The Methods Committee recently held its first meeting of the new Central Council triennium. This took place at the chairman's home in Winchester, and the committee once again enjoyed Tony and Tessa Smith's hospitality.
Matters carried over from the previous triennium were considered. It was understood that suggested alterations to the methods content of the Ringer's Diary would not be incorporated in the 1991 edition but were under consideration for 1992. This included a proposal to publish in the Diary the Decisions of the Council relating to methods and peal ringing, which might be another way of making the Decisions more readily known and available.
Some concern was expressed that the Principles Collection, the compilation of which occupied most of the last triennium, had not yet been published. Camera-ready copy was passed to the Publications Committee some months ago.
In looking at plans for the new triennium, some thought was given to the issue of machine-readable collections. The committee felt that the time had come when large and ever-changing collections of methods should be available on disk. This will be an area for experimentation in the near future, and it would be interesting to hear the views of potential consumers, perhaps through The Ringing World columns.
General consideration was given to ways in which the horizons of method ringing might be widened. The prevailing perception of Surprise methods as the acme of achievement is often regretted, but there is little evidence of positive moves to explore other paths. The committee considered various approaches to encourage true development in method ringing, including the possibility of arranging method seminars and providing more extensive publicity for neglected method areas. A number of interesting approaches were recorded and it is hoped that this triennium will see some development in this area.
The Ringing World, November 16, 1990, page 1095