An impressive handbell peal

The top performance on BellBoard at the moment is this peal:

Guild of St Cuileáin
Reading, Berkshire
26 Redlands Road
Sunday, 27 March 2022 in 3h 9 (12 in F)
5040 Spliced Treble Dodging Maximus (8m) 
672 Bristol Surprise, Rigel Surprise; 624 Ariel Surprise, Avon Delight, Phobos Surprise, Strathclyde Surprise, Zanussi Surprise; 576 Orion Surprise; 25 com; atw.
Composed by J H Potter arr. R O Hall
1-2 Daniel J Page
3-4 David J Pipe (C)
5-6 Henry J W Pipe
7-8 Jack E Page
9-10 Alex S Riley
11-12 Oliver C Bates
First ever peal of PAZORABS in hand.

This is noteworthy for a number of reasons.

First, ringing these methods on handbells is extremely impressive and I take all possible hats off to the band. It's impressive on tower bells too, but speaking for myself, although I can ring most of the methods in the tower, I am nowhere close to being able to ring Avon, Rigel or Orion in hand (and I have tried, in Mabel, from time to time). Not only that, I am not really sure what I would have to do in order to develop the ability to ring them.

Second, the band represents a new generation of ringers, with the exception of David Pipe who I'm sure will forgive me for mentioning that he has been around for a bit longer than the others. It's great to see young ringers being able to get to this level so quickly.

Third, the selection of methods is what I claimed (with some support from other sources), in my video about royal methods, to be the modern standard eight maximus. However, when I searched in BellBoard for other peals in these eight methods, I didn't find many. Various selections such as RABS, ORABS, ASBO, ZRABS are fairly common, but they are not often rung all together. I found some peals (including on handbells) of a similar eight methods with Smallbrook, Andromeda and Fenchurch instead of Strathclyde, Ariel and Phobos, but those three alternative methods seem to have dropped out of the repertoire. Smallbrook is a direct extension of Bristol from major to maximus, Fenchurch is a Londonish kind of method, and Andromeda is a bit like Bristol above the treble and on the front, similar to Strathclyde but with dodges in 6-7 as well as 4-5.

The composition is worth a look:

5040 Spliced Treble Dodging Maximus (8m)
J H Potter arr. R O Hall

23456  B  W  H
32546     –  –  ALPL.R.
23456     –  –  PZZB.AO.
8m: 672 Bristol Surprise, Rigel Surprise; 624 Ariel Surprise (L), Avon Delight, Phobos Surprise,    Strathclyde Surprise, Zanussi Surprise; 576 Orion Surprise; 25 com; atw.

There are two or three variations of this composition. I think the original version by Jonathan Potter is 5184, then evidently Robin Hall managed to remove a few leads. I have also seen a version in which each of the singles is replaced by two bobs. Anyway, it's very neat, mostly in whole courses, and of course the befores are 8th place bobs.

Using 8th place bobs in this way enables most of the whole courses to follow directly from each other, and it gives 5-6 quite a lot of coursing. The composition with Smallbrook, Andromeda and Fenchurch that I mentioned earlier is by David Hull and instead uses whole courses from home to a call at wrong or from middle to a call at home, filling in with odd leads. The exception is the course of Fenchurch, which as a 2nds place method can start and finish at the same calling position (middle):

5090 Spliced Treble Dodging Maximus (8m)
David G Hull

 23456  M  W  H
 54326     s  s  SSSSSSSSSSS.F.
 64523  2        OBZDB.O.RRRRR
 56423        –  RRRRRR.
 46325  –        F.FFFFFFFFFF
(23564) –  –     F.S.
 53462  –        BZ.OOOOOOOOOO
 45362        –  O.
 34562        –  A.
 63542     –     DDDDDDDDDDD.D
 56342        –  A.
 43652     s  s  BBBBBBBBBBB.R.
 65432     –  –  AAAAAAAAAAA.F.
 45236  –        R.ZZZZZZZZZ
 42536        s  ZZ.SS
672 Bristol Surprise, Fenchurch Surprise; 626 Smallbrook Surprise; 624 Andromeda Surprise (D), 
    Avon Delight, Orion Surprise, Rigel Surprise, Zanussi Surprise; 23 com; atw.

Slightly fewer changes of method than the Potter/Hall composition, but it would take a bit more learning because the arrangement of bobs is less regular.