The X-File (No.18) - June 1997

You just can't please all the people all of the time. Vernon Bedford takes Moldy to task (p724) over the review of Octavian Delight Royal and yes, we admit it, the X-file's computer miscounted the number of triple-dodges in the plain course. It claimed it was a rounding error, but we don't believe a word of it. Hopefully the swift kick it received up the math co-processor should eliminate any further bouts of thinking for itself.

Meanwhile, it's summer-time and in between England wickets going down, the staff here have been wondering about some of this month's names. Who, for example, was Lee, and why did they want to burn him? Did Foxham fox 'em? And why exactly does Mark Regan want to immortalize Ms Pfeiffer when she prefers her Greek Gods to look like Al Pacino? He should have chosen Jodie Foster - she's so much nicer. It's just not right, is it?

June's crop of prize strawberries, with a dash of fromage-frais, follows:




Rung at









J P Ladd







J P Ladd





Lyme Regis


B J Woodruffe





East Ilsley


A R Peake


Michelle Pfeiffer





M W Regan




Dc (out)



I Butters


Sir Thomas Rich's





T E Hinton


Ballykissangel Delight Major : x3.56.4x2.56.3.4x4.5x4x5 lh 12

Jeff Ladd's obviously vying to get his fizzog on the gogglebox when Father Clifford finally gets some bells down BallyK way. Whether the Catholic Church would approve of such new-fangled gadgets as the use of BYROC is a tricky question - perhaps m'Ladd should get a block booking in the confessional right now. The method itself has a right hunting start to double-dodges in 7-8 and wrong places in 5-6, the like of which I've not seen before, giving 4 each 5678s and 6578s in the plain course. Bells on the front do Bristol-style work once the treble's left 3-4 with a dodge at the half lead when 5ths is made, and this confines 4 8756s off the front to the 4th lead of the course. The 'd' lead-head adds something a little different, but with those horrendous falseness groups it'd be a miracle if even that program managed to produce anything half-decent.

Burnley Alliance Major : x56x4x36.1.36x5x34x1 lh 18

The treble path of 1-2, 4-5, 7-8 has been rung just twice before, and both of these were at Burnley too. Surprisingly though, this is the first double method of the three - I would have thought that such a treble line would be crying out for doubling. The method has the look and feel of squashed Double Dublin about it, with the bells in 7-8 starting with a double-fishtail, and those in 5-6 starting with places. 7 of the 8 roll-up positions are available, the missing one due to the lack of a treble's 3-4 dodge. Unfortunately the M falseness all but excludes a 3 part with 456 rotating, so it was confounded number-crunching time again on the composition front.

Chartres Delight Royal : 34x34.1x56x36. lh 12

Brian Woodruffe has already gone to the trouble (see peal report, page 657) of explaining this method's finer points and the thinking behind the construction. For our money, the construction lacks elegance, and as the band commented, the blue-line provides very little in the way of relaxation. It also suffers from a not unusual case of f-group-itis, with the back bell music clustered into just 3 leads - 2 for the rollups at the back (6 56s and 2 65s) and 1 for the 0987s, 0978s, 8790s and 7890s off the front. The Wells-below-the-treble from 5ths upwards is an interesting feature, but, all in all, I'm sure an unrung Delight method with a bit more blue-line movement, a different lead-head order and a few fewer contiguous places could have been produced for the occasion.

Foxham Surprise Major : 34x5.4x5x36.4x4.5.4x34.7 lh 12

This latest offering from the Tony Peake stable has plenty of music to offer, with an interesting, if rather static, blue-line to boot. The back bells start immediately with a point and then hunt to another, and this gives us our requisite 8 xx78s. The frontwork quite neatly combines some wrong hunting with double dodging over the half-lead in 1-2 whilst places are made in 3-4, and generates 2 8765s and 5678s and a 6578 in true f-group style in the 4th lead. Leads 1, 2, 6 and 7 are free of in-course falseness so a fairly good composition should be possible, even by human standards.

Michelle Pfeiffer Delight Major : x5x4.5x2.3x2x1x34x7 lh 18

Those of you expecting a curvaceous and stunningly attractive blue-line are likely to be disappointed - dangerous minds have obviously been at work here. The above-work starts with a Bristol point, and then another as the treble dodges 3-4. Below the treble we have a constant plethora of roll-up opportunities once the treble leaves 3-4. These manifest themselves as 4 8765s and 8756s spread across 3 different leads and with the music at the back equally well distributed, this plain course has plenty to offer. 4ths place bobs give a 2-lead course, and this should have enabled Stan Jenner to produce an up close and personal composition, without any dangerous liaisons with the B falseness. One fine day, all methods will be as good as this.

Quarrywood Surprise Royal : x5x4.5x5.36.4x4.5x4x3.8x2.3 lh 10

At 50% Bristol - the bit until the treble leaves 5-6 - conventional back-bell music at the back is all present and correct. A spiky below-work, parts of which bear a passing resemblance to Belfast, promises much but, musically at least, delivers little, just 2 098765s and 2 0987s. There's probably enough room for manoeuvre with an m-group composition to swivel the back bells around in the middle of the course to generate a bit more excitement though. That said, it looks quite entertaining to ring and is a worthwhile addition to the Bristol-like m-group Royal library.

Sir Thomas Rich's Surprise Major : x3x4x56x6x34x45x2x5 lh 18

This month's last offering is a snappy production combining 8ths place Uxbridge above the treble with a simply constructed right-place below work. As long as you remember not to dodge when the treble leads, this improves upon the 2nds place Uxbridge-above methods by splitting the backwork and frontwork across the whole course, and giving a 4-lead course with 4ths place bobs. The downside of this is that it becomes more difficult to avoid the B falseness, so a more musical, if less interesting, peal is probably possible by ringing the 2nds place version (Frankley). Four rollups off the front occur in the 6th lead and more are possible in leads 2 and 3, so with a well-chosen composition, this should prove entertaining fodder for a less-experienced band wanting to try something a bit different.

This file is now closed.


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