[Bell Historians] Dove inexactitudes

Mike Chester mike at m...
Wed Oct 2 10:21:37 BST 2002

I think that, as we are all "Bell Historians" we need to be careful 
to keep a clear perspective with regard to why Dove is bought and not 
put our own interests too highly.

I suspect that the VAST majority are bought for one or more of these 

1 To log where the purchaser has rung
2 To be used as a guide to where bells are in order to organise an 
outing, (hence the OS Refs are a very welcome addition to the latest 
edition and the counties section should remain)
3 Allied to this, to ensure that the rings of bells that are chosen 
for an outing are likely to correspond to what is needed given the 
experience of the ringers that are to come on that outing, i.e. 
approximate bell weights as suggested by the tenor. (I know that 
there are towers that have a proportionately heavy tenor but not a 
significant number). 

If there are to be a number of inexperienced ringers, (and to be 
frank the odd specific experienced one!)on an outing I was asked to 
organise I would avoid heavy and very light rings. These ringers are 
on the outing to enjoy themselves, experiencing ringing in new places 
and not be scared of carrying out the ringing they are asked to do. 
This does not mean that they should not be challenged, but we need to 
remember that it is the local ringers that have to pick up the mess 
caused by poor ringing, whether it is comments about the striking 
from locals or broken stays, etc.

What Dove is generally NOT bought for is to have every single tower's 
tenor exact to the nearest gram. It is a relatively small number of 
ringers that wish this information. To most 7 1/2cwt is as accurate 
as they need and conjecturing a weight of, say, 7-1-16 without clear 
supporting evidence is meaningless to them.

What Dove has to do is to sell enough copies to more than cover the 
production, storage and distribution costs that are involved, (I 
belive that this point has been passed for the latest edition), and 
possibly to produce income that can be used for "up-front" costs for 
the following edition. Therefore it has to appeal to ringers and if 
they are saying, "We don't like this" or "We want this included" 
their comments must be very seriously considered. If, as I have also 
noticed, no-one I have met likes the way that rings of 12 +6b/#treble 
are described then personal thought have to be put aside and they 
should be put into a form that they do like, aka the previous way.


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