[r-t] Reply to pabs - in no particular order.

Robin Woolley robin at robinw.org.uk
Wed Feb 9 14:57:50 UTC 2005

If the quoted points are the only ones pabs wishes to take issue with, then
it can only mean he must, at least, not disagree with me on the others.

Pabs says: "The example of Cromer Alliance was carefully chosen. Plain Bob
is not only plain hunting above the treble"

Firstly, yet another quote from 1953 - "The Committee is aware that the
insistence on correct lead-head sequence may cause apparent anomolies
(sic!). On the other hand, there is evidence that the waiving of these
requirements will cause further anomolies( sic!)." Remove the words applying
to lead-head sequence and the sentiments can apply here. One can always
select, carefully or serendipitously, a 'difficult' example.

In this case, I happen to think the Buxton extension is a good example. What
is Plain Bob other than plain hunting 'up' with a dodge at the treble full
lead (as it used to be called)? The Buxton extension proffered introduces
triple dodging round the lead end in 5-6 and 7-8. (Five-pull dodging, etc.,
in successive extensions -  more like Oxford 'up'.) How would pabs perform a
classical extension of Perivale Alliance? (By hand, of course)

The problem here is due to the 'AB' construction above, a construction not
used 'classically'.

pabs does seem to be going down the line of aesthetics being more important.
Well, one persons 'good' qualities are another person's bad qualities. What
is a 'good' characteristic to preserve in one method might be a drawback in

Consider the extension of Radley Minor above the treble. Radley is x456x6x
above. In the sixties, it, and several of its companions, was rung to
extensions as x458x8x8x. This was allowed at the time, but the current rules
insist that the extensions are either x678x678x8x or x458x678x8x above.
Which does the Exercise prefer? The MC obviously believe that a penultimate
place above the treble is a 'desirable' quality which should be preserved.

Why is this? It is all about symmetry, as I have said before. The MC believe
that above and below the treble should be treated equally - but we've heard
this before somewhere else. Again - does the Exercise at large believe that
given 2nds place below is worth preserving then penultimate places above are
worth preserving?

The original 1953 decisions were highly asymmetric. Perhaps this more
accurately reflects the true nature of ringing than total symmetry.

Thanks to Richard Smith's work, we can investigate some indefinite
extensions. One such for Cambridge Minor is 2DE/5FG
giving  -3-4-2-3-4-5-4-5-4-5 which is nominally an extension at every other
stage. Royal gives a three lead course but 14 works. If one's idea of a
characteristic of Cambridge is Cambridge places in 3-4, then this extension
is fine - because that's all it has. If it's as many such places as
possible, then it's not fine  - but it is acceptable because it's
indefinite. The point here is that indefinite extension does not necessarily
give a desirable extension. (The method obtained has treble bob hunting up
to 4ths place and down to 5ths place.)

This 'characteristic' chasing game can be played ad infinitum.

Do the asethetics modify the formulae, or the formulae modify the

Penultimately, another quote from the MC: "The amendments mostly increase
the range of possible extensions". This does not mean that there is a
corresponding in the number of extensions which can be actually rung.

Finally, I won't bother looking for pabs in any of the 'leading' lists.

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