The third session of the sixth Council was held in the Council Chamber of the Guildhall, Cambridge, on Whit-Tuesday, when there was a large attendance of members as detailed in our issue of June 13th. Sir Arthur Heywood, Bart., President, presided.

After the minutes of the previous meeting had been read and signed, the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Hon. Sec., reported that apologies for non-attendance had been received from the Rev. C. E. Matthews, Winchester Guild, Mr. J. Clark, Hereford Guild, Mr. J. W. Jones, Llandaff Association, and Mr. A. F. M. Stewart, Salisbury Diocesan Guild.


The Hon. Secretary, in submitting the annual statement of accounts, reported as follows: balance from previous year £50 7s. 2d.; affiliation fees £11 12s. 6d.; sale of publications, £4 10s. 4d., making a total of £66 10s. The expenditure included expenses of last year’s meeting £2 7s.; Printing £29 14s. 6d.; postages and sundries £1 1s., being a balance of £33 7s. 6d. The sale of Publications which had brought to the Collection the £4 10s. 4d. was made up as follows: On the Preservation of Bells, 20 copies; Report on Catalogue of Calls, 1894, 21; Glossary of Terms, 28; Model Rules for an Association, 13; Model Rules for a Company, 51; Collection of Peals, section 1, 30; section 2, 20; section 3, 5; Collection of Legitimate Methods, section 1, 63; Rules and Decisions of the Council, 12. Having checked the various items, Mr. Davies said that, allowing the full commission to Messrs. Bemrose, there was now in stock literature which, if sold, would realise a sum of £129 8s. 6d. This, if added to the £33 7s. 6d. in the bank, would make a total of £162 16s.

The President remarked that the accounts had been carefully gone through by the Standing Committee and audited.

On the proposition of the Rev. F. E. Robinson, seconded by Mr. Griffin, the statement of accounts was passed.

The President said he should like to point out how important it was to the Council that as many copies of each publication as possible should be sold; he would therefore recommend that the representatives present should do all they could in getting members of their respective Associations to purchase copies.

The Hon. Secretary said he had the pleasure to announce that the Cambridge University Guild, the Truro Diocesan Guild, Warwickshire Guild had become affiliated to the Council (applause). Cambridge University was represented by Mr. E. H. Lewis; Warwickshire Guild by Mr. A. L. Colman, and Truro Diocesan Guild by Mr. J. C. Daubuz.


The President having pointed out that Hon. Members were elected for three years, said the two retiring on the present occasion were the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, and Mr. Tom Lockwood. The Standing Committee recommended that both these gentlemen should be re-elected. The Council always had the pleasure of Mr. Carpenter’s presence. Mr. Lockwood was a representative ringer of Yorkshire, and had done much work for the Council. He understood Mr. Lockwood was prevented through illness from being present. It would be a graceful compliment to re-elect him. If these two gentlemen were re-elected there would still be four vacancies, if there was any other name which any other member of the Council desired to submit.

On the proposition of the Rev. H. Law James, seconded by the Rev. W. W. C. Baker, the Rev. E. W. Carpenter was re-elected. On the proposition of Mr. W. Snowdon, seconded by Mr. C. Hattersley, Mr. Tom Lockwood was re-elected.


The following representatives were introduced and received by the President: Rev. T. L. Jones (North Wales Association); Mr. E. H. Lewis (Cambridge University Guild); Mr. A. L. Colman (Warwickshire Guild); and the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson (Hon. Member).

The President said he would remind those present how intimately the well-being of the Exercise was connected with the National Church. Last year he pointed out to the Council that the Education Bill was an attempt to deprive Churchmen of their schools, and was therefore a direct attack upon the Church, and if carried, one of the defences of the Church would be swept away. A great deal of credit was due to those Churchmen - and among them were many ringers - who had stood firm and so far saved their Church schools. The sole object of capturing the Church schools was to injure the Church. Last year they were told that this session the Government intended to disestablish the Welsh Church; but they now had it from a member of the Government that no such measure would be forthcoming at present. But let those who desired to preserve the Church, and with it their ringing, continue to stand fast in its defence. Let them be no party to any compromise, which was sure to lead to loss. Those who attacked the Church were fighting with the sharpest weapons. Let them as Churchmen do the same if they desired to protect their National Church (applause).


Dr. Carpenter said he was pleased to say that the third section of the Collection of Peals had been published. This comprised Double Norwich right up to Maximus. There were some errors, and so a list of errata had been printed and would be inserted in each book. Some of the errors were due to the printer, as, for instance, it had been found that if there was a mistake in the calling and this was corrected, the printer, in making the correction, had occasionally made another error (laughter). For other errors there was some excuse, while again others could not be accounted for. It would be seen that the work had been a long time in hand when he mentioned that the first proof was marked December, 1905.

The Hon. Sec. said there was one point Dr. Carpenter had not referred to, and that was how much the Council were indebted to him for the work he had done, especially was this the case during the last two months. There had been considerable difficulty in getting the Collection printed, but at last the difficulty had been overcome. Only five copies had been sold without the list of errata. If the purchasers of these would apply to him, a copy of the errata would be forwarded gratis. There was one false peal, which the Committee regretted, but some of the errors were no fault of the Committee. He thought that in spite of the errata all would acknowledge the work to be as perfect as it well could be. In regard to the work of this committee, he found the work of the Council as much as he could conveniently manage, and although he was willing to assist the Committee for another year, he should like some one to be added to it, and would propose Mr. Trollope, who he was sure would be a most useful member.

Dr. Carpenter seconded, and the resolution was adopted.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson asked why Mr. Willson’s record peal of Double Norwich was not in the Collection.

Dr. Carpenter replied that in the absence of Mr. Dains he was unable to answer the question.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson said he saw Mr. Willson on Saturday, and that he appeared somewhat hurt that a long peal of his composition did not appear. He did not tell Mr. Willson that he should bring the matter forward, but as the Collection was under discussion he considered it only fair to ask the question.

The President said he was sure the Council were grateful to the Committee for the labour that had been spent on the work. It was very annoying to everyone that there should have been so much delay, but now that arrangements had been made with Messrs. Bemrose to do the printing, there would not be the same difficulty as in the past, which had been almost insuperable. It was to be regretted that there were errors in the work, but all would admit that it was almost impossible to get a book of such a complicated character quite correctly printed. He would remind the Council that ringing like many other things was progressing, and however excellent the book might be at the present, tomorrow it would be partially out of date. Dr. Carpenter would tell them that it was the same with medical science. This however did not destroy the value of a book which is the best attainable at the time of its publication. He was sure the Council were grateful to the Committee for the work it had done, and trusted the difficulties they had experienced with Double Norwich would not occur again.

The Rev. Law James had no doubt that if Mr. Dains had been present a satisfactory explanation would have been forthcoming as to why Mr. Willson’s record peal did not appear. Would it not be desirable to give an instruction to the Committee to insert the peal in the next section?

The President said Mr. Dains was unfortunately absent through illness. It might be desirable to draw his attention to the matter. He did not know why the peal did not appear. He saw no reason why the figures of the peal as started for should not have been included in the collection.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson thought some notice should be taken of the peal. He would move that it be an instruction to the Committee to insert the figures of the peal as started for.

Mr. J. Griffin asked if sufficient attention had not already been called to the matter.

The President said the Council had laid down that the figures of a record performance ought to be lodged with some responsible person before starting for the peal. This he believed was done, but the peal through the illness of one of the band was shortened, and was not rung as started for. Was it desired that the figures of the whole peal should be added to the Collection, or those of the peal actually rung?

The Rev. H. Law James suggested that the figures of the peal as started for should be given in the next section, with a footnote as to the shortening.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson consented to make this his resolution.

The Rev. H. Law James in seconding, said such a course would only be fair to Mr. Willson.

The resolution was adopted.


Mr. R. A. Daniell said since this Committee was appointed things had very much changed through the excellent letters which had appeared in The Guardian from Canon Papillon, and which had been published in pamphlet form and sold at a low price. Until the whole of the material could be together, the complete draft report could not be completed. This he hoped the Committee would be able to accomplish during the coming year.


The Rev. H. Law James said this Committee had not been idle during the year. Section I. had been pushed on as decided by the Council last year. The MS. was sent to the Hon. Secretary and put into type, but for some reason the proof did not go round to the Committee. There was one error, and that he thought the only one in the report itself. It was now proposed to go on with Section II. There would be a very large collection, but he submitted that many methods were not worth the trouble and expense of printing. He considered it would be an economy if the Council would sanction the typing of half-a-dozen copies of the complete work, the Council could then keep one copy of the complete collection, there would be a copy for each member of the Committee, and a selection could be made of those methods it was considered worth while to print.

The Hon. Secretary said when he passed the proofs for printing, he was under the impression that Mr. James had consulted the whole of the Committee. He thought that to send a proof to each member of the Committee, to be afterwards returned to the printer, would create confusion, and therefore deemed it best to keep to one proof only, and to have one person only to deal with the printer.

Mr. John Carter said it was not only a question of the second proof going round to the Committee, but he did not get the first draft. He considered it desirable that such a Committee should have a meeting previous to coming to any final decision.

The President said unfortunately Mr. Carter was not present at the Council Meeting last year, when Mr. Law James brought up the Committee’s report, and it was decided to print it.

Canon Papillon said every member of a committee should see everything before it was sent to the Hon. Secretary. He considered such a point rested with the chairman of the Committee. There would be no difficulty if half a dozen proofs were asked for. A copy could then be sent so each individual member of the Committee, and the whole of the corrections could be transferred to one proof, otherwise there would be, as the Hon. Secretary had said, confusion for the printer.

The Rev. H. Law James pointed out that if the suggestion he had made of having the whole of the section typed was adopted the Council would have a complete work for future reference, as it was not intended to type only the portion considered worth printing.

Mr. A. T. King thought it might be well to have an estimate for typing before the question was finally decided.

Mr. G. F. Attree suggested that Mr. James’s proposition should be adopted provided the cost did not exceed £1 or 30s.

The President thought that if this Committee had permission to have its reports typed other Committees might ask for the same power.

Mr. R. A. Daniell considered that this Committee stood upon a different footing to the other Committees, and it would be well to have a complete record of the whole of the section as suggested by Mr. James.

Mr. G. F. Attree proposed, and Mr. Salter seconded, that the Committee be permitted to have the section typed at a cost not exceeding 30s.

The Rev. G. F. Coleridge did not consider it desirable to tie the Committee down to any specific amount.

Mr. G. F. Attree said he was prepared to alter his resolution accordingly.

The Rev. G. F. Coleridge then proposed, and Mr. F. B. Tompkins seconded, that the cost of the type-writing be left in the hands of the Hon. Secretary, subject to decision of the Standing Committee.

The President said it was necessary for the Council to be careful about its expenditure, for its income was limited. The Hon. Secretary was the banker, and if the matter was left in the hands of the Committee, subject to the approval of the Hon Sec., the work could be done when the cost was known, provided the funds permitted.

This was agreed to.

At the afternoon sitting of the Council Mr. John Carter referred to his name appearing as one of the Committee responsible for the Collection of Legitimate Methods, and at his request it was decided that his name be erased from the title page of the section already published. Mr. Carter however consented to remain a member of the Committee.


Mr. A. T. King said the last analysis had been ready since February, with the exception of one matter which had to be referred to the Peal Values Committee. He had now received a verbal reply, and as soon as the official reply came to hand the Analysis would be published. He would take the opportunity of mentioning that there was one peal which came in some months after it was rung which caused much unnecessary work, most of the figures having to be gone through again, which might result in preventing the figures from being so accurate as it was the desire of the Committee to make them.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 27, 1908, pages 194 to 196


Mr. R. S. Story said the question of points for the peal rung at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, by a band of the College Youths on November 11th, 1907, had been referred to the Committee of which he acted as clerical secretary, and the Committee had practically come to a unanimous decision that the points allowed should be 68.

The President said he thought item No. 9 upon the agenda “To discuss the claims of the various methods published under the title of London Surprise Royal” had better be taken in connection with the Peal Values Committee’s report.

Mr. F. G. May said he thought it only right that the Council should discuss the whole question, so that they might come to a definite decision. It was undoubtedly one of the most important items upon the agenda, and he trusted the Council would carefully go into the whole question. He did not consider the method that was rung was anything approaching to London Surprise Royal. If the methods published by the Rev. H. Law James were gone into, what was there either in Mr. Lindoff’s or either of the others which justified their being called London Surprise Royal? If a comparison was made, he had no hesitation in expressing an opinion that there was an entire departure from the method, and such departure debarred either of the methods from recognition as London Surprise Royal. Those able to judge what London Surprise Royal ought to be would agree with him that it should be as nearly as possible an extension of London Surprise Major. What similarity had as yet appeared? Even Mr. Lindoff himself had said that in extending London to ten bells, it is not possible to follow true London all through, but told us what London Surprise Royal should be. After all the correspondence that had taken place, he trusted the Council would come to a decision as to what London Surprise really was.

The Rev. H. Law James said this was a hard subject to talk about. There had been several attempts to produce London Surprise Royal, but who had met with any success? He had himself gone fully and carefully into the whole question, with the sole aim of attempting to get at the truth, and he trusted the day had arrived when the Exercise could go into a controversy of this kind without animosity. Having gone fully into the work of one bell in London Surprise Minor, and followed it through London Surprise Major, the rev. gentleman proceeded to compare the various place-makings in each of the four methods published, illustrating his points by a large diagram. He contended neither of the methods were true London Surprise Royal, and said not only was he prepared to say this, but having gone so thoroughly into the whole question, he had no hesitation in saying that no real London Surprise Royal could be produced.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said he had no desire that this question should not come before the Council. What he did desire was to prevent the Legitimate Methods Committee from becoming a Court of Appeal, to which disputes could be referred, for if once the practice was adopted, who knew where it would end. The one practical question the Council had to consider was: “Does London Surprise Royal exist?” True London Surprise was rung on six and eight bells, but the prestige that surrounded it was so great that if no London Surprise Royal existed, there must be a method that could be acknowledged as such. He had no objection to a compromise. In the present case a certain method had been rung as London Surprise Royal. Could it not be admitted as Lindoff’s variation of London Surprise Royal?

The Rev. H. Law James said if so, he was prepared to produce 100 such variations within a fortnight.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said he made the suggestion in justice to the band who accomplished the peal. In each of the methods published even the Rev. H. Law James’ rules had been broken, therefore why should not others be permitted to do the same. He thought it would be well before the Council struck out such a method, to make sure that they had something better in its place.

Mr. W. L. Catchpole said having a company that had rung Cambridge Surprise Royal, he commenced to look up London Surprise Royal, with the result that he produced the method published under his name. He did not claim any particular merit for it, beyond that it was as much London Surprise Royal as any of the others.

Mr. W. Cockerill said he should like to know if any method was rung in any other part of the kingdom as London Surprise Royal; if so, was it any of those that had been published, or any other? If it was one of the methods that had been published, which was it? It appeared to him that the whole of the methods were about equal, but different bands might have their pet aversions.

In reply to the President the Rev. H. L. James said he was unable to answer the question.

Mr. F. G. May said the Bristol band had started to ring the method published by the Rev. E. Bankes James, and succeeded in ringing about 1000 changes.

The Rev. H. Law James said his brother’s method had two internal places at a cross section; this was not pure London Surprise.

Mr. W. Snowdon said if the matter was to be settled by the Council every point of view should be considered. A method was wanted which had the recognised lead ends. Those methods which had been published did not possess them; therefore a lead-end was produced which was not London. He however had great admiration for the band who rang Mr. Lindoff’s peal called London Surprise Royal.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said there was no such method, neither could there be a method which would prove to be London Surprise Royal. There was no principle by which the method could be extended from Major to Royal or Maximus. If they took Grandsire Triples the bell that took the treble from the lead made 3rds place, and the same could be done in either Caters or Cinques, and thus there was a continuity - but it is not so with London Surprise Royal. It had been suggested that the name London Surprise Royal should be given to those which most resembled a Surprise method. Another suggestion was that the method first rung should have the preference. Who was to decide when doctors disagreed? He did not believe in either suggestion. He looked upon both as unsatisfactory. He did not think that the Council should take upon itself to say which of the methods published most resembled London Surprise Royal. There would be some of the authors, say four or five, who would be offended; therefore he was sure the result would be far from satisfactory.

Mr. G. F. Attree said if there is no London Surprise Royal let the Council say so, and be done with the matter. Let any band who rang any of the methods published call them by some other name. His idea was that it was impossible to have such a method as London Surprise Royal, but he did not think that Mr. Law James had yet got at the bottom of the matter. He, Mr. Law James, had told the Council more that day than he ever told it before, and it was therefore just possible that Mr. Law James would yet be able to produce London Surprise Royal. He did not think that the Council should admit the peal rung to be London Surprise Royal when such a method did not exist. He was fully prepared to support any resolution to the effect that there is no such method as London Surprise Royal.

The Rev. H. Law James said he was as sure as two and two make four that it was impossible for any London Surprise Royal to be produced.

Mr. G. F. Attree moved that the Council declined to adopt any of the methods hitherto published as London Surprise Royal. He believed the Council would be justified in adopting such a resolution, but desired to congratulate the band that rang the peal which had raised the question.

Mr. R. A. Daniell asked if new names could be given to the methods published.

Mr. G. F. Attree said such a course would follow.

The Rev. H. Law James moved that London Surprise Royal does not exist.

Mr. A. J. Trollope seconded.

The President said that Mr. Law James’s resolution could come after that moved by Mr. Attree had been disposed of, if it was thought desirable to move it.

Mr. W. T. Cockerill said the band rang the peal under the impression that it was London Surprise Royal. Therefore it was so called. Now it appeared it would have to be called a variation.

Mr. R. A. Daniell said a variation could not exist if no original existed.

Mr. W. T. Cockerill said the College Youths wanted to book the peal. Apparently it would have to be called “Lindoff’s Variation.”

Mr. J. Griffin asked where the original was.

Mr. G. F. Attree amended his resolution as follows: That the Council declines to recognise any method hitherto rung or published as being entitled to the designation of London Surprise Royal.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett seconded.

The President said it was not all of the Council that could follow Mr. Law James, but undoubtedly Mr. Pritchett had put the whole matter so to speak in a nutshell when he illustrated the work of the bell taking the treble from the lead in Grandsire Triples, and showed how the exactly same work was done in both Caters and Cinques. Double Norwich was on a principle by which it could be extended to Royal or Maximus. The theory was perfect when the whole of the work was in front. He did not consider it desirable to pass any resolution that no London Surprise Royal could exist, for this at present was not sufficiently clear. Who could tell what someone in the future might produce. Mr. John Carter and also Mr. Parker had now shown that there were forty natural courses of Stedman Triples, yet ten years ago Mr. Thompson told them that twenty was the limit. While the Council might decline to admit that London Surprise Royal had yet been produced there was no one who had not the greatest admiration of the band that rang so complicated a method as that achieved at St. Dunstan’s.

The Rev. H. Law James suggested that Mr. Attree’s resolution should be altered so as to read that London Surprise Major was incapable of extension to ten or twelve bells, and remarked that he had examined up to twenty bells.

The Rev. H. Drake moved, and the Hon. Secretary seconded the previous question.

The previous question was carried by 24 Ayes to 21 Noes.

On the proposition of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mr. W. L. Catchpole, It was resolved that the recommendation of the Peal Values Committee, viz., that 68 points be allowed for the peal rung at St. Dunstan’s, was unanimously adopted.


The Hon. Secretary moved that the following note be appended to Rule II. “Note - Here and elsewhere in these Rules the word ‘Member’ should be taken as meaning a ‘Member of Council,’ A ‘Representative Member’ is not necessarily a Member of the Society which he represents.” In moving the resolution, the Hon. Secretary referred to the point raised at the meeting of the Council last year, respecting the continuation of membership on the Council, although the member might have ceased to be a member of the Association or Guild by which he was elected; when it was held that the representative would cease to be a member of the Council. He (the mover) had always held that the Council stood on a somewhat similar footing to the House of Commons. A member of the House need not be even a ratepayer in the division which he represented, and he held his membership so long as that Parliament lasted. There need be no fear as to the working of the resolution, as an Association or Guild would still hold the whip hand, for if it was desired to dispense with the services of a representative for any reason, the subscription for the particular representative could be witheld, and so the member who had hitherto acted would be prevented from coming to the Council; that was of course if the Association or Guild thought fit to adopt such a course after the member had been asked to resign or otherwise asked to cease to represent the Association. He considered every Association or Guild would be well safe guarded.

The Rev. Maitland Kelly asked how a member of the Council could continue to represent a Society of which he was no longer a member.

The Hon. Sec. replied that representatives were elected for a term, which was the life of each Council.

Mr. J. Bradney seconded.

The President said he did not think such a question was likely to arise; at the same time he considered it desirable to adopt the resolution.

The resolution was adopted.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 4, 1908, pages 208 to 209


The Hon. Secretary said there had been considerable correspondence over the question of “points.” Personally he had no particularly strong feeling one way or the other, and had not taken any part in the correspondence. There was no doubt much that could be said on both sides of the question. Undoubtedly the aim should be to make ringing as good as it possibly could be, and he thought that since “points” had been given, there had been an improvement in this direction. Like most things there might be disadvantages, but he thought the advantages outweighed the disadvantages. No doubt “points” were harmless. He thought that those who took an interest in the welfare of the Association or Guild of which they were members, were selfish if they disagreed with “points.” He thought that which conduced to the quality of ringing should be permitted, and that it would be unwise to discontinue “points,” and he moved accordingly.

Mr. R. Story, who seconded, said from a long experience he considered a great deal of success in ringing was due to the system of points.

Mr. J. Griffin said the question to be considered was whether points depreciated ringing or not, and whether they brought about good striking. If the Council desired to have the Analysis, points must be continued. Mr. Attree must have spent hours of labour in preparing it before the matter was taken up by the Council, and he should, he was sure, have the support of the entire Council in expressing their thanks to Mr. Attree for the work he had done. Now that the Council had taken up the Analysis, he considered that points must be retained. The Midland Counties Association were very much in favour of this course, and he trusted that the Association of which the President was a member, might yet come at the top of the list.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said he had not a very strong opinion one way or the other. He had not entered into the correspondence on the lines that some had. The question he thought that required consideration was: do points degrade ringing, and he would ask how could it unless ringing degraded itself? Another question was “overlapping.” It was said that the Rev. F. E. Robinson went over the country ringing peals here and there, but it was not done for the value of “points.” One great thing was to get correct figures to go upon, and he thought there was something to be said for the ringing of peals by local resident ringers. In the Norwich Diocesan Report it appeared that 97 peals out of a 100 were rung by local residents, leaving only 3 per cent. not so rung, which was only a small proportion. If they came however to London no doubt there was considerable overlapping. Unfortunately points did not take into account good or bad striking, neither did points allow for peals rung by a young band. A peal of Grandsire Triples by a young band might be of just as much value as a Surprise peal by an older band.

Mr. E. Barnett said he had no hesitation in saying that “points” for ringing were a mere farce. Ringing should be done for the love of the Art, and “points” should not enter into it at all. He believed almost every London ringer was against the whole thing. The best thing to be done would be to do away with a system which did no good.

Mr. A. T. King said he had no very strong views on the subject, but he thought “points” did encourage ringing. He had put the question before a meeting of some fifty or more members of the Association to which he was Secretary, and not one present had a word to say against it, therefore he could only come to the conclusion that they were satisfied, and he therefore considered it his duty to support their views. He hoped however that no one would be wicked enough to say that he encouraged people to ring peals because of “points,” for peals would be rung, so far as he was concerned, “points” or no “points.” He would admit that the whole thing was in a state of chaos, and wanted revising, for the points allowed did not fit in with one another.

Mr. R. A. Daniell said he agreed with Mr. Barnett, and did not consider there was any real use in “points.”

The Rev. H. Law James said he was of opinion that the introduction of “points” had led to peal-snatching.

Mr. W. L. Catchpole said he failed to see what good “points” were. Certainly they were no encouragement to good ringing, and often no doubt led to peal-snatching.

Mr. A. Hughes said one great objection was that “points” did not tend to bring about ringing which was of interest to the outside public. When “points” were the aim, the ringing might often be indifferent in the striking.

Mr. C. Howard said he believed “points” often led to ringers going about getting the use of towers for peal-ringing and pushing other people out who were living in the district, so snatching a peal for some other Association than that to which the tower was affiliated.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said there was no peculiar value in “points” after all. The Analysis only appeared once a year. Those who objected could easily turn down the page on which it appeared, or pass it over without taking the trouble to look at it. He did not see any very great objection.

The resolution to continue “points” was carried by 33 to 9.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 11, 1908, page 220


The last item upon the agenda was “To discuss the question whether the present fashion of ringing a large variety of methods is responsible for decreased attention to accurate striking, and if so, whether any steps can be taken to encourage greater pride in this respect.”

The Rev. H. A. Cockey in opening the discussion, said although he was not responsible for placing the matter upon the agenda, it was a subject upon which he felt very strongly, for accuracy of striking was not upon the increase. It had been said that they as ringers should remember what effect ringing had upon the general public. Ringers should learn not to be selfish. They should remember that there were people outside who had to listen to what they did; how important therefore it was that there should be in all ringing accurate striking. If opposition to ringing was to be removed, if it was desired to get the general public in favour of church bell ringing, then let there be the best accurate striking, for there was nothing that did more harm to ringing than bad striking. If there was bad striking, the general public could form no idea of the beauty of change-ringing; let them therefore as ringers attach the greatest importance to good striking. Let them take for example a church choir who decided to sing some of the most classical music by some of the greatest composers simply to say that they had sung it, and made the attempt to do so in public without having taken the trouble to practise. What would be the verdict? What would be thought of such a performance. It was the same with too many ringers of the present day, who insisted upon starting for peals in advanced methods in order to enable them to say that they rang a peal in that particular method. Such attempts were, he believed, often made before the band could even ring touches in the method. The agenda asked “whether the present fashion of ringing a large variety of methods is responsible for decreased attention to accurate striking.” He was of opinion that it was. There was a great tendency in the present day for young ringers to attempt to ring advanced methods before they could master good striking, while some young beginners often attempted change-ringing before they were able to strike rounds. All beginners should thoroughly master good striking before going into change-ringing. It ought to be the duty of those teaching beginners not to attempt to reach change-ringing until good rounds could be struck. If this was generally done, he felt sure that the striking throughout the country would be very much improved. Just the same with the young hand who rang his first peal; he should learn to ring the method well before attempting an advanced method, which, when once attempted, he did not content himself with anything less than a peal. Of course no one was going to encourage prize ringing, far from it, but there was something to be learnt in regard to good striking from the manner in which the old prize-ringers rang even rounds. Bells were hung in Church towers. If they could be placed in towers connected with public halls, there might be prize-ringing. What would be thought if church choirs were permitted to make use of the churches for competition in singing. This was not permitted, and prize-ringing for a challenge cup and so forth was likewise out of place. But as he had already said these prize-ringers did strike their bells even if was only rounds, and many a young beginner in the art of change-ringing might well take a lesson from them. While their chief aim should be good striking, there was the higher object which every ringer should have, viz., to ring for God’s glory. The ringer who was careless or indifferent in regard to the striking of his bell, who did not ring his bell to the best of his ability, or who attempted to do that for which he had not had sufficient practice, was not ringing for God’s glory. He felt convinced that if this was the one aim for all ringers, there would be a vast improvement in striking both in peals and touches.

Mr. J. Griffin said Mr. Cockey had made some comparison between ringers and choirs. There was the festival of the three choirs, when a charge was made for every seat.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey said he did not object to that.

Mr. R. A. Daniell said this was for a charity.

Mr. C. H. Hattersley said he did not consider that the striking in the present day was so good as formerly. Good striking was of far more importance than a number of methods. It was not only the effect that bad striking had upon the general public, but it led to dishonesty. There were peals sometimes recorded which were a fraud upon the Exercise. This matter was well put by the President last year at Exeter, when be said: “If many who took part in peals would have the honesty inside the tower that they had when outside listening to other ringers, there would be a great improvement and not so many unworthy peals recorded.”

The Rev. H. Drake said he took exception to one point referred to by the opener. When a young beginner had been taught to handle a bell he should at once be started in change-ringing, and a few changes would materially help in getting into good striking.

The Rev. M. Kelly said there might be much difficulty in getting good round-ringing, but to start at once into changes would often be a difficulty as regarded getting good striking. He agreed there was much to be learnt from the old west country prize-ringers, for many of them would ring for half an hour without a false blow.

Mr. R. A. Daniell said the young beginner of the present day started upon entirely different lines to that of the young beginner of past years, for now there were far more young bands than formerly. In days gone by the beginner found himself placed with a band all of whom could already ring, and he had to quickly learn good striking, otherwise the band would not have him, and he stood no chance whatever of becoming a ringer. All this was now changed; many young beginners starting as a band upon eight bells at once.

Mr. W. Snowdon said the suggestion made by the Rev. H. Drake was one he could not agree with, for he considered it utterly useless. The beginner should first be taught to strike well and in measured time before attempting changes. It was ringing to time that every beginner should have drilled into him first, and then there might be some prospect of his becoming an efficient ringer.

Mr. A. T. King said he did not think that the opener of the discussion had gone sufficiently to the root of the matter. It would be admitted that much of the striking was not what it ought to be. Let them however remember some of the causes that helped to prevent good striking besides those which Mr. Cockey had referred to. Bells are false, and in many cases it took time to get used to them so as to be able to produce anything like even striking. As to the general public, many rural parishes were proud of their local ringers, and if they did not ring well they soon heard of it.

Mr. G. F. Attree said he did not approve of any attempt to degenerate ringing, but rather would he support an effort to improve it. There might in some cases be worse ringing than formerly, but there was also good ringing still; also there were now fifty bands to one formerly, besides the fact that many of the bands of the present day were composed chiefly of new ringers. So far as the striking was concerned, if some of the bands had existed formerly, and under the same conditions, he did not think their striking would have been any better or even so good as that of the present day. As to London Surprise peals he thought those were often well struck, and he had been wondering wherever Mr. Cockey had been to hear such bad striking.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey said be neither rang, nor had heard the method rung.

Mr. A. T. King said these advanced methods required more care. A ringer had to devote more time, and had more interest in the working of the bell he rang; and was therefore more likely to strike his bell to the best of his ability. As for the public, did not a large majority say they wished the bells were not rung at all? He had listened to good ringing and had heard some of the public say what a jolly row the bells had made.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said one cause of bad striking was that the same man did not always ring the same bell - where this was done, the striking was often much better. There was also the condition of bells which made it more easy to ring in some towers than in others.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said according to the Daily Mail, there was to be no more bell-ringing (laughter), for the Pan Anglican Congress was going to pass a resolution to put a stop to it. He thought that where objections existed to bell-ringing, it was due in a large measure to bad striking.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee said one of the rules of the Pan Anglican Congress was that no resolutions were to be submitted to any of the meetings (laughter).

The President said the subject was an important one. He was afraid the point which was intended had in a large measure been missed. He had placed the item upon the agenda because a large majority of peals were badly struck. It appeared to have been overlooked that perfect striking was perfect pleasure in ringing. How different was a peal rung under these conditions, and a peal rung in the more usual way. It was not so much a question of throwing blame upon those who rang the advanced methods, as that there was less accuracy of striking than there should be. He was afraid that a great deal of the old pride of having good striking had died out, whether it was in advanced methods or not. As to the public, none of them knew what method was being rung, and even many of the Exercise could only tell if the tenor was turned in or not. There was not one ringer in ten that could stand outside a tower and tell you what method was being rung; how then could you expect the general public to have any knowledge or to understand ringing. Yet how many of the public there were that loved their old parish church bells, and were ready to do all they could to preserve them. He attached the great importance to good striking just as many of the old ringers of the past day did, who were very severe upon bad striking. There was not then much chance for the beginner if he did not quickly make signs of progress in the art of striking. Another point which should be remembered was the great improvement that had taken place in many towers. There was now a far larger number of towers where the bells went well than in the days of their forefathers. All this should lead to improved striking.

The Rev. A. H. Boughey suggested that a resolution calling attention to the need of more accuracy in striking should be passed.

This was agreed to, and the following resolution was adopted: “This Council desires to call the attention of Associations generally, and of conductors in particular, to the desirability of encouraging the greatest possible accuracy in striking.”


Mr. J. S. Pritchett asked if a copy of the agenda could not be sent to each member of the Council, as some did not get their copy of “The Bell News” till late.

The President referred to Rule XII., and pointed out that it was an economy to have the Agenda published in “The Bell News.” He had not found any difficulty in getting a copy, by having it direct from the publishers.


The Hon. Sec. moved, and Mr. R. S. Story seconded, a vote of thanks to the Dean of Trinity for the excellent arrangements made.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson proposed, and the Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded, a vote of thanks to the President and Hon. Sec., and the meeting closed.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 25, 1908, pages 243 to 244


Note A. The ringing of this peal by members of the Ancient Society of College Youths is unquestionably a performance of very great merit; but the Central Council, for reasons which will appear in the report of their proceedings for 1908, have declined to allow the peal to be registered as London Surprise Royal. They have, however, accepted the Report of the Points Committee, and awarded 68 points for the peal, which sufficiently indicates the difficulty of the method, by whatever name it may be called hereafter.

The peals in Plain Methods comprise: Bob Royal 4; Bob Major 84; Oxford Bob Triples 7; Bob Triples 2; Stansted Triples 2 (now rung for the first time); Penning’s Triples 1; Darlaston Bob Triples 1; Union Triples 1.

The peals of Doubles are comprised in the following statement:-

Bath and Wells1411----16
Central Northants.4------4
Ely Dio. Gld.--2----2
Gloucester & Bristol2------2


The 50 peals rung by Independent Societies are thus distributed, viz.: Bedfordshire 5; Berkshire 2; Buckinghamshire 1; Cambridgeshire 1; Edinburgh 1; Essex 1; Gloucestershire 4; Hertfordshire 1; Lancashire 3; Leicestershire 2; Lincolnshire 1; Middlesex 5; Nottinghamshire 1; Oxfordshire 6; Staffordshire 2; Surrey 4 ; Sussex 4; Warwickshire 2; Worcestershire 3; Yorkshire 1. Total- 50.

The greatest number of changes in one peal was 7392 Double Norwich Court Bob Major rung by the Winchester Diocesan Guild. One other peal contained over 7000 changes; four peals were over 6000 changes; and under 6000 changes there were 1332 peals.

The 154 peals of Treble Bob were rung as follows: in the Kent Variation- Maximus, 5; Royal, 13; Major, 119; and in the Oxford Variation- Major, 17.

The 266 peals of Grandsire Triples were: Holt’s Original 54; Holt’s Six-part 1; Holt’s Ten-part and Variations 74; Parker’s Twelve-part and Variations 37; Parker’s One-part 1; Parker’s Five-part 1; Parker’s Six-part 6; Taylor’s Bob-and-Single 24; Carter’s (including his twenty-four part rung for the first time) 17; Hollis’s Five-part 10; Rev. C. D. P. Davies’ peals- Five-part 6; Ten-part 5; H. Moore’s peals 6; Vicars’ peals 4 ; other peals 20.

The 279 peals of Stedman Triples are accounted for thus: Thurstans’ One-part 10; Thurstans’ Four-part and Variations, 244; Thurstans’ Five-part, 2; Carter’s peals, 10; Lindoff’s peals, 5; Washbrook’s peals, 3; Lates’ peals, 2; Heywood’s peals, 2; Martin’s peal 1.

Conductors of four peals and upwards were: Rev. F. E. Robinson, 78; William Pye, 44; Frank Bennett, 38; James Motts, 28; Clement Glenn, 24; Robert Matthews, 23; Alfred H. Pulling, 21; John H. Cheesman and George Williams, 18; James E. Davis, 17; Charles R. Lilley and Bertram Prewett, 14; William Short, 13; Keith Hart, James Parker and Arthur E. Pegler, 11; Charles F. Bailey, William Fitchford, James E. Groves, and W. S. Smith, 10; Thomas Groombridge, Geo. Holifield, sen., Benjamin A. Knights, and Geo. N. Price, 9; Edwin Barnett, sen., Chas. W. Clarke, George Cattermole, John Flint, and Arthur Knights, 8; William H. Barber, Edwin G. Buesden, David Elliott, Lewis S. Griffith, Joseph Griffin, Geo. Hughes, Walter Large, Geo. R. Pye, John R. Sharman, Challis F. Winney, Sidney Wade, George Wightman, and Albert Walker, 7; Arthur Edwards, Arthur Latham and Sam Thomas, 6; John Austin, Harry Chapman, John Carter, Frederick W. Dixon, Geo. F. Hoad, John W. Jones, Ernest C. Lambert, Joseph A. Lambert, Geo. R. Newton, Albert Phillips, Alfred Rowley, and Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, 5; Harry Barton, Fredk. Borrett, Geo. Billennness, James Hunt, Herbert Knight, William H. Lawrence, Gabriel Lindoff, Walter Perkins, Philip H. Pierce, W. T. Pegler, William J. Prescott, James H. Ridyard, Joseph Ridyard, Fredk. W. Stokes, Fredk. W. Thornton, Fredk. R. Tullett, sen., William Watts, and Edgar Wightman, 4. In addition to these, 38 persons conducted three peals; 103, two peals; and 259, one peal, making a total of 477 persons who acted as conductors during the year. A peal of Stedman Triples rung at Wolverhampton on October 12th, 1907, was conducted by Mr. Herbert Knight, blindfolded.

The number of peals rung on church bells was 1309; on handbells, 30.

Two peals were found to be false, after publication; and they are therefore excluded from this Analysis.

The following is a summary of the peals rung on handbells:

Kent Treble Bob Maximus1
Kent Treble Bob Major1
Oxford Treble Bob Major1
Grandsire Caters1
Grandsire Triples7
Bob Major7
Bob Minor1
Bristol Surprise Major*3
Stedman Caters4
Stedman Triples3


*First peal in the method on handbells.

The 1339 peals rung are 26 more than last year; but they fall short by 180 of the record year, 1905. They were distributed as follows; January 106; February 113; March 86; April 132; May 111; June 103; July 64; August 90; September 124; October 118; November 152; December 140.

Note- In reckoning points for peals, those over 7000 and under 10,000 counts as two peals; over 10,000 and 12,000 changes count as three peals, and so forth.

The following Table gives the first twenty Societies and their relative positions since 1895.

1Middlesex County Association-2518941111211
2Norwich Diocesan Association459566222122
3Kent County Association778334469333
4Midland Counties Association3866131113105554
5Oxford Diocesan Guild132112348865
6Lancashire Association1045778141922986
6Yorkshire Association6911814121293447
8Worcestershire and Districts126310151821202317148
9Winchester Diocesan Guild9141215101316231815109
10Sussex County Association21125373771710
11Essex Association161110129109866711
12Herts. County Asso.25191318201481212131612
13Staff. Archd. Soc.152117131919171825212113
14Surrey Association142016171221181613182314
15St. Martin’s Gld, Bir.2113201687111115121915
16Anc. Soc. Coll. Yths.524425554101116
17Durham and New. Ass.81819311816101310111217
18London County Asso.403437352734322821192018
19Royal Cum. Yths.111723242223202519231819
20Cent. Northamp. Ass.181014141615221414162220

The number of peals rung annually since the publication of “The Bell News” are shown by the following Table.

Grand Total- 23,308.
Charles E. Borrett.
Joseph Griffin.
Arthur T. King.
J. Armiger Trollope.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record September 5, 1908, pages 316 to 317

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