REPORT OF THE CENTRAL COUNCIL’S COMMITTEE FOR 1918
The cessation of hostilities in November was the occasion of an immediate turn in the tide of peal ringing, so that half the tower bell peals rung in 1918 were recorded in November and December, the two months showing a total of 114 peals out of 229.
The Analysis is presented in the same form as in the last two years the tower and handbell peals being given in separate tables; and the Committee would be glad to have the opinion of the Council as to whether such an arrangement should be continued in future years.
The Lancashire and Yorkshire Associations each rang 31 peals on tower bells, Gloucester and Bristol coming next with 16. But while 15 of the Lancashire peals were Grandsire Triples, and 18 of the Yorkshire peals were Treble Bob Major, it will be seen that the 16 peals of the Gloucester and Bristol Association appear in ten different columns in the Analysis.
The greatest number of handbell peals was again rung by the St. Martin’s Guild, viz., 15, of which nine were Stedman Cinques, not including one peal on April 4th, which unfortunately proved to be false. The Ancient Society of College Youths come next with eight peals, of which four were also Stedman Cinques; and it is noticeable that, out of the 48 handbell peals, 16, or exactly one-third, were Stedman Cinques, two being rung by the Middlesex Association, and one by Worcestershire and Districts.
The number of ringers taking part in their first peal was 71; first tower bell peal, 6; first handbell peal, 20; first with a bob bell, 14; first as conductor, 4; first on hand bells as conductor, 2; while one Canadian ringer scored his first peal in England.
There were six ‘first on the bells,’ and two ‘first since restoration,’ and we may expect, with the return to peace conditions, that there will soon be a large increase in these last two figures.
Lady ringers are much in evidence, and we find first peals rung by ladies at the ages of 14 and 15, while in a peal of Grandsire Doubles, all the ringers (mere males) except the conductor, were in ‘their teens,’ two being under 14. First peals on handbells were also achieved by ringers of the ages of 13 (two), 14 and 15. At the other end of the scale we find peal ringers of 68 (first peal), 70 (two), 76 and 81! A handbell peal at Lavenham by father, son and grandson is worthy of notice.
Muffled peals numbered 37, of which 22 were for those who have fallen in the war; while the signing of the Armistice produced 47, five were rung as a welcome to President Wilson, and three for successes in the war. One peal was to celebrate the winning of the Military Cross by a local ringer, and the dedication of a memorial chapel, a screen and a window gave occasion to three more. Six peals were arranged for soldiers home on leave, and seven were rung for the King’s silver wedding and birthday.
Ecclesiastical occasions of peals include the following: Welcome to new Incumbent, 4; Patronal Festival, 4; 50 years’ service in the Church, 30 years as Vicar, Harvest Thanksgiving, Watch Night Service, Sunday School Anniversary, one peal each.
There were two Association peals, two Centenary peals, two for the Bicentenary of the first peal of Treble Bob, and one for the Bicentenary of the first peal of Grandsire Triples. Farewell peals numbered 4; wedding peals, 8; birthday peals, 29; and one peal was rung to celebrate election day.
The committee look forward to much more arduous duties in the years to come, and to making a much greater demand in the future upon the space of the ‘Ringing World’ for the insertion of the Analysis; and in this connection they would like to express their appreciation of the unvaried excellence of the reproduction of the Analysis in the ‘Ringing World.’
ARTHUR T. KING, 2, Marlborough Road, Salisbury.|
E. W. CARPENTER, Thriplow, Cambs.
JOSEPH GRIFFIN, 11, Shobnall Street, Burton-on-Trent.
GEORGE WILLIAMS, West End, Southampton.
The Ringing World, May 30th, 1919, page 205
The 12 peals rung under the title of Independent Societies were rung in the following Counties: Gloucestershire, 1; Leicestershire, 1; Suffolk, 2; Warwickshire 3; Worcestershire, 1; Yorkshire 2; Dublin, 1; Wicklow, 1.
The 35 peals of Treble Bob were rung as follow: In the Kent Variation, Royal, 3; Major, 30. In the Oxford Variation, Major, 2.
The 24 peals in Plain Methods comprised Bob Royal, 4; Bob Major, 20.
The 38 peals of Stedman Triples may be sub-divided as follows: Thurstans’ One-part, 1; Thurstans’ Four-part and Variations, 28; Carter’s peals, 2; Washbrook’s peals, 6; Sir Arthur Heywood’s 10-part, 1.
The 82 peals of Grandsire Triples may also be sub-divided as follows: Holt’s Original, 8; Holt’s 10-Part and Variations, 12; Holt’s 6-Part, 1; Parker’s 12-Part and Variations, 21; Parker’s 6-Part, 1; Parker’s 5-Part, 1; Taylor’s peals, 9; Carter’s peals, 5; Rev. C. D. P. Davies’ peals 4; Shepherd’s peals, 2; Thurstans’ 5-Part, 2; Vicars’ peals, 2; Banks’ peals, 2; other peals (including two unnamed), 12.
The 20 peals of Minor, viz., 16 rung on tower bells, and four on handbells were distributed among the following Associations:-
|No. of Minor Methods.|
|Gloucester and Bristol||1||-||-||-|
|Peterborough and District||-||1||-||-|
|Worcestershire and Districts||1||-||-||-|
* This peal, though rung in 10 different methods, fails to fulfil requirement that only complete 720’s should be rung.
The 19 peals of Doubles are shown in the following statement:-
|No. of Methods.|
|Bath and Wells||3||-||-|
|Gloucester and Bristol||1||-||-|
|Worcestershire and Districts||1||1||-|
The conductors of four peals and over are as follows:- 8 peals, E. M. Atkins (H.B. 3), A. E. Edwards, J. E. Groves (H.B. 4), E. Morris and A. Wright; 7 peals, G. F. Swann (H.B. 4), and W. Fisher; 6 peals, C. R. Lilley (H.B. 1), W. Pye (H.B. 2), A. Walker (H.B. 5) and J. W. Washbrook; 5 peals, A. Knights, J. Pigott, W. Short and B. Thorp; 4 peals, J. D. Matthews (H.B. 3), H. R. Pasmore (H.B. 4), F. Stoneley, J. E. Sykes, S. H. Symonds (H.B. 3), T. H. Taffender and C. F. Winney (H.B. 3). There were 9 conductors of three peals, 17 of two (6 on handbells), and 88 of one peal (10 on handbells); in addition to which two peals were published without the name of the conductor being given.
Two ladies appear as conductors in 1918, viz., Miss Nellie Gillingham, who conducted the peal rung by the Ladies’ Guild on January 5th, 1918 and Miss E. K. Parker, who conducted two peals of Stedman Triples for the Middlesex County Association and London Diocesan Guild. One of these peals was conducted from the tenor, which has been aptly described as ‘an interesting and unique’ performance which few even of our most accomplished ringers have achieved.
The number of peals rung on Church bells during 1918 was 229, and on handbells, 48. Owing to the signing of the Armistice on November 11th, we are able to record an increase of no less than 147 peals rung during 1918. The peals rung month by month in 1917 and 1918 are appended for purposes of comparison.
|Total for 1917, 130; total for 1918, 277, being an increase of 147, as stated above.|
The total number of peals, whether on tower bells or handbells, rung year by year since 1881, is as follows:-
|Grand Total, 36,861.|
The Ringing World, May 30th, pages 207 and 209
THE MEETING AT GLOUCESTER.
The 27th annual meeting of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers was held on Whitsun Tuesday in the Chapter House of Gloucester Cathedral. The Rev. A. H. Boughey (President) occupied the chair. The other members present were: The Rev. C. D. P. Davies (hon. secretary), Miss N. Gillingham, and Messrs. J. Carter, J. George, J. S. Pritchett, J. A. Trollope and H. W. Wilde (hon. members), and the following representatives of Associations:-
Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. E. Horrex and A. A. Hughes.
Royal Cumberland Youths: Mr. J. Parker.
Bath and Wells Diocesan: Rev. C. C. Parker.
Bedfordshire: Rev. Canon W. W. Baker.
St. Martin’s Guild for Diocese of Birmingham: Mr. W. H. Godden.
Cambridge University: Mr. E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan: Rev. A. T. Beeston, Messrs. H. S. Brocklebank and R. T. Holding.
Devon: Rev. M. Kelly.
Dudley and District: Mr. W. R. Small.
Essex County: Mr. W. J. Nevard.
Gloucester and Bristol: Mr. J. Austin.
Hereford Diocesan: Mr. J. Clark.
Hertford County: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake.
Kent County: Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, Messrs. E. Barnett and J. H. Cheesman.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss E. K. Parker.
Lancashire: Rev. Canon Elsee, and Mr. W. E. Wilson.
Leeds and District: Mr. P. J. Johnson.
Lincoln Diocesan: Rev. H. Law James, and Messrs. R. Richardson and J. W. Seamer.
Llandaff Diocesan: Mr. J. W. Jones.
London County: Mr. E. A. Young.
Middlesex County: Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. A. T. King, I.S.O., and J. R. Sharman.
Midland Counties: Mr. W. E. White.
Central Northants: Messrs. W. Perkins and F. Wilford.
Norwich Diocesan: Rev. H. Drake and Mr. G. P. Burton.
Oxford Diocesan: Rev. C: W. O. Jenkyn, Rev. Canon Coleridge, Messrs. J. Evans and F. W. Hopgood.
Peterborough and District: Mr. R. Narborough.
Salisbury Diocesan: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards and Mr. T. H. Beams.
Staffs Archdeaconry: Messrs. W. Fisher and H. Knight.
Surrey County: Lieut. C. F. Johnston and Mr. C. Dean.
Sussex County: Mr. H. R. Butcher.
Warwickshire: Messrs. H. Argyle and A. Roberts.
Winchester Diocesan: Rev. C. E. Matthews and Mr. G. Williams.
Worcester and Districts: Messrs. A. E. Parsons, T. J. Salter and W. Short.
Yorkshire: Mr. G. Bolland.
Apologies for absence were received from the Rev. Canon Papillon, the Rev. C. C. Marshall, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, the Rev. W. P. Wright, Messrs. J. D. Matthews, J. W. Parker, C. L. Routledge, W. Storey and F. Willey.
THE PRESIDENT’S THANKS.
After the minutes of the meeting held in London in 1918 had been read and confirmed,
The President returned his warm thanks to the Council for the great honour they had paid him in electing him president. They were kind enough and, he thought, unwise enough to do this last year, when he was prevented by temporary illness from attending the meeting. He had no opportunity of thanking them last year for a great and undeserved honour. He felt a very great responsibility, and he would like to say that he thoroughly agreed with those who held that, unless the circumstances were exceptional, the presidency of the Council should not be held for long by the same person. Circumstances were exceptional hitherto, because they had in their first and, up to the time of his death, their only president, one who was so clearly marked out as being the man for the presidency, that as long as he was able to guide the Council no one else would have consented to take that place. But the circumstances now were not exceptional, and he (the speaker) felt strongly not only that he ought to hold that presidency for a short time, but also that he wished to be able to hold it only for a short time - at latest up till the election of a new Council. Had he been present last year he certainly should have asked them to excuse him from the honour, but having heard of the election only after it had taken place, he felt it would be ungracious not to consent to do his best for a short time. For one thing he was not sufficiently young and vigorous. He was about the same age as the late President. They entered the same college at Cambridge at the same time, and he (the speaker) valued above all his life-long friendship with Sir Arthur Heywood. He knew they all still felt what a loss the Council had had by his death and he (the President) put it to them clearly that his tenancy was only as a stopgap, until not later than the election of the next Council.
LOSSES BY DEATH.
Continuing, the President said he had mentioned Sir Arthur Heywood. That reminded him that it was his sad duty to mention the names of three other members of the Council who had died in the past year. One was Mr. Bertram Prewett, of the Middlesex band, and who represented the Herts Association. He was a most delightful friend to everyone who knew him, a distinguished ringer, a most valuable member of any Council or Association to which he belonged. He was one of those - only too many - whose life was sacrificed in the great war. Another was Mr. Henry White, of Basingstoke. They mourned a great loss in him also. The third and most recent death among their members was that of Mr. John William Taylor, of the well-known Loughborough Foundry. It was impossible to estimate how much bell ringing in England and in the world had suffered by his loss. He (the President) would ask the members to rise in their places for a moment in order to show their respect and affectionate tribute to their memory and their sympathy with those whom they had left.
The members then rose in their places, and stood in silence for a few moments.
At the suggestion of Mr. J. S. Pritchett, a telegram of condolence was sent from the meeting to Mrs. Taylor.
A ROLL OF HONOUR.
The President said it had been hoped to read at that meeting the Roll of Honour of ringers who have fallen in the war. An appeal was made to secretaries of Associations and others to gather the names for this purpose but for different reasons they did not propose to read it that day. One was that it was at present incomplete, and another was that peace was not yet signed, and they did not know whether it might be - God grant it should not be - that there was more warfare to come before the final peace. For those two reasons they did not propose to read the roll that day, but to do it upon some future opportunity.
AN ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY.
‘To vote a humble address to His Majesty the King’ was the next item on the agenda, and the President stated that the suggestion was first made a little while after the Armistice was signed. It was at once taken up, and endeavoured to be carried out, but there was some necessary delay. Then the feeling became more prominent that it was not certain that we had won actual peace. There was moment when the great French Commander-in-Chief and another great leader, said they believed more war was inevitable, and they, therefore, decided to postpone the address - he hoped the Council would not think it was simply procrastination - until peace was actually signed, and they (the officers) settled upon two courses. First, if peace were signed, they would take on themselves the responsibility of presenting the address to the King as representing the Central Council immediately on the signing of peace; or, secondly, if peace were not signed before the meeting of the Council they would lay the matter before the Council to decide whether an address should be presented or not. They had drafted an address which he would ask the secretary to read.
The draft proposed was then read, and members were invited to send in suggestions for additions or alterations to the secretary for consideration by the Standing Committee.
It was unanimously resolved that an address should be presented, and the final wording will be eventually settled by the Standing Committee and officers.
Mr. Beams asked in what form the address was to be presented, whether it was to be simple or costly.
The President said the idea of the officers and Standing Committee was that it should not cost a penny, that it should be nothing grand and illuminated, but simply a written address, which, he thought, showed with least ostentation what, he was sure, was the very heartfelt feeling of everyone present (applause).
THE COUNCIL’S PUBLICATIONS.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn (hon. librarian) who was heartily welcomed on his return from the war, presented a statement as to the sale of the Council’s publications. During the year ended May 22nd, 91 copies of publications were sold, the receipts being £2 19s. 1d. After deducting postages £2 16s. 8d. was handed over to the treasurer. During the five years he had been librarian, continued Mr. Jenkyn, 324 copies in all had been sold, and he now desired to know what the Council wished to do. Did they wish to go on in the same way, just slowly, or did they wish to go more quickly. If they wished to go slowly there was nothing more to be said. If they wished to go quickly and sell more of these publications he would suggest they should advertise them in the ‘Ringing World,’ and that he should be instructed to induce secretaries of Associations to take the publications on sale or return with a view to getting them brought to the notice of members. He found that many ringers had not the least idea what the books really were.
The Hon. Secretary presented the accounts of the Council, audited by the Standing Committee which showed the balance in hand at the beginning of the year to be £70 2s. 1d. The receipts included subscriptions from associations £11 10s., sales of publications £2 16s. 8d., interest on invested bonds £3 2s. Out of this amount £50 had been invested in War Bonds, £2 10s. had been paid in connection with the meeting in 1918 in London, and £1 17s. 4d. for incidental expenses, leaving a balance in hand of £33 3s. 5d.- The Hon. Secretary mentioned that the subscriptions of two Associations had not been received when the accounts were made up. One had since been paid but the Towcester and Districts Association was still in default.
Mr. F. Wilford said the Secretary and Representative of the Towcester Association had died, and the Association, so far as that part which came into Northamptonshire was concerned, was also practically dead. They of the Central Northants Association were going to try and work it up again if possible.
On the motion of Canon Coleridge, seconded by Mr. P. J. Johnson the accounts were accepted and approved.
The Rev. A. T. Beeston suggested that the Accounts should be printed for circulation among the members.
Mr. King did not see why they should incur the expense of printing, and suggested the accounts should be published in the ‘Ringing World.’
Mr. P. J. Johnson said the ‘Ringing World’ was not supported as it should be by members of the Exercise, and if the Council were going to publish their accounts in the paper they should pay for it in the way of an ordinary advertisement.
After further discussion it was resolved that the Secretary be authorised to pay for the Council’s announcements in the ‘Ringing World.’
A motion that the accounts be printed with the agenda of the meeting was defeated.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn moved that the publications of the Council be advertised in the ‘Ringing World,’ and that he arrange with the secretaries of association to take copies of the publications on sale or return.- Mr. Lewis seconded, and the resolution was adopted.
Mr. Burton asked whether the Council ought not to consider the question of increasing the price of their publications.
The Rev. H. Law James said, on the contrary, that they ought rather to consider if it was possible to reduce the prices. The Council printed these things for the benefit of the Exercise, and not to make money. As long as they did not lose money the more they sold the better.
A NEW HONORARY MEMBER.
Three honorary members - the Rev. A. H. Boughey, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. J. W. Parker - retired by rotation, and a vacancy among the hon. members occurred by the election of Mr. G. Williams as a representative of the Winchester Guild.
The three retiring members were re-elected, and Mr. Harry Chapman (Manchester) was elected to fill the vacancy.
Mr. Chapman was for some time one of the representatives of the Lancashire Association on the Council, and the reason why he was not re-elected on the last occasion was explained by the Rev. H. J. Elsee, who said it was purely because the association thought it right that the honours should be passed round. None would rejoice more than the Lancashire Association and himself if Mr. Chapman were elected.
Mr. Chapman, who was spending the holiday in Gloucester, was able to take his seat at the afternoon session.
A SUMMARY OF OTHER BUSINESS.
After new members had been introduced to the President, the Council came to the consideration of the reports of the various committees.
The Peal Collection Committee reported that they were prepared to print the Treble Bob Collection, and the Council authorised this to be done.
The Legitimate Methods Committee reported that they were ready to go on with the printing of a selection of the Plain Major Methods.
An interesting discussion took place upon legitimate methods, and eventually it was resolved that in future the word ‘Legitimate’ should be omitted from the title of the committee, so that the committee in future will be known as the Methods Committee. It was also resolved that wherever the word ‘legitimate’ occurred in the documents of the committee and Council, the word be changed to ‘regular’ and ‘illegitimate’ to ‘irregular.’
It was resolved that the selection of the plain Major methods contained in the report of the Methods Committee be printed as soon as the hon. secretary and treasurer considered it expedient.
The Literature Committee had been inactive during the year, but a letter from Canon Papillon was accepted as a report, and various suggestions, widening the reference of the committee, and extending its work were adopted. The title was changed to ‘The Literature and Press Committee,’ and the committee was strengthened by the addition of the hon. librarian (the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn).
The Peals Analysis Committee’s report which has already appeared in these columns, was adopted, with thanks to the committee for their work, and it was resolved that the present form of publishing the table of peals rung in the alphabetical order of the Associations he continued.
The Towers and Belfries Committee’s report was an informal one, made by Mr. E. H. Lewis, who also stated that for various reasons the bells of Belgium Committee had been unable to do anything during the year.
The reports having been disposed of, discussion was continued on the subject opened last year, viz., the means most likely to conduce to the greatest utility and efficiency of the Council. After a spirited debate it was resolved by 24 votes to 20, ‘that the Standing Committee be instructed to consider the procedure of the Central Council and take such action as they think fit,’ and it was also resolved ‘that it be referred to the societies and associations affiliated to the Council to consider the desirability of giving the Council power to enforce its decisions, and report to the Hon. Secretary of the Council not later than April 26th, 1920.’
The first of these two motions was proposed by the Rev. H. Drake, and the second by Canon Baker.
It was proposed by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by Mr. T. H. Beams, and carried: ‘That this Council gives its hearty support to the movement, already locally initiated, to restore the ancient usage of a “peace” bell in this country as an appropriate memorial to the men who have sacrificed their lives in the great war, and as a call to prayer for the peace of the realm.’
It was decided that the Council should meet at Northampton next year.
A vote of thanks was accorded the Dean of Gloucester for having placed the Chapter House at the disposal of the Council and for his offer personally to conduct the members round the Cathedral.
Mr. John Austin was thanked for having made the local arrangements, and the President was thanked for his conduct in the chair.
The members then made a tour of the Cathedral under the guidance of the Dean, and afterwards were entertained to tea by the Gloucester and Bristol Association. They then visited the premises where two centuries ago the Rudhalls carried on their famous bell foundry, and subsequently, spent a social hour at the Ram Hotel.
The Ringing World, June 20th, 1919, pages 240 to 241
DISCUSSION ON REPORTS.
TREBLE BOB PEAL COLLECTION TO BE PRINTED.
The first report for the consideration of the Council was that of the Peal Collection Committee, on behalf of which the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson wrote: ‘The Peal Collection Committee repeat their report of last year, that they will begin printing the Treble Bob Collection when authorised to do so by the Council. There being no longer any patriotic reason for delay, it is now solely a question of cost.’
The Hon, Secretary said, if his memory served him rightly, the committee were instructed before printing, to consult him as to whether the funds of the Council would bear it.
Mr. H. W. Wilde said the committee were prepared to print the first section of the Treble Bob peals if the Council authorised the expenditure. Mr. Richardson had unfortunately broken down in health, and had not been able to do anything for some months. There had been a certain amount of criticism of the work of the committee from time to time, but those who criticised did not quite understand what those committees were doing. Some years ago, Mr. Richardson pressed that all peals for the Treble Bob Collection before being printed, would be proved, and it was involving a tremendous amount of work. They had found some of the peals sent in with the number of changes not correctly given, others with the course ends incorrect, and some with the calling wrongly given. All this had to be checked, and then there was the proof of the peals and the internal proof. He (the speaker) had devoted himself to checking the proof of the peals, and he believed there was now a section ready for printing.
Replying to a question, the President said he understood the expense of printing the collection would probably be between £30 and £40. The only point for the Council was whether they wished the collection to be printed at the cost of the amount mentioned. He added that the Council owed a debt of gratitude to the Peal Collection Committee for the enormous amount of work they had done, a very troublesome work requiring great accuracy.
Mr. Wilde proposed that the Council authorise incurring the expense of printing.
The Rev. A. T. Beeston asked how many sections the committee proposed there should be. Could there not be a selection of the compositions combined in one section?
Mr. J. A. Trollope said the question of making a selection for these peal collections was discussed some time ago, and it was decided that it was not possible. They must print them practically all. That was the unanimous opinion of the committee at that time, and of the Council.
The Rev. A. T. Beeston seconded Mr. Wilde’s motion.
The Hon. Secretary said it would be necessary to sell out some of their stock. They had something like £100 invested.
Mr. J. S. Pritchett said the Council ought to know what they were committing themselves to financially. What would the total cost be? By publishing one part they were practically committing themselves to publishing the remainder.
Mr. P. J. Johnson said he believed it was seven years ago at Westminster that they decided to prove these peals of Treble Bob, and if it was going to take another seven years to prove the next section they would have time to accumulate another £30 for publishing it (laughter). If they did not get this Treble Bob section out of the way they would bar the road to publishing the Surprise peals which ringers were anxious to see published. Let them get the Treble Bob out of the way at once.
The motion was carried by a large majority.
SUGGESTED LACK OF APPRECIATION.
Mr. J. A. Trollope asked the Council to accept his resignation from the committee.
The President said, except in the case of absolute necessity, he hoped members would not resign from the committees. Other reports spoke of resignations, and he thought it would be best if they did not accept any resignations until they had heard all the reports because there were difficulties in the way. The Council would suffer very severely if members resigned from committees unless it was absolutely necessary.
Mr. Trollope said he could not withdraw his resignation because the reasons for it, which he did not want to go into still stood, but he would fall in with the suggestion of the President. He could not, however, act on the committee again. It was not a question of pique, or anything of that sort, but anyone who had had anything at all to do with the committees knew that there was a very large amount of work to do done, for which there was nothing to show. The work must be done, but for that sort of thing they must have a certain amount of incentive. He supposed the real reason why they spent so much time on committee work was that they liked it, but there was another reason, and that was that they had in the back of their mind the idea that the work was going to be appreciated, and that those who did it were going to be considered as authorities upon it. For a long time past he had been of opinion and now, he was sorry to say, it was a certainty, that the Council and the Exercise as a whole, did not appreciate the work that was done. They might pass resolutions if they liked, and they might say very nice things, but when it came to the point, committee work was not appreciated. Then, too, he could not possibly do the work he had done in the past, and he would not be of any use to the Council on the committee.
The President: Mr. Trollope speaks of want of appreciation, is there any way the Council can show it more than it has?
Mr. Trollope: If you appoint a committee on any subject, you appoint them as experts, and treat them as experts, and their views should be accepted, unless a thing is proved to the contrary by someone who knows something about the subject. That is not the case in the Exercise. A man’s opinions are more dogmatic in proportion as he knows less about the subject.
Mr. Johnson: Profound ignorance never prevented a man from giving advice.
The President: I should have thought the most clear sign of appreciation was the fact of a person being put on a committee. If the Council puts anyone on a committee it certainly desires to show its full and complete confidence in his ability to carry out the purpose of that committee. It can afterwards thank him for the labour, as well as for the knowledge which he has shown in carrying out the work. For myself I feel particularly strongly that for the work of such a committee as this on the Peal Collection - I know the enormous amount of work which Mr. Richardson has given to the proving of the peals - there is no lack of appreciation. I cannot see any other way in which the Council can show it than first of all, and chiefly by putting a member on the committee; and, secondly, by thanking him afterwards for what he has done.
Mr. Trollope: You cannot define an atmosphere, but you can feel it.
The Rev. H. Drake said he would propose a vote of thanks to Mr. Trollope, and ask him to withdraw his resignation.
Mr. Trollope: That is not wanted.
THE PLACE OF NEXT MEETING.
As only a few minutes were left before the luncheon interval, the President invited the members to consider the question of the place of the next meeting.
Mr. F. Wilford proposed Northampton, and this was seconded by Canon Baker.
The Rev. A. T. Beeston suggested Chester.
Mr. G. B. Bolland proposed Leeds, and Lincoln was named by the Rev. H. Law James.
At the opening of the afternoon session, the Rev. H. L. James withdrew Lincoln and supported Northampton on the ground that the latter place was about the middle of England, so that it would be possible for everyone to get there at about the same expense.
The Rev. A. T. Beeston withdrew his nomination of Chester, remarking that after the next meeting in London it would be the turn of the North of England, and perhaps Chester might then have first choice.
This left only Northampton and Leeds, and, on being put to the vote, Northampton was chosen almost unanimously.
LEADS - PLAIN AND OTHERWISE.
The Rev. H. Law James, on behalf of the Legitimate Committee, said the report was the same as presented last year. It was ready for printing, but he must refer to the attack which the Rev. C. D. P. Davies had made on the original Legitimate Methods Report, for the simple reason it was no good going on building the chimney if the foundation stone was coming out. He must go back to the committee’s report and justify it, and he did so on two grounds; first, theoretical; secondly, practical. As to the theoretical, if anyone would write out a course of Triples with two hunting trebles they would find at the end of the lead that the result was one of three things, either they had got a lead end which came up in Grandsire Triples, in which all the working bells were, in the same coursing order; or else they had got three working bells shifted, or two working bells shifted. Those were facts. The committee did not make those facts, they found them, and no power on earth could ever alter them. There were thus three kinds of leads. The first was Grandsire Triples, and it had been called a plain lead. Mr. Davies told them in his pamphlet that it had been the common custom of the Exercise to call anything a plain lead where a bob was not called. He (the speaker) was aware that that was the colloquial use of the belfry, but Mr. Davies had never given them any authority for it. They could not find it in any of the old authors. He had searched the Clavis, Shipway, Banister, Reeves and Hubbard. That brought him down to 1864. Not one of these books said anything about a plain lead in any sense whatever. In its colloquial use in the belfry it was quite modern. It was, Mr. Davies told them, most unscientific and most confusing, and he agreed with him. He (Mr. James) wrote the definitions of a plain lead, a bob lead, and a single lead, and he wrote them because he found those three kinds of lead, which were, in their way, absolutely different. They all agreed that Grandsire Triples was a plain lead; if they called one of the others a plain lead they had Mr. Davies’ word for it that it was unscientific and confusing. Unless they had a real basis on which they could work, they could do nothing at all, and if they took Mr. Davies’ pamphlet on leads, and proceeded to work on that, well - so far as the committee was concerned he was prepared to give up and not do any more, for the foundation was gone, and it was no use going on with the work.
THE PRACTICAL SIDE.
The practical side of the question was the most important from the ordinary ringer’s point of view. Beginning with five bells, they could do one of two things. They could change two pairs of bells or one pair of bells. Consider what happened if they changed only one pair of bells! Three bells would stand still, which was more than half the bells, and the result to the outside public - and they must not forget the outside public - was a horrible noise. Coming to six bell methods, Mr. James said there were two groups, those that obeyed the rule and had Bob Minor lead ends, and those that broke it. Let them call a 720 according to the old rule of ‘home,’ ‘wrong’ and ‘home,’ or ‘in,’ ‘out’ and ‘in,’ and with the Legitimate methods in 19 cases out of 20 it brought the tenors up the right way at the back; with the illegitimate methods in 19 cases out of 20 it brought the tenors up the wrong way, and they got a horrible noise. With regard to Triples, he would give Mr. Davies his Union Triples. As long as they rang triple changes they could not make a horrible noise. He had no objection to ringing Union Triples, but he had the greatest objection to calling it a plain lead. It was a 5th’s place bob in Grandsire Triples. Mr. Davies said there was no call made. That was quite true. Suppose a band went into a tower and rang Holt’s Original silent; there was no call made from beginning to end, but was that one plain course? (laughter). It was just the same thing; there was no getting away from it. Then as to the Plain Major methods. ‘They are all here,’ said Mr. James, holding up the ponderous report of the committee. ‘No one can get another; there is not another in existence. What about them? They divide into two groups - pure Major methods and mixed Major methods. In pure Major methods you get two odd and two even rows alternately. In mixed Major methods you get them in various orders. Is there any practical difference? Musically there is none; so far as the outside public is concerned we can leave it alone. Practically, there is a very considerable difference. The mixed Major methods are far more interesting for the ringer to ring. What do the Bob Major lead ends do? They keep the tenors together. Any other lead ends will part the tenors, and sooner or later, be the composer as careful as he may, the tenor and second will dodge at the back, and every ringer knows what a painful noise that is.’ Continuing, Mr. James said the Treble Bob Major methods could be divided into pure and mixed methods, but the pure methods were not fit to ring. They parted the tenors all over the place, witness the much-belauded Superlative, There were just twelve courses of Superlative musically fit to ring, and that was all. If they got the second in 4th, 5th’s or 6th’s place she would dodge with the tenor behind and make a horrible noise, and the sooner ringers realised that Superlative, which was a beautiful thing on paper, was out of place in the tower, the better.
The Ringing World, June 27th, 1919, pages 252 to 253
THE METHODS COMMITTEE’S REPORT.
The Rev. H. Law James, speaking further upon the report of the Legitimate Methods Committee, said, with regard to the printing of the report, if the Council restored the foundation and went back to the Methods Report and would abide by it, then the committee would go on with the work. They had made a selection of the plain Major methods. They had selected everything of real interest; everything that was really fit to ring, and they were ready for printing. The Council had been asked by the previous committee to print an enormous collection of peals of Treble Bob. The collection was invaluable, but was it worth printing at the present moment? He maintained that Treble Bob was a method of change ringing that was out of date altogether, and that it was not worth while spending £30 or £40 in printing peals of Treble Bob Major. They could be printed some day when it would be cheaper. The peals could be kept, just as he suggested the mass of plain Major methods could be kept by the Council. They could be kept so that when somebody claimed to have produced something new, they could turn to the collection and say: ‘Well, here it is - (laughter) - it is not new.’ And the Treble Bob peals could be treated in the same way. For that reason the work had not been wasted - it was very, very valuable. He did not ask the Council to print the methods; they were ready for printing if the Council liked to spend the money, but he thought, for practical purposes, they would do more good than printing the Treble Bob peals. If the Council had confidence in the committee they would go on with the work. He would suggest they leave the Treble Bob methods out. He had been through scores and scores of them, and there was nothing in them of special interest. They were not worth printing, and he did not think the committee at present ought to spend their time on getting them out. He thought they ought to go on with the Surprise methods, get them worked out and select from them those that were worth printing. But the Council must not think for a moment, if they printed the plain methods this year they could go on to the Surprise methods next year. It was a far larger task than the plain methods, because when they selected the methods they had to get the scales out to see if the scale was worth ringing. It was no use printing a Surprise method and finding out afterwards that they could not get a true peal. Consequently the committee had a great amount of work before it, and while the Exercise was inclined to complain that committees were doing nothing, they little realised the amount of work there was to do before there was anything practical to show for it. With regard to the Surprise methods, he was going to propose a further restriction in regard to the application of natural laws. Natural laws gave them Bob Major lead ends but he proposed the Council should lay down - not for old methods, but for new Surprise methods that were published - that not only should the methods have Bob Major lead ends, but should bring the bells up into 7-8 in the plain course order, the same as in Bob Major. He made the suggestion for the reason that if they did otherwise they would get the 2nd dodging with the tenor at back. Mr. Davies, in his pamphlet, gave them a new Treble Bob method. Mr. Davies might have thought it was new, but it went into his (Mr. Law James’) waste-paper basket long before Mr. Davies published it (laughter). Mr. Davies gave them one lead, and said it was a very good method. In the first lead of the plain course they had a thing like this: 128, 382, 128, 382, 832. The first lead condemned the method; it was bad music, and not fit to ring. Returning to the question, of printing the Plain Methods, Mr. James said perhaps the Council would like to leave it in this way, that the secretary should obtain an estimate from ‘The Ringing World’ for printing the Collection. He thought the Council should go to ‘The Ringing World.’ Years ago there were two ringing papers, and Council could not take sides. Now he certainly thought the Council should uphold the paper as far as it could. At the same time ‘The Ringing World’ had criticised the Council. What he had said ought to bring it home that the Council was doing rattling good work in a quiet sort of way. They must not expect fireworks every year, because they could not do it (laughter and applause).
MR. TROLLOPE’S STRONG COMMENTS.
Mr. Trollope said he had not the slightest objection whatever Mr. Davies criticising anything in the Method Report or anything that the Method Committee had done, if only for the reason that the Method Committee’s work and Report would stand any amount of criticism, but he did object very strongly indeed to the charge made by Mr. Davies in his pamphlet against the good faith of the committee. It was stated in the pamphlet that the committee had foisted on the Exercise a fad which they knew to be a fad, and that what they were saying was not true; and that they did it in an underhanded manner. That was the kind of criticism that ran through the pamphlet, and those charges ought either to be proved or withdrawn. There was one personal thing he wanted to refer to. Mr. Davies had several times said that he (Mr. Trollope) had said Mr. Davies was ignorant. He had never said anything of the sort. What he did say to the criticism of Mr. Davies and other people was that it was so wide of the mark that they either deliberately distorted what the committee had done, or were ignorant of what the committee meant, and he preferred to believe it was want of knowledge. In his endeavours to discredit the committee, Mr. Davies had refused to understand what the committee meant, but he had had the opportunity; he had had in his possession papers which he returned unread, simply that he might say ‘so far as I know’ the committee had never argued the question at all. Mr. Davies challenged him when he was in France, just at a time when he was in the thick of the fighting, to prove there and then under pain of being branded as an impostor, the correctness of the committee’s conclusions. He did, however, give him proofs in a letter which appeared in the ‘Ringing World,’ and he gave him two methods in support of his proof. The first was Kent Treble Bob, and the second was Bristol Surprise. He did not call it Bristol Surprise, and Mr. Davies, in his reply said: ‘Oh yes, it is all very well when he deals with Treble Bob, but what about the Surprise methods?’ Because he (Mr. Trollope) did not call that second method Bristol Surprise, Mr. Davies did not know it was Bristol. Therefore, he thought Mr. Davies was ignorant.
The President (intervening): I hope Mr. Trollope and all speakers will avoid as much as possible personal references (hear, hear).
Mr. Trollope said he felt very strongly on the subject. The pamphlet was supposed to be a scientific exposition, and dealt with what Mr. Davies thought the alternative to the Method Committee’s Report. They could test whether Mr. Davies’ or the Method Committee’s views were right in a fairly simple way. According to Mr. Davies, practically the only methods rung were ruled out - Kent Treble Bob, London, Cambridge and Bristol. Did they think the methods were not worth ringing? Yet that was what Mr. Davies would have them believe, and the statement was made without any proof whatever.
THE TEST OF A GOOD METHOD.
There was one criticism, continued Mr. Trollope, that was levelled at the committee and which, if it were true, was an effective one, and that was that the committee had taken upon itself to tell ringers what they should and what they should not ring, and that the tendency of the method report was to restrict composition. It was true to some extent, but he would remind the Council that when the committee was first appointed the intention of the Council was that the committee should draw up a set of rules for the distinct purpose of restricting composition. They were to draw up rules to distinguish between good and bad methods, and so far as they were guilty of that charge the Council itself was responsible. He had, however, come to this conclusion, after long years of study, that they could not draw up any rules of that sort. There was no special distinction to be made that would enable them to say that this was legitimate, and that was not legitimate, simply because all methods were the product of natural law. They could not draw a sharp line and say ‘this is good and that is bad.’ The only test was the test of practical ringing. It did not follow because a band found a method a good method to ring that it was necessarily a good method; neither could they take the opinion of men who were recognised as authorities in composition, either ancient or modern. Shipway knew a great deal more about methods than the majority of people to-day, but directly he tried to do something of his own, and gave them Shipway’s Principle or Shipway’s Court Bob, he got failures. The test was this: the Exercise had spoken in no undecided manner as to what was a good method, and what was not. We had had ringing for 300 years, and during that time there had been a small group of methods evolved, which we called standard methods. There were ten, including Bristol. There was great variety in these from the simple to the most complex, and 999-thousandths of the ringing had been done these methods. They had all well-marked characteristics, and these characteristics had by actual practice been proved to be the things wanted in methods. These things were embodied in the Method Report. There were certain of the objections brought against that report respecting matters which could be easily altered, and if he were going to draft the report again he would not draft it in exactly the same way. They were sometimes asked what was the sense of having symmetrical leads, which looked very pretty on paper, and Bob Major lead ends. The reason was they could not help it - it was nature. There was a reason for it, and their business had been simply to understand the reason. There was no necessity to lay down arbitrary laws. Ringing had always had its well-marked rules, which had keen kept, and what they had to do was, not to try to make new laws and say ringers must ring this or not ring that, but to understand why it was they could not get outside that group of standard methods, and that the nearer they kept to them the nearer they were to getting a good method.
HUNDREDS OF METHODS TO RING.
Mr. E. H. Lewis said Mr. James had told them everything fit to ring among the plain Major methods was in the selection but he did not quite agree with him. If he could get back into the country of bells and accumulate an eight-bell band he would like to go through the book of plain Major methods, because out of the 800 or 900, 300 or 400 were quite fit to ring once. While they were only going to print a selection, as they had two copies of the complete collection, one in figures, and one in diagram form, he thought it might be properly loaned out to accredited ringers under proper safeguards, if they wished to go for a larger number of the methods than would be printed. There had been, added Mr. Lewis, a good deal of bitterness over this question of legitimate methods. Mr. Trollope referred to ‘legitimate’ as being according to natural law. He (Mr. Lewis) did not at all agree. He took ‘legitimate’ to be according to man-made law. He tried once before to get rid of the word ‘legitimate’ and substitute for it, the word ‘regular.’ There seemed to be an idea that the committee was trying to lay down that ringers should ring certain things only. There was not the slightest intention of doing that, but they did want to educate ringers as to what were good methods to ring. Mr. Lewis then moved that in the title of the Legitimate Methods Committee the word ‘Legitimate’ be omitted and that the committee in future be called the ‘Methods Committee.’ He also moved that in future in any documents of this Council the word ‘legitimate’ be changed to ‘regular,’ and the word ‘illegitimate’ to ‘irregular.’
The Rev. H. Law James seconded both these propositions, which were carried.
The Rev. H. Law James then moved ‘That the selection of plain Major methods contained in the report of the Methods Committee be printed as soon as the hon. secretary considers it expedient.’- This was agreed to.
The Ringing World, July 4th, 1919, pages 264 to 265
THE LITERATURE COMMITTEE.
The following letter from Canon Papillon was read:-
The Literature Committee has, I understand, no report to lay before the Council. It has done nothing and is, I fear, as much open to the charge of ‘dilly-dallying from year to year’ as any of our committees. For this inaction I accept my share of responsibility, only remarking that, so far as my memory serves, there has been no summons to a meeting of the committee, nor has anyone of us been responsible as chairman or convener for calling it together. If the Council decides to reappoint the committee I should like to suggest:-
(1) That its ‘reference’ be widened, with a corresponding change of title, e.g., ‘Literature and Press Committee,’ ‘Literature and Propaganda (or Publicity) Committee.’
(2) That one of its members be named as Chairman or Convener, responsible for summoning the Committee, for arranging its agenda and for drawing up an annual report to the Council.
(3) That general instructions be given to the Committee to make all possible use of the ‘Press’ (in the widest sense of that term) for spreading knowledge or correcting misapprehension about ringing matters. In this connection the Council might well authorise a subscription on its behalf to one of the Press cutting agencies, so that attention may be called to any published statement which seems to need correction, contradiction or confirmation.
In conclusion, I must ask to be relieved of my seat on the committee on the ground of advanced age. It has been a pleasure to use my pen, so far as opportunity has offered, for the cause that we all have at heart, but the time comes when no more work can be done.
The Rev. A. T. Beeston said he was unwilling to take any share of the blame attached to the committee. Since his appointment he had not heard a single word from any members of the committee.
The President said the difficulty seemed to have arisen because the Council left each committee to appoint its own chairman, and there was no one responsible for convening the committee for the purpose. He thought in future, in appointing committees, the Council should ask one member of each committee to convene the committee for the first time, and then the committee as its first business should elect its own chairman.
The Rev. H. Law James: There is one difficulty about that, and that is that the committees never do meet. The work is done through the post, and if a chairman is elected the election would have to be done through the post.
Mr. A. T. King said the Peals Analysis Committee never had met. They had done their work, he thought, fairly well, but they certainly did appoint a chairman, and they considered it the chairman’s duty to inform the other members of the committee what was wanted and who had to supply it, and ultimately somebody wrote the report. When he was a member of the former committee on ‘Rules for an Association,’ the late secretary was chairman, and he circulated the papers upon which the members made their own observations. The papers then went back to the Chairman, who compiled the report. By that means, at least, harmony reigned supreme, and it worked very well. With regard to the Literature Committee, he knew that a great deal of work had been done, and it was valuable and it ought to be got at some way or another, but how to get it, well - ask him another.
STILL WAITING FOR MR. DANIELL.
On the motion of the Rev. H. Drake, it was agreed that Canon Papillon’s letter be accepted in place of the report of the committee.
Canon Elsee said Canon Papillon’s letter contained suggestions of great value. He thought the committee should be a living committee, and suggested they might strengthen it by the addition of one or two members to it. He thought they ought to adopt the idea of having press cuttings, and so keeping in touch with what was being said in the Press about bells and ringing and how public opinion was being formed in different places. He proposed that the Council should subscribe to a Press Cutting Agency.
Mr. G. P. Burton, in seconding, spoke of the wrong impressions which were often created by erroneous reports in the Press, and remarked that if it were known that there was an authoritative source from which information could be obtained, the daily papers would be only too glad to avail themselves of it.
The question was raised as to obtaining from Mr. R. A. Daniell the material which he has been compiling, and as to whether it was his private property or the property of the Council.
The President said he did not think they could compel Mr. Daniell to produce it. A report had not been presented, and he thought he could say the material did not belong to the Council.
The Rev. H. Law James suggested that the president should approach Mr. Daniell and ask for it.
The Rev. C. E. Matthews: May I make it stronger and suggest that from the whole Central Council we have a proposal asking him to hand over the records which he has to the President.
The Rev. H. Law James: If the President will undertake it in his nice quiet way, I think he will get it for us. If he cannot do it I am perfectly sure no one else can.
This suggestion was agreed to. It was also resolved that the title of the committee be in future ‘The Literature and Press Committee,’ and that the Council subscribe to a Newspaper Cutting Agency.
Canon Elsee proposed the addition to the committee of the hon. librarian (the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn), but Mr. Jenkyn asked to be allowed to withdraw, and the Rev. C. E. Matthews was added to the committee, and asked to act as convener. The Council also decided to adopt Canon Papillon’s suggestion to make the widest use of the Press.
THE PEALS ANALYSIS.
Mr. A. T. King moved the adoption of the Report of the Peals Analysis Committee, which has already been published. He said the committee would like to know whether the Council would like to revert to the former practice and settle the order of the Associations in the table according to the number of points, or whether they should continue to publish them in alphabetical order. He was afraid if they started a discussion on points they would not finish before it was time to go home, but the committee would like to know the feeling of the Council. While very few peals were rung last year up to that day the peals reported in the ‘Ringing World’ as having been rung in the first five months of this year were 275. Of those, 24 were on handbells, and 251 on tower bells. The ladies, as they always did, were coming to the fore. Miss Parker had already rung three peals, Miss Olive Lumley three peals, Miss Ellen Johnson, Miss Hague and Miss Steele two peals each, and there were 17 other ladies who had each taken part in one peal. He thought, therefore, it was going to be what they might call a ladies’ year. He thought the peals rung this year would make it worth while, if the Council saw fit to direct it, to apply the points which they took so much trouble to settle in 1913.
Mr. G. Williams seconded the report, which was adopted.
The President said they not only accepted the report, but he was expressing the views or the Council when he said they were deeply indebted to the committee, as to the other committees, for the great amount of trouble and valuable time they had given in the work.
On the motion of the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by the Rev. H. Law James, it was resolved to continue to publish the analysis of peals in the alphabetical order of the associations.
TOWERS AND BELFRIES.
Mr. E. H. Lewis said, on behalf of the Towers and Belfries Committee, he had practically nothing to report. In only one case was he asked personally for advice. He suggested, however, that if members of the Council came across any case where a bigoted architect was interfering with the proper method of hanging bells he should write to the committee giving the fullest possible particulars in order to allow them to investigate the matter with a view, if possible, to removing any false impression the architect might have.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said with regard to new towers there was one point he had noticed in which architects failed more than in any other, and that was they seldom made proper provision for the ringers to stand at a reasonable level below the bells. In many cases they were on the ground floor with a tremendous length of rope to handle and in other towers they stood just below the bells, with the sallies sometimes running round the wheels. That was a matter in which the committee might do very good work for ringers by trying, in the case of new towers, to secure that proper provision should be made to place the ringing floor at a suitable level below the bells.
BELLS OF BELGIUM.
Mr. E. H. Lewis said he had to report almost a blank, so far as the committee on the Bells of Belgium was concerned. It was left to him largely to act as convenor of the committee, but he had been so occupied by important business, and then he was unfortunately ill, that he simply had not had one moment, except coming down in the train from Scotland on the previous day, to apply himself to ringing matters. He did not want to let this matter drop, however. He quite agreed that the claims of the homeland should come first, and that any claim for a local war memorial should have precedence. At the same time he did hope it would ultimately be found possible that the ringers of England should put some bell or bells into Belgium, and he hoped it would take the form of a memorial to the ringers who were killed in that country. He suggested they should let the committee carry on with its original instructions, and consult the associations. He hoped in a very short time to be able to get reliable information of the amount of thefts and destruction of bells in Belgium. When he got that he would, he hoped, get the committee to send a circular to the secretaries of associations, and take such action as they thought fit, if the Council approved of that course.
Canon Elsee said they were really waiting for the accurate information as to the state of the bells of Belgium before they could act. He understood from Mr. Lewis that that information would now very soon be forthcoming.
Mr. J. A. Trollope said from what he personally knew of the losses of bells, and that was mostly in France, although he supposed it would be the same in the war area in Belgium, where the old line ran churches had simply ceased to exist. When they got beyond Cambrai and into the area of the more open warfare, artillery had to select a prominent object for their ranging, and a church spire was one of the best marks they could have. The result was that towers were down or spires were hit. Further on he had heard bells in the churches, so it was not right that the Bosches stripped everyone of the churches. He went up one belfry tower. There were pits for two bells. The big one was there, but the smaller was gone. It seemed to be usual in France to have two bells, so that probably one had been taken. In Valenciennes Cathedral he heard but one bell and a thing that may have had some bearing on what had happened there was that there were two organs, one at the east end and one at the west, and in both cases the metal pipes from the front of the organ had been taken.
Mr. Lewis’ suggestion was adopted by the Council.
The Ringing World, July 11th, 1919, pages 276 to 277
MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES.
The Hon. Secretary read the following letter which he had received from Mr. E. H. Lewis: ‘You will remember that at the Council meeting last year, I suggested that the Council should select a chairman for each committee, and hold him responsible for the work of the committee, and that he should present a written report to the annual meeting. This was turned down, and it was decided that each committee should elect its own chairman. As far as the committees in which I am interested are concerned this has led to the inevitable result; it has been no one’s business to take the initiative, and I have heard of no proposal to elect a chairman. Last year I was called upon to report in two cases. This year I hope you will find other members to do so. Personally I have been unable to give any time at all to ringing matters in the past twelve months. Nor do I see any prospect of leisure for anyone connected with industrial management for many months to come. For that reason I think it would be best for me to resign from all committees of the Council except the Standing Committee. I believe the work of the committees to be the most important work of the Council, and that that work should be undertaken by those whose circumstances allow them to give much time to the purpose. My responsibilities have very much increased in the past four years and I feel that I should not undertake any work for the Council which I see no prospect of carrying out until the industrial position of the country is much more settled.’
The Hon. Secretary said the moment he read that letter he felt it was one of the strongest arguments for asking not only Mr. Lewis but any other committeemen they had, not to resign. When they got a letter like that it showed they had got the very best man they possibly could have (hear, hear), and if they allowed Mr. Lewis to resign they would allow one of their best men to resign. It appeared to him to be a very excellent answer to the criticisms that the Council was doing nothing. It was doing nothing because the men had other things to do, and the Council’s work could wait while the work of the country could not wait. It would be a thousand pities to allow Mr. Lewis to resign, and his letter was one of the strongest arguments in favour of committeemen retaining their places.
Major Hesse said he did not know how much time he would have in the future to give to the Towers and Belfries Committee’s research work and he felt he ought to stand down.
Mr. C. F. Johnston said for the information of the Council and for the gratification of the Towers and Belfries Committee he would like to say that he had noticed a marked change in the attitude of architects in general, as compared with their attitude before the war. He had come into contact with a great many of them, and he had found them all open to reason, and in many cases they had talked about the committee which the Council sent to meet the Architects’ Committee. He thought the results of the committee’s work and of what Mr. Lewis had done were being felt all over the country to the good of ringers (hear, hear).
Mr. E. A. Young (member of the committee) said he had not done anything particular this year, but they were standing ready as a technical committee to answer questions, and the fact that they had not had these questions put to them did not show that they had been idle. They were ready to work when required. They were a technical committee and it did not follow that they were always to be looking for something to do. They waited for the references to come from the members or the officers.
Mr. Lewis said be would like the Council to understand that he could not do any work for the Council until the industrial position was very much changed.
The Rev. H. Law James: At the same time we must not let Mr. Lewis resign. For the next few years we have got to go slowly, and we have got to make up by teaching young ringers. There is plenty to do without expecting committees to do too much.
The President: We have got splendid men on our committees, but they are tremendously occupied by other work. We must be content to go slowly, waiting and watching, but I do hope that those we have got on our committees will not at this juncture resign. If in the course of the year we can only get five minutes of the time of such men it is immeasurably better than having nothing at all. I hope, therefore, that no resignations will be insisted upon. If it would lighten their work I see no reason why we should not increase their numbers by adding to them, but I should be grieved if the numbers were lessened. I take it the Council is not accepting any resignations at present, and is hoping to have something, however small, of the services of the men who are now on the committees. I should like to add our very great thanks for what they have done (hear, hear).
EDUCATION, NOT LEGISLATION.
The Council next came to the item on the agenda: ‘To continue the adjourned discussion on the means most likely to conduce to the greatest utility and efficiency of the Council, and, if thought desirable to move a resolution thereon.’
The Rev. H. Law James thought the matter had been settled by what had been said about the committees. Everybody was so busy, they could leave it alone. The Council was all right.
Mr. J. A. Trollope said what they had to face was not a question whether the Council was a good Council or not - he thought the Council was quite a good Council, and was doing good work, but that was not the point. The ordinary ringer outside - the man in the tower - did not look upon the Council as he should do.
That might be the fault of the ringer, but it was up to the Council to try and alter it. They did not want so much legislation, but should try to do a little more education. Let them take themselves first. There were a great many things of interest to them, and he would suggest that the Standing Committee should ask two or three men who were more or less authorities on any subject, and preferably men with different points of view, to read short papers. The Council should not sit to judge which of them was right, but treat them as authorities and learn something from them. If the Council did that he believed they would do good to themselves and ultimately to the people outside. There were plenty of interesting subjects and plenty of men capable of reading them a paper. The papers might afterwards be published in book form, which he thought would be better than the masses of figures, which came from some of the committees.
The Rev. H. Law James formally moved ‘that this Council feels that the important discussion which has taken place with regard to the committees has proved that the Council is doing good work, and will satisfy the needs of the Exercise for the time to come.’
POWERS OF ENFORCEMENT.
Canon Baker said he thought the letter from Mr. Penning published in ‘The Ringing World’ hit the nail on the head. The real thing was that the Council should have some power to enforce its decisions. They wanted the Council to be looked upon by the Exercise as taking the same place as the Jockey Club with regard to racing, the M.C.C. with regard to cricket, or the Football Association with regard to football. And why did it not? The reason was that it had no power to enforce its decisions. It was quite clear the Council could not take power to itself. It could only exercise such power as was conferred upon it by the organisations that were represented. He hoped he would not be thought disrespectful to the views they so often heard from their late President that they were only a consultative and advisory body. When the Council started that was the only attitude possible for them to take up, but he thought the time had gone by now when the Council, which had existed for so many years, and in view of the criticism that was going on among the ordinary ringers should have no power. He thought they should ask the associations whether the Council should have power, or remain as it was. If they wished it to remain a debating society then, surely, they must give up sniping at the Council for being futile and useless, but if they wished the Council to occupy the place which he thought the Council should occupy in regard to ringing, then they should be prepared to give the Council the power. He proposed as an amendment that the matter be referred to the societies and associations affiliated to the Council to consider the desirability of giving the Council the power to enforce its decisions and report to the hon. sec. of the Council not later than April 12th, 1920, no power to be considered to be conferred upon the Council except by a vote of three-fourths of the Council.
The Rev. Tywhitt Drake said he thought the time had come when the Council should have power, and he agreed with Canon Baker that they could only get that power from the constituents they represented.
The Hon. Secretary said the difficulty that appeared to him was, how were the Associations going to give the Council power? Canon Baker had mentioned that the Jockey Club and the M.C.C. were able to make their power felt. He believed there were ways by which they could do that but was there anything in the Exercise to enable the Council to make its power felt? He knew of nothing, and he did not know what process Canon Baker had in mind which would enable that to be accomplished. If they once got a body which tried to enforce decisions which they could not and had not the power to enforce, it made them look ridiculous at once. If the power could be given them, well and good; he should not be against it, but up to the present he had never been able to imagine any means by which it could be done.
Canon Helmore said the way to do it was to ask every Association and Guild in the country to take a vote on the subject, and if they gave their ready consent to the Council to have the power to enforce their decisions, he believed they would act loyally in the matter. Unless they tried to bring it before their associations they would never know their views. There was another point, and that was with regard to the Council taking any financial responsibility. He knew the hon. secretary was very much opposed to it, but he thought the time had come when they ought to be considered able to take some responsibility in the matter of publications, etc.
Mr. F. Hopgood said there was no doubt a way to get over the matter, but it was quite probable that in a short time there would be no Council left. The Jockey Club had power to expel, and if the Council came to decisions which an Association would not carry out, they could expel the offenders, but if they put the powers into operation his theory was that in time there would be no Council. He reminded the Council that one part of their constitution was already compulsory - they did not admit any delegates unless they paid the fees.
The Rev. H. Drake said they could enforce their decisions in a way they had already done through the peals analysis.
The Rev. Maitland Kelly said he found himself unable to agree with either the resolution or the amendment. Mr. James’ resolution seemed to assume there need be nothing done with regard to improving the utility and efficiency of the Council, and Mr. Baker’s resolution seemed to be impossible. He could not see how they were to enforce the resolutions of the Council, but they could, he believed, increase both its efficiency and utility. He thought Mr. Trollope’s suggestion an excellent one, that papers should be read, with a time limit. Speakers for each subject could be selected by the Standing Committee. The selection might be made six months before the meeting so that there should be time to prepare the papers. With regard to the criticism upon the Council’s utility, that was a thing that had been hurled at all conferences. Those who could look back for fifty years and more in the Ministry could see what an enormous amount of good the Church Congress and the Diocesan conferences had done. They could not pick out one particular thing, perhaps, but they must remember that before their existence there was no absolute organisation in the Church. Each parish was a unit to itself, and there was no co-operation whatever. In the same way the Central Council had brought about co-operation among associations, and had brought forward the science of change ringing in a way in which it had never been before. So he thought they could say it had been very useful, but to say they could not increase its utility was, he thought, a mistake. He had attended a great many of the meetings, and they had been meetings of great enjoyment, and one had seen how much real good had been done to the Exercise at large.
Replying to a question, Mr. Trollope said his idea was not that the Council should have to listen so much to technical subjects, like papers on Bob Major Lead Ends, but on subjects such as ringing organisation, ringing history, the best methods to ring and so forth.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said he had been simply thirsting for that moment to hear, what had been dinned into their ears for a long time, of something that was for the good of ringers, but now they had come back to lectures. They had had too much of that sort of thing from the experts.
Mr. Trollope: I want to hear other people.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn: But you are the experts.
The Ringing World, July 18th, 1919, pages 291 and 293
Mr. A. T. King, who spoke in favour of papers being read to the Council on matters of interest, which the members could afterwards criticise, if they desired, said the Council had no power to enforce their decisions, and never would get power to enforce them, but he would tell them what they had got and did not exercise, perhaps, to the full, and that was influence. When they went back to their associations they could always exercise an influence, and that was ever so much better than trying to enforce rules.
Canon Elsee asked if the Council thought that any committee they appointed could be better than the Standing Committee? He agreed that they wanted in some way to improve their procedure, but they were faced with the difficulty that a great proportion of their time was taken up by reports. They ought somehow to limit the time spent on these in order to have more free time for the discussion of other subjects. He thought the Standing Committee was the proper body to consider the matter, and he suggested that Mr. Drake should alter his motion so that this might be done.
The Rev. H. Drake accepted the suggestion.
The motion was then put in the following terms, and carried by 24 votes to 20: ‘That the Standing Committee be instructed to consider the future procedure of the Central Council at its meetings, and take such action as they think fit.’
At the suggestion of the Rev. H. Law James, the date in Canon Baker’s motion was altered to April 26th, 1920, and as amended was carried.
THE PEACE BELL.
The Rev F. Ll. Edwards then opened the subject of a proposal for the revival of the ancient Peace Bell on Fridays at noon. Having referred to the Angelus, with which those who have been on the continent are familiar, and which is heard in many places in the morning, at mid-day, and in the evening he said this call to the faithful to recite, on hearing the bell, the words to the Virgin, ‘Hail, Mary, full of grace,’ made a spiritual appeal, which was of distinct value. It stood in the first place as a constant witness of the Christian faith and the presence of the Christian Church. It would not perhaps, have the same significance in England, because to the minds of most English people the devotion to the Virgin Mary associated with it would not appeal. The ringing of the Angelus came gradually into use, the earliest reference to it being that a bell should be rung in the evening as a signal for people to put out their lights and say their evening prayers and retire to bed, it being thus partly a curfew and partly a call to prayer. In the 13th or 14th centuries the same thing was introduced by the ecclesiastical authorities in the morning, in order that people should be directed to say certain prayers. The mid-day bell, which still survived in the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, where to a large extent the morning and evening bells have fallen into disuse, or been deliberately suppressed, originated in the same way as the others. In 1456, the Pope, in a universal crusade of prayer, ordered a bell to be rung at mid-day in all the churches of the world, and in France the bell became known as the Ave Maria of Peace. He suggested that it would constitute a most beautiful and appropriate memorial to our fallen heroes if they could restore in this country, he did not say the Angelus pure and simple, but the mid-day bell as it was originally introduced with its original intention amplified, by reference to those we should ever bear in grateful remembrance for the sacrifice they had made in the cause of King and country. Nothing could be more appropriate than that the bell rung in memory of those who had given their lives in the war should be at the same time a call to prayer for the continuance of the Peace they died to win. It would be most appropriate if it could be done on Fridays at noon.
He moved: ‘That this Council gives its hearty support to the movement already locally initiated, to restore the ancient usage of the peace bell in this country as a perpetual memorial to the men who have sacrificed their lives in the great war, and as a call to prayer for the peace of the land.’
Mr. T. H. Beams seconded, and the motion was carried without discussion.
VOTES OF THANKS.
The President proposed a vote of thanks to the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral for their great kindness in allowing the Council to meet in the historic Chapter House, and especially to the Dean for giving them his time and his knowledge of the Cathedral in showing them some of the glories of Gloucester.
The Rev. H. Law James seconded, and the Hon. Secretary supported the motion, remarking how very heartily his proposals in regard to the meeting were entertained.
The motion haying been cordially carried was acknowledged by the Dean, and a vote of thanks was also accorded to the Gloucester and Bristol Association, and to Mr. John Austin for their share in the arrangements.- A vote of thanks to the President concluded the business, and the members were then conducted round the Cathedral by the Dean, whose charming description of the beautiful and historic building was much appreciated by those who were privileged to accompany him.
The members of the Council were afterwards entertained to tea at the Gresham Hotel by the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association.- The Master of the Association (the Rev. M. E. Thorold) said it gave him much pleasure to welcome the members of the Central Council to the Association area. He referred to the position his Association held in the ringing circles, and thought that now the war was over we should all work hard and place all Societies and Councils on a sound working basis.
The President of the Central Council thanked the Gloucester and Bristol Association for their kind welcome, and said that he knew all the members of the Council appreciated the local association’s welcome.- Mr. Rock Small (Worcester and Districts Association) and Mr. James George (Master of the Warwickshire Association) supported the President’s words.
Many of the members then paid a visit to the premises which were the foundry of the famous firm of Rudhall centuries ago, and afterwards there was an enjoyable social at the Ram Hotel.
The Ringing World, July 25th, 1919, pages 303 and 305