[Bell Historians] Dove inexactitudes

JohnBaldwin Dovemaster at c...
Tue Oct 1 17:47:38 BST 2002

David Bryant contributed:

> "Or do people think that whatever they say no notice will be taken of it
> anyway - that has certainly been my experience."

Please be reassured that ANY contribution IS fully considered. But at the
end of the day, any suggestion is just that, and when our judgment differs
from that of the contributor, it does NOT mean that "no notice will be taken
of it anyway".

We see there are two distinct situations when such contributions are made:

1. when "views" are invited (such as when we asked for comments on which
counties to use, or recently about use of a "<" symbol - and thanks to
Dickon for rewakening this latter topic, which seemed to peter out more
quickly than one might have expected);

2. when an "unsolicited" submission is made, usually about a particular

In the former case (solicited views) it is HIGHLY likely that any given
person's view on any one of a whole gamut of issues (from county
designations, to "added information", such as about additional bells
possibly only hung for chiming) will not hold sway, for usually the
situation is not without contention - and we are trying to gain some sense
of the strength, and the technical accuracy, of one particular argument
against another or even against what might be considered a pragmatic
approach. We have worked on the basis that the submitted views have been
freely offered, and that "individual responses" are unnecessary even to
those who offered views which differ from our final decision. That however
does NOT mean that "no notice is taken" - it simply means that, given the
same information, WE have come to a DIFFERENT decision to the submitter. To
go back in these circumstances almost invariably means re-visiting the same
ground, usually with added "heat" and no extra "illumination" on the
essential issue.

In the latter case (unsolicited corrections), I INVARIABLY TRY to return to
EVERY submitter with an indication of our reasoning should we choose either
not to show the information newly provided or to postpone showing it while
further details are sought (and THAT sometimes takes a very long while to
finalise, eg Peterborough where I still await a response from one line of
enquiry). On many occasions I also go back when we DO take a submitted
correction "on board". Should anyone feel that a submission that they have
made which falls into this second "unsolicited" category and yet has been
"taken no notice of", I can only apologise - and, as the description page
clearly suggests, ask that they come back to me with a follow-up (ie,
re-submission or query). I am just as fallible as any other human being in
making mistakes.

When we KNOW that we're being inconsistent (eg, 13 bells in a ring with a
"sharp treble" or "zeroth" and yet also use the description "flat 6th") yet
in our view prefer to use this common parlance, we say so explicitly in the
associated description. We also recognise that there are as many ways of
approaching Dove as there are readers, and that by definition we cannot
please everybody all the time - as we have said before, loudly and clearly.
We also would suggest that the question of content is a great improvement
for, in the past, we never knew what RHD "took on board" or "rejected" until
a subsequent edition was published.

John Baldwin

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