Since the last meeting of the Council we have been engaged on the new edition of the Collection of Doubles and Minor Methods. The book would have been ready for publication before this, but for the fact that doubts have arisen in connection with certain compositions. Examples of these compositions are given further on in this Report, and we propose to include them in the book, but we think that first the Council should have the opportunity of expressing its opinion about them, if it thinks it necessary to do so.
Our reasons for including them are that we consider them to be fully in harmony with the traditions and usage of the Exercise, and we have ample evidence of their practical use to ringers. In making this statement, it will be clear from what follows that we do not wish it to be understood that these arrangements or anything just like them were rung in times past, but that they are fully in harmony with the fundamental principles of change ringing and are a logical development similar in character to the splicing of several Major methods into one peal.
We would state clearly that we consider that the first thing necessary in a peal is that it should be ‘true and complete.’ These words have been used in this connection by the Exercise from the earliest times, and they have an historical and definite meaning, and they express a fundamental principle of change ringing.
On seven bells ‘true and complete’ means that the peal contains the total number of changes without repetition, starting from and finishing with rounds, with all the work of the Method and all the Bobs and Singles properly made, and without any violation of the recognised rules of ringing. On eight bells and upwards the same holds good except that, as ringing the total number of changes becomes a physical impossibility, the number 5,000 or upwards is substituted. On five and six bells the total number of changes is less than 5,000, and obviously a peal must contain repetitions. Otherwise, the conditions stand.
When the demand of the five and six-bell ringers that their performances should be recognised as peals arose, the assumption was made that their 5,040’s would consist of separate, independent extents, in other words, that each six-score or 720 would conform to the conditions laid down for a peal of Triples. (Throughout this Report we use the word ‘extent’ to signify a round block consisting of the whole number of changes on the number of bells with which we are concerned.) About 18 years ago, however, peals of Grandsire Doubles were rung of which the composition was on similar lines to the following, two or more Extents being spliced into one another. A band starts ringing an Extent of Grandsire Doubles with the 5th as half-hunt or observation bell down to the backstroke row 12435 (say). At this point a switch is made into another Extent with the 4th as half-hunt bell, and this Extent is completed, bringing the bells back to 12435, from which point the original six-score is resumed and carried to its completion.
In this arrangement we have two true and complete Extents. They are just as true and complete as two separate Extents rung consecutively, each from Rounds to Rounds, and it would be a misuse of words to call them false. The main difference is that in the spliced-in Extent the six-score runs not from Rounds to Rounds but from 12435 to 12435.
There is a popular fallacy among eight-bell ringers that this sort of thing is done simply for the glorification of the conductor, but this is by no means the case. The opportunities for variety among five-bell ringers are so few that inevitably they get to know them all by heart. Consequently ringers who could ring the ten regular Extents practically indefinitely without a false struck blow are liable to pile up immediately some small alteration in calling is made.
Then the desire of advanced ringers to score peals of Cambridge Surprise on all even numbers from six to twelve bells brought to the front the very limited number of 720’s in all Treble Bob Minor Methods that do not bring up 6-5’s at backstroke. It was in order to remove this intolerable blot that Mr. Bankes James introduced his arrangement. We would say that the chief reason why we think that this composition should be considered as a legitimate and natural development in peal ringing is that it has been tested by practical ringing. The fact that it is being rung by many bands in all parts of the country, and has been accepted by six-bell ringers, is, in our opinion, weighty evidence that it contains nothing out of harmony with the traditions and usage of the Exercise.
In this and similar compositions, instead of the peal being made up of separate Extents it is made up of larger blocks, in which necessarily there is repetition of rows, but the principles of Truth and Completeness are rigidly adhered to. We would point out that in any peal of Doubles or Minor every change must be repeated more than once, but this does not necessarily mean falseness, if that word is properly used.
The Bankes James’ arrangement of Cambridge referred to above does not consist of seven Extents. It is made up of three round Blocks. One of these blocks is an ordinary Extent. The other two comprise each 2,160 changes. Each of these again is made up of three incomplete blocks. In these blocks 719 true changes are produced, but a point is reached where neither by a Plain Lead nor a Bob Lead can repetition be avoided. The three are, however, joined into one block by a Q set, either bobbed or plained, and the whole becomes a composition where both truth and completeness are adhered to, every individual row, of course, appearing three times, as it would do if three independent Extents were rung consecutively.
The claim has been made that this arrangement does really consist of seven true and complete Extents on the grounds that if we count Rounds at the start there are 720 true rows, followed by another 720 true rows, followed by yet another 720 true rows. We cannot accept this as sound argument. It is contrary to the tradition and usage of the Exercise, and contrary to the nature of change ringing, to count Rounds at the start as a change. And, apart from that, the first 720 changes do not contain the necessary quality of completeness. The justification of the arrangement lies in taking the first 2,160 changes as one round block, and we do not consider it of any particular importance (though of considerable interest) that this block appears so nearly to consist of three true and complete Extents.
Mr. Morris’ arrangement of Grandsire Doubles is of a different character to those we have already described. It consists of 240 changes. The handstroke blows produce 120 true rows, and the backstroke blows produce likewise 120 true rows. Of course, there is repetition between Handstroke and Backstroke, but no more and no less than there would be between the separate six-scores rung consecutively
It has been objected that if once the Council recognises anything which does not consist of separate and complete Extents the door will be opened to all sorts of fantastic arrangements and the standard of peal ringing will be definitely lowered. We do not think there is any ground for such fear. The principle of Truth and Completeness is so deeply implanted in the tradition of the Exercise that it will be ample safeguard against any excess. After all it should be remembered that the Exercise preserved a high standard in these matters and kept within rigid bounds for more than two centuries before there were any definite written rules.
In conclusion, we would point out that the Exercise at large, and especially the five and six bell ringers as a whole, must be the final judge in this matter, and we confidently ask the approval of the Council to our proposal to print these Compositions and so put to the proof whether they are of permanent value or not.
|H. LAW JAMES.
J. ARMIGER TROLLOPE.
E. S. POWELL.
The Ringing World, April 26th, 1929, page 262
It is important in the case of rehanging and tuning to pay great attention to acoustic conditions. The tower is cleared of many large beams, thick planks and the accumulation of the dirt and dust of ages, which all tend to deaden sound, and into this empty room are placed the bells, rendered by tuning more powerful in tone than before.
Much excellent advice is given in Section II. of the ‘Preservation and Repair of Bells, Frames and Fittings,’ published by the Council, and need not be repeated here.
So far as the noise outside the tower is concerned, there is nothing to add to this except to draw attention to the sound-deadening material known as Cabot’s Quilt, which is of use in forming a lining to the wooden shutters suggested for the belfry windows.
As to the inside, and dealing first with the difficulty of hearing one or two bells in a ring, the committee has notes of a successful experiment recently carried out by Mr. Hesse in the Haslemere tower on the lines laid down in the above publication. In the same connection special mention should be made of the ingenious, though very simple, contrivance of Mr. Pates in the tower of St. Mary’s, Cheltenham. Here the treble swings side by side with the tenor, and although a shute was placed near the mouth of the treble it was quite inaudible in the ringing room after the first pull off in rounds. Something was wanted to throw the treble sound towards the shute, and at the same time to throw the tenor sound away therefrom. This was effected by boarding in the lower half of the tenor and treble wheels with half-inch match boarding. The result is all that could be desired.
Then with regard to the comfortable hearing of a whole ring in the ringing room, too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of there being at least 2ft. 6in. between the floor immediately under the bells and the ceiling of the ringing room, with no connecting shutes of any kind. If it can be 8ft. or 10ft., so much the better.
In cases where a plastered ceiling is not practicable, e.g., where wires and cranks of chiming hammers have to be accommodated, it will be necessary to have a wooden ceiling, and in this case much can be done with Cabot’s Quilt, Celotex, Lead (2lb. per foot) or Felt, laid above the ceiling.
In any case, it is well to have some sound-deadening material immediately under the bells, and in some cases round the walls of the belfry as well. This, of course, applies to towers where the ringing room is obviously too near to the bells and cannot be lowered.
Cabot’s Quilt is composed of seaweed or eel grass that comes from Nova Scotia. It is usually made up in to mats, but may be obtained loose for packing in between floors. It can be obtained through the leading bell founders. Celotex is a felted board made of sugar-cane, and can be obtained through any architect or builder.
A case is known of a heavy ring of eight to which the ringers’ floor is so near that the sallies go round the wheels. There is only one floor between the ringers and the bells. The noise was, of course, unbearable, but a vast improvement was made by laying down Cabot’s Quilt directly under the bells, the layers increasing according to the size of the bell.
There are many towers where both acoustic and other conditions would be far better if the bells were rung from the ground level. When the bells are being rehung this may well be considered. Often it brings the ringer to exactly the right distance from the bells, but it has also certain possible disadvantages.
The alternative plan of a ringers’ loft or gallery open to the church has very much to recommend it. This is especially adapted to a west-end tower with a high arch on the east side, and perhaps a large west window, with the floor of the tower required for church seating or a baptistry or a choir vestry. A floor is put in 8ft. or 10ft. from the ground, it may be of deal; across the east arch runs an oak front, or a light iron railing, just high enough for safety. The window remains visible, and is in no way spoilt by the hanging ropes, as is sometimes supposed to be the case. The floor is reached by a wooden staircase from inside the church. The ringers have perfect ventilation without draught, are in good light and within good hearing of the bells.
Examples may be seen at Aldermaston, Bletchley, Clapham Park, St. Peter Mancroft, Painswick, Wokingham All Saints’, and very many other places.
C. W. O. JENKYN, Convener of the Committee.|
C. D. P. DAVIES.
J. H. B. HESSE.
E. H. LEWIS.
E. A. YOUNG.
The Ringing World, May 3rd, 1929, page 281
The peal ringing of the year 1928 shows a serious decline as compared with 1927. It falls short of last year by 139 peals, the total number being 1,702, against 1,841 in 1927. Tower bells show a decrease of 108, there being 12 peals less on twelve, 4 on ten, 84 on eight, 3 of Minor, and 5 of Doubles. On handbells there are 31 peals fewer, in spite of an increase of 10 peals on twelve. They have decreased by 5 on ten, 32 on eight, 2 of Minor, and 2 of Doubles.
The following table shows the total peals rung under the different categories:-
Peals of Maximus and Royal are more than last year, but there is a falling-off in Cinques, Caters, and Triples, as the following table, compared with that of last year, shows:-
Stedman peals are 14 less, Grandsire 53 less, and other methods 7 less. Triples show a great loss of 53 peals, Stedman accounting for only one of these, a decrease of 46 peals in Grandsire Triples being remarkable.
Major also shows a serious falling-off of 40 on tower bells and 23 on handbells.
Surprise ringing has not maintained last year’s disappointing level; in Major Bristol shows 5 peals less, Superlative 15 less, other methods 2 less. Superlative Maximus is also one down, London Surprise peals are the same, and the following show increases: Cambridge Maximus 2 peals, Royal 6, and Major 1, other methods of Royal 2 peals, and Spliced Surprise Major 4. Altogether there are 8 fewer peals of Surprise.
A large proportion of the decrease in Major peals is in Treble Bob, there being no fewer than 46 peals less, but there is compensation in the fact that there are 9 more peals on the higher numbers. Altogether there are 182 peals of Treble Bob this year, made up as follows: Maximus, 4 of Kent and 2 of Oxford; Royal, 28 of Kent and 1 of Granta; Major, 115 of Kent, 24 of Oxford and 8 Spliced.
These last are included in the Spliced Major column in the table.
It is satisfactory to note that Double Norwich continues to increase, showing 14 more peals than last year, a total of 124. Little methods have also advanced from 5 peals to 9, but to set against this Plain Bob has decreased by 29 peals on all numbers, a total of 149.
Other methods of Plain Major are 5 more, while Spliced peals on all numbers other than Surprise and Treble Bob) are 2 less.
Minor peals are 5 less, and Doubles 7 less than last year.
The Midland Counties Association again have scored the most peals, having 150 tower and 3 handbell peals, a decrease of 30 peals on last year’s total. The Lancashire Association has 110 on tower and 9 on handbells, a drop of 15 peals, while the Kent County Association has 109 peals, all on tower bells, 3 fewer than last year. No other society has reached the century, the Yorkshire Association having dropped from 103 to 70.
Thirteen societies show an increased number, totalling 99 more peals. Three newly-affiliated total 38 peals, while six associations have the same number. Twenty-seven show a decrease, amounting in all to 276 peals.
New Cambridge Surprise Maximus, York Surprise Royal, Kent and Lincolnshire Surprise Major, Gainsborough Little Bob Major, and the Liversedge variation of Spliced Treble Bob Major, were rung for the first time.
Unlike last year , long lengths on 8-10 bells are conspicuous by their absence, the only one to report being 10,800 of Minor in three methods by the Suffolk Guild.
Peals worth noting are Stedman Cinques by the London County, the band consisting of six fathers and six sons; the first 10-bell peal by members of the Police Force, being Grandsire Caters for the Lancashire Association; 22 methods of Surprise Minor in seven 720’s by the Essex Association; Double Norwich Major, in which 2.3 were rung by one man, for the Gloucester and Bristol; a Frederick peal of Stedman Triples and Grandsire Triples by one family, both for the Kent County; a peal of London Surprise, being first in the method for all the band, for the Lincoln Guild; and the peal of five Surprise methods of Major by the Middlesex County.
Following are the number of peals rung each month in 1927 and 1928:-
An analysis of the footnotes shows that ringers who have scored their first peal number 593, being 18 less than in 1927. Ringers of peals in a different method, or method on a different number of bells total 1,135, an increase of 39 on last year’s total. Ringers of their first peal inside number 51, away from the tenor 16, in the method inside 73, Maximus 1, Cinques 4, Royal 21, Caters 9, Major 77, Triples 25, Minor 82, Doubles 35, on 12 bells 18, on ten 59, on eight 33, on. six 12, Surprise 21, ‘in hand’ 6, in method ‘in hand’ 29.
The number of new conductors totals 60, and conductors of a fresh method 79.
In addition, the footnotes show that 61 peals were the first on the bells, 38 since restoration or augmentation, and 158 the first in the method on the bells. Muffled and half-muffled peals number 81, birthday peals 269, wedding (including silver, golden and diamond) 63, church festivals and dedications 34, Empire Day 5, Armistice Day 22, anniversaries 60, welcome and farewell peals 50, complimentary 15, royal birthdays 16, golden wedding and retirement of the Archbishop of Canterbury 19, enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury 3.
There is a slight decrease in the number of ladies who have rung peals. This year’s total is 88. Two only appear among the conductors. Two peals - one of Bob Major and one of Cambridge Surprise Major - were rung by the Ladies’ Guild.
Two peals of Doubles were published with faulty statements, corrections of which have been received from the secretaries concerned.
Again we conclude our report with the number of peals rung in each of representative years since 1881, the total for the whole period being 53,541:-
GEORGE WILLIAMS, West End, Southampton.|
EDITH K. FLETCHER, 45, Walsingham Road, Enfield.
JOSEPH W. PARKER, 5, Amberley Street, Sunderland.
The Ringing World, May 10th, 1929, pages 298 to 299
STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS.
The following is the Council’s statement of accounts for the year ending May 21st, 1929:-
|Balance in bank||26||15||6|
|Interest on stock||5||0||0|
|Loss on sales, etc.||3||9||0|
|Hon. Secretary’s expenses||2||10||0|
|Peals’ Analysis Committee’s expenses||5||2||6|
|B.B.C. Committee’s expenses||2||1||6|
|Balance in bank||33||7||6|
|Less cheque not yet presented||17||3|
E. ALEX. YOUNG,
Hon. Secretary and Treasurer.
The Ringing World, May 17th, 1929, page 313
TUESDAY’S MEETING AT CHELMSFORD.
The thirty-seventh annual meeting of the Central Council was held in the Cathedral Hall, Chelmsford, on Tuesday, and was attended by 78 members. Canon G. F. Coleridge (president) presided, and a welcome was extended to the members by Canon Morrow (the Sub-Dean) and by the Mayor of Chelmsford.
The statement of accounts was adopted. It showed receipts amounting to £21 9s. 6d., and expenses amounting to £16 5s. 6d., thus increasing the balance in hand from £26 15s. 6d. to £31 19s. 6d.
The receipts from the sale of publications was £6 5s. 3d. but there was a loss of £3 9.s. on this account.
The Librarian’s report was adopted, and it was resolved that the pamphlet on the ‘Preservation of Bells,’ which was out of print, should be revised and reprinted.
Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Mr. James George and Mr. H. W. Wilde were re-elected hon. members, and Mr. W. A. Cave was elected an hon. member.
After new members had been presented to the president, the Hon. Secretary (Mr. E. A. Young) reported the loss by death during the year of three members, Mr. J. D. Drewett, Alderman R. B. Chambers and Mr. R. Holloway, and the members stood in silence as a mark of respect. He also reported that the Standing Committee had considered the question of general ringing on the day of national thanksgiving for the King’s recovery, and it was agreed that a letter of congratulation be sent to His Majesty with a record of the peals that are rung in connection with the event.
The Roll of Honour had been completed by the addition of six names, and Mr. Carter’s ringing machine was having a new motor put to it. It was hoped this machine would be available for demonstration by November.
The Peal Collection Committee’s report was brief, Mrs. Fletcher stating that the Rev. H. G. T. Richardson was now proving the peals of Treble Bob with the tenors parted.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards presented the Literature and Press Committee’s report, which commented upon the generally satisfactory nature of press references to bells and bellringing, and added a word of warning that careful watch should be kept on any legislation promoted to deal with noises, in order that nothing should creep in which would be detrimental to the ringing of church bells. The report asked that the members of the legal profession on the Council be asked to keep an eye on legislative measures of this nature and be prepared to take such action in conjunction with the Standing Committee as emergency might demand.
A sub-committee which has been revising the ‘Rules for a Local Company’ had, it was reported by Mr. E. W. Elwell, practically concluded its labours, and a new edition would shortly be printed.
As was expected, the report of the Methods Committee (published in ‘The Ringing World’ of April 26th), aroused great controversy. Its acceptance was moved by the Rev. H. Law James, and seconded by Mr. J. A. Trollope in reasoned speeches.
Mr. W. Willson moved to refer it back for the deletion of the Morris and Pitman arrangement of Grandsire Doubles, the Bankes James Cambridge Surprise Minor, and the Law James London Surprise Minor, on the ground that they were ‘hopelessly false.’- Mr. James George seconded.
The debate was interrupted by the luncheon interval, and during the afternoon a number of members took part and on a division the amendment was carried by 30 votes to 29 on a second count.
On being put as a substantive motion, however, Mr. Willson’s resolution was defeated and a deadlock was thus arrived at. At the suggestion of Mr. Trollope it was eventually decided to print these compositions in an appendix with a note that their publication did not commit anyone to the opinion that they were suitable to be used in a peal.
This suggestion was adopted by 44 votes to three.
The Peals Analyses Committee’s report, already published, was adopted, on the motion of Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. G. Williams.
Mr. J. W. Parker and the Rev. A. T. Beeson having resigned from the committee, Mr. James George and Mr. G. R. Pye were added to it, and the committee were thanked for their valuable work.
The Towers and Belfries Committee’s report (also already published in these columns) was adopted on the motion of the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn and the committee were entrusted with the preparation of a revised edition of the book on the preservation of bells, which will include the committee report on acoustics of towers.
The Records Committee’s report, presented by Mr. T. H. Beams, was adopted, as was also an important and valuable report presented by Mr. F. A. Milne, for the Legal Committee on ‘The Law Affecting Church Bells.’
The Council then came to the motions on the agenda, and another important discussion centred round that moved by Mr. Mr. Whittington and seconded by Mr. A. H. Pulling: ‘That this Council will not recognise, as a peal of Minor or Doubles any composition in which the bells do not strike in 720 or 120 different orders respectively before beginning the next 720 or 120.’
The Rev. E. S. Powell suggested that the motion should read: ‘That the Council will not recognise as a peal of Minor any composition in which each 720 is not true and complete, and which does not start from and end with rounds.’- Mr. F. W. Perrens seconded.
Eventually the proposer and seconder withdrew their motion in favour of the amendment, but an amendment moved by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and seconded by Mr. C. T. Coles, was put, that further consideration of the matter be deferred until a future meeting.- The amendment was declared carried by 34 or 35 votes to 24 and was then adopted as the substantive motion.
In the absence of Mr. Elwell, who had had to leave early, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn proposed: (a) ‘That honorary members pay an affiliation fee of 5s. each per annum’; (b) ‘That associations in future pay a fee of 5s. per representative per annum.’- Rev. C. A. Clements seconded.- The first part (a) of the motion was defeated and the second motion (b) was carried.
The following motion, proposed by Rev. H. Drake and seconded by Mr. C. J. Sedgley, was also approved: (a) ‘The Council asks each association to appoint a consultant to the Advisory Committee or Committees in its area’; (b) ‘The Council asks each association to make every effort to get as many ringers as possible elected to Parochial Church Councils, to Diocesan Conferences and to the Church Assembly.’
On the proposition of Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, seconded by Mr. C. T. Coles, and supported by the hon. secretary, it was resolved that the rules of the Council be amended in order to provide that the notice and agenda of each annual meeting of the Council be published at least eight weeks, instead of twelve weeks, prior to such meeting.
On behalf of Mr. Walter Ayre (who was unable to be present owing to illness), Mr. E. A. Young moved: ‘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.’- Mr. J. George seconded.- The motion was negatived, the opinion of the meeting being that this was a matter best left in the hands of the associations themselves.
Next year’s meeting falls to be held in London, and, amid applause, the Council learned that the hon. secretary had been able to secure (subject to no unforeseen circumstances arising) the use of a room at Lambeth Palace for the meeting.
Mr. James George made a suggestion that the Council should undertake the publication of a complete directory of ringers, and was informed by the president that a matter of this kind could only be discussed upon a formal resolution, which he told Mr. George must appear on the agenda.
A vote of congratulation to the president on his recovery from his illness, and of thanks to him for the admirable way in which he had presided over what was at times a difficult meeting, was passed on the motion of the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, seconded by Mr. T. Faulkner, and the meeting concluded at 5 p.m. with a vote of thanks to the Mayor, the Sub-Dean, Mr. Howard and the members of the Essex Association for the arrangements made for the comfort of the members.
Afterwards the members and their friends were entertained to tea at the County Hotel by the Essex Association, and in the evening, after ringing at the Cathedral, there was a social gathering at the hotel.
A full report of the proceedings will appear in subsequent issues of ‘The Ringing World.’
The Ringing World, May 24th, 1929, page 329
THE ATTENDANCE AT CHELMSFORD.
The third session of the thirteenth Council (37th annual meeting) was held in the Cathedral Hall, Chelmsford, on Whitsun Tuesday.
The following representatives were present:-
Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, A. A. Hughes and T. Faulkner.
Bath and Wells Association: Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild: Mr. E. M. Atkins.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Rev. C. A. Clements, Messrs. E. W. Elwell, R. D. Langford and R. Sperring.
Devonshire Guild: Rev. E. S. Powell and Mr. F. J. Davey.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. S. J. Hughes.
Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association: Messrs. T. T. Gofton and W. H. Barber.
Ely Diocesan Association: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake and Mr. T. R. Dennis.
Essex County Association: Messrs. C. H. Howard, G. R. Pye, W. J. Nevard, and E. J. Butler.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. A. H. Pulling, W. Shepherd and R. Whittington.
Hertford County Association: Mr. F. W. Elliott.
Kent County Association: Messrs. E. Barnett, sen., and T. Groombridge, sen.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher.
Lancashire Association: Messrs. H. Chapman, W. H. Shuker and P. Crook.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Revs. H. Law James and H. T. Parry, Messrs. R. Richardson and J. T. Brown.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. W. Jones and W. Bolton.
London County Association: Mr. A. D. Barker.
Middlesex County Association and London Diocesan Guild: Messrs. F. A. Milne, C. T. Coles and W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties Association: Messrs. W. Willson and J. H. Swinfield.
Norfolk Guild: Messrs. A. L. Coleman and G. P. Burton.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Rev. Canon Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. J. Evans and F. W. Hopgood.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Messrs. F. W. Milford, R. G. Black, F. Hopper and T. Tebbutt.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. T. H. Beams and S. Hillier.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Mr. J. Parker.
Suffolk Guild: Rev. H. Drake, Messrs. C. Mee, C. J. Sedgley and S. H. Symonds.
Surrey Association: Mr. C. Dean.
Swansea and Brecon Guild: Mr. A. J. Pitman.
Truro Diocesan Guild: Mr. W. H. Southeard.
Warwickshire Guild: Messrs. H. Argyle and F. W. Perrens.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild: Mr. G. Williams.
Worcestershire and Districts Association: Mr. J. Salter.
Hon. members: Messrs. J. A. Trollope, J. Griffin, C. F. Johnston, H. W. Wilde, J. H. B. Hesse, C. F. Johnston, J. George, J. S. Goldsmith, W. A. Cave and E. Alex. Young (hon. secretary and treasurer).
The chair was taken by Canon Coleridge (president) who opened the proceedings with prayer. At the outset, Canon Morrow, Sub-Dean and Rector of Chelmsford, and the Mayor of Chelmsford were present to welcome the Council, and the President, referring to this fact, said they had hoped to have the Bishop with them, but unfortunately he was prevented by other engagements. Had it not been for these, nothing would have given him greater pleasure than to welcome the Council to the diocese.
Canon Morrow, who extended a welcome to the members on behalf of the Church, said that during the past twenty or thirty years the whole personnel of the ringers had practically changed. The whole idea of ringing had been placed on a much higher level, and this was due to the labours of the organisations which that Council represented. Anything they could do in Chelmsford to make their visit a happy one they would be pleased to do (applause).
The Mayor gave a hearty welcome to the members on behalf of the city to what he described as one of the most beautiful of English counties and one of the ‘hubs of the universe,’ of which they were very proud. As the members of the Council would have seen for themselves on the previous day, the art which they particularly represented was flourishing in that county with the rest of things. He hoped the Council’s session would be as happy and successful as good welcome could make it.
The Council then turned to the business of the day, and after confirming the minutes of the meeting at Hereford, received apologies for absence from the following. members: Revs. C. D. P. Davies, A. T. Beeston, H. S. T. Richardson, F. J. O. Helmore, Canon Elsee, E. W. Carpenter, Messrs. J. W. Parker, J. Cotterill and the other representatives of the Yorkshire Association, J. S. Pritchett, A. Paddon Smith, H. Knight, E. H. Lewis, H. Haigh, W. Barton, W. Ayre, J. Clark, J. D. Matthews, T. H. Taffender and H. G. Fretwell.
The President said the reason why some of these members could not be present was on account of illness. He did not like to single out one beyond another, but if there was one whose absence caused them especial regret it was the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, who was their secretary for eighteen years, and who was the life and soul of the Council while he held office.
The statement of accounts, audited by Messrs. J. Griffin and A. A. Hughes, was then presented by the hon. secretary and treasurer. The balance in the bank at the beginning of the year was £26 15s. 6d. The receipts included £5 5s. for the broadcast lecture on bells, £15 2s. 6d. in affiliation fees from the associations, and £5 interest on investments. The expenditure showed a loss on sale of publications of £3 9s., secretary’s expenses £2 10s. 9d., Peals Collection Committee’s expenses £5 2s. 6d., expenses in connection with the broadcast lecture £6 19s. 6d., printing and advertising £2 1s. 9d., leaving a balance in the bank of £31 19s. 6d.
Mr. Young added that subscriptions to the Council were due on January 1st, and notice of this fact appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ within two or three months of this date, calling attention to the fact. Unfortunately, a great number of the subscriptions did not come in until the last minute, and it was therefore difficult for him to get his balance sheet out. He hoped that secretaries in future would send him the affiliation fees as soon after the first of January as possible, or at any rate not after Easter. If they would do so it would be a great help. Mr. Young then explained the expenses incurred in connection with the broadcast lecture, which actually cost the Council about 35s. The subscriptions came from the same number of associations, one association, the Gloucester and Bristol, having gone out, one Guild, the Oxford University Guild, having come in.
The accounts were adopted on the motion of Mr. Griffin, seconded by Mr. Hughes.
The Hon. Librarian (Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn) presented his report as follows: There is not much to be said regarding the sale of publications during the past year. The amount realised is £6 5s. 3d., that is one pound in excess of the previous year, and this is owing to better business being done by the ‘on sale or return’ agents. There is an adverse balance of £3 9s. I had hoped to have two revised books for sale, namely, ‘Rules for a Company’ and ‘Minor Methods,’ but it was not to be. ‘On the Preservation of Bells, etc.,’ issued in 1892, may now be said to be out of print, as only a few copies are left. A new issue of this may well be considered. It might be worth while also having some more cards printed of ‘Outlines of Change Ringing,’ but that is only a small affair. Regarding the library, I have received the last instalment of the Treble Bob Peals Collection, a stupendous work in type, of which the Library possesses three copies and the Peal Collection Committee one. Mrs. Fletcher is again to be heartily thanked for her work and congratulated on its result (applause). The Heywood MSS. are still with Mr. Trollope, awaiting a report from him, when he can spare time to make one amid his many labours for the Exercise.
The Librarian added that it was rather remarkable that there had been a demand especially for their publications which had to do with the care of bells and so forth. Mr. Jenkyn also commented on the fact that he received numerous applications for things which were out of print. He wished members of the Exercise generally would watch the advertisements more carefully, and he would then be saved a good deal of writing and postage.
THE HEYWOOD MSS.
The Hon. Secretary said he had been in consultation with Mr. Trollope with regard to the Heywood MSS., and it was very difficult to say what should be destroyed and what kept. What they destroyed to-day might be valuable in 25 years’ time, and they therefore came to the conclusion that the best thing would be to have the papers sorted out, put into covers, docketed, and put away so that they might be reviewed at some time in the future when, perhaps, they would be of more service than they were to-day.
Mr. J. A. Trollope said the MSS. consisted largely of letters which Sir Arthur Heywood received when he was corresponding with various people while writing the articles which appeared in ‘Bell News’ and afterwards in books like the book on ‘Stedman Triples.’ They consisted chiefly of letters from Mr. Thompson, Rev. Earle Bulwer and one or two other people. A large proportion of the letters were unintelligible unless one took a great deal of trouble, because they only had one side of the correspondence. They had the letters from Thompson, for example, but they had not got Heywood’s letters to Thompson. At that time Thompson was working out the application of the theory of Q sets to methods like Bob Major and also Cambridge Surprise. He (Mr. Trollope) was rather interested to find that Thompson had anticipated lots of things which they thought were not found out until much later. Thompson had anticipated a good deal of what Sir Arthur Heywood wrote in ‘Bell News’ that proved that there was not more than one true peal of Cambridge Major with tenors together. Those papers, therefore, were not such as could be read like one would read a novel, but they might be of use to some selected person who might turn up in the next twenty or fifty years. He would not advocate their being destroyed. There were manuscripts in Bulwer’s writing, on his articles on Stedman Triples, and a fairly complete manuscript in the writing of Haley, and lots of odds and ends of methods and letters on the theory of change ringing, which Heywood thought were worth preserving, and he (Mr. Trollope) did not think should be destroyed.
At the suggestion of the President, the Council decided that the book on the Preservation of Bells should be revised and thought up to date before being republished.
NEW HONORARY MEMBER.
The President said four hon. members retired by rotation - Mrs. Edwards, Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Mr. James George, and Mr. H. W. Wilde. The Standing Committee had taken this matter into careful consideration and had come to the conclusion that as Mrs. Edwards had not attended any meeting of the Council it would not be advisable to re-elect one who was not an active member. In place of Mrs. Edwards, the Standing Committee were anxious to put forward for nomination a well-known member of the Exercise, one who had done a tremendous amount of work for the Council in many ways, and who had now ceased to be a representative member, owing to the Gloucester and Bristol Association having withdrawn. He was invaluable to the Council, and the Standing Committee thought he ought to be on the Council in some way or other - he referred to Mr. W. A. Cave, of Bristol (applause).
Mr. J. Hunt said it was with great regret he heard of the withdrawal of the Gloucester and Bristol Association, and he congratulated the Standing Committee on having suggested the retention on the Council of Mr. Cave, who was an able and capable man. He proposed that the Standing Committee’s recommendation be adopted.- Several members rose to second, and the Rev. E. S. Powell was accepted as seconder.
The motion was carried, and the President, in the name of the Council, congratulated Mr. Cave. He said it would be a thousand pities if that great district covered by the Gloucester and Bristol Association was not represented in some way or other.
Mr. Cave briefly thanked the Council for electing him.
The Rev. E. W. Carpenter, Mr. J. George and Mr. H. W. Wilde were re-elected.
After presentation of ‘new’ members to the Council (Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake, now representing the Ely Diocesan instead of the Hertford County Association; Mr. F. W. Elliott, Hertford County; and Mr. W. Shepherd, Guildford Diocesan Guild), the Hon. Secretary mentioned the loss by death of Mr. J. D. Drewett (Surrey Association), Mr. R. B. Chambers (Midland Counties Association), and Mr. R. Holloway (Middlesex County Association), and the Council stood in silence as a mark of respect.
On behalf of the Standing Committee, the Hon. Secretary reported that as only about 30 applications were received from members for cheap railway tickets for that meeting, and as the minimum number was a hundred, no request was made to the railway companies for the issue of vouchers, but he hoped, when they met in London next year, there would be a sufficient demand to enable them avail themselves of the facilities.
RINGERS AND THANKSGIVING DAY.
With regard to the King’s recovery, there would shortly be a thanksgiving day, and the Standing Committee proposed that, in connection with that event, they should send to the King a letter of congratulation, and giving particulars of the peals rung in celebration of the occasion.
The Council’s ‘Roll of Honour’ of Ringers who fell in the war had been brought up to date. It was rather wonderful that Mr. Jenkyn was able to get it as complete as it had proved to be. After four or five years they had only had to add six more names. Those had now been added. Their roll was one of the finest pieces of workmanship of its kind that had been produced, and the writer had called attention to the fact that it had been rather badly treated by those who had inspected it. He asked them all to use the book as tenderly as possible, and particularly to be careful not to finger-mark the pages or to damage the leaves in turning them. With regard to Carter’s ringing machine, which was now in the custody of the Council, and was in the museum, a new motor had been put to it, and a form of resistance had been put in whereby a defect in the machine - if one could speak of a defect in such a marvellous machine - had been remedied. In the past the machine had been apt to be a trifle too fast in striking, especially in Cinques, but this had now been adjusted, so that if necessary it could be struck as if it were a muffled peal. The machine had been overhauled, and he hoped it might be exhibited, if not before, at any rate in November.
The President said the Standing Committee thought they should not send a letter expressing thankfulness at the King’s recovery to His Majesty at the present time, but that, after the day of thanksgiving, and when peals, possibly, had been rung all over the country, it would be more fitting that they should collect these peals, make a resumé of them, and send them to the King to show what the ringers of England had done in the way of practical thanksgiving. They would let him know how many peals of 5,000 had been rung, where they were rung, and how long each peal had taken. He thought that would open the eyes of those in authority very considerably to the loyalty of the ringers (applause).
It was stated that the date fixed was June 16th, and at a later stage of the meeting, replying to Mr. James George, the President said they hoped to include in the list to be sent to His Majesty all the peals rung as a thanksgiving, whether they were rung on the 16th or before or after. Doubtless many would be rung in the following week.
The Ringing World, May 31st, 1929, pages 345 to 346
Mrs. Fletcher, representing the Peal Collection Committee, reported that the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson was proving the peals of Treble Bob with the tenors parted, and the work was still in hand.
A WATCHFUL EYE NEEDED.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards presented the following report of the Literature and Press Committee:-
Nothing has occurred during the past year to call for concerted action on the part of the committee. We are glad to be able to give a satisfactory report on the press generally in relation to bells and bellringing. The publication of the book, ‘Bells through the Ages’ constitutes a distinct landmark in the literature of our art, and we understand that a further work on the history of bellringing is in course of preparation.
References to ringing in the newspapers have as a rule been accurate and appreciative. The jubilee of St. Paul’s Cathedral bells and the College Youths’ anniversary, as also the commemoration of John Briant, the Hertford bell founder, were the occasion of interesting and well-informed paragraphs in the daily press. A request received from the editor of a musical publication for an article on church bells is not without its significance. The statement made by a clergyman of Derby, that he placed church bells, bagpipes and cats at night in the same musical category, naturally provided good copy for journalists, but the reverend gentleman’s views were evidently treated as a humorous contribution to popular literature.
In a recent number of the Church Times a writer of eminent literary ability indited an admirable article on ‘The Music of Bells.’ It is true that he described the two bells used for the daily services at Westminster Abbey as ‘two mean and sour bells,’ but there is little cause for ringers to quarrel with that description, for what bell could sound anything but mean, when it is subjected to the lifeless thud of a chiming hammer? Indeed, the author shows a very enlightened attitude on this point. ‘Sometimes,’ he writes, ‘musical experts have sought to tame the bells. They have hindered the freedom of their swinging by mechanical contraptions. And what is the result? The charm has gone …’ One further sentence is well worth quoting: ‘We in England,’ says the writer, ‘should be proud of our bells for our fathers before us, alone among Christian men, devised the plan we call change ringing.’
The campaign conducted in some journals against street noises has inevitably elicited an occasional letter from misguided persons disliking the sound of church bells, but these objections have not been followed up with any enthusiasm. At the same time, it might easily be in this direction that danger lies. There seems to be considerable likelihood of legislation being promoted to deal with noises, and a proposal from some M.P. with an obsession against bells to include them in the purview of a Bill might be passed by a bare majority of a thin House and a clause to that effect inserted without attracting any notice Any such provision would be especially dangerous, if it took the insidious form of giving general powers to the Minister of Health to make orders under such Act, or to local authorities to frame by-laws. We suggest that members of the legal profession on the Council be asked to keep a watchful eye on legislative measures of this nature, and to be prepared to take such action in conjunction with the Standing Committee as emergency may demand.
The President: It is a most admirable report of great interest and great usefulness.
Rev. E. S. Powell said a son of Troyte was a member of the last Parliament, and if he was a member of the next Parliament he (the speaker) did not think anything affecting bells would go through without notice or without comment, for Mr. Troyte was himself a change ringer (applause). He would no doubt watch the interests of ringing in that respect.
The report was adopted.
Mr. E. W. Elwell, reporting for the sub-committee entrusted with the revision and reprinting of the ‘Rules for a Local Company,’ said the revision had been completed, and the committee were now negotiating with ‘The Ringing World’ with regard to the price for printing the work. He thought it would be possible not to exceed the £5 which the Council had already authorised, and to publish the rules at 6d.- The report was adopted.
THE METHODS COMMITTEE’S REPORT.
The next report to be dealt with was that of the Methods Committee, which appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ on April 26th, and which related to the inclusion of certain types of compositions in the new edition of the ‘Collection of Minor Methods.’
The adoption of the report was moved by the Rev. H. Law James. Last year at Hereford, he said, the committee was authorised to publish a new edition of the Minor Methods. Mr. Jenkyn that day had said he was sorry the book had not come to hand, and he (Mr. James) must tell them why it had not done so. The committee wished to give the Minor ringers a perfect book containing the whole of the information that they had gathered together with regard to Minor methods and their composition. As the Council was aware, a controversy broke out in ‘The Ringing World’ some months ago on the question of peals of Minor and Doubles, and the committee felt if they published the book complete with all the information they had got, the members of the Council and the Exercise at large might think they were trying to force upon the Exercise a fresh definition of peals of Doubles and peals of Minor, and it would have been very difficult indeed, after publishing the book, to prove that they had no such intention. They had no such intention. They wanted to publish a complete book, but they did not want to define a peal of Doubles or a peal of Minor - that was not their business. They wanted to give the Exercise all the information they possessed. The Exercise possessed an excellent book, written by Snowdon and edited by the Rev. C. D. P. Davies. It contained ‘incomplete’ peals of Grandsire Triples. What were they put there for? They were of no use, but they were put there in order that the book might be complete, and, secondly, in order that some time in the future people should not waste their time in producing things that were useless. The Methods Committee had gathered a lot of information, and they wanted to publish all the information they had got in Doubles and Minor. In dealing with the matter he would confine his attention to seven-hundreds of Treble Bob Minor. A 720 being a complete round block, there were exactly five compositions of Treble Bob Minor and only five, and those five were very old. Yet there appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ two 720’s of London Minor supposed to be new, and not only so, but someone wrote and congratulated the author of these two 720’s on having produced them. The man simply wasted his time - the things were in existence long before any of the ringers of to-day were born. How did the mistake come about? Simply and solely because there was no complete collection of Treble Bob 720’s in existence. They found one here and another there; one in ‘Bell News’ in 1887, and another in ‘The Ringing World,’ and so on. When the committee published this book it would contain all these 700’s, and in future no one would be tempted to waste his time in trying to produce new ones. In addition to that, there had appeared on the scene, within the time of his own experience, fresh compositions of Treble Bob Minor which were not in keeping with the tradition of the Exercise. A good many things had appeared in course of history which were not in keeping with the tradition of the Exercise, some of them had vanished, others held the field. Take for instance Holt’s peals, Holt’s Original and Holt’s ten-part. Someone wrote from Norwich to Dr. Mason of Trinity College, Cambridge, to say that the ringers at Norwich would not subscribe to the broadsheet because Mr. Benjamin Annable would have nothing to do with it. The tradition of the Exercise at that time was that Grandsire Triples must be a complete peal with bobs only, but the tradition of the Exercise had changed, and rightly changed. A similar thing happened with regard to Treble Bob. The first peal rung happened to be true, but the great majority of the next peals rung were found out to be false, and the tradition of the Exercise had to change; and that sort of thing was likely to happen again in the future. The tradition of the Exercise was very valuable; they must not go against it if they could avoid it, but it was quite likely that something or other would come to light which would cause them to change tradition. The committee wanted to put into this book all this fresh information that had come to light, but they did not wish to force any fresh definition of a peal of Minor or Doubles on the Exercise. They could have published this book months ago, and nobody could have said they were not entitled to do so, but they came to the Council and said: ‘Please accept this report. We want to put in certain compositions, but that does not mean that they are either valuable or not valuable, but it does mean that if the Exercise finds them valuable they will come into use; if the Exercise finds they are of no value they will disappear.’ But, anyhow, whether valuable or not, there would be nobody in fifty years’ time producing these things as new compositions in the way the gentleman he had referred to had published two 720’s of London Surprise Minor. If the Council accepted the report they would have a perfect book, containing every mortal thing the committee knew up to date. If they rejected it, they would have a book out of date before it was printed. The question of what constituted a peal of Doubles or a peal of Minor was a question which had got to be settled on scientific grounds; it was the only way in which it could be settled. How did they settle any question which arose in natural science? They settled it by experiment. If they put all these things in the book, it did not mean that people were going to use them for peals of Doubles or peals of Minor, but that the whole Exercise would have these things before them, and ringers could go into the tower and test for themselves whether they were any good or not. They would then some day be in a position to define peals of Minor and Doubles. At the present moment, if they asked him to do so, he would tell them he was quite incapable of doing anything of the kind.
MR. TROLLOPE AND ‘THE RINGING WORLD.’
Mr. J. A. Trollope seconded, and reminded the Council that that was the thirtieth anniversary of the first appointment of the Methods Committee. Out of the original members, John Carter, Henry Dains and Earle Bulwer were dead; two other members, Arthur Craven and Bankes James had retired, and the only two remaining were Mr. Law James and himself (applause). The whole of their connection with the Council was practically bound up with the Methods Committee, and, speaking for himself, he thought he should feel strange if he woke up one morning and found himself no longer a member of the Methods Committee. The one thing the committee did which had the most direct influence on ringing was the publication of the book containing the ‘Collection of Six-Bell Methods.’ It was fair to say that book had revolutionised Minor ringing and given to the six-bell ringer hundreds of good methods where before they had only a handful. It had done more than that, it had made spliced ringing possible. Mr. Trollope went on to refer to the hindrances which had occurred in the publication of the new edition of the book, and remarked, with regard to the discussion on the naming of the methods, that when the committee got the matter into their own hands they settled it to the satisfaction of everyone. They thought they would then be able to go straight forward, but before the year was out the editor of ‘The Ringing World’ threw his bombshell. He said he was not going to print as a peal of Doubles anything which contained a certain composition (hear, hear). I am not going to criticise the way he carries on his paper, said Mr. Trollope; that is his own matter. I believe he is sincerely desirous of carrying on that paper to give expression to the wishes of the Council and to the opinions of the Exercise (applause). As a matter of fact, his particular opinions on that particular thing are not ours. We had to take up the challenge. When we first started to make this new book, the ideal we set before us was to have a complete book. I was very much impressed by something Mr. Hunt said at one meeting. He said, ‘When you are getting this book out, don’t assume we know too much. There are lots of things which you may take for granted, which the ordinary five and six bell ringer does not know.’ We took that largely as a motto, and we were going to give everything in that book that the ordinary man in the five or six bell tower might want. We felt, therefore, that we should give the whole of the compositions, within limits, for five and six bells. We found in use two compositions, one of Doubles and one of Minor, and both had this in common, that both broke away from the traditional idea that in ringing you were confined to a complete 120 or 720. Let us be clear about one thing. A 720 starts from rounds and ends with rounds, and there is nothing else as a 720 but that (hear, hear). We have got Bankes James’ Cambridge and Morris’ Doubles; they were being rung, and I personally have reason to believe that the use of those Doubles was of great help to young conductors. Then the question arose, Are we going to put these things into the book? In the first place, are these compositions of value or likely to be of value to the Exercise now or in the future, and, in the second place, is there anything in them which in any way contradicts any fundamental law or rule of ringing? (‘Yes.’). When I say ‘contradicts any fundamental law or rule of ringing,’ I do not mean any written law; I mean is there anything in it, from the point of view of the five-bell ringer, which would compel us to say they must not ring it? ‘The Ringing World’ threw out its ultimatum, ‘If you ring Morris’ Doubles you are not going to have it published.’ There were two ways in which we could have acted. We could have said, ‘The Council has given us power to print these things; we have had thirty years’ experience, and are as likely to know the rights and wrongs as anyone else, and whatever we do somebody will find fault, and so we might have gone ahead and printed the book.’ If we had done that, it would have been completed by now. We decided, however, that on the whole it would be a good thing if ringers had the opportunity of arguing these things, and we decided on the same thing as we did about the names at Hereford. There we published the list and came to the Council and said, ‘Here is the list; give us your instructions as to what alterations you want.’ That is what we are doing to-day, and you have the opportunity of saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ but we strongly advise you, having looked on the matter from all points of view, to agree to the insertion of these compositions.
Continuing, Mr. Trollope said a letter appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ from Mr. Stephen Wood, who, he thought, they would all agree had a brilliant future before him, charging the committee with being inconsistent, and the editor of ‘The Ringing World’ had taken out remarks by members of the committee and set them side by side to show that they had been inconsistent. It was not a difficult thing to go through anybody’s statements made over a controversial thing over a period of years, take a statement out of its context, put it beside another statement, and make out that one had contradicted himself. ‘I don’t profess,’ added Mr. Trollope, ‘to go in for verbal consistency, but I should be quite prepared to defend any of these contradictions, although I do not think I need do so here.’ One thing, said Mr. Trollope, the committee were agreed upon, was that these compositions ought to go into the book, but they were not agreed by any means upon the reasons for including them; in fact, they had a ‘terrible scrap’ over them (laughter), but they were agreed that they should be included. A second point which had been emphasised in the criticism of the committee was that there should be ‘no juggling with truth.’ He believed everyone agreed that the essential thing in a peal was that it should be true, and that it should be complete. That was a fundamental rule. Change ringing was an art founded on a mathematical science, and they had to be true to their mathematical basis, but, when they came to the application of it, it was not always easy; it was not always easy to say what was true and what was false. (‘Oh, yes.’). If they rang 120 of Doubles followed by another 120 of Doubles, they said that was true. What they did in Morris’ Doubles was, they rang a true 120 at handstroke and a true 120 at backstroke; the repetition between Morris’ handstrokes and backstrokes was no more or less than the repetition between one 120 followed by another 120. If mere repetition meant falseness, then the old idea of the Devonshire Guild must stand, that a peal consisted of an extent and nothing but an extent (hear, hear); a peal of Doubles, therefore, was 120, and a peal of Major 40,320 - that was the old idea. If they were going to give that up, as they had given it up and must give it up, then mere repetition, as repetition, did not mean falseness. They had got to get out of the idea that, in opposing a thing like Morris’ Doubles, they were standing up for the question of truth. A very large number of people were willing to accept Bankes James’ arrangement of Cambridge, but could not swallow Morris’ Grandsire Doubles. His (Mr. Trollope’s) difficulty was that he could justify to some extent the Morris Doubles, but he found great difficulty in justifying the Bankes James Cambridge. If they could once admit the Bankes James arrangement of Cambridge, there was no difficulty at all about the other, but let them not be led away with the idea that because they could write out Bankes James’ 5000 and get 720 different rows followed by 720 different rows, and so on, that it was true. They did not write out rows when they were ringing. The 720 in the tower was 720 ‘changes,’ and 720 true changes was not 720 true rows. If the thing was false in one change, it was false. The committee, continued Mr. Trollope, had been accused of setting up a new standard. It was all very well to say that, but if the Council put these compositions into this new book, it was not in fact setting up a new standard. By putting these things into the book they would not be altering the standard. The standard of five and six bell ringing had been changed twice within the last two or three years, and the last alteration was made last year at Hereford. That alteration was proposed by Mr. Goldsmith, and all the committee had done was to accept the alteration. The issue before the Council was, were they going to agree that the arrangements of Morris, Pitman and Bankes James should go into the book, or were they not? He asked the Council to agree to their insertion on the grounds that they have proved themselves useful, that they were likely to be useful in the Exercise, and did not in any shape or form contravene any law of truth or any other law of the Council.
The Ringing World, June 7th, 1929, pages 361 to 362
THE DEBATE ON THE METHODS COMMITTEE’S REPORT.
Mr. William Willson, speaking against the Methods Committee’s Report, paid a tribute to Mr. Law James’ speech, which, he said, was the acme of sense. Mr. Willson spoke in terms of eulogy of what had been done for ringing by both the Rev. E. B. and Rev. H. Law James. Some of their compositions, he said, were marvellous productions, and the name of James would be honoured in the ages to come. That, however, was no reason why they should accept the proposal of the committee of which Mr. Law James was a member. In the publications of the Council regulations were laid down for ringing, and the first of them was this, that all peals upon all numbers of bells should commence from and end with rounds. That was in print still; it had never been repealed, and he contended it still stood and put out of court these composite peals which the committee suggested should be included in the Minor Methods book (‘No, no.’). They talked of progress. That word was the most abused word in the English vocabulary, and every man who boasted of progress wanted watching (laughter). There was usually a reason behind it. When change ringing was evolved from rounds, the first principle was truth, otherwise they would never have troubled to try to get true peals. The day the 120 and the 720 were obtained, that day ‘finality’ was written across the extent of Doubles and Minor, and no man could go a step further, not even Mr. Law James. They might get new methods; they could not get a change further. The Doubles about which they were disputing were all hopelessly false. Mr. Trollope would have them believe that because the handstrokes were true and the backstrokes were true, the composition must be ‘as nice as pie.’ But he did not tell them all. The moment they mixed these things up they became hopelessly false. Mr. Willson created amusement when he compared them to the mixing of beer and water. If you take a pint of cold water and a pint of good beer and pour them into a quart jug, the highbrows would tell them that they had a quart. ‘You have,’ said Mr. Willson, ‘and you can drink it, for me (laughter). The water was pure and undefiled; the beer was good enough for anyone, but they are no good for anything when you mix them’ (laughter). In regard to the Cambridge Minor, he said, he had no objection to one of the compositions going into a museum to show how close they could sail to the wind without going overboard, because they could get 719 changes true, but he defied them to get 720. Changes and rows were synonymous terms as far as ringers were concerned. One counted the rows when one counted the number of changes in a peal, and if they did this they did not take the rounds before the start as the first change of a 720. Scientific or unscientific, it was simply rot to talk about rounds before they began as being incorporated with the figures they rang. They had always considered that a peal started from rounds, and it was lined off in the composition. The composition ended when the bells came round, if it were not so there was no need for a coming home course. All they would have to do would be to saw off the false changes and call it a peal, because the conductor would say the bells were not bound to come home. In the Bankes James Cambridge 134256 was ‘plained’ in the body of the 720, and came up at the end as a bob change; in the second 720 142356 repeated, and rounds came up in the last 300 of the third 720, and rounds completed the first block of 2,160. Each 720 was thus hopelessly false. If they wanted rounds at the beginning they could not have it at the end without repetition, and no peal on earth would come round at the end if they once included the rounds at the beginning. It would mean the end of all discipline in change ringing if they once admitted these false compositions, and there were those who viewed the proposal with great alarm. They could not get a true 720 in Bankes James arrangement unless they counted rounds before they started, and he would ask Mr. James, as an expert-
Mr. James: I am not an expert, and I don’t think there is one in this room.
Mr. Willson said he would ask them two questions: Would they recognise any performance that failed to come round? Would that be a peal or no peal? (Several members: ‘No peal.’)
The Rev. E. S. Powell: These 720’s do not come round, but the 2160’s do. These two blocks are true.
Mr. Willson: It comes round twice in the last 720.
Rev. E. S. Powell: You ring rounds twice, that is another thing.
Mr. Willson: Rounds comes up twice.
Rev. H. Law James: Mr. Willson has gone away from what we were dealing with in the report. He is discussing peals of Minor; we are not discussing peals of Minor.
Mr. Willson: Mr. Trollope did. He added that he was going to move that the report be referred back in order that the controversial figures might be deleted.
Mr. Trollope suggested Mr. Willson should move definitely to delete the items by name.
Mr. Willson said he was prepared to do this. There was no end to what would occur, if they once admitted false peals. To suggest that a false peal would be a help to any man, and especially that it was going to help a young ringer, was absurd. It was not progress, unless it was the rake’s progress. He proposed that the report be referred back for the deletion of the Morris and Pitman Doubles, the London Minor and the Cambridge Surprise Minor, on the ground that they were ‘hopelessly false.’
Mr. James George seconded.
ONE PEAL OR SEVEN PEALS?
Mr. C. T. Coles said Mr. James’ explanation had cleared the air a great deal and showed that the Methods Committee did not intend to foist these compositions on the Exercise as necessarily being true in accordance with the tradition of the Exercise, but that they merely wanted them published as historical and useful. He submitted, therefore, that all the talk about whether the compositions were true might easily be left until they came to resolution No. 7 on the agenda. There was one remark made by Mr. Willson which he would like the Council to consider during their dinner time. When they were ringing a peal of Minor, did they ring one peal or seven peals; did they ring seven peals of 720 and publish it as such, or did they say they rang a peal of Minor? He submitted that they rang a peal of Minor, and in doing so they commenced from and ended with rounds. If in between rounds came up only six times, and any other change came up seven times in between, they rang only one peal.
Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake suggested that the Council should defer settling the report until they had dealt with question No. 7 on the agenda.
The President: The two things have nothing whatever to do with each other. The committee want to publish a book up-to-date; the question whether these things should be rung is another matter.
Mr. Pulling: Does the Methods Committee intend to publish these peals with a note saying that they do not conform to the rules of Central Council?
Mr. Trollope: Certainly not; it is not necessary.
Mr. Pulling: Then you will publish them in the book as 720’s that can be rung as a peal? If they are published in the book, they will be published as fit for a peal?
Mr. Trollope: Obviously.
The Hon. Secretary: Would it be possible to put them into an appendix?
Mr. Trollope: They practically are an appendix.
Mr. Cave: I propose that the report be adopted, and the book be published, provided these peals are put as an appendix, just to show what has been done. Mr. James told us that in 25 years’ time someone might be bringing it out as something fresh, but if the compositions are put as an appendix it will save people trouble.
Mr. C. Mee seconded.
‘COMPLETE CHANGE OF FRONT.’
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith said the committee had made a complete change of front. In their report they attempted to justify the publication of these compositions on the ground that they were true and in harmony with the tradition and usage of the Exercise. To say that they were in harmony with tradition and usage was a travesty of the use of words. But the committee had now apparently abandoned that ground for inserting the compositions, and appealed for permission to include them for historical purposes. The book which the committee proposed to publish was never intended to be what the Snowdon publications, like ‘Grandsire’ and ‘Stedman,’ were, historical surveys as well as books of instruction. The committee’s compilation was for practical purposes only, and was not concerned with the historical side at all, and therefore compositions which had a purely historical interest should have no place in the publication. As some of the Council probably knew, he was not prepared to go the whole way with those who said the Bankes James’ Cambridge Minor was false, and he put before the Council a new suggestion as to what might be considered true. In the construction of a method, he said, rounds was the first row; that was a matter which no one who studied method construction in these days disputed. It took two rows to make a ‘change,’ and, obviously, therefore, it required 721 rows to make 720 changes. As 720 was the extent obtainable on six bells, it followed that one of the rows required to make the 720 changes must be a repetition, and in an ordinary 720 the row that was repeated was rounds; the last row repeated with the first row, and in between them they got the 720 changes. The rounds which came at the end, was the first row of the next 720. In the Bankes James Cambridge the row which repeated was not rounds, but in the first 720 134256, which was the 721st row, but before that row was reached they had had 720 true rows and 720 changes, and he submitted that as that had happened and the second 134256 belonged to the second 720, the first 720 must be considered as complete as if the 721st row was rounds. It seemed to him it did not matter whether the 721st row repeated with the first or the 600th. He had submitted this argument to some well-known leaders of the Exercise, and they agreed with him that it was sound. He asked those who thought on these matters to consider this point with an unbiassed view, and he believed if they did so they would agree with him that the Cambridge was both true and complete in each of its 720’s in so far as completeness meant the production of 720 changes by means of 721 rows. The other compositions in dispute did not by any means stand this test, and as 120’s and 720’s were absolutely false. That being so, he hoped the Council would decide that they should be excluded from any publication which was to be issued in the name of the Council.
After the lunch adjournment, Mr. Pulling asked if the committee would give a definite assurance that if published these compositions should be inserted with a footnote that they should not be rung in peals. If they were only to go in as history, they should put a note that they should not be rung as peals.
Mr. Coles asked, on a point of order, whether that was not prejudging motion No. 7, which had not yet been before the Council?
Mr. Trollope said the committee would not put any note to say that compositions should not be rung.
Mr. Coles: Mr. Trollope is infringing on the same point.
The President: I think you are right.
A RETROGRADE STEP.
Mr. James Hunt said his association (the Bath and Wells) felt very strongly on this matter. He gave the Methods Committee every credit for the magnificent work which they had done, but in his association, where out of 130 towers 80 were six-bell towers, the feeling was so strong that he had been instructed to vote against the committee’s proposal to include these compositions. As ringers they must stand for truth. In their report the committee said the principle of truth and completeness was so deeply implanted in the tradition of the Exercise that it would be an ample safeguard against any excess, and, furthermore, that the Exercise had preserved a high standard in these matters and kept within rigid bounds for more than two centuries. There was no Central Council in the old days, said Mr. Hunt, and the old ringers stood for everything that was good and true in ringing (hear, hear). They started from rounds and finished with rounds, and he would like to ask whether anyone there would ring a peal going off in any way than from rounds? They could not count the rounds at the start, and therefore the Bankes James Cambridge was out of order. He supported the amendment that these four things be deleted from the book.
Mr. H. W. Wilde said he had been interested in six-bell ringing for forty years, and he had taken great interest in what the Council had done for the six-bell ringers in this matter. He admired the work that had been done, but he considered the Methods Committee now proposed to take a retrograde step. The compositions of Doubles and Mr. Law James’ London Minor should not be passed without very careful consideration. In introducing these Doubles and the other things which had been mentioned, they were, in his opinion, going backward. In the past the committee had been very careful not to pass undesirable things in the way of methods, such as by omitting Grandsire Minor, while in other ways they had brought other methods such as College Single Minor into line with the resolutions passed by the Council. If they went backward and introduced these compositions of Doubles and Minor they might as well reintroduce Grandsire Minor and Woodbine and Violet Treble Bob Minor which were not regular methods. He certainly could not vote for the report as it stood.
The Rev. E. S. Powell, a member of the Methods Committee, said the committee were in an extraordinarily difficult position; they were between cross fires. Naturally all those who for one reason or another disapproved of these new developments, or some of them, were likely to vote against the committee, but he was sure the Council was aware of one thing, and that was that the different opinions that had been expressed contrary to the Methods Committee had negatived one another. One party said, and he had an inkling of sympathy with them, that an extent should be true and complete. If so, that meant that the 120 of Doubles had got to start from rounds and end with rounds. The position was a logical and consistent one, but if they were going to object to that they must be prepared to go a step further. After all, the modern ideas of splicing extents were contrary to the tradition of the Exercise. If they were going to scrap one of these new ideas he was afraid they would have to scrap the lot (‘No.’). He did not want to develop the point - and he was not at all sure that he was in order in mentioning it - but there was undoubtedly a certain parallel between the two and many of the Council would realise it. Dealing with Mr. Goldsmith’s argument that Mr. Bankes James’ Cambridge Surprise produced a true peal - he thought there were others of the Council who accepted it as true - Mr. Powell said that if they had a true round block, they could start the composition just wherever they liked, and it did not make any difference to the truth or falseness of it.
Mr. F. Hopgood: Provided you start from rounds.
Rev. E. S. Powell: Yes, of course, starting from rounds. If, however, continued the speaker, they started Bankes James’ 2,160 of Cambridge Minor from any lead, except three, they would get a repetition before the end of the first 720, and yet it was said, because they could ring 720 true rows without repetition, it must be true, while if they could not ring 720 rows without repetition it would not be true. Therefore, they were told in many quarters, Bankes James’ Cambridge must be true and other spliced arrangements false. The only reason for ringing Bankes James’ composition was to avoid the 6-5’s at backstroke, and they could not start anywhere but at these particular lead-ends to do that. The Pitman Doubles was on exactly the same lines. There were 24 possible places at which they could start, but there were only two of them from which they could get 120 rows without repetition, and who wanted just two 240’s of Grandsire Doubles?
NO TRUE PEALS ON PITMAN PLAN.
If the theory of those who supported the argument of the James Cambridge and the Pitman Doubles was true, continued Mr. Powell, he was perfectly certain there had never been a peal of Grandsire Doubles rung on the Pitman plan which was a true peal. It was perfectly obvious that those who had used the Pitman arrangement had started from various lead-ends in order to get variety. It was because these compositions did not differ in principle that the committee found itself up against a dead end. It was not that they wanted to press the Law James London or the Morris Doubles upon them. They had got to come before the Council with some consistent case, and they could not put a case before them which would show the Bankes James Cambridge as true and the others hopelessly false. With regard to the question as to whether these were useful peals to put into their report, they had never tried to persuade the Council, if they read the report carefully, that they wished to recommend them to be rung for peals. He was afraid that Mr. Goldsmith had been misled by the leading article in his own paper (laughter). All they had said was that they did not feel in a position, from their knowledge, to condemn them wholesale - it was a matter to put before the Exercise. There seemed to be several members of the Council who said, ‘That is all very well, but even so we do not agree with the Methods Committee as to what is fit for peal ringing’ (hear, hear). All right, why then did they not raise the same objection when the Peals Collection Committee were doing their magnificent work in the Collection of Treble Bob Peals? It would be out of order for him to ask Mrs. Fletcher what percentage of those hundreds of peals were fit for peal ringing, but a very large number would be recognised as not fit for ringing in the tower in a peal.
A Member: That is a matter of opinion; it is not because they are false.
Mr. Powell said it was a matter of opinion whether it was advisable to ring a peal with the 2nd the extent in 6th’s place, but was there not a certain parallelism between the two things? The Methods Committee were asking the Council to allow them to put these compositions on record; if such compositions were condemned by the Council, that could be made known afterwards.
A Member: Too late, then, sir.
Mr. Willson: They should be stamped like the false peals of Double Norwich in the Double Norwich book with the word ‘False’ across them.
Mr. Powell said it had yet got to be proved whether they were false. He hoped he had shown sufficiently clearly that the argument, the only effective argument which up to the present had been used, and that was the one about the 120 true rows, had nothing in it. The committee simply asked that the matter be dealt with in order that these compositions might be placed on record, and they would leave the Council to deal with the other question of peal ringing. The committee did not feel able to express a definite opinion; they did not feel able, either individually or collectively, to condemn all or any of these compositions as false. He could go into details to explain why, but he did not think it would carry things any further than they were at present.
Mr. Wilde, a member of the Peal Collection Committee, having been given leave to reply to what Mr. Powell had said with regard to the peals of Treble Bob, said it was true some of the peals sent in for the Collection were not worth ringing, but the great majority of them were - there were some excellent peals in it. The Peals Collection Committee had instructions to include them all. If it came to printing the peals, he had no doubt that all those not worth ringing would be cut out. Some of the peals were not worth proving, but they had instructions to prove, and they did it.
Mr. Willson’s amendment was then put to the meeting and after two counts, was declared carried by 30 votes to 29.
Mr. Trollope then asked: What about the book?
Members: Publish it.
Mr. Willson: Publish it without the compositions.
Mr. James: No, sir. What is the use? I have done my best for the Council; the Council does not want me to do anything more.
This statement was greeted with a chorus of noes.
Mr. James: Yes. I have got a brother, said Mr. James speaking with agitation, who has done a vast amount of work for this Council, and he has been treated with just the same contempt as I have been treated to-day. My brother has done precious little for the last ten years, and it is entirely due to that abominable treatment from a lot of ignorant people.
Mr. Coles said he was surprised at some of the members of that Council when some of these compositions were already in their own peal books.
When the amendment was read by the president before putting it as the substantive motion, it took the form of proposing the omission of the four compositions under discussion, ‘because they are all hopelessly false.’
Several members expressed disagreement with this addition, and Mr. Goldsmith asked permission to move a further amendment to delete these words.
The Rev. E. S. Powell objected, as, he said, this was the specific ground upon which the amendment had been carried.
The objection was upheld by the president, who, on putting the motion, declared it lost.
This left a deadlock, and Mr. Trollope asked for instructions for the committee. They wanted some guide as to what they were to do. Obviously, what they wanted to do, he said, was to carry out the Council’s wishes. Would they meet the wishes of the Council if they printed these compositions separately, as a sort of appendix, at the end of the book, and said that the compositions contained repetitions of changes, and that the insertion of them did not commit the Council to the opinion that they were fit for ringing in peals?
Mr. Willson: You admit, then, that there are repetitions of changes?
Mr. Trollope: I am admitting nothing at all. I am asking whether we should do this, not what we want to do, but what the Council wants us to do. Shall we put these in the end of the book and say these compositions apply to five and six-bell methods, but the insertion of them here does not commit anyone to the opinion that they are valid for peal ringing?
Mr. C. J. Sedgley proposed that that should be done.
Mr. Cave: That was my proposition just now; accept the report and publish these compositions as an appendix.
Mr. Willson: Why print them if they are not worth ringing?
Mr. Pulling: When Mr. Trollope gets a thing in his own hands, he generally does what the committee wanted beforehand (laughter).
Mr. G. P. Burton suggested that the words should be: ‘The insertion of these compositions as an appendix does not commit anybody to the opinion that they are suitable for peal ringing.’
Mr. Whittington: Will the inclusion of these compositions legitimize them and will it give people the right to have those peals recognized by the Analysis Committee if they are rung because they are in that book?
Rev. H. Law James: No.
The President: That entirely depends on resolution No. 7.
On the proposal being put to include the compositions as an appendix with a note in the terms suggested, it was carried by 44 votes to 3, and Mr. James remarked: ‘Thank you, gentlemen; that is all we want.’
The Ringing World, June 14th, 1929, pages 377 to 379, correction June 21st, 1929, page 394
NEW MEMBERS OF PEALS ANALYSIS COMMITTEE.
The formal adoption of the report of the Peals Analysis Committee, which appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ of May 10th, was moved by Mrs. Fletcher and seconded by Mr. George Williams.
The Hon. Secretary said he regretted that Mr. J. W. Parker had written saying he felt compelled to withdraw from the committee, with which he had been associated so many years, and also to withdraw from the Council, of which he was an hon. member. He (the secretary) had written to Mr. Parker urging him to defer any action until the London meeting next year, and Mr. Parker had agreed to leave his resignation from the Council in their hands. He, however, desired to come off the Analysis Committee. The question arose whether they ought not to have someone in his place on the committee instead of waiting until next year.
Mrs. Fletcher said Mr. Parker and she did the work between them last year. Mr. Beeston checked part of it, but was not able to finish it. This year Mr. Parker had done the analyses with her, but he had now sent her the papers, and she had no one to check the figures at the end of the year.
Mr. Goldsmith proposed that Mr. James George and Mr. George R. Pye - two gentlemen with a certain amount of leisure - should be added to the committee to assist Mrs. Fletcher.
Both these gentlemen signified their willingness to help and were therefore elected.
The report was adopted, and the President expressed the Council’s debt of gratitude to Mrs. Fletcher and Mr. Parker for the enormous amount of work they did in connection with this report, which was of very great interest to ringers throughout the country.
TOWERS AND BELFRIES.
Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn moved the adoption of the Towers and Belfries Committee’s report, dealing with belfry acoustics, which appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ on May 3rd. He added that he had had a good deal to do in the territory of his own Guild during the year. There was certainly now no excuse, when anyone was setting out to renovate a tower, and so forth, why everything should not be, from the acoustic point of view and the ventilation point of view, perfect. There were many towers where bell restoration work was not necessary, but where a great deal could be done to improve acoustics or ventilation. He did not think any band of ringers ought to remain content when they could either not hear their bells in the belfry, or hear them too much, or when people outside complained. He was sure from his experience that these things could be put right.
Rev. H. Law James suggested that the committee should visit Lincoln Cathedral and hear the bells inside and outside the tower, and examine the tower, because there they had succeeded in getting carried out the whole of the principles that were contained in Sir Arthur Heywood’s book on the hanging of bells and on acoustics, and the result was absolutely satisfactory. People living under the tower would not object to the bells being rung for twelve hours at a stretch, while in a distant village, he had been told, it was said it was no good ringing the church bells when the Cathedral bells were being rung.
Major Hesse, who seconded the report, said he had also had a busy year. With regard to Lincoln, he had a drawing of the tower sent him by the late Mr. Pryce Taylor, showing various elevations at which the bells might be put. He would like to know how far below the louvres they were.
Rev. H. Law James: About 40 feet.
Mr. E. M. Atkins asked whether the committee had made any inquiries about the welding of bells?
Major Hesse said he was afraid nothing had been done. He believed the welded bell at St. Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich, was still standing up.
Mr. C. J. Sedgley (Ipswich) said the 7th at St. Mary-le-Tower was welded. It was much cheaper than recasting. It had been rung to two or three peals of Maximus, and seemed to be unaffected.
Asked whether he thought the bell was as good as it was before it was cracked, Mr. Sedgley said he thought it was.
Major Hesse said he saw one job. It looked all right, and he heard the bell after it was done. But he did not hear it before, so he could not compare the tone.
The Hon. Secretary said after the Hereford meeting he wrote to Mr. Symonds, at Ipswich, on the matter, and he reported very favourably on the bell that they had welded there. It was useful to know it was still standing up all right.
Major Hesse: I think a welded bell is a blemish in a tower; it is not the same as a recast bell.
Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn asked if the committee should undertake the revision of the book on the preservation of bells? He supposed it fell to their lot.
The President: Yes.
Rev. H. Drake: Will this report be included, or something to the same effect?
Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn: That was our idea.
The report was adopted, and the committee requested to revise the book on the Preservation of Bells.
THE YEAR’S RECORDS.
The Report of the Records Committee was presented by Mr. T. H. Beams as follows: First peals in new methods, and progressive lengths in others, rung since the last report and up to the end of March this year, were:-
Peals in new methods include 5,040 Gainsborough Little Bob Major by the Yorkshire Association; 5,184 Kent Surprise Major by the Essex Association; 5,280 New Cambridge Surprise Maximus by the Suffolk Guild; 5,040 York Surprise Royal by the Midland Counties Association; 5,040 Melton Surprise Royal by the Midland Counties Association. In Spliced Methods have been rung a 5,000 in six Plain and Treble Bob Methods, Little Canterbury, Canterbury Pleasure, Plain and Little Bob, Kent and Oxford Treble Bob; a 5,040 ‘Mixed’ Bob Major (?) by the Durham and Newcastle Association; a 5,184 in Spliced Surprise Major methods, London, Bristol, Cambridge, Superlative and Lincolnshire Surprise, by the Middlesex County Association; a 5,184 in six Surprise Methods, London, Rutland, Bristol, Superlative, Cambridge and Pudsey, by the Middlesex County Association; 5,040 Spliced Surprise Minor, in 22 methods, by the Essex Association. A progressive length, 5,056 changes, of ‘Hereward’ Bob Major, has been rung by the Kent County Association.
The report was adopted.
THE LAW AFFECTING CHURCH BELLS.
The Legal Committee (Messrs. J. S. Pritchett, F. A. Milne and E. W. Elwell) presented the following report, which was read by Mr. Milne:-
The sole right of access to the belfry is vested in the incumbent (Blunt, ed. 1921, 273), but the incumbent’s rights are not given him for his sole use, and he must permit access to the belfry to allow of such use of the bells as is consistent with the purpose for which they are placed there (Blunt Book of Church Law, ed. 1921, 328), e.g., summoning parishioners to worship or tolling at a funeral which is an essential part of the rites of the Church.
The bells should only be rung with the incumbent’s consent, and they must not be rung against his express wish. The property in the bells as in other church ornaments is in the churchwardens (Whitehead Church Law, sub-tit. ‘Bells,’ 1921 ed., p. 42); hence it was formerly held that a churchwarden could not be convicted of stealing a bell. The churchwardens have the custody of the keys of the belfry, and are to take care that the bells are not rung without proper cause; but the minister conjointly with them is to be the judge of the proper cause. They would seem, therefore, to have a right to interfere in the belfry and in the ordering of the ringers, but in what manner or to what extent it is difficult to define. For the custody of the keys implies that the belfry is to be open or not at their discretion, and the property of the bell ropes is in them (Jackson v. Adams, 1835, 2, Bingham p.c. 402.), and if the bells were improperly rung the churchwardens, according to Canon 88 would be the responsible parties. But the churchwardens are not authorised without the consent of the incumbent to give orders for the bells to be rung, and it would be an ecclesiastical offence if they were to break open the belfry door in order to have the bells rung, for the freehold of the church is in the incumbent, and the lawful custody of the key of the church belongs to him, so that unless he consents the parishioners cannot except on the occasion of divine service procure the ringing of the bells. Should they break in and ring the bells they would be guilty of an ecclesiastical offence, and if proceedings should be taken against them by the incumbent they would be mulcted in costs (see Redhead v. West (1862), 6, L. Times 580, and Cripp’s Law of Church and Clergy, ed. 1921, p. 190, 1921).
The Parochial Church Council’s Measure (1921), while leaving the property in the goods and ornaments of the church (which, of course, includes bells, bell fittings and bell ropes) in the churchwardens, transfers to the Parochial Church Council all the powers, duties and liabilities of the churchwardens relating to the care, maintenance, preservation and insurance of such goods and ornaments. The Parochial Church Council is the body to be first approached, if anything goes wrong with the bells, and it is its duty, so far as may be possible, to put things right. So far, however, as the ringing of the bells is concerned, it would seem that the Parochial Church Council Measure has made no alteration in the law, and that save in so far as ringing for the church services is concerned, it remains with the incumbent to decide if and when and subject to what conditions the bells shall be rung, the churchwardens still having the same indefinite right of interference.
As it rests with the incumbent to appoint all church officers other than those as to whom special provisions are made by Ecclesiastical Law and the Parochial Church Council Measure of 1921, e.g., churchwardens, sidesmen, parish clerk and sexton, it would seem that every regular ringer should be appointed or approved by him. In every well-regulated belfry the ringers are formed into Guilds or societies subject to regulations approved by the incumbent, and there is practically no difficulty in the matter. But on every change of incumbent it would be advisable that the rules for the time being in force should be submitted to and formally approved by him. The Parochial Church Council have no voice in the matter, any more than they have in the appointment of organist, but if any remuneration is to be made by the Council to the ringers for their services it is obviously the duty of the incumbent to keep the Council informed on all matters relating to the ringing of the bells.
This raises the question as to who is responsible, if anyone, for the safety of the ringers and for compensation in case of injury. So far as all ringers are concerned, it is the duty of the church authorities to see that the bells, bell chamber and fittings are reasonably safe and that there is nothing in the nature of a trap whereby an incautious person might meet with injury. It is possible that if the incumbent was aware that the bells could not with safety be rung, and with that knowledge permitted ringing to take place, he might be civilly liable in damages for any injury sustained. The same would apply to any person who left a bell ‘up’ and without warning invited a stranger into the belfry or (as in a case within the writer’s recollection) omitted to close a trap door in the belfry and anyone fell through. Such things are, of course, very unlikely to happen, but it may sometimes occur that a ringer is accidentally injured without blame attaching to anyone. In such a case if he was a paid ringer, the question of compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act would arise. There would then be contract of service with an employer who would be the person liable to pay. Who was the employer would be a question of fact which would largely depend upon who paid the money. It might be the incumbent, the churchwardens, or the Church Council who enlisted the band of ringers or arranged the terms of payment. Whoever it was would probably be held liable. The Church Council, however, being a corporate body, its members would not be personally liable, and the Council itself only to the extent of moneys in hand.
With regard to bells generally, a faculty is required for their removal, alteration (such as recasting) or erection. The granting of a faculty for a new peal of bells is by no means a matter of course. The Chancellor will hesitate where there is a risk of annoyance being caused by their being rung with unnecessary frequency or for an unnecessary length of time, and this should be carefully borne in mind when a new peal is in contemplation especially where there is a crowded population.
The ringing of church bells is almost of necessity an annoyance to some people, however pleasing it may be to others. It cannot, therefore, ever be held a public nuisance rendering the ringers criminally liable on indictment, but it may be a private nuisance liable to be restrained by injunction at the instance of any person specially aggrieved (Soltau v. de Held, 2 Sim., 133). There is however, no reported case in which an injunction has been granted to restrain the ringing of the bells of a parish church, and so long as bells are rung in moderation - even for peal ringing - it is unlikely that the Courts will interfere with such an old-established custom, however much it may annoy individuals who reasonably or unreasonably hold church bells in abhorrence.
The President said they were all very grateful indeed to the three members of the Legal Committee for their report, which he took it the Council would accept.
A Member: Will it be printed?
The President said no doubt it would be printed, but he could not say for certain that it would be done at present. It was most important, he added, in view of what might happen, that the Legal Committee should be kept in existence to watch events, and to act in case of emergency on the Council’s behalf. They would be grateful if the committee would do this.
Rev. H. Drake asked whether the committee had considered how far the law regarding moving machinery applied to bells?
Mr. Elwell said he thought it was quite clear that the Factory Acts did not apply to church bells.
The report was adopted.
The Ringing World, June 21st, 1929, pages 393 to 394
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, reporting for the Broadcasting Committee, said that, as most of the Council knew, the talk on bellringing was given on September 19th, and he had received reports on it from personal friends in different parts of the country, saying that it came through very clearly, and the sound of the handbells was perfect. Undoubtedly, the broadcast had done a certain amount of good. It required a great deal of labour and time in preparation, owing to the fact that everything had to be done in a quarter of an hour. He was gratified to find that he so far succeeded in meeting the conditions that when they had a rehearsal in the belfry of St. Clement Danes - and they had to thank the Rev. Penington Bickford for the use of the handbells - they got through the lecture, with the illustrations, in 14½ mins. Actually at the studio the announcer took up a few moments, and they, therefore, overran the time a little, but the announcer in charge allowed them a little extra time, so that the course of Stedman Triples at the end might be finished. Mr. Edwards quoted from one of the letters he had received from a correspondent at Laughton, near Sheffield, which said that the talk had led to a band being formed, and the belfry invaded, to the delight of the Vicar. The bells were rung at Christmas, a thing which even the sexton, who had been there for 50 years, could not remember having happened before. There were three bells (laughter), and six ringers, and a splendid enthusiasm in the district, and it was now hoped to augment the bells (applause). Mr. Edwards added that the broadcast was almost worth giving for that one result.
The President said the Exercise at large was grateful to Mr. Edwards for all the trouble he took over the broadcast and the rehearsals. They were also grateful to the band of ringers who demonstrated with the handbells. He knew that the talk stirred up a good deal of enthusiasm and delighted many people in many parts of England.
Mr. T. H. Beams asked if they were going to have any repetition of the lecture.
The Hon. Secretary: Nothing has been arranged. Having ‘made a hole in the ice,’ we may, perhaps, be able to do something in the future, after allowing a suitable interval.
The report was adopted.
PEALS OF MINOR AND DOUBLES.
The Council next came to the various resolutions on the agenda, the first of which, ‘No.7,’ was, ‘That this Council will not recognise as a peal of Minor or Doubles any composition in which the bells do not strike in 720 or 120 different orders respectively before beginning the next 720 or 120.’ It was moved by Mr. R. Whittington, who said that in the year 1911-12 the Council passed this resolution: ‘That peals of Minor consist of at least seven true and complete 720’s, the bells striking round only once at the end of each and immediately going into the next.’ The object of the resolution now before the Council was, he said, to ask them to confirm that decision, and to say that peals of Minor and peals of Doubles must conform to those conditions.
Mr. A. H. Pulling, who seconded, said they did not want someone to come along later on and say that the Council did not mean what it said by the motion. What they intended was that in Doubles they should start the 120 changes from rounds and should finish at rounds; and the same with Minor, that they should start from rounds and finish with rounds, ‘and have none of this “jiggerypokery’” (laughter). They wanted to have things clear this time (hear, hear).
Rev. E. S. Powell suggested that Mr. Whittington should alter his resolution to read: ‘That each 720 shall be true in itself and shall begin from and end with rounds,’ and in similar terms with regard to Doubles. He sympathised with Mr. Pulling, because when he read the first resolution he thought they might try to drag in the Bankes James composition.
Mr. J. Hunt said the resolution carried at Hereford was the starting-point of this discussion, and Mr. Law James added fuel to the fire by saying that the resolution at Hereford implied seven different 720’s as being required for a peal of Minor. He (Mr. Hunt) disagreed. It was never intended that a peal should consist of seven different compositions. That would be a great penalty on the six-bell men. There were plenty of men in that room who could call a peal of Stedman Triples or a peal of London from a non-observation bell, but there were a great many in the Exercise in the country districts who could not call 720 or even 120 from a non-observation bell. Last year Mr. Powell wanted to say that ten different 120’s should be called in a peal of Doubles. He would like to ask Mr. Powell how many towers there were in his own county of Devon where there were men to call such a peal. To insist on seven different 720’s they would be penalising the ringers, and instead of making ringing progress they would he putting a brake on.
Rev. E. S. Powell said the amendment he had got was to the effect ‘that this Council will not recognise as a peal of Minor or Doubles any composition in which the 720’s or 120’s were not true and complete and which did not start from and end with rounds.’ He would certainly prefer that to the motion as it stood, but if the amendment were carried he should much hope it would be defeated as a substantive motion. Muddled as the position was at the present time, be felt very strongly that the Council had better have things as they were with the Hereford motion, to see what happened and bring the thing forward in a year or two’s time. At present they had not sufficient knowledge to affirm what was false and what was true.
Mr. F. W. Perrens seconded the amendment.
Rev. H. Law James said he took it the amendment brought out exactly what the proposer and seconder meant, but what the proposer and seconder said would have included the Bankes James Cambridge and would have excluded everything else. He took it they wanted to rule out everything except 720’s which began and ended with rounds.
Several members: Yes.
Mr. James asked the members to imagine on the clock face in the room six rows of figures, spaced at ten-minute intervals. The first row was 1234, with the others in the following order round the dial: 1324, 1342, 1432, 1423, and 1243. If they read the rows from 1234 in either direction they would come back again to 1234. They thus had the whole six in one natural round block. How many times did rounds appear in these six rows? Once only. The fact was, there was a great deal of confusion arising in this matter simply and solely because when they wrote their peals and touches and courses they wrote 123456 at the top, went to the bottom and wrote it at the end. They wrote it twice, but if they wrote it round the clock face they would see that all this talk about beginning and ending with rounds amounted to nothing. There were six rows and there were six changes. Rounds at the end was the rounds at the beginning. If it was a repetition it was false, and it was either a repetition or it was not a repetition. Strictly speaking, it was not a repetition; it was the same thing. The whole thing was a round block, and they came back exactly to where they started.
Mr. W. Willson: Will you explain how, in your brother’s Cambridge, in which the last change of the 720 is a bob change, and the bob is not made until the backstroke lead of the treble, that backstroke lead can be the first row of the next 720? The effect is not between the treble rows but at the backstroke of the treble, which proves that the full treble lead should be included.
Mr. James said according to Mr. Willson’s idea rounds at the beginning and rounds at the end were counted as two rows instead of one, and if they counted them as Mr. Willson wanted to count them they would ring rounds not eight times but fifteen times in a peal.
Mr. T. Faulkner: Rounds at the beginning is only to steady the bells.
Mr. W. A. Cave: Would a peal, or 120, or 720 be legal if we had no rounds at all at the beginning? If we started off 214365 and rang to the end, would that be a 720? (‘No.’) Rounds at the start is only a preliminary. I maintain that 214365 is the first change, and 123456 is the last for all practical ringers.
Rev. F. Ll. Edwards: If you started off straight into a method without any preliminary rounds, there would not be 720 changes, because the first would not be a change. When you have your preliminary rounds and start in to changes, then the first row of the method is the first change. If you started without preliminary rounds you would not change from anything, and the first row would not be a change at all.
Mr. Coles asked if the amendment meant that each 720 or 120 was to start from and end with rounds. He had been trying all day to get at this point, whether these 720’s were to be treated as separate peals or one whole peal of seven 720’s. Until they settled that point they would get no further with this motion.
Mr. Whittington said he was prepared to accept Mr. Powell’s amendment, and Mr. Pulling, as seconder, also agreed.
Mr. Trollope said he wanted to make it clear that those who voted for what was now the resolution would quite certainly vote for the exclusion of the Bankes James Cambridge. He knew there were a lot of people there who wanted to preserve the Bankes James Cambridge; if they voted for that resolution it ruled it out. He suggested that the best thing they could do was for both the amendment and the resolution to be withdrawn and let them leave the question for a little while. The discussion that day had proved that there was a great deal of difference of opinion, and, whatever resolution they passed, this division would remain. Would it not be better, therefore, to leave the matter as it now stood with the Hereford resolution. It would have to be amended, but it was enough to go on with. Let them leave it and see whether the six-bell ringers wanted this Cambridge Minor. With all respect to the Council, the final judgment did not rest with them; it rested with the Exercise at large.
Mr. Willson: I move the closure. There is always this red herring drawn across the trail.
Mr. Trollope said the final judgment must be with the six-bell ringers, and if the six-bell ringers continued to ring this arrangement of Cambridge Minor it would be weighty proof that there was something in it. The Council ought not at this time to turn it down.
Rev. F. Ll. Edwards proposed as an amendment that in view of the fact that the practices affected by this resolution were at present in an entirely experimental stage, further consideration be deferred until a future meeting.
Mr. C. T. Coles seconded, and said the question of seven 720’s constituting one peal was the crux of the whole matter, which people must bear in mind.
Rev. H. Law James: If you vote for this resolution as it stands are you prepared first of all to cross out from every peal book in the country the peals of Cambridge Minor that have been rung with my brother’s arrangement? (‘No,’ and Mr. Pulling: They have been rung before this resolution.) Is the Yorkshire Association prepared to cross out the 9,119 extent of Treble Bob Major with the tenors together, and in which Jasper Snowdon rang? Logically, they ought to, because, after all said and done, what is sauce for six-bell gander is sauce for the eight-bell goose.
The amendment to postpone consideration of the question, on being put, was declared carried by 34 or 35 votes to 24. It was then put as a substantive motion and carried.
The Ringing World, June 28th, 1929, pages 409 to 410
AFFILIATION FEE INCREASED.
In the absence of Mr. E. W. Elwell, who had had to leave the meeting, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn moved: ‘(a) That honorary members pay an affiliation fee of 5s. each per annum; (b) that associations in future pay a fee of 5s. per representative per annum.’ Mr. Jenkyn said the reason for the proposal was that the Council certainly wanted more money. They were going on to-day with the same affiliation fee that they started with, which, he thought, could hardly be said of anything else. Prices had all gone up, but the Council went on with the same affiliation fee. In these days the associations were considerably better in funds than they were when the Council began.- The Rev. C. A. Clements seconded.
Mr. J. Hunt, moved that the portion of the motion relating to hon. members be deleted. His association (Bath and Wells) was quite willing to support the second proposal, and instructed him to vote for it, but they would not tie his hands with regard to the hon. members. The Council, he contended, were not justified in penalising the men who came there at their own expense, after being elected by the Council for the assistance they could give.
Mr. A. H. Pulling, who seconded, said honorary members were placed on the Council for the work they had done or were doing for the Exercise or the Council, and they ought not to ask them to pay five shillings, as well as defray all their own expenses. He thought it would be a ‘cheek’ to do so. If the Council were short of money, let them say so and go openly to the associations and ask for it.
The amendment was carried by a large majority, and the proposal to impose an affiliation fee on the hon. members was thus defeated.
There was no discussion on the second part of the proposition, to increase the affiliation fee of associations from 2s. 6d. to 5s. per representative, and it was put to the meeting and carried by 44 votes to six.
CONSULTANTS FOR ADVISORY BOARDS.
The Rev. H. Drake proposed: ‘(a) The Council asks each association to appoint a consultant to the Advisory Committee or Committees in its area. (b) The Council asks each association to make every effort to get as many ringers as possible elected to Parochial Church Councils, to Diocesan Conferences and to the Church Assembly.’ Mr. Drake said the resolution had been described as one which the Council carried several years ago. That was not so. The difference was that on the previous occasion they did their best to get the Advisory Committees to recognise the associations and also to get the Parochial Church Councils to recognise the ringers. His present resolution put it the other way round. It asked each association to allocate someone whom the Advisory Committee for the diocese could consult, if they wished to do so, and it also asked each association to make every effort to get as many ringers as possible elected to the Parochial Church Councils, the Diocesan Conferences and the Church Assembly. The ringers, he said, were the best people in the different parishes to put on the Council - they were the most intelligent people (laughter and applause), because their art, as they had found out that day in the difficult questions they had discussed, had taxed the intelligence of the most intelligent people in the country (laughter). Therefore, they were the people who ought to be on the different Councils and who should make up the greater part of each Diocesan Conference and of the Church Assembly (laughter and applause). Why was it necessary to put forward this resolution? Ringers, as a rule, were rather retiring people and the result was they did not get put on the Parochial Church Councils. It seemed to him that it was their duty, as a Council, to do what they could to encourage ringers to stand for election. He hoped, if the resolution was carried, that the members would go back to their parishes and to their dioceses and say that they had been asked to put forward ringers as members of the Councils, members of the Diocesan Conferences and members of the Church Assembly, and, added Mr. Drake, amid laughter, he hoped they would all meet at the first meeting of the new Church Assembly.- Mr. C. J. Sedgley seconded the motion.
Mr. C. H. Howard asked what was the result of the previous resolution that was passed, recommending that on all Diocesan Advisory Boards there should be someone with a knowledge of bells and ringing. The present resolution, he thought, did not go far enough. A consultant was not in such a strong position as a member of the Advisory Board. He was appointed to the Chelmsford Diocesan Advisory Board by the late Bishop. At that time there was an application for a faculty concerning the bells from a certain parish, and the faculty had been refused. Had he been only a consultant he could have done very little, but, being a member, he was able to plead the case and eventually, after first getting the question postponed so that it might be further considered, he succeeded in getting through a unanimous recommendation that the faculty be granted. He was in a much stronger position as a member of the Board, because, as a consultant only, the case would probably have been decided in his absence. If they could get the Boards to allow at least one member from each association, they would be doing a great deal better service than merely asking for a consultant.
The Rev. C. A. Clements said the associations could not appoint anybody to an Advisory Board. It was entirely in the hands of the Bishop and his adviser, the Chancellor of the Diocese.
Mr. Howard said he did not suggest they could appoint anyone, but they could ask the Bishop in each diocese to do so and suggest that the association should nominate a suitable person.
Mr. Beams said what many of them wanted to know was how to get the Bishop’s ear.
Mr. J. Hunt said in the Bath and Wells Association they appointed someone as adviser, who acted gratis, and was prepared to go to any church to make inspections and attend any meetings to report.
Mr. F. Wilford said in his diocese one or two clergy wrote to the Bishop of Peterborough suggesting that someone should be appointed with a knowledge of bells and ringing to serve on the Board, and the Bishop asked him to do so. If a Bishop were written to by some responsible person, he would no doubt be only too pleased to appoint someone with the necessary knowledge.
Major Hesse said in the Guildford Diocese the Bishop himself told him that he was a member of the Board, but he had never yet been invited to attend a meeting.
The Rev. Tyrwhitt Drake said as a result of the last resolution of the Council he received a request from the Advisory Board in his diocese to serve as a member to deal with questions arising in connection with bells. On leaving that diocese, he wrote to the secretary of the Board and pointed out that they had made no use whatever of his services. Unless a person was a full member of the Board and summoned to every meeting, they forgot his existence. The reply which he received was that no case had come up in his district. He did not like to give the secretary the lie direct, but two cases had come up within 15 miles of his own parish.
The Rev. H. Law James said in the Diocese of Lincoln the secretary of the Board sent him all the papers, in the cases where bells were concerned, and whatever he (Mr. James) told him to do, he did (laughter and hear, hear).
The President said exactly the same thing happened in the Oxford Diocese. There was no single thing to do with bells or towers which did not go first to their Master, Mr. Jenkyn, who made a report to the Advisory Committee, and they did what he recommended. He was much more valuable outside than on the committee.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said that at first he found himself up against certain members of the Advisory Board, who were mostly antiquarians. He had to fight it out with them; he won, and the purely antiquarians had more or less faded out.
The Rev. H. Drake said his resolution was not opposed to what Mr. Howard had said. There was no reason why they should not have a member on an Advisory Board if they could get one, but that was not a thing they could do as associations. What they could do was to have a consultant. In his diocese their difficulty was the same as it had been in Mr. Jenkyn’s. They were supported by one of their Archdeacons and had appointed a consultant if the Advisory Committee chose to consult him. At the present moment it was hopeless to try and get a ringer on the Advisory Committee. He thought, if consultants were appointed, no Advisory Committee would dare to neglect them in the future as they had done in the past.
The resolution was then put and carried.
NOTICE OF THE COUNCIL’S MEETINGS.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith moved: ‘That the rules of the Council be amended in order to provide that the notice and agenda of each annual meeting of the Council be published at least eight weeks, instead of twelve weeks, prior to such meeting.’ He said this motion had been framed, in consultation with the hon. secretary, to facilitate the arrangements for the meetings. The present twelve weeks’ notice, which was given to enable associations to consider the items on the agenda, had proved to be somewhat too early, as it was found difficult to arrange the business so far ahead. If the notice appeared eight weeks before the meeting, little would be lost, as the four weeks deleted always came in Lent, when few, if any, important association meetings were held.- Mr. C. T. Coles seconded and the motion was carried without discussion.
A MATTER FOR INDIVIDUAL ASSOCIATIONS.
A motion stood on the agenda in the name of Mr. W. Ayre, who, however, was unable to be present through illness. It was as follows: ‘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 hon. secretary, whose name had been put on the agenda, as seconder, moved the resolution. He said he did not expect to have to ‘father’ the resolution, because he only intended to second it ‘pro forma,’ in order that it might be discussed. He thought, however, there was something in the proposal. Some six or seven years ago it was rather urged there should be some sort of fund for this purpose, and the Council could not go very far wrong if it appointed a small committee to investigate the possibility of a scheme. If the motion was carried, he would suggest a small committee, consisting of Mr. Ayre, himself and one other member. They could then present a report in a year’s time.- Mr. James George seconded, saying he thought it would be a very good thing.
Mr. T. Groombridge asked if it was a suitable thing to be taken up by the Council. He thought it was a matter for the associations. Several associations had formed their own benevolent funds, and he was of opinion that each association should run its own fund.
Mr. C. T. Coles said before the Council appointed a committee it should be very careful not to interfere with the financial provisions of the different societies, otherwise it would tread on the tenderest spot of the associations. Some of the associations might be pretty hard pressed to find the additional affiliation fee, but to formulate any plan which would spend some of their funds would be going a bit too far, and he should vote against it.
Mr. P. Crook said a Police Conference, of which he was a member, discussed a similar scheme at great length, and came to the conclusion that it was best to leave each individual place to carry out its own work.
The proposition was lost by a large majority.
THE NEXT MEETING
The Council was next asked to fix the place for the next meeting. The President said their rules laid it down that the first meeting of a new session should be held in London, so that London was the place for next year. The secretary had been trying to get an invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to meet at Lambeth Palace, in the famous and magnificent library, and they had received a telegram saying that, subject to no unforeseen occurrence the Archbishop would be only too pleased that the Council should meet there, and to welcome them if possible (applause).
‘A BIG BUSINESS.’
Mr. James George referred to the fact that a directory of ringers was published by the Bristol United Guilds. It was, of course, by no means complete, and he thought the Council might consider the issue of a book which would contain the names and addresses of all ringers.
The President: That would be a big business. If you wish to discuss it you must draw up a resolution and send it to the secretary, and it can then be debated at the next meeting.
THE PRESIDENT’S RECOVERY.
The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn said they were all fully aware, but they might be inclined to forget, that that was the first meeting of the Council since the very serious illness and operation of their president. It was perfectly wonderful how he had steered them through the business that day. It had been a trying meeting and difficult, but the way in which Canon Coleridge had gone through it had been perfectly splendid (applause). They were all glad to see him and congratulated him upon his recovery. He proposed a vote of thanks to him for presiding (applause).
Mr. T. Faulkner seconded, and, on behalf of the rank and file, said how gratified they all were that their president had been restored seemingly to his normal health (applause).
‘COUNCIL MUST BE KEPT YOUNG.’
The motion having been carried by acclamation Canon Coleridge replied. He said that during his illness it was a great source of consolation to him to know that he was thought about, and in many cases prayed about, by ringers throughout the length and breadth of England. The best times that he had were when ringers came to see him. One of his visitors was an old man of 80, another was a boy of about 16, who gave up the whole of a Sunday and came a long distance on a bicycle to bring him a dozen eggs. It was most touching. Every Sunday he had visits from ringers and he knew he was in the thoughts of many others. He was thankful to say that, so far as he knew, he was now in the very best of health (applause). He could not help feeling, however, that age was upon him. Therefore, he wanted them to think most carefully before the next meeting who they were going to elect as their president. He had had the privilege of serving for three sessions - nine years - and on one other occasion he took the chair, which made ten times altogether. By next year he would be 72, and election meant three years’ work, and they ought to get a younger man. He had said that before, but he hoped they would bear it in mind this time. Youth must be served, and the Council must be kept young, with new ideas, and not have old fogies foisted upon them (laughter). The President then went on to propose a formal vote of thanks to the Mayor and to the Sub-Dean of Chelmsford for their kindness in welcoming the Council, also and especially to Mr. C. H. Howard and other members of the Essex Association, who had done so much for their comfort and entertainment. The association had done everything it could for them. Members of the Council had been welcomed on the previous day at this jubilee gathering equally with the association’s own members, and they had enjoyed themselves immensely. He thanked Mr. Howard and all associated with him for all they had done (applause).
This concluded the meeting, and the members and their friends were afterwards entertained to tea by the Essex Association. Later a social evening was held at the County Hotel.
The Ringing World, July 5th, 1929, pages 425 to 426