Lincolnshire Surprise Major

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Lincolnshire Major is very like Cambridge Major so if you can ring Cambridge reasonably accurately, you should not have too much trouble with Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire is described as being “Cambridge above”, in other words, when you are above the treble, it is exactly the same as Cambridge.  If you know where you pass the treble in Cambridge, you will find that very useful when ringing Lincolnshire.  The lead end order is also the same as Cambridge – 2, 6, 7, 3, 4, 8, 5.  As in Cambridge, when you are above the treble you will pass the bells in the coursing order.

Now let’s look at each lead and look at what happens and what the signposts are.

3rds place bell, because it’s above the treble the whole time (except when making 7ths at the half lead} is exactly the same as 3rds place bell Cambridge.

6ths place bell and 8ths place bell are also easy; they are the same as Cambridge except on the front where the lead-and-dodge (6ths place bell) and dodge-and-lead (8ths place bell) are the other way round, so 6ths place bell does dodge-and-lead and 8ths place bell does lead-and-dodge.

So that’s 3 out of the 7 leads learnt already!

2nds place bell starts by doing a treble bob lead (i.e. dodge, lead, dodge) and then moves up to 3/4 where it does 4ths-dodge-3rds-dodge.  Signpost: the first dodge in the 3/4 work, 3/4 down, is with the same bell that you dodged 1/2 up with on the front.  After this piece of work, Lincolnshire is the same as Cambridge so you hunt through 5/6, do a double dodge, lie and dodge in 7/8 and then dodge 5/6 down to become 6ths place bell.  5ths place bell is the reverse of this; signpost: don’t forget to look for the treble when you are dodging down in 7/8 as you will strike over it at handstroke after the first dodge and that tells you to do another dodge.

7ths place bell is the most different from Cambridge.  It starts the same as Cambridge with lie and dodge at the back and then hunting down to the front, passing the treble in 4/5.  Like Cambridge, there is no dodge in 5/6 or 3/4.  When you get to the front you do a 5 pull dodge and then lead.  After leading you go straight to 3/4 where you meet the treble so you do the second half of Cambridge places; i.e. dodge with the treble, 4ths, 3rds, dodge to become 3rds place bell.  4ths place bell is the reverse of 7ths place bell.

The 5 pull dodge is the trickiest part of this method; you will be surprised how difficult it is to count to 5!  These dodges happen across the half lead so it can be helpful if you can see and/or hear what is happening at the back.  Once the treble has left 7/8 it is time to stop dodging on the front.  With practice you should be able to see this.  The other problem with the 5 pull dodge is striking it accurately.  These successive dodges do need to be rung accurately otherwise the rhythm can be badly affected with knock-on effects to the bells in the higher positions.

One useful tip:  you never dodge in the position next to the 5 pull dodge, i.e. not in 3/4 above the 5 pull and not in 1/2 the other way from the 5 pull.