FOR THE YEAR 1925.
The year 1925 may be termed, as regards peal ringing, a quiet one. Not more than two or three peals of outstanding merit have been rung, and, in addition, the total number is 171 less than the previous year.
The peals, in all, number 1,689, being an all-round decrease, tower bells being 114, and handbells 57 less.
The following table shows the totals for the year:-
Compared with the preceding year, the table shows a decrease of 24 on 12 bells, 15 on 10 bells, 106 on 8 bells, and 26 on 6 bells. Separating these, the only increase is that of two handbell peals of Royal, while on tower bells Caters and Minor peals are each exactly the same number as last year.
The greatest number of peals has again been rung by the Kent County Association with 157, including four on hand bells, being two peals less than last year. Two others, the Midland Counties and Lancashire, have each over 100 peals; the former with 143 (an increase of 12), and the latter with 131, an increase of 25 peals over last year’s score.
The most encouraging feature of the year is the continued advance in Surprise ringing. While peals of Royal in this class have fallen by two (from 20 to 18), Maximus peals have increased by four, to nine peals, and Major by ten, to 255.
The Maximus and Royal Surprise are all Cambridge except two peals, these being one each of Leicester and Pudsey Surprise Royal. Analysing the Surprise peals of Major, London shows an increase of eight peals, Bristol a decrease of 11, Cambridge and New Cambridge an increase of 10, and Superlative an increase of 9. Unfortunately, other Surprise methods do not find much favour, there being only 14 peals in all, a decrease of 6.
A considerable decrease, of 60 peals, will be noticed in the several variations of Treble Bob, the total number of peals rung being 183, made up as follows: 4 of Kent Treble Bob Maximus, 20 of Kent Treble Bob Royal and 1 spliced peal of Royal. Major peals consist of 123 of Kent, 25 of Oxford, 8 Spliced, 1 Granta, and 1 in the Cam Variation.
Double Norwich Major has decreased from 129 to 111 peals, but Double Oxford reappears with 2 peals. Plain Bob has only 147 peals on all numbers as against 171 last year. Little methods peals are the same number, including the irregular Dartford Little Bob, the only new method rung during the year.
Peals on odd numbers are still practically confined to two methods, though a litt1e variation has been introduced by splicing. The following table shows the methods rung and the number of each:-
|Stedman||Grandsire||Erin||Spliced||St. Clem’nts||Ox. Bob||Union|
Stedman has decreased by 18 peals, Grandsire by 30, and other methods by 1. A feature worth noting is that last year the peals of Grandsire Triples exceeded those of Stedman by 24, while in 1925 Stedman Triples are 46 more than Grandsire.
On tower bells, five and six-bell ringers have held their own in Minor but rang 8 fewer peals of Doubles. On handbells, however, there is a woeful falling off, only 2 peals of Minor and 1 of Doubles being rung during the year, a decrease of 18 peals.
Only two lengths of over 7,000 were rung, being 8,112 of Plain Bob Major by the Ely Diocesan Guild, and 7,392 of Cambridge Surprise Maximus by the Middlesex County Association. The latter must be regarded as a remarkable performance, being the greatest number yet rung on 12 bells in this difficult method.
Other notable performances include one in the same method, which may be put down as the outstanding peal of the year being the first peal of Surprise Maximus on the bells of St. Paul’s. This was accomplished by the College Youths, and is a great addition to the records of this society. Peals of Spliced Stedman and Erin and Stedman and Grandsire Caters, and the first spliced peal of Oxford and Kent Treble Bob Royal are also features of the year. Other peals which may be noted are: Stedman Triples on the heaviest set of handbells on which a peal has been rung, by the Midland Counties’, and the heaviest octave on which a peal of Stedman Triples has been rung, by the Bath and Wells Association. A Masonic peal, in the same method, by the Durham and Newcastle Association, and another of Stedman Triples by the giants of the Exercise, the band averaging 6ft. 2½ins., and an over 6ft. high. No one, of course, expects these last to be contained in one association. A peal of Bristol Surprise Major by the local band of St. Mary’s, Luton, Bedfordshire Association, being the first peal in the method by all, also deserves special mention.
The following table shows the number of peals rung each month in the years 1924 and 1925:-
The number of peals rung on each particular day of the week being as follows: Sunday, 64; Monday, 162; Tuesday, 120; Wednesday, 148; Thursday, 153; Friday, 69; and Saturday, 973.
It is to be regretted that, owing to its late publication, a peal of Grandsire Triples rung at Melbourne, Australia, on Sept. 30th, 1925, is not included in the figures. We, however, congratulate the band on keeping the art alive, under great difficulties, in their far-off land.
Summarising the footnotes to peals, it is found that 539 rang a peal for the first time, 735 their first in the method, and 33 their first in Surprise; 250 rang a method on a different number of bells for the first time while their first of Doubles was accomplished by 20 ringers, first of Minor 85; Triples, 21; Major, 76; Caters, 13; Royal, 17; and Maximus, 8. Six succeeded in ringing their first on six bells, 35 on eight bells, 30 on ten, and 9 on twelve.
New conductors numbered 58, while 79 conducted their first peal in the method.
Forty-eight peals were the first, and 165 the first in the method on the bells, also 32 were the first after restoration, etc. Sixteen peals were stated to be by the service ringers; six were the quickest on the bells including the quickest peal on tower bells. The number of peals for particular occasions or reasons was as follows: Birthdays, 231; weddings (including silver and golden), 63; welcome, 28; farewell, 15; anniversaries, 47; memorial, 1; complimentary, 7; thanksgiving, 2; Empire Day, 11; Armistice celebrations, 14; watch-night, 4; death of Queen Alexandra, 81; and for church festivals, 22; 31 peals were rung fully muffled, and 114 half-muffled.
Ladies are now taking such a prominent part in peal ringing that some few particulars of their doings cannot fail to be interesting. During the year no less than 80 ladies rang peals, the number of peals which included at least one lady being 225. One of the peals, Stedman Triples, was rung by ladies alone, while one was rung with four ladies, five with three, thirty-six with two, and 182 with one lady in the band.
That they are not daunted by the higher methods is shown by the fact that this number included seven peals of London, four of Bristol, nine of Superlative, ten of Cambridge, and one of Rutland Surprise Major, four peals of Cambridge Royal, while two ladies took part in a peal of Cambridge Surprise Maximus. Twelve of the peals were on handbells, being five of Royal, two of Caters and 5 of Major.
Corning to individual performances, one lady rang 18 peals, one 14, one 12, two 11, one 10, three 9, five 8, three 6, three 5, four 4, seven 3, nineteen 2, and 30 ladies one peal.
There were four lady conductors, one having one peal of Bristol, one of London and two of Stedman Triples to her credit, one with two peals of Grandsire Triples, one with a peal of Stedman Triples, and the fourth conducted a peal of Doubles in six methods.
We conclude our report by giving the number of peals rung in representative years since 1881, the total for the whole period being 48,331:-
A. T. BEESTON, New Mills, Stockport.|
GEORGE WILLIAMS, West End, Southampton.
EDITH K. PARKER, 17, Wellington Road, Enfield.
JOSEPH W. PARKER, 5, Amberley Street, Sunderland.
The Ringing World, April 30th, 1926, pages 282 to 283
TUESDAY’S MEETING AT IPSWICH.
The 34th annual meeting of the Central Council was held at the Town Hall, Ipswich, on Tuesday, when there was an attendance of just over fifty members.
The Suffolk Guild had made excellent arrangements for the entertainment of the visitors, some of whom arrived on Saturday, and took part in a peal of Stedman Cinques at St. Mary-le-Tower, and on Sunday in a peal at Debenham.
On Monday there was an enjoyable excursion by charabanc to a number of interesting churches in the district, including Sudbury, Long Melford and Lavenham, while at Bury St. Edmunds the visitors, nearly forty in number, were able to ring at both churches, and were entertained to tea by Archdeacon Farmiloe.
The meeting on Tuesday was presided over by Canon G. F. Coleridge, and the various associations were represented as follows:-
Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. A. A. Hughes, T. W. Faulkner and H. R. Newton.
Bath and Wells: Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. E. W. Elwell and J. Ashmole.
Essex Association: Messrs. C. H. Howard, W. J. Nevard, G. R. Pye and E. J. Butler.
Ely Diocesan Association: Mr. T. R. Dennis.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Messrs. W. A. Cave, E. Guise and E. Bishop.
Kent County Association: Messrs. T. Groombridge and E. Barnett, sen.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. W. Jones and W. Bolton.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: The Rev. H. Law James and Mr. R. Richardson.
London County Association: Messrs. T. H. Taffender and A. D. Barker.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss E. K. Parker.
Lancashire Association: The Rev. H. J. Elsee and Mr. J. R. Taylor.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. F. A. Milne and W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties Association: Mr. Pryce Taylor.
Norfolk Guild: Messrs. G. P. Burton, A. L. Coleman and C. E. Borrett.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: The President, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn and Mr. F. W. Hopgood.
Peterborough Diocesan Association: Mr. F. Wilford.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Mr. T. Hervey Beams.
Swansea and Brecon Guild: Mr. J. Hammond.
Suffolk Guild: The Rev. H. Drake, Messrs. C. Mee and E. F. Poppy.
Surrey Association: Messrs. C. F. Johnston and C. Dean.
Winchester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. G. Williams and A. H. Pulling.
Honorary Members: The Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. J. S. Pritchett, J. A. Trollope, J. George and E. A. Young (hon. sec.).
The meeting having been opened with prayer.
ARCHDEACON AND BISHOP’S WELCOME.
Archdeacon Farmiloe, on behalf of the Suffolk Guild welcomed the Council to the diocese. They came there, he said, representing those who were interested in ringing throughout the country, and recognised it as an essential part of Church work. Many of them came from dioceses which had behind them a long tradition of church work and a long history of diocesan organisation, and they came to one of the youngest dioceses, and to the Suffolk Guild which, in its present form, had a history of only two years. He felt himself, some years ago, when he was asked to take part in organising the affairs of the diocese, that it was a matter of great importance that they should have their own diocesan organisation for their ringers, and, in face of a little difficulty, ably seconded by their secretary, the Rev. H. Drake, they had succeeded at last in forming what was a real diocesan body of church bell ringers. In their name, and in his own, he offered them the most cordial welcome to their diocese (applause).
The President thanked the Archdeacon for his welcome and a little later the Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich came to welcome the Council to the town of Ipswich and the diocese. He knew, he said, that there were a few people who did not appreciate bells, just as there were a few people who did not appreciate music, because they had no ear for it, and if they lived within the shadow of a town which had a fine and celebrated peal of bells no doubt there were times when people did not want ringing. He was certain, however, that the majority of people realised that bells were one of the joys of life, and one of the ways of expressing it. It was rather in an accidental way that they were in the position of claiming as workers for the Church and as Churchmen pretty well all the bell ringers in the country. It was partly due to the accident that towers had always been associated with churches, and had not been associated much with any other kind of buildings. Thus they got almost a monopoly of bells, and it followed that bell ringers were doing something for the Church. The Church accepted their help with great joy, and realised that they were fellow workers. One of their interests in ringing was that it was a call to worship and he hoped ringer would be conscious of that aspect of their work. It was an uplifting work, and he hoped that that feeling would be uppermost in their hearts when they took part in it (applause).
The President fittingly thanked the Bishop for his kindly welcome and the Council then proceeded with the business of the day.
Arising out of the minutes of the last meeting, the Hon. Secretary said between 30 and 40 letters were addressed to the authorities in the various dioceses requesting that there should be on each Advisory Committee a representative with a knowledge of bells and bell ringing. They had had replies from 18 or 20, saying, in effect, that the suggestion was a useful one. With regard to the Cards of Instruction which the Council instructed him to have printed, the first 500 were rapidly exhausted, and, with the sanction of the President, another 750 were printed. The Lincoln Guild took up 250 in one batch, and that was why the original number was quickly used up. Copies could now be had from the Librarian.
At the request of the Hon. Secretary, the Council confirmed his action in printing the further 750 copies.
Apologies for absence were received from Revs. A. T. Beeston, Canon Baker, A. H. F. Boughey, E. W. Carpenter, C. C. Marshall, C. E. Matthews, H. S. T. Richardson, H. Tyrwhitt Drake, F. J. O. Helmore, C. C. Cox, L. S. Clark, Mrs. N. Edwards, Messrs. J. Carter, J. D. Matthews, J. Cotterill, P. J. Johnson, T. Metcalfe. D. J. Nichols, W. Willson, A. Paddon Smith, E. H. Lewis, H. W. Wilde, R. B. Chambers, H. Haigh, H. Day, etc.
The balance sheet, presented by the Hon. Secretary, showed that the year started with a balance in hand of £67 14s. 3d. The receipts included a donation of £5 towards the publication of the Cards of Instruction from the Rev. H. Drake, affiliation fees £13 10s., interest on stock £4 10s. 8d., and sale of Cards of Instruction £1 13s. 1d., a total of £24 13s. 9d. The expenditure, including the loss on the sale of publications of £5 12s. 2d., was £16 13s., leaving a balance in the bank of £70 16s.
The accounts were adopted, on the motion of the Rev. H. Law James, seconded by Mr. P. Taylor.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn (Hon. Librarian) reported the completion of the scheme for the Washbrook Memorial, remarking that the bells at St. Ebb’s, Oxford, had met with the complete approval of all concerned. They were left with a £28 balance, part of which would go to a fund, to be augmented by the parish, for the upkeep of the bells, and the remainder was to be devoted to that other parish in Oxford, St. Giles’, which found favour with some as the place for the memorial. Full particulars would be given later in ‘The Ringing World.’
Continuing, the Hon. Librarian said the sales of publications realised £4 19s. 1d., and the expenses were £10 11s. 3d., including £9 2s. for advertising. It cannot be said, added the Librarian, that the resolution to put up the price of publications has entirely justified itself, though it may well be that we have reached a point when there is no longer a popular demand for these works, but the few who do want them are quite ready to pay the extra cost. And here a lesson seems to be indicated, namely, for the future to greatly diminish the number of copies of publications issued by the Council. It surely is not advisable that the Council should risk having on its hands such an accumulation as it possesses in the ‘Glossary’ and the ‘Peal Collections.’ In the past twelve months the few remaining copies of the ‘Collection of Minor Methods’ were quickly sold; the demand, which was always considerable, being increased by the issue of the book on ‘Method Splicing,’ by Mr. J. P. Fidler. Of the rest it may be remarked that there is now apparently more demand for publications that have to do with the care of bells than with peal ringing. The ‘on sale or return’ agency only produced a matter of a few shillings, actually 5s. 4d., chiefly in one locality. According to instructions, I purchased for the Council the remainder of Canon Elsee’s stock of ‘On the Preservation of Bells.’ I have also secured a considerable number of copies of ‘Bell News’ for the years 1912-1915 inclusive, but these have been gifts. The following numbers were still need to make these years complete:- 1912, Nos. 1,561, 1,594, 1,595, 1,596, 1,598; 1913, Nos. 1,605, 1,606, 1,625, 1,631; 1914, Nos. 1,658, 1,675 to 1,680, 1,687, 1,688, 1,689, 1,696, 1,697, 1,700; 1915, Nos. 1,717, 1,729, 1,735, 1,737, 1,739, 1,741, 1,755; the receipt of any of which will be gratefully acknowledged.
The four retiring hon. members, Mrs. Edwards, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Mr. J. George and Mr. H. W. Wilde, were re-elected, on the recommendation of the Standing Committee.
The following new members were introduced to the President, Messrs. J. Hammond (Swansea and Brecon), F. J. Davey (Devon Guild) and E. F. Poppy (Suffolk Guild).
The Hon. Secretary then reported on the steps taken to preserve Coventry bells. The action was taken after consultation with the president and the Standing Committee, and he asked the Council to confirm what was done. Unfortunately, they were not successful in convincing the Chancellor that the bells should be saved. He referred to the long efforts which Mr. Johnston had made to induce the authorities to keep the bells as a ringing peal, and to the labours of Mr. J. S. Pritchett, who appeared as the advocate for the Central Council.
Mr. J. S. Pritchett spoke in appreciation of the splendid work done by Mr. Young, and pointed out that the labour was not wasted, for by the action taken, they secured that in the recasting of the bells ten of them were preserved as a peal of ten, instead of making them merely part of a carillon. That change of front was brought about by the efforts of their secretary (applause).
Confirmation of the action taken was agreed to and payment of certain incidental expenses voted, cordial thanks being given to Mr. Young and Mr. Pritchett for the part they had taken.
Miss Parker reported for the Peal Collection Committee that the work of adding the new compositions was proceeding, but it was involving the examination of the original peals to see that variations did not creep in. When the work was completed by the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson it would be sent to her to type, and it was hoped to have it in the hands of the Council by the next meeting.- The report was adopted.
The Hon. Secretary reported that the Literature and Press Committee had in hand the revision of the Council’s rules and decisions, and he hoped these would be before them at the next meeting.- The report was accepted.
The reports of the various committees were adopted, except that relating to nomenclature. A debate on the latter resulted in the carrying of the amendment, which, while urging the extreme importance of choosing suitable names for new methods, declined to interfere with such rights as bands and individual ringers at present enjoy.
Simpson-tuning was discussed on the Hon. Secretary’s motion, and an amendment carried that the Council was not at present qualified to pass an opinion.
It was resolved to ask Diocesan Advisory Committees to co-opt some members having knowledge of the archæology, tuning and proper hanging of bells to form a special sub-committee to advise them when necessary.
It was also resolved to continue to press the Railway Clearing Board for cheaper travelling facilities for ringers.
The Council did not accept the proposal to consider the institution of a bell ringers’ Sunday by means of an annual service throughout the country or otherwise.
Votes of thanks concluded the meeting.
The Ringing World, May 28th, 1926, pages 330 to 331
COVENTRY BELLS.- DISCUSSIONS AT IPSWICH MEETING.
In reviewing the action taken to preserve Coventry bells, the Hon. Secretary (Mr. E. A. Young), speaking at the Central Council meeting at Ipswich, said that the progress of the negotiations was shown, step by step in a booklet which he had had privately printed, and which he asked the Council to accept. (This booklet reproduces all the correspondence that had taken place and runs to 44 quarto pages.)
As the Council was aware, said the Hon. Secretary, their efforts were not successful in saving the bells, but they put up a good fight. The inception of what was done was an article in ‘The Ringing World’ suggesting that it was desirable the Central Council should take action, and the Standing Committee took the serious step of deciding, without calling a general meeting of the Council, to endeavour to save the bells. They were very much indebted to Alderman Pritchett, an eminent member of the Bar and a member of the Council’s Standing Committee, who was able to look after their legal interests, and to meet Sir Henry Maddox, who was in charge for the other side. Unfortunately, they did not succeed in convincing the Chancellor that the bells should be saved, and it had occurred to him (the speaker) that, if at any future time they engaged in another case of the kind, they ought to get on their side similar heavy guns to Dr. Starmer and Dr. Brazil, who appeared for their opponents. It was of much interest to him to see Mr. Johnston’s recent letter in ‘The Ringing World,’ stating that he had for two or three years earnestly wrestled with the authorities at Coventry to see if some intermediate course could not be adopted to save a total loss of these bells as a ringing peal. It was unfortunate that at the time, Mr. Johnston did not realise he had the Council at his back. If he had done so two years ago they might have met with success. Founders might, in the future, find themselves in similar difficulties, in restraining local authorities, and they would be in a much stronger position if they could come to the Council for assistance in defence of the bells. The Hon. Secretary then moved that the Council confirm the action of the Standing Committee, and pay the incidental expenses incurred.
Rev. H. Drake seconded, and thanked Mr. Young for what he had done. He put in a great deal of hard work, and was put to considerable expense, of which they had had some evidence in the book now laid before the Council. He (Mr. Drake) had been challenged as to whether the Suffolk Guild had actually supported the action of the committee, and he would therefore like to say that he brought the matter before two of their district meetings and their annual meeting, and everyone was enthusiastically in favour of what he did, and thanked him for doing it.
Mr. James George, one of the few surviving ringers who rang on the old Coventry bells before they were silenced 40 years ago, supported the thanks to Mr. Young.
Mr. J. S. Pritchett spoke of the splendid effort which Mr. Young made to save this most famous peal of bells. He added that he would not like the impression to remain on their minds that the effort was entirely unsuccessful. To a considerable extent it was successful. The original proposition was to melt up the bells and recast them in the form of a carillon of 14 bells, but at the last moment the scheme was modified in such a way as to meet the strongest objection, and the proposal which the Chancellor was finally asked to sanction was to recast the ten bells as a peal that could be rung as ten bells in the future if ever it was desired and was practicable to do so, the other four bells being added from new metal. That change of front was brought about by the splendid effort made by their secretary (applause).
The President expressed the Council’s heartiest thanks to Mr. Young and Mr. Pritchett, and the motion was carried.
The Council then dealt with committee reports.
Miss Parker, for the Peal Collection Committee, reported that the work of adding the new Treble Bob compositions to the collection was proceeding, but it was involving the examination of the original peals to see that variations did not creep in. When the work was completed by the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson it would be sent to her to type, and it was hoped to have it in the hands of the Council by the next meeting.
The report was adopted.
A report for the Literature and Press Committee was made by the Hon. Secretary (in the absence through illness of the Convener, the Rev. C. E. Matthews). During the past year, he said, the committee’s principal task had been revising the Council’s book of rules. He had supplied the committee with a précis of all the decisions that had been arrived at, and the book was to be brought right up to date. They were much indebted to the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who was at present in Cyprus, for what he had done in this connection, and to the late Hon. Sec. (Rev. C. D. P. Davies) for a nice little preface which he had written. Incidentally, during the year, the committee had been looking after their interests in the Press, in which department Mr. Paddon Smith had lent valuable assistance. The committee hoped to put a typed draft of the revised rules before the Council at the next meeting.
The Rev. H. Law James said the book contained the Report on Methods. That report should not be reprinted until the members of the Methods Committee had brought it up to date. The Literature and Press Committee were not competent to revise that part of it - they knew nothing at all about it (laughter).
The Hon. Secretary said he took it the Convener would see that the draft was submitted to the Methods Committee.
The report was accepted.
The Rev. H. Law James, asked to report for the Methods Committee, said: We were ready to print the Plain Major Methods last year. The book would have been printed and in your hands to-day if it had not been for the interference of the Nomenclature Committee (laughter).
The President: Is that all you wish to say? (laughter).
The Rev. H. Law James: There is nothing more to say, except, of course, we want to go to print straight away.
Afterwards Mr. James moved that 300 copies be printed. He thought this number would be sufficient, because the book would contain just one lead of a method, and consequently a band that wanted to ring a method would buy one copy and make their diagrams from it. They would not want seven or eight copies for each tower.
Mr. G. P. Burton: Will there be anything in the book beside the figures of the methods? Will they be named? (laughter).
Mr. J. A. Trollope: They are named, every one of them. The names have been submitted to the Nomenclature Committee and approved of by them, but not the sub-titles.
Mr. Burton said he received a list of names, and to those names the Nomenclature Committee objected in some measure. The names themselves might not be open to objection, but their application was a point which might lead to confusion.
The Rev. H. Law James (warmly): I have been at this for 26 years; this new committee has been at work about two years. You can take the report as it is, or we will put it in the fire, names and all. (‘No.’) It is a matter of pure pedantry.
Mr. T. H. Beams suggested they should leave the consideration of this matter over until the Nomenclature Committee’s report had been dealt with.- This was seconded by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, and agreed to.
The Peals Analysis Committee’s report, which had already been published in ‘The Ringing World,’ was adopted, on the motion of Miss Parker.
IMPORTANCE OF PAINTING BELL FRAMES.
The Hon. Secretary reported for the Towers and Belfries Committee that they were in reserve in case of emergency to give technical advice, and he and Major Hesse were asked by the Winchester Guild to go to Southampton and inspect the tower of St. Michael’s Church. They were able to report satisfactorily, so that the bells, which had been recast, could go back into the tower, the peal having been left unhung for some time previously, as there had been a doubt as to whether the tower was safe to take them.
Major Hesse said he had made two inspections during the year. He wished to draw the attention of ringers to the need of keeping the authorities alive to the necessity of painting metal bell frames. Where they were allowed to rust there would come a time, in a few years, when a great portion of the frame would have to be renewed. Authorities should be reminded of the importance of painting bell frames at least every five year. He had come across some bad cases of neglect lately.
The President said he could corroborate Major Hesse as to the need for painting frames, and it ought to be the duty of any ringer who was in charge of an iron or steel frame to tell the churchwardens that it required painting every three years. It was the duty of ringers to see that it was done. There ought to be a ringer on every Parish Church Council, and he should bring this matter up every three years.
The reports were accepted.
Mr. T. H. Beams said the Records Committee had nothing outstanding to report, but there was a slight alteration to make. A progressive length of Cambridge Surprise was put down under the heading of Royal, it should have been Maximus.
THE CARTER RINGING MACHINE.
The Hon. Secretary said the position with regard to the Science Museum Exhibit Committee was as outlined in the notice which appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ recently. They had to congratulate themselves on the fact that in the National Science Museum they had a small section illustrating their art. It was more than justified when they remembered that in the exhibition case was the famous ringing machine invented by Mr. John Carter. They had now arrived at the stage when there was no more for the committee to do, and, with the sanction of his fellow members, he proposed that the committee should now be allowed to lapse, and that the duties should be taken over by the Standing Committee of the Council. These duties were rather important, and turned upon the Carter machine. It had been Mr. Carter’s wish that it, should be in that Museum, and he had deposited it on permanent loan. He had done the Council the honour of making them trustees, and he and the Rev. C. D. P. Davies were the first trustees. They had had to consider whether they should ask others to join with them, and, with his fellow trustee’s concurrence, they proposed to appoint a ringer in London, who was thoroughly well up in ringing methods, and had a certain amount of technical skill in regard to machinery, to assist them. The machine, for delicacy of work, was of the calibre of a French striking timepiece; in fact, parts almost approached watch work. Through Mr. Carter having constantly to take the machine to pieces and reassemble it, parts were already somewhat worn, and would need adjustment. The trustees proposed to appoint Mr. C. Roberts, a young London ringer, who was a watch maker, and who had agreed to master the machine and to demonstrate it, he hoped, for many years to come. He (Mr. Young) had been able to extract from Mr. Carter details of the machine, which, he had incorporated in a book, deposited with the machine. This described it in great detail, and showed what the machine would do in any method now known, or which could be invented in the future.
The Rev. C. D. P. Davies, in seconding the proposal to dissolve the committee, said he regarded the machine as one of the most wonderful thing he had ever seen. It was an asset to the Exercise which he hoped would go down to the generations to come. He rejoiced to hear that Mr. Young had secured the services of a younger man, who would be able to understand the machine, keep it in order, and work it when necessary. That was a thing about which he (the speaker) had always felt concern. He was terrified with the thought that its use or explanation might be lost, and the Exercise deprived of it as an asset. He was glad they had secured a young man who would, he hoped, be able to keep it going for many years to come.
Mr. J. S. Pritchett expressed appreciation of the services which Mr. Young had rendered in this matter. Although that other wonder, Babbage’s Calculating Machine, was still in existence, no one now knew how to use it. That was a fate they would not like to befall Mr. Carter’s machine, and it would be saved from it by the exertions of their secretary (applause).
It was resolved that the committee be dissolved, that its duties be carried on by the Standing Committee, and that representatives be appointed by the Council to act as trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine.
Mr. G. P. Burton, moving the adoption of the report of the Nomenclature Committee, said they presented a report in 1925, which was before the Exercise for a whole year. Instead of a report for 1926 the committee had put forward a series of recommendations which they had likewise seen printed in ‘The Ringing World.’ Those resolutions would be put to the meeting in due course. The committee were compelled to bring forward proposals which would produce some opposition, but that could not be helped, for when any reform was undertaken there must be some controversy about it. During the past year the greatest possible publicity had been given to the matter in the ringing press, and friends and critics alike had had ample opportunity afforded them to hear all there was to be said on the subject from both sides. Their greatest critic, at any rate in regard to the amount of space he had occupied, had been Mr. Trollope. He had had to declare himself in some respects on the side of the committee, but it had to be confessed that not one bit of his criticism had been in the least bit helpful. The committee was put forward to do something, and help the Exercise out of the mire in which it had been for sometime in regard to names, but Mr. Trollope’s criticism had been obstructive. Not one helpful suggestion had been made by the critics, they could only say ‘No’ to every proposal - and of what good was that? Dealing with some of the points which critics had made, Mr. Burton said Mr. Trollope, in one of his articles, showed how method names had been built up. Did that not show that by the same process they could undo them? When a word was encumbered by too many adjectives they lost their force and had to be dropped, but Mr. Trollope argued that when they had a name it must stand as it was for ever. As to the difficulties accompanying change, they were quickly got over, and people soon became accustomed to new names, as they had seen in recent years when Christiania became Oslo, and St. Petersburg had become Petrograd and afterwards Leningrad. As to the supposed right of any man to give what name he liked to a method, they knew the confusion it had led to, and they wanted the Council to transfer the authority from the individual to the Council, or a committee of the Council. The committee said it was not right that the individual should have the authority to choose a name which might cause trouble and difficulty, and perhaps bring them to ridicule. They were now frequently getting change ringing broadcast, and it was becoming the practice for the announcer to give the name of the method, and to say that such and such a society would ring a touch of Grandsire Triples, or whatever the method was. They gave out a name - that was the point. It showed that the Exercise wanted to be careful what names it used; that they had the right sort of names. What would the public think of an announcement that someone was going to ring a touch of Princess Mary Royal? They had come to a stage where they wanted no more language of flowers, no generalities. The time had passed for that. The committee wanted a plain ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to their plain, reasonable and practicable proposals. They were doing something now for the future, and not just for their own present-day likings or convenience; they were looking further ahead, so that whatever developments might come, they could have names which were suitable, names of which they were not ashamed.
Mr. Burton then moved the resolutions which appeared in the committee’s report.
The proposals were, briefly, as follows:-
(1) No method shall have more than one name.
(2) No name shall belong to more than one method.
(3) No name shall contain more than one word.
(4) Class designations, when added to a name, shall always have some reference to the thing designated. Thus the word ‘bob’ in this connection shall always, as originally, have reference to dodging.
(5) The names ‘Pasallatessera’ and ‘Pasallatria’ shall not be used in any C.C. publication; should it be necessary to distinguish the classes which were once so designated, they shall be otherwise, and properly, described.
(6) The fifteen floral names shall be changed.
(7), (8), (9) and (10) gave the name changes proposed in the various groups, and the following resolutions were added:-
(11) No names or terms, supplementary of, or in substitution for, those published by authority of C.C. should be used until the sanction of C.C. has been obtained.
(12) A supplement to the Glossary, containing new names and terms up-to-date, should be at once put in hand.
(13) In the case of all new methods, which have been rung under names it is proposed to alter, an opportunity should be given to those who first rang them, or to their society, to approve of the proposed new name.
The question was raised as to whether the resolutions were in substitution for the 1925 report, and, at Mr. Pritchett’s suggestion, it was agreed to take the resolutions as an amended report.
The Ringing World, June 4th, 1926, pages 345 to 346
DEMAND FOR NO INTERFERENCE WITH METHOD NAMES.
Mr. J. A. Trollope then moved the amendment, of which he had given notice, as follows:- ‘That this Council, while urging on the Exercise the extreme importance of choosing suitable names for new methods, declines to interfere with such rights as bands and individual ringers at present enjoy of giving names to new methods. And further, is of the opinion that no alteration should be made in the names of old and historical methods, except where urgently necessary.’ Mr. Trollope said they had been told that the names of methods were in a most indescribable state of confusion, and that statement was the justification for these thirteen resolutions which the committee had put before them. He denied entirely that there was any confusion. The names which they had for methods, taking them as a whole, were very effective, very suitable, and, from a literary point of view, quite good. They were told there was no system. The Exercise had been in existence for nearly 300 years, and for some of the method names they had to go back nearly as long as that. In all that time they had been inventing names, and different men had different ideas. It was true they had no system, but they were all good names. The second point was that, even if names were capable of improvement they would not get improvement from any committee - he did not mean that particular committee, but any committee - simply because good things, like names, were the result of evolution; they were happy inspirations which a man got. A committee which sat down, with cast-iron rules before them, would not perhaps do anything very bad, but certainly would do nothing good. No committee would ever give them names which in any way would approach the oldest names they had. Double Norwich Court Bob Major was a name full of history, and so was London Scholars’ Pleasure. What was the matter with names such as these? The committee wanted names of one word, and preferably of one syllable. Why on earth they wanted that, he (the speaker) did not know. The amendment which he had put down meant that they left things as they were. It was put very vaguely, and asked the Council to decline to interfere with such rights as bands and individuals now enjoyed. What the rights were that anybody had in the name of a method was altogether indefinable. It was a matter of common sense, compromise and good taste, and it was best to leave it at that. The second part of the amendment related to historical names and in this he thought the Council ought not, for any reason whatever, to break the continuity of the history of the Exercise.
The Rev. C. D. P. Davies, in seconding, said they did not want to upset historical things, and they liked the name of methods to be, to a certain extent, indicative of their history as well as of their structure. He was, therefore, very much against altering names to which the Exercise had got accustomed, the names by which certain methods were well known, and had been well known for years, and, perhaps, for generations. Like ‘Topsy’ in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ they just ‘growed,’ and there was no surer principle to be guided by than that. He did not say that he was against all the alterations which Mr. Burton’s committee proposed, but he was strongly against a general uprooting of old names. He must say he should not be sorry to see the disappearance of the names ‘Pasallatessera’ and ‘Pasallatria’ which Mr. Law James invented, but, as a matter of principle, he was entirely with Mr. Trollope.
NAMES WITH A HISTORY.
The Rev. H. Law James said he was going to support the resolution, but that did not mean that he was going totally to disregard what Mr. Burton and Mr. Drake had done. First of all, with regard to ‘British Scholars’ Pleasure.’ He was not familiar with the name, but it promptly raised the question in his mind, ‘Who were the British Scholars?’ There was history there somewhere, if somebody could find it out. It suggested at once that a search might produce information about the society. Just as the Union Scholars’ book came to light, so somebody or other might find some record of the British Scholars, and the name should stand to keep that historical fact alive. Then there was College Bob IV.; it was a horrid name, but it told him that there were four methods known as College Bob. The first was naturally called College Single. The second and third he had never heard of, but the fourth had come down to them. It meant that in the early days the College Youths rang these different methods, and named them in that way, and because there was history in the name it was best left alone. Then there was London Scholars’ Pleasure. They had all heard of the London Scholars. Unfortunately, their books had disappeared, but they were represented to-day by the Cumberland Youths, and he did not think they should tread on their toes by altering the name which implied that the first 720 was rung by them centuries ago. As to ‘Pasallatessera ’ and ‘Pasallatria,’ he was not a literary man; he was a science man, and when he went through the classification of methods he found two classes which had never been noticed, and he had to get them in somehow or other. He, therefore, did what every science man did, he coined them out of Greek roots. He was not going to fight for these two names: they could alter them if they liked. The meaning of one was ‘All except four,’ and the other, ‘All except three.’
The Rev. H. Drake, referring to the names which it is proposed to give to the new collection of Plain Major Methods, agreed that the names were a very fine set, but some had already been used for other methods. He did not see how Mr. James could say that the Nomenclature Committee had interfered with the appearance of the book, as they let the question of the sub-titles drop and they understood the Methods Committee were going on.
The Rev. H. Law James: I didn’t understand so, so there it must rest as a misunderstanding.
Mr. W. A. Cave said very few would be able to vote either for the resolution or for the amendment, because some of the old names they wished to see retained, and some of them they wanted to see ‘go west.’ He thought they should go through the list line by line, and vote on whether they wished to keep or reject them.
Mr. E. W. Elwell (Chester Guild) supported the amendment, which, if carried, would meet the wishes of his Guild, which had taken a large part in naming methods scientifically. In the last few years they had taken care to give similar names to methods of the same class, but the Nomenclature Committee seemed to be trying to undo the classified distinction which the Chester Guild members had made and which had been made in accordance with the good old Yorkshire custom of two hundred years ago, and about which there was nothing funny or silly. They must, he said, make a protest for the right of ringers, as in the past, to ring methods and name them; in any event let them preserve the rights of the ringers of the past and preserve as an honourable trust for the future the old and glorious heritage of their ringing craft (applause).
After the luncheon interval, which was taken at this stage, Mr. J. S. Pritchett spoke in support of the amendment. He said the difficulty that the Council felt was undoubtedly that of debating en masse what was really a multiplicity of resolutions. It would take a week to discuss the report line by line. Each of the resolutions invited amendment and prolonged discussion. He thought the committee had begun at the wrong end by proposing wholesale changes, involving so much controversial matter. They would better have begun at the other end by proposing to reform the worst of the abuses in nomenclature, and then proceeding gradually upward. He thought the amendment afforded them that opportunity, as it laid down lines on which it suggested the committee should proceed and concluded by saying, ‘and is further of opinion that no alteration should be made in names of old and historical methods except where urgently necessary,’ leaving it open to the committee in the future to bring forward changes which they thought to be urgently necessary. If they confined themselves to a less elaborate report they should be able to deal with it in a short period of time. Personally he objected to very much in the report. He saw no harm in the adoption of names of flowers for six-bell methods. He thought the list given in the committee’s report, and which they proposed to alter, was a charming list - one could hardly imagine a more charming one. He much preferred them to affixing the names of towns to every method indiscriminately - that was a soulless method. There was no connection between the method and the town, and he wondered if the ringers of the various towns had been consulted before the names were foisted upon them. He agreed with what had been said about the preservation of historical names, and he agreed that those which were not historical and were uncouth might be altered. Where names were duplicated the Council might select one name, and if this course was followed they might make some progress in the subject.
COMMITTEE ONLY ACTING ON INSTRUCTIONS.
The Rev. H. Drake said, having listened carefully to what had been said in support of it, he could not see why this had been moved as an amendment. The committee had discussed the amendment, and agreed with it, and if the proposer would put it as a rider and not an amendment, they would all be agreed. The committee did not want to make great alterations. He agreed with everything Mr. Pritchett had said. The unfortunate part of the matter was that the committee were asked by the Council to propose some way of getting rid of these floral names, and what, therefore was the use of blaming the committee when they had done only what the Council had asked them to do? He would not have opposed them himself, but at the London meeting he was put forward by those who did object to these names, and he brought up a resolution which resulted in the committee being formed. That committee was the result of the opposition to the floral names, and the Council could not blame the committee for what they had done, they could only blame themselves. The committee had made a list of the names to which they thought anyone could take exception, and had substituted others for them: it was for the Council to say whether they wanted them altered or not. Personally he did not think all of them ought to be accepted, and he had asked, in the pages of ‘The Ringing World,’ that those changes which were objected to should be mentioned. They had half-a-dozen mentioned by Mr. Trollope, and he had been asked by the treasurer of the Suffolk Guild, who was not a member of the Council, to propose two other names. When the time came he would propose that these six or eight names should be left out, and they could then, perhaps get a division on the question of the floral names. With regard to the old and historical names, they had not proposed that these should be altered, except those two of which so much had been made, London Scholars’ Pleasure and British Scholars’ Pleasure. They were the only two that were historical, and the amendment before them said that, if necessary, historical name should be altered. If they passed a resolution that only one word should be used in a name, it was necessary to alter these names; if they did not pass that resolution these names could be left standing. His own suggestion was that these historical name should be used as a sub-title, so that, for instance, in ringing they would call ‘Go, Lambeth,’ but in the record they would describe the method as ‘Lambeth (London Scholars’ Pleasure).’ Thus they would keep their historical names, and have a convenient one-word name for the method. There were two things in their former report which the committee had dropped; one was the question of classification, and they had also dropped the words, to which Mr. Trollope took so much exception, that the names were in a state of ‘indescribable confusion,’ and they left it in the hands of the Council to say whether they were in a state of confusion or not. All the committee said was that there was ‘confusion’; it might not be great, but here was an opportunity, brought about by the opposition to floral terms, to clear up the difficulties. Mr. Drake illustrated his point by an instance in which he was concerned. They had been discussing in the tower the ringing of Oxford Bob, and afterwards started to ring it, but in the band was one who was not present when the discussion took place. The conductor said, ‘Go, Oxford,’ and the ringer mentioned started for Oxford Treble Bob. There was one of the practical difficulties in having names liable to confusion. They ought to pass Mr. Trollope’s proposal as a rider, and not as an amendment. The committee would then not waste all the work they had done, but would carry on on somewhat different lines to what they had done.
The suggestion to make the amendment a rider was not accepted, and, on being put, was declared carried by 29 votes to three. It was then put and carried as a substantive motion, and the report of the committee therefore fell to the ground.
THE COLLECTION OF PLAIN MAJOR METHODS.
The Council then returned to the proposal of the Methods Committee that they should proceed at once to print 300 copies of the Collection of Plain Major Methods, which was formally proposed by the Rev. H. Law James.
Mr. Burton again called attention to the fact that if the names proposed by the committee for the new methods were allowed to stand there were three or four which had been employed in the past, and, perhaps, entitled to be considered historical. To use these names still further would lead to additional confusion.
The Rev. H. Law James: I think Mr. Burton is entirely mistaken.
Mr. Trollope said he took careful note of the hints Mr. Burton made, and so far as it was possible every suggestion he made was followed. The only ones where Mr. Burton’s suggestions were not acted on were Cambridge Court and Cambridge Surprise. The methods had been rung under those names, and they had no right to alter them. They also held that sub-titles were outside the scope of the Nomenclature Committee. Otherwise, everything that committee recommended received the Methods Committee’s best attention, and was followed out. The Methods Committee held themselves responsible for everything in the proposed new book, including the names, under the terms of the reference to them, until such time as it was handed over to the Council.
Mr. Burton said ‘Cambridge’ was already used three times; then there was St. Clement’s Court Bob and Trinity Court, which had been used before, while the word ‘London’ already appeared in methods six times. Hereward Bob was already a name used in the Minor methods. Then there was Dublin Court introduced, when there was already a well-known method called Dublin Surprise. They also suggested a change in the name of Llangollen Court, which no Englishman could properly pronounce.
Mr. Trollope: Every one of those names was in existence before; we have only acted on the facts.
The President appealed to the members of these two committees to come to an amicable agreement.
The Rev. H. Law James: If they will drop the whole thing a great deal of good will result from the discussion, and, in the future, things will go on smoothly.
Mr. Burton: I was prepared to accept that, but Mr. James did not give me the chance.
The Rev. H. Law James: We want next year to revise the Minor Methods, and we shall pay careful attention to what has been said about the names.
The motion to print 300 copies of the Major Method Collection was thereupon put to the meeting and carried.
The Ringing World, June 11th, 1926, pages 361 to 362
The Hon. Secretary (Mr. E. A. Young) moved a resolution, of which he had given notice at Chester, ‘That the time has arrived when the Council should consider whether Simpson tuning is in the best interests of the Exercise.’ He referred to the fact that probably most of those present differed with him on this subject, but said that he felt sure they would find it interesting, and hoped that, whatever happened to the motion, the Council would consider the subject as worth ventilating, for, after all, the question of bell tones was something very near to them. The work of the late Canon Simpson and his ideas were outlined, viz., that the founders should return to the mediæval bell with its octave hum-note; the contrary view of Mr. T. C. Lewis, the well-known organ builder and bellfounder, who maintained that the hum-note should be a major seventh, was also referred to by the speaker, who said that the present position had grown up largely without much knowledge on the part of ringers themselves, and without, as far as he had been able to discover, any discussion in that Council. Mr. Young, in explaining why he had stepped into the breach that day, pleaded that even if they did not look upon him as much of a ringer, they should as a listener to and a lover of bells from his earliest childhood. Born at Southampton, he remembered as a very little boy, whilst at play on the Western shore there, stopping to listen to the sound of St. Michael’s bells as their notes came across the water. Of course, first impressions were deep, but his ear had always approved of the old tuning. Perhaps he did not realise how beautiful the new tuning was (musical tastes differed greatly), but he was a delighted convert to its principles, when first he read of them. That was, of course, on paper, but in reality, on making a journey on purpose to hear the then much praised bells of St. Mary’s, Southampton, he felt sadly disappointed and disillusioned. It was, however, some years after, when ringing a peal at this same church on the occasion of his 60th birthday, that, having to ring by ropesight the whole time, on account of the howling overtones, he resolved to call the attention of the Exercise to the question. In asking those present to consider the case against Simpson tuning, Mr. Young said that he would first instance that of the church of which they were all members. In these days it was very hardly hit financially, as they knew. It was therefore necessary for it to husband its resources, and spend with wisdom, Much as they might like to see £2,000 spent on a carillon for some church, it might be much more to the general good to give it to the fabric fund for the upkeep of the church, or even to augment the fund for poor curates. Money should be spent to the best advantage, if it largely went for new ‘rings’ there was less left for other towers in the diocese. He maintained that they should not spend money on recasting bells merely in order to get a peal tuned on the modern ideas, for, after all, were they sure that they were getting something that was better? Turning to the practical side, the speaker said that some conductors told him that it was difficult to find where they were by the sound of the bells, and instead of being able to listen to the course-ends, they had to rely entirely on rope-sight. Others had spoken to him upon experiencing a feeling of fatigue in the ear after coming through a peal, and he was not sure but that the bells themselves, suffered in time from permanent fatigue by excessive vibration acting on thin sections.
The mover of the resolution then, in referring to the musical value of various peals, said that, of course, there were good peals and bad ones. Unfortunately, there were many of the latter up and down the country, and none of them liked to listen to an old, badly cracked and badly mixed ‘ring.’ If they had a good Simpson tuned ring, he liked to listen to it; if they had a good old-standard ring, he thought it still more enjoyable. Recognising the difficulty of the subject, he had felt that it was a case for ‘horse, foot and artillery,’ in making his attack. He had, therefore, ordered as good a bell as could be cast, so that they could have tested it there that day, but circumstances had been against him; for one thing, the strike, and also objections to its being trundled up the marble staircase there. Then he arranged with one of the leading gramophone companies to have some records taken illustrating both the Simpson and the old-standard, but here again the strike interfered with the arrangements. Finally, the local committee thought that they could provide him with a harp, to demonstrate the differences between pure tones and overtones, but there was not a harp in Ipswich! So they saw him there as a sort of forlorn advocate, without his heavy guns, and in light skirmishing order only.
Proceeding, Mr. Young said that there was something about Simpson tuned bells which many people disliked; the reason, he thought, was to be found in the principles of Sound and Music. He claimed to have a musical ear, and to be something of a musician, but admitted that the subject bristled with difficulties. He said that it could, however, be urged against this tuning that bell tones, being naturally percussive, were too smooth, but the rock they split on was, undoubtedly, so far as music went, the minor-third, and this threw the whole peal into the minor scale or key. Of course, there was beauty in the minor key, but it was inferior to the major, both in theory of Sound and in the practice of Music. Helmholtz, the great German authority classed the intervals thus - in order of consonance - the octave, fifth, fourth, major-third; minor-third, major-sixth, and, lastly, the minor-sixth. So much for science, but he would have to state, for the benefit of the Simpsonians, that the ear on account of some curious inward quality, or because it was not scientific, put the order thus - or so musicians said - viz., the major-third, minor-third, major-sixth, minor-sixth then the fourth and fifth, and the poor octave last of all. The speaker said that though the minor-third had come up a bit, it would be noticed that the octave had dropped to last - so much for the Simpson hum-note, and its belauded value in a ring. Returning to the question of the minor key, he said that it was recognised in musical circles that no one could sit down for any length of time and listen to music in the minor scale with comfort. It was the old scale, but had been improved. The present major scale was finally crystallised by the great Bach in the 17th century, and before his time several scales had been in vogue, more or less based on minor intervals. It was then also that our bell founders definitely adopted the major-third. When they listened to Simpson bells they had this minor interval droned into their ears the whole time. It was inevitably brought about by the lengthening of the bell to produce the octave hum-note, this length too with the thinning of the crown, accentuated the overtones, or such was his opinion, and he was certain that the founders would have done away with, at any rate, the minor-third, if they had had the power; the rest was a matter of taste.
In his concluding remark, Mr, Young said that, though the Simpsonians claimed that their method was scientific, he considered that they had ‘jumped’ the claim, and that it belonged to and should be reserved for the old standard. He believed that the old founders deliberately altered their bells from the Simpson shape, which was well known to them in the sixteenth century, and that the present change in shape and tuning was a retrograde movement. He regretted that time did not allow him to read certain paragraphs from the two books he had there by Simpson and Lewis, and which he had briefly referred to earlier, and finally passed on to the founders’ point of view. These had, he understood, suffered several lean years, and to them, of course, the great Simpson movement meant everything. It was to the founders’ interests to recast bells, within reasonable lines, because they could make a job of what they undertook. He believed that they were overwhelmed with orders for work, and peals were being recast up and down the country at the rate of three or four a month. It seemed as if they would be busy for years in casting down both good and poor bells; let them endeavour to cast down the bad ones and leave as many as possible of the good ones.
Mr. W. A. Cave, who briefly seconded the resolution, said he thought Mr. Young would move to appoint a committee to consider the matter.
ARE RINGERS AFRAID OF THE CARILLON?
Major J. H. B. Hesse said he saw no occasion for any ill-feeling on this question. The proposition was one of science and art. They must first define clearly what they meant by ‘Simpson’ tuning. In his opinion it was on this point that they began their misunderstanding one with another. He need mention no names, but they all knew that this revolution in the method of tuning was originated and developed some thirty years ago by a certain firm of bellfounders, which, for a time, then used, concerning their bells, the phrase - ‘tuned upon the principle propounded by Canon Simpson,’ the Canon being then living. Later on, this firm thought it wise to drop this method of describing the tuning, and decided to define their bells as ‘in true harmonic tune,’ that is, each bell having its harmonic tone in tune with its fundamental note. Now, did they all agree that this was what they meant when they used the term ‘Simpson’ tuning? - if so they could proceed with the debate, with understanding between them. In ‘The Ringing World’ report of the inquiry re the Coventry bells one witness said he thought the Simpson principle was all wrong. One would like to know if he really thought that bells and peals of bells cast and tuned with understanding was all wrong, while a peal cast by chance was far preferable, One wondered did he really think this, or was it that he tried to think that those past masters of the art, viz., the Rudhalls, Bayleys, Penningtons, Purdues, Bilbies. etc., were so gifted instinctively that they could, without knowledge and unconsciously produce finer work than mere knowledge, art and science could attain to. They understood an objection on sentimental or archæological grounds to the disappearance and destruction of old bells, but let them be honest about this, and say that their objections were sentimental and archæological, for it would not do their cause good to bolster it with false assertions and claims as to the tone and tune of the instruments if the objectors did not at heart believe thoroughly in their protests on this point. There was an issue he would like to mention, and that was: ‘Are we ringers, as a body, afraid of the carillon - do we fear its shadow to be growing over us, and that our beloved change ringing is going to be ousted by carillon playing?’ For his own part he had no fear of this at all. When they considered their thousands of ringing peals, and totalled up the carillons in this country, the comparison was ridiculous. Still, he did think this fear haunted some of them, and they asked: ‘What has that to do with the tuning of the bells?’ Perhaps these timid spirits knew also that the Rudhall, etc., bells and similar ones were absolutely hopeless for carillon work. Personally, he thought the ‘Simpson’-tuned bells were the only possible. Therefore it was that those fearing folk decried the new and lauded the old, in the hope that they might thus help to keep out the dreaded carillon and retain the change ringing peal! As he had said, he had no fear for change ringing, and in any case, here again, as with the archæologically inclined, let them have the truth first. Some had said ‘Simpson’-tuned bells howled. As to howling, he would like to ask if the following peals howled, that had been cast since Norton near Sheffield, in 1896, viz.: the rings of ten of Loughborough Parish Church, and Holy Trinity, Hull; the two Beverley churches; Selby Abbey; Bradford Cathedral; Rochester Cathedral; St. Nicholas’, Brighton; St. Peter’s, Croydon; Manchester Cathedral; Hanley and Rotherham; the ring of eight at Pendleton; Sunbury; Alton; Ilkeston; Colchester (St. Peter’s); Lincoln Cathedral; St. Neots, Hunts; Skipton; Westbury; Chewton Mendip; Gravesend; St. Stephen’s, Clapham; Haslemere; Bishop Ryder’s, Birmingham; Tiverton; Tavistock; King’s Norton; Petworth; Northfield; Great Baddow; Burnley; Penistone; Hinckley; the rings of twelve at St. Chad’s, Shrewsbury; St. Margaret’s, Leicester; Oldham Parish Church; Macclesfield Parish Church; to which they should add the ring of twelve at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, although not really recast, as the old peal still occupied one of the chambers in the tower. The foregoing were peals all composed of ‘Simpson ’-tuned bells. and were not ringers as a body proud of these modern examples of the bell founder’s art? He would say, without fear of contradiction, that the very large majority of them would praise their tone with enthusiasm - indeed, he would like to learn what proportion called them ‘howlers,’ and preferred the Rudhall, Pennington and Bayley bells, etc., to them, and regretted the previous peals which these took the place of, and would like to have the old ones back again. The old bell that had gained a good reputation, such as the 11th at Exeter, the tenor at Queen Camel, and others in the West Country and other parts, when they had been heard by competent judges, had been found to be true to the five-toned or ‘Simpson’ principle, or nearly so; but this most probably was due to chance.
The Ringing World, June 18th, 1926, pages 377 to 378
BELL FOUNDERS AND SIMPSON TUNING.
A member suggested that item No. 11 on the agenda should be discussed at the same time as the hon. secretary’s motion, as it practically dealt with the same subject. This motion was as follows: ‘That the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association, at their annual meeting held at Painswick on April 5th, 1926, unanimously agree that historic bells should not be tuned by the Canon Simpson principle, even though it is necessary for them to be recast; but that the Canon Simpson principle may be used on modern bells only.’
The President said this was only a pious opinion by the Gloucester and Bristol Association, and he would have to rule it out of order altogether. If they wanted it discussed they must put it in the form of a resolution. The President said they had three of their members very intimately acquainted with this matter of bell tuning, he referred, of course, to the three founders. They might have considerable diffidence in speaking on the subject, and it was perhaps rather invidious to ask them, but he was perfectly certain that the Council would like to hear what they had to say on the matter.
Mr. C. F. Johnston, accepting the invitation of the president, was the next speaker, and, referring first of all to Coventry bells, which, he said, were not being destroyed but were being recast so as to have a long life and, he hoped, a musical one before them, said the bells were to be cast to weights which would enable them to be converted into a ringing peal at a later date if a proper tower for their installation should ever be provided. The bell founders now responsible for their restoration were only too thankful if any assistance which had been given in this matter by the Council had assisted to this end. The whole difficulty, as he explained in ‘The Ringing World’ a few weeks ago, was with regard to the tower, and the authorities turned down any idea of having the bells hung for ringing as they were thirty or forty years ago. Proceeding, Mr. Johnston said they kept hearing about the Simpson or new principle of tuning. There was nothing new under the sun, and he took it they meant by the new principle the rediscovery and, he trusted, the improvement of the principle that was practised 300 and 400 years ago on the continent. He felt sure in the examples of particularly good bells in this country, especially in the eastern counties, they had the result of this work by men who were driven over here from one cause or another, and the effect of their knowledge in casting was felt in the places where they worked. Mr. Young had referred to the bells of St. Michael’s, Southampton, as the first to give him a love of bell tones. The harmonics in most of these bells were very good, and they would never have been recast had it not been for their structural defects - there were holes in some of them into which one could get two fists. It was a good thing to ventilate the subject; the bell founders did not mind being shot at at all. Mr. Young referred to the question of the seventh, and said he was sure that in the old system the seventh was put into the bell or was a result of a natural sequence. He (the speaker) could disprove that. In No. 10 bell at Coventry the hum tone was one tone sharp, in No.9 bell a quarter-tone sharp, and in No.8 bell one semi-tone sharp. There was absolutely no sequence in their falsities. They were not sevenths at all, but anything that happened to come from bells designed in the old-fashioned way. Proceeding, Mr. Johnston remarked that Mr. Young said it was a pity to spend so much money in recasting bells, because it might be devoted to other diocesan purposes. He (Mr. Johnston) held that it was better to put six first-class peals of bells into a county in one year than dabble with twenty-four or thirty. The noise in the belfry where there were bells tuned on the five-tone principle, and to which people had objected, was caused by the absence of protection for the ringer from the bell tones. If they would have a proper double floor and take other precautions, or for preference put the ringers two rooms below the bells, he defied them to have any annoyance when the bells were ringing.
Mr. T. H. Beams: You get it outside as well as in.
Mr. Johnston: If you block up the louvres to the correct level I defy you to get any annoyance outside the tower. Continuing, Mr. Johnston said it was unfortunate that Mr. Young turned down the offer to have a correctly cast bell there for demonstration. He would have been prepared to send down a bell tuned on the old principle and another bell of similar proportion tuned accurately on the five-tone principle, so that Mr. Young might have given an illustration of both types of tuning. He had no doubt that with his friends, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hughes, they could have got over the difficulty of getting the bells up the marble staircase. Mr. Young also regretted that it was not possible to produce a harp for the purpose of demonstrating, but he would point out that certain of the witnesses at the Consistory Court objected strongly to the use of a piano for that purpose. With reference to the minor third as against the major third, there were no good old bells with the major third: they had the minor third. There was a difficulty, and founders realised that they had the minor third in, say a C bell, clashing with the E bell, but if they had a major third, this in one bell would clash with another bell in the same peal. They could not have it both ways, and as the minor third was a component note of the bell, and not actually the note of the bell itself, they did not get much clashing between the minor thirds of different notes. As an instance of the possibility of tuning an old peal, Mr. Johnston quoted the case of St. Maurice’s, Winchester, which underwent considerable tuning of the right kind to make them the improved peal they are at present. It so happened that the harmonics were so placed in these bells, and there was enough metal in them that, without hurting the bells, they were able to bring them into accord with one another. They had gone a long way since Canon Simpson’s days, but they were indebted to him for drawing attention to the possibilities of the art and in taking a large part in inducing certain founders to improve on their work. He would like just to refute utterly the very strong aspersion thrown out by Mr. Young that it was all a question of business with the founders. He wanted ringers and the public to understand, and it was borne out almost weekly in the pages of ‘The Ringing World,’ that if a bell was a good one in the honest opinion of the founder, it was bad business for him to try to recommend it should be recast for the sake of putting a little more on the bill. That was not the way to build up a big business or a good reputation, and the man who knew his job did not do it (applause).
CANON SIMPSON’S OPINION.
Mr. Pryce Taylor said the name of his grandfather had been closely connected with that of Canon Simpson in this question of bell tuning, and since the days, which he well remembered, when Canon Simpson, who was then Rector of Fittleworth, came to their foundry at Loughborough, considerable advances had been made. He (the speaker) had been brought up among bells, and his chief, indeed his sole interest was bells, and to give them, as ringers, the finest instruments it was possible to produce. He was proud or the name of Taylor and of these bells, and he was proud of the traditions of his grandfather and his father. Mr. Taylor went on to quote from a letter written by Canon Simpson after one of his visits when he heard a peal of eight that had been cast for Wellington. In that letter Canon Simpson spoke of the satisfaction and pleasure it gave him to witness the realisation of an ideal that had occupied no inconsiderable part of his time and attention for twenty years, and he thanked Mr. Taylor for having invited him to test scientifically this peal of bells, which he found simply perfect. Habit and prejudice, he added, were powerful hindrances, but no one who had once experienced the musical satisfaction of such a peal as that could be content with the incomplete tuning which had hitherto passed muster. Proceeding, Mr. Taylor referred to the fact that Mr. Gorham Rice, the great authority on the carillons of Belgium and Holland, gave every credit to Taylor of Loughborough as the first English founder to produce scientifically tuned bells. It would, he thought, be a pity if the Central Council could not endorse the work which they had initiated. With regard to Mr. Young’s remark about the minor third, he thought Mr. Young was inconsistent when he picked out the seventh. He did not think Mr. Young could find a peal of bells in which that seventh was even throughout the peal. They had at the Loughborough foundry produced in their experiments, a series of bells with that seventh, and they had also produced bells according to their latest ideas, and there was no doubt if ringers heard them side by side, which they would select for their own tower. The minor third was a necessity in a bell, and any particularly good bell, whether old or new, would have that minor third in its composition.
Mr. A. A. Hughes said there was little left for him to say after all that they had heard. There could be no doubt that scientific tuning must in the future take the place of the old method of tuning.
Mr. E. Barnett said there was no denying the fact that many Simpson-tuned bells were preferable to the ones they displaced. First impressions were not always the best, and one’s views often changed as time went on, but what he did find with Simpson tuning was that it made bells offensively noisy. The tone, generally speaking, was harsh and shrill, and did not possess that beautiful softness which they got in many of the bells by old founders which had been handed down to them. That, at any rate, was his experience.
COUNCIL NOT QUALIFIED.
Mr. T. Faulkner said he had come to the conclusion that the Council as a body was not qualified to pass a resolution on that subject. For instance, their president gave evidence at the inquiry at Coventry, and he admitted in the witness-box that he was not a musical man. How, therefore, could he vote for or against a resolution like the one before them?
The President: The president doesn’t want to vote (laughter).
Mr. Faulkner said there were a great many members present who were in the same position. There were plenty of men who were excellent ringers but who were not musicians, and he ventured to say that the majority of the members that day were not qualified to say whether Simpson tuning was in the best interests of the Exercise or not; they had not the requisite knowledge. They might have opinions and like or dislike certain peals of bells, but they were not qualified by training, education or knowledge, to say whether Simpson tuning was in the interests of change ringing or not. He would, therefore, move an amendment that ‘This Council as a body is not qualified to pass an opinion on the subject at present.’
The Rev. E. Powell seconded, and he did so, he said, partly because certain of his ringing friends in the Devon Guild had been rubbing into him their dislike of Simpson-tuned bells, and pointing out how superior Heavitree bells were to Simpson-tuned bells. As a matter of fact, Heavitree bells were Simpson tuned (laughter).
The Rev. H. Law James said he was glad the whole question had come up. As a member of the Standing Committee he signed the paper out of which grew the attempt to prevent the re-casting of Coventry bells. He read everything that appeared in the papers about it, and he was very well satisfied with what occurred and with the result. He had not been satisfied, however, in the first instance, because Coventry bells had such a tremendous reputation, but he came to the conclusion that it was definitely proved that they wanted recasting. He thought it was well that the Council stepped in, and there would, perhaps, be other cases where the Council should step in in the future, and, from what Mr. Johnston had said, they might have to step in to support the bell-founders. There was no doubt many peals had been enormously improved by the Simpson-tuning principle. Reference had been made to the way in which the sound of some bells interfered with ringers in the ringing chamber. He was going to make a suggestion to the bell-founders. In future, when they gave an estimate for hanging a new peal of bells or re-hanging an old peal, they should include in their price provision for leaving the bells so that the ringers could hear every bell in the tower (hear, hear), and, further, they ought to include in their estimate the treatment of the tower so that those bell should be a pleasure to everyone round about and not a nuisance in the neighbouring house. If the founders did not do it, nobody else would, and often the job was spoilt for the sake of a few odd pounds which could be put in the estimate and which nobody would notice (hear, hear). Mr. James deprecated the practice of putting any attachment on a bell to cause it to go on humming all the time, by lifting the clapper after it had struck. Some people, he said, had an idea that that was the proper thing. If they were going to ring one bell by itself, it might be an advantage to put something on the clapper to allow the bell to hum, but when they were ringing bells in peal they wanted each bell to speak with its full note and then stop, like a piano. Howling came from the sustained humming of the bell. They wanted one clear note, which wanted to be perfect in tone. If they had this, there would be no more complaint about howling (applause).
Mr. T. R. Dennis mentioned the case of St. Andrew’s, Cambridge, where they were now unable to ring on account of the deafening noise outside the tower. The sound came down into the street in such volume that it was said to be a danger to traffic.
PLASTER CEILING ADVOCATED.
The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said Mr. James had advocated that founders should include in their estimates the cost of means of deadening the sound of the bells so that they were not a din in the ears of the ringers, and also that the sound of each bell should be deadened as quickly as possible. He thought this could be secured in a perfectly simple way by putting an ordinary household plaster ceiling in the ringing chamber.
Canon H. J. Elsee questioned the wording of the resolution, which was whether Simpson tuning was in the best interests of the Exercise. Surely, he said, it was not so much a matter for the Exercise as for the public outside. If it were put in that way, then he had no doubt at all that Simpson tuning was in the interests of those who listened to the bells. He had been a great lover of bells all his life, and he had listened to all sorts of bells, but he must say that he would rather listen to one of the modern peals than to any of the older bells that he knew. But having said that, he wanted to add that he thought it would be a great pity if all the older bells were melted down and re-tuned on modern principles. He would put out of consideration historic bells, for everyone was agreed there should be no question of re-casting mediæval or sixteenth-century bells. It would be pure vandalism to destroy anything of historic interest like that, but with regard to rings of the eighteenth century it would be a great pity if a clean sweep were made of all the examples of the bell-founders’ art of that period which had come down to them. This did not apply to bells of a hundred years old or less, but on historic grounds they should retain their old bells where possible. There was, he continued, a good deal in what Mr. Young had said in regard to the point of view of the clergy. They had at times to consider the proportion between what they could ask for for luxuries - and, after all, bells were luxuries - and the vital things for the Church. He was thinking of the tremendous appeal being made for the work of the Church overseas - a world call. It would mean a vast appeal to all Churchmen to help in the work, which was absolutely vital at the present time. He was not sure that that being so he could press forward a big scheme to put bells into the very best condition if a lesser scheme would serve for all practical purposes fairly well. On the other hand they often found people ready to give to the re-casting or re-hanging of bells who would not be ready to give on the same scale for other branches of Church work, and in such a case there would be no reason why they should not have the best scheme they could get. But he wanted to support Mr. Young in what he said as to the need of thinking in proportion on what they spent on various objects. As to Simpson tuning, he thought a Simpson-tuned peal spoke for itself, and there could be no question whether it was superior to the old method or not.
Mr. Young briefly replied on one or two technical points which had been raised, and the amendment moved by Mr. Faulkner was then put and carried.
The Ringing World, June 25th, 1926, pages 393 to 394
RINGERS ON ADVISORY COMMITTEES.
The Rev. H. Law James moved the following resolution:- ‘For as much as the church towers of England contain a large number of valuable old bells, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers requests the Diocesan Advisory Committees of the various dioceses to co-opt some members having knowledge of the archæology, tuning and proper hanging of bells, to form a special sub-committee to advise them, when necessary, on all questions relating to the tuning recasting or re-hanging of bells, in order that bells may not needlessly be re-cast, and that re-hanging shall be carried out in a proper manner.’
He said they would remember some years ago the Council passed a resolution somewhat similar to this, and, as far as he knew, very little came of it. In his own diocese the Dean pointed out to him the reason why the original proposal was fruitless. It was that advisory committees could hardly put a change ringer on their own body as a permanent member, because the committee had to deal with all sorts of things besides bells, and the ringer might be totally incompetent to deal with anything else.
Mr, Rupert Richardson seconded.
The Rev. H. Drake said he thought they would all be agreed about this. He would like to say the reason why he held up his hand against the amendment which the Council had just carried (relating to Simpson tuning) was that they as a Council were in the habit of making out they could not do things they ought to do and which they had a duty to do. He did not think they should have passed a resolution in the words adopted. Their work as a Council of ringers for the whole of England was to lay down certain lines on which other people could act. They could not expect advisory committees to know anything about the technical uses of bells, or to know much about the period when, from an historic point of view bells became worthless. These were matters on which the Council should lay down lines; there was no one else could do it if they didn’t. He thought the Council should go on and lay down lines as to when they thought bells were so old that they ought not to be broken up, and also lay down lines on which bells should be hung so that they were no nuisance to ringers or, what was more important, to the people outside the tower.
Mr. C. H. Howard said he was acting on the Advisory Committee in the Chelmsford Diocese, and had been able to do some useful work. At first he was receive by some with suspicion, but he found they were now only too ready to co-operate and to listen to any suggestions that came from a society of change ringers. His committee had been exceedingly kind, and had listened to his suggestions, and he believed they had now scrapped the idea of a professional man coming down to the tower to inspect the bells; instead they asked him to do it for them. Mr. Howard spoke of the danger of ‘clocking’ bells, and suggested the Council should do all they could to get rural Deans to find out from all incumbents whether this practice was allowed. A lot of beautiful old bells had been destroyed by ‘clocking.’
Mr. C. Mee said this had been done in Suffolk.
Mr. F. Wilford said in the Peterborough diocese the authorities at first were a little shy of taking anyone who was a ringer on the committee, but, as with their friends in Essex, these little difficulties were soon got over, and the committee were now very thankful for the information which some of the ringers could give them.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said it was not always necessary that an advisory committee should co-opt someone who had a knowledge of bells, if they had someone to refer to. In the Oxford Diocese he was not on the Advisory Committee, but he was now referred to in every single case; if a tower contemplated having anything done, he was sent for and reported. On the question of bell-tuning he did not consider he was learned in the subject, but he did know something about it; he knew, in fact, how little he did know, and he always left the point open for the people of the church concerned. His reports came before the Advisory Committee and were considered and the chairman had told him that he was in a far stronger position than if he were on the committee.
The President pointed out that the matter was before the Council last year, when a letter was sent to the secretary of every diocesan conference, calling attention to the fact that it was absolutely necessary that someone acquainted with ringing and ringing matters should be placed on the Advisory Committee, pointing out that in several dioceses that had been done, and asking that it might he done in all. There was no harm in hammering at the matter again.
The motion was put and carried nem. con.
RAILWAY TRAVELLING FACILITIES.
The following motion was proposed by Mr. E. Guise: ‘That the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association earnestly requests the Central Council to continue to press the Railway Clearing Board for cheaper travelling facilities to be granted to ringers.’ He said when the association took the matter up last year with the local superintendent at Bristol they were able to convince him that cheaper travelling facilities for ringers were as essential as they were for golfers. They pointed out to him that it was difficult to get a party of twelve ringers from one station when, perhaps, there were only five or six, or even eight bells, in the town or village. He clearly saw their point of view, and promised to lend them all his help.
Mr. E. Bishop, who seconded, said the matter was one of vital interest to ringers, and it would be very much appreciated if they could get the concession. They would have to go cautiously to work, and what they wanted was someone with influence in the railway world to be interested in it, so that he could put their views before the Railway Clearing House. It had been suggested that a committee should be appointed to consider the matter and bring it forward at an opportune time. The present was, perhaps, not an opportune time, but they ought to be ready to put the scheme forward at the right moment.
The President said that this matter had been brought forward again and again. Many years ago a deputation went to the Clearing House and they were turned down. The question had been brought up again since, but with no better result. He was perfectly certain of this, they must get into touch with one of the magnates of the railway world if anything was to be done. As Mr. Bishop lived at Swindon he was probably acquainted with someone connected with the railway whom he could ‘sound’ on the matter.
The Hon. Secretary said that last year he had an interview with a prominent railway official, and they discussed some of the difficulties, one of which was the question of identifying the bona-fide ringer going out for practice or peal-ringing. The companies wanted to see that they were not being cheated, but he thought they could get over that difficulty by the production of identity cards. The official whom he saw thought the companies would he inclined to consider the matter again if the difficulties that presented themselves could be overcome, and that they might raise the matter again in, say, twelve months’ time. He presumed it would be the Council’s wish that he (the secretary) should take the matter up again?
Mr. James George said he did not think the Council were going the right way to work. If they saw or communicated with the general manager they would do better.
Mr. T. H. Beams said thirty years ago this privilege used to be granted on the South Coast Railway. The members had to produce a printed voucher issued by the secretaries, filled in with the ringer’s own name. This had to be presented at the booking-office. The Council were only trying to revive what was once a custom on some railways.
Mr. G. R. Pye said on the Great Eastern Railway they used to have to produce the previous year’s subscription receipt to prove membership.
It was resolved to leave the matter in the hands of the president and hon. secretary to take whatever action might be necessary.
‘BELLRINGERS’ SUNDAY’ IMPRACTICABLE.
Mr. T. H. Taffender proposed ‘That the Council consider the question of the institution of a “Bellringers’ Sunday” by mean of an annual service throughout the country, or otherwise, and make recommendations.’ This matter had, he said, been given to him by the London County Association to bring forward, in the hope that the Council might be able to draw up a scheme that could be made universal. He was aware that most associations had services at their annual or branch meetings, but the idea behind the resolution was to have services throughout the country on the same Sunday, such as was the case in regard to Hospital Sunday and Territorial Sunday. If such a day could be fixed, ringers would make it their duty to attend in a body, and, if possible, get a ringing parson to give the address.
Mr. A. D. Barker, who seconded, said he believed the proposal originated from a suggestion made by the Vicar of St. Clement Danes’.
The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said when he saw the motion on the agenda it almost gave him a little shiver. He did not suppose the lay members of the Council, including the proposer and seconder, had any idea of the way in which the poor parson was requested to have a Sunday for this, a Sunday for that, and a Sunday for the other thing. If they were to take them all up, he doubted if there would be a Sunday left. He rather gathered from what the proposer said, however, that what was in his mind was to have a big service in one big place in each diocese. That, of course, would be quite another thing, but if they had a Sunday for the purpose all over England, where were they going to get their ringing parsons as preachers? A service in some great central place was one thing; a universal Sunday throughout the country was another, and he could not say that, he was heart and soul with the proposer.
Mr. T. H. Beams said there were great difficulties in the way of having services throughout England on one Sunday; it could be worked better if it could be a recommendation that every Guild should have a service on one Sunday in the year. That was a more practical proposition and might be possible. Each Guild could arrange such a service or series of services. They might have a central service, as Mr. Davies suggested, but individual services, he thought, were impossible, even in a diocesan manner.
The Rev. H. J. Elsee said in many parishes in the North there was already a ‘Ringers’ Sunday,’ when the collection was given to the Ringers’ Fund, and special mention was made in the sermons of their services, and very often a ringing parson was got to preach to the ordinary congregation. He thought, therefore, it would be better worked as a matter for each parish than centrally.
The Ringing World, July 2nd, 1926, page 409
Continuing the discussion on the proposed ‘Bellringers’ Sunday,’ Mr. T. R. Dennis said he thought the time had arrived when associations should seriously consider the question of propaganda work amongst the lay public. As associations he did not think they did enough. Ringers’ services might have the effect of awakening the general interest of the public in ringing matters.
Mr. E. W. Elwell said he rather objected to the suggestion that church services should be used to promote interest in the ringers. It was the ringer’s duty to make every Sunday his Sunday, and to turn up at his church and not have just one Sunday in the year, making it appear as if he did not go to church on any other Sunday.
Mr. J. Hunt said he did not think any useful purpose would be served by a ‘Ringers’ Sunday.’ Nearly all the associations held quarterly and annual meetings, when they had their church services, and he could not see why, for instance, they should drag all the men of the Bath and Wells Association to Taunton for a service on one Sunday in the year. It was not workable.
Mr. W. A. Cave suggested as an amendment that they should have a ‘Bellringers’ Saturday.’ Dinners were being held during the autumn and winter season at Birmingham, London, Bristol and Sheffield, and he would like to see inaugurated a Saturday afternoon when they might all meet in a social way somewhere on the banks of the Thames, or some place like that.
The president pointed out that this was not an amendment to the resolution, which he then put to the meeting. It was negatived by a large majority.
The resolution of the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association, deprecating the Simpson tuning of historic bells, was ruled out of order by the president, as it was not put in the form of a motion.
This concluded the formal resolutions on the agenda, but one or two matters were referred to under the heading of ‘other business.’
Replying to Mr. F. Wilford, the president said a member of the Council was elected for the full session of three years, but if he died or was laid aside by illness, it was lawful for an association to elect another in his place for the remainder of the term.
Mr. T. Faulkner raised the question of whether it was in order for the umpire of a record peal to open the sealed copy of the figures of the composition before the peal was rung. He thought it would be absolutely necessary for him to see the figures in order to check them.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said no one except the secretary of the society whose record was to be challenged should have a copy of the figures, and he should keep them in the sealed envelope and return them to the conductor with the seal unbroken if the peal was not rung. If the conductor sent them to anyone else he ran the risk of what might be done with the figures.
Mr. A. H. Pulling said he sent the sealed figures of the peal attempted at Leeds to Mr. Langdon, who was coming to umpire the peal, and to the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn. It was a great surprise to him when he had a letter from Mr. Langdon to say that he was going to open the figures. He (the speaker) was always under the impression that the figures should not be opened until the peal had been rung. He held that the umpire should come and take down the figures and, after the peal, open the sealed envelope and compare them with the composition. It did not much matter in connection with a peal of Stedman Caters, but if it were a long peal in some other method composers might not like their figures handed about, and the band might also object to others seeing them.
Mr. Beams: If he has not got the figures before him, what is there to umpire? We are not all Withers.
Mr. Pulling said if the umpire was to have the figures before him, the Council should alter their rules.
The President said the rules provided for sending the sealed figures to the secretary and no one else.
Mr. G. R. Pye: There is no rule of the Council that you must have an umpire.
The President: No rule at all.
Mr. Pulling: The association can send an umpire.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn: He is not called an umpire.
Mr. W. A. Cave: The rule says that a competent representative of the bands shall be present during the whole of the performance.
The matter then dropped.
APPEALS AND THANKS.
The Rev. H. Law James said they were collecting funds to add four trebles to the bells at Lincoln Cathedral in memory of the members of the Lincoln Guild who fell during the war. They had got within £90 of the amount they wanted, and he would be glad to receive subscriptions from any non-resident life members, of whom they had many scattered all over the country, and whom he did not now how to get at.
The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said he was the incumbent of a country parish of under a hundred inhabitants. He was hoping to be able to get the five bells at his church made into eight, and he hoped members of the Council would assist him by taking collecting cards.
The Council accepted the offer of the honorary secretary to send to absent members of the Council and to the secretaries of the various affiliated Guilds and associations a copy of the booklet he had prepared on Coventry bells, which is to be completed by the addition of the report of the proceedings in the Consistory Court.
Before separating, the president expressed the Council’s sense of appreciation of all that had been done by members of the Suffolk Association for their reception and convenience. They had made excellent arrangements for the Council’s comfort and for that meeting. They must not forget that they came there primarily for the transaction of business, but there were certain creature comforts which the Suffolk Guild had looked after, and they very much appreciated it (applause).
Canon H. J. Elsee said that as that was the last meeting of the present Council they could not break up without thanking the president for the way in which he had conducted their business. They could not have had a better chairman (hear, hear). Though they would meet, some of them, as a new Council next year, he hoped it would be many years before they thought of suggesting another chairman than Canon Coleridge (applause).
Canon Coleridge briefly replied, and the proceedings then terminated.
Afterwards the Council, with members of the Suffolk Guild, were entertained to tea by the Guild and in the evening, after ringing at various Ipswich churches, there was a social gathering at the headquarters, at which an enjoyable musical programme was carried out.
The Ringing World, July 9th, 1926, page 425