The anticipations of your committee, expressed in last year’s report, have not been realised if the number of peals only is taken into account. A further increase was expected, but the figures show the singular fact that exactly the same number of peals have been rung as in 1922.

This does not necessarily mean lack of progress, for abnormal conditions undoubtedly exist. Business needs increased attention, and it is known that for this reason many ringers, whose names frequently appeared in the peal columns, are unable to organise or take part in so many peals. Again, peals away from home entail expense, and with unemployment so rife, the number of these must be considerably curtailed.

Taking all the circumstances into account, it may be truly said that the report shows the Exercise to be in a real live condition, and that the return of better times will mark the beginning of a great advance.

While the total number of peals is 1,885 (the same as in 1922), the tower bell peals are slightly increased, being 1,728, as against 1,716, the handbell peals with a corresponding decrease being 157 against 169; the following table showing the totals for the year:-

Tower Bells.Handbells.


Comparing this with the year 1922, it is seen that 12-bell peals have increased by 15, those on 10 bells have decreased by 36, Major peals are 65 more, Triples are 32 less, and Minor and Doubles have decreased by 11.

The greatest number of peals has been rung by the Kent County Association, with 155 tower bell and three handbell peals, equalling 2,329 points, while the most points have been scored by the Midland Counties Association with 3,127 for 144 peals, including four on handbells. The first named shows an increase of 30 peals, and 530 points over 1922, the Midland Counties having five peals less, but 373 points more. Two other societies have rung over 100 peals, as follows: The Norfolk Guild, 134 peals, including 15 on handbells, equalling 1,774 points; and the Lancashire Association, 125 peals, including one on handbells, and 1,979 points. Taking the first of these as the survivor of the Norwich and Ipswich Association, these are the same four societies which rang over 100 peals in 1922.

The Ancient Society of College Youths has the highest average of points per peal, with 30.83 for 40 peals, including three on handbells. The Middlesex County Association is second with an average of 27.75 for 76 peals, including six on handbells, and the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association has dropped to third’s place with 25.2 for 20 peals, including four on handbells.

The most encouraging feature revealed by the analysis is the continued increase in the number of Surprise peals. Although those rung on 10 and 12 bells have decreased by 12, the Major peals of Surprise are 39 more than last year. London shows an increase of three peals, Bristol 10, Cambridge 12, Superlative 11, other methods three. The greater interest in these top class methods, giving as it does a higher average of points per peal, is sufficient to show that the Exercise is in a progressive condition.

Included in the Surprise methods rung are one each of Middlesex and Princess Mary Royal, four peals of Yorkshire, and one each of Palatine, Edinburgh, Lancashire, Rutland and Norfolk Major.

205 peals of Treble Bob have been rung, made up as follows:- Six of Kent Maximus, 24 of Kent and four of Oxford Royal, 145 of Kent, 19 of Oxford, and seven Spliced peals of Major; these figures differing but slightly from last year.

Double Norwich with 150 peals also shows very little change, but Plain Bob has increased by 20 peals to a total of 187, and Little Bob with five peals remains the same.

Coming to odd numbers, Cinques, Caters and Triples with the exception of three peals, i.e., one of Erin Caters, and one each of Court Rob and Bob Triples, the whole of them were rung in the two standard methods, Stedman and Grandsire. These methods again run a close race for supremacy, but the fact that Stedman is now at the top with 343 peals, an increase of 11, against 297 of Grandsire, is certainly a mark of improvement.

New methods have been rung as follows: Princess Mary Surprise Royal, and Rutland, Edinburgh and Palatine Surprise Major. Little Bob Maximus has also been accomplished, and Cambridge Court Bob Major was rung for the first time on tower bells.

The outstanding peal of the year is undoubtedly the practically perfect of 12,675 of Stedman Cinques rung by the College Youths at Southwark Cathedral; following this was the record length (17,280) of Kent Treble Bob Major rung by the Chester Guild, the record length (12,896 changes) of Cambridge Surprise Major by the Midland Counties Association, and the record of Cambridge Surprise Royal (10,440 (changes) by the Middlesex Association.

Other lengths over 7,000 are three peals of Kent Treble Bob Major, being 7,008, 7,488 and 9,344 changes, by the Chester Guild; 10,912 of Kent Treble Bob Major and 7,008 Cambridge Surprise Major by the Midland Counties Association, and 7,360 of Kent Major by the Stoke Association.

Apart from the number of changes, there are many other noteworthy performances, but space forbids the mention of them all in detail. Briefly, to refer to a few, we notice a spliced peal of three methods of Plain Major; Stedman Caters, being the first peal in hand by all, and first of Stedman Caters as conductor; a peal of Bob Major where two of the band had each lost an arm in the war; the first peal of Major by a police band; Grandsire Caters, being the first in the method by all and rung at the first attempt; a handbell peal by three generations of one family; and a peal of Cambridge Surprise Major, being the first in the method by all. It must also be noted that the first handbell peal in a train was rung by the Royal Cumberland Youths.

As shown by the table, six-bell ringers have fallen back a little in the number of peals. The decrease of 11 is all in Minor, Doubles being the same number as last year. Here again the decrease is compensated for by an advance in quality, and the peals include one of 10,080 by the Bedfordshire Association, and 7,200 by the Lincoln Diocesan Guild.

The Chester Diocesan Guild has given us the most remarkable performance in Minor ringing, their total including three peals of seven extents, consisting of 29, 30 and 35 methods, respectively.

The names of conductors of five peals and over are as follows, the number of handbell peals being shown in brackets:- 47 peals, A. H. Pulling (23); 31 peals, W. H. J. Hooton (22); 29 peals, F. Bennett; 28 peals, J. H. Cheesman, H. J. Poole (2); 26 peals R. Sperring; 25 peals, E. Jenkins (5); 24 peals, W. Pye (2); 22 peals, G. H. Cross (3); 19 peals, T. H. Taffender (1); 18 peals, W. Keeble (2); 17 peals, C. F. Bailey (4), G. Williams; 16 peals, J. F. Dyke, K. Hart, R. Matthews, G. R. Newton; 15 peals, H. Langdon; 14 peals, C. Camm, C. T. Coles, C. H. Kippin, junr., A. E. Lock, E. Morris, W. C. Rumsey, A. Wright; 13 peals, G. Billenness, A. Walker (6); 12 peals, W. Ayre (3), W. Nye, O. Sippetts, G. E. Symonds (2), T. Tebbutt; 11 peals, C. Edwards, B. A. Knights, F. W. Naunton, G. R. Pye, J. E. Sykes, A. Tomlinson, J. A. Trollope; 10 peals, F. H. Dexter, T. Groombridge, junr. (2), C. F. Winney (5); 9 peals, N. R. Bailey (9), F. Borrett, F. Chamberlain, H. M. Day, P. J. Johnson (2), Tony Price, the late J. W. Washbrook (1); 8 peals, J. Austin, J. Bennett, W. A. Cave, A. Harman, W. T. Last, J. D. Matthews (2), G. F. Swann (3), S. H. Symonds (4), W. Welling; 7 peals, E. Barnett, senr., H. Broughton, C. W. Clarke, F. Cotton, G. A. Fleming, E. C. Gobey, J. Houldsworth, J. P. Hyett, H. Knight, C. R. Lilley, J. Lord, J. Potter, J. H. Riding, J. Thomas (6); 6 peals, E. M. Atkins (3), W. H. Barber (1), R. F. Elkington, J. Fernley, W. Fisher, J. Flint, T. T. Gofton (4), Bert Gogle, L. Head, E. G. Hibbins, S. T. Holt, J. D. Johnson (3), W. F. Judge, A. E. Norman (2), H. R. Pasmore, F. W. Perrens (1), W. Rogers, E. Whiting; 5 peals, W. B. Cartwright, P. Crook, F. W. Dixon, A. E. Edwards, J. A. Freeman, G. Gilbert, L. A. Goodenough, A. Greenfield, J. R. Griffin, T. Groombridge, senr., H. L. Harlow, W. H. Hewett, F. J. Lewis, H. Ludkin, W. Page, W. Poston, R. Richardson, F. Skevington.

In addition there were 34 conductors of four peals (11), 49 of three peals (12), 96 of two peals (6), and 271 of one peal (5), the remaining peal being non-conducted.

The number of lady conductors included in these figures is one more than last year, and they have increased the number of peals called by three. Miss E. K. Parker has conducted three peals, including Stedman Caters; Miss Nellie Johnson, two handbell peals, including one of Kent Royal; Miss A. Parkins (now Mrs. Richardson); and Miss Hilda F. Willson, one each. The reverend gentlemen have fallen off as conductors, there being only four, as against six last year. Three performances by young conductors may be specially mentioned, W. P. Whitehead and T. W. Taffender having called a peal each at the age of 15, and H. J. Poole conducted 28 peals, including the difficult 12,896 of Cambridge Surprise Major.

The following table compares the number of peals rung each month during the years 1922 and 1923:-



It is at once seen from this that the energy shown during the dog days of 1922 was not repeated the following year.

The number of peals rung on the Saturdays was 1,034, Sunday peals numbered 91, and Friday 79, the remaining 681 being about equally divided between the other four days. Holiday peals numbered 79, and there were also rung for the Royal Wedding 34, on Empire Day five peals, 11 for Armistice celebrations, 18 on New Year’s Eve, and 28 on the Eve of and Festival days of the Church; 33 peals were in honour of royal birthdays, including four for Princess Mary’s son.

The footnotes to peals tell us also that there were 687 who rang their first peal, while on 8 to 12 bells 1,089 men rang a fresh method, 175 six-bell ringers ring a method for the first time, or increasing the number of methods in a peal. Twenty-seven rang their first peal on twelve, 24 their first of Maximus, first of Cinques 13 ringers, first on 10 bells 43, of Royal 67, Caters 26, first on 8 bells 47, of Major 87, Triples 35, of Minor 78 and Doubles 42, and 28 rang their first peal on handbells.

Seventy-four joined the ranks of the conductors, and 117 conducted their first peal in the method. First peals on the bells numbered 60, and first in the method 157. There were 292 birthday peals, including those for royalty, and 17 for a coming-of-age, 20 peals of welcome, and 31 farewell peals; 47 for weddings, 21 to celebrate silver weddings, and six golden weddings; 58 anniversary, three memorial, and three for thanksgivings. Muffled peals numbered 21, and half-muffled 58. The fastest peal ever rung may also be noted.

As usual, we conclude with the number of peals rung in representative years since 1881, the grand total since the beginning of that year being 44,782:-

E. W. CARPENTER, Kingerby Vicarage, Lincoln.
A. T. BEESTON, New Mills, Stockport.
GEORGE WILLIAMS, West End, Southampton.
JOSEPH W. PARKER, 5, Amberley Street, Sunderland.

The Ringing World, May 23rd, 1924, pages 330 to 331


The following report of the Literature and Press Committee will be presented to the Central Committee on Whitsun Tuesday:-

There have been various criticism of bells and ringing in the public Press during the past year, mainly due to peal ringing. The record performance of Stedman Cinques at Southwark, called forth a torrent of verbiage from writers (who were nowhere in the vicinity) who overlooked the fact that the peal was rung on a holiday - Whit Monday - when business was suspended, and the annoyance, if any, almost nil.

The ‘Evening News,’ in a leaderette headed ‘Too much bell,’ commented as follows: ‘Bells are delightful when their music reaches you faintly across the meadow on summer evenings; but the London bell ringers who rang 12,675 changes in 9 hours and 48 minutes at Southwark to make a world’s record - Oh! these world’s records - what are we to say about them? A reasonable amount of bell ringing is not hurtful, but nearly Ten Hours of it! And all for what? If the ringers were writing these few lines they might have much to say in their defence. On the other hand, if these few lines were being written by residents near bell ringing orgies, they would be much livelier reading.’

Your committee will not quarrel with this. There will always be a percentage of people who will criticise anything under the sun. On the other hand, the opening of the Loughborough carillon in July last year, afforded an opportunity to the Press, and the result was a booming advertisement for bells, descriptive and pictorial, such as the Exercise had not seen hitherto. Although carillon playing is outside the sphere of change ringing, the occasion linked up everything in the matter of bells to our advantage.

Again, when the Bournville carillon was reopened on May 3rd, the recitals of the Carilloneur of Bruges were broadcasted by the British Broadcasting Co., and there is little doubt that by these means, recruits to the army of bell lovers were made from the ranks of students of wireless. The ‘Morning Post’ - always well disposed towards us - gave half a column to a eulogy of the art.

Antipathy ha been shown elsewhere. In September, an attempt was made in the ‘Ludlow Advertiser’ to suppress change ringing at the Parish Church. The following is an excerpt:-

As the letters bore the signature of a B.A. of Oxford University, the local society of ringers appealed to your committee to reply on their behalf. This was done, with the result that the opposition retired discomfited. The help given in this case alone would appear to justify the existence of this committee.

A ‘Ringers Strike’ in Dorset provided copy for the Press early in the year, and furnished a jest for ‘Punch.’ The local Press gave a fairly accurate account of the matter, and recorded in a subsequent issue the settlement of the dispute, through the timely intervention of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild.

Signed Rev. C. E. MATTHEWS,
Rev. F. Ll. EDWARDS,

May, 1924.

The Ringing World, May 30th, 1924, page 345



The first session of the twelfth Council was held on Tuesday in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey. There was an attendance of nearly ninety members from all parts of the country, who were welcomed by the Dean (Bishop Ryle).

Canon G. F. Coleridge was re-elected president, Mr. E. Alex. Young hon. secretary and treasurer, and the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn hon. librarian.

An interesting feature of the proceedings was the presentation to the Rev. C. D. P. Davies of a silver cup, suitably inscribed, in recognition of his long and valuable services to the Council as hon. secretary and treasurer from 1902 to 1921.

The statement of accounts showed that the Council’s receipts during the year were £13 from affiliation fees, and £4 9s. 4d. interest on stock. The expenditure amounted to £31 10s. 10d., including the £20 voted last year for the Roll of Honour, and £2 5s. 8d. loss on the sale of publications.

The Librarian laid before the Council the completed Roll of Honour of ringers who fell in the war. The work was executed by Mr. Cousins, of Cambridge, and is a most beautifully illuminated volume containing 1,071 names. Bound in royal blue leather it has been described by an authority at the British Museum as one of the finest pieces of modern illumination ever shown. With the consent of the Dean it is to be placed in the library of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The retiring hon. members, with the exception of Mr. R. A. Daniell, were re-elected, and the names of Mr. E. A. Young and Mr. J. Griffin added.

The Standing Committee were re-elected with the exception of Mr. Daniell and Mr. A. E. Parsons, and with the addition of Alderman J. S. Pritchett and Messrs. A. A. Hughes, Cyril F. Johnston and Pryce Taylor.

The Peal Collection and Literature and Press Committees were re-elected, Mr. A. Paddon Smith being added to the latter.

The Methods Committee was also re-elected. The Rev. E. W. Carpenter retired from the Peals Analysis Committee, and Miss E. K. Parker was elected to fill the vacancy.

The Towers and Belfries Committee was re-elected, with the addition of Mr. H. Fairclough, and a resolution was passed, on the motion of Canon Baker, seconded by the Rev. H. Drake, ‘that the Council strongly urge that each Diocesan Advisory Committee should include at least one member having expert knowledge of bells, bell hanging and change ringing, and that this resolution be communicated to the secretary of each Advisory Committee, and to the secretaries of the Diocesan Conferences.’

The Records Committee was re-elected, as was also the Science Museum Exhibit Committee.

Except in, the cases of the Literature and Press Committee and the Peals Analysis Committee, which reports had already been published in our columns, verbal reports of the committees’ work were presented.

The three resolutions on the agenda dealing with the nomenclature of methods were dealt with in one motion, moved by Mr. G. P. Burton, who moved, ‘To call attention to the nomenclature of methods and to move the appointment of a Nomenclature Committee: (1) To review existing method nomenclature; (2) to prepare suitable topographical names for the future; and (3) to formulate a plan for the application of such names.’

The resolution was divided, and after discussion the first part to the end of (1) was carried by 34 votes to 29.

An amendment to clauses (2) and (3), to read ‘(2) to suggest a suitable system of nomenclature for the future.’ was moved by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and carried nem. dis. A motion postponing the appointment of the committee until the next Council meeting, moved by Ald. Pritchett, was defeated by 35 votes to 32.

The following committee was then appointed: Mr. G. P. Burton, Rev. H. Drake, Messrs. A. D. Barker, T. H. Beams and A. L. Coleman.

Mr. T. H. Taffender moved ‘that this Council only recognise as peals upon handbells those that have been umpired, and that the qualification of an umpire shall be that of being able to ring the method and check each call as made.’ - The motion was defeated, only two voting in favour of it, it being pointed out that the rules of the Council already provide that an umpire shall be provided where practicable.

Mr. T. H. Beams proposed a motion to omit from Rule 6 the words ‘but that the meeting following the triennial election be always in London.’ On being put, however, it was lost by a large majority.

The Council adopted a motion by Mr. J. Hunt that it be an instruction to the Methods Committee when revising the Collection of Minor Methods to include instructions as to how the bobs in these methods should be made.

On the recommendation of the Standing Committee, the Council adopted Chester as the place of the next annual meeting.

It was resolved that the Standing Committee be given power to approve and publish the card of suggestions for the care of bells, which had been drawn up by the hon. secretary.

On the motion of Canon Elsee, the Council commended to the support the ringing associations the proposal to erect in a suitable place in Oxford a memorial to the late Mr. James W. Washbrook.

Notice of a revision of the definition relating to peals on eight bells and upwards, so as to include peals in spliced methods, was given by Mr. W. A. Cave, and in connection with the ringing of a peal comprising fourteen 360’s of Minor, to which attention was called by the Rev. H. Law James, the President mentioned that the Standing Committee proposed to take in hand the general revision of the rules and decisions of the Council.

A vote of thanks was passed to the Dean for the use of the historic chamber for the meeting, and the business proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the President.

A fuller report of the Council meeting will appear in our next and following issues.

In the evening ringing took place at Westminster Abbey, St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, and other churches, and later members and friends gathered at the Bedford Head Hotel, where an enjoyable evening was spent.

The Ringing World, June 13th, 1924, page 377



The historic Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster Abbey, placed at the disposal of the Central Council by the Dean of Westminster was the meeting-place of the Council on Whitsun Tuesday, when the various associations were represented as follows:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, A. A. Hughes, T. Faulkner and H. R. Newton.
Bath and Wells Diocesan: Rev. C. C. Parker, Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire: Canon W. W. C. Baker, Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Chester Diocesan: Rev. A. T. Beeston, Messrs. H. Fairclough, E. W. Elwell.
Devonshire: Rev. Maitland Kelly.
Dudley and District: S. J. Hughes.
Durham and Newcastle Diocesan: Messrs. W. Story, W. H. Barber, T. T. Gofton.
Ely Diocesan: T. R. Dennis.
Essex County: C. H. Howard, W. J. Nevard, G. R. Pye and E. J. Butler.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan: W. A. Cave and E. Bishop.
Hertford County: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake.
Kent County: Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, Messrs. T. Groombridge, senr., E. Barnett, senr., and J. H. Cheesman.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss E. K. Parker.
Lancashire: Canon H. J. Elsee, Messrs. H. Chapman, J. R. Taylor and W. E. Wilson.
Lincoln Diocesan: Rev. H. Law James, Rev. H. T. Parry, Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth: Messrs. J. W. Jones and W. Bolton.
London County: Messrs. T. H. Taffender, A. D. Barker.
Middlesex County: Messrs. F. A. Milne, C. T. Coles, W. H. Hollier and R. Holloway.
Midland Counties: Messrs. Pryce Taylor, A. Coppock.
Norfolk Guild: Messrs. A. L. Coleman, G. P. Burton.
Oxford Diocesan: Canon G. F. Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. F. Hopgood and J. Evans.
Peterborough Diocesan: Messrs. F. Wilford, R. Narborough and L. S. Clark.
Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. J. Parker and F. Smith
St. Martin’s, Birmingham: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Rev. C. Carew Cox, Messrs. T. Hervey Beams and S. J. Hector.
Stafford Archdeanery: Mr. H. Knight.
Suffolk: Rev. H. Drake.
Surrey: Messrs. C. F. Johnston and C. Dean.
Warwickshire: Messrs. H. Argyle and A. Roberts.
Winchester Diocesan: Rev. C. E. Matthews, Messrs. A. H. Pulling and H. Barton.
Worcester and Districts: Messrs. T. J. Salter and R. Matthews.
Yorkshire: Messrs. P. J. Johnson and J. Cotterell.
Honorary members: Revs. C. D. P. Davies, E. W. Carpenter, Messrs. J. S. Pritchett, J. W. Parker, J. George, J. A. Trollope, J. H. B. Hesse, J. Carter and E. A. Young.


The proceedings having been opened with prayer, Mr. E. A. Young temporarily took the chair for the election of president, and stated that only one nomination had been received, namely, that of Canon Coleridge. He was proposed by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies and seconded by the Rev. H. Law James, and he (the speaker), therefore, had to declare Canon Coleridge elected for the ensuing three years (applause).

Canon Coleridge, on taking the chair, reminded the Council that the work of the Council was a young man’s game. In three years’ time he would be in his 70th year, and they would have to elect someone else. He had tried to do what he could as president and he felt it the greatest honour of his ringing career to occupy that position. He would do what he could during the next three years. Meanwhile he had to thank the Council for the confidence reposed in him, and he would do his utmost in order that that confidence should not be misplaced (applause).

The President said the only nomination for hon. secretary and treasurer was Mr. E. A. Young, and he, therefore, declared him elected, Mr. Young acknowledging the election.

On the motion of Canon Baker seconded by the Rev. C. E. Matthews, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn was re-elected hon. librarian and he and Mr. Young were thanked for their services.

Apologies for absence were received from the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. R. B. Chambers, E. H. Lewis, G. Chester, C. Edwards, H. W. Wilde, C. E. Borrett, G. Bolland, D. J. Nichols and G. Williams, and Mrs. N. Edwards.


The President said the next business was a very pleasant one, and one which did not often occur in the Council. It was to ask the late secretary, the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, who had served them so faithfully for something like nineteen years, to accept at their hands a slight token of their appreciation for all that he did as their treasurer and secretary from 1902 to 1921. The gift took the form of a cup, which was inscribed:

The President then asked Mr. Davies to accept the gift with their most grateful and hearty thanks and appreciation for the most meritorious services he rendered to the Council, not only as secretary, but in many other capacities. He was always ready to do what he could for them, and he would still do so in the future, although he was no longer secretary. In the name of the Council he asked Mr. Davies to receive the cup as a token of their deep appreciation of all he had done for them, and of their esteem for his character (applause).

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said he did not know how to thank the Council enough for that very touching token of their regard. It was a most beautiful cup, and all he could say was that the little he was able to do for the Council was done with the utmost pleasure and readiness, and if he was able during that period to contribute to the stability of the Council, to its standing in the Exercise, and to its usefulness, he was amply rewarded without any present. Their recognition of his services touched him extremely. The form which the present had taken was one which he could not possibly have wished otherwise. A cup like that was a possession for ever; not only would it be a great joy to him to see during the remainder of his life, but it was a thing which would go down to his children and their children’s children. It would be a standing memorial of the Council’s feeling and their kindness towards him. He thanked them from the bottom of his heart, and the cup would remind him for the rest of his life of the Council’s appreciation of the very little he was able to do (applause).

The accounts having been audited by the Standing Committee, were presented by the treasurer. The year began with a balance in hand of £76 18s. 7d. Affiliation fees (including 15s. arrears) amounted to £13, and £4 9s. 4d. was received from interest on stock. The expenditure, which included £2 5s. 8d. loss on the sale of publications and £20 for the ringers’ Roll of Honour, amounted to £31 10s. 10d., leaving a balance of £62 17s. 1d.- The accounts were adopted, on the motion of the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, seconded by the Rev. H. Law James.


The Hon. Librarian read the following report for 1923-24: The number of publications sold during the year ending April 30th, 1924, is 265, as against 315 in the previous twelve months. It should be said that of this number 87 were copies of the report of the conference with S.P.A.B. It has cost the Council £2 5s. 8d. to sell these books. The sum of 9s. has come in from the ‘on sale or return’ source, as against £1 8s. 7d. a year ago, but a sum of 11s. 9d. came to hand after my accounts were made up, while one of the four agents for sales has not yet sent a return. The publications ‘Rules for a local company’ and ‘On the Preservation of Bells’ are out of print, and there is, perhaps, a little more than one year’s supply of ‘Legitimate (Regular) Minor Methods.’ It is surely a matter of wonder and regret that there is not more demand for the ‘Glossary,’ especially as a book to give to one outside the Exercise who is asking for some general enlightment on our art. Last August I was approached by Mr. Flitton, of the Suffolk Guild, with an offer to insert an advertisement in their annual report free of charge. This I accepted with thanks. This was followed up last February with an invitation to advertise in the 1924 report at the reduced charge of 5s. for a half-page. I replied that I would bring the matter before the Council, and accordingly I now do so.

Corrigenda of Collections of Peals.- I was instructed at the last Council meeting to proceed with this work, and to publish results when they could be obtained. These, so far as they concern Collection No.2, have appeared in the ‘Ringing World,’ and slips of the same have been printed off; while those concerning Collection No.1, are now in the hands of the Editor. In this Collection it was not thought worth while to prove the peals of Triples, but only those of Caters and Cinques. With regard to Collection No.3, I am informed by the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson that this presents peculiar difficulties, and, therefore, the results are delayed. Besides Mr. Richardson, the following have assisted or are assisting in the work of proving and correcting, Revs. H. L. James, E. S. Powell, and Messrs. J. A. Trollope and H. W. Wilde.

Roll of Honour.- This is now completed, and is here for your inspection. Within certain limits you left me a free hand as to carrying it out, and I trust I have not abused this freedom. The Council may remember that it had a very generous offer from Mr. T. Wilson, of Blackburn, to write the names free of charge, if we would find someone to do the work of ornamenting and binding. Shortly after our last meeting, I received a request from Mr. Cousins an engrosser of Cambridge, through a member of the Council to be allowed to tender for carrying out the whole work. Finding that his total estimate was only a little in excess of the sum voted by the Council, and that his specimen work was extremely good I consulted with the President, and we agreed that we could not do better than entrust Mr. Cousins with the whole work. It must be acknowledged that he has given us a most worthy memorial of our loved and honoured dead. When the Council voted the sum of £20 towards recording these names, it was suggested that a few pounds more could if necessary be provided by private subscription. I am presenting no account for such things as postal or advertising charges, for although the task of compiling this roll has been a hard one I have felt it an honour to do it. The total cost is £23 14s., and I have this confidence in my brother members that before the Council separates there will be no debt upon the Roll of Honour.

The Librarian added that the Roll contained the names of 1,071 ringers.


The President remarked that it was due from him to say how deeply the Council was indebted to the Librarian for his work in connection with the Roll. He had spent not merely hours and hours; but weeks and weeks, in trying to get everything as accurate as possible. The work had been almost superhuman, and they had before them that day the most beautiful album. He would like to add that it was taken to an art expert at South Kensington, who said it was the most beautiful example of modern writing and illumination and ornamentation which had ever come into the museum.

With regard to the disposal of the volume, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said he had a ‘brain wave’ with regard to it, for it occurred to him that a most suitable place to keep it would be in the library at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He, therefore, wrote to the Dean on the subject, and the Dean had consented. He (the Librarian), therefore, moved that the Memorial Book be placed in the library at St. Paul’s Cathedral, on the understanding that it be open to the inspection of those who visited the Cathedral and wished to examine it, until such time as the Council determined.- Canon Baker seconded.

Some discussion ensued as to the exact terms on which the volume should be placed in the library, and eventually it was unanimously agreed that it should be deposited on permanent loan, and should be produced on all such occasions as it might be demanded by the Council through the hon. librarian.

It may here be added that the volume, bound in royal blue leather, was open to the inspection of members, whose admiration of the work of Mr. Cousins was unbounded. The title page of the Roll is a copy of the King’s Scroll:-

The whole book is a positive work of art, but this page is a really glorious specimen of the illuminator’s craft.

With regard to the distribution of the Corrigenda of the Council’s Peal Collection, the Librarian suggested that the slips, when completed, should be sent to applicants who forwarded a penny stamp (a halfpenny for postage and a halfpenny towards the cost). It would be notified in ‘The Ringing World’ when these slips would be ready.- This was agreed to, as was also the proposal that the Council was unable to pay for advertising its publications in association reports, Canon Elsee suggesting that associations might be willing to insert such a notice without charge.


The following hon. members retired by rotation: Messrs. J. Carter. R. A. Daniell, Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. J. S. Pritchett, J. A. Trollope and J. H. B. Hesse.

These were re-elected with the exception of Mr. Daniell, and with the addition of Mr. Joseph Griffin, of Burton, and the hon. secretary (Mr. E. A. Young).

The Standing Committee were elected as follows: Canon Coleridge, Canon Elsee, Revs. C. W. O. Jenkyn, H. Law James, C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, J. Griffin. E. H. Lewis and E. A. Young (re-elected), and J. S. Pritchett, A. A. Hughes, Cyril F. Johnston, and Pryce Taylor (added).

A large number of new members were introduced to and welcomed by the President.

At this stage, the Dean of Westminster (Bishop Ryle) visited the meeting, and extended a hearty welcome to the members.

The President thanked the Dean for his welcome, and also for placing the Jerusalem Chamber at the disposal of the Council. The Council felt they were indeed highly honoured in being allowed to meet in that historic chamber, where on many occasions during the centuries the light and learning of the Church of England had assembled.

The reports of committees were next received by the Council. For the Peal Collection Committee, Mr. J. A. Trollope reported that the work of the committee during the past year had been in connection with the corrigenda.- The committee was re-elected as follows: Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde, J. W. Parker and Miss E. K. Parker; and the Rev. E. S. Powell was added.

The Literature and Press Committee’s report, which has already appeared in ‘The Ringing World,’ was adopted, and the committee re-elected as follows, with the addition of Mr. A. Paddon Smith: Revs. C. E. Matthews, A. T. Beeston, F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. G. P. Burton and W. Willson.

The Rev. H. Law James reported for the Methods Committee. He said the Council would remember that two years ago the committee was instructed to print a selection of the Collection of Plain Major Methods. He was sorry to say Mr. Lewis had still got the manuscript. He (Mr. James) had been writing to him vigorously, but had got no reply. Mr. Lewis was a very busy man, who seemed to be in a position not only of national, but of international importance. They did not want to hurry him, but while he could not say they would have the collection in print by the next meeting he hoped they would do so.

The committee, consisting of the Rev. H. Law James, and Messrs. E. H. Lewis and J. A. Trollope, were re-elected.

The adoption of the report of the Peals Analysis Committee, already published was moved by the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, and seconded by the Rev. A. T. Beeston, the former remarking that in the past year he had had to leave the greater part of the work to his colleagues.

The President said the analysis was a perfect monument of zeal and erudition. What the Exercise owed to the gentlemen who undertook this vast responsibility no words of his could express, but they thanked them very much for their labours (applause).

The report was adopted, but on the proposal for the re-election of the committee, the Rev. E. W. Carpenter said he had reluctantly to retire. He had had fifteen or sixteen years of the work, and now he found that his sight was failing, and it was really necessary that he should give up. He hoped members would take the hint of the President, that they wanted young blood. They still had Mr. Beeston and Mr. Parker, who were so excellent at the work, and Mr. Williams, who was always so helpful in any reference that was sent to him. They could carry on if the Council could induce some younger member, who could be broken into the work, to give them assistance.

The President said they heard with great regret Mr. Carpenter’s decision to retire, but they must allow for age.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews appealed to some of the younger members to come forward and take the place of the senior members.

Eventually the Rev. A. T. Beeston, and Messrs. J. W. Parker and G. Williams were re-elected, and Miss E. K. Parker added to the committee.

The Ringing World, June 20th, 1924, pages 393 to 394


The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn reported that the Towers and Belfries Committee had not met during the year, there having been no occasion to call them together, but Mr. Lewis had been doing his best, as a member of the committee, to get a sort of round table conference especially to meet Mr. Eales, who was on the Advisory Committee of many dioceses, and was a person of great influence, to whom Mr. Lewis could teach a great deal (laughter). At present, however, it had not been possible to arrange this meeting, as Mr. Lewis had been dashing about on business, not only all over England, but almost all over the world.

The Rev. H. Drake said in his Archdeaconry, the Archdeacon, who was on one of the committees of the Church Assembly, intended to make a dead set against iron frames in belfries, and was going to require, before any bells were restored or anything done to any bells, that there must be a faculty issued. All schemes would be referred to the Advisory Committee, which in turn would refer the matter to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and, he believed, to Mr. Eales. It seemed to him there was to be a dead set against bells being hung as ringers would like to have them hung but to have them hung more as antiquarian objects. He thought, therefore, the Council ought to ask the Towers and Belfries Committee to consider the question whether it was necessary that a faculty should be obtained before bells were restored.

A member: Yes, it must be.

The Rev. H. Drake said personally he did not think so. He thought it was contrary to canon law, but it was a matter for the committee to consider whether steps could not be taken to have the views of ringers put forward more forcibly than at the present time.

Canon Elsee said from what he knew of the Advisory Committee in Manchester they were only too anxious to have expert opinion. When he mentioned the question of bells at the Diocesan Conference they promptly put him on the committee (hear, hear). He thought the real point was that in each diocese, the diocesan or county association should approach the authorities who had to do with the appointment of the committee, and ask that expert opinion upon bells should be represented on the Advisory Committee of the diocese. He thought in most cases that some provision could be made for it to be represented.

The Rev. C. E. Matthews said a faculty must by law always be obtained for the removal of any bells or restoration work in a belfry. He happened to be a member of the Advisory Council for granting faculties in the Winchester Diocese, and the granting of faculties remained with the Chancellor of the Diocese. They had done him the honour of putting him on in connection with bells and belfries, and he only wished they could have had a greater expert than he was, but they had been very much helped by Major Hesse. He thought there were others all over the country who might, as Canon Elsee had suggested, be co-opted on these committees for that particular work. As to the question between iron frames and wood, his committee were perfectly willing to listen to recommendations put before them.

Mr. C. H. Howard said he was asked to join the Diocesan Board for the diocese of Chelmsford. His board were quite willing to listen to any recommendation to get bells hung according to the wishes of the parishioners and bell ringers. He thought it was the duty of every association to see that it was properly represented on these Advisory Boards.

Canon Baker suggested that a resolution should be passed by that Council that it was necessary, in the interests of bell ringers, that their views should be represented on advisory boards. He thought it would have great weight. He had occasion at his Diocesan Conference to make an onslaught on their Advisory Committee who had approved a scheme at one church for putting in a new organ in such a manner that they had taken away half the belfry, so that it was practically impossible to ring the bells at all. The secretary of the Advisory Committee afterwards came to him and told him that, as a matter of fact, the question of the bells never entered into their minds at all. They never thought about the unfortunate ringers. He (Canon Baker) thought if the secretary of each association would write to the Advisory Committee in his diocese, and point out that a resolution had been passed by that Council, it might have much weight (hear, hear).

After further discussion upon the form of the motion, the following resolution was proposed by Canon Baker, seconded by the Rev. H. Drake, and unanimously carried, ‘that the Council strongly urge that each Diocesan Advisory Committee should include at least one member having expert knowledge of bells, bell hanging and change ringing, and that this resolution be communicated to the secretary of each Advisory Committee, and to the secretaries of the Diocesan Conferences.’

The Towers and Belfries Committee was re-elected, with the addition of Mr. H. Fairclough, who, the President pointed out, was Master of the Chester Guild, and a builder and contractor. His knowledge would be useful to the committee, upon which that branch of expert knowledge was not represented.


The Rev. A. T. Beeston said a report for the Records Committee had been drawn up, and circulated to the committee, but he was sorry to say it appeared to have been lost in the post. When it did come to hand it would be published in ‘The Ringing World.’

The committee, comprising the Rev. A. T. Beeston, the Rev. H. Law James and Mr. T. Hervey Beams, were re-elected.


The Hon. Secretary reported, on behalf of the Science Museum Exhibit Committee. He said that since the last report, Mr. Cave had very kindly, as agreed, printed at his own cost the figures of certain methods for the purposes of the exhibit, and he (Mr. Young) had completed the colouring of the diagrams. Mrs. Snowdon had kindly given two copies of the diagrams of ‘Standard Methods’ for the purpose of further illustration. Since last year, the Museum itself had been radically altered. The gallery in which they were to have exhibited had been taken over by the War Museum, and the new galleries which were to have been completed early in the year were not yet ready. When they were, the Council would be allotted a space in them. As the Council knew, a model of a ring of six bells had been presented, but the central feature would be Mr. Carter’s machine, which was to be deposited there as soon as it was ready. Continuing, Mr. Young said the question which had been passing through Mr. Carter’s mind was, what should happen to the machine? He wished to deposit it at Kensington, because the late Sir Arthur Heywood expressed a wish that it should be placed there, but Mr. Carter thought that if it was put there it might never be used. Mr. Carter wondered whether he could so leave it that, after he was gone, the Council would become trustees of that machine. He (Mr. Young) thought this would he a good thing if it could be arranged, because the Council would then have an overview of it throughout the years.

Replying to the President, Mr. J. S. Pritchett expressed the opinion that the Council, not being a corporate body, could not act legally as a trustee, but there could be no objection to Mr. Carter appointing as trustees, say, the President of the Council and such two other members as the Council might from time to time select.

In the course of subsequent discussion, several members urged that something should be done by Mr. Carter to ensure that a knowledge of the working of the machine should be secured. There was a grave risk that in course of time the machine would become unintelligible, and would, as the Rev. C. D. P. Davies put it, remain under a glass case, as something very wonderful which no one knew how to work.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies also pointed out that from correspondence he had had with the Museum authorities it appeared that they wanted to have the machine for purposes other than these for which ringers would see it used. The Museum authorities’ main object was to have it there because it contained many mechanical dodges which might be found useful if adopted for other machines. He did not say that was not a laudable purpose, but it was not their purpose.

Major Hesse said they ought to make it clear that the machine was not to be taken to pieces for the purpose of parts being copied for other machines. If taken to pieces it might never be properly put together again.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith said if Mr. Carter’s machine could be used for advancing mechanical knowledge, he thought it would be an excellent use for it. Mr. Carter had no patents in it, and if it contained clever ideas, let the country have the advantage of them. The machine could be taken to pieces and the parts numbered, and there would then be no difficulty in reassembling them.

Mr. Young said Mr. Carter seemed to have foreseen that at some time it would be necessary to throw light on the machine, and had set out in book form a description of it with photographs and diagrams. If the machine were the property of trustees they might make it a condition that it should not be tampered with, because it was primarily a machine for ringing changes mechanically. He took it that it was the feeling of the meeting that the Council would accept Mr. Carter’s offer to act as or to appoint trustees, in which case he thought Mr. Carter would act on those lines.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said no mention had been made of the point as to whether, if they put the machine in the museum, anyone would have a practical opportunity of seeing the machine in operation. He thought the machine should be placed on loan, with the same right to take it out as they proposed in regard to the Memorial Book in St. Paul’s Cathedral Library.

Mr. Milne agreed that this should be clearly stated in the conditions.

Mr. Young’s report was adopted, and the committee was reappointed as follows: Revs. C. D. P. Davies and E. Bankes James, Messrs. E. H. Lewis, A. A. Hughes, C. F. Johnston, P. Taylor and E. A. Young.

After the lunch adjournment, the Hon. Secretary reported on the progress made in the preparation of a card of instruction as to the care and use of bells which it is proposed to issue to churches where there are bells. He pointed out that there had been some divergence of opinion between himself and the Rev. H. Drake (who had offered to bear part of the cost of printing), and Mr. Drake, having stated his view, the matter was adjourned until later in the afternoon, when it was resolved to leave the matter to the Standing Committee.


There were three motions on the agenda with regard to method nomenclature, and by agreement the question was discussed upon the following, moved by Mr. G. P. Burton: ‘To call attention to the nomenclature of methods and to move the appointment of a Nomenclature Committee: (1) to review existing method nomenclature; (2) to prepare suitable topographical names for the future; and (3) to formulate a plan for the application of such names.’

Mr. Burton said he would take as his text the heading of a leading article which appeared in ‘The Ringing World,’ ‘Names that must be changed,’ and he hoped that the Council would accept it as an axiom and would ensure that in the future, the Exercise would go the right way with names. In regard to unsuitable names, Minor, although the chief offender, was by no means alone in this respect. Botanical names must go. As an illustration of what was unsuitable, Mr. Burton quoted the names of methods rung in a peal by his own association thirty years ago, such as, ‘Jolly Dick,’ ‘St. Simon,’ ‘Antelope,’ ‘Morning Star,’ ‘Evening Star’ and ‘Little Bob.’ To-day they had arrived at the perfection of this absurdity. The Leytonstone Association, who had moved in this matter, wished to see such names as Shamrock, Fuchsia, Geranium, Bluebell, Hyacinth; Daffodil, etc., removed. In selecting titles, first preference, he submitted, should be given to topographical names, but he thought the Council might, with great caution, consider the propriety of giving some latitude in technical and personal names. Proceeding, Mr. Burton urged that the unsuitable names should be changed because they were against good taste, were inartistic, and certainly unscientific. He briefly touched upon the appearance of names in the past, mentioning that Grandsire, one of the oldest and easily the most ridiculous of names, appeared in Stedman’s work in 1668, and seemed to have been accepted as inevitable by the authors of ‘The Clavis’ in 1778. Other names, in the same work were irreproachable place names. Shipway and Snowdon left things much as they found them. The Council began to take a hand in naming methods in 1897, when, it would be remembered, they settled the momentous question of ‘New’ Cambridge Surprise. The chief mistake since then seemed to have been that they had done nothing, for, between the position taken up by the Methods Committee and that of the Analysis Committee they had fallen between two stools. How did this state of affairs arise? It had arisen simply because the Council had been content to let things develop on their own lines, and to do nothing. His proposal now was that an entirely new committee should be formed, and that the duties of that committee should be to review the whole existing method nomenclature, and make recommendations for the revision of unsuitable names to the Council. Secondly, that they should prepare a selection of suitable topographical names to which nomenclature should be limited in the future; that was to say, that when a band rang a new method they would no longer be allowed to pick and choose any name which suited their fancy - that was how they had arrived at the present absurdities. When a new method was rung it would be reported that the band wished to name it, and they would be given names they could choose from. A name would not be thrust down their throats, but they would have a choice, which, when arrived at, would last for all time. The third duty of the committee would be to formulate a plan for the application of such names. He appealed to the Council not to let things stand as they were. They had got to this pass: they were told that they do nothing. People, perhaps, did not study the many things they had done, or value the work that was done by the committees of the Council, but there was an opening for the accusation if they did not move in current things crying out for reform. He did not see how they could go back from that meeting without having taken some step in that reform. He begged the Council to lend a hand; and appoint a committee who could get to work on the right road; get them out of the difficulty in which they found themselves, and save them in the future from the ridicule which they had had in the past.

At this point a suggestion was approved to deal separately with the three points in Mr. Burton’s resolution, and the Rev. H. Drake seconded the motion, so far as it related to the appointment of a committee ‘to review existing method nomenclature.’ He said the resolution which he had promised to second, on behalf of the Leytonstone band, was one proposing that as a temporary measure only the numbers given in the Council’s ‘Collection of Minor Methods’ should be used, and not the names. Proceeding, he said the reason why it seemed to him they should have a special committee for the purpose was that it was something quite different from anything else that ringers were concerned with. They were not concerned, as a rule, with words, but with things, with science, with mathematics, or with the engineering part of ringing. None of these had anything much to do with the right choice of words. They wanted a committee not necessarily of men who were good ringers or who knew about the management of bells, but who had a good knowledge of words and were able to understand the different shades of meaning, to understand and appreciate not only whether a word was a good word, appropriate to its purpose, but also whether a word would sound well, and was one which would be used with pleasure by ringers afterwards.

The Ringing World, June 27th, 1924, pages 409 to 410


The Rev. E. W. Carpenter was the first to oppose the proposal for the renaming of methods. He said the question had a risen because the Analysis Committee got into hot water over what they did in naming the methods but he would like to say first of all that the committee was entirely unrepentant. They did a very difficult job to the best of their power, and they did not see anything at all to sneer at in using the names of the beautiful works of God for these methods. They felt that the whole thing was entirely a matter of taste. As they had read the ‘Ringing World’ for some time past they had some examples of taste. He did not say a word about anonymous contributors, even those who tried to be funny, neither did they take much account of what he might call Mr. Burton’s violence, because they knew him (laughter). When he had something to say he said it with all the emphasis he could. But the committee did feel that they had not been quite rightly treated by ‘The Ringing World’ itself. He was very unwilling to say anything of the sort, because he felt what a great deal ‘The Ringing World’ did for the Exercise (hear, hear). He felt they owed a great debt to it (hear, hear). At the same time he thought ‘The Ringing World’ owed a certain debt which, perhaps, had not always been realised, of setting an example to the Exercise. He did not think the comments which ‘The Ringing World’ made in its leading articles on this subject had been quite fair, and to some of the expressions used he took great exception. In commenting on the meeting at Salisbury - which he regretted he was prevented from attending - ‘The Ringing World’ talked about a threat to resign on the part of the committee, and then, later on, spoke of foisting upon the Exercise something or other. It was a very good word to use, because it sounded nice, or nasty, but surely there was no case of foisting anything upon the Exercise when the report was accepted by the Council at Salisbury. As far as the committee were concerned, they ceased to have anything more to do with it officially, though the Council, of course, could do as they pleased with it. The committee did their best, and he was sure everybody present did not understand the amount of work that was involved. Mr. Beeston was at it, he might almost say, night and day for years. From what had been said the idea might be gained that the committee just sat down and rushed off in about five minutes the suggested names, and that was all. First of all, they went into the whole matter of those methods that had more than one name in actual use. That was the trouble the late Mr. King found. It was difficult to know, from the name, what method it was that was being rung, and so the committee, with much labour, found out what was the earliest name that was actually in existence for a method. They also found, incidentally, that the Methods Committee had made a mistake here and there.

The Rev. H. Law James: I admit two mistakes - in fact, I have found a third.

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter, continuing, said Mr. Trollope, in the interesting letter which appeared in the preceding week’s issue of ‘The Ringing World,’ pointed out, in effect, that the Methods Committee realised that the job was one which they would not undertake. In reading that letter one could not help thinking Mr. Trollope must have felt inclined to write down, ‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.’ He might think the committee were fools, but they did not rush in. It was put upon them, and they did their best, and were entirely unrepentant. He quite conceived that they had done what some people did not like. He did not know if they would have liked it called ‘Picture Palace Surprise,’ or ‘Whisky and Soda Delight’ (laughter), but they went to another source, and he was not at all ashamed of it, although some people seemed to sneer at the beautiful things they saw around them. No doubt some members of the Council might think they could do the job easier, although angels feared to take it on. The only thing he could say was ‘Let them.’ There was one other thing he would like to say and that was, how did they propose that these names should be enforced by the Council ? How were they going to get the Yorkshiremen to give up ringing Woodbine and Violet? They had rung them for some couple of hundred years, and what was good enough for their fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers was good enough for them, and he did not think they would get them to alter. With regard to the other flower names, a peal had recently been rung in which these names had been used and adopted by ringers of the first 720. It the Council were going to have a committee, let them consider what the committee were going to do, and whether they were going to be able to do anything useful. It was the late Mr. King’s wish to know what it was that was being rung, so that the committee might, in the analysis, give the right value to the performance, and that seemed to him to be the only thing that mattered. People outside they could ignore; their one idea of names was that ringers ring ‘Treble Bob Majors,’ and, having said that, they thought they knew all about change ringing. By all means let the Council appoint their committee if they liked and try it. Personally he did not think they would do much good.


Mr. J. S. Pritchett said the mover of the resolution seemed very much in earnest, but he must confess he (Mr. Burton) had left him somewhat cold. He could not realise quite the importance of the subject. He happened the other day, quite by accident and not by design, to go into the American bar at Wembley, and he looked on the list of some fifty drinks all with most peculiar names, such as ‘Parson’s Ruin’ (laughter) and ‘Bishop’s Joy’ (laughter). He was told the Bishops drank the former and the parsons the latter (renewed laughter), but he was also told that both drinks were equally nice. The ringing would sound just as sweet, whether they called a method Violet, or Daisy, or Woodbine, or any other name. They called their daughters ‘Daisy,’ and ‘Lily’ and ‘Violet,’ and a name that was good enough for a girl, was it not good enough for a method? (‘No,’ and laughter). He did not think they were likely to get any good by trying to enforce names. Names were something which they could not enforce by law, they must trust to public opinion. With regard to methods, it was a matter of taste. They were at liberty to approve of the names as they thought fit, but whether they approved of a name or not they would not be deterred from ringing a method if they thought it worth being rung. If a man brought out a new method, why should he not name it what he liked? Some of the names were of great antiquity, and when he first became interested in change ringing he used to think they were pretty names, and wondered what Violet and Woodbine were like. They never struck him as being at all improper. The grievance, if there was one, was very minute, and was not worth dealing with by appointing a committee to choose names. He hoped the resolution would not be pressed, or that the Council would not take any action with regard to it.


Mr. J. A. Trollope said he was not particularly against flower names. That was not the thing which the Methods Committee found fault with. What they objected to at Salisbury was the alteration of the names they had already published. Mr. Carpenter had said the job was put on to the Analysis Committee. It really belonged to the Methods Committee, so far as the six-bell methods were concerned. They issued the ‘Collection,’ and they ought to have named the methods. If they had done so it would have saved a good deal of trouble. On behalf of the Methods Committee he opposed most strongly any further committee for this purpose. In about twelve months’ time a new edition of the Collection would have to be published and the whole thing revised. He supposed the Council would expect the Methods Committee to revise the book, and, in doing so, it was only natural that the names should be revised, too. Mr. Carpenter told them they could not go to a man and say, ‘You must call a method such a name.’ They couldn’t, but the ‘Collection’ had become a standard work for the Exercise; future generations would take up that book, and would forget what other people had done years before, so that they now really had an opportunity to put new names to the methods, if necessary. That was why they wanted to be careful to have good names. He had not much to say against flower names, but they were not quite suitable. The best thing that could be said for them was that they were well in the traditions of the Exercise. Some flower names were good and some were not; some place names were good and some were not, and some adjectives were good and some were not. The question of taste in a matter of this kind was a thing which they could not teach people. If they got a special committee, what were they going to do? They would not get any better men than the Analysis Committee. It was, however, the Method Committee’s job, but they did not particularly want it.


The Rev. H. Law James said with regard to these names, he had to thank the Analysis Committee for correcting two mistakes he made in the names in the Collection. The methods in this Collection were his, and although the Collection was sent round to the committee and they passed it, if the author had the right to name the methods he had the personal right to do so, but he did not think he had. Mr. Trollope, in his letter, took that point of view, and also stated that his (the speaker’s) brother put out Bristol without a name, and was under the impression that it was the Rev. E. B. James’s idea. It was, however, an old tradition of the Exercise, and the reason he (the speaker) objected to naming the Minor and Major Methods was that he objected to interfering with the old traditions of the Exercise. He had in his possession a book printed in 1753, in which the method they knew as Oxford Treble Bob was called Union Bob, and if they went to the old records of the College Youths and Cumberlands, they would find the peals called Union Bob, because the Union Scholar rang the first peal in the method in 1718. The Union Scholars named the method because it was the custom of the Exercise to do so. The Council told the Methods Committee to put in the names of the Major Methods in the Collection which they were to print. Mr. Carpenter said it was a hard job to name methods, and he granted that it was. He wished the Council would allow him to cross out all his names and publish the Major Methods with the names printed over the methods which had been rung, leaving the rest blank, so that those who rang them could name them. The question of names was a matter of taste, and the only complaint he had against the Analysis Committee was that they wanted to publish the old College Single, as they pleased to call it, as a single method. Going carefully through the old methods they found that in the old days a single method was a method with places above the treble; a reverse method had the places below the treble; and a double method, places made on either side of the treble. According to that idea, Cambridge Surprise was a double method, but actually it wasn’t. They had gone on since then, and they could not go back, but the Analysis Committee wanted them to do so. The method with places in 3rd’s was College Bob, but the committee made a mistake in calling it College Single Reverse. Then, too, there was Canterbury Pleasure, which they called Reverse, whereas it was the old method which was ‘Reverse.’ The two errors which he made in the original publication were in regard to Stedman Slow Course and London Bob. There was one other mistake printed originally, and that was No. 25 of the 3rd’s place Delight Methods, which was printed as Evening Star. He believed this was Carlisle Delight. It was one of the seven old methods known as Surprise Methods, but this one was not Surprise. The Collection would soon want revising, and he hoped the Council would leave it to the Methods Committee to bring it up to date. He was quite sure if the Analysis Committee had not intervened, these mistakes would have reappeared in the reprint.


Mr. C. T. Coles said he had no technical knowledge of this subject, but from what he gathered there was considerable confusion with regard to the names of certain of these Minor Methods. From the statements made to him by the Leytonstone company, they found that some of these methods were duplicated in the names, and they did not know which was correct. He gathered from Mr. Carpenter that the Analysis Committee was prepared to let this matter go back to another committee. Last year at Salisbury the Council were rather faced with a threat of resignation from the Analysis Committee. Despite what Mr. Carpenter said he was still of that opinion, and a considerable number of the Council also formed that opinion. It was satisfactory to know they were mistaken. It would be well that this matter should go to a committee with a view to getting some order out of this chaotic state of affairs.

Mr. J. Hunt said he was instructed by the Bath and Wells Association to support this resolution. He quoted several instances where fresh names had been given by ringers to methods which had already been rung and named.

Mr. A. D. Barker said during the last fifteen years he had noted in a copy of the Collection of Minor Methods the names given to the different methods from time to time. To one method, eight different names had been given. He had the dates of four of them: they were in different years, and were named by different companies in different parts of the country. Many of the methods had several names. He thought they should appoint a fresh committee to go into the matter, and give them instructions as to what they were to do. They might then get something done - they could not do any worse (laughter). They did not want to hold up the ringing Exercise to ridicule; they were laughed at enough now. What would the public think if they heard they had been ringing ‘Geranium’ and ‘Fuchsia’! There were much more suitable names which could be easily found.

Mr. J. Parker thought that those who rang the methods should name them. A new committee would be in the same difficulty as the old.

Mr. Burton, replying to the discussion, said if they did nothing that day, it would be a great opportunity missed. They wanted no more absurdities among the names. The new committee could collaborate with the Methods Committee. There was no reason why they should not try to alter the unsuitable names of the past, and in any event let them lay some foundation on which to carry on in the future. A great opportunity would be missed if they did nothing.

On being put to the vote, the President declared the motion carried by 34 votes to 29.

Mr. Burton then moved the second part of the motion, that the committee ‘prepare suitable topographical names for the future.’

Mr. T. H. Beams seconded.

Canon Baker suggested that it would be better to leave the committee with a free hand, and not tie them to any one kind of name. He voted for setting up the committee, but he was not prepared to tie them to topographical names.- Mr. F. W. Hopgood supported this view.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett appealed to the Council not to pass anything more; it would only make it worse to pass the second part of the motion.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards suggested that, instead of the second part of the motion and the third part, which read ‘to formulate a plan for the application of such names’ they should substitute ‘to suggest a suitable system of nomenclature for the future.’

The Rev. H. Law James said he was prepared to second that. This was accepted by the Council without dissent.

On the appointment of the committee, it was agreed that it should consist of five members, but some difficulty was experienced in getting members to serve.- A motion by Mr. J. S. Pritchett, that the appointment of the committee be postponed, was defeated by 35 votes to 32.

Eventually the following were appointed on the committee: Mr. G. P. Burton, the Rev. H. Drake, Messrs. A. D. Barker, T. H. Beams and A. L. Coleman.

The Ringing World, July 4th, 1924, pages 425 to 426


The next resolution considered by the Council was one of which Mr. T. H. Taffender had given notice: ‘That this Council only recognise as peals upon handbells those that have been umpired, and that the qualification of an umpire shall be that of being able to ring the method and check each call as made.’

Mr. Taffender said this was a matter brought forward by his association (the London County), and some of the present-day handbell ringers thought the existing decision of the Council was not satisfactory. In Rules and Decisions it was laid down that, where practicable, there should be an umpire for a handbell peal. For some years past they had seen handbell peals, ‘witnessed’ and ‘attested’ and ‘umpired,’ and in many instances there had been no umpire whatever. In his opinion there should be an umpire present on every occasion. Anyone could come and listen to a peal when it was rung on tower bells, but the conditions were different in regard to handbell peals. With regard to the qualification of an umpire, that could be easily settled, because when a name was put down as umpire, other people would know if he could ring a method or not, and whether he was a proper person for the purpose. Seventy-five per cent. of those put down as umpires were not qualified persons, and did not know the method being rung, or how to check the course-ends. He did not say that peals were ‘cooked,’ but he felt, strongly that they should have qualified umpires. It had been asked why four persons living in a small village should be prevented from ringing a handbell peal for want of an umpire, but he considered they should not be allowed to until they had educated another person to observe the bells and check each call as made.

Mr. James George seconded. He thought it was very necessary to have a qualified umpire.

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter said if the Council passed this resolution it would be necessary to have an official list of referees, if referees were to be of any use.


Mr. C. T. Coles said this was a matter in which the Council wanted to be very careful. The Rules and Decisions of the Council laid it down that where practicable there should be an umpire and it seemed to him that that covered the ground sufficiently. Whether it was handbell ringing or tower bell ringing they had to depend on the honour of the ringers. Even in tower bell peals listeners could not say whether the bells were right all the time, and they had to depend on the conductor and the ringers. The same applied to handbells. If it was a matter of getting qualified men, the mere fact that a man could ring a method did not necessarily qualify him to be a competent umpire. There were men who could ring peals without making a mistake who probably could not tell you where a course end was. This question rested on the honour of the ringers concerned (hear, hear). In the case put forward by the proposer of people in a village ringing a handbell peal, his view was that if they were so dishonourable that they would publish a bad peal, then it was possible that an umpire, who would be a friend of the band, would be equally dishonourable, and pass the peal. He opposed the resolution, not on the ground that be objected to an umpire for a handbell peal, but because he thought the Council’s existing decision was quite strong enough.

Mr. J. Parker said he supported the view put forward by Mr. Coles. He was not a handbell ringer, therefore he had no axe to grind. He had heard a good many handbell peals, and had been asked to umpire them, but he had never yet seen a set of handbell ringers try to cook a peal. He did not think an umpire was necessary at all. If they had an umpire, let him have no figures, but put them down as they were rung. How often could a handbell band pick up an umpire that could do that? Some years ago the Council spent an afternoon thrashing out this question, and they came to the decision that they had in the Council’s rules to-day. He objected to hampering handbell ringers because they could not get an umpire.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said he could not see where they were going to draw the line between handbell and tower bell peals. He remembered a recent discussion in which the band themselves disagreed as to whether 432 or 234 came up in a peal. London ringers had not the difficulties provincial ringers had in this matter of umpires, for where they had a large number of ringers available it was a much easier matter to get an umpire. His own experience was that if this had been insisted on in his part of the world handbell ringing would have become extinct. They had four men - two of them came nearly seven miles each week for it - and they could not get anybody to umpire the peals at all; they would not come to do it. They had to rely, to a certain extent upon the calibre of the men who were ringing in the peal, and they should encourage a high standard of striking and morality among men. Sometimes one found among the senior ringers a spirit that ought not to be cultivated in a tower, If an older ringer made a mistake he should immediately own to it instead of trying to drop it on to a less fortunate younger member (applause). If they did this they would raise the tone of the whole science. If a man was a conductor and not a bob caller he knew whether the bells were wrong before an umpire did. He (the speaker) would if he were calling a peal. They must leave it to the honour of the men.

Mr. A. H. Pulling said the question of umpires was a farce, pure and simple. He would sooner see a peal without an umpire than with one, unless he knew the umpire knew absolutely all about it. He had known men described as umpires who could no more umpire a peal than could a chair. Ticking off course ends was not umpiring a peal. To umpire a peal properly a man ought to be able to tell in the middle of a course it the bells were right or wrong. The London men did not know the difficulties of country ringers. Personally he had never yet called an exceptional composition without an umpire - but he had had an umpire and not just a tenor ringer, a man who could not only check each call, but know at any time whether the bells were right or wrong. If they carried the resolution, who was going to appoint the umpires? Were the associations to appoint these men, or were the Central Council, and who was to pay their expenses? Would Mr. Taffender come from London to umpire a peal? He (the speaker) could see a ‘shift’ in handbell ringing long before any umpire. Personally he did not mind if the motion were carried or not. If they could get an umpire they would have one, and, if not, they would ring without one.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said when he and his band started handbell ringing there was no one else in the county of Dorset, except, perhaps, Mr. Beams, who was 40 miles away, who could have umpired the peal of College Single Minor, for which five of them practised.

The President said he would like to read an extract from a letter from the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, who was very expert in handbell ringing. Mr. Boughey said he hoped the motion before the Council to make umpires a necessity for handbell peals might not be carried. He was quite in favour of having an umpire where a capable one could be got, but very often it was impossible to get one, in which case he thought it was right to trust to the honour of the conductor and the ringers (hear, hear). That was practically done in tower bell peals, which were scored as a matter of course, even when there had been no listener within hearing who knew anything about change ringing. When the Cambridge University Guild began, they had to employ and pay professional ringers from the town company to umpire for them, and many times even this was impossible. They were then forced to ring without an umpire, or not to ring at all. He thought if the motion were carried it would tend to prevent handbell ringing, a step which he should deprecate and deplore.

When the motion was put only two voted for it, and it was defeated by an overwhelming majority.


Mr. T. H. Beams moved ‘to alter Rule of the Council, No.6, by omitting “but that the meeting following the Triennial Election be always in London.”’ He said the view he held was that it would be better if the option was given to the Council for the first meeting of every new Council to be held elsewhere than in London. There was something to be said for and against it. Thirty-three years ago, when the Council was formed, London was the most ‘get-atable’ place in the whole country, but they could not say the same to-day. With additional cross-country services on main lines it was no more ‘get-atable’ than Birmingham, or Leeds or Manchester, or any of the other big centres. Years ago, London was undoubtedly the chief ringing centre in the country, and although it was still a great ringing centre, it was not now by any means the only great ringing centre. There were other centres up and down the country which could claim to be equal, not in numbers, but in proficiency with London ringing. Then if they took the pro rata population, London was getting more than its share of meetings. On this basis, roughly, London ought to have a meeting about once in five years, rather than once in three. Finally London was so vast that there was not that close feeling among the delegates before and after the meeting that there was in the provinces. The provincial meetings, to many people, were far more homely. If they would refer to the rule as he proposed it should be amended, they would notice that it did not prevent the triennial meeting being held in London, if the Council so desired. If, every third year, they decided that the next meeting should be in London, they could do so, but the alteration of rule would give them the opportunity of going elsewhere if they wished it.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded.

Canon Baker pointed out that one objection to the alteration was that the Council was only elected every three years and it was hardly in order for a Council, which was going to ‘die’ to decide where the new Council should meet. He hoped the present rule would stand; it had served very well and met the need.

There was no further discussion, and the motion on being put was lost by a large majority.

The Ringing World, July 11th, 1924, page 441


Mr. J. Hunt moved, ‘That the Council consider the advisability of publishing instructions showing how bobs are made in various Minor methods published in “Legitimate Methods.”’ He pointed out that it was a great handicap to the uninitiated to have the Collection of Minor methods without any indication of how the bobs are made. A man who learned to ring a new method must know how to make the bobs, just as well as how to ring the plain leads, and in omitting the bob work from the book the committee had failed to give the ringers all the help they might have given them.

Mr. Pulling seconded, and remarked that most six bell ringers, taking up the ‘Collection’ to learn a new method, had no idea how to make the bob, or what to do afterwards. The bobs ought to have been shown in the first instance.

Mr. Trollope pointed out that the book was going to be revised directly. The present stock would be exhausted in about twelve months’ time, and all these points would be taken into consideration in preparing a new edition.

The motion was carried, it being understood that it would be given effect to when a fresh edition was published.


The President said the Standing Committee had, as usual, considered the rota of meetings. Of two different places, one was an invitation from the Hereford Diocesan Guild to meet at Hereford. They would esteem it a great honour if the Council decided to visit Hereford. The committee, however, bearing in mind the great pressure that had been exercised year after year on behalf of Chester, thought it advisable to recommend that Chester should be the place to meet next Whitsun. Although they would not fix the following year’s meeting until next year, the committee thought, to make things shipshape, Ipswich would be a set-off against the more north-westerly place.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies proposed that Chester be selected for next year. It was, he said, a most interesting place to go to.- Mr. T. H. Beams seconded, and the motion was unanimously carried.

Mr. Elwell (hon. secretary of the Chester Guild) said they were very pleased to know the Council had decided to visit Chester, and they would do the best they could to make them comfortable.


The Rev. H. Law James drew attention to the recent record of a performance of Minor, consisting of fourteen 360’s. He believed the definitions of the Council at present in force laid it down that if they wanted to ring fourteen methods, they must ring seven 720’s, so he did not think it should appear in the Analysis.

Mr. Trollope said the present definitions were rather obsolete.

The Rev. H. Law James gave notice that he would place a motion on the agenda for next year.

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter said peals such as that referred to were included in the Analysis, but without extra points.


Canon Elsee said members would have seen in ‘The Ringing World’ a few weeks ago that attention was called to the proposal that some memorial should be put up to that great ringer whom they had lost since the last meeting of the Council - Mr. J. W. Washbrook. All the older members would remember Mr. Washbrook at one of the very earliest, if not the first, meetings of the Council, and it was in the early days of the Council that he was; at the height of his fame. Then, his name was a household word among ringers. He died a few months ago in Lancashire, and was buried in one of the Manchester cemeteries. There had been some talk among Lancashire ringers of finding a place for a memorial to him in their own county. On the other hand, in the days of Mr. Washbrook’s greater ringing fame, he was an Oxfordshire man, and those who knew him then would always associate him more with Oxfordshire than Lancashire. Between his residence in those two counties he was for a time in Ireland. He would like to suggest that ringers should start a scheme for placing some memorial to Mr. Washbrook in a suitable place, and in his opinion, that should be, if possible, in Oxford itself. He believed the Oxford Diocesan Guild had approached the Dean of Christ Church, asking whether a tablet might be put in the cloisters of Christ Church Cathedral, near the one which commemorated the Rev. F. E. Robinson. If that were possible, then, speaking for Lancashire ringers, or for some of them at all events, he would like to say they would support the Oxford Guild in that memorial. Many of them would like to see some worthy memorial to one who was, in his way, the greatest ringer of their time (hear, hear), and he for one felt that the most appropriate place where such a memorial could be set, would be in Oxford itself and in the cloisters of Christ Church. He would like to move that, if the Oxford Diocesan Guild was going to issue an appeal for subscriptions to a memorial to Mr. Washbrook other ringers throughout the country should be invited to support it as their share in the memorial.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, as one who had early and great memories of Mr. Washbrook in his greatest days as a ringer at Oxford, supported the proposal.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said the Oxford Guild were waiting for two things. First of all, the matter was coming before the annual meeting on July 26th, and then, of course, the money would have to come in from the various ringers who would like to contribute. As soon as they had settled the matter at their Guild meeting they would begin on the scheme, and he took it the best way would be to send out an invitation to contribute. If the Council carried this motion the Oxford Guild could then say that the Council commended it to other Guilds.

The following motion was thereupon carried, ‘That this Council considers that steps should be taken to place a tablet to the memory of the late Mr. J. W. Washbrook in the city of Oxford, and commends this scheme to the Guilds and associations with which he was specially connected.’


The President said that at the last Council meeting at Salisbury they were, owing to lack of time, rather hard on Mr. Cave, who desired to say something about spliced methods. He thought, therefore, they should now give Mr. Cave an opportunity.

Mr. Cave said the question that he had in mind was in relation to the definition of a peal on eight, ten and twelve bells, which provided that a peal on these numbers should be rung in any one method. He thought they should consider whether these four words, ‘in any one method’ should not be wiped out. They recognised now that splicing had come to stay, and those words ought to be deleted from the rules of the Council. He therefore gave notice that he would move this at the next meeting.

The President said that two or three things which had cropped up had shown that some of the rules required revising. The matter came before the Standing Committee, who recognised that alterations were necessary, and that the rules should be brought into proper shape in accordance with fresh resolutions. It was suggested that the Council might give instructions to the Standing Committee to revise the rules and bring them before the Council at the next meeting.

The Rev. H. Law James said that would cover the two points mentioned by himself and Mr. Cave.

Mr. Carpenter said the Analysis Committee had ignored the words mentioned by Mr. Cave, as they had had peals of mixed Kent and Oxford Treble Bob, and of other eight-bell methods while now they had that wonderful production by Mr. J. W. Parker of a peal of Superlative and Cambridge, mixed. The Analysis Committee wanted to know what they were to do.

It was understood that the Standing Committee would bring up revised rules for consideration at the next meeting:


Mr. J. S. Pritchett said a member of the Council wrote to him suggesting that an endeavour should be made to get cheap railway tickets for representatives coming to the Council meetings. He knew, however, that railway companies would not consider special facilities for any number less than 200, so he was not able to go any further into the matter, although it would be a grand thing if they could get return tickets at a single fare. Years ago there was a certain committee, of which their friend Mr. Cockey was head, which tried to do everything possible on behalf of ringers to secure for them the same facilities as were given to fishermen and golfers, but it was all unavailing. If that Council grew to such an extent that they could guarantee 200 members attending they might then hope to get cheap tickets.


The President moved a vote of thanks to the Dean for the use of the historic chamber for the meeting, and said the Council were highly honoured in being allowed to meet there.

The motion was unanimously carried, and the meeting terminated with a vote of thanks to those who had made arrangements for the entertainment of visiting members, and to the President for presiding.

Subsequently some stayed to listen to a deeply interesting sketch of the history or the ancient chamber, given by Canon Perkins, while others went up into the lofty old tower of the Abbey and enjoyed touches on the fine peal of eight bells.

Later in the evening a large company met at the Bedford Head, and enjoyed an hour or two of social intercourse, with songs, instrumental music, and handbell ringing, the performances of the members of Mr. J. D. Matthews’ family being much appreciated. This part of the proceedings was presided over by Mr. E. Alex. Young, who was supported by the President of the Council and the Masters of the College Youths and Royal Cumberlands (Messrs. R. T. Hibbert and J. D. Matthews). During the evening, the tankard presented to the Rev. C. D. P. Davies was filled and passed round as a ‘loving cup.’ The evening was a most enjoyable one.

The Ringing World, July 18th, 1924, page 457

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