[r-t] Old methods

Andrew Craddock andrew at towerbase.net
Thu Jul 17 10:33:12 UTC 2008

I hope this is not off topic :-)

Referring back to Don's earlier posting:

The variable cover peal of Stedman Cinques rung at St Mary le Bow on 24 May 
1995 is included in the Felstead website and also in PealBase.  I am sure 
it will be included in the personal peal records of the participants.  Can 
anyone tell me if it is included in the ASCY peal records?

My recollection of the CC meeting when this peal was discussed differs 
slightly from Don's.  The motion to include peals of variable cover was 
passed (against the Methods Committee's recommendations). Jane Wilkinson as 
President, was obviously irritated that something so trivial was taking so 
much of Council's time and tried to move things on. The following motion to 
include the 24 May 1995 peal in the analysis was presented to Council in a 
very confusing way and as a result I am sure that many delegates didn't 
vote for what they intended.  I don't think many delegates would have voted 
out of spite (although some may have).

This kind of incident reflects badly on the Council and, I think, 
contributes to the lack of respect many ringers have for the CC.

The root cause for these problems is, I believe, structural.  The CC is 
trying to be two things.  It is trying to be the Central Council of Church 
Bell Ringers and it is trying to be the Central Council of Change Ringers 
at the same time.  There is some overlap but not a lot.

The majority of ringers are not interested in ringing peals (only about 10% 
actually ring peals).  Less than a 1000 ringers rang ten or more peals in 
2007.  Many peals are rung on handbells or secular rings (particularly 
mini-rings) and these have nothing to do with church bells or the problems 
faced by church bell ringers (e.g. relationships with the Church and EH, 
sound control, complaints, redundant churches, recruitment, teaching bell 
handling and so on).

The great majority of ringers, who may be keen tower grabbers, quarter peal 
ringers, Sunday Service ringers and so on couldn't care less about method 
extensions, differentials, peal compositions, what's included in the 
analysis and so on.

The issues faced by church bell ringers are, in general, quite different 
from those faced by peal ringers.  We would be better served by having two 
smaller organisations so that the issues can be discussed properly by the 
appropriate people and not rushed through to accommodate a crowded agenda.

About 15 years ago, when I was setting up my peals database (to provide The 
Ringing World with a leading peal ringers list) Stephen Coaker told me that 
there should only be two rules in deciding whether to accept peals:

1. 5000 or more rows.
2. Begins and ends in rounds.

At the time, I thought it was far too simplistic.  I'm now inclined to 
think it would avoid a lot of arguments and save a lot of time.

Andrew Craddock

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