Lincolnshire Royal

Yesterday we scored a peal of Lincolnshire Royal, at the second attempt. We rang it on a new set of bells: the light 10 of Jonathan's 12. As well as becoming more familiar with the method (improved since the first attempt), we are getting better at 10-bell ringing. There were fewer crunches due to difficulty in finding the position that someone wanted to ring in, and fewer instances of "lagging at the back".

Graham John's observation (in a comment on the "Cambridge or Yorkshire" article) is really helpful. If you have one bell above the treble and one below, then they always dodge and hunt out of step with each other: if one hunts then the other dodges, and vice versa, unless the bell above the treble is in a set of places and is making the place immediately adjacent to dodging with the treble. This means that when one bell double dodges at the back, the other bell hunts twice near the front, which explains the missed dodge on either side of the 5-pull dodges. I found that by focusing my attention on the bell at the front, I was able to ring the other bell by this rule without thinking about what its line was. Once or twice I lost track of whether the bell at the front was hunting or dodging, but in general the system worked well. The diagram is from Martin Bright's method printer.

Although we rang the same composition that we have rung for Cambridge (several times) and Yorkshire, in the first attempt I was having difficulty fixing the coursing order in my mind. To prepare for the second attempt, I spent some time thinking about all the coursing orders that occur in the composition, with the idea that during the peal I would be able to remember which coursing order we were in, rather than remembering what the coursing order was. What I mean by this is that, for example, if the coursing order is 52436, I don't think of it as a random sequence of digits that I have to hold in my mind; I think of it as the coursing order that you get to by calling a home from the plain course. I know which coursing order it is, rather than (actually, as well as) what it is.

The coursing orders in the CUG Collective composition are the following, grouped logically.

  • 53246, 52436, 54326: 5-6 home and 2-3-4 in-course
  • 63245, 62435, 64325: 5-6 reversed and 2-3-4 in-course
  • 53642, 63542: 3-4 home, 2 at the end
  • 23546, 23645: 3-4 home, 2 at the beginning
  • 52634, 62534: 3-4 coursing at the end, 5-6 in the 3-4 position
  • 34526, 34625: 3-4 coursing at the beginning, 5-6 in the 3-4 position

This was helpful in remembering the coursing order, although I should also say that when ringing on 10 I make much less use of the coursing order than I do on 8. This is partly because I find it much more difficult to work out people's place bells on 10, and partly because the kind of mistakes we make are mostly people getting a little out of step rather than forgetting their place bells. However, I always feel that if I don't follow the coursing order, I have nothing to go on; and it is good to be able to check the course ends and see the bells hunting down from the back in the correct order.

On the subject of checking the coursing order, I realised something that should have been completely obvious all along. In Cambridge-above methods I have always found that the treble's backstroke snap after the wrong is a useful checkpoint in the coursing orders 52436 and 54326 (and indeed the plain course). At the snap, 2-3-4 strike in their coursing order, followed by the 5678 roll-up. For example, in the coursing order 54326, the change at the backstroke snap when the tenor is 7th place bell, is 14325678. What I realised last week is that this must be true at every backstroke snap: three bells strike in their coursing order in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place. For example, two changes into Yorkshire Major the change is 12463857, with 2-4-6 striking in their coursing order. So that's a potentially useful way of checking the coursing order, as an alternative to watching the bells coming down from the back (which I always find easier than watching them hunting towards the back).