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rationale behind the AJB Twelve

In the RW a few weeks ago, AJ Barnfield suggested 12 methods to replace the "Standard Eight," and some of us discussed it a little bit. On the ringing-chat list, I asked him why he chose the methods in question. This is his reply

Some were retained for historical reasons. I hope that suitable 
can be found in time for these four:

Belfast - Something tricky to aim for. Not too bad above the treble but so
good musically on the front
Cambridge  - Simple structure, extends easily, rubbish below the treble.
London - Worth leaning for the back work, needs something better below the
treble - any suggestions?
Yorkshire - A decent next step after Cambridge and is popular but I am not
so keen on it as I once was.

Quarter peal ringers do not have the luxury of having plenty of slack
courses to turn bells round so methods need to be good in the plain course.
If you have methods that are good in the plain course then you can have 
nice tunes on practice night as well as in quarters.  I have looked for
methods that have groupings and runs of 5678 front and back. This also 
that if you shunt them into other nice combinations on the back (like 2468)
you will get something nice on the front. If you want some compos have a
look on Campanophile/BellBoard for quarters I have rung. If I have called 
I will have posted the compo; easy methods, trivial compos, nice music.

Bristol - Probably the best method in the universe but needs to be rung 
half-lead calls or spliced with something like Bastow to make the best of
Cooktown Orchid - Meets the general criteria, is group a, for a change, 
good grief, it is not Surprise
Cornwall - Meets the general criteria and does get rung from time to time.
Good in the plain course; six outs will do for a q. Group l, nice to have
another 8ths place method.
Deva - It is possible to get all the 5678s and 8765s front and back in a
quarter with a simple compo. It has the familiarity of Bristol above, with
chopped up Superlative below. Some folk don't like JX but we need a bit of
variety and there is more to life than group b, Cambridge above.
Frodsham - Meets the general criteria, is group h for a bit of variety and
is good across the half-lead.
Lessness - Same lead end order as Rutland, so when defenders of the
indefensible say  that Rutland is useful in spliced, well, there are other 
group methods. Also, there are many Uxbridge above methods that have been
rung, one of them should be in the standard collection.
Superlative - Probably not the greatest of methods but it has a good 
and it will cough up a bit if you try.
Turramurra - Lincolnshire improved. <<

   When it's not being a delight method, Cooktown Orchid is the official 
flower of Queensland, Australia.

Laura Dickerson