The Most Popular Handbell Methods on 12

Here is the Top 20 list on 12 bells, again from 1954 to 2010 with data from www.pealbase.co.uk. The usual comments apply to Spliced and Spliced Plain.

Rank Method Peals %
1 Stedman Cinques 421 22.1
2 Cambridge Surprise Maximus 255 13.4
3 Kent Treble Bob Maximus 226 11.9
4 Bristol Surprise Maximus 139 7.3
5 Plain Bob Maximus 134 7.0
6 Spliced Surprise Maximus 111 5.8
7 Yorkshire Surprise Maximus 77 4.0
8 Oxford Treble Bob Maximus 50 2.6
9 Lincolnshire Surprise Maximus 48 2.5
10 Spliced Maximus 41 2.2
11 Grandsire Cinques 34 1.8
12 Newgate Surprise Maximus 28 1.5
13 Little Bob Maximus 20 1.1
14 Superlative Surprise Maximus 16 0.8
15 Barford Surprise Maximus 14 0.7
16 Spliced Plain Maximus 13 0.7
17 Cantuar Alliance Maximus 12 0.6
18 Rigel Surprise Maximus 11 0.6
19 Pudsey Surprise Maximus 11 0.6
20 Avon Delight Maximus 10 0.5

How interesting that Stedman Cinques is the most popular method! I think the point about the preferences of individual bands is relevant here. The “Cornhill Vestry Band” is well known for ringing many peals of Stedman Cinques. It’s not exactly correct to describe this as one band, but my impression is that peals at Cornhill Vestry over the years have drawn on a pool of ringers, with a fairly regular core band, and only gradual changes of personnel. Anyway, the College Youths’ peal records show 224 handbell peals at Cornhill Vestry between 1953 and 2009 (not quite the same period as my data) and 210 peals of Stedman Cinques on handbells. I think a closer analysis (which I am not in a position to do at the moment) would show a very large overlap between these figures.

 

So, roughly speaking, it seems that the “Cornhill Vestry Band” has been responsible for around half of the peals of Stedman Cinques. If that band had preferred ringing Grandsire, or Kent, or Cambridge, or a range of methods, then the table would look rather different.

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