The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Minutes of the Third Session of the 37th Council (104th Annual Meeting), held at The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool on Monday 28th May, 2001, at 10.00am


Life Members: Miss D E Colgate, H W Egglestone, C K Lewis, W F Moreton, H W Rogers, Preb J G M Scott, D G Thorne.
Honorary Members: R I Allton*, A E M Bagworth, D W Beard, Mrs S Bianco, M J Church, S J Coleman, R J Cooles, Mrs K Flavell, E G H Godfrey, R R Horton*, D J Kelly, R A Lewis*, M H D O’Callaghan, Miss J Roberts, Mrs P M Wilkinson.
Ancient Society of College Youths: B P Diserens, A J Frost, A N Stubbs, A W R Wilby.
Australian & New Zealand Assn: J A Smith.
Bath & 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 & District Society: P S Andrews, M J de C Henshaw.
Cambridge Univ. Guild: S C Walters.
Carlisle Dio. Guild: J J Proudfoot, Miss R M Rodway.
Chester Dio. Guild: P Dyson, C Mitchell, 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.
Devonshire Guild: L E Boyce, M G Mansley*, G E Mudge, D J Roberts.
Dorset County Assn: D R Bugler, Mrs M E Frost, A G Smith.
Durham & Newcastle Dio. Assn: J N Parkin, R R Warford, Mrs B M Wheeler.
Durham Univ. Society: Revd P Newing.
East Derbys & West Notts Assn: A Dempster.
East Grinstead & 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 & 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, J F I Turney.
Hertford County Assn: Mrs D M Mayne, J R Mayne, B C Watson.
Irish Assn: Ms J Thompson.
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, J R Thompson, B G Warwick, Mrs W M Warwick.
Lichfield & 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, L G Townsend.
Liverpool Univ. Society: S J Flockton.
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio. Assn: P S Bennett, J C Parker.
London County Assn: G S Barr, R G Booth, E G Mould.
Manchester Univ. Guild: S D Woof.
Middlesex County Assn. & London Dio. Guild: R Bailey, F T Blagrove, G E J A Doughty, A R Udal.
National Police Guild: Revd 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, D Stanworth*.
Norwich Dio. Assn: Mrs G M Hodgkinson, M H Hodgkinson.
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 J T Evans, D J Jones, Mrs E J Sibson.
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.
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: 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 & 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.
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio. Guild: Mrs G Cater, A G Craddock, A P Smith, P A G Watts, M J Winterbourne.
Worcestershire & Districts Assn: S W Holbeche, C M Povey, A Roberts.
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 Devon Association, St David’s Diocesan Guild and Scottish Association were not represented.

1. The Chair

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

2. Opening Prayer

The Revd Prebendary J G M Scott 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 203 representatives. There were ten Life Members and 18 Honorary Members. Subscriptions had been received from all affiliated societies, except the Devon Assn.

4. Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from the Revd Dr J C Baldwin, Mr E A Barnett and Mr C A Wratten (Life Members), Dr J C Eisel, Prof L F Forbes and Mr J R Martin (Honorary Members), the Hon. Justice D J Bleby and Mr L R Reynolds (Australian and New Zealand Assn), Mr P J Pascoe and Mr M C Way (Devon Assn), Mr B D Threlfall (Hereford DG), Mr A F Alldrick (Hertford CA), Mrs E Barry and Dr M J Pomeroy (Irish Assn), the Revd J M Hughes (Llandaff and Monmouth DA), Dr P J Shipton (Scottish Assn), Mr B J Bull (Southwell DG), Mrs L G Pink (Sussex CA), Mr P Avesani and Mrs A Thomson (Veronese Assn), Mr R F B Speed (Worcestershire and Districts Assn), and Miss A M Phillips (Zimbabwe Guild).

An alternate member was present from the Zimbabwe Guild.

An apology was also received from the St David’s Diocesan Guild for not being represented. Their single representative, Mr R C Warburton, had died on 9th April 2001 and it had not been possible to replace him.

5. Minutes of the 2000 Annual Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 29th May 2000, as published in The Ringing World of 21st July 2000, were approved and signed by the President.

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 F D Mack (G Devonshire Ringers 1978 until his death); Mr R S Wilson (Scottish Assn 1954-71); Mr J H Crampion (Essex Assn 1954-62); Mr D F Murfet (Ely DA 1961-2 and 1965-70); Mr D G Clift (Llandaff & Monmouth DA 1933-35); Mr P Border (Ely DA 1954-59 and Coventry DG 1972-98); Mr N V Harding (Norwich DA 1954-77) Mr J W Raithby (Southwell DG 1951-56); Mr R H Dove (Hon. Member 1974-83 and 1992-97); and Mr R C Warburton (St David’s DG 1961-66, 1969 and 1996 until his death). The Revd L R Pizzey said a prayer.

8. Election of Honorary Members

Four Honorary Members would complete their three-year term at the end of the meeting, of whom one (Mr M H D O’Callaghan) did not seek re-election. The other three and one other were individually proposed, seconded and elected as follows: Mrs S Bianco, Project Coordinator for Ringing in the Millennium; Mr R J Cooles, Secretary of the Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells; Mr S J Coleman, an Independent Examiner; and Mrs H L Peachey, an experienced teacher of ringing. Six vacancies for honorary members remained unfilled.

9. Annual Report of the Council
(RW 4th May 2001, p.453)

Adoption of the report was proposed by the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mr E G Mould and agreed.

10. Accounts for 2000
(RW 4th May 2001, pp.453-4)

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 H W Rogers seconded and expressed appreciation of the Hon. Treasurer’s clear presentation and for the work undertaken to produce the Accounts.

In reply to questions from Mr G A Halls and Dr J Armstrong respectively, the Hon. Treasurer said that the Capital Fund had been set up from the assets of the former Ringing World Committee when The Ringing World Limited was formed, in order to provide the Council with capital to start a separate ringing publication if the need arose; and that, although grants made by the Worshipful Company of Founders had only totalled £4,633 in 2000, over £10,000 had already been paid out in the current year and more applications were in the pipeline. Mr C Ridley added that, although the Friends of the Library Account showed a surplus of £1,000 in 2000, expenditure commitments amounted to £1,600.

The Hon. Treasurer then spoke about a letter sent by the Independent Examiners to the Officers in their capacity as the Council’s Trustees. The letter drew attention to what they considered to be failures in financial control in relation to the transfer of the copyright of Dove’s Guide to the Council and in the production of the recent new edition. It also raised some broader issues relating to the financial control maintained by the Trustees over committees, particularly the Publications Committee. It did not however suggest that there was any question of fraud or misappropriation of funds. The Hon. Treasurer went on to say that the Officers had begun to talk to the principal parties involved to establish the facts for themselves and to help establish areas where, with hindsight, things might have been done differently. They would then respond to the letter, quite possibly with proposals for changes in procedures, and would report back to next year’s Council meeting. Changes which did not require the approval of the full Council would be put in hand.

On behalf of the Independent Examiners, Mr S J Coleman said that they had been concerned about the adequacy of some of the financial control systems and were pleased that the Trustees were investigating their concerns. He went on to stress that there was no question of fraud, misappropriation of funds or financial impropriety, that sales records for the Publications Committee and for Dove’s Guide had been accurately and meticulously maintained and that the Publications Committee’s accounts had been prepared and presented in a proper and professional manner.

Adoption of the Accounts was then agreed.

11. Motions

(A) Object of the Council

The Vice-President (Dr M J de C Henshaw) proposed and the Hon. Secretary seconded on behalf of the Administrative Committee: “That Rule 2 (Aims and Objects) be replaced by the following:

‘Object of the Council

The Object of the Central Council is to promote and foster the ringing of bells for Christian prayer, worship and celebration and in furtherance thereof -

(i) To promote awareness of and educate the general public in the ringing of church bells and the art of change ringing;

(ii) To make available advice, assistance and information to church authorities, ringers and ringing societies and to promote good practice on all matters concerned with bells and bell ringing;

(iii) To encourage development of the art of ringing through innovation;

(iv) To bring together ringers to discuss matters of common interest and to represent ringers both nationally and internationally;

(v) To encourage good striking;

(vi) To recommend technical standards in change ringing and maintain such records as may be necessary to uphold these standards;

(vii) To assist in the provision, restoration, maintenance and transfer of church bells.’”

In proposing the motion, the Vice-President referred to an explanatory note which had been circulated with the agenda and said that the proposed changes to the Council’s Aims and Objects had arisen partly from a request by the Charity Commission to make some changes and partly from a desire to reflect and draw attention to the Council’s promotion of good standards of ringing and its role in encouraging innovation.

In response to a question from Mr R J Perry, the Hon. Secretary said that the Charity Commission’s request had arisen from a review they were undertaking of charities similar to the Council, in which they had noticed that the Council’s objects were not expressed in an exclusively charitable form. Mr C Ridley said that in his view the Council should have achievement-based objectives, not activity-based objectives.

An amendment was then moved by Mr I V J Smith and seconded by Mr I P Hill that the following should be substituted for object (v): “To encourage good quality ringing with emphasis on accuracy and rhythm.” After discussion, in which Mr W F Moreton, supported by Mr A J Frost, suggested that “rhythm” should be replaced by “timing”, the amendment was put to the vote and carried. Before the substantive motion was put, a further amendment was moved by Mr R Bailey and seconded by Mr J R Taylor that the following should be substituted for object (v): “To encourage high standards of performance in ringing.” This further amendment was put to the vote and carried.

The substantive motion, incorporating the further amendment, was put to the vote and carried by the necessary two-thirds majority.

(B) Annual Meeting agenda order

The Vice-President proposed and the Hon. Secretary seconded on behalf of the Administrative Committee: “That Rule 18 (ii) be deleted and that Rule 18 (iii) be renumbered 18 (ii).” After the Vice-President had explained that the proposed change was consequent on the 1999 decision that a retiring President should remain in the Chair until the end of the meeting at which his/her successor was elected, the motion was put to the vote and carried by the necessary two-thirds majority.

(C) Office of Honorary Assistant Secretary

The Vice-President proposed and Mrs K Flavell seconded on behalf of the Administrative Committee: “That a new office of Honorary Assistant Secretary be created and that the following Rules be amended as indicated:

Rules 5(i), (iii) (in two places) and (iv) - Replace ‘Secretary to the Council’ by ‘Honorary Secretary’.

Rules 11(i) (in three places) and (ii), 14(iii) (a), 16, 18(ii) and 19(ii) - After ‘Honorary Secretary’ insert ‘, Honorary Assistant Secretary’.”

In proposing the motion, the Vice-President said that the working group appointed to examine the administration of the Council had come to the conclusion that the Hon. Secretary’s workload had grown sufficiently to warrant a second secretarial post. It was proposed that the Secretary and Assistant Secretary would determine between them how the work was to be shared out. The Vice-President added that the Assistant Secretary would be an Officer and a Trustee. The motion was then put to the vote and carried by the necessary two-thirds majority.

(D) Terms of reference of the Education Committee

Mr J A Harrison proposed and Mr F J P Bone seconded on behalf of the Education Committee:

“That Rule 15(iii) (Terms of Reference of the Education Committee) be amended to read: ‘To review, further, and if necessary advance, the best methods of ringing teaching and learning, and to disseminate this knowledge to societies and the ringing community; to arrange or assist in the organisation of training events for societies; to keep under review the need for up-to-date educational resources using whatever medium best suits the purpose, and to produce this material wherever necessary.’”

In proposing the motion, Mr Harrison said that its purpose was to remedy defects in the Committee’s terms of reference, which did not fully reflect the scope of its work. The motion was then put to the vote and carried by the necessary two-thirds majority.

(E) Terms of reference of the Ringing Centres Committee

Mr P W Gay proposed and Miss S J Pattenden seconded on behalf of the Ringing Centres Committee: “That Rule 15(xv) (Terms of Reference of the Ringing Centres Committee) be amended to read: ‘To promote, support, set minimum standards for, and provide information on ringing centres; to evaluate proposals for the formation of centres against the standards agreed by the Council, and where appropriate recognise centres on behalf of the Council; to administer funds for setting up and developing centres.’”

After Mr Gay had explained that the main reason for the change in the terms of reference was that the Committee was now administering funds not provided by the Council, the motion was put to the vote and carried by the necessary two-thirds majority.

(F) Definition of methods with hunt bells

Mrs S J Warboys proposed and Mr A W R Wilby seconded: “That Decision (E) A. 1 be amended by replacing paragraph (a) with the following:

‘(a) In methods with hunt bells, there shall be at least two leads in the plain course.’”

In proposing the motion, Mrs Warboys referred to an explanatory note which had been circulated. The origin of the proposal was a desire to ring the extensions to 16 of methods which at that stage would produce a 3-lead or 5-lead course, but it would also broaden the scope for methods on all numbers of bells. Since she had raised the matter at the 2000 Annual Meeting, the Methods Committee had considered it, but their response had been disappointing. They had said that the required change would make the Decisions more complicated, but in fact it could be achieved by the simple amendment proposed. They had given no technical reasons for rejecting the proposal, but had suggested that bands should either work within the traditional constraints or ring whatever they wished, but on the understanding that it would not be recognised by the Council. The St Martin’s Guild rejected both those propositions. Methods which the proposed amendment would permit had been rung in peals recognised by the Council, but only through use of a fudge. This was not satisfactory. Mrs Warboys concluded by asking members to support the motion.

In seconding, Mr Wilby referred to the Council’s agreement that day to a new objective relating to the development of ringing through innovation, of which this motion was a good example. The motion had formed the subject of a brief discussion on the Today programme on Radio 4 that morning, which had provided good publicity for the Council, but regrettably the Methods Committee had refused to take part.

After Mr J F I Turney had expressed support for the motion, Mr A P Smith (Chairman of the Methods Committee) said that his Committee had carefully considered the proposal. The methods which the motion would permit had fundamentally different characteristics and did not fit into existing classes of method. They could not be satisfactorily defined by the simple amendment proposed. The Committee had no objection in principle to these methods and, if the Council wished to accept them, they would codify them.

After Mr R R Horton and Mr D J Jones had spoken in favour of the motion, Mr T G Pett expressed some concern about its application to methods on lower numbers of bells. He therefore proposed as an amendment the addition to the motion of the words “on 12 or more bells.” Mr J D Cheesman seconded. Opposing both the amendment and the original motion, Mr J R Mayne said that it was not true that the Methods Committee wished to stifle innovation, but not every innovation was desirable. The proposal would have a major effect on method ringing and the Methods Committee’s offer to consider the matter further should be accepted.

With the agreement of the Council, the amendment was then withdrawn.

After further debate, in which views were expressed for and against the motion, Mr F T Blagrove proposed and Mr F J P Bone seconded that the matter be referred back to the Methods Committee. The reference-back motion was then put to the vote and carried.

By way of explanation, Mr A P Smith said that he sensed that the meeting wished to accept the type of methods to which the original motion referred and that the Methods Committee would accordingly bring forward to the 2002 Annual Meeting proposed changes to the Decisions to accommodate them.

(G) Alliance methods - definition

Mr A B Mills proposed and Mr G A Dawson seconded: “That the classification ‘Alliance’ be restricted to methods in which the treble’s path consists only of any number of dodges or of plain hunting in each section; that other methods in which the treble is not the same total number of blows in each position within the lead (but its path is symmetrical about the half-lead) be classified ‘Junction’; and that the Methods Committee be asked to bring forward to the 2002 Council meeting a proposed amendment to Decision (E) to give effect to this change.”

In proposing the motion, Mr Mills said that Alliance methods covered many different types of treble path. It was being suggested that methods in which the treble’s path had a wrong-hunting section should be classified “Junction”.

Opposing the motion, Mr A P Smith said that the Methods Committee had considered a similar proposal from Mr D Mottershead in 1998 and had rejected it. The proposed reclassification would affect 34 named methods and it should not be assumed that the bands who had rung them would be content to rename them. After a brief debate, the motion was put to the vote and lost.

12. Presentation to the retiring Hon. Secretary

On behalf of the Council, the President paid tribute to Mr C H Rogers for his service as Hon. Secretary since 1993 and presented him with a handbell and inscribed plaque. Mr Rogers returned thanks and commented that, although his employment situation had allowed him to continue as Secretary throughout the last year, he had come to the view that, due to the increase in the Secretary’s workload, it was time to hand over to someone else. He wished his successor well.

13. Election of Honorary Secretary

Only one nomination had been received for the post of Honorary Secretary, that of Mr I H Oram. Mr Oram was proposed by Mrs P M Wilkinson, seconded by Mr D E Sibson and elected.

No nominations had been received for the new post of Honorary Assistant Secretary, which had been created by the passing of the motion at item 11(C) above.

14. Committee reports
(The reports were published in The Ringing World issues of 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th April and 4th and 11th May 2001. The relevant page numbers are shown against each report.)

(a) Administrative (p.402)

In proposing the adoption of the report, the Hon. Secretary updated members on the matter of Radio Aerials and the associated telecommunications equipment in churches. Following a tendering process, the Archbishops’ Council would shortly appoint an operating company to a position of preferred status for the installation of radio aerials in churches. The comments submitted on behalf of the Council on the draft guidance notes for parishes had been accepted in full. A revised draft had been sent out with the tender documents and, following the appointment of an operating company, a final version would be circulated to interested parties and would be placed on the Church of England’s website. The Hon. Secretary also said that the name of Mr J S Barnes, Chairman of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee up to December 2000, should be added to the list of committee members appearing below the report.

After the Vice-President had seconded the report’s adoption, the President expressed thanks to him for compiling the report on the Consultation Process, which had been circulated separately to members.

Miss J Roberts then expressed disappointment that the Committee had not proposed a change in the Rules to deal with situations where an Officer resigned from office between Council meetings. The President apologised for this omission and said that a suitable amendment would be proposed at the 2002 Annual Meeting.

On Diocesan Advisory Committees (DACs), Mr C M Povey asked the following questions on behalf of a member of the Worcestershire and Districts Association, of which notice had been given:

(1) Why was it considered to be “not appropriate” to press for the representation of ringers on DACs?

(2) Why was it apparently appropriate for the Council to merely “welcome” being consulted on the appointment of bells consultants? Why not of as right, and why was the Council’s approach made through the Council for the Care of Churches (CCC)?

(3) Will the Administrative Committee take the matter back, set up a sub-committee of enquiry and report back with positive and reasoned recommendations to the 2002 Council meeting?

The Hon. Secretary replied that the Committee had considered the matter at its March meeting, for which copies of all correspondence received on the matter (including letters appearing in The Ringing World) had been circulated in advance. He had recently met the Secretary of the CCC, who had said that the CCC had been set up in 1921 specifically to coordinate the work of DACs, disseminate information, promote good practice, and advise them how to obtain expert advice on such matters as wall paintings, stained glass, organs and bells. The Council was therefore right to pursue this matter through the CCC, and the CCC would be willing to recommend DACs to consult the Council on the appointment of bells consultants, as part of its good practice guidance.

The Hon. Secretary went on to give reasons for not pressing for representation of ringers as of right on DACs: first, cases concerning bells formed a small part of their work and those ringers and bells consultants who were DAC members generally had wider interests in the work of DACs; secondly, representatives of special interest groups on DACs were recognised as having a particular axe to grind and their advice was taken into account on that basis - thus ringers’ representatives would be seen as being only interested in securing that bells should be capable of being rung easily and efficiently, with little regard for conservation and other interests; and thirdly, since most bell restoration schemes were actively supported by the local ringing association, the ringers’ representative on the DAC might well be considered to be an interested party and thus be excluded from discussion of such schemes.

After Mr A C D Lovell-Wood had spoken briefly on the work of DAC bells consultants, the President ascertained that members were generally content with the Hon. Secretary’s reply.

At this point the Council adjourned for lunch and the annual meeting of The Ringing World Ltd. The meeting resumed at 3.42 pm with further debate on the report of the Administration Administrative Committee.

Continuing the subject of Diocesan Advisory Committees, Mr G A Halls spoke of his work as bells adviser to both the Derby Diocesan Association and the Derby DAC. However, the Derby DAC were not content with his dual role, which they saw as a conflict of interests, and he was rarely invited to present his reports in person. Thus, while he agreed with the Hon. Secretary’s response, there were problems in persuading DACs to recognise the interests of ringers. Prebendary J G M Scott sympathised with Mr Halls and said that he was in a similar position in the Exeter diocese, although the DAC took full account of his written reports in reaching their decisions.

Referring to the report on the Consultation Process, Mr T G Pett asked why the Committee had rejected the informed voting system for the election of Committees. Mr J N Parkin commented that the election of committees had taken far too long at the Lincoln meeting. The Vice-President replied that the Committee had considered the informed voting system to be too complicated and long drawn out. The need to reduce the time on elections at Council meetings was recognised and the matter would be considered further.

On Ringing in the Millennium, the Hon. Treasurer said, in response to a question from Mr G S Barr, that the single uncompleted scheme was at Tuebrook, Liverpool, and that the final grant would be paid when the work there was finished later in the year.

On the National Bells Register, Mrs P M Wilkinson explained why little progress had been made and said that the Towers and Belfries Committee for Redundant Bells had agreed to help with a pilot scheme. Mr G A Halls said that it would be useful, and easier, for the register to concentrate on bells scheduled for preservation.

Adoption of the report was then agreed. To fill an elected member vacancy on the Committee, Miss L M Bland was proposed by Mr R J Cooles, seconded by Mrs K Flavell and elected.

(b) Peals Analysis (pp.494-6)

In proposing the adoption of the report, Mr J D Cheesman invited association peal recorders to contact him in order that annual peal totals could be agreed before publication of the Committee’s report. He added that some new members would be required for the Committee at next year’s meeting. In seconding, Mr T G Pett said that the Felstead Project was now complete, in that all the data had been entered on to computer files, and that he would be responsible for making corrections and for distributing it. Later in the year the data would be available on CDs and it was being placed on the Council’s website.

Mr R N Moreton proposed, and Mr W F Moreton seconded, that the paragraph of the report which referred to a peal of 5100 Doubles by the Beverley and District Society should be deleted on the basis that a similar peal by the Yorkshire Association had not been accepted. After Mr P S Andrews had explained the circumstances of the peal, the motion was put to the vote and lost. The Committee’s recommendation that the peal should be accepted was then agreed, as was the adoption of the report.

(c) Public Relations (p.401)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr D G Thorne, who expressed thanks to all who had helped with the recent Ringing Roadshow, in particular Mr P W Gay and Mrs W Daw. Over 2,000 ringers had attended, and all costs had been covered.

Mrs W Daw seconded and the adoption of the report was agreed. Proposals were sought to fill a vacancy on the Committee, but none was forthcoming.

(d) Publications (p.373)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr W J Couperthwaite made two corrections: in the second paragraph, the Collection of Principles was the 3rd (not 2nd) edition and was a new publication, not a reprint; and in the last paragraph, the surplus was in fact £2,661. He apologised for the omission of the usual sales list, and referred to two new publications which were now available: The Rung Surprise, etc. supplement to the end of 2000 and A Collection of Compositions in Popular Major Methods. A further publication, Universal Major Compositions, would be ready soon. More advertisements for publications had appeared in guild reports and in The Ringing World.

Mr D J Jones seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

(e) Records (p.468-9)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr D E Sibson said that the peal of Burnham Beeches S Major on 28th October had in fact been rung by the Guildford D G and that the names submitted for peals by the Suffolk Guild on 28th October and 16th December were not acceptable for technical reasons. Mr J R Mayne seconded.

Mr S D Pettman gave a detailed explanation of the two methods rung by the Suffolk Guild and their relationship to Penultimus Little Place Maximus, and proposed that the names originally submitted (Penultimus Little Place Major and Penultimus Little Place Royal) should be accepted. Mr R A Grant seconded.

Mr A P Smith, for the Methods Committee, said that he had some sympathy for the proposal, but that the Decisions on Method Extension only permitted static extensions of Little methods. The relationship between Penultimus Little Place Maximus and the two methods under discussion was that of expanding extensions. After further discussion, Mr Pettman’s proposal was put to the vote and lost.

Mr Sibson thereupon proposed that the method rung on 28th October should be named Little Little Little Little Penultimus Little Place Major and that on 16th December Little Little Penultimus Little Place Royal. The adoption of the report, incorporating these names and the correction previously given, was then agreed.

(f) Ringing Centres (p.374)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr P W Gay, who spoke about progress in the allocation of funds from the Founders’ Company’s grant. Ten new ringing centres had been approved and three more applications had been referred back for clarification. The need for continuity of funding and better information was recognised and was being addressed.

Mr A J Frost seconded and the report’s adoption was agreed.

(g) Redundant Bells (p.430)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mrs P M Wilkinson said that the Committee’s survey of bells in redundant churches was being delayed because the Church Commissioners had not yet produced a complete list of redundant churches. When the complete list was available the survey would be completed.

Adoption of the report was seconded by Mr P A G Watts and agreed.

(h) Towers and Belfries (p.346)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr A Dempster and seconded by Mr G A Dawson.

In discussion, Mr P Wilkinson expressed thanks to those who had provided advice and taken action on the installation of radio aerials and telecommunications equipment in churches, and said that it was important to ensure that the equipment did not make it more difficult to take bells in and out of towers.

Mr G A Halls asked about the Committee’s publication Guidelines for Bell Hanging Projects. Mr Dempster said that it provided basic guidance for teams undertaking rehanging projects. He assured Mr Halls that it did not conflict with or duplicate the Bell Restoration Funds Committee’s publication Organising a Bell Restoration Project.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(i) Bell Restoration Funds (p.345)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mrs K Flavell paid tribute to Mr J S Barnes, who had chaired the Committee for its first 25 years, and made the following points:

(1) The amount in the Council’s Bell Restoration Fund had grown to £10,000. At its meeting the previous day the Committee had considered a number of applications and had awarded 13 grants of between £250 and £1,500 each.

(2) Six grants had been made to overseas projects from the Fred E Dukes International Bell Fund, totalling £5,000.

(3) Ten grants, totalling £32,000, had been made by the Manifold Trust, which had also contributed £1,000 towards the Council’s administration costs.

(4) For the future, the Committee would be seeking to identify new sources of funding and would be reviewing its terms of reference.

Mr I H Oram seconded the report’s adoption.

Mr R R Horton asked whether the Committee could advise on the registration of whole ringing societies as charities. Mrs Flavell agreed that the Committee should assemble the arguments for and against and advise accordingly.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(j) Biographies (p.373)

Adoption of the report was proposed (in the absence of Mr B D Threlfall) by Prof A Newing, who said that biographical details were still required from some members, seconded by Mrs P A M Halls and agreed.

(k) Education (p.374)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr J A Harrison said that CD versions of the Listening to Ringing tapes were now available and that over 200 ringers had joined the Network for Ringing Training. Feedback was needed on how useful ringers found the Training Directory.

After Mrs C M Lewis had seconded, Mr R N Moreton said that the Committee should place more emphasis on teaching, rather than book-writing, and should focus on running courses aimed at teaching simple methods. He did not support the Network for Ringing Training and proposed that the membership of the Committee should be reduced to six. The proposal did not find a seconder. Mr Moreton then announced his resignation from the Committee.

Adoption of the report was then agreed, and nominations were sought to fill two vacancies on the Committee. Mr M J Winterbourne was proposed by Mrs G Cater and seconded by Mr P A G Watts; and Mrs H L E Peachey was proposed by Mr D G Thorne and seconded by Mr G S Barr. Both were duly elected.

(l) Information and Communications Technology (p.401)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr P A Trotman, seconded by Mr D F Morrison, and agreed.

(m) Library (p.373)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr W Butler, who sought members’ comments on the Committee’s proposed new terms of reference and on the need for a learned journal on bells and ringing. Miss J Sanderson seconded and reminded members to fill in Gift Aid forms when paying Friends of the Library subscriptions.

After Mrs K Flavell and Mr J D Cheesman had spoken about Gift Aid, Mr G S Barr asked about progress with the reproduction of The Bell News on CD. Mr Butler replied that the Committee hoped to have it ready for sale in 2002.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(n) Methods (p.401)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr A P Smith, seconded by Mr J Morgan and agreed.

(o) Peal Compositions (p.430)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr D F Morrison, seconded by Mr J Morgan and agreed.

15. Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine
(RW 13th April, p.374)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr A E M Bagworth, who said that discussions were taking place on a new home for the machine, seconded by Mr J A Anderson and agreed.

16. Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour
(RW 6th April, p.346)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mr A N Stubbs drew attention to the missing names from the First World War Volume. Mr C H Rogers seconded. Mr D C Manger said that the Kent County Association would like the Steward to add the missing names in the way suggested and it was suggested that he should check the accuracy of the Rolls for other areas.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

17. Central Council Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells Regd charity no. 278816
(RW 6th April, p.346, and 4th May, p.454)

Adoption of the report and accounts was proposed by Mr R J Cooles, seconded by Prebendary J G M Scott and agreed.

18. Future meetings

At the President’s invitation, Mrs G M Hodgkinson spoke about the arrangements for the meeting to be held on Monday 3rd June 2002 in Norwich and drew attention to a leaflet which had been put round the meeting room. In reply to a question from Mr A R Udal, the Hon. Secretary explained that the change in the date of the meeting was consequent upon the change in the date of the bank holiday.

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

Invitations had also been received from the Leicester Diocesan Guild for 2006 and from the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association for 2007. At the request of Mrs C N J Franklin, it was agreed that the invitation for 2006 should be accepted.

19. Attendance

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

20. Other business

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

(ii) Mr F J P Bone referred to correspondence in The Ringing World on The Nine Tailors and said that the Dorothy L Sayers Society were considering publishing background correspondence relating to this novel. He sought interest among Council members in purchasing such an edition, and this was given by a show of hands.

(iii) Mr J A Smith referred to the completion of the Swan Bells project in Perth, Western Australia, and to the publication of a new book by Elizabeth Bleby on ringing in Australia.

21. Votes of thanks

The President moved a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those involved in the Council’s visit to Liverpool: to the officers and members of the Lancashire Association, particularly Messrs S S Meyer, J Kershaw, P L Furniss and E Runciman and Mrs A E Pettifor; to the Chief Steward, Mr E Crighton, and others who had acted as stewards and tellers at the meeting; to the Dean of Liverpool (the Rt Revd Rupert Hoare) for making members welcome at Choral Evensong in Liverpool Cathedral on the Sunday afternoon; to Canon Nicholas Frayling for taking the Corporate Communion service that morning; to all those involved in the organisation of the Sunday evening reception and dinner, and particularly to Mr Kershaw (President of the Lancashire Association), the Dean of Liverpool and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool (Councillor Jack Spriggs) for their welcome; and to the incumbents and ringers of the churches who had made their bells available to Council members over the weekend. The motion was accepted with applause.

Mr H W Rogers expressed thanks to the President for his chairmanship of the meeting and to the other Officers for their work.

The President declared the meeting closed at 5.58pm.

Summary of Attendance
Fully represented52155-
Partly represented122816
Not represented3-4

Life Members73
Honorary Members153


The Ringing World, June 29, 2001, pages 661 to 664, corrections September 6, 2002, page 925

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