Well, there I was zooming around Sussex one fine spring day when I bumped into Marcus Sherwood's sitting-room window and spotted Marcus and two pals drumming their fingers on the table and drinking lots of coffee. So this was the famous "Methods Committee" of which us flies have heard so much! They were waiting for a member who hadn't heard of Wallace Hartley's Great Idea; he arrived an hour late and I settled myself on the wall to listen-in. What fascinating things I heard! Did you know they want to be able to extend Principles, but are too shy and need somebody to ask them? I might even ask them myself if Peter updates his idiot's guide to extension so I can understand the last lot of rule changes.
Then there were all the names of methods that have got to be changed because naughty peal conductors don't buy (or don't read) Central Council Collections, and a letter from Niblett Maximus about peals of Doubles. I must say the Methods Committee is jolly lucky to have someone like Tony who actually knows what a Doubles Method is. After that there was an interesting bit about whether Good and Evil Alliance were (Alliance that is, not Good or Evil). It seems a Mr. Whichmethod knew a man who had got a computer which claimed that they were asymmetrical. In the end they decided that leads had to have an even number of rows (so you can have half a lead), and Mr. Whichthing (or his computer) was really clever after all, and not stupid like they had decided at their last meeting, and Good and Evil must be Hybrids (like that nice film The Fly, I suppose).
Then they passed round a huge file of letters from Geoff Dodd - this time he wants to ring Hampshire Surprise Royal, but it was only an extension for a few years in between two rule changes, so nobody (except Frank of course) knew what to think. Then they all went for lunch. Margaret Sherwood had cooked something delicious, but they wouldn't let me get near it, so I buzzed off and found something really tasty in the gutter.
By the time I got back they were hard at it again, this time on publications. That nice Mr. Couperthwaite had found 1,500 missing copies of the Doubles Collection, so they didn't need another edition yet, but they're going to do another one of Plain Methods, and possibly Fidler's Splicing Book, and maybe even Treble Dodging Minor if Uncle Cyril lets them, and because they know a man with a computer like Mr. Topmethod, everything was going to be on floppy disks and bulletin boards as well; but they didn't want the Central Council to buy them a computer (very frugal) and they thought they might ring a peal together at the next Council meeting (very practical), and then it was all over.
Gripping stuff - I hope the Fly Paper sends me to report on their next meeting!
D. ROSS OPHILA
The Ringing World, May 21, 1993, page 487