Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Treble B. Minor

  Treble Dodging Minor - Westminster Surprise

Westminster Surprise Minor

About Westminster Surprise Minor

Westminster is one of the 10 regular right-place Surprise minor methods; it has Norwich above the treble and a 2nds place lead end. The method is static with alternating places and dodging in 1-2 and long dodging across the lead end.

Surprise Minor methods are worth ringing in their own right, and as with all method learning the techniques relevant to Westminster Surprise Minor should be used with a view to their application to the more complex Major methods. The most important related skill is to follow the course of the treble and hence to associate the method structure with the work of the treble. Further details of this are noted below.

Table Sections

Tabular Index to the 147 Regular Treble Dodging Minor Methods.

Site Sections:

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells
Method Ringing

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells
Hull Project

A set of 12 handbells

Page Index

Westminster Surprise Minor is a static method known for the long series of places and dodges in 1-2, and lasting the whole lead.

Method Structure.

Place Notation:
X 34 X 14 X 12 X 36 X 12 X 36, 16 Bob 14, Single 1234.


Westminster Surprise Minor change rows with grid

Diagram: 6t.s.02.00 Westminster Surprise Minor, plain lead, change-rows and grid.


Learning Westminster Surprise Minor.

The Rules

Westminster Surprise Minor - the rules
Ring 2nds place Norwich S. above the treble.
Ring Wath D. below the treble.

The Structure

Familiarity with the grid is very valuable owing to the separation between the pair in 1-2 versus the other 4 bells. Use of the grid is helped enormously by an ability to see the position of treble.

Counting the dodges in 5-6.

Ringers of Norwich will recognise that the 7-pull dodge in 5-6 needs to be thought of as:

  • 3 dodges for the method
  • 1 dodge for the lead-end, to become 5ths & 6ths place bells
  • 3 more dodges for the method

The treble has 7 pieces of work between dodges in 5-6 down and 5-6 up (hunt - dodge - hunt - dodge - lead - dodge - hunt - dodge - hunt) and each of the 7 dodges by the working pair in 5-6 can (and should) be associated with them..

Further assistance in knowing when to stop dodging is given by the treble; the handstroke of the last 5-6 down strikes over the treble, then that bell (6ths place bell), hunts down, passing the treble in 5-4.

Use of the grid is helped enormously by an ability to see the position of treble.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

The Double Blue Lines give a useful overview of the method, adding context which is helpful for overcoming trips.

For each pair, the double place bell sequence should be learned. For each pair, the double place bell sequence is identical with Plain Bob.

Westminster Surprise Minor, 1-2

Westminster Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: Westminster Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Westminster Surprise Minor, 3-4

Westminster Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: Westminster Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Westminster Surprise Minor, 5-6

Westminster Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: Westminster Surprise Minor, 5-6.

Place Notation


The Blue Line features worth noting are:
The coursing pair (5-6) does work together in 1-2 and does the dodging together in 5-6.

Place Notation and Grid

The choice here is personal preference. The authorís preference is the visual nature of the grid, but after a lot of practise the numbers and the pictures merge and become interchangeable.


Note the Plain Bob Lead End structure of the sections.

Section by section

Section by Section

The regular and static nature of Westminster Surprise Minor, make this method approachable by rules and watching the treble. Thinking about it in sections and cross sections would be most useful as an exercise towards other methods, but not strictly necessary for Westminster in its own right.


Ringing Westminster Surprise Minor.

Track the treble

Awareness of the position of the treble is a key skill for most bellringing methods, and a significant help in ringing Westminster Surprise Minor. Some hints and tips for developing the skill are given in the techniques section.

The regularity of the structure (alternating "Plain Bob Lead Ends" with 3-4-5-6 hunting boxes) makes this an excellent method to "ring by the grid". As a step towards achieving Performance Level add awareness of coursing order to the grid work.

Positional Awareness

The long split between 1-2 and 3-4-5-6 is very helpful. However, methods with long frontwork such as Hull, Bourne, and Westminster need careful learning and good concentration when ringing 2nds and 3rds place bells to ensure the work is right and no pair gets crossed over.

Place Notation Elements

The method only contains 5 elements (X, 34, 14, 12, 36), all of which should already have been rung.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

The double place bells sequences are identical with Plain Bob Minor.

6ths place bell is the pivot bell.

The 7 dodges together for 5-6 is a staging post (a.k.a. handrail).

Awareness of other bells

The rules basis of ringing the method helps with being aware of the other bells.

Coursing Order in Westminster Surprise Minor

Natural Coursing Order is preserved very well throughout the method.

Coursing pairs are together on the front, together on the back.

The bells ringing dodge 3rds dodge do so in natural coursing order.

Ringing the Method

Just enjoy it, itís easier than expected, especially if you have rung Norwich Surprise and Wath Delight, but the front work correctly requires concentration.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs replace the 2nds place at the Lead End with 4ths, just like Plain Bob.


Touches of Westminster Surprise Minor.

All bobs-only touches of Plain Bob Minor work for Westminster Surprise giving twice the number of changes