[r-t] Covering bells as degenerate hunt bells

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Mon Aug 4 01:39:30 UTC 2008

On Sun, Aug 3, 2008 at 4:46 PM, Philip Earis <pje24 at cantab.net> wrote:
> It boils down to a claissification problem.  Your method (a) is plain bob
> major. I'd list (b) and (b*) (which are the same method) in the major lists
> as "Plain Bob Triples". So the absolutely formal name I suppose would could
> be "Plain Bob Triples Major", but it would still universally be known even
> under the current name.

Let me make sure I understand you correctly.

As a convenience, let's let "name" mean some appropriate combination
of name, class, littleness, and/or differentialness as necessary and

Today we make have a mapping that takes a pair {name, stage} to a clump
of place notation.

I believe what you are proposing is that we extend this to a mapping
that takes a triple {name, (virtual) stage, physical number of bells
actually being rung} to a clump of place notation.

While I have some further issues with that, it's not a priori daft.

However, I don't think it actually works in all cases.

Imagine my hypothetical band now rings three further peals, all on ten

a) One is of what we currently call Plain Bob Major, rung with two
   covers, the 9 and the tenor.

b) The second is also of what we currently call Plain Bob Major, but
   rung with one covering bell, the tenor, and one continuously
   leading bell, the treble.

c) The third is also of what we currnetly call Plain Bob Major, but
   rung with two continuously leading bells, the treble and the 2.

The ten bell place notations that your formalism proposes for the
three peals is different in each case, so, in your formalism, we've
clearly rung three different methods. One of them is presumably Plain
Bob Major Royal {Plain Bob, Major, 10}. Assuming that's (a), what is
(b)? And what's (c)?

Yes, this is slightly contrived, but it's not entirely imaginary.
While the Council currently prohibits peals with more than one
covering bell, multiple covers are frequently rung to quarters, and I
therefore have no doubt that if the Council allowed them, there would
be at least the occasional peal so rung, too. That covers (pun
intended) peal (a).

There has been at least one peal rung, chucked out by the Council, of
course, that included a continuously leading bell and a cover. That
covers peal (b).

So it's not entirely out of the question that such a situation might
occur in practice. And this is not superstar stuff. On the contrary,
this is the kind of thing far more likely to be rung by a struggling
peal band than by a St James' Guild one. Seems like the sort of
ordinary ringers we should be making an extra effort to support,
though perhaps I feel that way since that includes the bands I tend to
ring with.

I'd hate to throw out the currently overly prescriptive Decisions only
to adopt an new taxonomy that refuses to describe things people might
choose to ring if they were allowed to do so.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"Everywhere's been where it is ever since it was first put
there. It's called geography."   -- Terry Pratchett, _Wyrd Sisters_

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