[r-t] 1-part tenors together atw compositions of 23-splicedmajor

Andrew Johnson andrew_johnson at uk.ibm.com
Fri Dec 4 13:51:21 UTC 2015

> From: Philip Earis <pje24 at cantab.net>
> RAS:
> "Are you puzzled by Messrs Johnson, Saddleton and Wyld have kept 
> their compositions of Stedman secret in 1995 until they were pealed? "
> Yes, absolutely. From Colin Wyld's perspective, keeping his 
> composition unpublished surely led directly to it *not* being used 
> for the first rung peal of Stedman triples. What did he gain by 
> keeping it secret? I'm sure PABS / Andrew Johnson will correct me if
> I'm wrong, but if the Wyld comp had been published and in the public
> domain I'd be a bit surprised if a CUG band would have independently
> searched for (and soon pealed) a conceptually similar but different 
> composition - that would have seemed poor form.
I'm not sure what we would have done. Perhaps I would have started the 
10-part search earlier. There had been an attempt to ring Colin Wyld's 
composition before. Should Colin have published the magic blocks before 
finding out how to link them? Publishing a partial, but not optimal 
solution means possibly losing out on being first to find the best 
solution. If there is a new problem then people will want to have a go at 
solving it, and also see if solutions can be improved. If the improved 
solution is more than a bit better the first solution might never be 

Another story concerns Alan Burbidge's 238 call composition of Stedman 
Triples. Back in 1996/7 Eddie Martin sent a 21-part with bobs and singles 
to the change-ringers list.
I had a look and found some others with fewer calls and sent them to the 

Shortly after I also had a look at 20-parts, found the minimal call 
blocks, and linked them to give 2 10-part blocks with 240 calls. I then 
presumed (and found?) that I could link them with 2 singles to give a 242 
call peal. I then thought 'who would want a peal with the same number of 
calls as a twin-bob composition, but with more singles and odd bobs?' I 
didn't consider the idea that they could be linked by omitting 2 singles 
as I'd been told that 242 was the minimum possible number of calls for 
Stedman Triples. I think I told Philip Saddleton or Iain Anderson, but 
then I left it.

When I read about Alan's peal I immediately knew what it might be. It felt 
rather like having walked around Kimberley, picking up an interesting rock 
which sparkled, examining it for a bit, then putting it down, then reading 
much later about how someone picked up the same rock, gave it a sharp tap 
with a hammer and found a big diamond.

Andrew Johnson

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