Ringing Remus

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 03/04/2021 - 09:20

Remus Surprise Royal

I noticed Remus Surprise Royal a few years ago, as a method with the backwork of Phobos Surprise Maximus but an easier right-place frontwork. At that time it had not been named, although the 2nds place lead end variation had (End of Exams Surprise Royal), and I had dreams of ringing it with our band and calling it Albany Quadrant or maybe another Scottish name. Alas, it was rung by another band in a tower bell peal of spliced, and given the name Remus.

I think it's an attractive method and I included it in an online talk last spring about candidate methods for a modern 10-bell repertoire. There is a video of the talk. I have also made a video just about Remus. I hope we can work up to it with the Albany Quadrant band when we are able to start ringing normally again, but meanwhile I have been trying it with the Five O'Clock Club.

It's a method that seems slightly more difficult in practice than it should be. The pairs of fishtails at the beginning of the lead, and again at the end of the lead, look straightforward enough, but they seem to be trickier to locate than the points in Sgurr A'Chaorchain or Zanussi. Peter suggested thinking of a fishtail as a dodge attached to a point blow, and I think that might be helpful. Viewed in this way, the first fishtail starts with a dodge as the treble hunts from 2nd to 3rd place, which is the same as the first dodge in Cambridge. The second fishtail finishes with a dodge as the treble dodges 5-6, which should also be a good synchronisation point.

In the frontwork, the main question is when to do the half lead dodge. Obviously it's at the half lead, but I also noticed that 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place bells all do the half lead dodge in the position where they would do the next lead end dodge in Cambridge Minor. That seems amazing, but it's mainly a consequence of the fact that the bells in the frontwork are all in their natural coursing order.

Another tricky feature is the combination of plain hunting on the front and treble bob hunting at the back. It seems a little more difficult than offset treble bob hunting in both parts, as in Cornwall for example. Sometimes you have to make 6ths and 7ths simultaneously, which feels strange.