Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Treble B. Minor

  Treble Bob Minor - Carlisle Surprise

Carlisle Surprise Minor

About Carlisle Surprise Minor

Carlisle above the treble is rung infrequently, as of November 2023 there were only 15 handbells lengths published on Bellboard.

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


Carlisle Surprise Minor incorporates its own group method structure above the treble (34X36.14) with pure Cambridge below the treble. It also has 5ths place at the half lead and 2nds at the lead end.

Method Structure.

Place Notation:
34X36.14 X 12 X 36 X 14 X 56, 12, Bob 14, Single 1234.


Carlisle Surprise Minor change rows with grids

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

Plain Course structure
Carlisle Surprise Minor completely characterised by the 1-2 section work with the transition from standard X12X into and out of the interesting 36x34.12.34x36 containing the Lead End.


Learning Carlisle Surprise Minor.

First, learn Cambridge, to Performance Level. Then build on the challenging "Carlisle above" work.

The Structure

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.

Experience of ringing London would be of benefit in abosrbing the change in direction at the 2-3 cross sections.

The Rules

Carlisle Surprise Minor - the rules
This is not a method that can be encapsulated in a simple, easily memorised, language statement.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

Carlisle Surprise Minor, 1-2

Carlisle Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: Carlisle Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Carlisle Surprise Minor, 3-4

Carlisle Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: Carlisle Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Carlisle Surprise Minor, 5-6

Carlisle Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: Carlisle Surprise Minor, 5-6.



Plain Bob Lead End Order.

The bell that dodges 3-4 up with the treble, makes 4ths hand and back, and then hunts up. That bell then stays in 5ths and 6ths place as called for by the method, and is the pivot bell making 5ths at half lead. The reflection (pivot) point forces the bell to stay in 5ths and 6ths until after the following lead end.


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

Before ringing Carlisle Surprise Minor, it is worth while becoming proficient at both Cambridge S. and London S.. Such expertise will make ringing Carlisle Surprise Minor all that much easier and enjoyable. And the practice will have given some skill at being aware of the work of the treble.

Positional Awareness

Place Notation Elements

The method only contains elements 34X36, which is new, and X, 12, 14, 36, 56, all of which will already have been rung.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

The bell that dodges 3-4 up with Treble, goes up to 5-6 and stays there for 32 blows until it comes back down to meet the treble again. Thorough learning enables this to be used as a staging post (handrail).

Awareness of other bells

Because Cambridge Surprise is fairly fluid in nature, developing an awareness of othe bells is quite tricky. Focusing on the flying bells is a good way to start building an awareness of the work of the other bells.

Coursing Order in Carlisle Surprise Minor

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

Below the treble Carlisle exhibits (unlike Cambridge) natural coursing order at the half lead. The pivot bell is 6ths place bell, making 5ths at the half lead. The coursing pair dodge together in 1-2 whilst the parted pair dodge together in 3-4.


There is no substitute for thoroughly memorising the new pieces of work, grafting them on to a familiar method, and then putting the time in to practice.

Maybe 1,000 courses is just the start.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs For the bells affected by the calls Carlisle 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 Carlisle S Minor.


Touches of Carlisle Surprise Minor

Use Bobs-only touches of Plain bob.

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