Thinking allowed

Ringing Cambridge Major

It’s four weeks since I star­ted try­ing to learn Cam­bridge Sur­prise Major. I reck­on I have the ‘blue line’ fairly well mem­or­ized — in the­ory. But put­ting it into prac­tice is not so easy.

In the first place, actu­ally get­ting enough oth­ers who can ring Cam­bridge Major is itself quite hard. Of the four prac­tices since I began, at two of them there have not been enough exper­i­enced ringers to even try Cam­bridge Major. At the oth­er two it has just about been pos­sible to find 6 oth­er ringers cap­able of Cam­bridge plus one who can treble bob on the treble.

But on each of these two occa­sions we have man­aged to get about half way through a plain course before it goes hor­ribly wrong. The annoy­ing thing from my per­spect­ive is that this has not been my fault, but mis­takes by oth­er ringers. Both times, I have been ringing bell 2, the first time with anoth­er ringer stand­ing behind me, and each time, as I was com­plet­ing the back­work some of those ringing in front of me have got mixed up. Sigh. I’m not blam­ing them — it’s a reas­on­ably hard meth­od after all. But it is frus­trat­ing when I am try­ing to learn the meth­od myself.

Next week is Ash Wed­nes­day, so it’ll be anoth­er couple of weeks before I can try again.