row.