The Second Session of the Fifth Council was held in the schoolroom of St. Michael-le-Belfrey, York, on Whitsun Tuesday, May 24th, when 44 out of 89 representatives, and 4 out of 11 Honorary Members were present, as given in full detail in the official schedule of attendances published on page 137 of our issue of May 28th. Of 35 Associations six were fully representative, nineteen partially so, and ten were unrepresented.

Sir Arthur Heywood, Bart., presided. Letters expressing regret that they could not attend, were read from the Revs. T. L. Papillon, A. H. Boughey, and C. E. Matthews, and from Messrs. Trollope and Saker.


The Rev. C. D. P. Davies (Hon. Secretary), submitted the accounts as audited by the Standing Committee which were as follows: Balance from last year, £103 5s. 0d. The expenditure included expenses of the last annual meeting, £3 17s. 0d.; printing Peal Collection, £24 8s. 6d.; reprinting 2000 copies of the Glossary, less amount received for advertisements, £28 3s. 9d.; postages and other items. £1 2s. 6d., leaving a balance of £56 8s. 3d. The Hon. Secretary proceeded to explain that since the accounts had been balanced Messrs. Bemrose had sent in their account which included £6 18s. 1d. proceeds of sale of publications, and a charge of £9 15s. 0d. for printing the 500 copies of the Rules and Decisions of the Council as agreed upon at the last meeting of the Council. This would reduce the balance in hand to £53 11s. 4d. The net value of publications that the publishers had on sale after deducting commission was £62 18s. 1d., and also there was for sale the 500 copies of the Rules and Decisions which would bring the total assets of the Council to £125 16s. 11d. A further detailed statement showed that the publishers had during the year sold 37 copies on the preservation of bells, in stock 457; sold 36 Reports on Catalogue of Peals and Calls, 1894, left 92; sold 16 Glossary, left in stock 2027; sold 24 Rules for Associations, left in stock 137; sold 86 Rules for a Company, left in stock 821; sold 51 Bells, Belfries and Ringers, left in stock 61; sold 160 Collection of Peals, left in stock 840.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson proposed the adoption of the accounts.

Mr. N. J. Pitstow in seconding, asked if it would not be better to appoint auditors.

The President said this could be done if desired. The President and Hon. Secretary were responsible for the accounts. Finance was not the business of the Standing Committee. So the accounts had always been submitted to, and gone through by the Committee.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee said it did not appear that the Standing Committee were overburdened, and he thought the audit was a matter which could be left with them.

The resolution was adopted.


The Hon. Secretary said since the last meeting of the Council death had removed one of its original members. He referred to the late Mr. F. W. J. Rees, who was not only a member of the Council but also of the Standing Committee. He was sure that they would all agree that the Council had lost one who had at all times taken great interest in the work, and whose genial presence they were at all times pleased to have among them. He was himself in communication with Mr. Rees only just previous to his death. Mr. Rees had most kindly undertaken to go through the whole of the original edition of the Glossary, and correct for the new issue all topographical errors, and it was during this process that he heard in November from the daughter of the deceased gentleman that her father had died somewhat suddenly. Although ill for some time it was not till twelve hours previously that they learned that he could not recover. He moved that a vote of condolence with the family be passed, and that the Council express its appreciation of the useful work that the deceased had done as one of its members.

The President in seconding referred to the ability of the deceased, and the energy that was at all times displayed in the work that he took in hand.

The resolution was carried in silence, all the members standing.


The Hon. Secretary announced that there were two Hon. Members whose term of office now expired, and the Council had lost one by the death of Mr. Rees. At the present time there were eleven, including the two referred to, viz., the Rev. A. H. Boughey and Mr. W. H. Thompson.

The President said the Standing Committee considered that both the Dean of Trinity (Rev. A. H. Boughey), and Mr. W. H. Thompson should be re-elected Hon. Members, as both had already done good work in connection with the Council, and their services might be required in the future. With respect to filling the vacancy caused through the death of Mr. Rees, it might be desirable not at present to fill it, so that there might be a vacancy in case of need.

On the proposition of the Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, seconded by Mr. Story, the Rev. A. H. Boughey and Mr. W. H. Thompson were re-elected hon. members.


The Hon. Secretary reported upon the re-printing of the Glossary particulars as to cost of which he reported would be found in the accounts for the year. He mentioned that the new edition could be obtained at the same price as the old, 5d. per copy.

The President said it might be desirable in view of the large outlay to remind the Council that last year the publishers had no copies left, although some Secretaries of Associations had still a stock. Consequently it must not be expected that the present edition would be sold very quickly. The book was a valuable work, and there was sure to be a steady demand for it in the future. No one could possibly have read this book without observing what a vast amount of information Mr. Bulwer had got together. Mr. Coleridge had kindly gone through the whole of the proofs, and he considered the thanks of the Council were due to him.

On the proposition of the Rev. H. J. Elsee, seconded by the Rev. H. A. Cockey, the thanks of the Council were accorded to Mr. Coleridge for his assistance.


Dr. Carpenter reported that the work in connection with the Collection of Peals was proceeding. Bob Major had been advanced so far that four sheets were in the printer’s hands, of which three were printed.

Mr. H. Dains said he had seen the MS., and could state that the collection of Bob Major peals was the very best selection that could be made.

The Hon. Secretary said he had little to do with the Bob Major selection beyond the routine work. As stated by Dr. Carpenter, three sheets were printed, and a fourth was in hand. Mr. Trollope had most carefully gone through the proofs, and there could be no doubt that the Collection would contain the very best peals that could be selected. As the members were aware the first section had been published, and a number of copies sold. Although the work only went on slowly, yet it was going on steadily.

Mr. King asked how long it would be before the second section was likely to be issued.

The Hon. Secretary replied that he was unable to give a definite date, but it was hoped to issue it before long.

Mr. King pointed out that no “cross-head” lines appeared at the top of the pages, so as to enable the reader to see what the page referred to.

The Rev. H. Drake thought it very desirable that this should be done in the whole of the Council’s publications.

The President said this was a matter the Committee would bear in mind for the future. There could be no doubt that the Collection was a laborious work, but at the same time it was a most important one which the Council must not hesitate if necessary to spend some of its funds in publishing, and so enable the Exercise to have a collection of the very best peals in each method.


The President said the reports of this Committee would take about another twelve months to appear in “The Bell News.” He was doing the work himself, and could only give an hour a week to it. Many the returns were made out in such a way that after writing out the particulars it was often found necessary to revise the whole. In arranging the matter he had to rely upon the answers furnished, and certified by two qualified local ringers. This information he had no right to alter. What was wanted was general information as to the condition of the rings. It had been originally intended to publish in pamphlet form the information thus obtained. This he did not think could now be done, as much of the information would be out of date. The matter would come up next year. It would be desirable to publish an analysis which would give them something to place before the public.


The Hon. Secretary reporting upon the resolution adopted at the last annual meeting respecting the issue in pamphlet form the minutes and decisions of the Council, said it was a matter that was left in the hands of the President and himself. It had just been issued, and copies were now ready at 6d. each. Probably some slight errors might appear, but it would only be such a minor matter that it could be easily rectified.

The President said the Hon. Secretary had placed his (the President’s) name as one of the compilers, but it was entirely the work of the Hon. Secretary himself. It was an important production, and had entailed considerable labour, for Mr. Davies had had to go through the whole of the decisions of the Council in order to compile the pamphlet. In the course of time it would be necessary to issue another. It had been the practice to issue every three years the decisions, but here they had the whole from the commencement. It had been decided to send copies to the Secretaries of the various Associations, but time had not yet permitted this to be done.


The Rev. Maitland Kelly, on behalf of this Committee, reported that he had received a letter from Mr. Papillon stating that he had not had sufficient time to take the matter up. For himself he did not see that much could be done in the matter. He would suggest that if some of the members of the Council would write articles on ringing for publication in Magazines, some good might be done. He remembered reading an article in All the Year Round upon a visit to a meeting of the College Youths, which was of an interesting character. Something of this kind would be the means of bringing ringing more before the public. In his own district the local press was at all times ready to insert pars respecting ringing matters if sent in, but these chiefly referred to some local performance, and did not cause the general public to take the interest in ringing that was desired.

The Hon. Sec. read a letter from the Rev. T. L. Papillon, who explained that in the early autumn, the most convenient time to go into such matters, he was absent from home by his visit to America. He had however received encouraging replies from Editors under whose notice he had brought the matter. The Editor of The Guardian had suggested the idea of publishing together the four articles which some fifteen years ago appeared in that journal with a view of arousing public interest in ringing. The writer thought it would be desirable to continue the Committee, as good might be done in the direction referred to.

Mr. Bennett asked what would be the responsibility of the Council if the articles referred to were published in pamphlet form.

The Hon. Sec. did not think it was intended that the Council should take any responsibility.

The President said whatever was done it must be something that would interest the public, otherwise Editors would not entertain the question. Mr. Papillon had been engaged upon most important educational work as a member of the Moseley Commission to America. The Council could not possibly leave the matter in better hands than those of Mr. Papillon, who was in touch with the Editor of The Guardian and other papers.

The Rev. H. Law James said there was an article which appeared some time ago in one of the Magazines. He thought that this was the kind of thing that would do good.

The President said this article was the work of Mr. Bulwer. He was himself communicated with, and referred the Editor to Mr. Bulwer.

Mr. Searle said the whole question was to Editors a matter of business. The public had to be catered for. Unless it was done in such a way as to interest the public it would be very difficult to get Editors to take the matter up. At the present day a large space was taken up with cricket and football news. This was because the general public were interested in them. As to the publication of any book, it must be made attractive, otherwise the support of the general public would not be secured.

The Committee were continued.


The President said this was a matter which at the last meeting was referred to the Standing Committee. It had been gone into and the Standing Committee considered it could best be dealt with through members of the Council and through Association Secretaries.


The President said it had been suggested to him that less time should be spent upon reports of committees. But it should be remembered that much of the Committee’s work was of a very important nature, and it was through the committees that the Council had done most of its best work. He thought it would be unwise to cut short consideration of Reports.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 11, 1904, pages 159 to 160


Mr. Snowdon, in re-opening a discussion upon single-handed handbell peals, adjourned from the last Council meeting, said he would remind the Council that as he pointed out last year he was not responsible for this item upon the agenda. The motion which he was now going to move was not his, but he was aware that it was necessary to consider the matter and come to some decision. Every one would agree with him of the beauty of double-handed ringing, and would he was sure be in favour of keeping it up. He remembered some time ago receiving a request to know if single-handed peals would be allowed. He would admit that he put the letter away and the question had not yet been answered. He thought that in coming to a decision the Council ought to consider the circumstances under which a single-handed peal might be rung. Some might say the Council had nothing to do with it. He thought it had. He considered that the Council would do well to countenance such performances, provided they were done under special circumstances. He knew of one instance where it had been the custom to ring a peal at a certain date for twenty-two years. It happened that the tower upon one occasion was under restoration, but the band went and rang a single-handed handbell peal, in order not to lose their annual peal. Such would be permissible. It might be stretching a point, but at the same time the record would remain unbroken. Single-handed ringing was also very useful where a band wanted to practice eight-bell ringing, but only had six in the tower, and it might be that they would have to travel a considerable distance to reach an eight-bell tower. A band who wanted to ring Grandsire Triples on handbells would under such a condition with only six bells in the tower be ringing a peal under special circumstances. Or again, take the case where for various reasons the tower could not be opened for ringing. Here again single-handed handbell ringing would often prove most convenient as a means of practice. The question arose how far would a band be right in ringing a single-handed handbell peal? It was one to be looked at in a broad sense. If permitted - should it be recognised as a peal? - and after all a peal is a peal - if so what number of points ought to be allowed for such a performance? He did not consider it was a performance to be in any way encouraged. At the same time in order that there should be common fairness to all, one had to sink personal preferences and consider if single-handed handbell peals might not be permitted if rung under special circumstances. He moved that whilst the Council did not desire to encourage single-handed handbell peals, it offered no objection when rung under special circumstances.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson, who seconded, said he did so by request. He was not himself a handbell ringer.

The Rev. H. Law James said the question was whether such a performance was a peal or not. If such mongrel compositions as Plain Bob Triples were peals then surely a peal rung single-handed on handbells must be a peal. It must however to be a peal be rung. As an illustration, if some one went into the tower at the Minster and lapped it, that would not be a peal because it was not rung.

Mr. Borrett said the question appeared to have arisen through what took place in his district. There a company were desirous of practising London upon eight bells, but were shut out of eight-bell towers without going some distance. In those days it was not thought that London could be rung double-handed, but recent events had shown that it could. It would be very shabby not to permit a band to score a peal single-handed rung under such circumstances as he had referred to, more especially as they could not possibly accomplish it double-handed.

Mr. King said a single-handed handbell peal was a performance which should rank as a peal, but he did not think that it should rank the same as a peal upon tower bells. If it was a question of points a peal of London double-handed ought to rank above the same single-handed. These horrid points did not commend themselves to him. If the practice was to lead men to go on to higher methods then he had nothing to say against them, and considered that these single-handed performances should, like others, be put upon fair lines.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey considered that three points below those allowed for a peal upon the tower should be allowed for a single handbell peal. A suggestion was made last year that one half should be allowed. This would be difficult, as an odd number of points as seven for Triples were the number now allowed.

The Rev. H. Law James said a double-handed peal was worth two on the tower, and so also was a silent peal rung in the tower worth two others.

The President thought that the discussion had better be confined to the question of single-handed peals.

Mr. Snowdon asked if it was considered desirable that any points at all should be allowed.

The Rev. H. Drake considered that the question of points should be left to the Committee who drew up the original scale of points. They could go into the matter in a more deliberate manner than could be done by the Council. As to encouraging such performances that was another matter. As to the value of points it appeared to him that in a single-handed handbell peal the points given would be chiefly to the conductor, but it was not so in a double-handed peal, which required far more skill than the single-handed peal, and the points given were to the credit of the whole band. Consequently a single-handed peal could not be of the same value as a double-handed peal. He should advise the Council not to have anything to do with the question of points.

The Rev. H. Law James said no sooner did a hitch take place in a handbell peal than it was gone, whereas in ringing a peal on the tower bells the weight of metal helped to keep one right.

Mr. White doubted if a single-handed handbell peal was worth the trouble of ringing. A double-handed peal was so far ahead of any single-handed performance.

Mr. Daniell said there was no getting away from the fact that a peal was a peal.

The President did not think that single-handed peals should be encouraged. True there had been some rung. He had himself done single-hand ringing in teaching a young band, although he was not sure that it was a good mode of instruction. The reason why he did not like it was because you could fumble on after a breakdown. You could start anywhere. This could not easily be done double-handed or on the tower. Single-handed handbell peals were miserable performances. He would suggest that the resolution should be amended to the effect that whilst the Council did not see its way to approve of such peals it is of opinion that Associations are justified in permitting them to be rung under special circumstances.

Mr. Snowdon agreed to this, but was desirous of dealing with the question of points.

The President said it had already been shown that upon the question of points there was a difference of opinion, and that while some did not approve of allowing points at all, others considered there should be half points, which would be difficult, as had been pointed out. He considered that the question of the points should be referred to Mr. Attree and those who formed the Points Committee, and they should be asked to report to the next meeting of the Council.

The Rev. H. Law James thought the number of points should be equal to a peal on the tower.

The President hoped the Council would leave the matter in the hands of Mr. Attree’s Committee.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee suggested altering the resolution so as to read “whilst the Council did not wish to encourage.”

Mr. White moved “that under special circumstances” be struck out.

The Rev. H. L. James seconded.

Mr. King thought the term “discountenanced” as was used in decisions of the Council in 1893 respecting the ringing of a peal on seven bells might be inserted.

The Rev. H. L. James said such peals were not to be recorded.

Mr. King: The sentence is “nevertheless a performance on seven bells without the addition of a covering bell is to be discountenanced.” He thought, however, the word discouraged would be better.

The President thought if a resolution of such a nature was moved and accepted by Mr. Snowdon, as the mover of the original resolution, and Mr. White, the mover of an amendment to strike out special circumstances, it would clear the ground for the Council to come to a unanimous decision.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee moved an amendment “That while it is the opinion of the Council that a peal rung single-handed retained in hand according to old custom is technically a peal, nevertheless such a performance is to be discountenanced.”

Mr. Daniell did not see why there should be so much discussion, when, according to the Glossary the performance under discussion was a peal.

The President said the Council had been asked for three years for a decision on the point. There were people outside who wanted to know. Respecting the Glossary it did not give decisions. The Council were asked for one.

Mr. King seconded the amendment moved by the Rev. H. J. Elsee, which, the original motion being withdrawn, was adopted with only one dissentient.

The Rev. H. Drake moved that the Committee on Points be asked to go into the matter and bring up a report next year as to the number of points that should be allowed, adding to his resolution that in the opinion of the Council one half should be allowed for single-handed handbell peals, as is allowed for peals on the tower.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey seconded.

The Rev. H. Law James considered that the question of points should stand over till next year, and that the whole question of points for handbell peals should be gone into by the Council, and he would give notice of such a motion.

The last part of the resolution having been withdrawn, the Rev. H. Law James gave notice accordingly, and the matter was referred to the Points Committee.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 18, 1904, pages 172 to 173


Mr. H. Dains in moving that a Committee be appointed to classify methods and report thereon to the Council, said they all knew that Double Norwich Major was called Double Norwich Court Bob Major, could they say why it was called Court. Just the same with Treble Bob, but they did not know why it should be “Treble Bob.” As to Surprise methods, what was there in many of them to cause them Surprise. He considered there should be a Committee to go into the matter and report to the Council.

The Rev. H. Law James suggested that if the matter was referred to the Legitimate Methods Committee it would be desirable to add the name of his brother, who knew much about the matter.

The President suggested the re-appointment of the Committee.

Mr. Dains accepted the suggestion and moved accordingly, adding the name of the Rev. E. Bankes James.

Mr. Bennett seconded.

The Rev. H. Drake suggested that Mr. Daniell’s name as one well up in terms be added.

Mr. Daniell disclaimed any knowledge of methods.

Mr. Dains’s resolution was carried.


Mr. Bolland, in moving that forty points be allowed for seven Minor Surprise methods and twenty-five for seven Treble Bob Minor methods with “broken leads,” said that the points as at present allowed for these, viz., twenty-five for seven Minor Surprise methods and fifteen for Treble Bob methods were not at all satisfactory. Each ought, it was considered in fairness to six-bell ringers, to have more. Bobs in a six-bell Surprise method affected the method as much if not more than is the case in Major methods. In Treble Bob methods with “broken leads” would be included Primrose, Tulip, Symphony, College Exercise, London Scholars, London Trebles, Morning Exercise, all of which with many others had the front work more or less broken. Thus there was a reason, and he thought a reasonable one, why more points should be allowed in both cases. Such he thought would be but common fairness to six-bell companies who rang these methods, and upon these grounds he appealed to the Council to support the motion.

Mr. Bennett seconded. He considered that seven Surprise Minor methods were worthy of more points than were now given them. If this was done he considered it would be an inducement to ringers to go in for more Surprise methods.

Mr. Story supported the resolution. As one who had had considerable experience in six-bell ringing he was fully aware of the difference in some of the methods. Seven Surprise methods were worth more points than were at present (25) allowed, and so was seven Treble Bob methods worthy of more than fifteen points.

Mr. Snowdon, in supporting the resolution said a more concentrated effort was required to ring seven Surprise methods than was required to ring an ordinary seven or eight-bell peal. If the mind wandered at all in ringing seven methods it might not only happen that a ringer had to try and remember the work that he was doing, but also the method that he was ringing. The Points Committee very properly took notice of the number engaged in a peal. A large number of points for these six-bell peals would be encouraging to six-bell ringers.

The President asked the meaning of the term “broken lead.”

Mr. Snowdon said in Treble Bob Minor methods with broken leads as many as four bells may come to the lead between the two leads of the treble, and collectively do their work which in Kent and Oxford would be done by the one bell in the slow hunt. In some variations three bells are so employed, and in others only two. For example take Imperial, London Treble Bob and College Pleasure as given in “Standard Methods.”

The President said the Council could not take upon itself to decide the number of points that should be given. This had always been in the hands of the Committee, who could fully weigh the matter. He suggested that the matter should be referred to the Points Committee.

Mr. Bolland expressed a hope that if the suggestion of the President was adopted that a six bell ringer would be added to the Committee.

The Rev. H. Law James said some of the so called Surprise methods were not Surprise methods at all. Several did not come up to the definition of Surprise. After all he did not yet understand the meaning of the term “broken lead.”

Mr. Bolland said the lead was broken by more than one bell taking up the work in front.

The Rev. H. Drake supported the suggestion of the President that the matter should go to the Points Committee. As to the term “broken lead” it was he thought the same as used in the old books as to single or double method. There should be some one upon the Committee who had a knowledge of the history of the method.

The President pointed out that the Committee could be added to.

Mr. Snowdon moved, and Mr. Bennett seconded, that the matter be referred to the Points Committee, and that Mr. Story be added.

The President said he would like to know from Mr. Bolland if it was his desire to recommend that forty points be allowed for seven Surprise methods, and twenty-five for seven Treble Bob methods with the so called “broken leads,” if so it would be for the Points Committee to say how far they could endorse the recommendation.

Mr. Bolland having agreed, the resolution was adopted, Mr. Story being placed upon the Committee in place of Mr. Washbrook.


The Rev. H. Drake moved the following resolution: “That the Central Council recognise as a unit of organisation those societies of ringers which cover as a rule an area not larger than a county, overlapping being allowed on the boundaries of such areas by mutual arrangement. All larger organisations shall usually be considered as federations, and smaller ones as affiliated societies, in neither of which cases need the question of overlapping arise.”

The rev. gentleman said that this was not a subject which was ripe for decision; nor was he prepared to ask them to vote at present on a resolution so worded; but it was a matter which in the near future would press for settlement, and therefore some deliberation on the matter would help them to make up their minds. He was not himself very decided on the matter, and would be prepared to take up another position from that of the resolution should the discussion tend that way. During the last generation their numbers and arrangements for ringing, all over the country, had largely increased, but they were still trying to work with the same old organisations, which were very good twenty years ago, but not so efficient at the present day. Not that the present organisations were not doing good work among skilled ringers, and would not continue to do so in the future. But for the sake of instruction and progress, they now needed to cover the ground more closely. The idea intended by the resolution was that the unit should be reduced. Instead of their present larger organisations grouping several counties on diocesan or larger lines they should have societies which should in no case cover more than an archdeaconry or a county, and usually be smaller. These should be federated when convenient into the present larger societies for a joint, annual, or quarterly meeting. Many societies were trying to meet this need by dividing into branches, but this did not meet the case, as the branches were not sufficiently self contained. He gave several instances of towers which had been trying for more than twenty years to learn change-ringing, but could not get into touch with the present unwieldy Associations; and other instances of the distances covered preventing diocesan Associations doing the work they ought to do on their different borders. He also referred to the loss of valuable ringing power in the fact that those who were learning ringing at the Universities and Theological Colleges could not get into helpful touch with our present overgrown Societies. He hoped that an expression of opinion, another year, by the Central Council, might assist Societies to make such a movement as he had suggested. If so they might (as another development) ultimately look forward to the ground being so covered with such societies that they alone would have the right to send representatives to the Central Council; larger federations being represented through the smaller ones, except in special cases.

Mr. Daniell, who seconded, said he believed that the Yorkshire Association was one of the first to be established, and had in its own area caused an interest to be taken in ringing. So far as diocesan Associations went he did not know why they should confine themselves to diocesan areas. They as churchmen were not baptised to a diocesan area, but baptised into the Church of which they were members. Since many of the Associations were brought into existence a great change had taken place. There were now much greater facilities for travelling than formerly, and the circumstances of the areas had to be considered.

Mr. King did not think that many of the Associations looked upon the Central Council as a fond parent. He doubted if the Central Council had any right to deal with this matter. The Associations had been constituted by the members themselves, and it was little use to interfere. If the members were satisfied with the Associations as they stood let them remain as constituted, and not let the Council seek to bring about a change by an expression of a mere pious opinion.

Mr. White considered that the Rev. H. Drake had used strong arguments against the adoption of his proposal. They had seen how an Association had been cut up into four divisions, and were told that it was not working so well as the larger Associations, yet they were being asked to do the same thing.

Dr. Carpenter thought that the mover of the resolution had hit the nail on the head in suggesting that the Council should not have anything to do with these piteous quarrels. He did not see why there should be these quarrels, if the members would only remember what the Associations were really formed for. Some looked upon Associations as existing simply for what they could get out of them, others simply for peal-ringing, instead of for the welfare of the Exercise and the proper care of the bells and belfries. If members of the Exercise would but keep these facts before them they would do a great deal better. True in some places there was overlapping, but that to a great extent was due to the means of rail communication. Some of the Associations were established upon diocesan lines, but a diocese was not formed on railway lines. All these points should be borne in mind from a common sense point of view. When there was a real friction let the members themselves talk it over and come to some mutual understanding, and he had not the slightest doubt that the friction would disappear. A little common sense would often settle the whole matter. Matters of such a nature should be approached with open minds by both sides and there need be no fear of the result. All should go for the welfare of the Exercise, bells and belfries, which was the true objects of the Guilds, and if they went for the welfare of the Church of which they were members they would get on without troubles.

Mr. Snowdon said the whole question could be weighed up by asking if these quarrels were worth taking notice of. He thought the Central Council was making them all friends, and such quarrels where they existed would, if left to themselves, soon die a natural death.

The Rev. H. Drake pointed out that he had not introduced the term piteous quarrel. He thought good had been done by the discussion, and he would withdraw the resolution, as no good would result from a vote at present.

The Rev. H. Law James thought every Society and Association should be left to manage its own affairs.

The President said Mr. King had summed up the whole question. To go into this matter would be as autocratic as the Irish Land Act. He thought the Council could not do anything but harm in offering such suggestions, or in any way attempting to alter the area of any Association.

The resolution was withdrawn.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 25, 1904, pages 184 to 185


The Rev. C. D. P. Davies (Hon. Secretary), moved that the Council urges upon its individual members the importance of lending the weight of their influence in their several Associations to the adjustment of the geographical boundaries between their own and contiguous Associations, and to any other question tending to promote smoothness of working.

In bringing the resolution forward the Hon. Secretary said it was to some extent upon the same lines as the last resolution which had been gone fully into. If the Council passed the resolution each member would go armed with the weight of the Council’s advice to him personally, and thus much good might be done in bringing the matter, if necessary, before the Associations. As had been stated by the President, it was not within the province of the Council to ask Associations to do these things, but the Council might properly advise.

The Rev. H. Drake seconded.

The President considered this a very wise way to go to work. The resolution had been most carefully drawn.

Mr. King was doubtful if a member of the Council was not the last person in the world whose advice would be acted upon by his Association. It would be, he feared, said that there was some personal interest in the matter. He should however support the resolution.

Mr. Daniell also supported the resolution.

Mr. Snowdon said the resolution was such common-sense that he considered everyone should support it. There were in all Associations times when it was desirable to act quietly. A Secretary might consider it desirable to act quietly in giving advice, and so might a member of the Council. The Yorkshire Association had as near neighbours the Midland Counties, but they had always got on very well together. There were some small societies that belonged to both Associations, but there was no difference between them. All should try and live as peaceful neighbours.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee said there might be cases in which an official might have to act in a most unselfish manner toward his own Association. In his own diocese they had a large Diocesan Association. An application was received for admission from a company, and they were admitted. Then a County Association was formed. By the support and influence of an official this company went to the County Association.

The resolution was adopted.


The Rev. H. A. Cockey moved “That in view of the continuance of the practice of publishing peals under the title of more than one Association, it is desirable to impress upon ringers the necessity of loyally carrying out the resolution passed by the Council in 1893.” In moving the resolution Mr. Cockey said it would be remembered that in 1893 the Council passed a resolution which read as follows: “It is desirable when a band of ringers belonging to more than one Association meet to ring a peal that they should decide beforehand to which Association such peal should be credited, and that for the future no peal should be published under the name of more than one Association.” The resolution as it stood upon the agenda was not his own, and it would be seen that he had slightly altered the last part. There were still a few cases in which peals were published under the name of more than one Association. Why he could not understand. It was contrary to all reason. Let them take the case of a cricket club, football club, or polo club, neither of these would think of publishing a match under the names of two clubs, not because the players all happened to belong to both. Take for instance cricket. It might be possible for a M.C.C. team to be all members say of the Essex Cricket Club, but the team would not think of publishing the match under the heading of the M.C.C., and also of the Essex Cricket Club. Just the same with football or a polo match. Neither would think of publishing the name of more than one club or team. Then why should it be done in ringing peals. If a band were all members of more than one Association and they wish to notify the same in any way, let them publish the peal under the name of one Association and give a footnote that the band were also members of such an Association. The resolution passed in 1893 had been acted upon by some Associations, then why not by all, and so avoid the confusion that must arise.

Mr. Story in seconding thought that the attention of the Editor of “The Bell News” might be called to the matter with a request that he would only publish peals under the name of the first Association that was given.

Mr. Snowdon said the resolution was one not acceptable to the Yorkshire Association. Points for peals were a modern institution. When the Yorkshire Association was formed it was agreed that every peal rang should be placed to the credit of any member who took part. In Yorkshire a big battle had to be fought against prize-ringing, and this recording of peals to a man’s credit assisted them in putting down prize-ringing. In some bands one half would be members of one Association and the other half members of another Association. As to points these should go to the Association, the name of which appeared first. It seemed to him most unfair that a man should not be permitted to score the whole of the peals in which he took part, especially when these were rung, as often was the case, on the border line. He did not think that the Yorkshire Association would agree to depart from what had been their usual practice.

The Rev. H. Drake considered it a matter which should be left in the hands of the Associations, and doubted if the Council had any right to interfere.

Mr. Daniell supported this view.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey said by the practice of publishing under the name of two Associations, there were two incompatible records.

The Rev. H. Law James did not see the harm of this.

Mr. W. Wakley said as Mr. Snowdon had remarked, the Yorkshire Association and the Midland Counties Association were near neighbours, and were on good terms with one another. The Midland Counties Association had been acting loyally in respect to the resolution since it was passed in 1893, but in case of Yorkshire Mr. Snowdon had shown how it was that Yorkshire had scored so many points. He agreed with the mover of the resolution that no man could ring more than one Association peal at one time. To return to the old system of recording under the heads of two or even more names, would be creating confusion. The practice of some not complying with the resolution, was unfair to those Associations who do so.

Mr. King supported the resolution. He thought that in the course of time the practice of recording peals under more than one name would die out. He believed that in the first year after the passing of the resolution, the number of peals recorded under the name of two Associations was far greater than at the present time. This experience showed that in course of time the practice would die out.

Mr. Dains asked if it was the practice to book the same peal by more than one Association. He remembered a Waterloo peal that was rang in which there was a sharp tussle to get it double booked, but it was not.

Mr. King said as a Secretary he had never taken the leavings of other people. He had not booked any peal that had been booked by another Association.

The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore said in his own Association if the name of another Association appeared, the peal was not booked unless the name of the Association was the first.

Mr. Griffin asked if in the illustration given by Mr. Snowdon a peal would be booked if rung by four members of one Association and four members of another.

Mr. Snowdon replied if four members of the Yorkshire Association met four border men and rang a peal, they would expect to book the peal if the four border men were also members of the Yorkshire Association.

Mr. Bennett said in Sussex they did not have any double peals. If the suggestion was made that they should ring a Yorkshire and Sussex Association peal, the attempt would not be made. This was how they managed their affairs in Sussex, and he saw no reason why others should not do the same.

The President said some years ago a peal appeared in “The Bell News” as having been rung as a tribute of respect to some deceased worthy, and also as a birthday compliment to the ringer of the 5th. He would ask the Council to put this in conjunction with what Mr. Wakley said, and it would be seen at once what a state of absurd confusion would arise if the practice went on of calling the same thing by two names.

The resolution was adopted with three dissentients.


The Rev. F. E. Robinson, in bringing forward the question of how many conductors it is desirable to have in a company of ringers, said it was well to encourage some promising young ringer to take up conducting, so as to be prepared with some one in case of illness or absence through any other cause of the conductor. For any conductor not to do this he was acting not only on selfish lines, but it was not a Christian spirit to keep the whole of the conducting in his own hands. Thus it was desirable to have more than one conductor in a company. As to how many it was desirable to have in a peal that was another question. He considered there should only be one. When he had gone into a strange tower and had been asked if he would conduct, he had consented to do so if other people would keep quiet.

The Hon. Secretary said a great change had taken place during the last thirty years. There was a time when there never was more than one conductor in a tower. It was almost impossible to realise what the state of things in respect to conducting was in those days. Conducting was a sort of masonic secret which only occasionally leaked out, and young men had to thrust through obstacles in order to make any progress. Such a state of things had come to an end, and it was rare now to find a company with only one conductor. Everyone should try and learn something of conducting, and obtain some knowledge of the scientific basis of a peal. As to conducting he was at all times thankful to have someone taking part in a peal that was also able to call it. In the case of a late call assistance sometimes could be given which would save the peal. There should in each company be as many conductors as possible. They might not all be able each practice night to call a touch, or call a peal every week, but all should have the opportunity of taking part in conducting as often as possible. It was in towers where there was only two that there was a tendency of selfishness.

The President said the question was one which he had had on the list of subjects for some years, but it had not been brought forward for want of time. It had come under his personal notice that different companies managed in different ways. There appeared to be very few bands at the present day where there were not two conductors. He should like to hear an expression of opinion upon the matter by some of those who had had experience in teaching others. Was it desirable that those who were teaching a band should confine their teaching of conducting to one or two members or not. There was a great deal underlying the question. Some might say that every member of the band should be taught something of conducting. If this was done would they get any of the band sufficient practice to master practical conducting? If on the other hand it was confined to only say two of the band, it may make them reliable conductors, but in their absence the rest are helpless. As to interference in ringing a peal this was not the point under discussion.

Mr. W. Wakley said when in calling a peal there were in the band half-a-dozen others equally capable with himself to conduct, he should feel more certain of the peal. He thought that every young man should be induced to take as deep an interest in the science as he could. The great difficulty in the present day was to get young men to take that interest. Many of them as soon as you attempt to teach them, think they know as much as you do yourself. If the young man who was learning to ring would only ask for some information every time the band met, it would show that he was taking an interest in ringing and he would be making progress, whereas with many of them so long as they got through a touch that was all they cared for. As to conducting he would like to see every member of a band able to call a touch. As to calling peals that was another matter. Let them learn to call touches thoroughly, and when they were sufficiently advanced the comrades of the young man who was efficient would not hesitate to make a start for a peal under his conductorship.

Mr. Bolland said when everyone knew so much of ringing it often proved the loss of the peal. Generally speaking there was one of the band that would come out at the top in everything, head and shoulders above the rest.

Mr. Bennett said he had not taught ringing without teaching something of conducting. It had before now happened that a young band taught how to conduct had upon going out to meetings been able to call a touch when no one else was able to do so. Teaching how to conduct caused the young ringer to take more interest in ringing than he otherwise would do.

Dr. Carpenter thought the more there were in a band able to conduct, the better, therefore he said “let them all come in.” The great ambition of some ringers was to ring a silent peal in which case the whole of the band must be conductors.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey said if as many of the band as possible were taught to conduct, they would be more useful as ringers when they went to other places to live as so many did.

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter said if the whole of the band were taught conducting, the work was not so well done as it might be, if confined to one or two of the band. There was a danger of reducing it to a low level. The question was one of time. Was there sufficient time to make them all good conductors. Is it not better to select those with talent and make the best use?

The Rev. F. E. Robinson moved, and the Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded, that in the opinion of the Council it is desirable promising ringers should be given the opportunity of learning how to conduct.

Mr. S. Reeves and Mr. G. Williams spoke in support of the motion.

The Rev. Maitland Kelly said a few years ago in Devonshire no peal was rung. Last year there were thirty-four peals called by nine or ten conductors. This was through encouraging conducting.

The resolution was adopted.


The President said when the Standing Committee recommended last year that the present meeting should be at York, it was understood that next year the Council should meet at Canterbury.

On the proposition of the Rev. G. F. Coleridge, seconded by the Rev. F. E. Robinson, it was resolved that Canterbury be selected for next year’s meeting.

The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore offered the Council a hearty welcome.

The Resident said it was hinted that the meeting at York - so far north - would be a failure. The large attendance of delegates from the south set an example for those from the north to be present at Canterbury.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson moved and Mr. Snowdon seconded a vote of thanks to the President, which having been duly acknowledged, the meeting terminated.

In the evening a large concourse of ringers met at Mr. Breed’s house.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 2, 1904, pages 196 to 197

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