Surprise Royal progress

Submitted by Simon on Sun, 01/08/2021 - 10:08

Yesterday Nick dropped in for a quarter, as he was passing through Glasgow and had some time between trains. After a bit of debate and method revision, we agreed to ring spliced Cambridge, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Royal. It was the first time we had tried spliced royal with an Albany Quadrant band, and I found it very difficult at first, although the ringing started off extremely well. The problem was that my grip on the composition was a little shaky and I was often struggling to find the next method to call. We disintegrated after two courses, then tried again and succeeded.

The composition was the same one that we rang on a handbell day a couple of years ago, which Richard Pearce called.

1,282 Spliced Surprise Royal (2–3 methods)
Donald F Morrison (no. 2348)

W  H               23456
-  -  NCYCY.NCYN.  45236
   -  NCYNCYNCY.   24536
   -  YNCYNCYNC.   52436
s     CYNCY.(Y)   (32456)
Rounds two blows after the single.
442 Yorkshire; 440 Cambridge; 400 Lincolnshire (N); 28 com; atw.

The composition uses a simple idea to get all the work of each method. It's easy to see that the following three-course block has all the work for the back bells, because over the three courses, every method appears in every position in a course.

H              23456
-  CYNCYNCYN.  42356
-  NCYNCYNCY.  34256
-  YNCYNCYNC.  23456

It's less obvious that 2, 3 and 4 ring all the work, but it's sufficient to check that 2 rings all the work of Cambridge: in the first course it rings 2nd, 7th and 8th place bells; in the second course 4th, 5th and 10th place bells; and in the third course 9th, 6th and 3rd place bells.

In the quarter peal composition this block is rung from the bob at wrong to the single at wrong, with the bobs affecting 2, 4, 5 instead of 2, 3, 4. So the CYNCY in the first course moves to the end and it rung from the third bob at home to the single at wrong. That leaves 5 leads to fill in at the beginning, which are NCYCY, and I suppose that sequence was chosen on the basis of truth and method balance.

In principle the composition should be easy to remember, because apart from the first 5 leads it's all based on the sequence CYN. Also note that the method doesn't change at the bobs at home. In practice I found it difficult on the first attempt - in fact it seemed as if we had gone right back to our first quarter of spliced Cambridge and Yorkshire Major, more than 10 years ago. For the second attempt I had to cement all three sequences in my mind: CYN, NCY, YNC. I would have benefitted from a little more revision of the methods, too.

Anyway, this felt like excellent progress. We are still working on Bristol Royal, but we should also ring this quarter of spliced with Peter. After that, maybe we can splice all four methods, and then I want to move on to some of the other royal methods that I've been writing about: probably Remus first, then Fermanagh, then Sgurr A'Chaorachain.