The X-File (No.33) - September 1998

Since the College Youths decided to allow women into their ranks, my sceptical sidekick, Scruffy, has been demanding a piece of the action down New Method Avenue. I, of course, am having none of it. Reviewer's corner is no place for the faint of heart, or, indeed, the fair of face. Some of the things that pass before us would make your toes curl, not to mention your noses, and to ensure a fair hearing for all concerned, I've decided to stick firmly by tradition and keep Scruffy out for her own good. And besides, she doesn't understand the lbw rule, so most of my Graeme Hick jokes would be a complete waste of time.

This quintet, however, are all well worth setting three hours aside for:




Rung at









R Baldwin





Barrow Gurney


A J Cox







M A Coleman







J M Jelley


Rochdale Canal





G H Campling


Bowes-Lyon Delight Major : x3x4x56x1x34x45x6x7 lh 12

It's recently been suggested that Moldy only chooses methods for review if they're difficult. This just isn't true, as Bowes-Lyon ably demonstrates. It starts like Uxbridge, but the expected 6ths when the treble goes through 4-5 is replaced with 8ths, bringing a non-coursing pair together in 7-8. The frontwork is admirably simple and generates 4 8765s in 3 separate leads, along with a number of other possibilities. The only slight blemish is the 1458 notation as the treble moves through 6-7, but I'm sure Her Regal Motherness wouldn't be too unamused by this. Unfortunately, the B falseness affects the first and last leads of the course as well as the 3 middle ones, which makes a decent composition just a little more tricky to lay your hands on.

Diopside Surprise Major : x56x4x56x36x34x5x34x1x4x5.4x4.36.5x5.4x5x lh 18

The footnote to the peal of Diopside wishes the Central Council to note that "this method is NOT asymmetric. It has two centres of symmetry per lead". As far as most people are concerned, this method is one that you would describe as asymmetric - what happens as the treble hunts to the back is different from that which happens as it returns. However, Tony Cox has taken two double Surprise Major methods (Norfolk and Bristol) and combined them together to give one method: the first 16 rows are Norfolk (Norman Smith aficionados will be more familiar with it's 2nds place relative, Cray), rows 17-32 are Bristol. The two points of symmetry claimed therefore occur as the treble moves from 4ths to 5ths and vice versa. Quite whether this method should be classified as asymmetric or not I'll leave to those who prefer talking about ringing than actually ringing itself; for Moldy's money it's a clever idea, but looks like a peal of 2 spliced with a change of method every 16 rows.

However you want to classify it, you can't fault Diopside on its musicality. Only 1 lead of the course is free from any roll-up potential, at either the front or back, and the plain course contains 4 5678s and 2 6578s at the back, and 4 8765s and 2 8756s off the front. With no in-course falseness, a composition with music wall-to-wall should be no problem, particularly for a man with Tone's talent. Is this going to be the first of many such amalgamations?

Haselbech Alliance Major : x3x456x56x6x34x1x5 lh 12

Haselbech is loosely based around Uxbridge, but with the treble's dodge in 7-8 omitted. The main deviation from this occurs in 5-6 whilst the treble is in 2-3: places are made (with the slightly ugly 1456 notation) in order to send the 8ths place bell onto the front ahead of the 3rds place bell. This ensures that the correct 4 bells are on the front for some roll-ups (2 8756s and 4 8765s in 3 leads) as soon as the treble reaches 5-6. The B falseness only affects the middle leads of the course (unfortunately those where the music off the front occurs), so all the roll-ups at the back, and plenty more besides, should be possible in a peal length.

Jungfrau Surprise Royal : x56x4.56x5.36.4x7.58.6x6.7x6x1 lh 10

Some time ago, the X-file reviewed some Royal methods named after Munros. Here's another mountainous Royal method, and thankfully, this time, it's got a pronounceable name. Jungfrau is really an extension of Dublin S Major (Double Dublin above and Bristol below) - places in 5-6 and double fishtails in 7-8 and 9-10 replace the Bristol points around the lead-end. The rest is pure Bristol - what else is there to say?

Rochdale Canal Delight Major : x3x4x256x6x34x1.36.2x1 lh 12

Before I looked at the figures, I had the suspicion that this method might have been more at home in the Rochdale Canal than in an X-file review. But once I'd seen through the murky waters, what emerged was closer to glistening mermaid than old trout. Uxbridge above the treble (popular, yet again, this month) is combined with a below work which bears more than a passing resemblance to Belfast, mainly because of the point 5-3-6-4 work in 3rds and (reversed) 8ths place bells. This produces 11 possibilities for roll-ups in 3 different leads, but with the B falseness only leaving the first and last leads of the course alone, a composition worthy of the method will require a modicum of extra effort.

This file is now closed.


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