The 53 peals rung by Independent Societies were thus distributed, viz.: Cambridgeshire, 3; Cheshire, 3; Derbyshire, 5; Gloucestershire, 10; Lancashire 2; Leicestershire, 2; Lincolnshire, 1; Middlesex, 9; Staffordshire, 5; Surrey, 1; Sussex, 1; Warwickshire, 3; Worcestershire, 6; Yorkshire, 1; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1.- Total, 53.

The 222 peals of Treble Bob were rung as follows: In the Kent Variation: Maximus, 9; Royal, 12; Major, 159. In the Oxford Variation: Royal, 1; Major, 38; Albion Treble Bob, 2; and Rose of England Treble Bob, 1.

The 302 peals of Grandsire Triples may be sub-divided as follows: Holt’s Original, 27; Holt’s Six-part, 1; Holt’s Ten-part and Variations, 65; Parker’s One-part, 7; Parker’s Five-part, 2; Parker’s Six-part, 17; Parker’s Twelve-part and Variations, 69; Carter’s Twelve-part and Variations, 17. Other peals by Carter, 10; Taylor’s peals, 27; Hollis’ peals, 15; Rev. C. D. P. Davies’ peals, 10; Vicar’s peals, 7; Rev. E. B. James’ peals, 3; Moorhouse’s peal, 3; Lindoff’s peals, 2; Day’s Six-part peals, 2; Bruerton’s Twelve-part peals, 2; Biddlestone’s Twelve-part peals, 2. Other peals, including five unnamed, 14.

The 128 peals in Plain Methods comprise: Bob Royal, 3; Bob Major, 109; Canterbury Pleasure Major, 2; College Single Major, 1; Little Bob Major, 3; Saint Clement’s Bob Major, 1; Oxford Bob Triples, 7; Plain Bob Triples, 1; Saint Clement’s Bob Triples, 1.

The 77 peals of Doubles are shown in the following statement:

No. of Methods.
Bath and Wells112------
Central Northamptonshire51------
Ely Diocesan--1--1--
Hereford Diocesan5-------
Hertfordshire County2-------
Lincoln Diocesan31-1-1--
Llandaff Diocesan3-------
Middlesex County1-------
Midland Counties----1---
North Wales1-------
Norwich Diocesan2451-1--
Oxford Diocesan3-------
Salisbury Diocesan3-------
Salop Archidiaconal1-------
Sussex County-1------
Towcester and District5-------
Worcestershire and Districts2-----1-
Independent Societies111-1--1

5010822311Total 77

The 232 peals of Stedman Triples comprised: Thurstans’ One-part, 2; Thurstans’ Four-part and Variations, 194; Carter’s peals, 9; Sir Arthur Heywood’s peals, 12; Washbrook’s peals, 5; Lates’ peals, 3; Bulwer’s peals, 3; Wilde’s peals, 2; Dr. A. B. Carpenter’s peal, 1; Unnamed peal, 1.


The greatest number of changes in one peal was 13,440, viz.: Bob Major rung on handbells by the Yorkshire Association. A peal, on tower bells, of 12,240 Kent Treble Bob Maximus was rung by the Lancashire Association, and a performance in four Minor methods by the Midland Counties Association reached a total of 10,080 changes.- Other long peals consisted of 9056, 8000, 7777, 7200, and 7023 changes respectively. Under 6000 changes, there were 1731 peals rung. The number of peals rung on Church bells were 1620; on handbells, 119; total, 1739 peals.

The peals rung are 14 more than last year, and create a new record. They were rung in the following months, viz.: January, 147; February, 143; March, 104; April, 137; May, 134; June, 155; July, 91; August, 68; September, 120; October, 179; November, 201; December, 260.

Ten ladies have taken part in successful peals during the year, 1911, viz.: Miss Elsie Bennett took part in two peals of Bob Major, and one of Grandsire Triples, all on handbells. Two of the peals were rung for the Kent County Association, and one for the Winchester Diocesan Guild. Miss Gillingham took part in a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Bath and Wells Association.

Miss Jukes rang in and conducted a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Bath and Wells Association.

Miss Sarah Pigott took part in a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford; while, for the Worcestershire and Districts Association, she rang in no less than three peals, a peal of Doubles in eleven different methods, a peal of Oxford Bob Triples, and a peal of Bob Major.

Miss Edith K. Parker has surpassed her brilliant performances in 1910, by an even more brilliant record for 1911. She rang in no fewer than 21 peals, of which she conducted 17.

The list is as follows, viz.:-

London Surprise86
Superlative Surprise65
New Cambridge Surprise33
Stedman Triples33
Forward Royal1-


The peals were distributed among the following Associations: Royal Cumberland Youths, 10; Middlesex, 5; Midland Counties, 3; Hertfordshire, 2; Salisbury, l. Miss Kate Stanford took part in a peal of Bob Minor for the Norwich Diocesan Association. Miss Evelyn Steel took part in two peals for the Bedfordshire Association, one in seven methods of Minor, and the other Grandsire Triples. Miss May Thompson took part in a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Midland Counties Association. Miss Alice White took part in a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Oxford Diocesan Guild. Miss Lilian Willson rang in the following peals for the Midland Counties Association, viz.: Two of Kent Treble Bob Major, one of Grandsire Triples, one of Superlative Surprise Major, and one of Stedman Triples. One of the peals of Kent Treble Bob was conducted by her.


The conductors of four peals and upwards were: A. H. Pulling, 67; W. Pye, 43; B. Prewett, 30; F. Bennett, 29; C. F. Bailey, 25; G. Williams, 24; J. Motts, 21; C. W. Clarke, C. Glenn and Keith Hart, 20; Rev. H. Law James, 18; C. R. Lilley and Miss Edith K. Parker, 17; T. H. Taffender and E. M. Atkins, 16; F. R. Borrett, J. E. Davis and Wm. Shepherd, 15; S. Grove, 14; R. Matthews and A. H. Ward, 13; B. Thorp, 12; Rev. A. T. Beeston, 11; J. E. Groves, F. C. Lambert, F. G. May, D. J. Nichols, W. Steel and Sam Thomas, 10; R. T. Houlding, senr., E. W. Marsh, George N. Price and George F. Williams, 9; E. J. Buesden, A. Coppock, J. Flint, F. Manser, W. Sawyer, E. Harry Stoneley, A. G. Warnes, G. Wightman and Challis F. Winney, 8; Edwin Barnett, senr., Rev. C. Carew Cox, T. T. Gofton, Joseph Griffin, T. Groombridge, senr., B. A. Knights, J. W. Lake, A. E. Moore, W. S. Smith, R. Sperring and A. Y. Tyler, 7; W. Bellamy, Rev. E. V. Cox, W. G. Ellis, A. Fallow, E. C. Gobey, Rev. Cyril W. O. Jenkyn, E. H. Lewis, W. Perkins, G. R. Pye, J. D. Seamer, Isaac Sidebotham, H. Springall, R. E. Stavert, S. H. Symonds and A. P. Wakley, 6; J. H. Blakiston, L. Bullock, T. W. Chapman, C. T. Coles, G. H. Cross, A. J. Day, R. F. Deal, D. Elliott, J. B. Fenton, W. Fisher, J. Goodman, junr., F. A. Holden, J. B. Hallifax, J. Hough, W. D. James, Arthur Mackears, Thos. Metcalfe, James Morgan, Joseph Pigott, E. Reader, William Short, Albert Simpson, J. Thomas, C. A. Valentine, William Watts and Samuel Wood, 5; G. T. Alexander, John Austin, Fred Bennett, Geo. Cattermole, W. H. Corbett, F. W. Dixon, A. W. Gravett, John G. Hall, Harry Hampson, Frank Holder, F. J. Howchin, Robert W. Hyner, T. B. Kendall, Arthur Knights, J. A. Lambert, William Latter, W. Lincoln, E. H. Lindup, W. Mallinson, Ernest Mann, H. J. Mansfield, Harry Page, W. J. Paice, W. H. Porter, W. Poston, F. W. Rice, R. Richardson, Joseph Ridyard, J. Souter, Geo. E. Symonds, William Taylor, F. Watkinson, H. W. Wilde, Edward Whiting, William Willson, and Albert Wright, 4. In addition to the above, 46 persons conducted three peals each; 101 two peals; and 295 one peal. Three peals were published without a conductor’s name, and one peal was rung unconducted, viz., a peal of Minor in seven methods, by members of the Hertfordshire County Association, at Great Munden. Three ladies appear in the list of conductors: Miss Jukes, who conducted a peal of Grandsire Triples; Miss Edith K. Parker, whose peals as conductor having been referred to elsewhere, it need only be mentioned here that she conducted London Surprise and New Cambridge Surprise for the first time in 1911; and Miss Lilian Willson, who conducted a peal of Kent Treble Bob Major.

The following peals were rung on handbells, viz.: Stedman Cinques, 4; Stedman Caters, 32; Stedman Triples, 26; Grandsire Caters, 6; Grandsire Triples, 15; Bob Royal, 1; Bob Major, 24; Minor, 7; Kent Treble Bob Major, 2; Oxford Treble Bob Major, 2; total, 119. The above handbell peals were rung for the following Associations: Ancient Society of College Youths, 1; Cambridge University Guild, 4; Central Northamptonshire, 7; Cleveland and North Yorkshire, 2; Essex, 5; Ely, 5; Hertfordshire, 3; Kent, 2; Lincoln, 4; Llandaff, 1; Middlesex, 4; Midland Counties, 4; Winchester, 64; Warwickshire, 2; Yorkshire, 8; Independent, 3; total, 119.

Note.- In reckoning points for peals, those over 7,000 and under 10,000 changes count as two peals; 10,000 and under 12,000 count as three peals, and so forth. Points were first used, to ascertain the relative position of ringing associations, in the analysis for the year 1895.

The following table gives the first twenty Societies and their positions since 1897:-

Winchester Diocesan14121510131623181510991281
Middlesex County25189411112113322
Norwich Diocesan595662221222213
Midland Counties8661311131055541134
Kent County783344693334545
Sussex County11253737717107767
Worcestershire & Dis.6310151821202317148149148
Oxford Diocesan3211234886566710
Essex County11101291098667111110911
Central Northampton101414161522141416222016201612
Hertfordshire County19131820148121213161213131713
Llandaff Diocesan333028-3333374136353532373314
Chester Diocesan24222321201922282092319191515
Ancient Society of College Youths2442555410111621222216
Lincoln Diocesan--32322926262626252925171817
London County343735273432282119201817242118
Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford211713191917182521211318181919
Royal Cumberland Y.172324222320251923181920152320

The number of peals rung year by year from 1881, to the present time, are as follows:-

Grand Total 29,875
JOSEPH GRIFFIN, 72, Shobnall Street, Burton-upon-Trent.
E. W. CARPENTER, Boothby Pagnell Rectory, Grantham,
ARTHUR T. KING, 2, Sussex Place, Southsea, Hants.

The Ringing World, May 10th, 1912, pages 314 to 316


Your committee, having carefully considered the questions referred to them at the meeting of the Council, at Leicester last year, beg leave to report as follows:-

As regards points for peals on seven bells and upwards, they recommend the adoption of the schedule brought forward by Mr. J. Griffin, and supported by Mr. A. T. King, and calculated from the formula,

VN 3/2 ÷ 8 3/2

In the matter of points for peals of Minor, they recommend: 1 point for each 720 rung in any plain method, 2 for each 720 in any Treble Bob Method, 3 for each such in any method with “Broken Leads,” and 4 for each such in any Surprise Method, each 720 to be counted as such, whether rung all through in one and the same method in the usual manner, or composed of touches in more than one method, making up, when taken together, one true 720. Also, in addition to the points thus apportioned to the seven 720’s, of which the peal consists, they recommend that a point be given for each method rung, commencing with the second method. Thus, for a peal consisting of seven 720’s in one and the same plain method, such as Plain Bob, 7 points would be given; and for one consisting of seven 720’s in fourteen Surprise Methods 41 points would be given; that is, 28 points for the seven 720’s, and 13 points for the fourteen methods.


Note.- Though signing this report, Mr. Carter wishes it to be stated that he is strongly averse to any 720, consisting of portions in different methods. He considers that each 720 should be rung straight through in one and the same method.

The Ringing World, May 17th, 1912, page 332




The Central Council held their 22nd annual meeting on Tuesday, when, according to the rule requiring that the first session of each new Council shall take place in London, the “Ringers’ Parliament” gathered at the Church House, Westminster. The business proceedings were held in the Small Hall, where, prior to the sitting of the Council, the Standing Committee met.

For some little time before 11 a.m., at which hour the meeting began, representatives from all over the kingdom were assembling, and there were many greetings to be exchanged. This gathering of the leading lights of the Exercise is always an enjoyable social event, as well as being a business assembly, and the meeting of old friends in the minutes that precede the formalities of the day is not the least pleasant part of the proceedings. It being a newly-elected Council, there were, of course, some new faces to be seen, while some of the old were missing, but altogether there did not seem to have been any big change in the representation.

The appended schedule gives the complete list of members of the Council, and shows both those present and those absent.

College Youths.- Present: W. T. Cockerill, T. Faulkner, A. Hughes, T. H. Taffender.
Cumberland Youths.- Present: F. Bennett, H. Dains, J. D. Matthews, J. Parker.
Bath and Wells.- Present: A. B. Coles. Absent: E. E. Burgess, J. Maddock and Rev. C. C. Parker.
Bedfordshire.- Present: Rev. W. W. C. Baker.
St. Martin’s Guild.- Present: W. H. Godden.
Cambridge University.- Present: E. H. Lewis.
Chester.- Present: Rev. A. T. Beeston and W. Bibby.
Devon.- Present: Rev. M. Kelly. Absent: A. W. Searle.
Durham and Newcastle.- Present: W. Story. Absent: C. L. Routledge and C. Todd.
Ely.- Absent: Rev. J. M. Clarkson.
Essex.- Absent: C. H. Howard, W. H. Judd, W. J. Nevard and N. J. Pitstow.
Gloucester.- Present: J. Austin.
Hereford.- Present: J. Clarke. Absent: R. Marston.
Hertfordshire.- Present: B. Prewett.
Irish.- Absent: Lord Justice Cherry.
Kent.- Present: E. Barnett, T. Groombridge, Rev. F. J. O. Helmore and W. J. Jeffries.
Lancashire.- Present: Rev. H. J. Elsee, J. H. Banks, H. Chapman and T. Redman.
Leeds.- Present: P. J. Johnson.
Lincoln.- Present : Rev. H. L. James, G. Chester and R. Richardson. Absent: J. W. Seamer.
Liverpool.- Absent: W. Bentham.
Llandaff.- Present: J. W. Jones.
London County.- Present: H. S. Ellis and E. A. Young.
Middlesex.- Present: J. H. B. Hesse, A. T. King, W. Pye and J. R. Sharman.
Midland Counties.- Present: Sir A. Heywood, E. C. Gobey, J. Griffin and J. W. Taylor.
Central Northants.- Present: F. Wilford and D. J. Nichols.
North Notts.- Present: H. Haigh.
North Wales.- Absent: Rev. T. Lewis Jones.
Norwich.- Present: G. P. Burton. Absent: C. E. Borrett, W. L. Catchpole and J. Motts.
Oxford.- Present: Rev. G. F. Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, J. Evans and F. Hopgood.
Salisbury.- Present: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards and A. F. Martin Stewart. Absent: Rev. H. E. Tilney Bassett and J. S. Rumming.
Salop.- Absent: J. Bradney.
Stafford.- Present: R, Cartwright and S. Reeves.
Surrey.- Present: Dr. A. B. Carpenter and C. F. Johnston.
Sussex.- Present: K. Hart, G. H. Howse and G. Watson. Absent: F. B. Tompkins.
Truro.- Absent: J. C. Daubuz.
Warwickshire.- Present: H. Argyle.
Winchester.- Present: Rev. C. E. Matthews and J. Whiting. Absent: H. White and C. Willshire.
Worcester.- Present: T. J. Salter. Absent: J. R. Newman.
Yorkshire.- Present: Rev. C. C. Marshall, G. Bolland and C. Glenn. Absent: C. H. Hattersley.
Hon. Members.- Present: Rev. A. F. H. Boughey, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Rev. H. A. Cockey, Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Rev. Canon Papillon, J. W. Parker, J. S. Pritchett, Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, W. Snowdon, J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde and G. Williams. Absent: C. E. D. Boutflower, J. Carter, W. H. Thompson.

Representative Members6429
Hon. Members133


Associations fully represented 20, partially represented 12, unrepresented 7; total 39.


The first business being the election of a president, the hon. secretary temporarily took the chair. He said he had received only one nomination, and that was Sir Arthur Heywood.- On the motion of Mr. A. T. King, seconded by the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Sir Arthur was unanimously elected.

The President said he was extremely indebted to the members for the expression of their further confidence, but he was really beginning to think the time had come when they ought to be considering whether it would not be for the good of the Council to change their president (“No, no”). He was not an advocate for anybody holding office for too long a time, whether it was a Government, a president, or anybody else, and he only asked them, in giving him their renewed confidence, to bear in mind that they should consider, not the compliment to him, but the good of the Council. If they considered it was still for the good of the Council that he should continue to be their president, he bowed to their decision, and recognised most gratefully the compliment they did him. He would endeavour to justify their choice.

On the motion of the Rev. C. E. Matthews, seconded by Mr. W. T. Cockerill, the Rev. C. D. P. Davies was unanimously re-elected hon. secretary, the President remarking that in the Rev. C. D. P. Davies they had got the best secretary anybody ever had (applause).- The Rev. C. D. P. Davies briefly acknowledged his election.


The Hon. Secretary then presented the statement of accounts. The balance in hand at the end of last year was £63 15s. 8d., and the receipts from subscriptions amounted to £11 12s. 6d., making a total of £75 8s. 2d. After meeting expenses, there remained in the bank a balance of £71 12s. 6d. In addition to that they had an asset of £125 3s. 9d., the net value of publications on hand.- The publications account showed a loss of 6s. 8d., due to the fact that a guinea had been paid for printing the decisions of the last Council.- The accounts were adopted, on the motion of Mr. R. Cartwright, seconded by Mr. J. Griffin.


The following hon. members were re-elected: Mr. G. Williams, Mr. J. Carter, Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Mr. J. S. Pritchett, and Mr. J. A. Trollope. On the ground of ill-health, Mr. C. E. D. Boutflower did not seek re-election. The following who had ceased to be representatives of Associations were added to the hon. members’ list: Canon Papillon, Rev. H. A. Cockey, Mr. R. A. Daniell, and Mr. W. Snowdon.- The President said that those members of the Council who knew what the work of these gentlemen had been would be of opinion that the Council could ill-afford to lose their services (hear, hear), and the Standing Committee had, therefore, recommended their election.


The introduction of new members to the President then took place, Sir Arthur congratulating Mr. W. Pye upon having added to his honours by ringing the 15,264 of Bristol Surprise on the previous day.

The President said there was one other congratulatory word to offer, and that was upon the fact that they had with them Mr. William Banister (applause). He need not tell Mr. Banister what a great honour it was to see with them a ringer 89 year’s of age, and one who had identified himself so long and so eminently with the interests of the Exercise. He conferred by his presence a great honour upon that assembly (applause).

Mr. Banister, who despite his years was in excellent health, had a very cordial reception in rising to reply. He said he had been out of the ringing world for some years, and very few of those be used to know in London were now left. His old friend Mr. Matthew Wood was one, and Mr. Cooter, who, unfortunately, he was told, was too much of an invalid to recognise anybody, was another. He (the speaker) had been associated with the Church now little or much for the past 70 years, and as far as the ringing exercise was concerned, his interest in it had never fallen off from the commencement. He was very pleased to find the advance that had been made since he left London. Through the introduction of the county and other associations, and the interest which the clergy had shown in the matter ringing stood much better than it did when he began. He had some eight or ten miles to walk there and back, if he wanted a peal, for there were no trains or conveyances except their legs. He again thanked them for their reception, and hoped the Associations would go on and do well (applause).


The President said before they passed on to the next business, he wished without moving a formal resolution to express, what he was sure they all felt, the great loss which the Exercise had sustained by the death of that eminent London ringer, Mr. James Pettit. He thought the ringing world had seldom seen a man who so thoroughly exemplified the type of a really useful member of the community. He was an absolutely reliable man, who did not indulge in many words or waste people’s time, but everything he took in hand he did well. He was one of the safest and most successful conductors. He (the speaker) recalled that he rang his first peal of Stedman Triples, Stedman Caters and Stedman Cinques under Mr. Pettit’s conductorship. His manners were charming, and yet at the same time he was so very businesslike and so downright in everything concerning the work in hand that he would be very difficult to replace (hear, hear).

A full report of the remainder of the proceedings of the Council will appear in future issues, but we give below, for the convenience of our readers, a summary of what took place.

The President spoke on the Welsh Disestablishment Bill, and moved the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr. A. T. King, and carried unanimously: “That this meeting of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, representing 39 associations, protests against the Bill now before Parliament to disestablish and disendow the Church in Wales as a measure entirely devoid of justification.”

The Standing Committee of the Council were re-elected.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson reported progress by the Collection of Peals Committee, who were re-elected.

Mr. R. A. Daniell reported progress by the Church Press Committee whose title was changed to the Literature Committee, and the members of which were re-elected, with the exception of the Rev. M. Kelly who wished to retire.

The Rev. H. Law James reported on the work of the Legitimate Methods Committee, from which Mr. John Carter expressed a wish to resign. Mr. E. H. Lewis was elected to fill the vacancy.

The report of the Peal Values Committee (already published) was presented by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, and at the suggestion of the committee themselves, their work was handed over to the Analysis Committee.

It was decided to hold the next meeting at Newcastle.

The Rev. H. Law James moved that “a peal of Minor must consist of at least seven true 720’s, and the bells must strike rounds only once at the end of each, and immediately go into the next. The peal may be lengthened by the addition of any number of 720’s fulfilling the same conditions, with or without one touch of less than 720 changes to make up some definite number.”

An amendment substituting the word “should” for “must” after the word “Minor” was carried by a large majority.

In view of the adoption of the Peal Values Committee’s report and the merging of their work with that of the Analysis Committee, the Rev. E. W. Carpenter withdrew the following resolutions, of which he had given notice:-

“(a) That a committee of five (?) six-bell ringers be appointed to draw up a scale of points for performances on five and six bells.

“(b) That this committee, together with the Peal Values Committee, try to find a common denominator by means of which the value of such performances, compared with that of peals on higher numbers, can be fixed.”

Mr. George Williams was added to the Analysis Committee to assist them with his advice upon peal values.

The following resolution was moved by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies:-

“That it is desirable to reconsider some of the conditions laid down for the legitimacy of methods as stated on page 18 of ‘Rules and Decisions,’ 1904.”

After a long discussion, it was put to the meeting and defeated.

Mr. J. A. Trollope moved, the Rev. H. Law James seconded, and it was resolved:-

“That this Council, in extending its hearty welcome to the ‘Ringing World’ has heard with satisfaction from the hon. secretary that he has from the first appearance of the paper sent for publication in its columns all essential official notices and reports of the Council, and notes with pleasure that the Analysis of Peals for the past year has been compiled from and has appeared in identical terms in both ringing papers alike.”

A discussion ensued upon the following, moved by Mr. E. H. Lewis:

“That the hon. secretary of the Council be instructed to write to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and request them to meet a deputation from the Council, and discuss the supposed danger to towers caused by substituting steel or iron bell frames for wooden frames. That the hon. secretary also bring to the notice of the Royal Institute of British Architects the Council’s recommendations with regard to the proper height to hang bells relative to the belfry windows.”

At the suggestion of the President, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Young (a member of the Institute of British Architects) and Mr. J. H. B. Hesse, with the President and Secretary, were appointed a committee to see what could best be done in the matter.

On the motion of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mr. A. T. King, the following was agreed to:-

“That the Council, while itself declining to take part in the formation or subsequent management of such an enterprise if set on foot, and without in any sense pledging its individual members, would nevertheless view with satisfaction the establishment on a sound financial basis of a Benevolent Fund for the benefit of members of the Exercise, who may stand in need of help.”

The Rev. H. A. Cockey moved (for Mr. Boutflower), and the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded, the following resolution:-

“That this meeting of the Council, while recognising the value of peal ringing generally, and the laudable desire of the members to assist in placing their own Association at the head of the peal table, wishes to express the strong conviction that the chief aim of all members should be the encouragement in all towers of ringing, rather than chiming the bells for Sunday services, thus helping to achieve the primary objects for which the bells are hung, viz., the Glory of God, and the calling of the parishioners together for His worship.”

The motion was carried with the addition of the words (suggested by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards), “and on the festivals of the Church and their eves,” after “Sunday services.”

A vote of thanks to the President concluded the proceedings, and in the evening a social, at which ringers and their friends were entertained by the President, was held at the Westminster Palace Hotel. There was an extremely large gathering of well-known members of the Exercise, including some of the lady ringers.

The Ringing World, May 31st, 1912, pages 372 to 373




The relations between the Central Council and “The Ringing World” were discussed at the meeting at the Church House, Westminster, on Whit-Tuesday, on a motion, of which Mr. J. A. Trollope had given notice in the following terms:-

Mr. Trollope said the Council would remember that at the meeting at Leicester he moved a resolution, which asked that the Analysis should consist of the peals published in both ringing papers, and that all official reports of the Council should be sent to both, but a lot of people at that time seemed to think that the matter was premature, and the previous question was moved, and the subject shelved. Between last year and now a good deal had happened, and that was why the resolution this year was altogether different to what it was last year. Everything that was asked for then had, as a matter of fact, been given, and all that had to be done now was simply to say “Thank you” for it. Last year, at Leicester, the Analysis Committee were, as the Council knew, strongly against the resolution, but they found that public opinion was against them, and, like the honourable men they were, they reconsidered their position, and had fallen into line.

Mr. A. T. King: No.

Mr. Trollope: I meant to be complimentary, but if I have misunderstood you, I withdraw everything I have said. Continuing, Mr. Trollope said last year it was not his intention, and he did not think it was anybody’s intention, that the official reports of the meeting should be sent to “The Ringing World,” simply because “The Ringing World ” provided its own reporter, but he only took over the resolution on the night before the meeting, and he had no opportunity of considering it or of approaching the people likely to be affected to see if they had any objections, and if so, how they could be met. This year, however, he had been able to do this.


Proceeding, Mr. Trollope said the Council paid two guineas a year to have their meetings reported. That was done because, when the Council was started, unless a report had been provided there would have been no report at all, and no ringer would have known what had taken place, as “Bell News” could not or would not provide a reporter. At first, he believed, the President provided the reporter, but now the Council did it. That necessity, however, had to a large extent ceased to exist, for they could now get an independent report from “The Ringing World.” The point had arisen, and several people had put it to him, why should they continue to pay for this at all. There was not only the cost of the thing which, after all was not great, but there was certainly a great deal of work thrown on the officials of the Council. He thought this matter might very well be left to the Standing Committee to settle. He always understood that the late editor of “Bell News” was under a written obligation to print free of charge everything that was sent by the Council.

The President said that was correct, and related the circumstances under which the obligation was entered into.

Mr. Trollope: The point is, is that agreement legally binding upon his successor?

The President: I think distinctly not.

Mr. Trollope said that under the circumstances it might be worth while to have a fresh start entirely and for the Standing Committee to make what fresh business relations they thought fit with the papers. Mr. Trollope concluded by remarking that everything that had been asked for last year had been granted, and whatever feeling there was was due to a series of misconceptions which ought never to have taken place. The Council had, perhaps, to move a bit slowly, but, he thought from the start it was entirely in favour of the new paper. If the Council now passed the resolution which he moved, it would remove any misunderstanding that had taken place.

The Rev. H. Law James formally seconded.


Mr. A. T. King said, to remove any misconception, he would like to say that, as a member of the Analysis Committee, he never, from the very beginning, had any difficulty whatever with regard to including every peal that was published, wherever it was published. Some of them had their own personal views, and they were simply these, that the new paper had been in existence so short a time that it would be wise to wait until the present meeting before they came to any definite decision. There was nothing unreasonable in that. The new paper had made itself acceptable to everybody with whom he had come in contact, and - he was going to give it the best advertisement he could - it had proved itself entirely worthy of the ringers’ support, and if they were not satisfied he really did not know what else could be done for them. But they must not find fault because at that time last year the Council did not think the time was ripe to express an opinion. That was why the previous question was moved. As regards the Analysis, he was not going to let the public write him down a lunatic if he could help it, for if they took the peals from only one paper, of what value would the analysis be? They, therefore, used their own judgment. It had commended itself to the members, and with that they were entirely satisfied.

The Hon. Secretary said, in giving his hearty support to the motion, he would like to add that what it contained was absolutely and literally true. What he had done he had done simply as part of his regular official duty, as laid down in the rules of the Council, which stated that “the names of the members present, the business transacted at each meeting” - that was the official minutes - “be entered in the minute book and reported to the ringing papers” (hear, hear).


The President said there had been some misunderstanding, and no small amount of nonsense written and talked about this matter. Mr. King had clearly set forth what the position of the Council was at the meeting at Leicester. It did not seem to have been adequately recognised that the Council were obliged to take up the attitude they did. They had to wait until the new paper had justified its existence by proving it was not one of those mushroom growths of which they had had several previously before they gave consent to treat it as they were treating the paper which for a large number of years had been practically the only organ of the Exercise. So far as his part in the matter was concerned, it was simply this: He pointed out then that the correction of the report of the meeting was a very tedious and troublesome matter, both to himself and to the hon. secretary, and he flatly declined then, as he flatly declined now, to do that work twice over. He was perfectly content that day if the Council said “Send the report to ‘The Ringing World’ instead of to ‘Bell News,’” to send it, but to do the work twice over he would not, however kind the hon. secretary might be in saying that he would do his part. The origin of their report of the meetings was that they felt themselves bound to give to the constituents, who sent the members at considerable expense to represent them, as nearly as possible a verbatim account of what took place. A report, such as, for instance, the report, excellent as it was in many respects, which appeared in “The Ringing World,” of the Leicester meeting, was not a report such as would satisfy the constituents of those who sent the members there, and it was open to this further difficulty that all condensed reports of that kind were largely tinged by the particular predilections of those who wrote them, and it would lead, if they trusted entirely to them, to a misrepresentation, he would not say wilfully, but accidentally or ignorantly, of the views of members which would lead to trouble by-and-bye.


Even as it was, with all the care that Mr. Davies and himself bestowed upon the official report, they did not manage to be guiltless of error. What he wanted to insist on was that if they were content to take a report, which might be, as he said, one-sided, not wilfully so, but which might be so, he should be only too thankful to get out of the job, and he was sure Mr. Davies would be too. They must settle once and for all what they wanted done in this matter. He did not mind a bit to which paper it went. He asked them when they passed the resolution, to which there was no possible objection, to deal with that matter.

Canon Papillon suggested that when the manuscript of the report had been corrected, two typewritten copies should be obtained, and one sent to each paper. That would not entail a very serious expense.- The Rev. C. E. Matthews seconded.

Mr. J. Parker asked if the Council were satisfied with the report of the last meeting that appeared in “The Ringing World.” He considered it was quite sufficient. He did not see why the Council need have a report at all. If a paper wanted a report they should send their reporter, as “The Ringing World” did.

The President: Of course they should.

Mr. Parker said he would suggest that each paper should send their own reporter, and give a separate report of the meeting.

Mr. R. A. Daniell said it was perfectly true that papers sent their own reporters to meetings, but it would be impossible for an ordinary reporter intelligibly to follow debates on the technical subjects which the Council discussed.

Canon Papillon’s suggestion was agreed to, and Mr. Trollope’s motion was then put, and carried.

[We think the President is under some misapprehension as to our report of the Leicester meeting. Apart from the summary of the proceedings which we gave, we devoted no less than five full pages in small type to the debates. That can hardly be called a “condensed ” report.- Ed.]

The Ringing World, June 7th, 1912, pages 384 to 373


[Photo by Bailey, Wilton Road, S.W.]
Top Row (left to right) - J. R. Sharman, H. Haigh, H. S. Ellis, G. Chester, T. Redman, J. H. Banks, A. Hughes, Rev. C. E. Matthews.
Second Row - Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, K. Hart, A. T. King, T. Faulkner, W. J. Hazell, S. Reeves, G. P. Burton, W. Story, F. Wilford, D. J. Nichols, J. W. Jones, F. Hopgood, J. W. Taylor, R. A. Daniell, J. A. Trollope, G. Watson, W. Bibby, E. H. Lewis, H. W. Wilde, A. Baker.
Third Row - H. Argyle, R. Cartwright, Rev. W. W. C. Baker, B. Keeble, J. Parker, E. A. Young, J. Griffin, J. W. Parker, J. Evans, T. Groombridge, Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, W. J. Jeffries, T. H. Taffender, Dr. A. B. Carpenter, W. T. Cockerill, E. C. Gobey, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Rev. A. H. Boughey, G. Howse, Rev. G. F. Coleridge, E. Barnett, Rev. H. J. Elsee, C. Glenn, W. H. Godden.
Fourth Row - F. Bennett, J. Waghorn, Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, H. Dains, Rev. M. Kelly, Canon Papillon, A. E. Coles, Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Sir A. P. Heywood, Rev. H. A. Cockey, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, W. Snowdon, Rev. A. T. Beeston, J. D. Matthews, H. Chapman.
Bottom Row - A. F. M. Stewart, R. Richardson, W. Pye, T. J. Salter, J. Austin, Rev. C. C. Marshall, P. J. Johnson, J. W. Whiting, G. Williams, G. Bolland, C. F. Johnston, J. H. B. Hesse, B. Prewett, J. S. Pritchett, Rev. H. L. James, F. E. Dawe.
Central Council members

The Ringing World, June 7th, 1912, pages 386 to 387




We continue on this page the full report of the 22nd annual meeting of the Central Council, held at Church House, Westminster, on Whit-Tuesday.


The President (Sir A. P. Heywood) said that as that was a meeting of Churchmen, he did not think it would be out of place; in fact, he thought it would be in every respect a mistake if at that gathering they failed to express an opinion upon the Bill now before Parliament, which concerned their own interests by and bye, and at the moment, the interests of their Welsh brethren (hear, hear). He referred, of course, to the Bill for the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church in Wales. He did not propose that there should be any discussion upon the matter but he did think that at this time, when every Church body throughout the length and breadth of the land was passing resolutions on the subject, it would ill-become them to let the opportunity go by without an expression of their opinion (applause). This was a Bill which affected them primarily as Churchmen, because if the Church in Wales were disestablished it would be only a preliminary to demanding the disestablishment of the Church in England. He did not want to put the matter forwards on the grounds of personal interest because he would prefer that they should state first that in their opinion it was a very unfair Bill to the clergy, but it would of necessity militate against the interests of ringing, first of all because any Church that had its income depleted must necessarily have less money to pay away. It was true ringers did not get largely paid, and in many cases did not get paid at all, but if they looked back a few hundred years they would see that when the churches were in financial difficulty the first thing to go was the church bells. He was not prepared to say that would happen again but when one was starving one was not very particular what one did to get food. There was one question that had been asked in connection with this Bill, but never answered and that was, “Who was going to benefit by it?” When a Bill was brought forward in Parliament they wanted to justify it by showing that it was going to benefit somebody. They had a Bill brought forward recently for giving each Member of Parliament £400 a year. That was intelligible. It benefited every member of Parliament to that extent (laughter). Then they had the great National Insurance Bill. That was a magnificent endeavour on the part of the Government to deal with a most complicated question. In it the Government had tried to do their best for the poorer members of the community. There was a definite benefit in that Bill, but no one had yet shown who was going to benefit under the Welsh Disestablishment Bill. It was perfectly clear who was going to lose. The clergy were going to lose 13s. 4d. out of every £1 of their income. It was a little bit hard, as had recently been pointed out by Lord Selborne, that the gentlemen who had just voted themselves £400 a year each, should go on to try and take away from the poor clergy, with possibly less than £200 a year, what they had. There did not seem the fairness about it that one would have expected in the House of Commons.


As regards taking away the income, the argument that had been used was that a church without an income would be a better church, it would have to work harder, it would have to do more to justify its existence. Very well, let them admit that argument for the moment. The proposal was originally to take away all but 1s. 6d. in the £, then, under pressure, the Government had given way to the extent of proposing to take away all but 6s. 8d. in the £, but if their contention that the poorer the church was the better, why in the world did they not stick to their first proposal to take away all but 1s. 6d. There was no logic about it at all. Another strong argument, and one that appealed to him most strongly of all, was that if it were such a bad thing for the church to have an income, if it were supposed that a church without an income could do better work than a church with one, why was it that the Nonconformists throughout Wales, and England as well, over and over again had stated through their principal ministers that what was impeding their work was want of funds; that they could not deal with the large masses of people in populous places as thoroughly as they wished because they had not got the money to pay their ministers? What was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander, and if they were going to apply the same reasoning to the Church of England there was no earthly reason why they should attempt to take away the present small income that went to the Church clergy. He proposed: “That the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers protests against the Bill now before Parliament to disestablish and disendow the Church in Wales as a measure entirely devoid of justification” (hear, hear).

Mr. A. T. King seconded, and remarked that the resolution was couched in terms which could not fail to commend itself to everyone of them (applause).

The Rev. A. T. Beeston thought they should indicate that the Central Council represented so many ringers throughout the country.- The President said they would insert the words “representing 39 associations of England containing approximately so many members,” The actual number could be inserted when ascertained.

The resolution, on being put, was carried unanimously.

The President said he might add that no one talked of disestablishing the Church without disendowing it. He did not know that he had any objection to it being disestablished, but those who wanted to disestablish it wanted to disendow it. They wanted the money, that was what they wanted.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews asked where the resolution was to be sent.

The President said he did not know there was any object in sending it anywhere. He thought it would be a good plan to put it in the Church papers. They might send it to the “Telegraph” if they liked.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews suggested it should be sent to Mr. Bonar Law.- A Member: Send it to Mr. Asquith, too.- The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards suggested that as Mr. McKenna and the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not read the Church papers, it would be well if it were sent to them.- The President: If you were the minister in charge of a contentious Bill you can just imagine what you would do with it.- Eventually the matter was left to the President and Hon. Secretary.


The Rev: A. F. H. Boughey proposed the re-election of the Standing Committee: The President, the Hon. Secretary, the Rev. G. F. Coleridge, the Rev. H. Law James, Mr. W. T. Cockerill, Mr. H. Dains, Mr. J. Griffin, Mr. C. H. Hattersley, the Rev. H. A. Cockey, Mr. R. A. Daniell and Mr. W. Snowdon - Canon Papillon seconded, and the motion was carried.


The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson reported on the work of the Peal Collection Committee. There was not, he said, very much to say except that the work was going steadily on. They had not as yet availed themselves of the permission to publish by instalments, but that did not mean to say that final publication was not nearer. Week by week they eliminated a lot of false peals. There were a great many more false ones than he expected when he took the work in hand. He was very anxious when the publication was made that the book should be really accurate, without any falseness in it. If this were to be secured it meant going slowly and having the work checked over twice, if not more than twice. The committee were doing their best to ensure that there should be no mistake, and that any conductor might take a peal from the book as it stood, and be quite sure he was not ringing a false peal.- On the motion of the Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, seconded by the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, the committee was re-elected.


Mr. R. A. Daniell reported progress on behalf of the Church Press Committee. He said he had hoped to be able to present the report. The catalogue of books he had practically done. The general books, particularly the books on county bells, and of bells and steeples were practically complete, and he was glad to tell them that Mr. Walter, of the British Museum, had promised to revise that list, so that it would be as accurate as was possible. As regards the manuscripts, he had thought that he had done with them, but be found reference to a manuscript at Oxford, which he did not knew of, and he had not yet had the opportunity of going to see it. He hoped soon, however, to send the draft report round to the committee. He was sorry not to have had it finished, but it really took a great deal of time.

Canon Papillon said the work of the committee was started originally when it was thought desirable to call the attention of the clergy to ringing matters through the Church Press. A certain amount was done in the way of articles and letters to the “Guardian” and other papers, and now that that work had been done he would like to see the committee called the Literature Committee.- The Rev. G. F. Coleridge seconded, and thought it was a good suggestion.- The Rev. Maitland Kelly expressed a desire to retire from the committee, which, with that exception, was re-elected, viz.: Rev. H. A. Cockey, Canon Papillon, Mr. Daniell and Mr. Dains.

The President said he hailed with delight the information that before long they would have the results of the inquiry which had been going on now, he thought, for 22 years (laughter, and hear, hear).


The Rev. H. Law James, reporting for the Legitimate Methods Committee, said they had been quietly going on with the work behind the scenes. There were two books in the room, containing something like 1,500 Treble Bob Major methods and 300 or 400 Surprise methods - which was the instalment they had been dealing with this year. It meant a good many years yet before they got real fruit, but they were going quietly and steadily on. The committee wanted to give them the real thing when they had done.

The Hon. Secretary said Mr. J. Carter had written signifying his desire to resign from the committee.- The Rev. H. Law James suggested that Mr. E. H. Lewis be added to the committee, he having consented to help them.- The committee, consisting of the Rev. H. Law James, Mr. H. Dains and Mr. J. A. Trollope, with the addition of Mr. E. H. Lewis, were re-elected, on the motion of the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, seconded by Mr. H. W. Wilde.


The Hon. Secretary presented the report of the Peal Values Committee which was as follows:-

Your committee, having carefully considered the questions referred to them at the meeting of the Council, at Leicester last year, beg leave to report as follows:-

As regards points for peals on seven bells and upwards, they recommend the adoption of the schedule brought forward by Mr. J. Griffin, and supported by Mr. A. T. King, and calculated from the formula,

VN 3/2 ÷ 8 3/2

In the matter of points for peals of Minor, they recommend: 1 point for each 720 rung in any plain method, 2 for each 720 in any Treble Bob Method, 3 for each such in any method with “Broken Leads,” and 4 for each such in any Surprise Method, each 720 to be counted as such, whether rung all through in one and the same method in the usual manner, or composed of touches in more than one method, making up, when taken together, one true 720. Also, in addition to the points thus apportioned to the seven 720’s, of which the peal consists, they recommend that a point be given for each method rung, commencing with the second method. Thus, for a peal consisting of seven 720’s in one and the same plain method, such as Plain Bob, 7 points would be given; and for one consisting of seven 720’s in fourteen Surprise Methods 41 points would be given; that is, 28 points for the seven 720’s, and 13 points for the fourteen methods.


Note.- Though signing this report, Mr. Carter wishes it to be stated that he is strongly averse to any 720, consisting of portions in different methods. He considers that each 720 should be rung straight through in one and the same method.

The Hon. Secretary added that all the members of the committee were strongly of opinion that they could do no more, and they really wished to resign. Of course, they left it entirely to the Council, but their own personal feeling was that the work would be far better done by the Analysis Committee. This was not through feeling of any sort - the relations between them and the Analysis Committee had always been most delightful, but the committee felt strongly that they had done all they could.

The President said those who could cast their minds back to the last meeting would remember that some difficulty was expressed as to the awkwardness of that committee and the Analysis Committee not being one and the same committee, and it was felt that the work of the Peal Values Committee might very well be done by the Analysis Committee. The Standing Committee advised, and be hoped the Council would agree to the suggestion, that the report of the Peal Values Committee be deferred until they reached the resolution on the agenda dealing with the same subject. There might be matters cropping up which would necessitate these two being considered together.- This was agreed to.


The Rev. H. Law James moved that “a peal of Minor must consist of at least seven true 720’s, and the bells must strike rounds only once at the end of each, and immediately go into the next. The peal may be lengthened by the addition of any number of 720’s fulfilling the same conditions, with or without one touch of less than 720 changes to make up some definite number.” He said he brought the motion forward last year, and it was slightly amended into the form of a recommendation, because it was thought hardly fair it should be carried without giving the six-bell ringers all over the country a fair amount of notice. Practically, the Council agreed with the spirit of the resolution last year. It was carried in the form it was, with the understanding that he should bring it up again this year. Let them look at the matter from the point of view of what really was a peal. A peal of Doubles was 120 changes - that was on pure theory - a peal of Minor was 720 changes, a peal of Triples 5,040 changes, a peal of Major 40,320 changes. That had been the ideal right the way through. Then came the practical difficulty, how were they to compare these different numbers. With regard to Major, it had been got over by making Triples the standard, and 5,000 of Major was called a peal. When it came to Doubles and Minor they had to ring an equivalent number of peals to make up one 5,000, and so the custom had arisen of ringing seven 720’s. The thing could be done in true 720’s up to, he believed, 31 Minor methods in the seven 720’s, so there need be no difficulty from that point of view. The band that rang 31 methods in seven true 720’s would have done a performance well worth talking about. His experience of 14 Minor methods was that they were a considerably more severe tax on the mind at the time than a 5,000 of London Major.- Mr. R. Richardson seconded.

Mr. Dains said he did not like these restrictions. In Minor after ringing 720, what else was there to do? All they could get was repetition, and there was nothing else but the method. The more method they could put into it the better. He would like to propose an amendment to add after “720’s,” “or the equivalent number of eighteen-scores to make up 5,000.” A true peal of it they could not make if they tried, and why they should limit it to 720’s he could hardly see.

The Ringing World, June 7th, 1912, pages 392 to 393


In continuing the discussion upon the Rev. H. Law James’ motion, Mr. Snowdon said he admired Mr. James’ manner of splicing the methods into the 720’s - it was one of the prettiest things they had before them, but his feeling was that if Mr. James would take up a more persuasive position, and say the Central Council advised that this should be done, a great many would fall in with him, but if they said it should be done it would meet with a very proper amount of opposition, and opposition that would break down what was a very pretty thing. To ring a peal with the methods spliced in the way suggested required a clear-headed set of men, who deserved a great deal of credit, but to insist upon this departure would be extremely harsh and hard, and he did not think it would be a popular thing for them as a Council to say to the six-bell men, “You are to do it.”

The Hon. Secretary suggested that the motion should simply read “should” instead of “must.” That seemed to him to be a very small alteration but one which would meet the occasion, because he believed the Council had declined to define what a peal of Minor was.

The Rev. H. Law James said the motion was carried in that form last year, on the understanding that it was coming up again.

The President: That is no reason why it should be carried in that form this year.

Mr. G. Bolland said he would like to move that “a peal of Minor, unless it be a record, must consist of at least one 720, and the remainder may consist of touches of not less than 240 in any method the performers desire, to make 5,040.” He said the reason why he stipulated for one 720 was because they got in it the whole of the working bells at a bob whereas in half peals they did not, but got “half-hunt” bells, as they were called. He thought Mr. James’ resolution, if it were carried, would be a great blow to the six-bell ringers. They ought to be encouraged to ring as many methods as they could.

The Rev. H. Law James: My dear Mr. Bolland can you get 31 methods in, in 240’s? You cannot do it. I get more methods than you do. Mr. James added that the difficulty came in when they changed at every course end from one method to another.

Mr. Bolland said Mr. James’ motion would cause people not to press forward.

Mr. J. H. Banks asked whether the Analysis Committee would recognise 14 360’s as a peal if this resolution were passed?- The Rev. H. Law James: No, certainly not.- Mr. J. W. Taylor thought they ought to have seven true 720’s in a peal.

The President said for the information of those members of the Council whose memories did not carry them so far back, the Council defined a peal of Minor, along with peals of Triples and peals on a larger number of bells, but shortly afterwards so many difficulties arose that they were compelled to rescind their definition of a peal of Minor, and it was decided that the Council should not define a peal of Minor at all, seeing that there was no such thing as a true peal of Minor. He could appreciate the excellence of Mr. James’ suggestions, but he thought it would be wise, if the resolution were passed, to accept Mr. Davies’ proposal and substitute the word “should” for “must.” They would then put before the Exercise the highest type of a peal of Minor that could be rung. If they passed a drastic proposal of this kind they would only be faced in another session or two by having their friends, who were so keen about six-bell ringing, rising up and saying they would not have it.

Mr. E. H. Lewis and Mr. H. W. Wilde, who both said they spoke from experience of ringing Minor in Mr. James’ way, supported his motion.- Mr. Wilde said be did not think it inflicted any hardship on the ringers.

The Rev. H. Law James said he did not take a great deal of interest in points, but it appeared that the analysis was to stand, and points were to be considered. If they allowed these 360’s to go, on being rung as in the past, and to count as a fourteen method peal, they could not give the same number of points for a pile of rubbish like that, as for a true peal of Minor in 14 methods. He had crossed out one of his peals of London Surprise, because the composition was false. He had done the same with a peal of Cambridge Surprise Royal, and a peal of Minor, consisting of seven 720’s, because one of the 720’s was false; also four peals rung in Lincolnshire which had false 720’s. Was he to count these as true peals, for they were just as much peals as these piles of 360’s.

Mr. Bolland and Mr. Dains, having consulted, decided to withdraw in favour of the amendment put forward by the hon. secretary, and in this amended form the motion was carried by a large majority.


The Rev. E. W. Carpenter submitted the following resolutions:- “(a) That a committee of five (?) six-bell ringers be appointed to draw up a scale of points for performances on five and six bells. (b) That this committee, together with the Peal Values Committee, try to find a common denominator by means of which the value of such performances, compared with that of peals on higher numbers, can be fixed.” He said that for some time it had seemed to him that to leave the Peal Values Committee to deal with six-bell performances was not quite the right way to go to work because he had a rather shrewd suspicion that the members of that committee knew practically nothing about six-bell ringing, and that it would be much better if those who did understand six-bell ringing should make up their minds what they thought the points should be, if points were to be awarded. They should draw up a scale of points entirely independent of the points awarded to peals on the higher numbers. Then, to come to the second part of his resolution, his idea was that the committee, having got their scale of points fixed up to their own satisfaction, should discuss with the Peal Values Committee what performances on six bells were equal to a certain peal on seven bells. If, for instance, they could get at what peal on six bells was equal in value to a peal of Grandsire Triples, then they would have a common point from which to fix the other peals. He did not think in any other way they would get a really satisfactory arrangement.

At this point the discussion on this subject was adjourned until the Peal Values Committee’s report was taken.


The Council then considered the place for the next meeting the Standing Committee having recommended Durham, suggesting that in the following year they should go south to Winchester, Salisbury, Portsmouth, or some such town.

The Rev. G. F. Coleridge proposed that the Council should go to Durham in 1913.- Mr. J. Griffin seconded.- Mr. W. Storey said the Council would find much better accommodation at and a far better train service to Newcastle, and suggested that the Council should go there in preference to Durham.- This proposal met with general acceptance, and, on being put to the vote, was carried by a large majority.

Apologies for absence were received from Mr. C. H. Hattersley, Mr. J. Carter, the Rev. J. M. Clarkson, Mr. C. E. Boutflower, the Rev. H. Tilney Bassett, Mr. F. B. Tompkins and Mr. H. White.

The Council then adjourned for lunch, and were photographed for “The Ringing World,” an excellent picture being procured by Mr. A. J. Bailey.


When the Council met in the afternoon, the Hon. Secretary moved: “That it is desirable to reconsider some of the conditions laid down for the legitimacy of methods as stated on page 18 of ‘Rules and Decisions,’ 1904.” Mr. Davies said his particular attention was called to the rule when one of his friends told him that “Sparkbrook Major,” which he composed for the purpose of trying on Mr. John Carter’s ringing machine, was not a legitimate method. On looking into the definition of a legitimate method, he found one very arbitrary rule indeed, and he hoped the Council would see fit to give instructions that these explanations and definitions of what was a true and legitimate method might be so remodelled as to wipe away what he called a blemish. The particular definitions which he should be glad to see remodelled were four on page 18 and one on page 22. There might be others, but the ones he particularly directed attention to were the following:-

In the construction of principles and methods, continued the Hon. Secretary, there were certain rules upon which they had always been agreed, and with which he agreed absolutely; first that no bell should move more than one place at a time, and that no bell should stay in any one place more than two consecutive blows. As they all knew, when they applied these rules to Triples, they got continuous triple changes, and so long as that rule was kept he did not see what more they wanted. In order to produce different methods, instead of a bell lying in 7th’s it might lie in 3rd’s or 5th’s. They thus still got continuous triple changes, and he contended that if a method fulfilled these conditions it was, to adopt a phrase which they found in the Acts of the Apostles, a burden too heavy for them to bear, if they lay on them more than that. Provided they had in any method of Triples only odd places made, that was all he wanted - he was not talking about singles, he meant in the ordinary plain course and at a bob. Coming to the question of Major, when they started they first of all had a Cater change, which, from rounds produced, what in the old days they used to call an in-course row. Their next row was a triple change, and produced what they used to call an out-of-course row.


Then they had another Cater change, which produced another out-of-course row. Thus they got a succession, after the first in-course row, of two out-of-course rows and two in-course rows. If those rules were kept, and they were necessary rules if they were to have any rules in change ringing at all, they were all they wanted, and the moment they went beyond them they entered the region of arbitrary rule. What he contended was that to lay down such a rule as that which said that the bells at the end of any lead must be in the same coursing order throughout the plain course was an absolutely, utterly arbitrary rule. If in any Triple method at the first lead-end they had a row which was capable of being extended to five leads, then they had a perfect Triple method. In a Major method it must be capable of being extended to seven leads. He was perfectly content with the rules, that a bell should only move one place at a time, that a bell should not lie more than two consecutive blows in any one place, and that every one of the bells except the treble, or the bell in the hunt, must be capable of taking one another’s place in the succeeding leads. When they had done that they had, he maintained, fulfilled all that was necessary to a good method. If that were so, then the definitions on page 18 all wanted modifying. It was, he contended, not a fault at all that the lead ends should not be the same as the lead ends of Bob Major, but a fault imposed on it by this arbitrary rule, which said that at every lead end the bells should be in the same coursing order. His suggestion was that the rule relating to a plain lead should read something like this: “A plain lead is a succession of rows so arranged that when the hunt (or hunts) has completed its work the row then produced is capable of so many repetitions,” seven-fold repetition in the case of Major five-fold in the case of Triples, and so on. Then, “that a bob lead should be a succession of rows so arranged that when the hunt (or hunts) has completed its work, three of their number have had their work interchanged,” and, for a single, “two of their number have had their work interchanged,” while with reference to the rule requiring all methods to have Bob Major lead ends, he would cancel that altogether.

Dr. Carpenter said it had long seemed to him that a rule which said Union Triples was not to be rung must be wrong. It was a most delightful method to ring. They could ring the whole extent in Triples, and if they had got to ring the whole extent, what did it matter whether the changes that mixed the tenors occurred in the plain lead or somewhere else? When treating of Major there might be a little something in it in not parting the tenors too much, because they had to get as much music as they could. But when it came to knocking out Triple methods it seemed to him perfectly ridiculous.


The Rev. H. Law James said he welcomed the resolution because it gave him the opportunity of saying something about the Report on Legitimate Methods, which was a statement, not of arbitrary rules at all, but of natural facts. To begin with, he was perfectly certain the great majority of the ringing Exercise had not understood the report, and he was very anxious that they should do so. Mr. Pye rang a 15,000 of Bristol the day before. Mr. Davies, by his argument, had promptly declared that it was not a peal (laughter). In the second place, Mr. Davies had declared that never a single peal of London Surprise Major had been rung yet. In the third place, he had ruled out Kent Treble Bob Major; and Cambridge Surprise Major was also condemned. (A Voice: Hard lines; laughter.) He did not think Mr. Davies was going to give him such an easy task. He must ask Mr. Davies to read the thing through again, and think a little more about it. He (the speaker) had to justify the statement he had made that these things were not arbitrary rules. There were two sorts of laws. There were positive laws and there were natural laws.

A Member: And there is Law James (loud laughter, in which Mr. James heartily joined).

The Rev. H. Law James, continuing, said a positive law was an arbitrary rule laid down for a certain definite purpose; the laws of England, for instance. The law that a peal must be true was an arbitrary law. Natural laws were not laws in the same sense. Thus, when they had studied a particular subject they found it worked out in a particular way and, having found that out, they put it down, and said it was a natural law. They had found it out; they had not made it, and they could not alter it. The Council could alter the name, but they could not alter the law. They could call the moon a green cheese if they liked, but they could not make it so. Let them take the definition of a plain lead, and Bob Major, Grandsire, Kent Treble Bob, Oxford Treble Bob, Superlative, Cambridge, London and Bristol all agreed. The three definitions of a plain lead, a bob lead and a single lead were definitions of three kinds of leads that actually existed. On five, six, seven, eight and nine bells they might write out any leads they liked, and every one of them would come in one of these three definitions, and not one would escape from being classified in that way. When they got to ten bells and upwards they got a five-bell shift, but they could not get that below ten bells, and the three definitions covered everything up to Caters. But if they took Union Triples and examined it, it was a different thing from a lead of Grandsire Triples. They might call it a plain lead if they liked, but nothing on earth would make it so. It was one of those laws that man did not make, and that no man could ever alter. He would like to remove a misconception. People had come to the conclusion that because the Council had laid down what was legitimate that nothing else might be rung. He believed in the Council saying “must,” but there was one thing the Council could not do and that was, when they had said “must,” they could not make people do it, and it was no use trying. The Ten Commandments said “must,” but they could not make people carry them out.


With regard to legitimate methods, however, the Council had never said “must” or “must not.” In dealing with Doubles, they gave every legitimate principle and legitimate method, and they gave New Doubles and Reverse New Doubles, but they were careful to say they were not legitimate. They did not say they were not to be rung, on the other hand they said they were worth ringing. The Council had never said that Union Triples must not be rung. That was a musical question, and they must keep the musical question out of it. The question of what was legitimate and what was not legitimate was a question of natural classification, and they were not going to get any further forward unless they stuck to natural laws. To adopt the motion would be to go back into the darkness of the dark ages, and they might as well throw away all the work they had done in the last 20 years. It had been laid down that Grandsire Triples might not be rung with more than five 5th’s-place bobs in a peal. Whether those bobs were called or not there were more than five 5th’s-place bobs in a peal of Union - it was full of them. Nothing, continued the speaker, would ever bring him to admit that what was commonly rung as Stedman Triples was Stedman at all (laughter). He loved calling a peal of what was commonly called Stedman, but real Stedman Triples was a long way higher up, and when they came to ring it they would find it out. When they came to Minor they were on different ground. With a few exceptions, the moment they began to ring illegitimate methods the tenors would come up the wrong way at back. When it came to Major it was the same thing. Unless a Major method was a legitimate method the music was bad. He did not mean to say that every legitimate method was good, but Oxford Major was nothing like as bad as it was painted, and London Major was a good deal better than Superlative (“Oh!”) Let them work the method out and see for themselves. He could get plenty of peals of London without the 2nd and tenor coming together in 7-8 but show him a peal of Superlative that did that in more than twelve courses, and they would show him something he had never seen yet.


Mr. J. A. Trollope, who mentioned that he had been in correspondence with the Rev. H. L. James for the last 14 years on the subject of methods, said that anyone who went into methods thoroughly, who understood the matter and went into it with an open mind and used logical arguments, could not escape the natural law to which Mr. James had referred. The whole construction of methods, as outlined in the method report, was bound up with it. If they were going to give that rule up they would cut away the foundations, and the top would fall. The trouble of it all was that the ordinary man who approached a method, approached it from an entirely different way from what anybody must do who would understand what a method really was. Ringers as ringers approached methods as finished methods. What they ought to do was to build upwards. That was where he and others did not agree with Mr. Snowdon on Surprise. He was working one way, they were working another. If they started from the bottom they found that certain rules were inevitable. Ringing had been in existence about 300 years, and the development of ringing had been to a certain extent natural. Methods had grown, and it was a curious thing that the methods that had lived were the methods that were legitimate. Whether they gave the latitude asked for by Mr. Davies or not, he believed it was only the legitimate methods that would really be rung.

Mr. J. W. Parker said he started composing late in life, and he came into the matter with an open mind. The result of his studies led him to agree with Mr. James and Mr. Trollope, There was a natural law dealing with the course order of a method and, as they had said, the bells must come into proper coursing order at the lead end. What was the good of putting bob work in the plain course of a method? If there were a bob at a lead end, it could not possibly be a plain course. In Major, for instance, they must have a bell lying behind or a bell making second’s place; if not they were bound to shift the course of the bells. What was a legitimate method had been decided by natural law, and the years of labour spent by some of the members in drawing up rules for legitimate methods would be of no avail if they passed the resolution of the Hon. Secretary.


The Rev. W. W. C. Baker said he was a little bit puzzled. His idea had been that when the Council laid down certain methods as legitimate, and certain methods a illegitimate, it meant that they were to practice the legitimate methods and not practice the illegitimate. Therefore, he had been confused by now having it laid down by Mr. James that though a method might be illegitimate yet, for its musical or other qualities, they might practice it. It was, in his opinion, a waste of time to discuss whether a method was illegitimate and yet allow it to be practised. The point ought to be cleared up as to what was meant when the Council said a method was illegitimate, and whether it was still open to them to practice those that were not legitimate.

The Rev. H. L. James said the Council might declare a thing illegitimate, but that would not prevent it being practised. Ringing “stony” was illegitimate, but he knew of no power except Act of Parliament on the one hand, or the vicar of the parish on the other that could stop it. As far as Union Triples and Stedman were concerned, and also New Doubles, he saw no objection to ringing them, but those were practically the only exceptions he knew. Every other legitimate method was worth practising, and every other illegitimate method was not. When they said that a method was illegitimate it meant that the Council considered it best left alone.

The Ringing World, June 14th, 1912, pages 404 to 405

Continuing the discussion upon the Hon. Secretary’s motion, as to the definition of a method, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson said he thought a great deal of difficulty was in the word “legitimate” itself. The word really meant “regular,” but because they used the word “illegitimate” a thing was condemned off-hand. The word really described the method, it was not a pronouncement as to its value; it had reference only to whether or not it conformed to certain laws. The word was an unfortunate one, and he would be glad if, instead of the word “legitimate” they could agree to use the word “regular.” By that means they might avoid confusion in the future. To accept the Hon. Secretary’s motion would be a backward step on all they had learned, and would be throwing up the attempts to classify methods.

Mr. W. Snowdon said he fully agreed with Mr. Law James on the question of the Bob Major lead ends. He (the speaker) had been exercising his mind as to what was a Surprise method, and any Surprise method which had not Bob Major lead ends was absolutely out of it. It would, he agreed, be a backward step if they carried what Mr. Davies proposed. Stedman gave them College Bob V, but it had irregular lead ends. In the 1702 “Campanologia” the lead ends were put right, and it was called Westminster Bob. He had never heard of College V again, but Westminster was one of the standard methods which they would find in nearly all ringing books. That went to show that when a method was knocked into such a shape that it took up legitimate lead ends, it would stand, and would pass muster for all time. Although Mr. Davies had added to their knowledge upon many things, especially Grandsire, he felt he was wrong in this, and he should vote against the motion.

Mr. Dains pointed out that for over 300 years nothing but methods with Bob Major lead ends had stood, all the rest had been naturally cast aside.

Mr. G. P. Burton said Mr. Davies had not shown one iota of good that the motion was going to do; he had not attempted to justify it. He simply wanted it passed so that they could ring Sparkbrook Major, when they already had a great bookful of methods, which were legitimate. As an ordinary ringer, he protested against piling up method after method, and he appealed to the Council not to open the doors any wider. They had methods enough to smother them (laughter). Although one might be able to ring a number of methods, it was possible to go into a tower and find the ringers ringing something different, of which one knew nothing. Ordinary bands could not keep in practice with more than six or eight methods; what was the use, therefore, of having 200 or 300? They wanted to encourage ringers to stick to well-known and well-tried methods and theoretically sound methods, from which they could get any sort of music they desired; they did not want to open the doors so that they could run riot on any sort of rubbish.


The H on. Secretary, replying to the discussion, said Mr. James had told them that if the resolution were carried, a lot of methods now rung and rung with considerable pleasure and producing good music, would be ruled out - such as London Surprise. But he had said no such thing. All he wanted to do was to lay down a rule, not of maximum, but of minimum. He had never said a word which would lead anyone to suppose that, if the resolution were carried, London Surprise would be ruled out. It would remain just as it was. There should be certain rules which should be the minimum.

Mr. Trollope: If you get a proper Cater and Triple succession in Major you rule out all Surprise methods with the exception of Superlative. I understood that was your minimum.

The Hon. Secretary: What this report has done is to lay down these rules, and some extra ones.

Mr. Trollope: These laws are the counsel of perfection.

The Hon. Secretary: I should be quite content that things should be so modified as to leave London and Cambridge in possession of the field, provided that such things as Sparkbrook Major and many other things are not ruled out. It was not my intention at all to rule out such methods as Cambridge and London. I do not like them structurally - they may be musical - but I should not be for forbidding them at all. Then Mr. Law James mentioned the definitions of a plain, bob and single lead, but these definitions are merely the definitions of one class of bob or plain lead, not of all.

The Rev. Law James: It covers all the ground.

The Hon. Secretary: No.

The Rev. H. L. James: Then send me another by post. Mr. James was proceeding to speak, when he was called to order by the President, who remarked: “This is not the House of Commons” (laughter).

The Hon. Secretary said if they adopted his definition of a bob and single, he really could not see how it infringed on any of Mr. James’ or Mr. Trollope’s definitions. Instead of proposing that the definition read that the coursing order of three bells be changed, it simply proposed that the work of three bells be interchanged. Mr. James had talked a lot about natural laws, but it seemed to him that Mr. James had got a lot of artificial laws. Nothing could be more artificial than to say that the lead ends of a plain course must be the lead ends of Plain Bob Major. It was tying them down quite unnecessarily. With regard to the 5th’s place bobs in Grandsire, they enabled them to get a peal with continuous triple changes. They were adopted as a necessary evil, but he would like to see 5th’s place bobs done away with. As to the contention that bobs should only be made in certain places, he had always understood that a bob was simply caused by a place being made two places distant, either in front or behind, from the place that would have been made had there been no bob, the place made at the plain lead end being determined not by some fancy law at all, but by the structure of the method. The motion had been criticised as a backward step but he thought it was anything but a backward step to cast off unnecessarily shackles. He should think it was a forward step to make oneself more free. Another speaker had said he could not justify his contention because it would be an inducement to them to ring a lot of bad methods. How did he know that? How did he know it would not open the way to a lot of beautiful methods? Mr. Carter’s machine rang three or four leads of Sparkbrook Major, and he (the Hon. Secretary) thought it was a very pretty method. They went on ringing Cambridge Surprise because their grandfathers rang it, but it seemed to him to be a very bad method. If they followed Mr. Burton’s argument, it would be good-bye to all progress in every direction.


The President said when they heard those discussions about matters upon which many of them were very partially informed, it was quite impossible that they, as a Council, could vote in what they might call a really intelligent manner (hear, hear). It seemed to him that there were a number of methods which they called standard methods, such as London and Cambridge, and Treble Bob, which did not agree with the canons of change ringing, which had obtained generally for many years. The principal canon was that every bell that could change should change its place at each change, and Mr. Davies had clearly shown what that canon really was when it was put into practice. They could not deal with this matter in a drastic way and say the excellent methods which had been rung in the past were not worthy of being rung in the future. In his estimation Cambridge was by far the most interesting method he had ever rung the whole way through, although he would admit that it was structurally inferior to Superlative. They could not say that those methods, compiled by our forefathers before they had the knowledge which was possessed to-day with regard to method building, should be ruled out. If they did people would not consent to abide by their ruling. He believed Mr. James and those who supported him had done their best to try and put the thing upon a sound basis, but it seemed to him extremely desirable that they should not knock on the head every endeavour to revise what they had already done, if there seemed to be any ground for revision. He should personally be prepared to advocate the passing of the resolution, because it would lead to those who had the dealing with those matters looking into the question again, and making quite sure there was no possibility of improving their former definitions. It would be foolish to say that their rulings were never to be capable of improvement.

The Rev. H. L. James said he was not going to say he was going to stand by the report as it stood to-day. The reason he opposed the motion was on account of the grounds Mr. Davies laid it down upon. He could see that they would have to revise these things themselves some day.

On being put to the vote, the motion was lost.

Mr. J. W. Taylor said he met a great number of musical people, many of them amongst the highest order, and they were deadly opposed to change ringing simply for the abominable music that at times it produced. Did this not point to the time coming when the whole system of change ringing would have to be revised, so that they would get the second eliminated entirely from dodging with the tenor behind?


The Rev. E. W. Carpenter presented the following report of this committee for the year ending December 31st, 1911: In presenting the Analysis for 1911 we have to state in the first place that we have endeavoured to deal with the peals reported in both ringing papers; and, in view of the additional labour entailed, we would earnestly ask conductors who send reports to both papers to be careful to make them identical. Attention was called at the last meeting of the Council to one glaring instance of two reports of the same peal which differed in no less than seven particulars including the name of the conductor and the Association. This is an extreme case, but differences give a great deal of unnecessary trouble to the committee, and may make the Analysis faulty. One instance has come to light after the Analysis was complete. A peal of Stedman Triples was attributed in one paper to the Essex Association, and in the other to the Hertfordshire Association, and was counted to both in the Analysis. As the name of neither Association “appears first,” and both accounts were published in the same week, we had no means of deciding to which Association to allot the peal. Correspondence with the conductor has enabled us to come to a decision, but it is not satisfactory to be told that the mistake was a “printer’s error!” If the peal were correctly sent up to both papers, it was clearly someone’s duty to see that the “printer’s error” was duly rectified. As it happens, the correction of this error alters the order of the associations in the Analysis. Several peals appeared without a conductor’s name, and though in some cases the name was supplied later, there remain three peals, whose conductors have not thought it worth while to record their names. We would suggest that conductors should look carefully through the reports as published, and at once notify any imperfection. If they only see one paper they should not send reports to both. We would also suggest that, in sending reports of peals great care should be exercised in writing them, and it would be well if all initials were inserted in printing letters. Peals are still sent in for publication a second time, and, where this is on account of inaccuracies in the first report, the fact should be plainly stated. One peal of Minor was really a peal of Treble Bob Minor, though the fact was not stated and we have given it its value as such; but we have heard nothing of any peals in “broken lead” methods.

With regard to a scale of points for Minor and Doubles, we are of opinion that a committee of Minor ringers should be appointed to deal with the question, and a motion to that effect will be brought forward. The committee would like instructions as to the Associations and Guilds which should be given a separate existence in the Analysis.


The number of those who rang their first peal as conductor in 1911 was 83, two more than in 1910, so that the supply of conductors does not appear likely to run short. Those who rang their first peal numbered 604, of whom 97 rang a covering bell. First peals away from the tenor were 13, and with a bob bell 74. The number of towers in which peals have been rung continues to mount up. The “first on the bells” numbered 65, while there were 18 peals after addition, and 25 after restoration. Local bands rang their first peal in 30 cases. Birthday peals were 158, wedding peals 45, muffled peals (one on Good Friday) 40, farewell peals 39, and peals of welcome 24. Inductions, anniversaries, etc., gave occasion for 35 peals, while there were six association quarterly peals, and one peal rung by Association officers. A considerable number of peals were, of course, rung in honour of the Coronation, apparently 72, but it is not easy in every case to determine whether the peals were rung to celebrate the Coronation or not. Accession Day was marked by three peals, and 11 were rung on Royal birthdays. A very notable peal was rung at Vancouver on Dominion Day, the first peal in Canada. The battle of Trafalgar was commemorated by three peals, six were rung on Empire Day, and nine on New Year’s Eve.

Coming now to Festivals of the Church, which we, as Church bell ringers, might be expected to mark, there are of course difficulties in the way of peal ringing on the great festivals themselves, and no doubt a great deal of ringing of touches for service on these occasions takes place. But, as has been pointed out lately in the ringing papers, the eves of festivals are the appropriate times for peal ringing, though ringers do not yet seem to have learnt the fact. Two peals were rung on December 25th, but the fact that it was Christmas Day was not mentioned, and one of these was to commemorate an ordinary birthday. Three peals were rung on Easter Day, one being a golden wedding peal, and one on Whitsun Day, while Ascension Day was quite ignored, and the peals rung on its eve were in honour of Empire Day! On Patronal Festivals seven peals were rung, and two on St. George’s Day.

Young ringers are, we are glad to see, coming on. We note one 13 years of age, four 14, six 15, one of whom conducted the peal, while the average age of the ringers of one peal was 19, and of another under 20. At the other end we find three peal ringers of 70, and one of 74. It will be noted that the arrangement of the Analysis is slightly different this year. We are of opinion that it gives a better view of the peal ringing that has been done, and groups the six-bell performances in a way which is easier for reference and for separate treatment, if it should at any time be found desirable. We may add, however, that there would be no difference in the order of the first eight at least of the associations if the six-bell performances were excluded from the general reckoning in the present Analysis.


The Rev. E. W. Carpenter, in presenting the report, said there were two questions which, it seemed to the committee, were of considerable importance, and which, if they were to carry on the work, they would like to have settled. The first was what associations were to be given a separate existence in the analysis? He was personally under the impression that the associations and guilds which should have a separate existence were those which were affiliated to the Council, but he was told he was not quite correct in that. Another question which they wanted settled was what was intended by the statement that had always appeared at the head of the analysis, “In reckoning points for peals those over 7,000 and under 10,000 count as two, over 10,000 and under 12,000 count as three, and so forth.” What they wanted to know was what they were to take as representing the value of four peals. Were they to go on in arithmetical progression? The next difference would thus be 1,000, and they would get four peals for over 12,000 and under 13,000. The next step would then reduce the difference to nothing, and if that were so, what were they going to do about the peal rung on the previous day (the 15,264 at Hornchurch)?

Mr. A. T. King said since the Council had taken over the analysis the committee had put their own interpretation upon one or two things. They would like to know, however, how they were to classify certain of the methods. He was told that Cumberland Delight was of sufficient complexity to be classed with London, but who was to settle the point? The only Double method in the classification was Double Norwich, but where did the other double methods come in? In the table there was no mention of Aston, and Mr. Bankes James told him that Little Bob Major was worth a good deal more than a plain method. Of course it was a matter of opinion on a good many of these points. With regard to the classification of Surprise, Norfolk, and others, were not mentioned. Were they to be a job lot of 30 points each, or were some to be classed with Cambridge and some with London? He felt with the Rev. E. W. Carpenter that a separate existence should only be given in the analysis to those societies that were affiliated to the Central Council; the peals by the others would be included under independent societies.

Mr. Griffin said before Mr. Carpenter joined the committee they put into the analysis those associations that rang more than one peal, with a view to getting them to be represented on that Council, but he agreed that the time had come when they should say what associations should be included.

The Rev. H. Law James moved that no association be represented in the analysis unless it was represented upon the Council by the maximum number of representatives that it was qualified to elect.

Mr. Hopgood pointed out that if the Analysis Committee would consult the Peal Values Committee all the difficulties to which they had referred would be solved.


Mr. Burton said he had been asked to state that three peals which had been rung by his association (Norwich) were not published until several months after the analysis was complete, although they were rung in January and February last year. These peals put his association up a place in the analysis, and he thought it should be mentioned so that the association which was now patting itself on the back upon occupying second position should know that the Norwich Association ought to have been there.

The President: If your association did not send proper report of its peals how can anybody else be considered responsible?

Mr. Griffin: Did those peals appear in the Association’s own report for 1911?

Mr. Burton: I am afraid not. At the same time the analysis professes to be an analysis of all the peals rung.

The President: It is really idle to contend that when you do not send them up other people are going to credit you with them.

Mr. Burton: I don’t wish to suggest the members of the committee have not done their duty. I was asked to bring this forward on behalf of the Association, simply that it should get its due, I do not wish to insinuate that the committee have not done their duty; the members of the Council would like to have heard how they managed to sort up all the peals that appeared in the papers.

Mr. King said Mr. Burton was quite correct. More than twelve months after the peals were rung they asked one of the ringing papers (“The Ringing World”) as a favour to publish them. They now know that had these peals been sent up at the proper time it would have made a difference to the order of the associations, and he thought it was rather a poor thing to bring up at this time. They (the Middlesex Association) did not care whether they were second, third or fourth. Here, however, were men who did not send up their peals for publication wanting credit for a place to which they were not entitled.

A Member: To my knowledge they were sent up to “Bell News.”

Mr. Griffin: When your own association does not know anything about the peals until after their report is printed, I don’t think the Norwich Association has a leg to stand upon.

The President asked that the matter should be dropped as it was outside the discussion altogether.


The Hon. Secretary proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the Analysis Committee for the enormous amount of labour they had undertaken with such great success, exactness and thoroughness. The Council owed a great debt of gratitude to them for their hard labour. The Hon. Secretary then returned to the subject of the Peal Values Committee’s desire that their work should be taken over by the Analysis Committee. They felt strongly that the work they were doing could be much better done by the Analysis Committee. They were more in touch with the matter than anyone else could be. They were brought face to face with different methods as they were rung, in a way that the points Committee were not. The Points Committee had carried out absolutely and literally the instructions given to them at previous meetings, and unless some special method was referred to them they had not reported upon it. They all knew that the Analysis Committee had just about as much as they could do, and he would suggest that the Council should elect an additional member on the committee to help them.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston seconded the vote of thanks.

Replying to the President, Mr. Griffin said the Analysis Committee would welcome an expert member of the Council to assist them if the Council decided that they should take over the work of the Points Committee. The committee, he added, would only have to call on the new member for consultation as to point values.

The committee (the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, and Messrs. King and Griffin) were re-elected, with thanks for their services, and Mr. G. Williams was added to the committee.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn seconded Mr. James’ motion as to the associations that should be given a separate existence in the analysis, but Mr. Snowdon moved, and the Rev. W. W. C. Baker seconded, an amendment to the effect that all affiliated associations should have a separate existence in the table.- The amendment was agreed to, and the question of the interpretation to be put upon the allowance of points for peals over 12,000 was left to the committee.

The motion to merge the work of the Peal Values Committee with that of the Analysis Committee was agreed to, and the Analysis Committee’s report was adopted.

The Peal Values Committee’s report (which has previously appeared in our columns) was adopted, on the motion of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mr. Griffin, and in view of this the Rev. E. W. Carpenter asked permission to withdraw his motion as to the appointment of a committee to consider the scale of points for five and six-bell peals.- This was agreed to.


Mr. E. H. Lewis moved the following resolution: “That the hon. secretary of the Council be instructed to write to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and request them to meet a deputation from the Council, and discuss the supposed danger to towers caused by substituting steel or iron bell frames for wooden frames. That the hon. secretary also bring to the notice of the Royal Institute of British Architects the Council’s recommendations with regard to the proper height to hang bells relative to the belfry windows.”

He said there was at the present time a great difference of opinion, when the restoration of bells was in question, on the subject of iron and steel or wooden frames, that was to say, whether the bell frames should be of what were known as the rigid type or non-rigid. It was a matter which, in the interests of ringers, ought to be settled by experts. All the bell founders had come into line in recommending the rigid frame, and they knew that ringers preferred bells in this kind of frame. On the other side there was the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings saying most emphatically that absolutely rigid frames were very destructive to old towers. He had been in correspondence with the secretary and had asked him for a list of the towers damaged by steel frames, and he had given him a list of three but he had not given him any list of towers damaged by faulty wooden frames (laughter). Either the bell founders were right in recommending rigid frames, or the society were right in recommending what they called “strung” frames. It was a question which should be decided, because these two opinions were in direct opposition. The society were interfering with the work of the bell hangers, by writing to the local papers, and by bringing influence to bear on those responsible for bell restoration. A recent instance occurred in a letter in the Cambridge “Daily News,” but it seemed to him that the letter was based upon an entirely wrong conception of the action between the bells and the tower, and it was fairly obvious they wanted talking to by an engineering expert. He thought they would be able to find some experts in that Council who could meet the society and discuss the matter, and get it settled one way or the other. If the society were right, let the ringers abide by their decision and recommend, when they were called in to advise, a strung frame. The society were quite willing, if the method suggested in the resolution were carried, to meet a deputation of the Council and discuss the matter. They would produce evidence and try and prove their case, and no doubt the Council would be able to bring evidence to prove their own point.


With regard to the second part of his resolution, his experience was that when new towers were erected the bells were hung with the lip well above the sill of the window in direct opposition to the recommendation of the Council, with the result that outside the tower the noise was simply deafening, and there was strong objection by the residents to any ringing. As the Council’s recommendation did not seem to have had any effect upon architects generally it would, he thought, be a good thing if the hon. secretary would take steps to get into touch with the Institute of British Architects and try and get them to adopt the Council’s resolutions. It would be of great advantage to the architects if they could produce better effects, and a great advantage to ringers.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, who seconded, said they all of them felt, when they were called in to advise, how difficult it was when they found that the society had either been at work before them or were working at the same time. They had to recognise that the society was doing what was right, according to its own lights, and they could not possibly get on until they met and thrashed the matter out. It was no use sending these people their suggestions. The society thought they had a sort of axe to grind, and that they wanted bells hung for their own use and their own selfishness, and that they did not think about the tower - which was absurd. They did not understand what went on in the place where the bell frame was and what went on where the ringers were, or they would not put windows in the absurd places they did. If they met and talked the matter out they would get on better afterwards.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said there was one other important point that ought not to pass unnoticed in connection with this matter, and that was the distance at which the floor under the bells was placed. It was most important there should be a strong recommendation on this point. Another point on the first part of the resolution was that there was nothing said on what was really a most essential feature of the matter, and that was the difference, real or imaginary, in the tone of the bells caused by the material of the frame. He believed he would not be far wrong if he said the representatives of the principal firms would say that it made no difference to the tone, but such was not for a moment a foregone conclusion. The idea was that the bell, and not the frame, made the tone, but they knew what a difference it made to a piano whether they stood it upon a wooden, glass, or iron floor, or on a pile of carpet. He thought it was important that they should get the opinion of those unprejudiced on the point as to whether or not iron frames caused the tone of the bells to be of a more harsh or metallic character in the vicinity of the tower. After listening to a good many peals in iron frames, he was coming to think there was some amount of truth in it. It would be a fatal thing if they recommended something which would have the effect of having bells beautifully rehung from a ringer’s point of view, but ruined as to the tone of them.

Mr. Young, speaking as a member of the Institute of British Architects, said that as a body they had to plead guilty. There might be a few who knew the mysteries of the bell tower, but as a body there was a considerable amount of ignorance among them. If a letter went to the Institute, he was afraid it got into the waste paper basket and the only way definitely to affect architectural opinion over a number of years was to have a pamphlet printed, which would go into the library and be readily accessible. The Institute was most anxious that all members of the profession should know more about the subject. With regard to the question of semi-rigid or rigid frames, it occurred to him as a surveyor that the rigid frame was better for an old tower, but be could see that the matter was one of great controversy.

The Ringing World, June 21st, 1912, pages 430 to 432


The President said he looked upon this resolution as extremely important, and there was great difficulty in bringing the thing home to those whom it concerned. It was probably a good deal owing to him that there were iron frames at all. He could not remember whether it was Mr. Taylor or his father with whom he argued the question, and told him he ought not to have wood in the tower at all. The difficulty really was this, and many architects had told him the same thing, the knowledge with regard to these matters was largely knowledge obtained from ancient text books, and until they got those ancient text books altered they would find that architects were continuing to imbibe a wrong opinion. He was afraid they would find, as had just been said by a gentleman competent to speak on the matter that there was a great deal of ignorance amongst architects in regard to these questions. The President quoted the instance of one of the foremost architects of his time, who, to avoid risk to the celebrated St. Hugh’s tower, built up a wooden staging inside to a height of 70 feet, and placed a peal of eight bells on top. He (the speaker) remembered looking at that peal, and observing that there were a large number of tongues of wood stuck in between the frame and the tower. There they had one of the first architects honestly believing that was the best thing he could do for the tower. The only way that this ignorance could be cured was by a practical exposition. He did not think bell founders were always sufficiently careful about it. A large part of the value of an iron frame was lost if it was not bolted through the tower to plates outside. If they only put their iron frames on girders, so far through the tower, they might be pulling it to pieces. These were points that wanted careful attention, and he thought, in those cases which the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings quoted, the bell hanger had not been at pains to brace the iron frame through the tower. The frame which bound the tower together must strengthen the tower, as against the loose frame put on corbels, which might spread it and not pull it together. Turning to the example of the tone of a piano, quoted by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, the President said that was not quite a fair way of putting it. The bell frame was like the structure of the piano, and iron was far more largely used in pianos to-day than it was 30 years ago. It did not matter what the bell frame was made of, but it did matter what the floor was made of. The ideal tower would be one not open at the sides at all, but opening at the top, and the nearer they could get to that the more even the sound would be and the softer the tone. He had ventured to enlarge somewhat upon this matter, because it had been very near his heart for many years. He did not think they would move the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings, for those good people were so fossilised that they could not be moved to recognise anything that was new. They wanted to preserve every thing that was old until it rotted clean away.

Mr. Lewis said be thought Mr. Edwards’ contention could only be proved by putting a peal in a wooden frame, and then putting them in an iron frame.

Mr. Taylor said it might amuse the Council to know that in one case he was blamed for having spoiled a peal of bells by hanging them in an iron frame. When he asked the name of the church, he found as a matter of fact they had rehung the bells in the old wooden frame (laughter).

Mr. Banks asked if there was a liability of iron frames rolling and not lasting so long as wooden ones. The tower where he rang was a very damp tower, and he had been thinking that the damp might cause corrosion, so that iron frames would not last so long as wooden ones.

The President said cast iron would go on for centuries and not corrode perceptibly, but steel corroded much more rapidly. He thought it was advisable in all bell hanging work that rolled iron joists should be used if they could be obtained. Steel joists would rust rapidly if exposed to damp.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson thought they could do no harm if the Council passed the resolution before them, and appointed a committee who had engineering experience.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards moved to add to the resolution the words “and to the position of the ringing floor.”- Mr. Taylor seconded.

The President thought it would be wise to ask Mr. Lewis to collaborate with Mr. Young in the matter. It would be better than tying the Council by a resolution. He looked upon the matter as one of the most important they had ever had before them. Would the Council, therefore, consent to appointing Mr. Young and Mr. Lewis and one or two others to collaborate with the President and hon. secretary to see how they could best deal with the matter?

Mr. Lewis agreed. He said it was such a difficult thing to move this society, that he would much rather leave it to the Council to attack the problem in any way they thought fit.

The President’s suggestion was agreed to, and Mr. J. H. B. Hesse was added to the committee.


The Hon. Secretary moved the following resolution: “That the Council, while itself declining to take part in the formation or subsequent management of such an enterprise if set on foot, and without in any sense pledging its individual members, would nevertheless view with satisfaction the establishment on a sound financial basis of a Benevolent Fund for the benefit of members of the Exercise, who may stand in need of help.” He said he thought it would be good thing if the Council once and for all said quite plainly that, while they could not take in hand the inauguration or management of a benevolent fund, or anything of that sort, they would view the establishment of such a fund on proper lines with satisfaction. He moved the resolution because there was lurking in the minds of some members of the Exercise the idea that, because the Council had always rejected motions having for their object the establishment of a benevolent fund, they did not agree with benevolent funds, and did not like them. He wanted that idea dissipated because every one of them would do all they could to help their poorer brethren. The resolution spoke for itself, and he hoped there would in future be no idea that the Council had any sort of feeling against it, but very much the reverse.

Mr. King seconded. There had been, he said, among many people a misconception as to what was meant by benevolence and benefit. Benefit was a thing for which they paid, and for which they got a distinct quid pro quo. Benevolence was doing good, hoping for nothing in return. There was room for benevolence everywhere, and at all times. Among ringers it was better exercised in the associations, where the case was better known than it would be to those who administered a central fund. It had transpired within the last few weeks that many associations were seeing their way to taking steps to set on foot such a fund, and he noticed that some of them were proceeding with considerable caution, and that before any body could reap any benevolence they must have been a member for five years, and, he thought they should have added, should have paid their subscriptions. That would be one way of inducing those tardy shillings to come into the association coffers. Administration of these funds would require a great deal of caution for the reason he had pointed out, that there was many a man who, if he gave anything to a fund, would have something out of it some day by hook or by crook. If, however, a man gave anything to a benevolent fund he must do so hoping to get nothing out again. That sort of benevolence was certainly one that should be encouraged, and he believed it would be encouraged generally. But they never found a case in any tower, where a man was hard up, that was not met at once locally. Why, then, should all this machinery be set up by the Central Council? He could not see that it was at all necessary. It seemed to him, however, that they must all look upon it favourably, and give it their blessing, so to speak, where-ever people thought they could in a proper way set up and formulate rules for such a fund.

Mr. G. Watson said Mr. King had mentioned the case where it was necessary to be members of an association for five years before they could reap benefit. That happened to be the county with which he was connected. In Sussex they proposed to exercise benevolence in this way. They had been in the habit of paying for the tuition of bands, and they had also been in the habit of giving money where they had been asked for help when bells were to be restored. When they had spent their money in that way the association did not get any benefit from it, for incumbents did not always induce their ringers to become affiliated to the association after they had had the help. He had, therefore, thought it would be a very good thing if any money they had to spare was ear-marked for any of their poorer members who might be in need. The Association had been in a position in the last two or three years of making a profit. Through being economical they had got £14 or £15 a year, which they could see their way to putting aside for this purpose, and they did not ask their members to put their hands into their pockets at all, so it was not a benefit, it was purely a benevolent fund.

The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore said as one who had also been instrumental in starting a fund, he thought it would be a great mistake for the Council to take on a matter such as this, which could better be worked by the associations themselves, In Kent they were going to work very much on the same lines as in Sussex, and the only thing he was sorry about was that the Sussex had taken the wind out of their sails in being the first to form such a fund, but he hoped they would beat them in the amount of it before long (applause).

The motion was then put to the meeting, and carried.


The Rev. H. A. Cockey moved the following resolution on behalf of Mr. Boutflower: “That this meeting of the Council, while recognising the value of peal ringing generally, and the laudable desire of the members to assist in placing their own Association at the head of the peal table, wishes to express the strong conviction that the chief aim of all members should be the encouragement in all towers of ringing, rather than chiming the bells for Sunday services thus helping to achieve the primary objects for which the bells are hung, viz., the Glory of God, and the calling of the parishioners together for His Worship.” They had all heard a good many sermons, he said, applied to their own particular art of change ringing, and they must all feel that their ringing should be done for the glory of God. If only they kept that idea before them they must see at once that the greatest object of their work was to call parishioners together for worship on Sunday, or whenever the church might be open for service. Unfortunately it had been considered for many years that the chiming of the bells was more appropriate for calling people together than the ringing of them. He had never agreed with that idea himself, and he did not suppose that anyone in that room would agree with it. The sound of the bells was never so good as when they were in full swing, therefore they got the best sound out of the bells when they were being rung. Surely when they were trying to call people to worship God they wanted to use their instruments at their highest and best capacity; therefore, ringing was the appropriate thing in every respect. There were sometimes two difficulties. One was the difficulty of getting permission from the parson, and the other the difficulty of getting a band. There were many ringers who objected to going to ring the bells for service on Sundays, and he was sure Mr. Boutflower’s idea in mentioning this was to try, as ringers, not only to get the clergy to allow ringing of their bells for services, but, having got permission, to take care there should always be a band present to ring the bells, and to ring all the bells. When they were ringing for the glory of God they wanted to ring as well as ever they could. They did not want to look on Sunday ringing simply as a little further practice but they should strike the bells as well as they possibly could, and ring the most beautiful and musical changes they were capable of producing. In order to do this, peal ringing was a very great help, because, as they all knew, long length ringing did really improve ringing, and they got the best striking by those who were capable of ringing peals and striking them well. It was very nice to ring as many peals as they could, and the more they rang the better strikers they would be, but it was not a good thing that their sole object should be to ring the largest number of peals they could merely to get their association at the head of the peal table. He trusted that they would all be ready to acknowledge that the real and highest object of peal ringing was to make themselves thoroughly proficient for ringing the bells for the glory of God. He hoped the members would do their utmost wherever they might be, to influence those whom they represented to try, in the first place, if they had no Sunday ringing, to persuade their clergy to allow it, and when they had got permission to ring, to be regular and careful in the ringing when they were calling people to God’s House.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who seconded, suggested the addition of the words, after the words “Sunday services,” “and on the Festivals of the Church and their eves.”

The Rev. H. A. Cockey accepted the suggestion.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said after the extraordinarily erratic occasions for the ringing of peals enumerated in the Peals Analysis Committee’s report he did not think there would be any divergence of opinion in that assembly as to the propriety of including the principle which his amendment envolved, viz., that ringing should be done regularly on those days which were appointed by the Church to be observed as feast days. There was also another point, a point of expediency to ringers. They lived in an age when people with weak nerves and unspeakable cranks seemed to have a free hand through the House of Commons, the County Councils, and through local authorities to impose their cranks upon any other section of their fellow men, and they never knew what moment there might be passed through the House of Commons, by a private member, an order that the ringing of Church bells should cease, except upon certain stipulated occasions. A good many of those present might, perhaps, be aware that some society with its headquarters in London actually had such a thing in their programme. The point was that if ever such a thing were passed, the matter of greatest importance to them as ringers would be on what occasions the House of Commons would kindly permit them to ring. They wanted to be in the position to say as the Frenchman said, “Ici je suis, ici je reste” - “here I am, here I stay.” If they allowed their ringing to be confined, apart from practices, to Sundays, they might at any moment get a Bill passed confining ringing to Sundays. They wanted to be able to say that it was the custom to ring Church bells on every festival and its eve, and then, if ever such a Bill were before Parliament, they would be able to turn to the Prayer Book and say: “The bells have been rung on every Sunday and on festivals and the eves, here is the list of occasions.” The great majority of peals were rung on Saturdays, and while ringers could not say that they had any canonical right to ring three hour peals, they would be able to rise to their position and their privileges, and say they had a sacred right by the immemorial tradition of the Holy Catholic Church, to ring, not only every Sunday, but every Saturday, because it was the eve of Sunday (hear, hear). He hoped, therefore, from the ringers’ practical point of view, as well as from the point of view of service to the Church, the Council would pass the motion.

The resolution was put, and carried, without further discussion, and the meeting then terminated with a vote of thanks to the President, moved by the Rev. G. F. Coleridge.

The Ringing World, June 28th, 1912, pages 448 to 449

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