A deal on Dove?

Andrew Wilby andrew at w...
Thu Sep 2 10:23:57 BST 2004

Since all the parties seem to be around the table is there an opportunity to
broker a deal here?

Position 1.
RJH<John, who does virtually all of the work (and still works full time for a
living as well!),

**is in no position to check the bona fides of anybody who might send an email
to him and certainly is in no position to check things out with others.**

Hence the decision to be consistent in relying on a single type of source - we
are not 'experts' (whatever that might mean in this context).>
Position 2.
DJB<First they ask for evidence for my suggested changes, so I provide it. Then
they ask me to consult the locals. As I see it, the situation is black and
white. If an exact weight is not known for a tenor, or the exact weight given is
clearly wrong, then the only sensible thing to do is to estimate it based on the
dimensions of the bell, not guess it based on bugger-all.>
Suggested process:
CJP<Where a recorded weight is quoted, it should be the latest weighing.
Ideally, estimated weights should be determined using a consistent formula - and
expressed as approximations (i.e. nearest quarter cwt). There will be occasions
when recorded weights have to revert to estimates (e.g. removal of canons after

Surely this provides a more robust basis for evaluation than any form of
consultation with locals or others? If this way of looking at weights is
accepted at a philosophical level, then Ron Johnson's concern that "all
knowledge is provisional" is of less importance - and it becomes easier for the
compilers to arbitrate, since the determining criterion is evidence" (rather
than "accuracy"). I'm not sure Ron Dove would have put it quite like this, but
I'm pretty sure that this IS how he did it.>
That the compilers will accept the bona fides of information provided by the
Bell Historians e-list subject to the following process being undertaken by
members of the list:
1.That alterations to weights etc are posted on this bell historians list
supported by evidence and are subject to challenge.
2.That "periodically" the list Moderator will collate the information and
publish a summary of proposed amendments on this list for final scrutiny.
3. The proposed amendments shall be published on Change-ringers and ringing-chat
list... and even in the RW as an option.... so that they the widest possible
consultation is achieved before the alterations are passed to the compliers.

The benefits to the compliers of accepting such a process would seem to be:
1. They enlist the knowledge and support of a large expert group in protecting
the validity of published information.
2. That whilst there might be an initial flurry of alteration it is all work
that is to be done at sometime in the future. However through this process the
correspondence involved with each individual alteration is removed thus
dramatically reducing the overall workload?
3. It must be possible for the Bell-historians amendments to be submitted in an
electronic format that could automatically update the data-base thus further
reducing the compilers workload. This approach might lead to further workload
benefits in the future?

The benefits to bell-historians:
1. That Dove would become a more reliable record of information and collective
2. That amendments will be subject to an open scrutiny process which should
reduce the provisionality of the information.
3. That the benefits of co-operation and support easily outweigh the relatively
small amount of effort required to manage this electronic process and may well
lead to uncovering future interesting historical issues.
Next steps?

1. To ask the question of John and Ron, the compilers; are they prepared to
consider the principle of accepting verified information from Bell-historians?
The detail and method can be negotiated if the will is there.

2. Subject to the response from the compilers to consult with DavidB as to how
he or another might make the process work.

Over to the compilers?


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