We have reached a landmark this year - the children are old enough to be left at home alone for an evening. Yesterday we took advantage of this by ringing at Angela's house, which is only fair as she and Jonathan have been coming to our house nearly every week for the last 9 years.
To make progress with our aim of ringing different pairs and developing more conductors, we rang a quarter of Yorkshire with Angela on 3-4 and Tina conducting. I rang the trebles and Jonathan stayed on 5-6 (for now - his turn will come!). We scored at the second attempt. Ringing the trebles takes concentration, because of the potentially disastrous effect of getting the treble into the wrong place. I'm sure it's good for me. Angela had a good workout on 3-4, as Tina called "wrong home wrong", which doesn't give anyone an easy ride in terms of the positions.
Angela's parents' 50th wedding anniversary is this weekend, so she wants to ring a quarter of Golden Wedding Anniversary Surprise Major next week. We've been successful in the past with learning and ringing new methods for special occasions: Bushey Surprise Major, and Aardvark Surprise Major, described here. So what about Golden Wedding Anniversary?
A first glance at the line gives an impression of Yorkshireishness on the front and Londonishness on the back. The beginning of 5th place bell is unusual, going down to point 3rds. This is produced by the place notation 38x58 in the first section (when the treble is in 1-2). This structure for the first section is relatively uncommon, appearing in 286 Surprise Major methods in comparison with 1938 occurrences of the Cambridge-above x38x structure. As it happens, Aardvark starts in the same way, as does Uppingham, which I rang in my youth as part of Crosland's spliced series.
The backwork has a clear structure with fishtails in the same place as in London, and treble bob hunting to link them. Making 5ths next to a fishtail will be something to watch out for. Other familiar features include Cambridge frontwork and Yorkshire places in 2nd and 7ths place bells. 3rd and 5th place bells have a structure from 4th place bell Cassiobury on the front, but with a half lead dodge attached. The 3-4 places in 3rd and 5th place bells will require care. We will also have to be careful when one bell is in 1-2 and the other in 3-4, to get the right synchronisation between dodges and places. The place notation includes 3458 when the treble moves between 6th and 7th places. Multiple adjacent places like this often feel strange to ring - for example, making 3rds and 5ths simultaneously, which occurs in the 5-6 position (4th and 7th place bells).
Overall, I think it's a bit easier than Aardvark, so I hope we'll be able to ring it well. Watch this space!