The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Minutes of the Second Session of the 37th Council (103rd Annual Meeting), held at The Corn Exchange, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk on Monday 29th May, 2000, at 9.45am


Life Members: Revd J C Baldwin, Miss D E Colgate, C K Lewis, Preb J G M Scott, D G Thorne.
Honorary Members: A E M Bagworth, D W Beard, Mrs S Bianco, M J Church, S J Coleman, R J Cooles, J C Eisel, Mrs K Flavell, Dr L F Forbes, E G H Godfrey, J R Martin, M H D O'Callaghan, Miss J Roberts, Miss T R Stoecklin, Mrs P M Wilkinson.
Ancient Society of College Youths: A J Frost, A N Stubbs, A W R Wilby.
Australian and New Zealand Assn: L R Reynolds, Ms E Roberts (alt member), J A Smith.
Bath and Wells Dio. Assn: D J Buckley, Mrs C A Hardwick, M R T Higby, G W Massey, J R Taylor.
Bedfordshire Assn: P J S Albon, K Lewin, Mrs W Piercy.
Beverley and District Society: P S Andrews*, M J de C Henshaw.
Cambridge Univ. Guild: C E J Kilgour, S C Walters.
Carlisle Dio. Guild: J J Proudfoot.
Chester Dio. Guild: P Dyson, N Thomson, P Wilkinson.
Coventry Dio. Guild: M Chester, M J Dew, H M Windsor, Mrs B A Winter.
Derby Dio. Assn: Miss J E Boden, J A Cater, G A Halls, Mrs P A M Halls.
Devon Assn: M C Way.
Devonshire Guild: L E Boyce, D J Roberts.
Dorset County Assn: D R Bugler, Mrs M E Frost, A G Smith.
Durham and Newcastle Dio. Assn: J N Parkin, R R Warford, Mrs B M Wheeler.
Durham Univ. Society: Revd P Newing.
East Derbys and West Notts Assn: A Dempster.
East Grinstead and District Guild: R A Grant.
Ely Dio. Assn: G E Bonham, M B Davies, Miss J Sanderson, P J Waterfield*.
Essex Assn: J Armstrong, F J P Bone, Mrs J A Edwards, A G Semken, D L Sparling.
Gloucester and Bristol Dio. Assn: G S Groves, I P Hill, M J Mulvey, Prof A Newing, D A Strong.
Guildford Dio. Guild: W J Couperthwaite, J Morgan, C H Rogers, R J Walker.
Hereford Dio. Guild: D R Carter, A G Foster, B D Threlfall, J F I Turney.
Hertford County Assn: A F Alldrick, J R Mayne, Miss D M Robotham, B C Watson.
Kent County Assn: P R J Barnes, N J Davies, Mrs C M Lewis, F W Lewis, D C Manger.
Ladies Guild: Miss F Cannon, Mrs A R Caton, Mrs J Kelly.
Lancashire Assn: J Kershaw, S S Meyer, Mrs A E Pettifor, D R Pettifor, P A Thompson.
Leeds Univ. Society: M Pidd.
Leicester Dio. Guild: Mrs C N J Franklin, B G Warwick, Mrs W M Warwick.
Lichfield and Walsall Archd. Society: D B Clive, Mrs E Hutchieson, Mrs L Smith.
Lincoln Dio. Guild: A R Heppenstall, G R Parker, Mrs J M Rogers.
Liverpool Univ. Society: S J Flockton.
Llandaff and Monmouth Dio. Assn: P S Bennett, Revd J M Hughes, J C Parker.
London County Assn: G S Barr, R G Booth, E G Mould, H W Rogers.
Manchester Univ. Guild: S D Woof.
Middlesex County Assn. and London Dio. Guild: R Bailey, F T Blagrove, A R Udal.
National Police Guild: B F Peachey.
North American Guild: A F Ellis, D F Morrison, P A Trotman.
North Staffordshire Assn: R H Daw, Mrs W Daw, P W Gay.
North Wales Assn: D R Marshall.
Norwich Dio. Assn: G R Drew, Mrs G M Hodgkinson, M H Hodgkinson, D F Riley.
Oxford Dio. Guild: W Butler, K R Davenport, J A Harrison, Mrs P M Newton, T G Pett, M K Till.
Oxford Society: B J Stone.
Oxford Univ. Society: P D Niblett.
Peterborough Dio. Guild: A Chantler*, A J T Evans, D J Jones, Mrs E J Sibson.
St David's Dio. Guild: R C Warburton.
St Martin's Guild: J A Anderson, Mrs S J Warboys*.
Salisbury Dio. Guild: A J Howes, Mrs J Howes, A C D Lovell-Wood, A P Nicholson, Miss S E Smith.
Scottish Assn: N E Booth, P J Shipton.
Shropshire Assn: A W Gordon, F M Mitchell.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: J S Barnes, I H Oram, Miss S J Pattenden, D E Sibson.
Society of Sherwood Youths: Ms M Stephens.
South African Guild: Mrs J M Webster.
Southwell Dio. Guild: B J Bull, G A Dawson, A B Mills, B A Richards.
Suffolk Guild: S D Pettman, Revd L R Pizzey, D G Salter, A R Smith.
Surrey Assn: Mrs K A Cameron, J D Cheesman, C Ridley, R J Wallis.
Sussex County Assn: A R Baldock, R T Clay, H F Pettifer, I V J Smith.
Swansea and Brecon Dio. Guild: P C Johnson, Mrs H J Rose.
Transvaal Society: J Hill.
Truro Dio. Guild: Miss D J Couch, N R Mattingley, Mrs H L Perry, R J Perry, D R Pope.
Univ. Bristol Society: Mrs C Rodliffe, R M Wood.
Univ. London Society: M C Bennett.
Veronese Assn: J D Gallimore, R G T Morris, Mrs A Thomson.
Winchester and Portsmouth Dio. Guild: Mrs G Cater, A G Craddock, A P Smith, P A G Watts, M J Winterbourne.
Worcestershire and Districts Assn: S W Holbeche, C M Povey, A Roberts, R F B Speed.
Yorkshire Assn: Miss L M Bland, N Donovan, C B Dove, R N Moreton, Mrs D M Rhymer.
Zimbabwe Guild: Mrs V Grossmith (alt. member).

The Irish Association was not represented.

1. The Chair

The Chair was taken by the President, Mr J A Anderson.

2. Opening Prayer

The Revd L R Pizzey led the Council in prayer.

3. Report as to membership and subscriptions

The Hon. Secretary, Mr C H Rogers, reported that 67 societies were affiliated to the Council with 205 representatives. There were nine Life Members and 18 Honorary Members. Subscriptions had been received from all affiliated societies, except the Irish Association.

4. Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Messrs E A Barnett, H W Egglestone and W F Moreton (Life Members), Messrs A P S Berry, D J Kelly and R B Smith (Honorary Members), Mr B P Diserens (Ancient Society of College Youths), the Hon Justice D J Bleby (Australian and New Zealand Assn.), Miss R M Rodway (Carlisle DG), Mr C Mitchell (Chester DG), Mr P J Pascoe (Devon Assn), Mr F D Mack and Mr G E Mudge (G Devonshire Ringers), Mr J R Thompson (Leicester DG), Mr L G Townsend (Lincoln DG), Mr G E J A Doughty (Middlesex CA and London DG), Mrs L G Pink (Sussex CA), Mr P Avesani (Veronese Assn) and Miss A M Phillips (Zimbabwe Guild).

Alternate members were present from the Australian and New Zealand Association and the Zimbabwe Guild.

5. Minutes of the 1999 Annual Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 31st May 1999 were approved, subject to the insertion of the following sentence at line four of item 18 (Report of the Administrative Committee): "Mr R Bailey expressed concern that the website had been set up without consulting either the Computer Coordination Committee or the Public Relations Committee."

6. Welcome to new members

The President welcomed new members of the Council (indicated by * in the list of those present).

7. Loss of members through death

Members stood in silence as the Hon Secretary read the names of members and former members of the Council who had died since the last meeting: Mr J M Pearse (Gloucester and Bristol DA 1987-98); Mr J L Millhouse (Lincoln DG 1960-1989); Mr N Chaddock (Sheffield and District S. 1951-68, Yorkshire A 1969-74, Hon Member 1975-78); the Revd M C C Melville (Universities A. 1969-95); Mr J W Griffiths (Chester DG 1966-68); and Mr D H Watson (Beverley and District S. 1996 until his death). The Revd P Newing said a prayer.

8. Election of Life Member

Mr H W Rogers was proposed for Life Membership of the Council by Mr G S Barr. Mr Barr said that Mr Rogers was one of the longest serving members of the Council, having been elected in 1945. He had been a member of the Public Relations Committee since 1979, on which he had been responsible for putting together and maintaining exhibition stands, which were made available for use by ringers throughout the country. He had been a good and faithful servant of the Council and had been an excellent ambassador for ringing in London and elsewhere.

In seconding, Mr R G Booth added that he had been well supported throughout his ringing career by his wife, Olive, who had herself served on the Council for 47 years.

Voting was by ballot and the proposal was carried by a large majority. Following the announcement of the result, Mr Rogers thanked the Council for the honour conferred on him and said that it was particularly appropriate that he should have been elected a Life Member at this meeting as he had learnt to ring in Suffolk. He then spoke of the first meeting he had attended, at Norwich in 1946, and of the many interesting discussions he had had with members at Council meetings over the years.

9. Election of Honorary Members

Seven Honorary Members would complete their three-year term at the end of the meeting, of whom three (Mr A P S Berry, Mr R B Smith and Miss T R Stoecklin) did not seek re-election. The other four and three others were individually proposed, seconded and elected, as follows: Mr A E M Bagworth, a Steward of the Carter Ringing Machine; Mrs K Flavell, a Member of the Bell Restoration Funds and Administrative Committees, Miss J Roberts, a Member of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee; Mrs P M Wilkinson, Past President and Chairman of the Committee for Redundant Bells; Mr R A Lewis, Editor of The Ringing World; and Messrs R I Allton and R R Horton, both of whom gave much assistance to the Peal Compositions Committee. Six vacancies for honorary members remained unfilled.

10. Annual Report of the Council
(RW 21 April 2000, p398)

Adoption of the report was proposed by the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mr A J Frost and agreed.

11. Statement by the Hon. Secretary

The Hon. Secretary read out a personal statement to the effect that he had, with great regret, come to the conclusion that, due to a likely change in his employment circumstances, he would be unable to continue as Secretary for another full year. He referred to the increase in the Secretary's workload and to aspects of the job which could only be done during the working day and suggested that in future it should not be taken on by somebody in full-time employment. He went on to propose that the Council should authorise the President and Vice-President to undertake the necessary enquiries and to appoint a new Secretary during the year, for endorsement by the Council at next year's meeting. Meanwhile he would continue with the work until an appointment was made and do all that he could to ensure a smooth hand-over.

After the President had read out Rule 11(i), which did not provide for the appointment of Officers other than at Council meetings, and had ascertained that the Council was prepared to debate the Hon. Secretary's motion, Mr S C Walters seconded the motion and said how sorry he was that Mr Rogers was unable to continue as Secretary. Other members expressed similar sentiments.

In a lengthy debate on the motion, several members expressed unease that the President and Vice-President should appoint a new Secretary, thus leaving the Council little choice but to endorse the appointment at next year's meeting. A proposal that a postal ballot of Council members should be held when possible candidates had been found was proposed by Mr M Chester, seconded by Dr P R J Barnes, put to the vote and lost.

A proposal that a special meeting of the Council should be called under Rule 10 to consider nominations was proposed by Mr D E Sibson and seconded by Mr J R Taylor. After debate, during which Mr A P Smith suggested that also under Rule 10 the present meeting could be adjourned and an additional sitting held in due course, the motion was put to the vote and lost.

In the course of the debate, Dr Peachey suggested that the voluntary nature of the Secretary's post should be reconsidered. Later, the President confirmed that the Officers would review the responsibilities of the post before seeking nominations. On the question of time-scale, the President said that he hoped to be making good progress towards finding a successor by September and Mr Rogers added that he would like to be able to hand over to a new Secretary before the end of the year. Mr R J Perry asked that the Administrative Committee should consider how Rule 11(i) might be amended to provide for the replacement of an Officer vacating office between meetings.

Dr J Armstrong said that there was a recent precedent in that the previous Treasurer had resigned from office between meetings, the President had appointed an Acting Treasurer and the present Hon. Treasurer had been elected at the following meeting. Mr Frost suggested that such a procedure would be more democratic than the calling of a special meeting, at which a much lower attendance than normal could be expected. In answer to a question as to whether an Acting Secretary could act as Company Secretary of The Ringing World Ltd under Article 45 of the Company's Articles of Association, Mr R J Cooles said that he/she could do so.

Thereupon, the proposer and seconder of the original motion (the Hon. Secretary and Mr Walters) agreed that the motion should be amended to read as follows: "That the President and Vice-President should be authorised to seek expressions of interest and to appoint an Acting Secretary during the forthcoming year." The amended motion was put to the vote and carried.

12. Accounts for 1999
(RW 5th May 2000, pp. 456-7)

In presenting the Accounts, the Hon. Treasurer (Mr E G H Godfrey) explained various aspects of the Statement of Financial Activities and the Balance Sheet, thanked the Independent Examiners for their report and proposed the adoption of the Accounts. Mr J D Cheesman seconded and Mr H W Rogers expressed appreciation of the Hon. Treasurer's work and his clear explanations.

Questions were asked and answers given as follows:

  1. Why was there a negative stock write-off in 1998?

    Some publications stock which had been written off and held at nil value had been sold.

  2. Why was the amount shown for the sale of Ring in 2000 badges not divisible by £3 (the selling price of the badges)?

    Because the figure also included the sale of certificates.

  3. Why had bank charges increased from £20 in 1998 to £68 in 1999?

    Because, under the terms of the current account with Lloyds Bank, interest was paid on the balance held but a charge was made if more than 10 cheques were drawn on it in any month, and it was the Hon. Treasurer's policy to pay out claims for expenses as soon as possible after receipt.

  4. What plans were there to make use of the considerable sums held in cash on short-term deposit and at bank?

    The cash held in the General Fund provided interest which was used for current expenditure, that held in the Friends of the Library fund was earmarked for planned expenditure on the library over the next five years and the future use of that held in the Publications fund was currently being discussed.

Adoption of the Accounts was then agreed.

13. Motions

(A) The International Overseas Bell Fund

The Hon. Secretary proposed and the Vice-President (Dr M J de C Henshaw) seconded on behalf of the Administrative Committee: "That the following Management Trustees be appointed to manage the International Overseas Bell Fund established in accordance with the will of the late Mr F E Dukes: the Hon. Treasurer to the Council and a nominee each of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee and the Public Relations Committee."

In proposing the motion, the Hon. Secretary said that in notes accompanying his will Mr Dukes had specified that the Council should appoint Management Trustees to manage the fund and had recommended that a member of the Public Relations Committee should be a Trustee. He went on to explain the roles and responsibilities in relation to the fund of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee, the Management Trustees, and the Council Officers as Custodian Trustees. The motion was put to the vote and carried without debate.

(B) Incorporation of the Council

Mr R J Cooles proposed and the Hon. Treasurer seconded on behalf of the Administrative Committee: "That the Council applies to the Charity Commissioners for a Certificate of Incorporation under Part VII of the Charities Act 1993."

In proposing the motion, Mr Cooles read from a paper which he had put round the meeting room. This explained that the purpose of the motion was to enable the Council to become a legal "person" in its own right. This would not alter the status of the Council, nor would it bring any new obligations or regulation, but it would enable the Council to own its own assets, to enter into its own contracts, to sue and be sued. It would remove from the Officers some of the obligations and liability which currently fell on them personally. Although incorporation was at the discretion of the Charity Commission, it was understood that the Council was considered to be an appropriate case for it.

In a brief debate, Mr A Chantler asked whether incorporation would enable the Council to employ staff. Mr Cooles replied that, although it could do so at present, incorporation would make it easier.

Mr D J Jones asked whether incorporation would enable The Ringing World to become part of the Council. Mr Cooles said that it would then be possible to reorganise the constitution of The Ringing World Ltd in that way.

The motion was then put to the vote and carried.

(C) The Computer Co-ordination Committee - name and terms of reference.

Mr P A Trotman proposed and Mr M Chester seconded on behalf of the Computer Co-ordination Committee: "That the Council's Rules be amended to change the name of the Computer Co-ordination Committee to the Information Technology Committee and to update its terms of reference; specifically that Rule 14(ii)(k) be amended to read:

"Information Technology"

and that Rule 15 (xii) be amended to read:

"The Information Technology Committee

To encourage and assist affiliated societies and the Officers and Committees of the Council in the exploitation of information and communications technology; to support improved communication within the Exercise by such means as operating a world wide web site for the Council; and to communicate to the Exercise developments in ringing-related computer software and hardware by such means as publishing a catalogue and reviews."

In proposing the motion, Mr Trotman said that the proposed new terms of reference were intended to recognise the importance of information technology in communications and the work of the Committee in operating the Council's website and in publishing a software catalogue.

Supporting the proposed change, Mr C Ridley suggested that all committees should consider rephrasing their terms of reference in order to focus on achievement rather than activities. The President replied that, as part of his consultation exercise, committees had been asked to review their terms of reference. He would take Mr Ridley's point on board.

Mr P Wilkinson suggested that it would be more appropriate for the name of the Committee to be "Information and Communications Technology" and sought to propose an amendment to that effect. The proposer and seconder both accepted this amendment. The motion, as so amended, was put to the vote and carried.

(D) Alterations to the Rules

Mrs P M Wilkinson proposed and Mr R J Cooles seconded: "That Rule 22 be amended by the addition after 'agreement of two-thirds of those present' of the words 'Alterations to the Rules of the Council shall come into effect at the close of the meeting at which they are agreed'."

In proposing the motion, Mrs Wilkinson said that its purpose was to overcome difficulties which could possibly occur if rule changes have to take effect immediately. It would remove any advantage or disadvantage that might be gained from the place in which a rule change proposal appeared on the agenda. Mr Cooles added that it would still be possible for a rule change proposal to state specifically that it should have immediate effect. The motion was then put to the vote and carried.

14. Committee reports
(The reports were published in The Ringing World issue of 7th, 14th and 28th April and 5th May 2000. The relevant page numbers are given against each report.)

(a) Administrative (p.374)

Adoption of the report was formally proposed by the Hon. Secretary and seconded by the Hon. Treasurer.

Referring to the paragraph on Consultations on the Council's role and procedures, the President said that a wide range of useful comments had been received. Those concerning the operation of committees had been put to committee chairmen at the March meeting of the Administrative Committee. They included reviewing the scope of their activities, looking at the way they relate to and communicate with other committees and the inclusion of their plans for the future in their annual reports, where appropriate. Three working groups had been set up to consider the action to be taken arising from the consultation process, as follows:

  1. A Communications Group, comprising the President and Messrs J A Harrison, R A Lewis, D G Thorne and P A Trotman. It was very clear from the responses received that communications needed strengthening, particularly between the Council and affiliated societies and individual Council members.

  2. A group to consider the role of the Administrative Committee and how the affairs of the Council are managed between Council meetings, comprising the Vice-President, Mrs K Flavell, Mr S S Meyer and Mr A W R Wilby.

  3. A group to consider the functions and membership of the Council and its election procedures, comprising the President, the Vice-President and Messrs J A Harrison, S S Meyer and E G Mould.

The President invited members to submit further comments on any of these matters to himself or the relevant working group.

On Ring in 2000, Mr S J Coleman referred to the success of the project, but said that most of the newly-recruited ringers were in the upper age brackets (many aged over 70) and that the number of young ringers was decreasing. While he was in no way opposed to people learning to ring later in life, there was a real danger that a slump would follow the boom and that in ten years' time some towers with elderly bands would again be silent. He accordingly proposed: "That the Administrative Committee should set up a working group (1) to ascertain the current state of ringing and the developing trends; and (2) to give their views on likely future developments and how the Council and ringing associations might deal with these developments." The motion was seconded by Mr A Chantler.

In support of Mr Coleman's comments, Mr A W R Wilby said that a recent Ringing World survey showed that 77% of ringers were aged over 40, 15% were between 20 and 40 and 6% were under 20, but that 90% of the over 40's had learnt to ring in their teens. Several other members gave evidence of the increasing number of older ringers and of a decline in the number of undergraduate ringers in the university societies. Mrs C Rodliffe and Mr W Butler spoke of the difficulties in recruiting and retaining young people. Mr G A Halls said that the Ring in 2000 recruiting drive had been successful because it had focussed on the New Year's Day ringing and suggested that similar efforts might be made in connection with HM The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and other events of national importance.

After Mr Coleman had made it clear that he was not asking for a full survey of ringing to be undertaken, the motion was put to the vote and carried.

On Ringing in the Millennium, Mrs S Bianco and Dr L F Forbes (the Project Co-ordinators) said that 142 projects had been completed and the rest would finish by the end of June. A Ringing in the Millennium postage stamp would appear in December. They expressed thanks to the bell trade for coping so well with all the work generated, and to the Millennium Working Party, affiliated societies, diocesan bell advisers and others for their support. The Hon. Treasurer said that of the £3 million grant from the Millennium Commission, £2,826,548 had now been paid out. He spoke also of the arrangements for post-completion monitoring and of a presentation made to the Project Coordinators comprising book-ends made from wood from the old Carlisle Cathedral bell frame.

At this point the Council adjourned for lunch and the annual meeting of The Ringing World Ltd. The meeting resumed at 3.55pm with further debate on the report of the Administrative Committee.

On Ringing in the Millennium, Mr J S Barnes said that the Bell Restoration Funds Committee now felt that it was more appropriate for local associations to keep in touch with projects which had submitted a first-stage application without following it up at stage two.

Referring to the meetings with English Heritage, Mr G A Halls regretted that no information had been published on their outcome. The President accepted that there had been insufficient feedback to those who had submitted matters for consideration at those meetings. He spoke of the good relationship that had been developed with English Heritage and of their offer to consult the Council on the forthcoming Heritage Strategy Review. He agreed that reports of the meetings should be published in The Ringing World.

In answer to a question about the Health and Safety Guidelines, Mr A J Frost said that they had been submitted to the Publications Committee for publication. Meanwhile, he could supply copies as required.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(b) Library (p.461)

In proposing the adoption of the report, Mr W Butler referred briefly to the bequest to the Library by Mr F E Dukes and to the publication on CD of the Trollope Manuscripts. Dr J C Eisel seconded, and adoption of the report was agreed.

(c) Methods (p.359)

Proposing adoption of the report, Mr A P Smith said that the Rung Surprise, etc. supplement to the end of 1999 had been published and that a new Collection of Principles was with the Publications Committee. The two method collections on diskette had not sold well and it was proposed to consolidate them into a single diskette, containing some new methods. Mr P D Niblett seconded.

Mrs S J Warboys referred to a letter from Mr R W Pipe in The Ringing World of 5th May 2000 proposing that the Decisions on Methods should be amended to enable short-course methods to be recognised. Mr Pipe had previously raised the matter with the Committee and had offered to help draft the necessary amendments. Mr Smith replied that the Committee had agreed to consider the matter. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(d) Peal Compositions (pp.359-60)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr D F Morrison, seconded by Mr M C Bennett and agreed.

(e) Peals Analysis (pp.458-60)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr J D Cheesman, who made his annual plea to conductors to submit peal reports more promptly and made a small correction to the report. In seconding, Mr J R Martin reported further progress with the Felstead Project: data for 5353 towers had been entered; work on pre Bell News peals was coming on well; a programme was being written to incorporate the post-1990 peals; and a complete CD would be issued in early 2001. He confirmed, in answer to a question, that towers which no longer existed had been included and many were to be found on the website.

Mr G A Halls expressed concern about recent trends in peal ringing: too high a proportion were rung by a relatively small number of people in relatively few towers. Indeed, 27% of peals had been rung in 1% of the towers. More ringers should take part and more towers should be used for peals.

After Mr Cheesman had briefly responded, adoption of the report was agreed.

(f) Public Relations (p.360)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr D G Thorne said that just 30 Ring in 2000 badges were unsold. He referred to earlier comments by Mr G A Halls about ringing for national events and he urged ringers to inform their local media of special ringing on these occasions. Finally, he urged all present to attend the next Ringing Roadshow on 31st March 2001. Adoption of the report was seconded by Mrs S Bianco and agreed.

Mr Thorne then stated that there were now two vacancies on the Committee as Mrs Bianco had decided to stand down and Miss T R Stoecklin's membership of the Council would cease after this meeting. He proposed and Mrs Bianco seconded that the vacancies should be filled by Mrs J A Edwards and Mr F W Lewis. There being no other nominations, their election to the Committee was agreed.

(g) Publications (p.460)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr W J Couperthwaite, who referred to two recent new publications, the Rung Surprise, etc. supplement to the end of 1999 and Ringing Circles, and said that, in relation to the possible use of commercial outlets, a trial deal was in place with Sotherans. He also confirmed that the Committee would shortly be considering how best to use the substantial cash balance in the Publications Fund.

In seconding, Mr D J Jones said that the new Collection of Principles and Learning Methods would be available in August.

Mr J R Mayne referred to an error in the name of a composer, G Wilfred Slack, in the Collection of Compositions of Stedman Triples and Erin Triples, and spoke of the history behind Slack's two-part composition of Stedman Triples.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(h) Records (pp.422-3)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr D E Sibson, seconded by Mr J R Mayne and agreed.

(i) Redundant Bells (p.360)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mrs P M Wilkinson, who said that the Committee was seeking to make an inventory of bells in redundant churches. The report was seconded by Mr G W Massey and agreed.

(j) Ringing Centres (pp.360-1)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr P W Gay said that four more ringing centres had been approved for funding by the Founders Company and that a meeting of representatives of all ringing centres would be held at the Founders Hall on 30th September. The Committee were considering how to raise funding for more ringing centres.

Adoption of the report was seconded by Miss S J Pattenden and agreed.

(k) Towers and Belfries (p.361)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr A Dempster and seconded by Mr J R Taylor. In reply to a question from Mr S C Walters about the suggestion that the rigid building-in of steel girders supporting bell frames was somehow harmful to masonry towers, Mr Dempster said that no conclusions had yet been drawn from the tests being made.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(l) Bell Restoration Funds (p.358)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr J S Barnes made the following points:

(i) The Committee were keen for officers of association bell funds to have copies of their brochure, which would be sent to them on request;

(ii) Mr J A Cater was resigning from the Committee, but his place should not be filled until the current review of the Committee's work was complete;

(iii) A note on the new Gift Aid Scheme had been put round the meeting room. Subscriptions could be included if the whole association was registered as a charity, but it was understood that the Charity Commission was reluctant to approve any further such registrations. A good audit trail for Gift Aid donations was essential;

(iv) The attempt to seek funding for bell restoration from European Community sources had been abandoned as unsuccessful;

(v) The practice in the Southwell Diocese of holding on-site meetings between representatives of the Diocesan Guild, English Heritage, the Diocesan Bells Adviser and the local people before a potentially contentious faculty application was submitted was one to be commended; and

(vi) Mr Barnes proposed to stand down as Chairman of the Committee later this year after 25 years in the post.

After Mrs K Flavell had seconded the adoption of the report, the President thanked Mr Barnes for his work as Chairman and expressed the hope that he would continue to contribute to the work of the Council and the Committee.

Mr I P Hill referred to the low level of income to the Central Council Bell Restoration Fund and suggested that it should be publicised more widely. Mr Barnes said that the policy had been to avoid any competition with association bell funds. The Committee would consider increasing its publicity.

Ms E Roberts asked how the Australian and New Zealand Association could contribute to the operation of the International Overseas Bell Fund, e.g., by publicising it. Mr Barnes said that the Committee would invite applications for funding through The Ringing World and would liaise directly with the overseas societies. Only a small amount would be available for grant each year.

Mr G A Halls suggested that lottery funding for bell restoration should be sought in connection with HM The Queen's Golden Jubilee. Mr Barnes replied that up to now the Committee had not itself been involved in fund-raising, but that comments recently received from affiliated societies on the Committee's work showed that they would like the Committee to find new sources of funding. Accordingly, approaches would be made for further lottery funding. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(m) Biographies (p.423)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr B D Threlfall said that the report had omitted to mention three members who had died between the preparation of the 1999 report and the 1999 Council meeting: Mr A Capstick, Mr J J P Ellams and Mr H Lawrenson. He asked members to look at the Committee's display stand, to comment on its terms of reference and to fill in, sign and return the biography forms which had been circulated.

Adoption of the report was seconded by Dr G S Groves and agreed.

(n) Computer Co-ordination (p.358)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr P A Trotman, seconded by Mr A G Craddock and agreed. Mr Trotman referred briefly to the Ringing Bibliography, which had been put round the meeting room, and to the publication of the Council Members' Contact List on the website.

(o) Education (pp.358-9)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr J A Harrison made the following points:

(i) At the request of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, the ringing section had been updated;

(ii) The Instructor's Guild would be launched early in 2001;

(iii) At a meeting in January 2000, the Committee had considered its future direction, as a result of which several ideas were being discussed;

(iv) The MTM course was being developed for use by associations;

(v) A group had been set up to consider the dissemination of ringing knowledge and how committees could work better together. A report by the group had been put round the meeting room and comments on it were invited; and

(vi) A ringing/education computer network had been set up to facilitate communications between Committee members, teachers of ringing and learners.

Dr M J de C Henshaw seconded adoption of the report, which was agreed after the President had congratulated the Committee on the network referred to at (vi) above.

15. Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine
(RW 14th April, p.373)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr A E M Bagworth, seconded by Mr J A Anderson and agreed.

16. Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour
(RW 14th April, p.373)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr A N Stubbs, seconded by Mr A W R Wilby and agreed.

17. Central Council Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
Regd charity no.278816 (RW 14th April, p.373)

Adoption of the report and accounts was proposed by Mr R J Cooles, seconded by the Revd Dr J C Baldwin and agreed, subject to the addition of Mrs P M Wilkinson to the list of Managing Trustees. Mr Cooles asked members to fill in a form to indicate willingness to provide a loan when required.

18. Future Meetings

At the President's invitation, Mr J Kershaw spoke about the arrangements for the meeting in 2001, to be held in Liverpool, and drew attention to a leaflet which had been put round the meeting room.

The President reminded members that invitations had been accepted for future years as follows:

and that an invitation had been received, but not yet formally accepted, from the Leicester Diocesan Guild for 2006.

19. Attendance

The Hon. Secretary reported on attendance at the meeting as set out in the table below.

20. Other business

(i) Ms E Roberts spoke about arrangements for the International Striking Competition to be held in Australia in April 2001.

(ii) The President sought agreement for the ballot papers to be destroyed, and this was given.

(iii) Mr A J Frost proposed that a letter of good wishes be sent to Mr F D Mack, who was seriously ill. Mr B D Threlfall seconded and this was agreed.

(iv) Dr B F Peachey spoke about a ringing course to be held at Horncastle in July 2000.

(v) Mrs V Grossmith said that the Zimbabwe Guild had been disappointed to learn that the Dukes legacy could only be used for bell restoration, when their need was for assistance in the training of ringers.

21. Votes of thanks

The President moved a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those involved in the Council's visit to Suffolk: to the officers and members of the Suffolk Guild, particularly Mr and Mrs D G Salter, the Revd L R Pizzey and other members of the organising committee; to the Chief Steward, Mr B Whiting, and others who had acted as stewards and tellers at the meeting; to the Revd Brian Rastrick and the Revd Lawrence Pizzey for taking the Songs of Praise Service at Horringer Church on the Sunday afternoon; to the Revd Lawrence Pizzey for taking the Corporate Eucharist service in the Cathedral that morning; to all those involved in the Sunday evening reception, particularly the Provost of Bury St Edmunds (the Very Revd James Attwell) and the Mayor of St Edmundsbury (Councillor John Wayman) for their welcome; to the incumbents and ringers of the churches who had made their bells available to Council members over the weekend; and to all others who had contributed to the success of the meeting. The motion was accepted with applause.

The Revd Dr J C Baldwin expressed thanks to the President for his chairmanship of the meeting.

The President declared the meeting closed at 5.35pm

Summary of Attendance
Fully represented55163-
Partly represented112712
Not represented1-3

Life Members54
Honorary Members153


The Ringing World, July 21, 2000, pages 726 to 729

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