The report of the sub-committee appointed to consider the Rules of the Council has been presented in the following terms:-

The sub-committee has again met during the course of the year to consider the re-drafted rules submitted to the Council at the last meeting and the suggested amendments thereto, and recommends the Council to adopt the rules as set out in the following schedule.

The sub-committee would specially call attention to the fact that the rules as re-drafted make (inter alia) the following alterations:-

(1) The constitution is changed in principle from a Council of individuals to a Council of affiliated societies;

(2) Representation of territorial and diocesan societies will be in future on a definite limited numerical basis of membership; and

(3) Societies’ affiliation fees will be based on membership and not upon the number of representatives elected to the Council.


  1. The Council shall be known as the ‘Central Council of Church Bellringers.’

  2. The Council shall consist:-

    (1) Of Representative Members elected by affiliated societies.

    (2) Of Honorary Members, not exceeding fifteen in number, elected by the Council.

    Any recognised Society, Association or Guild of Church Bellringers (hereinafter referred to under the general term ‘Society’), numbering not less than seventy-five members, shall, upon application, if eligible, be affiliated to the Council, and shall subscribe to an undertaking loyally to abide by the rules and decisions of the Council.

    Affiliated Societies shall be entitled to elect representatives in the following proportion:-

    A Society, the number of whose members is 75 or over, but does not exceed 150, one Representative; exceeds 150 but does not exceed 300, two Representatives: exceeds 300 but does not exceed 450, three Representatives; exceeds 450, four Representatives.

    Four Representatives shall be the limit of representation allowed any one Society.

    For the purpose of this rule the basis of the calculation of membership for territorial and diocesan societies shall be the number of annual subscribing honorary and ringing members, and resident life members.

    No representative member shall be eligible as an honorary member. The voting powers of honorary members shall be equal with those of representative members.

    (Note.- Here and elsewhere in these Rules the word ‘member’ shall be taken as meaning ‘member of the Council.’)

  3. The election of representative members shall take place triennially, at least four weeks before the commencement of each triennial session, and the names and addresses of those elected shall forthwith be forwarded to the Secretary of the Council. In the event of a vacancy the new member shall be elected only for the unexpired period of the triennium.

  4. Honorary members shall be elected for three years and, on retiring, shall be eligible for re-election (retirement and election taking effect as from the end of the annual meeting), provided that any honorary member who during his term of office may be elected a representative member shall, ipso facto, vacate his honorary membership. The Council may fill a vacancy among the honorary members at any annual meeting of the Council.

  5. All societies returning representative members to the Council shall contribute annually, in January; 5s. on behalf of each representative member to which they are entitled, to meet the expenses of conducting the business of the Council, and no representative member shall be entitled to speak or vote at an annual meeting of the Council until the subscription of the Society he represents be paid.

  6. The Council shall meet once annually, about Whitsuntide, in some convenient centre, as agreed upon at the previous meeting, but the Meeting following the Triennial Election shall always be in London. Any meeting of the Council may be extended to additional sittings on the same or the following day on a motion for adjournment being put and carried. The President shall have power, in case of emergency, to call special meetings of the Council, and he shall at any time summon such a special meeting on receipt of a requisition signed by twelve members.

  7. At the Annual Meeting next after each Triennial Election a President, an Honorary Secretary, who shall also act as Treasurer, and an Honorary Librarian shall be chosen from among the members to serve for three years. In, the event of the President, Honorary Secretary or Honorary Librarian vacating office before the expiration of the three years, the ensuing meeting shall elect a member to fill the vacancy during the remainder of the period. The retiring President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Librarian shall be eligible for re-election at the expiration of their term of office. The President shall retire from the chair immediately his successor in office is elected, but the Honorary Secretary shall continue in office till the business of the meeting is concluded. All nominations for these offices shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary, signed by two members of the Council, not less than two calendar months previous to the meeting, and such nominations shall appear on the agenda paper. The next business after the election of the President and Honorary Secretary shall be the election of honorary members.

  8. The Council shall triennially appoint at its London Meeting two Auditors who shall audit the Annual Accounts of the Council and report to each Annual Meeting.

  9. The Council shall appoint a Standing Committee and shall have power to appoint Committees for any purpose for which it may appear desirable; and also, if the state of the funds permit, to allow the necessary expenses of holding the Committee Meetings. Each Committee shall appoint a convener and shall report annually to the Council. All reports, except that of the Standing Committee, shall be made in writing to the Honorary Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Such reports as have not previously been published or circulated shall be read at the meeting.

  10. All resolutions to be proposed shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary in writing, signed by two members of the Council, not less than two calendar months previous to the meeting, and shall be placed by him on the agenda, together with the names of the proposer and seconder of the resolution. But it shall be competent, on a vote of the majority of the meeting, for the Council to discuss a subject not upon the agenda paper, providing such subject does affect the Rules or Constitution of the Council.

  11. At the meetings of the Council the President shall take the chair, and in the event of his absence the members present shall elect a Chairman for that meeting. The Chairman shall have a casting vote. Twenty members shall form a quorum. Every new member, whether representative or honorary, shall, before taking his seat, be introduced by a member to the President, or, in the absence of the President, to the Chairman of the meeting.

  12. Each member shall have one vote.

  13. Full notice of the date, arrangements, and agenda for each meeting shall be advertised in the ringing papers approximately seven weeks previous to such meeting; but it shall not be incumbent on the Honorary Secretary to send notice to each member. The names of the members present and the business transacted at meeting shall be entered in the minute book and reported to the ringing papers. Copies of the resolutions passed by the Council shall be forwarded to the affiliated societies as soon as is convenient after the meeting.

  14. At each Annual Meeting the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer shall submit the audited statement of accounts for the previous year for adoption by the meeting.

  15. Alterations in the Rules of the Council shall be made only at the Annual Meetings, and every notice of a proposed alteration shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary, as laid down in Rule 10. All alterations in the Rules of the Council shall be passed by a majority of two-thirds of those present, and voting.

The Ringing World, April 7th, 1933, page 214



The number of peals rung during 1932 exceeds the total of 1931 by 120 peals. The following summary shows comparative figures:-



TOWER BELLS.- Peals of Maximus have increased by seven, being six more of Surprise and one of other methods; Cinques have increased by one; Royal have increased by 15, being wholly in Surprise methods; in Caters, Stedman have decreased by 14 and Grandsire increased by one. In Major methods there has been an increase of 58 in Surprise; London have increased by five, Bristol nine, Cambridge 18, Superlative seven, and other methods 19. Double Norwich have decreased by 10; Kent and Oxford Treble Bob have increased by 19, and Plain Bob by 17. Other methods have increased by four. Triples remain practically the same. Minor peals show an increase of 53, whilst Doubles have decreased by 30.

HANDBELLS.- There is a decrease of five in handbell peals. No peals of Maximus were rung. Cinques, Royal, Caters, Minor and Doubles have decreased, whilst Major and Triples have increased.

ASSOCIATIONS.- The Kent County Association and the Oxford Diocesan Guild have rung the greatest number of peals, viz., 146 each, a decrease of one for the former and an increase of 35 for the latter. The next highest number have been rung by the Lancashire Association with 142, followed by the Midland Counties with 141, the Essex Association with 118, the Yorkshire Association with 113, and the Suffolk Guild with 101. Twenty-eight societies show an increase, the most noticeable being the Midland Counties with 41, the Oxford Guild with 35 and the Essex Association with 21. Nineteen societies show a decrease, the greatest being the Bath and Wells Association with 21 less.

Progressive Lengths and new methods are as follows:-


5,760 (longest length) Original Major by the Hertford County Association at Bushey on December 15th.
5,728 (longest length) Forward Major by the Midland Counties Association at Ilkeston on July 27th.
16,271 (longest length) Grandsire Caters by the Oxford Diocesan Guild at Appleton on December 27th.


5,120 Spliced Surprise in four methods (first with London, Cambridge, Bristol and Rutland) by the Middlesex County Association on November 11th.
5,088 Spliced Surprise in seven methods (first in seven methods) by the Middlesex County Association on April 19th.
5,280 Spliced Surprise in eight methods (first in eight methods) by the Middlesex County Association on June 21st.
5,040 Spliced Grandsire and New Grandsire by the Chester Diocesan Guild at Eccleston on July 14th.


5,056 Ashtead Surprise Major by the Guildford Diocesan Guild on January 18th.
5,120 Primrose Surprise Major by the Lincoln Guild, April 23rd.
5,184 Shilton Major by the Midland Counties Association, April 9th.
5,120 Irthlingborough Surprise Major by the Peterborough Diocesan Guild, June 11th.
5,024 Edmundsbury Surprise Major by the Suffolk Guild, July 22nd.
5,024 Essex Surprise Major by the Suffolk Guild, September 17th.
5,088 Helmingham Surprise Major by the Suffolk Guild, November 3rd.
5,152 Beddington Surprise Major by the Surrey Association, July 7th.
5,152 Londonthorpe Surprise Major by the Surrey Association, June 16th.
5,024 Berkeley Surprise Major by the Sussex County Association, January 7th.
5,056 Warwickshire Surprise Major by the Warwickshire Guild, March 5th.
5,024 Whitbourne Surprise Major by the Worcester and Districts Association, May 28th.

The peal rung at Beddington on July 7th, published as ‘Beddington,’ is the same method as that published by the late Arthur Craven as ‘Lincoln.’

The outstanding performances of the year were the record length of Grandsire Caters at Appleton, by the Oxford Diocesan Guild, and the peal of Cambridge Surprise Maximus at Exeter, by the Devon Guild.

On handbells the first ‘silent’ peal of Kent Treble Bob Royal was rung by the Yorkshire Association, who also rang a non-conducted peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major.

The following are the number of peals rung during each month in 1932 and 1931:-



This year’s analysis of the footnotes shows a very considerable decrease in the number or ringers who have scored their first peal. The number is 430, a decrease of 182. The number who have rung their first peals in a new method, or method on a different number of bells is 1,546, an increase of 243 over 1931. Ringers of their first peal ‘inside’ number 67, away from the tenor 15, in the method ‘inside’ 67, Maximus 5, Royal 28, Caters 15, Major 103, Triples 40, Minor 85, Doubles 45, on twelve bells 19, on ten 52, on eight 39, on six 5, on five 4, Surprise 38, in hand 17, in method in hand 36. New conductors number 90, and conductors in new method 117.

Other footnotes show that 52 peals were the first on the bells, 44 since restoration or augmentation, and 228 the first in the method on the bells. Muffled and half-muffled peals number 127, birthday peals 330, royal birthdays 10, weddings (including golden and silver) 76, Church festivals and dedications 65, anniversaries 96, Armistice Day 22, welcome and farewell 64, Empire Day 8.

In conclusion, we give below the number of peals rung in each of representative years since 1881, the total for the whole period being 61,504:-

1917 (war year)130

The Ringing World, June 2nd, 1933, page 345



There was a record attendance of members at the annual meeting of the Central Council, held in London on Tuesday, the number present being 109. These included eleven out of the twelve honorary members, and 98 elected members, representing 40 out of the 51 societies affiliated to the Council. Out of the total roll of 141 members only 32 were absent. The meeting was probably also a record in length. It began at 11 a.m., and with only an hour and a quarter’s break for lunch went on to 6.15 p.m.

The Council were welcomed by the Worshipful Master of the Skinners’ Company, Mr. R. D. Poland, who was thanked by the president.

re-elected President.
Edwin Lewis

After the meeting had been opened with prayer by Canon Coleridge, Mr. E. H. Lewis was re-elected president, and Mr. G. W. Fletcher hon. secretary and treasurer.


The Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake was appointed hon. librarian to succeed the late Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn.

The following hon. members were re-elected: Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. J. S. Goldsmith, J. Griffin, C. F. Johnston, J. A. Trollope and E. A. Young. There were three vacancies, two of which had been caused by the death of Mr. H. W. Wilde and the resignation of Mr. E. W. Elwell.

It was decided to follow the usual practice and keep open one vacancy for emergencies. Mr. C. Dean, formerly a representative of the Surrey Association, and a member of the Peals Analysis Committee, was elected to one of the remaining vacancies, and for the other three names were proposed: Mr. J. George, Mr. W. H. J. Hooton and Mr. C. W. Roberts. On a ballot being taken, Mr. C. W. Roberts was elected.

This being a newly-elected Council there were a number of new members presented to the president.

Apologies for absence from the meeting were received from Rev. W. H. Ingham, Mr. T. Metcalfe, Mr. J. C. Pollard, Mr. J. R. Newton, Mr. S. T. Rackham, and Mr. R. Richardson and Mr. J. Phillips through illness.

Congratulations were extended to three members of the Council: Mr. William Storey (Newcastle), on his appointment as a Justice of the Peace; the president of the Yorkshire Association, who had been made a Canon of Ripon; and Mr. Stephen Wood on his recent marriage.

Death among members was referred to by the president. Those who had died during the year included the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Mr. E. Barnett, Mr. H. W. Wilde, Mr. T. Faulkner, Mr. F. Hopgood and C. Player. The following former members had also passed away: Messrs. A. E. Parsons, W. Walmsley, H. Haigh and E. P. O’Meara. The Council stood in silence as a tribute to their memory.


The Hon. Secretary presented a statement of the sale of publications, showing that £17 18s. 5d. had been received, and a balance of £7 3s. 1½d. had been handed over to the general fund.

The statement of the accounts of the Council showed receipts amounting to £110 17s. 6½d., including £61 11s. 11d. in hand at Whitsun, 1932, subscriptions, 1931-32, £4, 1932-33 £31, hon. members £2 2s. 6d., interest £5, sale of publications £7 3s. 1½d. The expenditure included £10 10s. to the Rev. C. D. P. Davies Memorial Fund, £13 16s. 1d. to the Stedman Fund, and other items amounting to £17 18s. 3½d., leaving a balance in hand of £67 12s. 2d. The Council’s investments include £50 3½ per cent. Conversion Stock, £50 4½ per cent. Consols, the present market value being £138 3s. 9d.

The trustees of the Carter ringing machine (Messrs. E. A. Young and A. A. Hughes) presented a report indicating that the machine was in excellent order. It was demonstrated to a large party of Council members on Monday at the Science Museum, South Kensington, and rang and recorded three courses of Grandsire Cinques.


Under a reference made to them last year the Standing Committee reported upon the constitution of the various committees of the Council. They recommended that in future the Standing Committee should consist of the officers of the Council and the conveners of committees (ex-officio), and twelve elected members, who should have power to co-opt not more than two additional members. They also recommended that the conveners of committees should in the first place be appointed by the Council.

The recommendations were adopted, and the retiring members re-elected.

A report from the Peal Collection Committee showed that the work of proving the remainder of the Collection of Treble Bob peals was proceeding slowly. The report of the committee appointed to draw up a pamphlet on ‘Variations’ indicated that the matter had been at a standstill during the year, owing chiefly to the death of Mr. H. W. Wilde. It was decided to amalgamate the two committees. Messrs. G. Lindoff (convener), G. R. Pye and C. W. Roberts were added to it, and the other members (Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Rev. E. S. Powell, Mrs. E. K. Fletcher and Mr. J. A. Trollope) were re-elected.


The new book on Triples Methods, it was reported by the Methods Committee, was nearing completion, and it was decided, on the recommendation of the committee, that in the case of compositions produced by the committee for the purposes of the book they should be printed under numbers and not under the authors’ names.

The committee, consisting of the Rev. E. S. Powell and Messrs. J. A. Trollope and S. H. Wood, were reappointed.

The reports of the Peals Analysis Committee and the Towers and Belfries Committee were adopted. The committees were reappointed, and Mr. James Hunt added to the latter.

The final report of the Stedman Tercentenary Commemoration showed that the Council have had to provide £13 16s. 1d. to complete the payment of the accounts. The full details showed that the cost of the memorial scheme had been £535 16s. 11d.

The Literature and Press Committee’s report was read by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and the committee reappointed with the exception of Mr. W. Willson, who has retired from the Council.

The proposed new rules of the Council, presented for adoption in a report of the Rules Committee, were agreed to without alteration.

It was reported that the pamphlet for beginners upon the proper way to handle a bell rope was ready for publication. The Council decided to issue it at 2d. per copy.


Mr. F. E. Dawe proposed the following motion:-

This was seconded by Mr. E. A. Young, and debated at some length.

Eventually the following amendment, proposed by Mr. C. F. Johnston, was accepted by the proposer and seconder of the original motion and agreed to:-

Mr. G. R. Newton had given notice of the following motion, which was seconded by Mr. Tomlinson:-

After discussion the motion was carried.


‘The Minor Controversy’ occupied the attention of the Council for something like two hours. The following motions were, for the sake of convenience, debated together:-

Proposed by Mr. S, H. Wood and seconded by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith:-

Proposed by Mr. C. T. Cole and seconded by Mr. E. M. Atkins:-

The following amendment to both proposals was moved by Mr. W. E. White, seconded by Mr. E. Denison Taylor:-

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards suggested as an amendment to Clause 4 that the first portion of Mr. Coles’ motion should read: ‘That any departure from the above standards is not encouraged; but that in view of the present experimental stage of development in composition any arrangement of 5,040 changes in an acknowledged method or methods may be recognised as a peal, provided …,’ etc.

This was unsupported, and on a vote being taken on the amendment proposed by Mr. White it was declared carried by 44 votes to 26. On being put as the substantive motion, there was again a majority in favour, but as under the old rules which governed this meeting it had to be carried ‘by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the meeting,’ the President, after the names had been taken, declared that it was lost. So that the position remains exactly as it stood before the meeting.

Wolverhampton and Warwick were proposed for the 1934 meeting, and Warwick was selected.


On the recommendation of the Standing Committee, the following grants were made: Five guineas to the Law James Memorial at Surfleet, ten guineas to the memorial to Sir Arthur Heywood at Duffield; three guineas to the memorial to Mr. H. W. Wilde, and three guineas to the memorial to Mr. E. Barnett.

Thanks to all concerned in the arrangements for the meeting and the social events connected with it brought a long session to a close.

The members and their friends were afterwards the guests at tea of the Middlesex County Association and London Diocesan Guild, and later there was a social at Anderton’s Hotel, the headquarters of the Council. There was great regret that, owing to illness, Mr. Rupert Richardson was prevented from presenting ‘famous ringers and others,’ on the screen, but there was an interesting incident towards the close of the evening when the president presented to Canon Coleridge a set of pipes and a tobacco pouch, as a slight token of their regard upon his having attended his 41st Council meeting. Canon Coleridge is the only member who has attended every meeting of the Council since its formation. There were in the room three others who were members of the first Council: Messrs. F. E. Dawe, G. B. Lucas and W. D. Smith.

On Monday and Tuesday various peals of bells in London were rung by members, including those of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Imperial Institute.

The committee who made the excellent social arrangements was representative of all the societies in and bordering on London.

The Ringing World, June 9th, 1933, pages 361 to 362



We begin with this issue a full report of the proceedings of the 41st annual meeting of the Central Council held at Skinners’ Hall, London, on Whitsun Tuesday.

The members present were:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: W. T. Cockerill, A. B. Peck and C. F. Winney.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: H. W. Brown, J. T. Dyke and J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: A. King and A. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild: E. M. Atkins and E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan Guild: J. Norbury and T. Wilde.
Devon Guild: T. Laver, E. W. Marsh and the Rev. E. S. Powell.
Durham and Newcastle Association: W. H. Barber and W. J. Davidson.
East Derbyshire and Notts Association: T. Clarke.
Ely Diocesan Association: The Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake and Miss K. Willers.
Essex Association: E. J. Butler, C. H. Howard, W. J. Nevard and G. R. Pye.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: J. Austin, E. Guise and W. Rose.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: G. L. Grover, A. C. Hazelden and A. H. Pulling.
Hertford County Association: W. Ayre.
Kent County Association: J. H. Cheesman, T. Groombridge, F. M. Mitchell and T. E. Sone.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher and Mrs. R. Richardson.
Lancashire Association: The Rev. Canon H. J. Elsee, W. H. Shuker and A. Tomlinson.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: G. Chester and the Rev. Canon H. T. Parry.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: D. G. Clift and J. W. Jones.
London County Association: A. D. Barker, F. E. Dawe and T. H. Taffender.
Middlesex County Association: C. T. Coles, G. W. Fletcher, W. H. Hollier and W. Pickworth.
Midland Counties Association: E. C. Gobey, J. H. Swinfield, E. Denison Taylor and W. E. White.
Norwich Diocesan Association: A. L. Coleman and F. Nolan Golden.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: The Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, R. T. Hibbert and A. E. Lock.
Oxford Society: W. Collett.
Oxford University Society: H. Miles.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: H. Baxter, R. G. Black, T. Tebbutt and F. Wilford.
Romney Marsh and District Guild: P. Page.
St. Clement Youths: G. Cross.
St. Martin’s Guild: A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, S. Hillier, C. H. Jennings and F. W. Romaine.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: J. Parker and F. Smith.
Sherwood Youths: A. Coppock.
Stafford Archdeaconry Guild: T. J. Elton and H. Knight.
Suffolk Guild: The Rev. H. Drake, C. J. Sedgeley and S. H. Symonds.
Surrey Association: D. Cooper and C. H. Kippin.
Sussex County Association: J. T. Rickman.
Warwickshire Guild: F. W. Perrens and J. H. W. White.
Winchester and Portsmouth Guild: H. Barton, G. Pullinger, F. W. Rogers and G. Williams.
Worcester and Districts Association: H. G. Bird, R. G. Knowles and J. D. Johnson.
Yorkshire Association: J. Cotterell, P. J. Johnson, the Rev. Canon C. C. Marshall and S. F. Palmer.
Honorary members: W. A. Cave, C. Dean, J. S. Goldsmith, J. Griffin, Major J. H. B. Hesse, A. A. Hughes, C. F. Johnston, Alderman J. S. Pritchett, J. A. Trollope, A. Walker, S. H. Wood and E. Alex Young.

The societies unrepresented were Barnsley and District Guild, Cleveland and North Yorkshire Association, Dudley and District Guild, Hereford Diocesan Guild, Irish Association, North Notts Association, North Staffs Association, Scottish Association, Shropshire Association, Swansea and Brecon Guild, Truro Diocesan Guild.


The Worshipful Master of the Skinners’ Company (Mr. R. D. Poland) welcomed the members at the outset of the proceedings. He said he understood the Council rang the changes from year to year, and chose on each occasion a fresh venue for their meeting. He only hoped that the setting they had chosen this year would be conducive to their deliberations. He most heartily welcomed them to Skinners’ Hall.

The President (Mr. E. H. Lewis) thanked the Worshipful Master for his great kindness in allowing the Council the use of the hall and for coming there to welcome them. Change ringing, continued the President, was steeped in tradition. It went back nearly 300 years. They were very keen on everything that belonged to the past; on maintaining traditions, and, as far as they could, handing them on unsullied. For that reason they liked to go to some building that had tradition and that reminded them of a glorious past and encouraged them to hand on their traditions to the future as the Skinners’ Company were handing on theirs (applause).


Canon Coleridge then opened the business meeting with prayer, after which the hon. secretary reported that the present Council was composed of 128 members, representing 51 associations, and 12 honorary members - total 140. The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild had increased its representation from two to four members and the Truro Diocesan Guild, which last year increased its representation to four members, had this year reverted to one. The figures which he had given, said Mr. Fletcher, did not include the North Wales Association, which had not so far paid the subscription for the year. All other subscriptions had been paid.


Canon Coleridge proposed the re-election of Mr. E. H. Lewis as president of the Council for the ensuing three years. The Council had been very much blessed during the last three years, he said, in having Mr. Lewis at its head. He referred to Mr. Lewis’ valuable service in giving technical advice in connection with bell restorations and to the admirable manner in which he had conducted the business of the Council. They had in their president not a mere figurehead, but a man who knew everything that ought to be known about the Exercise and those who formed the Exercise (applause).

Mr. Lewis re-election was agreed to with acclamation, and, in acknowledging the Council’s cordial reception of the motion, the President said he sometimes felt he did not serve them quite as he should, partly because of other calls upon his time, but as far as he was able he would do his best during the next three years. At the same time, he thanked the Council for their co-operation, because unless they all co-operated and worked together, the Council would not function.

The President went on to propose the re-election of Mr. G. W. Fletcher as hon. secretary and treasurer. They had, he said, been extremely well served since Mr. Fletcher took up the duties, and the results of his efficiency would become even more noticeable as time went on and Mr. Fletcher picked up more of the threads. He (the president) possibly saw more of what went on behind the scenes than most of the members, and he could say that the work which Mr. Fletcher put in was colossal and the excellence of that work was very noticeable.- Mr. W. T. Cockerill seconded the motion which was carried with applause.


The President said they had to elect an honorary librarian in the place of the late Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn. The Standing Committee had given a great deal of thought to the question, and recommended the name of the Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake who was willing to accept the position. He did not think the Council could do better than elect him. He was, from the Council’s point of view, fortunately placed in the country, with a residence large enough to house their literature.

The election was approved with applause.


The election of honorary members was the next business. Those retiring were Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. J. S. Goldsmith, J. Griffin, C. F. Johnston, J. A. Trollope and E. A. Young.

The President said they had lost by death Mr. H. W. Wilde and Mr. E. W. Elwell had resigned, owing to having accepted an appointment in America. There was one other place left vacant. The Standing Committee recommended the election of the seven retiring members and also recommended the election of Mr. C. Dean, who was a very useful member of the Analysis Committee, and who was now no longer a representative of the Surrey Association. The committee would like to retain his services.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed the re-election of the seven retiring members and the election of Mr. C. Dean.- Mr. C. T. Coles seconded and the motion was carried.

Mr. James Hunt proposed that the name of Mr. James George be added to the list. Mr. Hunt said he presumed Mr. George was not re-elected last year because of his unfortunate connection with the tablet recording the false peal at Painswick. He understood Mr. George had nothing whatever to do with the tablet and that it was put up against his wish.- The Rev. H. Drake seconded.

Mr. C. J. Sedgley proposed Mr. C. W. Roberts as an honorary member. Mr. Roberts was a young man of great experience in Composition, and, if elected, would be a very useful member of the Council.- Mr. H. Knight seconded.

The Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake proposed the name of Mr. W. H. J. Hooton, who, he said, was, as most of them knew, a young and very enthusiastic ringer and fine conductor, and a keen worker in everything connected with the Exercise.- Mr. J. A. Trollope seconded.

The President asked the Council to vote on whether they desired to keep open one place among the hon. members in case of emergency. This was agreed to nem con.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards supported the election of Mr. George, who, he said, had taken very much to heart the fact that he was not re-elected last year. He was a great ringer and, in his 80th year, not only rang a peal about once a week, but spent a large part of his time in training beginners. It would be an unworthy act on the part of the Council to allow his declining days to be clouded by the sorrow of his severance from the Council. In 20 years’ time, if events were reviewed by an impartial critic, it would stand as a black mark against the history of the Council if they allowed such a cloud to fall over the life of such a remarkable ringer. On more than one occasion he had heard from Mr. George’s lips that he protested against any tablet being put up to that ill-starred peal.

Alderman J. S. Pritchett also supported Mr. George’s election. Mr. George greatly regretted the Painswick incident, and to him exclusion from the Council had been a great sorrow. He (the speaker) urged that Mr. George should be restored to the position he greatly prized.

Mr. P. J. Johnson asked if the qualification for honorary membership of the Council was to be a man’s individual ringing performances? What they ought to keep in mind was the service which a man could render to the Exercise as an honorary member. In the natural course of things it was inevitable that they must all get older, but if they were to adopt the principle that a man, once elected, had an inalienable right to being an honorary member, he did not know where some of the youngsters were going to be - it did not give them much of a chance.

Mr. C. T. Coles said he was sorry to contradict what had been said about Mr. George protesting against the Painswick tablet. He (Mr. Coles) had had it from Mr. George himself and from members of the Painswick band that he wished the peal board to be placed there. There was only one thing that would cause him to support Mr. George’s election, and that was if he could really believe he regretted his action. Personally, he could not help feeling rather doubtful about it. Honorary members of the Council, said Mr. Coles, were elected, not for the number of peals they had rung, but for the services they had or could render to the Exercise. During his previous term of office Mr. George did nothing for the Council. He (Mr. Coles) was sorry to have to speak like this, but it required somebody to make a protest.

Canon Elsee said whether Mr. George had done any great service to the Council as such, or not, he had done a good deal of service to the cause of ringing, not merely by his own prowess as a bellringer, but in training and encouraging young ringers. He would be glad if the Council saw fit to re-elect him as an hon. member.

The three names were submitted to ballot, and the President, later, announced the result as follows: Mr. Roberts 40 votes, Mr. George 30, Mr. Hooton 26. Mr. Roberts was, therefore, declared elected.

While the votes were being counted, new members of the Council were presented to the President, who afterwards extended congratulations to Mr. W. Storey, an old member, upon having been made a Justice of the Peace. He also congratulated Canon Marshall, president of the Yorkshire Association, upon having recently been made a canon, and Mr. Stephen Wood, one of their members, who recently got married (applause). To those three the Council offered their congratulations and best wishes.


The President next mentioned the losses sustained by the Council through death. Most of all, he said, they missed the cheery face of their late honorary librarian, the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn. He need not go into his life story - that had been published, but Mr. Jenkyn was a member of the Council from 1906. He was present at 24 meetings and only missed one when he was serving his country in France. He had been honorary librarian since the post was inaugurated in 1913; a member of the Towers and Belfries Committee since 1922, a member of the Standing Committee and a member of the Stedman Commemoration Committee; he also acted as treasurer of that fund. They missed Mr. Jenkyn in many ways. He was not only a ‘ringing parson,’ but they might call him a ‘ringers’ parson’ (hear, hear). He regarded ringers as his parish and really did pastoral work among the ringers, particularly in his own diocese, and for upwards of 20 years his influence in that direction was very great indeed. One thing that struck them most about his ringing, and it was the one point they might dwell upon and keep fresh in their memory, was that whatever ringing he undertook it must be of the best. Mr. Jenkyn was a great lover of Stedman on all numbers. He liked twelve-bell ringing, but he was equally happy raising and falling five bells in peal, or even ringing call changes, provided that raising and falling, or ringing of call changes, was the best possible of its kind. That, said the President, was an ideal which they should all keep before them and try and keep his memory green in that respect. Mr. Jenkyn was a keen change ringer, but he was more keen on good ringing than he was on change ringing. In other words, be preferred well-struck rounds or call changes to bad change ringing. That was an example for them all to follow, while at the same time they all hoped to ring changes and ring them as well as they rang call changes. That was just one side of Mr. Jenkyn’s life which he (the president) thought worthy of mention, especially as that side of ringing had been before them in recent years. They could only rejoice in the way Mr. Jenkyn left them. It was exactly the thing he would have wished. For themselves they were sorry; they could not be sorry for him. They would find it very difficult to fill the various gaps he had left.


Continuing the President said they had also lost Mr. E. Barnett, of the Kent County Association, who had been a member of the Council since 1903. He had been present at 26 meetings and absent from only two. Mr. Barnett was not a leader in debate; in fact, his voice was seldom publicly heard at Council meetings, but for all that he did very good work on the Council, because it was not only at the formal meetings that the work of the Council was done. A great deal of good accrued from informal discussions which took place before and after the formal meetings. Mr. Barnett took his share in that side of the work, and he took back to his adopted county of Kent a good influence which had possibly been strengthened by contact with members at their Council meetings. He had a wonderful influence in his particular sphere; he was keen on good striking and on method ringing provided good striking was maintained with it.

They had lost Mr. H. W. Wilde, a member since 1912, who had been present at 12 meetings and absent from seven. Being an honorary member, he didn’t always find it easy to travel to the more distant meetings. He had been a member of the Peal Collection Committee and was convener of the Variations Committee at the time of his death. He had done a great deal of quiet work on the question of composition of all sorts of methods. He was extremely careful, and he (the president) did not think he ever knew Mr. Wilde publish a composition which was afterwards found out to be false.

Mr. Thomas Faulkner, whose death they also regretted, represented the Ancient Society of College Youths since 1912. He was present at 14 meetings and absent from only five. He, again, did much good work as a member of the Council.

They had also lost Mr. Frank Hopgood, of the Oxford Diocesan Guild, a member of the Council since 1900, who had been present at 27 meetings and absent only from four. He was another of those quiet men who, while not taking much part in public debate, learned much from private discussion and took it back and spread it in the diocese of Oxford.

In addition to members of the Council, death had removed some former members, including Mr. A. E. Parsons, of the Worcestershire and Districts Association, a member from 1915 to 1923; Mr. W. Walmsley of the Chester Diocesan Guild, a member from 1893 to 1899; Mr. C. Player, of Romney Marsh Guild, who was elected a member but unfortunately, died before he was able to attend a meeting. Last year they omitted to mention the death of Mr. H. Haigh, of the North Notts Association, a member of the Council from 1903 to 1928, who had done much good work in that rather isolated district. Last on the list was Mr. E. P. O’Meara, a member from 1897 to 1902 and from 1906 to 1908.

In memory of all these, the President asked the members to stand in silence.

(To be continued.)


Visitors for the Council meeting began to arrive in London on Saturday, and quite a good gathering turned up at headquarters (Anderton’s Hotel, Fleet Street) the same evening. On Sunday service ringing at various towers was well attended.

On Monday an enjoyable morning was spent at Westminster Abbey. About 34 visitors were present and were welcomed on behalf of the Dean and Chapter by the Rev. Dr. Perkins, superintendent of the belfry. Time for ringing was limited, and a short touch each of Grandsire, Stedman and Double Norwich was rung, as well as a course of Cambridge Surprise.

After the ringing the visitors were received in the Jerusalem Chamber by the Dean, the Very Rev. Dr. Foxley Norris, who gave a brief account of this historical room, panelled with cedar, said to have been brought from Lebanon. It was here that Henry IV. was brought to die, while the traditional story which credits Henry V. with putting on his father’s crown before his death is connected with this room.

A very enjoyable morning was thus filled in.

In the afternoon a large party saw the Carter ringing machine demonstrated at the Science Museum, South Kensington, and then climbed to the belfry at the Imperial Institute, where the heavy ring of ten bells were rung for an hour.

There was an informal social at headquarters later in the evening.

After the Council meeting, the members and their friends were entertained to a sumptuous tea by the Middlesex County Association, the party, numbering nearly 150, being presided over by the Rev. W. P. Cole Sheane (president of the association), supported by the officials of the Council and the officers of the association. Subsequently ringing took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and this was followed by a social at which songs and glees were sung by the St. Clement’s Quartette.


Late in the evening, Canon Coleridge, who arrived from a Masonic gathering, was greeted with musical honours, and the President of the Council presented to him a set of pipes and a tobacco pouch. Mr. Lewis said this was a little present from the whole of the members of the Council to show their appreciation of the fact that Canon Coleridge had attended his 41st consecutive Council meeting. He was the only member who had attended every meeting since the Council was founded.

Canon Coleridge, in acknowledging the gift, said it was perfectly true that he had not missed a single Council meeting wherever it had been held. He felt three years ago that he ought to give up being their president, and he was thankful he did so, because he did not know where the Council would have been but for having Mr. Lewis at its head. They were very fortunate in their present choice of president, and he hoped all of them would enjoy good health and good ringing for many years to come.

The Ringing World, June 16th, 1933, pages 377 to 379


(Continued from page 379.)


Arising out of the minutes of the last meeting, it was stated that the Council had had correspondence over the bells of St. Andrew’s, Wells Street, London, and the final result was that the church was going to be rebuilt in the new district of Kingsbury and the bells were to be hung in the new tower when erected (applause).

The minutes were adopted.

The next business was the ‘report of the hon. librarian.’ The President said the Standing Committee recommended that a financial report only be presented to the Council. It had not yet been possible to go through all the various papers which had come on from Mrs. Jenkyn.

The hon. secretary stated that the receipts from the sale of publications was £17 18s. 5d. The number of publications sold was 354, chief among them being 58 copies of the Collection of Doubles and Minor and 125 method sheets. The expenses, including advertising, had been £10 15s. 3d., leaving a balance on the sale account of £7 3s. 1½d. There were 3,790 copies of publications in hand of a nominal value of round about £195.

Mr. J. A. Trollope pointed out that copies of recent publications by the Council did not appear to have been sent to the Library of the British Museum and other great national libraries. They ought to do this, not only to preserve their copyright, but in order that the books might be preserved for those who in the future might desire to do research work and might want to consult them.

The report was adopted, and it was decided to send copies of the publications to the British Museum, the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the library at Trinity College, Dublin.


The hon. secretary and treasurer presented the statement of the Council’s accounts, which had been audited by Messrs. A. A. Hughes and W. A. Cave. The balance at Whitsun of 1932 was £61 11s. 11d. The receipts were: Subscriptions, 1931-32 £4, 1932-33 £31; hon. members, £2 2s. 6d.; interest on 3½ per cent. Conversion Stock, £2 9s. 8d.; on 4 per cent. Consols, £2 10s. 4d.; balance of sale of publications, £7 3s. 1½d. The expenses included £10 10s. to the Davies Memorial and £13 16s. 1d. the balance of the Stedman Tercentenary Commemoration account. Other items amounted to £18 19s. 3½., leaving a balance at Whitsun, 1933, of £67 12s. 2d. The Council has investments of £50 3½ Conversion Stock and £50 4 per cent. Consols of a present market value of £138 3s. 9d. The hon. secretary pointed out that the subscriptions of the London County Association and the North Notts Association were received too late to be included in the balance sheet. Subscriptions to the Council were due on January 1st, but he received only two in January. The others were received as follows: February, five; March, nine; April, nine; May fifteen; and the rest on June 1st and 2nd.

The balance sheet was adopted on the motion of Mr. Hughes, seconded by Mr. Cave.


Mr. E. A. Young reported for the trustees of the Carter ringing machine that it was carefully inspected and was operated on May 27th by the demonstrators, Messrs. Fardon and Sharman. It then rang several small efforts and a course of Grandsire Cinques. The machine was in better order than when they reported a year ago. On the previous day the machine was again demonstrated as part of the entertainment of the visitors. Fifty or more attended and once more the machine was set working and rang two or three times a course of Grandsire Cinques, and everyone seemed pleased with what they heard and saw.

Mr. A. Walker, who said he was present on the previous afternoon when the machine was demonstrated, congratulated the trustees and those associated with the machine for the improvement made in it. It was now practically perfect in striking. He had known the machine for about 20 years, and the preceding day was the first time he had heard it strike perfectly. It was now in a condition such as John Carter would have wished them to have it (hear, hear).

The trustees’ report was adopted, and the usual fee of a guinea was voted to the demonstrators.


The Standing Committee reported that it had considered the question of its constitution, and recommended that it consist of: (1) The president, hon. secretary and treasurer, hon. librarian and the conveners of committees ex-officio; (2) twelve elected members (chosen by ballot if more than 12 names are proposed); the committee shall have power, in the event of the services of any other member of the Council being considered by them desirable, to co-opt not more than two members. The twelve retiring members to be the first names to be proposed.

With regard to the other committees, the Standing Committee recommended that the Council should appoint the conveners in the first instance, but changes may be made at any time by the committees.

The retiring elective members were the Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, the Rev. Canon H. J. Elsee, Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, W. A. Cave, C. T. Coles, J. Griffin, A. A. Hughes, C. F. Johnston, J. D. Matthews, A. Paddon Smith and E. Alex Young.

Canon Elsee proposed and Mrs. E. K. Fletcher seconded the adoption of the report.

Mr. W. T. Cockerill said as he had been unable to attend any of the country meetings for many years, it was fair to the Council that he should resign from the Standing Committee. There were other members who could attend, and he, therefore, tendered his resignation in order that somebody should be elected who could regularly attend the meetings.

The President said the Council would have heard Mr. Cockerill’s statement, with a good deal of regret, and he thought they would like to keep Mr. Cockerill’s name on the committee for another three years at any rate. The committee would like to have Mr. Cockerill’s services. It was quite possible there might be meetings called in between Whitsuntides, and in that case those meetings would almost certainly be held in London, and Mr. Cockerill might be very useful.

The report was adopted and the retiring members of the committee re-elected.


For the Peal Collection Committee the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson reported by letter that, as he explained last year, the single-handed charge of his parish and various diocesan work, including the secretaryship of the Hereford Diocesan Guild, made it practically impossible for him to settle down to any outside work, and he would be grateful if the Council would appoint another convener of this committee.

The retiring members of the committee were the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, the Rev. E. S. Powell, Mrs. Fletcher and Mr. J. A. Trollope.

The President said the Standing Committee proposed the re-election of the committee, with the addition of Mr. G. R. Pye and Mr. G. Lindoff, and that Mr. Lindoff be asked to act as convener.

The Rev. E. S. Powell said he was elected on to this committee at the Salisbury meeting, eight or ten years ago. He believed he had done some work for the committee before he was a member of it, but since he had been a member of the committee he had done no work whatever for it, and he had had no official communication from the committee. He suggested he should be taken off the committee. To put him on was simply a farce. If he could be of any use it would be another matter.

The President suggested that Mr. Powell’s name should be left on until he had tried twelve months with the new convener. A lot of the trouble was that some conveners did not convene, and it was for that reason the Standing Committee had proposed that the Council should appoint the conveners.

The committee, as proposed by the Standing Committee, was elected.


The Methods Committee reported progress. Mr. J. A. Trollope called attention to the proposed addition to the definition of a plain lead, reported in the minutes of the last meeting, which the Council was asked to consider and vote on. He formally moved that the words be added to the statement under the Council’s ‘definition of a method.’

This states that ‘Methods are formed from principles in two ways,’ and explains the two lines of development. The committee suggested the addition of ‘an illustration of this statement is to be found in the Little and Alliance methods which have come into prominence of late years. In appearance their form places them outside the definition of Plain and Bob leads, but, properly speaking, they are in logical succession of such methods as Bob Major. Thus a Little method is one which follows the rule, except in so far as this is qualified by the restriction of the hunt to fewer places than the number of bells employed; an Alliance method is one in which the hunt has a composite path, comprising portions of more than one principle.’

The Rev. E. S. Powell seconded the motion, which was carried.


The Rev. E. S. Powell said progress on the book on Triples methods, which the committee were last year authorised to complete and send to the Standing Committee for publication, had not, for various circumstances, been as fast as they had hoped it would be, but that was not for the first time in the history of the Methods Committee (laughter). Except, however, for a few small items - the writing of the introduction and a couple of quarter-peals which had to be composed, the book was almost ready for typing and getting into final shape. The methods included were, of course, Stedman and Erin and all Triples methods with two hunts symmetrical about the leads, but none that were unsymmetrical. Of methods with one hunt they only proposed to publish eight out of nineteen which run to the natural six leads. They were not publishing methods which had adjacent places or any unsymmetrical methods such as methods which would run only to three leads. Three-lead course peals of Grandsire Triples could be described as a peal in a method in which the plain courses consisted of the three bob leads. With regard to compositions, they were printing about eight quarter-peals and six peals of Stedman and several shorter touches; Erin, two quarter-peals and three peals; Grandsire and Reverse Grandsire, about twelve quarter-peals and ten-peals. Contrary to what they proposed last year, they had decided that Holt’s Ten Part ought to go in; not that it was likely to be rung to any very great extent, but because it was composed for Grandsire and it had got to be used as the foundation of peals, in other methods in which the common single could not be used. In Double Grandsire they proposed to include one quarter and two or three peals; and in methods with one hunt, one quarter and two or three peals of each.


Out of this there arose another question, said Mr. Powell, on which the committee not only wished to make a report, but desired, if possible, to set up a precedent. Most people recognised nowadays that real originality, in the sense in which it was regarded 50 or 60 years ago, did not exist in compositions of peals, say, of Major in any method and of ordinary length. Probably, also, in the case of Triples it was very unlikely that any really completely new composition, in the sense that Parker’s twelve-part was new, was likely to be obtained in the future. For the purposes of this book the committee had had to produce compositions for the various methods, and they had had assistance from outside. That assistance they felt should be recognised, and recognised publicly by the Council, by putting the names of the composers at the foot. Some of these peals were composed 35 or 40 years ago; in days when there was a good deal of originality in composition. But there were several compositions specially composed for the book. With the Council’s permission they were proposing to establish what amounted to a precedent, and it was a precedent that did not just consist of the publishing of this book. There had grown up in recent years the expectation, if not the demand, that any peal published in ‘The Ringing World’ should bear the name of the composer. The only ground for that demand was as to the proof of the composition. All, or nearly all the associations, now took steps to ensure that, where a composition was new or had not been published before, the figures should be open to them before they accepted the peal for publication in their reports, and he thought that would get over the whole difficulty. At any rate, the Methods Committee suggested that the Council should permit them, to publish their compositions without any name, and if, as was probable, any of them were rung afterwards, they hoped the compositions would be referred to by the number that was given to them in the book. If the truth of their work was challenged, the figures would be there for any composer to test. This was a gesture on the part of the committee; it was one that others might be glad to follow. He had himself been at times in difficulties. When he wanted to call a local peal of Grandsire Cinques at Exeter Cathedral he had not got a large number of compositions available. He wanted something simpler than any he saw, and he put together a peal which stood as composed by him. He had since been called over the coals by a gentleman who suggested it was a composition by Mr. Hattersley. It was no more similar to that peal than it was similar to a great many others. They had to put it under some name and he had to put this peal down to himself. On what was a rather historic occasion he did not feel he could establish a new precedent and say, ‘Here is a peal composed by nobody,’ for the first peal rung on the twelve bells rung at Exeter by a band resident in the diocese. He moved that the book, as soon as completed, should be sent on to the Standing Committee with the condition he had put before the Council.

Mr. Trollope seconded.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith asked that the Council might be assured that the compositions, already recognised under the names of well-known composers, such as Holt and Parker, should continue to have the authors’ names attached.

The Rev. E. S. Powell gave this assurance, and said that the composers’ names would also be added to those peals which outside persons had contributed to the book. For instance, Mr. A. J. Pitman had specially composed peals for this book, and it would certainly be most improper to publish them without attaching his name to them. The only compositions which would have no names would be those which had been produced by one or other members of the Methods Committee.

The recommendations of the committee were adopted, and, on the motion of Mr. S. F. Palmer, seconded by the Rev. H. Drake, the committee, consisting of Mr. J. A. Trollope (convener), the Rev. E. S. Powell and Mr. S. H. Wood, was reappointed.


When the report of the ‘Variations’ Committee was reached, the President said the position was rather difficult. The committee was appointed to deal particularly with the question Mr. Newton raised at the Liverpool meeting, and it was suggested that a short pamphlet should be got out explaining exactly what was meant by variations. The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson was appointed convener, but at the end of the first year he said he was unable to tackle the work and proposed that Mr. H. W. Wilde be made convener. Mr. Wilde died last October and the committee had been left with only Mr. Richardson and Mrs. Fletcher, the latter’s part being mainly the labour of typing. They had, therefore, come to a deadlock, and the Standing Committee recommended that this committee be amalgamated with the Peals Collection Committee (of which Mr. Lindoff was now appointed convener), with the addition of Mr. G. R. Newton to assist especially in this particular work.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith moved the necessary resolution to amalgamate the two committees. He pointed out that the remaining members of the Variations Committee, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mrs. Fletcher, were also members of the Peals Collection Committee, and as there was considerable relation in the work of the two committees, it would be an advantage to amalgamate them. He also moved the addition to the committee of Mr. G. R. Newton and of Mr. C. W. Roberts, one of the most versatile of the young composers, who had that day been elected an honorary member of the Council.

Mr. W. A. Cave seconded and the motion was carried.


Mrs. Fletcher moved the adoption of the Peals Analysis Committee’s report, which was published in ‘The Ringing World’ of May 26th and June 2nd.

Alderman J. S. Pritchett seconded.

Mr. P. J. Johnson called attention to a paragraph in the report referring to ‘the first “silent” peal of Kent Treble Bob Royal (on handbells), rung by the Yorkshire Association, who also rang a non-conducted peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major.’ The Double Norwich, he said, was both silent and non-conducted, and the association would like it noted. They held that a non-conducted peal had no virtue at all if it were not ‘silent.’

The President said the Analysis Committee would be prepared to alter their report to fit in with the wishes expressed by Mr. Johnson, but unless a peal was silent it could not be non-conducted.

A member: Cannot someone put a trip right?

The President: That would be conducting. I may be old-fashioned, but I never dreamt that any peal would be published as ‘silent’ or ‘non-conducted’ if one single word was spoken or sign made (hear, hear). Any other interpretation is unthinkable to my mind.

Mr. Johnson: You can easily get over it by saying it was ‘silent and non-conducted.’

Mr. C. T. Coles said a recent peal of Cambridge Surprise Maximus at Birmingham was described, ‘No bobs were called throughout this peal.’ There were about two words spoken in the peal, otherwise it would have been ‘non-conducted.’ He considered it was the correct way to describe such a peal, ‘no bobs were called.’

The President: I was struck with the honesty of the people who sent in the report.

Mr. A. Walker said it was intended that it should be a silent peal. Only two words were spoken, and as regards the bob bells there was no mistake, but he sent in the report to ‘The Ringing World’ with the footnote that ‘no bobs were called.’

Mr. Johnson said the silent and non-conducted Double Norwich was a peal to be proud of, and they felt it was something about which the Council should draw a definite line. It was what they in Yorkshire held ought to be the definition of such a peal.

The President: That, I think, is what is generally accepted.

Mr. R. T. Hibbert said that bob calling was not necessarily conducting. A man might call every bob in the right place, but not be capable of getting the bells out of a muddle.

The report, with the necessary amendment, was adopted, and the committee re-elected as follows: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher (convener), Mr. G. R. Pye, Mr. G. L. Grover and Mr. C. Dean.

The Ringing World, June 23rd, 1933, pages 393 to 394


The following report of the Towers and Belfries Committee was submitted by the President, the acting convener: During the year this committee has lost its convener by the death of the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn. In his position as Master of the Oxford Diocesan Guild he was consulted in many cases of restoration in that diocese, and was always ready to give sound and practical advice to the local authorities. The committee has held no meetings because until late in the year no questions of principle had arisen in the various towers where the help of individual members was sought. The three remaining members of the committee gave evidence in at least 17 instances, in most cases after visiting the towers, in the remainder by correspondence. Recently two matters of principle have been raised and it is desirable that the committee should consider them at an early date. A case has been reported where a bell has been completely broken in two by being rung with Ellacombe hammers in gear. Several other bells have been reported as chipped from the same cause. Until the question has been further considered, the committee would like to call attention to the need of an official being appointed who shall be responsible for seeing that Ellacombe hammers are left out of gear, in every tower where they are fitted. The other cause of damage which has been reported was due to the method sometimes employed of lowering bells out of a tower by means of tackle attached to the cast-in clapper staple, about which the committee wish to make further inquiry.

The President added that the Boston job had been completed practically as the committee recommended it should be done, and anyone who had rung there would agree it was quite successful. The Newbury restoration had rather tragic memories. It was one of the cases which he examined and recommended the addition of two new bells which would reduce, rather than increase, the motion of the tower. As they knew, the bells were put in and the effect on the tower was as predicted. It was after going to hear these new bells that Mr. Jenkyn suddenly passed away. There had been a case brought to their notice within the last fortnight where the question of deadening the sound of the bells had been held up for years because the local architect, who carried much weight with the clergy and churchwardens, said that if they closed the windows and confined the sound to the tower, it would disintegrate the walls of the belfry and soon damage the tower itself. He (the president) wrote back and pointed out, as politely as he could, that that was absolute bunkum (hear, hear, and laughter). They could block up the windows to within 3ft. of the top, and, if that was not enough, they could block them up altogether and open a hole in the roof. He believed the architect had now been outvoted by the parochial committee.


Major J. H. B. Hesse (a member of the committee) referred to the case that had recently occurred of a bell being broken completely off through an Ellacombe hammer being left in gear. He wondered whether they, as a committee, with the help of the bellfounders, could ask people not to have chiming hammers put in. This case was in Somerset, where there was a complete family of Bilbie bells, all good. The history of those bells was now broken. They could get a new bell just as good, but it was not the same thing. His own grandfather was Rector at this church for 40 years, and arrangements had been made to have the bell recast. This case proved more than ever the necessity of instructing towerkeepers to see that all hammers were out of gear. He believed the late Mr. J. W. Taylor used to prefer to see bells clocked, if they were clocked properly. The chiming apparatus in this church would not go back, and they would swing-chime two bells if they could not get enough ringers. There was another case, said Major Hesse, in which a bell had been broken by being lowered out of a steeple by the crown staple. The bell was upside down and got a cross strain on the staple, which cracked the crown. He thought they might ask the bellfounders to watch this matter in future and see what they could do to stop it.

Mr. E. A. Young (also a member of the committee) said they must not stultify themselves over the question of ‘clocking,’ but there were other ways of chiming than by hammers. It was important that they should see if they could do something to prevent such a thing occurring again. Mr. Young added that he had inspected in two cases in Bedfordshire. In one case he was able to save a rather good oak frame, as far as the material was concerned, by recommending that it be turned upside down. The bells, which used to run anti-clockwise, now run clockwise.

Mr. C. F. Johnston said it was sometimes difficult to fit Ellacombe chiming hammers. There were many places where a parson wanted the bells rung on Sundays, but wanted the bells chimed in the week, and it sometimes took a little thinking out to evolve something which was nearly fool-proof. Meanwhile, he thought the bell founders might collaborate to provide a clearer notice of warning in the tower to the effect that the hammers must be removed before the bells were swung. There were some machines where the hammers could be easily detached and some which were not so easy. Mr. Johnston said with regard to the accident in lowering a bell from the steeple that the person responsible ought to be speedily retired from the bellhanging fraternity. Proceeding, he said he would like to express appreciation, as one who had had contact with the committee, of the helpfulness of the committee. On at least two occasions during the last four months they had been most useful. Mr. Lewis had been able to bridge the gulf between the bellfounder and the architect.

Canon Coleridge emphasised the need for care in regard to chiming apparatus, and instanced a case of many years ago where, after the apparatus had been put in, the new cords shrank in wet weather to such an extent that the hammers, although supposed to be out of gear, were against the bells.


Canon Elsee said Ellacombe hammers had saved a great number of bells from being cracked, whereas clocking had certainly been responsible for damage to a great many. As far as he knew, the actual number of cases of damage done by Ellacombe hammers was very small. Lovers of bells had a good deal of cause to be thankful to Canon Ellacombe for his invention, and, on the whole, they were as good a system for chiming as could be found.

The Rev. E. S. Powell suggested that the hammers should be fixed, as clock hammers were, to strike on the outside of the bell and be so arranged that they struck on the side contrary to the way in which the bell swung. It was, he believed, Canon Ellacombe himself who, at Clyst St. George, fitted the clock hammer on to the tenor so that the hammer never need be pulled off. They could raise the tenor without it touching the clock hammer at all.

Mr. Johnston said this might be possible, although it might take a little thinking out. It was a matter of leverages and might increase the work of the chimer considerably.

Mr. E. A. Young asked what happened when the bells were rung.

The Rev. E. S. Powell said he had never been into the bell chamber to see what happened to the hammer when the bells were rung.

Major J. H. B. Hesse: Isn’t there a likelihood of its being broken off?

Mr. S. F. Palmer said they had experience of a tune playing apparatus at Sheffield Cathedral. Tunes were played every three hours and there was a great conglomeration of wires and hammers. Occasionally there was trouble and they would find a hammer broken. But they got over the difficulty. When the bells were taken down to be tuned and rehung they had to remove the chiming apparatus - and they forgot to put it back (laughter).

Mr. E. M. Atkins said when a chiming apparatus was installed it was a mistake to make the shanks of the hammers too strong. It was a point whether they could not be made of wood, as a stay was made. It was a mistake to think that chiming apparatus should be done away with. There were many occasions when the bell were needed and when it was impossible to get a band of ringers together. It would be wrong for the Council to put forward the suggestion.

Mr. J. W. Jones referred to a case in the Llandaff and Monmouth diocese where the incumbent had introduced the clocking system. He (Mr. Jones) had pointed out the danger of cracking the bells, but the incumbent had replied that it answered his purpose as well as having the bells rung. Further efforts failed to convince him, and he said that it was all piffle. What, asked Mr. Jones, did the Council suggest could be done in this case?

The President: I suggest you send him away for a holiday and forget to bring him back (laughter). The President went on to say that the Towers and Belfries Committee did not suggest doing away with Ellacombe hammers, but that the whole question be looked into. If the Council reappointed this committee, they would consider the subject and consult the bellfounders over it. The Standing Committee, he added, suggested that the committee (the president, Major Hesse and Mr. Young) be reappointed, with the addition of Mr. James Hunt, of the Bath and Wells Association.

This was agreed to, and Mr. Lewis was appointed convener.


The hon. secretary presented the final report of the Stedman Tercentenary Commemoration Committee, and this consisted of a financial statement. At the last meeting of the Council, £50 13s. 6d., the balance of account, was owing to Mr. W. Sindall, the builder, and there were also outstanding the treasurer’s expenses, £2 10s. At that time there was £19 8s. in hand, and since then £19 7s. had been received in subscriptions, 12s. by sale of ash trays and 5d. for postages. The account had been paid and there was now a deficit of £13 16s. 1d., which had been advanced by the Council. The whole statement of accounts was as follows: Receipts: Subscriptions and donations, £507 6s. 4d.; interest on bank deposits, £4 16s. 9d.; souvenir booklets, ash trays and blocks, less cost, £9 17s. 9d.; advanced by the Council, £13 16s. 1d.; total £535 16s. 11d. Expenses: J. Taylor and Co. (bellfounders), £289; W. Sindall (builder), £182 13s. 6d.; F. W. Troup (architect), £21 19s. 3d.; Birmingham Guild, Ltd. (for memorial tablet), £22 3s.; cost of faculty, £5 5s.; printing, etc., £6 9s. 6d.; hon. treasurer’s expenses, £2 10s.; Commemoration Day expenses, £3 6s.; postages, £2 3s. 8d.; sundries, 8s.; total £535 16s. 11d.

The President, in proposing the adoption of the accounts, pointed out that the present position was that the Council had paid £13 16s. 1d. to square up the accounts. He proposed that the whole business be now closed by the Council voting this sum, and, if any further subscriptions were received, they should go into the Council’s funds.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith seconded.

Mr. E. M. Atkins having raised the question of ringing on the Stedman bells at St. Bene’t’s Church, Cambridge, the President said he understood the bells were available to anybody who wanted to ring them, but the difficulty was to find ringers. It was not what had been said about the ringing of the bells which was the cause of their not being rung. Other ringing in Cambridge had been almost closed down, and it was very difficult to get anything done. He had no doubt if things were more alive in Cambridge they would improve at St. Bene’t’s.

Mr. Atkins asked if the Council were satisfied that the bells were hung in such a way that beginners could be taught upon them? The impression had got about that the bells were hung in a very ‘tender’ way so that if the stay and slider were bumped there was a danger of breaking the cannons, and that the committee had not done its job properly in seeing that the bells were properly hung.

The President said the committee were quite satisfied that the bells were properly hung. If reasonable care was exercised, there was no danger. Wherever they had got bells which were valuable, in fact, any bells at all, they should use discretion in teaching beginners, but, provided there was a thoroughly responsible person in charge, the committee saw no reason why beginners should not be instructed at St. Bene’t’s.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edward: What has happened to the band that was being instructed there?


Mr. E. Denison Taylor said he still protested against beginners being taught upon Stedman’s bells. They were a very valuable relic from the past, and he did not think it was a place where beginners should be taught. They were old bells with cannons and had been quarter turned, and there was a danger, if they were violently bumped, of breaking the cannons off. He did not think it was a place at which to teach beginners.

Asked to explain the present position at St. Benedict’s, Miss K. Willers, who was largely responsible for forming a band of learners at the church after the opening of the bells, said some of the pupils seemed to get on very well at first, but then got a bit slack. When they found the Council did not approve of beginners being taught on the bells, they felt a little discouraged and there was no ringing being done there now.

Mr. P. Johnson said it seemed to him a repetition of the story of the old lady who told the boy not to go near the water until he could swim. He had never had a single experience yet where a pupil he had been teaching had thrown a bell over. He thought it was largely a question of the tutor. That, said Mr. Johnson, is my personal opinion as a practical ringer. I don’t speak as a bellhanger - thank heaven (laughter).

The President: Are you satisfied, Mr. Atkins?

Mr. Atkins: No, I am not. The Council should either endorse Mr. Taylor’s remarks or do the opposite. They should say whether the bells should be closed on all but special occasions, or whether the Cambridge ringers should be encouraged to start again and be encouraged, also, by the fact of knowing they have the Council behind them in ringing for the Sunday service (hear, hear). That is what we restored the bells for (hear, hear). They put the bells back in the church, said Mr. Atkins, to be rung in the same way as the bells in any other church, and they, as a Council, should encourage the ringing of them by a local band. As long as the local people felt that the Council were against that view, they never would have a band there.

Mr. C. F. Johnston said there were cannons and cannons. Perhaps Mr. Taylor would tell them if the cannons were specially liable to be broken off by rough usage. There were cannons which, by normal use, took a lot of bumping off.

Mr. Taylor said he would not say that the cannons at St. Benedict’s were weaker than ordinary cannons, but these bells were certainly more valuable than ordinary bells. They might ring them as much as they liked with a good band of ringers, but he stuck to his point that they should not have beginners practising on them.

Mr. J. Parker: If we do not have any beginners we shall soon have no ringers (hear, hear).

Mr. J. A. Trollope said, as far as he was concerned, the value of the bells entirely consisted of their use in the services of the church. So far as their historical value as a memorial to Fabian Stedman was concerned, there was a great deal of sentiment. There was not the slightest proof that Stedman ever went into the tower; it was more likely that he did most of his ringing at St. Mary’s or at Holy Trinity. The only historical association between St. Benedict’s and Stedman consisted of the statement, made nearly 200 years afterwards, that the College Youths visited Cambridge and rang Stedman’s principle at St. Benedict’s. As there were in Stedman’s time eight bells at St. Mary’s, he would think it a most extraordinary thing if Stedman did not do most of his ringing at Great St. Mary’s, but they had to put their memorial somewhere, and it was as well in St. Benedict’s tower as anywhere.

Mr. E. Denison Taylor said the present Bishop of Derby was formerly Vicar of St Benedict’s, Cambridge, and he did a great deal of searching among the records there. The Bishop had told him that Stedman’s name was in the records there as being parish clerk and that he spelt his name Phabian.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith also stated that there was reliable information in the parish records that Stedman was parish clerk of St. Benedict’s, which was pretty good evidence that Stedman rang at this church.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edward hoped the Council would do something to encourage the beginners at St. Benedict’s.

Mr. E. M. Atkins moved ‘That this Council expresses the hope that the Stedman bells will be rung regularly to the glory of God by a local band of ringers.’

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded.

Replying to Mr. W. Ayre, the President did not think it was entirely the remarks made by Mr. Taylor at Plymouth and at the Midland Counties Association meeting that was the cause of the trouble. There were apparently other local ringing troubles in Cambridge.

The motion was carried and the report adopted.


The report of the Literature and Press Committee, read by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, was a lengthy document, which dealt first with the new text books on ringing published during the year. These included ‘The Ringers’ Handbook,’ by the Rev. E. S. and Mrs. Powell, and ‘Village Bells,’ by the Rev. R. Howes, published specially for the beginner; and, for more advanced ringers, ‘Cambridge Surprise,’ by Mr. W. A. Cave, and ‘Cambridge Minor and Major Simply Explained,’ by K. Quick. The committee expressed the hope that the enterprise shown by these authors would reap the reward which their courage and labour, as well as their desire to forward the art of change ringing, deserve. A number of articles by experts, said the report, had appeared in various and sometimes unexpected quarters. Several events had occasioned references to bells and ringing in the Press at large, and such references as had come under notice had, for the most part, been of an accurate and favourable character. The removal of the cannons from a bell in Wiltshire called forth a leading article in ‘The Times,’ which was followed up by considerable correspondence under the heading, ‘Reconditioned bells.’ The committee’s report went on to refer to the strange refusal of the Crown Lands Commissioner to allow the erection of a bell in a new Roman Catholic Church at Mottingham, Kent, and quoted the Parliamentary questions which were asked. The explanation offered was that the restriction was only imposed by the Commissioners in the interests of the occupiers of neighbouring houses and was expressly agreed to before the contract for the purchase of the site was made. There was no question of religious tolerance or discrimination. It would be well, added the committee’s report, to keep a watchful eye on any such high-handed action. The dispute at Minety, Gloucestershire, where a disgruntled household showed their disapproval of the midnight ringing on New Year’s Eve by creating a din with horns and trumpets close to the church during divine service on New Year’s Day, found wide publicity in the newspapers. It was satisfactory to be able to report that the Rector of the parish received strong support from the Bishop and Archdeacon in upholding the right of the ringers to discharge their accustomed duties.

In the case of the complaints about the ringing of the bells at Great St. Mary’s, Cambridge, the report referred to the discussion in the Town Council on the subject of the ringers’ weekly practice, when a proposal was submitted by the Finance Committee that steps should be taken to get the bells muffled on practice night. Eventually the minute was referred back for further consideration, but nothing further seemed to have transpired. The deplorable case of Llanstephan bells was also mentioned. This Carmarthenshire village possesses not only a ring of eight bells, but also an endowment to provide for their being regularly rung. Unfortunately, it also possesses an incumbent who refuses to have the bells used in any other way than by means of a chiming apparatus, and the money provided specifically for ‘eight men to ring’ is diverted to the pockets of three or four persons who manipulate the apparatus. In this case, as in the two former, a representative of the Council’s committee had been in communication with those interested. Full information had been obtained and it was a matter calling for the intervention of the Central Council, if any means can be found of taking effective action.


The report continued with the following reference to broadcasting:-

In accordance with a recommendation made by this Committee last year, the secretary of the Council wrote to the B.B.C. expressing the Council’s appreciation of the various broadcasts of change ringing and asking the Corporation to give the national art of bellringing a more frequent and prominent place in their programmes. Two suggestions were put forward: (1) That broadcasts of bells should always be advertised in ‘World Radio’ as well as in ‘Radio Times’; (2) that B.B.C. should make a special feature of a broadcast of some well-known peal of bells - independently of any religious ceremony - for about 15 minutes on Christmas Day, Easter Day and the King’s birthday. The first suggestion was accepted and carried out with commendable promptitude. To the second B.B.C. replied that they had found broadcasts of bells not to appeal to the taste of listeners except for about five minutes in connection with a religious service.

We are glad to note, however, that more prominence has, in fact, been given to bellringing, both in the programmes and in the letterpress. One or more ring of bells has been broadcast on most Sundays and duly advertised in the radio publications. In a sacred play on All Saints’ Eve very effective use was made of St. Hilary’s bells, Cornwall, both open and muffled. Bells were conspicuous in the midnight broadcast on New Year’s Eve, and were introduced with romantic effect in a talk on Wales, when the speaker was referring to St. David’s Cathedral. A week of Lincolnshire programmes ended with the dedication of Boston bells. Both ‘Radio Times’ and the special announcer, Mr. S. P. B. Mais, referred to the pealing of the bells from the historic Boston Stump, as a fitting climax to the week’s celebrations, and the fine tone of the recast peal came over the ether with grand effect. Best of all, a radio week devoted to Leicestershire included a broadcast from Loughborough Foundry and thus enabled Mr. Taylor to give an admirable description of change ringing with illustrations for the enlightenment of the general public.

Under the heading, ‘A Carillon of Bells,’ ‘World Radio’ of Jan. 13th published an article by Jay Coote. From one sentence it appeared that the writer imagined change ringing to be done from a keyboard, but otherwise the article was well written and full of interest.

Readers of ‘Radio Times’ may often find amusement and delight in the clever parodies of Pepys Diary, written by R. M. Freeman. In one of these ingenuous paragraphs he explained the difference between ringing and chiming, and in a further reference to the subject spoke of himself as being taught to ring. Inquiry elicited the fact that this diverting author was actually taught to handle a bell at Norton St. Philip by H. Hamilton Palairet, a former Master of the Salisbury Guild. Another issue of ‘Radio Times’ contained a request from ringers at Blandford for longer broadcasts of change ringing.

We recommend that the Council thank the B.B.C. for carrying out their request to include broadcasts of bells in the programmes published in ‘World Radio,’ and express their appreciation of broadcasts of change ringing given during the past twelve months, with special reference to the bells ringing in the New Year, at the same time calling attention to the strange absence of bells from the Easter programmes, and suggesting that the programmes on church festivals should always be so arranged as to include at least one peal of bells, preferably on the National wavelength.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, in moving the adoption of the report, which was seconded by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, thanked those members of the Council and other ringers who had been sending him extracts from the Press from time to time.

The report was adopted, and the committee, consisting of the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards (convener), Messrs. J. S. Goldsmith, C. H. Howard and A. Paddon Smith, were re-elected. Mr. W. Willson, having ceased to be a member of the Council, was not re-elected.

The. Rev. F. Ll. Edwards suggested that a separate Broadcasting Committee should be brought into being. It needed a committee, he said, of three or four members whose circumstances would enable them to listen regularly to broadcasts of bells. His idea was that the committee should keep a watchful eye on the programmes and notice any improvement that might be introduced to the B.B.C. for making more effective use of church bells; also to take careful note of the broadcasts that were given and draw up a report, recommending any improvements that might be made, so that the broadcasts would give a better impression of ringing. The committee should be given power to take over the broadcasting side of the Literature and Press Committee’s work, and he suggested that Mr. Albert Walker would be a useful member of such a committee.

Mr. E. M. Atkins said he believed more notice was taken by the B.B.C. of communications from the public than from committees. The best thing a committee could do was to find out what gave the best results and try and get every ringer in every Guild to write and say, ‘This is what we want.’ The way in which the B.B.C. gathered what was most popular among the public was from their postbag.

At the suggestion of the President, it was decided to give the Literature and Press Committee power to co-opt two or three wireless experts to take over the broadcast side of the work.

The Ringing World, June 30th, 1933, pages 409 to 411


The next report considered by the Council was that concerning the new rules, This report, which set out the Rules Committee’s proposals in detail, was printed in ‘The Ringing World’ on April 7th and had been circulated to the members.

The President moved the adoption of the report. He said when the draft report was presented last year criticisms were asked for. One or two criticisms were sent in, the committee had had those points under consideration, and had redrafted the rules in the form in which the Council now had them. They were published a few weeks ago so that the Council had had ample opportunity to study them. There was one point of criticism about which he would like to say something. It was suggested that if it were made compulsory for associations to pay fees for the members to which they were entitled, rather than merely for the representatives they sent, some associations might possibly feel inclined to withdraw from the Council. The committee were of opinion that it was unthinkable that any association should contemplate taking such action because they might have to pay an extra five shillings or ten shillings a year. The cost of the subscription, at any rate in nearly every case, worked out at less than a halfpenny per member on the number of resident members of any Guild, so that he did not think there was any substance behind that criticism. It was not necessary for an association, because it was entitled to send four members and paid for four, to send four members to a distant meeting - that was for the association to settle - but the committee thought that those who were entitled to a larger number of members ought to pay a corresponding fee. With regard to other criticisms, the proper alterations had been made to meet them. He proposed that the amended rules be adopted as the rules of the Council.

Mr. C. T. Coles seconded.

The Rev. E. S. Powell asked if the actuarial work in computing the membership of the associations was to be left to the associations themselves or to a committee of the Council? It looked as if it should be done from a central source, otherwise mistakes might occur.

The President said he thought they could trust association secretaries to make what was a fairly simple calculation (hear, hear).

Mr. E. W. Marsh said they in Devon, besides the Devonshire Guild which was affiliated with the Council, had at least three associations of church bellringers. He asked whether, under the rule of affiliation, they could be represented on the Council, if so he welcomed the rule and hoped the associations would be canvassed. If they could get them to join they would be able to teach the representatives something which they could take back to their own associations.

The President said there was nothing whatever to prevent it under the rules. There was no definite ruling that affiliated societies must ring changes.

Mr. Marsh: May I suggest the secretary canvasses these associations and tells them they would be welcomed?

The President: That could be done.

Mr. Marsh: There are associations in Cornwall as well.

No amendments to the rules were proposed and they were agreed to nem con.

Replying to a question, the President said it would be competent by resolution to bring the rules into force for next year’s meeting, as far as the general business of the Council was concerned. This course was thereupon agreed to on the motion of Mr. E. J. Butler, seconded by Mr. W. Ayre.


Canon Coleridge reported for the committee appointed at the last meeting to prepare a pamphlet on good striking. Mr. Dyke, he said, had been mainly responsible for preparing the pamphlet, and it was in the hands of the secretary by last August, except for the photographs with which it was to be illustrated. These presented some difficulty, but eventually they were taken. There were four showing how the young practitioner should be taught to hold his rope and two showing the most frequent faults which prevent good striking. After the manuscript had been placed in the hands of the hon. secretary, he heard nothing about the pamphlet until the previous night. The secretary was not, however, to be blamed for the delay. Mr. Fletcher reminded him that at the last meeting of the Council there was an amendment proposed by the late Mr. Jenkyn that the pamphlet should contain hints and rules showing how to ring and conduct Doubles and Minor. Mr. Dyke did not write anything about that, and the reason was that after the last meeting Mr. Jenkyn had had correspondence with the editors of a small book which covered the whole thing, and, he thought, Mr. Jenkyn was inclined to let this side of the publication drop, although he never said so. Meanwhile, with this amendment on the books the secretary quite rightly held up the printing of the pamphlet until the matter could come before the Council. He (Canon Coleridge) was always most anxious that the book should contain nothing but the most primary and elementary instruction about holding the rope and striking properly. If they put in anything else he was afraid the whole object of the book would be defeated because the price would be far more. What Mr. Dyke and he would like was a pamphlet which might be a help to the youngest of ringers and also a help to certain instructors. They wanted to keep it as cheap as possible and to sell it at not more than twopence a copy. If the Council accepted it as it was now with Mr. Dyke’s letterpress and the six photographs, it could be produced at about 2d. a copy, and he hoped the associations would buy it up in large quantities for distribution. He hoped at least 5,000 copies would be sold at once and every young practitioner given a copy. He was glad to have had a little hand in the production of the pamphlet, although the principal credit must go to Mr. Dyke. He moved that the pamphlet be accepted without any further addition so that it might be sold at as low a price as possible.

Mr. J. T. Dyke seconded.

The President said the Standing Committee’s recommendation was that the sale price be not more than 2d. per copy post free, and that the book be confined to the material mentioned by Canon Coleridge, namely, the proper method of handling a bellrope.

Canon Elsee expressed the hope that association would purchase a large number of copies in order to dispose of them again to their members. That, he thought, would be the best way to secure the pamphlet coming into the hands of the beginners by whom it was really needed.

The President said the Council would be selling actually at a loss by selling at 2d., but the Standing Committee thought it would be money well spent (hear, hear).

The resolution was agreed to and the pamphlet ordered to be printed.

This concluded the business of the committees, but the President said before they passed on to other matters it was only right they should thank the members of the various committees for the work they had done in the past three years (applause).


The Council then proceeded to the various motions which stood on the agenda. The first, which was in the names of Mr. F. E. Dawe and Mr. E. A. Young, was as follows:-

Mr. Dawe, in proposing the motion, said it was a very important one and one that ought to have been discussed many years ago. They had now arrived at the parting of the ways; it would mean a battle royal between those who, like himself, were of an antiquarian turn of mind, with musical quality thrown in, and the up-to-date people who thought mostly of speed and noise, which they interpreted as music, and that abomination called football (laughter). There were thousands of rings or bells in these islands, and they came under three headings, good, bad and indifferent. There were many bells - not only individual bells, but rings of bells - that wanted baking, boiling, broiling and even drowning (laughter). On the other hand, there were bells which were wonderful productions. It would be out of place for him to attempt, out of the eleven hundred or twelve hundred peals of bells he had rung on and listened to, to tell them which were the best, but there were many that really ought to be preserved, cast 200, or 300, or even 400 years ago by hands now cold in dust, but hands which were master hands. These bells ought certainly to be preserved. It had been asked on many occasions, ‘What is the good of the Central Council?’ The idea of Sir Arthur P. Heywood, who was its founder, was that it should protect their rights and privileges and their interests in the future, and there was one occasion when the Council did something to justify its existence. There used to be about four rings of ten of great value; Coventry, Rotherham, Wakefield and Stepney. When the idea came about to destroy Coventry, the Council took up the cudgels under the leadership of Mr. Young, and at the Consistory Court did what they could to save those famous bells. Mr. Dawe said he attended the Court, where a gentleman who described himself as ‘a professor of bells ’- he did not know there was such a thing as a professor of bells before - went to the piano, struck a discordant note and said, ‘Those are the bells you have in your tower.’ He then turned with a self-satisfied grin and, striking a chord, said, ‘Those are the bells you are going to have.’ During lunch a high dignitary of the Church began to talk to him about the bells and asked what he thought of them. He (the speaker) replied that they were the sweetest and most beautiful ring of bells he had ever listened to. The dignitary said that was ‘all rubbish,’ which, proceeded Mr. Dawe, showed that some people unknown had been ‘spoon feeding’ the authorities. The dignitary said the bells were going away and were to be recast, and added, ‘You must come and hear them.’ He (Mr. Dawe) replied, ‘I shall do nothing of the kind,’ and they parted not such good friends as they met. Every old ring of bells of any note at all were valuable, but each had its own particular beauty; its own characteristic. If in future they were all going to be the same, they might as well walk to the Royal Exchange when the clock struck twelve and hear a tune played. After Coventry they came to Rotherham. They had been recast by generous donors - goodness knows where they came from, but they cropped up like mushrooms. Rotherham were a magnificent ring of ten, but they were not the characteristically tuneful, musical and harmonious ring that used to hang in St. Anne’s tower. Then, said Mr. Dawe, they came to the greatest tragedy of all, and that was the wilful murder of Bow tenor. In his opinion, Bow tenor no more wanted recasting than the sea wanted water. He did not know what bell metal was worth a hundredweight, but the actual value of Bow tenor was probably between £400 and £500. The intrinsic value of the bell, however, was as nothing to its historical associations and its pure, musical note. It never ought to have been destroyed. He dared say there would be good reason put forward for it, but he hoped some step would be taken that would prevent another such calamitous happening in future. He hoped they would never see the beautiful eleventh at Exeter, or the eleventh at St. Saviour’s, Southwark, or Lavenham tenor, turned out to be recast and musically improved. His motion, added Mr. Dawe, referred to expert adviser. He did not think they could possibly associate with this a better name than that of their worthy president, who had proved himself so valuable to them in every shape and form.


Mr. E. A. Young seconded the motion. He would not say, he remarked, that any of the remaining fine bells were in imminent danger of destruction. Had it not been for the Council they might perhaps have heard that the peal which used to hang at St. Andrew’s, Wells Street, had been split up into separate units or recast, but partly owing to the Council’s action last year they were to be retained as a peal. Those bells were worth saving. Then there was the famous eleventh at St. Saviour’s, Southwark, where he was a member of the ‘scroof’ during the war. How sad it would be for those ringers associated with that historic church to feel that in some circumstances out of their control that eleventh should be recast. What was really wanted was that when it came to a crucial point such as Bow, there should be someone, or two or three, or at any rate an authority, immediately available to give the casting vote between the conflicting interests as to which of those interests should ultimately prevail. It was difficult to know where they would find such men, men who were au fait with all the points of ringing and of musical and archæological knowledge. The President had spoken of the glorious traditions of the past, and some of them felt that there had been men in the past who had handed down to them something worth preserving. He agreed with Mr. Dawe that in a case like Bow tenor it should be handed on, and that where any question arose, their hands should be strengthened by having someone capable who would be prepared to step in and say whether it was wise or not to break up such a bell.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith said he hoped the meeting would not be led away by Mr. Dawe’s sweet and seductive tones, followed by the depressing influence of gloomy forecasts. ‘Do let us have our bad bells recast,’ said Mr. Smith. ‘I can see no use whatever in preserving an old thing, simply because it is old. If it is old and good, I will stand up for it with anybody, but if it is old and not good, let us recast it’ (hear, hear). How these people of Mr. Dawe’s views can mention Bow tenor in the same breath as the eleventh at Exeter I cannot understand. ‘Good gracious me,’ went on Mr. Smith, Exeter eleventh is one of the grandest bells that ever was cast, and in proof of that we have one of our modern firms of bellfounders, when there was recasting to be done a few years ago, very carefully preserving this bell and advising that under no circumstances should it be recast. Bow tenor was never a cover to the other eleven bells since the moment it was put there. I have it on good authority that the bell was very badly cracked. Why on earth, then, do we want to suggest that it should be taken out of the tower, dusted and put back cracked? (laughter). If we were to talk like that in the business world in my part of the country they would not hesitate to tell us we were ‘balmy’ (laughter). Mr. Dawe drew an imaginary line round the kingdom and told us that within it there were so many peals of bells, and I am prepared to say that at least half of them ought to be recast next week (hear, hear). It would be one way of helping to solve the unemployment problem. But, when these things come up for decision do not let us have a resolution such as this, which will be sent to every incumbent who is thinking of having his bells improved. It will delay and damn the project for ever. Do not let us pass such a motion which may prevent the improvement and recasting of the rottenest peal of ten in England, and that is in Birmingham (laughter and applause). Let us save anything that is worth saving, but don’t cumber up a tower with anything that ought to be in a museum. We do not want bells which are no good to us just because Oliver Cromwell rang on them (laughter).

Mr. C. H. Howard, speaking as a member of the Chelmsford Diocesan Advisory Board, said they were safe in the hands of the advisory boards, who were very careful to preserve anything of real historic value. The difficulty was sometimes to see that unnecessary pressure was not put on church authorities by the Advisory and Central Advisory Boards to retain bells which were no good. It was not for that Council to prompt them to go further than they were going to-day.

The Ringing World, July 7th, 1933, pages 425 to 426


Continuing the discussion on the motion by Mr. F. E. Dawe, with regard to the breaking up of old bells of historical interest and good tonal quality.

Ald. J. S. Pritchett suggested that the proposer and seconder should agree to withdraw it. Mr. Dawe, he said, seemed to be under the idea that valuable peals of bells were in some sort of danger. He (the speaker) did not think they were. He did not think there were any instances on record of good bells being wantonly interfered with. When they were recast there was always some good reason for it. He was interested in the case of Coventry. There, there was a famous ring of bells which ought to have been preserved if they could have been preserved, but they had been silent for many years, and it would never have been possible to ring them again in that tower. The only way to have made them available would have been to build a fresh tower. The question was what should be done to make them usable, as the people of Coventry wished them put to good use. In his opinion - ringing being out of the question - the second best use was made of them. Bells of historic interest were already protected in various ways, and Mr. Dawe’s motion was an alarmist resolution, because it suggested there were people going about anxious to interfere with good bells and destroy them. He objected to the word ‘destruction.’ Did it mean recasting, or breaking them up and selling them for old metal? He deprecated the breaking up of any old bell for the sake of selling it as old metal for any other church purpose, but he had no fear at all that any good ring or individual bell was in any sort of danger, and he thought it was quite unnecessary to pass that resolution.

Major Hesse said he did not believe anyone would wish to break up an old bell that was also a good bell. He agreed that to compare Bow tenor with the eleventh at Exeter was utterly ridiculous - a better bell than Exeter eleventh was never cast by anybody; it was almost perfect, and taking out a few more pounds by tuning made her more perfect. There were some other bells in the West Country - like Queen Camel tenor - by Bilbie and Purdue, that no one with an ear for music would agree to breaking up, but they did not want to preserve an old bell when it was bad.


Mr. C. F. Johnston said as betrayer of Coventry and murderer of Bow (laughter), perhaps he would be in order in replying to the mover and seconder. The motion said that the Council deprecated the destruction of bells renowned for their tonal qualities. The question of tonal quality might be a matter of opinion, but he endorsed the remarks of those speakers who said it was ridiculous to compare Bow tenor with Exeter eleventh. Bow tenor was an unsatisfactory bell musically. It was badly cracked in the crown. It was carefully inspected by the architect of the church and by the adviser of the Diocesan Advisory Board, who were both satisfied that to replace it in its existing condition would be suicidal. The fracture went right through the crown, and he asked the Council would the authorities have been justified in putting that 53 cwt. ringing tenor over the heads of a band of ringers? Mr. Young did not tell them that he had tried to prevent the recasting of the bell. He called it ‘destruction’ but he (Mr. Johnston) would point out that the contour of bells had not altered appreciably for centuries. Was it, therefore, fair to say that the bell was being destroyed when the same metal was used to recast the bell ? The only other thing to do would have been to retain it in the church or tower and have a new one, but that did not appeal to everyone in these hard times. There had been a suggestion made that a hole should be drilled at the end of the crack to keep it from extending and the bell rehung. That, however, was a process which he knew was a failure. He mentioned these facts, he said, in defence of the recasting of Bow tenor. The Diocesan Boards, he added, were watching these matters very carefully. None, he thought, would question the desire of them all to preserve bells of good tonal qualities and real historic interest, and the assumption that a bellfounder should want to break up a peal of bells for his own benefit was an insult to his honour. He proposed an amendment to the motion as follows:-


Canon Elsee said he thought the best measure would be for ringers in the various dioceses to take care that they were adequately represented on the Diocesan Advisory Boards. The Boards now were generally ultra-conservative. The difficulty was sometimes to get a scheme of real improvement carried through, but there were cases still where, perhaps, bells of antiquarian interest were allowed to disappear. Some time ago he came across a very interesting example of an old bell at a country hall in the place where the coal scuttle was usually kept, and from its shape he judged it to be a 13th century bell. Later he mentioned the matter to Mr. Hughes and asked him if he knew the bell. He said he did and had sent it to the hall in question. It was a 13th century bell that was sent him from another part of the country as old scrap metal. Such a thing could not easily take place to-day, but there were cases where people had no idea that their old bell, which had been brought down from the tower and put in an out-house, had any antiquarian value at all. Advisory Boards, where they were aware of such thing, were now very careful indeed to see that such vandalism was prevented, and he believed the bellfounders were equally keen to preserve anything that came into their foundries in that way if there was real interest attached to them. He did think it was important that ringers should see that their interests were represented on the Advisory Boards. In the diocese of Manchester he did not think ringers would have been represented on their Diocesan Board if he had not asked about it at the Diocesan Conference and pointed out that someone with knowledge of bells might be added. It was done promptly. There were, however, adjoining dioceses where there was no one on the advisory boards who had much real knowledge of bells, at all events from the ringers’ point of view. If ringers would see to it that they had a properly qualified representative on the Advisory Board, he believed it would do a good deal to meet what was asked in this motion.

The proposer and seconder agreed to accept the amendment, which was put to the meeting and carried without dissent.


The next three motions on the agenda related to peals of Minor. If the first of these was passed, said the President, he did not think it would in any way prejudice the other two. These two were very much the same up to a point, but one went further than the other, and he was going to suggest that when they came to them these two should be debated together. He thought it would be the simpler method, otherwise they would get a lot of overlapping. With regard to the first of the three, Mr. Newton, in whose name the motion stood, was unfortunately unable to be present, but he had sent a letter in support of the motion, and the best plan would be to read it. The motion was:-

Mr. G. R. Newton wrote in his letter that the resolution which he was submitting for the Council’s consideration was the result of some serious thinking on the subject of one-method compositions such as that of the Rev. E. B. James and others. He had no knowledge then that these were to appear on the agenda, and as they would be fully discussed later, he refrained from saying anything further on this subject. He hoped ringers of five and six-bell peals would not think that he wanted to be hard on them in bringing this resolution forward, and for those who could not master more than one method, he, and he was sure the Council, had full sympathy. There were however bands who continued to ring 5,040’s in one method when they were well able to ring them in more. He did not say there was no merit in ringing peals in one method, especially if it was a Surprise method, but in his opinion the conductor was then the one person to whom the bulk of the credit was due. He went further and said that the band that could ring a 5,040 in one Surprise method could with very little practice ring peals in seven methods, which would not only be more creditable to them, but also more interesting and decidedly less monotonous. It should be the aim of every young ringer after ringing his first peal, should it be in one method, to persevere until he was able to ring a peal in at least seven methods. In his opinion, formed after close observation during the past few years, they seemed to be going backwards instead of forward. The peals of Minor and Doubles were not, generally speaking, of as good quality as they were years ago. They had, fortunately, and quite recently, those brilliant performances of the Cheshire ringers, who had achieved peals in at least 30 methods. The older members of the Council he felt sure did not forget the great fight that had to be made in order that their performances on five and six bells should be allowed to rank as a peal. This was one of the chief planks of the six-bell stalwarts and which swayed greatly in their favour, that a peal of Minor in seven methods required more ringing and was a greater achievement than peals rung in one method on the higher numbers of bells. It was not his wish to be hard on five and six-bell ringers, but this Council could, if it would pass the resolution and so bring about in time what would be a great improvement in the quality of the five and six-bell peals that were rung.


Mr. A. Tomlinson seconded the resolution, which was supported by Mr. J. Hunt, who said he did not think it was Mr. Newton’s intention to debar peals in one method to ‘scratch’ bands; neither was it to prevent men ringing a Surprise peal in one method but it was intended for those bands who kept grinding out 720’s of Bob Minor. They were in an age now when they seemed to be going down hill in this matter, and they should do their best to encourage a higher standard. There were very few ringers, who, if they could ring one method, could not learn to ring others.

The President said he thought Mr. Newton would wish his resolution to apply to the ‘scratch’ eight-bell men who went round to six-bell towers. In his days in Cheshire, when they used to ring six-bell peals, they were ringers mostly from eight-bell towers, and, as far as his recollection went, they did not ring any peals in less than seven methods. He thought Mr. Newton wanted to put up the standard for everyone, and, after all, an eight-bell ringer who could ring one Minor method could quite easily ring seven.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith said a comparison of peals of Minor to-day with 40 years ago showed that the average standard had deteriorated. Out of 61 peals of Minor rung in the year 1893-4, no fewer than 48 were in seven or more methods and only one was in one method; whereas in 1932 only 107 peals of Minor out of the 408 were in seven or more methods, and no fewer than 155 were in only one method. That peals in seven methods were no real handicap to those who were just beginning peal ringing was proved by the fact that in the 48 peals rung in seven methods 40 years ago, no fewer than 52 ringers rang their first peal.

The Rev. Canon Parry, speaking as one who came from a small parish in a county with 600 parishes and where small parishes prevailed, said they had extraordinary difficulties in keeping a band together. They might bring them to ring a peal in one or two methods, and then, perhaps, the band broke up and they had to begin again. They were having to face that difficulty constantly. If the Council accepted the principle of the motion before them, it would be most extraordinarily difficult to ring a peal in seven methods in face of the obstacles they had to contend with. He knew the motion said ‘where it is possible,’ but he hoped it would not go forth that the Council ‘urges’ its adoption. He would prefer to see it passed as a recommendation and encouragement. He was afraid it would have a deadening effect on many country bands if they asked them to ring their first or second peal in more than one method.

Mr. A. E. Sharman said in Bedfordshire they very seldom rang peals in one method, and they did not encourage it. There was very little difficulty in learning two or three methods of Minor, if a ringer knew Plain Bob, and if he could ring Bob Minor, St. Clement’s, Oxford Bob and College Single he could go on and ring seven methods practically straight away. The Council ought to set a high standard, and no band ought to ring a peal of Bob Minor more than once.

Mr. E. M. Atkins said the difficulty in the country was to keep a band together in these days, and it was a great encouragement to some of these beginners to ring a peal, if it were only in one or two methods. The figures proved that there were a great many more active bands of six-bell ringers about the country, and he thought it would be a bad thing for the Council to say it was not pleased with the progress of these less efficient ringers. He would prefer to see the resolution amended to a recommendation.

Mr. P. J. Johnson asked whether they, as a Council of change ringers, could logically take up the attitude that when they had learned to ring a plain course of Bob Minor it was the be-all and end-all of change ringing? Standardisation meant sterilisation, and unless they held up some inducement to the men to go forward and encouraged a spirit of enterprise, they would, as in most other things, go backward instead of forward. He saw nothing in the resolution to encourage their alarmist friends in the views they took. The resolution was to encourage progress; could they, as a Council, do anything less? (‘No’). Logically they could not, otherwise they would simply be selling their birthright.

The Rev. H. Drake said the wording of the resolution was quite all right, and the Council could very well pass it unanimously. They did not want to do anything which might unintentionally discourage those who were learning. It was a meritorious thing sometimes to ring a peal in one method. In his opinion, the reason why they had gone back in the standard of peals of Minor was that there were now no points for peals (laughter). People were encouraged by the points to ring more methods then than they did now.

The resolution, on being put, was carried by a large majority.

The Ringing World, July 14th, 1933, pages 438 to 439


The Council next came to the consideration of two motions by which it was sought to lay down a definition for peals of Minor and Doubles. The first, proposed by Mr. S. H. Wood, was as follows:-

The second, in the name of Mr. C. T. Coles, was in these terms:-

These resolutions, said the President, were not prejudiced by the resolution which the Council had just passed. They were sent in independently, and they were very much on the same subject. He was therefore going to suggest that they took them together in debate.

This course having been agreed to, the President said he had to make an apology to Mr. Stephen Wood, who sent his resolution through him to the secretary, and in putting it on the agenda a parenthetical note was left out. This note was intended to define what was meant by the Bankes James arrangement, and was as follows:-


The President, continuing, said there had been a great deal of confusion as to what was meant by the Council recognising peals or otherwise, and the question had been raised - he had heard it in private discussion - as to what, if the resolution of the Midland Counties Association was passed, was going to happen with regard to the various peals that had been rung containing these special compositions which were not true round blocks of 720. It did not seem to him that anything happened at all. Many of the peals which had been rung did not conform to the Council’s existing rule, or so he was told. Whether they did or not, the Council were not legislating for the past; they were legislating for the future as to what should be the standard at which five and six-bell ringers should aim. In his view the Council had taken no steps either to recognise or not recognise the various peals that had been rung. The only way the Council came in touch with the peals was through the Peals Analysis Committee, and that committee did not attempt in any way to discriminate between legitimate or regular peals or otherwise. That committee’s function, when it was appointed, was to carry on the work formerly done by Mr. Attree, and that work was to make an analysis of the peals published. The Council had no control over the publication of the ringing papers, and the Analysis Committee did not control the figures they took out; they merely took out the figures that were published, unless a peal was definitely withdrawn by subsequent publication. There was no question of the Council recognising these peals or not. Many peals were rung which were not regular, and all those peals went in the analysis. He wanted the Council to be clear on that point. Now that they had adopted the new rules there was the possibility of the Council recognising a peal in future, for this reason: Societies, associations and guilds would in future be definitely affiliated to the Central Council and agree to abide by its decisions. If, therefore, the Council decided that such and such peals should not be rung, the local associations, being loyal, would see that such peals were not recorded in their own books, and should such peals be published under the name of any society the society would be expected to see it was withdrawn from under its name. In the past the Council had not been able to do that. It would be a physical impossibility for the Analysis Committee to inquire in to the composition of every peal that was rung. Local associations could do it because they had the local knowledge and knew who the conductors were and the conductor’s reputation, and they would know pretty well what he was likely to have called. There was one other difficulty. A number of Minor peals had been published without stating what was rung. Whatever they did, he thought the Council should be sure that nothing happened which would drive the figures underground. What was most important was that what was rung should be recorded somewhere so that future generations could decide on the merits of it, whether it should be rung or not. They did not want to do anything to hide the figures of peals. It did not matter, to his mind, whether people rang these things or not, but they could not expect the Central Council to go outside its rules if, in the future, it could maintain some sort of control on publication. If a thing was rung, as long as they knew what was rung, the general public could judge it on its merits.


Mr. Wood then moved the first of the resolutions. Quite frankly, he said, many people were heartily ‘fed up’ with the question, and wanted to see the end of it, and the reason he put the motion before the Council that day was because he felt they had a definite duty to perform. The majority of the Exercise did look to them for a lead, and he did not think they had done their duty until they had given a definite pronouncement on the subject, and they had not done that yet. Until they did it, either unanimously or by an overwhelming majority, they certainly had not done much to clear up the muddle which existed. He did not see that they could lay down definite laws as to what should be rung or not, but what the Council said to-day was going to have a definite influence on Minor ringers and on what they were going to ring and on the direction in which Minor ringing was going to develop in future. What he was asking the Council to say was this: ‘We will agree to accept separate extents as a general principle of a peal of Minor and Doubles.’ Then he was going to ask them to agree that, having accepted that general principle, any other compositions which deviated from it must be considered as exceptions, and if they agreed to do that they could deal with each exception on its individual merits. What he did not see the point of was, if they were going to have the Bankes James principle, they must have everything else. He did not think that was necessary at all. If they wanted the Bankes James or any other particular composition, let them have it; they could only say what they would recognise and what they would not. He asked the Council to consider very carefully whether it was wise to throw over at one fell swoop all the old conventions, because that was what Mr. Coles’ motion asked them to do. He asked them to let in everything. Surely the wiser course to pursue was to stick to the general principle and consider other things as exceptions, consider each one individually, and see whether or not it was worth retaining. As regards the Bankes James principle it was for him to put forward the case for accepting that composition in future. He promised not to talk about ‘tampering with truth,’ ‘Did rounds come at the beginning or the end?’ or ‘Did they ring rows or changes?’ To his mind none of these things had a direct bearing on the subject. All the Council had to decide was, was it their opinion that it was in the interests of ringing that the Bankes James arrangement should continue to be rung; if it was, let them have it, but let them have it honestly and straightforwardly. It did not conform to the general rule; let them, therefore, have it as an exception, and not by twisting the old rules to mean something they were never intended to mean. There were those who asked the Council to allow no exceptions at all. With that view he had a good deal of sympathy. His only reason for asking them to pass his motion instead of the amendment was that the latter had been tried already and found wanting. Under that system there was an awful muddle going on, and if they passed a rule saying they would allow no deviations from the principle of separate extents they would do nothing to clear up this muddle, and there was grave danger of the figures being driven underground. If the amendment were passed that the Bankes James arrangement would not be accepted as a peal in future, and he saw the record of a peal of Cambridge Surprise Minor without further description, he would not feel very happy in his own mind as to what was rung. He thought a most important point was: How and why did these compositions first come to be composed? He could answer that question, because his friend, Mr. Hooton, who was the first to call it, was in the room when Mr. James composed it. It arose like this. They had been ringing peals of Cambridge Minor and found themselves up against two alternatives, either they had to ring the same or similar 720’s over again, or, to get a greater variation of composition, they had to include 720’s with the 6.5’s at back stroke, and so Mr. James composed his peal. It did not conform to the general idea, but he (Mr. Wood) was not concerned with that. If they liked it and it was useful let them ring it; if it was not, let them say so. Had it been proved useful or not? They must answer that by the number of times it had been rung and the number of times it continued to be rung. It was proved that there was a definite need for it: if the need still existed he asked the Council to vote in favour of the resolution, and he asked them to accept the Bankes James arrangement definitely as an exception to the general principle.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith formally seconded the motion.


Mr. C. T. Coles, in moving his resolution, said the president’s speech had cut some of the ground from under his feet. Mr. Wood had said all there was to be said about the Bankes James arrangement of Minor, and all there was to be said about the Morris and Pitman’s arrangements of Doubles, because they were in the same category, and they could not admit the one without the other. The Council would remember the old definition of a peal of Minor, which laid down that there should be seven true and complete 720’s each ending with rounds and with only one row of rounds intervening. Up to 1928 there was no definition for a peal of Doubles. They should remember also that when the Minor ringers began to agitate for their performances to be classed as peals the only thing for them to ring was seven 720’s or one 720 seven times, or 42 six-scores or Doubles, and on that the Council laid down its first definition of a peal of Minor. The trouble began in 1923 when the Bankes James peal of Cambridge Minor was rung. This peal departed from the orthodox. It consisted of 720 rows, but to get 720 true rows they had to count the first row of rounds. The 720’s were not in round blocks; the 720’s were in two round blocks of 2,160 each. That was a departure from the standard. Then they got Mr. Law James’ London, which departed further from the principle, and the Pitman and Morris Doubles. They were rung considerably throughout the country, and as regards the Cambridge Minor ‘The Ringing World’ published a paragraph calling it a wonderful contribution to composition, and they did not then find any criticism of the peal. At the Hereford meeting an attempt was made to alter the rule for peals of Minor to bring in the Bankes James arrangement, and for the first time to put in a ruling for peals on five bells on a similar plan. That definition was framed for the purpose of bringing in the Bankes James arrangement, but no 720 could be complete unless it came back to where it started from. When they came to the Chelmsford meeting the Methods Committee brought up a report, and wished to print these compositions in the ‘Collection of Minor Methods.’ They had then one of the most terrible decisions perpetrated by that Council; they had a motion to refer the report back, so far as the Pitman and Morris Doubles and the Bankes James Cambridge and Law James London were concerned on the ground that these compositions were ‘hopelessly false.’ That began a tremendous controversy. They had the words ‘hopelessly false’ bandied about for months. That motion was carried by 30 votes to 29, but subsequently on the same day the Council decided to publish the whole lot of the compositions in the Methods Committee’s book simply with the proviso that it did not commit anybody to the opinion that they were suitable for peal ringing. That was carried by 44 votes to three. First of all the Council expressed the opinion that the compositions were hopelessly false, and then they agreed to print them in their book. They had had a recurrence of the controversy several times since. Mr. Powell, Mr. Trollope, Mr. Law James, himself and others had tried to voice the ideas of the Exercise and to state the logical sequence of events in the Council. The only ground on which they could turn down a composition was that it was false. If in a peal of Major or Triples there was a repetition it was false, and no resolution of the Council would ever make it true. One 720 of Minor or 120 of Doubles was in exactly the same position; if they had a repetition of one row it was false. But in a peal of Minor they had to have each row seven times, and if they only had each row seven times they could not say it was false - it was a misuse of language to say that it was. Were they now going to turn down the compositions that had been rung so much? The Bankes James Minor had been rung 72 times by 22 associations; the Pitman and Morris Doubles had been rung 125 times by 18 associations; and, incidentally, there had been 37 peals of Cambridge Surprise Minor rung without description, whereas, before the controversy they used to be described, showing that the fear which had been expressed, of driving figures underground, had actually occurred in the past. Two well-known conductors had candidly admitted to him that although they rang the Bankes James composition they did not publish the fact for the very reason that doubt had been cast on the composition. He asked the Council to clear their minds of any idea that people were trying to thrust something on the Exercise. He was sorry he could not subscribe to the president’s idea that what had gone could be left. He believed the logical result of turning down his motion would be a motion brought to ask the Council to give instructions to associations to expunge the peals from their records. If these peals were not fit to ring in the future they were not fit to be rung in the past. To show how difficult it was to get agreement, Mr. Coles mentioned that the gentleman in the Midlands, who called these peals ‘hopelessly false’ wrote in ‘The Ringing World’ that if there was one peal above all that he would accept it was Mr. Atkins’ peal of Minor, with only two singles, rung at Isham, while another well-known member of the Council, present that day, wrote to him that he subscribed generally to ringing these compositions, but the thing he could not get on with was the Isham peal. There was another peal which had been published, but never rung, a peal of Kent Treble Bob Minor by Mr. Turner, which consisted of seven true and complete 720’s, but because it started in the middle of a 720 it had been described as hopelessly false. Although it consisted of seven true and complete 720’s because it started in the middle of the first 720, some people wanted to rule it out as hopelessly false. They could not find a way out of this impasse, and the only logical thing to do was to accept it. If the Council were prepared to accept the principle of his motion, he was prepared to accept any amendment which would give them a safeguard against those things which had been described as ‘abominations.’ There was, however, no need to fear; the first two paragraphs laid down what a peal should consist of, and the last paragraph said that any departure from this should not be encouraged. If there was any amendment which would strengthen the position he was prepared to accept it. He asked the members not to be carried away with the idea that these peals were false; they could not possibly be. After the Chelmsford meeting h e was talking to a gentleman in that room who, he noticed had voted for the ‘hopelessly false’ amendment, and he discovered that he had an objection to peals on six and five bells of every description, because there was repetition in them all. Those who held that view, Mr. Coles contended, ought not to put their spoke in this controversy.


Mr. E. M. Atkins, who seconded, asked the members to think of the monotony to the five-bell ringers who had to ring peals of Doubles with the limited calling that was now at their disposal. Did they realise that in a peal of Doubles every four minutes rounds came up with absolute and unerring regularity and not only that every 40 seconds either the third or the fifth would be double dodging in 4-5. Mr. Lindoff’s scheme of splicing together the 120’s of Grandsire eliminated that, and was a thing which ought to be encouraged, but they would be debarred unless Mr. Coles’ resolution was carried. His only doubt was whether the resolution went far enough. They ought to admit anything that was useful and which the Exercise as a whole took up. The proof of the pudding was in the eating, and anything which would enlarge the scope of the six and five-bell ringers ought to be welcomed. If, on the other hand, they were to defeat this motion and go back to the principle which was in vogue ten years ago, they would be putting a limitation on the five-bell ringers which would restrict them to the monotony of the old 120’s. The motion was simply to bring the Council’s definitions up to date and put into words the recommendation which was implied in the Minor and Doubles book with regard to compositions of the five and six-bell peals.

The Rev. H. Drake said he agreed with what Mr. Coles had said except with regard to extents being true and complete. They could not talk about an ‘extent’ being either true or false. An extent was true, and there was no meaning in the words ‘true’ or ‘false’ in relation to an extent. What he took it the motion asked them to do was to allow the use of extents which were not complete. If they had a Morris or a Bankes James arrangement they at once ceased to have an extent which was complete, but it did not follow that it was wrong. They ought to have it clearly in their mind that when they talked of ‘true and complete’ in relation to Minor and Doubles it only related to extents and not to five thousands.


Mr. W. E. White proposed the amendment to the two resolutions in the following terms:-

He said that under the motion proposed by Mr. Coles they would be able to ring a 5,040 of Bob Doubles with only three bobs in it. With regard to the Bankes James composition, as he understood it, they did not complete the first 720, and looking at it from that standpoint it was not what most of them had been brought up to consider right and proper. It might be of interest to the conductor and a clever performance on the part of the composer, but he did not think it was of very much interest to the other ringers (A Voice: Isn’t it!) It was no more credit to the rest of the band to ring the Bankes James arrangement than it was to ring seven other 720’s, and if the band was so far advanced that they could ring a peal of Cambridge Minor, for goodness’ sake let them do as recommended in the resolution the Council had just passed, ring seven Surprise methods in their peal! The Cambridge composition might be a very wonderful production, but there was no special merit in ringing it. He was bringing forward the amendment at the definite request of his association (the Midland Counties Association), because they considered it would be in the interests of the majority of the six-bell ringers.

Mr. E. Denison Taylor seconded, and said he heartily endorsed what Mr. White had said. He might be old fashioned, but Mr. White had voiced his views.

The Ringing World, July 21st, 1933, pages 454 to 455


Mr. J. A. Trollope, continuing the discussion on the Minor resolutions, said the Council had just agreed to an alteration of their rules under which they expected the affiliated societies to carry out any rule that the Council liked to pass, even if it concerned such a thing as the ringing of peals. That involved an obligation on their part that they should not do anything which might in any shape or form be contrary to the best interests or the improvement of the Exercise. History taught them that when ringing had been flourishing there had been continually going on a process of breaking or of adapting old rules, but throughout history, from the time changes were invented, they had never got beyond two principles - truth and completeness. But rules had altered. There was the rule that change ringing should be done in whole pulls; then someone broke it and rang changes in half-pulls. There was the rule that no peal should be less than 5,040 changes, then someone said, ‘Why not ring 5,008 on eight bells?’ And in more recent time people had found the benefits of spliced ringing on six and eight bells, and they had broken the rules to do it; and so with the Little methods. And they would find that that would have to happen in the future, for this reason not only in ringing, but in every human activity, progress was made by trial and error. They had to experiment. When ringing was progressing in the eighteenth century they were continually doing these things. Then they came to a period in the nineteenth century when they got little or no improvement, and the standard of the ringers went down both intellectually and socially. Now, in the last 50 years, ringing had advanced and the standard of ringers had risen. It did not follow, continued Mr. Trollope, that if they made these new rules everyone was to ring these things; it was simply that they must not do anything that would discourage a forward movement. It had been said that these rules would let in a lot of things that were rubbish; he thought they need have no fears on that score. No one would go for a peal and ring the first lead over again before going on to the second, and then the second again before going on to the next; ringers did not do these things, and they could safely ignore such fears. To allow a little latitude was in the best interests of the Exercise. When he took part in the peal of Oxford Treble Bob, composed by Mr. Turner, he did not consider he did anything to lower the intellectual standard, and it was very much better to ring a peal of Minor with the tenors always the right way than having them frequently the wrong way. But although he took part in a peal of this kind, he did not ask anybody else to do so if they did not want to. He certainly did not consider he was lowering the standard of ringing; rather was be encouraging that spirit of looking forward, experimenting and getting the best out of the art.


Mr. P. J. Johnston asked the Council if they realised where these resolutions of Mr. Wood and Mr. Coles would lead them? He disagreed with Mr. Trollope as to the way in which the standard of length of a peal had developed; he suggested that the standard for a peal of Major was set up by the limit of physical effort, but because a peal on eight bells was reduced from 5,040 changes to 5,000, it did not justify them in reducing the number in a 720 to 719.

Mr. Trollope: I did not say that, and I did not mean it either.

Mr. Johnson said that was what was implied by those who had spoken in favour of these motions; if it wasn’t, then these gentlemen did not know what they were speaking about (laughter). There certainly were not 720 changes in what was called the first 720 in the Bankes James composition. They had been told they ought not to come to any decision that was contrary to the desires expressed by certain people. What was it caused them to arrive at the decision with regard to what were called legitimate methods when they came to the conclusion only to accept methods that had Bob Major lead-ends? Some of them would remember Oxford Surprise, a method by the late Mr. J. W. Washbrook, which was said to be far more difficult than London. There had been no peals of that rung since the Council’s decision, because it did not produce Bob Major lead-ends? If the five and six-bell ringers wanted to ring these irregular things, let them ring them - the Council had no right to say they should not ring them - but to say that the people who rang them should decide for the whole Exercise what should be the standard of a peal was another matter altogether (hear, hear). Mr. Wood wanted to make an exception of the Bankes James arrangement. If they were going to admit exceptions, the Council would have to decide on all the various experiments that were made before coming to a conclusion whether they were worth ringing or not. He would ask the six-bell ringers whether they did not get enough scope by spliced ringing, and whether it was not better than ringing the Bankes James arrangement? By splicing they did ring complete extents of 720 changes; under the Bankes James principle they did not do so. Paragraph 4 of Mr. Coles’ motion, which, literally interpreted, meant that they could ring the whole 5,040 as they wished - it was a hopeless jumble - provided that no change occurred more than seven times (‘No.’). If they were going to carry this resolution they were going to admit as peals things that any tyro or schoolboy could produce, and they would have to come many miles at great expense to deliberate on things that were not worth deliberating on at all.

Mr. J. Hunt said, as a sensible body of ringers, sent by the associations because they were supposed to have a little bit of intelligence, he appealed to the Council to squash these motions once and for all, and say that every 720 in a peal should begin from and finish with rounds. Mr. Hunt referred to the Isham peal which, he said, consisted of seven 360’s, ending with a single and then another seven 360’s, ending with another single. That, as a plain ringer, was what he called piffle and nothing but rubbish (laughter). His association had rung none of these things. Mr. Dyke, in the Bath and Wells Diocesan Association’s report, this year had put forward a thing which they had known for the last 40 or 50 years, that if ringers wanted more than the old ten six-scores of Grandsire Doubles they could use Extremes, and they could get 42 different 120’s starting from and finishing with rounds. If they wanted anything more they could have 60 Grandsire Doubles and 60 of Stedman coupled together with singles, and they would have a true extent. That was what he (the speaker) called real progress. He urged the members of the Council to vote for the amendment.

Mr. A. H. Pulling said he had been of opinion that, since the Analysis Committee accepted these peals, they were practically recognised by the Council. Fancy, he said, a schoolmaster saying to his pupils, ‘Here is a rule; if you don’t like it you can do as you like.’ That was what this motion said with regard to the 720’s. ‘If you do not like them you can ring a 5,040 in any other way and we will accept it.’ Could they say in the face of that that they were leading the Exercise? The theory of Mr. Bankes James arrangement might be absolutely true, but in practice it was false. Despite all the arguments of the highbrows, they did not start to ring their 5,040 with the backstroke. If they wanted to ring a composition of Minor which did not consist of seven 720’s they should not say it was true, because it wasn’t. If they wanted to ring it they should not call it a peal, they should call it 5,040 changes.


The Rev. F. Ll. Edward said it was impracticable to retard the wheels of progress. This kind of experiment would go on, and the best thing they could do was to make it clear in the resolution that it was only an experimental concession. He suggested that paragraph 4 of Mr. Coles’ motion should read: ‘That any departure from the above standards is not encouraged; but that in view of the present experimental stage of development in composition any arrangement of 5,040 changes in an acknowledged method or methods may be recognised as a peal, provided that no change is rung more (or less) than seven times in a peal of Minor, or 42 times in a peal of Doubles, and that the whole starts from and ends with rounds. Such a peal may be lengthened, provided that no change is rung more than once for each additional 720 (or 120) changes, and that the whole ends with rounds.’

Mr. A. D. Barker said the Council had just passed a resolution urging five and six-bell ringers to ring peals in more than one method, and, if possible, peals of Minor in not less than seven methods. Those who wanted to ring seven 720’s of Cambridge Minor had eight compositions which would keep the tenors the right way, which ought to be quite enough without calling on the ingenious arrangement of Mr. Bankes James. There were other methods in which they could not get seven 720’s with the tenors the right way, but he hoped everyone would support Mr. White’s amendment. If they did he was quite sure they would please the six-bell ringers.

In replying to various points raised in the discussion, Mr. Wood said he thought Mr. Coles had made out a very good case for the Bankes James arrangement, but not so good a case for the rest of his own motion. His (Mr. Wood’s) case for the Bankes James arrangement was that if they wanted it let them have it honestly as an exception to the rule. He did not consider Mr. Coles’ motion was logical, because, first of all, he wanted to discourage certain peals and then said, ‘Let us let them in.’ That was not the way to discourage them. Mr. Edwards had said something about the present experimental stage of composition. Experiments in composition were not confined to 1933; they had been going on since about 1600. It would be of no use to have a temporary motion; they would always be experimenting. The one question they had to ask themselves was, ‘Is it in the interests of ringing that this arrangement should be rung?’ They were not concerned in his motion with anything about starting at backstroke, or whether rounds came first or last, or whether, even this peal was true; they were there to say whether they would accept it as being for advancement in the right direction. That was all he asked them to vote on. His motion was included in Mr. Coles’ motion, and those who were prepared to support Mr. Coles must, to be logical, vote for his also. With those who would vote for the amendment he had a good deal of sympathy, but he asked them to bear in mind that the amendment was not going to end the trouble. He asked them to give as unanimous a vote as possible to let in the Bankes James composition as an exception and nothing else.


Mr. Coles, also replying, flatly contradicted Mr. Hunt that his association had not rung any of these special compositions, and said that peals of Grandsire Doubles rung by the Bath and Wells Association between 1926 and 1932 included six in which Pitman’s or Morris’ arrangements or both appeared. With regard to the mover and the seconder of the amendment, who said that ringers did not want these compositions, he pointed out that their own association, the Midland Counties, had rung Morris’ arrangement probably more than any other association, and their own secretary called it so often that many people thought it was his own composition. Further, they passed a resolution in 1930 declining to recognise peals which included these compositions, but that did not prevent them publishing in their report for 1931 a peal of Cambridge Minor rung on these lines. Did they have the courage to withdraw it? asked Mr. Coles. ‘They didn’t,’ was his reply. Moreover, they rang the Pitman and Morris arrangements in a peal that most people would have taken exception to, a peal which included both Bob Minor and Grandsire Doubles. ‘I say their amendment is hypocrisy,’ said Mr. Coles, ‘and they have been driven into this position by Mr. Willson’s “hopelessly false” resolution at Chelmsford.’ As to the position of the Council, Mr. Coles said they had accepted these peals. Whether the Analysis Committee had been justified in putting them in the analysis or not by the rules of the Council, no protest had been made, and no protest was made when the Analysis Committee’s report was brought up that day. Mr. Johnson had said that under his (the speaker’s) motion they would be allowed to ring a hopeless jumble, but he pointed out that his motion provided for the peal being rung only in a recognised method.

Mr. Johnson: What I said was that paragraph 4 was a hopeless jumble, not the methods (‘Oh!’).

Mr. Coles said that was not what he understood Mr. Johnson to say. He went on to suggest that the old seven 720’s had become much too easy for the average conductor, and his resolution would permit them to ring things which were harder, such, for instance, as the varieties of 240’s and 360’s published by Mr. Lindoff. Mr. Coles said if his own motion were defeated, he would be bound to vote for Mr. Wood’s, but he would point out that Mr. Wood’s motion did nothing for the five-bell ringers - it did not mention Doubles.

The President: It was intended that it should.

Mr. Coles said he hoped the Council would pass his resolution; it would end the controversy once and for all, and the way would be quite clear. If the resolutions were passed there would be no fear of ringers departing from recognised methods; neither did it mean that ringers would have to ring these things if they did not wish to ring them.

The President said Mr. Wood’s motion was intended to cover Doubles similarly. It was absolutely his (the President’s) mistake in passing on the motion. There should have been in the motion a paragraph that a peal of Doubles should consist, in general, of 42 extents.

Mr. W. E. White mentioned, with regard to the peal in the Midland Counties Association’s report, referred to by Mr. Coles, that as soon as it was noticed it was deleted, and it was not recorded in the association’s peal book. The peal was cancelled, and now when a peal was rung, if the composition was not given, they asked where the figures were to be found.

The amendment was then put to the meeting and the President announced that it was carried by 44 votes to 26. This was greeted with applause, and on being put as a substantive motion there was again a majority in favour, but as, under the old rules which governed the meeting, matters outside the private business of the Council had to be carried by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the meeting, and this majority not being obtained, the President had to announce that it was not carried by the requisite number. The position, therefore, remains exactly as it was before the meeting.


The next business was the place for the next meeting. The President said two places had been suggested - Warwick and Wolverhampton. The Standing Committee did not make any definite recommendation, but it was the turn of the Midlands to have a meeting.

Mr. H. Knight (hon. secretary of the Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford) gave an invitation to the Council to visit Wolverhampton.- This was seconded by Alderman Pritchett.

Warwick was proposed by Mr. J. A. Trollope, and seconded by Mr. J. H. White.

On being put to the vote, Warwick was selected.

On the recommendation of the Standing Committee, the following grants were made to the various memorial schemes for which appeals had been received:-

A vote of thanks to the president was passed on the motion of Canon Elsee, and the President then proposed a vote of thanks to all concerned in the meeting and social arrangements: to the Skinners’ Company for the use of the hall; the Worshipful Master of the Company for his welcome; to the societies and their representatives on the joint committee who had arranged the social programme; to the Middlesex County Association for their hospitality in inviting the members of the Council and their friends to tea; to the authorities at the South Kensington Museum; to H.M. Office of Works for the use of the bells at the Imperial Institute; and the incumbents of the various churches for similar facilities in regard to their bells; and to the respective steeplekeepers; also to the Rector of St. Clement Danes’ for the use of the vestry at that church for the meeting of the Standing Committee on the preceding day.

This concluded the business, and the Council then rose.

The report of the round of social events connected with the meeting of the Council has already been reported in our columns.

The Ringing World, July 28th, 1933, pages 474 to 475

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