[r-t] Grandsire singles and the Decisions redux

Graham John graham at changeringing.co.uk
Mon Jul 21 19:21:34 UTC 2008

Don wrote:

> I presume it was changed at some point after when Mark posted the
> Norwich Axioms, possibly with Grandsire singles as its motivation.

You are correct. The decisions were changed in 2004, and the Methods
Committee sought views on their proposed changes prior to the CC
meeting that year, and they were also discussed on ringing-chat. 

I responded to the committee with some concerns I had regarding the
changes, and it is probably worth repeating them here, together with
the responses I received from Tony Smith at the time.

1. Long Calls

GJ: This definition now permits a very long call, perhaps changing the 
place notation for a whole lead. In effect it could be used to define 
some of the linking techniques in current use. One could call a change 
of method to one having the right lead length, then call bob, and ring 
any place notation the composer wished for the whole lead, only to 
change into another method at the end of the lead. The effect would be 
that the method called would not have been rung at all.
Is this the intention?

TS: The change in (Decision (E) A.2) from "between two consecutive rows"
to "between two or more consecutive rows" is intended to reflect the
fact that calls can affect more than one change, for example, a
Grandsire single affects two consecutive changes, a Scientific Triples
bob affects three consecutive changes, and Doubles calls often affect
five consecutive changes. Now you could say that these are sequences of
different types of calls made in consecutive changes but we hope that
the proposed changed wording is less confusing. It actually makes no
difference at all to what calls are permitted since you could ring your
long calls now as a sequence of consecutive calls.

2. Bobs and Singles

GJ: The definition of bob and single has been removed. This may solve the 
problem of how to define them in the context of long calls, but in my 
view definitions are useful to provide a common understanding of 
terms. Why not keep the definition for bob and single, and if another term
is required for a more obscure type of call then why not invent a new 

TS: The descriptions of bob and single are not part of the definition of
a call and are misleading since they can be taken to imply that bob/single
are the only permitted calls. Moreover we doubt that it is possible to come
up with definitions which cover all uses of the terms in practice, for
example, a Plain Bob Doubles standard single is formed by moving a place
(just like a standard bob but moving the 5ths instead of the 2nds). The
most one could say is something like "Calls may be called "bob" or "single"
or other terms as agreed by the band" which does not seem very useful.

3. Standard Calls

GJ: The definition of variations introduces the term standard calls, but 
there is no definition of what a standard call is.

TS: The concept of a standard call for plain Doubles methods was introduced
in 1968 at Worcester when Doubles variations were first formally recognised.
They were defined by adoption of a report from the Methods Committee in 1977
at Derby for methods with palindromic methods with 4 or 3 lead plain courses
as being calls which only affect the places at the lead end. They were
published in "Plain Doubles Methods and Variations", 1980, which also
specified the standard calls for the twin-hunt methods, Grandsire, Antelope
Place, Newark Place and Wollaton Place. These are the only standard calls
which are defined and if we could have found a succinct definition of
standard calls we would have included it in this Decision. Alternatively we
could have referred to the 1980 collection by name but did not consider that
this would be satisfactory. We settled on the wording "Where standard calls
are defined ..." as an improvement on the existing wording which implied
all plain Doubles methods have standard calls.

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