[r-t] Anything Goes vs Peals Mean Something

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Sat Aug 9 11:14:53 UTC 2008

Peter King writes,

> Why? This is an exception which we only make for triples. At no other
> stafe is the current usage of the word "peal" synonymous with an extent.

That's not at all true is it: for any peal on seven bells or fewer, extents
must be rung. The definitions of truth we have been talking about recently
all pivot around extents, especially on lower numbers.

For most of the history of changeringing (two or three hundred years I'd
guess), peal was synonymous with extent. So a 120 of Doubles was a peal, as
was a 720 of Minor. And most of the development of changeringing has been
about trying to ring extents. It's because the extent of Triples is long but
just about achievable that the concept of the modern peal length came in to

No-one is saying that peals on Major or above must be extents. The modern
definition is good. However, 5000 changes is a completely arbitrary number,
adopted simply because of our standard base 10 numbering scheme. What's
wrong with 4999, why would you reject a peal of that length? But 5040 is
different - it means something regardless of base, it is intrinsincally
linked to the art and science of changeringing, it is the factorial.

I don't really understand why you people want to simplify this. 5000 changes
for everything - well it's neat and logical, but neat and logical in a
desperately sterile and thoughtless fashion. 5040 changes or more for
Triples and below, 5000 changes or more for Major and above. The difference
marks the point where extents stop becoming significant, both historically
and practically.

I see this demarcation as a thing of beauty. Does no-one else?


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