For their Autumn meeting, most of the Methods Committee went to visit Peter and Juliet in darkest Whitchurch. After admiring the woodwork and the duckpond (complete with ducks) we dispatched our coffee and biscuits and shouldered the heavy burden of working tirelessly for the good of the Exercise. According to my notes the Chair made some opening remarks (unusual woodwork here) which were not so much unprintable as un-memorable. Such is the way of all Chairs. Business ranged over a wide range of topics: Are Good and Evil really Alliance methods? Consensus: Yes. Are Doubles Variations really the remit of a Methods Committee? Great sympathy here for disclaiming all responsibility (thus reducing Committee business by 50%), but conclude reluctantly they are our White Man's Burden. Should the definition of a method be widened to include Vernon Bedford's Differentials? Possibly, but with limited time (and motivation) we need specific proposals from the inventor. We are (slowly) writing a series of RW articles explaining the Council's Decisions in words of one syll-a-ble. Part 2 of the Doubles Collection is now out of print, and both parts will be reprinted as a single volume. We intend future Collections to be available in machine-readable form as well as on paper; the Computer Co-ordination Committee will be invited to react.
Pausing only to consume Juliet's enormous and delicious lunch (as it is quaintly known in the south) we set about our major topic: method extension. Lots of stimulating discussion, with Ken contributing the historical viewpoint, and Frank the new idea. It might have been the wine, but liberalisation of the rules was clearly the order of the day. The time when Superlative Maximus is an extension of the Major may not be far off (but little hope for Emily Royal alas). To encourage input from as many ringers as possible (even Aussies), the Chair promised to write an RW article explaining our ideas. Then we all went home.
The Ringing World, November 8, 1991, page 1055