The first session of the 13th Council (35th meeting) was held in the Conference Chamber of the Mansion House, in the City of London (by the courtesy of the Lord Mayor), on Tuesday, June 7th, at 11 a.m. The chair was taken by the president, Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, who opened the meeting with prayer. There were present 96 members, 38 Guilds and Associations being represented.

The Lord Mayor, Sir Rowland Blades, welcomed the Council to the Mansion House. He referred to the ability and distinction with which the bells were rung in England, and that in this country they were unequalled in many ways. He felt that the Council represented a body doing valuable work with the Church.

Archdeacon Holmes then addressed the Council. He said that the bells, whether rung in London amidst the clamour of the city or in the quiet of the country, carried some message. He also spoke of the necessity of throwing oneself into the work, so that it would extend far and wide, as bells were a great national instrument. In the name of the Bishop of London and himself, he gave them a hearty welcome to the diocese.

The President, having thanked the Lord Mayor and the Archdeacon for this kindly welcome, the Council proceeded to discuss the business upon the agenda.

The Hon. Secretary temporarily took the chair. He stated that only one nomination for president having been received, and that on behalf of Canon Coleridge (who had been proposed by Rev. C. D. P. Davies, and seconded by Mr. W. T. Cockerill), he declared Canon Coleridge duly elected for the ensuing three years. The president then took the chair. After expressing his thanks to the Council, the President said that for hon. secretary there was only one nomination, that of Mr. E. Alex. Young (who had been proposed by Rev. H. Law James, and seconded by Mr. E. W. Elwell). He therefore declared him elected. Rev. C. D. P. Davies proposed, and Mr. E. Alex. Young seconded, that the hon. librarian, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, be re-elected, which was carried, together with a vote of thanks to the Council’s officers for their services.

The minutes of the last meeting having been published, were taken as read and duly confirmed and signed.

Apologies for absence were received from the Revs. A. H. F. Boughey and H. S. T. Richardson, Alderman R. B. Chambers, Mrs. Edwards, Messrs. C. E. Borrett, G. P. Burton, G. Chester, H. Haigh, C. F. Johnston, E. H. Lewis, T. Metcalfe, Pryce Taylor, and C. F. Winney. Letters having been sent by the hon. secretary to the relatives of Rev. C. E. Matthews, Canon T. Papillon and Mr. John Carter, expressing sympathy and condolence, the replies received were briefly referred to and laid upon the table.

The hon. secretary and treasurer, Mr. E. Alex. Young, presented the financial statement, which showed that the year began with a balance at the bank of £67 6s., and that the balance, after the receipts and expenditure of the year had been dealt with, was £45 3s. 10d. The accounts being audited by them, were, on the motion of Mr. W. T. Cockerill, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes (the auditors) adopted. The Hon. Secretary stated that five new associations had joined the Council during the year, one being the Truro Guild, which carried the territory of the Council into Cornwall. A special welcome was extended to the representatives.

The Hon. Librarian, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, then read his statement, saying that it was gratifying to be able to hand over a cheque for £1 10s. 5d., instead of drawing on the Council’s funds, as in previous years. He then referred to various books and MSS. in the library, and suggested that the Council should elect one or two experts to go through its contents with him and report as to their value and disposal, and Rev. E. S. Powell and Mr. J. A. Trollope, having expressed their willingness to serve, were accepted, as was the hon. librarian’s statement.

Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn proposed, and Mr. C. H. Howard seconded, that the ‘Rules for a local company’ be reprinted, after revision by a small committee, the following being appointed, viz.: Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Canon H. J. Elsee, Messrs. E. W. Elwell and H. W. Wilde.


Those retiring were re-elected, viz.: Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Messrs. J. Griffin, J. A. Trollope, E. Alex. Young (Mr. John Carter being deceased). On the recommendation of the Standing Committee, Rev. A. T. Beeston and Mr. Cyril F. Johnston were elected to fill the vacancies, and Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed, and Mr. C. J. Sedgley seconded, that Mr. J. S. Goldsmith be elected, which was unanimously agreed to.

A large number of new members attending for the first time were then introduced to the president, who cordially welcomed them.


The previous members were duly re-elected, viz.: Canon G. F. Coleridge, Canon H. J. Elsee, Revs. C. W. O. Jenkyn, H. Law James and C. D. P. Davies, Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, J. Griffin, E. A. Young, A. A. Hughes and Cyril F. Johnston. Upon being duly proposed and seconded, the following were added to the Standing Committee, viz.: Messrs. W. A. Cave, C. T. Coles, J. D. Matthews, A. Paddon Smith and Rev. A. T. Beeston.

The Council then received the following committees’ reports:-


Miss E. K. Parker reported, and said that since the last meeting 500 further compositions had been sent in, which entailed a lot of work, but this being practically completed, it was hoped to present the Collection at the next meeting. On the motion of the President, the report was adopted, and the committee re-elected as follows: Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and E. S. Powell, Miss E. K. Parker, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde, J. W. Parker.


Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who reported for the Committee, referred to their loss by the death of their convener, Rev. C. E. Matthews. He said the committee and the hon. secretary had now finished the revision of the ‘Rules and Decisions.’ They had also been, during the year, in touch with the British Broadcasting Corporation. He then referred to the fact that both the London and provincial Press had devoted more attention to bells, etc., than in past years. On the motion of the President, the report was adopted, and the committee re-elected, viz.: Revs. F. Ll. Edwards and A. T. Beeston, Messrs. G. P. Burton, W. Willson and A. Paddon Smith. Mr. J. S. Goldsmith was added to the committee.


Rev. H. Law James reported for the committee, and said he was pleased to be able to state that a large number of the ‘Collection of Plain Major Methods’ had been sold. The reprinting of the ‘Minor Methods,’ with the addition of bobs and singles and 720’s, or the Treble Bob Major, were two matters to which he thought the committee might give their attention. Having published the ‘Plain Methods,’ he thought they should now reissue the ‘Minor Methods.’ As Mr. E. H. Lewis was so busy, he suggested that Rev. E. S. Powell should be added to the committee. Mr. J. A. Trollope asked if the six-bell ringers had any suggestions to make, to let the committee know, and it would be included in the reprint. It was proposed by Mr. T. Hervey Beams, and seconded by Mr. T. Salter, that a reprint of the ‘Collection of Minor Methods’ be proceeded with. On the motion of the President, the report was adopted, and the committee re-elected as follows, viz.: Rev. H. Law James, Messrs. E. H. Lewis and J. A. Trollope. (See further discussion after lunch.)


Rev. A. T. Beeston moved the adoption of the report which was printed in ‘The Ringing World.’ He said that in a number of cases the conductors’ names had to be omitted, and Mr. J. S. Goldsmith referred to the defective reports received by him for publication in ‘The Ringing World.’ On the motion of the President, the report was adopted, and the committee, consisting of the Rev. A. T. Beeston, Messrs. J. W. Parker and G. Williams and Miss E. K. Parker, were re-elected. The President thanked the committee for their work.


Major J. H. B. Hesse said that during the year he had inspected certain towers. Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said that he had been very busy visiting towers. He thought this was largely due to a great number of branch meetings their Guild held, and dwelt upon the importance of such meetings. The Hon. Secretary said he had received a letter from Mr. E. H. Lewis, saying he had given advice on Bow bells, etc. After remarks by Rev. H. Drake and the President, the report was adopted, and the committee re-elected as follows, viz.: Revs. C. D. P. Davies and C. W. O. Jenkyn, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. E. H. Lewis and E. Alex. Young.


Rev. A. T. Beeston read his report, and said that he had had copies of the records typed and handed to the hon. secretary. On the motion of the President, the report was adopted, and the committee re-appointed, viz.: Revs. A. T. Beeston and H. Law James, and Mr. T. Hervey Beams.


Rev. H. Drake for his committee referred to their anomalous and difficult position, as their report had been neither accepted nor rejected. Mr. T. Hervey Beams deprecated their work being nullified. Mr. J. A. Trollope, in explaining last year’s decision, said that what he objected to was autocratic rules for naming all records, and wholesale alterations in the names of methods which had been rung. After further remarks by the President, Mr. C. T. Coles, Mr. J. Hunt and Rev. H. Drake, Alderman J. S. Pritchett proposed, and Rev. E. S. Powell seconded, that the committee be thanked for their services, but not reappointed. The motion was carried by a large majority, and the committee thanked by the president for their services. The Council then adjourned.


After the interval, Mr. J. A. Trollope said the Council had empowered them to reissue the ‘Minor Methods,’ but it was also necessary for the committee to deal with names, and he moved that they be empowered to deal with the whole matter at their discretion. This was seconded by Rev. H. Law James. Mr. W. Willson opposed giving the power asked for, which had been previously taken from another committee, and Mr. T. Faulkner suggested that the committee should add to theirs the names of the late Nomenclature Committee, but Mr. E. W. Elwell opposed this. Mr. Trollope explained that they did not propose to throw over the Nomenclature Committee’s work entirely. Alderman J. S. Pritchett said he saw no harm if it were understood that the committee proposed to make the best selection from existing names. After Mr. J. A. Trollope gave a pledge to this effect, his motion was carried by a large majority.

The Hon. Secretary presented the revised ‘Rules and Decisions,’ which had been enlarged and brought up to date, especially in regard to the decisions (the triennial leaflet having been dispensed with for several years). He also said that the new matter would include a portrait of Sir Arthur Heywood, their founder, as a frontispiece. He then read the verbal alterations in the rules necessitated by the incorporation of certain decisions (a copy of which had been supplied to them) and further proposed that the summary leaflet circularised immediately after the annual meetings should be dispensed with, and that instead the official minutes should be published about January; also that he be instructed to send a copy of them to the affiliated bodies. The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who had collaborated in the work, supported the proposals, which, being seconded by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, were carried, with instructions that 300 copies be printed.

The President then called upon Mr. T. H. Taffender, who moved his resolution, ‘That the Council approach the British Broadcasting Corporation with a view to broadcasting during the evening programme a series of instructional talks on change ringing, with handbell demonstrations.’ After referring to lectures on bells, etc., in the ‘Children’s Hour,’ he said that he thought it would be better if the talk took place in the evening. Mr. A. D. Barker seconded. Revs. F. Ll. Edwards and C. D. P. Davies both supported the proposal, and said that the committee should consist of men living in London. Mr. A. A. Hughes said they had heard chiming on the ‘wireless,’ but the public, who did not understand change ringing, preferred it to even Stedman Cinques at Bow; they had got to overcome the difficulty of the B.B.C.’s idea of the public’s preference for chiming. Mr. H. W. Wilde supported the motion, which was carried, and a committee, consisting of Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, J. D. Matthews, A. A. Hughes, T. H. Taffender and E. Alex. Young, were elected to take action.

Mr. G. Williams moved that the agenda should be published twelve weeks, and notices of motions three months, before the Council meeting. Mr. A. H. Pulling seconded the motion, which was supported by Messrs. H. Barton and J. S. Goldsmith, and carried.

Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn moved his resolution, ‘That the Council should issue peal diplomas for young ringers,’ and explained his proposal at some length. This was seconded by the Hon. Secretary. Mr. C. H. Howard said that anything that would encourage the young ringer would be an advantage. Rev. H. Drake and Mr. T. R. Dennis supported the motion. Mr. W. Willson reminded the Council that he proposed this 20 years ago. After remarks by Revs. C. D. P. Davies and C. W. O. Jenkyn in favour of it, it was opposed by Messrs. P. J. Johnson, J. George and H. Barton, who asked that members should have another year to consider the matter. An amendment having been proposed by Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and seconded by Mr. W. T. Cockerill, that the matter be deferred until next meeting, was passed and agreed to as a motion, the hope being expressed that the members would consider it during the year.

Rev. H. Law James then moved his resolution, ‘That since William Shipway extended Superlative Surprise Major to Royal, and the first peal of Royal was rung at Wakefield in 1826, the Council cannot accept any extension to Maximus which does not agree with the Major and the Royal.’ The speaker said that he had dealt with the question at some length at the Newcastle meeting, and explained his motion by references to what had been accepted in other of the standard methods where they were based largely upon practice rather than theory. He contended that Shipway’s Royal stood on as firm a basis as did the extensions of London and Stedman, and that the decisions of 100 years ago should stand to-day. Mr. R. Richardson formally seconded.

Alderman J. S. Pritchett contended that since the Major and the Royal already disagreed with each other, the resolution was a meaningless one. Mr. J. W. Parker proposed, and Rev. E. S. Powell seconded, as an amendment, that in the opinion of the Council there is no correct extension of Superlative Surprise Major.

Mr. J. A. Trollope supported it, and pointed out the difficulties of the whole situation, and Mr. C. J. Sedgley defended the peal of Superlative Maximus rung at Ipswich, when Mr. C. T. Coles moved a further amendment that: ‘As the expert advisers of the Council disagree, this meeting is of the opinion that no good purpose can be served by coming to a definite decision on this subject.’ This was seconded by Rev. F. Ll. Edwards. After further remarks by Rev. H. Law James, the first amendment being withdrawn, the second on being put was carried by a large majority.

The President then called upon Mr. J. A. Trollope to move his resolution, ‘That a committee be appointed to report to the Council on the legal relationship between (a) bells, (b) ringers, and (c) ringing respectively on the one hand; and (d) the incumbent, (e) the churchwardens, and (f) the Parochial Councils respectively on the other hand, and any other legal matters affecting the Exercise. And, further, to consider the advisability of issuing a statement of these matters for the guidance of ringers and other persons affected.’ The speaker, after referring to the action of Parochial Councils, said he thought it would be advisable if the Council knew definitely how ringers stood in legal matters, and suggested Alderman J. S. Pritchett and Mr. F. A. Milne, who were barristers, to serve on the committee. Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded. Alderman J. S. Pritchett said a useful pamphlet might be compiled, so that ringers would know where they stood regarding incumbents and Parochial Councils. He suggested that Mr. E. W. Elwell be asked to compile the pamphlet. This was supported by Canon W. W. C. Baker, who said the control of the bells was absolutely in the hands of the incumbent. Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said there appeared, however, to be some doubt, and Rev. E. S. Powell said that churchwardens were associated with the incumbent in the tolling of one bell only. The motion was then agreed to. The Hon. Secretary then proposed that Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Messrs. F. A. Milne and E. W. Elwell be elected to form the committee. This was seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes, and carried.


The Standing Committee having recommended Hereford for next year, Mr. W. A. Cave proposed, and Rev. C. D. P. Davies seconded, Bristol; Canon F. J. O. Helmore proposed Wells; Rev. E. S. Powell then proposed Plymouth, which was seconded by Mr. James George. Upon being put to the meeting, the voting was as follows: Hereford 40, Bristol 28, and Plymouth 10. It was therefore decided that next year’s meeting should be held at Hereford.

The President moved that letters of thanks be sent to the Lord Mayor, Archdeacon Holmes and the Astronomer Royal. This motion was carried nem con, as was a vote of thanks to the president and one to the hon. secretary for arranging the social events. The meeting closed at five o’clock.

The Ringing World, February 24th, 1928, pages 124 to 125

The affiliated Associations and Guilds were represented as follows:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, T. Faulkner and A. A. Hughes.
Bath and Wells: Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire: Rev. Canon W. W. C. Baker and Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild: Mr. E. M. Atkins.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Rev. C. A. Clements, Messrs. E. W. Elwell, R. Sperring and R. D. Langford.
Devonshire: Rev. E. S. Powell, Messrs. E. W. Marsh and F. J. Davey.
Doncaster and District: Mr. H. Walker.
Dudley and District: Mr. S. J. Hughes.
Durham and Newcastle: Mr. W. Story.
Ely Diocesan: Mr. R. Dennis.
Essex: Messrs. C. H. Howard, G. R. Pye, E. J. Butler and W. J. Nevard.
Gloucester and Bristol: Messrs. W. A. Cave and E. Guise.
Hertford County: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake and Mr. W. Ayre.
Kent: Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, Messrs. E. Barnett, J. H. Cheesman and T. Groombridge.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss E. K. Parker.
Lancashire: Rev. Canon Elsee, Messrs. W. H. Shuker and P. Crook.
Lincoln Diocesan: Rev. H. Law James, Rev. H. T. Parry and Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan: Messrs. J. W. Jones and W. Bolton.
London County: Messrs. T. H. Taffender and A. D. Barker.
Middlesex: Messrs. F. A. Milne, C. T. Coles and W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties: Messrs. W. Willson and F. Bailey.
Norfolk: Mr. A. L. Coleman.
Oxford Diocesan: Rev. Canon Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. F. Hopgood and J. Evans.
Peterborough Diocesan: Messrs. F. Wilford, R. G. Black, T. Tebbutt and F. Hopper.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. S. Hillier and T. Hervey Beams.
Sherwood Youths: Mr. A. Coppock.
Stafford Archdeaconry: Messrs. H. Knight and T. J. Elton.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. J. D. Matthews, J. Parker and F. Smith.
Suffolk: Rev. H. Drake, C. Mee and C. J. Sedgley.
Surrey: Messrs. J. D. Drewett and C. Dean.
Sussex: Mr. J. T. Rickman.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan: Mr. A. J. Pitman.
Truro Diocesan: Mr. W. H. Southeard.
Warwickshire: Messrs. H. Argyle and F. W. Perrens.
Winchester Diocesan: Messrs. G. Williams, H. Barton and A. H. Pulling.
Worcestershire: Messrs. C. A. Binyon, R. G. Knowles and T. J. Salter.
Yorkshire: Messrs. P. J. Johnson and J. Cotterell.

The following honorary members also attended: Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Rev. A. T. Beeston, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, J. George, H. Wilde, J. S. Pritchett, J. W. Parker, J. Griffin and E. A. Young, hon. treasurer and secretary.

The Ringing World, June 10th, 1927, page 360

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