I have not found a single reference to pitching below fermentation temperature outside of the amateur brewing forums. Most professional references I have seen state to pitch at fermentation temperature or a few degrees higher.
In British brewing it's historically always been the norm to pitch fairly cool and then let it free-rise - and since cooling became available, then to come down again a bit towards the end of fermentation to stop the bugs cleaning up too much.
But if you look at the British commercial recipes on Ron Pattinson's site
, you'll see that almost all of them are pitching in the 59-63F range (including the Scottish ones, they're not pitching at near-lager temperatures as some conventional wisdom would make out).
Great Britain has moved away from it for the most part. While I may be wrong, I believe that we are the only industrialized country in the world that has held on to the Fahrenheit scale.
Come on, you've something in common with Liberia there!
Whereas here in the UK (not just Great Britain), we drive at 50mph to a pub where we'll have a 50g pack of peanuts and a (20oz) pint of lager dispensed from a 50-litre keg and a pint of ale from a 9-gallon cask.
It's a mess - although to be fair miles and drink-pints are the only real exceptions to metric, and are protected in law. And temperatures near freezing are always in centigrade whilsts hot temperatures are expressed in a mix of centrigrade and Farenheit, particularly in newspaper headlines.
To be honest, the one that really confused me was the gallons/pints thing. I knew in theory that the US had its own gallons, but it took me a while to click that all these "5 gallon" homebrew recipes were actually using 19 litres rather than 23 litres.
And grams/litre for hops and grist is just so, so much easier to scale...