Currently, peals rung on dumbbells, or real bells with tied clappers, are held to be 'non compliant' with the Central Council's 'Conditions for Peals', even though the ringing experience is absolutely identical to doing the same thing on real bells of equivalent size. The only thing that is simulated is the sound, which is generated by computer from a digitized recording of real bells and so sounds like real bells.
Being 'non-compliant', peals rung on simulators are excluded from the tables published in the annual 'analysis and report' prepared by the Peal Records Committee. They are included in the narrative part of the report but only in so far as necessary to identify them as not complying with Council's Conditions for Peal Ringing and to record their exclusion from the statistical tables.
The number of dumbbell rings is growing. There are currently nine fixed rings, with another (Adelaide Cathedral Ringing Centre) in prospect, and at least one portable ring:-
Fixed Dumbbell Rings:
Location Name Bells Weight Twr Base ID cwt.qr.lb Bendigo, Victoria, Australia St Stephen's 3 0-2-20 Brampton, Huntingdonshire St Mary Magdalene's 8 0-2-19 Eastwood, NSW, Australia Swelter Ring 6 3 Frensham, Surrey More House School 6 ? Gnosall, Staffordshire St Lawrence 4 ? Hopton Heath, Shropshire Marches Teaching Belfry 10 0-2-0 Hurstpierpoint, Sussex Wickham Ring 8 10 7709 Okehampton, Devon DenMisch Campanile 10 1-0-0 Worcester, Worcestershire Clockroom Teaching Centre 8 ?Portable Dumbbell Rings:
Lincolnshire The Sixbel 6 0-2-19
No peals were rung on dumbbell rings in the years 2004 to 2009. One peal on a dumbbell ring was rung in 2010, four were rung in 2011 and one so far in 2012. So the trend is growing and it is arguably time to take a fresh look at the issue.
The SCACR General Committee considered the matter at its meeting in December 2011 and resolved that divisional CC Representatives should raise the matter at their annual divisional meetings in February 2012 and report back to the Gen. Committee meeting in March. The Committee would then decide whether to put forward a motion to the Central Council. Such a motion might take the form of proposing a change in the ‘Conditions for Peals’ to cover peals on simulators or of leaving the Conditions unchanged but proposing that the Peals Records Committee should include in the tables of record a statistical analysis of simulator peals.
In the event, none of the four annual divisional meetings was in favour of seeking to change the 'Conditions for Peals' but in three of the meetings there was a substantial majority in favour of the lesser motion.
Armed with this feedback the General Committee voted to submit the following motion to the CC meeting in June 2012:-
"The Peal Records Committee shall include in its annual report a statistical analysis of peals rung by rope and wheel on dumbbell rings or rings of bells with tied clappers, provided that such peals comply in all respects with the Central Council's Conditions for Peals, with the sole exception of the use of simulated sound in the absence of swinging clappers striking bells of metal."
The following related items are available for download:-
Central Council position
Article in The Ringing World, reprinted by kind permission of the Editor
Subsequent correspondence in The Ringing World, reprinted by kind permission of the Editor
Background Paper to the motion