The first Annual Meeting of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers was held at the "Inns of Court" Hotel, Holborn, on Tuesday, March 31st. Of the whole number of seventy-four members, representing thirty-three Societies, sixty-three were present. One Society - the Chester Diocesan Guild - was unrepresented. The Rev. H. Earle Bulwer having been chosen to preside temporarily, the only nomination received for the office of President, that of Mr. Percival Heywood, was laid before the meeting. Mr. Heywood was then elected President for three years, and took the chair.

Of the nominations for the post of Hon. Secretary, Mr. Attree and Mr. Thornton having declined to stand, the names of Mr. Strange and Mr. Dawe were submitted to the meeting with the result that Mr. Dawe was elected to fill the office.

On the question of Honorary Members, it was moved by Mr. J. Griffin, seconded by the Rev. W. W. C. Baker and carried, that only nine of the twelve be chosen at this meeting, The following were then elected:- Canon Wigram, Dr. Raven, Rev. Pitt Eykyn, and Messrs. J. C. Mitchell, H. Thomas, C. Hounslow, W. Wakley, J. Pettit and W. T. Pates.

The President then rose and said that, before proceeding with the subjects on the Agenda, he desired to impress upon the Council the great importance of bearing in mind that they were met, not to contest points of difference in an aggressive spirit, but to discuss the questions before them thoughtfully and with the earnest wish to arrive at decisions based upon careful and unprejudiced consideration of the various views presented. They had yet to make a position for themselves, and it depended upon the judgment with which their dictums were drawn up, whether the Council would come to be regarded as the final authority on all ringing matters. If properly directed, the opinions of a body comprising so large a proportion of the first ringers of the country could not but exert a most valuable influence for good upon the interests of the Exercise.

The following business was then transacted:- Moved by Mr. R. Story, seconded by Mr. E. A. Nunn and carried, that the question of proxy voting be deferred to the end of the meeting.

Moved by Mr. E. F. Strange, seconded by Dr. A. B. Carpenter, and carried, that a Standing Committee be formed, consisting of the President, Hon. Secretary and seven members, five to form a quorum, to deal with such matters as may come before it in the interim between the meetings of the Council. The following were elected to serve:- Revs. F. E. Robinson and C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. E. F. Strange, G. F. Attree, C. H. Hattersley, H. Dains, and J. W. Washbrook, with power to add to their number.

Moved by the Rev. H. Earle Bulwer, seconded by Mr. W. Snowdon, and carried, that the following be appointed a Committee, five to form a quorum, to draw up a body of advice, suggestions, and instructions on (i) the repair and preservation of bells, frames, and fittings; also (ii) on the best means of moderating the sound of noisy bells both outside the tower and in the ringing-chamber; also (iii) on the furnishing of ringing chambers, embodying data such as may prove useful to Rural Deans and other Church authorities interested in providing good and proper accommodation for their ringers, both with reference to the proper means of ventilating ringing-chambers and to securing a medium temperature therein, together with notes for the guidance of those who may have to ring heavy bells previous to Divine Service, as to clothing, etc., and reminder to Churchwardens as to their responsibilities to those who may thus have to enter church in a heated state, with (iv) a list of approximate prices, according to weight, for the several items of bell and frame furniture; The President, Hon. Secretary, Rev. H. Earle Bulwer, Messrs. W. Snowdon, G. H. Phillott, F. W. Rees, and W. Baron. The Committee to embody their conclusions in the form of a Report, to be presented to the next meeting of the Council, and if approved, promulgated through the medium of the various Societies with the sanction and authority of the Council.

Moved by Mr. W. Snowdon, seconded by Mr. B. T. Copley, and carried, that, in the opinion of this Council, steps should be taken to obtain adequate recognition of the Ringers' office and work at Church Congresses. The following were appointed to give effect to the resolution:- The President, Canon Wigram, Rev. H. Earle Bulwer, and Rev. T. L. Papillon.

Mr. E. F. Strange brought forward a series of resolutions defining the conditions necessary to the accomplishment of a true and complete peal on all numbers of bells from five upwards. After considerable discussion on peals of Doubles and Minor, the following resolution was passed in regard to Peals of Triples, the definition of peals of Doubles, Minor, Major, and the higher numbers, being referred to the Standing Committee to be put into shape and brought before the next Meeting of the Council.

Moved by Mr. E. F. Strange, seconded by Dr. A. B. Carpenter, and carried by a majority of 40 to 16, 7 not voting, that the Council decides the following conditions to be necessary to the accomplishment of a true and complete peal on 7 bells, not less than 5040 changes, rung with or without a covering bell, and without interval, being the extent of changes in the method chosen.

In accordance with rule XI, a list shewing the voting on this motion is appended, the point in contention being the words in italics.

Mr. W. Snowdon then moved, and Mr. B. T. Copley seconded, a resolution that proxy voting be permitted to members residing over 100 miles from the place of meeting. The motion was lost by a large majority.

On the motion of Mr. G. F. Attree, seconded by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, it was suggested that the agenda for future meetings contain all proposed motions in full. Resolved: to leave the matter in the hands of the Standing Committee.

Moved by Mr. G. Longden, seconded by Mr. J. W. Taylor, that the next meeting be held at Derby; whereupon Mr. H. Bastable moved, and Mr. S. Reeves seconded, that it be held at Birmingham. The latter being carried by a large majority, it was agreed to meet about one o'clock on Easter Tuesday, 1892.

A vote of thanks to the President for presiding, moved by the Rev. F. E. Robinson, and seconded by Mr. W. D. Smith, concluded the meeting.

The following was the voting on Mr. E. F. Strange's motion defining a peal of Triples:-

A. B. CarpenterJ. G. Wall G. Williams
E. F. StrangeG. LongdenW. G. Richards
F. W. ThorntonN. J. PitstowT. Blackbourn
Rev. T. S. CurteisC. H. HattersleyF. Knights
Rev. E. W. CarpenterH. BastableH. White
N. E. SnowG. F. AttreeJ. Carter
E. A. NunnS. ReevesH. Chandler
Rev. W. W. C. BakerJ. W. WashbrookG. Newson
G. B. LucasC. TylerW. G. Cross
H. DainsA. H. CocksJ. Rogers
Rev. H. E. BulwerW. H. HowardF. G. Newman
L. ProctorB. T. CopleyR. S. Story
Rev. H. J. ElseeF. E. WardRev. F. E. Robinson
W. Snowdon
F. E. DaweJ. R. HaworthR. T. Woodley
A. P. HeywoodRev. J. U. ToddH. R. Newton
C. E. MalimJ. HoldenJ. W. Creasey
J. W. TaylorW. D. SmithE. E. Richards
Rev. T. L. PapillonG. H. PhillottRev. H. A. Cockey
Rev. A. D. Hill
Rev. C. D. P. DaviesRev. W. S. WillettH. Reeves
F. W. ReesJ. GriffinW. Baron
Rev. G. F. Coleridge

The following representatives were absent:-

St. James' Society, London- G. T. McLaughlin.
North Lincolnshire Association- F. F. Linley.
Hereford Diocesan Guild- J. G. Buchanan.
Norwich Diocesan Association- Capt. Moore, W. L. Catchpole.
Devonshire Guild- Col. Troyte.
Durham & Newcastle Association- L. Newton.
Bath & Wells Diocesan Association- Rev. C. W. Griffith.
Winchester Diocesan Guild- Rev. C. Buston.
Chester Diocesan Guild- H. A. Heywood, F. Ball.

The Bell News and Ringers' Record, April 11, 1891, page 28

A complete list of the Representatives returned by the various Societies is appended. The total number of members in each Society is given opposite the name. The total number of ringers represented is 12,407. The total number of Representatives is 74. The fees of 2s. 6d. for each Representative, all of which are paid up, amount to £9 5s. 0d., which sum will be available for defraying the expenses of the Annual and Committee Meetings.

Complete List of Representatives.

The Ancient Society of College Youths (3706): F. E. Dawe, J. R. Haworth, W. D. Smith, R. T. Woodley.
The Royal Cumberland Society (450): J. Rogers, W. Baron, G. Newson, H. Dains.
The St. James' Society (756): H. R. Newton, G. T. McLaughlin.
The North Lincolnshire Association (204): F. F. Linley, N. E. Snow.
The Essex Association (598): Rev. T. L. Papillon, N. J. Pitstow, F. G. Newman, W. G. Richards.
The Salisbury Diocesan Guild (375): Rev. A. D. Hill, T. Blackbourn.
The Society of Trinity Youths (98): F. W. Thornton.
The Winchester Diocesan Guild (489): Rev. C. Buston, F. W. Rees, G. Williams, H. White.
The Hertford County Association (133): L. Proctor.
The Surrey Association (207): A. B. Carpenter, E. F. Strange.
The Norwich Diocesan Association (531): Rev. H. E. Bulwer, Capt. A. P. Moore, F. Knights, W. L. Catchpole.
The Kent County Association (617): Rev. T. S. Curteis, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, E. A. Nunn, E. E. Richards.
The Birmingham and District Amalgamated Society (83): J. Carter.
The Midland Counties' Association (363): A. P. Heywood, J. W. Taylor, J. Griffin.
The Devonshire Guild (243): Rev. W. S. Willett, Col. Troyte.
The Durham and Newcastle Association (300): R. S. Story, L. Newton.
The United Counties' Association (178): J. Holden.
The Eastern Counties' Guild (77): W. G. Cross.
The Bedfordshire Association (102): Rev. W. W. C. Baker.
The South Lincolnshire Association (88): J. W. Creasey.
The Worcestershire Association (265): H. Reeves.
The Yorkshire Association (704): W. Snowdon, W. H. Howard, B. T. Copley, C. H. Hattersley.
The Oxford Diocesan Guild (1015): Rev. F. E. Robinson, Rev. G. F. Coleridge, J. W. Washbrook, A. H. Cocks.
The Bath and Wells Diocesan Association (194): Rev. C. W. Griffith, Rev. J. U. Todd.
The Lancashire Association (577): Rev. H. J. Elsee, G. Longden.
The Hereford Diocesan Guild (300): J. G. Wall, J. G. Buchanan.
The Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford (173): S. Reeves.
The St. Martin's Guild, Birmingham (106): H. Bastable.
The Chester Diocesan Guild (390): H. A. Heywood, F. Ball.
The Sussex County Association (650): Rev. C. D. P. Davies, G. F. Attree, H. Chandler, C. Tyler.
The Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association (534): Rev. H. A. Cockey, F. E. Ward, G. H. Phillott.
The Waterloo Society, London (270): C. E. Malim.
The Middlesex Association (81): G. B. Lucas.

The Bell News and Ringers' Record, March 28, 1891, pages 2 to 3

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