[r-t] First ever composition of 23-spliced major

James Hustler james.hustler2 at 1stquote.co.uk
Thu Apr 28 14:38:44 UTC 2005

Philip Earis wrote:
> I've recently been given what I think is the very first ever composition
> of 23-spliced atw major (many thanks to Alan Regin). I guess this is
> possibly more historical than theoretical, but I think it's still of
> some interest and I've copied it below.  I don't think it's been
> published before.
> Alan described the interesting history of the composition to me, though
> this was in a pub a couple of weeks ago and I've forgotten lots of the
> details.  I apologise if I get any of this badly wrong. I think Alan
> said that back in the 1960s when Norman Smith was trying to produce a
> composition for 23-spliced atw, he was having quite a few difficulties
> and wasn't sure whether it was possible. Richard Parker investigated the
> problem, and successfully came up with a 23-spliced composition which he
> regarded as a 'proof of concept'.  He didn't show it to Norman, but told
> him that it was achievable, and this spurred Norman on to find a
> composition.  The Parker composition has only in fact been rung once,
> and that was only a few years ago.

That's pretty much what Richard Parker told me on the various trips to 
and from Heptonstall practice back in the early 90's.

Norman and Richard both rang at Burnley in the 60's.
Norman was building up the composition as a series and was unsure of 
whether 23 was possible, so he let RJP in on the idea. Richard being a 
clever chap jumped straight for the 23 to prove the concept and then 
left it all up to Norman - RJP's composition remained hidden.
I think prior to it being rung I was one of the few to have the 
composition thanks to a hooky copy of mSiril.

<slightly off-topic>
There were also other tales of the long length attempts at Accrington 
during the 60's, including the record length of Belfast which beat the 
previous record (only rung a few weeks beforehand) by a course thanks to 
the casual use of a pair of 1458 singles. This was apparantly regarded 
as bad form!

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