The X-File (No.12) - December 1996

It seems that my comments regarding Graeme Hick have touched a nerve with at least one X-file reader. Lord Cheapside obviously cant accept the facts, judging by the speed at which objects seem to emanating from his lofty pram. [Best not mention his right shoulder this month Ed].

Anyway, whilst our gallant northern representatives have been showing the colonials how to play (well, some of them), our method designers seem to have gone out for an extended lunch. Despite much searching in the undergrowth, I could only unearth three samples worth a second look, and one that needed a third look.

The method in question, Dysaght Surprise Royal, in its corrected, non-3-lead-plain-course version, fails to make the cut. If it had been rung with a 2nds place lead-end then it would certainly have qualified - indeed, how could any method that is 90% Bristol fail? Unfortunately, the 4ths place lead-end carefully eliminates the many possible musical rows from the vast majority of the peal. Which has to beg the question: What's the point? Perhaps John Jelley will reveal all (so to speak).

Meanwhile, here's three methods needing no extra revelation ..




Rung at




North Brink





















North Brink Surprise Royal : x5x4.5x2.3x34x58.6x6.7.6x6.9 lh 10

Royal methods of this lead-head order seem particularly popular at the moment, with several new ones being rung over the past months. Fourths-place calls give a seven-lead course, and this usually means that the two leads omitted are the two poorest off for music. This is certainly the case here, with a roll-up of some description in each of those first seven leads. A Zanussi-style start is combined with good-old wrong hunting on 6 around the half lead, and its no surprise that this produces 2 098765s and a 567890 off the front. Walsworth (first rung 1994) removes the slightly impure 8ths place when the treble is in 67, and is probably better for it.

Northfield Alliance Major : x36x45x36x45x36x18 lh 12

This is an extremely simple method, but with lots of musical potential. It is a version of Bicentenary Alliance (which has 78 at the half-lead, and is, therefore, double), and the rows of the plain course are a subset of those in a course of Superlative. The treble misses 34 and 56 (intentionally!) and, importantly, this removes the out-of-course d falseness present in Superlative. Theres also a principle waiting to be rung here, with a section comprising the first 10 rows.

Vezelay Surprise Royal : x5x6x7x8x4x3x6x5.78x78.9 lh 12

Its often said that Pudsey improves with the more bells you ring it on at least you get a few more roll-ups on 10 that you do on 8 (is there anybody out there who enjoys ringing Pudsey Major?). Vezelay is Pudsey above the treble, with a rather bitty, and virtually right-place, below work which engineers the correct 4 bells onto the front for a 5-pull dodge and with it 6 7890s in the middle lead. An interesting diversion for Pudsey enthusiasts, but I cant see it catching on myself.

This file is now closed.


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