[r-t] Double Treble-Bob Maximus Methods

Andrew Johnson andrew_johnson at uk.ibm.com
Wed Sep 29 18:32:26 BST 2021

Back on 15/12/2009 14:02:08 I wrote:

> Philip Earis' series on compositions of the decade reminds me that Brian 

> Price wrote a paper on 'Double Treble-Bob Maximus Methods' in June 2007.
> He sent me a printed version and  these are my brief notes from the 
> (a) Highly desirable: Not more than 4 places to each change, no long 
> places at bobs
> (b) Plain bob lead ends - gives coursing pairs which are musical 3rds 
> (apart from 23 - discordant semi-tone in maximus and ET - very desirable 

> at right stroke behind)
> (c) roll-ups at backstroke
> Then he did a tree search - 61 different changes (excluding 12 or ET or 
> those + extra pair of places) to generate rows 2 to 16 of the first 
> quarter-lead, though only some allow a treble bob path, and evaluated 
> result:
> closeness - count of coursing pairs adjacent or with only one bell 
> - thought to sound nice
> run coefficient - 4 points for 4 bells, 5 points for 5 etc. - but easily 

> adjusted
> stagnation coefficient - longest time bell in same pair of positions - 
> taken as an upper limit for method consideration, not a detriment to 
> musicality. Upper limit 24. (See SuperStag with 88 blows and 19-pull 
> dodges!)
> music = X clo + Y runs
> X=1, Y=1, but you could adjust this
> The methods:
I've now entered the methods into CompLib together with some existing 
compositions true to those methods.

As they are unrung methods I can't easily publish them on CompLib
without cloning those compositions, publishing them, and adding them
to a public collection and then the methods could be linked from the
composition. Instead, here is a private collection.


There is also a section which might be of historical interest:

Afterthought - George Baker of Brighton

It is a curious fact that the non-double methods Cambridge and Yorkshire
have natural extensions from the Major which cannot be disputed, whereas
Bristol Major (double, first peal 1901) and London Major (Norwich,
1835) caused endless wrangles by letter in the Bell News - a weekly
which preceded the The Ringing World, there being an overlap - about
extensions. For many years there were variations which were hotly
contested, notably by George Baker who was in the St. Peter's, 
Brighton band which rang the first peal of Bristol Surprise. He
quarrelled with another ringer of the band named Attree and gave up
practical ringing for very many years. George Baker's letters
kept trying to explain round blocks and transposition, which others
didn't fathom. It appears that the accepted versions of both
London and Bristol Royal were eventually decided by  peal-ringing

It is worth recording here for posterity, that in the period 1948-1950
when I was living with my retired parents at Worthing, I knew George
Baker fairly well. He seemed to be the sole occupant of a
Funeral Director's, a mahogany death-emporium right in the centre of
Brighton, in The Quadrant by the clock in the middle of a cross-roads
of main streets. He sat on a high stool at his desk wearing a black
skull-cap and was there every time I called in for a ringing chat!
He told me a curious and surprising fact. After the band had rung
the first peal of a new method - suggested by Rev.E.Bankes James
in a Bell News of 1897 - they wanted to call it Brighton Surprise
but found that such a method had already been rung [its first peal
was in 1913]. So they named it Bristol, the place next after
Brighton in an alphabetical list that someone had! Then George
(an old man) surprised me again by announcing he was emigrating
to New Zealand to live with his daughter, and he generously
gave me his old ringing books and papers. That was the last I
ever saw or heard of him.

Brian Price, June 2007.

Andrew Johnson

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