The twelve peals by Independent Societies were rung in the following counties: Derby, 1; Glamorgan, 2; Gloucester, 1; Huntingdon, 1; Lincoln, 1; Middlesex, 1; Salop, 1; Somerset, 2; Surrey, 1; York 1.

The 143 peals of Treble Bob were rung as follows:- In the Kent Variation, Maximus, 3; Royal, 17; Major, 108. In the Oxford Variation, Maximus, 1; Royal, 1; Major, 13.

The 232 peals of Grandsire Triples may be subdivided as follows:- Holt’s peals: Original, 42; Ten part and variations, 35; Five part, 3; Double Grandsire, 1. Parker’s peals: Twelve part, 61; Six part, 7; Five part, 1; One part, 4; other peals, 2. Carter’s peals: Twelve part, 5; other peals, 8. Hollis’ Peals, 7; Taylor’s peals, 17; Rev. C. D. P. Davies’ peals, 10; Bruerton’s peals, 5; Banks’ peals, 4; Vicars’ peals, 4; Thurstans’ peals, 2; Lindoff’s peals, 2; Pitman’s peals, 2. Other peals, including one unnamed, 10.

The 151 peals of Stedman Triples are thus accounted for:- Thurstans’ peals: One part, 6; Four part and variations, 114; Ten part, 1; Washbrook’s peals, 18; Sir A. P. Heywood’s peals, 4; Lates’ One part, 2; Carter’s peals, 4; other peals, 2.

The 77 peals in Plain Methods comprise: Bob Maximus, 1; Bob Royal, 5; Bob Major, 70; College Single Major, 1.

The conductors of five peals and upwards are shown in the following list. (Figures in brackets denote the number of handbell peals): W. Pye (1), 32 peals; A. H. Pulling (21), 28 peals; J. E. Sykes, 21 peals; C. F. Bailey (11), J. W. Washbrook, 19 peals; T. H. Taffender, 16 peals; J. E. Groves (2), 14 peals; E. M. Atkins (3), A. E. Edwards, K. Hart, 12 peals; W. A. Cave, F. H. Dexter, J. Potter, 11 peals; F. Bennett, 10 peals; W. H. Barber (3), J. T. Dyke, A. Wright, J. Thomas, 9 peals; C. Edwards, T. T. Gofton, H. Langdon, G. E. Symonds (1), 8 peals; E. Barnett. senr., J. Beams, T. Groombridge, senr., T. Hemming (1), F. A. Holden, R. C. Loveday, F. W. Naunton, A. Relfe, F. W. Richardson, E. C. Shepherd (7), G. F. Swann (2), 7 peals; C. W. Clarke, Rev. H. L. James, R. G. Knowles, C. R. Lilley, W. J. Mears, W. Page, A. Walker (5), W. White, G. Williams, 6 peals; R. F. Deal, E. P. Duffield, W. Fisher, W. J. Jeffries, A. King, H. J. Mansfield, R. Matthews, J. Motts, G. Pigott, W. Poston, O. Sippetts, C. A. Valentine, W. Welling, 5 peals. In addition to the above, 27 persons conducted four peals, 31 three peals, 85 two peals, and 182 conducted one peal. There were two peals on handbells non-conducted, and one peal was published without the name of the conductor. Three ladies appear among those who have conducted peals viz.: Miss E. K. Parker who conducted a peal of Stedman Caters, and two peals of Stedman Triples; Miss E. Hole, who conducted a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Bath and Wells, and Miss C. Thorp, a peal of Grandsire Triples for the Lancashire Association. It will be of interest to note that Mr. W. Pye rang his 1,251st peal in November, thus passing the record of 1,250 peals rung by the late Rev. F. E. Robinson.

No peals above 7,000 changes were rung in 1919. The number of peals rung upon tower bells was 968, and on handbells, 80.

The peals rung month by month in 1918 and 1919 are appended for comparison:-





Total for 1918, 277; for 1919, 1,048.

The total number of peals on tower and handbells rung year by year since 1881 is as follows:-

Grand total, 37,909.


In their report for 1918 your committee stated that they looked forward to more arduous duties in the years to come, and with the coming (more or less) of peace, that expectation is being fulfilled. The total number of peals on tower bells has risen from 229 in 1918, to 968 in 1919. The number of handbell peals has also increased from 48 to 80, so that the grand total has once more reached four figures, viz., 1,048, which is greater than in any year before 1901.

The greatest number of peals on tower bells was rung by the Lancashire Association, viz., 71, Kent County and Norwich Diocesan coming next with 70 and 67 respectively. On handbells, the Winchester Guild heads the list with 14, followed by St. Martin’s, Birmingham, and Norwich, with 13 and 12; the greatest number of tower and handbell peals combined being 79, rung by the Norwich Association.

The number of ringers taking part in their first peal was 362; first with a bob bell, 31, away from tenor, 3, first as conductor, 32, of which one was on handbells. First peal on the bells jumped to 27, first since augmentation, 4, after rehanging, 10, first by local band, 10. There was also a first peal by officers only, and the whole Exercise must sympathise with those who rang in the first attempt for this, which was brought round successfully, but proved to be false. There was also a first peal in which a Mayor took a rope.

Peals in commemoration of peace were 167, muffled peals in connection with the war, 35; other muffled peals, 38; Welcome Home peals were 28, including one of Bob Royal at Worcester for the parade of 10,000 men returned from the war, in which the tenor was turned in for the first time, and there were 13 other peals of welcome to soldiers home on leave. Bishop’s Enthronement, new incumbents, etc.; Peals for Church Festivals, 7; Empire Day, 7; Farewell, 9; Royal Occasions, 6; Anniversary, Quarterly, etc., 15; Harvest, 2; Watch Night, 4. One peal was rung by Oddfellows, and one muffled by railwaymen for railwaymen killed in the war. A considerable number of peals were rung as usual for weddings and birthdays. It must be understood that these figures are only approximate, as the occasions of peals are frequently not clearly stated, and are sometimes omitted altogether. In addition to the officers’ peal mentioned above, two other peals were withdrawn.

A peal rung at Oldham, published on October 31st, causes some difficulty. The date given is Wednesday, June 19th. If the date be correct, there can be no excuse for withholding the publication of the peal until the end of October, but June 19th was not a Wednesday. A peal of Minor rung at Gaywood on November 11th did not appear until February 13th, and a peal of Stedman Caters at Saffron Walden (stated to be the first peal on the bells!) on December 28th, was not published until March 5th. The committee have decided to include these peals, but would urge on conductors to see that reports of peals are sent within a reasonable time of their performance. There can be no possible excuse for holding them back for months. Since the completion of the Analysis, two more belated accounts of peals appeared; a peal of Grandsire Triples by the Oxford Diocesan Guild at East Hagbourne, rung on December 27th, published on March 19th, and a peal of Double Norwich Major by the Lincoln Diocesan Guild at Caythorpe on December 26th, published on March 26th. A footnote to the latter peal leaves it uncertain whether the omission was the fault of the sender or the printer. Had these two peals appeared earlier (and surely it is not too much to ask that reports may be sent in within two months) the total number of peal on tower bells would have been 970, and on tower and hand bells combined 1,050. To have included these in the Analysis would have involved 20 or more alterations in the figures. It will be remembered that the Council decided that two months afforded quite sufficient time for the publication of peal. There is one other complaint we have to make with regard to the reports of peals. Three peals were repeated, in one case with some alteration, but in none of the three was there any hint that the peals had been published before.

Ages of ringers have always an interest when they are above or below the ordinary. We find ringers of 70, 76, 78, 79, while Mr. Mark Owen rang his first peal at Woodchester on his 80th birthday, having been a ringer for 60 years, and Mr. W. R. Small celebrated his 80th birthday by ringing two peals within a week! Mr. E. Horrex rang in a peal of Stedman Caters at Wimborne on September 13th, but it was not mentioned in the report that he was more than a year older than Messrs. Owen and Small. It is to be hoped that these youths will be spared to continue their ringing careers for some years yet. The boys are also in evidence, several being mentioned of the ages of 12, 12¾, 14 and 15.

The Analysis, it is interesting to notice, contains the record of the performance of peals in two new methods, Victory Major and College Major, a peal of Stedman Triples in which a father, mother and son took part, and a peal on handbells successfully accomplished by two married couples.

ARTHUR T. KING, Chairman,
Stevenage, Herts.
11, Shobnall Street, Burton-on-Trent.
Thriplow, Cambs.
West End, N. Southampton.

The Ringing World, May 7th, 1920, pages 224 to 225 and 227


For the Methods Committee, the Rev. H. Law James says that all he has to report is that Mr. Lewis has got out all the ‘little’ methods, and proposes that they should be printed with the selection of Plain Methods, which last is at present in the hands of the hon. secretary of the Council. He adds that he has also

105pure T.B. Major Methods
246Mixed T.B. Major Methods
125Pure Exercise T.B. Major
Class A126Pure Surprise
Class B20Pure Surprise


The Ringing World, May 7th, 1920, page 228


In accordance with the instructions of the Council at its last meeting, an estimate has been obtained for printing the Collection of Peals of Treble Bob, but as this estimate largely exceeds the available funds, the work could not be put in hand. The MS. submitted to the printer contains 298 peals of Major, in five, three, and two parts, the cost of printing which would be £100-£125. There remain the peals of Major, in one part, peals with tenors parted, and peals of Royal and Maximus, about as many in number of those already sent to the printer. The present cost of printing the whole collection would, therefore, be over £200. The last half of the collection has not been finally arranged for the press.

The Ringing World, May 14th, 1920, page 239



At the meeting of the Central Council at the Town Hall, Northampton on Tuesday, the members were officially welcomed by the Mayor. The President (the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey) was in the chair, and there were 59 members present.

The accounts of the Council showed receipts amounting to £66 12s. 3d. (including £16 13s. 2d. from sale of publications), and a balance in hand on the year of £63 15s. 7d.

On the recommendation of the Standing Committee, it was resolved to establish a library, the nucleus of which will be a number of books and MSS. left by the late Sir Arthur Heywood.

At the suggestion of the Standing Committee, a circular is to be sent to Bishops, Archdeacons and clergy, pointing out the desirability of encouraging good ringing, and especially, good change ringing in all towers with peals of bells.

There was an impressive interruption of the business at 12 o’clock noon, when the tenor bells at several of the local towers were tolled, and the members rose in their places to honour the ringers who gave their lives in the great war. The President read the names of the fallen men, the list including over 950 names.

It was reported that only seven associations had sent in expressions of opinion as to giving the Council powers to enforce its decisions and these were all adverse to granting these powers.

The reports of other committees followed, and the Rev. A. T. Beeston was added to the Peals Analysis Committee.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews reported that he had succeeded in obtaining the MS. from Mr. R. A. Daniell in connection with the work of the Literature and Press Committee, and that Mr. Daniell had done much valuable work. The thanks of the Council were accorded Mr. Daniell for his labours.

The Council passed a resolution to hold over the printing of the Collection of Treble Bob peals on account of the present prohibitive cost, and referred the matter back to the committee with a view to having copies typed and placed in the new library for use.

A resolution was passed urging upon the Bishop of London’s Commission the desirability of preserving all towers in the City of London in which there are notable rings of bells, an amendment to include the churches themselves being defeated, the feeling being that to take this step would be to go outside the province of the Council.

The Council decided to compile and keep up to date an official list of the first peal, and the progressive record lengths in each method on each number of bells, and appointed the Rev. A. T. Beeston, the Rev. H. Law James and Mr. T. H. Beams a committee to carry out the work.

It was resolved that steps be taken to approach the authorities of the Victoria and Albert Science and Art Museum with a view to the possibility of obtaining from them the allotment of a suitable space for the exhibition in London of bells, models, papers, drawings etc., illustrative of campanology as a science and art.

No support was found for the proposal to alter the date of the annual meeting, and the motion with regard to Surprise Methods was passed over, as the member who had given notice of the matter was not present.

Votes of thanks to the Mayor and Corporation, to Mr. F. Wilford for having made the arrangements and to the President, concluded the business.

Afterwards the members were entertained to tea at St. Giles’ Church Hall by the Northants Association and later in the evening there was a social gathering at the Grand Hotel.

The Ringing World, May 28th, 1920, page 263



The third session of the tenth Council, actually the 28th annual meeting, was held in the Town Hall, Northampton, on Whitsun Tuesday. There was an attendance of sixty members, a number well up to the average of provincial gatherings. The President (the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey) was in the chair, and the following representatives were present:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Mr. T. Faulkner.
Royal Cumberland Youths: Mr. J. Parker.
Bedfordshire Association: Canon W. W. C. Baker.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Rev. A. T. Beeston, Messrs. H. S. Brocklebank and R. T. Holding.
Central Northants Association: Messrs. F. Wilford and W. Perkins.
Devonshire Guild: Rev. Maitland Kelly.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. W. Rock Small.
Essex Association: Mr. W. J. Nevard.
Hertford County Association: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake.
Kent County Association: Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, Messrs. T. Groombridge, E. Barnett.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss: E. K. Parker.
Lancashire Association: Canon Elsee, Messrs. J. H. Banks, W. E. Wilson and J. R. Taylor.
Leeds and District: Mr. P. J. Johnson.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Rev. H. Law James, Messrs. G. Chester, J. W. Seamer and R. Richardson.
London County Association: Mr. E. A. Young.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. A. T. King, I.S.O., and J. R. Sharman.
Midland Counties Guild: Mr. W. E. White.
Norwich and Ipswich Association: Rev. H. Drake, Messrs. G. P. Burton and A. L. Colman.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Canon G. F. Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. F. Hopgood and J. Evans.
Peterborough and District Association: Mr. R. Narborough.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards and Mr. T. Hervey Beams.
St. Martin’s Guild for Diocese of Birmingham: Mr. W. H. Godden.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society: Messrs. H. Knight and W. Fisher.
Surrey Association: Messrs. C. F. Johnston and C. Dean.
Warwickshire Association: Messrs. H. Argyle and A. Roberts.
Winchester Guild: Rev. C. E. Matthews, Messrs. G. Williams, A. H. Pulling and W. Shepherd.
Worcestershire Association: Messrs. A. E. Parsons, W. Short and T. J. Salter.
Yorkshire Association: Messrs. G. Bolland and J. Cotterell.
Hon Members: Messrs. J. S. Pritchett, H. W. Wilde and J. George, and the Rev. C. D. P. Davies (hon. secretary and treasurer).


An official welcome was given to the members by the Mayor of Northampton (Councillor F. Kilby), who, in an interesting speech referred to Northampton’s historic past and its importance in the present as an industrial centre. Northampton, he pointed out, had been the meeting-place of Parliaments and the residence of kings and the scene of many stirring events in history. They were also proud of their municipal record for he was the 731st Mayor in direct succession. He mentioned that his first recollection of bells was seeing the great bell of St. Paul’s Cathedral pass through the streets of Northampton on its way from the foundry at Loughborough to London. He was not sufficiently well versed in bells to know whether they had particularly good bells in Northampton, but he knew they had peals of bells, and they heard them frequently, and with a great deal of pleasure (hear, hear). He hoped the visit of the Council would be a pleasure to the members, and that their deliberations would be profitable (applause).

The President said although a formal vote would come later, they could not let the Mayor depart without expressing to him how highly they appreciated his kindness, and the honour he had done them in allowing them to meet in that chamber, and in gracing their meeting with his presence. They felt the great dignity of meeting in such a town as Northampton. He was not born in Northampton himself - but he did the next best thing, and when he wanted a wife he selected one from Northampton (applause).

The Mayor then left, and the business of the agenda was commenced.

The minutes of the meeting at Gloucester, having been published in the ‘Ringing World,’ were taken as read, and confirmed. Arising out of them, the Hon. Secretary said he had received a very nice letter from Mrs. J. W. Taylor, in reply to a vote of condolence with her passed at the last meeting.

The President said the Council’s address to the King on the termination of the war, was first of all formally acknowledged, and later came a most gracious reply that the King was much touched by it, was glad to receive it, and returned his thanks for it (applause).

The President also said in reference to the roll of honour of fallen ringers which secretaries had been requested to send in, they had received the names from all the affiliated societies except the Surrey, the North Notts and the North Wales Associations. It was proposed to read the roll at 12 o’clock noon, at which hour, by the kindness of the hon. secretary of the Central Northants Association, it had been arranged that bells should be tolled for a short space at some of the principal churches of the town.

The Secretary announced that apologies for absence had been received from the Rev. E. W. Carpenter Mr. John Carter, the secretary of the Bath and Wells Association on behalf of all their representatives, Mr. C. Edwards, Miss Gillingham, Mr. J. Griffin, Major Hesse, Mr. E. H. Lewis, Mr. J. W. Jones, Rev. C. C. Marshall, Canon Papillon, Mr. F. Willey, and Mr. Harry Chapman.


The Hon. Secretary presented the statement of accounts which showed the total receipts to be £66 12s. 3d., including £12 10s. from affiliation fees and £16 12s. 3d. from sale of publications. The expenditure had been £2 16s. 8d., which left a balance to carry forward of £63 15s. 7d. Referring to the amount received from the sale of publications, the Secretary said when they realised that previous sales had been about £2 per year - in one year they did receive as much as £4 - they would see what progress had been made in the hands of the hon. librarian (applause).

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn presented his report as hon. librarian. He said that last year the Council adopted two proposals: first, that the Council’s publications should be advertised regularly in the columns of the ‘Ringing World,’ and secondly, that parcels of books should be sent out to Associations on sale or return. He thought the Council would agree that in assenting to these proposals they did wisely when he reported that whereas since he had been librarian, the sale of books in any one year had never realised more than £3 10s., this year he had been able to hand to the treasurer a cheque for £16 13s. 2d. It appeared, therefore, that it would he wise to continue this policy, but at the same time he would point out that the fact that so many companies and associations throughout the country were starting afresh after the war would account for a large demand for the books, and should prevent their expecting the librarian always to be able to show as good a profit on the year’s sales even if the policy were continued. The gross receipts had been £24 3s. 4d. (£14 13s. 8d. by direct sales and £9 9s. 8d. through the associations), and the advertising and other expenses £7 10s. 2d. The face value of the publications left in stock was £153 10s. 6d.

On the motion of Canon Coleridge, who had audited the accounts, seconded by Canon Baker the accounts were adopted, with thanks to the librarian for his excellent services.

The following honorary members were re-elected for a term of three years, on the motion of Mr. J. S. Pritchett, seconded by Mr. Beams, Miss Nellie Gillingham, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Mr. James George, and Mr. H. W. Wilde.

The Hon. Secretary said he had to announce with pleasure that the Irish Association had again become affiliated to the Council, the representatives being Canon Scott and Mr. Gabriel Lindoff.


The President said the Standing Committee had met that morning, and there were one or two things that they wished to propose to the Council. The first was the question of a library for the Council. The idea of that started largely with himself owing to the fact that their late honoured president, Sir Arthur Heywood, left all his ringing books and manuscripts where he thought they would be appreciated, namely to ringers, and he left them to one of the Guilds with which he was connected, the Cambridge University Guild, a bequest which was particularly touching to him (the President), as Sir Arthur entered the same College at Cambridge at the same time as he did. The bequest, however was perfectly free, so that the Cambridge University Guild could do exactly what they liked with any or all of the ringing books and manuscripts. As the Guild already possessed copies of several, it seemed to them to be a good thing if the others could be used more widely than for their own necessarily small Guild at Cambridge, and the idea occurred that with the books of Sir Arthur Heywood they might begin a library for the Central Council (applause). They could start with a considerable number of his books and manuscripts, and there were others who were prepared to add ringing books at once, and others again who were prepared to follow Sir Arthur’s example and leave their ringing books to the library when they were called away. He had consulted their splendid librarian, Mr. Jenkyn, as to possible details and he had kindly said that he would do anything that seemed to be required to carry out the scheme (applause). The Standing Committee, therefore made to the Council the definite suggestion that a library of the Central Council be started and be kept up, that it be begun with the books he had mentioned of Sir Arthur Heywood and any others that might be given to it, that it be, at any rate for the time being, in the possession and keeping of the honorary librarian. The details of course would have to be left to somebody to work out, but the idea was that as many of the books were of very great value, especially to those who followed the more scientific side of ringing - would-be composers, for instance - it should be possible for any ringer of an association affiliated with the Council to borrow these books. He thought in time the library would be very valuable indeed, and he hoped ringers would make good use of it. But if it did not turn out to be of such use as they anticipated it would be of some use, however little, and it could not do any harm (hear, hear). The President then proposed a formal resolution, embodying the recommendation of the Standing Committee.

The Rev. Maitland Kelly seconded.

Mr. T. H. Beams said the suggestion was an admirable one. Recently he happened to get hold of a copy of one or two books belonging to Mr. Ellacombe and judge of his surprise when he came across in them two letters of Mr. Hubbard’s pasted in the books. They were most interesting letters, and it struck him they ought to be preserved, and it would be a good thing if there was a place where such things as this could be deposited for the benefit of the whole of the members of the Exercise.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews asked if it was proposed to add the various county histories of bells.

The President: The answer to that is ‘Certainly.’ There are some in Sir Arthur Heywood’s collection, and some I am prepared to give myself at once, and others will come. I think it would add much to the value of the library if all books on ringing and church bells were included.

Mr. G. P. Burton asked whether the fundamental idea was to have a reference library or a circulating library. If they were to have these manuscripts, it would not be the safest thing to circulate valuable works as had been suggested.

The President thought the most valuable manuscripts and books would seldom be wanted to be sent out, but if they were required by any scientific student he thought precautions could be taken to safeguard them.

Mr. Burton said the reason he asked was that he loaned his copy of ‘The Clavis’ a year ago to one of his oldest ringing friends on the strength of his promise to return it in a few days, but he had not seen it yet (laughter).

Mr. Pritchett said it would be interesting to know how many books there were in Sir Arthur Heywood’s collection. With regard to the loan of valuable books, there was a scheme among public libraries for sending valuable books from one library to another, and it could easily be arranged that any book that could not be replaced could be sent to a public library to be read there by the ringer who wanted it (hear, hear).

The resolution was carried, and the Rev. Cyril Jenkyn said that if this scheme was to become a working reality he hoped that ringers who wished to consult these valuable books and manuscripts would make his house the library and consult them there so that they would not have to go out at all (applause).

The President said he was sorry he was not then in a position to say how many books there were in Sir Arthur’s collection. Some were at Trinity College, Cambridge, and some in the possession of Mr. Law James.

It was resolved that the details of the scheme be left in the hands of the President, the Secretary and the Librarian.

The President said the Standing Committee suggested to the Council that a circular letter should be sent to some of the clergy in order to encourage them, and to get them to encourage others, to be bell ringers and efficient bell ringers. The President read the proposed draft of the circular, which laid emphasis on the importance of the bells being well rung even if only in rounds or call changes and pointing out that ringing afforded an excellent way of getting hold of and of improving lads and young men, both in the country and town.


At this point the proceedings were interrupted for the reading of the roll of honour, it being exactly the hour of noon, and as the members rose in their places came the sound of the distant tolling of a church bell. The President read the list while the members remained standing, and so lengthy was it that it occupied almost half an hour in the reading. It contained over 950 names of those who had made the supreme sacrifice, many of them intimately known to those present, and the long list was proof of the great losses which the Exercise sustained by the war.

The Ringing World, June 4th, 1920, pages 277 and 279

When the business was resumed, the President, on behalf of the Standing Committee, moved that a circular in terms somewhat as those he had read be sent, in whichever way was considered best to the clergy of towers where there were bells sufficient for change ringing. He thought, perhaps, the best way to distribute the circular was that the Council should have them printed and sent out in bundles to Association secretaries to send to the clergy in their own areas.

Canon Helmore seconded, and Mr. Beams suggested that the circular should also go to the Bishops.

Canon Baker ventured the opinion that it would do more good if it went to the Archdeacons.

Canon Coleridge: Still more so to the Rural Deans (laughter).

Canon Baker: It might be sent to the Rural Deans with the suggestion that it should be discussed at their Chapters. It would be a good deal more interesting than many things we have to talk about (applause).

The Rev. H. Drake suggested that if the circular were to be sent out it should go to others besides those who already had peals of bells. A church with one bell to-day might not always remain like that. What they wanted to do was to get hold of people who thought of having bells and to interest them. He also thought some reference should be made to the care of bells. That might be put in a covering letter which should be sent out by the secretary of the Association forwarding the Council’s circular.

The President did not think it would do to mix up an entirely different subject like the care of bells with a matter like the one they were discussing. The letter was long enough as it was.

Members were invited to send suggestions for the improvement of the letter, and the motion was carried nem. con.

The Standing Committee reported that they had considered the question of procedure at the Council’s meetings, referred to them at the meeting, and suggested that the wisest and simplest course was to leave the regulation of discussion in the hands of the President. The Council last year determined that the question of compulsory powers should be referred to the Association, and they were asked to report to the secretary by the end of April. So far as reports had been received no association was in favour of compulsory powers.

The Hon. Secretary said only seven associations had reported at all: Chester, Gloucester and Bristol, Kent, Yorkshire, Norwich and Ipswich, Oxford, and Sussex, and they were all against.

Mr. Wilford (Central Northants) said their association had met on the previous day, and their opinion was the same as the rest of the associations who had reported.

Mr. W. E. White (Midland Counties) said his association did not think it was desirable that the Council should have powers to enforce its decisions.

The President said other associations to his knowledge had passed resolutions to the same effect, and so far as he knew there was no association desirous of giving the Council compulsory powers.

Canon Baker asked whether, in view of the result of the referendum, it was not rather absurd that they should go on calling the resolutions ‘decisions.’ What he intended by his resolution at Gloucester last year was that the associations should be asked to say whether in their opinion, there should be a body which should say what are the rules of ringing. Apparently the associations did not wish that. He was glad the discussion had taken place in the associations that had consented to notice the thing, because it had cleared the air. It was now plain that the Council was a body for discussion and not for legislation and a great deal of the criticism of past years had been proved out of place. It seemed to him that, the associations having definitely recorded the fact that they were to have no power, it was absurd that the Council should go on publishing what they said were decisions of the Council, because they bound nobody. The members of the Council were at liberty to go back to their own associations and deliberately break any decision they came to at that meeting. He did not regret the decision taken. The usefulness of the Central Council was that it brought them together once a year, and they saw a great many people they never saw at any other time, and they would miss that far more than anything else, perhaps, in the whole course of the year. He was quite willing to go from one end of England to the other for the pleasure of seeing Mr. Coleridge once a year (applause and laughter), and whether the Council could enforce its decisions or not would not remove that pleasure (hear, hear).

The Rev. H. Drake said when they were asked as associations to discuss whether they should give the Council compulsory powers they were not asked anything about legislation at all. A legislative body was different from an administrative body. This was a legislative body, and would continue to be in spite of any resolution on compulsory powers.

Canon Baker: Can you have legislation without compulsion? You can in Ireland, perhaps, but not here (laughter).

The Rev. H. Drake: That is a different matter. That was not the question raised by your resolution.

Canon Baker: Do affiliated associations agree to respect the decisions of the Council until they are rescinded? That is what was in my mind.

The Rev. H. Drake: That is quite a different thing.

A Member: Our resolutions are decisions, and nine times out of ten they are respected.

The Peal Collection Committee’s report, which had been published in the ‘Ringing World’ was next dealt with. This report stated that the cost of printing the collection of Treble Bob peals would, at present rates, be between £100 and £125. The President said the present price of printing and paper made it prohibitive to print the Peal Collection, and the Standing Committee suggested that the Council should refer the matter back to the Peal Collection Committee, suggesting two alternatives, either that the printing should be deferred until it became cheaper, or that a number of copies should be typewritten to be kept in the library. By the latter course the peals would be open to any who wished to see them.

Various members pointed out the disadvantages of compositions typewritten by a person who knew nothing of ringing, and the Rev. A. T. Beeston asked whether it would not be better to have a fair copy of the peals written and put into the hands of the librarian, and to rescind the resolution to print the Treble Bob compositions. There was already a book of Treble Bob Compositions sufficient for anybody who wished to call peals and there was other literature of the Council which really had a prior call on printing to this Treble Bob Collection.

After the luncheon interval, the President stated that Miss Parker, a skilled typist as well as a great bell ringer, was willing to give the committee the benefit of her advice and help, and it was, therefore, resolved to refer the matter back to the committee as suggested.


The Rev. C. E. Matthews, as ‘convener,’ reported for the Literature and Press Committee. He was glad to be able to say that he had had a successful interview with their friend, Mr. Daniell, and he had got from him, he thought, everything they wanted (applause). Mr. Daniell had given him various papers and documents, and they were extremely interesting reading. Mr. Daniell had done a good deal towards the classification of the work, and, as far as he (the speaker) had been able to gather, his scheme had been to divide ringing literature under two heads, the earliest known records of change ringing and the rule of the old societies (as contained in documents in the libraries such as the British Museum and the Bodleian), the names of celebrated ringers and the names of methods; secondly, to make a complete list of all the books published, both ancient and modern. He thought this section would give them a catalogue of something like 300 or 310 books. Mr. H. B. Walters, of the British Museum had very kindly offered to help in the tabulation of the bell literature. He thought the Council should decide whether the committee was to continue in its present state, and what its future work should be; whether it should be authorised to publish and add to Mr. Daniell’s notes. Apart from the consideration of cost, he was humbly of opinion that it was doubtful if a pamphlet on the subject would be read by the ordinary change ringer. It would probably be very interesting to members of that Council and to antiquarians. The Council owed a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Daniell for his thorough and devoted work, without which no committee could possibly commence such a record. The reason why they had not had all this information before was that Mr. Daniell had been extremely ill. He had had a very serious operation, and at one time was unable to answer any letters at all. That was the reason of the long delay, but they ought publicly to acknowledged his services of very careful research, and he (Mr. Matthews) wished to move ‘that the sincere thanks of the Central Council be accorded to R. A. Daniell, Esq., for his useful and valuable researches into the history of bell literature generally.’- Mr. Young seconded.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett, in supporting, said he had had the pleasure of Mr. Daniell’s personal acquaintance for many years and could bear testimony to the great amount of time and energy he had expended on his literary labours in connection with bells and bell ringing. It was a matter of deepest regret that his health broke down in the way it did, and that he was not permitted to complete his labours. It would cheer him very much to know they had been thinking of him, and that they thoroughly understood how much he had done and the reasons which had kept him away from them now for a number of year.

Mr. King rejoiced that the cause of Mr. Daniell’s silence had been removed, and that he was in course of being restored to health. With regard to the catalogue, he hoped it would be one so compiled that it would indicate in some way what the books contained. The difficulty was with many publications that they did not know where to look in them for any particular information they required. He wanted some help if he could get it, to form, year by year, a table of contents of the ‘Ringing World,’ so that they might know where to put their hand on anything. At present it was a hopeless task, but he would be only too glad, as long as strength and age permitted, to help to provide an index year by year, but if a few of them put their shoulders to the wheel it would not be a heavy task.

The vote of thanks to Mr. Daniell having been carried, the President asked the Council what was to be done with the bibliography. He was afraid from what they had already heard that it was impossible to suggest printing. He did not suppose many copies would be desired. Perhaps the work that was already done might be typewritten, and be deposited in the library and added to from time to time by the Literature and Press Committee. That would preserve the extremely valuable work that had been done, and allow for more work in the future being added to it.

Mr. Faulkner: Does that mean that it will never be published, but just placed in the library.

The President: Possibly the next Council, being either richer or more reckless, may decide to have it published. I think the present is an extremely bad moment to print and publish.

The Ringing World, June 11th, 1920, pages 291 and 293


Mr. Faulkner said he should like to see the bibliography published. What would cheer Mr. Daniell most would be that the work was appreciated by the whole Exercise and that could only be done if it were published in book form. He did not agree that many copies would not be wanted. He knew of a case where an old ringer borrowed a copy of the ‘Church Bells of Essex,’ and copied the whole of it into a foolscap book. It took him two years to do it. He quoted this to show what an interest the ordinary ringer took in antiquarian things.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn asked whether it would be possible to make arrangement with the ‘Ringing World’ to publish certain extracts.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews said he thought this could be done, but his duty was merely that of ‘convener’ of the meeting, and to get hold of the papers. He did not think he was a permanent member of the committee.

The Hon. Secretary: Oh yes.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews said he was not aware of that. He thought the catalogue of books ought to be published as a Council pamphlet; it would be most valuable.

Replying to a question, Mr. Matthews said there was a great deal perfectly ready for press, but some consisted merely of notes and articles that had appeared in ‘Bell News.’ He would have to get hold of these articles to complete the work.

The Rev. H. Drake asked if it would not be well for the Literature Committee to go on getting the thing ready for publication in the hope that by the time it was completed printing would be easier.

Mr. A. E. Parsons said it was a pity that the publication of the work should be shelved for want of funds. It might be years before the Council could hold out any hope of being able to provide funds either for printing this matter or the Treble Bob compositions. Was it possible to ask for voluntary subscriptions? He proposed that a subscription list should be opened for the purpose.

Mr. James George seconded.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett asked if it was wise to make precedents of that kind. There were many other worthy objects one could imagine they would like to appeal for if they made a start. He doubted very much whether it would be a good thing to do.

Mr. G. P. Burton referred to the other side of the committee’s work of which no report had been received, viz., the propaganda side. Articles appeared from time to time in the public press with regard to ringing, which were altogether erroneous and misleading. He understood the committee were to subscribe to a press-cutting agency with a view to answering and correcting misapprehensions that appeared in the public press, but he had not heard that anything had been done. Mr. Burton added that the publication of the catalogue which the committee had in hand would be welcomed by the librarians of the various public libraries, who were only too glad to receive works of reference of this kind.

Mr. Parsons’ proposal did not find support, and was withdrawn, and a resolution was carried that the committee continue its labours in compiling a ringing bibliography to be deposited in the Council library, and to publish in the ‘Ringing World,’ or in a pamphlet, any portions which they thought fit, if the expense was approved by the treasurer.


The Rev. H. Law James moved the adoption of the report of the Methods Committee which had already been published in the ‘Ringing World.’ He did not see that the committee could go very much further until the work they had done had been published and placed in the hands of the Exercise. They had collected all the Plain Major Methods, and placed the copy in the secretary’s hands, and he presumed it would be handed over to the librarian. They selected a certain number of Plain Methods for publication, and he understood the secretary was instructed to get a price for printing, and if possible, to print. Apparently no price had been got for the printing. He really did think that the publication of these Plain Major Methods was of far more importance than the publication of strings upon strings of courses of Treble Bob. Treble Bob was rung by the Union Scholars in 1718 and the thing was worn out and done with. They did not want to go on for ever doing the same thing over and over again. Let them publish something new to enable the ringers of the country to get out of the old rut. These Plain Major Methods were more musical than Kent or Oxford Treble Bob. The committee had something like 600 Treble Bob Methods to work on, but he did not think it was worth while beginning until what they had done had been published. It was far harder work than the Plain Methods, because every method must have a proof scale before they knew whether it was of any value or not. He thought the Plain Methods should be published before the Treble Bob peals, because there was already in Snowdon’s book as many peals of Treble Bob as any ordinary person would want to call in a lifetime (hear, hear). Mr. James added that he had received from Mr. Lewis the collection of all the Little Methods. He suggested that a collection from these should be printed with the Plain Methods. He proposed that a selection of the Plain Major Methods and Little Bob Methods be printed, if and when the funds in the hands of the treasurer permit.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn seconded, and said the Collection of Methods, section 1, had the largest sale of any of the Council’s Publications during the year, by about 30.

The Rev. B. H. T. Drake said he was only a plain ringer, and not a figure merchant, and he hoped if any further printing of this sort was done it would be less cryptic than the last collection of methods. Country ringers could not understand from the publication how the bobs and singles had to be made, and he suggested that in future the figures of these should be given in addition to the lead.

The Rev. H. Law James said directions were laid down in the Collection of Minor Methods that in every single case 4th’s place had to be made at a bob, and he did not think that statement wanted printing at the bottom of every method.

The Rev. B. H. T. Drake said it would be simpler if the four rows of figures were given showing how the bob, or single was made.

Mr. H. W. Wilde said in the case of the Little Bob Methods Mr. Lewis had done this. For himself he would like to see the selection of the Plain Major Methods printed rather than the Treble Bob Peals Collection. There was no doubt if the Major Methods were produced it would be the most saleable book they would have.

On the motion of the Rev. B. H. T. Drake, seconded by Mr. R. Narborough, a resolution was carried instructing the committee to include the figures of bobs and singles with the methods when printed.


Mr. P. J. Johnson said the cost of printing was likely to be high for some time to come, and even if the Council went to the expense of printing a selection of the Major Methods it would cripple itself effectually for publishing anything else for years to come. He wondered, therefore, if it would be possible to publish these methods through the ‘Ringing World,’ spread over a period of time. If they put them away in the library with the other ringing literature he doubted whether any man living would see them published at all.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said he did not like entrusting the spending of the Council’s money to one individual, even thought he be one who deserved so much at their hands as their treasurer. He thought the proper course was that the committee should submit an estimate at the next meeting of the Council. He thought they ought to keep control of their funds in their own hands.

The Hon. Secretary (who is also hon. treasurer): I should be only too thankful to be relieved.

Mr. Pritchett suggested that the motion should be amended to read ‘If and when the Council think it advisable.’

The Rev. H. Law James said he did not mind, which course was followed, but if they accepted the amendment they would have to wait another twelve months before anything was done.

Mr. Pritchett: No harm done.

The amendment, on being put, was carried.

Mr. Burton thought they ought not to lose the advantage of getting the methods published piecemeal in the ‘Ringing World.’

The Rev. H. Law James: I am quite willing to send them piecemeal if the Editor is willing to publish them. That is for him to say, not for the Council.

Mr. Johnson did not think the Council or any body of ringers ought to expect the periodical to publish anything for nothing. It was being published for their convenience, but what he did say was that by publishing these methods piecemeal they would be spreading the cost over a period of years, whereas if they laid down a large sum now in printing they would effectually cripple themselves from printing other works. He had no doubt the Editor would undertake to let these methods appear on a contract.

Rev. H. Law James: On the other hand, I think the Editor of the ‘Ringing World’ would be prepared to do it for nothing, if only ringers would back the ‘Ringing World’ up and make the circulation four or five times what it is (applause).

Mr. Johnson: You will have to get ringers to buy more than one copy for a belfry.

The Rev. H. Law James: There are towers sending up two or three peals a month who only take one copy. It is a disgrace (hear, hear).

Mr. Johnson proposed that steps should be taken to have the methods published in the ‘Ringing World.’- Mr. Burton seconded.

Mr. James George said if they were to have this information through the ‘Ringing World’ the paper would have to be enlarged, and that could not be done without better support. They could not get the peals up to date now on account of the number that was rung. Undoubtedly peals ought to be made a greater number of changes; they were too cheap (laughter). He would have pleasure in supporting the resolution provided they could get the paper enlarged.

Mr. Pritchett said he had the same objection to this resolution as he had to the previous one namely that they were deputing someone else to spend their money. If they wanted to make a contract to publish the collection, an estimate should be obtained beforehand and submitted to and approved by the Council. Then they would know where they were.

Mr. Dean pointed out that if these methods were published piecemeal they would not have them in a concise form in the end.

Mr. Johnson’s motion was then put by the president in the following terms: ‘That the committee be authorised to publish such methods as they think fit in the “Ringing World,” payment being made by the Council.’- This being voted on was lost by a large majority.

The Ringing World, June 18th, 1920, pages 303 and 305


The Hon. Secretary, with the consent of the President, read a lengthy statement which he had prepared on the ‘Lead Ends’ question, in which he set out arguments in support of his contention that bob leads were those only at which calls are made and that no place made within the lead, which is part of the regular work of the lead, can be termed a bob. This contention, he claimed, was supported by the Council’s own ‘Glossary’ and by the Exercise at large, and he argued that the conclusions of the report of the Methods Committee were, therefore, wrong, and that their contention that all methods must have Grandsire or Plain Bob lead ends was equally wrong, because it was based on false premises. There might, added Mr. Davies be conceivable justification for their plea for the exclusive use of Grandsire and Plain Bob lead ends, if they achieved any real advantage, but they conspicuously failed to secure the one quality which it was their special mission to secure, viz., the maintenance of the same coursing order, which; was conclusively proved by his method B in the pamphlet ‘Lead Ends,’ in which though the ends were Grandsire ones, the bells go down in a different coursing order in every lead. The true position might well be summed up in a few concise statements: (1) a bob is an alternative; (2) on the occurrence of the bob position there may be a bob, or there may not be a bob; (3) a bob is a substitution of one rule for another; (4) a bob is always a link; that which is not a link cannot be a bob; (5) no place which is invariably made is ever a bob; (6) any lead not containing a bob in the sense indicated above is a plain lead; (7) a plain lead may be of any form, provided always that its cycle of repetition produces as many leads as there are working bells. Mr. James, continued Mr. Davies, complained that he (the speaker) called any lead a plain lead in which a bob was not called. So did the ‘Glossary.’ Nor did Mr. James improve his case by objecting that the employment of the term ‘plain lead’ was only colloquial. So was nearly every other term in the science. The important thing was not the term itself but the sense in which it was used, and in this instance ‘plain lead,’ on the authority of the ‘Glossary’ (and of all ringers except Mr. James and his friends), meant a lead devoid of calls. This was not a fight about names, it was a fight for freedom. Were methods with non-Grandsire and non-Plain Bob lead ends to be banned and stigmatised, or were they to be acknowledged as ‘regular’ and to be esteemed as fit for use as the others? To stigmatise a method as ‘irregular’ involved a very clear attempt to get rid of it. The majority of ringers and conductors would have heard that such and such a method was ‘contrary to the rules,’ and would not trouble any about it. Therefore, he would not rest until all criticism of methods not having Grandsire, or Plain Bob lead ends was absolutely and finally withdrawn, so far at least as concerned their lead ends and coursing order.


The Rev. H. Law James said the question raised by Mr. Davies had been settled by an authority they could not get away from and that was the Exercise as a whole during the last 200 years. He had had opportunity of reading in Sir Arthur Heywood’s collection of books everything that had been written on the subject, and previous to Troyte (who disclaimed any idea of being scientific and simply published his book to teach beginners) no one had used plain lead, bob lead and single lead in the way in which Mr. Davies meant it. These terms were quite modern and, as Mr. Davies said, were the colloquial language of the belfry. That, however, was of no use for scientific purposes. In Banister’s book was published a list of the peals rung by the Ancient Society of College Youths down to 1875. There were several hundred peals, and there were among them just six peals which broke the rule with regard to lead ends. They rang two peals of Union Triples in 200 years. The same was true of the Union Scholars. They rang one peal of Union Triples; all the rest kept the rule of Bob Major lead ends and if they examined the peal books of other societies they would find about the same average. The thing had been settled, to his mind, by the Exercise before any of those present were born.

There being no proposal before the meeting, the Council passed on to the next business, the President remarking, amid laughter, that any discussion upon the subject raised by Mr. Davies was obviously a matter of days and weeks and months.


The report of the Peals Analysis Committee, already published, was moved by Mr. A. T. King, who also proposed that the Rev. A. T. Beeston be added to the committee.

The Rev. H. Law James asked that the analysis should be completed before it was deposited in the archives. With regard to the points, they were absolute rubbish. The committee were instructed last year not to publish them. He would suggest that they be crossed out. Secondly, there was one peal rung by the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, and one by somebody else which had not been included. The committee, in their report, made some strictures upon these peals; but it was not the fault of the conductor, as the peals were sent up for publication, but by some means failed to appear. He though the committee might have taken the trouble to put them in. Lastly, the committee had noticed two peals rung in new methods, but they had allocated no points to them.

The Hon Secretary said there was only one instruction given to the committee last year, and that was that the associations should be entered in alphabetical order.

Mr. King said the committee waited until the close of February before they completed the analysis, and surely two months was quite enough to enable any association to get its peals printed. As regards his grievance, the Editor had confessed that these peals were mislaid. Were the committee to be blamed for that? He thought Mr. James should apologise.

The Rev. H. Law James said he only asked the committee to put the analysis right before it was laid by in the archives of the Council.

Mr. King warmly remarked that those who had not had the trouble did not appreciate the work the committee had to do. Let them scrap the whole thing if it was of no interest, but surely two months was quite sufficient time to give for the publication of peals.

The Rev. H. Law James said if it was put by as it was the analysis for 1919 would be worthless. He did not see why the committee should not take the trouble to complete it if it was to be of value for the future.

Mr. G. Williams (a member of the committee) supported what Mr. King had said. The committee had a tremendous lot of work to do, and he was surprised Mr. James had attacked it in the way he had.

The Rev. H. Law James said he was not attacking anybody, he only asked, for the sake of the future, that the analysis should be complete. He was not blaming anybody.

The President said he thought he saw a way out of the difficulty. He would ask their patient long-suffering, ever-ready, ever-genial librarian (applause) when he got this analysis to put into the newly established library to make the corrections that Mr. James desired (applause).

The Rev. A. T. Beeston was added to the committee, and the report was adopted.


This committee’s report by Mr. E. H. Lewis, who was unavoidably absent, was read by Mr. E. A. Young as follows: At the meeting of the Central Council in 1919 this committee made a request that representatives would report to them any cases where harmful action was being taken by the societies or individuals to prevent bells being hung in the best modern manner. No such reports have been received by the committee during the year. As the result of work already done by the committee and the publication of ‘Bell towers and bell hanging,’ the members have been consulted individually with regard to the hanging of peals of bells (Major Hesse, Mr. E. A. Young and Mr. E. H. Lewis, each on four occasions). Advice has been given in these cases, but the committee do not consider it advisable to publish the details. The pressure of other work has been so great on members of the committee that they have not been able to initiate any further research work, but they hope to be able to give advice or assistance in any specific Case which may be brought to their notice.

The report was adopted.

Canon Elsee reported for the Bells of Belgium Committee. He said their difficulty was that they had no reliable information as to the actual state of the towers and bells in Belgium. Mr. Lewis had hoped to get some definite information so as to put a proposal before the Council, but he had not yet been able to do so. He was hoping to go to Belgium in the near future and to get first-hand information on the spot.

The report was accepted.

The Ringing World, June 25th, 1920, page 315


Canon Elsee moved a resolution: ‘That an appeal be sent by this Council to the Bishop of London’s Committee, urging the desirability of preserving all towers in the City of London in which there are notable rings of bells.’ He said everyone knew that in the recent report of the Bishop of London’s Committee it was recommended that 19 London Churches should be removed. In the case of some of them they proposed to retain the towers, but he thought the Central Council would be fully justified as a body representing the bell ringers of the country in urging that all the towers should be retained.

The Hon. Secretary said Major Hesse had raised the same question in a letter which he had written to him.

Canon Elsee said he thought if the Council went outside what was in that resolution they would be venturing on rather difficult and certainly debatable ground. Although their sympathies might be very strongly on one side or the other, without full information they would, he thought, be ill advised to express any opinion on the question whether City churches in certain cases should be removed. With all sympathy for preserving ancient buildings and churches, in the present state of the needs of the Church as a living body, he thought they would not be justified in criticising what a responsible committee had advised. Their ground was different, however, when they spoke about the towers in which there were notable rings of bells, and for that reason he proposed the resolution. He imagined that all the towers contained bells, but in some cases there would be only a very few bells of no particular interest or value, but there were some of the churches suggested for demolition that contained very notable rings of bells. It was proposed to retain certain of the towers, but he thought it would strengthen the hands of those who desired to retain them if they passed that resolution.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded, and said he would like to see the resolution extended to the churches themselves.

Mr. G. P. Burton moved that they should add to the resolution words which would include the churches as well as the towers. He wanted to strengthen the resolution, for it would appear that this procedure would not merely apply to London. There were signs that the same harmful movement was going on in his own city of Norwich. The city was full of churches, and Bristol might also share the same fate. As Churchmen and bell ringers they should protest against the action Bishops were taking over this matter. He hoped, therefore, they would adopt a stronger resolution than had been proposed by including the churches.

Mr. T. Faulkner as a London ringer and the representative of a society (the College Youths) that rang at most of the City churches, said he felt it was an act of gross vandalism to destroy those churches. After all, the churches had been consecrated and dedicated to the glory of God and they had no right to desecrate them for the sake of pounds, shillings and pence. There was no resolution that could be too strong to condemn the proposed action (applause). There were signs of this thing happening in other towns and they should protest against the desecration of God’s House (hear, hear).

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards: Liverpool is already suffering.

Canon Baker said the amendment touched upon ground on which they were not, as a Council, entitled to express an opinion any more than they were upon any other burning question of the day. To do so would be opening the door to the introduction of a wide number or subjects which had nothing to do with them, from Free Trade to Pussyfoot organisation (laughter). They had to do with bells and bell ringing, and, therefore Canon Elsee’s proposition was in order, and was one which they could well support. If they went beyond that they would be going beyond the legitimate purview, however much they might feel on the subject individually.

Canon Coleridge said he could not vote either way on this matter. It was quite true the daily press had had great headlines, ‘Destruction and Demolition of City Churches,’ but that was a small part of the whole thing. He was not going to be led away by scare headlines in the daily press. There was a great deal of substance in the report that deserved the consideration of all Churchmen before they proceeded to vote upon it.

Mr. Burton’s amendment, on being put was declared defeated by 16 votes to 14.

Another amendment was moved by the Rev. H. Drake to add the words ‘at least’ before the word towers, but this was also lost, and the resolution as moved by Canon Elsee was then put and carried.


The Council then came to the consideration of the first resolution on the agenda paper. Mr. E. H. Lewis having given notice to move the following: ‘That the Council compile and keep up to date an official list of the first peal and longest peal rung in each method and on each number of bells.’- The Hon. Secretary, in the absence of Mr. Lewis, moved the resolution, and quoted from a letter from Mr. Lewis in which the latter said that his idea was exactly what was detailed in that week’s ‘Ringing World’ editorial. He thought a record should be kept of the first peal and each subsequent longer length in each method on each number of bells. The original compilation would take a good deal of work, but a great deal might be done by correspondents in different parts of the country. The standard methods had been well done in Snowdon’s series. Once the back numbers were hunted out it would not be difficult to keep up to date, if the Peals Analysis Committee could undertake to pass on to the committee, which would probably have to be appointed to keep the record, a list of the claims to first peals which they came across in making up the analysis. If the committee were to publish their work in sections, asking for corrections and additions a fairly accurate historical record could be made before it was too late.

The Rev. H. Law James seconded the motion, which was adopted without discussion, and the following members were appointed a committee to carry out the work and to be known as the ‘Records Committee’: The Rev. A. T. Beeston, the Rev. H. Law James, and Mr. T. Hervey Beams.


Mr. E. A. Young moved: ‘That the Central Council take steps to approach the authorities of the Victoria and Albert Science and Art Museum with a view to the possibility of obtaining from them the allotment of a suitable space for the exhibition in London of bells, models, papers, drawings, etc., illustrative of campanology as a science and art.’ Mr. Young said he had thought for some years past that, from a propaganda point of view, they might do more to educate the public, and a cheap way to do it, if they could only get the Government to fall into line, was to place in a museum an exhibit showing what they had done were doing, and were trying to do. It did not follow that they would get this space allotted to them, but he thought they should endeavour to do so. Knowing there was no exhibit of the kind in any of the museums he interviewed, Mr. Dickenson, an assistant director on the science side at Kensington, and he seemed a little astonished at the subject, but he kindly allowed him (Mr. Young) to explain it. He thought he converted him to the view that there was something in it. Mr. Dickenson inquired whether it was a science or an art, and he (the speaker) suggested that it was both and that the exhibit might be erected on these lines, but when it was hinted to him that this would involve putting part of the exhibit in one museum and another part in some other part of London, he thought that would be very undesirable. He had the privilege when at Birmingham of seeing that wonderful machine of Mr. Carter’s, and the thought passed through his mind, ‘What was to become of it when he had passed away’? It was a masterpiece, and its resting-place should be in some such place as these great galleries devoted to science which they had in London. London was the centre of the Empire, and there was no city or town which ringers as a whole visited so much as London. If they could persuade the Government to give them a space they might put there, among other things, some of the remarkable old peals boards which were now neglected in some of the towers or photographic copies of these, and the remarkable old documents which existed in the British Museum. These, with models and other items would go to make up an exhibit which would be national in character, and would show future generations that there was something more in ringing than most people appreciated.

The Hon. Secretary in seconding, said Mr. Carter’s machine was a most wonderful thing, but the Council had no call on it whatever. He had, however, often been puzzled as to what was to become of it when Mr. Carter was dead and gone, but he would be rather sorry to see it placed in a museum, for this reason, it was a machine and if they once put it in a museum no one would ever know all the beauties and wonders of it, and no one would see the working of it. But as far as every thing else that had been mentioned he would like to see them in a museum.

The President said he believed Mr. Carter had made his own arrangements as to the future of the machine.

Suggestions were made that the exhibit should be extended to originals and models of ancient and famous bells not necessarily connected with change ringing, and the methods of hanging from the most primitive type to the latest patterns.

The resolution on being put was carried.


The Rev. H. Drake moved: ‘That arrangements be made for the Council to hold its annual meeting on the Tuesday after the first Sunday after Trinity’ (i.e., a fortnight later than at present). He said he had really no wish to bring forward any ideas of his own, he simply desired that they might vote as to what was the wish of the Council and what was the most convenient day. He had tried three times to draw discussion on it in ‘The Ringing World,’ but each time he had drawn a blank. The present date, he thought was inconvenient to many of them because they had the annual meetings of their own associations on the previous day, and if they attended to the duties of their associations it was obvious that only those who lived in that part of England where the meeting was to be held could attend the Council meeting the next day. There was another reason which applied to some of them, they had other things to occupy them during the holiday. Those who were parsons and church workers had church work which occupied them, and there was a conflict in the claims upon them at this important season of the Church’s year. It had been suggested that the Council should meet on the Tuesday after August Bank Holiday but there were objections to that as it would interfere with the holiday season. He thought, therefore, if they made it a fortnight later than at present it would be sufficient.

Mr. E. A. Young formally seconded the motion.

Mr. Rock Small raised strong objection on the ground that the working men members would not be able to attend except at a time when there were general holidays.

The Hon. Secretary thought if they altered the day to the one now proposed they would halve the attendance, and Mr. George Bolland said Whitsuntide was the most convenient time. If they wanted to alter the date at all let them make it Whitsun Monday.

The Hon. Secretary: I can see what you want to do, you want to get rid of the parsons (laughter).

Mr. Bolland: The parsons can come at any time, we can’t; we have business to attend to (laughter).

Mr. W. E. White said the working men could not afford to have another holiday a fortnight after Whitsun.

Canon Coleridge referred to the remark made by Mr. Drake, that those who had association meetings on the previous day could not attend if they had to go to another part of England. They had there a splendid example to refute that. The Rev. Maitland Kelly, president of the Devon Guild attended the meeting of the Guild in Exeter on the previous day, and was there in Northampton that morning, and he was only excelled in age by Mr. Rock Small himself (applause).

No one voted in favour of Mr. Drake’s motion, which was, therefore, defeated.

The only other notice on the agenda had been given by Mr. John Carter ‘to consider the question of the term “Surprise Method,” and, if thought advisable, to move a resolution.’ As Mr. Carter was not present, the Council decided to pass on to the next business.


The President moved a vote of thanks to the Mayor and Corporation of Northampton for allowing them the use of the Council Chamber and remarked that they were especially grateful to the Mayor for his kindness in welcoming them personally, and for his interesting speech (applause).- The motion was unanimously carried.

The Hon. Secretary said the arrangements for the meeting were supposed to fall upon the secretary, but when the meeting took place in the country he always found a good friend to do the work for him who knew the ropes better than he did, and on the present occasion no better or fuller arrangements could possibly have been made than had been made by their friend, Mr. Wilford (applause). Personally he felt he owed him a deep debt of gratitude for all he had done for obtaining the use of that excellent and comfortable chamber, and for his arrangements for the ringing which had been made. He wished, therefore, to propose a very hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Wilford for what he had done.- This was at once carried by acclamation.

Canon Coleridge proposed a vote of thanks to the President, and remarked, amid applause, that he was sure it would be the desire of the members that Mr. Boughey should continue to occupy the office.

The President, replying, said that anything that lay in his power he was only too happy to do. His services were at their disposal as long as he could give them, but it was most important that when the new Council assembled there should be a new president more active, more vigorous and more capable than their present president, though he could not exceed him in his desire to further the interests and welfare of the Council. In conclusion he thanked the secretary, the librarian and others who had done the work.

The meeting then terminated, and the members adjourned to St. Giles’ Hall, where they were the guests at tea of the Central Northants Association, a hearty vote of thanks being accorded to the association for their hospitality.

Later in the evening there was a social gathering at the Grand Hotel.

The Ringing World, July 2nd, 1920, pages 327 and 329

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