Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Treble B. Minor

  Treble Bob Minor - Chester Surprise

Chester Surprise Minor

About Chester Surprise Minor

Chester is simply Carlisle S. over Beverley S.

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


In Chester Surprise, the fluid, tricksy natue of Carlisle S. above the treble is complemented by the more static but equally tricksy nature of Beverley S. below the treble.

Method Structure.

Place Notation:
34X36.14X12X36.14X34.56, 12, Bob 14, Single 1234.


Chester Surprise Minor change rows with grids

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

Chester has two asymmetric sections.


Learning Munden Surprise Minor.

Learn both Beverley S. and Carlisle S. to Performance Level. Then combine the two methods.

The Structure

The Rules

Chester Surprise Minor - the rules
Ring Carlisle over Beverley.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

Chester Surprise Minor, 1-2

Chester Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: Chester Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Chester Surprise Minor, 3-4

Chester Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: Chester Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Chester Surprise Minor, 5-6

Chester Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: Chester Surprise Minor, 5-6.



Plain Bob / Carlisle S Lead End Order.

The pivot bell (6ths place bell) makes 5ths under the treble at the half lead.


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

Positional Awareness

Place Notation Elements

Chester contains elements 34X36, 14X34, as well as 12, 14, 36, 56, all of which will already have been rung.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

The double place bell sequence are as Plain Bob / Carlisle Surprise, but the value of this is obscured by the backward hunting across the Lead End.

The long backwork between the dodges in 3-4 with the treble are as near to a staging post (handrail) as anything in this method.

Awareness of other bells

The asymmetric nature of the 5-6 section makes Chester into a "high concentration" method.

Coursing Order in Chester Surprise Minor

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

With simlarity to Cambridge, at the half lead in Chester the pivot bell makes 5ths under the treble, the parted pair dodge together in 1-2 whilst the coursing pair make places in 3-4.

The 3 consecutive place bells 4ths, 2nds, 5ths can be used for checking the coursing order viz:

4ths Place Bell

  • NB. The pivot bell is 6ths Place Bell (after-bell for 4)
  • 4ths Place Bell: Kent Places down and pass Treble 3-2, then turn the course bell (2nds).
  • Lead full for the 3-4 section and after 2nds place bell makes point lead, 4 leads back and hand and then dodges up, (wrong: under at hand) with the parted bell (5ths Place Bell).
  • Passes the next bell (3rds Place Bell) in the coursing order before 3rds, dodge 3-4 up with Treble, 4ths
  • Pass the after bell, and double-dodge (wrong: under at hand) with after bell (6ths, last pivot bell)

6ths Place Bell

  • NB. The pivot bell is 6ths Place Bell.
  • Finish off dodging with after bell, lie and then allow next bell (3rds Place Bell) to ring fishtails at the back
  • Lie, dodge with Treble, Pivot in 5ths, Dodge 5-6 up with treble, lie
  • 2nds Place Bell rings fishtails with pivot bell
  • Lie back and hand and double-dodge 5-6 down (wrong: under at backstroke) with forebell to become 5ths place bell

5ths Place Bell

  • Finish working with forebell (which is now the pivot bell) by making point 6ths (end of dodges)
  • Hunt down (passing afterbell) to 4ths, dodge 3-4 down with treble, 3rds
  • Pass the 3rds place bell and then double dodge (worng, under at back) in 1-2 with 4ths place bell
  • Lead wrong and point 2nds over the afterbell (3rds Place Bell)
  • Lead full for the 3-4 section
  • Pass Treble 2-3 and make places to become 3rds place 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 Chester 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 Chester S Minor.


Touches of Chester Surprise Minor

Use touches of Carlisle S.

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