The following is the report of the Peal Analysis Committee, of the Central Council, usually appended to the Analysis of Peals. This year, owing to the exceptional circumstances detailed in the reports, published below, the committee are of opinion that the analysis itself should be withheld until after the meeting of the Council, to whose consideration they think that it should be submitted prior to its publication.



The questions which have presented themselves to the Analysis Committee for solution this year have been of considerable number and magnitude, and we venture to hope that in the matter of points for peals, which was relegated to us at the last meeting of the Council, we have arrived at a workable result, if it cannot be looked upon as perfect.

The subject is so intricate that the result is hardly likely to be accepted at once by every member of the Exercise; but we can assure any who may be disposed to criticise the details of our work, that we have spared no amount or labour since the last meeting of the Council, and have used every means at our disposal to arrive at a fair solution of a very difficult question, in which absolute mathematical accuracy is unattainable.

We feel strongly that any arrangement come to must be imperfect, as one of the most important factors in arriving at the real value of a peal, the personal equation, has of necessity to be ignored. To give an illustration. A peal of Bob Minor was rung on January 20th, in which we learn that it was the first peal by the first five ringers, and the first as conductor by the ringer of the tenor. Again on May 11th we notice a peal of Grandsire Triples, which was the first peal by the ringers of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, first as conductor by the ringer of the 6th, and first peal by the local band. On December 28th, a peal of Bob Minor was the first peal by five of the band, and first peal with a bob bell by the other, while it was the conductor’s first as conductor, and the first peal on the bells by the local band.

Such performances as these (and other instances might be given) are relatively of greater value really than peals in more intricate methods rung by bands of experienced ringers, who have, perhaps, been ringing one or more peals every week for a long period. But it is obviously impossible to take such circumstances into account. Points seem to be necessary as a means of comparison, though we wish that some other method of comparing the results of the analysis could be found. We have accordingly endeavoured to apportion them as fairly as the circumstances will permit.


The steps taken, and the results arrived at with regard to points for “peals,” and for “performances” on six and five bells are presented separately. It only remains for us to say that the adjustment of the two scales, and the finding of a common denominator has been a matter of considerable difficulty. We trust that, in all the circumstances, the efforts we have made will meet with the approval of the Council and of the Exercise at large. We can only say that we have done our best in a very difficult matter.

The scale for Minor methods adopted last year gave seven points for seven 720’s of Plain Bob, possibly the same 720 rung seven times, while seven points is the time-honoured allowance for a peal of Grandsire Triples. This is obviously unfair. We have, therefore, been compelled to adjust the standard of comparison either by marking up peals on seven bells and upwards, or by marking down those on six bells. Having regard to the fact that by ringing more than one Minor method the points very easily rise above the value of a peal of Grandsire Triples, we have come to the conclusion that the latter is the best solution of the difficulty. This is dealt with more fully in the separate report on the points for Minor and Doubles.

We have been in much uncertainty how to deal with Minor performances consisting of touches of less than 720 changes. One peal of “spliced” 720’s was withdrawn because one 720 turned out to be false. In the case of the performances we are speaking of, no 720 at all was rung, and many changes must have been altogether omitted. While, therefore, we feel that these collections of touches in many different methods are great achievements, we do not consider ourselves justified in allotting to them the full number of points.

Two peals of Minor have in the past year been tapped upon handbells; but as they were not rung, and the bells were not “retained in hand,” we are of opinion that the Council would not wish them to be included in the analysis. They were certainly marvellous, and merit a word of notice, but, if they were to be included, we could hardly omit peals tapped upon the piano or dulcimer, and it is clear that a line must be drawn somewhere. We are not at all certain that it would not even be better to place the handbell peals in a separate analysis.

The reports of peals sent to the ringing papers seem to have been more carefully written. The errors needing correction are fewer this year, in spite of the enormously increased number of peals which the analysis shows. May we once more urge upon those who send reports of peals to examine them carefully when printed, and ask to have any errors corrected at once? This would save the committee much time and labour in compiling the analysis.


The numbers of those who rang their first peals on tower bells are curiously similar to those of last year. First peals were 609 in 1912, against 604 in 1911. First peals away from the tenor number 13, the same as last year, and the first with a bob bell are 70, against 74 the year before. Those who rang their first peal as conductor are 89, as against 83. “First on the bells” were 79, since restoration, 27; since addition, 11; and “first by local band,” 15.

Birthday peals show a large increase, totalling 248. Wedding peals numbered 80, including peals for six “golden weddings.” Muffled peals were 95, including two on Good Friday, and eight in commemoration of the “Titanic” disaster. There were 49 “farewell” peals and 21 of “welcome”; 78 were rung for anniversaries, dedications, etc. and 20 on Royal birthdays and other public occasions. Quarterly association peals were 14. Members of the C.E.M.S. rang four peals, friendly societies two, while clergy, police, market gardeners and the ladies rang one each. One peal was rung to commemorate the opening of a drinking fountain, and another as a compliment to the churchwardens for providing a new set of bell ropes! We can imagine many other bands of ringers ready to pay a similar compliment, if only the circumstances admitted of it. We also notice one peal in which a blind ringer book part, two were rung by eight Georges, one by 10 Williams and one by 12 Johns.

Saints’ days and other Church festivals were more noticed last year, 52 peals being recorded as rung on these occasions. Possibly other peals were rung for festivals, as we notice, for instance, that 16 peals were rung on January 6th, but in only two cases was the Festival of the Epiphany mentioned. Six peals were rung for harvest thanksgivings, and three muffled on December 31st for the departure of the old year, together with 17 others on that day.

Your committee have given careful attention to the work bequeathed Young ringers are still, we are glad to see, coming on. We find them as young as 11. In one peal the ages of four of the ringers were 12, 13, 15 and 16, while in another the ages varied from 12 to 17, giving an average of 15. On the other hand we find four of 70 and over and one of 86! May he be spared to ring more peals yet!


Your committee have given careful attention to the work bequeathed to them by the late Committee on Peal Values, fully sensible of the difficulties inseparable from any scheme of method classification calculated to give general satisfaction. Whether we have succeeded or failed, we must leave to others to determine. For our own part, we can say that we have bestowed an immense amount of care and labour on the subject; and that, but for the valuable help we have received from many ringers of eminence, we should have found the work almost beyond our powers. Even now, we must ask for the indulgent criticism of the Exercise in respect of the anomalies which still remain. We shall be willing at all times to receive and weigh carefully any suggestions for improvement which may reach us. We would urge, however, that any who wish to criticise should give real thought to the whole subject, and not simply raise objections because they think that some particular pet method of theirs has not received the consideration they think is due to it. If a fair trial be given to the results we have arrived at so far, we believe that they will be found workable.

In the first place, we were left to frame a table of values according to the amended formula VN 3/2 ÷ 8 3/2, which we have found of great service, as showing, in a symmetrical form, the limits within which our choice of values lay; subject, of course, to such slight adjustment as the practical experience of some of us in the intricacies of ringing suggested.

In the next place we have endeavoured to arrange a classification of methods from the point of view of a practical ringer, and we believe the classification we have agreed on to be a sound one. It is here, however, that anomalies may be expected to creep in. For whatever classification may be attempted, so as to allow for a moderate graduation of difficulty, there will always be found some methods contracting themselves (so to speak) out of any classification that the wit of man can devise; for even a Plain method may be invented as difficult to ring as any Surprise method. Such, however, are exceptions, and with these we must be permitted to deal exceptionally.


The following is the classification we have arrived at:-


Plain Methods.- Comprising all Single methods with the work on one side of the treble only, with or without a bell in the hunt:- Canterbury, College Single, Darlaston, Grandsire, Oxford Bob, Plain Bob, Union Triples - with the reverse methods.


Alliance.- Methods with the treble having an “Alliance hunt,” i.e., a combination of dodging and plain hunt.


Treble Bob.- All methods, not otherwise classified, with the treble a dodging hunt:- Kent, Oxford, Woodbine, Violet, London Treble Bob, etc.


Double Plain.- All methods with the treble a plain hunt, and the same method work on each side of the treble:- Double Bob, Double Grandsire, Double Norwich, Double Oxford, etc.


Compound Plain.- All methods with different method work on each side of the treble:- St. Clement’s, Hereward.


Stedman, etc.- Odd bell and even bell methods, in which all the bells work alike:- Erin, Stedman, Aston, Duffield, Forward, Handsworth, Original, Shipway.


Double Surprise.- Surprise methods (i.e., Treble Bob methods with a place at every cross section) with the places all made right, and the same method work on each side of the treble, i.e., double:- Superlative, Oxford, New Cumberland, Norfolk.


Compound Surprise.- Surprise methods with all the places made right, and with different method work on each side of the treble:- Cambridge, New Cambridge, Gloucester, Yorkshire.


Double Surprise (places wrong).- Surprise methods with the places made both right and wrong, and the same method work on each side of the treble, i.e., double:- Bristol, Peterborough.


Compound Surprise (places wrong).- Surprise methods with the places made both right and wrong, and with different method work on each side of the treble:- London Surprise, Cumberland Delight, Stepney Surprise Royal.

Methods specially assigned.- Little Bob to Class III, Waterloo Reverse Major to Class VI.


The Point Values for the above Classification are:-


The foregoing schedule applies to peals of 5000 changes. Peals having over 7000 to 10,000 changes count as two peals; those having over 10,000 to 12,000 changes count as three peals; and so on for every additional 2000 changes. This mode of reckoning, however, is not applicable to long peals in Minor methods, the new scale providing already for the length of a peal, by giving additional points for each complete 720 rung.


It will be within the recollection of the Council that, at their last meeting, held at the Church House, Westminster, on the 28th of May, 1912, the Peal Values Committee submitted a scale of points for peals of Minor, the working out of which scale was left to us as members of the Analysis Committee, and to us was relegated at the same time the duty of formulating a scale of points for peals on the higher numbers of bells, and the adjustment of the two scales.

In the scale of points for peals of Minor thus bequeathed to us, Minor methods were divided into four classes, viz.: Plain, Treble Bob, Broken Lead, and Surprise. The Council, in the “Collection of Legitimate” methods, issued under their authority, accepted the definition of “Treble Bob” methods as those “having no places made at a cross section,” and “Surprise” methods as those “having places made at all cross sections.” The first, second and fourth of these classes, therefore, presented no difficulty. With regard, however, to “Broken Lead” methods, we have learnt that they are methods without a slow hunt bell in the front for the whole period between the full leads of the treble, and all the “Delight” methods in the “Collection” fall into this class. But there are other methods rung which are not included in the “Collection” - Woodbine and Duke of York, for instance, are 4th’s place Delight methods, but they have a slow hunt bell, and are not “Treble Bob” nor “Broken Lead.” To make the work in front between the treble’s full leads, the only criterion of difficulty seems to us unreasonable, and, in methods in which 2nd’s place is made at the treble’s full lead, although the lead may be “broken,” the bell making 2nd’s place may be in front for a longer time than in the case of Oxford and Kent Treble Bob. In Duke of Norfolk, e.g., there is a bell in front for 16 whole pulls; in Old Oxford Modernised there is a bell in front for 16 whole pulls, and a bell behind for 20 whole pulls.


With regard to “Surprise” methods, there are several called Surprise which, according to the accepted definition, have no right to the name. Huddersfield is Treble Bob only, Coventry, Worcester, Chichester, Bristol, Lichfield, Ely and Chelsea are all 3rd’s place Delight methods. Under these circumstances, we have invited a number of conductors, experienced in Minor methods, to help us in dividing these methods into four classes, according to their practical difficulty. That invitation has been very heartily responded to. The replies have, in most cases, shown that those who were consulted have given very careful thought and much labour to the question, and we wish to give those gentlemen very sincere thanks for the very valuable material which has been placed at our disposal.

There was, of course, no little diversity of opinion. One method was placed in all four classes, and nine were placed in three classes. But, in every case but one, at least one class had only one supporter. As opinions were given on all the methods in the “Collection” and on a large number of others outside it, there was a greater agreement than might have been expected. The personal equation enters very largely into the question of difficulty, and a method, which seems perfectly simple to one, presents much difficulty to another. Those, again, who have not had much experience of the more intricate methods, are naturally inclined to rate methods of moderate difficulty too highly.

There must be a good deal of difference between the easiest and most difficult method of each class, but this cannot be helped, if the number of classes is to be restricted to four; and we do not think that more than four are necessary or advisable. We have accordingly made a division into four classes, which we hope may find general acceptance.


We were next faced with the difficulty of combining the scale of points for Doubles and Minor with the scale for peals on higher numbers. Taking the points for a peal of Grandsire Triples to be 7, Bob Major 8, and Treble Bob Major 12, we find that, according to the last scale, a peal of Bob Minor (possibly the same 720 rung seven times) will receive the same number of points as a peal of Grandsire Triples; while if one 720 of Treble Bob takes the place of one of Plain Bob, the points are one more than for a peal of Bob Major; and seven 720’s of Treble Bob (possibly, again, the same 720 repeated) receives two more points than a peal of Treble Bob Major. This obviously requires adjustment, and it has been a matter of no small difficulty. But we think, after much consideration, that the scale we have drawn up should commend itself to ringers of Minor methods as fair and reasonable.

We propose to give to a peal of Doubles three points, with one point added for each two methods rung.

To a peal of Minor five points, to which shall be added:

together with 1 point for every additional method of Classes I and II, and 2 points for every additional method of Classes III and IV, provided that complete 720’s are rung, either in one or more methods.

A peal of seven methods of Class IV should thus be valued at 5+21+12=38.

Four 720’s in one method Class II, and three in one method Class I would receive 5+4+1=10.

One 720 of Class I, two of Class II, two of Class III, and two of Class IV, 5+2+4+6+2+8=27.

True 720’s containing methods of more than one class to be considered as belonging to the method of the highest class.

In consequence of the difficulty of combining the scale for “peals” with the scale for Minor adopted by the Council in 1912, we have decided to present the analysis this year with the societies arranged in alphabetical order, giving the totals for Triples, etc., and for Minor and Doubles separately.



Plain Methods.- Original; 1, Plain Bob; 2, Double Bob; 3, Oxford; 4, Double Oxford; 5, Hereward; 6, Reverse Hereward; 7, St. Clement’s; 12, Canterbury Pleasure; 13, Fulbeck; 14; 15; 16; 17; 24, Court; 26, College Single.

Treble Bob Methods.- 1, Oxford; 2, Sandal; 3, Duke of Norfolk; 4, Burton; 5, Rochester or London Treble Bob; 6, Morning Star or Cumberland Exercise; 7, London Scholars’ Pleasure; 8, Islington or College Exercise; 9; 10; 11; 12, Cambridge Treble Bob; 13, Kent; 14, Killamarsh; 15, Sandiacre; Violet, College Pleasure, New London Pleasure, Arnold’s Victory.

Fourth’s Place Delights.- Woodbine, Oxford Delight or Merchant’s Return or Rusper, Duke of York, City Delight.

Third’s Place Delight.- College Treble Bob.

Surprise.- None.


Plain Methods.- 18; 19, Roydon; 20; 21; 22; 23, Brentford Single; 25, Double Court; 27.

Treble Bob Methods.- 18, Kingston; 19, Norbury.

Fourth’s Place Delights.- 10; 11, Braintree; 12, Wragby; 13, Willesden; 16, Neasden; 17, Old Oxford Modernised; 18; 19; 20, College Bob IV; 21, Norwich or Bocking; 24; 25; 26; 27, Sutton; 28.

Third’s Place Delights.- 1; 2; 11; 12; 13, Kent Delight; 25, Evening Star; 26 Coventry 27; 28; 29; 35, Ely; 36, Queen Victoria; 37; 38, Cambridge; Worcester, Lichfield, Bristol.

Surprise.- 18; 26, Westminster; 27, Annable’s London; 28, Netherseale; 29, Norwich.


Plain Methods.- 8, St. Lawrence; 9, Stedman Slow Course; 10, Frodsham; 11, Stepney.

Treble Bob Methods.- 16; 17; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24,

Fourth’s Place Delights.- 1; 2; 3; 4; 5, Canterbury; 6; 7; 8, Southwark; 9; 14, Hull; 15; 22; 23.

Third’s Place Delight.- 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 14; 15; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34, Dunedin; 39, Tulip.

Surprise.- 10; 11, Sandiacre; 12; 19, Bacup; 20; 21; 22, Lancashire; 23, Lightfoot; 24, Stamford; 25, Wearmouth; 34, Berwick; 35, Beverley; 37, Ipswich; 38, Primrose; 39, Cambridge; 40, Hull; 41, Bourne.


Plain Methods.- None. Treble Bob Methods.- None.

Fourth’s Place Delights.- None.

Third’s Place Delights.- 16; 17; 18; 19, Chelsea.

Surprise.- 1, Munden; 2, Alnwick; 3, Canterbury; 4, Morpeth; 5, Newcastle; 6, Chester; 7, Whitley; 8, Northumberland; 9, Carlisle; 13; 14, London; 15, Wells; 16, Lincoln; 17, Cunecastre; 30, Hexham; 31, Surfleet; 32, York; 33, Durham; 36, Norfolk.

Reverse Methods in the same class as direct.

The numbers refer to the Council’s “Collection.”

“Illegitimate” or Irregular methods which have appeared in three or more peals in 1912 are named. All others to be placed in Class I.

Conductors who send reports of peals of Minor to the papers are earnestly requested to state the class to which the methods belong, and also to be careful in naming the methods.

“London” appears from time to time without any intimation as to whether London Treble Bob or London Surprise is meant. Again there are Canterbury Pleasure, Canterbury Delight and Canterbury Surprise, and we find the name “Canterbury” alone, without any further description, so that we have to guess which of the three methods was rung.

Each of the above reports is signed by-

E. W. CARPENTER, Boothby Pagnell Rectory, Grantham.
JOSEPH GRIFFIN, 77, Shobnall Street, Burton-on-Trent.
ARTHUR T. KING, 7, Cavendish Road, Southsea, Hants.
GEORGE WILLIAMS, West End, near Southampton.

The Ringing World, April 18th, 1913, pages 266 to 268, correction April 25th, 1913, page 282


The following figures relate to a motion on the agenda:-


Members of the Central Council are requested to bring these figures to the meeting.


The Ringing World, May 9th, 1913, page 316



The twenty-third annual meeting of the Central Council was held at Newcastle-on-Tyne, on Tuesday, and was attended by some 50 representatives. From the previous Saturday onward, members arrived from the south singly and in small parties, and to all a most hearty welcome was extended by the members of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association. The President of the Association (Mr. C. L. Routledge) and the committee had left nothing undone that could add to the pleasure of the visitors, many of whom accepted the invitation to be present at the meeting of the Association at Whitley Bay and North Shields on Whit-Monday. Peals were arranged for all who cared to stand in them, and for those content with shorter lengths, other bells were available. The Council meeting was held in the Lecture Theatre of the Mining Institute, and the following members were present:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: A. Hughes.
Bath and Wells: A. E. Coles.
Bedfordshire: Rev. W. W. C. Baker.
Cambridge University: E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan: Rev. A. T. Beeston, W. Bibby.
Cleveland and North Yorkshire: Rev. W. P. Wright and T. Metcalfe.
Devonshire: A. W. Searle.
Durham and Newcastle: C. L. Routledge, W. Story and C. Todd.
Essex: W. J. Nevard.
Hertfordshire: B. Prewett.
Kent: T. Groombridge, senr.
Lancashire: Rev. H. J. Elsee, H. Chapman and T. Redman.
Leeds and District: P. J. Johnson.
Lincoln: Rev. H. Law James, R. Richardson and J. W. Seamer.
London County: E. A. Young.
Middlesex: A. T. King.
Midland Counties: E. C. Gobey, J. Griffin and J. W. Taylor.
Northants: D. J. Nichols and F. W. Wilford.
Norwich: G. P. Burton.
Oxford: Rev. G. F. Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, F. W. Hopgood.
Peterborough and District: R. Narborough.
Salisbury: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards.
Surrey: C. F. Johnston.
Sussex: K. Hart, G. H. Howse. F. B. Tompkins and G. Watson.
Winchester Guild: Rev. C. E. Matthews.
Worcestershire: J. R. Newman.
Yorkshire: G. Bolland.
Hon. Members: Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Rev. H. A. Cockey, J. W. Parker, J. S. Pritchett, and the hon. secretary and treasurer (the Rev. C. D. P. Davies).

A full report by our own representative will appear in these columns, but the following is a summary of the business transacted.

The statement of accounts showed that the year was begun with a balance in hand of £71 12s. 6d., and that affiliation fees to the amount of £12 2s. 6d. had been received. The expenditure was £6 1s. 6d., leaving a balance in hand of £77 13s. 6d.- The financial statement was adopted, and a resolution passed to place £50 of the balance on deposit.

The Hon. Secretary announced that he had received no statement of accounts from the publishers of the Council’s publications, and it was decided to appoint an hon. librarian to carry out the duties in future, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn being elected to the office.

The Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Mr. J. W. Parker and the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson were re-elected hon. members.

Letters acknowledging receipt of the Council’s resolution of protest against the Welsh Disestablishment Bill were read from the Prime Minister, Lord Lansdown and Mr. Bonar Law.

Verbal reports on the work of the Peal Collection Committee and the Legitimate Methods Committee were presented, and showed that progress was being made.- A suggestion that the present stock of copies of “Legitimate Methods” should be “scrapped,” and a new edition, showing the bob work and giving extents in the methods published, was postponed until an examination of the whole of the stock of publications has been made by the hon. librarian and the Revs. G. F. Coleridge and C. E. Matthews.

The reports of the Peals Analysis Committee (already published) were received, and the committee given power to act upon it in compiling the Analysis for the current year.

A report was also presented by the “Towers and Belfries Committee,” and an offer by the President to draw up and print at his own expense a pamphlet on the subject was gratefully accepted.

A lengthy discussion took place in the afternoon upon “The possibility of an unfavourable change in the attitude of the general public towards bell ringing as a result of the increasing number of peals annually rung.”

It was introduced by the Rev. H. J. Elsee, but no resolution was moved on the matter.

The Rev. H. Law James moved: “That the Council is of opinion that Superlative Surprise Royal, as published by Shipway, is the same method as Superlative Surprise Major.” Mr. James went into an exhaustive and highly technical argument in support of his theory, but on the suggestion of Mr. Parker, the matter was left over for another year, so that there might be more opportunity for members to look into the subject.

The following motion was on the agenda: “That the Ladies’ Guild of Change Ringers should be represented on the Council, and if thought well, to move a resolution on the subject.”

It was pointed out that the Ladies’ Guild made no application for admission this year, and after some discussion, in which divergent views were expressed upon the admission of lady representatives, the question was left over for the members to consult their respective associations, with a view to coming to a decision next year.

Mr. George Bolland moved: “To call renewed attention to the Council’s recommendation passed in 1902, and incorporated in ‘Rules and Decisions,’ to the effect that not less than seven days’ notice shall be given in the columns of the ringing papers stating the tower, day and hour at which any attempt is to be made to surpass any previous peal.”- The motion found no seconder.

On the motion of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by the President, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded Mr. Routledge and the members of the Newcastle Association for the trouble they had taken to make the meeting a success.- This was carried by acclamation, and Mr. Routledge replied.

A vote of thanks to the President closed the meeting.

In the evening an enjoyable social gathering took place at the County Hotel.

The Ringing World, May 16th, 1913, page 336


The 93 peals rung by independent societies were thus distributed, viz.: Breconshire, 1; Cambridgeshire, 4; Essex, 3; Glamorganshire, 3; Gloucestershire, 16; Hertfordshire, 1; Kent, 1; Lancashire, 2; Leicestershire, 3; Middlesex, 8; Norfolk, 1; Northamptonshire, 9; Staffordshire, 13; Suffolk, 2; Surrey, 4; Sussex, 2; Warwickshire, 1; Wiltshire, 1; Worcestershire, 1; Yorkshire, 17.

The 283 peals of Treble Bob were rung as follows: In the Kent Variation, Maximus 11, Royal 16, Major 206; in the Oxford Variation, Maximus 1, Royal 1, Major 48.

The 352 peals of Grandsire Triples may be sub-divided as follows: Holt’s Original, 39; Holt’s 10-part and variations, 79; Holt’s 6-part, 4; Parker’s 1-part, 5; Parker’s 5-part, 2; Parker’s 6-part, 21; Parker’s 12-part, 90; others peals by Mr. J. J. Parker, 4; Carter’s 12-part and variations, 12; other peals by Mr. J. Carter, 8; Taylor’s peals, 25; Hollis’ 5-part, 9; Rev. C. D. P. Davies’ peals, 10; Vicar’s peals, 6; Rev. E. B. James’ peals, 4; Bruerton’s 12-part peals, 4; Aspinwall’s peals, 3; Lindoff’s peals, 3; Moorhouse’s peals, 2; Thurstans’ peals, 2; Matthews’ peals, 2; Biddlestone’s peals, 2; Whittle’s peals, 2; other peals (including 4 unnamed), 14.

The 217 peals in Plain Methods comprise: Bob Maximus, 3; Bob Royal, 23; Bob Major, 175; Canterbury Pleasure Major, 1; Oxford Bob Major, 1; St. Clement’s Bob Major, 1; Oxford Bob Triples, 10; Plain Bob Triples, 2; Union Triples, 1.

The 90 peals of Doubles are shown in the following statement:-

Association.Number of Methods.

Bath and Wells64-----
Central Northants82-1---
Chester Diocesan Guild1------
Devonshire Guild4------
Ely Diocesan Guild2-1----
Gloucester and Bristol1------
Hereford Diocesan17-1----
Lincoln Diocesan2------
Llandaff Diocesan2------
Midland Counties21---1-
Norwich Diocesan16-1---
Oxford Diocesan1------
Salisbury Diocesan2------
Soc. for Archd. of Stafford------1
Sussex County1------
Warwickshire Guild1------
Worcester and Districts4-11---
Independent Societies1111-1--

661443111- 90

The 337 peals of Stedman comprised: Thurstans’ one-part, 4; Thurstans’ 4-part and variations, 272; Washbrook’s peals, 22; Sir A. P. Heywood’s peals, 13; Carter’s peals, 14; Rev. E. Bulwer’s peals, 3; Lindoff’s peals, 3; Rev. C. D. P. Davies’ peals, 3; Dr. Carpenter’s peals, 2; J. J. Parker’s peal, 1.


The greatest number of changes in one peal was 19,738 of Stedman Caters, rung on handbells by members of the Winchester Diocesan Guild in 9 hrs. 32 mins. This peal broke a record by the same band a few months previously of 14,031 changes in the same method. A peal on tower bells of 15,264 changes of Bristol Surprise, rung at Hornchurch, Essex, on the 27th of May by members of the Middlesex County Association, also creates a new record, the previous record in this method being a peal of 12,160 changes rung at Knebworth, Herts, on the 3rd of April, by members of the Hertfordshire County Association. A performance in 14 methods of Minor, consisting of eight Treble Bob, three Delight, and three Surprise Methods, by members of the Norwich Diocesan Association, reached a total of 10,080 changes. Other long peals consisted of 8896, 8099 (handbells), 7280, 7200, 7000, 6368, 6240 and 6160 changes respectively. Under 6000 changes there were 2316 peals rung. The number of peals rung on church bells was 2021; on handbells, 308, making a total of 2329 peals.

The peals rung in 1912 were 590 more than in 1911, and create an extraordinary record, being an increase for the year of nearly 34 per cent. They were rung in the following months, viz.: January, 180; February, 161; March, 144; April, 173; May, 184; June, 183; July, 136; August, 182; September, 220; October, 210; November, 258; December, 293.


Twenty ladies have taken part in 109 successful peals during the year 1912, viz.: Miss Edith R. Barnes rang in one peal of Grandsire Triples for the Chester Diocesan Guild. Miss Eva N. Belcher rang in the ladies’ peal of Grandsire Triples at Cubitt Town, Poplar. Miss Clara Beasley rang in the ladies’ peal of Grandsire Triples. Miss Elsie L. Bennett rang in 27 peals on handbells. For the Winchester Diocesan Guild she rang nine peals as follows: Grandsire Caters, 1; Stedman Caters, 1; Bob Royal, 1; Bob Major, 5; Grandsire Triples, 1. For the Kent County Association she rang 14 peals, as follows: Grandsire Caters, 2; Stedman Caters, 1; Bob Maximus, 1; Bob Royal, 5; Bob Major, 4; Grandsire Triples, 1. For the All Saints’ Society, Fulham, she rang three peals, Grandsire Caters, 1; Bob Royal, 2; and for the Royal Cumberland Youths, one peal of Bob Major. Miss Mary Chillingworth rang in four peals of Minor for the Oxford Diocesan Guild. Miss Nellie Gillingham rang in three peals; one of Bob Major for the Bath and Wells Association, one of Grandsire Triples for the Chester Diocesan Guild, and also in the ladies’ peal at Cubitt Town. Miss E. M. Johnson rang in two peals of Grandsire Doubles, and Miss Ruth Johnson rang in one peal of Grandsire Doubles, on handbells, for the Worcester and Districts Association, their ages being 12 and 10 respectively. Miss Mary Jukes rang in three peals; one of Bob Major for the Bath and Wells Association, one of Minor for the Norwich Diocesan Association, and also in the ladies’ peal of Grandsire Triples at Cubitt Town. Miss Sarah Pigott rang seven peals. For the Worcester and Districts Association, Oxford Bob Major, 1; Oxford Bob Triples, 2; Grandsire Triples and Bob Major, one each. She rang in one peal of Bob Major for the North Wales Association and also in the ladies’ peal at Cubitt Town. Miss Maud Pigott rang in two peals of Oxford Bob Triples for the Worcester and Districts Association. Miss Edith K. Parker has easily surpassed her wonderful record of previous years by ringing 35 peals, viz.:- For the Middlesex County Association: (1) On tower bells: London Surprise Major, 3, conducted 3; Bristol Surprise Major, 2; Cambridge Surprise Major, 1; New Cambridge Major, 4, conducted 3; Superlative Surprise Major, 3, conducted 3; Gloucester Surprise, 1, conducted 1; Norfolk Surprise Major, 1; Double Norwich Major, 1; Stedman Triples, 1. (2) On handbells: Grandsire, 2; Bob Major, 1; Kent Treble Bob Major, 1; Grandsire Triples, 5, conducted 1. For the Royal Cumberland Youths: Cumberland Delight Major, 1, conducted 1 (the first and only peal yet rung); London Surprise Major, 1, conducted 1; Superlative Surprise Major, 1. For the Devonshire Guild: Bob Major (on handbells), 1. For S. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham: Stedman Cinques 1, conducted 1, For the Herts County Association: Superlative Surprise Major 1, conducted 1; Stedman Triples, 1, conducted 1; Grandsire Triples (handbells), 1. Ladies’ peal at Cubitt Town, Poplar: Grandsire Triples, 1, conducted 1; total, 35, conducted 17. Miss W. Sanders rang in two peals of Bob Major, on handbells, for the Midland Counties Association. Miss C. E. Sparshott rang in two peals; one of Grandsire Caters for the Salisbury Guild, and one of Grandsire Triples for the Winchester Guild. Miss Evelyn Steel rang in four peals, viz., three for the Bedfordshire Association: Kent Treble Bob Major, 1; Minor, 2, and also in the ladies’ peal of Grandsire Triples. Miss Kate Thatcher rang in a peal of Bob Major for the Worcester and Districts Association. Miss May Thompson rang in a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Midland Counties Association. Miss Lilian Willson rang in six peals. For the Midland Counties Association, two peals of Kent Treble Bob Major, three of Grandsire Triples, and one of Double Norwich. She also took part in the ladies’ peal. Miss Hilda Willson rang in one peal of Grandsire Triples, and one of Double Norwich for the Midland Counties Association. Mrs. Whittington rang in three peals of Grandsire Triples, viz., two for the Winchester Guild, and one for the Sussex County Association.


The conductors of five peals and upwards were: A. H. Pulling 92, of which 80 were on handbells; W. Pye, 52 (7 on handbells); F. Bennett, 47 (6 on handbells); B. Prewett, 35 (2 on handbells); G. Williams, 34; Keith Hart and W. Shepherd, 33 (27 on handbells); C. F. Bailey, 26 (8 on handbells); J. Motts, 25; Clement Glenn, 24 (15 on handbells); F. Borrett, 23; E. M. Atkins, 22 (14 on handbells); G. F. Williams and G. N. Price, 19 (8 on handbells); G. R. Newton and E. H. Stoneley, 18; C. R. Lilley, E. H. Lindup, R. Matthews, Miss E. K. Parker (1 on handbells), W. Short, 17; F. G. May, J. Thomas (11 on handbells), C. W. Clarke, 16; G. H. Cross (11 on handbells), W. Steele, 15; J. E. Davis, F. C. Lambert, S. H. Symonds (4 on handbells), W. H. B. Wilkins, 14; W. D. James (4 on handbells), S. Proctor (4 on handbells), Rev. H. S. T. Richardson (8 on handbells), 13; J. Goodman, junr., J. E. Groves, B. A. Knights, D. J. Nichols (5 on handbells), A. E. Moore (11 on handbells), 12; Rev. H. L. James (3 on handbells), J. W. Lake (6 on handbells), G. R. Pye (3 on handballs), J. Souter, A. P. Wakley (3 on handbells), J. W. Washbrook, 11; G. Cattermole, C. Edwards, T. Groombridge, sen., F. Manser, J. Potter, T. H. Taffender, C. A. Valentine, 10; A. Edwards (1 on handbells), W. G. Ellis, T. J. Elton, W. Fisher, W. Poston, G. E. Symonds (1 on handbells), 9; E. Barnett, senr., A. Coppock, F. W. Dixon, J. Hough, A. H. Ward; (1 on handbells), W. Welling, W. S. Wise (4 on handbells), S. Wood, 8; W. H. Barber, G. D. Coleman (3 on handbells), F. Cook, C. H. Fowler, E. C. Gobey, A. Greenfield, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, H. Knight, E. Lambert, G. Martin, W. Rose, W. Willson, 7; W. G. Crickmer, F. E. Dawe, G. Dent, J. B. Fenton, T. Fitzjohn, J. Flint, A. W. Grimes (3 on handbells), F. A. Holden (2 on handbells), P. J. Johnson (3 on handbells), W. H. Lawrence, C. Layton, A. Mackears, E. W. Menday, A. T. Morris (5 on handbells), E. Morris, J. Pigott, E. Reader, J. Ridyard, A. Roberts, W. Taylor, S. Thomas, W. E. Wilson, B. W. Witchell, A. Wright, 6; G. F. Alexander (3 on handbells), J. Armstrong, A. Bailey, E. G. Buesden, J. Carter, H. Chapman, A. J. Day, T. Faulkner, H. W. Foulger, J. Griffin, H. Hampson, J. Hemming, R. T. Hibbert, G. F. Hoad, M. Hobbs, W. Keeble, F. J. Levitt (5 on handbells), E. W. Marsh, F. J. Pagett, E. F. Poppy, H. Stalham, W. Watts, E. Whitbread, E. Whiting, G. Wightman, 5.

In addition to the above, 37 persons conducted 4 peals; 68, three peals; 114, two peals, and 299, one peal. Two peals were rung with each member of the band taking a part in the conducting; one peal was rung unconducted, and two peals were published without a conductor’s name. Two ladies appear in the list of conductors; Miss Gillingham, who conducted a peal of Bob Major for the Bath and Wells Association, and Miss Parker, whose peals as a conductor have already been dealt with.


The 308 peals on handbells were rung as follows: Bob Maximus, 1; Stedman Cinques, 5; Bob Royal, 15; Kent Treble Bob Royal, 3; Little Bob Royal, 1; Stedman Caters, 54; Grandsire Caters, 18; Bob Major, 73; Little Bob Major, 5; Kent Treble Bob Major, 26; Oxford Treble Bob Major, 3; Double Norwich Court Bob Major, 5; Stedman Triples, 39; Grandsire Triples, 37; peals in Minor Methods, 18; Doubles, 5; for the following Associations:-

Number of Peals.
Ancient Society of College Youths5
Cambridge University Guild22
Devonshire Guild1
Ely Diocesan Guild27
Essex Association7
Hereford Diocesan Guild1
Hertfordshire Association9
Kent County Association16
Lancashire Association1
Lincoln Diocesan Guild11
Middlesex County Association32
Midland Counties Association8
Central Northants Association12
Norwich Diocesan Association21
Royal Cumberland Youths1
Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford1
Surrey Association6
Winchester Diocesan Guild91
Worcester and Districts Association2
Yorkshire Association21
Independent Societies13


The total number of peals, whether on tower bells or on handbells, rung year by year since 1881 to the present time, is as follows:-

Grand Total, 32,204.




As recorded by a brief summary in our last issue, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers met at Newcastle-on-Tyne on Whit-Tuesday. The business meeting took place at the Mining Institute, where the Lecture Theatre provided specially suitable accommodation. There were 49 members present, representing 27 associations, the proceedings being presided over by Sir Arthur Heywood, Bart., the president. The affiliated associations unrepresented were: The Cumberland Youths; St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham; Dudley and Districts Guild; Ely Diocesan; Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan; Hereford Diocesan; Liverpool Diocesan; Llandaff Diocesan; North Notts; Salop Archidiaconal; Staffs Archdeaconry; Truro Diocesan; and Warwickshire.


Some discussion took place upon the minutes of the last meeting, which were eventually signed after amendment, and the Hon. Secretary (the Rev. C. D. P. Davies) said that some criticism had been brought against the publication of the minutes to the effect that the minutes were five months late. He regarded them as seven months early, because there was nothing in the rules to say that they should be published before the ensuing meeting. But they were published beforehand for two or three reasons, first that the committees could get their instructions as to what they were to do; secondly, that if there was any little slip or inaccuracy in the minutes it should be in the power of any member to write and correct it, and so save a discussion like they had had that morning. He would be glad, therefore, if in future members would kindly call his attention to any inaccuracy when the minutes appeared in the ringing papers, so that it could be put right.


The Hon. Secretary said formal acknowledgments of the resolution passed by the Council at its meeting in London protesting against the Bill for the Disestablishment of the Church in Wales, had been received from the Prime Minister, Mr. A. Bonar Law, and Lord Lansdowne.


The Hon Secretary presented the accounts. He said they started with a balance in hand of £71 12s. 6d. The receipts for the year were from affiliation fees, fifteen at 10s., one at 7s. 6d., nine at 5s., and fifteen at 2s. 6d., and one of 2s. 6d., paid after the last meeting, amounting altogether to £12 2s. 6d., and making a total of £83 15s. He had pleasure in informing the Council that since the last meeting two new associations had become affiliated to the Council - the Dudley and District and the Peterborough (hear, hear). On the other hand, two associations were in default - the Irish Association and the North Wales. The expenditure amounted to £6 1s. 6d., leaving a balance in hand of £77 13s. 6d. The Hon. Secretary added that he usually presented a statement of the sales of the Council’s publications by their publishers, but this year, although he had made repeated application for the information, he had been unable to get a statement from them. The publishers took up no end of their profits, in fact, it worked out at practically 7s. 6d. in the £. That was rather expensive for the Council, and he wondered whether the Council would like to appoint an honorary librarian to do the work which the publishers now did. There was a gentleman who was prepared to undertake the work if the Council approved, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn (hear, hear).

Mr. W. Bibby suggested when next the Council published a book the publication should be placed in the hands of the guild secretaries, because they could better get into touch with the ringers.

The President said the only way that could be done was by the various associations purchasing the publications for redistribution or re-sale. It would be impossible to place any of their unsold publications in the hands of secretaries, because it would be impossible for the hon. secretary to have any knowledge of the number of publications in hand. He did not see how the various secretaries of the associations could be expected to be responsible for the money value of publications committed to their charge.

The Hon. Secretary said if the secretaries of associations took any copies, he felt very strongly they should buy them. Otherwise it would be practically equivalent to having librarians in every county.

Mr. C. Dodd said the Durham and Newcastle Association purchased a stock of publications, and they had found the system work very well. They paid for the books and sold them to the members.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston asked if the hon. secretary knew the condition in which the stock was in the hands of the publishers. During the last twelve months he had had occasion to write for copies of “Legitimate Minor Methods.” In every case he found the stitches were rusty, so that the leaves were in danger of dropping out. If all the copies were in that condition, it seemed to him to point to the necessity for “scrapping” these incomplete copies, so that they might have a new edition which would include the bob work, and the other methods which had been found out since the book was published - which he believed was the intention in any new edition.

Mr. J. Griffin, one of the auditors, having moved that the accounts be passed, Mr. G. P. Burton suggested that a portion of the balance should be placed on deposit so that the Council might get the benefit of the bank interest.

The Rev. G. F. Coleridge, who had audited the accounts with Mr. J. Griffin, seconded their adoption, and said they had found the accounts most admirably kept, and everything in perfect order.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett moved that a sum of £50 should be placed on deposit at the bank.- Mr. R. Narborough seconded, and the motion was agreed to.- The balance sheet was then adopted.

Apologises for absence were received from the Revs. A. H. F. Boughey, F. J. O. Helmore, Canon Papillon, Maitland Kelly, and H. S. T. Richardson, Dr. A. B. Carpenter, and Messrs. C. E. Borrett, J. Carter, W. T. Cockerill, J. R. Sharman, H. W. Wilde, C. H. Hattersley, W. Rock Small, G. Williams, H. White, J. Whiting and J. Evans.


The President said the retiring hon. members this year were the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Mr. J. W. Parker, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. W. S. Thompson. If they were re-elected it would fill up the whole of their hon. members’ list, which was a thing they did not like to do, because it did not leave them a loophole in case an important member, who was a representative member, dropped out, and they desired to retain him on the Council. They had been in the habit of keeping one or two places open. The Standing Committee had had the matter under their consideration, and in their opinion the Council should re-elect the first three - the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Mr. Parker and the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson. Mr. Thompson never attended the meetings, and was not a ringer. As most of the Council knew, he was a mathematician, and had been of great assistance to them in that direction. It was he who first proved that a peal of Grandsire Triples could not be obtained without singles. If in the future they had any problem for him to solve, he could do that just as well without being a member of the Council, but in being an hon. member he was filling a place that they might want for somebody else. The Standing Committee recommended that he be not re-elected, and although he had been an hon. member for years, he would not take it in the least as a slight.- On the motion of the Rev. W. W. C. Baker, seconded by Mr. F. B. Tompkins, the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Mr. J. W. Parker and the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson were re-elected.

There were nine new members elected to the Council this year, but only the three following were present to be introduced to the President; Mr. C. Todd (Durham and Newcastle), Mr. F. W. Hopgood (Oxford), and Mr. R. Narborough (Peterborough and District).


The Council then proceeded to receive and discuss the reports of the various committees. The first was that of the Peal Collection Committee. The Hon. Secretary said he believed he was the only member of that committee present, and he had been relying upon Mr. Richardson, who, he regretted to say, had had to go away that morning, although he had been in Newcastle the night before. He (the hon. secretary) was sorry to say he knew very little about the matter. It was the Treble Bob part that was now being dealt with. He had had practically nothing to do with it for the last four or five years.

The President said the Council would bear in mind that it was Mr. Richardson, who, a while ago, moved that all these peals should be proved - a very proper thing - and if he remembered aright, Mr. Richardson undertook to do it, and was promptly put on the committee. The delay was probably due to the extra amount of time required to prove all the peals.

Mr. E. H. Lewis said the proving had been going on. The peals were being proved twice at least, if not three times, and the value of that was being shown in the fact that some peals had slipped through one prover’s hands as correct, but had been found by a second prover to be false. Mr. Richardson had had him he was nearly ready for Part I to be published. If the Council would give instructions, Part I could be put in the printer’s hands as soon as it was ready.

The Hon. Secretary said if that were done the £27 that would be available after they had placed £50 on deposit, would not go very far.- The Rev. H. Law James said he would propose they should not publish until they were ready. There was no need to publish until next year.- This suggestion was agreed to.


The only representative of the Literature Committee present was the Rev. H. A. Cockey, who said he had heard absolutely nothing from Mr. Dains, who hoped to do the work, and he had not seen Mr. Papillon. When Mr. Kelly was on the committee the year before last, he was unable to get any communication from Mr. Daniell, neither had he (the speaker) heard from him this year.

The Hon. Secretary said about six weeks ago he wrote to Mr. Daniell and drew his attention to what he said last year to the effect that before that meeting he hoped a draft report would be available and sent to him as secretary. He reminded him of that, but he had had no answer. What this committee was doing was really getting together a catalogue of ringing literature, and he could not help feeling that the delay was getting serious. From the beginning of the Council there was a Literature Committee - it was first a one-man committee, Mr. Strange. Mr. Strange came to the Council for two or three years, and reported that he was getting on. Then, unfortunately, he resigned from the committee, and seemed to have been lost from the ringing world, and the Council never saw one single line in black and white. Now, Mr. Daniell had taken up the work. He did not take up Mr. Strange’s work, because Mr. Strange left no materials behind. He (the speaker) believed Mr. Daniell had done a good deal of work, but at the same time the Council had not seen a single line in black and white. It was really about time they did begin to see something.

Mr. A. T. King said the hon. secretary had overlooked the fact that many years ago there was some portion of Mr. Strange’s work published. As to Mr. Daniell’s work, he might say there was something typewritten. He had read it, and it was exceedingly interesting. That was two years ago, but where it was now, and why it was not forthcoming, he could not say.

Mr. Burton asked if they could not have an interim report.

The Rev. H. A. Cockey said if the committee was continued, what had been done ought to be laid before the Council. It would be far better to have some part of it, but he had never seen anything at all.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards suggested that someone should be asked to undertake to interview Mr. Daniell, and, with him, get matters together. A personal interview might have some result.

The President said there seemed some sort of malign influence hovering over this committee. As to Mr. Strange, not only had he left nothing behind, but he had carried away some lists of his, one of them exceedingly valuable, by the late Mr. Ellacombe, which he wrote and wrote for, but could never get back.


The Rev. H. Law James reported, on behalf of the Legitimate Methods Committee, that he had been through the collection of Major methods, accepted by the Council two years ago, and had made his selection of what he thought ought to be published, and had sent it on to Mr. Dains, who, he understood, had been through them and sent them on to Mr. Trollope, who was now making his selection. It was a big business to go through all these methods and pick out those that ought to be published, because the total number was too great to publish them all, and a large number were of very little interest. He thought they were getting on as fast as they could expect, and he hoped they would be ready to publish next year.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston again raised the question of “scrapping” the remaining copies of the “Legitimate Minor Methods” so that a more complete edition might be issued.

Mr. A. T. King said if it were necessary that they should have a new publication let it be as complete as possible. In the first instance, all the methods should be named. Some day or another, perhaps next year, they could discuss the nomenclature of these methods, for names were repeated over and over again. He could go into details and tell them how the Tulip and Primrose known to Mr. Bolland were not the Tulip and Primrose in the “Collection”; Lincoln in the “Collection” was not the Lincoln in the “Clavis”; and then there was College this and College that and College the other. He believed there were nine names with College in them. He thought they would have to go back into ancient history, and find the real names of these methods, to such works as the “Clavis” and “Annable’s Note-Book.” The trouble which the Analysis Committee had was in identifying the methods with the names. He did not think they should be in a hurry to scrap their present “Collection” until they were ready with the material to provide a new and complete book.


Mr. J. W. Parker seconded the Rev. A. T. Beeston’s proposal, on the ground that it was most unfair for the Council to charge members of the Exercise the full value for a book that was damaged. He thought the only thing to do was to publish a new edition. He would like to know if the committee had taken into consideration the advisability of publishing, when the next edition was issued, a collection of Minor extents. They always had, of course, Snowdon’s valuable work “Rope Sight,” which gave them several 720’s of Bob Minor, but that did not meet the requirements of the whole of the Minor methods. They must remember that there were a great number of six-bell conductors in various parts of the country who were having a great difficulty in keeping a band together. They lost their men periodically, and the most they could achieve were plain methods; therefore, if the conductor was a good conductor, his only solace was to call different extents. If the next edition were to include these extents it would be very valuable. He would also suggest that it should include spliced 720’s; or, if not spliced 720’s, at least a list of the methods that could be spliced together.

After some further discussion, it was left to the librarian to decide whether any of the books should, on account of their condition, be sold off at half-price, this amendment being carried in preference to the proposal to scrap the present edition of “Legitimate Minor Methods.”

On the motion of the Rev. C. E. Matthews, seconded by the Rev. A. T. Beeston, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn was appointed hon. librarian, the resolution being carried amid applause.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn thanked the Council for electing him to the office. He said he had always felt that the results of the work of so many members of the Council was really not taken full advantage of by the Exercise generally, and if any efforts of his could improve this state of affairs, ho would be amply repaid. He suggested that it might be well to appoint one or two members of the Council to go through the stock with him, when he received it, to settle upon what they should do.

The Revs. G. F. Coleridge and C. E. Matthews were appointed to act with Mr. Jenkyn.

(To be continued).

The Ringing World, May 23rd, 1913, pages 350 to 353


Top Row: Rev. A. T. Beeston (Chester Guild), G. Bolland (Yorkshire), Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn (Oxford), Sir A. P. Heywood (Midland Counties, and President), Rev. G. F. Coleridge (Oxford), J. W. Taylor (Midland Counties), Keith Hart (Sussex). Middle Row: A. Hughes (College Youths), J. W. Parker, J. S. Pritchett, J. Griffin (Hon. Members), Rev. H. Law James (Lincoln), E. H. Lewis (Cambridge University). Bottom Row: B. Prewett (Hertfordshire), C. F. Johnston (Surrey), Rev. E. W. Carpenter (Hon. Member), Rev. C. D. P. Davies (Hon. Sec.), Rev. H. A. Cockey (Hon. Member), A. T. King (Middlesex), H. Chapman (Lancs.).
Central Council members

The Ringing World, May 23rd, 1913, page 355


(Specially Reported by “The Ringing World” Representative).

(Continued from page 353).


The adoption of the report of the Analysis Committee (already published in these columns) was moved by Mr. A. T. King, who said the committee had had very considerable difficulty over the analysis, and he thought they were entitled to a great amount of sympathy. They had done the best they could, but they found that the formula which was bequeathed to them as to Minor methods by the Peal Values Committee was not really workable and they were not able to combine it with any schedule arranged in order of merit, because the liberal allowance given for six bells gave some societies an average for their Minor methods double the amount or the average for their peals in methods on seven bells and upwards. That showed that the points were too liberal, and that there was no kind of common denominator between the two kinds of values. Therefore, the committee had made out the schedule in alphabetical order, and at the same time they had made suggestions for the Minor methods, which would come before the Council.- Mr. Griffin seconded the adoption of the report.

The President said the reports of the committee, which was the hardest worked committee that the council had got, dealt with a number of very complicated points, and it was quite impossible that the Council could discuss all those points at that meeting. What the committee wanted, as he understood it, was that they should be allowed to work the analysis during the present year upon the principles laid down in those reports.

Mr. King said the difficulty had been that owing to the scale for Minor bequeathed to them they could not find any common denominator without being unfair to one side or the other. It might be said, if they were liberal to the Minor methods, why not raise the value of the other methods. The committee considered that point, and they found it was better on the whole to remain as close as they could to the old figures, correcting them according to the light of their most recent information. Therefore, very reluctantly they had to ask the Council to accept the tabular statement in alphabetical order for the past year, but he hoped when the members discussed the labours of the committee, which had taken a considerable amount of time and a great stock of patience, they would not adopt the spirit of the armchair philosopher. Let them remember that the committee had gone through the mill; they had had sleepless nights and laborious days. Their recommendations and the form of the analysis were the best they could suggest; he did not think anybody could get more than a fair approximation of the true relative values. The committee considered that everybody had received fair treatment, if not with mathematical accuracy, and he asked the Council to accept their report and give it a trial (applause).

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter (who is also a member of the committee) said one point ought to be made clear with regard to the analysis, and that they felt obliged to present it in alphabetical order, because the points they had for the two divisions were incompatible. The alphabetical list was only a temporary expedient, and if the report of the committee was accepted, the points for Minor would work in with the points on the higher number of bells, and all peals could be included in one table in the future.

Mr. G. Bolland said Mr. King seemed to think the Minor methods were getting a better proportion of points than the peals on higher numbers of bells. If they worked it out on the scale published last year, he thought the six-bell ringers would be satisfied, and he hoped the committee would not be deterred from carrying out the previous decision of the Council.

Mr. King said no wonder Mr. Bolland was satisfied, because the scale adopted last year brought the average of the Yorkshire Minor peals out to just double those of their peals on seven bells and upwards - a concrete case which proved that the Minor peals were valued too highly.

Mr. Bolland thought it was a credit to the Minor ringers.

Mr. King: You ring higher methods, Mr. Bolland, and you will get higher points.


Mr. G. P. Burton said he thought they ought to take a broader view of the analysis. It did not affect him very much whether the Minor points were more than they ought to be or not. Ought they not to consider first how these points were encouraging bell ringing for Sunday services and Church festivals? He would like to propose, not to alter the existing schedule, but that something should be done to encourage ringing on those occasions when they wanted it.

The President: Is your meaning that you would give more points for peals rung upon ecclesiastical occasions?

Mr. Burton said that was so. He would like to suggest that they should discriminate and bring forward a scheme of preference. For instance, he should suggest that, if a peal were rung for a great Church festival or red-letter day, or on a vigil, they should place 10 per cent. on the points for that peal. He should also say minus 10 per cent. for Good Friday peals. There was a great deal to be said for and against Good Friday ringing, but he was certain Good Friday peals were to be deprecated. For first peals in methods he would plus 10 per cent. of the points for any one ringer. For example, if there was a peal of Bob Major rung and two of the ringers took part in the method for the first time, he would put ten per cent. on for each and if it was the first peal by the whole eight ringers, he would put ten per cent. on for everyone. There was no real object in peal ringing as they had now got it; they must face the facts. When they got the associations together they made a great advance, and there was a sort of cloak of ecclesiastical responsibility thrown over ringers. Then the Council came on the field, and this consolidation of peal ringing took place. Finally, they got to this high state of perfection in which they had classified everything and got these marvellous results, but, he asked, to what end was all this? It furthered the ringing of higher methods, but did they not want to go a step further? They wanted the ringing done on certain occasions, but they did nothing to encourage it, and nothing to discriminate. If they discriminated in the case where peals were rung by known Sunday ringers, it would all help forward their ideals. Then for handbells peals he would take off 50 per cent. They were quite a nice amusement, but as regards church work and helping forward church bell ringing they did very little indeed.

The Hon. Secretary: You will have to rescind a resolution of the Council to do that, because we have got a resolution of the Council recognising peals on handbells.

Mr. Burton said he put it to the Council that they wanted to do something on the lines he had suggested. They had simply piled up this work on the Analysis Committee with no real object. Could they not mould it in some way so that it would have some bearing upon their ideals?


The President suggested that Mr. Burton’s suggestion might more conveniently come up on a later motion, regarding the increase of peal ringing, which stood on the agenda. He was perfectly entitled to move in the matter at that point, although it seemed to him (the President) perfectly futile, when they were discussing the technical value of peal points, to raise a discussion on the moral value of a peal. He did not see how they could by any possibility mix up the two. The only way in which the Analysis Committee had been able to come to any sort of arrangement at all was by putting on one side quite a number of items that ought really to weigh in the matter. Of course, a peal that was rung with a 40 cwt. tenor ought really to count more than one rung with a 10 cwt. tenor, and practically the same argument applied to handbells, but it had all been put on one side because it brought in complications that it was impossible to deal with. It had all been discussed before, and the only new point was that the moral value of peals should be considered. He was entirely with Mr. Burton in his desire that peals should be rung more for ecclesiastical purposes, but he thought the Council would agree that it was useless to embark upon a discussion on points for moral value.

Mr. King said he would not like it to go forth that there was an absence of that moral behaviour, that had been spoken of, amongst ringers. With regard to his own association, among those constantly ringing peals, he could not think of one person who did not do his Sunday ringing, and was it not the same in almost every society? Why should they not ring peals for pleasure if they did their work on a Sunday? He did not think they would get any benefit by Mr. Burton’s suggestion, even if it were possible to assess the value.

The Rev. W. P. Wright raised the question of the omission of the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Association from the analysis, and it was explained that the peals by this association were included among those of the independent societies, because the society lapsed last year, and did not send on its subscription this year in time to have its peals reckoned separately.- Mr. King said it would be possible to get out a separate list of the Cleveland Association peals, but the President said he did not think it would be wise because associations ought to pay their subscriptions at the right time. What was the advantage of the others paying their subscriptions promptly if those that were late were to receive the same treatment?- Mr. Griffin said as a member of the Analysis Committee he very strongly objected to any alteration being made.

The reports were accepted, and the Rev. G. F. Coleridge moved, and the Rev. W. W. C. Baker seconded, that the committee proceed to act upon their report for the present year. In putting the motion to the meeting, the President said they once more recognised the extreme interest of the analysis. There were different views as to whether it was desirable, and whether it was useful, but it was a matter of extreme interest. It would be a great pity if this analysis was not regularly carried out. They accepted the reasons of the committee for not putting the various associations in order of merit this year. It detracted to a certain extent from the interest in the analysis, but it was only for a year that had been rather broken by the difficulties the committee had met with, and which, he hoped, would not occur again.

The motion was carried, together with the hearty thanks of the Council to the committee for their services.

On resuming after the luncheon interval, the Hon. Secretary read a letter from the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, in which he stated that as regards the Peal Collection there was nothing actually ready for the Press at present, but the first part of the Treble Bob collection could be published if desired.

A telegram was also received from Mr. R. A. Daniell, saying he was sorry that he had been unable to complete the Literature Committee’s report, as he had not been well enough to go on with the work.

The Ringing World, May 30th, 1913, page 374


The Hon. Secretary then read the interim report of the Towers and Belfries Committee, which was as follows:-

At the meeting of the Council in 1912, a Belfry Committee was appointed to endeavour to get into touch with the Royal Institute of British Architects, and with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, for the purpose of obtaining recognition by these bodies of the improved modern methods of arranging and the hanging bells. A meeting of the committee was convened early in March, at Sir Arthur Heywood’s house, in London, when all the members were present. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided: (1) That, as a first step, the views of experts in regard to the best arrangement of towers for the reception of the bells and the most recent practice in bell hanging, should be incorporated in a short pamphlet to be issued with the authority of the Council; and, (2) that this pamphlet should be brought to the notice of the above-mentioned societies in such manner as might subsequently be considered most opportune, in respect of which latter point a number of useful suggestions were made. Sir Arthur Heywood undertook to draft the required pamphlet, and to circulate it to the other members of the committee for alteration and addition after the manner adopted in several cases by other committees of the Council. Appended is a letter now submitted by him to them which explains itself. In whatever way the Council decide that the required pamphlet shall be produced, the committee will do their best to bring it effectively to the notice of those whose interest it is necessary to engage:-



The Hon. Secretary said that in addition, another document, which was most valuable, had been sent to him by Mr. E. H. Lewis. It consisted of a most thorough-going mathematical examination into the question of strains and stresses put upon bell frames and the towers in connection with the ringing of bells. Continuing, the Hon. Secretary said he felt very strongly that the Council could only accept the first alternative which the President very kindly offered them (applause). They all knew, from what Sir Arthur had done before, that he was exceedingly thorough, and in this case it would embody his very varied experience extending over many years, and the Council would do well to accept that first alternative. He moved the adoption of the report and the acceptance of Sir Arthur’s offer.- Mr. J. Griffin seconded.

The President said he was much obliged to the Council for accepting his offer, and he proceeded to go more fully into the reasons why it was better that a pamphlet, such as that proposed, should be the work of one individual. He added that the theories which Mr. Lewis was working out were going to show that their hitherto accepted ideas of the stresses of bells on frames and towers would have to be subjected to very considerable modification. They had always had the idea, if they had two bells hung side by side and swinging the same way, but with the wheels roped on opposite sides, that these bells would counter-balance one another when rung. Mr. Lewis most conclusively proved that while that was perfectly true, if the bells were approximately the same weight and pulled off at the same time, it was by no means true if they were rung in changes or rounds, and were not pulled off exactly at the same time. He (the President) could not explain how it was, but it was a fact that the strains of these bells came together, and were cumulative at certain periods. He intended to ask Mr. Lewis to put into a form, as intelligible as possible to the ordinary person, the theories he had worked out - he had not yet concluded his inquiry - and to allow him to add it as an appendix to the pamphlet he proposed to bring out. He would also be glad of any other information, either from members of the Council or anyone else, which he could put in, over the names of those who supplied it, which would be valuable to the subject they had to deal with. He did not think it would be long before the pamphlet would be ready and after that they would undertake that representations should be made to the Institute of British Architects and to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in, so far as they were able to judge, the most effective manner possible. They felt that in the first place they should have something or other that they could place, in these people’s hands, and say, “There are our contentions.” How it was to be brought before them was a matter for the Committee to decide.- The report was adopted.


Mr. E. A. Young said since the subject was mooted he had approached other members of the Institute of British Architects, and the matter was more alive than it was. The secretary had made a note of it, so that it could be brought up at an early opportunity, and at the Science Committee it was to be discussed very shortly. This would all help to ventilate it.

The President said he would like to point out Mr. Lewis’s inquiry into this matter might not be intelligible to a very large number of architects or to the members of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, but it would impress them (hear, hear, and laughter).

Mr. Lewis said he must confess that it was a little bit from that point of view that he approached the subject (laughter), but he did not know at the time how interesting it was going to be. He had found that the problem was much deeper, and the results much different to what he expected when he started. If they got two bells roped on opposite sides and swinging in the same direction and pulled off in rounds the maximum thrust of the bells almost exactly coincided, and they got a thrust practically twice the weight of the two bells together - actually nearly 1¾ the weight of each bell plus the headstock. He had been very much indebted to Mr. Cyril Johnston for some information with regard to the moments of inertia of a bell, and also to Mr. Taylor for information. There were one or two experiments which he would like to get the opportunity of carrying out, and Mr. Taylor had offered to carry them out for him, which would tend to solve the problem which was favoured by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, that it was a good thing to have a spring frame. It was almost impossible to convince the society that they were wrong, but he thought it was possible by certain experiments to prove that with spring frames the action on the tower was the same as with a rigid frame, with this difference, that the movement in a spring frame had got to be supplied by the ringer (laughter). If they had a rigid tower and frame there was comparatively little work, and any work to be done in a rocking tower, due to the twisting of the frame, had to be done by the ringer, who preferred only to ring the bell, but that was a point they could not get these people to see (laughter). The one point he had come to was not to have bells swinging in one direction. Lord Grimthorpe’s work on this subject was one of the standard works consulted by architects, and he was now quite convinced that Lord Grimthorpe’s idea was wrong, and that it was best to divide the weight at right angles as far as possible by, say, having the treble, fourth, fifth and tenor swinging in one direction, and the second, third, sixth and seventh in the other.


The Council then proceeded to discuss “The possibility of an unfavourable change in the attitude of the general public towards bell ringing as a result of the increasing number of peals annually rung.”

The President said he was anxious that they should have a serious and thoughtful discussion on this matter. It was a subject that many of them might realise the gravity of, others might not, but it was one which he thought they ought to discuss with a very real sense of the possibility of a grave interference with their ringing.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee, who introduced the motion, said he believed the subject was of very great practical importance to ringers and the whole community, as far as they were concerned with the bells. The ringing of bells had always given him such keen enjoyment that he hated the thought that the use of the bells could give anything but enjoyment to other people. What were the facts of the case at present? He supposed that they were conscious of two things. First of all that there was a great increase in the number of rings of bells in England, and also a vast increase in the number of peals that were rung. For the latter there were two chief reasons, first of all the great spread of the Exercise - ringers were vastly more numerous to-day than they were - and ringers, as a whole, had reached a vastly higher level of proficiency than they used to in change ringing. There were two other reasons. One was mechanical, due to the bell hangers who hung the bells so well that the labour of ringing was reduced to a minimum; the other was that facilities for travelling were so great that ringers could very easily meet together at a tower many miles from their own home, and make up a band at almost any time. In the old days, he supposed, peals were generally rung by local bands in connection with some local occasion; they were the occasions in which the people of the place took a considerable interest; they were proud of the prowess of their local band, or it might be they were keenly interested in the occasion for which the bells were rung. Nowadays it was different. A great many peals were rung when the people who heard the bells did not know who the ringers were, or why the bells were rung, and he was afraid very often they were very often rung without much consideration for local feeling, or even for local convenience. He supposed they ought to consider that the bells were in the tower not just for the enjoyment of the ringers, but mainly for the enjoyment, and for the use of the people who had to listen to them. We lived in a sensitive age, and in an increasing atmosphere of noise, and sooner or later the public would become as sensitive to noise as to other things and then, as the President had hinted, there might be trouble in store for ringers. There were some towers, of course, in which they might ring as many peals as they liked, and they would be practically no inconvenience to anybody, and there were some in their great towns, such, for instance, as the Cathedral at Manchester, that were surrounded by offices, and where in the evening, with a little consideration they might ring the bells with very little complaint from anybody, But the majority of towers where they rang were so placed that the noise of the bells must be an inconvenience to a great many people if the bells were rung for a considerable time. Some of his friends might say they should brick up the windows. It was true that much might be done, and he hoped that architects would take some suggestions from the committee whose report they had just been considering, and put the bells lower than the windows, but all the same they did not want to brick up the windows so that the bells could not be heard. The purpose of bells was that they should be heard by the people round about. The bells existed for the people without and not mainly for the ringers within. It might also be said that unless they had some such stimulus as that provided by peal ringing, they would find it very difficult to keep an efficient band together. He knew that very well, and whether they could set some better standard for points was another question. He thought they had rather drifted into a forced standard in measuring the efficiency of their ringing. They were too apt to test it by the number of peals rung, and by the value reckoned in points for those peals. If they had a false standard could that Council not begin to set a better standard which ringers might try and approximate to? He was afraid that sometimes ringers were in danger of ringing for the number of peals that were going to stand against their name, or the points that were going to stand to their credit in the analysis. He was not going to move any resolution, and he was prepared to find the majority of the Council up in arms against him, but he hoped that what he had to say would provide food for thought, and that gradually they might come to think that peal ringing was not the only standard. Did they think too much of their ringing for their own enjoyment, and too little for the enjoyment and pleasure they were going to give to others. He admitted that peal ringing was valuable for producing good ringers and a good standard of ringing. With regard to that popular institution - ringing tours - he would throw out the suggestion that instead of ringing two or three peals a day, they should have another object - providing as much pleasure as possible for the public, and instead of a peal at each tower, let them enjoy two or three good touches of half-an-hour each. He did not, however, want to do away with peal ringing, but would suggest that peals should be reserved for special occasions - for local and national events when ringing the bells would be recognised on all hands as the proper way to celebrate them. Then again, when a local band was learning a new method, it would be reasonable to allow them to ring a peal in that new method on its own bells, but he thought they should place a limit on the number of peals that were rung without local significance. He felt that they ringers were trustees of which was very specially an English art, and in the old day Englishmen loved their bells, and loved to hear them ring. They, to-day, were the trustees, and he asked them whether they should try and use their Exercise to fulfil that trusteeship in such a way that Englishmen of all kinds should still love the bells and love to hear them ring (applause).

The Ringing World, May 30th, 1913, pages 375 to 376


In continuing the discussion introduced by the Rev. H. J. Elsee, Mr. A. T. King remarked that he was very much in sympathy with a great deal that had been said, but there were always two sides to every question. Mr. Elsee talked about the peals they rang and the noise they made, and all the rest of it, but ringers did that years ago. They had only to look through the churchwardens’ accounts, and they would find that the bells were rung on any and every occasion. The people in those days did not complain, and why should they do it now? When he (the speaker) saw this resolution he thought to himself, “This is meeting trouble halfway, it is rather asking for trouble.” What were the clergy about, if ringing was an annoyance to the parishioners? They had the safeguards in their own hands. If the ringers did their duty on Sunday they had a right to have their own pleasure on week-days, if they could get the bells without making themselves obnoxious to anybody. There was no harm in that. They had only to ask permission, and if it was not right that they should have permission, he, as an old secretary, knew that they would not get it. He thought the objection to bells emanated from cranks, who, he believed, mostly lived in garden cities, and, who contracted themselves out of everything which gave any pleasure at all to their neighbours. Continuing, Mr. King said when the Council met at Exeter they had the skeleton of this present discussion. The subject was, “Is too much stress laid upon peal ringing?” A number of people spoke upon it from different standpoints, and as a full-dress academic debate, it was exceedingly illuminating. Some looked at it from the point of view of the resident, others from the point of view of the ringer. But it seemed to him now that they had changed, and that they were now going to look at it altogether from the point of view of the resident. Let them take it once more from the point of view of the ringer. They all of them had their work to do on Sunday.

Mr. Burton: Some have and some have not.


Mr. King said perhaps Mr. Burton would give them the names of some of those who had not. He had never been brought in contact with those who had not their Sunday duty to perform, but Mr. Burton’s experience may have been different to his. They had a duty to perform, and everybody would say it was their duty to perform it with all the skill of eye and of hand that they could put into it (hear, hear). How were they to get that skill? Were they to get it always on practice night? Some of them possibly might, but they knew the importance attached to bells. They were told that the bells had a message. It was the poet Longfellow who said:-

(applause). Very well, if they were to interpret, as it were, their art upon the bells they were bound to get practice of all kinds and experience of all kinds in order that they might become proficient. They could not get that proficiency unless they were allowed to ring peals. That they were obliged to ring, in order that they might get merit, peals of 5,000 changes was due entirely to the Council, who fixed it at that. They were perfectly well aware that there were cases where, if a man had no chance for an occasional peal outside his own tower, he might have to wait half a lifetime before he would have a chance of ringing a peal. There were those who could ring anything in time, given the chance, there were others who were on a dead level of mediocrity and would never rise. Was a man to be blamed because he tried to improve himself and become more proficient by going amongst others who knew more than he? Mr. King pointed out that the great increase in the number of peals of bells was owing to the jubilee of their late beloved Queen, and the accession of the late King Edward and the accession of King George. As an illustration of how the number of peals had increased, he quoted the case where an uncle of his was rector, and in whose time there were only five bells at his church. The ringers rang “stony,” and they didn’t trouble, and did not want to ring peals. Now there were eight bells in the tower, and the present rector was an able conductor, and they rang a peal a month. That was twelve in a year where there were none before, and that was going on all over the country, and it was not that people were being put to additional annoyance by the ringing of additional peals on the same bells. In the village of which he had spoken the people were proud of their bells, and he believed if every district were polled they would find that there would be a large majority of people in favour of the bells - Nonconformists, as well as people who attended the church (applause). His experience was that as many Nonconformists had contributed to the Christmas fund for the ringers, for whom he had sent round the hat, as people who attended Church, and these people were able to appreciate the fact that the bells had a message, and that the people who had been sending out that message should be encouraged as far as possible. But let them turn to the other side. There were some who had an almost fanatical objection to bells whenever they were rung and wherever they were rung. They were, happily, not numerous, but they made row enough for a thousand. He contended that they were not the persons they had got to consider. They were the sort of people to be called to worship by a muffin bell, rung by the local muffin boy, for to call them on tower bells probably reminded them of a forgotten duty (applause).


Mr. G. P. Burton said the suggestion he made earlier in the meeting, for an alteration in the value of peals, really came into his mind when turning over the proposition before the Council, in order that they might devise something to alter in some way the excessive peal ringing and to temper it down more in conformity with church ideas. Mr. Elsee had given them the point of view of the public, and Mr. King the point of view of the ringers. But surely there was another point of view, that of the church and of themselves as Churchmen. He could not conceive that it was sufficient that ringers should go about ringing peals for practice without special occasion, and it was an excellent suggestion that bands on tour should ring touches instead. As ringing master at St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, he had had some experience of the difficulties and troubles that arose. They had had to deal with one obnoxious person, and in the main what Mr. King had said about them was right. Most people liked the bells, but he thought that in the end they were bound to study the obnoxious people, because they would have their way. Although he sympathised with what Mr. Elsee had said, he could not conceive that this peal question was a general question. Surely it lay entirely with the clergy and wardens. These people knew the local conditions, which varied so tremendously, and could regulate the ringing accordingly. He thought the Council had no business to trespass on their province. He still felt that if they only had the tariff he suggested and protection for proper peal ringing, it would do something to lessen the cause for public complaint. Mr. King that morning seemed to make the suggestion that he (Mr. Burton) was getting at somebody. He was doing nothing of the kind. He was only thinking of his own conscience, which sometimes told him if he inquired too closely in to his own peal ringing that he could not always find that the occasion was proper.

Mr. King said he accepted what Mr. Burton had said, but in the course of a long life so many people had tried to “get at” him that he got a little restless (laughter).


The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said he did not in the least bit agree that they were going too far in meeting matters half-way. It was the wisest thing they could do. They lived in an age when they never knew when someone would spring a Bill upon Parliament to say that no bell was to be sounded in the country until further orders. In Scotland they had that state of things already, and the local authority had power to say to a church when a bell should be rung and for how long. There were always, of course, a number of cranks; let them alone. It depended very much more on the parson of the parish than on anyone else, but the great essential point was that they should be standing on sure ground. The public, as had been already said, were getting much more sensitive, simply because of the perpetual strain and noise of the present age, and, therefore, the ringing of a peal was much more likely to affect them than it was a century ago. There could be no doubt that the irritation caused would be far greater if the public heard peals rung for no conceivable reason than if they heard them ringing for a definite purpose. It was most essential that peal ringing should be done on lawful occasions, the speaker added, and proceeded to enumerate the days in May and June when peals might well be rung to celebrate ecclesiastical and royal occasions. If the peals were rung for these purposes the public would understand the reason, and there would be no irritation because they were rung for a reason which was not in the least apparent to the public, except that the ringers wanted to enjoy themselves.

The Rev. W. W. C. Baker said he was perfectly persuaded that the unfavourable day had already come. In his early days, when they finished a peal, part of the people were waiting to congratulate them and to offer them suitable refreshment. Now, if they were waiting for them at the conclusion of a peal it was for a very different purpose (laughter). He was one of those parsons who had a peal of bells that people liked to ring upon, and when he gave leave, it was not because there was no opposition. He knew perfectly well that every time he gave permission he was exposing himself to unpleasant remarks from people who were fond of bells and liked to hear them in reason, but who lived near the church, and found three hours straight off rather more than they cared about. He would ask the Council to believe that there was a strong feeling among those who were not hostile to bells, that a peal of three or three and a half hours constituted an intolerable strain, and he hope what Mr. Elsee had said would be carefully considered.


The Rev. H. Law James and Mr. J. R. Newman gave instances of where the noise from the bells had been effectively deadened by judicious blocking up of the windows. Mr. Newman suggested that the Council should issue a pamphlet to church authorities, recommending the boarding up of the louvre holes.

The Rev. H. Law James: Pamphlets are no use, go and do it yourselves all over the country.

The Hon. Secretary quoted an instance in which a parishioner contemplated bringing an action at law against the authorities at a certain church on account of the ringing at practice and on Sundays. The matter was brought to his (the hon. secretary’s) notice by the Rural Dean and he replied that if the gentleman did bring his action he would not get very much by it. He referred the legal question to Mr. Pritchett, who wrote a most illuminating letter on the subject. Sometimes, the hon. secretary added, the public were most unreasonable.

Mr. Griffin said at Burton-on-Trent, although the ringing was restricted to perfectly reasonable limits - there had been only two peals rung since the bells were recast last October - some person had written to the Press offering to start a subscription to obtain an injunction restraining the bells from being rung, and saying that they had no business to be rung except for a wedding (laughter).

Mr. Groombridge said a similar suggestion was made at Bromley Common, when first the bells were put up, but the louvres had been bricked up, and no complaint was made now. With regard to the suggestion by Mr. Edwards that they might ring peals on Sundays, as feast days, he thought this would bring the nation down on their heads, as the greatest objection he had found was to peal ringing on Sundays.


The President said he did not think it was necessary to move any resolution on the subject. The matter was first brought prominently to his notice by Mr. F. E. Dawe. Mr. Dawe was a man who had travelled about a good deal, and he told him at the Johnson dinner at Birmingham that he felt certain that the opposition to bell ringing was growing, and not only growing, but becoming more organised. In that organisation lay their danger. They had just heard Mr. Griffin say that someone at Burton had offered to get up a subscription for opposing ringing. That was the beginning of it. He was afraid he could not take the view that Mr. King took, that they should snap their fingers in the face of this growing feeling of opposition. The nerves of the country were becoming much more sensitive, and he thought it would be unwise to go on without recognising the feeling that was growing up. It had been pointed out to them that an Act of Parliament might be passed to stop ringing, and in these days, when any bill could be got through Parliament if it was only bad enough, there was no reason why a Bill should not pass, even though a very small proportion or the country was really in favour of it. They had an instance in the Welsh Church Bill. It was perfectly certain if that Bill were put before the country as a whole that it would be rejected as an absolutely unfair measure. But they had a certain number of people in Parliament whose position depended on taking a particular line in regard to that Bill, and in consequence of that action the Bill, so far as the Commons was concerned, was an Act. And so they might have a Bill brought in in regard to ringing. It was not at all a fanciful idea. In any case it would be well for them to recognise that things were not as they were; that the country was going through a period of change. There were more brain workers and fewer hand workers, and they were gradually increasing the majority against them. They would find that in the country places the people loved their bells; they found that in the towns the people who objected to bells were the people who worked with their heads, and the people who worked with their heads had “the gift of the gab,” which was more effective in getting anything done, especially when they regarded it as a nuisance. It was by no means impossible for a thoroughly organised crusade against ringing to be successful. He earnestly beseeched them to bear this in mind, and see whether, in their arrangements, without making any great change straight off, they could not gradually, in various ways, reduce what so many people considered a very great nuisance.


First of all it had been pointed out how they could check the sound of bells very much, and as a rule they would improve their sound by blocking up the greater part of the tower windows, particularly when the windows were opposite the bells. It was a ridiculous idea to suppose that the noise of the bells, if it were boxed in, could injure the tower. It was just conceivable that the vibration might bring out little loose bits of mortar from the joints in the tower, but it was utterly absurd to suppose it could have any effect on the fabric. They could do a great deal by seeing, when they rang peals that they got a decent band. Mr. Jaspar Snowdon pointed out that very few people cared what was rung in a tower, but what they did care about and what every person could appreciate was the difference between good striking and bad striking (applause). When peals were rung by a young band - all honour to them - they could not expect anything very first rate in the way of striking, and these peals were exceptional. But in a large number of instances he could name excellent conductors who had dragged incompetent bands through a peal. There could be no possible satisfaction in that, and peals like that should be discountenanced altogether. They had no business to go into a tower and pretend to ring if they could not do so. Practice was a different thing. Excellent suggestions had been made that day as to the occasions on which peals might properly be rung. They would retain, or gain, a very considerable amount of sympathy from the general public if they could give a good reason for ringing. Altogether there were many ways in which this so-called nuisance could be mitigated, and he would like to point out that it was extremely important that the delegates who came there from the various associations should recognise that it was of very little purpose for them to take part in or listen to a discussion of that kind which might have no inconsiderable value, if they did not go back and make known to their associations what they had heard; at all events in so far as it met with their approval. That was the way in which the Council should do its work but he was sadly afraid that members were often willing to come and receive information at those meetings, but when they went back, did not impart it to those for whose benefit it was really intended. He hoped in this case they would bring the matter before their associations, because he was certain a case had been made out for their careful consideration (applause).

The matter was then allowed to drop.


The Rev. H. Law James moved: “That the Council is of opinion that Superlative Surprise Royal, as published by Shipway, is the same method as Superlative Surprise Major.” He said something like a hundred years ago, William Shipway produced Superlative Surprise Royal, and nobody had touched it since 1823. At that time a band in Wakefield rang what was called a peal of it. But Shipway’s peal was false, and it was quite likely that the peal at Wakefield was this composition. As, however, they had not got the figures of the Wakefield peal, he was not prepared to say whether there had been a peal of it rung or not. The system by which he should prove the method was Superlative could be applied to every double method. The speaker then went into a technical and abstruse analysis of the method of Superlative on eight and ten bells, based upon the relative position of the places, and said that the only method that satisfied his proof for Superlative Royal was the method which Shipway published.- The Hon. Secretary seconded the resolution for the purpose of discussion.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said the method might be a legitimate extension of Superlative Surprise Major, but he did not think it was. There were two or three problems which people had spent a vast amount of time over, but had never solved, one was the squaring of a circle, and another was the trisection of an angle. The extension of Surprise methods were, in his opinion, problems of a similar character. They could arbitrarily take a method which had some superficial resemblance to the Major, and they might call it, if they liked, the same method in the Royal or Maximus, but it was only so because they called it so. It was not because there was any legitimate way of extending these methods to larger number of bells. No good was to be gained by passing a resolution on the subject.


Mr. J. W. Parker said he followed Mr. James’ arguments very closely, and he would not like to say whether he was right or wrong. He did not think they had had time to reason out his arguments, and he thought it would be unwise for Mr. James to press the question that day. The Council had not recognised any law governing the extension of a method, and it was, therefore, not in a position to say whether the method was Superlative Royal or not. He thought Mr. James might let the matter rest for a time, so that they might have more opportunity to study it.

The Rev. H. L. James was willing to let the matter stand over, but if in the meantime he rang a peal of it, he should publish it as Superlative Surprise Royal. The system of working it out had produced Bristol Royal and Cambridge Royal and Maximus, but it would not produce London Royal, which showed that London did not exist.

The President said the Council would hardly be prepared to endorse Mr. James’ views that day. He thought there was really a great deal more sympathy between the various exponents of that rather abstruse question than appeared on the surface. He entirely agreed with Mr. Pritchett in regard to the fact that these double methods on an extended number of bells not being the same method. They could extend a single method as a rule, but they could not extend a double method. There was no doubt that Plain Bob and Treble Bob were exactly the same methods on 10 and 12 bells as on eight, but Double Norwich Royal was not a bit like Double Norwich Major. Sir Arthur added that he thought any method in which they had more than five-pull dodging coming frequently, would never be rung to the extent of more than an odd peal. He could not describe to them the monotony of longer dodges. He thought it would be the wisest course to let the question stand over for a year.

This was agreed to.

The Ringing World, June 6th, 1913, pages 392 to 393


The question of the representation of the Ladies’ Guild on the Central Council was before the Newcastle meeting, the following motion being on the agenda: “That the Ladies’ Guild of Change Ringers should be represented on the Council, and if thought well, to move a resolution on the subject.”

The President said the Rev. G. F. Coleridge had undertaken to introduce the matter, but he thought he (the President) ought to make an explanation. A year ago, Miss Parker, the secretary of the Ladies’ Guild, spoke to him about it, and asked him whether he did not think they ought to have representation. He was then in doubt whether they would be able to muster a sufficient number - seventy-five - to claim representation, and it was suggested that the Council might possibly see their way to reducing the qualifying number in the instance of the Ladies’ Guild. That suggestion had been withdrawn by Miss Parker, as she believed that in another year they would number 75 members or thereabouts. She had also written since the agenda came out to say that in her opinion, and that of her advisers, it would be desirable to postpone the whole question for a year. He wrote back, after consulting Mr. Davies, to say that their opinion was, that having been put on the agenda, and in view of the fact that there were a large number of ringers throughout the country that wanted the question discussed, it would be better to let the subject be discussed. The position of the Ladies’ Guild was this. They were not definitely at the moment asking for representation on the Council. If they did so ask in another year, it would not be accompanied by any request that the rules of the Council, so far as the qualifying number was concerned, should be altered for them. The direction that the discussion ought to take that day, if he might say so, was that of ventilating the matter. He did not think it was desirable that any resolution should be formulated. It was a matter upon which a large number of ringers felt very strongly one way or the other, and he doubted whether the representatives there dare take on themselves to express a very definite opinion as to what the associations they represented thought about it. They might, therefore, open up the question, and go back to their associations and find out their feeling, so that next year they could go to the Council with definite views.


The Rev. G. F. Coleridge said he had often noticed at those meetings that a subject which was very abstruse was followed by one which was very much lighter and more interesting to many people. It was so that day. A subject of Superlative complexity, was followed by a matter of superlative grace and beauty (hear, hear). After a facetious reference to the moving times and the aggressive tactics of certain ladies desiring the franchise, the speaker went on to say that many of them would have soon to decide whether women should be represented on the councils of the church, and the question before them that day was whether the ladies should be, not only able to vote for representatives upon the Council, but be represented by one of their own sex. He was not going into the question whether the men cared for the presence of ladies in the belfry - a great deal might be said about it on both sides - the simple question before them was whether the ladies should be represented on that Council. The only answer he could find in his own mind was “Yes.” There was nothing to prevent any guild or association sending a lady representative to that meeting, and so, when the Ladies’ Guild came up to the number of 75, they would be perfectly right, he took it, in sending their representative. One or two questions, however, cropped up. For instance, they were the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. But was it a fact that everyone in the Ladies’ Guild was a church bell ringer. One or two, he knew, were only handbell ringers. He would not move any resolution on the subject, although if it were thought well after the discussion he would do so.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews said he had two lady ringers in his tower, and Miss Alice White, the president of the Ladies’ Guild, was a ringer in his own diocese. He could only say from his experience, that he thought the time had come when lady ringers would have to receive their proper recognition and place in that Council. In many places they were setting a most splendid example to the men, and his own experience was that they were the greatest possible help in the tower (hear, hear). The question of the representation of ladies in other church matters had come up, as Mr. Coleridge had said, and the church had discovered what an enormous amount of good they could do. It was only recently they had been welcomed in the belfries, and the time might come when they would serve on some of the important councils of the Church. He hoped that Council would next year welcome a representative from the Ladies’ Guild.


Mr. G. P. Burton said he felt he must oppose the introduction of ladies to that Council for every reason. The argument that ladies were not represented was quite fallacious, for the ladies had voted already as regards representation on that Council, because the members of the Ladies Guild were also members of the ordinary associations. What more did they want? He also opposed it on the ground that it was best for the ladies if they could be kept out of the belfries altogether (“No, No”). He was glad to say, as regards his own belfry, they had been saved from such an awkward predicament as having ladies there. They were threatened with it, but they had got over the difficulty. It was much too soon after the formation of the Ladies’ Guild to consider the question of representation. He did not see what good it was going to do. They were said to have rung a peal -

The President: I don’t think that is quite fair.

Mr. Burton said they could not ring the peal without a man in the belfry.

The President: You cannot say that.

Mr. Burton said the fact of that peal seemed to have made a few hot-headed people lose their heads. Then there was the territorial point. The Council had already had to consider whether it was right to have representatives there at all who did not stand for territorial divisions. They knew they must have representatives from the College Youths on the Council, because they looked upon the position of that society’s representatives as a historical position, but if they could choose they would not have societies, who had no territorial position, there at all. Apply that to the Ladies’ Guild and where were they? They were what would be called plural voters. They would vote with their associations, and then send their own representative there in an unduly privileged position.

Mr. P. J. Johnson thought Mr. Burton was wide of the mark in some respects. He spoke of the delegates of the College Youths coming there out of respect for the society as a historical foundation. He (the speaker) believed the rules of the Council laid down the fact that any society that had a membership of 75 could claim a representative on the Council (hear, hear). If the ladies liked to form an association, and had sufficient intelligence to ring peals he thought they had sufficient intelligence to be represented on that Council. He had great pleasure in supporting Mr. Coleridge’s remarks.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee said he should be quite willing to agree to ladies being represented on the Council, but with regard to the wider question, he was very much in sympathy with Mr. Burton. It might be only prejudice, but he felt that ringing was not a suitable exercise for ladies. He was not sufficiently up in medical knowledge to know, but he doubted if bell ringing was as suitable for ladies as for men, from that point of view. He was very much more doubtful as to the advisability of having mixed bands for ladies and men in the same tower. In other sports they did not find them mixing.

Voices: Golf, Hockey, Tennis.

The Rev. H. J. Elsee said wherever they found them mixing in games they would find separate rooms, which would not be easily possible in a tower. He thought if ladies wanted to be ringers they had much better have bands entirely of ladies.


The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn remarked that he would like to say how very much the Oxford Guild owed to the work of the ladies throughout the diocese. In many a benighted country place be could tell them of the excellent work that had been done in promoting the cause of the Guild, in providing instruction, and in organising generally.

The President said he thought there were very few representatives who would be ready to vote on the question without first feeling more accurately the pulse of their associations. To vote for the representation of the Ladies’ Guild on that Council did not necessarily imply that they were in favour of mixed bands of ladies and men in the tower. There was also the very nice point of whether a Guild which might be composed of a large number of handbell ringers could very fairly be represented on a body of church bell ringers. This would want thinking out. He did not suppose that they as a Council could have very much to say as to how far this ladies’ movement would go, but if, as it appeared likely, it was to go forward it was questionable whether it would be wise to exclude them from their Council, if there was a reasonable prospect of getting them there on fairly logical terms. The whole matter seemed to him to be extremely complicated. He had been asked several times for his opinion, and he had declined to give it for the reason that the question had not been sufficiently ventilated. The members might try before next year to assure themselves of the feeling of their associations, and in all probability public opinion would become more crystalised before then, and they would be in a position to pass some resolution.

The subject was then allowed to drop.


Mr. George Bolland moved: “To call renewed attention to the Council’s recommendation passed in 1902 and incorporated in ‘Rules and Decisions’ to the effect that not less than seven days’ notice shall be given in the columns of the ringing papers, stating the tower, day and hour at which any attempt is to be made to surpass any previous peal.” He said people had been ringing record peals and not giving due notice. On Easter Monday, the Kent Association rang four peals in one day, and those peals made 20,000 odd changes. To his mind, he thought they ought to have given seven days’ notice of the attempt. The Yorkshire Association held the record on six bells, and he should not like it taken from them without due consideration. He moved this resolution, therefore, in order to jog the memory of those contemplating long peals.

The Rev. H. Law James pointed out that the regulations did not apply to what was done by the Kent Association, because that was four separate peals.

Mr. Bolland: It is the only time there has been four peals rung in one day.

Rev. H. Law James said the Council’s regulations dealt with peals of record length at one standing.

The President said Mr. Bolland’s point fell to the ground on that account. These four peals were not making a record length.

There was no seconder for the resolution, which, therefore, fell to the ground.


The President said in accordance with their regular scheme, the South of England was the proper locality for their meeting in 1914. Three places had been suggested: Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester. The Standing Committee had come to the conclusion that Winchester would be the best of the three.

Mr. Griffin moved, and Mr. Narborough seconded Winchester.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards suggested Portsmouth as providing better facilities for ringing.

The President pointed out that ringing was not the first object.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews said if the Council decided on Winchester he would do everything in his power to help the hon. secretary in regard to the meeting and finding accommodation for the visitors.

Winchester was then carried unanimously.


The Hon. Secretary, amid applause, moved a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Routledge as President of Durham and Newcastle Association, and the other members of the Association who had so kindly helped them to have an exceedingly pleasant and agreeable time. Speaking for himself, he owed Mr. Routledge a deep debt of gratitude for the pains he had taken in regard to that meeting. He had taken a great burden off his (the hon. secretary’s) shoulders, and had carried through the whole business of making the arrangements from first to last. The members, he was sure, fully appreciated the trouble he had taken to ensure their enjoyment (applause). - The President seconded, and the motion was carried by acclamation.- Mr. Routledge, in replying, said the Durham and Newcastle Association felt highly honoured at getting the Council to go so far north. It was a herculean task to get to Newcastle from the south, and they felt flattered that they had got such a fine collection of men to come there and sample their good city (applause).

In proposing a vote of thanks to the President, the Rev. G. F. Coleridge said so large a gathering in that northern town showed what interest there was in the work of the Council. He was sure that year by year the strength of the Council was increasing, and gradually becoming what from the first they hoped, by careful nursing it would become the same authoritative body in regard to ringing that the Marylebone club was in regard to cricket (hear, hear).

The motion having been carried, the President briefly replied, and the meeting terminated at 6 p.m., having lasted from 11 a.m., with an interval of an hour and a half for lunch.

The Ringing World, June 13th, 1913, pages 408 to 409

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