A method is defined by the places made between successive rows of its plain course, which shall be a true round block divisible into equal parts. At the beginning of each part the hunt bells, if any, shall be in the same positions and the working bells shall be in different positions, so that all the working bells do the same work in the plain course, and the number of parts is the same as the number of working bells. There shall be more working bells than hunt bells.
Methods with no hunt bells are also known as principles and their parts may be referred to as divisions; otherwise the parts are called leads.
In the plain course no bell shall make more than four consecutive blows in the same position, this requirement not applying to Minimus methods.
A call is not part of a method, but is a means of passing from one course to another. It is effected by altering the places made between two consecutive rows, without altering the length of a lead or division. For methods with hunt bells at least one of the hunts shall be unaffected by all calls in a given composition.
A bob is formed by moving places or by the addition or removal of non-adjacent places.
A single is formed by the addition of pairs of adjacent places to the places of the plain lead or the bobbed lead.
In any composition no more than two types of call may be used.
For principles, calls made at different places within the division are said to be the same type if their formation is the same.
For methods with hunt bells, a call made relative to the leads of the hunts and a call made relative to the whole pulls behind of the hunts are said to be the same type if the formation of one is the reverse back to front of the formation of the other.
For methods with only one hunt bell calls may be made only at the lead and whole pull behind of the hunt, and if two types of call are used one shall be a bob and the other a single.
For compositions containing more than one class of method, e.g., principles, single-hunt and/or multi-hunt, each class of method can employ its own two types of call.
These requirements may be relaxed for peals of Triples composed before 1850, and for Doubles methods and variations.
In the case of Doubles only, a variation is defined as the use in a plain method of calls other than the standard calls for that method. A lead containing a call must not constitute a plain lead of another method. Each variation must by itself be capable of producing a true six-score, and shall be given its own name.
A method is regular if:-
(a) No bell makes more than two consecutive blows in the same position, except that for Doubles methods with one or two hunts: no bell makes more than four such blows.
(b) The method is divisible into leads or divisions which are symmetrical about the half-lead.
(c) Except for Doubles methods, if there is more than one hunt, the hunts have the same path and course each other throughout the lead.
(d) Except for Doubles methods, if there is one or more hunts, there are Natural lead-ends and lead-heads throughout the plain course.
Additionally, all Minimus methods which can produce a true 24 are regular.
There are five types of single hunt method: Plain, Treble Dodging, Treble Place, Alliance and Hybrid. With the treble as hunt bell they are classified as in paragraphs 2 to 6, and may be further classified as Little if the path of the treble is restricted to fewer places than the number of bells.
In Plain methods the path of the treble is a plain hunt. They are classified as:-
(a) Bob methods - in which seconds place is made at treble's lead or the penultimate place is made at treble's whole pull behind, or both places are made.
(b) Imperial methods - in which two working bells make adjacent places wrong within a half-lead.
(c) College methods - in which pairs of working bells work together in a block below the treble for the whole time the treble is above the block.
(d) Court methods - these have internal places adjoining the path of the treble, other than Bob places, Imperial places, and places causing College work.
(e) Court Bob methods - these have Court places which cause one or more complete dodges.
(f) Little methods are classified as Little Bob if they have seconds place at treble's lead, and as Little Court otherwise.
(g) Plain Doubles methods are classsified as Place if the path of a working bell consists only of hunting and place making, and as Bob otherwise.
In Treble Dodging methods the treble dodges consecutively in 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, etc., the number of dodges in each position being the same. They are classified as:-
(a) Treble Bob methods which have no internal places made as the treble passes from one dodging position to another.
(b) Surprise methods which have at least one internal place made every time the treble passes from one dodging position to another.
(c) Delight methods, which are all other Treble Dodging methods.
In Treble Place methods the path of the treble includes the making of at least one place within the half-lead, the path being symmetrical about the half-lead and the treble having the same total number of blows in each position of the path within the lead.
In Alliance methods the treble is not the same total number of blows in each position of the path within the lead, but the path is symmetrical about the half-lead.
In Hybrid methods the path of the treble is not symmetrical about the half-lead.
These methods are in three groups. With the treble as principal hunt, being unaffected by calls, these are:-
(a) Those methods in which all the secondary hunts have the same path as the treble. These are classified as for single hunt methods but with reference to all the hunts.
Plain methods with an internal place immediately above or below the crossing of the treble, with a secondary hunt, or immediately above the crossing of two secondary hunts at treble's lead, or immediately below the crossing of two secondary hunts at treble's whole pull behind are classified as Bob.
(b) Those methods in which one, or more, secondary hunts pivots at the same time as the treble. These are classified as for single hunt methods with reference to the treble.
Plain methods in which the seconds place bell is one of these secondary hunts are classified as Slow Course.
(c) Other methods in which the paths of the secondary hunts are not related to that of the treble as in (a) and (b). These are classified as for single hunt methods with reference to the treble or with reference to treble and all secondary hunts having the same path as the treble.
The stage names for different numbers of changing bells are:- 4 Minimus, 6 Minor, 8 Major, 10 Royal, 12 Maximus, 14 Fourteen, etc.; 5 Doubles, 7 Triples, 9 Caters, 11 Cinques, 13 Sextuples, etc.
The title of a principle shall consist of "Name and Stage".
The title of other methods shall consist of "Name, Class(es) and Stage", with the exception of Grandsire, Union and their related methods.
(a) Methods at different stages in the same class shall only have the same name if they are related as in the Report on Extension or subsequent amendments.
(b) Methods at different stages in the same class which are uniquely related as in the Report on Extension or subsequent amendments shall have the same name, and where not uniquely related one relationship shall have the same name; any relationship covering most stages shall take preference over any others.
The band which first rings a peal of a new method, or an extent in the case of Doubles or Minor, or includes it in a multi-method peal, shall name the method, subject to E.4 above.
A peal shall start and end with rounds and shall be rung without interval.
No row shall be struck more than once before the next change is made.
Every bell must sound at every row throughout the peal.
Each bell must be rung continuously by the same person or persons.
For handbells the bells shall be retained in hand.
For tower bells the bells shall be audible outside the building in which they are contained.
No assistance of any kind shall be given to any ringer by any person not ringing in the peal.
The use of physical aids to memory in conducting and ringing is not permitted.
No error in calling shall be corrected later than during the change at which the call or change of method would properly take effect.
Any shift or error in ringing shall be corrected immediately.
No person other than those ringing in the peal shall take part in the calling or in correcting any shift or error.
The methods and calls used in all peals shall conform to the Definitions and Requirements given in part A of the Decisions on Methods and Calls.
Any objection which may be taken to a peal, other than one with respect to the truth of the composition, shall be raised in writing to the conductor and Society concerned at the earliest date, and in any case within one month after publication in "The Ringing World".
Peals of Minimus shall be rung on tower bells only, at towers with only four ringable bells, and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in true and complete 24s, each starting from rounds.
Peals of Doubles shall be rung on five bells or on six bells with the tenor as cover, and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in any combination of the following, each starting from rounds:-
(a) True and complete 120s.
(b) Round blocks of 240 changes in which each row occurs twice, and containing no round block of plain leads in one method.
(c) Round blocks of two or more 120s in which each of the 120s comprising the block is true and complete.
Peals of Minor shall be rung on six bells and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in any combination of the following, each starting from rounds:-
(a) True and complete 720s.
(b) Round blocks of two or more 720s in which each of the 720s comprising the block is true and complete.
Peals of Triples shall be rung on eight bells with the tenor as cover and shall consist of one or more true and complete 5,040s, each starting from rounds.
Peals of Caters, Cinques, Sextuples, etc., shall be rung on ten, 12, 14, etc., bells respectively with the tenor as cover and shall consist of at least 5,000 true changes.
Peals of Major, Royal, Maximus, Fourteen, etc., shall be rung on eight, ten, 12, 14, etc., bells respectively and shall consist of at least 5,000 true changes.
Peals of "Doubles and Minor" shall be rung on six bells with the tenor as cover when ringing Doubles and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in any combination of extents and round blocks as permitted in 2 and 3 above.
Peals of "Triples and Major", "Caters and Royal", etc., shall be rung on eight, ten, etc., bells respectively, with the tenor as cover when ringing Triples, Caters, etc., and shall consist of at least 5,000 true changes.
Peals in more than one method shall be called Spliced if the methods are so joined that the leads of the methods remain intact, the changes of method being at the lead-head or half-lead but not both in the same composition.
Additionally, the changes of method may occur at both lead-head and half-lead in the same composition, provided that all the methods in the composition are symmetrical, and that there is at least one complete lead, from lead-head to lead-head and/or from half-lead to half-lead, between each change of method, or provided that all the methods in the composition are symmetrical, with no two of them differing only in the places made at the half-lead or at the lead-end, and that there is at least one complete lead, from lead-head to lead-head and/or from half-lead to half-lead, of each method in the peal.
Peals on six bells or less and of Triples shall be called Spliced only if each extent or round block is Spliced.
Doubles variations may be included in an extent or round block, provided that either all the variations and methods have the same call or calls and there is at least one plain lead of each, or all the variations and methods have the same plain course, with no call common to any two or more, and all the distinctive calls are made for each variation and method.
Peal reports shall state the number and names of all methods and all variations separately. For peals of Spliced the number of changes of method at lead-head and at half-lead shall be stated separately, and for peals of Triples and above the number of changes rung in each method shall be stated.
The Record Length Peal in a method or group of methods on a given number of bells shall be the longest length recognised as a peal by the Council. Tower bell and handbell records shall be kept separately.
Any attempt for a peal of 10,000 or more changes which would surpass in length an existing record or which would be the first peal in that method on that number of bells, must comply with the additional conditions below. Any such performance not rung in full compliance with these conditions shall not be recognised as a peal and shall not be published in "The Ringing World".
(a) Not less than 14 days' notice shall be given in "The Ringing World", stating the place, date and hour at which the attempt is to be made, and stating the method, number of bells and number of changes proposed to be rung.
(b) The ringing to be heard and the figures of the composition to be checked throughout the peal by a competent umpire or umpires.
(c) If a record length is rung the peal report and the figures of the composition, if not previously published, shall be sent immediately to "The Ringing World".
(d) For handbell peals, every ringer shall ring at least two bells. Additionally, arrangements shall be made for interested persons to be able to hear the attempt.
The Council shall recognise all peals rung in complete conformity with parts A to D above, and only such peals shall be included in the analysis.
The Peals Analysis Committee shall prepare an annual report and analysis of all peals. Peal reports should indicate all "first peals" and "first peal as conductor" for inclusion in the analysis. The Committee shall not be held responsible for the non-inclusion in the analysis of any peal not published in "The Ringing World" before the end of February in the following year.
The Records Committee shall maintain a record of the first peal in each method on each number of bells, for both tower bells and handbells, and subsequent record length peals, together with the compositions used. Also a record of new methods included in multi-method peals, and a record of the progressive number of methods rung in peals of different groups of methods.
The Peals Collection Committee shall maintain a comprehensive collection of compositions of 5,000 changes and upwards, and shall prepare for publication such collections as the Council shall direct.
The Methods Committee shall consider all questions arising from the nomenclature used for any method, and the findings of the Committee shall be published in "The Ringing World".
Any correspondence can be addressed to "The Ringing World" or to F. T. Blagrove, 57, St. Andrew's Crescent, Windsor, Berkshire.
It would assist the Secretary of the Council if any amendment could be formulated and sent to him before the meeting.
The Ringing World, April 25, 1969, pages 322 to 323