[r-t] Brian Price

Philip Earis pje24 at cantab.net
Sun Feb 26 13:15:10 UTC 2012

Roger Bailey gives some sad news on the ringing-chat mailing list:

It is my sad duty to report the death of Brian Price earlier this week.

Born in Tenby in 1926, Brian was taught to ring at Ebbw Vale by the late
Bill Thompsett and did much of his early ringing with the Cambridge
University Guild whilst an undergraduate at Emmanuel College in the late
1940's. His subsequent teaching career took him to many parts of the
country, and he finally settled in London where he became a regular ringer
at a number of towers, including Barnes, Bermondsey and Willesden until
becoming disabled by chronic heart disease.

Brian will chiefly be remembered by ringers as a pioneer of
computer-assisted peal composition, beginning in 1953 on the recently
constructed Manchester Mark I machine. He narrowly failed to solve the
problem of composing a bobs-only peal of Stedman Triples, but went to
produce many novel peals in other methods, including the compositions used
in several recent record lengths.

The funeral will take place on Friday 2nd March at 3 p.m. at the West London
Crematorium in Kensal Green Cemetery

Brian was a formidable composer, and a true pioneer both of formalising
how mathematical concepts can apply to change ringing, and of using
computers for ringing applications.

His "The Composition of Peals in Parts"
(http://www.ringing.info/bdp/peals-in-parts/parts-0.html) is a seminal

Furthermore, Brian is probably the ringer most closely associated with
first recognising the potential of palindromic structures. These have huge
use and application across many different areas of ringing, and Brian's
work here has been extremely influential.  His paper "The Structure of
Palindromic Peals"
(http://www.ringing.info/bdp/palindromes/palindrome-0.html) remains a very
fresh read, with ideas and possible applications dripping off every page.

Roger can I'm sure give more justice to Brian's work.  Brian's long length
of 17280 London major was rung recently, and his (unrung) 28512 of Bristol
Major remains, I think, the longest conventional composition in the

Brian was a true giant of the scientific side of composition, and the
world of ringing theory is much poorer for his passing.

More information about the ringing-theory mailing list