Kent and Oxford Variations

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Method Splicing Part II - Major Methods

This text has been transcribed from pages 34 to 38 of Method Splicing Part II - Major Methods by Giles B Thompson, 1968, with minor corrections.

2. ‘Variations’ of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob

Generally speaking, touches produced by ringing Treble Bob with Kent or Oxford 1-2 sections at will have been styled “combined” whereas they are really spliced with the method changed at the half lead. Peals have been rung with the methods ‘properly’ spliced – i.e. change at the treble’s lead, and these will be mentioned. There are a number of ‘variations’ and these will be dealt with in chronological order of their appearance.

2.1 Hudson’s New Light on Treble Bob

By changing the 1-2 section from Kent places to Oxford in the third lead of the course of Treble Bob, William Hudson found that a block of 25 leads is produced. Here it is set out by the 1st and 4th rows of the 1-2 sections:

K	12345678	
K	21345678	
K	14263857	
K	41263857	
K	16482735	
O	61487253	
O	14678523	
K	41768523	
K	16457382	
K	61457382	
 Four times repeated

Hudson’s own peal of 5184 was built up from this block by bobbing some of the Oxford leads and adding 6ths place bobs at Home. The importance of his peal is that it is the basis of the more modern ‘variations’ Worcester and Ilkeston. The leads which are cut out of the middle of the course are just those in which the methods’ liability to falseness lies and also those leads which some consider unmusical as the tenors are split up. With these leads cut out the method is rendered ‘clean’ though this gain is offset by the loss of freedom imposed on the composer by the obligatory “Ox at 3” and the consequential stereotyped nature of the peals. (For Hudson’s peal and notes on it see RW 1921 pp 143, 527).

2.2. Worcester

The means of extending the basic block is by using extra “Oxfords” at leads 1 and 5. Here are the effects of these calls:

Oxford at lead 1		Oxford at lead 5
K	12345678			 	  4
 	21436587		K	16457382	
O	21345678			61543728	
 	12346587   1		O	61457382	
O	13264857			16453728  5
 	31268475		O	14635278	
K	31624857			41632587	
 	13268475   2			41365287	

In the first case the coursing order changes from ABCDE to ADEBC and in the latter case from ABCDE to CDABE.

2.3 Ilkeston

This has the same basic course but uses ordinary Kent bobs at the M, W and H calling positions. It is the most commonly rung as it allows greater freedom in composition than does Worcester without the difficulties of Killamarsh. (qv).

2.4 Liversedge

This has a different basic course, having Oxford bobs at the 3rd and 5th leads of a seven lead course, the tenors making the bobs. Ordinary Kent bobs are also rung at M, W, H. The method was introduced by E. Morris (RW 1928 p107).

2.5 Killamarsh

This is the most free, allowing Kent or Oxford plained or bobbed at will. Anyone interested should study the compositions of C. Severn (RW 1930 p571). An article on Kent and Oxford by Maurice Hodgson (RW 1952 p577) is very valuable as it shows Killamarsh to be more regular and easier to compose than might be otherwise supposed. It may have Oxford plain at M or H and Kent or Oxford bobs at M, W or H (one Oxford bob being equivalent to two Kent bobs). If a chosen set of courses are written down noting the effects of bobs at M, W and H it may prove possible to join them up using plain Oxford at the third lead (eliminating any liability to falseness at the same time). If one round block is produced in this way you have Ilkeston. If there is more than one round block they may join up by using plain Oxford leads at M or H to give Killamarsh. The examples given are most illuminating and help to show the construction of Severn’s peals.

The remaining ‘variations’ are really spliced courses of Treble Bob and Little methods:

2.6 Gonville

The leads where 7,8 would be in the slow are rung as Gonville Little Treble Bob:

Ring Kent TB to     16847253
Gonville Little TB  18674523
Gonville Little TB  17856342
then Kent TB	    15738264

2.7 Granta

This is Kent Treble Bob with Bastow Little Bob rung when the tenors should be in the slow.

Ring Kent TB to     16847253
Bastow Little Bob   18674523
Bastow Little Bob   17856342
then Kent TB	    15738264

2.8 Cam

This is the same as Granta, except that Kent Little Bob is rung in place of Bastow.

Ring Kent TB to    16847253
Kent Little Bob    18674523
Kent Little Bob    17856342
then Kent TB	   15738264

2.9 Peal Compositions

Here are the original peals of Worcester, Ilkeston and Liversedge together with another example of Ilkeston:

5280 Worcester                          5056 Ilkeston
Composed by Henry W Wilde               Composed by Edward C Gobey
 23456   1   3   5                       23456   M   3   W   H
 32456   o   o   o                       42635       oo        |
 25634   o   ooo	                 26435   2   o   2   – | A
 32654   o   o	                         46325   2   o       2 |
 24365   o   oo                          36245   2   o       2 |
 36524   o   ooo	                 65324        A
 23564   o   o                           24536       o
3 part; o = Oxford Plain Lead.           23456   –   2A        
RW 1921, p739.	                        o = Oxford Plain Lead.
                                        RW 1921, p396.  
5280 Liversedge                         5184 Ilkeston
Composed by Ernest Morris               Composed by Edwin H Timbrell
 23456   M   3   5   W   H               23456   M   3   W   H
 53246   2   x   x   –   2               35426   2   o       –
 46325       x   x                       45236   2   o       2		
 25634       x   x                       25346   2   o       2		
 34562       x   x                       52364   2   oo  –		
5 part; x = Oxford Bobbed Lead.          36245       o   –
History & Art of Change Ringing, p401.   23645   2   o   2    
                                        3 part; o = Oxford Plain Lead.	

2.10 Spliced Kent and Oxford Treble Bob

Besides the so-called variations mentioned above, there have been peals produced which were really spliced. The earliest of these was by A.J. Pitman and comprised an equal number of rows of each method, there were 18 changes of method in a 13 course peal (RW 1927 p165). Some years later A.G. Driver produced an arrangement of leads of Kent and Oxford which would run true to any peal of TB with the tenors together and all the courses rung: KOKKKKO with any extra leads from bobs W or M rung Oxford and extra H leads rung as Kent. Alternatively the basic calling could be OKOOOOK with W and M calls Kent and H bobs Oxford. RW 1925 p214 gives an unusual peal by J.W. Parker. It consists of a half-peal block of each method with the Oxford block inserted into the Kent starting at the 29th row of the third lead of the peal, reverting to Kent at a similar point some 7 courses later. A.J. Pitman has as usual explored every avenue and published a peal of 25920 Treble Bob, being Kent with Oxford plain leads and Oxford bob leads. It is in five parts and each part consists of a block of courses 10070008 and a block of mainly Worcester with the tenors together (RW 1924 p171).

25920 Kent Treble Bob Major
Composed by Albert J Pitman
 2345678   M   F   V   T   W   H
 56342         x   x         
 4376528   o           x   o   x
 2675438       x               x
 3574268       x               x
 52743         x           o   x
 34725         x   x           x
 6274538   x   x               x
 3475628       x               x
 2576348       x               x
 53762         x           o   x
 4672538       x               x
 65724         x           o   x
 6253478           x
 36524     o   x   x         
 24653         x   x         
 53462         x   x         
 65432     o   x   x         
 32546         x   x         
 65243         x   x       x   
 42563     x   x   x         
 63254         x   x         
 5623478   o   x   x                     
5 part; o = Oxford Plain Lead; x = Oxford Bobbed Lead.