Variants of Popular Methods

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In August 2010, Daniel Graham asked the following question on the Change Ringers list.

Does anyone know if a list or table exists which details the surprise major methods which only have a slight variant to other surprise major methods? Examples such as Johannesburg being very similar to Lincolnshire.

Method variants

The more methods one knows, the easier it becomes to learn new ones, as parts can be learnt as the differences from a familiar method. For example, 7ths place bell Watford Surprise Major is identical to 7ths place Rutland Surprise, making one place bell fewer to learn. Another example is that Pudsey Surprise Major is Cambridge Surprise below the treble, so if you can ring by learning the grid of the method, or know the rules governing when to miss dodges or make places in Cambridge, this can be a great help in learning and staying right in Pudsey.

Some methods, however, are such trivial variations that you only need to learn the slight variation. For example, New Cambridge Surprise Major reverses the lead and dodge in 6ths place bell Cambridge to dodge and lead, causing a corresponding swap of seconds and dodge in 2nds place bell. Of course, the mirrors of these two leads (8ths and 2nds place bell) are similarly changed.

Typically such variants are inferior to their parent, as they often introduce less elegant blue line features, additional falseness, or inferior musical properties. However, this is not always the case. For example, Lessness Surprise Major is a variant of Uxbridge Surprise Major (first rung in 1937 and 1936 respectively), but is generally regarded as musically superior as it keeps the tenors dodging the right way round in 3-4 to give more roll-ups off the front.

Method variants are popular among some peal bands that like to introduce new method names, and be the first to ring a peal in a particular method, but wish to keep the learning to a minimum.

Below are examples of close variants of popular Surprise Major methods.

Variants of Cambridge Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Cambridge Surprise b -38-14-1258-36-14-58-16-78 BDEe 11 February 1873 Diagram
New Cambridge Surprise b -38-14-58-1236-14-58-16-78 BEce 18 February 1822 Diagram
Putney Surprise b -38-14-58-1236-14-58-16.34.78 BEce 23 February 1963 Diagram
Southwell Surprise b -38-14-58.12.36-14-58-16-78 BDEce 16 January 1954 Diagram
Stand Surprise b -38-14-58.12.36-14-58-16.34.78 BDEce 5 May 1963 Diagram
Havant Surprise b -38-14-1258-36-14-58-16.34.78 BDEe 19 April 1963 Diagram
Mortlake Surprise b -38-14-1258-1236-12-1458-16-78 BDE 16 November 1968 Diagram
Zelah Surprise b -38-14-1258-36-34-1458-16-78 BDaY 19 November 1960 Diagram

Variants of Yorkshire Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Yorkshire Surprise b -38-14-58-16-12-38-14-78 Bc 14 February 1903 Diagram
Wye Surprise b -38-14-58-16-12-38-14.56.78 BDc 12 February 1949 Diagram
Quedgeley Surprise b -38-14-58-16-12-38-1456-78 BDc 30 September 1961 Diagram
Biddenden Surprise b -38-14-58-16-12-38.56.14-78 BDc 26 March 1949 Diagram
Braunstone Surprise b -38-14-58-16-12-38.56.14.56.78 BDc 3 November 1951 Diagram
I Can't Believe It's Not Yorkshire Surprise b -38-14-58-1678-78-1238-14-78 Bc 11 May 2003 Diagram
Flockton Surprise b -38-14-58-1678-78-1238-14.56.78 BDc 13 October 2005 Diagram

Variants of Lincolnshire Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Lincolnshire Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-58-36-78 BLce 4 February 1928 Diagram
Vancouver Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-58-36.12.78 BLace 1 July 1963 Diagram
Gainsborough Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-58-1236-78 Bace 14 July 1954 Diagram
Zurich Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-58.12.36-78 BLace 12 July 1963 Diagram
Fordcombe Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-58.12.36.12.78 Bace 1 September 1956 Diagram
Nailstone Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-1258-36-78 BLce 17 December 1960 Diagram
Amsterdam Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-1258-36.12.78 BLace 26 July 1963 Diagram
Johannesburg Surprise b -38-14-58-16-14-1258-1236-78 Bace 6 June 1963 Diagram
Ilex Surprise b -38-14-1258-16-14-3458-36-78 BDLO 17 December 1999 Diagram
Aynho Surprise b -38-14-1258-16-14-3458-1236-78 BDOa 7 February 1970 Diagram
Fylingdale Surprise b -38-14-1258-16-14-3458.12.36.12.78 BDOa 3 September 1982 Diagram
Bovey Castle Surprise b -38-14-1258-16-14-123458-36-78 BDLO 18 August 2009 Diagram
Broadley Surprise b -38-14-1258-16-14-123458-1236-78 BDOa 30 April 2004 Diagram

Variants of Pudsey Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Pudsey Surprise b -58-16-12-38-14-58-16-78 BcdY 15 March 1924 Diagram
Stourbridge Surprise b -58-16-12-38-14-58-16.34.78 BGcdY 17 December 1971 Diagram
Byron Surprise b 34.58.34.16-12-38-14-58-16-78 BDdY 23 August 1969 Diagram

Variants of Superlative Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Superlative Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-58-36-78 Ed 5 November 1821 Diagram
Wight Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-58-36.12.78 Ead 4 March 1967 Diagram
Alderney Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-58-1236-78 Ead 20 October 1964 Diagram
Orkney Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-58.12.36-78 Ed 17 September 1966 Diagram
Sheppey Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-58.12.36.12.78 Ead 16 July 1977 Diagram
Guernsey Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-1258-36-78 Ed 31 December 1963 Diagram
Thanet Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-1258-36.12.78 Ead 15 December 1968 Diagram
Islay Surprise b -36-14-58-36-14-1258-1236-78 Ead 26 October 1963 Diagram
Purbeck Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-58-36-78 Ed 26 August 1963 Diagram
Vyrnwy Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-58-36.12.78 Ead 21 June 1964 Diagram
Caldy Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-58-1236-78 Ead 12 June 1971 Diagram
Berwyn Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-58.12.36-78 Ed 31 March 1982 Diagram
Glaslyn Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-58.12.36.12.78 Ead 3 March 1982 Diagram
Oxney Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-1258-36-78 Ed 16 September 1963 Diagram
Clwyd Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-1258-36.12.78 Ead 11 April 1981 Diagram
Westray Surprise b -36-14-1258-1236-14-1258-1236-78 Ead 25 April 1964 Diagram
Wistaston Surprise b 78.36-1478-58-36-14-1258-36.12.78 Ead 17 December 1994 Diagram
Superlative (Burton) Surprise b 78.36.78.14-58-36-14-58.12.36.12.78 ad 29 April 1886 Diagram

Variants of Rutland Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Rutland Surprise f -38-14-58-16-14-38-34-18 Bace 13 October 1923 Diagram
Llanfair P.G. Surprise f -38-14-58-16-14-38.56.34.56.18 BceY 4 June 1962 Diagram
Zeus Surprise f -38-14-58-16-14-1238-1234-18 BLce 8 March 1986 Diagram
Hera Surprise f -38-14-58-16-14-1238.56.1234.56.18 Bce 3 December 1992 Diagram
Heythrop Surprise f -38-14-58-1236-14-38-34-18 BDce 21 January 1956 Diagram
Bellerophon Surprise f -38-14-58-1236-14-38.56.34.56.18 BGce 13 July 1994 Diagram
Clare Surprise f -38-14-58-1236-14-1238-1234-18 Bce 24 April 1993 Diagram
Holne Surprise f -38-14-58-1236-14-1238.56.1234.56.18 BMce 21 August 2004 Diagram
Balcombe Surprise f -3458-14-58-1236-14-38-34-18 Dce 22 February 1975 Diagram

Variants of London Surprise Major

None identified.

Variants of Bristol Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Bristol Surprise m -58-14.58-58.36.14-14.58-14-18 c 22 March 1901 Diagram
Dublin Surprise m -56-14.56-58.36.14-14.58-14-18 ac 21 January 1922 Diagram
Double Dublin Surprise m -56-14.56-58.36.14-34.58-34-18 ac 15 November 1930 Diagram
Reverse Dublin Surprise m -58-14.58-58.36.14-34.58-34-18 ac 6 December 1930 Diagram
Bristol Parkway Surprise m -3458-14.58-58.36.14-14.58-14-18 Dc 1 July 1995 Diagram
Bolsterstone Surprise m 34.58-14.58-58.36.14-14.58-14-18 Dc 29 January 1972 Diagram
CCL Surprise m 34.58-14.58-58.36.14-34.58-34-18 BDc 4 January 1997 Diagram

Variants of Uxbridge Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Uxbridge Surprise f -38-14-56-16-34-58-14-58 Bac 15 February 1936 Diagram
Lessness Surprise f -38-14-56-16-12-58-14-58 Bac 22 February 1937 Diagram
Martin Surprise f -38-14-56-16-12-123458-14-58 Bac 8 July 2006 Diagram
Bovey Tracey Surprise f -38-14-56-16-34-123458-14-58 Bac 19 November 2007 Diagram
Morfa Mawddach Surprise f -38-14-56-16-34.12.3458-14-58 BFac 7 December 2002 Diagram
Cheesden Surprise f -38-14-56-16-1234-1258-14-58 BFac 22 September 1991 Diagram
Lubcloud Surprise f -38-14-56-16-1234-3458-14-58 BFac 28 April 1990 Diagram
Tillingham Surprise f -38-14-56-16.34-12.3458-14-58 Bac 16 July 1971 Diagram
Beer Surprise f -38-14-56-16.34-34.1258-14-58 Bac 4 December 1994 Diagram
Chigwell Row Surprise f -38-14-56-1236-12-58-14-58 BDKa 6 October 1984 Diagram
Yarkhill Surprise f -38-14-56-1236-34-58-14-58 BDKa 1 August 1997 Diagram
New Buckenham Surprise f -38-14-56-1236-1234-1258-14-58 BKPa 1 January 2009 Diagram
Jennycliff Surprise f -38-14-56-1236-1234-3458-14-58 BKPa 24 January 2009 Diagram
Zopf Surprise f -38-14-1256-16-12-1258-1234-58 BD 27 August 2009 Diagram
Francesca Surprise f -38-14-1256-1236-12-3458-14-58 BDK 18 October 2009 Diagram
Yedingham Surprise f -38-14-1256-1236-34-1258-14-58 BDK 1 October 2003 Diagram
Creeton Surprise f -3458-14-56-16-12-58-14-58 BDK 3 March 2010 Diagram

Variants of Ashtead Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram
Ashtead Surprise d -58-16-56-36-34-38-14-78 ac 18 January 1932 Diagram
Qatar Surprise d -58-16-56-36-34-38-14.56.78 Dac 20 January 1990 Diagram
Nene Surprise d -58-16-56-36-34-38-1456-78 Dac 19 April 1969 Diagram
Royton Surprise d -58-16-56-36-34-38.56.14-78 Dac 9 February 1990 Diagram
Mumps Surprise d -58-16-56-36-34-38.56.14.56.78 Dac 10 March 1990 Diagram
Paraguay Surprise d -58-16-56-36-1234-1238-14-78 Eac 25 July 1998 Diagram
Sefton Surprise d -58-16-56-36.12.34.12.38-14-78 Eac 23 November 1988 Diagram
Stonehenge Surprise d -58-16-56-1236-34-1238-14-78 ac 1 August 1970 Diagram
Bolivia Surprise d -58-16-56-1236-1234-38-14-78 Eac 7 February 1999 Diagram
Colombia Surprise d -58-16-1256-36-34-1238-14-78 Dac 1977 Diagram
Guiana Surprise d -58-16-1256-36-1234-38-14-78 DEc 5 November 2002 Diagram
Craston Surprise d -58-16-1256-36-1234-38-14.56.78 DEc 21 October 2001 Diagram
Uruguay Surprise d -58-16-1256-1236-34-38-14-78 Dac 15 July 1996 Diagram
Zanzibar Surprise d -58-1456-56-36-12-1238-14-78 Bc 6 December 1968 Diagram
Asshstede Surprise d 34.58.34.16-56-36-34-38.56.14.56.78 Da 27 January 1990 Diagram