Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers


  Yorkshire Surprise Major

Yorkshire Surprise Major


Yorkshire is a justly popular right place Surprise Major method. Notionally it quite similar to Cambridge Surprise, in that Yorkshire Surprise Major can be described as Cambridge Surprise Major above the treble and Cambridge Surprise Minor below the treble, with 2nds place bell and its reflection, 5ths place bell, together with the treble itself forming a sort of "thick treble". Thus the structure is more complex than that of Cambridge Surprise Major.

The great advantage of Yorkshire Surprise is that it better preserves the natural coursing order below the treble. This feature makes Yorkshire significantly popular with both conductors and less experienced ringers.

Place Notation:
-38-14-58-16-12-38-14-78, 12, Bob 14, Single 1234

Yorkshire Surprise Major numbers and grid

Diagram: 205.01.00 Yorkshire Surprise Major, Plain Lead, change-rows and grid.

The above grid has been drawn to emphasise the positioning of the yorkshire places and the related "hunting cages". A comparison with the grid for Cambridge Surprise Minor will quickly reveal the similarities.

Site Sections:

Double Lines

Double Blue Lines

Yorkshire Surprise Major Double line for 1-2

Diagram: 205.01.01 Yorkshire Surprise Major, Double line for 1-2.

Yorkshire Surprise Major Double line for 3-4

Diagram: 205.01.02 Yorkshire Surprise Major, Double line for 3-4.

Yorkshire Surprise Major Double line for 5-6

Diagram: 205.01.03 Yorkshire Surprise Major, Double line for 5-6.

Yorkshire Surprise Major Double line for 7-8

Diagram: 205.01.04 Yorkshire Surprise Major, Double line for 7-8.

Double blue lines for each pair may be downloaded, viz:


Section by Section

The approach to Surprise Major on handbells, by Bill Jackson, and published in the Ringing World in 2007, suggests that the method can be learned by splitting the method grid down into the individual sections together with the following cross section.

Bill's article then goes on to suggest techniques for progressively assimilating the detail of the method until the ringer is sufficiently familiar to make it worthwhile meeting with others for a practice session. The sections of Yorkshire Surprise Major are illustrated as follows:

Yorkshire Surprise Major section 1
Yorkshire Surprise Major section 2
Yorkshire Surprise Major section 3
Yorkshire Surprise Major section 4
Yorkshire Surprise Major section 5
Yorkshire Surprise Major section 6
Yorkshire Surprise Major section 7
Yorkshire Surprise Major section 8

Diagrams: 205.01.05 to 205.01.12 Yorkshire Surprise Major, Sections 1 through 8.