Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Treble B. Minor

  Treble Bob Minor - Whitley Surprise

Whitley Surprise Minor

About Whitley Surprise Minor

Whitley is rung infrequently, as of March 2024 there were just 6 handbells lengths published on Bellboard.

Whitley is a member of the small select group of methods having 6ths place Carlisle above the treble, the group being:

  • Whitley S. (6ths place Carlisle over Ipswich below, or 6ths place Northumberland)
  • Wooler S. (6ths place Sandiacre, or Whitley over Bourne)
  • Canterbury S. (6ths place Alnwick, or Wooler over London)
  • Morpeth S. (6ths place Newcastle, or Wooler over Wells)

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


Whitley is the 6ths place lead end variant of Northumberland S.. It has Ipswich S. below the treble.

Method Structure.

Place Notation:
34X36.14 X 12 X 36 X 14 X 16, 16, Bob 14, Single 1456.


Whitley Surprise Minor change rows with grids

Diagram: Whitley Surprise Minor, plain lead, change-rows and grids.

With 3rds place bell as pivot and a 6ths place lead end, the first lead end row is 135264, as in Reverse Bob. The calling sequence from the tenor is then: 4ths, Out, In, Home, Wrong.

4ths place bell eventually dodges 5-6 up with treble and then stays in 5ths and 6ths, makes the lead end place (6ths) of a plain lead, and continues in 5ths and 6ths until the treble returns.


Learning Whitley Surprise Minor.

Learn both Ipswich S. and Carlisle S. to Performance Level. Then develop the ability to ring the 6ths place lead end and calls.

The Structure

Whitley Surprise Minor is characterised by the spiky Carlisle type work above the treble, and the very fluid compromised Cambridge below the treble.

The Rules

Whitley Surprise Minor - the rules
Ring 6ths place Carlisle over Ipswich.

The above rule is correct but unhelpful to a ringer new to 6ths place Carlisle group methods. The solution is to study the method carefully, especially the fishtails and points in 6ths, and to learn the spacings.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

Whitley Surprise Minor, 1-2

Whitley Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: Whitley Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Whitley Surprise Minor, 3-4

Whitley Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: Whitley Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Whitley Surprise Minor, 5-6

Whitley Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: Whitley Surprise Minor, 5-6.



Reverse Bob / Primrose Lead End Order.

The pivot bell (3rds place bell) makes fishtails in 5-6 either side of a simple plain lead at the half lead.


Ringing Whitley 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 Northumberland Surprise Minor. Some hints and tips for developing the skill are given in the techniques section.

Positional Awareness

Place Notation Elements

Whitley only contains elements 34X36, 12, 14, 36, 16, all of which will already have been rung.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

The double place bell sequence are as Reverse Bob and Primrose.

Awareness of other bells

Whitley Surprise is very fluid by nature, ring plenty of Ipswich to understand how it fits together under the treble. Focusing on the flying bells is a good way to start building an awareness of the work of the other bells.

Coursing Order in Whitley Surprise Minor

Whitley preserves the natural coursing order at the lead end which is valuable to the conductor for checking the bells working correctly at the calls.

The pivot bell (3rds Place Bell) leads, the coursing pair cross in 2-3 and the parted pair cross in 4-5 Both the coursing pair and the parted pair work in reverse coursing order:
The 3 plain leads are 2-3-5 rather than 5-3-2, and treble dodges up with the second bell of the coursing pair, and down with the first bell of the coursing pair.


There is no substitute for just ringing a lot.

Maybe 1,000 courses is just the start.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs For the bells affected by the calls Whitley feels a bit like Kent Treble Bob in that the 4ths places links together two pairs of places.

Singles. Singles!: you don't need this website to tell you what to do at singles in Whitley S Minor.


Touches of Whitley Surprise Minor

Use touches of Primrose S..

has over a hundred touches for Whitley Surprise Minor, but the vast majority are for spliced.