Post Number 1 - August 2019

The Basics of Plain Hunting

In this post we are going to be concentrating on the basics of Plain Hunting. We will first concentrate on leading skills and then move on to Plain Hunt on 5 and the theory that is involved.


As with most things in bell ringing the key is to listen! Leading is not very complicated and once you have it sussed you will never forget how to do it. The best way to practise is by ringing rounds and call changes and put yourself on the treble so you are not moving around and you can concentrate on your leads. Before pulling off you should grab everyone's attention by saying "Look Two!" in a raised but not stern voice. When you have everyone's attention you should then say "Treble's Going!" at which point you should start pulling. Then, once you have passed the balance and the bell starts to fall you should say "Treble's Gone!" (or whichever is custom to your area). Remember to ring opposite the tenor and not after it. I find the best way to lead is you should pull when the tenor's rope hits the floor. Depending on which part of the country you are in you may need to leave a handstroke gap. This is the case for most towers across the country apart from most places in Devon, check before you ring! The best way to learn about the handstroke gap is to use a practical example. If you are ringing on 6 bells count to 12 in your head (1 for handstroke and one for backstroke each bell) and then say to yourself pause. E.g 1234567890ET pause 1234567890ET pause. This ensures that you don't leave a gap at backstroke but you pause after it to leave a gap at handstroke. Try to keep your leads steady as it will help the whole band to stay in time. Don't rush your leads and just relax!

The basics of Plain Hunt on 5:

Learning to Plain Hunt is one of the most important skills in bell ringing as it then sets you up to be able to then ring method. When starting to plain hunt you may learn the numbers of the bells to follow but the best way is to count your place. Counting your place will really help with method ringing and most ringers use this way. In Plain Hunt on 5 there is 5 different places available for you to be in. Lead, 2nds, 3rds, 4th & 5ths. In plain hunt you hunt from the lead position to 5ths place and then come back so if you were to count your place it would be 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 5ths, 4ths, 3rds, 2nds, lead, lead. Notice how 5ths and lead are written twice due to the fact you have to stay at the back or lead for 2 blows when plain hunting. So if you are on the treble you should start off in the normal way by saying "Look Two, Treble's Going, Treble's gone" and ring in rounds. Once the designated conductor says "Go Plain Hunt on 5" you should then start by ringing in 2nds place which means you will be the second rope to pull (it will be after the 2 in this case) as mentioned you should carry on out until you get to 5ths place when you turn around and come back. You may feel confused about knowing which bell to follow when you are counting your place but it is easy once you know how. For example if you are in 4ths place you would be the 4th rope to pull meaning you pull after the 3rd rope that has come down. To better explain this Plain Hunt on 5 is written out below.

1 2 3 4 5

2 1 4 3 5

2 4 1 5 3

4 2 5 1 3

4 5 2 3 1

5 4 3 2 1

5 3 4 1 2

3 5 1 4 2

3 1 5 2 4

1 3 2 5 4

1 2 3 4 5

The treble bell rings over number 2 (2nds) 4 (3rds) 5 (4ths) 3 (5ths) 2(5ths) 4 (4ths) 5 (3rds) 3 (2nds). Once you have the basics of trebling you can move onto ringing on a different bell. You do exactly the same on any bell you just start in a different place.

Starting points (Plain Hunt on 5):

1) Hunt straight out, 2nds place first (then 3rds)

2) Lead (hand and back) and then straight out

3) Straight out, 4ths place first (then 5ths)

4) Straight in, 3rds place first (then 2nds)

5) Stay in 5ths place for one blow and then straight in

Plain Hunting on 6 is just the same apart from you go to 6ths place instead of 5ths. If you are on the 5 you would go out to the back and lie in 6ths for 2 blows and then straight in to the front, and if you were on the 6 you would go straight in and lead.

If you are still confused please get in touch with us and we can help you and also add bits in that may also help other people.

There are also many books that can help as well as asking your tutor.


Plain Hunting

Site last edited: 28/02/2021


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