[r-t] Treble bob major

King, Peter R peter.king at imperial.ac.uk
Sun Jan 7 17:02:37 UTC 2007

Some may recall that last March a peal of 17 ATW treble bob major was rung at Willesden and there was some subsequent discussion in this list about the methods. At the time this was a stepping stone to a peal of 23 ATW TB. For a variety of very good various reasons attempts were arranged but had to be cancelled at the last minute. Now, nearly a year on, the band has reluctantly agreed to abandon the project so I thought it best to put the composition in the public domain so that others can have a try at what we found a very challenging peal (in Philip Earis's view it is the hardest normal length peal of major). I came up with a series from 12-23 methods which is in the attached word document. I hope the notation is clear, if not let me know. I also have other series with other combinations of the methods (for which I should like to thank Richard Pearce for contributions). If anyone would like these let me know.

Just a little background to the composition. The idea arose when we were ringing a series leading up to 45 ATW plain major (another serious challenge for a very strong band). In the pub (after a failed attempt) someone claimed there are no "interesting" treble bob major methods so I thought of coming up with a 23 ATW composition. Originally I simply used Norman Smith's surprise major composition and Philip Saddleton's SCAMP programme, however, a member of the band suggested that it would be much nicer to use all the lead end types so I came up with the attached composition. The design criteria were i) all the lead end types with at least one plain lead of each lead end type (except A  where there is no confusion over 8ths or 2nds versions) ii) each lead different iii) wrong places below and above the treble. All of these are satisfied.

Why is it so difficult? Largely because the structure of treble bob methods doesn't permit many of the features usually found in surprise (eg no fishtails, no long London, no Yorkshire places etc), instead you get other structures which have to be learnt (after which they become familiar and repeated in various ways, not a problem in any single method but to learn for 23 methods is a bit much!). The only concession to simplicity was 2nds place bell Blue Nile (it's the same as 2nds place bell Kent).

The trials and tribulations involved in organising the attempts (on one occasion someone wrote their car off to get out of an attempt!) aren't appropriate for this list but it meant we must have had more attempts called off at the last minute than we attempted and this is why we have abandoned the project. If anyone else out there feels like organising an attempt then I would certainly be interested in ringing (since I am now fairly familiar with the methods) some of the original band may also be interested. 

I hope that at some stage someone feels like having a go as it represents a serious challenge. Clearly we didn't name all the methods (those marked with an asterisk) so any band that rings it is welcome to use whatever names they like, but the ones suggested seem appropriate.

Peter King
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