[r-t] Proposed definition of a peal

Martin Cansdale mjclists at gmail.com
Thu Aug 7 13:17:12 UTC 2008

2008/8/7 Matthew Frye <matthew__100 at hotmail.com>:
> We've been over this ground several times before, have a look back towards the very start of this discussion for all the arguments for/against the need for people to have their peals recognised analysed or whatever by the CC/ringing world/other ringers.
> To your second point, the moment you start introducing words like "real" and especially "worthwhile" then you are applying your own personal views on what those things mean, and that always results in disagreements which have very little possibility of being resolved as people have different views to eachother. If people want to ring something that's not worthwhile by my standards, then i won't ring, but i wouldn't want to stop them doing it, or getting some kind of recognition for doing it. The reason we still need decisions is to provide a framework to describe things within and also to ensure some degree of consistency and keep the essence of what a peal is and what you need to do to perform one (ie ring a bell in the right place 5000+ times)

I am aware that the topic of recognition has already been covered. In
fact, I think I've mentioned it.

MBD certainly suggested that the purpose of the decisions should be to
describe, not proscribe. My point is this:

You can have a set of rules that are merely to enable methods (and any
other form of ringing) to be categorised and uniquely described. That
sounds fantastic, useful and workable. Then there's recognition. If
we're not concerned about that, why are people debating whether a
mixed stage composition is true? You don't need to work that out to be
able to name and catalogue Stedman Triples and Bob Minor. Like it or
not, there is some sort of value judgement. You say a peal is ringing
a bell in the right place 5000+ times. You are making a value
judgement about ringing of 5000+ 'changes' compared to ringing of 4999
'changes'. You say a bell. You are making a value judgement about
bells compared to anklung, or half bricks, or anything else. Is this
fundamentally that far away from saying that each bell must sound once
in each row, or that you can only move one place at a time?

On the subject of personal views - people's views on what is a bell,
and on whether ringing 5000 to 5039 triples is OK are as likely to
differ as views on whether 8 cover bells are allowed. Justify the line
you're drawing in the sand, by all means, but it is still there. Look
at the last bit of your message - "to ensure some degree of
consistency and keep the essence of what a peal is and what you need
to do to perform one (ie ring a bell in the right place 5000+ times)"
- is that what the essence of a peal is? The peal is an achievement
thought up by people, not some pure mathematical concept with a
formally derived mathematical definition. You say that's what a peal
is, I say that it's true and each bell rings in the same place once.
Someone else might say it's as many changes as fill up three hours.
Personal views, however liberal you're being.

Personally, I have no problem with some things being recognised as
peals, and some not. The proviso there is that the decisions on which
peals to recognise must properly reflect the views of the ringing
community that is, in theory at least, providing the recognition. If
you don't care about recognition, don't worry about it. If you do,
then do something that is recognised. If you don't think things are
recognised properly, then change the way they're recognised, but don't
pretend you're doing away with recognition and value judgements.


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