As a challenge, we will try Sgurr a'Chaorachain Surprise Royal. We will also ring Stedman Caters and Cambridge Royal.
Sgurr a'Chaorachain should be within reach for anyone who can ring Bristol Royal. When learning it, please try to take advantage of then structure, as explained in the notes below. If you set out to learn a spiky line without any other information, you are just making life difficult for yourself!
Sgurr a’Chaorachain Surprise Royal
This method has a similar structure to Zanussi Surprise Maximus, which is helpful for learning. It has gained a certain popularity in recent years, and features in several compositions of spliced. These notes include a highlighted grid, but you should also find the line in your favourite reference source.
1. Place bell order
The place bell order is 0 2 9 4 7 6 5 8 3. I find it easiest to think of this as “alternate Little Bob”. Another view is “reverse alternate Cambridge”. For me, the place bell order is always the starting point when learning this style of method.
This is the blue part of the grid. It has the same structure as Zanussi: two big points, then treble bob hunting in the back four places, then two big points. 5th, 7th and 9th place bells are entirely in the backwork. Knowing the place bell order is the key to ringing them, because it tells you where to do the big points towards the end of the lead. The first point is in the dodging position before the place bell that you will hunt into. For example, 7th place bell becomes 6th place bell, so the points towards the end of the lead are in 7th place (because 7-8 is the dodging position before hunting to 6th place bell) and 10th place.
6th, 8th and 10th place bells start with the big points. 8th and 10th place bells then do one dodge from the treble bob hunting, but 6th place bell doesn’t have time.
2nd, 3rd and 4th place bells finish with big points. Again, the place bell order is important for remembering how to do the big points after passing the treble on the way up, in these place bells.
The “double Stedmans” at the beginning of 6th and 9th place bells are pairs of big points, disguised by “folding over” in 6th place or 10th place. Similarly the double Stedmans at the end of 4th and 5th place bells.
The essential idea of the frontwork is points before and after the half lead, in the same position as in Bristol, which is when the treble is in 9th place before or after its 9-10 dodge. There is a dodge at the half lead. This is the same structure as Zanussi. The Bristol part of the frontwork is the green part of the grid.
For each place bell in the frontwork, learn which positions the points around the half lead are in, learn the work from passing the treble on the way down until the first point, and learn the work from the second point until passing the treble on the way up. The place bell order is helpful for working out how to join everything together.
The magenta parts of the grid are the pieces of work that are specific to Sgurr a’Chaorachain. They just have to be learnt.