Again we have to report a comparatively uneventful year of peal ringing. As was the case in 1925, very few peals with exceptional features have been rung, and the total number continues to decrease. 1,667 peals in all were rung, being 22 less than the previous year. On eight bells and upwards, the decrease is actually 80, including 14 on twelve bells, six on ten bells, and 60 on eight bells, while Minor shows an increase of 19, and Doubles of 39. Separating the handbell peals, Cinques show a decrease of four, otherwise there is an all-round increase of one on ten bells, five on eight bells, three of Minor, and two of Doubles.

The following table shows the totals for the year:-

Tower Bells.Handbells.


N.B.- Where spliced peals contain odd and even bell methods, they are included in the higher number.

The Midland Counties Association takes first place for the greatest number of peals, with 130, including one on handbells, as against 143 last year. The Kent County, which led in 1925 with 157, has only 112, all tower bells, the only other association to reach the century being Lancashire with 102, including three on handbells, as against 131 peals last year.

It is remarkable that more than half of the societies (24) show no decrease; in fact, 20 of them show an increase. Surrey has increased by 32, Yorkshire by 29, and Sussex by 28, a gratifying feature being Devonshire’s increase from 12 to 28. Eighteen societies together show a decrease of 211 peals, while twenty societies show a total increase of 189.

There seems to be little compensation for the drop in the total number rung. Certainly, London Surprise Major has increased from 49 to 68, but taking all the Surprise methods together we find a decrease of 24 peals. Bristol Major one less, Cambridge Maximus six less, Cambridge and New Cambridge Royal three more, Major ten less, Superlative Major 28 less. Other methods, Royal one more, Major two less.

The variations of Treble Bob have slightly more than held their own, with an increase of three peals. The 186 peals are made up as follows: Maximus, two of Kent; Royal, 20 of Kent, one Granta and one Spliced; Major, 121 of Kent, 35 of Oxford, one Prince Albert, and five spliced; Oxford Major showing a gain of 10 peals.

Double Norwich has decreased from 111 to 102; Double Oxford again has two peals. Plain Bob has fallen from 147 to 139. To set against this there are: One peal of Forward Maximus, two peals of Canterbury Pleasure Major, one peal each of Duffield Maximus and Major, one Double and one Reverse Bob Major on handbells, 12 Spliced peals containing plain Royal and Major methods, and an increase of two peals in Little methods.

Peals on odd numbers were as shown in the following table:-

Stedman.Grandsire.ErinOriginal.Other Plain


Stedman being 43 less, Grandsire 20 less, other methods being the same with nine peals.

The additional peals rung by six-bell ringers, already mentioned, consist of 16 more of Minor and 37 of Doubles on tower bells, three of Minor, and two of Doubles on handbells.

Methods rung for the first time are the Brighton version of London Surprise Royal, Belgrave, New Gloucester and Clarendon Surprise Major, Original also being rung for the first time on seven bells.

A peal of Double Norwich Major, consisting of 10,400 changes, was the only length over 7,000 rung during the year. Other peals worth noting are the wonderful performance of the Ladies’ Guild mentioned later, a spliced peal of Grandsire and Oxford Bob Triples with bobs only, by the Llandaff and Monmouth Association, the first peal of Stedman Caters by the Masonic Craft, under the auspices of the St Martin’s Guild, a ‘Frederick’ peal of Grandsire Triples by the Kent County Association, a peal of London Surprise Major by the Chester Guild, being the first peal in the method by six of the band, first peal of Stedman Cinques by Freemasons, a ‘Charles’ peal of Kent Treble Bob Major, a handbell peal of Doubles with one man ringing 1, 2, 3, 4, non-conducted peals of Stedman Cinques and Grandsire Triples by the St. Martin’s Guild, and the Midland Counties scored the first ‘Ernest’ peal.

The number of peals rung each month in 1925 and 1926 is shown in the following table:-


The peals rung on each particular day of the week show very little variation, the most notable being an increase of 23 Sunday peals. The figures for 1926 are as follows: Sunday 87, Monday 165, Tuesday 117, Wednesday 133, Thursday 144, Friday 71, and Saturday 950.

Analysing the footnotes, we find that ringers of their first peal numbered 584, of their first in a different method or method on a different number of bells, 1,045, inside 68, away from tenor 55, in method inside 55, Maximus 3, Cinques 1, Royal 26, Caters 25, Major 64, Triples 25, Minor 101, Doubles 28, on 12 bells 29, on ten 48, on eight 36, on six 6, Surprise 39, Surprise Royal 11, in hand 13, in method in hand 27, Royal in hand 4.

New conductors number 69, and conductors of a fresh method 96.

Peals by local bands number five, and by Sunday Service ringers 18.

A further 62 peals are recorded as being the first on the bells, 29 as first after restoration, etc., and 173 the first in the method on the bells. Half-muffled and muffled peals number 61.

Peals were rung for birthdays 234, weddings (silver, golden and diamond included) 62, church festivals 26, Empire Day 5, Armistice Day 16, anniversaries 51, memorials 3. Welcome and farewell peals 45, and three Masonic peals are also recorded.

The ladies still continue their activities, and the number taking part in peals during the year was 79. A peal of Stedman Caters was rung by 10 ladies, this being the first peal on ten bells by ladies only. One peal was rung with seven ladies, one with five, one with four, four with three, 27 with two, and 200 with one lady in the band. The methods rung numbered 25, and ranged from Doubles to Cambridge Surprise Maximus. The number of Surprise peals was 43, an increase of seven over last year. Handbell peals numbered 14, being eight of Royal, one of Caters, one of Major, three of Minor, and one of Doubles.

The individual performances of the ladies were as follows: Two rang 21 peals, one 15, one 14, two 12, one 11, one 10, one 8, four 7, five 5, five 4, five 3, eighteen 2, and twenty-nine 1. The conductors numbered six, one lady having conducted three peals and five one peal each.

We conclude our report by giving the number of peals rung in representative years since 1881, the total of the whole period being 49,998:-

A. T. BEESTON, Hillcroft, 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, May 13th, 1927 pages 296 to 298



The balance sheet for the year ending Whitsuntide, 1927, is as follows:

Receipts:: Balance in bank £67 6s., affiliation fees £14 2s. 6d.; interest on stock £4 2s. 5d., sale of publications £7 10s. 5d.; total, £93 1s. 4d.

Expenditure: Committee expenses, Rev. A. T. Beeston (records) £1 17s. 2d., Mr. E. A. Young (postage, stationery, etc.) £7 9s. 4d.; ‘Ringing World’ (printing) £38 16s.; balance in bank: £44 18s. 10d.; total, £93 1s. 4d.

The Ringing World, June 3rd, 1927 page 345


The annual meeting of the Central Council was held in London on Tuesday, the business proceedings taking place in the Conference Chamber of the Mansion House, by the courtesy of the Lord Mayor. This was the first session of the thirteenth Council, and the affiliated Associations and Guilds were represented as follows:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, T. Faulkner and A. A. Hughes.
Bath and Wells: Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire: Rev. Canon W. W. C. Baker and Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild: Mr. E. M. Atkins.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Rev. C. A. Clements, Messrs. E. W. Elwell, R. Sperring and R. D. Langford.
Devonshire: Rev. E. S. Powell, Messrs. E. W. Marsh and F. J. Davey.
Doncaster and District: Mr. H. Walker.
Dudley and District: Mr. S. J. Hughes.
Durham and Newcastle: Mr. W. Story.
Ely Diocesan: Mr. R. Dennis.
Essex: Messrs. C. H. Howard, G. R. Pye, E. J. Butler and W. J. Nevard.
Gloucester and Bristol: Messrs. W. A. Cave and E. Guise.
Hertford County: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake and Mr. W. Ayre.
Kent: Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, Messrs. E. Barnett, J. H. Cheesman and T. Groombridge.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss E. K. Parker, Messrs. W. H. Shuker and P. Crook.
Lancashire: Rev. Canon Elsee and Mr. W. H. Shuker.
Lincoln Diocesan: Rev. H. Law James, Rev. H. T. Parry and Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan: Messrs. J. W. Jones and W. Bolton.
London County: Messrs. T. H. Taffender and A. D. Barker.
Middlesex: Messrs. F. A. Milne, C. T. Coles and W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties: Messrs. W. Willson and F. Bailey.
Norfolk: Mr: A. L. Coleman.
Oxford Diocesan: Rev. Canon Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. F. Hopgood and J. Evans.
Peterborough Diocesan: Messrs. F. Milford, R. G. Black, T. Tebbutt and F. Hopper.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan: Ret. F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. S. Hillier and T. Hervey Beams.
Sherwood Youths: Mr. A. Coppock.
Stafford Archdeaconry: Messrs. H. Knight and T. J. Elton.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. J. D. Matthews, J. Parker and F. Smith.
Suffolk: Rev. H. Drake, C. Mee and C. J. Sedgley.
Surrey: Messrs. J. D. Drewett and C. Dean.
Sussex: Mr. J. T. Rickman.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan: Mr. A. J. Pitman.
Truro Diocesan: Mr. W. H. Southeard.
Warwickshire: Messrs. H. Argyle and F. W. Perrens.
Winchester Diocesan: Messrs. G. Williams, H. Barton and A. H. Pulling.
Worcestershire: Messrs. C. A. Binyon, R. G. Knowles and T. J. Salter.
Yorkshire: Messrs. P. J. Johnson and J. Cotterell.

The following honorary members also attended: Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Rev. A. T. Beeston, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, J. George, H. Wilde, J. S. Pritchett, J. W. Parker, J. Griffin and E. A. Young, hon. treasurer and secretary.

The gathering was the largest on record, and as soon as the members had taken their places the proceedings opened with prayer, and the Lord Mayor of London (Sir Rowland Blades) welcomed the Council to the City.

On behalf of the Bishop of London, Archdeacon Holmes also welcomed the Council.

The President (Rev. Canon Coleridge), the hon. treasurer and secretary (Mr. E. A. Young), and the hon. librarian (Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn) were re-elected by acclamation.

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs. Edwards, Mr. T. Metcalfe, Alderman R. B. Chambers, Mr. Pryce Taylor (who cabled from New York), Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. H. Chapman, W. Haigh, G. Chester, Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Messrs. C. E. Borrett, E. H. Lewis and Cyril Johnston (the last named also being in New York).

Acknowledgments from relatives of deceased members had been received, in reply to letters of condolence sent by the secretary, from Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Papillon and Mrs. Matthews.

The balance sheet, the abstract of which was published in ‘The Ringing World’ last week, was presented and passed, the Secretary announcing that during the year no less than five new associations had come in, viz., Barnsley and District (one member), Doncaster and District (one), Sherwood Youths (one), Truro Diocesan Guild (one), and East Derbyshire (two).

The report of the hon. librarian, showing a sale of 150 of the new Major and Cater Methods, and about the same number of the other publications as in previous years, was adopted.

At the suggestion of the librarian, a committee was formed to go through certain papers and books in his keeping to see if they were worth preserving.

It was also decided to revise and reprint the ‘Rules for a local company,’ and the following committee was appointed for the purpose: Canon Elsee, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Mr. E. W. Elwell and Mr. H. W. Wilde.

The following hon. members retired by rotation: Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. J. S. Pritchett, J. A. Trollope, J. H. B. Hesse, J. Griffin and E. A. Young, and they were re-elected. The Rev. A. T. Beeston, Mr. Cyril Johnston and Mr. J. S. Goldsmith were also elected hon. members to fill vacancies which had occurred.

The Standing Committee was elected as follows: The president, Canon Elsee, Revs. C. W. O. Jenkyn, H. Law James, and C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, J. Griffin, E. A. Young, J. S. Pritchett, A. A. Hughes, C. F. Johnston, Pryce Taylor, W. A. Cave, C. T. Coles, J. D. Matthews, A. Paddon Smith and the Rev. A. T. Beeston.

The Peal Collection Committee reported that the collection of Treble Bob compositions was proceeding, and it was hoped to have the additions typed by the next meeting. The committee was reappointed as follows: Revs. H. S. T. Richardson and E. S. Powell, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde, J. W. Parker and Miss E. K. Parker.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards presented the report of the Literature and Press Committee, whose principal work during the year had been to collaborate with the secretary in revising ‘Rules and Decisions.’ The report was adopted, and the following members were elected: Revs. A. T. Beeston and F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. G. P. Burton, W. Willson, A. Paddon Smith and J. S. Goldsmith.

The Methods Committee, Rev. H. Law James, Messrs. E. H. Lewis and J. A. Trollope, were re-elected with the addition of the Rev. E. S. Powell, and authority given to the committee to re-issue the ‘Collection of Minor Methods’ after revision.

The report of the Peals Analysis Committee, as already printed in ‘The Ringing World,’ was adopted, and the committee re-elected as follows: The Rev. A. T. Beeston, Messrs. J. W. Parker and G. Williams and Miss E. K. Parker, with thanks for the great work they had again done.

Reports of the Towers and Belfries Committee were made by Major Hesse and Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, and a letter was received on the subject from Mr. E. H. Lewis. Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. E. A. Young and J. H. B. Hesse were re-elected.

The Records Committee report was presented by the Rev. A. T. Beeston and adopted, and the members re-elected, viz.: Revs. A. T. Beeston, H. Law James and Mr. T. H. Beams.

The Nomenclature Committee, Rev. H. Drake, Messrs. G. P. Burton, A. D. Barker, T. H. Beams and A. L. Coleman, reported through Mr. Drake that in view of the resolution carried at the last meeting the committee had been unable to do anything during the past year.

After a long and animated discussion as to the reappointment of the committee, it was resolved to thank the committee for their services, and that the committee be dissolved.

The revised copy of the Council’s ‘Rules and Decisions’ was presented by the hon. secretary, and instructions given for printing a second edition of 300 copies.

On the motion of Mr. T. H. Taffender, seconded by Mr. A. D. Barker, the following resolution was passed: ‘That the Council approach the British Broadcasting Company with a view to the broadcasting during the evening programmes of a series of instructional talks on change ringing, with handbell demonstrations.’

A committee was appointed to give effect to the resolution, consisting of Messrs. Taffender, Cockerill, Hughes, Matthews and Young.

A resolution was moved by Mr. G. Williams, and seconded by Mr. A. H. Pulling, to amend the rules of the Council in order that the agenda might be published twelve weeks instead of two weeks before the Council meeting, the proposed change involving as a consequence the sending of notices of motion three months instead of three weeks before the meeting.

The motion was carried by a large majority.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn proposed ‘That the Council shall issue, at a small charge, peal diplomas for the encouragement of young ringers.’

After discussion, in view of the diversity of opinion prevailing, it was decided to postpone the matter for a year, to enable representatives to consult their associations.

In accordance with notice, the Rev. H. Law James proposed, and Mr. R. Richardson formally seconded, ‘That since William Shipway extended Superlative Surprise Major to Royal, and the first peal of Royal was rung at Wakefield in 1826, the Council cannot accept any extension to Maximus which does not agree with the Major and the Royal.’

This led to a lengthy debate, in which wide divergence of view was revealed among the ‘experts,’ and eventually an amendment was carried to the effect that in view of this disagreement no good purpose would be served by coming to a definite decision on the subject.

On the proposition of Mr. J. A. Trollope, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes, it was resolved: ‘That a committee be appointed to report to the Council on the legal relationship between (a) bells, (b) ringers and (c) ringing respectively on the one hand, and (d) the incumbent, (e) the churchwardens and (f) the parochial councils respectively on the other hand, and any other legal matters affecting the Exercise. And, further to consider the advisability of issuing a. statement on these matters for the guidance of ringers and other persons affected.’

The committee of lawyers was appointed, consisting of Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Mr. F. A. Milne and Mr. E. W. Elwell, to carry out the task.

The Standing Committee recommended Hereford as the place of next year’s meeting. Mr. W. A. Cave proposed Bristol, in view of the Diocesan Association’s jubilee festival next Whitsun; and the Rev. E. S. Powell suggested Plymouth. On being put to the vote, Hereford was selected.

The meeting closed with votes of thanks to the Lord Mayor and Archdeacon Holmes, also to Sir Frank Dyson, the astronomer, who on Sunday afternoon personally conducted a party round Greenwich Observatory, and to the president of the Council.

Social gatherings in connection with the Council were held at the Coffee Pot on Monday evening and at the Bedford Head on Tuesday evening, while St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Clement Danes’ bells were utilised after the meeting.

The Ringing World, June 10th, 1927 pages 360 to 361



The most largely attended meeting in the history of the Central Council was that held at the Mansion House, London, on Whitsun Tuesday, when nearly a hundred members were present, representing 38 societies. The meeting was opened with prayer, offered by the president (Canon G. F. Coleridge), who said it was his pleasant duty to inform them that the Lord Mayor of London and the Archdeacon of London had come to welcome them. It was exceedingly kind of both to spare a few moments from their many pressing engagements to come here to greet them (applause).

The Lord Mayor, who was received with applause, warmly welcomed the Council to the Mansion House. The ability and distinction with which the bell ringers of this country carried on their calling was, he said, well known, and in no other part of the world were bells so well rung as they were in England. He had just returned from Belgium, where there were a great number of bells, but the bells of this country were unequalled in many ways (hear, hear). He should have been sorry to miss that meeting, because he felt they represented a body doing a valuable work in connection with the Church by ringing the bells which pealed throughout the land (applause).

The Lord Mayor having left to keep another engagement, Archdeacon Holmes welcomed the Council as the representative of the Bishop of London, and in the name of the Church. Bell ringers, he said, combined in their activities the two elements of Church and State. Bells were used wondrously in connection with both, and they had a great influence, whether heard above the clash and clamour of a noisy city like London, or in the quiet of the country villages and lanes, and to all who heard them they carried some message, although the recipient might hardly be conscious of it. Wherever they went they felt always at home when they heard the bells beginning to ring - bells were a great national instrument. The Archdeacon added that he wanted to leave one thought with them; it was the necessity for throwing oneself enthusiastically into one’s local work; if they did that, their interest and influence would extend through the whole area in which their society operated. Thus they would be able to take part in the bigger work and give a helping hand to those who had not had the same opportunities as themselves. In the name of the Bishop of London he gave them a most hearty welcome to the diocese (applause).


The Council then proceeded to the business of the day.

The Hon. Secretary (temporarily in the chair) said only one nomination had been received for the office of president, and he had great pleasure in announcing Canon Coleridge duly re-elected. He trusted he would have another happy term of office (applause).

Canon Coleridge, in acknowledging his re-election, thanked the Council for the honour they had again conferred upon him. He told them three years ago he was getting much too old for that chair (‘No, no’). There were many others far more competent than himself to occupy it (‘No’). He would do his best during the next three years, or during such part of it as he might be alive. Although he had plenty of energy yet, they knew perfectly well he was not up to the mark in ringing circles, because he could not get about as much as he used to do. As for these new developments which came crowding upon them, they were told in Standing Committee that only five people understood some of them. He (the speaker) was not one of the five (laughter). Continuing, the President said that only one nomination for the office of hon. secretary and treasurer had been sent in, and that was on behalf of the present holder of the office. He was sure they could not have a better (applause), and he declared Mr. Young duly elected by acclamation (applause).

Mr. Young thanked the members, and said the Council’s wishes and work were nearest his heart. The years were passing, and he thought they should be scanning the faces of some of the younger men who would be able to take over the duties and carry them out better than he had done. Perhaps in three years’ time, now that he had given them due warning, they might think of that.

The President congratulated Mr. Young upon his recovery from a painful illness. When he saw Mr. Young in hospital about three weeks earlier he had doubts whether he would be able to carry on and be present that day. He had a most valuable assistant, and they were much indebted to her for all she had done for them. Mr. Young’s recovery had, happily, been rapid, and they were all delighted to see him in his old place (applause). Many of them must also have been thinking of their former secretary, who had likewise recovered from a serious operation recently undergone. They were delighted to see him with them after apparently a perfect recovery of health (applause).

One nomination only had been received for the post of hon. librarian, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn being re-elected.

Apologies for absence were then read, and letters received from relatives of three deceased members acknowledging expressions of sympathy and condolence sent by the hon. secretary.

On the motion of Mr. W. T. Cockerill, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes, who had audited the accounts, the balance sheet was adopted, the Secretary pointing out that five fresh associations had joined during the year. A special welcome was extended to the representative of the Truro Diocesan Guild, the affiliation of which carried the territory of the Council into Cornwall.


In his report the Hon. Librarian said: Except for the business done with the newly-published ‘Major and Cater Methods,’ the sale of publications has been much the same as last year. There was a brisk demand for this book in the first few weeks after publication, but there has not been very much since. However, it is gratifying to be able to hand over a cheque for £7 10s. 5d. as the result of the year’s sales, instead of drawing upon the funds of the Council, as I have been compelled to do in the past few years. The stock of publications at present amounts to 34 copies ‘On the Preservation of Bells,’ 264 copies ‘Cards of Instruction on the Care and Use of Bells,’ 117 copies ‘Rules and Decisions of the Council,’ 1,238 copies ‘Glossary of Technical Terms,’ 43 copies ‘S.P.A.B. Conference Report,’ 280 copies ‘Peal Collection, Section I.,’ 481 copies ‘Peal Collection, Section II.,’ 665 copies ‘Peal Collection, Section III.,’ 219 copies ‘Major and Cater Methods,’ and a large supply of Corrigenda Leaflets of the Peal Collections. As to the library proper, it fulfils the purpose for which it was intended, though the number of those who make use of it is not very great. It is still short of the following numbers of ‘Bell News’ in the years when that paper overlapped ‘The Ringing World’: 1912, Nos. 1561, 1594, 1595, 1596, 1598; 1913, Nos. 1605, 1606, 1625, 1631; 1914, Nos. 1658, 1675, 1677, 1678, 1679, 1680, 1687, 1688, 1689, 1696, 1697, 1700; 1915, Nos. 1717, 1729, 1735, 1737, 1739, 1741, 1755, any of which I shall be glad to receive. There are one or two books, and there is a considerable amount of written work by the late Sir Arthur Heywood and others, as to the value of which I am very doubtful. I should not, however, care to undertake the responsibility of destroying any of this. But I would suggest to the Council that it should appoint one or two experts in these matters who would go through the contents of the library with me, and report as to their value.

The report was adopted.

Mr. C. H. Howard raised the question of reprinting the pamphlet ‘Rules for a local company,’ for which, it was pointed out, there was a demand.- It was resolved that the Rules should be revised and reprinted and the following committee was appointed to carry out the work: Canon H. J. Elsee, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Mr. E. W. Elwell and Mr. H. W. Wilde.

It was also announced that the Rev. E. S. Powell and Mr. J. A. Trollope would go through the books and papers with the librarian to dispose of those not worth keeping.


The President said the Standing Committee had considered the question of how best to fill up the vacancies among the hon. Members. They recommended that the Rev. A. T. Beeston and Mr. Cyril Johnston (who were not now representatives of an association) should be elected; that would leave one vacancy in case they wanted to elect someone specially to the Council.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed that Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, Editor of ‘The Ringing World,’ should be elected to this vacancy and the suggestion was at once agreed to, and the three gentlemen mentioned were unanimously elected.

After the introduction of new members to the president, the election of the Standing Committee took place. The president, Canon Elsee, Revs. C. W. O. Jenkyn, H. Law James, and C. D. P. Davies, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, J. Griffin, E. A. Young, J. S. Pritchett, A. A. Hughes, C. F. Johnston and Pryce Taylor were re-elected, and Messrs. W. A. Cave, C. T. Coles, J. D. Matthews, A. Paddon Smith and the Rev. A. T. Beeston were added to the committee.


The Council next turned to the consideration of committees’ reports, the first being the Peal Collection, presented by Miss E. K. Parker. Since the last meeting of the Council, the committee stated, a final appeal was made in ‘The Ringing World’ for one-part compositions of Treble Bob, which resulted in about 500 further compositions being sent to the chairman, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson. This entailed a great deal of work in discovering duplicates, etc., and the work was practically completed and ready for typing, when Mr. Richardson removed to Hereford. In consequence, the completion was delayed for a time, but the committee hope to present the completed collection at the next meeting.

The report was adopted, and the committee re-appointed as follows: Revs. H. S. T. Richardson and E. S. Powell, Messrs. J. A. Trollope, H. W. Wilde, J. W. Parker and Miss E. K. Parker.

The report of the Literature and Press Committee, presented by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, must needs begin, it said, on a sad note. Since the last meeting of the Council, the committee stated, the hand of death has bereft us of our convener, the Rev. C. E. Matthews, and our first duty is to pay tribute of respect to the memory of one esteemed and beloved by a wide circle of comrades in the art of ringing. During the past twelve months the committee has continued to collaborate with the hon. secretary of the Council in the preparation of a revised edition of ‘Rules and Decisions.’ A draft copy of the revision will be presented to the Council and suggestions for certain alterations and additions will be submitted for approval. There has been little else to call for action on the part of the committee. Individual members have kept in touch with the British Broadcasting Company and have used their endeavours to obtain due recognition for change ringing. At the same time, we have the satisfaction of noting that one of the main purposes of the establishment of this committee is being in large measure achieved. Both the London and provincial Press has in recent times devoted far more attention to bells and bell ringing than was the case a few years ago, and statements with reference to change ringing have shown a great advance in the matter of accurate information. Even that familiar feature of popular literature, the ‘Triple Bob Major,’ is seldom encountered in print nowadays, and the appearance from time to time of quite well-informed articles or paragraphs affords welcome proof that the ideals of the Council are being attained to a gratifying extent.

The report was adopted and the committee were re-elected: Revs. F. Ll. Edwards and A. T. Beeston, Messrs. G. P. Burton, W. Willson and A. Paddon Smith, and Mr. J. S. Goldsmith was added.


The Rev. H. Law James reported for the Methods Committee. As they all knew, he said, the Collection of Plain Major Methods was in print and on sale, and he was very pleased to hear that a large number of copies had been sold. So far as last year was concerned, they were very well pleased. With regard to the future, he understood that the ‘Collection of Minor Methods’ was to all intents and purposes out of print. There were two things to which the committee might turn their attention in the immediate future: the reprinting of the Minor Methods, with the addition of bobs and singles, and 720’s; or they might go on to the Treble Bob Major methods. Having published the Plain methods, he thought it was only fair to the Exercise that they should reissue the Minor methods, and he hoped the Council would empower them to do so during the coming year. He had had a letter from Mr. Lewis saying that his time was so much occupied that he would only be able occasionally to give them help. As, therefore, the committee could not expect much from Mr. Lewis, they suggested that the Rev. E. S. Powell should be added to the committee. They would still have Mr. Lewis in the background, but the three other members would do the work and submit it to Mr. Lewis for his final approval.

Mr. J. A. Trollope asked the Council, and through it the Exercise, to let the committee know, in view of the reissue of the Minor methods, if the six-bell ringers had any suggestions to make with regard to what should be put into the book, and the way in which bobs and singles should be shown. Three years ago one of their members rather criticised the book, and in issuing the Major methods they adopted some of the suggestions made. If the six-bell ringers wanted anything included in the reprint, as far as it was possible to be done, they should let the committee know, and not wait until after it appeared and then complain about it.

The President emphasised this appeal to the six-bell ringers. He said that until the committee knew what the six-bell ringers wanted they would be working somewhat in the clouds; what they would like to do was to come down to realities.

The committee’s report was adopted, and it was agreed that a reprint of the ‘Collection of Minor Methods’ should be proceeded with. The committee, consisting of Rev. H. Law James, Messrs. E. H. Lewis and J. A. Trollope were re-elected, and the Rev. E. S. Powell added.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston moved the adoption of the Peals’ Analysis Committee’s report, which was printed in ‘The Ringing World.’ He said the committee were grateful to the Exercise for the care which had been taken in sending reports of peals for publication. He was sorry to say that there had been a number of omissions of conductors’ names. Perhaps the mention of this fact would lead to greater care.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith said that when defective reports were received, they were returned to the sender for correction, whenever possible, but in some cases no address was enclosed, and this course could not then be followed.

The report was adopted, and the President thanked the committee for their work.

(To be continued.)


Members began to arrive in the Metropolis on Saturday, and on Sunday many found their way to the various belfries. For the afternoon, arrangements had been made by the hon. secretary for a river trip to Greenwich and a visit to the Observatory. A party of 26 availed themselves of the opportunity, and boarded the steamer ‘Ich Dien’ at Westminster, leaving at 2.30. Going down river, great interest was taken in the various wharves, docks, shipping and bridges, especially the Tower Bridge, which happened to be opened for a Swedish steamer as they passed.

By the courtesy of the Astronomer Royal, Sir Frank Dyson, the Observatory was opened to the party, and he himself met them and personally conducted them over the most interesting of the buildings. The description of the giant telescopes and how they are worked was closely followed, and all felt that they had been the recipients of very rare and great honour. At the end of the visit, Mr. E. Alex. Young, on behalf of the party and also the Central Council, expressed their warmest thanks to the Astronomer Royal for his kindness.

A further walk through the beautiful park and gardens brought the party to the Rangers’ House, where, in this fine old Georgian building, tea had been provided for them. The ladies of the party wandered back through the charming flower gardens and avenues, whilst also enjoying the distant music of St. Alphege’s (Greenwich) bells, to which church most of the men folk had gone to ring for evening service, the bells having been placed at their disposal through the forethought of Mr. Thornton, who joined the party on their arrival at Greenwich. A return to Westminster by water ended an enjoyable and memorable day.

On Monday afternoon, another party enjoyed a trip by river to Kew Gardens, and there were also certain unofficial visits to spots of interest in and about the city, with Mr. Young as guide. His great knowledge of the antiquities and history of these little-known corners of London was interesting and instructive, and his kindness was highly appreciated.

In the evening there was an enjoyable party at the renowned ‘Coffee Pot,’ the headquarters of the College Youths, and after the Council meeting on Tuesday, there was a large gathering at the Cumberlands’ headquarters, the Bedford Head. Canon Baker was in the chair, and handbells and songs, as well as friendly intercourse, caused a pleasant evening to pass all too quickly.

The Ringing World, June 17th, 1927 pages 378 to 379


(Continued from page 379.)


For the Towers and Belfries Committee, Major J. H. B. Hesse said that during the year he had inspected five towers, and in each case the work had either been completed or would be carried out when funds were available.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said, although as a committee they had not been given a definite job to do, they were working with a view to improving the towers and belfries. He had been very busy inspecting towers in his own diocese. He had never known a time when so much desire was shown to have bells put in order. He put it down largely to the fact of the great number of branch meetings that their Guild held. Ringers attended these meetings, and visited a tower, perhaps, where the bells had been restored, and they went back dissatisfied with their own. That, he thought, did more to get bells put into order than any amount of talking about it outside. He put this before the Council as an important advantage of branch meetings. He thought this, often more than peal ringing, got bells put in order. A band might visit a tower and condemn the bells as unringable, but if the authorities said they had no money, that was where it would end. But that was not the case if the matter were ‘boiling’ in the locality. In all cases where he had made inspections, the work was going forward or had been done and given satisfaction.

The Hon. Secretary said he had received a letter from Mr. E. H. Lewis, who reported that he had during the past year given advice in two cases. One was Bow, where he found the arrangement of the twelve bells was very interesting, and about as good as it could be. The other was that of a big bell which was to be swung through 90 degrees only, and particulars as to the amount of thrust were wanted. He had made the necessary calculations and forward them in order that they might be placed on record. With regard to the committee, individual members could still do much in giving advice, but it did not seem as if there was much for them to do collectively, at least until the steelmakers have discovered a special steel which would withstand corrosion and be sold at a price which was cheap enough for bell frames.

The Rev. H. Drake said he was interested to hear that members of the committee had visited towers to report on the condition of bells. He did not know that was part of their work. He had also had a good deal to do this last year in visiting and reporting, and it would be of assistance if members of the Council felt they could call on the committee to visit a tower and reinforce the advice given.

The President said he was perfectly certain Major Hesse and Mr. Jenkyn would do so as far as their other duties permitted.

The reports were adopted, and the following re-elected on the committee: Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Mr. E. A. Young and Major J. H. B. Hesse.


The Records Committee’s report was as follows: First peals in new methods have been rung by (1) the Chester Diocesan Guild, viz., 5,152 Belgrave Surprise Major, 5,024 Clarendon Surprise Major; (2) Hertford County Association, viz., 5,184 New Gloucester Surprise Major, 5,040 Original Triples; (3) Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association, 5,040 London Bob Triples. Record lengths have been rung by (1) Lancashire Association, 11,232 Superlative Surprise Major, 17,824 Oxford Treble Bob Major; (2) the Chester Diocesan Guild, 5,088 Double Bob Major, ‘in hand.’ Peals in methods spliced together for the first time have been rung by (1) the Chester Diocesan Guild, 5,184 Plain, Double and Reverse Bob Major, in hand; (2) Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association, 5,076 Bob Royal and Grandsire Caters; (3) the Kent County Association, 5,152 Plain Bob, Double Norwich, and Double Oxford Bob Major, 5,088 Plain and Double Oxford Bob Major; (4) Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association, 5,095 Plain Bob Major and Oxford Bob Triples; (6) Midland Counties Association, 5,096 Plain and Little Bob Major, 5,024 Plain Bob and Canterbury Pleasure Major; (6) Middlesex Association, 5,073 Erin, Stedman and Grandsire Caters. The first peal of Reverse Bob Major ‘in hand’ has been rung by the Chester Diocesan Guild.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston, in moving the adoption of the report, said about three years ago the Council authorised the committee to have copies of the records typed. He was sorry there had been delay in getting that done, but they were now completed, and had been handed to the secretary of the Council. The purpose for which the copies had been typed and placed in the hands of the Council was that they might be examined in order to find out the mistakes which in any work of that kind would almost inevitably take place. Already mistakes had been found, and they would be duly corrected.

The report was adopted.


The Rev. H. Drake, for the Nomenclature Committee, said the committee were in a difficulty to know what to do. In the minutes passed that day it was stated that an amendment was passed. It was also recorded that he had asked that the amendment should be turned into the form of a rider, but that was not supported, and the amendment was turned into a full resolution. When this amendment was put there was really no proposition before the meeting, and the result was the committee did not know where they were. The committee’s report, as Mr. Burton pointed out afterwards in ‘The Ringing World,’ was still before the Council; it was neither accepted nor rejected, and he (the speaker) felt that, as a committee, they could do nothing more than leave it there. They had done what they were asked to do and unless the Council asked them to do anything further he did not see what they could do. Mr. Drake went on to say that the amendment passed at the last meeting, in his opinion, ruled out one of the motions on that day’s agenda. The amendment was ‘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.’ The committee, in their report, had provided some scheme by which the Council could review the method of affixing names. With that in view, he asked the Council to take the amendment as a rider, in which way it would have qualified and not wrecked the report. The Council, by the amendment, declined to interfere with the names, but he must point out that that action would, in his opinion prevent them considering the motion on the agenda later in the name of Mr. Law James (laughter).

Mr. T. H. Beams said the effect of the amendment passed last year was to nullify everything the committee did. He left it to the Council to judge whether it was done purposely. Their work having been nullified, there had been nothing left for them to do during the past year, but there was a way out of the difficulty. If they wanted the committee to go forward, they must give them instructions as to the lines upon which they wished them to go forward, or else they should choose a new committee.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said if they would read last year’s amendment they would see it left a nice loophole, and when he drafted it he intended that it should wreck the report of the committee (laughter). It did not say that the Council declined to interfere or do nothing in the naming of all methods, but said the Council declined to interfere with such rights as ringers and bands had at present. As a matter of fact, such rights as they had were subject, and always had been subject, to revision by anybody. If he, or anyone, published a method and the Exercise did not care for the name given to it, they could alter it, and always had altered it. What he objected to, in moving the amendment, was laying down autocratic rules, without appeal, for naming all methods, past, present and to come, and making wholesale alterations in the names of methods which had been rung. What they wanted to do was to leave the matter in a loose state in which it could be adapted to circumstances. A band who rang a method could call it what they liked, but if they called it by an unsuitable name the Exercise had the right to refuse to agree to it. With regard to the procedure on the amendment, it was an amendment to a report which had been moved and seconded at the previous Council, and he thought Mr. Drake was in error when he said it was not so.


The Rev. H. Law James proposed that the Council’s thanks be given to the committee for what they had done, they had read their report and would make what use of it they could.

The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore thought from last year’s amendment the committee were done away with. He suggested the committee might now be dissolved.

The President said by the amendment carried last time the committee could not possibly go on with any work in the direction of their report, and they had confessed that that day. As there was no work for them to do, he imagined the committee would come to an end unless they reappointed it and gave it something definite to do.

Mr. C. T. Coles said the committee was appointed three years ago because of the dissatisfaction and confusion which arose through various methods having more than one name. The primary object was that they should go into the matter and settle the correct names; whether they went beyond the terms of their reference he would not say. He did not agree that the amendment last year interfered with the later motion which was to be considered. This latter referred to an extension of a method and not to the naming of one.

Mr. J. Hunt said in his opinion the committee went much too far by trying to change names that had been known to the Exercise for hundreds of years. Last year they put nine or ten resolutions in their report. He believed some members would have supported two of them, but the committee wanted to carry the whole lot at once.

The Rev. H. Drake said the committee merely compiled a list of names of methods to which objection might possibly be raised, and left it to the Council to decide on what lines they wanted the alterations made. They put their recommendations in the form of a number of resolutions, which could still be put one by one; they did not ask the Council to adopt them all. Some of the resolutions were things which they could all agree with and were really necessary. He would like to move, if nothing else, that the president put the resolutions to the Council one by one without discussion, and, if there was any opposition to them, those who objected could lay their views before the committee during the course of the year, and the committee would try to meet them. There was a desire in the Exercise that something should be done, and if the Council did not re-elect the old committee he hoped they would elect someone else. Mr. Drake added that it was most outrageous thing that recent correspondence in ‘The Ringing World’ should have taken the form of an attack on the Editor, who was one of those most in favour of doing something to get rid of the present confusion which exists in these names.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said it seemed to him that although this committee had nothing to report, they were going to spend a long time discussing it (laughter), which seemed to him absolutely futile. By 29 votes to three at the last meeting they gave the committee what he thought was their quietus on the report. The committee did an infinite amount of work and produced 13 resolutions, all of them controversial, and now they actually proposed they should discuss them individually at that meeting. (Mr. Drake: No, not discuss them). He begged to move that the committee be thanked for their services, but be not reappointed.

Several members rose together to second this.

The Rev. H. L. James pointed out that between that and the next meeting the Collection of Minor Methods would be revised, and the Methods Committee would see that the names in that publication were settled satisfactorily.

Mr. Beams: Satisfactorily to Mr. Law James (laughter).

Mr. J. W. Parker said the names of the Minor methods had already been decided by the Analyses Committee, and were accepted by the Council. Failing amendment, the names given by the Analyses Committee must stand.

Mr. Beams said the committee were given three things to do: to review existing nomenclature, to prepare suitable topographical names and formulate a plan for the application of such names. That was what they did, and the Council neither accepted nor rejected the report.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith: Will it bring the matter to a head if I move that the report be rejected and the committee given an opportunity to resign (laughter).

On being put, Mr. Pritchett’s motion was carried by a large majority.


When the Council resumed after the luncheon interval, Mr. J. A. Trollope said, as the Council had decided to reissue ‘Minor Methods,’ and in that reissue the question of names would arise, he would like the Council to empower the committee to deal with names; that was to say, to give the committee power to deal with the whole matter at their discretion. He thought the Council could trust them, because they had just issued the ‘Major Collection,’ in which the names used had, he believed, met with pretty general approval.

The Rev. H. Law James, in seconding, said the committee would, as far as possible, adopt the names given to the methods by those bands that rang the first 720 in each case.

Mr. W. Willson was opposed to the Council giving the committee the power asked for. To give the committee discretion would grossly interfere with what had been done before, and they were asking for powers which had just been crushed with the previous committee. They had taken the power from one committee and were now asked to give it to another. He knew Mr. Trollope was blessed with a certain amount of confidence, but he thought this was asking too much (laughter).

Mr. Trollope said it was only a question of what names had got to be put into the publication for which the Methods Committee were held responsible. What the committee would have to decide was not a question of finding names for the methods, but of choosing the most suitable names from those already given. The whole thing was covered by the resolution passed last year. He had then fully in mind the whole of these contingencies; there was nothing new in what he was now asking for.

Mr. T. Faulkner said that Council had already stultified itself by washing out the work of three years of the Nomenclature Committee. Might he suggest that instead of the Methods Committee arrogating to themselves the powers to select titles for methods which might or might not be rung, Mr. Trollope should add to his committee the names of the members of the Nomenclature Committee, so that the whole of their work for the last three years should not be lost. He would propose this as an amendment. The Council had thrown a wet blanket on the six-bell ringers of the country, and on their behalf he must make a protest against it.

Mr. Trollope said they by no means desired to throw over the Nomenclature Committee’s work entirely. What they wanted was to be able to use a certain amount of discretion in order to take the best of everything. They did not want to put in alternative or additional names, but to consider them all, including the Nomenclature Committee’s list, and the Analysis Committee’s list, for final selection, and they could not complete the book until that was done.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said he saw no harm in the resolution if it were properly understood that all the committee proposed to do was to make the best selection from existing names, and loyally accepted the Council’s decision that they did not want any change of names. If Mr. Trollope would give that pledge it ought to satisfy the Council, he thought it would.

Mr. Trollope: That is exactly what we want.

Mr. A. D. Barker said the Nomenclature Committee was appointed to do this work three years ago. They had presented a report, which was neither accepted nor rejected, because the Council accepted Mr. Trollope’s motion, which nullified all the committee’s efforts. Now Mr. Trollope was asking for the same power to go into the question again with his own committee.

On being put, Mr. Trollope’s motion was carried by a large majority.


The Council then came to the notices of motion, and for the convenience of Mr. T. H. Taffender, who was prevented by duty from remaining to the end of the meeting, the proposal standing in his name was first discussed. It was: ‘That the Council approach the British Broadcasting Corporation with a view to the broadcasting during the evening programmes of a series of instructional talks on change ringing, with handbell demonstrations.’ This matter, he said, had come before his association (the London County) on account of the unsatisfactory matters which took place a little time ago in the ‘Children’s Hour,’ and they also thought it would be more edifying to the public if the talk took place in the evening programme. The association thought the Council would have more influence behind it than an individual association would have, and suggested that the Council should elect a committee to approach the B.B.C. Personally, he thought it might be taken up by the Literature and Press Committee.

Mr. A. D. Barker seconded.

Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said it would be better if the committee were formed of men living in London.

Rev. C. D. P. Davies spoke in strong support of the motion. He had never listened to the ‘Children’s Hour,’ he said, so he did not know what happened then, but he had listened to ringing of all sorts. What had struck him about the Broadcasting Corporation was that they were absolutely ignorant of the real principles of change ringing, and showed it by the tantalising way in which change ringing was ‘faded away’ about the two sixes before the end of a course of Stedman Cinques. The B.B.C. wanted educating, and he was sure they were open to education if approached in the proper manner. He wrote to them himself and got a perfectly courteous reply, but nothing came of it. If they had a committee as suggested, it would be most advisable that they should consist of people in London, who could go personally to the B.B.C., if necessary.

Mr. A. A. Hughes said he was afraid they would find a great deal of difficulty in dealing with the B.B.C. The corporation’s efforts were devoted to pleasing the public. Members of the Council had all heard the very atrocious efforts of chiming on the bells of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields. He had listened and shuddered, but members of the public, who did not understand change ringing, had told him that they much preferred to hear the chiming at St. Martin’s to the broadcast from Bow, Cheapside, when they had heard Stedman Cinques as it ought to be rung. If the Council appointed a committee, they had got to overcome that very big difficulty of the B.B.C.’s idea of the public preference for chiming.

Mr. H. W. Wilde supported the motion, and said he believed they could educate the public if they could get an able speaker to give a series of short talks, with handbell illustrations.

The motion was carried, and a committee appointed consisting of Messrs. T. H. Taffender, W. T. Cockerill, A. A. Hughes, J. D. Matthews and E. A. Young.

The Ringing World, June 24th, 1927 pages 394 to 395


The revised copy of the Council’s ‘Rules and Decisions’ was presented by the hon. secretary for ratification. It had been carried forward, he said, largely by the work of the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and they now had a book which would be something more than merely a second edition of the original publication. What he felt as hon. secretary and what Mr. Davies had felt before him, was that they had not had in the previous book something of such value that they could use with outsiders in anything more than a minor way. Their decisions for years past had not been incorporated. For a time, at the end of each Council, it was the custom to issue a leaflet embodying the decisions during the preceding three years, but that practise had been dropped for some time. As secretary, he had found that it was necessary occasionally to demonstrate who and what they were. This was an age of propaganda when a man was judged by the shouting which came from the housetops, and he had felt that if he had a little book which contained something about the Council and its work, it might be very usefully used on occasion when he desired to impress people with what the Council was and did. When, two or three years ago, he suggested that they should have a new edition, he had partly in mind a booklet which could be used in this way and which would run to a greater number of pages than the present one. Accordingly an admirable little preface had been contributed by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies. It was proposed to give a list of the affiliated Guilds and associations, and to add a little detachable certificate showing the election of each member and the association he represented. This would be signed by the president and honorary secretary. He thought there were some members who would like to have such a certificate mounted and placed in a little frame, because if a man had his heart in any particular form of work he did not mind other people knowing it. He also proposed to include a list of the places where the Council had held its meetings, and as a matter of interest to incorporate as an appendix a specimen of their minutes, and he had chosen one at Ipswich last year, which was typical of their work. Further, it was proposed to have as a frontispiece a picture of the late Sir Arthur Heywood, the founder of the Council. Mr. Young then proceeded to detail the various decisions of the Council in past years, which would be added, and made a further proposal that, in future, instead of circulating to the affiliated associations ‘The Ringing World’ summary of the proceedings published immediately after the meeting, the official minutes should be published about January and copies of these sent to the affiliated bodies.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who moved that the alterations to the rules be made, thought the last of Mr. Young’s proposals was a very practical one, as the circulation of the minutes in the early part of the year would help to reawaken interest in the Council’s proceedings at a time when the members were beginning to think of the next meeting.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies seconded.

Mr. J. W. Jones asked why January was selected for the publication and circulation of the official minutes. He suggested they should be published as soon as possible after the meeting. Most of the members had to present a report to their associations, and if they had these minutes before them in July or August it might be of assistance.

Mr. Young explained that, immediately after the meeting, ‘The Ringing World’ report of their proceedings appeared, then there came the summer holidays, and before they knew where they were the end of the year was on them. After Christmas they began to think of what they were going to do at the next meeting, and that was the time, he thought, to stir up new interest. He thought the effect of the publication would be lost if the minutes were brought out too soon.

Mr. Jones said they owed something to their associations. They would all be holding quarterly meetings before January, and some of them would be holding their annual meeting. They could not all be expected to take down in shorthand what was said. It was very belated to publish the minutes in January.

Mr. Taffender pointed out that members who wanted to report to their associations had the use of the full report which appeared in ‘The Ringing World.’

Mr. Shuker said the Lancashire Association published their report about November, and he thought the Council’s official minutes ought to be out in time to be printed in that report. It was true they had ‘The Ringing World’ summary, but that was not the official report. Mr. T. W. Faulkner said a member who could not make up his own report from ‘The Ringing World’ report was not worth his salt (laughter and hear, hear). He welcomed the hon. secretary’s idea; in fact, he would make the date of publication later still, so that it appeared just before the Council meeting.

The hon. secretary’s suggestion was agreed to, and the rules, as amended, were adopted. Instructions were also given that 300 copies should be printed.


Mr. George Williams moved a resolution, which originated from the last annual meeting of the Winchester Diocesan Guild, that the Rules of the Council should be so altered that the agenda should be published twelve weeks instead of two weeks before the Council meeting, involving the sending in of notices of motion three months instead of four weeks before the meeting. Mr. Williams said the feeling of the Winchester Guild members was that more interest would be taken in the business of the Council by ringers generally if they had the opportunity of discussing at their annual or district meetings matters which were to come before the Council. That could only be done if the agenda were published earlier.

Mr. A. H. Pulling seconded the motion, which was supported by Mr. H. Barton and Mr. J. S. Goldsmith.

The Rev. H. L. James said at present some of the associations elected their representatives less than three months before the Council meeting and in that case, for the first year of the Council, they might be debarred from putting down a notice of motion.

Replying to the Rev. Canon Elsee, the President said that any matter that arose between the last date for sending in notice of motion and the date of the Council meeting could be dealt with under the head of ‘other business.’

The motion was carried.


The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn proposed ‘That the Council shall issue at a small charge, peal diplomas for the encouragement of young ringers.’ He asked the members to put themselves in the position of the young ringers and to ask themselves what they would like the Council to do to give them encouragement? He had given serious consideration to the whole question of the young ringer, and he had looked carefully for any sign of movement from the young ringer. One day he saw in the columns of ‘The Ringing World’ this suggestion from a young ringer, that there should be diplomas given upon application to young ringers for the first peal rung, and that these diplomas should be issued through the Central Council. That suggestion was commented on with favour by another writer. He therefore suggested that the Council might consider the question of issuing a certificate, quite plain in form, giving particulars of the first performances of any ringer who might apply for the diploma. It could be small in size, and they might also issue with it a small case, which could doubtless be sold at small cost, in which these certificates might be kept. He thought it might prove a means of encouraging young ringers. He did not press for a decision that day. If the members liked, they could go home and talk it over with their young ringers and come to a decision next year, but he proposed that the Council entertain the idea.

The Hon. Secretary formally seconded.

Mr. C. H. Howard said that in his report as Master of the Essex Association he had commented on the fact that during the past year, out of 69 peals rung, no less than 42 had been rung in Surprise methods, which meant that the young ringer was not taking up peal ringing as one would like him to. Anything that would encourage the young ringer to start peal ringing would be an advantage to the Exercise. He supposed the idea was to issue diplomas for the first peals in each method?

The Rev. H. Drake said they had done something of the kind in the Suffolk Guild. They had considered the question with regard to Boy Scouts as ringers. A scout leader, who was interested in ringing, had taken the matter up with the idea of getting proficiency in ringing recognised by the award of a badge. The reply which had been received was that it was impracticable, and that no Scouts’ badge could be given for ringing. He (Mr. Drake) wondered whether, in connection with this suggested diploma, the Council could get into touch with the Boy Scouts’ organisation and advise them as to how badges could be given to Scouts who helped in ringing.

Mr. T. R. Dennis said he felt the Council ought to go much further than they did at present in the encouragement of young ringers. There were a good many youngsters who would be encouraged if certificates were given, similar to those awarded by Trinity College of Music, in London, for progressive stages in music. If the Council granted certificates for progressive stages in ringing, he thought it would be a stimulus to young members of the Exercise. Moreover, he thought it would raise ringing in the estimation of a boy’s parents, if they knew that the youth’s efforts to progress were recognised by a body like the Council. He believed it would give them a much higher idea of the work which ringers did.


Mr. W. Willson said he wrote on this subject over twenty years ago, but in those days he was told it was a ‘wild cat’ scheme. He was very glad the Council had to-day been converted to his views. In those days his plan was to have three grades of certificate, and not just one for the first peal. The ringer should get the top grade of certificate when he reached a Surprise peal.

Mr. P. J. Johnson thought it would not be wise to make a decision that day. His own opinion of the Council’s functions was that they were very largely an advisory body, and that matters of this kind were much better left to the separate associations. For one reason, if the Council undertook it they would be saddling their secretary with a vast amount of additional work in signing the diplomas, and it was also an open question whether they could deal with the thing satisfactorily. In the Yorkshire Association a ringer had to be able to ring a 720 before he was admitted as a member. To his way of thinking that was the goal for the young member to aim at. They had to choose between encouraging these young ringers and spoon-feeding them (hear, hear). From that point of view, he would rather the Council hesitated before it committed itself to a scheme of that kind. Perhaps the Standing Committee would consider the matter and report to the Council at a future meeting, but he strongly deprecated any decision being come to that day to commit the Council to that particular scheme.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said he thought if they limited the scheme to a ringer’s first peal they would be on safe ground, but if they began to issue certificates at different levels of progress they would find themselves in deep water.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said his idea was that a certificate should be issued for the first peal in any method. If a young man rang his first peal, if it were only Grandsire Doubles, it would be published in ‘The Ringing World,’ the report would appear, and the performance should be open to criticism for at least a month. The ringer might apply for his certificate, but the secretary would not give it him until the report had appeared and a certain interval had elapsed. He would give a certificate for the first peal in every single method that the man might like to apply for. Many a young man rang his first peal in Doubles, and he honoured him for it.

Mr. J. George said more could be done by courtesy to the young ringer and helping him than all the certificates in the world, because if the young man had not the will to learn, nothing on earth could make him. Let them give a certificate to one, and another would become dissatisfied. It would cause trouble in the belfry, and he suggested they should quash the idea altogether.

Mr. H. Barton asked the Council to give the members the opportunity of considering the matter for another year. There was a distinct difference, he said, between a man who had not rung a peal of any sort and a man who, having rung a peal, rang another in a different method.

A member raised the question as to whether the Bath and Wells Association did not grant certificates of this sort, and Mr. J. Hunt replied in the negative. They taught the young ringer, and tried to get him through his first peal, but as regards any certificate they did nothing. He was admitted to the association when he had rung 120 of Doubles. He (Mr. Hunt) agreed that associations could deal with the matter better than the Council, and he thought representatives should have the opportunity of referring the matter to their members.

Mr. W. H. Southeard said in the Truro Diocesan Guild they gave their members a certificate when they could ring the treble to 120 Doubles, and a medal when they could ring an inside bell.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards moved that the matter be deferred to the next meeting.

Mr. W. T. Cockerill seconded.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn: In the meantime, members will, I hope, go back to their Guilds and talk about it.

Mr. Faulkner: And also find the young ringers (laughter).

The amendment was agreed to.


The next motion on the agenda was the one considered the most contentious, and it was moved by the Rev. H. Law James, viz., ‘That since William Shipway extended Superlative Surprise Major to Royal, and the first peal of Royal was rung at Wakefield in 1826, the Council cannot accept any extension to Maximus which does not agree with the Major and the Royal.’ He did not intend, he said, to occupy the Council a long time. He dealt with the question at Newcastle; they had a long discussion there, and he came away with the feeling that, although he put the matter perfectly clearly, probably only five or six of the members were capable of understanding it. He did not intend to inflict any figures on them that day, and he had drawn up the resolution in a form that did not require him to do so. Let them go back to the old books and look at history. Let them take Double Norwich. Double Norwich Major, Royal and Maximus in strict theory were all the same method. When they got into the tower to ring them, they had three different methods to ring. Take another illustration: Plain Bob, Grandsire, Oxford, Kent or Cambridge Surprise. In these methods they got not only correct extensions, but they also got practical extensions. Go another step and take London Surprise. The Minor was extended to Major by somebody, he did not know who. Some thought it was by Annable. If it was by Annable, it was by a remarkable man. By no possible stretch of imagination would they prove to him (the speaker) that the Major was the same as the Minor on strict scientific grounds, but if, being able to ring the Major, he went into a six bell tower and was asked to ring London Minor, having never rung it in his life before, he could ring the Minor and he could call a 720. Why? Because the Major was a practical extension from the Minor, although it was not a scientific one. Another classical instance was Stedman Doubles. Somebody extended it to Triples, Caters and Cinques. They all talked about ringing Stedman Cinques, but if they were going to say that Shipway’s Royal was not Superlative, no peal of London Major or Stedman Caters or Cinques had ever been rung. What was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander. They could not upset what was done by their forefathers a hundred years ago because somebody had got hold of some other theory. Shipway’s was a practical extension, and a very fine method, that took a vast amount of ringing. If the Major and the Royal are to stand, then the Maximus must be the same.

Mr. R. Richardson formally seconded, remarking, amid laughter, that he would say nothing about the question, because he was not qualified to express an opinion.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said he could not make out whether Mr. James went for the scientific extension or for the practical extension.

The Rev. H. L. James said he went for both. There were three groups. One was the scientific, one the practical and one combined both. All three had been used in the past.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said he hoped, without any disrespect to Mr. James, the Council would not carry the resolution, because he thought it was a meaningless resolution. It said they were not to countenance any extension to Maximus which did not agree with the Major and the Royal. That assumed that the Major and the Royal agreed with each other, and in his (the speaker’s) opinion they did not do so. He considered them fundamentally different, and he was going to vote against the resolution.

The Ringing World, July 1st, 1927 pages 410 to 411


The debate on Superlative Surprise was continued by Mr. J. W. Parker. He said he was not quite sure what was meant by the resolution, whether it was that Mr. James objected to the Maximus which was rung at Ipswich as not being in line with the Major and the Royal. Those of the members who read Mr. James’ article in ‘The Ringing World’ of December 24th last would see that his theory of extension was based in a measure on the places from the back and from the front. If they took the method rung at Ipswich they would find that it was exactly in accordance with that theory. Mr. Parker proceeded to explain the relative places in the method, and went on to say that the measuring of places from the treble was the right theory. He thought they must give ringers the credit of knowing a method when it was properly extended, and, in his opinion, if Shipway’s Royal had been a correct extension of the Major, instead of waiting for a hundred years before the second peal was rung, it would be as much practised now as was Cambridge Surprise Royal. They, as a Council, should use their common sense in these matters. If they had any resolution at all, it should be that in the opinion of the Council there is no correct extension of Superlative Surprise Major (laughter).

The Rev. E. S. Powell: If you would move it, I would second that.

Mr. J. S. Wilde said he was somewhat responsible for this controversy (‘Shame’ and laughter). He sent the extension to Mr. Baker years ago, and published the figures last November in ‘The Ringing World.’ The method was rung in less than six months. Mr. James published the Maximus of Shipway’s extension before the Council meeting of 1913, and it has not yet been rung. When Superlative Major was published in ‘The Clavis,’ it was described as ‘a new and original composition for this work.’ At that time there were only two Surprise methods, Cambridge and London. No doubt, the author has been looking at Cambridge and had seen the blemish in it, and in attempting to improve it he discovered Superlative Surprise Major. He made very little alteration. With the treble in 1-2, he put in 6th’s instead of 8th’s, and let the bells behind continue dodging, and at the first cross-section he let the bells on the front dodge instead of both of them lying still. There was nothing in the Maximus as rung at Ipswich that was not in the Major except the extended dodging, and a study of it showed that it had not got the objectionable features which they found in Shipway’s method. Shipway’s extension to Maximus was full of five-pull dodging; when the treble was on the front, the bells in 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12 were all engaged in five-pull dodging, and, likewise, there were three simultaneous five-pull dodges when the treble was behind. They could not find that sort of thing in Superlative Major. The Council would be very unwise to pass Mr. James’ motion.


Mr. J. A. Trollope said he intended to vote for Mr. James’ resolution, but he first of all wanted to say that he agreed entirely with Mr. Parker that there was not, and never could be, any really satisfactory extension of Superlative, either to ten or twelve bells. Shipway’s extension to Royal had now been in possession of the Exercise for a century. It was rung about a hundred years ago by a now dead and forgotten band, and, as a matter of fact, it was an extremely clever extension of the principles of Superlative to eight and ten bells. There was nothing he could think of that gave him a higher opinion of Shipway as a clever man than when he took the one important constructional feature of Superlative Major and adapted it to ten bells, but it was adaption and not an extension, simply because the features which existed in ten bells did not allow the Major construction to go exactly to ten bells. If any method at all had the right to be called Superlative, then Shipway’s had, and no other. But things had been complicated by the fact that the Ipswich people had rung the peal of Maximus. Nobody would dream of saying or doing anything which would in any way detract from the brilliant performance of the Ipswich band; it was one of the finest things that had ever been done - all the finer because it was not Superlative in the sense that Cambridge Maximus was Cambridge Major on twelve bells. It was more difficult. What the Council had to do was to find a solution for the problem, a solution which would meet the legitimate wishes of the Ipswich band, which would square with the mathematical facts and do justice to the memory of Shipway and the band that rang the peal of Royal a hundred years ago. He thought the best way was to follow precedent, and, as in the case of Court Bob, give each variation a distinctive sub-title. They might call the method rung at Ipswich, ‘Ipswich Superlative.’ If they did that, they would have a distinct Superlative Royal and a distinct Superlative Maximus, which were more or less adaptations rather than extensions, entitled to the simple name of Superlative.

Mr. C. J. Sedgley, who rang in the peal at Ipswich, said the Maximus rung there was absolutely Superlative. The method had been discovered independently by several method builders, among them Mr. John Carter, who rang it on his ringing machine as far back as 1912, and called it Superlative Maximus. If this was not the correct extension, it was strange that so many men should produce the same method, working independently, and call it the same thing. Any practical ringer who knew Superlative, and was shown a diagram of Shipway’s method and was told it was Superlative, would laugh at them. There was nothing like Superlative in the diagram.


Mr. C. T. Coles said, after the divergence of opinion expressed by the experts that day, he thought the Council ought also to declare its incompetence to deal with the matter. As a practical ringer who had rung the method, he had no hesitation in saying that the method rung at Ipswich was a distinct extension from a practical point of view, and that was what ringers really wanted. A man with any experience on 12 bells, who could also ring Superlative Major, could learn this method very quickly. But the experts disagreed and he did not see how ‘laymen’ could decide the matter. He therefore proposed that they pass a resolution to the effect that as the expert advisers of the Council disagreed on this matter, the Council was of opinion that no good purpose could be served by coming to a definite decision. He reminded the Council of what happened years ago when a certain peal was rung at Stepney. The Council came to a decision but to all intents and purposes it was ignored. If they came to a decision that day, one side or the other would say, ‘I don’t care a rap; you are wrong’ (laughter)

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded the amendment.

The Rev. H. L. James said if the Council would accept Mr. Trollope’s suggestion as an amendment he would not mind. Whichever way the Council voted he (Mr. James) would stick to his own opinion that when a real peal of Superlative Maximus was rung the band would know it was the method. He did not want to say anything against what had been done, but if they wanted to make sure they had got the real thing, they should ring the other method. He had carefully abstained from any scientific explanation. He gave one at Newcastle, and he learned a lesson he had not forgotten. There he was not understood and although he had listened to some of the speakers that afternoon and had followed them, he would guarantee the great majority of the Council did not do so.

The president put the amendment of Mr. Coles as follows: ‘That as the expert advisers of the Council disagree, this meeting is of opinion that no good purpose can be served by coming to a definite decision on the subject.’

On being put, the amendment was declared carried by 62 votes to 7.

Canon Baker: Who are the expert advisers of the Council?

The President: Neither you nor I; that I do know (laughter).


Mr. J. A. Trollope proposed: ‘That a committee be appointed to report to the Council on the legal relationship between (a) bells, (b) ringers, and (c) ringing respectively, on the one hand, and (d) the incumbent, (e) the churchwardens, and (f) the parochial councils respectively on the other hand, and any other legal matters affecting the Exercise. And, further, to consider the advisability of issuing a statement of these matters for the guidance of ringers and other persons affected.’ Mr. Trollope said when the Enabling Act, which set up the Church Assembly and the Church Parochial Councils, was passed, they were told that organists and ringers were exempted from the jurisdiction of the Parochial Councils, but a point which he had never seen raised was whether they had any control over the bells. They might not be able to dismiss the ringers, but he did not know whether they could stop ringing. He had an instance at his own church. For a while, they had a slack time, and dropped practice. Then he was fortunate enough to get a number of boys, and they started practising again about twelve months ago. The tower was in the centre of the town, and there was a certain amount of opposition. A certain person was got to bring the matter before the Church Parochial Council, and they passed a resolution that, to meet the wishes of the residents, practice should not last more than half an hour. He was not sure what his position was, but he thought he should not have taken any notice of it. There might be similar things happen in other places, and he thought it would be advisable if the Council got to know definitely how ringers stood in legal matters of this kind. They were fortunate in having among the members two, at least, who were competent to express an opinion on the law, and he suggested, if the Council accepted the motion, that they should ask Alderman Pritchett and Mr. Milne, who were barristers, to serve.

Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said he thought a very useful little pamphlet might be compiled dealing with these matters. It was requisite that ringers should know where they stood with regard to incumbents and Parochial Councils, and to know, also, where they stood with regard to the public - and there was some law upon that subject. At present there was a good deal of doubt in the minds of the ringers as to who were their masters. There were two categories of ringers: those who were voluntary and those who were paid; and the law of contract came in in regard to what notice paid ringers were entitled to receive. Altogether, there was material for a very interesting little pamphlet. There were, however, two questions to consider before the resolution was carried: one was who was to compile the pamphlet, and the other who was to pay the cost. He was far too advanced in years and, too busy to undertake the compilation, but he would undertake to revise it if someone would get the thing into shape. He suggested that Mr. Elwell should be asked to compile the pamphlet. It was certainly a desirable thing for the Council to undertake.

Replying to Mr. Mee, the President said the incumbent had sole control of anyone who went into the tower.

The Ringing World, July 8th, 1927 page 426


Continuing the discussion on the appointment of a committee to report to the Council on the legal relationship between bells, ringers and ringing on the one hand, and the incumbent, churchwardens and Parochial Councils, Canon Baker said when the question of the appointment of organist and bell ringers was discussed in the Church Assembly, Lord Phillimore laid it down that if the Parochial Church Council should appoint the organist, nothing could restrain the incumbent from letting someone else play the organ, and the same principle applied equally to the ringers. The control of the bells was absolutely in the hands of the incumbent.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said he had seen two different statements made in print. One, that the incumbent had sole control of the bells, and the other that the incumbent and churchwardens had to consent jointly to the ringing of the bells.

The Rev. E. S. Powell said in regard to the ringing for services, the churchwardens were associated with the incumbent, but that applied, he believed, to the tolling of one bell only. He knew it had been legally suggested as probably the case that the churchwardens were bound to appoint the sexton or sacristan for that duty. They could not employ Tom, Dick or Harry - they must employ the sexton or sacristan. He did not know that there had been any decision on the matter.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards: These are the kind of interesting points to put into this pamphlet.

The Hon. Secretary said there were one or two other points which affected them as ringers, and which could be embraced in the pamphlet. Who, for instance, was responsible if ringers met with a mischance in the belfry, and who was responsible if fire should break out, or, if a new peal of bells was installed and the ringing of them did some damage to the fabric?

Mr. F. A. Milne and Mr. E. W. Elwell having consented to assist in the matter,

The President said if the motion were carried, they could not do better than appoint these three legal gentlemen to go into the matter.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett: Will the cost of the printing come out of the funds of the Council?

The President: We can do that, because this will be a very valuable thing, but the lawyers will not get any fees (laughter). If such a committee is formed, it will be of very great use to the Exercise generally, and they will know where they stand. The law at present, the President added, was in such a state that no one knew exactly where they stood, and it would be well if they did know, although it might not be the same in a year’s time.

The motion, on being put, was carried, and Mr. Pritchett, Mr. Milne and Mr. Elwell were appointed as a committee, the hon. secretary undertaking to give any necessary clerical assistance.


The President said the next business was to fix the place of next meeting. The Standing Committee had considered the rota which they followed with regard to meetings, and were of opinion that they should go next year to some place in the West, or towards the West. They felt that Plymouth or Truro was too far west for the convenience of most of the members, and they came to the conclusion that Hereford should be the place. They knew that Bristol had claims, and that other places had claims, but Hereford was the recommendation of the Standing Committee.

Mr. W. A. Cave proposed that the Council meet at Bristol in 1928. It was 30 years since the Council visited Bristol, and great changes had taken place since then. In addition to that, the Gloucester and Bristol Association would then be celebrating its jubilee. It was founded in 1878, and at their annual meeting on the previous day they elected their old Master, the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, as Master specially for that occasion. He was the second Master of the association, about the second year after it was formed, and he was also Master during its 25th year. They could offer them plenty of bells at Bristol, for they had one ring of 12, four of 10, and nine of eight, and five of six, and if they wanted more than that there were peals of five as well. He hoped that under the circumstances the Council would visit Bristol next year, and he gave them a hearty invitation. They could go to Hereford when they wanted to go West again.

The Rev. C. D. E. Davies said he could assure the Council of a very warm welcome at Bristol. As an association, they would do their best to render the visit interesting and enjoyable in every possible way.

Canon Helmore suggested that Wells would be a suitable place.

Canon Baker asked if there was any precedent for revisiting a place they had already been to.

The President said there was no single case up to now where they had visited a provincial place a second time. It had been pointed out to them that that was really the first time they had met in London - their previous meetings having been in Westminster. The Standing Committee recommended Hereford for two reasons. The chief reason was that they had an invitation from there some few years ago and went elsewhere. Secondly, they had already visited Bristol, although it was 30 years ago. He agreed that Bristol was a most admirable centre for everybody.

The Rev. E. S. Powell said if Bristol was to be proposed in competition with Hereford - although it would be 30 years since last the Council was held at Bristol - he thought the Devon Guild might gently remind the Council that it was agreed to hold a meeting in Plymouth in 1915, but it was cancelled because of the war. Therefore, if there were any question of Bristol competing, Plymouth, which had ample accommodation, might venture to compete also.

On being put to the meeting, Hereford received 40 votes, Bristol 28 votes, and Plymouth nine votes, and Hereford was therefore declared the chosen place.


Mr. R. S. Story expressed the thanks of the members to the secretary for his kindness to them during the visit to London. Mr. Young had given up two of his days to them, and they had a most enjoyable time. They had the privilege of going through the Royal Observatory and having the Astronomer Royal as guide; they looked through St. Paul’s Cathedral, and in making arrangements for these visits and their enjoyment in many ways, Mr. Young had done a great deal for them. He wished to express their hearty thanks to him (applause).

This was acknowledged by Mr. Young, and the President moved that the secretary convey their cordial thanks to the following gentlemen for their kindness: First of all, the Astronomer Royal for conducting personally a party over the Royal Observatory; secondly, the Lord Mayor, who came to address them and gave them the use of that room; and, lastly, to Archdeacon Holmes, who gave up a portion of a very busy morning to come to welcome them.

The motion was at once carried, and the meeting then terminated with a vote of thanks to the president.

The Ringing World, July 15th, 1927 page 441

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