Jovium Follow-Up

We rang our quarter of Jovium without difficulty. The method was quite straightforward once we got into it - and the amount of wrong-place work is tiny, just a couple of blows of wrong hunting between the fishtails.

A couple of hours before we started, I finally got around to writing out the lead ends of the composition. It was really very easy to call from 3-4. Here it is again in tabular form:

1344 Jovium Surprise Major
Comp. Elf

I W H  2345678
- -   (3462785)
-   2  2348765
2 part.

The two bobs at In are the ones that put the back bells into the 8765 position, and the Wrong goes with the three Homes as a block affecting 2,3,4. In fact the In, Wrong, In are at consecutive leads, so all you have to remember is that the first In is when 2,3,4 are together at the back (the lead end that would be 17856342 without a bob).

The idea of this composition can be adapted for many methods. For example, for Plain Bob, the two Ins are at consecutive leads, and the three bobs on 2,3,4 are all Homes. Of course you need more courses for a quarter of Plain Bob, so you can either call two Ins and six Homes, repeated, or to turn the back bells more often, call two Ins and three Homes, repeated with a single instead of a bob half-way and end.

We managed a plain course in the tower the next day, which was satisfying.

More Turramurra, and on to Jovium

This week we rang another quarter of Turramurra, so that Tina could ring it and Angela could ring inside. Jonathan called it again, but with a different composition. It went well, and the next day we rang a course of it in the tower.

June's method is Jovium, so we had a quick look at it and practised a plain course, in preparation for ringing a quarter tomorrow.

For 12-bell ringers, this is Phobos but without the wrong-place frontwork (there isn't room for it) and with a 2nd place lead end. It's a method of two halves. The backwork has the characteristic Phobos pattern of pairs of fishtails, which are seen here in 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 8th place bells. The frontwork is right-place, treble-bob based with some double dodges. A useful mnemonic seems to be moving from a dodge to a dodge and from a place to a place, which also covers the transition from the back to the 3-4 work in 7th place bell; also note that 3rds and 4ths are made when the treble is in 5-6. We managed to ring it at the second attempt, albeit rather cautiously. The fishtails take a little getting used to, as the ones at the beginning and end of the lead are at the opposite stroke from the ones in London.

According to my computer search, the quarter peal composition of up to 1344 with bobs only and tenors together, with the most 4-bell runs (front or back), is this one, credited to Best1280 (I'm not sure whose program that is) in CompLib:

1312 Jovium Surprise Major
Comp. Best1280

B W M H  23456
2     -  35642
  -   -  64352
-     -  64523
    - -  35426
  -   3  23456
98 4-bell runs (47f, 51b)

With split tenors, a nice one is the same composition that we rang for Turramurra, but it produces far more runs for Jovium (106 instead of 83).

1344 Jovium Surprise Major
Comp. Elf

I W H  2345678
- -   (3462785)
-   2  2348765
2 part.
106 4-bell runs (50f, 56b)

Note that the calling positions refer to the position of the 5th, which becomes 8th place bell at the half-way point.

I wondered whether it would be possible to use half lead bobs to get the back bells into the 8765 position within a single course, then call three homes. It is possible, with half lead bobs in the third and fifth leads, but it only adds one extra run, so the complication doesn't seem worthwhile.

I also looked into 7-part compositions. The simplest is sT sH, bringing up 13456782 as the part end, but it only has 74 runs, which is nowhere near as good as the two-part above.

This month's ringing

A week ago we had the Scottish Handbell Day, which took place at the Fryes' house in Dunblane because of the building work at Albany Quadrant (which has finished for the moment, I'm happy to say). Some new people came along, including James Holdsworth who has recently moved from Yorkshire to Edinburgh. With his help we were able to ring a couple of plain courses of Cambridge Maximus, fairly convincingly. There's room for some polishing, but it feels as if we can basically ring it, so the next step will be to try a quarter and then go for a peal. Other ringing included plain hunting and Bob Minor with some newcomers, and quarters of Kent and Yorkshire Major.

Last Friday we had a visit from Nick Jones, and rang two quarters. The first was Turramurra, so we've scored May's method of the month. (The peal we had been due to ring in April had to be cancelled). It's a nice method, very easy, and Jonathan called a composition by Rob Lee with a couple of courses of the back bells in the 8765 position. After that we rang 8-spliced (standard 8, with apologies to Project Pickled Egg), which went smoothly even though we haven't rung most of the methods for ages.

Yesterday was the SACR striking competition, which is always a good opportunity for handbell ringing because of all the waiting around. This was mostly Bob Minor with two of the beginners we had been ringing with on the handbell day, and it was satisfying to make some more progress.

The striking competition judge was Glenn Taylor, who has composed some interesting peals of Spliced Surprise Major (as well as other things). There's one of London, Bristol, Cambridge, Superlative and Glasgow, which I rang on handbells with David Brown, Roger Bailey and Mike Trimm in the late 90s. He also has one of the Horton's Four methods in a 2-part all-the-work, but with slightly more split tenors than Roddy Horton's composition. Also a 3-part all-the-work of Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow and Superlative with just a little bit of split tenors (or not exactly split, but coursing the wrong way around), which could be fun to ring one day. So it was interesting to meet him, and his comments on the team that I rang in were so insightful that it was as if he had been in the tower with us...but that's another story.

Emma Southerington's 1000th peal as conductor

Last week, Emma Southerington reached the milestone of 1000 peals as conductor, with a peal of Lincolnshire Royal on handbells. This is a landmark that not many people have achieved - moreover, she has conducted more than 600 handbell peals, which is also an impressive total.

Turning to PealBase, let's have a look at some league tables. You will need to log in to PealBase to follow the links. Statistics are from 20th April 2019, the date of writing this article.

PealBase has a table of people who have rung 500 or more handbell peals. There are 59 of them (compared with 539 people who have rung 1000 or more peals - as we know, handbell ringing is a minority activity). Emma is 18th on the list with 1070 handbell peals. The number of people who have rung 1000 or more handbell peals is 21.

I don't think PealBase has a table for leading conductors, so I have produced one manually by looking at the records of the people on the leading handbell peal ringers list.

Rank Ringer HB Peals Conducted
1 John Mayne 1510
2 Bernard Groves 1459
3 Peter Randall 1418
4 Frank Morton 1189
5 Robert Smith 939
6 David Brown 924
7 Roger Bailey 824
8 William Croft 649
9 Emma Southerington 611
10 Jeremy Spiller 518
11 Richard Pearce 505


Methods of the Month: Kenninghall

This month's method is Kenninghall, and we rang a quarter of it on Monday - once again, the first band to put a performance of the monthly method into the list on BellBoard. It was a new venue, but it's only temporary - there's some building work going on at 1 Albany Quadrant this week.

Kenninghall is Cornwall backwork with wrong hunting on the front four. We found that it needs some concentration. It's easy to slip into right hunting on the front, and get a blow out. However, we rang a good quarter, which Tina called.

Unlike Cornwall, Kenninghall extends to all stages, and I've often thought that it would be a good thing to try on 10, as a step beyond the right-place methods while being a little easier than London. The structure of wrong hunting on the front four and, for most of the lead, treble bob hunting on the back, is similar to London, so ringing Kenninghall could be good practice for London. Indeed, ringing Kenninghall Major already seems like good practice for London Royal.

If we were going to ring it on 10, however, I would be tempted to ring it with a 2nd place lead end, which is called Brislington. That way, the bobs wouldn't jump around the course as they do in Kenninghall.

The grid diagram comes from and the line comes from



RSS feed Subscribe to Blog feed