[r-t] Re: Great Barr

Philip Saddleton pabs at cantab.net
Thu Dec 23 19:41:13 UTC 2004

Richard Smith said  on 23/12/2004 09:11:

>Robin Woolley wrote:
>>By the way, in my last, I wasn't asking about 500 becoming 250, I was asking
>>why 250 became 497!
I thought that was what I was answering - in 1984 the Records Committee 
decided it was 250, but in 1985 the Methods Committee said there was no 
technical reason why it should be, and the wishes of the band prevailed. 
A similar situation would seem to apply to the Great Barr peal - we can 
argue that it ought to be Spliced, in fewer methods than claimed, but 
the band have chosen to describe it as they have.

>As I've heard it (and I'm sure PABS will correct me if I'm
>wrong) 250 became 500 (again) until it transpired that the
>composer had managed to omit three of the methods from the
>composition -- hence 497.
The composition had a systematic structure - I've lost my notes, but 
from what I remember each course was given a label consisting of two 
letters and two numbers, e.g. the first course was aa11, the second 
aa12, etc. The pair of letters defined the works in 1-2 & 7-8, while the 
numbers defined those in 3-4 & 5-6 (each course was double, excluding 
calls). The exception was the work of 7-8 when they were together, when 
potential falseness could occur, and the work was more random, though 
chosen to make the composition true (though the rest of the work of 7-8 
was more regular than the other bells). It transpired that this work was 
not chosen carefully enough, and that three methods were repeated - I 
describe this as "miscomposed".

Incidentally, the peal report took up approximately 4.5 columns (in the 
days when the peal pages had five columns), though it included only 67 
of the new PNs (all the methods were rung for the first time) with "To 
be continued"; during the following three weeks a further 199 PNs were 
published in two chunks, taking approximately another page, but the 
remainder never were. Following complaints that we had used up swathes 
of names for methods that were unlikely ever to be rung again, we 
eventually renamed all of the methods using suitably short entries from 
the index of Patrick's Times World Atlas.


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