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Glossary of ringing terms – C

Last updated on: 05-December-2016

Words or phrases underlined are defined within the glossary. Where it assists with clarity, a definition is annotated to indicate a part of speech. (n) = noun, (vb) = verb, (adj) = adjective, (adv) = adverb. Section references refer to sections within The Tower Handbook.  

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County Association
(1) (vb) Take charge of a piece of ringing by giving the commands ('go', 'stand', etc).
(2) (n) (in change ringing) A command that alters the methodstructure for one or two changes, eg 'bob', 'single', 'extreme', (qv).
Call changes
Ringing where the order changes only in response to specific instructions from the conductor, normally to swap a pair of bells. Calls are made at one handstroke to take effect at the next.
The effect of the calls as seen from a particular bell. eg '3rd is called to run out twice and make the bob'
Call round
Alter a touch being rung to bring it back to rounds, after it has beenmiscalled, bells crossed or if required to finish earlier than expected. This is generally preferable to the alternatives of standing or calling rounds immediately. It sounds more attractive outside and those taking part have the satisfaction of completing a touch rather than completing nothing.
(n) An arrangement of calls, a simple composition or touch. See standard calling and arrangement.
Calling down
A style of calling call changes where the second of the changing pair is called to follow the bell preceding the changing pair, eg from rounds, '4 to 2' produces 124356.
Calling position
(1) A position in a method (or principle) where a call may be made.
(2) The position of the observation bell when the call is made, sometimes numbered sequentially through the course, sometimes denoted by the position of the observation bell and sometimes given a name.
Names like 'Home', 'Wrong', etc are defined in terms of the highest working bell being the observation bell. Thus a call 'Home' is when the tenor is in 8ths place (in Major). However, ringing another bell you could 'call yourself Home' by calling a bob when your bell is in that position.
(3) The pair of (successive) positions of the observation bell in a method with twin bob compositions .
The call is given a whole pull before it takes effect, ie before the first blow that it alters.
Calling up
A style of calling changes where the first of the changing pair is called to follow the other, eg from rounds, '3 to 4' produces 124356. Bells not mentioned don't move.
Calling pairs
A style of calling call changes where the changing pair is called, eg from rounds, '3 and 4' produces 124356, and '3 and 4' again produces rounds. This method is recommended to help the transition to change ringing, since it encourages greater awareness of adjacent bells in the sequence. Only the bells mentioned move position.
Cam variation
A scheme for keeping the tenors out of the slow in Kent Treble Bob by splicing it with Kent Little Bob. See also: Granta, Ilkeston, Killamarsh, Liversedge and Worcester.
Right place Surprise  method. Often the first learnt. Basic stage is Minor. One of the standard eight.
Cambridge chimes
Tune of clock chimes first used at St Mary the Great, Cambridge in 1793 and later copied in 1859 for the chimes of the clock in the Palace of Westminster (often wrongly described as Westminster chimes). see details.
Cambridge group
(1) Group of Surprise  methods with the same lead order (course bell order) as Cambridge, ie 2nds place, 6ths place, .........5ths place, eg Cambridge, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Superlative, Pudsey, ....
(2) Group of Surprise   Minor  methods that have the same work above the Treble as Cambridge.
Cambridge places
Work consisting of three dodges with intervening pairs of places separating them, all in the same pair of positions. See fig 15.2-8
Tower or part of a building containing a ring of bells (hung for full circle ringing). Normally describes a non religious building or a free standing tower near a church.
One acquainted with the history of bells. (Versed in the study of... OED)
The title of several early books on change ringing. First used by Fabian Stedman in 1677.
Pertaining to bells.
One who studies campanology, (popularly mis-used to refer to a ringer).
Study of the history, art and science of making and ringing bells.
Website providing instant publication of ringing performances and other news.
Canon removal
Cutting off the canons of an old bell if they are weak or damaged, or to enable a modern hanging. Not advisable for old bells where the canons historically significant.
Canon retaining
A style of head-stock that allows canons to be kept on an old bell while giving many of the benefits of modern hanging. Typically the canons are housed within the depth of the headstock.
Loops cast onto the crown of older bells for fixing to the head-stock by iron straps, or 'shear bands'.
A set of more than 25 bells, hung dead and struck with hammers operated from a clavier (or console) - (as distinct from a campanile). Some carillons omit two of the bass bells, thus having only 23 bells while still spanning two octaves.
One who plays a carillon
Carlisle group
Group of Surprise   Minor  methods that have the same work above the Treble as Carlisle. Also called Chester group.
Carter ringing machine
A mechanical instrument, built by John Carter around 1912, and now owned by the Central Council, capable of ringing changes up to the complexity of Surprise Maximus.
Closed lead ringing
Cast in staple
Historically the iron staple from which the clapper hangs was cast into the crown of the bell, with the clapper attached by a baldrick. Modern bells use an independent crown staple.
Catch (The)
The final row struck after lowering in peal. All bells are allowed to swing freely once without striking and then brought to rest on the final blow. The catch is normally in rounds, or sometimes in Queens . On 5 bells, Weasels is occasionally used. For any row other than rounds, some bells need to swing silently more than once before catching to strike in the correct sequence.
Cat's ears
A portion of work with two points upward separated by a whole pull, giving a portion of blue line that looks like cat's ears, eg making a single in Stedman Doubles. See fig 15.2-6
The stage name for methods with nine working bells . It is a phonetic distortion of the French 'quatre', since four pairs of bells can be made to swap places at each change. The term was used to mean four in 17th century gambling with cards and dice.
Cast (bells)
Bells are manufactured by pouring molten metal into prepared moulds.
Cast-in (crown) staple
An iron hook or bracket from which the clapper swings, fixed in the bell when cast. They are normally drilled out during renovation to prevent the iron expanding by corrosion and cracking the surrounding bronze.
Church Buildings Council
Central Council
CC Decisions
Central Council Decisions – most often referring to the decisions on methods and peals.
Call used in some areas as alternative to downwards
Ceiling boss
Boss mounted in the ceiling
Central Council
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. A body to which most guilds and associations are affiliated. A forum for debate, standardisation and action in ringing matters, particularly those that affect the Exercise as a whole. The Council first met in 1891.
Central Council Decisions
A set of norms and standards on matters related to ringing, maintained by the Central Council, see: http://methods.org.uk/ccdecs.htm
Centre bolt
Clapper pin
Officer appointed by a Diocesan Bishop to carry out his legal duties, acting as a judge to decide the merits of faculty applications – normally a barrister.
Change ringing
Ringing where the bells continually change order. In normal change ringing no bell moves more than one position at a time.
(1) (Strictly) The transition between succeeding rows. The changes determine the structure of what is being rung. Changes may be written explicitly or using place notation . The explicit notation resembles the lines that would be drawn to show the path of each bell if the before and after rows are written above one another. A pair that swap places produce an X while a bell that stays in the same position produces a vertical line or I. eg 1234 ' 2143 is XX, 1234 ' 2134 is XII, 1234 ' 1324 is IXI,
12345678 ' 12436587 is IIXXX.
(2) (Colloquially) Arow.
(vb) Call used to initiate change to the next row in a predetermined sequence of call changes known by the band or written on lists in front of them. See next (2)
Change ringing, eg 'settle down before going into changes'.
Alternative term for lowering in peal
(1) Apply force as the rope ascends. This causes the bell to swing less high, ie to drop, and so ring more quickly.
(2) Scrutinise a composition to ensure it is true.
Chester group
 See Carlisle group.
(n) A set of bells hung dead.
(vb) (1) Cause a bell or bells to sound by swinging them through a small angle so the clapper bounces off one side, or sound it by striking with a hammer.
(cb) (2) Sound bells by operating hammers remotely from a chiming frame.
Chiming frame
Wall mounted frame with pre-tensioned ropes attached to hammers that strike the bells – part of an Ellacombe apparatus.
Check a bell vigorously.
Christmas Eve
Alternative name for Treble Bob in some areas.
Church Buildings Council
Statutory body of the Church of England that supports dioceses and parishes in the use, care and development of parish churches and their contents. Formerly the Council for the Care of Churches (CCC)
Rope chute.
The stage name for methods with eleven working bells. It is a phonetic distortion of the French 'cinque', since five pairs of bells can be made to swap places at each change. The term was used to mean four in 17th century gambling with cards and dice.
Circle of work
The work of a method written out around a circle. All methods are cyclic, so there is no beginning or end. One bell ringing a plain course will of course start at a particular point on the circle and end when it is reached again. It is normal to omit portions of plain hunting from the description, and to use composite names for groups of work in more complex methods, (eg 'back work', 'places in 34', ...). See also order of work.
The iron hammer, cast or forged with a ball to strike the bell, and hung from a pivot below the crown of the bell. Section 14.12.f.
Clapper, (The)
The quarterly journal of the North American Guild of Change Ringers (from 1972 to present).
Clapper adjusters
Pairs of threaded pins (also called twiddle pins) used to adjust the position of the clapper pivot. The pins bear on either side of the independent crown staple. Sufficient clearance is provided through the headstock to allow the crown staple to move slightly fore and aft. Its position can then be adjusted by screwing the opposing adjuster pins in and out.
Clapper bung
Rubber plug in centre of clapper ball, where it strikes the bell, to lift the clapper away from the bell after it has struck, and allow the bell to vibrate more freely.
The behaviour of the clapper, eg clappering wrong, double clappering, triple clappering. A bell starts clappering when it is swinging sufficiently to make the clapper swing regularly and bounce off the bell to make it strike.
Clapper bar
A wooden bar clamped to the clapper and wedged in the bell mouth to silence bell. Other patterns have lugs that clamp over the lip of the bell.
Clapper pin
Metal rod about which a (modern style) clapper pivots.
Clapper staple
See crown staple
Clapper stay
See clapper bar.
Clappering right
What a bell does when the clapper strikes the leading side of the bell.
Clappering wrong
What a bell does when the clapper strikes the trailing side of the bell.
Part of the classification of a method. Method classes are defined in the Central Council Decisions
Clean proof scale
Having no internal falseness.
(vb) to strike very close to the preceding bell
(n) a pair of consecutive blows very close together
Clock chamber
Intermediate room that contains the tower clock.
Clock face tapping
System of tapping changes by arranging a set of hand bells in a circle, ordered by natural coursing order (ie 2 4 6 8 ... 7 5 3 1). A plain hunt can be produced by tapping in a criss-cross pattern that is progressively rotated round the circle. See figure 15.4.
Clock hammers
The hammers used by a clock to strike the bells. Clock hammers used on swinging bells must be 'pulled off' and held clear of the bell and wheel during ringing.
Causing a bell to strike by pulling the clapper onto the side of the bell.
Striking too early; hence leaving too small a time after the blow of the preceding bell.
Closed lead
A style of ringing with hand and back stokes rung at the same speed, thus producing no handstroke gap. Commonly practised in Devon and around Barnsley, mainly on six bells. Also called cartwheel
Coursing order
A loop taken in the tail end to shorten the effective length of the rope when raising and lowering. (Sometimes also to stop excessively long rope ends flapping during normal ringing, but it is better to shorten the rope by adjusting the tail end tuck, or by using a figure of eight knot).
An obsolete name for a class of method with pairs of bells working together below the treble (eg St Clements). Preserved in some method names.
College of campanology
A society formed to encourage effective teaching of ringing. Based at Portsmouth, it published the first two parts of a planned eight part Ringers' Manual of Reference between 1957 and 1965. It no longer exists.
College Youths
The Ancient Society of College Youths. One of two very old ringing organisations not tied to any specific area or group of ringers. Prior to 1998, it was restricted to male only membership. See also Cumberlands
Changes of method
Combination roll up
(Usually in Major) a row ending with any two of 4,5,6 followed by 78 (eg 4678), abbreviated to CRU.
Come round
(1) End by producing rounds (eg 'come round at handstroke').
(2) Produce rounds prematurely (eg 'two bells crossed and it came round in the following course').
Comic (The)
Nickname for The Ringing World
Band. Sometimes used in the name of a specific band.
The basic rhythm of open lead ringing, ie 2N+1 beats, where N is the number of bells, and the extra 1 beat represents the handstroke gap. Thus for six bells there are 2x6+1=13 beats, for eight bells there are 2x8+1=17 beats, etc.
Design, arrange and prove a composition for change ringing.
One responsible for a composition . The composer is always cited in a peal record.
A detailed specification of calls and where they occur, suitable for a method or group of methods, to produce a specific number of changes. Compositions of spliced also specify the changes of method. A degree of complexity, length and originality is required to be considered as a composition. Anything not deemed to meet the requirement of originality is called an arrangement, and anything simple or short would merely be called a touch.
(1) Take responsibility for a piece of ringing and call the necessary calls.
(2) As above, but also checking, and if necessary correcting, the ringing.
One who conducts, (but see also bob caller).
Consecutive places
Places made in the same position, consecutively by different bells (eg 3rds in St Clements).
Contiguous places
Successive places made by the same bell (in adjacent places) eg (3rds and 4ths in Kent).
(vb) The opposite of extend. The concept of contraction is used to help verify an extension.
Council for the Care of Churches
Former name of the Church Buildings Council
Counterbalance (bell)
(n or vb) Weight added above the crown of the bell, on the opposite side of the swinging axis, to reduce the rate of swing and also reduce the effort needed by the ringer.
Counterbalance (clapper)
(n or vb) Weight added above the pivot of the clapper. It slows down the natural swinging period of the clapper, and alters the clappering behaviour of the bell. An extended crown staple provides space for the counter-balanced part of the clapper to swing within the bell.
Course (n)
(1) the natural length of a method or principle without calls, eg the plain course
(2) a touch lasting roughly as long as a plain course (eg bob course)
(3) part of a touch or composition, delineated by the tenor (or observation bell) returning to its natural position
Course (vb)
Follow another bell up and down through the work. eg: '3rd courses 5th' , '8 and 6 are coursing' or '4th is coursing after 2nd'.
Course bell
The preceding bell in the coursing order.
Course end
The row at the end of a course. Normally this is the handstroke row of a lead end.
Course head
The row at the beginning of a course (normally the backstrokerow at the beginning of the method structure). Often used when setting out a composition.
Following a bell in the coursing order. See course.
Coursing order
A convenient way of describing how the bells follow each other around in a method, which remains constant between calls. It is easiest to see in plain hunt where it is the order in which the bells come to the front and to the back, (ie 531246 in Minor). The order is cyclic. so it repeats and could be written down starting at any point.
In a method the coursing order is defined with the treble omitted (so the above becomes 53246). In Plain Bob this order is constant through all leads of the plain course. The coursing order is cyclic – it is conventional to consider the tenor to be at the end (or beginning) and to omit it when written down (so 53246 is written 5324).
In more complex methods, where the paths of the bells is not limited to hunting, the bells move in different ways with respect to each other so the coursing order may not always be apparent. Therefore the coursing order is defined in terms of the lead head, using the same transformation that applies in Plain Bob. Thus a lead head of 123456 gives a coursing order of 65324 (written as 5324 by convention). A lead head of 146352 gives 64325, written 4325, and so on.
With higher numbers the transformation is extended, thus the coursing order of a plain course on eight is 753246 and on ten is 97532468. Most compositions keep the tenors together in the coursing order, so this is further shortened to 53246, leaving fewer numbers to be remembered.
Coursing (position)
(When ringing two bells, eg on hand bells), the pattern of movement created when the two bells being rung are coursing each other. See position
Court, court bob
Obsolete names of classes of plain method. The terms are preserved in many method names, eg Single and Double Court Minor, Double Norwich Court Major and Caters.
Court place
A place made right adjoining the treble (one that defined a court method).
Court places
A pair of places made above and below the treble. See figure 15.2-5
(vb) Ring in the same position continually at the end of every row, while the remaining bells ring a method. Normally, the tenor covers odd bell methods when ringing an even number of bells, but other combinations are possible, eg tenor covering Minimus on five, or 768 covering Doubles on eight.
Cover (bell)
(n) A bell that covers.
Clean proof scale
Another name for Crossovers.
A row with pairs crossed over, used in call changes. ie 21435, 132546, 13254768, etc. Sometimes on eight called Kings.
Cross section
Transition between rows in which the treble moves from one pair of positions to the next. The pairs of positions are 12, 34, 56, etc, so the cross sections are when the treble moves from 2 to 3, from 4 to 5, from 5 to 4, etc. The cross section is significant in defining methods.
Accidentally swapped (bells) during a touch causing each to do the other's work.
The closed end of a bell
Crown staple
The bracket inside the crown of the bell from which the clapper hangs. Modern bells have an independent crown staple. Historic bells had a cast in staple.
Combination Roll Up
The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths. One of two very old ringing organisations not tied to any specific area or group of ringers. Unlike the College Youths, membership has never been restricted by sex.
(1) Check the bell to ring the next stroke sooner. Also 'cut in' (eg the under blow of a dodge)
(2) Pass (normally the treble) while hunting down.
Cyclic composition
A composition whose part heads are cyclic variants of rounds (eg 123456, 234561, 345612, 456123, 561234, 612345)
Cyclic method
A method  whose lead heads  are cyclic variants of rounds  (eg 123456, 234561, 345612, 456123, 561234, 612345)
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