Success with Cornwall

On Monday we had another go at Cornwall with Julia and Nick, and succeeded with a good peal. I decided that ringing the tenors would give us a better chance, so we changed the band around a little. I found that it still takes some concentration to keep the treble bob hunting on the front and the back out of step in the right way. At one point I found myself double dodging on the front when it should have been a single, which threatened to desynchronise us, but I managed to recover at the half lead. Another time I forced the bells at the back into an incorrect dodge, then realised that the bells at the front had dodged at the same time - not right! Again, we were able to recover around the half lead, with the help of the trebles.

I called the composition by James Smith, which I like even more now. Here it is again, with some commentary.

5024 Cornwall Surprise Major
James A Smith

M  B  W  H  23456
-----------------
-     -  3  54632
   2     -  43265
   5     2  32465
   -  -  -  35264
   4     -  42356
   5     -  34256
   5     -  23456
-----------------
For handbells: 62% coursing for 3-4 and 80% coursing for 5-6.
  • Starting with middle and wrong leads to the coursing order 34562 - a memorable one with 3-4 and 5-6 coursing.
  • The three homes are just padding, and throw 3-4 and 5-6 around a bit.
  • Two befores keep 3-4 coursing and produce the coursing order 62345, which introduces the motif of 65 course ends. There are three homes in this position, and calling the first one gives 63425.
  • We are still in a coursing order where five befores will keep 3-4 and 5-6 coursing for four of the five courses, and indeed we call the whole block of five.
  • Back at 63425, call the remaining two homes to get the other 65 course ends and return to 62345.
  • One before gives 56234. Now comes what I think is a clever manoeuvre. The idea of calling wrong and home, used in the David Maynard composition of Bristol, swaps each of the first two pairs in the coursing order, giving 65324. In David's composition, this is used to move between two coursing orders that have 3-4 and 5-6 coursing. Here, however, it takes us to a coursing order that's in a block of five befores from the plain course.
  • From this point on it's easy. Call fours befores to return to the plain course, then finish with three homes, padding them out with blocks of five befores. In these last two blocks of befores, the base coursing orders are 52436 and 54326, so we get 3-4 and 5-6 coursing in four out of the five courses each time.

Incidentally, I met James Smith in a handbell peal in which David Maynard called his 5154 of Bristol. The fourth ringer was Peter Blight, who I rang with many times in the Imperial College days.

Methods of the Month: Lancashire

We started March with a quarter of Lancashire, which was the first one in the BellBoard list for the method of the month. I expected us to find it more difficult than some of the new methods we have rung, so I put together a composition with a snap start and 5-6 coursing throughout.

1344 Lancashire Surprise Major

W  M  H  (36254)
----------------
s     s   52634
   s      42635
3  s  s   56234
s        (36254)
----------------
Snap start.

After reading the Ringing World (it often doesn't arrive in Glasgow until Tuesday), I realised I had missed a trick - just calling six middles (bob, bob, single, bob, bob, single) is true, and an easier way to keep 5-6 coursing after the snap start.

It took us a little while to get to grips with the method, despite our practice the previous week. There were at least five false starts, one of which lasted for a whole course, but we did get into it eventually and rang a good quarter. I hadn't really digested the fact that the last three singles are at consecutive leads, but I realised what was going to happen just before calling the first one, and it didn't cause a problem.

What about the method? It starts like Whalley, although it's so long since we rang 23-spliced that this feature isn't very helpful. The points at the back are one place further from the lead end than they are in Bristol, which also means that they're at the opposite stroke. On the front, the points are further away from the half lead than they are in Bristol, which means that there's a longer period of 4-bell hunting when both of your bells are on the front. This contrasts with a problem I used to have in Bristol, of hunting for too long on the front and overshooting the points. Jonathan said that in Lancashire he was sometimes not hunting for long enough.

The next day we rang it in the tower at practice night, and the fact that four of us had been ringing it on handbells was a great help. The tower bell ringing went much better than I had expected - we rang half a course, twice, reasonably well.

Methods of the Month: Double Dublin

Last Monday we rang a quarter of February's method, Double Dublin. I enjoyed it much more than I expected to - my memory of ringing Double Dublin as part of 23-spliced was that it can be a bit trippy, because of having to remember to do every variation with respect to Bristol. However, we rang it well.

Jonathan called this composition, which has a lot of coursing for every pair - but only 70% coursing for the tenors. Also, 3-4 (which I rang) don't ring the 5-6 position, and 5-6 and 7-8 don't ring the 3-4 position.

1280 Bristol Surprise Major
Andrew J Rawlinson
2345678  B     V     M     F     W     H
------------------------------------------
34625    –     –   –s––s   –   –s––s	
2345678  –                           –s––s
------------------------------------------

We haven't rung this style of composition of Bristol before, with the long blocks of calls in the same position. These blocks can generate plenty of musical runs, but they are a little tedious for the bells ringing the repeating leads. Also, the other bells get stuck on the front for a long time.

Next week is March, so we're going to try a quarter of Lancashire. We practised it last week, learning it as we went along, and managed to get through a plain course. Let's see what we can do on Monday.

Handbell Compositions: 5024 Cornwall Surprise Major by James A Smith

I noticed a peal of Cornwall on handbells last week, with a composition by James Smith which is also based on blocks of befores but is much better than the one I came up with.

5024 Cornwall Surprise Major
James A Smith

M  B  W  H  23456
-----------------
-     -  3  54632
   2     -  43265
   5     2  32465
   -  -  -  35264
   4     -  42356
   5     -  34256
   5     -  23456
-----------------
For handbells: 62% coursing for 3-4 and 80% coursing for 5-6.

Handbell Compositions: 5024 Cornwall Surprise Major

After writing the previous article about Cornwall, I spent a bit more time working on a peal composition with four blocks of five befores, to get a good amount of coursing for both 3-4 and 5-6. Here's what I came up with.

5024 Cornwall Surprise Major
Simon J Gay

B  W  H  23456
--------------
      -  42356
3  -  -  54632
-     3  43526
4  -  -  63542
2     -  34256
-  -  -  36452
-     3  65324
4  -  -  45362
-     3  56423
3     -  23456
--------------
For handbells: 64% coursing for 3-4 and 71% coursing for 5-6.

It looks complicated, but like the David Maynard composition of Bristol that I wrote about some time ago, understanding its structure makes it easy to remember.

  • Starting with a home puts 3-4 into coursing, with the coursing order 52436. This is one of the coursing orders from which we want to call five befores, but:
  • Call 3 befores from the block of 5, giving the coursing order 43652.
  • When 3-4 and 5-6 are at the beginning of the coursing order, calling wrong and home takes us to 34562, another of the coursing orders from which to call five befores, but:
  • Call one before, then 3 homes for padding, then the other 4 befores.
  • Now back in 34562, call wrong and home to return to 43652.
  • Next call the remaining 2 befores from the first block of 5, to get back to 52436.
  • Call a home to give 54326. This is another coursing order for a block of 5 befores, but:
  • Call one before to give 65432, then wrong and home to give 56342.
  • Call one before, then 3 homes for padding, then the other 4 befores.
  • Back in 56342, call wrong and home to give 65432.
  • Call one before, then 3 homes for padding, then the 3 befores that are left over from the block of 5 on 54326.
  • Finally, a home brings it round.

I might try this one next time we go for our peal.

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