The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers


Minutes of the Second Session of the Twenty-fourth Council (64th Annual Meeting), held in the Town Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, on Whitsun Tuesday, May 23rd, 1961.

A welcome was extended to the Council by the Lord Mayor of Stoke (Councillor Gordon Dale), the Lord Bishop of Lichfield (Dr. A. S. Reeve), the Venerable G. Youll (Archdeacon of Stoke and president of the North Staffordshire Association) and the Rector of Stoke (Prebendary F. A. R. Chapman). The president replied on behalf of the Council.


Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. J. F. Smallwood and W. Williams.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Messrs. A. H. Reed, G. Salmon, H. J. Sanger and Miss N. G. Williams.
Bedfordshire Association: Messrs. S. Foskett and A. E. Rushton.
Cambridge University Guild: Dr. C. M. P. Johnson and Mr. B. D. Threlfall.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. H. O. Baker, J. W. Clarke, A. R. Elkins and J. Worth.
Coventry Diocesan Guild: Mrs. D. E. Beamish and Mr. J. L. Garner-Hayward.
Cumberland and North Westmorland Association: Mr. G. McKay.
Derbyshire Association: Messrs. G. A. Halls and A. Mould.
Devon Association: Mr. B. Bartlett.
Devon Guild: Miss B. M. Boyle, Rev. J. G. M. Scott and Mr. N. Mallett.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. H. J. Shuck.
Durham and Newcastle Association: Mr. K. Arthur.
Ely Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. G. Gipson, E. H. Mastin, D. F. Murfet and H. S. Peacock.
Essex Association: Messrs. J. H. Crampion, P. J. Eves, F. B. Lufkin and Miss H. G. Snowden.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Messrs. A. L. Barry, R. G. Hooper, W. B. Kynaston and C. A. Wratten.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. C. W. Denyer, H. N. Pitstow and W. H. Viggers.
Hereford Diocesan Guild: Rev. E. G. Benson and Mr. A. T. Wingate.
Hertford County Association: Messrs. W. Ayre, R. G. Bell, G. W. Critchley and G. Dodds.
Irish Association: Messrs. F. E. Dukes and J. T. Dunwoody.
Kent County Association: Messrs. J. R. Cooper, P. A. Corby, T. Cullingworth and I. H. Oram.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss D. E. Colgate, Mrs. A. Richardson and Mrs. P. J. Staniforth.
Lancashire Association: Messrs. P. Crook and J. Ridyard.
Leicester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. E. Morris, P. J. Staniforth and B. G. Warwick.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Messrs. J. Bray, G. E. Feirn, J. Freeman and J. L. Millhouse.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Mrs. D. J. King and Mr. T. M. Roderick.
London County Association: Mr. H. W. Rogers, Mrs. H. W. Rogers and Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. F. T. Blagrove, F. W. Goodfellow, T. J. Lock and J. R. Mayne.
Midland Counties Guild: Mr. J. W. Cotton.
New South Wales Association: Mr. P. M. J. Gray.
North Staffordshire Association: Messrs. R. S. Anderson and E. H. Edge.
North Wales Association: Mr. D. H. B. Millward.
Norwich Diocesan Association: Messrs. H. W. Barrett, F. N. Golden, N. V. Harding and Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Mr. A. D. Barker, Mrs. A. D. Barker and Mr. P. Walker.
Oxford Society: Mr. F. A. H. Wilkins.
Oxford University Society: Mr. S. J. Ivin.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Messrs. P. I. Chapman, E. Nobles and G. W. Jeffs.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham: Messrs. G. E. Fearn and F. E. Haynes.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Messrs. J. T. Barrett, G. H. Harding and G. S. Morris.
Sheffield and District Society: Mr. N. Chaddock.
Shropshire Association: Messrs. R. Newton and H. Poyner.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. D. Beresford and F. E. Hawthorne.
Southwell Diocesan Guild: Mr. B. M. Buswell.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society: Messrs. G. W. Hughes and B. G. Key.
Suffolk Guild: Messrs. J. W. Blythe and C. W. Pipe.
Surrey Association: Messrs. A. P. Cannon, F. E. Collins and W. F. Oatway.
Sussex County Association: Messrs. R. G. Blackman, R. W. R. Percy and H. Stalham.
Swansea and Brecon Guild: Mr. G. I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild: Messrs. W. C. Boucher and D. Burnett.
Universities Association: Miss M. R. Cross.
University of Bristol Society: Dr. T. P. Edwards.
University of London Society: Dr. D. N. Layton.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild: Mr. A. V. Davis, Rev. K. W. H. Felstead and Messrs. J. Hartless and F. W. Rogers.
Worcestershire and Districts Association: Messrs. B. C. Ashford, D. Beacham and W. B. Cartwright.
Yorkshire Association: Messrs. G. Benfield, V. Bottomley, W. E. Critchley and L. W. G. Morris.
Life members: Messrs. F. Sharpe, E. A. Barnett, F. W. Perrens, E. H. Lewis, G. W. Fletcher and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher.
Honorary members: Mrs. E. A. Barnett, Messrs. J. P. Fidler, A. A. Hughes, D. Hughes, C. K. Lewis, W. F. Moreton, A. J. Pitman, H. L. Roper, E. C. Shepherd, R. F. B. Speed, P. L. Taylor, A. Walker and T. W. White.


The honorary secretary reported that 58 Associations were affiliated with 158 members. The rule provided for 24 honorary members and there were seven life members, making a total membership of 189. There were five vacancies among honorary members and one among representative members. All subscriptions had been paid except that of the National Police Guild.


An application from the Devon Association of Ringers was agreed on the proposition of the Rev. J. G. M. Scott, seconded by Miss B. M. Boyle.


Apologies were received from Messrs. B. Austin, D. A. Bayles, E. C. Birkett, P. N. Bond, L. G. Brett, S. Burton, J. E. Chilcott, J. D. Clarke, F. J. Cullum, F. Dunkerley, J. T. Dyke, F. I. Hairs, A. C. Hazelden, E. J. Ladd, G. J. Lewis, Mrs. C. C. Marshall, Messrs. H. Miles, T. G. Myers, R. Overy, Rev. A. S. Roberts, Miss R. J. Seabrook, Mr. D. J. Smith, Rev. R. D. St. J. Smith, Miss M. E. Snowdon, Mr. B. A. Sollis, Mrs. J. G. Steeples, Messrs. L. Stilwell, T. H. Taffender, C. G. J. Watts, J. J. Webb, W. C. West, J. Willis and R. St. C. Wilson.


The following were presented: Messrs. H. O. Baker (Chester Diocesan Guild), B. E. Bartlett (Devon Association), N. Mallett (Devon Guild), D. F. Murfet (Ely Diocesan Association), Rev. E. G. Benson (Hereford Diocesan Guild), Messrs. A. T. Wingate (Hereford Diocesan Guild), E. H. Edge (North Staffs Association), Mrs. A. D. Barker (Oxford Diocesan Guild), Messrs. S. J. Ivin (Oxford University Society), E. Nobles (Peterborough Diocesan Guild), R. Newton (Shropshire Association), J. Hartless (Winchester and Portsmouth Guild), and W. F. Moreton (honorary member).


Messrs. J. T. Dyke and A. Walker were elected, proposed on behalf of the Standing Committee by Mr. J. F. Smallwood, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes.


The Standing Committee recommended the election of Mrs. R. F. B. Speed. This was adopted on the proposition of Mr. W. F. Moreton, seconded by Mr. F. W. Perrens.

Mr. G. W. Pipe was elected on the proposition of Mr. F. E. Dukes, seconded by Mr. A. D. Barker.

The president expressed his thanks for assistance rendered to him by Mrs. J. G. Steeples, who did not seek re-election.


The president reported the death of the following members and past members of the Council, the assembly standing in silence: Messrs. E. W. Biffin (Devon Guild), F. Colclough (Dudley and District), Rev. T. S. Curteis (Kent County), Messrs. J. A. Freeman (Lincoln Diocesan), G. Gilbert (Royal Cumberland Youths), J. L. S. Glanvill (Devon Guild), C. H. Hawkins (St. David’s Diocesan), R. D. Langford (Chester Diocesan), Rev. A. C. Lee (Hereford Diocesan), Mr. A. E. Lock (Oxford Diocesan), Dr. L. Mackenzie (Devon Guild), Messrs. F. M. Mitchell (Kent County), J. Parker (Sussex County and Royal Cumberland Youths), A. B. Peck (College Youths), E. F. Poppy (Suffolk Guild), T. Redman (Lancashire), A. Roberts (Warwickshire), the Earl of Shaftesbury (honorary), J. R. Sharman (Middlesex County), F. Skidmore (Gloucester and Bristol), F. C. Smale (Devon Guild), A. F. Martin Stewart (Salisbury Diocesan), C. H. Woodberry (Worcestershire and Districts) and W. E. Yates (Oxford Diocesan).


The minutes as published in “The Ringing World” of March 3rd, 1961, and circulated to members, were adopted on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. L. W. G. Morris.

Messrs. D. Beresford and W. Ayre questioned the accuracy of the minutes in regard to the Peals Analysis Committee’s report. After discussion the Council proceeded to the next business on the proposition of Mr. R. S. Anderson, seconded by the Rev. J. G. M. Scott.


These have been published in “The Ringing World” as shown:-

(June 2nd, 1961, page 366)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. J. L. Garner-Hayward.

(June 2nd, 1961, page 366)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. F. W. Perrens, seconded by Mr. J. L. Garner-Hayward. The president thanked Mr. E. H. Lewis for a further gift of books.

(June 9th, 1961, pages 385-6)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. F. E. Dukes.

(June 2nd, 1961, page 367)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. A. Walker, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes.


The honorary secretary reported that the Standing Committee, at its meeting the previous night, had considered the agenda in detail and made a number of recommendations which would be placed before the Council. He moved the adoption of the report. This was seconded by Mr. T. J. Lock and carried.

Mr. H. N. Pitstow was elected trustee of the Rolls of Honour in place of Mr. H. Miles on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. G. W. Fletcher. The president expressed the Council’s thanks to Mr. Miles for his work in connection with the Rolls, including the compilation of one, and hoped he would soon be restored to normal health.

The terms of a letter to be sent to Dr. Fisher on his retirement as Archbishop of Canterbury were approved on the proposition of Mr. L. W. G. Morris, seconded by Mr. R. G. Blackman.

A notice to be published in “The Ringing World” urging that bells should be rung wherever possible on the day of Dr. Ramsey’s enthronement was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. C. Shepherd, seconded by Mr. A. D. Barker.

(June 9th, 1961, page 385)

The adoption of the report was proposed by Mr. J. F. Smallwood, seconded by Mr. R. S. Anderson. After discussion, this was carried, six members dissenting.

(June 9th, 1961, page 387)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. E. C. Shepherd, seconded by Mr. F. E. Dukes.

(June 9th, 1961, page 388)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. W. H. Viggers, seconded by Mr. C. W. Denyer. Mr. Viggers noted that 15 new biographies had been completed during the year.

(June 9th, 1961, page 389)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. F. T. Blagrove, seconded by Mr. J. R. Mayne.

(June 9th, 1961, page 386)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. H. J. Sanger, seconded by Mr. H. N. Pitstow. Mr. R. St. C. Wilson was added to the committee.

(June 9th, 1961, page 388)

On the proposition of the Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow, seconded by Mr. J. P. Fidler, it was decided to refer back to the Methods Committee the question of whether a peal of Nightingale Place Major should be included in the Analysis.

It was agreed on the proposition of Mr. J. Freeman, seconded by Mr. J. Worth, to regard performances of Minimus during 1960 as peals and adjust the totals accordingly.

A peal of Dragon Major was accepted on the proposition of Mr. C. K. Lewis, seconded by Mr. F. W. Perrens.

The report as amended was adopted on the proposition of Mr. W. Ayre, seconded by Mr. R. G. Bell.

(June 9th, 1961, page 386)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. J. W. Clarke, seconded by Mr. J. P. Fidler.

(June 9th, 1961, page 389)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. N. Chaddock, seconded by Mr. F. B. Lufkin. It was decided to change the committee’s title to “Sunday Service Ringing and Education Committee.”

(June 9th, 1961, page 389)

Adopted on the proposition of the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis. It was decided not to accept a method rung to a peal under the title “Gainsborough Surprise Royal” as a correct extension of Gainsborough Surprise Major.

(June 9th, 1961, page 389)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. W. E. Critchley, seconded by Mr. G. E. Feirn. The committee were requested to prepare a new collection of compositions of well known Major methods to replace the present collection, which was expected shortly to be out of print.

(June 9th, 1961, page 391)

Adopted on the proposition of Mr. F. Sharpe, seconded, by Mr. F. E. Collins. It was agreed to reprint the handbook on “Preservation of Bells, etc.”

Mr. E. H. Lewis spoke on the effect of “firing” bells on the stability of towers.


(a) Proposed by Mr. P. A. Corby, seconded by Mr. J. R. Cooper:-

“That the Conditions Required for Peals as laid down on page 19 of the Council’s Handbook be amended by the addition of the following:-

‘A peal shall be rung with five or more changing bells.’”

The following amendment, proposed by Mrs. P. J. Staniforth, seconded by Miss M. R. Cross, was carried:-

“That peals of Minimus on tower bells may be recognised in towers that contain four bells only. Peals on four handbells or less should not be recognised.”

The motion, as amended, was carried.

(b) Proposed by Mr. R. S. Anderson, seconded by Mr. E. H. Edge:-

“That this Council takes note of the present trend of ecclesiastical architecture in that no tower capable of containing a peal of bells to be rung traditionally is incorporated in new churches, nor is any provision made for the addition of a tower; and urges the Royal Institute of British Architects and all diocesan authorities to be mindful of the essentially English art of bell ringing and ensure in their design for new churches that the voice of the Church through the bells is not lost to future generations. This Council accordingly instructs the Towers and Belfries Committee to prepare a paper for submission to the appropriate authorities and keep the matter under review.”

An amendment proposed by the Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow, seconded by the Rev. J. G. M. Scott, to substitute the words “church planning” for “ecclesiastical architecture” was carried. The motion, as amended, was carried.


Invitations had been received from the Norwich Diocesan Association to visit Great Yarmouth, the Salisbury Diocesan Guild to visit Salisbury and the Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association to visit Cardiff. London was proposed by Mr. F. E. Haynes, seconded by Mr. P. I. Chapman. It was decided by a majority to accept the invitation to Cardiff.


The honorary secretary gave notice of motion of substitute the following for the existing wording of the third item of “Conditions Required for Peals” in Section D(1) of the Decisions on page 19 of the Handbook:-

“Each bell shall be rung throughout by the same person and there shall be no exchange of bells by any of the ringers during the ringing of a peal, provided, however, that this shall not prohibit the ringing of any bell throughout the peal by two persons at the same time, where the weight or go make this essential.”

The good wishes of the Council were extended to Mr. E. H. Lewis, who would shortly celebrate his 80th birthday. Mr. Lewis thanked the members, mentioning that it was 53 years since his election to the Council.


On the motion of the president, the thanks of the Council were expressed to the Lord Mayor of Stoke, the Lord Bishop of Lichfield and the president of the North Staffordshire Association for their welcome; to the Rector of Stoke for the use of his church for Holy Communion and for his kindness in providing breakfast for the communicants, and to the Lord Bishop for officiating; to Messrs. G. W. Biddulph (chairman), J. G. Burton (secretary), R. S. Anderson and E. H. Edge, of the North Staffordshire Association for local arrangements; and to local incumbents and towerkeepers for the use of their bells.

Through the kindness of Messrs. William Adams and Sons, Ltd., members were presented with an engraved ash tray as a memento of their visit. The president asked Mr. E. H. Edge to convey the Council’s thanks for the gift.

On behalf of the North Staffordshire Association, Mr. G. W. Biddulph presented a Doulton figure to Mrs. Sharpe, wife of the president, who received it on her behalf and thanked the Association for their kindness.

Mr. G. W. Pipe gave a résumé of ringing in Australia, where he would soon be returning. This was received with great interest and Mr. Pipe was warmly applauded at the conclusion.

After the meeting the members were the guests of the Lord Mayor of Stoke at tea.

Wholly represented3483-
Partially represented204529
Not represented5-5


Life Members72
Hon. Members126


These figures take account of the affiliation of the Devon Association and the election of two life members during the meeting, but not changes in honorary membership, which take effect from the end of the meeting.

The Ringing World, March 23, 1962, pages 188 to 190

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional