Category Archives: Surprise Major

Regular Monthly District Practices F.Y.I.

Dear District,

Here is a reminder of the regular monthly district practices.  If your tower is running a monthly practice, and would like to be included on the list, and calendar online/printed events calendar, please let us know.

Please do support your local monthly district practices:

Every 1st Monday:

Sacred Heart Bournemouth 6:00pm-7:30pm Method Monday Contact Kim Matthews (focus on a method/touches/calling/splicing chosen by popular consensus) Join the email list to find out next times method.

Every 1st Wednesday: 

Sopley 7:30pm-9:00pm Beyond Bob Doubles  Contact Tim Kettle taking doubles methods to the next level with variants and splicing. Links between methods such as Winchendon and various St.s’ group of methods!

Ringwood 7:45pm-9:15pm Suprise Major Contact Elizabeth Davey

Every 2nd Tuesday:

St. John’s Bournemouth 8 Bell Practice 7:30pm-9:00pm Contact Penelope Samuel.  Anything 8 bells goes on here, come and practice your triples methods, call changes and rounds on 8 bells.

Every 2nd Wednesday:

Lymington 7:30pm-9:00pm Doubles & Minor Practice Contact Colin Butler.  Plain courses and touches of doubles and minor methods. Come and practice your calling too.

Every Thursday

St. Peter’s Bournemouth Bell Handling Night 7:30pm-9:00pm Contact Romy Coldman. Any aspects of bell handling on this heavy 8, covered by a unique array of excercises, to really get into the nitty-gritty of the nitty-gritty! Methods are not covered at this practice night.

It is advisable to inform the practice organiser if you plan to attend events, should the rare chance of a last minute cancellation happen, a message can be sent to you directly.

8 bell practice at Hurstbourne Priors Thu 26th Oct

Dear all,

It’s the 4th Thursday of the month this week, on Thursday 26th October 2017, time for our monthly 8 bell practice at Hurstbourne Priors from 7:30pm.

This month’s methods will, as ever, depend on the demand and abilities of those present, so may include Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Double Norwich, Cambridge Surprise Major, Yorkshire Surprise Major and Rutland Surprise Major.

Hope to see you there.

Helen and Roger Thomas

Hurstbourne Priors 8-bell Practice Thursday 28th Sept

Dear all,
It’s the 4th Thursday of the month this week, on Thursday 28th September 2017, time for our regular 8 bell practice at Hurstbourne Priors from 7:30pm.
This month’s methods, depending on demand and abilities of those present, may include Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Double Norwich, Cambridge Surprise Major, Yorkshire Surprise Major and Rutland Surprise Major.
Hope to see you there.
Helen and Roger Thomas

8 Bell Practice at Hurstborne Priors Thurs 22nd June

Dear all,

It’s the 4th Thursday of the month this week, on Thursday 22nd June 2017, time for our regular 8 bell practice at Hurstbourne Priors from 7:30pm.

This month’s methods will include Grandsire Triples and Stedman Triplesand possibly also Double Norwich, Cambridge Major and Bob Major, depending on demand.

 

Hope to see you there.

Thanks

Helen and Roger Thomas

Hurstbourne Priors 8 bell Practice on Thurs 27th April

Dear all,

It’s the 4th Thursday of the month this week, on Thursday 27th April 2017, time for our regular 8 bell practice at Hurstbourne Priors, from 7:30pm.

This month’s methods may include Double Norwich, Superlative, Yorkshire, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Bob Major, depending on demand.

Hope to see you there.

Thanks

Helen and Roger Thomas

8 Bell Practice at Hurstbourne Priors – 7.30pm on Thursday 23rd March

Dear all,
It’s the 4th Thursday of the month next week, on Thursday 23rd March 2017, time for our regular 8 bell practice at Hurstbourne Priors, from 7:30pm.

This month’s methods may include Double Norwich, Superlative, Yorkshire, Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples, Bob Major. depending on demand.

Hope to see you there.

Thanks

Helen and Roger Thomas
  • Contact Helen Thomas

    Telephone: 01264 738900
    Email: Use Form


A&P District Surprise Major Practice Saturday 8th April 5.30 to 7.00pm at Hawkley

archSaturday 8th April – 5.30 to 7.00pm

at Hawkley

Roger says he’s had lots of interest in this practice, and hopes to be able to ring Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as well as Cambridge.

My Cambridge needs working on, so I look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks, Valerie

A&P District Practices – March and April

Here is a copy of the the latest poster which should be appearing in your towers any day now.

Link to PDF version of Poster

Link to Word version of poster

MARCH

Tuesday 7th March 7.30 – 9.00pm
Monthly 8 bell practice at Holybourne

Saturday 18th March
District General Practice at Selborne
5.30 – 7.00pm
Ringing from rounds upwards – all welcome

APRIL

Tuesday 4th April – 7.30 – 9.00pm
monthly 8 bell practice at Holybourne

Saturday 8th April – 5.30pm – 7.00pm
District Surprise Major Practice at Hawkley
If we cannot muster enough people to ring at least Cambridge, Roger will not organise another one!

Saturday 22nd April
District Spring Meeting at St. Mary’s Liss
Ringing from 3.00pm – Tea from 4.00pm
Meeting from around 4.45pm – then more ringing
Please book your tea by contacting Joy Martin

**CANCELLED CS District Surprise Major Practice at Ringwood March 1st

The Surprise Major Practice normally takes place on the first Wednesday of each month. However, this time it unfortunately clashes with the Ash Wednesday service in the church.

The next practice will be Wednesday April 5th 7.30pm. Methods normally are the Standard Eight and are spliced if the band is up to it.

Hurstbourne Priors 8-bell practice Thursday 23rd February

Dear all,
This month’s 8 bell practice is at Hurstbourne Priors –  this week, on Thursday 23rd February 2017

This month I would like to pay particular attention to Double Norwich .

But it is also worth having a look at:

 Superlative, Grandsire, Stedman, Bob Major etc.

Hope to see you there.

Thanks

Roger Thomas

Bradfield Ringing Course 17th-20th August – Applications now open

Welcome to the Bradfield Ringing Course, an annual four-day friendly and engaging residential bellringing course based at Bradfield College in Berkshire, now preparing for its ninth consecutive year.

Every year in August, we provide tuition for ringers of a wide range abilities, from Bell Experience for those that need a little more confidence in handling a bell to Surprise Major for those that have been ringing a little longer – and many other stages along the way!

… click to read more…

AP District – Surprise Major Practice – Saturday 8th April – Hawkley 5.30 – 7.00pm **RSVP

Dear all,

I have organised the following practice, Surprise Major at Hawkley on Saturday 8th April 5.30-7.00pm.  I hope that we can muster enough to have a go at Cambridge at the very least. Would you be so kind as to let me know if you are intending to come for this.
Cheers
Roger

SDGR Methods Practice Fordingbridge Monday February 6th from 2pm -3.30

SALISBURY DIOCESAN GUILD OF RINGERS
SALISBURY BRANCH
METHOD PRACTICE

The next one of  these will be this  Monday February 6th from 2pm  to 3.30pm.. The practice will be for those wishing to move on to methods beyond Bob Minor up to 6 and 8 bell surprise.

Other practices will be on May 8th (second Monday), August 7th and November 6th.

Please let me know if you intend to come as it would be useful to have an idea of numbers beforehand.
Pat Davidson

Essex Course 6th-8th April – Applications must be in by Friday 10th February

This year’s Essex Ringing Course runs from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th April. The closing date for applications is Friday 10th February.

Details are at <https://eacr.org.uk/course>

The following is reproduced from that page:

PRACTICAL RINGING SESSIONS

GROUP A — Improving foundation skills.
Have you reached the stage in your early ringing career where even if you understand the theory of what you are meant to be doing you are finding doing it an entirely different matter? If so this group is for you. Students in this group will work on their individual ringing skills so that they can improve their bell control, listening and ropesight. This may require time working alone on a bell as an individual with the advice of your tutor, as well as ringing with other ringers. Students will also practise raising and lowering a single bell.
GROUP B
A Group for those who can ring Rounds competently and who are ready to take their first steps in call changes and then, possibly, in change ringing on 3 or 4 bells. If you are in any way doubtful about joining Group C, then join Group B; you will still find something to learn and will have the opportunity to fill in steps in your ringing education you may have missed or not appreciated.
GROUP C
A Group for those wishing to plain hunt on 5. The opportunity to practise on different rings of bells and in different orders both on the treble and “inside” will be provided. The Group will emphasise the skills required for change ringing and will be learning ropesight and considering striking, as an essential preliminary to ringing the treble. Practice may be given at ringing the treble to Bastow, Minimus and Doubles, to “Stedman Quick Sixes” and to Plain Bob Minimus as appropriate, before progressing to ringing the treble to Plain Bob Doubles.
GROUP D
A Group for those who really have ropesight and bell control and are ready to ring the treble to Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Minor. It is intended to progress to ringing the treble to touches in both these methods. A number of other methods may be rung to practise the different rhythm of change ringing with six bells.
GROUP E
A Group for those who are competent in ringing skills as outlined in the above groups and wishing to learn Plain Bob Doubles on an “inside” bell.
GROUP F
A Group for those who are already competent in ringing skills as outlined in the above groups and able to ring touches of Plain Bob Doubles and who wish to learn Plain Bob Minor “inside”. You should be able to treble hunt reliably to touches of Bob Minor before applying for this group; if in any doubt consider applying for Group D.
GROUP G — Grandsire
Starting with Doubles and progressing to Triples with calls. Applicants must be proficient in ringing the treble to Grandsire and be able to ring touches of Bob Doubles “inside” to get the full benefit from this option.
GROUP H — Doubles Beyond Plain Bob & Grandsire
Would you like more variety on Practice Night? Explore Reverse Canterbury, St Simon’s and other methods or variations which contain a number of different ‘works’ which will be useful in your future ringing career.
GROUP I — Beyond Bob Minor
The Group will study and practise several Plain Minor methods (Single / Double Court and Oxford) which introduce many of the building blocks and concepts needed before progressing to Surprise. Methods such as St Clements and Little Bob may also be included. Applicants must be able to ring touches of Plain Bob Minor on an inside bell competently.
GROUP J — Stedman
Starting with Doubles and progressing to Triples with calls and theory on extension to Caters and Cinques. You should be proficient in ringing up to Group G to get full benefit from this option.
GROUP K — Surprise Major
To get the full benefit from this group applicants must be able to ring Plain Bob Major “inside”, be able to ‘treble bob’ proficiently and have some experience of Treble Bob or Surprise Minor. The Group will start with Cambridge Major and move on to Yorkshire.
GROUP L — Calling & Conducting Touches
This Group will start with calling Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles, and progress to Plain Bob and possibly other Minor methods. Students will be actively involved in calling a variety of touches, and will be expected to ring whilst others of the Group are calling. No previous experience of calling is required, but you must be able to ring touches of Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Minor “inside” competently.

When Two Hobbies Combine

Simon Edwards Reports:

2016 marks the centenary year of Cub Scouting, officially launched on 16th December 1916, after some three years’ worth of planning and trialling. The Wolf Cubs, as they were originally called, were themed around the Jungle Book, a theme that continues in the majority of Cub packs today.

But how does this link to bells? Well, as well as being a ringer, I am also a Cub Scout Leader in my spare time, going by the name of Shere Khan, and have often found that my two hobbies go hand in hand together; my first peal, back in 2007, was to mark the Centenary of Scouting, after which I vowed never to ring another. How wrong I was!

The idea of combining my two hobbies once again, first came to me some eighteen months ago, with the prospect of a peal just using Cubs and Cub Leaders past and present to celebrate the Centenary. The date was chosen as the closest feasible Saturday to December 16th, a band approached, a method and composition were sourced from Robert Brown – an expert in these matters! – and slowly but surely, the pieces all fell into place.

St Mary’s Church, Brownsea Island Photo by Simon Edwards
St Mary’s Church, Brownsea Island Photo by Simon Edwards

Given that this was a Scout-themed peal, it seemed only fitting that Brownsea Island was the place to do it. As well as housing a delightful little eight, with a ringing chamber more akin to somebody’s lounge, the Island is regarded as the spiritual home of Scouting; the experimental camp led by Baden-Powell was held there in 1907, and this ultimately led to the formation of Scouting. However, the Island is shut to the public in the winter months, and this brought other obstacles with it, the most prominent being a boat across to the Island (it was just a bit too far to swim!), and thanks indeed must go to Alison and Alan Butler for tackling these logistics and ensuring the bells and transport were available for us, as well as giving up their Saturday to travel to the Island with us (and take the all-important group photo!)

Brockenhurst St NicholasA Friday evening quarter peal at Brockenhurst settled the nerves, and ensured we knew what to do at the Special Single! With Giles and Kieran unavailable for this, we were joined by Jack and Jimmy, both one-time members of the movement themselves. Only one real hiccup occurred, when two bells tried to “run in”, but this was quickly recovered! Finally, we were set for “the big event!”

On the day, the eight of us met promptly on a grey, drizzly Poole harbourside with Alan and Alison for the ferry across. It occurred to us here that Cub Scouting from the 1960’s to present day (with the possible exception of the 1990’s) was covered in the band, accounting for half of the existence of Cubs! It also became quickly apparent that the mileage travelled to ring this peal was not inconsiderable; Swindon, Peterborough, Liverpool, Kent and Humberside were all represented, and lucky Kieran had to make twice the number of boat trips as the rest of us, setting off from the Isle of Wight at silly o’clock (wasn’t it 5:30am?) that morning!

I had joked that the hard work was now done, and this was the easy bit, but of course nothing is ever as simple as that, is it? A false start did nothing for the nerves, but, with a reshuffle and some gritting of teeth, off we went again. And that was it! Aside from a moth flitting around for the first half of the peal, causing a mild distraction, there were no further “scary” moments, bar the odd missed dodge, one of which prompted a “couldn’t get the staff” comment from Barry. Oops! And soon, all too soon, it was over, with big smiles all round and a year and a half’s thoughts and plans wrapped up and completed. Marvellous! Click for Peal Details

The band in order from left to right, with the bust of Scouting’s Founder, Robert Baden-Powell
The band in order from left to right, with the bust of Scouting’s Founder, Robert Baden-Powell

Overall, I am delighted with how this latest scheme of mine has panned out; a very worthwhile effort to mark an important milestone in what is quite possibly the most recognised youth group in the world. We are all very grateful to Alison and Alan Butler, who not only sorted out a ferry, the tower, and the numerous other logistics, but who also gave up their Saturday to travel to Brownsea and back with us. Thanks must also go to Robert Brown for his help with the method and composition, and to my fellow band members for joining me with this.

Now, all I need for the “set” is a peal for the Centenary of Beavers, in 2086… Anyone interested? ☺

Some footage of the peal can be found below, for interest/enjoyment:

 

Congratulations Mike Martin (Southampton City) – First of Treble Bob Major

Not content with trebling to a single method like most aspiring Surprise Ringers, Mike jumped right in at the deep end as Treble to Eight Spliced last Sunday. He humbly commented “They were desperate”.

Southampton University Guild
On Sunday, 4 December 2016 in 0h47
Southampton, Hampshire
St Michael Archangel
Tenor: 16–1–15 in F
1280 Spliced Surprise Major (8m)
1 Mike Martin
2 Kristian Scudamore
3 Steve Castle
4 Oliver Chaloner
5 Colin Butler
6 Daniel Graham
7 Pip Dillistone
8 Alex Tatlow (C)
First Treble Bob Major – 1
Rung by a Southampton City Centre band.

CS December District Surprise Major Practice at Ringwood – Rosalind Martin Reports

This month, twenty ringers from WP Guild, Salisbury Guild and Hereford, attended the monthly Surprise practice.

Ringing ranged from Cambridge and Yorkshire, through London, to a touch of Eight Spliced.

The next Surprise Practice will be at Ringwood on Wednesday January 4th at 7.45-9.15 as usual.

Ringers who attend Ringwood’s weekly Wednesday Night practice are reminded that it is moved to a Thursday on a monthly basis to make way for the Surprise Practice. 

 

Daniel Graham Reports from the Southampton St Michael’s Practice Night

An enjoyable and rewarding practice night in Southampton last night at St Michael’s with a particularly good half course of Cambridge Royal and a nice touch of 8 spliced surprise major. Lots of other ringing too including Grandsire Triples/Caters, Stedman doubles and 4 spliced (CYNS) surprise major.

Next week, at Bitterne Park, we start our new venture of increasing our 8 bell repertoire, by starting to work through the methods in ‘Smiths 23’. First method is Cray Surprise Major.

As always all ringers welcome at any of our practices 🙂

Mike Winterbourne Reports from the September Andover District Practice

We had a good attendance which allowed some ringers to attempt Grandsire Triples, Stedman Triples and Plain Bob Major to increase their knowledge range and get practice on 8 bells.

A touch of Double Norwich Court Bob Major came round giving us practice to support the Education Day Saturday 19th November. Double Norwich is a very interesting step away from Plain Bob and Little Bob Major Certainly worth a day getting to grips with it.

We managed to get a course of Superlative S Major to end in nearly the right place a step forward for several of the band.

8 Bell Practice Thursday 29th Sept at Hurstbourne Priors

Dear all,

This month’s 8 bell practice is at Hurstbourne Priors this week, on Thursday on 29th Sept.

Methods to look up:

Double Norwich, Superlative, Grandsire, Stedman etc.

Hope to see you there.

Roger Thomas

*NOW SOLVED* Rope Available in Quarter Peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major – Brockenhurst 16th Sept 6pm

The Quarter Peal Club in Christchurch and Southampton District has hit an unexpected problem this week – one of the ringers lined up for a Quarter Peal Attempt of Lincolnshire Surprise Major has been injured and cannot ring. If anyone can help us by ringing an inside bell, we would be very grateful. Jimmy Hodkin is conducting.
Brockenhurst, 6pm, Friday 23rd September ie tomorrow! (St Nicholas’ church is a short walk from Brock station, on the main line from Southampton to Bournemouth.)

Andover District Quarter Peal Success – Mike Winterbourne Reports

If you run a 6 bell tower the chances to ring major only occur if you make the effort to get to suitable practices. Chris Pack has been using the monthly 8 bell practice at Hurstbourne Priors to get his Yorkshire up to speed. This evening Chris managed, with friends, to ring a quarter of Yorkshire at Highclere.

Highclere, Hampshire
St Michael and All Angels
Friday, 12 August 2016 in 43 m (11–0–27)
1250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
1 Mike Winterbourne
2 Angela M Brown
3 Chris Pack
4 Helen J Piper
5 Peter D Niblett (C)
6 Lucy PA Hopkins Till
7 Michael K Hopkins Till
8 Timothy Pink

First quarter in the method – 3

C&S District Surprise Major Practice Report August 2016

17 ringers met this evening and rang London, Superlative, Cambridge, Yorkshire, Bristol and a smattering of Spliced.

Some of the usual people were missing but numbers remained strong as we were joined by holidaymakers.

Four Guilds were represented – Salisbury and W&P as usual, plus Guildford and Chester.