The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Minutes of the Second Session of the 39th Council (109th Annual Meeting), held at the All Nations Centre, Frog Island, Leicester on Monday 29th May 2006, at 10.00 a.m.


Life Members: The Revd J C Baldwin, H W Egglestone, H W Rogers, The Revd Preb J G M Scott, D G Thorne.
Honorary Members: R I Allton, A E M Bagworth, A P S Berry, Mrs S Bianco, Mrs G Cater, R J Cooles, C B Dove#, Mrs J A Edwards#, J C Eisel, A J Frost#, E G H Godfrey, W A Hibbert, A D Higson, W K Jones*, R A Lewis, Mrs H L E Peachey, C Ridley, Miss J Roberts, Mrs J M Rogers, R J Walker, B Ward, Mrs P M Wilkinson.
Ancient Society of College Youths: S Linford, P A B Saddleton, A N Stubbs, A W R Wilby.
Australian & New Zealand Assn: I McCulloch, L R Reynolds.
Bath & Wells Dio. Assn: R C Backhurst*, Miss J Bunyan, Mrs C A Hardwick, M R T Higby, 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.
Birmingham University Society: S M Austin*.
Cambridge Univ. Guild: P J Earis.
Carlisle Dio. Guild: Mrs M Snape.
Chester Dio. Guild: P Dyson, C M Orme, P Robson, P Wilkinson.
Coventry Dio. Guild: M Chester, M J Dew, D Travis, H M Windsor.
Derby Dio. Assn: J A Cater, Mrs P A M Halls, Mrs G Hughes.
Devon Association: M C Way.
Devonshire Guild: L E Boyce, M G Mansley, D J Roberts.
Dorset County Assn: D R Bugler, A Keen.
Durham & Newcastle Dio. Assn: C M Richardson, H Smith, R R Warford, Mrs B M Wheeler.
Durham Univ. Society: M Williams.
East Derby & West Notts Assn: A Dempster.
East Grinstead & District Guild: R A Grant.
Ely Dio. Assn: G E Bonham, Mrs A Carpenter, M B Davies.
Essex Assn: J Armstrong, F J P Bone, A G Semken, D L Sparling.
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Assn: D Harbottle, Prof A Newing, R Shipp, B D Threlfall, R K Williams.
Guildford Dio. Guild: W J Couperthwaite, Mrs B R Norris, C H Rogers, M J Turner.
Hereford Dio. Guild: J H Croxton, A Fortey, Mrs J Mason.
Hertford County Assn: A F Alldrick, G A Duke, G T Horritt, B C Watson.
Irish Assn: C Holliday, Ms J Kelly, Mrs J Lysaght.
Kent County Assn: P R J Barnes, P H Larter, Mrs C M Lewis, F W Lewis, D C Manger.
Ladies Guild: Mrs H Aslett, Mrs A R Caton.
Lancashire Assn: G Blundell, Mrs J Kelly, Mrs A E Pettifor, E Runciman, S D Woof.
Leeds Univ. Society: N J Green.
Leicester Dio. Guild: Mrs C N J Franklin, J R Thompson, B G Warwick, Mrs W M Warwick.
Lichfield & Walsall Archd. Society: S Hutchieson, J F Mulvey.
Lincoln Dio. Guild: Mrs S Andrews, Mrs S Faull*, A R Heppenstall, L G Townsend.
Liverpool Univ. Society: S J Flockton.
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio. Assn: P S Bennett, J C Parker, Mrs P Penney.
London County Assn: G S Barr, R G Booth.
Middlesex County Assn. & London Dio. Guild: R Bailey, F T Blagrove, G E J A Doughty, A R Udal.
National Police Guild: The Rt Revd B F Peachey.
North American Guild: B N Butler, A F Ellis, Ms B Faber (alt. member)*, P A Trotman.
North Staffordshire Assn: F Beech, Mrs J Beech, P W Gay.
North Wales Assn: G P Morris.
Norwich Dio. Assn: Miss V Bate, Miss T Crowder, D F Riley.
Oxford Dio. Guild: K R Davenport, J A Harrison, Mrs B May, T G Pett, M K Till.
Oxford Society: B J Stone.
Oxford Univ. Society: P D Niblett.
Peterborough Dio. Guild: A Chantler, D J Jones, Mrs S Jones*, Mrs E J Sibson.
St Martin’s Guild: Mrs S J Warboys, M P A Wilby*.
Salisbury Dio. Guild: A J Howes, A C D Lovell-Wood, J Newman, A P Nicholson, R J Purnell.
Scottish Assn: S Elwell-Sutton.
Shropshire Assn: A W Gordon, F M Mitchell.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: J S Barnes, I H Oram, A J Preston, D E Sibson.
Society of Sherwood Youths: P Hawcock.
South African Guild: Mrs J M Webster.
Southwell Dio. Guild: G A Dawson, A B Mills, Ms M J Stephens, R E H Woolley.
Suffolk Guild: S D Pettman, The Revd Canon L R Pizzey, D G Salter, A R Smith.
Surrey Assn: J D Cheesman, Mrs K Flavell, P Flavell, R J Wallis.
Sussex County Assn: A R Baldock, Mrs C M Baldock, Mrs M E Oram, Mrs J Peel, H F Pettifer.
Swansea & Brecon Dio. Guild: P C Johnson, Mrs H J Rose.
Truro Dio. Guild: N R Mattingley, Mrs H L Perry, R J Perry, D R Pope.
Univ. Bristol Society: R M Wood.
Univ. London Society: M Trimm.
Veronese Assn: Dr A M Hodge, R G T Morris, Mrs A Thomson.
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio. Guild: M J Church, R H Routh, A P Smith, P A G Watts.
Worcestershire & Districts Assn: S W Holbeche, C M Povey, A Roberts.
Yorkshire Assn: A R Aspland, N Donovan, Mrs D M Rhymer, A J Smith, Ms A D M Thorley.
Zimbabwe Guild: R McAnulla (alt. member).

The St David’s Diocesan Guild was not represented.

The Chair was taken by the President, Derek Sibson.

1. Opening Prayer

The Revd John Scott led the Council in prayer.

2. Report as to membership and subscriptions

The Hon Secretary, Ian Oram, reported that 66 societies were affiliated to the Council with 204 representatives; there were no vacancies. For a second year the Transvaal Society had insufficient members to be entitled to representation and was no longer affiliated. There were 7 Life Members and 22 Honorary Members. All subscriptions had been paid.

3. Welcome to new members

The President gave a warm welcome to new and returning members (indicated by * and # respectively in the list of those present). It was noted that Kate Flavell now represented the Surrey Association, having previously been an Honorary Member.

The President congratulated Harold Rogers who was attending his 60th meeting; he was elected in 1946 and had only missed the meeting in 1988 at Whitehaven, when Olive was too ill to attend. The meeting greeted Harold with warm applause, which he acknowledged with thanks.

4. Apologies for absence

Apologies had been received from Doris Colgate and Wilf Moreton (Life Members), Doug Nichols and Mike Stone (Australian and New Zealand Assn), Philip Mehew (Derby DA), Paul Pascoe (Devon Assn), James Clarke (Guild of Devonshire Ringers), Chris White (Dorset CA), Jean Sanderson (Ely DA), Jon Waters (Essex Assn), Jenny Lawrence (Hereford DG), Freda Cannon (Ladies Guild), Don Morrison (North American Guild), David Stanworth (North Wales Assn), Betty Baines (Norwich DA), Bill Butler (Oxford DG), John Prytherch (St David’s DG), Tina Stoecklin (Scottish Assn), Clare Rodliffe (Univ Bristol Soc), Mike Winterbourne (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) and Anne Phillips (Zimbabwe Guild). Further apologies were presented from John Proudfoot (Carlisle DG), Simon Farrar (Cambridge Univ Guild) and Paulo Avesani (Veronese Assn). An alternate member was attending for each of the North American Guild and the Zimbabwe Guild.

5. Loss of members through death

Members stood in silence as the Hon Secretary read the names of former members of the Council who had died since the last meeting: Reginald Powell (Hereford DG 1972-1995); Raymond Overy (Sussex CA 1957-1962); Philip Reynolds (Lincoln DG 1970-1977); Trevor Bailey (Suffolk Guild 1967-71 and 1975-1989); Edward Martin (Swansea & Brecon DG 1981-1982); David Parsons (Guildford DG 1972-1989); Bill Parrott (Surrey Assn 1963-1967); Billy Patterson (Irish Assn 1979-1988); Eric Edmondson (Hertford CA 1954-1959); Bill Critchley (Hertford CA 1957-1965 and Middlesex CA and London DG 1966-1971); Denis Mottershead (Chester DG 1969-1974); Jack Pryor (Llandaff & Monmouth DA 1972-1977); Ewart Edge (North Staffordshire Assn 1960-1965); and Nick Davies (Kent CA 1996-2001). The Revd Lawrence Pizzey led members in prayer.

6. Minutes of the 2005 Annual Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 30th May 2005 had been published in The Ringing World of 22nd July 2005, together with corrections in the issue of 19th May 2006. As there were no other corrections the Minutes were approved and signed by the President.

7. Matters arising from the Minutes not covered elsewhere on the agenda

No matter was raised.

8. Annual Report of the Council
(RW 5th May 2006, p420)

Adoption of the report was proposed by the Hon Secretary, seconded by Angela Newing, and agreed.

9. Accounts for 2005
(RW 5th May 2006, pp420-421)

In presenting the Accounts, the Hon Treasurer, Derek Harbottle, noted that the Independent Examiners had been able to give an unqualified report. He explained that although the net incoming resources were £13,095, of this £12,380 related to the two Bell Funds, so that there was close to a break-even position for the year; the balances in these Funds had been fully allocated to projects and would be paid out when the works were completed. The Hon Treasurer drew attention to the significant variances in the General Fund through the year: the Roadshow surplus; a small increase in interest following the transfer from the Publications Fund; committee expenses double the previous year, partly due to a late claim for 2004, and stands at the Roadshow; and the PR leaflets, which expenditure had been agreed in 2004. There had been no transfer into the Capital Fund: the future of that was under consideration. As would be seen from the report of the Administrative Committee, the working group had been continuing its review of the Council’s finances.

The Hon Treasurer proposed the adoption of the Accounts. The Vice-President, Tony Smith seconded and adoption of the Accounts was agreed.

10. Election of Honorary Members

Six Honorary Members would complete their three-year term at the end of the meeting: Alan Bagworth did not wish to stand for re-election, the other five were elected as follows: Richard Allton, chairman of the Records Committee; Gail Cater, chairman of the Ringing Centres Committee; Robert Lewis, Editor of The Ringing World; Jackie Roberts, chairman of the Board of The Ringing World Limited and a member of the Bell Restoration Committee; and Jane Wilkinson, chairman of the Committee for Redundant Bells. Three vacancies remained unfilled.

The President thanked Alan Bagworth, who had been a Steward of the Carter Ringing Machine Collection since 1982.

11. Motions:

(A) Increase in subscription

The Hon Treasurer proposed on behalf of the Administrative Committee:

“That the subscription be increased to £20 per representative as from 1st January 2007.”

The Hon Treasurer explained that affiliation subscriptions were intended to cover the cost of conducting the business of the Council. The cost of the meeting venues was steadily increasing as was the expenditure incurred by committees. Historically the General Fund had relied on interest on its investments but rates had continued at a low level and were unlikely to improve in the immediate future.

The Hon Secretary seconded.

Phil Gay asked whether the finance working group had considered a different basis for charging subscriptions having regard to the number of members. The Vice-President responded that this had not been done but the Hon Secretary would note for review.

The motion was put to the vote and carried.

(B) Appointment of new committees

The Vice-President proposed and the Hon Secretary seconded on behalf of the Administrative Committee:

“That Rule 14(i) be amended by adding a new sentence after the end of the first sentence:

‘Notwithstanding the note in Rule 22 concerning when an alteration to the Rules takes effect, a new permanent committee shall be appointed at the meeting at which the committee is added to those enumerated in paragraph (ii) of this Rule’.”

The Vice-President explained that the purpose of the amendment was to deal with the problem that arose at Harrogate of creating a new committee but not being able to appoint its members until the following year.

Giles Blundell supported the motion as it solved the immediate problem; however, he felt that it was time to review the terms of reference and structures of committees and urged the Administrative Committee to be pro-active in the matter. In answer to a question from Alan Smith about non-permanent committees, it was pointed out that the change of rule did not affect them.

The motion was then put to the vote and carried by the necessary two-thirds majority.

(C) Stewards of the Dove database

Before introducing the Motion, the Hon Secretary noted that 1st June would be the centenary of the birth of Ron Dove.

The Hon Secretary proposed and the Vice-President seconded on behalf of the Administrative Committee:

“That Rule 12 be amended by deleting ‘and’ before ‘all material in the Council’s Library’ and adding at the end of the first sentence: ‘, and for the Dove database’.”

The Motion on the agenda carried this explanatory note:

“‘Dove’ was bequeathed to the Central Council by its original compiler, Ronald H Dove. Since then it has been maintained on behalf of the Trustees of the Council principally by John Baldwin but also in co-operation with Ron Johnston and, latterly also, with the assistance of Tim Jackson. It is now desired to formalise that responsibility by the creation of the office of Stewards, whose duties would be to ensure as far as possible that the Dove database is kept up-to-date, including making every reasonable effort to verify that amendments made to it are accurate.”

The Hon Secretary pointed out that due to a typing error the word “for” should appear before “all material…”; because this error did not affect the intention of the motion, the meeting agreed to the correction. As the note explained, the bulk of the work was carried out by John Baldwin but, since he was able to draw on the help of others, it was appropriate that the number of Stewards should not be restricted. A further amendment to Rule 12 to allow Stewards to be elected as soon as the Motion was passed was deemed unnecessary, as the care of the database was already with John, directly responsible to the Council’s Trustees.

The motion was put to the vote and carried by the necessary two-thirds majority.

12. Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine Collection
(RW 21st April 2006, p376)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Alan Berry and seconded by Barry Ward.

Julian Parker commented that the Collection included other machines beside the Carter machine but they were not mentioned in the report. Alan acknowledged that the Cummins machines were electronic, rather than mechanical, and would ensure inclusion in future reports.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

13. Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour
(RW 7th April 2006, p325)

In proposing adoption of the report, Andrew Stubbs noted that after the Harrogate meeting he was asked to add names to the World War I volume: if there were any others to be added, would members please notify him as soon as possible. Andrew drew attention to there being only one copy of the Rolls of very poor quality: he suggested that more copies could be microfilmed if there was sufficient interest. Laith Reynolds seconded.

Several members pointed out that the Rolls could be scanned electronically. Russ McAnulla asked how many names were held on the Rolls. Peter Trotman offered to place the Rolls on the website. Responding, Andrew estimated that there were some few hundred names on the Rolls; he would take up the suggestions for securing copies if the meeting agreed - a straw poll showed there was substantial support.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

14. Committee Reports
(The reports were published in The Ringing World issues of 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th April 2006. The relevant page numbers are shown against each report).

(a) Administrative (pp375-376)

The Hon Secretary thanked Robert Lewis and The Ringing World staff for the speedy way the publication of all the Committee reports was dealt with. He regretted that there was an error in the list of members of the Committee, which should refer to Roger Booth, not Nigel Booth: he apologised to both.

The Hon Secretary noted that the third paragraph of the Committee’s report referred to invitations to two Societies to establish Alliances: both had been accepted. Accordingly the Committee recommended to Council that Alliances be established with the Guild of St Brigida Bellringers of Geldrop, The Netherlands and The Transvaal Society of Church Bell Ringers. George Dawson questioned whether the Geldrop ringers understood what was proposed; the Hon Secretary was able to quote from correspondence he had with the Guild, which showed enthusiasm for the proposal. The proposal was put to the meeting and agreed.

The Hon Secretary then proposed the adoption of the Committee’s report and Brian Threlfall seconded.

David Manger challenged the Committee’s view that defining a quarter-peal would not be welcomed by quarter-peal ringers: such ringers did not regard the Council as relevant to them; the Committee should talk to these ringers - he proposed that the subject be revisited. John Cater did not agree that rules were wanted: Heather Peachey added that trying to police and keep records would be an impossible task, but performances should be recognised by publication in The Ringing World; Robert Lewis confirmed that it was the policy of the paper to publish quarter-peals: if there were rules it would make that task far more difficult. The Vice-President did not expect that quarter-peal ringers wanted a committee to review and analyse quarter-peals; Chris Rogers pointed out that quarter-peal ringers were not a group apart: we were all quarter-peal ringers. Michael Henshaw acknowledged that several of the Council’s committees were geared around peal-ringing: perhaps there could be some recognition of quarter-peal ringing but without the formality of rules; other speakers agreed that the Council should seek ways of offering support, such as encouraging the publication of quarter-peal compositions. Sam Austin referred to the naming of methods rung in quarter-peals: there could be rules to enable them to be included in the Methods collection: the Vice-President, speaking as Chairman of the Methods Committee, responded that would not be workable as a new Decision would have to define a quarter-peal.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(b) Public Relations (pp323 and 324)

In proposing adoption of the report, Judith Rogers updated the meeting on several points. Regarding a future Roadshow, as Whitechapel was hosting a meeting of European bellfounders in September 2007, it was decided to aim for September 2008 and further details should be available in the next few weeks. Further supplies of the publicity leaflet were available for open days etc. Judith thanked Peter Trotman and Richard Offen for work on a CD to help with presentations on ringing. The next Workshop would be held at Melbourne, Derbyshire on 14th October. Alan Chantler seconded.

Angela Newing congratulated the Committee on the publicity leaflet and asked about the London Olympic proposal. Peter Robson enquired about progress of work with university societies. Andrew Mills was pleased that there would be a 3-year gap before the next Roadshow and thought that bellhangers might prefer even a 4-year gap. Responding to these points Judith said that work on the Olympic proposal was well advanced but not ready for any announcement yet; articles for undergraduates about ringing while at university were being prepared; and other views on the frequency of Roadshows would be welcomed.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(c) Publications (p339)

Adoption of the report was proposed by John Couperthwaite, who corrected the first paragraph of the report, to delete the word “supplement”. He noted two new publications: Learning Curve Volume 3 and Rung Surprise Supplement (to end 2005); a new edition of Organising a Bell Restoration Project was available and there had been reprints of The Tower Handbook and Towers and Bells Handbook. Derek Jones seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

John gave members advance notice of the need to find a successor to Barbara Wheeler in due time - initially perhaps someone could help with the work of distribution with a view to an orderly handover.

(d) Records (pp374 and 375)

In proposing adoption of the report, Richard Allton added to the comment on Erin Cinques at the end of the report, that no earlier peal had come to light. Graham Duke seconded.

Philip Earis pointed out that the record handbell peal on 12th January was in 729 methods and not as printed. In response to an enquiry from Robin Woolley when the false peal of Erin Cinques was rung, it was thought to be circa 1920. Simon Linford asked about the notice provisions for record peals: Richard confirmed that the Committee had discussed these and felt that the present rules were satisfactory.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(e) Redundant Bells (p347)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Jane Wilkinson, who was able to report receipt of the latest list of redundancies from the Church Commissioners, which would be circulated to local associations. The proposed abolition of the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches was regretted as it was an independent body, reviewing proposals for redundancy; it appeared that its duties were to be transferred to the Council for the Care of Churches. The Revd John Scott seconded.

Laith Reynolds asked when there would be a review of committees; what had happened to redundant bells this year; could not the work be handled by stewards rather than a full committee? was there not an overlap with the work of the Keltek Trust? Philip Earis commented that many committees worked pro-actively: there was no action in this report, when was the last redundant ring dealt with? - was it now a redundant committee? The Council was good at setting up new committees but did not consider abolishing committees. Jane responded that any review of committees was not for this Committee to decide; the Committee aimed to keep under review what was happening to redundant bells and to act in conjunction with church bodies and to influence them if possible. Jane acknowledged the wonderful work done by Keltek; the two attempts by the Committee to help with redundancies in 2005 had been unsuccessful.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(f) Ringing Centres (p325 and 338)

In proposing the adoption of the report, Gail Cater corrected an omission in the contenders for the Founders Prize, which should include Shiplake. As announced in The Ringing World the winner of the Founders Prize for the Encouragement of Young People was the Llandaff and Monmouth Association’s project “KIDS.RING.OUT”, a very worthy winner - presentation of the prize had been arranged. Judging of the entries for the Founders Prize for Ringing Centres for 2005 had only just been completed: there were 7 very good entries, showing that the Founders’ money had been well spent: in third place was Aston Clinton, followed by Bradpole, but the clear winner was Shiplake. Roger Booth seconded.

Peter Robson pointed out an error in paragraph three of the report, which should refer to Thurstaston, not Thurlaston. Giles Blundell queried why there was no reference to the Education Committee in the penultimate paragraph of the report. Anthony Lovell-Wood hoped that Bradpole’s success would encourage more Centres in that area. Ian McCulloch asked about overseas centres. Gail responded to the last point that the Founders restricted the award of its Prizes to the UK and Ireland only. Roger said that there was no significance in the absence of any reference to specific committees - discussions continued.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(g) Ringing Trends (p349)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Beryl Norris, who confirmed that the pilot study was in progress and results were expected later in the year. Andrew Howes seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

(h) Towers and Belfries (p349)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Chris Povey and seconded by Jim Taylor.

Ashley Fortey asked about developments in variable sound control, which should be installed in all towers if practices and peals were to continue. Phil Watts drew attention to the references in both this Committee’s report and that of the Administrative Committee concerning bellframes being listed as part of the church. Carol Hardwick enquired whether there had been any improvement in the delivery period for ropes. Jim responded to the question about sound control and pointed out that there was much detail about sound management on the Committee’s website; any PCC requiring specific advice should apply to the Committee. Chris confirmed that the designation of listed bellframes would be changed; and the problem with rope deliveries continued.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(i) Bell Restoration (pp338 and 339)

In presenting the report for adoption, Kate Flavell commented on the new Gift Aid rules for Open Days and drew attention to a further letter on the subject in the current issue of The Ringing World. There was a vacancy on the Committee ideally for someone with professional fund-raising experience. Carol Hardwick seconded.

Adoption of the report was agreed. No nominations were received.

(j) Biographies (p362)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Pat Halls, who asked members to complete the Committee’s form, which was now available for downloading from the website. Brian Threlfall seconded.

The Hon Secretary drew attention to two errors in the report: Trevor Bailey represented the Suffolk Guild from 1967 to 1971 and from 1975 to 1989 and Bill Parrott represented the Surrey Association, not as printed.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(k) Education (pp347 and 348)

In proposing adoption of the report John Harrison confirmed that the third volume of The Learning Curve was now on sale. A pilot draft of a new Beginners Handbook was in hand. The Open Meeting on the proposed Framework for Training Ringers had been well attended and gave endorsement to the Committee to take the proposal forward, by approaching local societies. Lastly, John noted there was a vacancy on the Committee. Ernie Runciman seconded.

Giles Blundell again raised the subject of the Ringing Centres’ DVD: John confirmed that the two committees were in contact and that the Education Committee had already made constructive comments.

Adoption of the report was then agreed. No nominations were received.

(l) Information and Communications Technology (pp324 and 325)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mike Chester. The virtual private server was being tested, thanks to Tina Stoecklin and Peter Trotman. Mike also wanted to thank publicly John Baldwin and his son Sid for technical help. Contact had been made with John Ketteringham over his valuable resource of bell recordings; Mike invited anyone else with items of general interest to discuss with him hosting on the Council’s website. Mike encouraged members to complete Data Protection Act consent forms so that the website had details of all Council members. Peter Trotman seconded.

Richard Allton commented that the College Youths’ website had been approached by the British Library for its historical detail; Mike confirmed that the Council had received a similar approach and a copy of the website had been provided.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(m) Library (p362)

In proposing adoption of the report Mike Davies spoke of Paul Johnson’s work on the quality control process of the scanned pages of The Bell News which called for much effort. Seconding, John Eisel responded to a query from Tim Pett on the storage of the Felstead index cards: as all these records were in filing cabinets, they were difficult to store in the library; Chris Ridley had agreed to provide storage for these, as well as duplicate copies of The Ringing World and The Bell News.

Paul Johnson added that the bulk of his work on The Bell News project was the incorporation of over 140,000 index references compiled by Cyril Wratten. Interest in the project would be welcomed.

Adoption of the report was agreed.

(n) Methods (p325)

In proposing adoption of the report the Vice-President noted that the new edition of Rung Surprise Supplement (to end 2005) was now on sale; and the Committee’s contribution to The Ringing World Diary placed particular emphasis on quarter-peal compositions. Peter Niblett seconded.

Philip Earis, a member of the Committee, paid tribute to the work done by the Vice-President and others, but felt that the Committee was moving in the wrong direction. He asked whether the Committee Chairman agreed with the Council’s Object clause (iii) (to encourage development of the art of ringing through innovation) and, if so, how was he able to do so having been Chairman for 21 years? The Vice-President responded that he did indeed support the Council’s Object; however, everything that was new was not necessarily good; traditions in ringing were valuable and these needed to be balanced against innovation. The chairmanship of the Committee was the choice of that Committee; the Council could decide if work was not being carried out effectively. Andrew Wilby was in no doubt that the Vice-President was the best person for the position. (Applause).

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(o) Peal Compositions (p348)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Stuart Hutchieson, seconded by Richard Allton and agreed.

(p) Peals Analysis (pp398-400)

In proposing adoption of the report, Phillip Barnes drew attention to an error in the table of Societies’ peals: the handbell peals attributed to the London County Association should be in the totals for the Middlesex County Association and London Diocesan Guild, bringing that society’s total of handbell peals to 49 and overall total 87. A new version of the Felstead database was now in pilot form on Andrew Craddock’s website: comments on this should be sent to Tim Pett; updating would now start. A paper on the recording of historic peals was to be presented to the Administrative Committee. Tim Pett seconded.

John Thompson asked whether any peals with variable cover had been rung: Phil responded that none had been identified during the past year.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12.28 p.m. and resumed, after the Annual Meeting of The Ringing World Limited, at 2.55 p.m.

15. Tower Stewardship

Andrew Wilby referred to the report of the working group, which had set up a framework for the new committee when it was elected. At the meeting with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG), it became clear that the Council was a long way behind in tackling the serious issues facing the exercise; EIG had offered to help the ringing community to protect the interests of ringing and tower officials. This led to the suggestion of a tower manual: it was important for towers to understand all aspects of Heath and Safety. In considering how that information could be disseminated to towers, careful promotion was essential, hence the proposals for consultation with local societies on the method of delivery.

Andrew drew attention to the concerns arising from the meeting with EIG. A special interest group, possibly including the Council for the Care of Churches and English Heritage, was needed to state the case for places of worship when new legislation was being drafted; however the government required that any such group had to be “inter-faith”. The anticipated changes to Fire Regulations particularly illustrated the problem.

Andrew corrected two items in the report: the proposed meeting between the Council and EIG had been rescheduled for 31st August: EIG was arranging for senior staff to be available and it was hoped that the Council’s Officers would be able to attend; and under the heading of Revised Timescales, it was intended that the consultation document to societies should go out in July.

Concluding, Andrew said that the new Guidance Notes were in draft; the Committee would have a good start from the work that had been done but now needed the full backing of the Council. Chris Povey seconded.

In answer to a question from Alison Hodge, who had asked if the group could give reassurance that it was getting an unbiased view from EIG, Andrew pointed out that insurance was not under discussion, rather risk and legislation. Competent towers would be able to handle any legislation, but thought had to be given to towers with young or inexperienced bands or those with no bands at all. If a tower did not comply with the guidelines, EIG was likely to refuse cover. Therefore doing nothing was not an option.

It was agreed to receive the report.

It had been recommended that there be eight members of the Committee; the following eight members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve: Bob Cooles, Mike Davies, Janet Edwards, Kate Flavell, Colin Holliday, Ernie Runciman, Mary Snape and Robert Wood. The President asked the new Committee to elect a chairman as soon as possible and advise the Secretary. (Post-meeting note: Ernie Runciman was elected.)

16. Central Council Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells (Registered Charity no. 278816)
(RW 14th April 2006, p362)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Bob Cooles, who recalled that the Fund had been set up in 1979 by the Committee for Redundant Bells. Since then ringing societies and dioceses had become more aware of bells at risk. There were two possible cases for the re-use of bells becoming redundant (not those in the report) and it was hoped that work at Wickersley near Rotherham and St Anne’s Moseley, Birmingham might now go forward. The Revd John Baldwin seconded the report and then proposed the adoption of the accounts. Bob seconded and adoption of both the report and the accounts was agreed.

Future meetings

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

An invitation had been received from the Chester Diocesan Guild for 2012; the meeting agreed that this should be accepted.

Angela Newing outlined plans for the visit of the Council to Cheltenham in 2007.


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

Other Business

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

Laith Reynolds moved that the Administrative Committee report back to next year’s meeting on the structure of committees; for example, the Redundant Bells Committee could be handled by stewards not a full committee. Philip Earis seconded and the proposal was agreed.

Votes of Thanks

The President moved a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those involved in the Council’s visit to Leicester: to all the members of the Organising Committee but particularly the Co-ordinator, Carol Franklin, and the Treasurer, Stephen Franklin; to all the members of the Leicester Diocesan Guild who had willingly given assistance on the Help Desk at that day’s meeting and throughout the weekend, provided stewards for the tours, helped prepare the room for the meeting and acted as tellers that day; to Taylors, Eayre and Smith Ltd for sponsorship of the meeting brochure; to the Vicar of St Mary de Castro, Leicester, the Reverend David Cawley, for taking the Service of Holy Communion that morning; to the Vicar of St Margaret, Leicester, Canon Barry Naylor, for the use of the church for the Open Meeting and for the Songs of Praise service on the Sunday afternoon and to Peter Chamberlain, the organist; to all those involved in the organisation of the Sunday evening Reception and Dinner and especially the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens and the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Paul Westley, for their welcome, and the Venerable Hughie Jones, Archdeacon Emeritus for saying grace; to the catering crew that provided lunch that day; to the staff at the All Nations Centre; and to the incumbents and ringers of the churches who had made their bells available to Council members. The motion was carried with acclamation.

The President declared the meeting closed at 3.45 p.m.

Summary of Attendance
Fully represented45134-
Partly represented204821
Not represented1-1


Life Members52
Honorary Members22-


The Ringing World, July 28, 2006, pages 725 to 728, correction August 24, 2007, page 857

(Archivist’s note: also absent were Simon Franks (Lichfield & Walsall Archd Soc) and Simon Wilmshurst (Worcestershire & Districts Assn))

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