Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Delight and Surprise Minor Methods

  Treble Bob Minor - Norwich Surprise

Norwich Surprise Minor

About Norwich Surprise Minor

Norwich Surprise Minor is the easiest surprise method to ring on handbells.

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Norwich Surprise Minor is a static method except for half lead and lead end where it resembles Oxford Treble Bob. The method is known for the long series of dodges in 5-6 either side of the lead end.

Method Structure.

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


Norwich Surprise Minor change rows with grid

Diagram: 107.02.00 Norwich Surprise Minor, plain lead, change-rows and grid.

Plain Course structure
Norwich Surprise Minor is fairly static which helps with concentration and striking.


Learning Norwich Surprise Minor.

The Structure

The method leaves bells to perform work in 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6, the only cross-over taking place either as complementary work to the treble, or when the treble is leading or lying behind.

The Rules

Norwich Surprise Minor - the rules
Ring Oxford Treble Bob places (X 34 X) when the treble is in 1-2 or 5-6, otherwise, ring standard surprise (14 X 12 X 36) places and 16 at half lead and lead-end.

Double Blue Lines

Double Blue Lines

Norwich Surprise Minor, 1-2

Norwich Surprise Minor on 1-2

Diagram: 106.02.01 Norwich Surprise Minor, 1-2.


Norwich Surprise Minor, 3-4

Norwich Surprise Minor on 3-4

Diagram: 106.02.02 Norwich Surprise Minor, 3-4.


Norwich Surprise Minor, 5-6

Norwich Surprise Minor on 5-6

Diagram: 106.02.03 Norwich Surprise Minor, 5-6.

Place Notation


The Blue Line features worth noting are:
3-4 never dodge together in the plain course, but when one is ringing 2nds place bell, the other will be at the back, ringing either 5ths place bell or 6ths place bell.
5-6 spend a lot of time dodging together both in 1-2, and in 5-6.
The Norwich places are Cambridge places without the dodge for the lead end, and without the dodge for the half lead.

Place Notation and Grid

There is little to choose, except personal preference, between learning coursing order, or visualising the grid.


This static method does not lend itself to Pictels.


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

Awareness of the position of the treble is a great help to keeping on track with the method. Norwich Surprise Minor is almost a rules related method.

Positional Awareness

This method can be tricky to ring to know when long dodges finish and hunting starts. The half lead is particularly error prone.

Place Notation Elements

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

Place Bells, Pivot Leads, and Staging posts

The place bell order for 3-4 is unhelpful, (3-4, 2-5, 3-6, 4-5, 2-6) where the order for 5-6 is 6-5, 4-6, 2-4, 3-2, 5-3 is much more useful. Most ringers tend to see the long dodging as a staging post.

Awareness of other bells

The manner in which coursing pairs make places together (when treble is dodging in 5-6), and go their separate ways to the other coursing bells is worth some study time.

Coursing Order in Norwich Surprise Minor

Norwich Surprise Minor preserves natural coursing order both in the dodges in 5-6 and in 1-2. The coursing order is a little bit screwed up at the half lead, but the lead end is, of course, fine.

Ringing the Method

Ring Norwich Surprise Minor because it's a surprise method with the added complexity that surprise brings to the ringing.


Bobs and Singles.

Bobs replace the 6ths place at the Lead End with 4ths. This causes the bell that has just made 3rds to make the bob, make thirds once more, and then ring places down. As with Oxford TB., the bob introduces a dodge in 5-6 which connects with the method to create a 7-pull.

Singles Singles are similar to the singles in Oxford Treble Bob Minor, and are rarely used in Norwich Surprise Minor.


Touches of Norwich Surprise Minor.

As with Kent T.B., and Oxford T.B., 2nds place bell is the pivot bell, and hence the first lead end is 142635 giving calling positions from the tenor as:
Home, In, Out, 4ths, Wrong.

See Kent T.B. or Oxford T.B. for touches of Norwich Surprise Minor.