[r-t] Fulbourn Surprise Minor

Richard Smith richard at ex-parrot.com
Mon Jun 6 21:22:27 UTC 2016

Ted Steele wrote:

> This may be relevant; 
> <https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bmpMAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA844&lpg=PA844&dq=Fulbourn+Surprize&source=bl&ots=OLMmdGvHTH&sig=0dqoEtVktm8evRkVq-7kVp7uj0Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjG0d6W1ZPNAhXDJMAKHS1uBHIQ6AEIMzAF#v=onepage&q=Fulbourn%20Surprize&f=false>.
> It is an extract from The Table Book of William Hone and includes an item 
> about a ballad relating to Fulbourn bells and and act of parliament to 
> restore them, it includes the following:
> "Mr Charles Dawson was the author of the complete peal of Plain Bob called 
> "The Fulbourn Surprise" with 154 bobs and 2 singles and 720 changes".

Thank you.  That confirms my suspicions.  Plain Bob is the 
only method I know which was being practised at this time 
and where it would have been possible to get 156 calls into 
720 changes.  From the middle of the century there was a 
history of compositions of Plain Bob with fourths place bobs 
during the lead that affected the treble, extending or 
shortening the lead to keep the treble in the hunt.

Holt produced such a composition with three bobs affecting 
the treble in order to get a bobs-only 720.  No such 
compositions are given in Monk's Campanologia Improved 
(1766), although Holt's must have existed then as Holt had 
died in 1753.  Probably it hadn't yet become popular. Holt's 
is the only such composition given in the 1796 New 
Campanologia, but Thackrah in 1852 gives more, including one 
with a total of 60 bobs, 15 of which affected the treble.

Something along these lines seems quite likely to me.  My 
only real doubt is that a pair of singles are used.  It was 
well understood at the time that treble-affecting bobs 
alleviated the need for singles.

> Might it in fact have been original?

I doubt it.  Plain Hunt may have been something you rang as 
an exercise on the way to ringing Plain Bob, much as it is 
now; but I don't think the concept of Original with bobs in 
really existed back then.  That said, had someone come up 
with the idea,


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