The pleasing feature of the year’s peal ringing is that we can show, except in Surprise ringing, an all-round revival. After two years’ decline, the number rung is only 44 short of the best post-war years. Moreover, there are other features which show an increased interest in this branch of our art.

The total number of peals rung during the year is 1841, being 174 more than in 1926, the increase being distributed as follows: On twelve bells 16, on ten bells 1, on eight bells 89, Minor 45, and Doubles 23.

Taking the handbells alone, the only decrease is on ten bells, of three peals, twelve-bell peals are the same, while eight bells are increased by 16, Minor by 3, and Doubles by 1. The total of handbell peals is 84, being 17 more than 1926. This will be seen if the following table is compared with that for the preceding year:-

Tower Bells.Handbells.


The Midland Counties Association, with the highest total for the year of 183 peals, including 6 on handbells, shows a substantial increase of 53 over 1926. The Lancashire Association has increased its total by 32, being 134, including 5 on handbells. Kent County has 112, all on tower bells, being the same as last year. Yorkshire also has topped the century, having 103 peals, including 11 on handbells, an increase of 25.

Altogether 24 societies, along with two newly-affiliated, have increased the peals by 343, four have the same number, and fourteen have decreased the total by 118. The most striking increase is that of the Warwickshire Guild, from 5 last year to 29 this, while in the opposite direction the Durham and Newcastle has dropped from 31 last year to 17 this.

Many will deplore a decline in Surprise ringing, but there seems to be no need for pessimism. The increased interest in peal ringing will, we believe, soon remedy this.

It may be that the most serious feature of this class is the fall of London Surprise Major from 68 peals to 34. Some compensation is the fact that the Rev. H. Law James’ peal of Spliced London, Bristol, Cambridge and Superlative has been rung twice. Other Surprise methods which have decreased are Cambridge Royal from 19 to 14 and Cambridge Major from 89 to 76.

Methods showing an increase are Cambridge Maximus from 3 to 6, Bristol Major from 20, to 27, Superlative Major from 44 to 63, and other methods of Maximus and Royal from 2 to 4, and Major from 12 to 17. Taking Surprise methods altogether, there is a decrease of 14 peals.

Peals of Treble Bob show a substantial increase of 33, making 219 in all. These are made up as follows: Maximus, 3 of Kent and 1 of Oxford; Royal, 18 Kent, 2 Oxford, 1 Cambridge and 1 Spliced; Major, 154 Kent, 34 Oxford and 5 Spliced.

Double Norwich shows 8 peals more, a total of 110, and Double Oxford continues to show the usual 2 peals. Plain Bob is up to 178, an increase of 39. Other methods of Maximus, Royal and Major are 3 less than last year, and Spliced methods containing Royal and Major 6 less.

A remarkable feature of odd-bell methods is the turnover of Stedman and Grandsire Triples. Whereas last, year the former was 24 peals ahead, this year Grandsire has a lead of 32 peals.

The following table shows peals on odd-bell methods in detail:-

Stedman.Grandsire.Erin.Other Plain


Altogether Stedman is 2 less, Grandsire 48 more, and other methods 4 more.

Five and six bell ringers have made a big increase, being on tower bells 42 more peals of Minor and 22 of Doubles, and on handbells 3 more of Minor and 1 of Doubles.

‘Superlative’ Surprise Maximus, Ipswich, St. Blaise and Londonderry Surprise Major, and Pershore Bob Major have been rung for the first time.

The year was a notable one for long lengths, two records having been beaten. The Treble Bob Major record now stands at 17,284, and that of Superlative Surprise Major at 11,232, both rung by the Lancashire Association. 11,008 of Double Norwich Major was accomplished by the Kent County Association, 9,600 of Spliced Treble Bob Major by the Midland Counties, 8,864 and 7,104 of Treble Bob Major by the Yorkshire Association, 7,200 Surprise Minor by the Bath and Wells, and 10,080 in 14 methods by the Lincoln Guild.

Other peals of interest were an Oddfellows’ peal of Kent Treble Bob Major by Lancashire, a Foresters’ peal of Minor by the Kent County, the first Surprise peal (Cambridge Major) by Freemasons at Crayford, Kent, a ‘George’ peal of Kent Treble Bob Major on St. George’s Day by the Suffolk Guild, a ‘Joseph’ peal of Double Norwich and the first peal of Royal by Freemasons by St. Martin’s, a ‘Grandfathers’ peal of Stedman Caters by the Royal Cumberlands, a peal of Grandsire Triples, with two Americans taking part, by Gloucester and Bristol, and a peal of Bob Minor rung by a father and five sons of the Norfolk Guild.

The number of peals rung each month in 1926 and 1927 is shown in the following table:-




The footnotes show that more ringers have scored their first peal than was the case in 1926. This year’s number is 611. Those who have rung a peal in a different method, or method on a different number of bells, number 1,096, also an increase on last year’s figure. Ringers of their first peal inside number 86, away from the tenor 7, in the method inside 71, Maximus 14, Cinques 10, Royal 32, Caters 27, Major 83, Triples 26, Minor 81, Doubles 54, on twelve bells 18, on ten 25, all eight 38, on six 3, on five 9, Surprise 37, ‘in hand’ 11, in method ‘in hand’ 29.

The number of new conductors totals 81, and conductors of a fresh method 63.

Other footnotes show that 80 peals were the first on the bells, 25 the first since restoration, and 163 the first in the method on the bells. Muffled and half-muffled peals number 68, birthday peals 294, wedding (including silver, golden and diamond) 70, church festivals and dedications 29, Empire Day 1, Armistice Day 17, Anniversaries 58, welcome and farewell peals 43.

Peal ringing by the ladies still increases, and 95 have taken part in peals. Four appear among the conductors, one having conducted three peals and three one peal each.

As usual, we conclude our report by giving the number of peals rung in representative years since 1881, the total for the whole period being 51,839:-

A. T. BEESTON, Hillcroft, New Mills, Stockport.
GEORGE WILLIAMS, West End, Southampton.
EDITH K. FLETCHER, 45, Walsingham Road, Enfield.
JOSEPH W. PARKER, 5, Amberley Street, Sunderland.

The Ringing World, May 18th, 1928, pages 314 to 315



The balance sheet of the Council is as follows:

Balance at bank45310
Affiliation fees12176
Interest on stock4152

Loss on sale of publications435
Hon. secretary, postage227
Hon. secretary, stationery1143
‘Ringing World’510
Balance at bank2903


The Ringing World, May 25th, 1928, page 332


The second session of the thirteenth Council (the 36th annual meeting) was held at Hereford on Tuesday, the president (Canon G. F. Coleridge) being in the chair.

The Bishop of Hereford gave the Council a hearty welcome to the ancient city and to the diocese.

The statement of accounts was presented by the hon. secretary and treasurer (Mr. E. A. Young), and these were adopted on the motion of the auditors (Messrs. A. P. Smith and J. Griffin), who were thanked for their services. The balance in hand was £26 15s. 6d., against £45 3s. 10d., accounted for by heavy printing expenses.


The Hon. Librarian (the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn), in presenting his report, stated that the sale of publications during the year had been a small one, and instead of being able to hand over a balance of £7 10s. 5d., as he did last year, he had to draw on the Council’s funds to the extent of £4 3s. 4½d., in order to pay the cost of advertising the publications. This was happening for one or two years previous to the issue of the ‘Collection of Major and Cater Methods,’ which in 1926-27 found a ready sale and also appeared to create a ‘boom’ in the other publications. In 1927-28 only 32 copies of this were sold, as against 150 in the preceding year, and there was a corresponding falling off in the demand for other publications. Perhaps they must await the issue of the ‘Revised Collection of Minor Methods’ to create a similar boom, and in the meantime trade might become better by the appearance of a revised and enlarged edition of ‘Rules and Decisions of the Council and an account of its work,’ which was now on sale for 1s. 3d. The Librarian asked for the Council’s ruling as to what was to be done with the old edition of this publication, of which there were 100 copies left.

With regard to the library, acting on the instruction of the Council, the Rev. E. S. Powell, and Mr. J. A. Trollope paid a visit to his (the librarian’s) house after the last Council meeting and carefully examined all the books, to advise if there were any that were not worth keeping. In the very full report which the librarian subsequently received from them, they deprecated the idea of parting with any book, though an exception might be made in the case of a duplicate copy of Sottanstall; they advised the binding of the various pamphlets by W. H. Thompson, and the careful consideration of what is to be the future of the Library, bearing in mind that it ought to be the best collection possible of ringing literature and of easy access to members of the Exercise. Later, the librarian sent to Mr. Trollope a parcel of MSS. to examine at his leisure, but concerning this he had not yet been able to make a report. An invitation given through ‘The Ringing World’ to any reader who could offer or obtain the offer of any book that might be of value to the library to communicate with him, had resulted, the Librarian added, in one response, which had not led to anything. The library now possesses the complete issue, of ‘Bell News.’ The total amount received for publications during the year was £5 4s. 9d., while the expenditure for advertising and postage was £9 8s. 1½d.

The report was adopted, and it was resolved to print a revised edition of ‘Rules for Local Companies.’

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. J. W. Parker were re-elected honorary members, and a vacant place caused by the resignation of the Rev. A. H. Boughey was left open in case of emergency.

Several new members were presented to the president.

In connection with the report of the Standing Committee, it was stated that a memorial to the late Sir Arthur Heywood, in the form of a peal board (provided by members of the Council), recording his last peal, had been erected in Duffield Church, and thanks were accorded Mr. H. W. Wilde for his work in this connection.

The Peal Collection Committee reported that the one-part peals of Treble Bob had now been completed and were ready to add to the collection in the library.

The Literature and Press Committee’s report was presented by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards and adopted as follows:-

The committee have only one definite piece of work to report, and that is the completion of the revised edition of the Council’s ‘Rules and Decisions.’ It is hoped that this publication, with the summary given of the Council’s activities since its inception, and the special references to the period of the Great War and subsequent restoration of peace, will prove both practically useful and historically interesting. The suggestion is here made that each association should obtain at least one copy of this work and keep it among its official documents for reference. The casting and exhibition of the world’s greatest carillons in this country have been the subject of many paragraphs in the newspapers, which were generally appreciative and well informed, also of leading articles in one or two of the principal journals. A recent attempt at a peal of record length naturally gave writers cynically inclined their opportunity, but for the most part references in the press to bells and ringing have been both accurate and sympathetic. It is of interest to observe that one of the general knowledge tests published a few weeks ago in the ‘Daily Express’ included the following question: ‘When was the Ancient Society of College Youths founded, and for what purpose?’


The Methods Committee’s report occupied the attention of the Council for a considerable time, and various instructions to the committee were given, including the deletion of the floral names for the Treble Bob methods, for which the names of hills and mountain ranges were substituted; the deletion of the word ‘Castle’ and ‘Abbey’ from names of the Delight methods, and sundry other alterations, made on various grounds.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn reported for the Towers and Belfries Committee, and a resolution was adopted, at his suggestion, that the committee inquire into and report as to the best way of dealing with the acoustic difficulties both inside and outside towers.

In connection with this matter, the question of the welding of cracked bells was also discussed.

The Records Committee’s report, dealing with the new records set up during the past year, was presented by Rev. A. T. Beeston and adopted, and thanks accorded to the committee.

Mr. Milne reported progress on behalf of the Council’s ‘Legal Liability’ Committee, and the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards reported that the Broadcasting Committee were arranging with the B.B.C. for a broadcast lecture on bells and bellringing in the autumn.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn again brought forward the motion, adjourned from the last meeting, ‘That the Council shall issue at a small charge, peal diplomas for the encouragement of young ringers.’

After a lengthy discussion, the motion was lost by 36 votes to 20.

The following motion was submitted by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards: ‘That this Council emphatically deprecates the discontinuance of the Curfew, Angelus or other bell traditionally rung in any parish, alike on historical, spiritual and practical grounds, and calls upon its officers and members to exert their efforts, individually or collectively, to prevent any such breach with ancient usage.’- Mr. T. H. Beams seconded.

This motion was carried with one dissentient.

The Hon. Secretary proposed the following resolution: ‘That the Council should consider the feasibility of supplying and fixing memorial plaques in towers associated with famous ringers of the past.’ The proposition, however, did not meet with general approval and was defeated.


Mr. J. S. Goldsmith moved the following resolution: ‘That in the “Conditions required for Peals” laid down by the Central Council, the following be inserted: “ON FIVE BELLS. That peals of Doubles consist of at least 42 true and complete 120’s rung without interval and without ‘rounds’ or any other rows being included or rung more than once in any 120. A peal may be lengthened by the addition of any number of 120’s fulfilling the same conditions, with or without one touch of less than 120.” And the following be substituted for the present definition of a peal on six bells: “ON SIX BELLS. That peals of Minor consist of at least seven true and complete 720’s rung without interval and without ‘rounds’ or any other row being included or rung more than once in any 720. A peal may be lengthened by the addition of any number of 720’s fulfilling the same conditions, with or without one touch of less than 720.”’

The Rev. H. Law James seconded, and the resolution was carried, but a rider, moved by the Rev. E. S. Powell, that all peals of Doubles should be rung with as great a variety of calling as the method permitted, was defeated.

Mr. Walter Ayre had given noticed to propose ‘That a committee be appointed to consider the best method of dealing with cases of extraordinary sickness amongst members of our affiliated change ringing associations with power to report to the next annual meeting.’ There had, however, been no seconder in accordance with rules, and the Council therefore declined to discuss the subject.

A notice of motion, which appeared as an addendum to the agenda, was in the following terms: ‘That this Council invites its affiliated associations and Guilds to unite in a scheme for keeping in touch with ringers who remove from one area to another.’

This was proposed on behalf of the Guildford Diocesan Guild by Mr. R. Whittington, and seconded by Mr. A. H. Pulling.

The brief outline of the suggested scheme was given as follows:-

In cases where a ringer removes from one parish to another in the same association or Guild area, his new address can be sent direct by the local secretary to the local secretary of the band nearest to the place to which the ringer is removing.

In cases where a ringer moves away from the area of his own association the new address can be sent by the local secretary to his association secretary, to be forwarded to the association secretary in the new area, who will, in turn, pass it on to the local secretary of the band nearest to the place to which the ringer is removing.

In each case it should be the duty of the local ringers in the place to which the ringer has gone to seek out the newcomer and invite him to the belfry and there extend to him the hand of fellowship.

The scheme was unanimously adopted.

The Council by standing in silence expressed its deep regret at the death of Mr. Pryce Taylor, a valued member, who had died since the last meeting.

In recognition of her labours on behalf of the Council, the members subscribed the sum of £6 10s. as a wedding gift to Mrs. G. W. Fletcher, and it was presented to her in a felicitous speech by the president, and suitably acknowledged.

The business terminated with a vote of thanks to the president.

Afterwards the members were the guests at tea of the Hereford Diocesan Guild, the Dean presiding, and in the evening a social was held.

The Ringing World, June 1st, 1928, page 345



The meeting of the Central Council at Hereford on Whit Tuesday was attended by 78 members. The proceedings took place in St. Peter’s Church House, and Canon G. F. Coleridge (Oxford Diocesan Guild) presided. There were also present Mr. E. Alex. Young (hon. secretary and treasurer), Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn (Oxford Diocesan Guild ) (hon. librarian), and representatives of the following affiliated bodies:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. A. A. Hughes and T. W. Faulkner.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. Hunt and H. W. Brown.
Bedfordshire Association: Canon W. W. C. Baker.
Cambridge University Guild: Mr. E. M. Atkins.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Rev. C. A. Clements, Messrs. E. W. Elwell, R. D. Langford and R. Sperring.
Devon Guild: Rev. E. S. Powell and Mr. F. J. Davey.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. S. J. Hughes.
Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association: Mr. W. H. Barber.
East Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Association: Messrs. H. G. Fretwell and J. Lord.
Essex Association: Messrs. G. R. Pye and E. J. Butler.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Messrs. W. A. Cave and E. Guise.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. A. H. Pulling and R. Whittington.
Hereford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. C. Edwards and J. Clark.
Hertford County Association: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake.
Kent County Association: Rev. F. J. O. Helmore, Messrs. T. Groombridge, sen., and E. Barnett, sen.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. G. W. Fletcher.
Lancashire Association: Messrs. W. H. Shuker and P. Crook.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Rev. H. Law James, Rev. H. T. Parry, Messrs. R. Richardson and G. W. Chester.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Mr. J. W. Jones.
London County Association: Mr. A. D. Barker.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. F. A. Milne, C. T. Coles and W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties Association: Mr. J. H. Swinfield.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. F. W. Hopgood and J. Evans.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Messrs. F. Wilford, R. G. Black, T. Tebbutt and F. Hopper.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. T. H. Beams and S. Hillier.
Shropshire Association: Mr. W. Saunders.
Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford: Messrs. H. Knight and T. J. Elton.
Suffolk Guild: Rev. H. Drake and Mr. C. Mee.
Surrey Association: Mr. J. D. Drewett.
Swansea and Brecon Guild: Mr. A. J. Pitman.
Truro Diocesan Guild: Mr. W. H. Southeard.
Warwickshire Guild: Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild: Mr. G. Williams.
Worcestershire and Districts Association: Messrs. T. J. Salter, R. G. Knowles and C. A. Binyon.
Yorkshire Association: Messrs. P. J. Johnson and J. Cotterell.
Hon. members: Revs. C. D. P. Davies, A. T. Beeston and H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. J. S. Pritchett, J. Griffin, J. H. B. Hesse, J. A. Trollope, J. George, and J. S. Goldsmith.

Apologies for absence were received from the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Rev. E. E. Marshall, Canon H. J. Elsee, Messrs. W. J. Nevard, C. H. Howard, J. D. Matthews, C. J. Sedgley, H. Barton, J. W. Parker, W. Ayre, C. F. Johnston, C. Dean, T. R. Dennis, H. Walker, H. Argyle, W. Story, H. W. Wilde, W. Shepherd, A. L. Coleman, G. P. Burton, E. H. Lewis, W. Bolton and A. E. Sharman.


The meeting having been opened with prayer, the President said they had known what it was to be welcomed wherever the Council went by the chief officers of the church in the diocese or district. Last year they not only had the Archdeacon of London to welcome them, but also the Lord Mayor of London. That day they met in different surroundings, in a delightful old city, but what interested them most that morning was that they had the Bishop of the diocese to welcome them (applause).

The Bishop of Hereford, who was received with applause, said it was a great pleasure to him to welcome the Council to that city and diocese, because he could assure them that in that diocese they valued enormously the work which they were doing and which was being done by the Diocesan Guild of Ringers. As a parish priest he never had to do with anything but one bell for many years, and that simplified things enormously (laughter). When eventually he had to deal with a peal of bells he began to realise something of what he understood was a Lancashire addition to the Litany, ‘From singers and ringers’ (laughter). He could not say that he should have felt it necessary to join in the response (laughter). Still, there were certain difficulties which had to be contended with. Coming into that diocese he had found the value of the work of the Diocesan Guild in raising the whole status and position of bellringing and making it what it should be, the handmaid of the services of the church. The Guild in that diocese, continued the Bishop, had done a great deal not merely for ringers but also in stirring up interest in the condition of the church towers. He found that during the past four years he had been called upon to take part, on the average, in the reopening of at least two towers every year (applause). It did not mean that there were a large number of towers in the diocese out of order, but it did mean that those that were out of order were being steadily put into order by the restoration of the bell cage or the addition of other bells, and that was due very largely to the effective way in which the Guild was being worked in the diocese (applause). Nothing could give him greater pleasure, he added, than to welcome a body which was doing so much to bring the manhood of the country, and particularly of the country villages, into closer touch with the church. There were few things which were really serving the church better than the work of bellringing - and he was pleased to say that a great many of the teams in that diocese contained a large proportion of young men - in bringing young men of the country districts into the active service of the church, giving them an interest in the work of the church, and making them feel that they were doing something which was really part of the essential services of the church (applause). He was glad to accede to the request that he should welcome them that day, not on the ground that he was a ringer, for he had never acquired anything in the nature of ropesight - and on those grounds he could not claim to meet them - but as recognising on the part of the Church of that diocese the extraordinary value of what was being done by the Diocesan Guild and by associations all over the country, and he felt it to be not merely a duty but a great pleasure to come there and bid them welcome to that ancient city and diocese and to say that he hoped their meeting that day would be as fruitful as any that had gone before it, and would promote the well-being of that branch of church work throughout the country. On behalf of the diocese and city of Hereford he bid them a hearty welcome and God-speed in their work in that conference and throughout the country (applause).

The President briefly expressed thanks to the Bishop for his address, and said they felt it a high honour that his lordship should have come among them that day (applause).

The Bishop then left, and the Council proceeded to the business on the agenda.

The minutes of the last meeting of the Council held in London, having been printed in ‘The Ringing World,’ were taken as read and passed.


In presenting the statement of accounts, the Hon. Treasurer stated that the number of representatives had increased from 116 to 118. The affiliation fees received had amounted to £14, which included arrears of 5s.; interest on investments was £4 15s. 2d. The expenditure was £37 3s. 6d., leaving a balance in hand of £26 15s. 6d., compared with £45 3s. 10d. at the beginning of the year, the principal expenditure having been on printing.

The accounts had been audited by Messrs. A. Paddon Smith and J. Griffin, members of the Standing Committee, and were passed.

The hon. librarian’s statement of accounts and report, which were published in our last issue, were submitted by the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn and adopted. In view of the issue of the revised edition of ‘Rules and Decisions,’ the Council decided to scrap the remaining copies of the old edition, which was published in 1904.

Mr. P. J. Johnson asked if there were any means by which the Council could popularise its publications. He suggested they might revert to a plan adopted some years ago and invite secretaries of associations to take parcels of publications on sale or return.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said in the past where secretaries of associations threw themselves into the task the result was very good financially, but there came a time when they thought they had sold all they could sell. There were, however, some associations who had not tried it, and he would be glad to send parcels on sale or return to any responsible person.


The Hon. Secretary said he had an interesting matter to bring before the Council. Many of them would remember that there used to be among the old London ringing societies a society called the Trinity Youths, whose headquarters were at Deptford. They also used to ring in various towers in the south-east of London. They had very valuable peal books, and they also put up some remarkably fine peal boards in some of the towers, many of the members at one time having been shipwrights with a gift for carving and splendid work. The society became nearly defunct and was revived by the late Rev. H. A. Cockey 40 or 45 years ago, when the few surviving members were collected, and it went forward again with new life. Unfortunately, however, the society had once more passed out of active existence, and the peal books, which were highly treasured for years and deposited in a cupboard at St. Alphege’s Church, Greenwich, were apparently borrowed by someone who forgot to return them. Recently Mr. F. W. Thornton informed him that he had discovered the ‘copy’ peal books, and he thought they were of sufficient interest historically to warrant him making a clear copy of them and handing them to him (Mr. Young), with the desire that they should be presented to the Council, on his behalf and that of the surviving members (applause). Mr. Young said he therefore had great pleasure in asking the Council to accept the books for the library, and trusted it would induce others, who had books of a kind likely to be valuable and for which they had no safe place of keeping, to hand them over to the library, where they could be kept for the future.

The Rev. F. J. O. Helmore said that, knowing the Trinity Youths at that time, he suggested many years ago that part of their county association area should be named the Trinity Youths’ District, but the Trinity Youths of that day turned up their noses and would not have it, and the Kent County Association formed the Lewisham District. Had the Trinity Youths fallen in with the suggestion, the society would not have been defunct now.

The President pointed out that the secretary received the copies of the peals in loose sheets, and he had at his own expense had them bound for the good of the Council (applause).

Mr. James George said that he was one of the surviving members of the Trinity Youths.

It was resolved to accept the gift with thanks.


Mr. E. W. Elwell reported that the committee dealing with the revision of the ‘Model rules for a local company’ had completed their work. The old code had been retained with certain modifications. The chief alterations were the addition of a second code at the end, which was very much shorter and more practical (leaving the fuller code to be drawn on when assistance was required on any particular point), while some of the rules had been simplified. He proposed that the rules be passed for the use of the Council, and printed.- Mr. W. H. Hollier seconded.

The Hon. Librarian: Printed if funds permit.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed that the rules be put in hand if the cost did not exceed £5.- Mr. J. George seconded.

Mr. Ewell said he would guarantee the cost would not exceed £5.- This motion was agreed to.


The honorary members retiring by rotation were Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. J. W. Parker. In announcing that the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey had sent an apology for absence, the President said Mr. Boughey felt that, with advancing years, he was practically useless on that Council, and therefore he hoped his name would not be put forward again for election. During the past year, proceeded the President, the whole of the hon. members’ places had been filled, and they had no vacancy, which they always tried to keep in case an emergency should arise and they wanted to elect someone to the Council for a special purpose. The Standing Committee had considered the question and recommended that the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. J. W. Parker should be re-elected, but that the place rendered vacant by the resignation of Mr. Boughey should not be filled.- This course was adopted, on the motion of the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by Mr. W. A. Cave.

New members of the Council were then introduced to the president, who welcomed them, and said how extremely pleased they all were to see Mr. Pulling there, as the representative of the Guildford Diocesan Guild, after his fearful accident last year. He hoped they would soon see him at the heavy end again and fit for a twenty thousand (hear, hear).


The Council then came to the consideration of the reports of committees. The first was that of the Standing Committee, and the Hon. Secretary said they had never had this on the agenda before, but he thought it ought to be there because there were occasions when the committee might have something specially to bring forward. After their last meeting in London he was in receipt of correspondence with regard to helping to pay for a bell at a church at Pendleton in memory of their first president, Sir Arthur Heywood. He gathered that the bell would have a suitable inscription to the effect that it was a memorial bell, and it was suggested that the Council might like to subscribe. Nothing definite had yet been done in the matter by the local people, and the Standing Committee, therefore, were not at present proposing anything.

Mr. W. H. Shuker (Lancashire Association) said the church for which the bell was required was a new church, opened about two months ago. The Pendleton church to which he belonged already had a peal of eight. As far as his association knew, Miss Heywood had asked the Midland Counties Association if they would put a new bell in the new church in Sir Arthur’s memory. They had heard nothing from any other source.

The President: If the Midland Counties Association have been asked to place a bell in the tower and wish to obtain help from this Council, the Council should be approached in a proper way by the M.C.A. (hear, hear).

Replying to a question, Mr. Shuker said the tower of the new church was big enough for a peal of bells, but as far as he understood only one bell was required.

The President said the Council would remember that last year it was suggested by Canon Elsee that members of the Council and Sir Arthur’s friends should be invited to subscribe to a memorial tablet, to record the last peal that Sir Arthur rang, which was by members of the Central Council at Duffield. That tablet had been erected, and he had heard from Mr. Wilde, who had had the matter in hand during Mr. Elsee’s absence in Africa, that there was £2 7s. 11d. still owing on it. He (the president) mentioned it to the Standing Committee, and that amount was forthcoming at once (applause).

Mr. Shuker proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Wilde for the trouble he had taken in connection with the memorial tablet, and this was carried with acclamation.


Reporting for the Peals Collection Committee, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson said the typed results of the one-part peals of Treble Bob were on the table (a considerable pile of MS.). There would be a few sheets more to come of peals of Royal and Maximus. If the Council wanted to know more details, Mrs. Fletcher could probably speak feelingly about it, as they had given her something to do during the last few months.

Mrs. E. K. Fletcher said the first part of the Collection, consisting of the five, three, and two-part peals, of which four copies were typed, were put into string binders, and she suggested that the Council should authorise the one-part peals to be dealt with in the same way.

This was agreed to, and the President cordially thanked Mrs. Fletcher for all her labour in typing the volumes, which had really been a gigantic task.

The Literature and Press Committee’s report, as given in ‘The Ringing World’ of June 1st, was moved by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by Mr. J. Griffin, and adopted.


The Rev. H. Law James, on behalf of the Methods Committe reported that the revision of the Minor Methods was in hand, and they hoped to be able to publish the new edition in a few weeks. The recommendations of the committee as to the names to be given to the methods appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ on May 11th.

The Hon. Secretary said Mr. A. L. Coleman, in sending his apology for absence, wrote that he hoped careful consideration would be given to the nomenclature question.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said the Council would remember at the last meeting the committee asked and obtained powers for a final revision of the names to be applied to the Minor methods, and after some discussion they gave an undertaking to publish the list in ‘The Ringing World,’ so that there could be criticism before the titles were finally put in the new book. That list had been printed. Substantially it was the list presented to the Council at the Salisbury meeting. It was the Analysis Committee’s list, with just the sort of alterations which they themselves would have made, if they had revised it after the three discussions that had taken place. He did not mean they would have made exactly the same revisions, but it was substantially the same list. There had been in some quarters a sort of suggestion that the committee, when they got these powers, were intending to overhaul the names extensively. The list was an answer to that. When they came to criticise the names they must remember that the names were very largely those given to the methods by six-bell ringers. The differences between the Methods Committee and the Analysis Committee were very small, although there was a good deal said about them, but he believed they had all been adjusted. A great deal of criticism had centred round what were known as the floral names, and they would remember that the Nomenclature Committee issued a list which contained a great many amendments and alterations. The Methods Committee had not been able to adopt any of these amendments and alterations, not because they objected to the alterations as alterations - but they might have been improvements - but because they felt that their job was simply to see which name had priority. They did not consider that they had to settle any question as to the artistic or æsthetic value of the names, but he thought there ought to be an opportunity, if there was any feeling - and there was at one time - amongst six-bell ringers against the use of floral names and the addition of the words ‘Castle’ and ‘Abbey’ to certain titles. There was something in the letter which Mr. Burton wrote in ‘The Ringing World’ on this point, and there was now an opportunity for those who wished to bring that matter forward to do so, and take the sense of the meeting upon it and settle it once and for all. The time had gone by for any general discussion on the names.

(To be continued.)


Despite the counter-attractions held out to ringers by reason of the Bristol Jubilee, members of the Central Council began to arrive at Hereford on the Saturday afternoon. A peal had been arranged on the Cathedral bells, starting at 5.30, but owing to the late arrival of a train from the north it was declared off, and general ringing on these fine-toned old bells was enjoyed until 7.30.

On the Whitsun Sunday the visitors assisted to ring for the 7 a.m. service at the Cathedral, the 11 o’clock service at All Saints’ and again at the Cathedral in the evening. In the afternoon some of the party made an enjoyable trip to Leominster (or ‘Lemster,’ as it is called locally). The church, a large and ancient one, was found to be very interesting, and the Council’s hon. secretary was able, being an architect, to describe the various styles of architecture which are so well exemplified in the building. The ancient ‘ducking stool,’ too, was found both interesting and amusing.

Bank Holiday found the weather, which had been gradually improving, at its very best. The local committee had kindly arranged a charabanc to be retained for the day, so it was determined to use it in the morning for a trip to Holm Lacey, and, in the afternoon, for an excursion down the glorious valley of the Wye, to the famous ruins of Tintern. The Holm Lacey trip comprised a visit to the old church and a pull or two on its light eight, an inspection of the Rectory garden, with its unique pear tree, and, under the courtesy and guidance of the Rector, a walk through the rooms and grounds of Holm Lacey. This mansion is one of the stately homes of England, and the party hardly knew which to admire most, the magnificent ballroom, with its wonderful carving, or the large formal garden upon which the house fronts. In the afternoon a party of nearly 20 drove to Tintern. The route lay through Ross (where an attempt for a peal was in progress), and thence by the spurs and valleys of the Forest of Dean and the banks of the Wye to the abbey ruins. The extensive remains of the old Benedictine monastery were viewed with the greatest interest, and all were impressed by the beauty of the architecture. In the meantime, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, who had acted as road guide, had arranged a tea upon the lawn of the Anchor Inn, formerly the Water Gate of the abbey. The party, now rested and refreshed, were the better able to enjoy several ‘touches’ upon handbells, two sets of which had been thoughtfully brought, and, after bringing round some Cinques, cars were boarded and the homeward route taken in the cool of the evening, this time via Monmouth and a wayside inn a few miles further on. Hereford was reached in time for an hour’s informal ‘social’ at the Booth Hall. The only regret was to hear that a band who had started in Hereford for a peal at All Saints’ were not rewarded with success.

All provision for the care and entertainment of the visitors was due to the untiring efforts of the local committee, and especially to the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Messrs. Edwards and Davis. The Council’s representatives, too, were fortunate in having the old Booth Hall set aside for their use over the week-end. This fine old room, with its magnificent timber roof dating from the 14th century, was much admired by the members. The local Guild who use it are most fortunate in the place of their meetings.

After the meeting or the Council on Tuesday, the members and their friends were entertained to a meat tea in the Booth Hall. The Dean of Hereford, who was in the chair, expressed the hope that the members had had a good time, and would carry away with them pleasant memories of their visit to Hereford.- The Hon. Secretary replied.

Ringing took place at the Cathedral and various churches in the city, and the men members returned once more to the Booth Hall, where an enjoyable social party was held, with some excellent songs and handbell ringing.

The Ringing World, June 8th, 1928, pages 361 to 363


(Continued from page 362.)


In the discussion which took place on the Methods Committee’s proposals, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith moved: ‘That the following names be substituted in the Treble Bob methods for those contained in the committee’s list, viz.: No. 16 (for “Shamrock”) “Waterford,” No. 17 (for “Bluebell”) “Berwyn,” No. 20 (for “Daffodil”) “Cheviot,” No. 21 (for “Fuchsia”) “Chiltern,” No. 22 (for “Foxglove”) “Cotswold,” No. 23 (for “Hyacinth”), “Mendip,” No. 24 (for “Marigold”) “Pennine,” No. 27 (for “Dahlia”) “Quantock,” No. 28 (for “Geranium”) “Snowdon.”’ He said this was the first time the Council had had an opportunity of giving a direct vote upon whether they desired an extension of the floral names, and he had limited the motion to deal only with those titles which had been introduced within the last four or five years. He did not suggest that they should touch those which had an historic interest, but he felt it was desirable that they should not encourage the application of the names of flowers to what was the product of a mathematical science. The names which he proposed to substitute were, he contended, much more dignified for the purpose for which they required them. The Council would notice that, with one exception, the proposed titles were the names of the ranges of mountains and hills in Great Britain. The exception was in the case of ‘Shamrock.’ In order that another injustice should not be done to Ireland, he proposed to substitute ‘Waterford,’ which was an historical name from a ringing point of view, inasmuch as the first peal in Ireland was rung in that city. As to the right of the Council to change the names already given to the methods, it was true that they had been rung under their present titles, and the Council could not prevent ringers calling them anything they liked. But he held that the Council had a perfect right to append to any method what name it pleased in any publication that was issued by it. In regard to these new floral names they were applied by a committee of the Council before the methods were rung or named by anyone else, and there was therefore no reason why the Council should not change them and give to the methods names which, he held, were much better suited to the purpose.

Mr. P. J. Johnson seconded, and remarked that when the Council gave names to methods in one of their own publications they should remember they were dealing with a science.

Mr. E. W. Elwell created amusement among the members when he said this dead horse had been flogged more than any other dead horse he had ever met. The extraordinary thing about it was that each time it was flogged it managed to gallop half-way up the hill before it dropped again. He hoped the Council would not let it gallop any further this time. He believed that the people who wanted to get rid of these names were earnest and honest in their desire, but he asked the Council to do as it had done in the past and uphold the right of ringers who rang a method for the first time to name it. These floral names were not given to the methods by the Analysis Committee, but largely by the members of the association which he represented, the Chester Diocesan Guild, who rang these methods for the first time, and he hoped the Council would uphold the tradition which entitled those who first rang a method to decide its name. Even the proposer of these new names, he said, must, it seemed, have something to remind him of the countryside, but what was more beautiful than to hear the bells sounding across the fields where the bluebells or the daffodils grew, and to have these names to remind them of the methods that were rung? Ringing might be a mathematical science, but he did not see any improvement in substituting for floral names such titles as ‘Arithmetic Minor,’ ‘Mathematical Major,’ or ‘Pythagoras Maximus’ (laughter).

Alderman Pritchett said he could not see the slightest objection to floral names for methods, and there was a great deal in the principle that those who invented the methods and rang them should have the right to select the names, unless they were manifestly absurd. These floral names were very appropriate. ‘But apart from that,’ said Alderman Pritchett, ‘I am an old Tory, and I like to support that which is in possession’ (laughter).

Mr. A. D. Barker: Is it not a fact that these methods were not named by those who rang them, but were named by a small committee of this Council?

Mr. Cave: Is it not really the fact that the friends of Mr. Elwell rang these methods after they were named, chiefly out of loyalty to our old friend Mr. Beeston?

The President: I am informed on good authority that they were named first and rung afterwards.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston: They were named by the company who rang them. When the performance was published they expressed the definite wish that they should be named by the names given to them by the Analysis Committee.

On the motion being put, it was declared carried by 40 votes to 19.


Mr. J. S. Goldsmith then proposed that No. 5 of Treble Bob methods be renamed ‘London Treble Bob,’ No. 4 of 4th’s-place Delight methods be named ‘Clarence,’ No. 14 of 3rd’s-place Delight methods be named ‘Barham,’ and No. 36 of 3rd’s-place Delights be renamed ‘Windsor.’ He said that No. 5 was the name given to the method by Shipway. The method called ‘Rochester’ in the old books was entirely different method. With regard to the method now known as ‘Duke of Clarence,’ he thought they might drop the two initial words, and that in No. 36 they might substitute ‘Windsor’ for Queen Victoria. He deprecated personal names being attached to methods unless they were the names of men who had rendered conspicuous service to ringing. He proposed the name of ‘Barham’ for No. 14 in order to do away with a possible cause for confusion. The method was at present called Kent Delight, but they already had Kentish Delight, and they did not want two names so nearly alike in the same class. James Barham was an historic figure in Kentish ringing, and they might well perpetuate his name.- Mr. J. Hunt seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously, the President remarking that it was the very first time the Council had been unanimous over anything connected with this subject.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said he had been asked to move the deletion of the words ‘Castle’ and ‘Abbey’ where they occurred in the names of Delight methods.- Mr. T. H. Beams seconded.

The Rev. H. Law James said there was a very good reason for eliminating these words from the titles. When they used the word ‘Delight’ they knew the class of method that was meant, when they divided the class by distinguishing 4th’s-place Delights by the word ‘Castle’ and 3rd’s-place Delights by the word ‘Abbey,’ it lead to the impression that there were two kinds of Delight methods, but there were not; there was only one, and he supported this alteration very strongly (hear, hear).

The Rev. H. Drake said ‘Castle’ and ‘Delight’ were not names of methods but names for a class or description, and if they put them in they should go in as a description and not as a name. There was nothing in the report to show what the distinction was in these names. Was the word ‘Bob’ the name of a method or the name of a class of methods, or the name of a particular division of a class? In the same way with ‘Castle,’ ‘Abbey’ and ‘Delight,’ were they names for the division of methods into classes or merely put in at the whim of the person who named the methods? He agreed with the proposal that the words should be left out. If they were to remain, it should be made quite clear what they meant. Method No. 1 was Plain Bob, 1a was Reverse Bob. They ought to know, what Plain Bob meant. Bob was an old word for dodge. Plain Bob meant that there was only one dodge in the method. Which was the name, was it ‘Plain,’ or was it ‘Bob’? If they called the method ‘Bob,’ they could not call the class ‘Bob.’ They should make it clear in the report, before it was issued to the public, what were names of methods and what were names of classes, and, when they were the names of classes, the special definition of the class to which the names were given. He thought this should be done, even at the expense of a year or two’s delay (laughter); if they did not do it they would regret it.

The Rev. H. Law James: May I suggest that Mr. Drake should read the Methods Report, where it was all explained over twenty years ago (laughter).

The Rev. H. Drake: I read that 20 years ago, and I should like to point out that it is twenty years old, and that is why I ask you to improve it.

The motion was carried.


Mr. J. S. Goldsmith said his attention had been called to the fact that in at least two places Double Surprise Minor methods were being rung. He had seen the figures of some of these methods, and they did not come within the class which the Council printed in its Collection, because of a bell making 5th’s place when the treble was not behind. He understood that there were quite a number of these methods being rung, but what appeared to him to be important was this: In the Preface to the Collection of Minor methods it was stated that Superlative Minor was not worth ringing, inasmuch as, in common with all other Double Treble Bob Minor methods, it would not produce the extent of the changes. If that statement were correct it would be well that the Exercise should know that Double Surprise Minor methods would not go to the full-extent of 720; if it were not correct the statement should be modified to meet the new discoveries.

The Rev. H. Law James said there were only three Double Surprise Minor methods that would produce a true extent.

Mr. Goldsmith said he had been informed that the number of these methods that was being practised was much larger than this; he believed at least a dozen or 16.

Mr. T. Faulkner said he wished to point out that Mr. Trollope had recently given as the reason why the name of Primrose appeared among the Surprise methods was that it was included under that name in Mr. Davies’ book on Surprise methods. This method had been previously known as Ringers’ Surprise. Surprise method No. 3 was now given as Alnwick. It was formerly printed as Canterbury, but changed to Alnwick by the Analysis Committee. He suggested that they should return to the name of Canterbury as originally printed, and that the name of Alnwick should revert to No. 2, which was now called Canterbury. These two names seemed to have been changed over. In the peal of 22 methods which was rung recently by members of the Essex Association, a 720 of spliced Nos. 3 and 5 was rung and published as Canterbury and Newcastle. If the former name were now to be given to method No. 2, someone in a few years’ time might come along and say the peal could not have been true, because those two methods (2 and 5) would not splice.

Mr. Trollope said the name Canterbury was given to the wrong method in the first edition, and the Analysis’ Committee who went very carefully into the matter corrected it. The question between Ringers’ and Primrose was rather different. Both were old names; probably Ringers’ was the older, but, generally speaking, ringers knew the method as ‘Primrose.’

Mr. E. Butler said the band who rang the Spliced Surprise Minor peal were anxious to erect a board in the tower, and for that reason he asked the Council to stick to the names under which the methods were rung and not to print them in a different order. If they had to change the name for the peal board, the record would not conform to the record of the peal which appeared at the time in ‘The Ringing World.’

Mr. Trollope thought a way out of the difficulty would be to print an appendix to the Collection showing, where there had been duplicate names, what alternative names the methods had been rung under.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said he simply took the name Primrose out of a list; he was not responsible for the names in the Surprise Methods book.

Mr. T. J. Salter proposed that ‘King’s Norton’ should be substituted for ‘Primrose.’- Mr. J. S. Pritchett seconded.

Mr. Butler: We have rung it as ‘Primrose’ for years.

The proposal to change the name was defeated, and the Rev. H. Drake said he noted the Tory voted for the change (laughter). Mr. Drake questioned the origin of the name ‘Bogedone’ (No. 40, 3rd’s-place Delight) and the introduction of the title of the Deity (‘Immanuel,’ No. 22 of the Surprise methods). He thought this latter should certainly be changed.

The President agreed that they ought not to use the name of the Deity, and the Rev. H. Law James said the Committee would look into these points.

The Rev. A. T. Beeston said ‘Bogedone’ was named by the people who first rang the method.

The President: Where is the place?

The Rev. A. T. Beeston: I don’t know.

Mr. Butler said ‘Immanuel’ was rung spliced with three other methods, and if they were to go on making changes like this six-bell ringers would not know where they were.

The report, subject to the alterations agreed upon, was then accepted.


The Rev. A. T. Beeston moved the adoption of the Peals Analysis Committee’s report, which has been printed in ‘The Ringing World.’ He was sorry there was one mistake in it, in regard to the length of the record peal of Treble Bob. The report gave it as 17,284 instead of 17,824, and he wished to rectify that.- Rev. C. D. P. Davies seconded.

The President said he hoped the members realised what labour that report meant to the members of the committee, Mr. Beeston, Mr. J. W. Parker, Mr. G. Williams and Mrs. Fletcher. It was a monumental work, which they undertook, and the Exercise could not be too grateful to them for what they did. He thought it was far more interesting than it used to be when they allotted points for dubious performances (hear, hear).

The report was adopted with thanks to the committee for their work.

The Ringing World, June 15th, 1928, pages 377 to 378


The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, for the Towers and Belfries Committee, said they had not met as a committee, but individually the members had been pretty busy, at any rate he and Major Hesse had been. In his own Guild there had been much good work done, and all the leading bell founders and hangers had been engaged. He had one suggestion and one proposal to put before the Council. The suggestion was this, and he asked the Council to take it up for what it was worth. It was unsatisfactory when, after bells had been taken to a foundry, the founder reported for the first time that a bell was cracked. He did not blame the founder, because it was impossible to examine bells in a dark tower and be absolutely certain that a bell was cracked in the crown. When the bells were down and under a strong light, then the founder, with the local authorities, should make an examination and determine, then and there, whether a bell was cracked or not. He thought this would be very much more satisfactory to the authorities and to the bell founders alike. Secondly, his proposal was the outcome of another experience. They sometimes found when the bells had been put into perfect ringing order, and sounded very nicely outside, inside the ringing-chamber it was exceedingly awkward for the ringers to hear properly because of the noise. Then there was also the question of the ventilation of towers, but he thought the first thing to consider was the acoustic conditions. He did not ask members to give their experiences as to what prevailed in their own towers, because in one tower a thing might be all right, but in another the same thing might be all wrong. He thought, however, that the Council, through the committee, might proceed to inquire into and report as to the best way of dealing with acoustic difficulties in the ringing room.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded and welcomed the resolution in view of painful experience in many belfries.

Mr. E. M. Atkins asked if the committee would accept with that resolution a reference to deal with the acoustic conditions outside. The two things came together, and the committee should consider both aspects.

Mr. G. Williams supported the motion, and said he could endorse all that Mr. Jenkyn had said with regard to the difficulty of inspecting bells for cracks in the tower. It would be much more satisfactory if the inspection were carried out as Mr. Jenkyn had suggested, and have it made before the bells left the place.

Mr. E. A. Young said the Council had many copies in the library of that useful book, the ‘Report upon the preservation of bells,’ and he thought they would find a chapter dealing with the deadening of sound in the ringing chamber. He added that as a member of the Towers and Belfries Committee it was his privilege during the year to inspect a tower in the New Forest and advise as to its stability. The members of the committee were always pleased to give their advice where it was deemed to be helpful, and it would be to the advantage of the Exercise if their advice was sought more often than it was (hear, hear).

Major Hesse said he agreed that what was all right for one tower in regard to the regulation of sound, was all wrong for another, and they could not possibly lay down any rule. It was a case of trial and error. A lath and plaster ceiling would be successful in one tower, but not in another, but the thing was how were they to find out? Experiment would be costly.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said his idea was that the committee should compare their own experiences. In his own Guild there were certain towers where he had made inspections and knew the conditions. Other members of the committee made similar inspections, and they could compare notes. That was his idea; he did not see that that need cost money.

The president then put the motion that the committee inquire into and report as to the best way of dealing with acoustic difficulties both inside and outside towers.

The motion was carried.

Mr. J. Hunt said the most effective silencer he had found was to put 2lb. lead, that was lead weighing 2lb. per foot, over the floor under the bells. It was just as cheap as a lath and plaster ceiling, and was not liable to tumble down.

The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said it would be helpful to the committee to receive any such information as this.


Mr. E. M. Atkins asked if the committee were going into the question of the welding of mediæval bells. He thought it was a question for this committee to consider. He knew of a number of cases in which bells had been welded successfully. It was certainly possible to weld bells for chiming, but it was not so certain that they could be successfully welded for ringing.

Major Hesse said last year he saw a bell that had been welded, and it was quite sound as regards its tone, but the question was, Would it stand the strain for long? He had not heard the history of this bell since, but he had heard the history of others which had come to grief.

Mr. A. A. Hughes said he could bear out what had been said by Major Hesse. From his experience he could say that the tone of the bell referred to after welding was, as far as he could judge, exactly as it was before it was cracked. The bell had since been in use for roughly twelve months, and he believed it was still sound, but how long it was going to stand up in ringing he could not say. He knew of another case where it took just over twelve months for a bell to become cracked again.

Major Hesse said he did not think they ought ever to advise people to have their bells welded until they had something much better to go on, and he undertook to consult a well-known firm of welders about the matter.

Mr. Hunt said there was a case near Taunton where a bell was cracked and a firm of welders were asked if they would guarantee it if it were welded, but they said they could not guarantee the bell to last. As a result that bell was now down in the church, and a new one had been got to replace it.

The Hon. Secretary said it was possible that the process might save to them bells that would otherwise be lost by recasting, but it must be remembered that a bell went on decreasing in strength as it was hammered. If they went on setting up stresses in the molecules beyond the elastic limit, the metal would not stand it, whether it was brazed or cast. They had to bear in mind that the cost of welding was probably only one-tenth of that for recasting, and he did hope, as a great lover of mediæval bells, many hundreds of which had been lost to them in the last half century, that if this process was practicable it should be utilised to save them from further loss.

The Rev. H. Drake said at St. Mary-le-Tower Church, Ipswich, the bell founder had reported that two of the bells were cracked. One was one of the newest, the other the oldest, almost a pre-Reformation bell. The Parochial Church Council called him in to advise them, and they adopted his advice that they should not try to weld the new bell. It was not worth it; it was ringable as it was, for the crack was not very perceptible. He suggested, however, that the old bell should be welded by a firm who welded another bell in his Guild eighteen months ago and made a great success of it, although that bell was not subjected to great stresses. What he suggested was that at St. Mary-le-Tower they should try and see whether welding the old bell seemed likely to be a success, and, if not, to keep the bell as a curiosity and get a new bell in its place. The estimate for welding the bell was £10, which was considerably less than the cost of recasting. He thought they ought to try and save their old bells, not merely as curiosities which could not be heard, but they ought to try and get them welded whether they used them or not.

A member raised the question as to whether the Council kept in touch with the Central Board of the Bishops’ Advisory Committees, but this appeared to be a body unknown officially to the Council. Mr. A. A. Hughes said the body referred to was at South Kensington, and Mr. F. E. Eales was the secretary.

The Towers and Belfries Committee’s report was accepted, and the Council then adjourned for lunch.


On resuming in the afternoon, the Rev. A. T. Beeston presented the following report of the Records Committee:-

First peals of new methods and of progressive lengths in other methods rung from April last year to the end of March, 1928.

First peal of:-

Superlative Surprise Maximus, 5,280 changes, at Ipswich, by Suffolk Guild.
Spliced Bob Royal and Grandsire Caters, 5,039 changes, at Cambridge, by C.U. Guild.
Ipswich Surprise Major, 5,162 changes, at Newchurch, by Lancashire Association.
St. Blaise Surprise Major, 5,024 changes, at Guildford, by Winchester Diocesan Guild.
Spliced London, Superlative Cambridge and Bristol, 5,408 changes, at Warnham, by Sussex County Association.
Kent Treble Bob Royal (Cam variation), 5,040 changes, at Leeds, Kent, by Kent County Association.
Pershore Bob Major, 5,056 changes, at Pershore, by Worcester and Districts Association.
Londonderry Surprise Major, 5,056 changes, at London, by Middlesex County Association.
Spliced Bob Major and Stedman Triples, 5,055 changes, at Northfleet, by Kent County Association.
Lincolnshire Surprise Major, 5,056 changes, at Nuneaton, by Warwickshire Guild.
Kent Treble Bob Major, Liversedge variation, 5,280 changes, at Liversedge, by Yorkshire Association.
Spliced Bob and Mixed Treble Bob Major, 5,008 changes, at Dartford, by Kent County Association.

Progressive lengths include:-

17,824 Oxford Treble Bob Major, at Heptonstall, by the Lancashire Association.

5,104 Little Bob Maximus, at Canterbury, by the Kent County Association.
9,600 Kent Treble Bob Major, Worcester variation, at Loughborough, by the Midland Counties Association.
5,120 Spliced Cambridge and Superlative Surprise Major, at Loughborough, by the Midland Counties Association.

A ‘minority report’ had been added by the Rev. H. Law James that ‘The Superlative Maximus is only a variation of the original extension.’

The report was adopted.


The next report was that described as the ‘Legal Liability’ Committee’s report, but Mr. F. A. Milne, who acted as spokesman, said he could not quite understand how it got that title. The Council would remember that at the last meeting Alderman Pritchett, Mr. Elwell and himself were appointed to draw up a report on the legal relationship between bells, ringers and ringing on the one hand, and the incumbent, churchwardens, and Parochial Church Councils on the other. During the past year he had done a little, Mr. Elwell had done a little, and Alderman Pritchett had now got their two little bits, and by that time next year he hoped they would be able to present a report. He, therefore, had to report progress for the time being.

The report was accepted.


The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards reported for the Broadcasting Committee. He said in consequence of a letter from Mr. Young he met him and Mr. Matthews, representing the committee, in London, and after they had discussed the matter Mr. Young put him in touch with the B.B.C. He went to Savoy Hill and had an interview with the announcer, went through a little test and received a little fatherly advice, the main purpose of which was that he should maintain a conversational tone in the ‘talk,’ because they wanted above all things to avoid the ‘clerical voice.’ One thing occurred to him as essential, and that was that the talk should be given at a time of year when people would be listening, and not in the summer when they had other attractions. They wanted to get to the dark evenings before anything of the kind was likely to prove acceptable, and towards Christmas the subject of bells was a little more seasonable. Bearing in mind that an interesting gathering of ringers took place in London at that time he suggested to the announcer that the second week in November would perhaps be an appropriate time, and the matter was left at that for the present. They would have to have at least one rehearsal at Savoy Hill with the handbell illustrations, and they would want one thorough private rehearsal before going there, so that they would have to make careful preparations. In a talk such as this, one could only touch the outside fringe of the subject, and it would have to be of the most elementary nature in order that the general public could grasp it. Ringers who listened, therefore, would have to imagine that they knew nothing about the subject beforehand.

The Hon. Secretary said before they were able to get the B.B.C. to listen to them they had several meetings of the committee, and he wrote several letters to the Broadcasting Corporation. At first the B.B.C. tried to turn them down, but eventually they succeeded. They told him that Mr. Chalmers Bell was going to give a series of talks on this subject, but he replied that as far as the Exercise was concerned they had never heard of Mr. Chalmers Bell. It transpired that he was Vicar of Lower Peover, in Cheshire, and was an old ringer who belonged to the Oxford Guild, and formerly rang at St. Giles’, Reading. He (Mr. Young) replied that they did not know this gentleman, and they felt that one of their own Council should be asked to give the talk in the way they wished it to be done.

Mr. T. H. Beams hoped the committee would try to get the B.B.C. to give enough time for those touches rung before broadcast services to be finished (hear, bear). They frequently had a touch cut off perhaps a dozen changes from the end.

Mr. R. Whittington said they got a full quarter of an hour of the horrible row of chiming from St. Martin’s, but when they got a decent band to give the public some proper change ringing they did not get two minutes of it.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith said in Birmingham they had succeeded in educating the local station, and on the last few occasions they had been given the full time to bring the touch round. The same educational process should be tried at the other stations.

The report was accepted.

The Ringing World, June 22nd, 1928, pages 393 to 394, correction July 6th, 1928, page 424


The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn brought forward the motion which had been adjourned from the last meeting, ‘that the Council shall issue at a small charge peal diplomas for the encouragement of young ringers.’ He said it had been adjourned because they thought it was their business to talk to their Guilds and Associations upon the matter and get their opinion. In his own Guild he had reviewed the situation with the secretary, Mr. Tom Hibbert, and they had come to the conclusion that they had turned the corner with regard to the difficulty of getting young ringers. They had more beginners now than they had a year ago; the outlook was more hopeful, though there was still room for improvement. He had spoken on the matter of diplomas at every branch meeting of his own Guild, and also to the Committee, and at every meeting there had been an almost unanimous show of hands in favour of the diploma being granted. One branch only did not vote in favour, and their idea was that it savoured too much of cups and trophies - that was the only thing against it. He was not going to take up the time of the Council by repeating what he said at the last meeting, but he would ask someone to second the motion and see what the opinion of the Council was this year, after having discussed it with the members of their own associations.

Mr. J. Hunt seconded. He said the delegates from the Bath and Wells Association had direct orders to support the motion. It had been thoroughly discussed throughout the diocese, and their members were universally in favour of the proposal. Moreover, their association was in favour of it being extended, not only to those who rang their first peal, but eventually to conductors when they got a young band through their first peal. If this proved successful it might also be applied to the men who got their ringers through successively their first peals of Doubles, Triples and Major.

Mr. James George emphatically condemned the proposal. It was nothing but a farce, he said, to get young ringers through their first peal just anyhow, in order to get them a diploma. He knew a case of a person who was got through a peal, because something had been promised beforehand if the peal was rung. The peal was said to have been rung, but when he (the speaker) got the same person in to another belfry to try to ring a touch that person could not ring a course, or even two leads. He was afraid that diplomas would lead to very bad peals being rung. It was quite an honour for anyone to ring their first peal, and to have the record of it published, and see their name in print. When he started they never thought of diplomas and he condemned the whole practice.

Mr. F. Hopgood gave the resolution his hearty approval. It could not possibly do any harm, and if it would do any good, as he claimed was possible, let them try it.

Mr. C. Edwards said the motion had the support of the Hereford Guild. They were in a rather remote part of the country, and few people realised the difficulties they had in getting young fellows to take an interest in ringing. A certain number would go so far, but would not go to the trouble of trying to reach the peal ringing stage. He thought the Council might do something to give them an object in view. If this proposal were adopted it would be one means of bringing the Central Council before the young ringer and an incentive to him to go on in the art. It was all very well for Mr. George to condemn the motion; he had his ringers already made for him when they came to Birmingham, but in that part of the country they had to make the ringers to send to him (laughter). They had taught about 30 or 40 ringers at his tower, but they had all gone, and ringers must be getting very thick in some parts of the country (laughter). He thought the diplomas would encourage young ringers to go on in the art, but he agreed that the peals for which the diplomas were awarded should be creditable peals. The proudest day of a ringer’s life was when he rang his first peal, and if in Mr. George’s day diplomas had been awarded he was quite sure one would have been hanging in his house to-day, and Mr. George would be proud of it.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said he considered the Council was being invited to do something which ought to be the primary function of the societies affiliated to the Council (hear, hear). In his young days - and he was not an old man yet - they used to find that the old ringers attached a great deal more importance to good striking than they did to the achievement of peals, but they found that in late years the standard of a man’s ringing was judged by the number of methods he could ring. What they had to ask themselves was whether, with these diplomas, they would be setting up a definite standard of advancement to the young ringer. In the Yorkshire Association a man had to be able to ring 720 changes before they admitted him as a member. He thought it would be equally logical for the Council to discuss whether they should award medals to those who ring a thousand peals. When they awarded a diploma for a first peal it did not necessarily set up a standard. It depended, for one thing, on what sort of a conductor they had got - and he could speak feelingly. In this motion the Council were proposing to undertake a function that should be the job of the societies which were affiliated to the Council. It was their job to give advice on the technical side of the science, but he did not think it would be wise to interfere with the individual business of the associations (applause).

The Rev. E. S. Powell said on the previous day this matter was brought before a meeting of 170 members of the Guild of Devonshire Ringers, when a unanimous vote was given against the proposal. Like the Hereford Guild, they were somewhat isolated and far away, and in addition they had to face a very determined effort of the ‘Churchyard Bob’ or ‘stoney’ ringers, who had set up an association which bore a colourable name to the change-ringing Devon Guild, and they had established in it a competition for round ringers. What mattered most, however, was this, the more a competition of that kind could succeed the less chance there was of getting a man to take up the higher art of change ringing. The Devon Guild might have a very big fight in front of them, and that was the feeling behind the vote given the previous day - that anything which encouraged competition or reward for ringing was, in the view of his Guild, lowering in tone, and he was instructed very earnestly to vote against the resolution.

Canon Helmore said in the Kent Association the subject had been brought forward in district meetings, and he must say that, so far as he could judge, his members were for the most part completely apathetic with regard to it. They had an old certificate which was never asked for, and that was for a man who could ring so many changes. He was never asked for a copy of that, only for the certificate of membership.

The Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake said it seemed to him that if they could combine with that idea another that was very similar to it, it might commend itself more to the backwoodsmen (laughter). If the diplomas were issued in different colours, and could be obtained in blank form, on which they could record ordinary peals, and which could be put together in a kind of loose leaf ledger, special peals being distinguished by different colours, they would have interesting peal books for themselves and for the younger members. Even Mr. James George, of England, probably kept a peal book, although it might by now be rather an extensive one. Personally he would like a book on the loose leaf ledger system, so that peals could be entered up on a standard form and put therein. If they had different coloured papers for different methods they would see from the book itself what sort of a standard the ringer had reached.

Mr. George Williams said the Winchester Diocesan Guild members were in favour of the proposal, and he had been asked to support the motion. Those of them who had rung hundreds of peals ought not to oppose the young ringers’ wishes.

Mr. A. H. Pulling said the Guildford Diocesan Guild supported the proposal, and, personally, he gave it his support, because it would be a little reward to a ringer. He felt, however, that there should not be any charge made to the ringer, but that the Guilds should pay for the diploma, if the Central Council could not do so. No doubt very soon all roads would lead to London, or some other great centre, to celebrate the one-thousandth peal of a well-known gentleman, but he had no hesitation in saying that when a young band rang its first peal of Grandsire Triples it would be a more creditable performance than Mr. James George’s one-thousandth.

Mr. W. A. Cave thought rather too much stress was being laid on the peal ringer. Why should they not encourage and give a diploma to the young ringer when he proved himself by ringing for Sunday services? That was the man they wanted; not the peal ringers.

The Rev. H. Drake said that at the meeting of their Suffolk Guild they did not want to turn this resolution down, but they did not see that it was practicable, because it had not been put before them in sufficiently definite form. It was the local association which was in a position to say whether a peal was worth recording or not; the Central Council was not in a position to say so.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson agreed that the issue of the diplomas should be in the hands of the local associations, but he took it that if that were done the associations would obtain their supplies from the librarian or secretary of the Council, and the issue would be in the hands of the association officials. Whether or not the young ringer paid for the diploma would depend on the association. Personally he thought the scheme should be carried out, and carried out by the Council, whose business it should be to do all it could to promote the art of ringing. A thing issued by the Council would be of very much more value to the ringer and of a great deal more value to the Exercise. It would help the young ringer to realise what an enormous body of church workers he belonged to, and in that way he thought it would be of great educative value to the lads in the country parishes. A certificate issued by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers would be much more valued than one issued by an association.

Mr. F. A. Milne said that at the annual meeting of the Middlesex Association, which was very largely attended, there was an almost unanimous vote to oppose this resolution.

Mr. F. Wilford, who next rose to speak, began by saying that at the annual meeting of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild the delegates - but he got no further when the President interrupted him by saying that members were not delegates. They were not there as Trade Unionists sent to a conference to vote as they were told, but were there as representatives, perfectly free to vote exactly as they liked after listening to the arguments. The word ‘delegate’ had been used three or four times that day - they were not there as delegates, but as representatives.

Mr. Wilford then proceeded that the representatives to the Council from the Peterborough Diocesan Guild were not given any instructions from their Guild. It was left to their own discretion, but they were of opinion that the matter belonged to the Guilds, as Mr. Johnson had already said.

Mr. R. Whittington said the representatives of the Guildford Diocesan Guild were instructed to vote for the motion, although he was personally opposed to it. He should, however, vote as his members wished him to do.

The Rev. C. D. P. Davies said they would not find the word ‘delegate’ from one end of their constitution to the other. He always contended very strongly that everyone came there to express his own judgment; not to vote this way or that at dictation, but to exercise his own common sense in voting after listening to the arguments.

Major J. H. B. Hesse said Mr. Whittington and Mr. Pulling had expressed their views as representing the Guildford Guild; as Master of that Guild, although not one of its representatives, he thought he ought, therefore, to say what he felt about it himself. In his view diplomas were the wrong kind of encouragement to give a man. If a man wanted to ring for the honour of ringing, the peal books were enough to see his peals in. They wanted men who would ring without any reward for it (hear, hear).

Mr. W. Southeard said that in Cornwall they already gave medals and certificates, but these did not seem to encourage young ringers very much to go in for the art of change ringing.

In replying to the discussion, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said the idea behind the scheme was that the diploma should come from the Central Council, as being the most important body. When a young ringer had rung his first peal, which would have to be a genuine peal, and the record had been published, he would apply through his branch or general secretary to the secretary of the Central Council, and the diploma would come in due course. It was thought that if he paid something for it he would value it more. The idea was also that the diplomas should be all of one size and colour, and only be issued for first peals in, any method. He brought the scheme forward because it was something suggested by young ringers themselves, and the diplomas should be given as an encouragement, and not as a reward.

A vote was then taken, and the motion was lost by a considerable majority.

The Ringing World, June 29th, 1928, pages 410 to 411


The following motion was proposed by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards: ‘That this Council emphatically deprecates the discontinuance of the Curfew, Angelus or other bell traditionally rung in any parish alike on historical, spiritual and practical grounds, and calls upon its officers and members to exert their efforts individually or collectively to prevent any such breach with ancient usage.’ In the course of a lengthy speech Mr. Edwards said there were in different parishes bells traditionally rung. In some cases the origin of the bell was known. There were, for instance, a number of cases where a bell was rung, in consequence of a bequest, during the winter months of the year to guide travellers through the darkness. In many other cases the origin of the ringing was not known. In his own parish there were two bells traditionally rung - what they knew as the ‘Eight o’clock bell’ on Sunday mornings, Christmas Day and Good Friday, and a bell rung immediately after morning service on certain days. There was a speculative reason of their origin. There were parishes where a bell was rung in the early morning and in the evening, and in some cases in the midday. In such cases that bell was a survival of the Angelus. The most numerous class was where the bell was rung in the evening in most cases at 8 o’clock, and in a few at 9 o’clock. Wherever that bell was rung it was generally known as the Curfew. It might be safe to call it the Curfew, but it may have been even of earlier origin than the days of William the Conqueror. From inquiries he had made he had rather come to the conclusion that the origin of the curfew was firstly not secular, but religious. In places where there was a monastic establishment the bell was rung as a signal for the monks to chant their last canonical office and retire to rest, and the priests in charge of the parishes around the monasteries encouraged and instructed their parishioners, at the sound of the bell, to say a prayer, put out lights and retire to bed, and as the Ave Maria, in addition to the Lord’s Prayer, was the most familiar form of devotion they were instructed to recite the Ave Maria for their evening devotion. Hence the bell became known as the Angelus. When the Conqueror came to the throne he made a decree that throughout England a bell (which in his, the speaker’s belief, had been rung in many places for religious purposes) should be universally rung at eight o’clock, and at the ringing it should be compulsory to cover the fires, by raking the ashes over the embers, and putting out the lights. That ordinance of William the Conqueror did not remain in force for more than a century, but when the restrictions were withdrawn the bell continued to be rung, and that fact very strongly supported the view that the real significance of it was not civil but religious, for it continued to be rung by those in charge of the church. Already, before William the Conqueror, a bell had been used for a similar purpose. It was on record that Alfred the Great, a century or so earlier, had ordered a bell to be rung at Oxford, and that was the signal to the students to retire to the various colleges and remain there for the night. It was very fascinating to reflect that the 101 strokes tolled by ‘Old Tom’ every night came in direct lineal descent from the bell ordered to be rung by King Alfred for a similar purpose. There had been periods of intermission, but that bell still had its force in different ways in the different colleges. It was his belief that the evening bell which was known as the Curfew originated as a signal for devotion, and it was adopted by William the Conqueror for a civil purpose. It was an historical fact that after the ordinance had been withdrawn that bell continued to be rung practically all over the country and in many parishes until the nineteenth century. He was sorry it had been discontinued during the last half century or so, but there were still a considerable number of parishes where it was rung. It was most deplorable that after the bell had been rung for a thousand years it should be discontinued for the merely parsimonious and mean reason of saving a slight expenditure on the rates or church expenses. But besides having an historical significance he held that the bell had a spiritual significance and spiritual value from the fact that it was a church bell and sounded from the church. In these days of gross materialism and universal absorption in the things of this world for pleasure or profit it was of great value if in any way it compelled attention to those spiritual realities which called the church and the bells into being. The speaker then went on to deal with the practical aspect of the question. The ringing of these traditional bells, he said, ensured that at least one man in the parish would know how to ring. There were many parishes in this country, and many more in Wales, where bells remained silent year after year. Bells were just chimed for service, and sometimes not for that. The one thing that kept the art of ringing alive to a small extent in some parishes might be the traditional bell, for one man at least would have learned to ring a bell because it was part of his duties. Then when dawned a better day, when an incumbent came to the parish who was interested in the belfry, the fact that they had in the parish one man who could ring enabled them to start a new band. For the same reason, where the Curfew was rung the bell frame and fittings were bound to be kept in order. Many a boy had been taught to ring by going to help to ring the Curfew, and he considered that it provided ringers with a most valuable means, ready to hand, for training young ringers. He had endeavoured to prove that the ringing of these traditional bells had an historical, spiritual and practical value, and in view of the fact that so many of them were being discontinued, he would ask the Council to call upon its officers and members, wherever they heard of the discontinuance of such a bell, to prevent such an act of vandalism being carried out. It was also a matter in which the Literature Committee might be of use in being asked to write on the subject to the local newspapers in places where such a bell was discontinued.

Mr. T. H. Beams, who seconded, said that many of these traditional bells had been rung through the liberality of people in olden times, but the use of that money had been turned to other purposes and not used for the ringing or upkeep of bells. He mentioned a case where the money had been diverted, and said they should be on their guard to prevent this where possible.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith said he had found it difficult for the last 25 minutes to imagine he was at a ringers’ meeting. He thought they had come to a lecture on the ancient uses of bells. He hoped the resolution would be defeated most decisively (‘Oh!’). It was all very well for those who lived in a quiet country village, far from the noise and bustle in which some of them were compelled to live in the cities, where they endeavoured to keep alive the art of change ringing in thickly populated districts, to talk of keeping these traditional bells going. From time to time they had outbreaks of protest in their daily papers about what was generally called the church bell nuisance, and almost invariably the thing started from the clanging and jangling of single bells. Then it grew and grew until someone came along and dragged in the ringing at some church where, perhaps, the bells were properly rung. He would like to move as an amendment: ‘That this Council emphatically deprecates the continuance of the Curfew, Angelus or other bell traditionally rung in any parish, and calls upon its officers and members to exert their utmost efforts to prevent the continuance of such practice’ (laughter).

The President: That is a direct negative.

Mr. W. A. Cave was extremely sorry to hear the speech of Mr. Paddon Smith. He (the speaker) also lived in a city, and he had never heard a word against the Curfew. People looked for its chiming every night. In Bristol they would be sorry to lose it.

Mr. T. W. Faulkner said this surely could not be a contentious question. One newspaper during last summer published an enormous number of letters about the use of the Curfew and different bells rung traditionally through the centuries, and the conclusion was arrived at that there were at least 300 or 400 parishes in this country where the Curfew was still rung. There was not one word of complaint about it.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett asked the Council not to take his friend, Mr. Paddon Smith, too seriously; when he spoke most gravely he was very often laughing inwardly, and he suspected that his speech on this occasion was one of that kind (laughter).

Mr. R. Whittington said he did not think the jangling complained of referred in any case to the Curfew. He would like to substantiate what Mr. Edwards had said about the Curfew having a tendency to keep the bell frames in order where there were no ringers. Once at Marlborough he tried to get some ringing, and was told that if he liked he could ring the Curfew that night, He was highly gratified, but when he went to the tower he found there was only just room to ring the bell. The rest of the belfry was filled with birch brooms, grave boards and other articles, and had it not been for the Curfew it would probably have been impossible to get into the tower at all (laughter).

On the motion being put, it was carried. Mr. Paddon Smith was the only dissentient.


The Hon. Secretary proposed: ‘That the Council should consider the feasibility of supplying and fixing memorial plaques in towers associated with famous ringers of the past.’ He said he had put this on the agenda partly because of the correspondence which came in last year about the memorial to Sir Arthur Heywood. Plaques in memory of famous men were put up in the City of London by the City Corporation, and the London County Council in other parts of London put up rather elaborate circular plaques on the houses associated with the great men of the past. It had occurred to him, therefore, that the Central Council might like to do something in the same way with regard to famous ringers. It would be no good going to the City Corporation and asking them to put up a plaque at St. Bride’s to the memory of Benjamin Annable, who used to ring there, and who was buried at St. Bride’s, but the Central Council might do it, provided there was money to do it with, just as they had recently put up a tablet to the memory of Sir Arthur Heywood. He had inquired of the city surveyor what the cost of the city plaques was. He was informed that they were made by Doulton’s, and the Corporation paid £3 5s. each for them. There were also some bronze plaques in London, which cost between £5 and £6, but they could not do better in regard to effect than the majolica plaques. The proposal, he thought, could be carried out in this way, if the Council gave its consent to the consideration of some such scheme. The local associations could, if they thought fit, put forward the name of some well-known ringer of the past whose name was worthy of commemoration. The Council could then, if it acquiesced, arrange with Doulton’s to supply the plaque, provided the local people subscribed the necessary money. The memorial could then be opened with due ceremony, and they would have the ringer commemorated for all time. He, therefore, recommended the motion to the Council’s consideration.

Mr. A. A. Hughes, who seconded, said he did so because he was in sympathy with the idea, but the gist of the whole thing to his mind was the question of cost. He could not see how the cost was to be borne at present.

Mr. Trollope asked where they were going to put these plaques. They might look very well outside a church, but inside they already had their memorials in the shape of peal tablets, and the people who saw them already knew all about these worthies. Before supporting the motion he would like to know where these tablets were to be put, and who were the people it was proposed to commemorate.

Mr. James George said if they started this scheme he did not know where it would end.

A Member: With you (laughter).

Mr. George said he could not see where it was going to end, and it would be a very expensive matter.

The Rev. C. A. Clements said if they put such a memorial in the church they would have to get a faculty, and that would cost them about £5. If they wanted to put it in the belfry, as Mr. Trollope had said, they would be putting it where, in all likelihood, there were already records of the performances of the men they wished to commemorate. If they desired to erect plaques they would have to submit an application to the Chancellor and pay most elaborate fees.

Mr. W. A. Cave said when the Roll of Honour of ringers was compiled he suggested that, as they met every third year in London, it should find a resting place somewhere there. If they carried out the present idea, with which he was in entire sympathy, he suggested it should be in the same way, so that when they visited London every third year they could go and inspect the plaques.

Mr. Hughes said he thought Mr. Cave hardly knew what Mr. Young meant. The idea behind the motion was that these placques should be placed in the different churches throughout the country, where these famous men had been ringers. For instance, they would place a plaque in the belfry of St. Martin’s, Birmingham, to John Carter.

Mr. J. S. Pritchett said he would respectfully suggest to the hon. secretary that he should withdraw the proposition. He did not think it was practicable. There was the difficulty first of all of where they were to begin, and where they were going to end, in the men they were going to commemorate, and when they had selected one or more, where were they going to put up the plaques? If ever a man deserved a memorial it was John Carter, but the suggestion that it should be placed in St. Martin’s belfry did not meet with his personal approval, because Mr. Carter rang comparatively little in that tower. The greater part of his Birmingham ringing was done in connection with St. Philip’s Church, where he was head of his own company. That difficulty would arise in nearly every case. He did not think the Council could undertake the work with any prospect of success or in a manner to give any general satisfaction.

The motion, on being put, was defeated by a large majority.

The President said it would have been a great expense to place such memorials on the wall of a church, and it was very doubtful whether an Advisory Committee - it would have to come before them - would pass it. They would ask, ‘Who was John Carter?’ He would be absolutely unknown to them; or ‘Who was Benjamin Annable? Who was William Shipway?’


Mr. J. S. Goldsmith moved the following resolution: ‘That in the “Conditions required for peals” laid down by the Central Council, the following be inserted: “On five bells. That peals of Doubles consist of at least 42 true and complete 120’s rung without interval and without ‘rounds’ or any other rows being included or rung more than once in any 120. A peal may be lengthened by the addition of any number of 120’s fulfilling the same conditions, with or without one touch of less than 120.” And the following be substituted for the present definition of a peal on six bells: “On six bells. That peals of Minor consist of at least seven true and complete 720’s rung without interval and without ‘rounds’ or any other row being included or rung more than once in any 720. A peal may be lengthened by the addition of any number of 720’s fulfilling the same conditions, with or without one touch of less than 720.”’

Dealing first with the portion relating to six-bell peals, he said the proposal was merely to bring the definition into line with present practice. As the definition now stood in the ‘Rules of the Council,’ peals of Cambridge Minor rung on the plan published by the Rev. E. Bankes James were ruled out, because it was provided in the conditions required for peals that the bells should strike round at the end of each 720. In Mr. James’ arrangement there were seven true and complete 720’s if rounds were treated as the first row of the first 720. Rounds, however, did not occur at the beginning or end of all of the subsequent 720’s, but the alteration to the rule which he proposed would enable this arrangement to be recognised as a true peal. With regard to the peals on five bells, the Council had hitherto had no definition, so that strictly they had not recognised peals of Doubles by their rules. The motion, as drafted, was to place peals of Doubles on parallel lines to peals of Minor. In doing this they would not exclude Pitman’s spliced 240’s of Grandsire when rung in a peal, because these consisted of two true 120’s, if rounds were counted as the first change of the 120.

The Rev. H. Law James: The first change of Grandsire Doubles is 21354.

Mr. Goldsmith said he was not going to argue the theoretical side of the methods; all he was concerned with was what they were to include under the heading on ‘Practical Ringing’ in the Decisions of the Council. With regard to the other frequently practised arrangement of Grandsire Doubles, by Mr. Morris, that, by the definition which he proposed, would be ruled out of peals, and he had little regret that it was, because each of the 120’s included a repetition of no less than 40 changes. The Council should aim at raising rather than lowering the standard of peals, and while Mr. Morris’ arrangement would make a variation when ringers were practising, there was no reason why such flagrantly false six-scores should be admitted in peals. Mr. Goldsmith added that there was nothing in the motion which would exclude that other method of calling extents of Grandsire, by which the ‘half-hunt’ bell was changed. These arrangements were perfectly true, inasmuch as they merely spliced five extents into the middle of one other.

The Rev. H. Law James seconded, and remarked that the 720’s of a method might be perfectly true, but instead of coming round at the end of each the last row might be 132465 or 143265, in which case the next 720 would begin with 134256 or 142356. By repeating this process the end of the third 720 would be 124365, and the fourth would start again from 123456.

The Rev. E. S. Powell supported the resolution. He agreed that they should stiffen up the definition of a peal. At present they would recognise a peal if all of the 42 six-scores of Doubles were called in exactly the same way. He would therefore like to move as a rider that in a peal the calling should be as varied as the method or methods would permit.

Mr. Coles said he would prefer the rider to be left out. It would rather complicate matters. At present a peal of Grandsire Doubles was recognised if the standard ten callings were used. If the rider were carried it would mean that they would have to include these spliced arrangements, which would not commend itself to all ringers. They would be trying to force ringers to ring what they did not want to ring, and they would not allow a peal with the ten standard callings to be recognised as a peal. If the motion was left as originally proposed, he felt sure it would get the support of most of the representatives present. He hoped the resolution would be passed, because he would not like to see such a splendid composition as Mr. Bankes James’ Cambridge Minor excluded from recognition, as it was by the present rule of the Council.

Mr. E. M. Atkins said he regarded a peal in a different light from that in which most people regarded it. He could not conceive why a peal of Minor or Doubles should not be considered as a unit and not as a string of 720’s or 120’s. All that it was necessary to lay down was that a change should not occur more than seven times in a peal of Minor, or 42 times in a peal of Doubles. The resolution, as they had heard, ruled out certain spliced 240’s because they were not in complete 120’s. There was another type of peal of Doubles, one in which they rang up to a certain lead-end, then started another 120, and, having finished it, went back and finished the first. He held that the definition in the motion would rule that out.

The Rev. H. Law James said that these latter 120’s would not be ruled out.

The motion, on being put, was carried without dissent, but the rider, put as a separate proposition, was defeated by 13 votes to 9.

The Ringing World, July 6th, 1928, pages 425 to 426


Notice of a motion had been given by Mr. Walter Ayre: ‘That a committee be appointed to consider the best method of dealing with cases of extraordinary sickness amongst members of our affiliated change ringing associations, with power to report to the next annual meeting.’ The President said the Standing Committee had considered this notice and, as it was not in order in not having a seconder, as provided by the rules, the matter could not be considered at that meeting, and they would, therefore, pass on to the next business.

Continuing, the President said the Council had to decide upon the place for next year’s meeting. From the beginning, the Council had followed a definite rule as to localities. Every first year of a new Council the meeting was held in London, then they met north and south, east and west, and after that they went to the Midlands. This time their strict rota was London, Hereford, which was almost north-west, and from that they should go south-east. The Standing Committee had considered the matter, and they recommended that Chelmsford should be the place for the next meeting. The hon. secretary had received an invitation from the Essex Association - a cordial invitation to the Council to visit Chelmsford in 1929. The Central Council, the letter pointed out, had not yet met in Essex, and Chelmsford was the centre of a young and vigorous diocese. There were ample ringing facilities, including a ring of 12, eight rings of 8, and two of 6 in the immediate neighbourhood. Chelmsford was on a main line, with a good and frequent train service, and there was ample accommodation for their meeting in the Cathedral Hall. The letter which they had received added that the Essex Association would next Whitsun be celebrating its jubilee, and the attractive programme which it was hoped to carry out on Whit Monday would be a pleasing prelude to the Council’s meeting on the next day. If the invitation were accepted, the association and its officers would do their utmost to make the meeting a success and arrange for the members attending to have an enjoyable time.

Mr. T. W. Faulkner said as one of the prime conspirators in the sending of that letter he would propose, if necessary, that the Council should meet at Chelmsford in 1929. The Council would be given every facility, there was ample accommodation, and as the Council had never been to Essex before - probably because it had never been asked - it would be a fitting climax to the association’s jubilee celebration. If a motion on the subject was not necessary, he desired to support the Standing Committee’s recommendation.

A member proposed, as an amendment, that the Council should visit Blackburn, which was the centre of a new See, but on being put to the vote Chelmsford was carried by a large majority.


The Council then gave its permission for the discussion of the first item of addenda to the agenda paper - motions which had been received after the original agenda had been published.

The first was a motion put forward by the Guildford Diocesan Guild: ‘That this Council invite its affiliated associations and Guilds to unite in a scheme for keeping touch with ringers who remove from one area to another.’ (A brief outline of the scheme was published in our issue of June 1st.) The motion was proposed by Mr. R. Whittington, who said they constantly heard of the difficulty which associations had in getting young ringers to take an interest in ringing. Although they in the diocese of Guildford were not isolated as some other associations were, they experienced the same difficulty. They knew the trouble it was to get young people interested in ringing, and also how disappointing; it was, when they had managed to get some of them on, to lose them when they had to go away to work. They also knew how much more disappointing it was when they knew that in going away these young ringers would, in all probability, owing to their strange surroundings, be lost to the Exercise altogether. The older ringers, of course, would always find their way to a tower, but they ought to do all in their power to see that a young ringer, once he had put his hand to a rope, should never be lost sight of. He hoped the Council would ‘father’ the scheme which his Guild put forward, so that they might get uniformity of practice. For lack of a scheme, he maintained, they had lost a lot of ringers, He instanced a case in his own parish where quite by accident he found that a young ringer had come to live among them, but was too shy to come to the tower, because he was afraid he did not know enough about ringing. This young ringer had been in the parish for months before he heard of him, and yet in the meantime he had been scouring the place to try and get recruits.

Mr. A. H. Pulling seconded the motion, and said he hoped the Council would not only ‘father’ the scheme, but ‘mother’ it a well (laughter).

The President said he thought it was a most excellent thing.

Mr. C. T. Coles said in the outline of the scheme they were told what to do when a young ringer went away from a district, but they were not told how to do it. The difficulty would be to ascertain the addresses of the secretaries with whom they were to communicate. He had seen in ‘The Ringing World’ the announcement of the publication of a Ringers’ Directory. Perhaps the Council could take that over in some way and publish a complete list of secretaries.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith said he would be prepared to publish in ‘The Ringing World’ once a year a complete list of the secretaries of the associations and Guilds affiliated to the Central Council (hear, hear).

The motion was then put and carried unanimously.


There were two other items of addenda, viz., ‘The Suffolk Guild asks the Central Council through its Standing Committee to approve or otherwise deal with each of the proposals of the Nomenclature Committee seriatim,’ and ‘The Suffolk Guild also considers that the issue of diplomas should be left to the associations; but that the Council should, if necessary, organise such issue.’

The President said the Standing Committee had considered both these matters and ruled them out. First, there was no Nomenclature Committee, because that Committee was dismissed last year, and its report handed back with thanks, and the Council had not got it before them at all. With regard to the peal diplomas, the Standing Committee felt that it was coming up in the discussion on the main motion, and it was quite unnecessary to raise it separately. But even if the Standing Committee had not taken that action, a legal mind amongst them was going to bring up a point of order, and he (the president) would have had to rule it out of order at once.

This having concluded the business on the agenda, Mr. Pulling asked whether they could not now go back and consider Mr. Ayre’s proposition, if it were moved, in the absence of Mr. Ayre, by another gentleman. He hoped the matter could be discussed, otherwise some people might say the Council would not listen.

The Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake said he would be prepared to propose the motion in the absence of Mr. Ayre.

The President said he was in the hands of the Council, but on taking the feeling of the Council a vote against discussing the matter at this meeting was given by a large majority.


The President said he had to bring forward two matters, one grave, and the other, if he might say so, gay. They must not forget that since their last meeting they had lost a very prominent member of the Council, one whose death came as a great shock to them all. He referred to Mr, Pryce Taylor, who was a very valuable member of the Council and of the Standing Committee. Mr. Taylor had been to America, and was just about to return with a book full of orders for bells in that continent. He went bathing one day, cut his foot with a shell, septic poisoning set in, and he died within three or four days. Mr. Taylor was going to join a few of them on a ringing tour in the West of England, and when they heard of his death it threw a great blight over their week. They were able, however, to pay a tribute to his memory by ringing one of the very best half-muffled peals of Stedman Caters that could ever be rung. It was absolutely faultless from beginning to end. It was rung at Wrington, on that noble peal of bells, where Pryce Taylor would have been ringing with them had he been alive.

The President asked the Council to stand for a few moments to show their respect, which was done.


The President then went on to the second subject. He said all the members of the Council knew what Miss Edith Parker, as, she then was, had done for the Council; her tremendous labours in typing collections of peals and various things. No matter what work was laid upon her, she had always been ready to do everything she could for the Council (applause). On the table before them they saw the pile of typed matter which had been done by her under very exceptional circumstances, as she had just recently been married. It had been felt by many that morning that they would like to show their gratitude to Mrs. Fletcher for what she had done for the Council by combining with all those who would like to do so in giving her a little wedding present in commemoration of her kindness and unselfish work (applause). Everyone present had been delighted to participate, and the gift had developed in the form of a cheque for £6 10s., which they asked Mrs. Fletcher to accept with their best love and their gratitude to her. They thought it best to give her the money, so that she might chose something that she would like for her house (applause). In handing the gift to Mrs. Fletcher, the President said he knew that the last thing she would think about it was that it was a monetary reward for all she had done, but that she would take it simply as a token of their love and affection and of their gratitude to her, and with the wish that she and her husband might have many, many years of happy life, and, he hoped, continued usefulness to the Central Council (applause).

Mrs. Fletcher, who had been taken quite by surprise, said she was afraid she could not make a speech, but she greatly appreciated the kind thought that had prompted the gift. Everything she had done for the Council had given her the greatest pleasure, and she hoped she might be spared for many years to help on the work of the Council. She thanked them all very much indeed (applause).

The business proceedings then concluded with a vote of thanks to the president, moved by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies.

The Ringing World, July 13th, 1928, page 442

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