Singles

You could be forgiven for thinking there are only two Singles methods; Original and Reverse Original (i.e. Plain Hunt and Reverse Hunt):

Original Reverse Original

These are certainly the only two ways of reaching all 6 possible permutations of three bells, without repetitions or jump changes. Although, strictly speaking, Reverse Original is just Original starting one blow later (or earlier), so it's the same method...

However, there are many more methods than that. They all have plain courses of more than 6 rows. So their plain courses will have repeated rows, but most of them are still considered true, as they contain each permutation the same number of times.

Perhaps the most widely known other Singles method is Stedman. This is the same as Stedman on higher numbers, but with all the dodges removed. This just leaves the slow work and the quick work, rung alternately, with three blows behind between. The plain course is 36 changes in length, with each row coming up six times, including rounds, of course. Erin also adapts in a similar way, omitting the dodging in 4-5 and above, to just leave the front work. Carter also has a Singles version, with the same work in 1-2, but some long places in 3rds. These principles can also be rung in their Reverse versions, swapping back and front.

Stedman Erin Carter Reverse Stedman Reverse Erin Reverse Carter

A method that I sometimes use for teaching purposes is what I think of as "Plain Bob Singles". The treble plain hunts and 2nds is made each time it leads. And, like Plain Bob on other odd numbers of bells, another bell does four blows behind. There's no room for any dodging. This is officially known as St Remigius Singles. And, like those above, it has a Reverse version too, with long leading and 2nds from the back,

St Remigius Reverse St Remigius

The interesting thing about St Remigius is in the change made when the treble leads. Every bell stays in the same place; the treble is leading, another bell is making seconds and the other bell is doing four blows behind. This is known as the "identity" change or the "null" change and opinions vary on whether it should be included in methods. However, it is now specifically included in the new Framework for Method Ringing. Whether or not you like the 123 place notation, even just using the place notations 1 and 3, there's still a wide range of possible methods.

Another method that I use is "Bastow Singles", where the treble only hunts to 2nds place, which also uses the identity change. This has each of the permutations twice, except those where the treble is in 2rds place. In the Reverse version, the 3rd is the hunt bell, making 2nds from the back.

Bastow Little Place Reverse Bastow Little Place

In 2003, a "Guide to Three-Bell Ringing" was published by the Huntingdonshire Church Bell Restoration Society, edited by Ian Chandler from notes by Chris Higgins. It even included a couple of methods to ring on just two bells! A web version of this guide is now here, including links to the current names of the methods included. A pdf version is available here.

Since then, more methods have been named. Shipping Forecast Singles was one of the first and has indeed been rung to more than one peal. The plain course is 18 rows in length, with each permutation coming up three times. Structurally, it's just two courses of Reverse Original "inside" a course of Original. Each bell has a separate blue line. Continuing the theme, it was followed up by General Synopsis Singles, Coastal Stations Singles, Inshore Waters Singles and (more recently) Morning Fog Singles.

Shipping Forecast General Synopsis Coastal Stations Inshore Waters Morning Fog

There is a Singles version of Treble Bob Hunting, with dodging in 1-2 and 4 blows behind; this is called Titanic Singles, as it can be seen as a contraction of Titanic Doubles and Triples etc. Watch out, as it starts with plain hunt, not a dodge. Its Reverse version has the dodging in 2-3. You can also dodge in 1-2 and 2-3, with 4 blows in lead and 4 blows behind, to give St Hybald Singles. Then, with double-dodging in 1-2 and six blows behind, you get Kirby Knowle. A rotation of Reverse Kirby Knowle is known as World Peace Singles. There's also a version of Oxford, with similar front-work to the Treble Bob method, but 4 blows behind.

Titanic Reverse Titanic St Hybald Kirby Knowle Reverse Kirby Knowle Oxford Reverse Oxford

After all that dodging, which is hard work on three bells, here are some more methods with place-making, to add to St Remigius above. Whole-pull Plain Hunt has the name "A Small Cure for Melancholy", which dates back to the 17th century. Churchyard Singles is fun, with the unusual distinction of a lead with an odd number of changes, so that different bells lead at different strokes. It has three blows at the back and three blows in lead. Note that some rows come up more than others, but ringing Reverse Churchyard too evens it out, as in this quarter peal at Loppington. Court Singles is similar to Kirby Knowle, with six blows behind, but with places instead of double-dodging. Plain Octets is Plain Hunt with 8 blows in each place, giving a total of 16 blows in lead and 16 blows behind!

A Small Cure For Melancholy Churchyard Reverse Churchyard Court Reverse Court Plain Octets

What's left? Te Deum is a combination of Original and Reverse Original; note that the treble does 3 blows in lead at the half-lead, but just a point in lead at the lead end. 41st Battalion is another method from Lismore in Australia, rung to mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice. Bar Point has rotational symmetry; the leads are 2 blows, then 3; the blows at the back are 3-point-2. Holmes and Sutton both have the nice pair of points in 2nds place bell.

Te Deum 41st Battalion Bar Point Holmes Sutton Reverse Sutton

The God and Trilogy are more recent compositions, with Trilogy, which is another method with rotational symmetry, rung in June 2020. Wistow is also rotational, as well as palindromic. Didcot has 4 blows behind (above the dodging in 1-2) and 3 blows in the lead (under the points).

The God Trilogy Wistow Didcot

Now we're getting into longer methods, with Aldworth Giants featuring fishtails on the front (with 5 blows behind above them). Cardiac Arrest is pleasingly pointy, while Double Dracula takes the teethy double-points from Holmes and Sutton and has them at the back too. Vowchurch has double-dodging on the front, giving 6 blows behind.

Aldworth Giants Cardiac Arrest Double Dracula Vowchurch

Finally, Avon-Swift are Compton Peculiar No. 3 also have rotational and palindromic symmetry. Those are five blows at front and back in Avon-Swift, but only three in Compton Peculiar. Rous Hotel has four blows front and back. Great Badminton is composed of Original and Reverse Original. Eastleach Martin is the longest of all, with a plain course of 78 changes, rung at Eastleach Martin in 2019.

Avon-Swift Compton Peculiar No. 3 Rous Hotel Great Badminton Eastleach Martin

Finally, I like to think of Grandsire Singles as a method. Naturally, treble and 2 are both hunt bells. Then the 3, unable to dodge in 4-5, just make 3rds at every lead end. Write it out for yourself...