The 17th Scottish Handbell Day

We had a handbell day on Saturday - a medium-sized one this time, with 15 people. We had advertised beginners' sessions in the morning, but in the end we didn't get any beginners, so the programme was the usual combination of practice sessions and quarters.

We rang four quarters: one of Lincolnshire Major, one of Yorkshire Major, and two of Kent Royal. Practice sessions covered Plain Bob Minor and Major, Little Bob Major, Kent Minor and Major, Yorkshire Major and Cambridge Royal. We must have tired everyone out, because most people went home fairly early, so we didn't get around to our traditional exploration of higher numbers after dinner.

What is the best quarter peal composition of Kent Royal for handbells? Peter Kirton called the first quarter, and chose (2H W) x 3, which is 1440. (It was his first quarter of Royal as conductor, as well as his first handbell quarter on 10 - well done!) It seemed reasonable, so I called it again for the second quarter. I commented that although there are many peal compositions in which 3-4 are always coursing between the Middle and Wrong positions (i.e. for the bulk of the course, except for the flurry of bobs around the course end), I didn't think it was possible to do the same for a quarter. The (2H W) x 3 calling, like other similar simple callings, has 3-4 coursing for two courses and in the 3-4 position for the other course.

It turns out that I was wrong. I have just checked and found this composition:

1440 Kent Treble Bob Royal

Roger Bailey

23456  M  W  H
42356        1
25463  2  2
64352  1  1
23456  1     1

For handbells: 3-4 always coursing between middle and wrong. 
Also true to Oxford Treble Bob, Clyde Surprise, and Lockington Surprise.

It's a little more complicated, but maybe I'll try it another time.

What about Lincolnshire? For Yorkshire, I usually call this composition, which keeps 3-4 coursing from the first Middle to the last Wrong:

1280 Yorkshire Surprise Major

J Eric Brosius

23456   B  M  W
54632      -  -
24536      2
65324   3
23456      -  -

Especially suitable for handbells (3-4 course throughout except for the first three and last three leads). Also true to Pudsey and all BCDFGJKNOabcdefXYZ.

The list of falseness groups that the composition is true to, doesn't include L falseness, which Lincolnshire has. And indeed, the composition is false to Lincolnshire. I called this old standby:

1250 Yorkshire Surprise Major

 23456   W   H
 34256       2
 52436   2   2
(32456)  s  
Rounds two blows after Wrong.

Also true to Lincolnshire. doesn't list any compositions of Lincolnshire that claim to be handbell-friendly. It would be interesting to look at the possibilities - maybe someone already has the answer and can put compositions in the comments.


Hayden Charles suggests a variation of the Eric Brosius composition which is true to Lincolnshire. It has a little less coursing for 5-6, but the same properties for 3-4.
1280 Lincolnshire Surprise Major

J Eric Brosius (arranged by Hayden Charles)

23456   B  M  W  H
54632      -  -
24536      2
43652   2        -
35426   -
23456         -    

Especially suitable for handbells (3-4 course throughout except for the first three and last three leads).
Here is another 1280 of Lincolnshire with 3-4 coursing. I doubt that this is original. I believe it is also true to Yorkshire and Pudsey.
1280 Lincolnshire S Major

23456  B M W H
43652    -
43526  -     -
26354  2
65324      2
23456    - -
For handbells.

3-4 course from first M to final W
There is also a handbell quarter of Yorkshire on, also true to Lincolnshire, snap start and mainly singles.
1,344 Yorkshire Surprise Major

(32456)  M  W  H 
 34256         s  
 54236      s     
 32456   3  s  s  
(32456)  ss       
snap start and finish 
especially suitable for handbells (3-4 course throughout) also true to Rutland, Uxbridge, and any other methods with falseness from BEGHILMRTabcdefXYZ whose place notations start x38