Category Archives: Surprise Maximus

Surprise Methods are challenging to ring, demand careful learning and practice… and sound magnificent when rung well. “Maximus” is 12 working bells, no tenor behind.

Hursley 12-bell practice Friday 28th April

Hi everyone
As Tony is away, I’ll be hosting the next open 12 bell practice at Hursley on Friday.
This is open to anyone who would like some 12 bell ringing, and you are very welcome!
Methods to include Grandsire, Stedman, Yorkshire, Cambridge, Little Bob, Bristol.
If anyone has any conducting requests, please let me know.
Looking forward to seeing you!
Christine Saunders

**Messages left below will be forwarded to Christine

New Monthly 12-bell Practice at Hursley – Trial Period Starts Friday 24th February

At our tower AGM last Friday we agreed that, for a trial period, there would be an open 12-bell practice at All Saints’, Hursley, on the fourth Friday of the month. The first 12-bell practice will be on 24th February, at 7.30 p.m.
Usual methods – Grandsire, Stedman, Little Bob, Yorkshire, Bristol,

This practice is open to anyone who would like to practise 12-bell  ringing.
Visitors are, of course, still most welcome to join our regular practice any week.

Best wishes, Tony Smith (Tower Captain)

Invitation to Winchester Cathedral 12-bell practice Weds 27th April

There will be a 12 bell practice at Winchester on the last Wednesday of the month, 27th April, at 7.30pm. Usual methods – Stedman, Grandsire, Yorkshire, Little Bob, Bristol, Cambridge. If we have enough we will ring Yorkshire 14.

This practice is open to anyone who would like to practise 12/14 bell ringing.

The following practice will be on Wednesday 25th May.

John Colliss

Firsts Fortnight Friday Fun at Hursley

Christine Saunders writes:
Firsts Fortnight 1st - 15th March 2016Hursley has a regular ‘Fun First Friday’ which is run by the deputy tower captain. It is a chance to ring something different and includes a cake break!
As this month’s FFF fell within First Fortnight, the deputy tower captain challenged the whole band to do something they had never done before.
Sixteen ringers joined the special 2 hour practice and they all managed to achieve a ‘first’, although some were more successful than others!
The ‘firsts’ included calling Stedman triples, Spliced surprise major and Erin triples. One person attempted double handed rounds on 12 and another turned the tenor in to Yorkshire Maximus. The experienced folk rang a new method – Hampshire Surprise Major, and a visitor conducted some spliced surprise Royal.  With everyone having achieved a ‘first’, the evening ended with Bristol maximus and an attempt at spliced Kent TB and Little Bob maximus, before the race to be the first in the pub!


A 12 Bell Peal by a Ladies’ Band for the Guild – Believed to be a First

While Steve Coleman was posing the question “Are we making best use of women in bellringing?” 12 of our ringers were providing a very convincing piece of evidence that in this Guild, perhaps the answer is yes…. ?
Christine Hill  (one of the band) writes:
There have in fact only ever been seventeen ladies’ peals of maximus and five of cinques rung. We had planned this peal for some time – although we have a goodly number of competent lady ringers at Hursley it isn’t easy to get them all together at once, and not all were in this peal. However the band are all resident W&P members except for Katie and Rosemary Hill (who learned to ring at Hursley, but have now moved on to greater things). We are quite proud of our achievement, especially Ceri who managed to “circle the tower” with this peal, and are waiting to see what the Hursley chaps come up with now…………...

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild

Hursley, Hampshire
All Saints
Saturday, 27 February 2016 in 3h 15 (14)
5042 Yorkshire Surprise Maximus
Composed by R W Pipe
Rosemary E Hill
Charlotte K Colliss
Jennifer M Herriott
Janet L Morris
Jenifer A E Smith
Christine R Hill (C)
Kathryn E Shaw
Pamela J Thompson
D Annabel Preston
10 Christine A Saunders
11 Katharine A Hill
12 Ceri J Salter
Circled tower – 12. Believed to be the first twelve bell peal rung by a ladies band for the W&P.

There will be a 12 bell practice at Winchester Cathedral Weds 27th January

There will be a 12 bell practice at Winchester on the last Wednesday of the month, 27th January, at 7.30pm. Usual methods – Stedman, Grandsire, Yorkshire, Little Bob, Bristol, Cambridge. If we have enough we will ring Yorkshire 14.

This practice is open to anyone who would like to practise 12/14 bell ringing.


There will not be a practice in February.

Matt Young (Originally from the Isle of Wight) Turns in Tenor at St. Paul’s

Matt originally learned to ring on the Isle of Wight. He has developed something of a specialism of ringing very heavy tenors – this 3 ton specimin is an impressive addition to the list.
City of London
Cathedral Church of St Paul
Friday, 1 January 2016 in 4 h14 (61–2–12 in B♭)
5042 Cambridge Surprise Maximus
Composed by R W Pipe
Robert H Childs
Gwen Rogers
Phillip R J Barnes
Susan L Apter
David I Bassford
Paul N Mounsey (C)
Martin J Cansdale
Stephen J Ollerton
Philip Rogers
1 0 Martin C Faulkes
11 Graham Bloom
12 Matthew J Young
Information from Bellboard

A Peal to start 2016 at Winchester Cathedral

Roy LeMarechal reports:
After a brief time watching and waiting for skaters to fall over on the ice rink, the ringers ascended the tower. After minimal “faffing around”, they set off for a peal of Yorkshire Maximus. As I predicted the ringing was never “cracking”. However, apart from a few occasions when some ringers fell off their lines, the ringing was generally of a competent and reasonable standard. Dave Mattingley set a good pace on the tenor and Ben Carey handled the tricky and unpredictable 13th like he’d been doing it all his life 🙂 Well done to all the ringers for putting in their best effort on these excellent but challenging bells.


Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Winchester, Hampshire
Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity, St Peter, St Paul and St Swithun
Friday, 1 January 2016 in 3:41 (35–2–6 in C)
5040 Yorkshire Surprise Maximus
Stephen S Russ
John P Colliss
Toby Arkless
Anthony P Smith
Roy LeMarechal (C)
Kathryne R Arkless
Ewan Grant-Richardson
Malcolm M Powell
Ian J Carey
10 Edward P D Colliss
11 Benjamin J Carey
12 David J Mattingley
To welcome the New year

Peal Attempt -Yorkshire Maximus at Winchester Cathedral New Year’s Day 11am

If you’d like to hear some cracking ringing AND be inspired….

Winchester Cathedral has kindly offered their bells to our Guild for a peal on New Year’s Day once again so, if you’re in the area or wanting somewhere specific to go on the day, the peal should get underway at approximately 11 a.m and if all goes well it will continue until well after 2pm.

Winchester Cathedral Photograph by Colin Cook
Winchester Cathedral Photograph by Colin Cook

Method chosen – Yorkshire Surprise Maximus. (This  method will make use of 12 of the Cathedral’s ring of 14 Bells. Yorkshire Maximus is a very musical method, not routinely rung because of its complexity and the number of skilled ringers and bells required).

Apparently an Ice Rink will still be in situ in the vicinity so great fun could be had there, as well, but bear in mind parking might be challenging!

My personal thanks to Roy Le Marechal, Edd Colliss and Bruce Purvis for helping me get the peal organised.

Viv Nobbs
Guild Master

A First for WP Guild – Zanussi Surprise Maximus Peal by a Resident Band

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Southampton, Hampshire
The Ascension, Bitterne Park
Saturday, 5 December 2015 in 3h 7 (8–1–13 in A♭)
5090 Zanussi Surprise Maximus
Christine A Saunders
W Nigel G Herriott (C)
Benjamin J Carey
Jennifer M Herriott
John P Colliss
David J Mattingley
Peter D Niblett
Anthony P Smith
James A Hodkin
10 Ian J Carey
11 Roy LeMarechal
12 R Mark Esbester
First of Zanussi by a resident W&P band.