The third session of the thirteenth Council (37th annual meeting) was held in the Cathedral Hall, Chelmsford, on Whitsun Tuesday, May 21st, at 11 a.m.


There were present at the general meeting 78 members (32 guilds and associations being represented).

The chair was taken by the president, who opened the meeting with prayer.

In the unavoidable absence of the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Council was welcomed by Canon Morrow, Sub-Dean and Rector of Chelmsford, and by the Mayor.

Canon Morrow, on behalf of the Church, expressed him appreciation of the work done by the Council, and the high level to which the whole idea of ringing had been brought during the last twenty or thirty years.

The Mayor, on behalf of the city, gave the Council a hearty welcome to what he described as one of the most beautiful of English counties.

The President then thanked the Canon and the Mayor, and the Council proceeded to discuss the business upon the agenda.

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

Apologies for absence for received from the Revs. C. D. P. Davies, A. T. Beeston, H. S. T. Richardson, F. J. O. Helmore, Canon Elsee, E. W. Carpenter, C. C. Marshall, Messrs. J. W. Parker, J. Cotterell, P. J. Johnson, J. S. Pritchett, A. Paddon-Smith, H. Knight, E. H. Lewis, H. Haigh, H. Barton, W. Ayre, J. Clark, J. D. Matthews, T. H. Taffender and H. G. Fretwell.

Several of the above were incapacitated by illness, especially the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, and a sympathetic reference was made of the fact by the president.


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 £26 15s. 6d., and that the balance, after the receipts (which included £5 5s. for the broadcast lecture), and expenditure of the year had been dealt with, was £31 19s. 6d. There was also £100 (nominal) on deposit.

The accounts were adopted on the motion of Mr. Griffin, seconded by Mr. Hughes.

The Hon. Secretary stated that they would hear with regret that the Gloucester and Bristol Association (one of the founders of the Council) had seceded, but two other associations had joined, viz., the Oxford University Guild and the St. Clement’s Youths, London.

The Hon. Librarian, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, then read his statement, saying that the amount realised on the sale of publications during the past year was £6 5s. 3d., that is one pound in excess of the previous year, due to the ‘on sale or return’ agents. He stated that he had received the last instalment of the ‘Treble Bob Peals Collection,’ most ably typed by Mrs. Fletcher. During the year he had received numerous applications for publications which were now out of print, through members not consulting the Council’s weekly advertisements. He had sent the Heywood MSS. to Mr. Trollope. The Hon. Secretary said that he had inspected some of the MSS. with Mr. Trollope, and they had concluded to recommend that the papers be sorted, put into covers and docketed and returned to the library for future use.

Mr. Trollope, in agreeing with the previous speaker, said that though many of the connecting links of the correspondence were missing, it was possible that the papers might be deemed useful in subsequent years.

On the motion of the President, the report was adopted, and the Council decided that the book, ‘On the Preservation of Bells, etc.,’ should be revised before being republished.


The following hon. members being due to retire, viz., Mrs. Edwards, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Mr. Jas. George, and Mr. H. W. Wilde, the President said that the Standing Committee had recommended the election of Mr. W. A. Cave in place of Mrs. Edwards.

Mr. J. Hunt then proposed the election of Mr. Cave, as hon. member of the Council, which was seconded by the Rev. E. S. Powell, and, on the motion of the President, the remaining three outgoing members were re-elected.

The new members attending for the first time were then introduced to and welcomed by the president.

The Hon. Secretary then mentioned the loss by death of Mr. J. D. Drewett (Surrey Association), Mr. R. B. Chambers (Midland Counties Association), and Mr. R. Holloway (Middlesex County Association), and the Council stood in silence as a mark of respect.


The Hon. Secretary reported that the committee proposed that a letter of congratulation on his recovery from serious illness be sent to the King, after the day of thanksgiving, and also particulars of the peals rung in celebration of the event.- This was unanimously endorsed by the Council.


The Hon. Secretary stated that this book had been brought up to date (as they would observe).


He further reported that fair progress in reconditioning the machine had been made, and he hoped at the next meeting to report that it had been completed.


He informed the Council that they had received a revised offer, based on 100 persons using the tickets, and that it was deemed advisable to postpone acceptance until next year’s meeting.


Mrs. Fletcher reported that the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson was proving the peals of Treble Bob with the tenors parted, and the work was still in hand. The report was accepted.


Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who reported for the committee, said that the year had been remarkable for several good and sympathetic articles on bells, and for the publication of ‘Bells Through the Ages’ - a great addition to our literature.

He referred to the necessity of keeping a watchful eye in the case of any proposal being brought before Parliament for the prevention of noises, which might include a reference to bells.

The President praised the report, and on his motion it was adopted.


Sub-Committee.- Mr. E. W. Elwell reported that they had revised the ‘Rules for a Local Company,’ which they suggested should be published at a cost not exceeding £5, for sale at 6d. per copy. On the motion of the President, the report was adopted.


Rev. H. Law James, in presenting this committee’s report, reminded the Council that they were authorised to publish a new edition of the Minor Methods, but, in view of the controversial issues involved, they had thought it wiser to defer publication until now, when they were prepared to publish a complete book containing the whole of the information which had gradually been gathered together.

Mr. Trollope, in seconding, reminded the Council of the long services of this committee of thirty years’ standing, and its undoubted experience. He reviewed the differences of opinion which obtained as to what should be included in the book, or otherwise, and strongly urged the Council to pass the list of compositions as published, and, referring to the arrangements of Morris, Pitman and Bankes James, he advocated that they also should be included in the work.

Mr. W. Willson spoke strongly against the adoption of the report, and proposed that it be deferred back for the deletion of the Morris and Pitman Doubles, the London Minor and the Cambridge Surprise Minor, and Mr. Jas. George formally seconded.

Considerable discussion then ensued, Mr. Coles submitting that much of the argument might be deferred until resolution No. 7 was reached, a view supported by Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake. The Hon. Secretary here interpolated the remark that the compositions might be put into an appendix.

After further remarks by Messrs. Pulling and Cave, the latter proposed that the disputed peals be put in as an appendix to the book.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith protested against the committee publishing the compositions in question, and maintained that the Council’s book, when published, should serve practical uses only, and should not include anything merely for historical purposes. He further remarked that, whilst he was not prepared to say that the Bankes James’ Cambridge Minor was false, he hoped that the other compositions in dispute would be excluded from the publication.

At this point the Council adjourned for lunch.

After the adjournment, Mr. Pulling suggested that the disputed compositions should be inserted with a footnote that they were not to be rung in peals, whereupon Mr. Coles, on a point of order, asked whether this was not prejudicing Motion No. 7, and the President concurred.

Mr. James Hunt objected to the disputed peals being included in the book, and Mr. H. W. Wilde supported him.

Rev. E. S. Powell, as a member of the Methods Committee, then further explained its views. He suggested that the distinction as to truth which critics of the Methods Committee had tried to draw between various compositions in question was illogical and false. The value of these productions for peal purposes could only be judged by practical experience in the belfry.

Mr. Willson’s motion was then taken as an amendment, and after two counts was declared carried by 30 votes to 29.

It was then put by the president as a substantive motion, with the addition of the words, ‘because they are all hopelessly false,’ which however, was declared as lost.

A deadlock having arisen, it was, after some discussion, proposed by Mr. W. A. Cave and seconded by Mr. C. Mee, that these peals should be inserted as an appendix under the heading, ‘The insertion of these compositions does not commit anybody to the opinion that they are suitable to peal ringing.’

This was carried by 44 votes to 3, and the report adopted accordingly.


Mrs. Fletcher formally moved the adoption of the report for this committee, its analysis having already been published, which, was seconded by Mr. Geo. Williams and adopted.

The Hon. Secretary then said he regretted to say that Mr. J. W. Parker and Rev. A. T. Beeston had withdrawn from the committee. Mr. J. S. Goldsmith proposed, and Rev. E. S. Powell seconded, that Mr. Jas. George and Mr. Geo. R. Pye be elected to fill the vacancies on the committee. This was carried unanimously.

The report was adopted, and the President, on behalf of the Council, thanked Mrs. Fletcher and Mr. Parker for the enormous amount of work they had done in connection with the interesting report.


Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn reported for this committee. He referred to the report, which had already been published, on belfry acoustics, a subject which he thought deserved serious attention. He moved that the committee’s report be adopted. Mr. E. M. Atkins, asking whether anything further had been done regarding the welding of bells, Mr. C. J. Sedgley stated that one at Ipswich had been so treated most satisfactorily.

Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn suggested that the committee should undertake revision of the book on the preservation of bells. This addition to the report being seconded by Major Hesse, it was adopted and the committee authorised to do the above-mentioned work.


Mr. T. H. Beams reported for this committee, and read a list of the first peals and new methods and progressive lengths in others which had been rung since the last report. On the motion of the President, the report was duly adopted.


Mr. F. A. Milne read an interesting and valuable report dealing with the rights, privileges and liabilities of all those having to do with church bells. After a short discussion, the President said that the Council were very grateful to the members of the committee for their valuable report, which, on his motion, was then adopted.


Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, reporting for the committee, said that the ‘talk’ on bellringing given on September 19th, 1929, had proved an unqualified success, and he had received many letters from different parts of the country in confirmation of this.

The President said the thanks of the Exercise would be accorded to Mr. Edwards and the ringers who had assisted him, and on his motion the report was adopted.


The Council then proceeded to discuss the motions on the agenda.

Mr. R. Whittington moved, and Mr. A. H. Pulling seconded, ‘That this Council will not recognise as a peal of Minor or Doubles any compositions in which the bells do not strike in 720 or 120 different orders respectively, before beginning the next 720 or 120,’ these members, in briefly asking the Council to support their motion, explained that it was to reinforce the decision passed by the Council at Hereford the year before, and that they desired to emphasise that in both cases referred to the changes should start from and finish at rounds.

After Rev. E. S. Powell had suggested that the motion could be made more acceptable in its terms, Mr. J. Hunt raised the point as to the actual meaning of the resolution passed at Hereford, following upon which, the Rev. E. S. Powell then moved the following amendment: ‘That this Council will not recognise as a peal of Minor or Doubles any composition in which the 720’s or 120’s were not true and complete and which did not start from and end with “rounds,”’ and said that he deprecated proceeding any further than the Hereford decision (certainly for a year or two), in order that the pros and cons could be better appreciated. Mr. F. W. Perrens seconded this.

Rev. H. Law James in endeavouring to clear up the position, which was becoming somewhat obscured, then illustrated his views upon the nature of a ‘round block’ by reference to the clock hanging beside them on the wall, dividing its figures into six divisions, starting at 12 o’clock, or ‘rounds,’ and proceeding clockwise with the changes until they finished at 12 o’clock with the same ‘rounds,’ claiming that those at the end were those at the beginning. After considerable further discussion, in which he, the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and Messrs. W. Willson, W. A. Cave, and C. T. Coles took part, Mr. R. Whittington then said that he and his seconder were prepared to withdraw their motion and support the amendment. The withdrawal being agreed, Mr. J. A. Trollope then pointed out that the passing of the amendment, which had now become the resolution, would exclude the Bankes James Cambridge which, he thought, many would deem undesirable. There was evidently a wide difference of opinion indeed. It might better to leave the Hereford resolution as it stood.

Rev. F. Ll. Edwards then proposed as an amendment ‘That in view of the fact that the practices affected by this resolution were at present in an entirely experimental stage, further consideration be deferred until a future meeting,’ and Mr. C. T. Coles seconded.

After a few further remarks, this amendment was put to the meeting and carried by 34 votes to 24; and, on being put as a substantive motion; the President declared it carried by a large majority. The whole question thus remained to be discussed at some future meeting.

(The discussion, with that on the methods report, occupied several hours.)

In the absence of Mr. E. W. Elwell, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn moved, ‘That honorary members pay an affiliation fee of 5s. each per annum; (b) that associations in future pay a fee of 5s. per representative per annum.’

Mr. J. Hunt, deprecated the idea that hon. members, who came there at their own expense, be penalised, and moved that the portion of the motion relating to hon. members be deleted. The amendment, seconded by Mr. A. H. Pulling, was carried by a large majority. There was, however, no discussion regarding the increase of affiliation fees of associations from 2s. 6d. to 5s. per annum, and the motion, as amended, on being put to the meeting, was carried by 44 votes to 6.

Mr. Drake proposed that ‘(a) The Council asks each association to appoint a consultant to the Advisory Committee or Committees in its area; (b) The Council asks each association to make every effort to get as many ringers as possible elected to Parochial Church Councils, to Diocesan Committees and to the Church Assembly.’

The proposer said that he recognised that the Council had already circularised these committees within recent years, but his present motion was that each association be urged to themselves secure the election of someone to the advisory committees. It was an expert ringer that was required in such a case, and he hoped that his motion would be carried. Further, also, that the members would see that their associations put forward ringers as candidates for the Councils, and so on, to the conferences, and then the Church Assembly. Mr. C. J. Sedgley seconded. Mr. C. H. Howard, in supporting the motion, emphasised the fact that a committee member was much stronger than a mere consultant, as he knew from his own experience on the Diocesan Advisory Board at Chelmsford. He said that it was for the associations to approach their Bishops to obtain nomination to these boards. From remarks of subsequent speakers, it appeared that consulting members of these boards were not always invited to attend the meetings, even when their services might have proved useful. But the Rev. H. Law James, speaking to the contrary, said that he was supplied by the Board at Lincoln with all papers connected with bells, and his advice was always faithfully followed. The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn stated that he, too, had had much the same experience.

The proposer, having replied to some of the points which had been raised, the motion was then carried.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith moved, ‘That the rules of the Council be amended in order to provide that the notice and agenda of each annual meeting of the Council be published at least eight weeks, instead of twelve weeks, prior to such meeting.’

The proposer having explained his motion, and Mr. C. T. Coles, having seconded, it was carried without further discussion.

In the absence of Mr. W. Ayre (through illness), Mr. E. A. Young proposed, ‘That a committee be appointed to consider the best method of dealing with cases of extraordinary sickness amongst members of our affiliated change ringing associations, with power to report to the next annual meeting.’

This was seconded by Mr. Jas. George, and, after some discussion, for and against, the motion, on being put, was lost by a very large majority, it being felt that any scheme of this kind should be dealt with by the individual associations.

The President then referred to the next item on the agenda, which was to fix the place of next year’s London meeting. The Hon. Secretary stated that he had approached the Archbishop of Canterbury with a view to meeting at Lambeth Palace, and whilst he was speaking a telegram was received from the chaplain saying that, subject to no unforeseen occurrences, the Archbishop was only too pleased to place a room at their disposal and to welcome the Council personally if possible. The procedure was left with the hon. secretary.

This finished the business on the Council’s agenda. But Mr. Jas. George then suggested that the Council should issue a book containing the names and addresses of all ringers.

The President, however, stated that this was out of order, and that it should be brought up by way of a resolution to be discussed next year.

Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn proposed, and Mr. T. Faulkner seconded, a hearty vote of thanks to the chairman for presiding that day. Both speakers feelingly referred to the severe illness from which the president had now providentially recovered, and the vote was carried with applause.

The President, having expressed his thanks for their kindness that day and during his late illness, then proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor and to the Sub-Dean of Chelmsford, and to Mr. C. H. Howard and the Essex Association (whose jubilee had been celebrated the day before) for their kindly welcome of the Council on its visit to Chelmsford, which was carried, and the meeting concluded at about five o’clock.

The Ringing World, March 28th, 1930, pages 202 to 203

The following representatives were present:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, A. A. Hughes and T. Faulkner.
Bath and Wells Association: Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild: Mr. E. M. Atkins.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Rev. C. A. Clements, Messrs. E. W. Elwell, R. D. Langford and R. Sperring.
Devonshire Guild: Rev. E. S. Powell and Mr. F. J. Davey.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. S. J. Hughes.
Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association: Messrs. T. T. Gofton and W. H. Barber.
Ely Diocesan Association: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake and Mr. T. R. Dennis.
Essex County Association: Messrs. C. H. Howard, G. R. Pye, W. J. Nevard and E. J. Butler.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. A. H. Pulling, W. Shepherd and R. Whittington.
Hertford County Association: Mr. F. W. Elliott.
Kent County Association: Messrs. E. Barnett, sen., and T. Groombridge, sen.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher.
Lancashire Association: Messrs. H. Chapman, W. H. Shuker and P. Crook.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Revs. H. Law James and H. T. Parry, Messrs. R. Richardson and J. T. Brown.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. W. Jones and W. Bolton.
London County Association: Mr. A. D. Barker.
Middlesex County Association and London Diocesan Guild: Messrs. F. A. Milne, C. T. Coles and W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties Association: Messrs. W. Willson and J. H. Swinfield.
Norfolk Guild: Messrs. A. L. Coleman and G. P. Burton.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Rev. Canon Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. J. Evans and F. W. Hopgood.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Messrs. F. Wilford, R. G. Black, F. Hopper and T. Tebbutt.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. T. H. Beams and S. Hillier.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Mr. J. Parker.
Suffolk Guild: Rev. H. Drake, Messrs. C. Mee, C. J. Sedgley and S. H. Symonds.
Surrey Association: Mr. C. Dean.
Swansea and Brecon Guild: Mr. A. J. Pitman.
Truro Diocesan Guild: Mr. W. H. Southeard.
Warwickshire Guild: Messrs. H. Argyle and F. W. Perrens.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild: Mr. G. Williams.
Worcestershire and Districts Association: Mr. T. J. Salter.
Hon. members: Messrs. J. A. Trollope, J. Griffin, C. F. Johnston, H. W. Wilde, J. H. B. Hesse, C. F. Johnston, J. George, J. S. Goldsmith, W. A. Cave and E. Alex. Young (hon. secretary and treasurer).

The Ringing World, May 31st, 1929, page 345

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