The Methods Committee met in Winchester on 2nd March and the greater part of the meeting was devoted to consideration of the Decisions relating to peal ringing.
The Administrative Committee had been asked by the Council in Brighton to review these Decisions and had allocated the work to the Methods Committee. A number of ringers had responded to our letter in The Ringing World (p.44) seeking the views of the Exercise and these were very helpful. There are a variety of inconsistencies in the existing decisions and it is hard to produce logical arguments in support of many of the restrictions. We considered making minor adjustments in the area of uncovered odd-bell peals, but recognised that this would be avoiding the central issues and would lead to disputes in the future of the very nature that Council is anxious to avoid. Accordingly, we agreed that this is the time for a rationalisation and are proposing the following replacement for Decision (D) B to the Council in Reigate.
(1) Peals of Minimus, Doubles, Minor and Triples shall be rung on four, five, six and seven bells respectively, or on five, six, seven and eight bells with the tenor as cover, and shall consist of at least 5040 changes rung in any combination of the following, each starting from rounds:
(a) True and complete extents.
(b) Round blocks of two or more extents in which each of the different rows occurs the same number of times.
(2) Peals of Major, Caters, Royal, etc. shall be rung on eight, nine, ten, etc. bells respectively, or on nine, ten, eleven, etc. bells with the tenor as cover, and shall consist of at least 5000 true changes.
(3) Peals of "Minimus and Doubles", "Doubles and Minor" and "Minor and Triples" shall be rung on five, six and seven bells respectively, with the tenor as cover when ringing the lower stage, and shall consist of at least 5040 changes rung in any combination of round blocks as permitted in 1 above.
(4) Peals of "Triples and Major", "Major and Caters", "Caters and Royal", etc. shall be rung on eight, nine, ten, etc. bells respectively, with the tenor as cover when ringing the lower stage, and shall consist of at least 5000 true changes.
We have already been dubbed "intellectually courageous" and realise that some ringers will object to some of the proposed provisions, perhaps feeling that only performances they would wish to ring in themselves should be recognised by Council. However, we believe that a more liberal attitude is now prevalent and hope we have found the vehicle for its expression. We are trying to arrange an informal discussion for interested parties on the Monday of the Council meeting at Reigate.
Publication of the Collection of Doubles Methods Part 2 was delayed by problems with the printers. However, this enabled additional methods to be incorporated and printing is now complete. The book contains much new material and will, we hope, provide some ideas for those in search of a fresh challenge.
Work on method extension has lain fallow, although the Collection of Plain Methods progresses and we hope publication may be achieved this year. We are awaiting comment from the Publications Committee on possible collections of Plain Minor Methods and of Principles.
ANTHONY P. SMITH
Chairman, Methods Committee
The Ringing World, April 11, 1986, page 310