Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Treble B. Minor

  Treble Bob Minor - Wooler Surprise

Wooler Surprise Minor

About Wooler Surprise Minor

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

Wooler 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


Wooler is the 6ths place lead end variant of Sandiacre S.. It has Bourne S. below the treble.

Method Structure.

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


Wooler Surprise Minor change rows with grids

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

With 5ths place bell as pivot and a 6ths place lead end, the first lead end row is 164523, as in College Bob (6ths place St. Clement's). The calling sequence from the tenor is then: In, 4ths, Home, Out, Wrong.

The multiple dodges in 1-2 coupled wth the crankshaft in 3-4 give a degree of stability to the method. Wooler is probably the best entry point into the group.


Learning Wooler Surprise Minor.

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

The Structure

Wooler Surprise Minor is characterised by the spiky Carlisle type work above the treble, and the stable work of Bourne below the treble.

The Rules

Wooler Surprise Minor - the rules
Ring 6ths place Carlisle over Bourne.

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

Wooler Surprise Minor, 1-2

Wooler Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: Wooler Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Wooler Surprise Minor, 3-4

Wooler Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: Wooler Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Wooler Surprise Minor, 5-6

Wooler Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: Wooler Surprise Minor, 5-6.



College Bob / Norfolk S Lead End Order.

The pivot bell (5ths place bell) makes point 6ths before heading down to 3-4 and the crankshaft which has 3rds at the half lead.


Ringing Wooler 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, 34, 16, all of which will already have been rung.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

The double place bell sequence are as College Bob and Norfolk.

Both the long dodging and the crankshaft can be used as staging posts (handrails).

Awareness of other bells

Wooler Surprise is quite static by nature with no movement between 2nds and 3rds place only as the treble also passes through those places.

Structured counting:
Each of the 5 dodges in 1-2 can be associated with one of the 5 places made by the pivot bell between dodges with treble in 3-4..

Coursing Order in Wooler Surprise Minor

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

Natural coursing order is well presented below the treble.

  • 2nds place bell is joined by 4ths place bell, and stay together through the lead.
  • 2nds and 4ths place beels are then the coursing pair at the half lead, with pivot bell in 3rds, and the parted pair crossing over in 4-5.
  • Like Norwich, the bells making 3rds and 4ths for the 5-6 section are a coursing pair, but in Wooler the 4ths places are made by the pivot bell.


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 Wooler 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 Wooler S Minor.


Touches of Wooler Surprise Minor

Use touches of Norfolk S..

has over eighty touches for Wooler Surprise Minor, all but one being for spliced are for spliced.