[Bell Historians] Dove inexactitudes

Michael Wilby michael_wilby at y...
Tue Oct 1 19:25:17 BST 2002

 --- David Bryant wrote: 
JohnBaldwin wrote:

> 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.

I accept wat you've said up to a point, but to take the case of
semitones, NOBODY I've spoken to thinks the current way of describing
them is logical or useful. How many towers with extra trebles consider
their ring as one of 13? Very few, if any, I suspect. We certainly
don't, and as the extra treble rope falls extremely close to the tenor
box it would be very difficult to ring them as a 13. The same is true at
a number of other towers, and at Mancroft, as already mentioned by Mike
Chester, the extra treble falls between 11 and 12.

What do others think. As John has pointed out, it is my opinion and it
differs with his, but does anyone actually agree with the illogical
method currently used? Nobody I've come across yet, anyway.

Absolutely agree with you David, it is just silly. The assertion about the content being "a great improvement" just doesn't stand up either. How can the content be improved when so much extra - and interesting - information and analysis has been removed, and replaced with nothing but poor presentation? The tone of Mr Baldwin's email seemed to imply that the compilers would listen to the views of others, but where these did not agree with their own, nothing would change; I hope that is not what was meant. 

The real tragedy is that what had grown into a much-loved and respected Guide - its shortcomings well known, but accepted - has been rapidly turned into an inferior product. Dramatic changes in format, presentation and content are unlikely to go down well, unless replaced by something clearly better - most people actually want to know what was wrong with the former.

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