No, I don’t mean that loveable, cute, one-eyed bear synonymous with raising millions for childrens’ charities. I mean the Surprise Major version.
For some reason this method of the Surprise Major Standard Eight gets a bad wrap. It’s probably the least popular of the standard eight methods. Possibly because its less musical than most of the others. However, I quite like it. It’s easy enough to learn.
All the places are Yorkshire places. 2nds and 5ths place bells are the same as Cambridge except the double and single/single and double dodges at the back are the other way around. 3rds place bell is similar to Cambridge but starts and ends with a dodge in 3/4 and only has one dodge at the back either side of working with the Treble. All the work at the back otherwise is double and single or single and double with the double always coming nearest the 5/6 places.
I have rung two quarters of Pudsey Surprise Major inside and one of Pudsey Surprise Royal on the Treble, and one peal of Major inside. I’m hoping that come Sunday, it’ll be two peals.
The idea that the Standard Eight gets usurped by the Core Seven leaves Pudsey out in the cold, along with Rutland and Lincolnshire. A bit like Pluto being demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet, not being able to exert its own orbit dominance, Pudsey may become consigned to the list of long forgotten methods that only get rung when someone is collecting the alphabet and wants an easy win.
For me, learning Pudsey was a whole lot easier than learning Superlative, which has survived the move to the Core Seven, and Cornwall and Lessness have found their way in. There are staunch supporters of the Core Seven just as there are stoic evangelists of the Standard Eight. Can’t we combine them into the Terrific Ten?
I guess it depends on where you start from. If you came from the school of learning Kent before Cambridge or Oxford before Norwich, then Cornwall. Unless you were like me and went straight from Plain Bob to Cambridge so didn’t have all those steppingstones along the way.
There doesn’t seem to be a linear learning route once you start into the world of Surprise methods. Cambridge is an obvious starting point as so many other methods seem to use elements of it, but then it seems to be potluck based on your local circumstances. The Ringing World started developing various pathways and introduced the Little Purple Ringing Book that attempts to progress you through ringing simple surprise minor methods. It made me chuckle when I read “First and foremost, don’t try to jump straight from Plain Bob and Grandsire to Cambridge”. That’s exactly what I did.
So, I’d put a plea out for Pudsey. Don’t give it such a hard time just because it’s been relegated to a dwarf method!