Thinking allowed

Lincolnshire and Superlative

Over the last few weeks I’ve been learn­ing two new Sur­prise Major meth­ods: Lin­colnshire and Superlative.

Lin­colnshire was learnt first, and afer a gap of sev­er­al weeks when I was unable to make Wed­nes­day night’s prac­tice, I finally got a chance to ring it. Nat­ur­ally, we didn’t get to the end of the plain course the first time I tried — but I was still quite pleased as it hadn’t failed because of me. We tried again a little later and man­aged the whole plain course.

With Lin­colnshire suc­cess­fully rung we were chal­lenged to learn Super­lat­ive. There’s a group of about five of us at this prac­tice who are all learn­ing these meth­ods togeth­er. For­tu­nately there are enough oth­er more exper­i­enced ringers (as well as oth­ers less exper­i­enced) who can already ring these meth­ods so that we can try with just two or three learners at a time. With all five it would prob­ably be impossible!

Hav­ing been set Super­lat­ive a couple of weeks ago we had sev­er­al goes at it last week. I was reas­on­ably con­fid­ent of hav­ing learnt the blue line and the place bells — but as usu­al we failed first time. Anoth­er go and we failed again. Last night a few more tries, and on the second of these we man­aged to get through a plain course of Super­lat­ive Sur­prise Major. I man­aged to keep my place, even pretty much remem­ber­ing where each place bell starts and ends right up until the last few strokes: ringing the 6 meant that in the last lead I was 2nd place bell, and hav­ing done the front work I dodged 3/4 up when anoth­er ringer called to me, ‘With me,’ and that was suf­fi­cient to make me won­der where I was meant to be, rather than just doing it! After a pull or two I real­ized that I should now be doing 5–6 places up, so I hung around in 5–6 try­ing to work out just where I should be. This was enough to get us to the end of the plain course, since the 2nd place bell stays in 5–6 until the lead end.

Try harder next time, but not bad, I guess.