Your Committee has debated and wishes to bring forward for further discussion by the Council some points in connection with the following questions, viz.:-

1.- Peals in fourteen Surprise methods.

2.- A “complete” peal of only 5025 changes in Triples.

3.- The number of points to be apportioned to Original Major.

4.- The legitimacy of Double Oxford Bob Triples.

5.- New Cambridge Surprise.

6.- Shipway Major and the Forward method.

7.- To discuss a proposed system for plain Minor methods in Treble Bob methods or Surprise peals on 6.

On behalf the Committee,
R. S. Story.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record May 22, 1909, page 157


From the list of members present at the Council Meeting held at the Church House on Whitsun Tuesday, as given in our issue of the 5th inst., it will have been seen that there was a very large attendance. The proceedings commenced by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies announcing that only one nomination had been received for the post of President, and that he need not, he was sure, state that it was Sir Arthur Percival Heywood, Bart. (applause).

The Rev. F. E. Robinson said he had great pleasure in proposing Sir Arthur as the President. He had no hesitation in saying that the longer Sir Arthur presided over the Council meetings, not only did the Council know him better, but through his tact and judgment the more the Council admired him.

Mr. W. T. Cockerill seconded.

The resolution having been carried with acclamation,

Sir Arthur P. Heywood, upon taking the chair, said he was very grateful to his old friend for putting his name before the Council. His aim would be to give every question full consideration, and he valued the confidence reposed in him by the Council. He had at all times endeavoured to discharge the duties to the best advantage for the Exercise, and so he should in the future. He could not do otherwise than express his pleasure, and he believed the joy, of the whole of the members of the Council, that they had among them that day in renewed health, the gentleman who had so kindly proposed him as President. On behalf of the Council he trusted that the rev. gentleman’s ambition to ring 1000 peals of Stedman would be accomplished (applause). Proceeding to the election of an Hon. Secretary, the President said there had been but one nomination, and that was the Rev. C. D. P. Davies. He, the President, was perfectly certain that the Council could not have a more efficient Secretary, and if the Council should lose Mr. Davies at any time it would be very difficult to fill the vacancy (applause).

The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore proposed, and Mr. S. Reeves seconded the election of Mr. Davies, which was unanimously carried with applause.

The Hon. Secretary said he was extremely grateful to the members of the Council for the manner in which his name had been received, and for re-electing him as Hon. Secretary. It had been a real pleasure to him to do the work of the Council in the past, and he trusted, as he should do his best to discharge the duties in the future, to have the support of all (applause).


The Hon. Secretary reported that the balance from last year was £33 7s. 6d.; Affiliation fees £12.; Sale of Publications £4 9s. 7d., making a total of £49 17s. 1d. The expenditure included expenses of the Cambridge meeting, £2 14s. 6d.; Printing, £2 17s. 10d.; Postages and Stationery, 19s. 4d.; Expenses of Committees, 5s. 1d.; leaving a balance of £43 0s. 4d. The Publications in the hands of Messrs. Bemrose, would if sold, after deducting commission, realise £133 7s. 2d.; thus making the total balance to the Council’s credit £176 7s. 6d. The sales during the year had been:- Preservation of Bells 16; Report on Catalogue of Peals and Calls, 14; Glossary, 19; Model Rules for an Association, 10; Model Rules for a Company, 37; Rules and Decisions of the Council, 11; Bells, Belfries, 4; Collection of Legitimate Methods, 31; Collection of Peals, section I., 20; Collection of Peals, section II., 18; Collection of Peals, section III., 47.

On the proposition of the Rev. F. E. Robinson, seconded by the Rev. G. F. Coleridge, the accounts, which had been audited by the Standing Committee, were passed.

The Hon. Secretary announced that he had received expressions of regret for absence from the Revs. H. E. Tilney Bassett, and Canon Papillon, and from Messrs. C. E. Borrett, A. L. Coleman, and W. Snowdon.


The President said the number of Hon. Members who went out of office was larger this year, because it was a new Council. If it was desired that these gentlemen should continue to be Hon. Members, it would be necessary that they should be re-elected. The names were Messrs. G. Williams, J. Carter, Rev. C. D. P. Davies, J. A. Trollope, J. S. Pritchett, and J. Pettit. It had been suggested that Mr. C. E. D. Boutflower should be added to the list; if so, this would make twelve Hon. Members. There would still be three vacancies, which it was desirable should not at present be filled.

On the proposition of Mr. J. Griffin, seconded by Dr. Carpenter, the six retiring members were re-elected.

On the motion of Mr. J. S. Pritchett, seconded by Mr. H. Dains, it was resolved that Mr. C. E. D. Boutflower be elected an Hon. Member.


The following new members were introduced to the President: College Youths- Messrs. F. Dench and J. W. Rowbotham; Cumberlands- F. Bennett; Chester Diocesan Guild- Messrs. J. Moloney and F. T. Spence; Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association-W. Story; Ely Diocesan Association- Rev. J. M. Clarkson; Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association- Messrs. J. Austin and W. A. Cave; Kent County Association- T. Groombridge; Lancashire Association- J. H. Banks; Leeds and District Society- J. Broadley; Lincoln Diocesan Guild- J. W. Seamer; London County Association- T. H. Taffender; Middlesex Association- Messrs. J. R. Sharman and W. Pickworth; Norwich Diocesan Association- G. P. Burton; Sussex County Association- Messrs. G. H. Howse and R. J. Dawe; Worcestershire and Districts Association- J. R. Newman; Yorkshire Association- C. Glenn.


This Committee was re-elected as follows, viz.-The President and Hon. Secretary, with the Revs. H. A. Cockey, G. F. Coleridge, F. E. Robinson, and Messrs. H. Dains, R. A. Daniell, J. Griffin, R. S. Story, and W. Snowdon, with the addition of the Rev. H. Law James, and Mr. W. T. Cockerill.

Dr. Carpenter asked if was correct Mr. R. S. Story was in a bad state of health.

The President said he regretted to say that he had been informed by Mr. W. Story that his brother was very ill. He was afraid there was not much hope of Mr. Story returning to his old place upon the Council, although it was earnestly hoped that as an old and useful member he might recover and be able to come among them again. It had been the practice of the Council in other cases to hold on to an invalided member, in the hope that he might be able to return to the Council. He, the President, had already expressed to Mr. Story’s brother his regret at learning of Mr. Story’s illness, and he would venture now to do so on behalf of the Council, as he was sure every member desired to express his sincere sympathy with Mr. Story.

Congratulations to the Long Peal Band.

The President said: In the name of the members of the Council he desired to offer their heartiest congratulations to the band that on Easter Monday rang the long peal of Stedman Caters at Loughborough (hear, hear). He had taken steps to satisfy himself that it was a most excellent peal. He did not have the opportunity of hearing the peal, as he was engaged elsewhere, but there was no question that it was a very fine peal from beginning to end. In this matter there could be no jealousy, and he desired to tender the band the hearty congratulations of the Council. He thought the Exercise in general might well be proud that there was a band capable of carrying through a performance of such a character (applause).

Place of Meeting Next Year.

The President said there had been an understanding that next year’s Council meeting should be at Manchester. If this was done it been suggested that the following year the Council might go to Leicester or Nottingham.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee said if the Council decided upon having its next meeting at Manchester he could promise a most hearty welcome. They had in Manchester two rings of ten, two or three rings of eight, and two rings of twelve near at hand, while at the Town Hall was one of the heaviest rings in the world. He could promise that, if the Council did them the honour of a visit, the Lancashire Association would see that the Council had a most hearty welcome. He would therefore move that next year’s Council meeting be held at Manchester.

The Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded.

The resolution was adopted.


Mr. J. A. Trollope said that upon the completion of the peals of Double Norwich, the Committee took in hand Treble Bob, of which Mr. Tom Lockwood sent in a large collection. The Committee asked for peals, with the result that peals came in from a large number of composers, and the Committee had now got together a very large and valuable collection of Treble Bob peals, which however it was not thought necessary should include those which appeared in Jasper Snowdon’s book. The Collection was so large, that it extended far beyond any section already published, which was only just what might be expected, as Treble Bob is a method in which so many peals can be obtained. The list had been classified. Some of the peals had been reversed, but not all. If a peal when reversed was better than the original, then the reverse was given. The aim of many composers was to get the 5th and 6th the extent. The Committee had aimed at those peals in which the 2nd was kept from the tenor. The question which the Committee desired to have answered was what is to be done with the Collection. There were three ways it could be decided. One would be to make a selection; another that the whole should be printed; while a third way of dealing with the matter would be to publish it in sections. To attempt to make a selection appeared to him to be unsatisfactory, as the very peals which some would consider to be good peals might be left out, while some might be put in of which there would be people ready to say that they ought not to have been included, and so no satisfaction would be given. By the publication of the entire Collection those who had Snowdon’s book with the Collection would have a complete record of the whole of the peals of Treble Bob. Treble Bob was a method that a large number of composers had taken in hand. It was simply amazing what a variety of peals could be obtained. He thought that as it would be so large a collection, it would be best to publish by instalments. This way would not come so heavy upon the Council in one year as if printed all at once. He considered the thanks of the Council were due to Mr. Lockwood for the very careful manner in which he had done the work. He had himself checked the whole of it, and he did not think that he had found a dozen mistakes. Treble Bob was not what it formerly was in the estimation of a good many ringers, but he sincerely hoped it would not be permitted to die out. There was no Major method which, in practising, led to such good striking as Treble Bob. He had heard some good Surprise peals rung, but he did not think these were equal to what Treble Bob might be, which made a man learn good striking. He trusted that Treble Bob ringing would not lapse. If ringers only kept up its practice he was sure that the collection of peals when published would be of great value to them in the future. He would therefore move that the Committee have power to publish the Collection in instalments.

Dr. Carpenter, who seconded, said Mr. Trollope had been speaking of the work of the Committee, but Mr. Trollope had done the bulk of it; in fact, speaking from personal knowledge, it was wonderful the work Mr. Trollope had done.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said he thought the Committee should have power to print in instalments as they thought best.

The Hon. Secretary said it was a question of expense. Would the Council fix a sum which the Committee might spend this year; if so, a portion of the work could be put in Messrs. Bemrose’s hands.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey asked if it was necessary to keep to one firm. There were other printers.

The President said Messrs. Bemrose held the Council’s stock of publications, and it was very essential for some good firm upon which the Council could rely should be the publishers. It was a firm which could be relied upon for doing the work well and promptly, and a firm which did other printing in connection with ringing besides that for the Council. It was a valuable stock of literature, and was best in safe hands.

The Hon. Secretary suggested that sanction should be given for an expenditure of £15.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett proposed that the Committee have the power in accordance with the suggestion made by the Hon. Secretary.

The President said he thought it would be better to leave the matter in the hands of the Hon. Secretary in conjunction with the Committee. The Hon. Sec. was at all times very careful of the funds of the Council, and would, he was sure, take all precaution in this as in other matters.

Mr. H. Dains said he was not favourable to printing the whole of the peals. As to the suggestion to print in instalments he did not think it should go beyond two, and in that case only so far as the funds of the Council permitted.

Mr. A. T. King said it should not be forgotten that there were collections of other methods to come up which no doubt other ringers were looking for, therefore it was desirable that the publication of the Treble Bob Collection should not be delayed longer than possible.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said he did not see how more than one section could at present be done. To get the whole in order there was a year’s work, and he did not see much advantage in printing the whole of the Collection at one time.

The Hon. Secretary said it might be best to print by instalments, although the whole would come in one section finally. If this was done the work could go on as the funds of the Council allowed.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said the whole of the Collection complete would cost £50. The Council should bear in mind what Mr. Trollope said as to the time that the work would take.

Mr. J. S. Banks said Treble Bob was inexhaustible. How long was the work to go on? There would be new peals composed.

The Hon. Secretary said this depended upon the instructions of the Council to the Committee, and also as to printing the whole of the peals.

The Rev. H. Law James said if the figures were omitted and only W B M H inserted for the calling, the printing would only cost half what it otherwise would do.

A question having been raised as the original instruction to the Committee, reference was made to the same, which, by resolution 1901, reads that the Committee be authorised to issue a complete collection of the best and most characteristic peals in each method, not necessarily excluding those that have been already published, and a further resolution 1902 authorises the publication of the Collection in instalments, the selection to be left in the hands of the Committee.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett (whose previous resolution was not seconded), moved that the Committee have instructions to publish the Collection by instalments.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson said Mr. Trollope had not gone into the proving of the peals. Any one who had done any proving knew how easy it was for mistakes to be made. There were plenty of ringers who would be willing to help in the proving, which was very necessary. He for one should be glad to help.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said he went to the Cambridge meeting with the intention of moving such a resolution, but as he was put upon the Committee he kept his mouth closed (laughter). If the whole of the peals were to be proved, it would not be possible to do the work. Many of the peals had been rung and appeared in the Annual Report of the Association that rang them, and these were generally taken to be true. The number of false peals in Treble Bob was very small. Jasper Snowdon found it impossible to do the proving. He was afraid he should never be able to get through the work.

Mr. N. J. Pitstow said Jasper Snowdon sent him his five and three-part peals to prove.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson said he saw there was a difficulty, but he did not think it should be looked at in that way. The whole of the peals ought to be proved for the benefit of the Exercise, and for the future. The Council had no right to publish false peals. The thanks of the Council were due to Mr. Trollope and the whole of the Committee for the work they had already done, but it should be carried a little further, nothing should stand in the way of making sure that the whole of the peals were true, let the difficulty be great or otherwise. The work of proving should not be left undone, because there was some difficulty in the way.

Mr. J. Griffin seconded Mr. Pritchett’s resolution.

The President said this might be added as a rider to the original resolution moved by Mr. Trollope.

The Rev. H. Law James moved, and Mr. H. White seconded, that the calling be printed without the figures.

The President said such a proposal might save money, but, as the members of the Council knew, it would be almost impossible to print a collection of peals in such a way without some mistakes. The Council should take the precaution to do everything it possibly could to avoid any errors.

The Hon. Secretary suggested that a table of course-ends should be given, and each one numbered, and the number given in order to obtain the course-end and so save expense in printing.

Mr. Trollope said there had already been a lot of work done, and proving would cause a lot more to be necessary.

Mr. C. Hattersley said if the collection was printed without course-ends, it was not every conductor that would be able to make use of it - as if the course-ends were given. To get a book which they did not understand, would lead them to put it on one side as of no use. The course-ends and the calling should both be given.

The President said it should be remembered that the Collection was intended for the future, and to be a reference work to the Exercise. The aim of the Council was not to make money by its publications, but to do that which it was hoped would be of lasting benefit.

The Rev. H. Law James withdrew his resolution.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson said he would move that the Council is of opinion that all peals published in its name should be carefully proved before publication. Treble Bob had its history, and would, he believed, remain a historic method in the future as it had been in the past.

Mr. J. W. Taylor seconded.

The Rev. H. Law James said this was already provided for.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said he understood that the Committee were not expected to undertake the proving of the peals. It was for those who sent them in to do so.

The Hon. Secretary said he proved the peals of Grandsire Triples that were sent in to him. The late Mr. Bulwer said that the collectors who sent the peals to the Committee should be responsible for their truth.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson said if the Committee were not responsible to the Council, the Council ought to make them so. He had already offered himself to help in the proving, and had no doubt many ringers would be willing to assist. Failing the Committee not having sufficient help more could be obtained through “The Bell News.”

The Rev. H. Cockey said the peals published in the Bristol and Gloucester Association book had been proved.

The Hon. Secretary said his Association did not make themselves responsible for the peals published.

The Rev. H. Law James said the Lincoln Diocesan Guild did so.

The President said Mr. Trollope had told the Council that the peals of Treble Bob were composed by those who understand their business, and not by beginners who gave the Exercise so many false peals in simpler methods. Whatever pains might be taken there were sure to be some false peals in the Collection. Some could be avoided, but not all. Mr. Trollope considered the number of false peals was already reduced to a minimum, because they were composed by men who knew their business.

Dr. Carpenter asked how many peals there were in the Collection.

Mr. J. A. Trollope replied that he could not say the total. There were 100 peals of Maximus.

The Hon. Secretary said there were over forty copy-books full.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said there were sixty-five books.

The amendment moved by the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson was put to the meeting, and carried by 26 votes to 9.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett suggested that the amendment should be taken as an instruction for the Committee, and left for the Committee to carry out they best way they could.

The Rev. H. Law James suggested that as many ringers as there were copy books should be asked to take one each, and the work would be done.

Mr. C. H. Hattersley said be doubted if there would be 65 men in the Exercise who could prove the peals.

The Hon. Secretary said the Committee could proceed to deal with the first portion if Mr. Richardson would find sufficient help to proceed with the proving.

A member having suggested printer’s proofs should be first obtained,

The Hon. Secretary said there would be a number of corrections, and these beyond the printer’s own would have to be paid for.

Mr. J. Griffin said that the printer would also charge for keeping the type standing, unless the proving was done very promptly.

The Rev. H. Law James said the best course would be to send the whole of the MS. on to Mr. Richardson, and he could send on to all those that would assist in the proving. He was willing to do his share (hear, hear).

The President said it would be best to adopt Mr. Pritchett’s recommendation, viz., that the Committee have power to proceed with the work, after carrying out the amendment moved by Mr. Richardson.

Mr. Pritchett’s resolution was adopted.

On the proposition of the Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, seconded by Mr. King, the Committee were re-elected as follows: The Hon. Secretary, Dr. Carpenter, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, and H. Dains.

On the proposition of Dr. Carpenter, seconded by the Rev. F. E. Robinson, it was resolved to add the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson to the Committee.

The President: That is a punishment for Mr. Richardson (laughter).

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record June 26, 1909, pages 218 to 220


Mr. A. T. King read the following as the Report of the Peals’ Analysis Committee.

Your Committee beg to report that the Peal Analysis for 1908 was duly completed and delivered to the Editor of “The Bell News” on March 10th, 1909. Up to the time of writing this Report, however, the Analysis has not yet been published. Several questions arose in the compilation of the Analysis, necessitating a reference to the Points Committee, and the following letter was addressed to them by our chairman, asking for information and guidance.

The Analysis Committee having been favoured, after the first round of replies received from the Points Committee, with the views of its members, were enabled to make provisional arrangements for dealing with the questions involved in the above communication.

1.- It was agreed that the 10,080 changes in fourteen Surprise Methods had yet to be rung, and that therefore we could only deal with the peal as having been rung in fourteen Treble Bob methods.

2.- It was agreed that the Johnson’s peals of 5025 Triples must be excluded from the Analysis.

3.- It was agreed provisionally to treat Original Major as a plain method.

4.- It was agreed to award 16 points to Double Bob Major, and 14 points (double plain Triple points) to Double Oxford Triples.

5.- The points to be given for the splendid performance of Cambridge Maximus, we had considerable difficulty in formulating, from the various views of the Points Committee; but in the end, we decided to allot provisionally 60 points, so that the completion of the Analysis might not be delayed.

We do not propose to offer any observations on the general questions as to a general revision of points. We have little doubt that this matter will receive the attention of the Points Committee, if it has not already done so.

We have now discharged our duties as a Committee for the three years for which we were originally elected, and in conclusion we desire to thank the Central Council for the confidence reposed in us, and the Points Committee for their ready co-operation.

Charles E. Borrett.
Joseph Griffin.
Arthur T. King.
J. Armiger Trollope.

In moving the adoption of the report, he said the publication was out of the hands of the Committee. He should like to know what was to be done.

Mr. N. J. Pitstow seconded.

The Rev. H. L. James said he could not see the use of the Analysis. Two peals were omitted from the Lincoln Diocesan Guild Book, because no such peals had appeared in “Bell News,” although the copy had been sent. These two peals were rung in April 1908. The copy of one of the peals was sent again, and it appeared as having been rung in April 1909. What was the use of the Analysis under such circumstances?

Mr. J. Griffin said that no blame attached to the Committee.

The Rev. H. Law James asked if any steps could be taken to ensure the publication of peals sent to “The Bell News.”

Mr. J. Griffin said he could not see how this could be done.

Mr. W. L. Catchpole said as one of the band that took part in the peal of Maximus, he thought it a peal which everyone concerned might well be proud of (hear, hear). He did not think that 60 points were enough for such a performance.

The President said this was the recommendation of the Points Committee. He was in sympathy with the Committee with respect to the publication of the Analysis. He should have thought that from a business point of view, just as a man in business looked after the requirements of his customers, the Analysis would have been published at the earliest opportunity.

The report was adopted.

On the proposition of the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, seconded by Mr. N. J. Pitstow, Messrs. A. T. King, J. Griffin, and J. A. Trollope were re-elected on the Committee, and Mr. G. P. Burton was elected to fill the vacancy through the retirement of Mr. C. E. Borrett.

Dr. Carpenter said in the absence of Mr. R. S. Story, the Peals Values Committee had nothing beyond what Mr. King had read to submit to the Council.

On the proposition of the Rev. G. F. Coleridge, seconded by Mr. J. Griffin, Dr. Carpenter, R. S. Story, J. Carter, and H. Dains were re-elected on the Committee.

At this point the President decided that it would be well to take item No. 10 on the Agenda.

The Hon. Secretary said that some time ago it occurred to him that the present system of apportioning points for peals needed systematising. He had made an attempt in this direction, and hoped that his suggested scheme might possibly form the basis of such a plan. In the scale at present employed, and given on p. 28 of “Rules and Decisions,” there were one or two obvious anomalies, such as for instance the allotment of an identical number of points to Stedman Triples and Stedman Caters. Again, while Double Oxford and Double Norwich Major were given the same number of points, when it came to Royal, while the former had but eighteen points assigned to it, the latter had no less than twenty-eight. Further, was it fair that New Cumberland Major should have the same value as Superlative Major? In any attempt to classify methods, each one could have a certain value apportioned to it. There were many methods in the list in “Rules and Decisions” of which he could not pretend to any practical knowledge, but they could ultimately be valued as might appear right and fair. It was desirable, he thought, that some effort should be made to find some rule by which the value of a method might be calculated. In the table which he had prepared it would be seen that the values given to the methods were such as would bring the various apportionments into as close agreement as possible with the existing ones - in fact in Plain Methods and Alliance (classes 1 and 2) the agreement was exact, while nowhere throughout was the difference at all serious.

The Rev. H. Law James said classification of methods could not be carried out.

The President said the best course to adopt would be to refer the whole matter to the Points Committee, and the Committee could bring up a report at the next meeting. This would be but courteous on the part of the Council, and much more convenient. He suggested that the Hon. Secretary should be added to the Committee.

This was agreed to.

The following is the table referred to and placed before the meeting by the Hon. Secretary

1.Plain Method10(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)
3.T. B. Method14(11)(14)(17)
4.Double Method18(15)(18)(22)
5.Double Norwich25(20)(25)(30)
6.Stedman and New24302428
7.Superlative, etc.40(32)(40)(48)
8.Cambridge, etc.50(40)(50)(60)
(Stepney), etc.64(51)(63 64)(77)

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 3, 1909, pages 232 to 233, correction July 10, 1909, page 241


The Rev. Charles D. P. Davies writes:-

“In connection with my suggested table of points for various methods and on various numbers of bells brought forward at the Council meeting, and given at the conclusion (p. 233) of last week’s instalment of the report of the meeting, I ought to explain that the numbers given in brackets opposite the different classes of methods are those produced by my suggested plan of calculation, the numbers immediately above the bracketed ones being those at present in force. The table, as handed round at the Council, had a note appended to it explaining the manner in which the numbers in the brackets were produced, viz.: multiply the ‘value’ of the method (given in the column headed V) by the number of bells, and divide the product by 10. In the case of Royal the number of points for a peal is always identical with the ‘value’ of the method. In Stepney 63 is a slip of mine, and should have been 64.”

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 10, 1909, page 241


Mr. R. A. Daniell said that owing to illness and other circumstances, he had not been able to prepare a complete draft of the remaining portion of the catalogue to submit to his colleagues on the Committee. He had made considerable research, but there still remained some manuscripts he had not yet been able to see, but his draft was in a forward state, and he hoped to be able to present it to his colleagues before long, and, if they approved it, to transmit it to the Hon. Secretary. He recommended the re-appointment of his Committee.

The Committee which consists of Canon Papillon, the Revs. H. A. Cockey, and M. Kelly, with Messrs. H. Dains and R. A. Daniell, were re-appointed on the proposal of Mr. F. B. Tompkins, seconded by the Rev. C. E. Matthews.


The Rev. H. Law James said the Committee had succeeded in completing another stage, and it was hoped if the Council re-elected the Committee, that during the present year the whole of the work would be completed and submitted to the Council. It might be possible that some member of the Council would be willing to assist the Committee, if so, the Committee would give such member a welcome, and find him work to do.

On the proposition of Mr. J. Griffin, seconded by the Rev. G. F. Coleridge, the Committee were re-appointed, viz., the Rev. H. Law James, Messrs. J. Carter, H. Dains, and J. A. Trollope.


The Rev. H. Law James said some few years ago he took the Council by surprise when giving a definition of a method, by stating that Stedman was not a Method but a Principle. He remembered the roars of laughter. There was not now a man to contradict him. He had a still further surprise for them today, for he had to tell Mr. Robinson that he had yet to ring a real peal of Stedman Triples (loud laughter). There had been congratulations to the band who rang the long peal on Easter Monday from more than one place, but he had to tell them that they had yet to ring Stedman. The same would apply to Stedman Cinques. He was fully aware that the Council would not take to it in a hurry, but such a theory had to come even if it was 100 years before it came. He did not wish the Council to be in a hurry; it would all come in the course of time. What he did hope was that members would give the matter their serious attention. The rev. gentleman has supplied the following re-statement of his case: parts of it have been modified or amplified, as the case may be, in consequence of the discussion which took place; it is published in response to a wish expressed by a very large number of members of the Council in order that the Exercise at large may be made acquainted with its contents, and then members themselves may have the facts before them, and so be enabled to form a sound judgment with a view to future action.

It is well known that Fabian Stedman produced a system of ringing changes upon five bells which has been called by his name, but it seems to have escaped notice that what be really produced was a 6-score, nothing more and nothing less. This 6-score consists of a course of sixty changes with a single thus-


in the middle of a quick six at the end of the course, another course like the first one and at a similar single at the end. Now when the principle was extended by some unknown person, probably in the city of Norwich, in the early part of the eighteenth century, this unknown person removed the single from the middle of the 6-score, and then made the great mistake of calling the course of sixty changes a plain course of Doubles, from this so-called plain course of Doubles he produced a so called plain course of fourteen sixes of Triples, which has ever since been called the plain course of Stedman Triples; a very little careful inspection will show that these are not plain courses at all, and that if we want to ring real Stedman upon seven or more bells we most go to the original 6-score from it, produce the plain course of Stedman Doubles, extend that plain course to Triples, and then produce peals of Triples from the plain course of Triples in a similar way to that in which the 6-scores of Doubles is produced from the plain course of Doubles. Now what is a plain course? Consider one division of any principle or one lead of any method; look at the coursing order of the working bells at the previous division-end or lead-end and compare it with the division-end or lead-end which follows it, and you will find that the two are related together in one of three possible ways. Either a the working bells are in the same course order, or b three working bells are altered in their course order, or c two working bells are altered in their course order. Now these three different results are natural results and not an arbitrary choice on our part. We may call them a, b, c, 1, 2, and 3 or anything we like; we do call them plain, bob, and single, and a plain course must consist of plain divisions only. Now consider the six-ends of Stedman Doubles.

23145courseorder1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
34251""1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
34512""1. 2. 5. 3. 4.

and it is immediately apparent that the quick six is really a bob six, that the Plain Course of Stedman Doubles really consists of slow sixes, and that Stedman’s original six-score consists of Slow Sixes which are Plain, alternating with Quick Sixes which are bobs, in exactly the same way as the Plain Leads and Bobs alternate in the old Grandsire six-score. We have now arrived at five slow sixes as a Plain Course of Stedman Doubles with the Quick six as the bob of the Principle, and the single as Stedman originally wrote it, a whole pull on the lead - the bob place, the whole pull in 3rds - the plain place and the place between them, in the middle of a six. We now proceed to Triples, the Plain Course consists of seven slow sixes, a course which has been called Erin Triples, but which really proves to be the Plain Course of Stedman Triples, the bob is a quick six, and the single is to be made in front preferably where Stedman made it in the middle of the six, but not necessarily so for the following reasons.

Compare a slow six with a quick one:-

1 2 3) (1 2 3
(2 1 3)(1 3 2)
(2 3 1)(3 1 2)
(3 2 1)(3 2 1)
(3 1 2)(2 3 1)
1 3 2)(2 1 3

The slow six contains three thirds places and two whole pulls at lead, the quick six contains three whole pulls at lead, corresponding to the 3rds places of the above six, and two thirds places corresponding to the two whole pulls of the slow six, there are therefore really five bobs inside the quick six, one Q set is completely bobbed, and two members of another, and the third member of the other is not completed in the six, but acts as a bob across the parting of the sixes, consequently we may place the single anywhere we like in 1, 2, 3, Now by placing the single across the parting of the sixes, the peal of Triples is possible, and one will be found at the end of this article. When we come to Caters the course consists of nine slow sixes, and in Cinques eleven slow sixes. The bells can be thrown into the tittums by calling the 7th in Caters in quick, or the 9th in Cinques, the peal can then composed in courses of 9 or 11 sixes by letting 7, 8, 9 or 9 0 E go slow, or in short courses of 7 or 9 sixes, by calling them all quick, at the end of the composition let 7 go in slow, call 8 quick and 9 quick with a single, and the coursing order is 8, 9, 7, to come round at backstroke. On six, eight, ten, and twelve bells Stedman runs as a Double Principle with slow sixes in front and behind, one pair of bells in Major, two in Royal, and three in Maximus, dodging in between them. He would give a 720 of Minor at the end, and he believed that Mr. Dains has peals of Major, Royal, and Maximus. As these statements will be new to the Exercise, and will probably produce a considerable amount of criticism, he would ask the members of the Exercise to read them carefully, and not to rush into print in a hurry, as he was quite prepared to answer any reasonable objection, but did not want a useless discussion about mere words. In conclusion he did not anticipate the Council would be prepared to receive or even vote upon any resolution bearing upon the matter at present, but he was convinced that one day the Council would see the matter in the same light as that in which he had put it.

720 Double Stedman Minor.




The Treble is making bobs throughout the 700, there its bobs need not be called, the other bells ring alternate quick and slow sixes except at the bobs marked with a +, when a quick six is substituted for a slow one behind.

Five times repeated, calling a S instead of the 3rd bob marked + in the 3rd and 6th parts, or in any other 2 corresponding parts.

5040 Stedman Triples.

Twenty times repeated.


A. In parts 1 and 2 call SB here, followed by six bobs at 2 and SP at 2, thus inserting 14 sixes.

A. In parts 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, call SB, here followed by S at 2, inverting two sixes.

H. Law James, June 7th, 1909.

The Plain is a slow six. The Bob is a quick six.

S thus-1246357


If it is SB call single bob at the 6th (see example), goes quick, if it is SP call single at the 6th (see example) goes slow).

The President asked Mr. James if he had a resolution to move.

The Rev. H. Law James replied if so it would be that the Council refuses to recognise all peals hitherto rung and called Stedman Triples to be such. As he had already said he had no desire to press the matter to a vote, but was convinced the day would come when it would be seen in the same light as he had seen it in after a long study. However he would formally move such a resolution.

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter seconded.

Mr. H. Dains said he had been to the British Museum and seen Stedman’s book. It was clear that Stedman gave it as quick and slow sixes, and no doubt it was intended for the quick six to be a bob.

The Rev F. E. Robinson asked if Stedman original six-score did not show a quick bell.

The Rev. H. Law James replied that to get the six-score you must call your bobs. The conductor calling the bob, a bell went in quick, the other two bells making way for it.

Mr. J. Carter said he thought Stedman intended to ring his six-score in twelves.

Dr. Carpenter said he thought the Council might rescind the clause in the Rules as to the coursing order.

The Hon. Secretary said he had regarded the same as a definition which was arbitrary without any foundation whatever.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson said he was fully convinced that in 100 years time all would be agreed, in fact he did not think that the Exercise would have to wait so long. If one looked at Stedman as Stedman left it, they found that the single was made in the same place as a bob. That was how Stedman gave it himself, but others had placed the single in 4-5, which was quite arbitrary.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said Stedman was a historic method, to introduce anything else would not be Stedman as the author left it.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said he was opposed to what Mr. Law James had brought forward. Stedman only produced his method on five bells, but it had been extended and adopted by the Exercise for 200 years, and for ever would be known as Stedman. If Stedman had been called upon to extend the method to a larger number of bells, who could tell but what he would have done just the same as had been done by others. To make a call at every quick six would make the number very long. He had rung Stedman all his life and was pleased to do so, and he did not think any improvement could be made at the present day.

Mr. R. A. Daniell said Stedman’s object was to obtain a six-score. Stedman did not trouble himself about more than five bells. This six-score it had been the custom to ring as Stedman. As to how the method developed to higher numbers he did not attempt to say, but he could not see that the Exercise could call the original six-score anything but Stedman.

After further discussion in which the Hon. Secretary and Messrs. H. Dains and J. A. Trollope took part,

The President asked if it was Mr. Law James’s contention that all the peals hitherto rung as Stedman Triples were not Stedman at all. He had worked a good deal at the method himself, possibly more than most of those present, and though he was deeply interested in Mr. James’s theory he was not prepared to accept it offhand. He was doubtful if Mr. Robinson would survive another year if Mr. Law James carried his point (laughter).

The Rev. H. Law James said he had at the commencement expressed an opinion that the Council was not at present ready to accept all he had advanced upon the matter, and he was therefore fully prepared to withdraw the resolution.

The President said he was sure the whole of the Council would recognise Mr. Law James’s ability. Mr. Carter had said Stedman was in twelves. So it was. The late Mr. Bulwer and himself worked at it a long time, but they could not get at the root of the whole matter. Stedman was not only complicated but was also attractive to the ringer, because of its alternating movements. Mr. James spoke of four-bob sets as if the calls were always in fours, but in some of the best peals of Stedman Triples the four-bob sets were reduced to a minimum, and there might be further improvement made in this direction. With respect to the question of coursing order Mr. James said its continual change was irregular. What of Treble Bob? Take the bell in the slow. Did not this bell for a time depart from its coursing order? Going on to Stedman Caters, if four back bells were placed in the right position no better music could be obtained upon nine bells, in spite of the change of coursing order. It was the variety that Stedman had that gave its charm. Take a short course peal with 9-7-8 and 8-7-9 behind alternately; what better music could there possibly be? It was pure Stedman. He was with Mr. Law James in his scientific ideas, but against him in this attempt to disturb the existing method.

Mr. J. Griffin moved, and the Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded, the previous question.

The Rev. H. Law James having remarked that in Thurstans’ peal there were 800 bobs that were never called, with 240 calls that were not bobs, and two singles made behind (loud laughter) withdrew his resolution.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 10, 1909, pages 242 to 243


The value allotted to Cambridge Surprise Maximus (60 points) is provisional only, and is used by the Analysis Committee solely on this understanding, so that publication may not be delayed. Whatever value may be ultimately recommended to the Council by the Points Committee, it will not affect the positions of the Societies in this Analysis.

The 121 peals in Plain Methods comprise: Bob Maximus 1; Bob Royal 11; Bob Major 96; Original Major (the first ever rung) 1; Oxford Bob Triples 7; Darlaston Bob Triples 3; Court Bob Triples 1; Bob Triples 1.

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

Bath and Wells31-21---7
Central Northants21-1--116
Gloucester & Bristol5-------5
Midland Counties------1-1
North Wales1-------1
Archy. of Stafford1-------1


The 44 peals rung by Independent Societies were thus distributed, viz.: Bedfordshire 5; Buckinghamshire 2; Cheshire 1; Essex 1; Forfarshire 1; Gloucestershire 5; Hampshire 1; Herefordshire 1; Kent 1; Lancashire 5; Leicestershire 4; Middlesex 3; Norfolk 2; Oxfordshire 1; Somersetshire 1; Suffolk 1; Surrey 2; Sussex 4; Warwickshire 1; Worcestershire 2. Total, 44.

The greatest number of changes in one peal was 10,192, viz. Bob Major rung by the Midland Counties Association. Two peals of 10,080 changes were rung on six bells by the Lancashire Association, one in 7 and one in 14 Treble Bob methods. The latter was incorrectly published as being rung in 14 Surprise methods. Three peals contained over 7000 changes; three contained over 6000 changes; and under 6000 changes there were 1465 peals.

The 179 peals of Treble Bob were rung- in the Kent Variation- Maximus 4; Royal 19; Major 126; and in the Oxford Variation- Royal 1; Major 29.

The 265 peals of Grandsire Triples were: Holt’s Original 31; Holt’s Six-Part 1; Holt’s Ten-Part and Variations 66; J. J. Parker’s One-Part 2; Parker’s Six-Part 12; Parker’s Twelve-Part 64; Carter’s Twelve-Part 11; Taylor’s Bob and Single 22; Vicars 6; Hollis’s Five-Part 10; Rev. C. D. P. Davies’s peals 5; Rev. E. B. James’s 5; Lindoff’s peals 4; Moorhouse’s peals 4; Moore’s peals 4; other peals 16; and two peals were published without mention of composition.

The 231 peals of Stedman were Thurstans’s One-Part 7; Thurstans’s Four-Part and Variations 201; Thurstans’s Five-Part 1; Carter’s peals 7; Heywood’s peals 2; J. J. Parker’s peals 2; Washbrook’s peals 4; Bulwer’s peals 1; and one each composed by J. O. Lancashire, J. J. B. Lates, G. Lindoff, J. W. Parker, and the Rev. H. Law James, and one was published without composer’s name.

Conductors of four peals and upwards were:-William Pye 40; Frank Bennett 34; Clement Glenn and William Keeble 33; Rev. F. E. Robinson 29; James Motts 27; Keith Hart 25; Bertram Prewett 21; James E. Davis 20; Robert Matthews 19; William Short 18; Fredk. R. Borrett and George Williams 16; Benjamin A. Knights 15; John H. Cheesman and George N. Price 14; Charles F. Bailey, Arthur Knights, and A. H. Pulling 13; Charles R. Lilley 12; William H. Barber and Edwin G. Buesden 11; Thomas T. Gofton 10; Edwin Barnett, sen., Charles W. Clarke, Louis S. Griffiths, George Holifield, sen., Henry Moore, James Parker, and William Sawyer 9; John Austin, Will A. Cave, Robert J. Dawe, Joseph Griffin, Edwin H. Lewis, Thos. H. Taffender, Albert Walker, and William Willson 8; Samuel Groves, Fredk. G. May, and F. Watkinson 7; John W. Barker, Rev. A. T. Beeston, Arthur Edwards, David Elliott, William Fisher, E. C. Gobey, Thos. Groombridge, E. C. Lambert, E. W. Menday, Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, and Bernard Witchell 6; John Armstrong, George Bolland, David Brearley, R. T. Hibbert, Fredk. C. Lambert, John Larter, Arthur Latham, William Latter, Geo. R. Newton, Wm. T. Pegler, Geo. R. Pye, Jos. H. Ridyard, A. Shufflebotham, Fredk. Wilford, and H. W. Young 5; John Carter, Geo. Cattermole, Edward Chapman, C. Carew Cox, F. J. Davey, F. W. Dixon, John Flint, Jas. E. Groves, J. Hammond, G. F. Hoad, R. T. Holding, sen., Geo. Hughes. Rev. H. Law James, Wm. J. Jeffries, J. E. R. Keen, John W. Lake, Wm. H. Lawrence, Thos. Metcalfe, Geo. H. Myers, Fredk. J. Mynard, Wm. Overton, Edward Reader, Isaac Sidebotham, Wm. S. Smith, John Souter, Robert Sperring, Sam Thomas, Henry J. Tucker, Wm. Watts, and Geo. Wightman 4. In addition to these 42 persons conducted three peals each, 92 two peals, and 297 one peal, making a total of 528 persons who acted as conductors during the year, and one peal was published without a conductor’s name. Carter’s odd bob peal of Stedman Triples, rung on February 21st, 1908 at Gateshead, was conducted by W. H. Barber blindfolded.

The number of peals on church bells was 1416; on handbells 58.

The compositions of three peals were found to be false, after publication; one other was withdrawn by the conductor, and these are excluded from this Analysis, as are also two peals of Grandsire Triples rung by the Yorkshire Association. They contained only 5025 changes, and therefore fall short of the standard set up by the Central Council. Amongst noteworthy performances may be mentioned a peal of Cambridge Surprise Maximus, the first Surprise peal on 12 bells, rung by the Norwich Association, 6591 Stedman Caters by the College Youths on handbells, and the first peals of Bob Major and Kent Treble Bob Major ever rung by a clerical band.

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

Stedman Caters4
Stedman Triples9
Grandsire Caters5
Grandsire Triples9
Kent Treble Bob Major12
Oxford Treble Bob Major2
Double Norwich Court Bob Major5
Bob Major9
Bob Royal2
1 Minor Method1


The 1474 peals rung are 135 more than last year, and 45 less than the record year, 1905. They were rung in the following months- January 118; February 150; March 99; April 106; May 122; June 93; July 69; August 102; September 140; October 129; November 159; December 187.

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

The following table gives the first twenty Societies and their relative positions since 1896-

Midland Counties Assoc.38661311131055541
Norwich Diocesan Assoc.4595662221222
Middlesex County Assoc.-25189411112113
Kent County Assoc.7783344693334
Yorkshire Association69118141212934475
Oxford Diocesan Guild1321123488656
Sussex County Assoc.211253737717107
Lancashire Association10457781419229868
Winchester Dioc. Guild91412151013162318151099
Durham and New. Assoc.8181931181610131011121710
Essex Association16111012910986671111
Gloucester & Bristol Ass.1312711119671114132212
Hereford County Assoc.2519131820148121213161213
Worcester & Dist. Assoc.12631015182120231714814
St. Martin’s Guild, Birm.211320168711111512191515
Cent. Northants Assoc.18101414161522141416222016
London County Assoc.40343735273432282119201817
Soc. Archy. of Stafford15211713191917182521211318
Chester Diocesan Guild1924222321201922282092319
Royal Cumb. Youths11172324222320251923181920

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

Grand total- 24,783.
10, Chester Street, Norwich.
70, Shobnall Street, Burton-on-Trent.
18, Ravenscroft Park Road, Barnet.
9, Hastings Road, Ealing, W.
Charles E. Borrett.
Joseph Griffin.
Arthur T. King.
J. Armiger Trollope.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 10, 1909, pages 246 to 248


(Continued from page 243.)


Mr. J. A. Trollope said he had been asked to bring forward the question of steeplekeepers, their duties, and fees. He thought the Council would agree with him when he said that there were some towers in which all did not go well when everything was left in the hands of the steeplekeeper. There appeared to be a general opinion that in many London towers steeplekeeping was by no means what it ought to be. He thought the very best plan was if possible to do without steeplekeepers. There were duties to be done in the tower which did not belong to the ringers, and so Church officials had to appoint some one to carry them out, but these duties, so far as could be arranged were much better carried out by the ringers themselves, and if one of the band could do it so much the better. This was possible in the country, even if it were not in London, where many of the ringers lived a long distance from the tower at which they rang. It wanted to be in the hands of some one on the spot, and it was not often that there was amongst a London band any one who lived on the spot, or in other words there wanted to be what one might call a resident steeplekeeper. The parish authorities who had the appointment of steeplekeepers did not know anything about ringing; consequently it often happened that when a steeplekeeper was wanted, the right man was not appointed, and yet the Church authorities who knew nothing themselves about bells often appoint a man who has certain work to do, part of which is to look after the bells. Such a man has no connection with the ringers, and cannot be a representative of the ringers. He was however, generally speaking, a very different man if he was one of the ringers themselves, for ringers were above the average steeplekeeper. It often happened that a steeplekeeper, whether with a knowledge of bells or not, had to be the means of communication between the ringers and the clergy. Take for instance St. Margaret’s, Westminster, he did not think that Canon Henson knew one of the ringers notwithstanding that the Canon and also the ringers had been there some years. Ringers had far better be in direct communication with the clergy rather than let the steeplekeeper be the medium of communication between them. If the steeplekeeper is not a ringer himself, he may be a nonentity. There were many places in which bells had been permitted to drop down into a state which was a disgrace. Again a steeplekeeper may be but a stoney ringer; if so, he may do all he can to keep out the science of change-ringing, and so retain things on his own level. By chance he may manage to ring the tenor to a touch of Grandsire, but to attempt Major is out of the question. It should not be in the power of the steeplekeeper to bar a man from entering a tower. Ringers should aim at getting in touch with the clergy, and not permit the steeplekeeper, whoever he may be, to become the boss of the show. Then there was the question of fees, both on practice nights and for peal ringing. In many of the London towers it was the custom to pay on practice-nights twopence per member. This should not be claimed as a matter of right, or paid as such, but if paid, it should be so because the steeplekeeper has done his work in an efficient manner. Whatever was paid should be as a reward for the trouble the steeplekeeper had taken on behalf of the ringers. Then came the question what ought to be paid when a band visited a tower in which it was not their custom to practise. It was said that the Middlesex Association was in the habit of paying the sum of 5s. If Mr. King could make a statement to disprove the assertion, well and good, there would be an end of the matter. He agreed with the Editor of “The Bell News” that steeplekeepers should be recognised as the servants, not the masters, of the ringers. When Church authorities recognised the ringers to be the controlling power in the belfry, some good would have been accomplished.

Mr. A. T. King said his conscience was perfectly clear. He objected to personalities, which could only lead to strife and defection. He could assure them one and all that he had nothing up his sleeve. So far as regarded the general body of steeplekeepers he had met, on the whole they were men who understood their business, and in all their actions courteous. To say otherwise was a great mistake. He had never got the use of a tower through the steeplekeeper, but direct from the Clergy. He found steeplekeepers a body of men who knew their work and did it. Was it fair and just to such men, when a peal was attempted, that they should have to stand about for three-and-a-half hours and get twopence from each of the band? There ought not to be anyone who did not wish to pay a steeplekeeper for such services. Let them look into some of the work that the steeplekeeper who kept bells in proper order had to do, and to ask themselves if they would take on such work. They should remember that a steeplekeeper was well worth all he got paid, and there were some steeplekeepers who got paid precious little, and some did their work without any reward at all. Steeplekeepers were a body of men in whom the clergy put trust, for the work they did was for the church. When steeplekeepers were found to be sociable, courteous, and polite to all they had to do with he did not see that there was much to complain of. It was but fair that they should be paid for what they did. Steeplekeepers were paid by the church for the work that they did for the church, and not for the ringers. He had in some cases rewarded a steeplekeeper, and considered it but right to do so. He thought all such men deserved some recognition for their services whenever a band visited a tower.

The President said it appeared that the steeplekeepers whom Mr. King had met were all angels. The grievances that Mr. Trollope had brought forward were not confined to London, for complaints came from all parts of the country.

Mr. R. A. Daniell said it was not every ringer who had his pocket full of money. He took a different view of the matter to that expressed by Mr. King. It was a question as to how many who went to ring a peal could afford to put their hands in their pockets and pay for what little the steeplekeeper might have done. Steeplekeepers were paid for the services which they rendered for the church by the church authorities, some of whom were not in poverty by any means. Again, did steeplekeepers know their business when sometimes it would happen that a peal of bells, which were rehung, would in twelve months want doing again. This sometimes happened because men who were not fitted for the post were appointed, but when the right man was appointed, a man who understood what he was about, such a man did his duty, and there was no cause for complaint.

The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore said it appeared to him that one of the great difficulties in London was that some towers had no regular band of ringers, but a band of strollers would go from place to place just to ring. If something could be done to get a regular band appointed to each tower, he thought some good might be done (hear, hear).

The Rev. H. A. Cockey said the great difficulty was that men were appointed as steeplekeepers who were not fitted for looking after bells - where however there was a band of ringers, if one of the band was appointed, there was no difficulty. Take Westminster Abbey as an illustration - what was the condition of the tower twenty years ago? It was not for the want of means in that case. What was wanted was to get church authorities to take some interest in their bells, and to get a good band of ringers; to take an interest in their welfare, and a pride in their bells. This was not only wanted in London, but also in many parts of the country, and was work for the various Associations to take up.

The Rev. H. Law James suggested that the President should in the name of the Council write a letter to The Guardian upon the matter.

Mr. H. Dains said as an old London ringer of thirty-five years standing, he remembered that it was the custom to give 1s. to the steeplekeeper as a compliment for the extra trouble in meeting the ringers, and so it remained for a number of years. It had however been rumoured about that some steeplekeepers now had as much as 5s. paid them. He wrote himself to Mr. King who admitted that this was so, and he replied to Mr. King pointing out the disadvantage such a custom was to ringers who were not in a position to do the same. He did not blame the steeplekeepers for taking what they could get. There was a time when it was the custom to pay twopence on practice nights, and threepence when a peal was attempted, which was as much as the majority of ringers could well afford.

The President said the subject was one which wanted more time for discussion than could be given it that day, and it would be as well to place it upon the agenda for another year. There were many other sides to the question which needed discussion. Steeplekeepers often acted as a kind of intermediary between clergy and ringers which sometimes led to friction. If the subject was placed upon the agenda for another year, the whole question could be thoroughly gone into.


The President said it had been hoped that this subject would be introduced by an expert, but unfortunately the gentleman selected was not able to be with them that day. He hoped to secure his services another year. It was agreed to postpone the subject.


The President said he had received a letter a few weeks ago from a ringer in the west of England relating to the insurance of ringers. A ringer met with an accident in a place where the church authorities insured their officials. As he was paid only £1 per year he received 10s., which was not considered adequate, and the ringer in question asked him to bring it before the Council. He, the President, replied that it was a question of law, and explained that the object of the church authorities in the insuring of ringers was to safeguard themselves from being mulcted in heavy sums. He had himself been in the habit of paying in case of accident his workmen in full, but in order to safeguard himself from having to pay some £200 or £100 for a single case he had to insure each one, and they now received from the Insurance Company in case of accident 10s. 6d. weekly in place of the 21s. or so, which he used to allow them. In the case which he was asked about the church authorities, being insured, naturally referred the matter to the insurance company, who on business lines would get out of it as cheap as possible, and pay the man as little as they thought the law required.

Mr. G. J. Clarkson said a ringer who received a £1 per year from the church authorities might as a workman get a £1 per week in case of an accident. The question if he could not recover compensation to the extent of one half of his weekly wages should be tested in the law courts.

The President said if the insurance company were called upon to pay beyond the sum insured by the church authorities it would be a question for the law courts, and the insurance would be bound to pay according to the decision given.

Mr. H. White asked how he stood if he received £1 per year as a ringer, and the church authorities insure against an accident but his employer did not do so.

The President said in such a case there would be but a small sum payable from the Insurance Company, but Mr. White could sue his employers if he met with an accident in their service.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson said he would advise anyone entitled to compensation not to accept the sum at first sent; if so, it would be very small. He had to refuse in the case of one of his servants, and secured a larger sum eventually.


The Rev. H. Law James called attention to the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings, and said that it was a great pity that this society, which was in many ways useful, should give advice about rehanging bells in the way that it did. He knew of a case where three old bells had been recast into five in the 17th century, and rehung on the mediæval frame; another bell had been added at the beginning of the 19th century, and also hung on the same old frame, which must have been worn out at least 200 years ago. The frame was then made fast to the walls at the top by bolting on beams and building them into the walls; these beams very naturally cracked the tower, and this Society was called in. They sent down an architect who repaired the tower most beautifully, and then cut away the beams from the top of this poor worn-out frame, and pronounced the bells ready for ringing. The ringers could not ring them, and he was asked to inspect the frame which moved several inches every time a bell was rung, and he was obliged to recommend a new frame entirely. He thought it would be well for the President to communicate with the Society, or in some way warn the clergy against advice of this sort.

The President said he would as soon approach Mr. Lloyd George and ask him to take off the extra 2d. of the income tax as go to the Society referred to by Mr. Law James (laughter). He happened to know a good deal about the Society, and was certain that it would be useless to approach them. He thought the best thing to do would be to endeavour to show architects that bellhanging had developed as a modern science, and was not what it was 300 years ago. As a science most architects knew little about it. Lord Grimthorpe had put the whole matter very strongly: but Lord Grimthorpe was a ringer and an architect, and knew what he was about, and did not hesitate to point out that the old system of hanging bells was wrong. What he, the President, would suggest was that Mr. James should try and get definite particulars of some case and bring it forward. Then some good might be done. Otherwise he thought that to make any attempt to approach the Society would be but a waste of paper.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey said some good might be done if a circular could be drawn up and sent to the clergy, in which mention was made of cases where mischief had resulted through the recommendations of the Society.

The President said if he had the particulars of rings that had suffered through this Society’s recommendations, he would be willing to write a letter to the Church Press upon the matter.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews said a case had come under his notice in which there was a frame 250 years old. The Society had done all it could to prevent it being taken out, but the authorities stood firm that the work should be done, and the Society gave way.

The Rev. H. Law James proposed, and the Rev. H. A. Cockey seconded, that the President be asked to write an official letter to the Church Press upon the matter, and the same was adopted.

The President said he would do this if he received from members such full particulars of definite cases as would warrant the Council’s intervention.


Mr. J. H. Banks submitted a scheme by which on payment of a fee of 5s. to the Hon. Secretary of the Council, any Performing Member of any Association affiliated to the Council would become a Life Performing Member of all other affiliated Associations. But that before anything could be done it would be necessary for the Associations to agree to the proposal. He said he considered that if some such scheme could be adopted, it would do good, for it would do away with a ringer subscribing to different Associations, and therefore release him from the responsibility of subscribing to all the Associations of which he was a member, and yet retain his membership. Under such a scheme those who went about ringing peals would be enabled to take part in the performances of other Associations.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee, who seconded, said the matter had been discussed, and it was thought best to bring the proposal under the notice of the Council, although it might be considered outside its province. Each Association would remain self-governing. It was impossible for every one to pay 5s. as a Life Member of the different Associations. This scheme might help some of the Associations; he thought it an idea worth consideration. It would be a great consideration to those ringers who travel and ring at various places.

Mf. R. A. Daniell said the man who goes running about the country on ringing tours should be made to become a member in the ordinary way, and should also be made to pay. There would be immense clerical work, and he could not for the life of himself see what good it would do. He considered it utterly impossible to attempt anything of the kind. He should like to know who would have the 5s.

Mr. H. Dains said the 5s. would be paid to the Council, and the ringer would cease to pay any contribution to his particular Association.

The Hon. Secretary said the whole scheme would be going outside the province of the Council, and he was confident would take up more time than he could personally give to the work. Some difficulty might arise, as some of the Associations might say - “If we are to be burdened with all these members the sooner we are done with the Council the better.” On the whole he did not see how the proposal could be worked.

Mr. A. T. King said if the various Associations became mixed up in the manner suggested, he feared loyalty to their own particular Association would be lost.

The President said he did not think the Associations would see the matter in the same light as the proposers. The Council should aim at securing the confidence of the Associations throughout the country, and try to be a body aiming at solving any difficulties which had to be solved. He was pleased to find that confidence in the Council was growing each year, and he hoped it would go on increasing.

Mr. J. Griffin having moved, and Mr. A. W. Searle having seconded the previous question, Mr. J. H. Banks withdrew the proposal.

The Rev. F. E. Robinson proposed, and the Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded a vote of thanks to the President, which was carried with acclamation, and the Council rose.

The Bell News and Ringers’ Record July 24, 1909, pages 267 to 269

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