The Analysis of peals rung in 1920 shows a substantial increase in the total, which was only three less than the total of 1908. It is still a long way (888 peals) behind the record of 1913, but it was not to be expected that that huge figure should so soon be reached once more.

Of the 1,471 peals, 1,301 were rung on tower bells, and 170 on handbells. Our instructions from the Council are to arrange the Associations in alphabetical order (cf. ‘Ringing World,’ Vol. xiv., p. 241, and Vol. xv., p. 315), and we accordingly present the Analysis in that form.

The Norwich and Ipswich Diocesan Association has the largest number, both of peals and points, viz., 179 and 2,490. Of these peals, 153 were rung on tower bells, and 26 on handbells. The only other Association to reach a total of three figures is the Kent County Association, 114, all on tower bells. The second highest number of points belongs to the Middlesex Association, 1,696, 56 peals on tower and 9 on handbells. The Winchester Diocesan Guild rang the greatest number of handbell peals, 32, 21 of these being Grandsire Triples.

New Methods and new arrangements of old Methods give evidence of a ‘forward movement’ amongst ringers. Little St. Lawrence Major is an example of the first, and of the second we find two peals of Little Bob and Plain Bob Major spliced together, one on tower bells and one on handbells, and Kent and Oxford Treble Bob spliced on the particular plan to which has been given the name of ‘Worcester,’ of which we say more below.

There are still instances of extraordinary dilatoriness in reporting peals, one, e.g., rung on January 14th, was not published till May 7th! With the welcome enlargement of ‘The Ringing World,’ there can be no further excuse for this. It is not too much to ask that those who send reports of peals should see that any errors, either their own or the printer’s, be immediately corrected. One ringer, for example, allowed a peal, described as ‘Stedman Triples - Holt’s Original,’ to be uncorrected, and his excuse was - ‘Printer’s error, not mine.’ We would point out that, by not correcting the error, he made it his own. Among other evidently incorrect statements we find a peal of Minor, which is said to consist of ‘two 520’s of St. Clement’s and two 520’s of Plain Bob.’ This can hardly be a ‘printer’s error.’ One peal was published as rung at Brighton by the Surrey County Association, which we strongly suspect should belong to the Sussex County Association, but no correction has been made by the conductor or by either of the Associations, and, therefore, it is included in the Surrey peals. When the Analysis was completed, two more peals were published on March 18th; one, a peal of Grandsire Doubles, ‘first peal of Doubles by all except the conductor,’ whose name was not given, rung as long as September 18th; the other, a peal of Treble Bob Minor with two conductors, rung on November 27th. It is to be hoped that those responsible are not so dilatory in their business as in this matter. In accordance with the Council’s instructions, these peals are not included in the Analysis.

Our Chairman’s letter to ‘The Ringing World’ of January 14th has given rise to the suggestion that the Analysis Committee should deal with the question of the names to be given to peals in two or more already named Methods spliced together, and, as the so-called ‘Worcester Treble Bob Major.’ The letter, of course, only referred to the names given to Minor Methods, several of which have been rung under two or more names, and the Committee hope to receive the help of Minor ringers in the matter. The other question seems to be out of the province of the Committee, but it is one with which the Council or the Methods Committee might be asked to deal. With regard to ‘Worcester,’ the name is already given to a Minor Method, and the Committee think it would be better to keep to the nomenclature, already to be found in Sottanstall (pp. 583 and 588), and Snowdon’s ‘Treble Bob,’ p. 18.

The number of ringers taking part in their first peal was 496, including several ladies, and lads of the age of 11 and upwards; first with a bob bell, 51; away from tenor, 12; first as conductor, 53, of which 4 were on handbells, one of these conductors being only 13 years old.

There was a very great increase in ‘first peals on the bells,’ the total being 81, including 22 since rehanging or augmentation, 57 of these being on 5 or 6 bells: a welcome evidence that six bell ringers especially are extending the knowledge of the Exercise in new directions.

First peal by local band, 10, including one by all railwaymen, and one by a Cathedral band. First on Handbells, 29; first on Tower bells, 11; Peace peals, 30; Muffled peals (including those in connection with the war), 68; Dedication of War Memorials, 19; Wedding peals, 50, including 4 Golden Weddings, one of these being that of the Chairman of the Analysis Committee (to whom his colleagues here offer congratulations and good wishes); Welcome and Farewell peals, 32; Centenary peals, 5; Tercentenary peals, 2; 1,000th anniversary of the freeing of Leicester from the Danes, and a 1,251st Dedication Anniversary; Church Festivals, 12, including one peal of 8 Georges on St. George’s Day; first Archbishop of Wales, Bishop’s Jubilee, Consecration and Enthronement, and new Incumbent produced 20 peals; Empire Day, 7; Harvest Thanksgiving, 3; Royal Birthdays, etc., 6; peals by ex-Service men, 4.

Ringers’ ages continue to extend both upwards and downwards. We find them ringing peals at the ages of 11, 12, 13 (one conducting), 14, etc., up to 74, 77, 81 and 82! If boys begin at 11, and go on to the age of Messrs. Small and Horrex, what will be their total peal record? The latter rang a peal of Treble Bob Maximus on his 82nd birthday. Most of us find two arms none too many in a peal; Cpl. H. Churchill, ‘whose right arm was entirely shot away on the Somme,’ rang a peal of Minor in 4 Methods at Belton, Rutland, ‘striking it perfectly throughout.’

Other peals of special interest were: One by four married couples, Grandsire Triples at Epsom; a peal of Maximus on handbells by six brothers, and Double Norwich and Superlative Surprise Major on tower bells by eight brothers at Leiston.

ARTHUR T. KING, Stevenage, Chairman.
A. T. BEESTON, New Mills.
E. W. CARPENTER, Croydon.
GEORGE WILLIAMS, West End, Southampton.

The Ringing World, April 29th, 1921, page 237

The 16 peals rung by Independent Societies were rung in the following counties: Derby, 5; Glamorgan, 2; Middlesex, 2; Norfolk, 2; Northampton, 1; Nottingham, 2; Stafford, 1; Worcester, 1.

The 206 peals of Treble Bob were rung as follows: In the Kent Variation: Maximus, 6; Royal, 27; Major, 146. In the Oxford Variation: Royal, 3, Major, 22. In the ‘spliced’ Kent and Oxford Variation, 2 peals of Major.

The 237 peals of Grandsire Triples may be sub-divided as follows: Holt’s Original, 56, Holt’s 10-part and variations, 34; Parker’s 6-part, 11; Parker’s 12-part, 71; Carter’s 12-part and variations, 13; Taylor’s peals, 17; Hollis’ peals, 6; Thurstans’ peals, 6; Day’s peals, 3; Vicars’ peals, 3; and other peals, 17.

The 150 peals in Plain Methods comprised: On Tower Bells: Maximus, 1; Royal, 8; Major, 93. On Handbells: Maximus, 2; Royal, 9; Major 37. There were also rung one peal of Double Oxford Bob Royal, one peal of Double Oxford Bob Major, one peal of Oxford Bob Triples, and two peals of Union Triples.

The 163 peals of Stedman Triples comprised: Thurstans 1-part, 1; Thurstans’ 4-part and variations, 135; Washbrook’s peals, 10; Carter’s peals, 6; Rev. E. Bulwer’s peals, 4; Sir A. P. Heywood’s peals, 4; Parker’s peals, 2; Lates’ peal, 1.

The conductors of five peals and upwards are shown in the following list. Figures in brackets added to a name denote the number of handbell peals conducted.

65 peals, A. H. Pulling (49); 40 peals, W. Pye (1); 34 peals, C. F. Bailey (17); 30 peals, G. H. Cross (2); 23 peals, G. Williams; 21 peals, F. Bennett (1); 20 peals, E. Morris; 19 peals, E. M. Atkins (9), K. Hart; 18 peals, C. R. Lilley (1); J. Thomas (9); 16 peals, C. W. Clarke; 15 peals, T. Groombridge, senr.; 14 peals, O. Sippetts; 13 peals, C. Edwards, F. W. Richardson (1); 12 peals, J. E. Groves (6), G. F. Swann (5), T. H. Taffender (4); 11 peals, C. T. Coles, F. H. Dexter, E. C. Gobey, W. C. Medler (4); 10 peals, N. R. Bailey, C. E. Fisher, J. E. Sykes, A. Wright; 9 peals, T. T. Gofton (3), W. H. J. Hooton (8), H. Langdon (2), F. W. Naunton (1), G. Pigott, R. Sperring, J. W. Washbrook; 8 peals, W. E. Bason (1); 9 peals, O. Broyd (5), A. W. Gayton, S. Grove; 7 peals, J. Austin, G. H. Daynes, J. T. Dyke, F. A. Holden (3), F. J. Lambert, J. Lord, G. R. Newton, A. Relfe, W. C. Rumsey, S. Thomas, A. Tout; 6 peals, W. J. Allen, E. Barnett, senr., A. D. Barker, F. Chamberlain, A. E. Edwards, J. Hunt, W. Keeble, R. Matthews, F. M. Mitchell, J. Motts, H. R. Pasmore (3), W. Poston, J. Potter, G. E. Symonds, J. H. W. White, W. Willson; 5 peals, W. Ayre, W. H. Barber, A. Davies, E. P. Duffield, J. Hemming, Rev. H. L. James (1), W. J. Jeffries, E. Jenkins, P. J. Johnson (3), D. T. Matkin (3), C. W. Player, W. Short.

In addition to the foregoing, 25 persons conducted four peals; 38 three peals; 95 two peals and 236 one peal. One peal on tower bells was non-conducted, two peals on handbells were conducted in 720’s by all the band in turn, and two peals were published without the name of the conductor. Miss E. K. Parker conducted two peals, viz., London Surprise Major for the Hertfordshire Association, and Superlative Surprise Major for the Middlesex Association; and Miss O. L. Lumley conducted two peals on handbells, one of Double Norwich Court Bob Major, and the other of Kent Treble Bob Major, both for the Yorkshire Association.

Four peals above 7,000 changes were rung in 1920. The longest, a peal of 13,001 Grandsire Cinques, was rung by the Painswick Youths; another, of 10,080 changes, was rung on handbells in 14 Minor Methods for the Essex Association, and two other peals of 7,186 and 7,104 changes respectively: the one, Double Norwich for the Norwich and Ipswich Diocesan Association, and the other, Kent Treble Bob Major for the Yorkshire Association. The number of peals rung on tower bells was 1,301, and on handbells 170.

The peals rung month by month in 1919 and 1920 are appended for comparison.





Total for 1919, 1048; for 1920, 1471.

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

Grand total, 39,380.

The Ringing World, April 29th, 1921, page 243


The resolution of the Council authorising the work of this Committee is as follows:-

Your committee have noted the suggestion that ‘progressive lengths’ should be included in the list, and also the approval of the suggestion by the author of the resolution, and have accordingly ventured so far to extend the terms of reference.

Very early in our efforts we were faced with the difficulty of insufficiency of sources of information. Many such are only to be found in the British Museum, and were out of reach. Similarly so were the private records of the Ringing Societies and Associations. We hoped for an adequate response to the appeal for claims to first performances made in ‘The Ringing World’ last June, but were disappointed. Our joint possessions of the old books afforded us only limited assistance. We felt it to be necessary to search through the files of ‘Church Bells’ and ‘Campanology,’ but were quite at a loss to know where to find either, nor had either of us a complete set of the ‘Bell News.’ Under such circumstances we felt it would be advisable to confine the field of search to modern times. Two facts contributed in leading us to this decision: first, a reference made by the author of the resolution to the satisfactory character of the similar work of the late Mr. Jasper W. Snowdon in connection with the Standard Methods; and, second, an expression of his opinion that ‘the main thing now is to catch the newer records before they are lost, and hunt up the older ones later.’

We have accordingly made the time reached in Mr. Snowdon’s records our general starting-point. Even though limited, the inquiry has proved to be such as to make it impossible in the time available to collect and include all the details required. We have not been able, e.g., to deal with the handbell performances as thoroughly as we wished - the information now submitted pertains principally to greater lengths. We have not ventured even to touch Minor and Doubles peals. Perhaps it is better we have not. For we have felt the difficulty of deciding how to deal with them; or whether it is possible to deal with them at all.

Generally speaking, it may be understood that each performance in the list carries the claim to be the ‘first’ or ‘greatest.’ Respecting some, the claim is qualified by such expressions as ‘supposed to be,’ or ‘believed to be,’ or ‘on record.’

We have considered it to be outside our province to settle - even if it were possible - conflicting claims to ‘first’ performances. In cases where such conflict exists we have included both performances.

Difficulties connected with nomenclature have presented themselves. We have concluded that Double Oxford Bob and Double Oxford Court Bob are identical.

For the present we submit the results of our efforts in tabular form. But when the list is brought up-to-date each method on each number of bells will require a separate page. Each record performance in the method could be entered as in the present list. We think it advisable that a plain lead of the method should also be included, and the suggestion has also passed between us that the composition of each peal should be entered as well. Whether the inclusion of these details comes within the Council’s view of the ‘official list’ we are uncertain. An expression of opinion would be helpful.

Our work represents a careful search through between 30 and 40 volumes of ‘Bell News,’ and several of ‘The Ringing World.’ Obviously it is too much even to hope that what we now submit is correct in all respects. Yet to be of real value it should be. We suggest, therefore, the advisability of publishing the list with an invitation to the Exercise to examine it and point out the errors.

We venture to bespeak the co-operation of the Exercise in the continuance of the work. Your committee would find it of great advantage to be in possession of the Council’s authority to appeal in its name to each Association to authorise its secretary to furnish information respecting its claims to first and greatest performances. For the work of your committee, and most likely for other purpose, the addition of a complete set, as far as possible, of the annual reports of all Associations and Guilds, to the Council’s library, would be of great value and assistance. We also ask the Council to consider the advisability of including in the committee someone residing within easy reach of the British Museum, to undertake that part of the work which can only be done there.

We conclude our report with a grateful acknowledgment of the kindness of those gentlemen who responded to the appeal for information made last June, and of those who by gift and loan of volumes of ‘Bell News,’ alone made it possible for us to obtain the greater portion of the particulars we now submit.

A. T. BEESTON, Convenor, New Mills, Stockport.
H. LAW JAMES, Surfleet, Spalding.
T. HERVEY BEAMS, Bradpole, Bridport.

The Ringing World, May 13th, 1921, pages 270 to 271




The first session of the eleventh Council was held in the Upper House of Convocation in the Church House, Westminster, on Tuesday, when, despite the restricted facilities for travel, 71 members attended.

The Associations were represented as follows:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, T. Faulkner, A. A. Hughes and H. Walton.
Bedfordshire: Rev. Canon Baker and Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Central Northants: Messrs. E. M. Atkins, T. Law, D. J. Nichols and F. Wilford.
Chester Diocesan: Rev. A. T. Beeston, W. Bibby and S. Cardell.
Devonshire Guild: Rev. M. Kelly.
Durham and Newcastle: Mr. W. Storey.
Essex: Messrs. W. J. Nevard and G. R. Pye.
Gloucester and Bristol: Mr. W. A. Cave.
Hertford County: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake.
Kent: Messrs. E. Barnett, J. H. Cheesman and T. Groombridge.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss E. K. Parker.
Lancashire: Rev. Canon Elsee, Messrs. J. H. Banks, J. Lowe and W. E. Wilson.
Lincoln Diocesan: Rev. H. Law James and Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff Diocesan: Mr. J. W. Jones.
London County: Messrs. T. H. Taffender and E. A. Young.
Middlesex County: Messrs. C. T. Coles, W. Lawrence, W. Pye and J. R. Sharman.
Midland Counties: Messrs. J. Griffin, P. Taylor and W. Wilson.
Norwich and Ipswich: Messrs. G. F. Burton and A. Coleman.
Oxford Diocesan: Rev. Canon Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. J. Evans and F. W. Hopgood.
Peterborough and Districts: Mr. R. Narborough.
Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. J. Parker and F. Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Major C. Hughes D’Aeth and Mr. T. H. Beams.
Stafford Archdeaconry: Mr. H. Knight.
Surrey County: Mr. C. Dean and Mr. C. F. Johnston.
Warwickshire: Mr. A. Roberts.
Winchester Diocesan: Rev. C. E. Matthews, Messrs. A. H. Pulling, W. Shepherd and G. Williams.
Worcestershire: Mr. A. E. Parsons.
Yorkshire: Messrs. J. Cotterell and P. J. Johnson.
Hon. members: Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Messrs. H. Chapman, R. A. Daniell, J. George, J. H. B. Hesse, A. T. King, J. S. Pritchett, J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde, and the Hon. Secretary and Treasurer (the Rev. C. D. P. Davies).

After the meeting had been opened with prayer, the Hon. Secretary said the Council would hear with great regret that the President (the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey) was unable to attend the meeting, as he was suffering from neuritis, and he was sure the Council would share his (Mr. Davies’) grief that they would have to proceed to the election of another President. He felt it would be no kindness to Mr. Boughey to re-elect him, and they must proceed to the election of a new President.

On the motion of Mr. W. T. Cockerill, seconded by Canon Baker, Canon Coleridge was unanimously elected President for the ensuing three years. A vote of sympathy with the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey and of sincere thanks to him for his services was passed.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies having intimated his intention of resigning, Mr. E. Alexander Young, of the London County Association, had been nominated, and was duly elected to the office. Mr. Davies was most cordially thanked for his long and valuable services.

Arising out of the minutes, Mr. Davies said with regard to the action taken by the Council on the subject of the demolition of London churches, and their recommendation that towers containing rings of bells should be spared as much as possible, the only reply he had received was an anonymous one stating that the Bishop’s Commission went out of existence last summer.

Mr. Davies also stated that the interview which he and Mr. Young had had with the authorities of the Science section of South Kensington Museum with regard to having an exhibit on bells and ringing, had been a very satisfactory one.

Apologies for absence were received from Canon Papillon, Rev. H. Drake, Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, Rev. T. Lewis Jones, Miss Gillingham, Messrs. H. Argyle, G. Bolland, John Carter, T. R. Dennis, C. Edwards, H. Haigh, C. H. Howard, E. H. Lewis, T. Metcalfe, W. Parker, J. W. Seamer, W. R. Small and R. Warner.

The financial statement presented by the treasurer, and audited by the Standing Committee, showed receipts from affiliation fees £12 10s., interest £3 8s. 2d., and sale of publications £3 17s. 9d. which, with a balance in hand of £63 15s. 7d., made a total of £83 11s. 6d. The expenditure had been books and stationery 13s. 5d., notices and printing £9 17s. 3d., postage and expenses £1 5s. 4d., leaving a balance of £71 15s. 6d.

The statement of accounts was adopted.

The Librarian’s report showed that the net receipts from the sale of publications had been £3 17s. 9., against £16 13s. 2d. in the previous year, the number of books sold being 419, compared with 780 in the previous year.

The Council decided to continue to advertise its publications, and also to continue to send out their publications at the advertised price post free.

Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Rev. Canon Papillon, Messrs. J. Carter, R. A. Daniell, J. S. Pritchett, J. A. Trollope, were re-elected hon. members for the next three years, and Mr. A. T. King and Mr. J. H. B. Hesse were added.

The Standing Committee, consisting of Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Canon G. F. Coleridge, Canon H. J. Elsee, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Rev. H. Law James, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, R. A. Daniell, J. Griffin, A. T. King, E. H. Lewis and A. E. Parsons, were elected, and the new Hon. Secretary (Mr. Young) was added.

The Peal Collection Committee were re-elected, viz., Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde and J. W. Parker, and Miss E. K. Parker, who had typed the collection of Treble Bob Peals, and was heartily thanked for her work, was added to the committee.

The Literature and Press Committee: Rev. A. T. Beeston, Rev. C. E. Matthews and Mr. R. A. Daniell were re-appointed, and Mr. G. E. Burton was added.

The Legitimate Methods Committee: Rev. H. L. James, and Messrs. J. A. Trollope and E. H. Lewis were re-elected, Mr. James reporting that the work of the committee was now held up until the Council had funds to publish the methods already prepared.

The Peals Analysis Committee’s report, already published in ‘The Ringing World,’ was adopted, and Mr. A. T. King, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Rev. A. T. Beeston and Mr. G. Williams were re-elected. It was decided that the names claimed for all unnamed methods in the Minor Methods Collection should be sent in to the Librarian within six months, after which the committee should proceed to name the remainder.

The Towers and Belfries Committee were re-elected as follows: Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. E. H. Lewis, J. H. B. Hesse and E. A. Young, Major Hesse reporting three cases in which he had been called in to give advice during the year.

The Bells of Belgium Committee consisting of Canon H. J. Elsee, Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. E. H. Lewis, was allowed to lapse, on the suggestion of Canon Elsee, as in his opinion - which the Council endorsed - the time had gone by when the committee could do anything effective.

The Records Committee, comprising the Rev. A. T. Beeston, Rev. H. Law James and Mr. T. H. Beams, was re-elected, Mr. Trollope and Mr. Daniell volunteering to give the committee assistance in their museum work, in response to an appeal for help in this direction.

The committee, whose report was published in our last issue, was authorised to carry on their work, commencing with Triples for the time being; also to approach the associations, in the name of the Council, to obtain particulars of the longest lengths rung by them. They were also authorised to include in the statistics the figures of the methods and the composition of the peals where possible.

The following motion was on the agenda: ‘That the Analysis Committee be asked to arrange, if possible, that each peal be credited to the Association in whose territory it is rung.’ In the absence of the Rev. H. Drake, who had given notice of the motion, the Rev. C. D. P. Davies moved it pro forma, and Mr. Trollope similarly seconded, but it was defeated practically without discussion.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn proposed the following resolution:- ‘That in every Diocese there should be a recognised authority to give advice on matters concerning Church Bells, and that it is hoped that each Guild and Association will take steps to provide such authority.’- The Rev. M. Kelly seconded, and the motion was carried.

Mr. W. Willson proposed that a committee for ringing defence be formed of five persons, or more, as may be expedient whose duty shall be to watch the interests of ringing companies, and reply to any attack in the Press or otherwise when required to do so.- The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded, and after discussion, which showed a sharp division of opinion, the motion was carried by 28 votes to 27; and by a further resolution the work was put into the hands of the Literature and Press Committee, to which the proposer and seconder were added.

The Council decided to meet next year at Lincoln.

Mr. A. H. Pulling’s motion, recommending all associations to hold their annual meetings within three months previous to the Council meeting, was discussed, but withdrawn.

Another late notice of motion had been given by Alderman Chambers, of Derby, suggesting the formation of a Bell Restoration Fund in every association.- Alderman Chambers was not present to move the resolution, and it, was, therefore, allowed to lie on the table.

A vote of thanks to the President concluded the meeting.

Afterwards most of the members attended the service and unveiling ceremony at St. Clement Danes, and went on to St. Paul’s, and afterwards to the College Youths meeting at ‘The Coffee Pot.’

There was also ringing at Westminster Abbey and St. Clement Danes.

The Ringing World, May 20th, 1921, page 289



As already reported in our last issue, the Central Council met for their annual meeting in London on Tuesday in last week. Greatly to the regret of the members, the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey (president) was unable to be present, the Hon. Sec. (the Rev. C. D. P. Davies), who temporarily took the chair, informing the Council that he had been suffering from neuritis, and had been ordered by the doctor to take complete rest. That, he said, really left the Council with no alternative but to proceed with the election of a new President. They could not have had a better Chairman and better President than Mr. Boughey, and the Council would, he was sure, join with him in keen regret that Mr. Boughey was not able to continue in office. He felt very strongly, however, that it would be no kindness to Mr. Boughey, as things were, to re-elect him. Therefore, they must proceed to the election of another President.

Mr. W. T. Cockerill proposed Canon G. F. Coleridge.

Canon W. W. Baker, in seconding, said they must all have heard with great regret that Mr. Boughey was unable to continue in office, and those who were members of the Cambridge University Guild would hear it with a deeper sense of regret. But, having to find a successor to Mr. Boughey, they could not find a better one than Canon Coleridge (hear, hear). If he were elected he would fill the chair - there was no doubt about that (laughter) - and he would fill it also with dignity, competence, and to the satisfaction of the Council (applause).

Canon Coleridge said he hoped another candidate would be proposed, (‘No, no’). He did feel that the times in which they lived were times for young men. That was the twenty-ninth time he had attended a meeting of the Council, and, although he could say he knew something of the work of the Council, they knew there was a new tide of life coming on among the younger members of the Exercise. A boy in an essay once said, the best fossils were found in theological museums (laughter). Therefore, although they might be content to put up with an old fossil, who had passed the age which Sir Arthur Heywood said ought to be the limit of any man’s exercise of the office - he was three years older than Sir Arthur was at the time he said that - he begged they would consider that youth ought to be served, and he trusted somebody else would be proposed as President.

The election was unanimously carried, and the Hon. Secretary, in announcing it, said what a keen pleasure it was to him that his dear friend of 45 years’ standing had been elected.


Canon Coleridge was warmly applauded on taking the chair, and remarked that while the position was the last thing he desired to aspire to, his 29 years’ experience of the Council might be of some service to the newer members of the Council. All he could promise was that he would act firmly and impartially, and carry on the business of the Council to the best of his very unworthy ability. Continuing, the President said their next duty was to elect a new hon. secretary and treasurer. They all extremely regretted that Mr. Davies, who had served them so faithfully and so loyally, and, he might add, so magnificently for many years, could no longer carry on the duties, and felt impelled, after many warnings and threatenings, to resign. What the Council owed him for all he had done during the many years he had held the post no words of his (the President’s) could rightly estimate, and he thought the many ringers present who had had experience of secretarial work would agree that he spoke the absolute truth (applause). Mr. Davies had been a truly magnificent secretary, and he desired to propose a very hearty vote of thanks from the Council to Mr. Davies for his eminent services (applause).

The motion was carried by acclamation, and the Rev. C. D. P. Davies said he was deeply touched by what the President had said. He could assure them, as he had told them on the many occasions when they had re-elected him, that the work had been a work of great pleasure to him. The only thing was that he was nearly twenty years older than when he was first elected, and he had had to come to the conclusion that it was rather harder work than he could continue. He also felt that the time had come when somebody a little younger than himself should enter upon it, someone more of the age of the men with whom he would have to deal, for he was getting now one of the older men. The way they had received Mr. Coleridge’s remarks touched him deeply, and he felt that he was amply repaid for any trouble he had taken. Only one nomination had been received for his successor.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said he had great pleasure in proposing the name of Mr. E. Alexander Young as successor to Mr. Davies. Mr. Young was a layman who was in good report in the Exercise at large. He lived in London, and had the advantage of the assistance of an office. He was interested, and had been for some time, in the work of the Council, and in matters connected with church bells. He had expressed his willingness to take the post if elected, and he (the speaker) had great pleasure in submitting his name to the Council.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies seconded. He said he had just lately been thrown in contact with Mr. Young in connection with the Council’s endeavour to get an exhibit in the Science and Art Museum at South Kensington and he must say he did not think a better man for the office could be found than Mr. Young.

As no one else had been nominated, the President declared Mr. Young duly elected as hon. secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Young, in accepting office, said he would do all he could for the Council, although he felt there were better men in London more fitted to hold the post but since he had been so unanimously and splendidly elected he could only return them his thanks (applause).

On the motion of the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, seconded by the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn was re-elected Hon. Librarian.

Canon H. J. Elsee proposed that the Council send a message to the retiring President, and moved that the Council’s heartfelt sympathy be sent to Mr. Boughey in his illness, with an expression of their hope that he may be soon restored to health, and of their sincere thanks for his great services during the past three years.

This motion was immediately carried, and ordered to be entered on the minutes.


The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said, in accordance with the resolution of the Council passed at Northampton, he wrote to the Commission appointed by the Bishop of London with regard to City benefices, urging that the towers containing bells should be spared as much as possible. Not receiving a reply he wrote again some months later, and on 15th April received a communication stating that the existence of the Commission came to an end last summer. The retention of the towers and bells was a legal feature of the report. The letter was not signed.

Mr. T. Faulkner said he believed it was a fact that the Bishop was appointing a new commission, so that if the churches had not been pardoned they had been reprieved.


The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said the Council would recollect that at the last meeting Mr. Young brought forward a motion that they should approach the authorities of the Science Museum at South Kensington with regard to having an exhibit of bell models and other things connected with ringing at the Museum. As a result of that Mr. Young and he had an interview with the museum authorities, which was very satisfactory. The gentleman who saw them was most friendly and most interested in the question, and he (Mr. Davies) thought in all probability something would be done.

Mr. Young said the reason why nothing could be done immediately was on account of the conditions under which the museum was being run for the time being. Some of the galleries were still being used by Government departments, and there was very little money for extension work.


After the adoption of the balance sheet, the details of which were given in our last issue, the Librarian presented his report. He said the amount realised by the sale of publications was £12 2s., but the expenditure including a full year’s advertising, was £8 4s. 3d. The Council would recollect that at the meeting a year ago he prepared them for a big fall in the amount which would be realised, and things had turned out as he anticipated. In the year ending April 30th, 1920, they cleared £16 13s. 2d., while as the result of sales during the twelve months just completed, he had only been able to hand over to the treasurer £3 17s. 9d. There were several causes for this very considerable drop. A year ago they were reaping the first results of advertising and of pushing the sales. Many ringers had been made aware for the first time of the real existence of Central Council publications, both through ‘The Ringing World’ and through the agency of those gentlemen who took parcels on sale or return, for the benefit of the associations they represented. Many companies were also reviving after the war, and required help in the way of such literature. In these respects it was an abnormal year, and it was not surprising that 780 books were sold as against 419 in the last twelve months. There were also some causes on the expenditure side. Postal rates were now considerably higher, and the books were sent post free just the same as before. They had had also to meet the cost of twelve months’ advertising instead of only nine, and he regretted to say that the Editor of ‘The Ringing World’ had informed him that he could no longer accept the advertisement at the same rate, but that there must be an additional charge of £2 12s. per annum. The Council were indebted to the officials of the various ringing societies, to the number of seven, who had assisted in the sales by taking parcels on sale or return and thereby contributed £2 9s. 9d. to the total receipts.

Mr. Jenkyn asked the Council’s sanction to the additional cost of advertising. Having got these books, he said it was the wish of the Council that they should be disseminated as soon as possible. Since they advertised the sales had gone up considerably. At the same time he did feel that it was something for the Council to consider, to assist in keeping the ringing paper going. That was one of the jobs that the Council ought to have very near its heart (hear, hear), because, if there was no ringing paper for the Exercise, there was no real link of fellowship, and if they had to sink the lot of their profits he should consider the money well spent (hear, hear). On the other hand, if they did not advertise they risked nothing. He would simply wait at home until orders came in, but they would not be nearly so numerous, and while he might, perhaps, be able to show a greater balance at the end of the year, he did not think they would have done so much good with their stock-in-trade.

It was resolved to continue to advertise the publications in ‘The Ringing World’ at the increased terms, and a motion by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by Major Hughes D’Aeth, that in future the postage charges should be added when books were sold, was defeated.


The Librarian then reported on the formation of the Library. He had received, he said, the results of the research work of Mr. R. A. Daniell and the Rev. C. E. Matthews into bell bibliography, and from the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, the following books, many of which were the property of the late Sir A. P. Heywood: ‘Among the Bells,’ ‘Bell Hanging,’ ‘Duffield,’ ‘Stedman,’ ‘Treble Bob’ (i. and ii.), ‘Grandsire,’ ‘Double Norwich,’ Ellacombe’s ‘Register of Bells’ (incomplete), Powell’s ‘Stedman Triples’ and 19 volumes of ‘Bell News.’ Other books belonging to the late Sir A. Heywood, had been received through the Rev. H. Law James, viz.: Two copies of ‘Clavis,’ ‘Hubbard,’ ‘Treble Bob’ (ii.), ‘Banister on Change Ringing,’ ‘Campanologia,’ the MSS. of Sir Arthur Heywood, and two wooden models. There were ten years, 1901 to 1911, of which the library possessed no record of the Exercise, and he would be glad if someone would be kind enough to let the Council have the ‘Bell News’ for those years.

Mr. W. Willson offered volumes of ‘Church Bells’ for 1870 and 1871, and Mr. R. Narborough four volumes of ‘Bell News’ for years in the period mentioned by the librarian. The donors were thanked for their kind offers.


After the election of hon. members, Mr. H. W. Wilde reported, on behalf of the Peal Collection Committee. The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, he said, had been proceeding with the proof of the peals of Treble Bob with the tenors parted. That work was not yet completed but there was little else to do.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said some exceedingly important work had been done during the year, for which he was sure the Council would return their sincere gratitude to Miss Parker. She had typed the whole collection of Treble Bob peals. The work was most beautifully done, and had taken her a great deal of time and trouble.

The President said there were 160 pages of peals, and the whole formed a most invaluable record of the peals. He proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Miss Parker for her kindness, and for all the labour and care which she had bestowed on the work. There were four volumes of the peals, and they would be in the keeping of the librarian, from whom they could be obtained by any ringer desirous of consulting them.

The vote of thanks was carried, and at the suggestion of Alderman Pritchett it was agreed that an inscription should be placed in the books recording the work of Miss Parker.

Miss Parker said it had been a great pleasure to her to be of some help to the Council and if she could help them in any way in the future she would be only too glad (applause).

The committee consisting of Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde and J. W. Parker were re-elected, and, at the suggestion of Mr. J. Griffin, Miss Parker was added to the committee.


The Rev. C. E. Matthews reported for the Literature and Press Committee. He said the instructions given them last year, were rather vague. He had consulted a Press Cutting Agency with regard to supplying cuttings of the kind, which he thought would be of service to the committee, but the agency declined to undertake it. He thought the Council should make up its mind whether it was going on with the issue of the list of publications. It would not, perhaps, be very saleable amongst ringers, it was more a book for study or for reference.

With regard to the duties of the committee, involving the reply to mis-statements in the Press, several members gave amusing instances of newspaper ignorance of ringing matters, and expressed the view that it would be useless to attempt to correct these discrepancies. Mr. Burton urged that the committee should be continued, and the President said he felt there was a most important work for the committee to do, and he hoped the Council would consent to its re-appointment.

The committee was thereupon re-appointed, Mr. Burton being added in place of Canon Papillon.

The Ringing World, May 27th, 1921, pages 305 and 307


The Rev. H. Law James, reporting for the Methods Committee, said they were in the same position as last year - they were waiting until there were funds in hand to print. When this was done they could go on, but until then there was nothing more to be done.

Mr. J. A. Trollope, referring to new methods, said there was really no such thing as a new method. They had all been worked out, and nobody had the slightest chance of getting anything that had not been got before. Moreover, there was no such thing as ownership of methods, but if a band wanted to ring a method - it was open to anybody to work out a method independently, although it would not be new - that band was entitled, provided the method had not been previously rung, to call it what they liked, and nobody had a right to challenge it. The only exception to that was, he thought, in the case of the old methods which had been in the standard ringing books. If anybody wished, for instance, to ring a peal of ‘New Bob Major,’ of which a peal had not been rung, they were not entitled to call it by any other name. There was no such thing as making a new method, and no such thing as ownership of a method.

Mr. T. Faulkner: What about Stedman?

Mr. Trollope said Stedman did not lay claim to the method. He simply gave the result of his investigations - what he had done and what other people had done. The man who composed a song put something into it himself and to some extent; therefore, he was its creator, but the man who composed a peal was not the creator at all, he was simply the discoverer of the result of certain laws.

Mr. Willson asked if the committee were a tribunal to decide what a legitimate method was or what a variation of a method was? He did not see how some of these quack variations called Treble Bob could be Treble Bob when the treble was pulled all over the place. Let them call it James’s Mixture if they liked (laughter), but he objected to calling it Treble Bob. ‘The Glossary’ said Treble Bob was the name given to methods with a peculiar path of the treble. In one variation he saw the other week the treble was in the slow, and he objected to any man, whether he was Tom, Dick, Harry or James (laughter), having the right to distort any method and claim the original name for it.

Mr. Trollope said as far as the word ‘legitimate’ was concerned they decided to drop that name altogether, but so far as the variations were concerned they were legitimate - legitimate, he meant in the general sense and not the technical - variations of Treble Bob peals. It was a tendency to get back to the original style of the time of Stedman, when, in the first, instance, a peal was the method and the composition together. A peal was so many changes, and the idea of a certain exact bob and single, such as we have at present, was a later and arbitrary introduction. Mr. Bankes James had got back towards the original idea, and he did not think they could find any fault with that, as far as the principle of Treble Bob was concerned.

The Rev. H. Law James said he had rung a peal of Major and a peal of Royal in the Granta variation, and, while he had made up his mind he was not going to ring another peal of Treble Bob, because of the row in the middle of the course, he was quite willing to ring as many peals of Granta as he could get the chance of ringing. They had music from beginning to end, and, after all, that was what they had to consider.

The committee, comprising the Rev. H. Law James, Mr. J. A. Trollope and Mr. E. H. Lewis, was re-appointed.


The adoption of the Peals Analysis Committee’s report, which has been published in these columns, was moved by the Rev E. W. Carpenter, who urged ringers, when sending reports of peals for publication, to be careful of their accuracy, and when errors did appear to correct them at once. With reference to the claim of Mr. W. Page made in ‘The Ringing World’ to have conducted seven peals, the committee did not wish to deny it, but the committee could find only four peals published with his name as conductor. Mr. Carpenter added that in two or three peals published lately a method had been described as ‘Extreme.’ None of the committee knew what ‘Extreme’ meant and would like to be informed. He always understood an ‘Extreme’ was a call, but apparently there was a method called ‘Extreme.’ There were a number of methods, continued Mr. Carpenter, that had the same name, as, for instance Cambridge Treble Bob, Cambridge Delight and Cambridge Surprise. So far as the Analysis was concerned they had decided that when a method was mentioned as Cambridge, without any further distinction, they would give it the lowest value in points, as they could not conclude that it was Cambridge Surprise if it was simply called Cambridge. That was another reason why conductors should see that the reports of peals were absolutely correct.

The Rev. H. Law James said several people had rung peals of what they were pleased to call Worcester Treble Bob. He would like to see a plain course of Worcester Treble Bob. He called it simply spliced Oxford and Kent.

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter: You agree with the Analysis Committee, then?

The Rev. H. Law James: I do. A method must have a plain course, and the plain course of Worcester is either Oxford or Kent, it can’t be both.

The report, which was seconded by the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, was adopted, and on the motion of the President, the committee were accorded a hearty vote of thanks for their work.


The Rev. A. T. Beeston asked the Council to give the committee authority to name the methods in the Collection of Regular Methods, which were at present unnamed.

Several members urged the necessity for this being done, and Mr. A. T. King said this would be putting entirely new duties on the committee. One of their present difficulties was that the same method, particularly in Minor ringing, was often rung under several different names. If the committee had to search back into the past and find out what the original names were they would not get through much work in a single year. He thought, therefore, it was only possible for the committee to deal with what were already unnamed. With those that were gone before, what were they to do? There was another point about peals rung in 720’s, in which, perhaps, four methods were rung dovetailed together. They might ring a peal in nineteen or twenty methods like this, and it paid, so far as points were concerned; but, while it might be very clever, he did not see why ringing a number of methods spliced together should count for more than a peal rung in the fair and square way.

The Rev. H. Law James said he thought six weeks should be given to anybody to send in the name of any method from the Council’s Collection, which they had rung, to the honorary librarian, and at the end of six weeks the members of the Analysis Committee should be at liberty to name those not then named.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said he would second this if the time were made six months instead of six weeks, for, he added, ‘you know what ringers are’ (laughter).

The Rev. H. Law James agreed to this suggestion, and the Rev. A. T. Beeston suggested that in order to facilitate the matter each association secretary should be asked to bring the matter before his members, for there were many men who were skilful ringers who knew little about the proceedings of the Council.

The motion was carried, and the committee, consisting of the Revs. E. W. Carpenter and A. T. Beeston, and Messrs. A. T. King and G. Williams, was re-appointed.

Mr. T. Faulkner asked what the committee were doing with reference to the peals that were being tapped week by week. Were the committee taking them into account, and were they going into the analysis?

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter: The analysis that we make up is an analysis of the peals rung.


Major J. H. B. Hesse said there was no formal report from the Towers and Belfries Committee, but during the past year he had been asked three times to inspect towers. In one where a tower was split right down a partial restoration took place. At Banstead there was a complete restoration, the bells being recast and rehung. At St. Andrew’s, Holborn, as a result of his inspection, a new frame was put in.

The President: A very satisfactory bit of work.

The committee (the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. E. H. Lewis, J. H. B. Hesse, and E. A. Young) was re-elected.

A letter from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was read, and referred to the Towers and Belfries Committee.


Canon Elsee, a member of the Bells of Belgium Committee, said he thought the time for doing anything effective in the matter of supplying a bell or carillon to Belgium to replace bells lost in the war had gone past. When the committee was appointed they were under some misapprehension as to what had happened to the bells in Belgium. They were then in the middle of the war, and were under the impression that most of the bells in Belgium had been taken away and melted down. Later they had some grounds for thinking the damage done to the bells was very much less than they had expected, and at the last meeting Mr. Lewis informed them that he hoped to be able to get authentic information of what had happened there. He (Canon Elsee) gathered that there had not been anything like the damage done to the bells that they had thought was the case, and there was no special reason for raising a funds to help the Belgians in this way. His suggestion, therefore, was that the committee should be allowed to go out of existence.

The President said he entirely agreed with this, and he did not think the present was a time for appealing to ringers for subscriptions.

The course suggested was approved, and the committee was not reappointed.

The Ringing World, June 3rd, 1921, page 321


The Rev. A. T. Beeston moved the adoption of the report of the Records Committee, which has already appeared in ‘The Ringing World.’ He said the committee had found great difficulty in obtaining information about first peals and longest lengths. As was pretty well known, a good deal of information was to be found in the British Museum. It happened, however, that each member of the committee lived a great distance from the British Museum, and it was impossible to use that information. One suggestion which the committee made was, therefore, that there should be an addition to the committee of a member living in the neighbourhood of the British Museum who could carry on the work there. When the committee was appointed they made an appeal through ‘The Ringing World’ for claims to the first peals in different methods and the longest performances to be sent in as soon as possible, but they received very little help from that appeal. The committee felt that if they had the authority of the Council to write in its name to the different associations asking them to authorise their secretaries to supply them with information on different points they might submit to them, it would be a great advantage. The committee did not feel that they had explored all the sources of information, and they would like the loan of ‘Campanology’ and of ‘Church Bells’ in which peals and ringing performances appeared between the years 1870 and 1880. (Offers of the loan of ‘Campanology’ by various members and of the ringing section of ‘Church Bells’ by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, who at one time edited this portion of that journal, were at once made.) Continuing, Mr. Beeston said the committee did not know how to tackle the Minor Methods. What, for instance, was to constitute a ‘first peal’? Was it to consist of six methods which had been rung long before and one which had never been included in a peal previously? Or, were they to find out what was the first peal in say, seven plain methods, or in any higher number of methods, and likewise with the Treble Bob, 3rd’s and 4th’s place Delights, and the Surprise methods? The committee would like the opinion of the Council on this matter. Continuing, Mr. Beeston wished to thank those who had loaned the committee copies of the ringing papers, and particularly Mr. James George, ‘of England’ (laughter), for his early volumes of ‘Bell News’ (applause), and Mr. Lucas, who generously gave them 20 vols of ‘Bell News’ (applause). If it had not been for this generous gift the committee would not have been able to present to the Council the particulars now before them.

The Rev. H. Law James said the committee, in their report, raised the question of giving the figures of the peals of record length, and he personally did not think it was worth while going on collecting the records unless they could put the figures down alongside them, and he thought the Council should give them power to do so. He also emphasised the need of having a member of the committee in London who could do the work in the British Museum.

Mr. J. A. Trollope and Mr. R. A. Daniell were proposed as members to help the committee in their task, and, in expressing their willingness to do all they could to assist, decided not to become members of the committee. Mr. Daniell added that he did not think they would find many of the figures in the British Museum.

Mr. C. T. Coles moved that the committee should include in their record only those peals of Minor which were rung wholly in new methods. If they dealt with peals comprising only one new method they would never get to the end of their task, especially in view of the difficulties that had been pointed out in connection with the naming of methods.

Mr. W. Pye seconded.

Mr. Beams (a member of the committee) thought it would be sufficient if the committee devoted themselves to the records of the first peals of Minor rung in plain, Treble Bob and Surprise methods, and the lengths above 5,000. He did think that would be valuable, but he did not think they could dig any deeper into the subject.

Mr. W. A. Cave thought it would simplify matters if the committee began their records with peals on seven bells, and left out Minor altogether. He did not want six bell ringers to think they were looked down upon, but there must be a repetition of changes in peals of Minor, and if they were going to start with Minor in this record they should record the first 720, and not the first 5,040, comprising seven 720’s.

Mr. T. H. Taffender seconded Mr. Cave’s suggestion, which was put in the form of an amendment, but Mr. Coles withdrew his proposal. Mr. Beams suggested that the words ‘for the time being’ should be introduced into the motion with regard to the omission of Minor method, and this, meeting with approval, Mr. Cave’s proposal, thus amended, was carried.

The result will be that the committee will proceed with the collection of records relating to peals on seven bells and upwards, and the records of peals of Minor will not be dealt with for the present.

The committee was given the necessary authority to approach the various associations for information in the name of the Council, and it was also resolved that, where possible, the figures of a lead of the method and of the peal should be included in the record.

Mr. Beeston handed in a bulky schedule of the records as far as they are at present compiled.

The committee’s report was adopted, and the committee re-appointed.


Having thus disposed of the reports of committees, the Council turned attention to the motions on the agenda, the first of which was, ‘That the Analysis Committee be asked to arrange, if possible, that each peal be credited to the Association in whose territory it is rung.’

The President said the member who was going to bring forward the motion had sent a telegram to say that he could not be there, and he (the President), therefore, proposed to pass on to the next business.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies thought it would hardly be fair to treat the motion in that way, and as the Council might like to debate the motion, he would move it pro forma. He did not say he agreed with it; in fact, he thought he should vote against it (laughter).

Mr. T. H. Beams asked if the Council might know the name of the member who had given notice of the motion.

The President: The Rev. H. Drake.

Mr. J. A. Trollope: I will second the motion, but I shall vote against it (laughter).

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter (a member of the Analysis Committee): May I point out that the resolution says, ‘if possible.’ Well, it is not possible!

The resolution on being put did not find a single supporter, and was consequently declared lost.


The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn moved: ‘That in every Diocese there should be a recognised authority to give advice on matters concerning church bells, and that it is hoped that each Guild and Association will take steps to provide such authority.’ He said that in his position as librarian, he received much interesting correspondence. For instance, he heard from one person who said he was appointed ringer at his parish church, where there was a new peal of tubular bells, and he applied to him (the librarian) because he understood he could supply him with a collection of peals to be rung thereon (laughter). People also wrote to him on the question of work to be done in their towers and to their bells, and wanted advice upon the subject. That advice was very difficult to give unless one paid a personal visit, and many of those who applied to him were at a very long distance, and out of his diocese altogether. If it were in his diocese they had a whole programme arranged beforehand as to what was to be done. He believed that their bell hangers were, for the most part, people who welcomed anyone who could come in and really knew something about it, who could say to a vicar or churchwardens that ‘this man is not trying to swindle you when he talked about the whole box of tricks being cleared out of the tower.’ But there were Guilds in whose territory there was no recognised method of dealing with applications of this kind for assistance. He felt that there was something wrong in this, and that it was because the authorities in these other dioceses did not know to whom to apply for advice outside the purely professional man. He thought it was the business of every Guild and Association to be able to inform the authorities, in need of advice, who to apply to. He did not wish to suggest any names at all, but merely to move the resolution.

The Rev. Maitland Kelly seconded. In the Devonshire Guild, he said, they had appointed someone to give advice when it was sought.

Mr. Story suggested it would be a good thing if all associations could get mention in the Diocesan Calendars, so that the attention of clergy might be drawn to the people who knew something about bells and belfries.

Several members mentioned that in the case of their own associations this was already done, but Mr. P. J. Johnson said that what was wanted was an advisory committee set up in each of the associations, who could give expert advice in connection with bells and bell restorations.

The President said he had had some experience of advisory committees, and his experience was that in many cases they were an unmitigated nuisance (laughter). He thought they ought to steer clear of advisory committees altogether in this matter. He believed the intention of the mover of the resolution was that there should be an expert to whom those who desired advice could go. He did not think they would be right in sending any instruction to associations or guilds that they should appoint such men. The Council had always been very careful not to interfere with the working of local bodies. They could pass that resolution, and it would then be the duty of the representatives to bring the matter to the attention of their guilds. The Council should not send a resolution from that meeting.

The resolution was then put and carried.


Mr. W. Willson had given notice that he would call attention to the need for a Ringing Defence Committee and move a resolution. He said for a long time past he had wondered why that Council, while worrying itself with abstruse questions not always to the benefit of the Exercise, had neglected one primary thing, and that was ‘self-defence.’ He claimed that the first plank in the platform of any organisation should be self-defence, otherwise any structure they might build up could be undermined by hostile public opinion. The active minority could always defeat the passive majority - they saw it in the political and the industrial world - and public opinion could undermine change ringing fatality if it were not carefully guarded. In the past it had been left to individuals to reply to attacks in the Press, but if a committee of that Council were formed with authority to answer hostile attacks, whether from within the Church or from without, it would be a far better policy than leaving the matter to local men. Any communication would have far greater weight if it had the name of the Council behind it. He moved ‘that a Committee for Ringing Defence be formed of five persons, or more as may be expedient, whose duty it shall be to watch the interests of ringing companies and to reply to any attack in the Press or otherwise when required to do so.’ He suggested that the committee should be appointed of one member each from the North, South, East, West and Midlands, and in that way they would have a representative in easy touch with the associations in the different areas. He was not out to defend the class of company that rang on three or four nights a week and three or four times on Sundays, for they must admit that the public had some rights, but unfortunately when such companies came down they might bring others with them who were not guilty. The appointment of such a body as he suggested would enable a distinction to be made between the just and the unjust, and the Exercise would consider that the Council was giving it a backing that it had not had before.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, in seconding, said the suggestion was a very practical one, and was one of the best things the Council could undertake.

Alderman Pritchett asked if it were worth while to appoint such a committee. It seemed rather like getting a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Alderman Pritchett referred to a recent correspondence which had appeared in local papers with regard to King’s Norton bells, which had shown that there were more letters in favour of the bells than there were against them. In the present state of the law church bells could not be suppressed except by Act of Parliament, and unless the Church authorities combined to keep ringers out of the belfry altogether. No action would lie in English law against bells being rung so long as the amount of the ringing was reasonable. There were crotchety people everywhere, and some who had a special hostility to the Church who occasionally wrote to the papers complaining, but he thought the best plan was for the Vicar or someone else to answer these complaints. It seemed to him that the duties of such a committee as was suggested would be altogether too vague, and he ventured to hope that the resolution would not be carried.

Mr. Cave said he was going to vote against the resolution and supported the view that it was best to reply to local attacks locally.

Mr. George said the resolution seemed to him to overlap the work of the Literature and Press Committee. In connection with the King’s Norton complaint, practically no notice was taken of it until at last the Vicar replied in a very nice letter, and settled the whole thing. He thought that was the best course to take. The less notice they took of complaints the better, and he thought the matter might be left to the Literature and Press Committee.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews said, on behalf of the Literature and Press Committee, they would be glad to do all they could to help. Mr. Willson said if they ignored attacks judgment would go against them by default, and no one knew that better than Alderman Pritchett. It was a poor general who ignored the enemy until he was surrounded. He was prepared to accept the Literature and Press Committee as the committee for this purpose, and would incorporate it in his motion if that committee were willing to take it on. It was time the Council did something.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said the question of answering attacks in the Press was the least important work the committee would have to do. By far the greatest danger arose out of two things, first and foremost the great ease with which the most absurd restrictions on liberty of the subject could become law, when a Bill was brought in by some crank. They might find, for instance, a clause prohibiting the ringing of church bells tacked on to the end of a Bill for the suppression of street noises. It was a common experience in these days, when Acts of Parliament were passed so hurriedly and without mature consideration, and were voted upon to the crack of the party whip, the judges discovered afterwards that things are implied in the language of the Act which no single persons who had to do with framing it ever suspected. That was one danger. Another was, and he spoke in all humility as a member of the class affected, that occasionally there was injudicious interference with the lawful practice of ringing on the part of Church authorities. In a case where an incumbent was appointed to a church who had no ear for music and no knowledge of bells, and to whom bells had no meaning, a single troublesome parishioner might succeed in silencing the bells during the whole incumbency. It was in cases such as this that the committee should be prepared to act.

The resolution, on being put to the meeting, was carried by 28 votes to 27.

On the motion of Mr. Willson, seconded by Mr. George, the Literature and Press Committee were appointed to act in the matter and by another motion, Mr. Willson and the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards were added to the committee to bring the number up to five members, as provided by the original resolution.

The Ringing World, June 10th, 1921, page 337 and 339


The President said the Standing Committee had considered the place of next year’s meeting. The interruption of the rota which had been followed for many years had caused a break in their programme, but the committee suggested that they should next go to Lincoln, leaving for the following year some place west of the central Midlands.

Mr. Cotterill (Yorkshire Association) gave the Council an invitation to go to Bradford.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston (Chester Diocesan Guild) proposed that the meeting should be at Chester, which had many attractions, and where it had been previously suggested they should meet. Mr. J. George (hon. member) seconded.

Mr. A. E. Parsons (Worcestershire) reminded the Council that when Chester was previously suggested, Lincoln was also in the list.

On being, submitted to the meeting the voting was as follows: Lincoln, 31; Bradford, 5; Chester, 19. Lincoln was, therefore, decided upon.


The Council was then informed that two notices of motion had been received too late to be included in the agenda, but it was decided that they should be considered.

Mr. A. H. Pulling (Winchester Guild) moved: ‘That this meeting recommend all Guilds and Associations to hold their annual meetings within three months previous to the Central Council meeting on Whit-Tuesday.’ He proposed this, he said, as one means of endeavouring to get the general body of members of the Exercise interested in the work of the Council. At present they took not a scrap of notice of it. At many of the annual meetings not a word was spoken about the Central Council, and, if they could judge from the reports in ‘The Ringing World’ they simply took no notice of it. The Associations never submitted anything to the Council, but if they all had their meetings just before the Council it might be possible to get them to consider a little more of the Council’s business. It was for that reason he proposed they should recommend the holding of annual meetings within the three months previous to the Council meeting. There was very little co-operation between the associations and the Council. The Council was a sort of Cabinet, ‘The Ringing World’ like ‘The Daily Mail,’ and Mr. Goldsmith like Lord Northcliffe (loud laughter). They might laugh, but if they had an Editor who was not out to do all he could to help them, but was opposed to them, he could break that Council up, and he could do it in quick time. They wanted to get the Exercise to take more interest in the Council, and although he hardly expected they would pass his resolution, he thought it was worth considering.

Mr. Cave (Gloucester and Bristol) said he would second the motion as a matter of form.

The Rev. B. H. T. Drake (Herts County) moved as an amendment, that the Secretary of the Council be charged to send all resolutions carried at the meeting to the affiliated associations. As a delegate to that Council he had ventured to bring up questions at his own association meetings, and had been met at once with the answer, ‘The Central Council never so much as acknowledge us, beyond taking the 2s. 6d. from us, and never send us any information of anything they have carried, but leave us to find out from the ringing Press what is being done.’ Would it not, therefore, be better and simpler if the secretary were to send the resolutions that were carried to the constituent associations in order that they might know officially what had been done?

Mr. Bibby (Chester Guild) said when he got back to his association he would be expected at their first meeting to supply the members with a report not only of the resolutions, but with minute details of what had been done.

The President said he could not accept the Rev. B. H. T. Drake’s motion as an amendment. It was a matter of which notice should be given.

Alderman Pritchett (hon. member) said he gathered the object was to give publicity to the existence of the Central Council. He suggested the Standing Committee should draw up a special form of prayer for the Council to be used at association services, just as they had a prayer for Parliament (laughter).

Canon Baker (Bedfordshire Association) objected to the use of the term ‘delegate’ in connection with the members of that Council. He said he thought they were representatives. He would not be there if he were expected to come as a delegate in the sense of being somebody to vote as he was told. A member was elected freely, and should vote as he thought best. He objected strongly to calling themselves delegates. He also objected strongly to the suggestion that it was the business of that Council to interfere with the affairs and administration of associations. The Council had always kept most carefully off that in the past. The associations were perfectly free to manage their own business, without the interference of the Council and for that reason he could not support the resolution, because it certainly meant interference with the way in which associations and guilds managed their own business and fixed the dates of their own meetings.

Canon Elsee (Lancashire Association) said he felt the mover of the resolution had a desire only to get the associations to take a living interest in the work of the Council, but at the same time he hoped the resolution would not be pressed. In his own association they had just discussed at considerable length whether they should change the time of their annual meeting, and after very careful consideration had come to the conclusion that they had better not change it. They had their meeting in the autumn. It was quite true that not much time was given to the affairs of the Council, because there was always a great deal of local business to be got through, but as a matter of interest he noticed that Lancashire had sent its four members and one honorary member to attend that meeting (hear, hear). He also saw two Lancashire visitors in the room as well, so that they did take some interest in the Council (hear, hear).

Mr. Pulling said he was prepared to withdraw his motion. He did not expect it would be passed, because he knew they could not interfere with the associations, but if only they could get the Exercise to wake up and look on the Council as the central body of ringing the Council would do some good.

The resolution was then withdrawn.


The other resolution of which late notice had been given was one by Alderman Chambers, of the Midland Counties Association, who had intimated his intention of moving ‘that it is desirable to establish in the area of each ringing association a bell restoration fund from which grants may be made for the restoration of any rings of bells within the area when local funds were insufficient to meet the cost.’

Alderman Chambers was absent from the meeting, and the President said the Council had always refrained from interfering with the business of the local associations. He took it that practically every association had a fund of this kind, or was ready to make grants, and he did not see that that Council could give instructions.

It was agreed to allow the motion to lie on the table.


The Rev. H. Law James moved a vote of thanks to the President, which Canon Baker seconded, the resolution being carried with applause.

In responding, the President said he had intended moving that during his term of office there should be no votes of thanks to anybody, least of all to the President. He thanked them, however, very warmly indeed. He was afraid, if in future years they were treated to discussions on various abstruse questions, such as they had heard in the past from Mr. James and others, that he would have to call in to his assistance certain ‘assessors’ to direct him (laughter), because there were some things far above his head. He was simply a plain, practical ringer, but it would be his earnest endeavour to uphold the dignity of the Council as it was upheld by its founder, and in this he was sure he would have the assistance of the members (applause).

The meeting then terminated.

The Ringing World, June 17th, 1921, page 353

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