Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Treble B. Minor

  Treble Bob Minor - Westminster Surprise

Westminster Surprise Minor

About Westminster Surprise Minor

Westminster is one of the 10 regular right-place Surprise minor methods; it has Norwich above the treble and a 2nds place lead end. The method is static with alternating places and dodging in 1-2 and long dodging across the lead end.

Surprise Minor methods are worth ringing in their own right, and as with all method learning the techniques relevant to Hull Surprise Minor should be used with a view to their application to the more complex Major methods. The most important related skill is to follow the course of the treble and hence to associate the method structure with the work of the treble. Further details of this are noted below

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Page Index

Westminster Surprise Minor is a static method known for the long series of places and dodges in 1-2, and lasting the whole lead.

Method Structure.

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


Westminster Surprise Minor change rows with grid

Diagram: 6t.s.02.00 Westminster Surprise Minor, plain lead, change-rows and grid.


Learning Westminster Surprise Minor.

The Rules

Westminster Surprise Minor - the rules
Ring 2nds place Norwich above the treble.
When treble dodges in 3-4 or 5-6, 2nds place is made (X12X), when treble hunts or lies behind, 3rds place is made and the pair in 1-2 dodge.

The Structure

Familiarity with the grid is very valuable owing to the separation between the pair in 1-2 versus the other 4 bells. Use of the grid is helped enormously by an ability to see the position of treble.

Counting the 1-2s on the front.

Counting the leads and dodges in 1-2 is possible, but fragile. A significantly more reliable technique is to maintain an awareness of the position of the treble, and work on the front accordingly.

Counting the dodges in 5-6.

Ringers of Norwich will recognise that the 7-pull dodge in 5-6 needs to be thought of as:

  • 3 dodges for the method
  • 1 dodge for the lead-end, to become 5ths & 6ths place bells
  • 3 more dodges for the method

Further assistance in knowing when to stop dodging is given by the treble; the handstroke of the last 5-6 down strikes over the treble, then that bell (6ths place bell), hunts down, passing the treble in 5-4.

Use of the grid is helped enormously by an ability to see the position of treble.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

The Double Blue Lines give a useful overview of the method, adding context which is helpful for overcoming trips.

For each pair, the double place bell sequence should be learned. For each pair, the double place bell sequence is identical with Plain Bob.

Westminster Surprise Minor, 1-2

Westminster Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: 6t.s.02.01 Westminster Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Westminster Surprise Minor, 3-4

Westminster Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: 6t.s.02.02 Westminster Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Westminster Surprise Minor, 5-6

Westminster Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: 6t.s.02.03 Westminster Surprise Minor, 5-6.

Place Notation


The Blue Line features worth noting are:
The coursing pair (5-6) does work together in 1-2 and does the dodging together in 5-6.

Place Notation and Grid

The choice here is personal preference. The authorís preference is the visual nature of the grid, but after a lot of practise the numbers and the pictures merge and become interchangeable.


Note the Plain Bob Lead End structure of the sections.

Section by section

Section by Section

The regular and static nature of Westminster Surprise Minor, make this method approachable by rules and watching the treble. Thinking about it in sections and cross sections would be most useful as an exercise towards other methods, but not strictly necessary for Westminster in its own right.


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

Positional Awareness

Location 3rds and 4ths can be tricky in fluid methods, in Westminster, the static nature of the places work in 1-2 is of great assistance.

Place Notation Elements

The method only contains 5 elements (X, 34, 14, 12, 16, 36), all of which will already have been rung.

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

The double place bells sequences are identical with Plain Bob Minor.

6ths place bell is the pivot bell.

The 7 dodges together for 5-6 is a staging post.

Awareness of other bells

The rules basis of ringing the method helps with being aware of the other bells.

Coursing Order in Westminster Surprise Minor

Natural Coursing Order is preserved very well throughout the method.

Coursing pairs are together on the front, together on the back.

The bells ringing dodge 3rds dodge do so in natural coursing order.

Ringing the Method

Just enjoy it, itís easier than expected, especially if you have rung Norwich, but finishing the front work correctly requires concentration.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs replace the 2nds place at the Lead End with 4ths, just like Plain Bob.


Touches of Hull Surprise Minor.

All touches of Bob Minor work for Westminster Surprise giving twice the number of changes