Project Pickled Egg - Part 5
So what about Yorkshire? Another staple in the current larder and a method learned first or second by the vast majority of those who set out to ring Surprise Major.
Unlike with Cambridge, the jury did not spend much time deliberating on the merits of Yorkshire. In fact there was hardly a bad word said about it.
Arguments for Yorkshire’s inclusion based on the selection criteria are:
• It introduces a different Cambridge above method (i.e. Cambridge above the treble) with the same lead end order and so is a relatively easy way of being able to know another method. Ringers do find it quite difficult at first to even ring two methods in spliced so adding an easy one is beneficial.
• Yorkshire becomes a very useful method on higher numbers for inexperienced bands so getting to know it on eight is helpful
• Reasonably musical plain course which extends well to higher numbers
• Virtually every other ringer who knows at least two Surprise Major method knows it so it is very accessible
• Relatively easy to learn
One consultee who is relatively new to learning Surprise Major methods put it like this: “really useful, because so many other things are Yorkshire-y in one way or another. It teaches lots of transferrable skills, and you're probably going to get a rock-steady band to ring round you.” Which is in fact as much an argument for learning it first not second! Short Yorkshire places (dodge place place dodge) are very common in other methods whereas long Cambridge places are rare.
The point about Yorkshire being useful on higher numbers for inexperienced bands is because bells stay in coursing order below and above the treble in Yorkshire whereas they don’t in Cambridge. This may not seem very important or even noticeable on 8, but it does become more noticeable the more bells you ring on – keeping course bells together above and below the treble makes the method easier to ring and easier to conduct.
As this week’s article is relatively short, I would like to say something about the way the line of Cambridge last week and line of Yorkshire this week have been presented. When David Marshall produced his ‘Criblines’ books in the early 1980s, he only showed Surprise Major lines going to the pivot, and indicated the place bells either going up or down the line. So Cambridge and Yorkshire lines start at 2nds place bell and are drawn until the pivot point half way through 3rds place bell. This is the point of reflective symmetry of the line. 2nds 6ths 7ths and 3rds place bells are indicated as going down the line, while 4ths 8ths and 5ths go up. Being able to learn only half of the complete line and then reverse it is a very useful skill, which gets easier with practice.
Even if you cannot do the reversal of the line in your head, knowing the pairs of place bells (5ths is the opposite of 2nds, 8ths is the opposite of 6ths) is really helpful.
I am proposing therefore that Cambridge and Yorkshire retain their places in the larder. Next week I will look at the first method proposed for Project Pickled Egg which is not in the current Standard 8 – a visit to the deli counter!