Methods Committee meetings have been creeping in a southerly direction in recent years, the last few venues being Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Middlesex, and now most recently Hampshire where our Winchester based members hosted the first meeting of the new triennium.
The publication earlier this year of the revised Minor Collection was reviewed with satisfaction. A technological breakthrough was achieved here because this collection was prepared on computer and, after several drafts were checked by the committee, a final camera-ready copy was passed to the Publications committee and the printer; this eliminates the possibility of the printer introducing any errors. It also allows the possibility of producing revised editions very easily and it is hoped that this facility will allow us to maintain more up-to-date published collections.
The Doubles Collection Part Two is nearly complete and the committee hopes to have this ready for publication next year. It will include Treble Place methods, Little and Alliance methods, and Principles.
A complete collection of Plain methods from Triples to Maximus has also been prepared and the committee is concerned that this should be issued as a single publication as soon as possible.
A debate on asymmetric methods occupied a fair proportion of the meeting, partly spurred on by the outcome of the debate at the Central Council meeting in Hull on a certain multi-method peal. The following conclusions were reached:
The 1969 Decisions on Peal Ringing, Methods and Call dropped the requirement for methods to be symmetrical; this was to allow greater freedom in method ringing and this spirit should be maintained.
Asymmetric Principles have intrinsic value since it is not possible to define them as splices of symmetric Principles.
Asymmetric hunt dominated methods, hybrid or otherwise, may generally be defined as half-lead splices of symmetric methods and are therefore of dubious value.
Asymmetric method names may be regarded as aliases for half-lead splices (cf. Doubles variations or terms such as "Granta variation").
The policy in collections of methods will be to record asymmetric methods separately and to identify the aliases where possible.
The outcome of the Central Council debate on the Ely Diocesan Guild 500/250 method peal was discussed. The committee is concerned that its ruling that under the current Decisions the peal may be considered to have been rung in 500 methods was overlooked by Council, apparently misled by the contention that the Records and Methods committees had agreed by 8 to 1 to recommend recording the Peal as 250 asymmetric methods. The right of the band concerned to name the peal in 500 methods was reaffirmed, and the imposition of 250 asymmetric methods upon the Exercise was considered most unfortunate. It was resolved that the committee's view should be made clear to the Exercise.
This problem arose through a shortcoming in the current Decisions in which no minimum amount of method is clearly defined or required in Decision (E), D, 5. The committee examined various ways of redeeming this deficiency.
The problems and inconsistencies of method extension are still exercising the committee and it is hoped that an interim publication will be prepared in due course.
The potential for the use of computer equipment by the committee was discussed and it was agreed that it would be most useful for the committee to have access to equipment compatible with other committees for the transfer of method information and for assisting with methods collections and methods research. Investigations into this field will proceed.
With a final review of the aims for the new triennium, and a feeling that much had been accomplished during the day, the committee reluctantly abandoned the hospitality of Hampshire and dispersed to various near or far flung counties.
The Ringing World, November 9, 1984, page 953