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 www.ringing.org 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.
www.ringing.org 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.