The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Minutes of the First Session of the 42nd Council (117th Annual Meeting), held in the Marriott Tudor Park Hotel, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone on Monday 26th May 2014, at 9.30 a.m.


Life Members: John Baldwin, William Butler, David Kelly#, Andrew Stubbs, David Thorne.
Additional Members: Elva Ainsworth, Stella Bianco, Roger Booth, Robert Cooles, Alan Frost, Robert Lewis, Adrian Semken, Peter Trotman, Jane Wilkinson.
Ex-officio: Mary Bone, Nigel Herriott, Tim Jackson, Brian Meads, Bill Purvis, Alan Regin, Robin Walker.
Ancient Society of College Youths: Richard Allton, Leigh Simpson#, Andrew Wilby.
Australian & New Zealand Assn: Peter Harrison*, Christopher O’Mahony, James Smith, Matthew Sorell.
Barrow & District Society: David Hibbert*.
Bath & Wells Dio. Assn: Roland Backhurst, Jay Bunyan, Michael Hansford, Richard Newman, George Wyatt*.
Bedfordshire Assn: Patrick Albon, Richard Horne, Sue Silver.
Beverley & District Society: James Blackburn.
Cambridge Univ. Guild: David Richards.
Carlisle Dio. Guild: Christine de Cordova*, Duncan Walker.
Chester Dio. Guild: David Jones*, Michael Orme, Peter Wilkinson, Stefan Zientek.
Coventry Dio. Guild: Michael Chester, Christopher Mew.
Derby Dio. Assn: Andrew Hall*, Patricia Halls, Gill Hughes.
Devon Assn: Robert Brown, Mervyn Way.
Devonshire Guild: Leslie Boyce, James Clarke, Lynne Hughes, Fergus Stracey*.
Dorset County Assn: Timothy Collins, Maureen Frost#.
Durham & Newcastle Dio. Assn: Barbara Wheeler.
Durham Univ. Society: Michael Williams.
East Derbys & West Notts Assn: Brynley Richards#.
East Grinstead & District Guild: Kate Desbottes.
Ely Dio. Assn: Philip Bailey, George Bonham, Sue Marsden*, Paul Seaman.
Essex Assn: John Armstrong, Fred Bone, Wendy Godden, John Hall*, Stephen Nash.
Four Shires Guild: Andrew Gunn#, Christopher Povey.
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Assn: Derek Harbottle, Patrick Hickey, Angela Newing, John Nicholls.
Guild of St Agatha: Anne Bray*.
Guildford Dio. Guild: Anne Anthony, John Couperthwaite, Beryl Norris, Christopher Rogers.
Hereford Dio. Guild: John Croxton, Jenny Lawrence, Colin Ward*.
Hertford County Assn: Geoff Horritt, Margaret Horritt, Guy Morton, Sue Morton.
Irish Assn: June Kelly, Julia Lysaght.
Kent County Assn: Douglas Davis*, David Grimwood*, Philip Larter, Catherine Lewis, Frank Lewis#.
Ladies Guild: Carolyn Dawson, Helen Webb, Jan Wyatt.
Lancashire Assn: Giles Blundell#, Alison Brittliff, Ernie de Legh-Runciman, Christopher Fletcher*, Beth Ingham.
Leeds University Society: Adam Crocker.
Leicester Dio. Guild: Carol Franklin, Andrew Preston, Arthur Rees*.
Lichfield & Walsall Archd. Society: Stuart Hutchieson, Andrew Ogden*.
Lincoln Dio. Guild: Philip Green, Robin Heppenstall, Christopher Sharp*, Christopher Turner*.
Liverpool Univ. Society: Richard Andrew.
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio. Assn: Jonathan Lewis#, Pip Penney.
Middlesex County Assn. & London Dio. Guild: Frank Blagrove, Linda Foddering, Peter Kemp, Helen Udal.
National Police Guild: Barry Peachey.
North American Guild: Bruce Butler, Alan Ellis#, Beverly Faber, Anthony Furnivall.
North Staffordshire Assn: Ray Ballard*, Jan Hine*, Tim Hine*.
North Wales Assn: Antony Diserens, David Raggett*.
Norwich Dio. Assn: Peter Adcock, Jenny Brunger, Michael Clements, Maureen Gardiner*.
Oxford Dio. Guild: Ken Davenport, John Harrison, Lucy Hopkins Till, Bobbie May, Timothy Pett.
Oxford Society: Bernard Stone.
Peterborough Dio. Guild: Hilary Aslett, Jane Sibson, David Westerman.
St Martin’s Guild: Stephen Jones.
Salisbury Dio. Guild: Tom Garrett*, Julian Hemper*, Andrew Howes, Anthony Lovell-Wood, Julian Newman.
Scottish Assn: Stephen Elwell-Sutton, Ruth Marshall*.
Shropshire Assn: Sue Buckingham, Alan Glover.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: John Barnes, Ben Duke, Ian Oram, Derek Sibson.
Society of Sherwood Youths: Jane Woolley*.
South African Guild: James Champion*.
Southwell and Nottingham Dio. Guild: George Dawson, Anne Sladen*, Robin Woolley.
Suffolk Guild: Veronica Downing, Peter Harper*, Stephen Pettman, George Salter*.
Surrey Assn: Jeremy Cheesman, Kate Flavell, Paul Flavell, Richard Wallis.
Sussex County Assn: Andrew Barnsdale, Stephen Beckingham*, Anne Franklin*, David Kirkcaldy, Margaret Oram.
Swansea & Brecon Dio. Guild: Paul Johnson, David Katz*.
Truro Dio. Guild: Mary Jones, Norman Mattingley, Helen Perry#, Robert Perry, Ian Self.
Univ. Bristol Society: Richard Webster*, Robert Wood.
Univ. London Society: Jacqui Bale*.
Veronese Assn: David Roskelly.
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio. Guild: Michael Church, Rosalind Martin*, Peter Niblett, Vivien Nobbs*, Anthony Smith.
Worcestershire & Districts Assn: Alison Hodge, Paul Marshall*, Stuart Piper, Alan Roberts.
Yorkshire Assn: Barrie Dove, Peter Kirby, Brian Sanders, Deborah Thorley, Susan Welch.

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

The Chair was taken by the President, Kate Flavell.

1. Opening Prayer

Peter Wilkinson (Chester Diocesan Guild) led members in prayer.

2. Report as to membership and subscriptions

The Hon Secretary, Mary Bone, reported that 66 societies were affiliated to the Council with 196 representatives; there were five vacancies. There were 4 Life Members, 10 Additional Members and 8 ex-officio Members. Two subscriptions were outstanding from Birmingham University Society and the St David’s Guild. She urged those societies which had not yet returned the triennial certificate to do so and encouraged societies with vacancies to fill these as soon as possible.

3. Application to affiliate

The Hon Secretary reported that documentation had been received from the Guild of St Agatha, confirming that the Guild met the requirements of Rule 4 (ii). The application was reviewed by the Administrative Committee in March, which recommended affiliation. The application was approved by majority and the President declared the Guild affiliated. Anne Bray took her seat as a representative member.

4. 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). Applause greeted those members aged 18 and under. She additionally noted that this was Frank Blagrove’s 55th meeting (applause).

The President informed members that the proceedings were being recorded to assist with the Minutes. No recording would be published without the consent of the member(s) concerned.

5. Apologies for absence

Apologies had been received from David Willis (Additional Member), Peter Mackie (Ancient Society of College Youths), John Atkinson (Beverley & District Society), Michael Woolley (Birmingham University Society), Christopher Idle (Coventry DG), Howard Smith (Durham & Newcastle DA), Jane Mason (Hereford DG), Winifred Warwick (Leicester DG), Mark Bell (Oxford US) and Alan Chantler (Peterborough DG). Further apologies were presented from Robert Flockton (Cambridge UG), Matthew Cracknell (Durham & Newcastle DA), Bill Nash (Gloucester & Bristol DA), Alan Bentley (Oxford DG), Andrew Mills (Southwell & Nottingham DG) and Eles Belfontali (Veronese Assn).

6. Loss of members through death

Members stood in silence as the Hon Secretary read the names of the following former members who had died since the last meeting: Alan Smith (Suffolk Guild 1984-2008); Jack Worrall (Guildford DG 1954-1957); Shelagh Melville (Peterborough DG 1963-1966); David Strong (Gloucester & Bristol DA 1993-2002, Winchester & Portsmouth DG 2008-2011); Margery Wratten (Honorary Member 1972-1993); William Leslie Weller (Sussex CA 1963-1973); John Atkinson (Durham & Newcastle DA 1982-1987). The Revd John Baldwin led members in prayer.

7. Minutes of the 2013 Annual Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 27th May 2013 had been published in The Ringing World of 30th August 2013. The President noted that corrections to the Minutes had been published as an appendix to the agenda.

There being no further corrections, the Minutes were approved and signed by the President.

The President drew attention to the second Appendix to the Report of the Administrative Committee and reminded members to declare any interest in the bell-related trade to the Hon Secretary and to declare any relevant interest before speaking at the meeting or proposing a candidate for election. She asked members to notify matters of any other business to the Hon Secretary during the lunch break. The President also asked members to remember that all members are volunteers and should be treated with respect and courtesy.

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

No member wished to raise any matter.

9. Annual Report of the Council
(RW 25th April 2014, pp437-438)

The Hon Secretary noted that 3 vacancies had been filled since the Annual Report was prepared. The figures in the last 2 sentences of paragraph 4 were amended to read “… 4 Life Members, 10 Additional Members, 8 ex-officio Members and 196 Representative Members. There are 5 other vacancies.”. The first paragraph of the Appendix was amended to read “… while the Irish Association and the Oxford Society have each one member fewer. Of the 196 Representative Members, 145 (74%) were members of the previous Council (of whom one is representing a different society) and 51 are new members (of whom nine have been members at some time in the past)”; the second paragraph was changed to begin “49 Representative Members …”.

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

10. Accounts for 2013
(RW 25th April 2014, pp438-440)

The Hon Treasurer, Derek Harbottle, reported that the independent examiners had issued an unqualified report. The net movement of funds for 2013 was a negative figure of £10,793. The General Fund ended with a small surplus of £750, mostly due to the lower cost of the Guildford meeting. There was a transfer of £5,000 from the Publications Fund to the General Fund; the selling price of Dove 10 was originally set to provide a contribution to the General Fund. There were no transactions in the Education Courses Fund. The Bell Restoration Fund showed an outflow of funds of £11,739. Of the grants awarded in 2010, a further two had been paid for a total of £2,400, leaving only one left to be paid. Following a request from and discussion with the Christchurch, NZ, ringers and cathedral authorities an amount of £10,000 was paid to John Taylor & Co. in November 2013 towards the refurbishment of the Cathedral bells. One grant was awarded from the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund: £1,300 to Katoomba, NSW; one grant awarded in 2012 was paid. The Publications Fund showed an outflow of funds, before the transfer mentioned above, of £3,800. Sales were significantly less than the previous year. Expenditure included a write-off provision of £3,100 against a number of titles with negligible sales. The Library Fund showed a surplus in the year of £3,777. Subscriptions from Friends of the Library were less than in 2012 at just over £1,700 but sales of publications, books and CDs were significantly up. The sale of surplus items in the library produced net income of £2,900. Turning to 2014, the Hon Treasurer informed members that deposits would continue to be reviewed; he planned to have a number of fixed term deposits with different maturity dates, while ensuring that sufficient funds were available for the 2014 Roadshow and to pay grants awarded. As agreed at Guildford in 2013, affiliation subscriptions increased to £30 per representative member for 2014. The Administrative Committee reviewed the level of the subscription at its meeting in March 2014 and proposed no change for 2015. The financial objective of the Roadshow at Newbury was to break even and this should be achieved if an attendance of 2000 was reached.

The Hon Treasurer formally proposed the adoption of the Accounts; Chris Mew seconded.

Robin Woolley queried the policy of depreciating the Library collection (note 6), given the fact that it was revalued every five years. Derek explained that it was considered good practice to continue this accounting policy. The collection had last been revalued in 2009 and the new Treasurer and Library Committee treasurer would take action on this.

Adoption of the accounts was agreed.

The President invited Matthew Sorell, who was unable to stay to the end of the meeting, to speak on Christchurch, NZ. Matthew informed members that the bells had now been returned to Christchurch and that approval had been given for a temporary tower to house a ring of 6 bells to be built next to the Transitional Cathedral. The project would cost £115,000 and an appeal would be launched shortly. ANZAB had already made a substantial donation from the legacy received in 2013.

11. Election of Life Members

(a) Andrew Wilby proposed that Alan Frost be elected to Life Membership of the Council. Andrew referred to Alan’s 48 years of membership and his work with the Towers & Belfries Committee, both as a past chairman and as editor of the Handbook. Alan had also been a member of the Administrative Committee, a founder member of the Ringing Centres Committee, an original member of the Committee for Redundant Bells, and a member of the Ringing in the Millennium Bells sub-committee Working Party. Alan continued to serve the Exercise actively as bells adviser to 3 dioceses. James Clarke seconded.

(b) Bob Cooles proposed that David Kelly be elected to Life Membership of the Council for his service to the Exercise in establishing and running the Keltek Trust. Bob reminded members that the original plan for such an organisation had come from the Committee for Redundant Bells but at the time it had seemed impossible to set up such a body within the Central Council. Since the Keltek Trust had been in operation over 300 bells had been re-used as ringing bells in some 140 churches, not just within the UK, and a further 300 bells had been re-used as single bells. David worked full time for the Trust and in close-co-operation with the Committee for Redundant Bells. Chris Mew seconded.

Voting was by paper ballot and both proposals were carried by large majorities.

12. Election of Officers

The President invited the proposer of each candidate to address the meeting.

President - Chris Mew, who had been proposed by Ian Oram and seconded by Mike Chester, was the only nominee. The President declared him elected.

Vice-President - Christopher O’Mahony, who had been proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Robert Wood, was the only nominee. The President declared him elected.

Hon Secretary - Mary Bone, who had been proposed by Angela Newing and seconded by Bob Cooles, was the only nominee. The President declared her elected.

Hon Assistant Secretary - Carol Franklin, who had been proposed by Alan Regin and seconded by Sue Morton, was the only nominee. The President declared her elected.

Hon Treasurer - Andrew Taylor, who had been proposed by Brian Meads and seconded by Steve Nash, was the only nominee. The President declared him elected.

The President made a presentation to the retiring officers, Derek Harbottle and Robin Walker, and proposed a vote of thanks to them for their many years of service to the Council (applause).

In accordance with Rule 12(i) the retiring Officers continued in office until the business of the meeting was concluded.

13. Election of Independent Examiners

Jeremy Cheesman was proposed by Bob Cooles and seconded by Kate Desbottes. Wendy Godden was proposed by Steve Nash and seconded by John Armstrong. There being no other nominations, the President declared them elected.

14. Election of Additional Members

Five Additional Members would complete their three-year term at the end of the meeting. The following advance nominations, duly proposed and seconded, had been received: Elva Ainsworth, Mark Ainsworth, Alan Baldock, Alan Frost, Adrian Semken, Peter Trotman and David Willis. Alan Frost’s nomination was withdrawn upon his election as a Life Member. After a ballot these candidates were declared elected. Seven vacancies remained unfilled.

15. Motions

(A) Amendment of Rule 14 (Independent Examiners)

The Hon Secretary proposed on behalf of the Administrative Committee:

That the last sentence of Rule 14 (Election of independent examiners) be expanded to read as follows:

The Hon Secretary referred to the Minutes of the 2013 meeting, during which it had been suggested that an independent examiner appointed in mid-term should stand for election at the next annual meeting. The motion made the officers, as charity trustees, responsible for an interim appointment, as recommended by the Charity Commission, and brought the wording of the rule in to line with that used in Rule 12. Tony Smith seconded.

The motion was put to the vote and carried nem con.

(B) Terms of Reference of the Education Committee

Duncan Walker proposed on behalf of the Education Committee:

That Rule 16(iii) (Terms of Reference of the Education Committee) be replaced by the following:

Duncan stated that the proposal would update the current terms of reference of the Committee and emphasise the importance of using technology and collaborating with the different groups involved in ringing education. Geoff Horritt, seconding, added that the proposed terms recognised the current operation of the Committee.

George Dawson, seconded by Rosalind Martin, proposed that the last clause should read “using all appropriate media”. This proposal was accepted by the proposer and seconder.

John Harrison proposed that the last clause should be amended to read “using all appropriate means”; he stated that the Education Committee was an active committee, for instance running courses directly, and that the proposed wording was too limiting as it appeared to restrict the Committee to an information rôle. The amendment was seconded by Pat Hickey, put to the vote and passed.

The substantive motion was then put to the vote and carried by majority.

(C) Amendment of Rules 12, 15 and 20 (Public Relations Officer)

On behalf of the Administrative Committee, Chris Mew, Vice-President, proposed:

That a new office of Public Relations Officer be created and that the following Rules be amended as indicated:

Chris referred to the background paper which had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The motion arose from the consultations with societies at a number of regional meetings, which stressed the need to improve the image of ringing and develop the Council’s external relations. The person appointed would provide a single point of contact for external queries and be pro-active in publicising the Council’s work and correcting misleading statements in the media. Chris explained that the rules needed to be changed before any appointment or election could take place. It was hoped that a suitable person could take up an advisory rôle in the near future and be formally elected at the 2015 meeting. John Harrison, chairman of the Public Relations Committee, seconded. Chris added that the person elected would become an ex-officio member of the Public Relations Committee. He emphasised that the work of the Public Relations Officer would not conflict with the Council’s regular consultations with external bodies such as English Heritage, the Church Buildings Council and the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

The motion was put to the vote and carried nem con.

(D) Addition of Decision (I) Non-Method Blocks and Decision (J) Calls etc.

Peter Niblett proposed on behalf of the Methods Committee:

1. That a new Decision (I) Non-Method Blocks be added, containing the following:

2. That Decision (E) be renamed to become the Decision on Methods rather than Methods and Calls and that the following changes be made:

3. That a new Decision (J) Calls be added.

This shall contain the contents of the former (E)A.3 as its (J)A.4, and shall also contain the following:

4. That Decision (D) Peal Ringing be amended as follows:

Peter recalled that the Committee had been asked last year to review the non-compliant peal rung in Cambridge on 22 November 2012. Since then a further 2 similar peals, popularly known as “particle peals”, had been rung. Peter explained why some of the blocks rung in these peals were non-compliant and that the Committee’s objective had been to change the Decisions so that future such peals would be compliant. They had reviewed a number of options to achieve this and had chosen to proceed with the option of removing the link between peals and methods. The motion, if approved, would allow innovation and flexibility in future while maintaining that a method should be true in the plain course. The motion maintained the existing definition of a method, provided a mechanism for naming and describing blocks and restructured some of the Decisions; it did not remove other restrictions on peals, for example it would not permit jump or repeat changes. Peter responded to criticism of the motion published in The Ringing World by stating the Committee’s view that methods should be true in the plain course. He noted that the motion would allow blocks in which extended places in the same position were made, but it was not the rôle of the Council to prevent this should ringers wish to ring them. Peter considered that criticism of the complexity of the Decisions should be regarded as a separate issue. Robin Woolley seconded the motion.

The following comments and questions were raised in discussion: that methods false in the plain course should be permitted as part of a peal as long as the peal itself was true; that the Decisions were too complex and required reform; that the requirement for a method to be true was fundamental to change ringing; that bands could ring what they wished without the performance being legitimised as compliant; that innovation should be supported and encouraged; would methods containing extended consecutive places now be permitted as long as they were described as blocks; that the Committee should consult more widely with leading peal ringers and composers; would every row in a block be required to be true; would certain Doubles methods containing extended consecutive places, such as Suffolk Place, now be legitimate again; and that fundamental change was required. During the discussion John Couperthwaite gave notice that he would introduce a proposal for a review of the Decisions during item 23 (Any Other Business).

Peter replied to some of the questions by stating that extended consecutive places would be permitted in a block and that every row in a block would not be required to be true. The discussion had showed a polarisation of opinion between those who favoured the status quo and those calling for a fundamental review. The Committee considered that it was desirable that particle peals should become compliant and approving the motion would not preclude wider debate on reform.

The motion was put to the vote and carried by majority.

(E) Amendment of Decision (E) A.4 (previously (E) A.1(d))

On behalf of the Methods Committee, Peter Niblett proposed:

That the sentence “There shall be more working bells than hunt bells.” be deleted from Decision (E)A.4 so that it becomes:

The motion was seconded by Stephen Jones. Frank Blagrove proposed an amendment such that the first sentence would begin “Bells that return to the same position …”. Jeremy Cheesman seconded.

Tony Smith stated that passing the amendment would mean that certain rung Minimus methods would no longer conform with the Decisions. Peter Niblett confirmed this. The amendment was put to the vote and lost. The motion was carried by majority.

16. Change Ringing for the Future

The President invited Chris Mew and Elva Ainsworth to report. Elva reported on the regional seminars held to date, which had showcased local initiatives such as those in Worcester and Birmingham, enabled local leaders to have a voice, promoted dialogue across district or society boundaries, informed local ringers of the Council services already available to them, and also promoted the work of the Ringing Foundation and the Association of Ringing Teachers. The results showed that ringers wanted more local and national promotion of ringing, improved training opportunities, better communications, work to develop leadership skills and more support for towers. The Council needed to examine how it was organised to support these objectives, especially in attracting and retaining new ringers. Chris Mew informed members that he proposed to establish a forward project to work during his forthcoming presidency to assist societies and towers and improve Council services, especially on communications. Topics would include examples of best practice in attracting recruits, effective public relations both by the Council and locally, better training programmes using appropriate technology and promotion of successful youth work. The Council needed to support the work of local towers and change as necessary to provide the services required. Chris reported that the Administrative Committee would hold an additional meeting in July to study how the Council worked and how it could improve, particularly in providing services to ringers directly. Chris invited members to pass their comments and suggestions to Elva or himself. Stephen Jones added that those involved with the Birmingham Saturday school would be pleased to explain its work. Matthew Sorell, ANZAB, commented on the twinning arrangements with Worcester and Birmingham established by Adelaide and Wellington.

17. Committee Reports

(The reports were published in The Ringing World Supplement of 25th April 2014. The relevant page numbers are shown against each report.)

The President reminded members of the layout of the ballot paper and stated that papers would not necessarily be collected after each vote. The Council expected elections to committees and she asked those making nominations to be ready to come to the lectern to explain the talents and abilities of the nominee clearly and succinctly. The President encouraged debate and discussion on committees’ past and future work.

(a) Administrative (p441)

Adoption of the report was proposed by the Hon Secretary, who thanked Robert Lewis and The Ringing World staff for their assistance in once again producing an excellent Supplement. The Hon Secretary thanked those societies which had responded to the consultation document on the affiliation fee and invited further feedback. After additional analysis of the Council’s finances and consultation with societies it was hoped to bring a motion on changing to a fairer basis for charging affiliation fees to the 2015 meeting. She drew attention to the forthcoming meeting with English Heritage and the Church Buildings Council and noted the savings in administrative costs made by continuing to circulate printed sets of meeting papers in advance only to those members without email. Christopher O’Mahony seconded. The report was then adopted.

Phillip Barnes was no longer a member of Council. Peter Wilkinson had become an ex-officio member of the Committee. Anthony Lovell-Wood and Tony Smith retired. Five candidates were proposed and seconded to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee. After a ballot the following were declared elected: Mike Chester, Kate Flavell, David Kirkcaldy and Tony Smith. The unsuccessful candidate was Anthony Lovell-Wood.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12.28 p.m. and resumed, after the Annual Meeting of The Ringing World Limited, at 2.53 p.m.

(b) Library (pp442-443)

Proposing adoption of the report, Stella Bianco drew attention to the request for old annual reports to fill gaps in the Library’s holdings. She noted sales of items made that day and encouraged support for the Friends of the Library. Alan Glover seconded and adoption of the report was then agreed.

Paul Johnson and Ian Self retired. An increase in the size of the Committee was agreed and the following 3 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 3 vacancies on the Committee: Paul Johnson, Sue Marsden and Ian Self.

Appointment of the Steward of the Library 2014-2017: Alan Glover had been proposed by Jenny Lawrence and seconded by Ian Self. As there was no other nomination the President declared him elected.

(c) Methods (pp443-444)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Peter Niblett, seconded by Robin Woolley, and agreed.

Henry Coggill, Richard Edwards and Philip Saddleton were no longer members of Council. The following 2 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 3 vacancies on the Committee: Leigh Simpson and Tony Smith. One vacancy was unfilled.

(d) Peal Records (pp444-447)

Proposing adoption of the report, Richard Allton apologised for the omission of Willoughby on the Wolds from the list of towers with 10 peals. He added that late peals would be included in the 2014 analysis and that no non-compliant peals had been recorded in 2013. Derek Sibson seconded. Barry Peachey queried the peal of Portishead Delight Major rung on 7 August, which had not been rung for the Barrow & District Society as listed. Barry also noted that the Society was not included in the analysis published on p.446 although it was now affiliated to the Council. Richard apologised for these errors and advised that Portishead Delight Major had been rung for the Bath & Wells Diocesan Association. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

Alan Baldock, Adam Crocker and Philip Larter retired. The following 4 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee: Alan Baldock, Alison Brittliff, Adam Crocker and Chris Turner.

(e) Public Relations (pp447-451)

John Harrison, proposing adoption of the report, corrected the second sentence of the Bells on Sunday section to begin “Nelson Mandela’s death brought …”. He urged members to publicise the forthcoming Roadshow, at which the revised publicity leaflet would be available. John emphasised that the Committee welcomed suggestions for its work from representatives and societies. Matthew Sorell seconded. John responded to questions on Roadshow tickets and the recent branding exercise by saying that tickets would be available shortly and that the Committee intended to carry forward ideas from the branding exercise carried out with the typography department of the University of Reading. Adoption of the report was then agreed. George Dawson subsequently asked ANZAB for more information on the unique Danks bells at Burnley, Victoria. Matthew Sorell replied that the existing ring of bells would be split and used as single bells elsewhere.

Nick Jones and Emma St John Smith were no longer members of Council. James Forster and Helen Udal retired. There were 4 vacancies on the Committee: the following members were proposed, seconded and elected: Giles Blundell, Kate Flavell and Rosalind Martin. David Grimwood declined nomination. One vacancy was unfilled.

(f) Publications (pp451-452)

John Couperthwaite proposed adoption of the report and updated members on the Committee’s current policy on electronic publications [RW 9th May 2014, p502]. Payment via PayPal was now in operation and John thanked all those who had worked to make this happen. Beryl Norris seconded. Matthew Sorell welcomed the Committee’s proposals for electronic publications and the use of PayPal to facilitate payments. Adoption of the report was agreed.

Michael Hansford and Jan Wyatt retired. Three candidates were proposed and seconded to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee. After a ballot the following were declared elected: Peter Mackie and Jan Wyatt. The unsuccessful candidate was Michael Hansford.

(g) Redundant Bells (p452)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Bob Cooles and seconded by Julian Newman. Robert Perry thanked the Committee for their assistance with the transfer of the bells from the Victoria tower, Chatham to Gorran. Helen Webb added that the building in Chatham was subject to a planning notice for continued use as a church; however, this church would not be Church of England. Adoption of the report was agreed.

Julian Newman and Helen Webb retired. Three candidates were proposed and seconded to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee. After a ballot the following were declared elected: Julian Newman and Helen Webb. The unsuccessful candidate was Julian Hemper.

(h) Ringing Centres (pp452-453)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Norman Mattingley, who corrected the name of a Committee member listed at the end of the report to Richard Newman. He noted the publication of the latest edition of Training Times and thanked Roger Booth, who was not standing for re-election, for all his work for the Committee for more than 20 years. Adoption of the report was seconded by Roger Booth and agreed.

Philip Bailey, Roger Booth and Norman Mattingley retired. The following 4 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee: Philip Bailey, Paul Marshall, Norman Mattingley and Matthew Sorell.

(i) Ringing Trends (p453)

In proposing adoption of the report, Elva Ainsworth referred to the presentations made by the Committee at the regional seminars. A key point was the reduction in the number of those ringing their first peal. The Committee continued to need more data and would be conducting a survey at the Roadshow and surveying other pastimes to analyse their organisation and recruitment and retention strategies. Sue Morton seconded. Adoption of the report was agreed.

Veronica Downing (co-opted), Stephen Elwell-Sutton, Guy Morton and Sue Morton retired. There were 3 vacancies. The following members were proposed, seconded and elected: Mark Ainsworth, David Grimwood and Deborah Thorley.

(j) Towers and Belfries (pp453-454)

Adoption of the report was proposed by James Clarke and seconded by Tim Collins. George Dawson corrected the caption to the photo on p.454 to insert a comma after “employee” in line 2. Chris Rogers asked for information on outstanding tower movement studies. James replied that one report, for St Giles, Cripplegate, was outstanding and that the Committee continued to make efforts to produce a helpful report. John Harrison deplored the fact that the pioneering work on tower movement was at risk of being lost.

Michael Banks and Peter Bennett were no longer members of Council. Tim Collins and David Kirkcaldy retired. Tim Collins, Alison Hodge, David Kirkcaldy and Colin Ward were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee.

(k) Tower Stewardship (p454)

Christopher O’Mahony proposed adoption of the report. He noted that Guidance Note 3 on Child Protection had been updated earlier in the year. Christopher thanked Steve Coleman for assisting towers with queries on tax issues. He added that there had been some 16 complaints about noise during the year, mostly relating to clock bells. Peter Kemp seconded. Anne Anthony urged the Committee in future to use the term “safeguarding” as it included not only children but others who might be at risk. Adoption of the report was agreed.

David Burgess was no longer a member of Council. James Smith retired. The following members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee: John Hall and James Smith.

(l) Bell Restoration (pp455-456)

Peter Wilkinson, proposing adoption of the report, updated members on the Committee’s work in providing information and advice to towers and societies. Three grants had recently been awarded from the Fred Dukes Fund. Peter highlighted John Barnes’ work in inviting contacts from unringable towers within 75 miles of Newbury to the September Roadshow. Jay Bunyan seconded. Roger Booth commended the Committee’s pro-active stance and asked if it would repeat the triennial survey of bell restoration funds. Roger pointed out that the number of unringable towers was decreasing and large amounts of money in these funds were not available for other purposes such as training ringers. Peter Wilkinson replied that the Committee would consider the survey after the Roadshow. Jay Bunyan added that the use of bell restoration funds was a matter for individual guilds. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

Frank Beech and Robin Shipp were no longer members of Council. Pat Albon and Peter Kirby retired. There were 3 vacancies on the Committee. The following 2 members were proposed, seconded and elected: Pat Albon and Peter Kirby. One vacancy was unfilled.

(m) Biographies (pp456-457)

Proposing adoption of the report, John Harrison corrected the date of death of Dennis Jones to 30 January 2010. John noted that additional records were being added to those already online and added that Bill Butler would continue as a consultant to the Committee. Pat Halls seconded and the report was adopted.

Henry Coggill and Wendy Graham were no longer members of Council. Bill Butler and David Willis retired. There were 4 vacancies. The following 3 members were proposed, seconded and elected: David Jones, Deborah Thorley and David Willis. One vacancy was unfilled.

(n) Compositions (p457)

Paul Flavell proposed adoption of the report. He stated that the number of peal compositions on the website was now over 22,000; the number of quarter peal compositions was over 1,400. Richard Allton, seconding, asked for a show of hands on options for publishing the collection of handbell compositions collated by the late Roger Bailey. There was a clear preference for online options over a traditional printed publication. The report was adopted.

Mike Hopkins Till was no longer a Council member. Philip Larter retired. Three candidates were proposed and seconded to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee. After a ballot the following were declared elected: Stephen Beckingham and George Salter. The unsuccessful candidate was Fergus Stracey.

(o) Education (pp457-458)

Duncan Walker proposed adoption of the report and reported that Simon Linford’s Judging Striking Competitions had sold out on the Publications Committee stall that day. The booklet was being used not only by judges but also by bands entering competitions. The Committee offered listening skills courses and a learning to conduct scheme, and was developing work on leadership skills in ringing. Geoff Horritt seconded and the report was agreed.

Peter Dale was no longer a member of Council. James Blackburn, Deborah Thorley and Duncan Walker retired. Five candidates were proposed and seconded to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee. After a ballot the following were declared elected: James Blackburn, Tim Hine, Lucy Hopkins Till and Duncan Walker. The unsuccessful candidate was Stephen Elwell-Sutton.

(p) Information and Communications Technology (p458)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mike Chester and seconded by Peter Trotman. Peter Kirby asked for a progress report on changing to a new content management system and whether this would include private areas for Council committees. Mike replied that less progress had been made than hoped for because of the volume of work on keeping the current website up to date. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

Mike Chester and Peter Trotman retired. Four members were proposed and seconded to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee. On the proposal of John Harrison, members approved an increase in the size of the Committee to 8 as it was clearly under-resourced. The following were therefore declared elected: Fred Bone, Peter Harrison, Leigh Simpson and Peter Trotman.

The President thanked all committee members for their work for the Council, especially those who had not stood for re-election. She thanked all those who had stood for election and encouraged committee chairmen to use the services of unsuccessful candidates during the year ahead.

18. (a) Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine Collection (RW 25th April 2014, p458)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Bill Purvis and seconded by James Blackburn. The report was agreed.

(b) Appointment of Stewards for 2014-2017

Bill Purvis was proposed by George Dawson and seconded by Andrew Mills. James Blackburn was proposed by George Dawson and seconded by Andrew Mills. There being no other nominations, the President declared them elected.

19. (a) Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour (RW 25th April 2014, p458)

In proposing the report for adoption, Alan Regin added that the Rolls had now been taken to the National Archives for digitisation. He urged ringers to commemorate the centenary of the Great War and those ringers who had given their lives in the most appropriate way locally. The Hon Secretary, Mary Bone, seconded and thanked Alan for his talk given at the recent Essex Ringing Course. Adoption of the report was then agreed. Brian Meads welcomed the digitisation project and asked for an update on possible alternatives to displaying the Rolls at St Paul’s Cathedral. Alan responded that he was actively investigating alternative locations where the displayed Rolls could be viewed by more ringers.

(b) Appointment of Steward for 2014-2017

Alan Regin was proposed by Ian Oram and seconded by Margaret Oram. There being no other nominations, the President declared him elected.

20. (a) Report of the Stewards of the Dove Database (RW 25th April 2014, pp458-459)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Tim Jackson and seconded by John Baldwin. Mike Chester thanked the stewards for the amount of work done each day to maintain this resource for the Exercise. Adoption of the report was agreed.

(b) Appointment of Stewards for 2014-2017

John Baldwin was proposed by Philip Green and seconded by Tim Jackson. Tim Jackson was proposed by John Couperthwaite and seconded by Philip Green. There being no other nominations, the President declared them elected.

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

(RW 25th April 2014, p459)

In proposing adoption of the report and accounts, Bob Cooles drew attention to the further loan made to the Keltek Trust in 2013. Helen Webb seconded. Adoption of the report and accounts was agreed.

The President thanked all the stewards and the trustees of the Rescue Fund for their work for the Council.

22. Future meetings

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

James Blackburn outlined plans for the visit of the Council to Hull in 2015.

The President reminded Council members that meetings were hosted by societies in turn and asked those societies which had not hosted a meeting for over 30 years to consider doing so in the near future.


The Hon Secretary reported on attendance at the meeting as set out in the table below and thanked Stephen Franklin for compiling the attendance records.

23. Other Business

(a) David Kelly thanked those members and ringers who had contributed to buy new ropes for Kilifi following Rod Lebon’s report on his visit published in The Ringing World. The surplus money would be used to fund training visits to the United Kingdom by some of the Kilifi ringers; additional donations towards this could be accepted by the Council Treasurer, who would reclaim Gift Aid to add to the sum.

(b) John Couperthwaite recalled the earlier discussion on Motion D and the strong groundswell of opinion, both inside and outside the Council, that it was time for a fundamental review of the relevant Decisions. He thought that it would be wrong to be prescriptive about exactly what should be done at this early stage and formally proposed that:

Fred Bone seconded the proposal. Tony Smith stated that the proposal would cause a lot of work and result in very little change; the complexities of the Decisions were there for a purpose. John Harrison commented that the proposal did not go far enough and that a review should not be delegated to the Methods Committee. The proposal was carried by majority.

(c) James Champion encouraged ringers visiting South Africa to support the local towers.

(d) Alan Frost reminded members that attendance at the DAC Bell Advisers conference in St Albans on 8 July was open to society advisers. Online bookings could be made via the ChurchCare website.

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

(f) The Hon Secretary reminded members to return badges or badge holders and welcomed donations of spare badge holders.

Votes of Thanks

The President thanked all members for their support during this meeting and throughout the year.

The President moved a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those involved in the Council’s visit to Kent: to the organising committee of the Kent County Association: David Manger, Peter Dale, Margaret Funnell, Clare Larter, Phil Larter, Catherine Lewis, Frank Lewis, Michael Little, Amanda Lee-Riley, Pam Manger, Tim Munt and Peter Sims; to all the members of the Guild 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 the Chairman of the Association, Michael Little, for his welcome; to the Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, for his welcome and for his speech at the Sunday evening Reception and Dinner; to all those involved in the organisation of the Sunday evening Reception and Dinner; to the Revd David Trustram for taking the Songs of Praise service on Sunday afternoon at Headcorn; to the Revd David Grimwood for the service of Holy Communion that morning; and to the incumbents and ringers of the churches who had made their bells available to Council members (applause).

The Vice-President thanked the retiring President for all her work during her term of office.

The President declared the meeting closed at 5.35 p.m. and invested the new President, Chris Mew, with the badge of office.

Summary of Attendance
Fully represented48142-
Partly represented163814
Not represented3-3

Life Members5-
Additional Members91


The Ringing World, September 12, 2014, pages 942 to 947, and 959, corrections October 2, 2015, page 981

(Archivist’s note: also absent were Alan Berry (Ex-officio), Aidan Butcher (St. David’s Dio. Guild) and James Forster (St. Martin’s Guild))

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional