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

andrew sibson a.sibbo at talk21.com
Fri Apr 29 12:09:14 UTC 2005

> 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,

That's pretty much accurate. Richard produced it as an
academic exercise to prove that a 7-part of 23-spliced
was achievable, told Norman that it was, but never
showed anyone the composition until 1992. He claims
not to be particularly proud of it saying that
Norman's is far neater and contains better methods. He
does himself an injustice I feel. I believe that
Norman actually had to create one or two methods to
get them to fit. Richard's composition is all the more
remarkable that it entirely comprised methods that had
already been rung. 
I first heard about this composition in 1991 shortly
after I moved to Burnley - at the time Richard didn't
know where it was. Without a certain amount of
badgering from myself and George Campling that might
well have remained the case. Some months later he
produced it at Heptonstall practice night, having
located it in an old Nelson Grammar School exercise
book - one method written out change by change on each
page, though apparently only 22 of them. One method
had it's figures crossed out and no name beside it
(Richard still doesn't know why). If memory serves me
right, this method was Painswick, which when computer
checked using microsiril actually proved to work.
Even after it was found, and some of us had seen it,
Richard still wasn't that keen on having it rung.
George eventually persuaded him it was a good idea and
the only peal to date of this composition was rung at
Accrington on 6/4/92.


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