[r-t] Writtle, etc

King, Peter R peter.king at imperial.ac.uk
Sat Apr 15 10:31:17 UTC 2006

Well yes I am a simple chap from Imperial which is why I have some problems with the extension rules (I'm sounding dangerously like PJE here). After all the "rules" are simply conventions and codify what has been done (by and large) in the past. They are not fundamental laws of nature and we could choose to use different extensions and get different results. Take this for example:

>This explains why Plain Bob Minor extended to seven 
>really is Grandsire Triples - most minor methods extended to triples prior 
>to this date had added an extra hunt bell - viz: S. & D. Oxford, Hereward, 
>St. Clement's, S. & D. Court, London & College. It is Plain & Grandsire 
>which are anomalous, not the other way around. 

I'm sorry I do not see the logic at all behind this. What people normally call PB triples seems to be a far more natural extension to PB minor than Grandsire. If you ask anyone how to construct PB you'd get the answer: plain hunt until the treble leads, then make seconds. Everyone above either dodges or has to make a place. This preserves everything in the minor (or indeed minimus). In Grandsire the dodges are in different positions (which means at different strokes - so they feel different for learners), the point of symmetry is different. The calls are entirely different (yes I know that calls are not part of the method - but again that is a convention) which means that the structure of compositions is entirely different, conducting Grandsire is different. I'm sorry it is a different method in all respects other than the fact that in the past it has been decided that this is how you should extend even bell methods to odd bell methods. I might just as well decide to extend Grandsire Triples to Major by adding an extra hunt bell I don't because it's not very interesting. But mathematically there is no reason why not. (Interestingly New Bob Major is New bob Triples with an extra hunt bell). In fact the whole procedure of just adding an extra hunt bell is rather arbitrary, you can't do it for treble dodging methods so plain methods are treated in an exceptional way here.

So I think extensions should maintain the "feel" of the original as much as follow some rigid rules. Returning to Writtle I guess then I could argue that what we called Very Easy is the legitimate extension as the algorithm for ringing it (ie the "feel"0 is to ring kent with 34 places everywhere except for where you dodge with the treble. Alternatively I could use different algorithms. eg Ring Kent until the treble is in in its penultimate position (ie 56) then make kent places (either in 34 or 56 I would consider legitimate, with a tendency towards 34). In other words I pad out minor with an extra section of x12x whent he treble is in 56. Any of these methods of extension strike me as being just as legitimate as those you mention (which are allowed by the rules) and extend indefinitely (another ratehr bizarre opinion).

Now I know that the methods committee has sat and considered these issues in detail and I am sure that the current set of rules does have a great deal of logic behind them so I'm not sure I'd go as far as Philip Earis in wanting to do away with them, but they are still only an arbitrary codification of past practice and somehow they seem to generate more heat than is really worthwhile.

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