The midlands area organisers having conceeded defeat on the Timpani issue from last year, now seem determined to extract some revenge, by letting all the percussion players know that the "four minute rule" will be rigourously enforced (in the usual hysterical red print of course). At least three of the test pieces are very percussion heavy this year, and this arbitrary four minute rule clearly does not take in to account the amount of percussion that might be involved in any particular piece. The issues surrounding keeping the event on schedule and guarding against significant time slippage are of course self evident, but I get the impression that the tail is wagging the dog at the midlands area. All this does is put more pressure on bands and on percussion players. Perhaps someone on the committee needs to get home in time for the Antiques Road show.