The previous article introduced the idea of exceptional (2nd, 3rd and 5th) and normal (all the others) place bells in Cambridge Maximus. In the next few articles I will focus on the normal place bells to see the patterns that they involve for each of the handbell pairs, starting with the coursing position.
As I explained in the previous article, there are 7 leads of the course in which you ring two normal place bells. In each lead, one bell does Cambridge places down in the first half of the lead, and the other bell does places up in the second half of the lead. There are two possible patterns, depending on whether the places in the first half of the lead are made by the bell that is coursing ahead (i.e. the tenor, if you are ringing 11-12) or by the bell that is coursing behind (the 11th, if you are ringing 11-12).
The first pattern has the distinctive feature that the second bell runs through the above-the-treble part of the first bell's places, in the same way that we know and love from the beginning of the first lead of Yorkshire Major. The bells get progressively further apart and then settle onto treble bob hunting with two bells between them in the coursing order, so that they eventually dodge together in 3-4. After a while, the second bell does Cambridge places up, and the bells get closer together again until the first bell runs through the above-the-treble part of the second bell's places, so that they are coursing again and proceed with treble bob hunting above the treble. This pattern covers the following pairs of place bells: 4&6, 8&10, 11&12, 7&9.
In the other pattern, it's the second bell that does places down in the first half of the lead. There is no running through the places. The first bell hunts as the second bell starts its places, and by the time both bells are treble bob hunting, they are in the 5-6 position. When the first bell does its places up in the second half of the lead, the second bell "comes up under it" and they return to coursing on the last dodge of the places. This is what happens in the first and last leads of the course in Cambridge Royal, and especially in the last lead I always find it a little awkward. The pattern is seen in the following pairs of place bells: 6&8, 10&12, 9&11.
I'm going to ring the tenors in our peal attempt. I'm hoping to be able to ring the group of four leads above as instances of a single pattern, and similarly the group of three leads.