Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Treble B. Minor

  Treble Dodging Minor - Durham Surprise

York Surprise Minor

About Durham Surprise Minor

Durham Surprise is a combination of Cambridge above the treble and Wells below, in short: "Cambridge over Wells". As such it provides good practise at accurately striking the blows at lead in the backward hunting sections.

Time spent on Durham Surprise is "good value for money" as a member of the Cambridge Surprise above group of 7, and also the Wells Surprise below group of 6, there are plenty of opportunities to reapply the learning in the Surprise category alone.

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


Durham Surprise Minor incorporates hunting (X 36 X) when the treble dodges in 1-2 with the standard 14 X 12 X 36 for regular surprise minor methods. However, the 5-6 sections are awkwardly asymmetrical on 4 bells ( .14 x 34.) and linked by 1sts place at the half lead. The pivot bell is then the tenor giving Plain Bob Lead End order.

Method Structure.

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


Durham Surprise Minor change rows with grids

Diagram: Durham Surprise Minor, plain course, change-rows and grid.

Plain Course structure
Durham Surprise Minor is a fluid method in spite of the mixture of forward and backward hunting.


Learning Durham Surprise Minor.

Learn and ring Cambridge before starting on Durham.

Concerted study of the 5-6 sections will pay dividends. The pairs are roughly equally difficult, including 1-2.

The Structure

The position of the treble can be used to define the work of the other 5 bells. Dodging in 1-2 relates to hunting in 3-4-5-6
Dodging in 3-4 is standard for all regular Treble Bob, Delight and Surprise methods and has the essential structure of a Plain Bob Lead end (X 12 X). Dodging in 5-6 relates to the "Wells below" structure in 1-2-3-4.
The 12 Lead End completes the structure of Cambridge above the treble.
The 16 Half Lead completes the structure of Wells below the treble.

The transition of the treble between dodging places is the standard (internal) places for a Surprise minor method, 14 for hunting in 2-3, and 36 for hunting in 4-5.

The Rules

Durham Surprise Minor - the rules
This is not a method that can be encapsulated in a simple, easily memorised, language statement other than "Cambridge over Wells".

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

Durham Surprise Minor, 1-2

Durham Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: Durham Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Durham Surprise Minor, 3-4

Durham Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: Durham Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Durham Surprise Minor, 5-6

Durham Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: Durham Surprise Minor, 5-6.


Pivot bell

The pivot bell (Tenor, 6ths place bell) passes treble in 3-2 and transitions from right place work into hunting wrong via a Stedman Whole Turn. The bell then rings one blow in 2nds at backstroke and leads full, hand and back, for the half lead (symmetry point).


Ringing Durham Surprise Minor.

All of the foregoing memory techniques are aimed at enabling the ringer to know, with certainty, in which pair of places his or her bells are intended to be rung. The skill in handbell ringing is putting the bells into those places.

Notes and suggestions will follow in due course.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs Bobs change the 1-2 of the lead end into 1-4, bells dodging in 5-6 are unaffected. Running in and out feels quite normal. Making the 4ths links together two sets of places.

Singles. Singles replace the dodge together in 3-4 with 3rds (which links together two sets of pivot work), and with 4ths with links together two sets of places.


Touches of Durham Surprise Minor

6ths place bell is the pivot bell, and hence the first lead end is 135264 giving calling positions from the tenor as in Plain Bob:
Wrong, 4ths, Before, In, Home.