Minutes of the second session of the sixteenth Council (45th annual meeting), held in the Chapter House, Canterbury, on Whitsun Tuesday, May 18th, 1937, at 11 o’clock.

In the unavoidable absence of the Archbishop, due to Coronation duties, the Council was welcomed by Canon F. J. O. Helmore, a former member of the Council and for very many years secretary of the Kent County Association.

The thanks of the Council were expressed by the President. The meeting opened with prayers offered by Canon G. F. Coleridge.


Ancient Society of College Youths- Mr. A. B. Peck.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association- Mr. H. W. Brown, Mr. J. T. Dyke, Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association- Mr. A. King.
Cambridge University Guild- Mr. E. M. Atkins, Mr. E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan Guild- Mr. A. Crawley, Mr. H. Parker.
Devon Guild- Mr. T. Laver.
East Derbyshire and Notts Association- Mr. T. Clarke.
Ely Diocesan Association- Mr. C. W. Cook, Mr. F. Warrington, Miss K. Willers.
Essex Association- Mr. E. J. Butler, Mr. G. R. Pye, Mr. L. W. Wiffen.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association- Mr. W. B. Kynaston.
Guildford Diocesan Guild- Mr. G. L. Grover, Mr. A. C. Hazelden, Mr. A. H. Pulling.
Hertford County Association- Mr. W. Ayre.
Kent County Association- Mr. J. H. Cheesman, Mr. T. Groombridge, Mr. F. M. Mitchell, Mr. T. E. Sone.
Ladies’ Guild- Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, Mrs. R. Richardson.
Lancashire Association- Mr. W. H. Shuker, Mr. L. J. Williams, Mr. T. B. Worsley.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild- Mr. J. Bray, Ven. Archdeacon H. T. Parry, Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association- Mr. J. W. Jones, Mr. C. H. Perry.
London County Association- Mr. F. E. Dawe, Mr. T. H. Taffender, Mr. J. A. Waugh.
Middlesex County Association- Mr. C. T. Coles, Mr. G. W. Fletcher, Mr. W. H. Hollier, Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Midland Counties Association- Mr. A. J. Harris, Mr. J. H. Swinfield, Mr. E. Denison Taylor.
Norwich Diocesan Association- Mr. A. L. Coleman, Mr. F. Nolan Golden.
North Staffs and District Association- Mr. A. Thompson.
Oxford Diocesan Guild- Mr. A. D. Barker, the Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, Mr. A. E. Lock, Mr. R. A. Post.
Oxford Society- Mr. W. G. Collett.
Oxford University Society- The Rev. C. E. Wigg.
Romney Marsh and District Guild- Mr. P. Page.
St. Martin’s Guild- Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild- The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. S. H. Hillier, Mr. C. H. Jennings, Mr. F. W. Romaine.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths- Mr. G. H. Cross, Mr. G. Gilbert, Mr. J. Parker, Mr. G. W. Steere.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society.- Mr. B. Horton, Mr. H. Knight.
Suffolk Guild- The Rev. H. Drake, Mr. C. Mee.
Surrey Association- Mr. W. Claydon, Mr. D. Cooper, Mr. C. H. Kippin.
Sussex County Association- Mr. H. R. Butcher.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild- Mr. G. I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild- Mr. C. E. Lanxon.
Warwickshire Guild- Mr. D. H. Argyle, Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild- Mr. G. Pullinger, Mr. F. W. Rogers, Mr. G. Williams.
Worcester and Districts Association- Mr. J. D. Johnson.
Yorkshire Association- Mr. J. Hardcastle, Mr. P. J. Johnson, Mr. S. F. Palmer.
Honorary Members- Messrs. W. A. Cave, C. Dean, J. S. Goldsmith, J. H. B. Hesse, A. A. Hughes, C. F. Johnston, J. A. Trollope, E. C. S. Turner, A. Walker, S. H. Wood, E. Alex. Young.


The hon. secretary reported that the composition of the Council was now as follows:-

Associations affiliated50
Total members to which entitled138
Total members elected135
Honorary members15

The alterations from last year were the affiliation of the Sussex County Association with four representatives, an addition of one representative from the Warwickshire Guild and one less from the Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild.

It was also reported that Lord Shaftesbury had consented to his election as honorary member.

The following subscriptions were reported unpaid: Cambridge University Guild, Durham and Newcastle Association, North Notts Association and North Wales Association, and attention was drawn to Rule 5.

As the operation of this rule would prevent the president from speaking or voting, it was proposed by Mr. A. Paddon Smith, seconded by Mr. Stephen H. Wood, and resolved, that Mr. E. H. Lewis be elected an honorary member.

(Note.- The unpaid subscriptions have since been paid.)


On the president’s motion, it was resolved that the following address be sent:-

‘The members of the Central Council of Church Bellringers, who represent 21,000 change ringers, assembled for their annual meeting in the Chapter House, Canterbury Cathedral, wish to repeat to your Majesty the message of congratulation and loyalty which rang out last Wednesday from the church towers of the country.- Edwin H. Lewis, President.’

The following reply was received:-

‘The King is much gratified to receive your message of congratulation on the occasion of His Majesty’s Coronation. I am desired to express his warm thanks to all who joined in these good wishes.- Private Secretary.’


On the proposal of Mr. J. A. Trollope, seconded by Mr. C. F. Johnston, it was resolved that the following retiring members be re-elected: The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Messrs. A. A. Hughes, E. C. S. Turner and S. H. Wood.


In accordance with Rule 11, the following members were presented: Mr. L. J. Williams (Lancashire Association) and Mr. W. Claydon (Surrey Association).


Apologies were received from Mr. W. T. Cockerill (Ancient Society of College Youths), the Rev. W. M. K. Warren (Bath and Wells), Mr. A. E. Sharman (Bedford), the Rev. E. V. Cox (Devon), Messrs. W. H. Barber and W. J. Davidson (Durham and Newcastle), Mr. E. P. Duffield (Essex), Messrs. H. E. C. Goodenough and C. W. Woolley (Hertford), Mr. G. Lindoff (Irish), Mr. G. R. Newton (Lancashire), Mr. G. Chester (Lincoln), Mr. W. H. J. Hooton (Midland Counties), Messrs. F. Colclough and K. Thacker (North Staffs), Mr. C. E. Borrett (Norwich), Mr. R. G. Black (Peterborough), Mr. W. Saunders (Shropshire), Messrs. C. J. Sedgley and S. H. Symonds (Suffolk), Mr. S. E. Armstrong (Sussex), Mr. H. Barton (Winchester and Portsmouth), Mr. C. H. Woodberry (Worcester and Districts), Canon C. C. Marshall (Yorkshire), and honorary members, Alderman J. S. Pritchett, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. C. W. Roberts.


The president reported the death of the following members and past members:-

The Rev. A. H. F. Boughey (1892-1928, president 1918-20), the Rev. E. W. Carpenter (1891-1932), Mr. F. Wilford (1904-1936), Mr. A. Coppock (1924-1935), Mr. J. Phillips (1932-1935), Mr. H. S. Ellis (1912-1914), Mr. R. J. Dawe (1909-1911), Mr. A. E. Wreaks (1895-1896), Mr. G. W. Stokes (1937).

A silent tribute was paid with all members standing.


It was proposed by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes and carried, that the minutes published in ‘The Ringing World’ on March 26th and April 2nd, pages 197-199 and 213, and circulated to all members, be taken as read and be approved.


The following reports, etc., were circulated to all members and associations, and have been published in full or in brief form in ‘The Ringing World.’ They are preserved in the Council’s records and available for inspection:-

(Vide ‘The Ringing World,’ May 28th, 1937, pages 355-6.)

In the unavoidable absence of the hon. librarian, the report and accounts were presented by the hon. secretary, who moved the adoption. The resolution was seconded by Mr. A. Paddon Smith and carried.

Arising out of the report, the following matters were dealt with on the recommendation of the Standing Committee: (a) The 962 copies of the Glossary to be offered to associations on payment of postage, the out-of-date matter to be indicated by rubber stamp. (b) Model Rules for a Local Company and Preservation of Bells to be reprinted, decision to be made by Standing Committee as to number of copies required and revision necessary. (c) Hints to Instructors and Beginners to be reprinted if demand continues. (d) The officers to consider the preparation of a book on double-handed handbell ringing. (e) Insurance should be effected on the stock of publications and the contents of the library.

The recommendations were adopted on the motion of Mr. G. W. Fletcher, seconded by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and on the proposal of Mr. G. W. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. S. H. Wood, the thanks of the Council were accorded to those who had kindly presented additional books to the library.

(Vide ‘The Ringing World,’ May 28th, 1937, page 356.)

The hon. treasurer represented the accounts and reported that these had been audited by Mr. A. A. Hughes, who moved the adoption and Mr. C. T. Coles, who seconded the motion. The accounts were adopted.

(‘The Ringing World,’ May 28th, 1937, page 356.)

The report was presented by Mr. E. Alex. Young (senior trustee), and on his proposal, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes, was adopted. It was also agreed to pay the demonstrator’s fee of 10s. 6d.

(‘The Ringing World,’ May 28th, 1937, page 356.)

The hon. secretary presented the formal report of the committee and moved the adoption. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Fletcher and carried.

(‘The Ringing World,’ May 28th, 1937, page 356.)

A letter from Mr. Lindoff was read by the hon. secretary stating that the peal collection was delayed owing to failure of members of the committee to return selections of peals.

The letter was accepted as the report of the committee, and on the proposal of Mr. J. A. Trollope, seconded by Mr. W. H. Hollier, was adopted.

(‘The Ringing World,’ May 28th, 1937, pages 356 and 357.)

The report was presented by Mr. J. A. Trollope, who moved the adoption. The motion was seconded by Mr. E. C. S. Turner and carried. The committee indicated that they would deal with the question of reprinting Plain Major and Cater Methods, which were nearly sold out.

The committee recommended ‘that in order to assist the Council in keeping up to date a register of methods which have been rung, the secretaries of affiliated societies be asked to forward to the Council the figures of any method rung for the first time and the composition, together with particulars of first performance.’

The recommendation was adopted on the proposal of Mr. S. H. Wood, seconded by Mr. E. C. S. Turner.

(‘The Ringing World,’ April 23rd, 1937, pages 267-9.)

In presenting the report, Mrs. Fletcher stated that since its publication in ‘The Ringing World,’ two alterations had been made, i.e., a non-association peal of Bob Minor was now included with the peals of the Ely Diocesan Association, and a peal in seven Surprise methods had been added to the record of new methods.

The committee referred three matters for the Council’s decision:-

(a) As to whether Pitman’s and Morris’ Doubles were contrary to the Council’s decisions. (No action was taken on this matter as the question was to be debated later.)

(b) As to whether two peals of Doubles, rung for the Hertford County Association, containing Oxford Singles, should be excluded from the Analysis. The Standing Committee recommended that the Council regret the inclusion of such a method in a peal considering the number of methods available.

(c) As to whether a peal of Minor rung for the Yorkshire Association, containing a plain course of Woodbine in addition to an extent in that method should be included, there being some doubt as to where the plain course was inserted. The Standing Committee recommended that the committee make further inquiry.

The report was adopted on the proposal of Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. G. R. Pye, and on the president’s motion the Standing Committee’s recommendations were adopted.

It was proposed by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, seconded by Mr. A. Walker, and carried, that it be an instruction to the committee that, when necessary information is not forthcoming when the statistics are made up, the peals should be ignored and omitted from the Analysis.

The committee recommended the addition of Mr. W. Ayre to the committee, and on the proposal of Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. F. Perrens, this was adopted.

(‘The Ringing World,’ June 4th, 1937, page 373.)

The report was presented by the president as convener of the committee, and its adoption was also moved by him. Various matters not referred to in the report on which the committee’s advice had been sought were also reported. These included assistance in dealing with architects and diocesan authorities on bell restorations at the request of bellfounders and others; considering steps in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings to preserve an old bell frame which was unfit for further use, and which eventually was lifted higher in the tower to enable a new frame to be built. The question of whether damage may be caused in certain towers as the result of lowering bells in peal was dealt with by the president. His final remarks were: ‘I can conceive that bells when part of the way down would get in step with the tower, and if they were to continue to ring the bells at that height it was possible it would do some damage to the tower, but they would have to do so for some considerable time unless the tower was so weak that they ought not to ring at all.’

The president also dealt with the subject of welding of bells, and stated that in his opinion only in very exceptional cases should welding be tried.

The report was adopted and it was also agreed on the president’s motion to send an appropriate letter to the Church authorities with regard to All Hallows’, Lombard Street, which was to be demolished, asking that when the bells were moved they be moved as a whole peal to a proper tower and be hung for ringing; to purchase a set of Davis silencers to be loaned out to any responsible persons for trial purposes on payment of postage both ways; to send a donation of £1 1s. to the Anti-Noise League and to endeavour to keep in close contact with that organisation; to take steps through the secretaries of affiliated societies to ascertain which of the Diocesan Advisory Committees had a member who knew anything about bells and bell-hanging and which of them had not, with a view to considering what could be done to make this knowledge available to all the committees. The information obtained to be circulated to all members.

(‘The Ringing World,’ June 11th, 1937, pages 391-392.)

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards presented the committee’s report dealing with the various references to ringing which had been made in the London and Provincial Press during the year and the various broadcasts.

On his motion, seconded by Mr. A. Walker, the report was adopted.

(‘The Ringing World,’ June 11th, 1937, page 392.)

The report was submitted by Mr. W. H. Hollier, and on his proposal, seconded by Mr. W. Ayre, was adopted.

As to the committee’s request for instructions with regard to the details required, it was proposed by Mr. A. D. Barker, seconded by Mr. R. Richardson, and carried, that as many details as are obtainable be recorded.

It was agreed to add Mr. W. G. Wilson to the committee, on the proposal of Mr. W. H. Hollier, seconded by Mr. C. T. Coles.

(‘The Ringing World,’ June 11th, 1937, pages 392-3.)

The report was presented by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith. The committee suggested that in view of the great variety and style of the photographs received, a separate photographic album was necessary, this to be cross-indexed to the biographical volume, and requested permission to incur an initial expense up to three guineas for the purchase of these albums, and where necessary to copy photographs at a cost not exceeding 1s. 6d. each.

The Standing Committee recommended that the most satisfactory method would be to keep the photograph with the biography, and to enable this to be done, to obtain reproductions of the photographs in a uniform size.

The Standing Committee supported the committee’s recommendation that biographical details and photographs of members of the present Council be obtained, and those of future members when they come to the Council. These to be filed and added to the album when the subjects cease to be members of the Council.

The recommendations were accepted by the committee, and on the proposal of Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, seconded by Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, the report and recommendations were adopted.

(‘The Ringing World,’ June 18th, 1937, page 409.)

In order that members may have further opportunity to send in suggestions for incorporation in the final report, only an interim report was presented, which, on the proposal of the hon. secretary, seconded by Mr. F. E. Dawe, was adopted.

(‘The Ringing World,’ June 18th, 1937, page 409.)

The president submitted the report of the officers of the Council, the adoption of which was recommended by the Standing Committee. It was agreed to request all secretaries of affiliated associations to furnish particulars of local customs, and details of these if thought suitable to be included in the final report. The completed report to be considered by the Standing Committee and after approval to be circulated to all members and finally to be submitted to the ecclesiastical authorities.


On the proposal of Canon G. F. Coleridge, seconded by Mr. T. Groombridge, a vote of thanks was passed to all members for their work during the year.


It was proposed by Mr. W. G. Wilson, seconded by Mr. E. C. S. Turner, that so much of all previous resolutions of the Council as defines or attempts to define what shall be recognised as a peal of Doubles be rescinded and that the following be substituted therefor:-

  1. Peals of Doubles shall consist of 5,040 or more changes rung in (a) True and complete six-scores without interval between any two six-scores and without rounds or any other row being struck more than once before the next change is made. (b) round blocks consisting of two or more six-scores, provided that each of the six-scores which comprise the round block shall be itself a true and complete round block. (c) Twelve scores known Morris’ and Pitman’s. (d) Combinations of (a), (b) and (c) above or any two of them.

  2. Peals of Doubles may be rung with or without a covering bell.

The motion was carried, the voting being 33-11.

NOTE.- The following was deleted from the original motion on the proposal of Mr. J. A. Trollope, seconded by the Rev. H. Drake, the motion to delete being accepted by the proposers:-

‘At the conclusion of 5,040 or more changes rung in accordance with (1) above, one true touch of any length less than 120 changes may be added.’


It was proposed by Mr. P. J. Johnson, seconded by Mr. S. F. Palmer, and carried, that the next meeting be held at Leeds.



On the proposal of Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. J. A. Trollope, it was resolved that a letter of congratulation be sent to the society on the occasion of their tercentenary.


On the proposal of Mr. F. W. Rogers, seconded by Mr. A. D. Barker, it was resolved to convey congratulations to this Guild on the occasion of their silver jubilee.


The hon. secretary asked for members’ views on broadcasts of bell records from churches by amplifiers and loud speakers and other imitations of actual ringing. Various views were expressed, but no formal motion was passed.


No action was taken on Mr. A. J. Harris’ suggestion that notices of motions should be in the hon. secretary’s hands by December 31st to enable earlier circulation to members.


The president called attention to a resolution of the Council that bells should preferably be raised and lowered in peal, but if not it was desirable they should be raised or lowered singly and in order. He appealed to all members to follow the Council’s recommendation themselves and also induce other ringers to do so.


The hon. secretary invited all members to assist in the preparation of a booklet of the Council by sending full information regarding their societies and advising from time to time any changes in representation or addresses.


On the proposal of the Rev. H. Drake, seconded by Mr. E. A. Young, the sum of £3 3s. was voted to the scheme for the alteration of the tower of St. George’s, Bolton, as a memorial to the late Canon Elsee, and, on the president’s motion, the sum of £3 3s. was voted in respect of the late Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake, if the Ely Diocesan Guild promote a memorial fund.


On the president’s motion, the thanks of the Council were accorded to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury for the use of the Chapter House, to the Kent County Association for their kind hospitality, to Mr. F. M. Mitchell, Mr. Luck and Mr. T. E. Sone, and the committee of the Kent County Association for arrangements, to the various church authorities for the use of bells, and towerkeepers for their assistance, and to Mr. Morton Pierce for conducting members round the Cathedral.

On the proposal of Mr. W. Ayre, seconded by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, thanks were accorded to the hon. secretary and Mrs. Fletcher for work during the year.

A vote of thanks to the president was passed on the proposal of Canon Coleridge.

The meeting terminated at about 5 o’clock.

The Ringing World, April 15th, 1938, pages 242 to 243, and April 22nd, 1938, page 258

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