[r-t] decisions

Robin Woolley robin at robinw.org.uk
Sun Jun 18 13:29:28 UTC 2006

In one sense, PJE is quite correct about the inelegance of certain 
decisions. In particular, I think decision (D)B looks like a piece of chewed 
string, BUT this is entirely due to three interrelated things.

Chiefly amongst these is the desire by a very small number of ringers for 
recognition by the Exercise at large for their iconoclastic performances. 
This number is probably not more than two dozen, given that many more will 
'go along for the ride'.

This has recently been shown in two ways. So, secondly, the desire to ring 
uncovered odd-bell peals and covered even bell peals. This has been allowed 
since c1985. There are very few bands whoeven now deliberately set out to 
ring a peal under these conditions, except at Basingstoke. One uncovered 
peal sticks out in my mind - being in Boston (Mass.). No one would refuse to 
accept this performance where meeting one-short in the USA is not like 
meeting one-short in England, for obvious reasons. The Peals Analysis 
committee, in their wisdom, chose to stop recording such 
'non-compliant-compliant' peals after the Liverpool meeting due to so few 
occurring. (2 in 2000 - covered Minimus & covered Minor!).

The third aspect is variable cover. Once again, these are no longer recorded 
separately because this type of ringing is now obsolescent. There was one 
case in 2005 - variable cover caters & royal. It must be remembered that 
this development was sold to the Council as being the greatest thing since 
sliced bread.

A misconception has built up over the years that the Council tells people 
what they can or cannot ring. It is only about recognition. A worthwhile 
development will, in the course of time, become at least usual if not the 
norm, but the variable cover is never rung (1st approx.). As for uncovered 
triples, etc, how many bands prefer to have a cover rung badly (on practice 
night) to no cover at all?

PJE refers us to Tintinalogia on the web. I seem to recall from reading the 
History of Change Ringing that many ideas, variable cover, jump changes, 
have been tried and discarded 300 years ago. I can't put my finger on the 
quotes, but no doubt someone can.

To sum up, the Council has been forced into 'Recognising', whatever that may 
mean, what an extreme (in terms of numbers) minority think is a good idea at 
the time. A better approach would be to base decisions on what is still 
being frequently rung after, say, ten years. There is a precedent for this. 
The 'front-foot' no-ball rule was an experiment for about 11 years until it 
was made permament in 1980.

Best wishes

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