Minutes of the first session of the 27th Council (72nd Annual Meeting) held in the City Hall, St. Albans, on Tuesday, May 27th, 1969.

The President, Canon A. G. G. Thurlow, was in the chair.

A welcome was extended to the Council by the Mayor (Cclr. J. Farrelly), by the Bishop (Rt. Rev. E. M. Gresford-Jones) and by the president of the Hertford County Association (Mr. W. Ayre).


Life Members.- E. A. Barnett, V. Bottomley, F. W. Perrens, F. Sharpe, J. F. Smallwood, Canon A. G. G. Thurlow, T. W. White.

Honorary Members.- Mrs. E. A. Barnett, Mrs. V. Bottomley, J. L. Garner-Hayward, F. E. Haynes, D. Hughes, C. K. Lewis, J. R. Mayne, H. N. Pitstow, G. W. Pipe, H. L. Roper, E. C. Shepherd, R. F. B. Speed, Mrs. R. F. B. Speed, L. Stilwell, P. L. Taylor.

Ancient Society of College Youths.- W. T. Cook, J. S. Mason, R. B. Meadows, W. Williams.
Australia and New Zealand Association.- P. M. J. Gray.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association.- J. H. Gilbert, E. Naylor, A. H. Reed, H. J. Sanger.
Bedfordshire Association.- J. H. Edwards, K. H. Fleming, A. E. Rushton.
Beverley Association.- R. Ducker.
Cambridge University Guild.- C. M. P. Johnson, B. D. Threlfall.
Chester Diocesan Guild.- B. Jones, A. J. Martin, D. Mottershead.
Coventry Diocesan Guild.- Mrs. D. E. Beamish, H. M. Windsor.
Cumberland and North Westmorland Association.- R. W. D. Wetenhall.
Derby Diocesan Association.- D. R. Carlisle, G. A. Halls, Rev. R. D. St. John Smith.
Durham and Newcastle Association.- K. Arthur, D. A. Bayles.
East Grinstead and District Guild.- K. Game.
Ely Diocesan Association.- J. G. Gipson, E. H. Mastin, D. F. Murfet, H. S. Peacock.
Essex Association.- F. B. Lufkin, J. E. G. Roast, J. Armstrong.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association.- A. L. Barry, A. R. Peake, J. R. Taylor, C. A. Wratten.
Guildford Diocesan Guild.- D. A. R. May, T. Page, W. H. Viggers.
Guild of Devonshire Ringers.- N. Mallett, D. R. Bould, Rev. J. G. M. Scott.
Hereford Diocesan Guild.- P. Hughes, P. J. H. Wycherley, J. F. I. Turney.
Hertford County Association.- W. Ayre, B. M. Barker, R. G. Bell, G. Dodds.
Irish Association.- P. W. Brown, F. E. Dukes, J. T. Dunwoody.
Kent County Association.- P. A. Corby, S. Jenner, I. H. Oram, C. A. Tester.
Ladies’ Guild.- Miss J. Beresford, Miss D. E. Colgate, Mrs. P. J. Staniforth.
Lancashire Association.- N. Bennett, C. Crossthwaite, J. P. Partington, F. Reynolds.
Leicester Diocesan Guild.- S. Burton, J. M. Jelley, P. J. Staniforth, B. G. Warwick.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild.- J. Bray, G. E. Feirn, J. Freeman, J. L. Millhouse.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association.- T. M. Roderick.
London County Association.- G. W. Shanks, H. W. Rogers, Mrs. H. W. Rogers, W. G. Wilson.
Middlesex County Association.- F. T. Blagrove, G. W. Critchley, T. J. Lock, C. H. Rogers.
National Police Guild.- N. Bagworth.
North Staffordshire Association.- R. S. Anderson, C. S. Ryles.
North Wales Association.- Dr. E. V. Woodcock.
Norwich Diocesan Association.- P. M. Adcock, M. Cubitt, N. V. Harding.
Oxford Diocesan Guild.- W. Butler, N. J. Diserens, F. C. Price, P. Walker.
Oxford Society.- F. A. H. Wilkins.
Oxford University Society.- J. E. Camp.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild.- E. Billings, J. H. Bluff, J. Linnell.
Railway Guild.- E. J. Franklin.
St Martin’s Guild, Birmingham.- G. E. Fearn.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild.- Rev. R. Keeley, G. S. Morris, J. T. Barrett, E. J. Hitchins.
Sheffield and District Society.- J. Seager.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths.- J. S. Barnes, D. Beresford, W. H. Dobbie, D. E. Sibson.
Society of Sherwood Youths.- G. A. Dawson.
South Derbyshire and North Leicestershire Association.- J. E. Collins.
Southwell Diocesan Guild.- J. D. Clarke, W. L. Exton, R. B. Mills, H. Poyner.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society.- C. F. W. Eyre, M. W. Fairey, C. M. Smith.
Suffolk Guild.- T. N. J. Bailey, H. W. Egglestone, C. W. Pipe, Rev. L. R. Pizzey.
Surrey Association.- A. P. Cannon, S. F. W. Kimber, C. F. Mew.
Sussex County Association.- G. Francis, J. R. Norris.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild.- G. I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild.- W. C. Boucher, F. M. Bowers, A. J. Davidson, A. Locke.
Universities Association.- Rev. M. Melville.
University of Bristol.- Dr. T. P. Edwards.
University of London.- A. J. Frost.
University of Manchester Guild.- M. C. W. Sherwood.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild.- A. V. Davis, Canon K. W. H. Felstead, J. Hartless, R. R. Savory.
Worcestershire and Districts Association.- B. C. Ashford, A. J. Brazier, D. Beacham, W. B. Cartwright.
Yorkshire Association.- N. Chaddock, W. E. Critchley, D. S. Johnson, W. F. Moreton.

Report as to Membership:

The secretary reported that 63 Associations were affiliated with 167 members. The rules provided for 24 honorary members and there were 8 life members making a total membership of 199. There were 5 vacancies - 1 elected and 4 honorary members. Subscriptions were all paid.

Apologies for Absence:

These were received from Miss H. Snowden, Fr. P. Angold and Messrs. G. W. Fletcher, B. E. Bartlett, J. Hine, H. Pidler, A. Tapper, F. E. Collins, R. W. R. Percy, A. T. Wingate, R. S. Wilson, E. F. Willcox, H. O. Baker and B. Hendry.

Application to Affiliate:

University of Manchester Guild of Change Ringers.

This was accepted.

Welcome to New Members:

The following were greeted by the President: Messrs. R. B. Meadows (A.S.C.Y.), K. H. Fleming (Bedfordshire), B. Jones and D. Mottershead (Chester), Rev. R. D. St. John Smith (Derby), K. Game (East Grinstead and Dist.), A. R. Peake (Gloucester and Bristol), T. Page (Guildford), P. Hughes, J. F. I. Turney and P. J. H. Wycherley (Hereford), P. W. Brown (Irish), C. A. Tester (Kent), N. Bennett (Lancashire), G. W. Shanks (London County), C. H. Rogers (Middlesex), M. Cubitt (Norwich), J. E. Camp (Oxford Univ.), J. S. Barnes (Cumberland Y.), R. B. Mills (Southwell), Rev. L. R. Pizzey (Suffolk), C. F. W. Eyre (Stafford Arch.), C. F. Mew (Surrey), J. R. Norris (Sussex), Rev. M. Melville (Universities), D. S. Johnson (Yorkshire). E. J. Hitchins (Salisbury), R. Wetenhall (Cumberland and N. Westmorland), M. C. W. Sherwood (Manchester University).

Election of Officers:

The following, being the only nominees, were declared elected to the respective offices for the period of the 27th Council.

Election of Life Member:

It was resolved that Mr. Edgar C. Shepherd be elected.

Election of Honorary Members:

It was resolved that the following be re-elected: Mrs. V. Bottomley, Messrs. D. Hughes, H. N. Pitstow, R. F. B. Speed, P. L. Taylor, F. E. Haynes, J. L. Garner-Hayward, and that the following be elected: Messrs. R. B. Smith, R. S. Dirksen, S. J. Ivin and F. N. Golden.

Election of Honorary Auditors:

It was resolved that Messrs. H. N. Pitstow and D. Hughes be re-elected.

Losses through Death:

The President reported the deaths of the following, and members stood in silence: Messrs. J. A. Waugh (London County Assn., 1936-38, and A.S.C.Y., 1939-47), A. J. Hughes (North Wales Assn., 1925 and 1949-54), T. Tebbutt (Peterborough Dio. Guild, 1927-39), Lt.-Col C. F. Jerram (Truro Dio. Guild, 1932), R. G. Blackman (Sussex County Assn., 1945-63), C. W. Cook (Ely Diocesan Assn., 1936-51); Mrs. E. L. Hairs (Sussex County Assn., 1963-67).

Minutes of the previous Meeting:

It was resolved that the minutes of the Worcester meeting, published in “The Ringing World” of February 7th, 1969, be adopted.

Reports, etc.:

The following were adopted:-


It was resolved that the following be adopted as new decisions of the Council in substitution for the corresponding parts of the present decisions:-


A. Definitions and requirements.

  1. A method is defined by the places made between successive rows of its plain course, which shall be a true round block divisible into equal parts. At the beginning of each part the hunt bells, if any, shall be in the same positions and the working bells shall be in different positions, so that all the working bells do the same work in the plain course, and the number of parts is the same as the number of working bells. There shall be more working bells than hunt bells.

    Methods with no hunt bells are also known as principles and their parts may be referred to as divisions; otherwise the parts are called leads.

    In the plain course no bell shall make more than four consecutive blows in the same position, this requirement not applying to Minimus methods.

  2. A call is not part of a method, but is a means of passing from one course to another. It is effected by altering the places made between two consecutive rows, without altering the length of a lead or division. For methods with hunt bells at least one of the hunts shall be unaffected by all calls in a given composition.

    A bob is formed by moving places or by the addition or removal of non-adjacent places.

    A single is formed by the addition of pairs of adjacent places to the places of the plain lead or the bobbed lead.

  3. (The Council agreed to the request of the committee, that they give further consideration to the use of calls in compositions.)

  4. In the case of Doubles only, a variation is defined as the use in a plain method of calls other than the standard calls for that method. A lead containing a call must not constitute a plain lead of another method. Each variation must by itself be capable of producing a true six-score, and shall be given its own name.

(B. Regular methods.

The Council agreed to the request of the committee, that they give further consideration to Regular Methods.)

C. Classification of methods with one hunt bell.

  1. There are five types of single hunt method: Plain, Treble Dodging, Treble Place, Alliance and Hybrid. With the treble as hunt bell they are classified as in paragraphs 2 to 6, and may be further classified as Little if the path of the treble is restricted to fewer places than the number of bells.

  2. In Plain methods the path of the treble is a plain hunt. They are classified as:-

    (a) Bob methods - in which seconds place is made at treble’s lead or the penultimate place is made at treble’s whole pull behind, or both places are made.

    (b) Imperial methods - in which two working bells make adjacent places wrong within a half-lead.

    (c) College methods - in which pairs of working bells work together in a block below the treble for the whole time the treble is above the block.

    (d) Court methods - these have internal places adjoining the path of the treble, other than Bob places, Imperial places, and places causing College work.

    (e) Court Bob methods - these have Court places which cause one or more complete dodges.

    (f) Little methods are classified as Little Bob if they have seconds place at treble’s lead, and as Little Court otherwise.

    (g) Plain Doubles methods are classified as Place if the path of a working bell consists only of hunting and place making, and as Bob otherwise.

  3. In Treble Dodging Methods the treble dodges consecutively in 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, etc., the number of dodges in each position being the same. They are classified as:-

    (a) Treble Bob methods which have no internal places made as the treble passes from one dodging position to another.

    (b) Surprise methods which have at least one internal place made every time the treble passes from one dodging position to another.

    (c) Delight methods, which are all other Treble Dodging methods.

  4. In Treble Place methods the path of the treble includes the making of at least one place within the half-lead, the path being symmetrical about the half-lead and the treble having the same total number of blows in each position of the path within the lead.

  5. In Alliance methods the treble is not the same total number of blows in each position of the path within the lead, but the path is symmetrical about the half-lead.

  6. In Hybrid methods the path of the treble is not symmetrical about the half-lead.

D. Classification of methods with two or more hunt bells.

These methods are in three groups. With the treble as principal hunt, being unaffected by calls, these are:-

(a) Those methods in which all the secondary hunts have the same path as the treble. These are classified as for single hunt methods but with reference to all the hunts.

Plain methods with an internal place immediately above or below the crossing of the treble with a secondary hunt, or immediately above the crossing of two secondary hunts at treble’s lead, or immediately below the crossing of two secondary hunts at treble’s whole pull behind are classified as Bob.

(b) Those methods in which one, or more, secondary hunts pivots at the same time as the treble. These are classified as for single hunt methods with reference to the treble.

Plain methods in which the seconds place bell is one of these secondary hunts are classified as Slow Course.

(c) Other methods in which the paths of the secondary hunts are not related to that of the treble as in (a) and (b). These are classified as for single hunt methods with reference to the treble or with reference to treble and all secondary hunts having the same path as the treble.

E. Nomenclature and Extensions.

  1. The stage names for different numbers of changing bells are:- 4 Minimus, 6 Minor, 8 Major. 10 Royal, 12 Maximus, 14 Fourteen, etc.; 5 Doubles, 7 Triples, 9 Caters, 11 Cinques, 13 Sextuples. etc.

  2. The title of a principle shall consist of “Name and Stage”.

  3. The title of other methods shall consist of “Name, Class(es) and Stage”, with the exception of Grandsire, Union and their related methods.

  4. (a) Methods at different stages in the same class shall only have the same name if they are related as in the Report on Extension or subsequent amendments.

    (b) Methods at different stages in the same class which are uniquely related as in the Report on Extension or subsequent amendments shall have the same name, and where not uniquely related one relationship shall have the same name; any relationship covering most stages shall take preference over any others.

  5. The band which first rings a peal of a new method, or an extent in the case of Doubles or Minor, or includes it in a multi-method peal, shall name the method, subject to E.4 above.


A. Conditions required for all peals.

  1. A peal shall start and end with rounds and shall be rung without interval.

  2. No row shall be struck more than once before the next change is made.

  3. Every bell must sound at every row throughout the peal.

  4. Each bell must be rung continuously by the same person or persons.

  5. For handbells the bells shall be retained in hand.

  6. For tower bells the bells shall be audible outside the building in which they are contained.

  7. No assistance of any kind shall be given to any ringer by any person not ringing in the peal.

  8. The use of physical aids to memory in conducting and ringing is not permitted.

  9. No error in calling shall be corrected later than during the change at which the call or change of method would properly take effect.

  10. Any shift or error in ringing shall be corrected immediately.

  11. The methods and calls used in all peals shall conform to the Definitions and Requirements given in part A of the Decisions on Methods and Calls.

  12. Any objection which may be taken to a peal, other than one with respect to the truth of the composition, shall be raised in writing to the conductor and Society concerned at the earliest date, and in any case within one month after publication in “The Ringing World”.

B. Particular conditions required for peals on different numbers of bells.

  1. Peals of Minimus shall be rung on tower bells only, at towers with only four ringable bells, and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in true and complete 24s, each starting from rounds.

  2. Peals of Doubles shall be rung on five bells or on six bells with the tenor as cover, and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in any combination of the following, each starting from rounds:-

    (a) True and complete 120s.

    (b) Round blocks of 240 changes in which each row occurs twice, and containing no round block of plain leads in one method.

    (c) Round blocks of two or more 120s in which each of the 120s comprising the block is true and complete.

  3. Peals of Minor shall be rung on six bells and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in any combination of the following, each starting from rounds:-

    (a) True and complete 720s.

    (b) Round blocks of two or more 720s in which each of the 720s comprising the block is true and complete.

  4. Peals of Triples shall be rung on eight bells with the tenor as cover and shall consist of one or more true and complete 5,040s, each starting from rounds.

  5. Peals of Caters, Cinques, Sextuples, etc. shall be rung on ten, 12, 14, etc., bells respectively with the tenor as cover and shall consist of at least 5,000 true changes.

  6. Peals of Major, Royal, Maximus, Fourteen, etc., shall be rung on eight, ten, 12, 14, etc., bells respectively and shall consist of at least 5,000 true changes.

  7. Peals of “Doubles and Minor” shall be rung on six bells with the tenor as cover when ringing Doubles and shall consist of at least 5,040 changes rung in any combination of extents and round blocks as permitted in 2 and 3 above.

  8. Peals of “Triples and Major”, “Caters and Royal”, etc., shall be rung on eight, ten, etc., bells respectively, with the tenor as cover when ringing Triples, Caters, etc., and shall consist of at least 5,000 true changes.

C. Peals in more than one method.

  1. Peals in more than one method shall be called Spliced if the methods are so joined that the leads of the methods remain intact, the changes of method being at the lead-head or half-lead but not both in the same composition.

    (The Council agreed to the request of the committee, that they give further consideration to compositions in which the changes of method occur at both front and back.)

  2. Peals on six bells or less and of Triples shall be called Spliced only if each extent or round block is Spliced.

  3. Doubles variations may be included in an extent or round block, provided that either all the variations and methods have the same call or calls and there is at least one plain lead of each, or all the variations and methods have the same plain course, with no call common to any two or more, and all the distinctive calls are made for each variation and method.

  4. Peal reports shall state the number and names of all methods and all variations separately. For peals of Spliced the number of changes of method at lead-head and at half-lead shall be stated separately, and for peals of Triples and above the number of changes rung in each method shall be stated.

D. Record Length Peals.

The Record Length Peal in a method or group of methods on a given number of bells shall be the longest length recognised as a peal by the Council. Tower bell and handbell records shall be kept separately.

Any attempt for a peal of 10,000 or more changes, which would surpass in length an existing record or which would be the first peal in that method on that number of bells, must comply with the additional conditions below. Any such performance not rung in full compliance with these conditions shall not be recognised as a peal and shall not be published in “The Ringing World”.

(a) Not less than 14 days’ notice shall be given in “The Ringing World”, stating the place, date and hour at which the attempt is to be made, and stating the method, number of bells and number of changes proposed to be rung.

(b) The ringing to be heard and the figures of the composition to be checked throughout the peal by a competent umpire or umpires.

(c) If a record length is rung the peal report and the figures of the composition, if not previously published, shall be sent immediately to “The Ringing World”.

(d) For handbell peals, every ringer shall ring at least two bells. Additionally, arrangements shall be made for interested persons to be able to hear the attempt.

E. Recognition.

The Council shall recognise all peals rung in complete conformity with parts A to D above, and such peals shall be included in the analysis.

In the case of peals not strictly complying with parts A to D C above, the Council will decide whether or not to include such peals in the Analysis, regard being had to the merit of performance. In considering the merit of a performance, regard shall be had to local circumstances and/or the technical implications of the performance.

F. The Technical Committees.

The Peals Analysis Committee shall prepare an annual report and analysis of all peals Peal reports should indicate all “first peals” and “first peals as conductor” for inclusion in the analysis. The Committee shall not be held responsible for the non-inclusion in the analysis of any peal not published in “The Ringing World” before the end of February in the following year.

The Records Committee shall maintain a record of the first peal in each method on each number of bells, for both tower bells and handbells, and subsequent record length peals, together with the compositions used. Also a record of new methods included in multi-method peals, and a record of the progressive number of methods rung in peals of different groups of methods.

The Peals Collection Committee shall maintain a comprehensive collection of compositions of 5,000 changes and upwards, and shall prepare for publication such collections as the Council shall direct.

The Methods Committee shall consider, all questions arising from the nomenclature used for any method, and the findings of the Committee shall be published in “The Ringing World”.

It was resolved that the Standing Committee examine the constitution and procedural working of the Council.

A motion to publish a glossary of technical terms was lost.

Representatives of the Southwell Diocesan Guild asked the Council to consider a motion which was not on the agenda urging consultation with the Council for the Care of Churches to vary revise policy on the recasting of bells. The motion was accepted but no vote was taken as it was resolved after some discussion to proceed to the next business.

Committee Reports and Elections:

The Standing Committee report was presented orally by the secretary, and was accepted.

The following reports were adopted and committees elected:-

It was resolved that the following be elected members of the Standing Committee: O. D. Barnett, D. Beresford, W. B. Cartwright, P. A. Corby, F. E. Dukes, P. M. J. Gray, W. F. Moreton, H. J. Sanger, J. G. M. Scott, R. F. B. Speed, P. J. Staniforth, B. D. Threlfall.

Future Meetings:

It was resolved that the 1970 meeting at Ilkley be held on Tuesday, May 26th, and that the invitation to the Coventry Diocese in 1971 be accepted.

Vote of Thanks:

Thanks were expressed to the Mayor and Bishop of St. Albans for their greeting, to the Dean and Chapter for the use of the Abbey for the service of Holy Communion, to the President and all the officers and members of the Hertford County Association for their hospitality and to the clergy who had made their bells available.

Members of the Council were the guests of the Mayor and Corporation at tea after the meeting.

Summary of Attendance:

Wholly represented47123-
Partly represented102511
Not represented7-10


Life members81
Honorary members145


The Ringing World, December 12, 1969, page 967, December 19, 1969, pages 987 to 988, and Dec. 26, 1969, & Jan. 2, 1970, page 1007, corrections January 23, 1970, page 50, February 27, 1970, page 150, and February 5, 1971, page 124

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional