The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Minutes of the First Session of the 40th Council (111th Annual Meeting), held in the Scotswood Suite of The Centre for Life, Newcastle on Monday 26th May 2008, at 10.00 a.m.


Life Members: The Revd J C Baldwin, H W Rogers, A N Stubbs, D G Thorne.
Honorary Members: Mrs S Bianco, R Booth#, Mrs G Cater, R J Cooles, Mrs J A Edwards, J C Eisel, A J Frost, E G H Godfrey, W A Hibbert, T Jackson*, D J Kelly#, R A Lewis, Mrs H L E Peachey, C Ridley, Miss J Roberts, B Ward, Mrs P M Wilkinson.
Ancient Society of College Youths: R I Allton, S Linford, P A B Saddleton, A W R Wilby.
Australian & New Zealand Assn: I McCulloch, C O’Mahony*, 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: A J Atkinson*, J Blackburn*.
Cambridge Univ. Guild: R Hall*, L D G Simpson*.
Carlisle Dio. Guild: Ms W Graham*, J J Proudfoot.
Chester Dio. Guild: P Dyson, C M Orme, Mrs P Thomson*, P Wilkinson.
Coventry Dio. Guild: M Chester, M J Dew, C F Mew#.
Derby Dio. Assn: M Banks*, J A Cater, Mrs P A M Halls, Mrs G Hughes.
Devon Association: P J Pascoe.
Devonshire Guild: L E Boyce, J M Clarke, M G Mansley, D J Roberts.
Dorset County Assn: Mrs V Hereward*.
Durham & Newcastle Dio. Assn: Mrs Y Cairns*, 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, M B Davies, S Martin*.
Essex Assn: J Armstrong, F J P Bone, B Meads*, A G Semken, D L Sparling.
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Assn: G Emerson*, D Harbottle, W Nash*, Prof A Newing, J Nicholls*.
Guildford Dio. Guild: W J Couperthwaite, Mrs B R Norris, C H Rogers, M J Turner.
Hereford Dio. Guild: A Fortey, Mrs J Lawrence, 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.
Kent County Assn: P R J Barnes, P T Dale*, R H Edwards*, P H Larter, Mrs C M Lewis.
Ladies Guild: Mrs A R Caton, Mrs J Stevenson*, Ms J K Wyatt*.
Lancashire Assn: G Blundell, D Burgess*, Mrs A E Pettifor, E Runciman, S D Woof.
Leicester Dio. Guild: Ms A Franklin, Mrs C N J Franklin, J R Thompson, Mrs W M Warwick.
Lichfield & Walsall Archd. Society: S Hutchieson, J F Mulvey, C M Smith.
Lincoln Dio. Guild: Mrs S Faull, A R Heppenstall, Mrs J M Rogers.
Liverpool Univ. Society: Mrs V Wilby*.
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio. Assn: P S Bennett, Mrs P Penney.
Middlesex County Assn. & London Dio. Guild: R Bailey, F T Blagrove.
National Police Guild: The Rt Revd B F Peachey.
North American Guild: B N Butler, Ms B Faber*, J I Mabe*, Ms K Tucker*.
North Staffordshire Assn: F Beech, Mrs J Beech, P Burgess*.
North Wales Assn: G P Morris.
Norwich Dio. Assn: P Adcock#, Miss T Crowder, D McLean#.
Oxford Dio. Guild: W Butler, K R Davenport, J A Harrison, Mrs B May, T G Pett, M K Till.
Oxford Society: Ms C L Bell*, B J Stone.
Oxford Univ. Society: M Bell*.
Peterborough Dio. Guild: D J 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: N J Green.
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: A J Bolton (alt. member).
Southwell and Nottingham Dio. Guild: G A Dawson, A B Mills, Ms M J Stephens, R E H Woolley.
Suffolk Guild: R J Munnings*, S D Pettman, The Revd Canon L R Pizzey, D G Salter.
Surrey Assn: J D Cheesman, Mrs K Flavell, P Flavell, R J Wallis.
Sussex County Assn: A R Baldock, Mrs C M Baldock, I P Hastilow*, D Kirkcaldy, Mrs M E Oram.
Swansea & Brecon Dio. Guild: P C Johnson.
Truro Dio. Guild: N R Mattingley, R J Perry, I P Self#.
Univ. Bristol Society: C Darvill*, R M Wood.
Univ. London Society: M Trimm.
Veronese Assn: Dr A M Hodge.
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio. Guild: M J Church, P D Niblett, A P Smith, D Strong#, M J Winterbourne.
Worcestershire & Districts Assn: C M Povey, A Roberts, R J Walker.
Yorkshire Assn: A R Aspland, N Donovan, C B Dove, Mrs D M Rhymer, B Sanders*.
Zimbabwe Guild: R McAnulla (alt. member).

The Birmingham University Society, the Leeds University Society and the St David’s Diocesan Guild were not represented.

The Chair was taken by the President, Derek Sibson.

1. Opening Prayer

The Revd Lawrence Pizzey led the Council in prayer.

2. Report as to membership and subscriptions

The Hon Secretary, Ian Oram, reported that 65 societies were affiliated to the Council with 197 representatives; there were three vacancies. There were 5 Life Members and 18 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).

Five members who were previously Honorary Members were now Representative Members: Richard Allton for the Ancient Society of College Youths; Barrie Dove for the Yorkshire Association; William Jones for the Coventry Diocesan Guild; Judith Rogers for the Lincoln Diocesan Guild; and Robin Walker for the Worcestershire & Districts Association.

Three members now represented different Societies: Hilary Aslett the Peterborough Diocesan Guild; Nick Green the Shropshire Association; and Peter Niblett the Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild.

The President congratulated Frank Blagrove, a long-serving member of the Methods Committee, who that day was attending his 50th meeting.

The President thanked all retiring members, especially those retiring after many years’ service to the Council.

4. Apologies for absence

Apologies had been received from Doris Colgate and Howard Egglestone (Life Members), Roger Lubbock (Australian and New Zealand Assn), Chris White (Dorset CA), Anne Carpenter (Ely DA), John Croxton (Hereford DG), Les Townsend (Lincoln DG), David Stanworth (North Wales Assn), Betty Baines (Norwich DA), Hilary Aslett and Alan Chantler (Peterborough DG), Michael Neale (Scottish Assn), Fred Mitchell (Shropshire Assn), Jane Webster (South African Guild), Mary Jones (Truro DG), Paolo Avesani (Veronese Assn), Stewart Holbeche (Worcs & Districts Assn) and Anne Phillips (Zimbabwe Guild). Further apologies were presented from Andrew Higson (Honorary Member), William Jones (Coventry DG) and Julian Parker (Llandaff & Monmouth DA). Alternate members were present from the South African Guild and the Zimbabwe Guild.

5. Loss of members through death

Members stood in silence as the Hon Secretary read the name of a former member of the Council who had died prior to the last meeting but whose death had not been previously reported to the Council: Eric Billings (Peterborough DG 1962-1989, Hon Member 1991-1996); and the following members and former members who had died since the last meeting: Martin Cubitt (Norwich DA 1969-1977); the Revd Prebendary John Scott (Guild Devonshire 1954-1985, Hon Member 1987-1998, Life Member from 1998); Keith Buckingham (Lincoln DG 2003-2005, Shropshire Assn from 2007); Harry Windsor MBE (Coventry DG 1959 and from 1963); Clare Higby (Ladies Guild 1981-1995); Joan Summerhayes (Ladies Guild 1963-1980); Stan Mason (ASCY 1957-1959, 1966-1974); Dick Speed (Middlesex CA and London DG 1954-1956, Hon Member 1958-1977, Peterborough DG 1978-1980, Hon Member 1982-1987, Worcs & Dist Assn 1990-2004); Shirley Drew (Hon Member 1971-1982); Alan Carveth (Truro DG 1956); Martin Fellows (Worcs & Dist Assn 1972-1986); and Brian Jeffrey (East Grinstead & Dist G 1966-1968). The Revd John Baldwin led members in prayer.

6. Minutes of the 2007 Annual Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 28th May 2007 had been published in The Ringing World of 24th August 2007. The Hon Secretary reported the following errors: on page 859, item 14(b), paragraph 3, line 6, inset after “information”, “when permitted,”; and in item 14 (e) the report was seconded by Alan Frost.

After the corrections were made, the Minutes were approved and signed by the President.

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

No member wished to raise any matter.

8. Annual Report of the Council
(RW 25th April 2008, pp466-467)

The Hon Secretary noted that, arising from Society Annual Meetings held after the preparation of the report, there were several other changes: in paragraph 4 on page 466, the penultimate line, change 199 to 197. In the first section of the Appendix, line 6, add after “member” “and the Veronese Association has two less members”; in the next sentence change 199 to 197, 162 to 158 and the percentage becomes 80%; in line 11 change 37 to 40 and in line 12 change four to five. In the next section change 41 to 46 and after David Manger add: “George Morris (Worcestershire & Districts Association, Veronese Association) elected 1975”.

Adoption of the report was then proposed by the Hon Secretary, seconded by the Vice-President, Tony Smith, and agreed.

9. Accounts for 2007
(RW 25th April 2008, pp467-469)

In presenting the Accounts, the Hon Treasurer, Derek Harbottle, noted that the Independent Examiners had been able to give an unqualified report. He drew attention to the main variances in the Statement of Financial Activities, adding that the negative figures resulted from payments of grants from the Bell Restoration Funds; the General Fund showed a small surplus, due to the increase in the affiliation fee, a rise in interest rates, a change of Insurer, and the reduced cost of the Council meeting arising from The Ringing World producing the Supplement; the Fund had met the initial costs of The Ringing Foundation.

The Hon Treasurer proposed the adoption of the Accounts, the Vice-President seconded, and they were agreed.

Stef Warboys reminded members that the 2008 Accounts would show large expenditure on the Ringing Roadshow: the Officers had agreed to it being a 2-day event and had invested £20,000 in the Roadshow. The actual financial result would depend on the number attending: the organising team anticipated that 3,500 visitors were needed to break even; advance sales of tickets at a discount were going very slowly, so representatives were urged to encourage members of their Societies to come and see what the Council had to offer.

10. Election of Life Member

Andrew Stubbs was proposed by Chris Rogers, who spoke of Andrew’s many years of service to the Council, The Ringing World and the Exercise in general. Andrew had represented the Ancient Society of College Youths since 1975; he was a member of the Ringing World Committee from 1978 to 1983 and then a Director of the Board of The Ringing World Limited until 2002, serving as Chairman from 1998. Since 1999 Andrew had been Steward of the Rolls of Honour. Stef Warboys seconded.

Voting was by ballot and the proposal was carried by a large majority. Andrew thanked the members for the honour conferred on him.

11. Election of Honorary Members

Nine Honorary Members would complete their three-year term at the end of the meeting: of these Andrew Higson and Chris Ridley were not seeking re-election and Barrie Dove, William Jones and Robin Walker were now Representative Members. The remaining four and seven others were elected as follows: Alan Bentley, who had been doing useful work on ringing centres; Alan Berry, who was continuing to care for the Carter Ringing Machine; Janet Edwards, who wanted to continue work for the Tower Stewardship Committee; John Eisel, the Library Steward; Alan Ellis, who had produced facsimile editions of various ringing books; Alan Frost, for his valuable experience as a respected architect for churches; Eric Godfrey, who was continuing as a Director of the Millennium Grants Company; Alan Regin, for his continuing work to improve and expand the Rolls of Honour; Jean Sanderson, to continue her valued contribution to the Library Committee; Robin Shipp, who could make useful contributions to the work of the Bell Restoration Committee; and Peter Trotman, who was willing to continue as webmaster and in that role to help many of the Council’s committees. One vacancy remained unfilled.

12. Election of Officers for 2008 - 2011

President - Tony Smith, who had been proposed by Michael Church and seconded by Gail Cater, was the only nominee. The President declared him elected.

Vice-President - Kate Flavell, who had been proposed by Jackie Roberts and seconded by Ernie Runciman, was the only nominee. The President declared her elected.

Hon Secretary - Ian Oram, who had been proposed by Chris Rogers and seconded by Judith Rogers, was the only nominee. The President declared him elected.

Hon Treasurer - Derek Harbottle, who had been proposed by Chris Povey and seconded by Robert Cooles, was the only nominee. The President declared him elected.

Hon Assistant Secretary - there were no nominations.

In accordance with Rule 11 the retiring Officers continued in office until the business of the meeting was concluded.

The President thanked the Hon. Secretary for his work over the past year and announced that he had given notice that he would only continue for one more year. The Officers would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in the position.

13. Election of Independent Examiners

Jeremy Cheesman was proposed by Paul Flavell and seconded by Eric Godfrey. Richard Wallis was proposed by Bill Hibbert and seconded by Robin Grant. There being no other nominations, the President declared them elected.

14. Motions

(A) Reforming Committee Elections

Roger Bailey proposed:

That rolling elections be adopted for appointments to Committees by making the following rule changes:

That the first sentence of Rule 14(i) be amended to read:

“The Council shall at each Annual Meeting appoint members to fill vacancies in an Administrative Committee and the permanent committees enumerated in paragraph (ii) of this Rule and shall appoint such other committees as are necessary to carry out the work of the Council”.

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

“At each Annual Meeting at least one-third of the elected members of the Administrative Committee and of each of the permanent committees enumerated in paragraph (ii) of this Rule shall retire. Retiring members who are still members of the Council shall be those who have been longest in office since their last appointment and are eligible for reappointment. If any members were appointed on the same day, those to retire shall be determined by lot unless they otherwise agree among themselves”.

That Rule 14(iii)(b) be amended to read:

“The Chairmen of Committees or their nominees;”

That Rule 14(iii)(c) be amended to read:

“Twelve elected members (chosen by ballot if nominations exceed the number of vacancies);”

That the second sentence of Rule 14(iv) be amended to read:

“Members shall be chosen by ballot if nominations exceed the number of vacancies.”

Roger referred to the paper sent to all members, in which it was proposed to replace the current triennial committee elections with “rolling elections”, in which one third of the members of each committee would be elected each year. This would spread the administrative load of elections, and increase both committee continuity and flexibility. This procedure was already used for Honorary Members and for directors of the Ringing World and the Ringing Foundation, being regarded as best practice by the Charity Commissioners. The paper gave the background to the proposal, discussed its expected advantages and addressed possible disadvantages. The Vice-President seconded.

In the discussion that followed queries were dealt with as they arose:

Robert Wood was basically in favour but asked how a committee of 5 would be dealt with: 2 would retire each year.

Michael Wilby suggested that the change might put pressure on Societies to elect members for a period other than 3 years: this was a matter for individual Societies.

Heather Peachey thought that the longest-serving third should retire: one-third had to retire, but some might be retiring anyway through natural wastage.

Derek Jones feared the new procedure would extend the voting for committees to every year: the time should balance out over the three years.

Peter Niblett asked the meaning of “last appointment”: when most recently appointed, i.e. that day.

Robert Perry was pleased to see the words “shall retire” in the Motion; this should help new members to come on line more quickly: yes. (Applause).

Giles Blundell was in favour of the change but thought that the wording of the explanatory paper confusing; if that day’s Motion was rejected, he urged the Administrative Committee to look at the wording again, because the principle was good: it was confirmed that much time had been devoted to getting the wording right.

Chris Mew fully supported but wanted to clarify that the tenure of office was 3 years: when a position was vacated it could be filled by the same person if re-elected.

John Thompson asked if co-opted members were there for the life of the committee: this was up to each committee, it was felt best not to complicate that day’s Motion.

Summing up, Roger said that reform was overdue and urged members to show that the Council was capable of reform.

The Motion was carried overwhelmingly, only two members voting against.

(B) Merger of Committees

Phillip Barnes proposed:

That the Council’s Rules be amended as follows:

In Rule 14 (ii) (d) change “Peals Analysis” to “Peal Records”;

That Rule 14 (ii) (h) be deleted;

That Rules 14 (ii) (i) to (p) be renumbered (h) to (o);

In Rule 15 (v) change “Records Committee” to “Peal Records Committee” and add the sentence “To prepare an analysis of and report on all peals published in The Ringing World”;

That Rule 15 (vi) be deleted;

That Rules 15 (vii) to (xvii) be renumbered (vi) to (xvi).

Phillip explained that the work of the Peals Analysis Committee had been enhanced by peals.co.uk and therefore there was less work to do. It would still be necessary to keep an accurate record of ringing achievements, but the work was now so small as to enable this proposal to be brought forward. Richard Allton seconded.

The Motion to change the Rules was carried nem con.

The second part of the Motion was then put to the vote:

That the Council’s Decisions on (D) Peal Ringing be amended as follows:

In Decision (D) para 2. condition (a), change “Records Committee” to “Peal Records Committee”.

In Decision (D) para 2. condition (c), change “Records Committee” to “Peal Records Committee”.

This was also carried.

15. Report of the Administrative Committee
(RW 25th April 2008, p470)

Adoption of the report was proposed by the Hon Secretary, who thanked Robert Lewis and The Ringing World staff for again producing an excellent Supplement. The Vice-President seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

16. Committee Reports
(The reports were published in The Ringing World Supplement of 25th April 2008. The relevant page numbers are shown against each report).

(a) Towers and Belfries (p471)

In proposing the adoption of the report, Chris Povey thanked the bell-trade for its input to the work of the Committee. Referring to the paragraph in the report on bellrope manufacture, Chris noted production continued weekly with an improvement in the quality of polyester ropes; the manufacturer was willing to bring forward any order, where there was a genuine emergency. James Clarke seconded.

Andrew Mills commented that the ropes being produced were not lasting well, as the hemp was of a poorer quality and splicing with terylene appeared to be having an adverse effect.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The following were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Michael Banks, Peter Bennett, James Clarke, George Dawson, Adrian Dempster, Alan Frost, William Jones, David Kirkcaldy, Chris Povey, Andrew Preston, Adrian Semken, Bernard Stone and Jim Taylor. One vacancy was unfilled.

(b) Tower Stewardship (pp471-472)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Ernie Runciman, who confirmed that the further meeting with EIG had taken place and a report of this would be published shortly; and few societies had taken up the offer of cheaper Public Liability insurance. Robert Wood seconded.

Giles Blundell asked what action the Committee was taking on Child Protection in view of Chris Mew’s recent article in The Ringing World: Ernie replied that this matter was under active consideration.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The following six members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: David Burgess, Janet Edwards, Chris Mew, Christopher O’Mahony, Ernie Runciman and Robert Wood.

(c) Bell Restoration (pp472-473)

In presenting the report for adoption, Kate Flavell noted that a peal had been rung at Shottesbrooke in memory of Sir John Smith, in gratitude for all that he and the Manifold Trust had done in restoring unringable bells. Kate reported recent information that the Foundation for Sport and the Arts would not continue making grants after 2012: the latest date for applications was March 2009. Adoption of the report was seconded by Carol Hardwick and agreed.

The following nine members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: John Barnes, Ken Davenport, Kate Flavell, Carol Hardwick, Ian Oram, Laith Reynolds, Jackie Roberts, Robin Shipp and Peter Wilkinson. One vacancy was unfilled.

(d) Biographies (pp473-474)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Pat Halls and seconded by Jane Mason.

Michael Church pointed out that the office of President should be added to John Scott’s record of membership. Andrew Wilby asked that the award of a CBE be added to Stan Mason’s name. Frank Beech asked if there was any record of the expertise of members: Pat replied that the biography forms requested this information but that it was rarely supplied.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The following six members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Pat Halls, Jenny Lawrence, Jane Mason, Margaret Oram, Dinah Rhymer and David Stanworth.

(e) Education (p474)

In proposing adoption of the report, Barrie Dove noted that the second NRT conference had been held recently; a regular series of articles on conducting was being planned, to replace The Learning Curve; and a new DVD training video was under consideration. Barrie thanked the outgoing chairman, John Harrison, for his leadership of the Committee over the past 8 years. John seconded.

Mike Winterbourne, the organiser of the Crowthorne course, asked whether the Committee had looked at arranging more courses, as both his and the Hereford courses were heavily over-subscribed. Barrie responded that a new course at Swanwick took place last year.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

After Barrie had agreed to a committee of thirteen, the number of nominations received, the following members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: John Atkinson, Claire Bell, Peter Dale, Barrie Dove, Wendy Graham, Geoff Horritt, Catherine Lewis, Simon Linford, Heather Peachey, Pip Penney, Brian Sanders, David Strong and Jan Wyatt.

(f) Information and Communications Technology (pp474-475)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mike Chester, who again thanked all those who had assisted in moving the server to Memset; the website was now very reliable. Mike Till seconded.

Roger Bailey commented that there was no mention of the Council meeting on the website. The Hon. Secretary said that was his fault, not any error on the part of the Committee.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The following five members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Alan Chantler, Mike Chester, Geoff Emerson, Mike Till and Peter Trotman. One vacancy was unfilled.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12.45 p.m. and resumed, after the Annual Meeting of The Ringing World Limited, at 2.52 p.m.

(g) Library (p475)

In proposing adoption of the report, Mike Davies referred to the section “Plans for next year” and asked that the last sentence be deleted. The Bell News DVD was selling quite well. Chris Ridley was standing down from the Committee after 14 years, during many of which he had been Treasurer. John Eisel seconded.

Peter Wilkinson noted that Society libraries might contain items not in the Council’s Library. John responded that catalogues of such libraries were collected; if they were updated, please send him a copy.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

John gave the meeting notice that he would not be standing for re-election after this triennium.

Appointment of the Steward of the Library 2008-2011: John Eisel had been proposed by Chris Ridley and seconded by Bob Cooles. As there was no other nomination, the President declared him elected. In addition to the Steward, who is an ex officio member of the Committee, the following five members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Stella Bianco, Mike Davies, Paul Johnson, Jean Sanderson and Ian Self.

(h) Methods (p475)

Adoption of the report was proposed by the Vice-President, who noted that new editions of Rung Surprise, Treble Dodging Minor methods and the Plain Minor collection were available. In seconding, Peter Niblett referred to the final paragraph of the report: many of the enquiries had been answered by the Vice-President, who had also been single-handedly responsible for producing many of the collections over the past years.

Barry Peachey asked why there was no comprehensive list of Doubles variations; the Vice-President responded that he had produced a list, which would be published when time allowed.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The following five members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Roger Bailey, Peter Niblett, Philip Saddleton, Leigh Simpson and Robin Woolley. One vacancy was unfilled.

(i) Peal Compositions (pp475-476)

In proposing adoption of the report, Stuart Hutchieson thanked Don Morrison for many years’ chairmanship. The report was seconded by Richard Allton and agreed.

The following eight members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Richard Allton, Roger Bailey, Paul Flavell, Robin Hall, Stuart Hutchieson, Philip Larter, Philip Saddleton and John Thompson. One vacancy was unfilled.

(j) Peals Analysis (pp476-478)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Phillip Barnes, who noted that several peals rung during 2007 were published late; the revised total was 5100, of which 4436 were on Tower Bells and 664 in hand. In seconding, Tim Pett explained that the corrections to the Felstead database referred to peals before 1990; similar corrections were being made to Andrew Craddock’s post-1990 work.

John Thompson suggested that Council made the wrong decision some years ago in permitting Variable Cover peals: should this decision be reversed? Phillip commented that this was not a matter for this Committee.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

As the Council had decided earlier that day to merge this Committee with the Records Committee, no separate Committee needed to be elected.

(k) Records (pp479-480)

In proposing adoption of the report, Richard Allton thanked Frank Blagrove, who had been a member of the Committee since 1960 but was not standing for re-election. Mike Trimm seconded.

Barry Peachey asked why there was no record of first peals of Doubles variations: Richard responded that this was a matter of composition and therefore no record was necessary.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

As a result of the approval of Motion B, the Committee would now be known as the Peal Records Committee and the following seven members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Richard Allton, Alan Baldock, Phillip Barnes, Mark Bell, Ben Duke, Mike Trimm and Martin Turner.

(l) Public Relations (pp480-481)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Judith Rogers, who referred to the penultimate paragraph of the report, drawing attention to the skills needed by members of this Committee. Stef Warboys seconded and thanked Judith for being an excellent chairman.

Peter Dale thought that the CD was interesting but too long: an index to identify sections would be helpful. Judith responded that the CD had received two favourable reviews in The Ringing World; however they were open to receive comments and any changes would be honoured with free upgrades.

Anthony Lovell-Wood referred to recent correspondence in The Ringing World under the heading of “Belfry Reform” and suggested that the clerical world needed educating. Judith commenting on this and other correspondence regretting the lack of input from a Clerical Guild member, said that the Committee would be considering the matter.

Peter Dale, while congratulating the Roadshow team on its publicity, felt more should be done to attract the general public; Stef Warboys replied that all parishes within 50 miles of Stoneleigh were being targeted, as it was thought unlikely that non-ringers from further afield might attend.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The following nine members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Peter Burgess, Bruce Butler, Alan Chantler, Chris Darvill, Beverly Faber, John Harrison, Christopher O’Mahony, Stef Warboys and Jane Wilkinson. Three vacancies were unfilled.

(m) Publications (pp481-482)

Adoption of the report was proposed by John Couperthwaite, seconded by Derek Jones and agreed.

The following six members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Andrew Aspland, John Couperthwaite, Derek Jones, Julian Newman, Beryl Norris and Barbara Wheeler.

(n) Redundant Bells (pp481-483)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Jane Wilkinson, seconded by Bob Cooles and agreed.

The following six members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: the Revd John Baldwin, Bob Cooles, Alan Frost, Ian Hastilow, Julian Newman and Jane Wilkinson. One vacancy was unfilled.

The meeting adjourned for tea at 4.05 p.m. and resumed, after the Annual Meeting of The Ringing Foundation Limited, at 5.07 p.m.

(o) Ringing Centres (p483)

In proposing the adoption of the report, Gail Cater thanked those members who were not standing for re-election for their work on the Committee. Entries for the Founders Prizes were again few but of a continuing high standard: only two entries from ringing centres, the prize going to Prittlewell; and the prize for the Encouragement of Young People had been awarded to the West Lindsey Branch of the Lincoln Guild. Roger Booth seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

The following members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the eight places on the Committee: Christine Baldock, Alan Bentley, Roger Booth, Leslie Boyce, Gail Cater, Norman Mattingley, Barry Peachey and Heather Peachey.

(p) Ringing Trends (pp483-485)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Beryl Norris. She had noticed that chat-lists were declaring that “ringing was in decline”; she firmly disagreed with this, explaining that ringing now took place amongst different age-groups; nevertheless there was always a need to train more people. An interesting statistic had emerged from the 4,693 replies received: that 52% of ringers attended church on a regular basis. Two additional charts were presented: one showed the age of current learners, with the majority under 12, the other the current situation with bands of ringers showing that the majority had unchanging numbers.

Alison Hodge seconded and made a plea for support for data to make comparisons with other organisations.

Both Brian Meads and John Harrison asked whether the results shown in the graphs were valid, without any authoritative back-up. Chris Rogers noticed that the latest chart on learners contradicted Fig. 4: Beryl explained that the returns of two societies had been added. Peter Bennett thought that the analysis of bands was misleading.

Andrew Wilby had supported the creation of the Committee and welcomed the work it was doing. However to better understand the data being collected, more statistical expertise needed to be recruited. The largest groups of ringers were in the 50-59 and over 60 ranges, therefore there would be a serious problem in 20-30 years’ time. Simon Woof added that there was much work in collecting information, there were statistical people competent at analysing data.

Mike Till mentioned that the samples shown were not indicative of all counties.

Roger Booth asked if there were any plans to consult with other committees and The Ringing World and The Ringing Foundation to collect data; what data was available on teachers? - those teachers who were currently active would retire from teaching.

Beryl and Alison responded that the Committee would consult with other groups when further data was assembled. Last year’s report had acknowledged that teachers were usually at the top end of age groups.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

The following four members were proposed, seconded and elected to serve on the Committee: Stephen Elwell-Sutton, Alison Hodge, Beryl Norris and Mike Till. Two vacancies were unfilled.

The President thanked all committee members for their work for the Council, especially those not standing for re-election.

17. (a) Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine Collection
(RW 25th April 2008, p485)

In proposing adoption of the report, Barry Ward acknowledged that most of the demonstration and maintenance work was done by Alan Berry. The report was seconded by Bob Cooles and agreed.

(b) Appointment of Stewards for 2008-2011

Alan Berry was proposed by Winnie Warwick and seconded by Carol Franklin. Barry Ward was proposed by Winnie Warwick and seconded by Carol Franklin. There being no other nominations, the President declared them both elected.

18. (a) Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour
(RW 25th April 2008, p485)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Andrew Stubbs, who reported that the third addendum had now been written up and was available for inspection that day. The Rolls could now be viewed on the website - there was an amazing amount of information there. Laith Reynolds seconded and congratulated all involved for the work done. Adoption of the report was agreed.

(b) Appointment of Steward for 2008-2011

Alan Regin was proposed by the Hon. Secretary and seconded by Margaret Oram. As there was no other nomination, the President declared him elected.

19. (a) Report of the Stewards of the Dove Database
(RW 25th April 2008, p486)

In proposing adoption of the report, the Revd John Baldwin noted that the hit-rate had peaked at 1034 in one day. The Stewards were continuing with their policy of updating facilities: postcodes were being provided for Health & Safety purposes. 40% of the entries had changed since Edition 9. Tim Jackson seconded and thanked John for all his work: John alone had made all the changes.

Jackie Roberts recalled that the Council had decided against proceeding with the National Bell Register; was Council money being spent on that work? John responded that any work was being continued on his own behalf at no cost to the Council.

Adoption of the report was then agreed.

(b) Appointment of Stewards for 2008-2011

The Revd John Baldwin was proposed by Michael Church and seconded by Bob Cooles. Tim Jackson was proposed by Michael Church and seconded by Pat Halls. As there were no other nominations, the President declared them both elected.

20. Central Council Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells (Registered Charity no. 278816)
(a) Report and Accounts

(RW 25th April 2008, pp486-487)

Adoption of the report and accounts was proposed by Bob Cooles and seconded by the Revd John Baldwin.

Chris Rogers commented that there had been a dramatic fall in the cash balance and asked how an urgent request for new loans would be handled. John confirmed that prompt action would be taken to contact the many ringers who had previously provided loans on an interest-free basis.

Adoption of the report and accounts was then agreed.

(b) Motion:

Bob Cooles proposed and the Revd John Baldwin seconded:

That the Rules of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells adopted on 29th May 1979 and revised on 26th May 1997 be amended as follows:

(a) existing clause 5(i) shall be deleted;

(b) existing clause 5(ii) shall be renumbered clause 5 and shall read:

“The Fund shall be administered by a Committee consisting of the members for the time being of the Central Council Committee for Redundant Bells who shall be the Trustees of the Fund”

(c) there shall be a new clause 7:

“There shall be an annual meeting of the members of the Fund which shall be held at the annual meeting of the Central Council and the President for the time being of the Central Council shall be invited to chair the meeting”

(d) existing clauses 7, 8 and 9 shall be renumbered 8, 9 and 10 respectively.

After Bob had explained that the purpose of the Motion was to simplify the structure by reducing the number of trustees, the Motion was carried nem con.

21. Appointment of the Administrative Committee.

The President stated that under Rule 14 (iii) the Committee comprised the Officers of the Council, the Chairmen of the other Committees, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Ringing World Limited (Jackie Roberts) and 12 elected members. During the tea-break the newly appointed Committees had elected their Chairmen or convenors, those so elected were announced:

The following twelve members were proposed, seconded and elected: Roger Bailey, the Revd John Baldwin, Michael Church, Alan Frost, Robert Lewis, Anthony Lovell-Wood, Brian Meads, Angela Newing, Judith Rogers, Derek Sibson, David Sparling and Andrew Wilby.

22. Future meetings

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

An invitation had been received from the Guildford Diocesan Guild for 2013; the meeting agreed that this should be accepted.

Alan Roberts outlined plans for the visit of the Council to Worcester in 2009.


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

23. Other Business

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

Laith Reynolds gave notice of a motion to amend the Rules of the Council in respect of Honorary Members.

Janet Edwards drew attention to the Guide Centenary in 2010: there was over two years to train up Guides to ring at 20.10 on 20th October in that year.

The President felt that the image of the Council needed uplifting, particularly when the President attended other formal functions. Some years ago Laith Reynolds offered to present the metal for a badge of office and the President now wished to present the badge to the Council and accordingly he invested the Vice-President.

The Vice-President thanked the President for all his work for the Council during his tenure of office. (Applause). The President acknowledged, with particular thanks to all chairmen of committees.

Votes of Thanks

The President moved a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those involved in the Council’s visit to Newcastle: to the organising committee of the Durham & Newcastle Diocesan Association: Yvonne Cairns, Ron Warford, Chris Richardson, Howard Smith, Barbara Wheeler, John and Jean Snook and Kris King for computer wizardry; and to all the members of the Association who had willingly given assistance on the Help Desk at that day’s meeting and throughout the weekend, provided stewards for the tours and acted as tellers and microphone operatives that day; to Canon Robert Sage for the Songs of Praise service the previous afternoon in the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas; to all those involved in the organisation of the Sunday evening Reception and Dinner and especially the Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd Dr Tom Wright and the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor David Wood, for their welcome; to the Vicar of St John the Baptist, Newcastle, the Revd Neil Wilson, for the service of Holy Communion that morning; to the Civic Centre Manager, Trevor Milner and the Carillonneur, Doctor Ian Brunt for the visit to the carillon at the Civic Centre; and to the incumbents and ringers of the churches who had made their bells available to Council members.

The President declared the meeting closed at 6.27 p.m.

Summary of Attendance
Fully represented43137-
Partly represented193919
Not represented3-2


Life Members42
Honorary Members171


The Ringing World, September 19, 2008, pages 985 to 989 and 995, corrections July 3, 2009, page 678

(Archivist’s note: also absent were Paul Chandler (Birmingham Univ Soc), Mervyn Way (Devon Assn), Julia Lysaght (Irish Assn), Tim Joiner (Middlesex County Assn. & London Dio. Guild) and John Prytherch (St David’s DG))

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