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 less 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 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

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

Variants of Superlative Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram

Variants of Rutland Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram

Variants of London Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram

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

Variants of Ashtead Surprise Major

Method & variants LH Group Place Notation FCH groups First peal Diagram