[r-t] Lead head codes

tuftyfrog at gmail.com tuftyfrog at gmail.com
Thu Apr 13 12:56:55 UTC 2017

The lead head code for a particular method serves two purposes, in that it specifies the order of the PB lead heads and indicates the place notation at the change from lead end to the lead head. 

Not entirely understanding the complex history that led to us denoting Plain Bob lead heads as we do today, and then not being sure why it is relevant anyway, it occurs to me that the system is poorly thought out. A better one would be as follows:

A method's code would be given simply by the number 1, 2,..., n-1 corresponding to which Plain Bob lead head it has, with the order given by Plain Bob as usual. This has the distinct advantage of being infinitely extensible with literally no effort whatsoever (unlike our current system) and also allows you to quickly calculate short touches of spliced using arithmetic modulo n, for example.

The lead end/head change can then be designated by a second character. Something like "a" for 12 and "b" for 1n would work. 

The codes of the "standard eight" surprise major become:

CYNPS = 2a
LR = 6a
B = 6b

From this it's much easier to see that L, R and B are related by the same lead head order, despite having different lead end changes. This information is completely obscured using letters of the alphabet as we do currently. 

I have little to no hope that such a change of system would ever happen, though. We've been using the same classifications for so long that to change now would almost certainly be considered more trouble than it's worth. Ah well. 


> On 13 Apr 2017, at 12:42, Roddy Horton <roddy at horton.karoo.co.uk> wrote:
> RW - When I was learning to ring, the tower hade a copy of the previous edition of this book along with the companion Doubles volume. I have an idea that the date of these was 1961 but it seemed to me at the time that the 5th Edition was a simple reprint of the 4th especially as it refers to the first three editions only in the Preface. Perhaps someone could confirm this.
> I cannot confirm this but I do have a copy of the 1961 edition and this uses G for Plain Bob, H for Double Bob etc.
> Roddy
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