A further drop has occurred in the number of peals rung in 1934, as compared with 1933. The following summary shows comparative figures:-
Peals of Maximus have decreased by 14 - five in Surprise methods and nine in other methods. Cinques have decreased by five. Royal have increased by eight - one in Surprise methods and seven in other methods. Caters are the same. In Major there has been a decrease of 65. Surprise methods have decreased by 62 - London 24, Bristol 9, Cambridge 36, Superlative 10. Spliced Surprise have increased by six and new Surprise methods by 11. Treble Bob have decreased by 19, Double Norwich by 13, whilst Plain Bob have increased by 34. Stedman Triples have decreased by 18, and Grandsire Triples by four. Minor have increased by 52 - in one method 26, in four methods 6, in seven methods 12, and in methods over seven by 11.
There is a drop of 12 in handbell peals, the main decrease being in Stedman and Grandsire Triples.
The Kent County Association again head the list with 159 peals, an increase of six over their last year’s total. The Midland Counties follow with 111, the same number as last year. No other association rang over 100 peals. Twenty-four associations show an increase, the most noticeable being the Lincoln Guild, with an increase of 31. Seventeen societies show a decrease, the principle being the Lancashire Association with 41 less, the Essex 36, Worcestershire 26, Oxford 23 and Stafford Archdeaconry 21.
6,720 Little Canterbury Pleasure Major, by the Midland Counties Association at Earlshilton, November 10th.
6,016 Norfolk Surprise Major, by the Norwich Diocesan Association at Hethersett, June 9th.
5,040 Winchester Bob Major for the Lincoln Diocesan Guild at Barton-on-Humber, November 24th.
5,120 Spliced Cambridge and Rutland Surprise Major, by the Chester Guild, January 6th.
5,088 Leatherhead Surprise Major, by the Guildford Guild, January 20th.
5,184 St. Albans Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, January 20th.
5,056 Chiltern Surprise Major, by the Guildford Guild, January 25th.
5,088 Rochester Surprise Maximus, by the Suffolk Guild, February 3rd.
5,040 Bristol Surprise Royal, by the Surrey Association, February 10th.
5,152 Yoxford Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, February 9th.
5,040 Spliced St. Illtyd and Oxford Bob Triples, by the Llandaff and Monmouth Association, February 21st.
5,056 Staffordshire Surprise Major, by the North Staffs Association, February 24th.
5,152 Berkshire Surprise Major, by the Oxford Guild, March 14th.
5,184 Orwell Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, April 26th.
5,152 Truro Surprise Major, by the Middlesex Association, May 29th.
5,056 Manchester Surprise Major, by the Chester Guild, June 7th.
5,088 Spliced London, Rutland, Bristol, Cambridge and Superlative Surprise Major, by the Middlesex Association, June 16th.
5,152 Whitminster Surprise Major, by the Yorkshire Association, July 7th.
5,120 Deben Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, July 20th.
5,088 Oxhey Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, July 21st.
5,024 Hertfordshire Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, August 11th.
5,056 Runnymede Surprise Major, by the Oxford Diocesan Guild, August 22nd.
5,088 Silchester Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, October 18th.
5,024 Boveney Surprise Major, by the Oxford Guild, October 25th.
5,024 Elstree Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, November 17th.
5,088 Princess Marina Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, November 29th.
5,088 Ealing Surprise Major, by the Middlesex Association, December 1st.
5,088 Erith Surprise Major, by the Kent County Association, December 15th.
5,040 Spliced Yorkshire and Cambridge Surprise Royal, by the Sussex County Association, December 26th.
5,024 Shipway’s Court Bob Major, by the Hertford County Association, January 17th.
5,040 Erith Little Bob Royal, by the Kent County Association, April 29th.
The outstanding performances of the year were the peal of Grandsire Cinques rung at Melbourne, Australia, in which six English and six Australian ringers took part. This was the first peal on twelve bells outside the British Isles and the first peal on twelve bells by seven of the band. In addition, the tourists rang peals at Hobart, Ballarat and Sydney, and handbell peals on the Mediterranean, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea.
Other notable performances were the peal of London Surprise Major ‘in hand’ by the Hertford County Association, the peal of Bob Major by a band whose average age was 15, and a peal of Doubles by a band whose average age was 14 years and 7 months. A peal of Minor in 39 methods by the Chester Guild was also a fine performance.
The following are the number of peals rung during each month in 1934 and 1933:-
There is a slight decrease in the number of ringers who have scored their first peal. The total is 503, a decrease of 20. Of this total, 180 accomplished their first peal on the treble, 82 on the tenor and 241 on an inside bell. The number who have rung their first peals in a new method, or method on a different number of bells, is 1,074, a decrease of 88. Ringers of their first peal inside number 81, away from the tenor 13, Maximus 1, Cinques 10, Royal 27, Caters 6, Major 83, Triples 25, Minor 77, Doubles 41. On 12 bells 28, ten 35, on eight 36, on six 9, on five 1, Surprise 23, in hand 25, in method in hand 29. New conductors number 66 and conductors in new methods 122.
Other footnotes show that 29 were the first on the bells since restoration or augmentation; muffled and half-muffled peals numbered 58; birthdays 239; royal birthdays 16; royal wedding 71; weddings (including golden and silver) 95; church festivals and dedications 20; welcome and farewell 29; Empire Day 4; memorial 4. One peal was rung ‘for love of the art.’
We give below the number of peals rung in each of representative years since 1881, the total for the whole period being 65,121:-
The records of first peals and progressive lengths are being revised and prepared in detailed form, and will be presented to the Council at the meeting in 1936.
EDITH K. FLETCHER.|
GEORGE R. PYE.
GEORGE L. GROVER.
The Ringing World, May 17th, 1935, pages 319 to 320
COMPOSITIONS AND SURPRISE METHODS.
The following report of the Methods Committee will be presented to the Council on Tuesday:-
During the past year the Collection of Triples Methods has been completed and the book is now on sale.
We understand that the present edition of the Collection of Minor Methods will be sold out in the next two or three years. We are rather doubtful of the wisdom of reprinting that book as it stands, at any rate in the immediate future. We think it would be better to issue a smaller and cheaper book which would contain a selection of the most popular methods and could deal with the simpler ones in greater detail. It would, perhaps, appeal to a wider circle than the present edition, and people who have now got the one would be likely to buy the other also. There is no need to settle this matter immediately, but we should like to have expressions of opinion.
Substantial work has been done on a book on Surprise Major Methods. During the past year the whole ground has been surveyed and a selection of methods made numbering over 600. These have been arranged and the false course ends worked out. A large number of peals suitable for ringing to these methods has been collected or composed; a historical account of Surprise ringing has been made; and an explanation of proof and other similar things has been written. This book will be placed in the Council’s Library for reference, and the problem of the ensuing year will be to reduce it and compress it to a size suitable for publication.
There are two matters arising out of our subject to which we would like to call the attention of the Council.
In our report of last year we referred to the question of the authorship of methods and peal compositions, and the problem has been with us acutely when dealing with the Surprise Methods. We fully recognise and. indeed, we wish to emphasise the extraordinary amount of skill and patience which has been devoted to composition by many men, both dead and living. They are fully entitled to credit for what they have done. But the old idea that every peal is a separate independent thing which was definitely composed by one man and so became his property is no longer tenable. Peals are not separate and independent things; they are related to each other in very many ways; the existence of one involves the existence of many others; and it is not possible to draw a line where variation ends and originality begins.
It is largely a question of how we look at compositions. The old idea was that they were a particular arrangement of calls - and so they are so far as the conductor is concerned - but nowadays the more instructed composer looks at them as so many Q Sets and such like things; and when he does that he can see that many peals apparently quite different are essentially identical.
The name of a composer at the foot of a peal is no indication of the real amount of credit he has earned. He may merely have put together some course ends by experiment and then found out, almost as it were by accident, that he had got a valuable peal. He may not even have been able to prove it, but has had to get other people to check it for him. The composition may be true for many methods of which he has no idea at all. Surely the amount of credit he has earned is quite small.
Again many of the most valuable peals are the work of several men. Thomas Thurstans did but put the finishing touch on what had been done by Shipway, Hudson and others. Hudson, at any rate, is entitled to as much and probably more credit for the peal of Stedman as Thurstans is.
The example of all this which has been brought most forcibly to our notice is Middleton’s five-part peal. That is really the one indispensable composition. It is not only the one true peal of Cambridge with the tenors together, but when the missing courses have been added to it, it proves to be, with its reductions and adaptations, the one peal which is true for the majority of the best Surprise methods. It runs equally well whatever the lead end of the method may be, but it appears in forms which are totally unlike the Cambridge. We have worked these out systematically, and, having done so, we are quite unable to put any composer’s name to them. To say they are Middleton’s would be absurd - he had not the faintest idea of any of them. To call them original peals would not be true, though as a matter of fact some of them have been composed independently by ourselves and other people. The best thing to do is to put no names at all.
In the same way, where we have taken a general idea and used it for the production of peals, or where we have adapted old peals and got results which are entirely outside the original composer’s intention, we propose to put no names.
On the other hand, where names can be put we shall do so. Wherever we have used an existing peal in approximately the same form we have put the composer’s name. But there may be exceptions even to that. We should not, for instance, put John Cox’s name to the 6,048 of Superlative.
In dropping the names of composers, except in certain circumstances, we are only reverting to the early custom of the Exercise.
A Surprise method is a method on the Treble Bob principle in which at least one internal place is made at every ‘cross section.’ That has been the official definition since 1906, when the Report on Classification of Methods was adopted by the Council, but the term had been in use in the Exercise for many years. It is as old as the early 18th century, perhaps as old as the late 17th century.
During all these years it had had a meaning which is fairly expressed in two great standard reference books. The ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’ refers to ‘Treble Bob Methods, among the latter being the so-called Surprise, the most complicated and difficult of all.’ And the Oxford English Dictionary gives Surprise as ‘applied to certain complicated methods of change ringing.’
Thirty or forty years ago the Council took in hand the job of laying down rules and drawing up definitions for ringing and among other things the classification of methods. Every method was to be neatly labelled and placed in its own pigeon hole. It was assumed that there are different classes of methods (which is true); that these classes are mutually exclusive (which is very doubtful); and that inclusion in any class was an indication of the credit which the band would gain who rang it (which is not true at all).
Several attempts were made to discover some means of distinguishing the different classes (as in the Glossary), but none was satisfactory except the one which was adopted. That did approximately cover the ground at the time. It was clear, easily understood and easily applied, and since the Council adopted it the Exercise has loyally abided by it.
But we are not sure that on the whole the thing was not a mistake. The definition attempted to put into exact words the idea which the Exercise had held for centuries, and, so far as the methods then known and practised were concerned, it did so, but that is no longer true. As defined, the Surprise methods are no longer ‘the most complicated and difficult of all.’ The definition is based on an arbitrary distinction, for a place made at a cross section has not necessarily any greater value than a place made elsewhere, either constructionally or practically. Once we thought it had; now we know it has not.
The old idea of Surprise methods has existed in the Exercise combined with the new definition, and the practical result has been that some methods have gained a prestige which they do not deserve and whole classes are neglected, because they do not bear the magic name of Surprise. People quite naturally think a Plain method must be a simple method, which most of them are not.
So far as Major ringing is concerned, this does not matter very much. The number of available methods is very great, and so long as development takes place it is not very material whether the new methods rung are Surprise or Plain or Treble Bob or anything else. But on ten and twelve bells the question is important. By their nature the Surprise methods are almost the worst fitted to give what is needed - complexity, interest of ringing and music which satisfies the ears of the outsider.
Twelve-bell ringers will no doubt point to Cambridge and Superlative as contradicting this statement. But one swallow or even two do not make a summer, and, anyway, neither Cambridge nor Superlative is an ideal method for producing the best music. What is wanted is the outside effect of Duffield or Forward without their monotony of actual ringing. There are methods, we think, which will give that, but they are Plain methods, not Surprise. We do not suggest that it is necessary or advisable to alter the present definition, but we think that the limitation of the Surprise class should be understood.
We propose to ask the Council for authority to proceed with the publication of a book on Surprise methods during the coming year. The problem will be how to deal with the mass of material at our disposal.
(Signed) J. ARMIGER TROLLOPE.|
STEPHEN H. WOOD.
ERNEST C. S. TURNER.
The Rev. E. S. Powell does not sign this report.
The Ringing World, June 7th, 1935, pages 365 and 362
TUESDAY’S MEETING AT SHREWSBURY.
The Central Council met at Shrewsbury on Tuesday. It was the third session of the fifteenth Council, and 90 members were present.
By the kindness of the Mayor and Corporation of Shrewsbury, the meeting was held in the fine old Council Chamber at Shrewsbury Castle.
The following members were present:-
Ancient Society of College Youths: Mr. A. B. Peck.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Mr. H. W. Brown, Mr. J. T. Dyke and Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: Mr. A. King and Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild: Mr. E. M. Atkins and Mr. E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Mr. J. Norbury and Mr. T. Wilde.
Devon Guild: The Rev. E. S. Powell, Mr. T. Laver, Mr. E. W. Marsh and Mr. G. C. Woodley.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. F. Colclough.
East Derbyshire and Notts Association: Mr. T. Clarke.
Ely Diocesan Association: The Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake and Miss K. Willers.
Essex Association: Mr. E. J. Butler and Mr. G. R. Pye.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Mr. J. Austin and Mr. W. Rose.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Mr. G. L. Grover, Mr. A. C. Hazelden and Mr. A. H. Pulling.
Hertford County Association: Mr. W. Ayre.
Irish Association: Mr. G. Lindoff.
Kent County Association: Mr. T. Groombridge, Mr. F. M. Mitchell and Mr. T. E. Sone.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher and Mrs. R. Richardson.
Lancashire Association: Rev. Canon H. J. Elsee, Mr. G. R. Newton, Mr. W. H. Shuker and Mr. A. Tomlinson.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Ven. Archdeacon Parry, Mr. G. Chester and Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Mr. J. W. Jones.
London County Association: Mr. A. D. Barker and Mr. F. E. Dawe.
Middlesex County Association: Mr. C. T. Coles, Mr. G. W. Fletcher and Mr. W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties Association: Mr. E. C. Gobey, Mr. J. H. Swinfield, Mr. E. Denison Taylor and Mr. W. E. White.
Norwich Diocesan Association: Mr. A. L. Coleman.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, Mr. W. Evetts, jun., and Mr. A. E. Lock.
Oxford Society: Mr. W. Collett.
Oxford University Society: The Rev. C. E. Wigg.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Mr. T. Tebbutt and Mr. F. Wilford.
St. Martin’s Guild: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. S. Hillier, Mr. C. H. Jennings and Mr. F. W. Romaine.
Shropshire Association: Mr. W. Saunders.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Mr. G. H. Cross and Mr. J. Parker.
Stafford Archdeaconry Guild: Mr. T. J. Elton and Mr. H. Knight.
Suffolk Guild: The Rev. H. Drake.
Surrey Association: Mr. D. Cooper and Mr. C. H. Kippin.
Truro Diocesan Guild: The Rev. W. H. R. Trewhella.
Warwickshire Guild: Mr. J. H. W. White.
Winchester and Portsmouth Guild: Mr. H. Barton, Mr. G. Pullinger and Mr. G. Williams.
Worcester and Districts Association: Mr. R. G. Knowles.
Yorkshire Association: Rev. Canon C. C. Marshall, Mr. J. Hardcastle, Mr. P. J. Johnson and Mr. S. F. Palmer.
Honorary members: Mr. W. A. Cave, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Mr. A. A. Hughes, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Mr. J. A. Trollope, Mr. E. C. S. Turner, Mr. A. Walker, Mr. S. H. Wood and Mr. E. Alex. Young.
The Council was welcomed to the diocese by the Lord Bishop of Lichfield, who also had been requested by the Lady Mayor to welcome the Council to Shrewsbury on her behalf.
The President (Mr. E. H. Lewis) read a letter from the Mayor expressing regret at her absence.
CONGRATULATIONS TO HIS MAJESTY.
The President then read a telegram which it was proposed should be sent to H.M. the King. It was as follows:-
‘The Central Council of Church Bellringers, assembled for its annual meeting in Shrewsbury Castle, respectfully offers its congratulations on the attainment of your Majesty’s Silver Jubilee, in the happy celebration of which the ringers of Great Britain and Ireland have taken their part, and on their behalf the Council expresses the earnest hope that for many years to come your Majesty’s reign over a loyal and united people may be prolonged.- Edwin H. Lewis, President.’
Later ill the day the following reply was received:-
‘The message of good wishes contained on your telegram was much appreciated by the King, whose sincere thanks I am commanded to convey to you and all who joined in these congratulations.- Private Secretary.’
The message was received with applause.
The hon. secretary (Mr. G. W. Fletcher) reported that the total membership of the Council was 128 members, representing 51 associations and 15 honorary members.
The retiring honorary members, Messrs. W. A. Cave and A. Walker were re-elected.
New members presented to the president were Messrs. E. C. S. Turner (honorary), J. Hardcastle (Yorkshire Association), the Rev. C. E. Wigg (Oxford University Society), Mr. G. Cross (Royal Cumberlands) and Mr. W. Saunders (Shropshire Association).
The President mentioned past members of the Council who had died during the year, and the members stood in silence for a minute as a mark of respect: Mr. J. Cotterell (1918-1934), Mr. William Pye (1912-1923), Mr. G. R. Fardon (1906-1911), Mr. E. P. Debenham (1891-1902), Mr. F. F. Lindley (1891-1897), and Mr. E. Bishop (1922-1928, 1932-1935).
Arising out of the minutes of the last meeting, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith reported that the Council’s greetings were conveyed to the ringers of Australia and New Zealand by the English tourists and that the publications sent out by the Council and distributed at the various towers were greatly appreciated. The tourists brought back fraternal greetings and good wishes from Australia, which they were asked to give to the Council and the ringers of England.
SATISFACTORY SALES OF PUBLICATIONS.
The hon. librarian reported that there had ‘been no trade depression’ in his department. The record of the last year’s sales had not quite been reached, but the demand for all publications had been good. A number of county bell histories had been added to the library by purchase and other books by gift. A complete catalogue would soon be available. The number of publications sold was 1,818, representing £35 13s. 6d. in value. Of this, £5 2s. 6d. value was accounted for by the gift of publications sent to Australian towers. The account showed a balance on the year of £24 10s. 4d.
The report was adopted, and the Council authorised the reprinting of the pamphlet on the Law Affecting Bells, after reference to Alderman Pritchett with regard to the insurance of voluntary ringers; and the reprinting of the Doubles and Minor Methods Collection, after revision by the Methods Committee.
The Council’s accounts showed receipts from affiliation fees of £31 for 1934-35 and 10s. arrears 1933-34; hon. members’ subscription £2 2s. 6d.; interest on Conversion Stocks and Consols £5; sale of publications £24 10s. 4d.; making a total of £63 2s. 10d. Expenses of new publications were £32 7s.; on library books £4 1s. 9d.; donations to memorial funds £13 13s.; other items £18 7s. 2d.; making a total of £68 19s. 5d. The balance of £64 11s. 9d. in 1934 has thus been reduced to £58 15s. 2d. in 1935, with £100, in addition, invested.
The accounts were adopted.
The report of the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine was received, and the Council then passed on to the consideration of the reports of the various committees.
COLLECTION OF COMPOSITIONS.
The report of the Peal Collection Committee stated that the committee were in the midst of making the selection of compositions for publication. On account of the number of peals of Grandsire Triples received - about five times as many as were authorised - it was suggested that a larger quota of these should be allowed.
The report was adopted, and the committee given power to include additional compositions in any one method, but it was suggested that the total number should not be increased.
THE METHODS COMMITTEE’S WORK.
The Methods Committee’s report, which has already been printed in our columns, was presented and received, but a long and acrimonious discussion took place over the committee’s recommendation: ‘That the Methods Committee be authorised to prepare a book on the Surprise Major methods, and to hand the same to the hon. secretary; and that the hon. secretary be authorised to take the necessary steps for publishing the same.’ This was proposed by Mr. J. A. Trollope, seconded by Mr. S. H. Wood.
The Rev. E. S. Powell, after having, at the suggestion of the president, withdrawn an amendment to omit certain paragraphs of the report, proposed the following amendment to the recommendation: ‘That it be an instruction to the Methods Committee to prepare a MSS. collection of 500-800 Surprise Major methods, which shall include an adequate proportion of methods representing the most recent research, and that this collection be made available to members of the Central Council through the library for their suggestions and criticism with a view to the ultimate publication of a book containing 100-200 representative Surprise Major methods.’
This was seconded by Mr. Gabriel Lindoff, but eventually defeated, and the committee’s recommendation adopted.
THE PRESS AND BELLRINGING.
The Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee represented a long report dealing with references and articles on ringing which had appeared in the Press during the year, including quotations from Australian journals during the ringing tour in the Commonwealth. There was also a statement on broadcasting, and the committee recommended that a letter be written to the B.B.C. congratulating them on the broadcasts given at Christmas and at the royal functions, and on the interval signal, but expressing regret at the omission of bells at Easter and at the discontinuance of the transmissions from the Midlands, and chiefly from Birmingham.
The report was adopted.
HONORARY MEMBERS INCREASED.
The President proposed and the hon. secretary seconded an alteration of the rules governing the constitution of the Council to enlarge the maximum number of honorary members from 15 to 20.
The motion was agreed to.
BELLS IN NEW CHURCHES.
The following motion was proposed by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by Mr. C. H. Jennings:-
‘That an address be presented by the Council to the diocesan Bishops, requesting them to take measures to ensure that the designs prepared for churches to serve new centres of population shall include due provision for the ultimate erection of substantial towers to accommodate peals of bells properly hung for ringing, at such points as to place every group of houses within hearing of a peal of bells; at the same time directing their lordships’ attention to the fact that all cause of annoyance from the sound of bells can be effectually eliminated if architects’ designs conform to the recommendations of the Towers and Belfries Committee.’
Mr. C. Jennings seconded the motion, which was carried, after Canon Elsee had suggested conveying the proposal to the Bishops in a modified form.
PEALS IN ‘SPLICED’ METHODS.
Mr. C. T. Coles, whose seconder was Mr. E. C. S. Turner, had given notice of the following motion:-
‘That in view of the extension of the practice of splicing methods this Council resolves that the term “spliced” shall be applied only to those peals in which not more than the length of a normal course in any method is rung in any part of the peal without a change to another method being made. Peals which contain more than one method, but which do not conform to the foregoing, shall be called “combined” peals.
‘That as splicing involves changes of methods at plained, bobbed and singled leads alike, it is further resolved that peals in which the change of method is produced by a special call, such as in peals of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob, shall not be called “spliced” peals.
‘These decisions shall apply to peals on all numbers of bells.’
Mr. Coles asked permission of the Council to amend the second paragraph of the motion to read as follows:-
‘That as splicing involves changes of methods at plained, bobbed and singled leads alike, it is further resolved that peals in which the change of method is not made at the lead end, such as certain peals of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob, shall not be termed “spliced” peals.’
This was agreed to.
Notice of amendment had also been given, and which had been accepted by the proposer and seconder to substitute the following for the first portion of the motion:-
‘To delete all the words in the first paragraph after the word “which” in line 3, and to substitute the following:-
‘there are at least as many changes of method as there are courses in the peal, subject to the following stipulations:-
(a) In peals in even-bell methods in which singles are used, the number of changes of method before a single shall be at least equal to the number of courses preceding the single, and, similarly, after a single, equal to the number of courses which follow it.
(b) In peals in odd-bell methods, the number of changes of method shall be at least equal to the number of changes of the bell in the hunt, or of the courses in the peal. Subject only, in peals in which less than six methods of Triples are rung, to any reduction of the number necessitated by two or more hunt bells, relating to the same method, being consecutively called into the hunt.
(c) The conditions relating to even-bell methods shall apply in peals of Minor to each 720 individually, and for the purposes of this rule each 720 with a Treble Bob hunt shall be considered to have six courses, and each 720 with a Plain hunt, or with an Alliance and Little hunt, twelve courses.
(d) Peals of Doubles shall be deemed to comply with this rule if there is at least one change of method within a 120 and not more than half a six-score is rung without changing into a different method.
Peals which contain more than one method, but which do not conform to the foregoing shall be called “combined” peals.’
After a long discussion, the subject, together with an amendment by Mr. J. Hunt, was postponed for future consideration, the following resolution being carried on the motion of Mr. S. H. Wood, seconded by Mr. Tom Clarke: ‘That all peals which contain more than one method shall be called “spliced peals.” That reports of all spliced peals shall include a reference to the number of methods rung and the number of changes from one method to another.’
OLD PEAL RECORDS.
Mr. W. H. Hollier had given notice of the following motion: ‘That in the opinion of the Council it is desirable that a record should be made of old peal records contained on tablets, boards or otherwise in the church towers of the country, and that a committee be appointed to undertake this work, the records to be collected being those up to the year 1825.’
This was seconded by Mr. C. T. Coles and carried.
A committee, consisting of Mr. W. H. Hollier, the Rev. C. E. Wigg and Mr. W. Ayre, was appointed.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith proposed and Mr. G. L. Grover seconded a motion in the following terms:-
‘That to ensure the accuracy of the Council’s peals analysis and as a matter of general interest, those responsible for sending the reports of peals for publication in the ringing Press are urged to denote all “first peals” and “first peals in the method,” both by any of the ringers and “as conductor.”’
This was adopted.
PROPOSED RECORD OF PAST MEMBERS.
Mrs. E. K. Fletcher proposed and Mr. G. R. Pye seconded:-
‘That a record be prepared of past members of the Council, giving a short account of their work, and, where possible, a photograph, and that a committee be appointed to undertake this work.’
This was agreed to, and a committee, consisting of Mrs. Fletcher, Mr. W. A. Cave and Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, was appointed.
At an interval in the business in the morning the Council welcomed the returned Australian tourists, who were later entertained to lunch. The President proposed the loyal toast and afterwards a toast to the Australian party, which was acknowledged by Mr. W. H. Fussell.
A cordial vote of thanks was accorded to the president and the hon. secretary and his able assistant (Mrs. Fletcher). Also to the Mayor and Corporation for the use of the Council Chamber; the Bishop of Lichfield; the Shropshire Association for their hospitality; Major Trevor Corbett, Mr. R. R. Pole and committee for their excellent arrangements; the incumbents of the various churches for the use of bells; and all towerkeepers.
At the conclusion of the meeting the members and friends were entertained to tea by the Shropshire Association.
The Ringing World, June 14th, 1935, pages 381 to 382
The third session of the fifteenth Council (43rd annual meeting) was held in the Council Chamber at Shrewsbury Castle on Whitsun Tuesday. The President presided over the business meeting, at which 90 members were present and received a welcome from the Lord Bishop of Lichfield.
The 51 associations affiliated to the Council were represented as follows:-
At the outset of the proceedings, the Lord Bishop, who was warmly received, said he had to welcome the Council in a double capacity, because the Mayor of Shrewsbury, much to her regret, was unable to be with them, and in her name he had to welcome the Council to that beautiful town of Shrewsbury, as well as in his own name to welcome them to the diocese of Lichfield. He was particularly glad to be able to address a meeting of bellringers, because it had been his privilege to be in charge of churches where there were fine peals of bells, and he realised the value of their services. While bellringing was an art founded upon an exact science, they were to-day recognising more fully than ever that that art was allied to the work for God. Our God was the God of beauty and the God of truth, as well as the God of goodness and of love, and everything that ministered to beauty in sight or sound was of God and might be dedicated to God. As their presence there showed, they regarded the art of bellringing, and rightly regarded it, as an art connected with the worship of God, and it was rather a significant fact that in England, almost everywhere, the tower which contained the bells was part and parcel of the church itself, and those who ministered to God by the art of bellringing were closely associated with the worship of God in the church. His own experience had shown him how bellringers could, in the true sense, help the worship of God. His great-grandfather, continued the Bishop, was Vicar of a church in Gloucester, his father was Vicar of Whitmore in Somerset, where they had a fine peal of bells, his father was Vicar of Trumpington, near Cambridge, and since his own ordination he had had a variety of experiences of churches with peals of bells, among them Gateshead and St. Nicholas’, Liverpool. Therefore, he knew something about the immense help bellringers could be to the services of the church (applause). Bells were a reminder of God’s presence with them, and were associated with their national life, both in rejoicing and sorrow. Those who had assembled there that day represented a great and a beautiful art, an art closely connected with the worship of God, and he most heartily wished them Godspeed in their work and that God’s blessing would rest upon them and upon every company of men and women whom they represented (applause).
THE BISHOP THANKED.
The President, in expressing thanks to the Lord Bishop for his cordial welcome, said he was in Liverpool when the Bishop first went to that city, and he had the unique distinction of having a peal of twelve bells and a peal of ten in his care. The peal of ten at the old Church of St. Peter were hanging in a tower that had been condemned by the city surveyor, and the bells were not allowed to be rung. He (Mr. Lewis) had just made a confession to the Bishop, that by the merest accident one night a 720 was rung on the front six (laughter). At that time St. Nicholas’ bells were not rung, and he thought probably because the ecclesiastical authorities did not take sufficient interest in their ringers. That had been changed, and, as they all knew, there was now a very flourishing band at St. Nicholas’, but St. Peter’s had been pulled down. The Council, Mr. Lewis proceeded, very much appreciated the opportunity of coming to that beautiful town of Shrewsbury, which was famous for its bells, as well as for many other things. It was a place of many happy memories for him. About 29 or 30 years ago he had the happy lot to ring on the back ten bells of St. Chad’s his 50th peal and he would make a confession of having done something which ought not to be done by a president of that Council. There was the nucleus of a keen band of change ringers in the town, and one night four of them went to St. Alkmund’s, where the bells were ‘clocked,’ and chimed the first part of Holt’s ten-part (laughter). He did not think any of the bells were cracked as a result. In conclusion, the President thanked the Bishop for his welcome and his address.
The Bishop having offered prayer, the President stated that he had received a letter from the Mayor of Shrewsbury expressing regret at her absence, as she was away from home; and an apology from the Bishop of Hereford, who was attending the consecration of the new Bishop of Truro.
Proceeding, the President said the Standing Committee suggested the sending of a congratulatory telegram to H.M. the King upon his Jubilee. The terms of the message were read and approved.
The message, together with His Majesty’s reply, were given in our last issue.
The President added that, talking of Jubilees, he believed that on the previous day the Bishop of Lichfield had completed 25 years of office as Bishop of the diocese, and he was sure they would all offer his lordship their congratulations (applause).
THE COUNCIL’S MEMBERSHIP.
The Council then began their long agenda. The hon. secretary reported that the total membership of the Council was 143 - 128 representatives of 51 associations and 15 honorary members. That was one more than last year, because they filled the remaining honorary membership at the last meeting. Two subscriptions were still unpaid, the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Association and the North Staffs and District Association. With regard to the applications made for these subscriptions, two notices appeared in ‘The Ringing World’ and he had also written to the secretaries of both associations.
The President pointed out that under the rules, representatives of these associations, if present, were neither allowed to speak nor vote at that meeting.
The Standing Committee recommended the re-election of the retiring hon. members, Mr. W. A. Cave and Mr. A. Walker. The Council at once agreed.
Five new members were introduced to the president, and the following apologies for absence were received: Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, Ancient Society of College Youths; W. J. Davidson and J. W. Parker, Durham and Newcastle Association; E. Guise, Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association; J. Phillips, Lincoln Diocesan Guild; D. G. Clift, Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association; W. Pickworth, Middlesex County Association; C. E. Borrett and F. Nolan Golden, Norwich Diocesan Association; the Rev. R. F. Wilkinson, North Notts Association; Messrs. R. T. Hibbert, Oxford Diocesan Guild; R. G. Black, Peterborough Diocesan Guild; Gwyn Lewis, Swansea and Brecon Guild; H. G. Bird and J. D. Johnson, Worcester and Districts Association; W. J. Nevard, Essex Association; J. H. Cheesman, Kent County Association; T. H. Taffender, London County Association; A. Coppock, Society of Sherwood Youths; S. H. Symonds, Suffolk Guild; F. W. Perrens, Warwickshire Guild; H. Baxter, Peterborough Diocesan Guild; J. Clark, Hereford Diocesan Guild; Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Messrs. J. Griffin, C. F. Johnston, C. W. Roberts and C. Dean, hon. members.
MEMBERS LOST BY DEATH.
The President said that during the past year they had lost the following members by death: Mr. J. Cotterell, who represented the Yorkshire Association from 1918 to 1934, and who had attended eleven meetings during that period; Mr. William Pye, who represented the Middlesex Association from 1912 to 1923, and who attended four meetings. He was well known throughout the country as probably the most prominent ringer they had ever had. His special qualifications for ringing heavy bells were well known to them all, and he need not enlarge upon them, but he was sure they would feel his loss in the Exercise as much as they would that of any member they had ever had. Mr. G. R. Fardon, representative of St. James’ Society from 1906 to 1911, attended three meetings, and in later years was demonstrator of the Carter Ringing Machine, to which he paid very great attention. Mr. E. P. Debenham represented the Hertford County Association from 1894 to 1902. He was also very well known for the good work which he did for his association. He was very pleased to be able to be present at the Jubilee of his association last year, but he only survived it for a very short time. Mr. F. F. Lindley represented the North Lincolnshire Association from 1891 to 1897, and attended one meeting. They had also just heard of the death of Mr. Ernest Bishop, who represented the Gloucester and Bristol Association from 1922 to 1928, and from 1932 to the time of his death. In that time he had attended four meetings.
The members stood in silence as a mark of respect.
GREETINGS FROM AUSTRALIA.
After the minutes of the last meeting had been confirmed on the motion of Canon Coleridge, seconded by Mrs. Fletcher, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith reported that the Council’s message of greeting to the ringers of Australia, passed last year, was duly conveyed by the ringers who went out from England to the Commonwealth. The message was beautifully illuminated on vellum by Miss Kathleen Hughes, and received with great pleasure by the St. Paul’s Cathedral Society, Melbourne. The presentation of the address was made by a lady member of the Council, Mrs. Richardson, and he had been asked to bring to the Council the thanks of the society and their cordial greetings and good wishes. At every tower which was visited copies of the Council’s publications were distributed and gratefully received. There was no doubt that in some of the towers these would prove of great value. The collections of photographs of cathedrals and churches, which were so readily contributed to by the associations and guilds of the British Isles, developed into very handsome and valuable volumes, and both at Melbourne and Hobart, where they were presented, were received with great interest and appreciation (applause).
Mr. E. M. Atkins asked whether the hon. secretary had in hand the scheme for a census of ringers and whether anything further had been done?
The Hon. Secretary said the big trouble was to find time for such an undertaking. He suggested that Mr. Atkins should take the work in hand. He (the hon. secretary) would give him any assistance he could, but at the moment he could not undertake any extra work.
A GROWING LIBRARY.
The honorary librarian presented the following report: There has been no trade depression in this department; the record of the last year’s sales has not quite been reached, but the demand for all publications has been good. The new book of Triples methods has been published and seems to have met with a good reception. The method sheet of Double Norwich and Cambridge Court has been reprinted in a smaller size, more suitable for carrying in a pocket. Reprints of ‘Laws’ and ‘Rules for a Model Company’ are needed. The value of the books sent as a gift to Australian towers was £5 2s. 6d. and carriage 2s. 6d.
For the library proper I have to record the following additions: By purchase: ‘Church Bells of Essex,’ ‘Church Bells of Northamptonshire,’ ‘Church Bells of Bedfordshire,’ ‘Church Bells of Leicestershire,’ ‘Church Bells of Staffordshire,’ ‘Church Bells of Somerset,’ ‘Cathedral Bells of Exeter,’ ‘A Book About Bells.’ By gift: From Mr. C. T. Coles, ‘The Church Bells of Guernsey, Jersey and South Pembroke’; from the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild, ‘Hampshire Church Bells’; from Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher, ‘The Ringing World,’ Vol. 29. A complete catalogue of the library will soon be available.
The number of publications disposed of during the year was 1,818, of a value of £35 13s. 6d. These included 1,182 copies of ‘Hints for Instructors,’ 193 methods sheets, and 89 copies of the new book of Triples methods. The receipts were £36 3s. 8d., and there was a balance on the year of £24 10s. 4d. The value of the stock on hand was £193 12s.
In moving the adoption of his report, the Hon. Librarian said the past year had been one of activity, and the sales had gone on steadily throughout the year, quickening at the end when the new book on Triples methods came out. They had made several additions to the library by purchase, and they hoped shortly to make others. They had had several gifts, and only that morning Mr. Sharman, of the Bedfordshire Association, had put into his hands for the library a copy of ‘Campanologia,’ probably the third edition published in 1713 (applause). In addition, Mr. Trollope had handed to the Council his manuscript volumes on the Surprise Major methods to be deposited in the library. The catalogue of books was complete and would be in the hands of the members of the Council fairly soon. He would like to emphasise the fact that members of the Council and responsible ringers could borrow books from the library by payment of the carriage one way. Hitherto little use had been made of that privilege, but if the library was to be of real value it should be made use of. He was also making arrangements with one of the local ringers to carry out a limited amount of searching, if it were required. If a ringer wished to have information about any peal that had been rung or about any bells that appeared in any of the county histories they happened to have, it could be supplied without the expense of the books being sent to them. He hoped ringers would avail themselves of that service, although if there was to be a very long search, he hoped some small remuneration would be made to the local ringer who undertook it. Of course, if the person preferred it, he could have the books and make the search himself. The librarian added that he would welcome further gifts of any books connected with ringing which could find a place in the Council’s library (applause).
The adoption of the report was seconded by Canon Elsee and agreed to.
BOOKS TO BE REPRINTED.
The President said the Standing Committee recommended that the pamphlet on the ‘Laws Affecting Church Bells’ be reprinted, after referring the matter to Alderman Pritchett, with particular reference to the question of the insurance of ringers who are entirely voluntary. On this subject there was no ruling laid down in that book, and he thought it was well that it should be made clear. The Standing Committee also recommended that the ‘Collection of Doubles and Minor Methods’ should be reprinted, after revision by the Methods Committee. The stock of that book was getting very low.
The Rev. H. Drake asked if, when the pamphlet on ‘Laws’ was reprinted, the leaflet relating to faculties would be incorporated.
The Librarian: We can put that to Alderman Pritchett.
The recommendations were adopted.
The hon. treasurer’s statement of accounts, audited by Messrs. A. A. Hughes and C. T. Coles, was presented. The balance in hand at Whitsun, 1934, was £64 11s. 9½d. Receipts: Affiliation fees, 1933-4 arrears 10s., 1934-35 £31; hon. members’ subscriptions, £2 2s. 6d.; interest on £71 3½ per cent. Conversion Stock, £2 9s. 8d.; on £63 0s. 9d. 4 per cent. Consols, £2 10s. 4d.; sale of publications, £24 10s. 4d.; total £127 14s. 7½d.
The cost of new publications. was £32 7s.; additions to the library, £4 1s. 9d.; donations to memorials voted at the last meeting, £13 13s.; Carter Ringing Machine fees, 10s. 6d.; gift publications to Australia, £5 5s.; other items, £13 2s. 2d.; balance at Whitsun, 1935, £58 15s. 2½d.; total £127 14s. 7½d. The investments have a book value of £100, but a present market value of £149 2s. 8d.
The accounts were adopted on the motion of Mr. Hughes, seconded by Mr. W. A. Cave.
CARTER RINGING MACHINE.
The trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine (Mr. E. A. Young and Mr. A. Hughes) reported that from visits of inspection made in regard to the machine, they were satisfied that it is running normally and kept clean.
The demonstrator, Mr. Sharman, informs them that he had had it running and made some small adjustments. The question of another demonstrator being appointed in place of Mr. Fardon, deceased, was referred to the Council.
Mr. Young, who proposed the acceptance of the report, referred with regret to the death of Mr. Fardon, and said it was very desirable that they should have someone qualified to fill the position. In appointing a colleague for Mr. Sharman, they had to bear in mind that it was desirable they should have a ringer and someone who understood small mechanisms and electrical contrivances governing that machine.- Mr. Hughes seconded.
The President said the Standing Committee recommended the payment of the usual fee to Mr. Sharman for testing the machine and that the appointment of a second demonstrator be left in the hands of the trustees, who would endeavour to find a suitable person. The appointment was not a thing to make in a hurry.- This was agreed to.
Canon Elsee said they had hoped to have Mr. G. F. Woodhouse with them that day to demonstrate his ringing machine, but when leaving home, at Sedbergh, to come to the meeting, Mr. Woodhouse, while looking round to see that he had everything with him, backed his car into a gatepost and damaged it so much that he could not proceed. He had been looking forward for a year to demonstrating the machine to the Council, and he was very sorry indeed to disappoint them. Canon Elsee added that he was sure the Council were also very sorry, both for the accident and for Mr. Woodhouse’s disappointment and for their own (hear, hear). He suggested he should write and express the Council’s great regret and telling Mr. Woodhouse that they shared his disappointment (applause).
The President said he was sure the Council would like Canon Elsee to write to Mr. Woodhouse on the lines suggested.
The formal report of the Standing Committee stated that they met on the previous night and again that morning to consider the agenda, and recommendations had or would be placed before the Council, when the various items to which they related came up for discussion. The ‘Pamphlet on Variations’ had been received and would now be printed, and the committee recommended that it be sold at a price of 1s. per copy.
The President’s proposal that the report and recommendation be adopted was agreed to.
A COLLECTION OF COMPOSITIONS.
The adoption of the report of the Peal Collection Committee was proposed by Mr. Gabriel Lindoff, seconded by Mrs. E. K. Fletcher. It was as follows: A good collection of compositions has been made, and the committee are now in the midst of making their selection. We had hoped to have been through with this, so as to present the complete work to this meeting, but owing to the time that it takes in passing these things round to all the members of the committee, we have found it quite impossible. Our collection of Grandsire Triples contains at present about five times as many peals as are authorised. It has been suggested that it might add to the popularity of the work if a larger quota of these compositions were allowed by the Council.
The President said the Standing Committee recommended that the Peal Collection Committee be given power to increase the number of compositions in anyone method, if they so wished, but to keep the total number of compositions to the prescribed limit.
Mr. G. R. Newton said he had been allowed to have a small share in this work, but Mr. Lindoff had borne the major portion of the work. It was a colossal task, and no one would envy him. He (Mr. Newton) felt that he was responsible for Mr. Lindoff having to carry the burden of it. When he first suggested there should be a register of compositions, his friend, the late Mr. Harry Wilde, said he could not have anything to do with it, for the simple reason that he knew it would involve such a lot of work that he would not be equal to it. He (Mr. Newton) could say now that Mr. Wilde was perfectly right in what he said.
The report and recommendation of the Standing Committee were adopted.
The Ringing World, June 21st, 1935, pages 397 to 398
PREPARATION OF BOOK ON SURPRISE METHODS.
When the Methods Committee’s report (which was printed in our issue of June 7th) came before the Council, the hon. secretary read a letter from the Rev. E. S. Powell, tendering his resignation from the committee.
Mr. J. A. Trollope, in moving the adoption of the report, said, with reference to the proposal to reprint the Doubles and Minor Collection, the committee were very gratified to know the book had had such a good sale. They had suggested in their report that the next edition should be a smaller and cheaper book, which would contain a selection of the most popular methods and would deal with the simpler ones in greater detail. If there were any ringers interested in six-bell ringing who had suggestions to make he would like to receive them, so that they could be considered in preparing the new edition. With regard to the Triples book, he reminded the Council that it was designed for the less advanced bands, and he asked those members of the Council who had influence in their associations to do their best to get the book into the right hands. It was not merely desirable to sell the book; what they wanted was to get it into the hands of those who would benefit from it. If they had a few copies on sale at their meetings, people would probably buy a copy who would not go to the trouble of sending for it.
The next thing they had in hand, said Mr. Trollope, was the book on Surprise methods, and the task was a very much greater one than anything they had yet attempted - the ground to be covered was so tremendous. The number of Surprise methods possibly ran into millions - he would not tie himself down to a dozen or so (laughter). All this was complicated by the question of false course ends. They had been working on this matter for a great number of years past, and during the last twelve months a good deal of intensive work had been put in. Mr. Stephen Wood had devoted himself to one section in which he had worked out the combinations of places, which had given 151,200 methods. Out of these the good methods ran to over 8,000, and he was prepared to identify any method they liked to send him in this class. These were the methods produced by backstroke places, like Cambridge, Superlative, etc. Mr. Turner and he (Mr. Trollope) had made a general survey of the whole subject, and had put the result of their work into the two volumes now handed to the Council for the library. They really felt, therefore, that they were now in a position to go forward with a good book on Surprise methods. The book which they suggested would be a little more ambitious than the other books, and would run to 200 pages or rather less. There would be roughly 50 pages of methods, that was 150 methods, and about 40 or 50 pages of compositions, and 60 pages of letterpress, index and so forth. Towards that book a very substantial amount had been done. A selection of methods had been made, the false course ends checked and rechecked, compositions had been worked out; the letterpress draft had been made, revised and rewritten, and copies were in the hands of the committee. What remained was to put the whole thing together, cross the t’s and dot the i’s and write the preface. There was still a fair amount of work to be done, but there was no reason why they should not be able to hand the book over to the officials of the Council some time during the autumn. The thing to which the committee had given a great amount of thought and care was the selection of the methods when there were so many worth ringing. They could not possibly print them all. They could easily get a collection of 50 or 60, almost, he thought, from those that had been already rung or published, but the lines on which the committee worked were rather different. They were aiming not merely at a collection which should contain good methods, but a collection which should be thoroughly representative, and to do that they had tried to put themselves in the place of the actual ringer and to give them what the ringer of the future will require. Every one of the diagrams of the whole 800 methods from which the final selection was made was in the books, in addition to the figures, which, as a guide to a method, were often fallacious (applause).
CLAIMS TO AUTHORSHIP.
Mr. Stephen Wood, in seconding, said with regard to the subject of the definition of a Surprise method, mentioned in their report, the committee did not suggest making any alteration. The present definition had stood since 1906, but the committee wanted to point out the limitation of the definition. Some Surprise methods were a great deal easier to ring and less complicated than, say, some plain methods, and, as they saw in the report, it was particularly important on twelve bells, where the best methods, from the point of view of music they produced, were not Surprise methods at all, but plain methods. With regard to the vexed question of composers’ names being attached to peals, the committee asked for and was given permission to publish anonymously compositions produced by members of the committee, but he wanted to make it very clear they were not trying to lay down the law about this; it was not their job to do so and it was not their desire; still less had they any desire to take away any credit which attached to a man who had composed a peal. The point was just how much credit did attach to a person. If he had done something which his predecessors were not able to do, then he was entitled to all the credit possible, but when they saw in ‘The Ringing World’ a peal of, say, Bob Major, composed by somebody, possibly a fresh name, did they say to themselves, ‘This is a bright young person with some fresh idea,’ or did they say he had just strung a few courses together and produced a peal, and, although it might be quite a good peal, it would be somewhat strange if somebody had not already produced it, perhaps 300 years before. If peals were just compiled in that way, they could not claim any originality. When the committee produced peals for the methods published in the collections they did not try to produce new peals or cunning peals, but they tried to produce the best composition they could for the method; often they were existing compositions, sometimes they were variations or reverses, sometimes they were new, but as they tried to produce only the best compositions, that was the reason they left out their names, because they did not claim the peals to be original.
In regard to methods they had no hesitation in saying that no man had a right to call himself the composer of a method. The Council had heard that during the last year they had worked out a large number of methods. Mr. Trollope had said that he (Mr. Wood) had worked out about 8,000. For every method he had written out, Mr. Trollope and Mr. Turner had written out about twenty, so the Council would get an idea of what they had done. They were not claiming those methods as their methods, and no one who wrote them out in the future could claim them. They were written out by formulæ, and did not belong, therefore, to any other person. Mr. Trollope had told them that he (Mr. Wood) would be prepared to identify any method which was sent to him, of the class on which he had been working. The suggestion of a register of compositions had been absolutely ruled out as impracticable, but a register of methods was a practical thing. The Records Committee had a record of all the methods that had been rung. They had been card indexed, and such a system would enable the committee to keep a complete index in the future, so that it could be looked up at any time, and there could be no dispute about it, or any duplication. As a matter of fact during this last year one method had been rung twice by different bands and given two different names, and in each case was stated to be the first peal in the method. That was the kind of thing that could be avoided, if the Methods Committee co-operated with the Records Committee and they could produce some kind of index on those lines.
REV. E. S. POWELL’S QUESTIONS.
The Rev. E. S. Powell asked how many and which experts in Surprise methods had been personally invited by the committee to assist them in the preparation of the Surprise book?
Mr. Trollope: What is the definition of an ‘expert’? If you mean have I asked anybody who is a good Surprise ringer, I haven’t. If you mean how many letters have I written deliberately to any person asking for specific information, the answer is ‘None.’
The Rev. E. S. Powell: At the time the majority report of the committee was signed, how many members of that committee had been given the opportunity of studying the collection of 600 methods referred to in the report?
Mr. Trollope said the whole of the committee had the opportunity of studying the report if they had taken the trouble to ask for it. If Mr. Powell meant into whose hands had he placed the book, then it was only Mr. Turner who saw it. The other two members lived too far away.
The Rev. E. S. Powell: That compels me to ask another question. Was there any member of the committee to whom that collection was refused?
Mr. J. A. Trollope: You were refused a sight after you had declined to sign the report, but not before.
The Rev. E. S. Powell then proposed as an amendment to omit from the report of the committee the paragraph relating to the work done on a book of Surprise Major methods and the last paragraph of the report stating that it was proposed to ask the Council for authority to proceed with the publication of a book on Surprise methods during the coming year, and to substitute for this, ‘That it be an instruction to the Methods Committee to prepare a MSS. collection of 500-800 Surprise Major methods, which shall include an adequate proportion of methods representing the most recent research, and that this collection be made available to members of the Central Council through the library for their suggestions and criticism, with a view to the ultimate publication of a book containing 100-200 representative Surprise Major methods.’
Mr. Lindoff seconded. He said he did not wish to be drawn into any quarrel, but he would like to point out the importance, in making compositions for all these methods, of studying very carefully the kind of bob they were going to use. Good methods, like Mr. James’ Silchester, might be quite useless with an ordinary 4th’s place bob, but, given a 6th’s place bob, it was possible to use up the 60 course ends. In some methods he (Mr. Lindoff) had got, a 4th’s place bob only allowed him to get peals with the 6th not more than six times in sixth’s or fifth’s place, but he used another bob and could now get the whole of the sixty course ends. He had not seen the work which the committee had prepared, but he did think the question of the bob work in these methods wanted looking into. A little more consideration would be for the good of the Exercise.
The President said they could not very well propose the omission of a part of the report; they must adopt it or refer it back, unless they had the consent of the committee to remove the paragraphs to which exception was taken. The second part of the resolution was in order, because the Council could give the committee what instructions they liked.
The Rev. E. S. Powell said he was quite prepared to withdraw the first part of the amendment.
The President said in the report the committee said they proposed to ask the Council for authority. It was for the Council first of all to adopt or refer back the report. They could then pass any resolutions they liked arising out of the report, either agreeing with the suggestions of the committee or any other instructions. They had been trying for years to separate these recommendations from the reports as far as possible, so as to get things into a more businesslike way.
Mr. P. J. Johnson, referring to the suggestion of the committee that compositions should be published without the composers’ names, held the opinion that one of the things that encouraged young ringers and ringers growing into experience to experiment in composition was the appearance of their names in connection with anything which they ultimately produced. They were proud of it; whether others had the same estimate of their work was another matter. He could see that in some things it was possible to reduce compositions to a formula, but from the point of view of advantage to the Exercise and of cultivating the knowledge of the ordinary ringer, he felt it would be a very bad thing to turn composition into a kind of mechanical operation, and drop what had been the long established practice of the Exercise, not because they could not, by scientific principles, reduce to a minimum the amount of skill required to produce compositions, but because they would undoubtedly curb the interest and enterprise of growing ringers and composers. The present system might be unsatisfactory in some respects, but it had worked fairly well up to now, and he should hesitate considerably before agreeing to alter the procedure.
The Rev. H. Drake proposed that the report be received, but not adopted. He disagreed with what was said in the report about the authorship of methods and peals, not because he disagreed with the arguments which were put there and in the new book of Triples methods, but they were ringers, and as ringers they wanted to know what it was they were ringing and the authority for it; therefore, what they wanted was to have the name of the composer or something by which they could identify the composition and be sure of the truth of what they were being asked to ring. Only on the previous day, he was told, one of the peals rung turned out to be false (‘Shsh, shsh!’ and laughter). The Council should do what it could to make things like that less possible in future, even if it could not be entirely obviated. If they acted on the principle put before them in the report, instead of going forward they would be going backward. If they rang anonymous compositions there would be more false peals foisted upon them. They must have some system of approval for the compositions that were published. In the Triples book, although some of the peals were anonymous, they were vouched for by the committee, and any peals rung might be identified by their numbers. Before they dropped the system, which, as Mr. Johnson had said, had worked very well in the past, they should adopt some other system to identify peals so that there might be some assurance that when they rang a peal it would not be a false one.
Mr. Johnson seconded Mr. Drake’s amendment, which Mr. Trollope accepted on behalf of the committee. There was no intention, said Mr. Trollope, of committing anybody definitely to anything that was in the report. These things were put in so that people could use their brains and think about them (laughter). The Council might pass rules and they might get the Exercise to abide by them, or they might give arguments and induce the Exercise to follow them. In his view, the second was the better plan, and that was the intention of the report.
Mr. A. H. Pulling: If we pass this amendment, does that give the committee authority to get on with this book?
The President: No, that is to come up separately.
Mr. Pulling said when they gave Mr. Trollope authority they all knew what happened (laughter). He should vote against it on principle. Mr. Wood had said that it was the committee’s duty to pick out the best compositions for music. Would he say if the peals of Stedman in the Triples book were the best compositions for music?
Mr. Wood: Any peal of Stedman Triples must have all the music.
Mr. Pulling said the committee was falling over itself to get them to ring all the 5-6’s at backstroke in Minor; what about the 6-7’s in Triples? he asked. And with regard to compositions, was the Council going to send round and tell people not to go on composing touches or peals, because it was all going to be done by Hitler and his companions? (loud laughter). If they passed the report, nobody could compose anything in the future; it would all be done by machinery.
THE COMMITTEE’S DIFFICULTY.
Mr. Wood said he must apparently apologise to the meeting for being so misleading. Although Mr. Johnson and Mr. Pulling seemed to have misunderstood him, he wanted to make it clear that the committee did not want people to stop composing, neither did they want people to ring anonymous compositions. What they said was that they found it difficult to know whose names to put to certain compositions, and presumably other people had found the same. A member of the committee composed a peal for the proposed Surprise book. The method had nine false course ends, so they could understand it was a difficult business to get a true peal, but a true peal was produced, and he believed he was right in saying it was the only possible peal, but in looking up an old Treble Bob book they found exactly the same figures for a peal of Kent Treble Bob over Mr. Henry Johnson’s name. Would they describe that peal, in a method with nine false course ends, as a peal by Henry Johnson, who composed it for Treble Bob and knew nothing about the new method? Yet when it appeared in the book someone would probably at once get up and say, ‘That is a peal by Henry Johnson, published in 1876.’ That was the committee’s difficulty. If they put a peal together they did not feel justified in claiming it as their own; and if they could not do that, what could they put? That was why they suggested leaving the composers’ names out in such cases. But it was their desire to insert them wherever they could. Last year he suggested that what they wanted in a peal report was not the composer’s name, but an idea of what was rung. If it was from a Council ‘collection’ they could give the number, which was better for the purposes of identification, because more often than not the composer’s name did not indicate what composition had been rung. If they put the reference it would not be rung anonymously. The committee did not want to discourage people from composing peals; they had never called themselves experts and they did not like being called ‘Hitler’ either.
The Council agreed that the report be received.
The Ringing World, June 28th, 1935, pages 414 to 415
SURPRISE MAJOR METHODS.
When the Council resumed after lunch, Mr. E. C. S. Turner formally proposed the recommendation of the Methods Committee: That the Methods Committee be authorised to prepare a book on the Surprise Major methods and to hand the same to the honorary secretary; and that the honorary secretary be authorised to take the necessary steps for publishing the same. Mr. Turner said Mr. Trollope had already explained what it was proposed to put into the book, and added, with regard to the point raised by Mr. Lindoff, that in some cases 6th’s place bobs should be used in 2nd’s place-methods, that if a peal could not be produced in a method by 4th’s place bobs they would endeavour to produce it with 6th’s place bobs, and if the method was considered good enough, it would be put into the book.
Mr. Stephen Wood seconded.
In a speech of nearly 40 minutes’ duration, the Rev. E. S. Powell moved his amendment (printed in our last issue). He said the Council would recognise that he was in some difficulty in criticising the committee’s book, which had that day been laid before the Council, and which, as they had already heard, he had never seen. Some members may have considered it strange when he drew out, during the morning session, that he had not seen the book; that, as Mr. Trollope had confessed, the sight of it had been refused to him, and that, at the time the report was signed, only two of the four members of the committee had seen the contents of the book. He did not think, however, that it could be denied that that book of two volumes was based primarily and chiefly upon a collection of methods which Mr. Trollope made, or, for lack of a better word, composed himself several years ago. The only information he (the speaker) had was contained in a confidential memorandum circulated among the committee last July, but he thought he might be allowed to say this, that in addition to what he had already mentioned, there had been, as there was intended to be, a considerable amount of work on the variation and improvement of methods which already existed, and the addition, of course, of those methods which had been rung and published, or those which were considered worth while. He thought that would be accepted as the broad lines on which the book had been prepared. At any rate, those were rather the lines on which the committee were told it was going to be prepared. If that were true, he said without fear of contradiction that any book published on those lines alone would be out of date before it was printed. Surprise methods consisted of three main classes. One class had a place made in each section between the second and third rows. Those were the class which had the places ‘right.’ In addition there were, of course, the places made between the sections. From the theoretical point of view these were undoubtedly the ideal Surprise methods. In their best form, they produced alternate Cater and Triple changes, and some of the older members of the Council would remember that in the latter part of the Victorian age there was a school of purists who were inclined to accept those methods to the exclusion of all others. They even thought that just because London Surprise did not come into this class, London was not, strictly speaking, a legitimate method. But they were now past the Victorian age, and there was no one present that day who would say that London was an illegitimate method. The chairman of the committee had tried to impress the Council with the importance of the class mentioned, and they were the methods to which he got Mr. Wood to devote so much labour, whereas the better brains in the Exercise were beginning to turn away from them. It was the conservatives like Mr. Trollope who were pressing their importance. There were no two names, in his opinion, better known or respected for their work in producing Surprise methods than those of Mr. Bankes James and Mr. Gabriel Lindoff. It was interesting to see how many of this particular type of method they had published in the last 15 years. Mr. Lindoff had published two and Mr. James none of them. That seemed to him a somewhat significant fact.
BILLIONS OF METHODS.
In the second class of methods they had places made between the first and second rows of some sections, instead of the place between the second and third row, and, to preserve truth, they had a place made between the third and fourth rows. That was a very large and popular group and would probably be adequately represented in the Collection to be brought out by the committee. When he came to Class 3, which consisted of places made both ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ he was dealing with a group of methods which, he said, was only just beginning to get its head above water, and he personally believed it to be a class of Surprise methods not of to-day, but of to-morrow. If the proposed book was to be worthy of the reputation of the Council and of the Methods Committee, they did not want a book which contained a selection of methods which brought them just up to where they had got to-day. They wanted to use imagination so that they would include methods which would be in demand to-morrow. It was going to be an expensive business to bring out this book. It would be a book for the few, and the Council would only see its money back at the end of a very considerable period. Therefore, they wanted to bring out a book which would be a book not only of to-day, but of to-morrow. That was why he was particularly anxious to see in this book a really adequate representation of methods in Class 3. Mr. Trollope had told them that the Surprise methods ran to millions, but Mr. Law James once said that ran into billions, and he (the speaker) had looked into it sufficiently far to be able to say that Mr. Law James’ statement was no exaggeration. Against the 360,000 methods in Class 2, Class 3 contained millions of millions of methods to choose from. No one for a moment would ask the committee to work out the formulæ for all that enormous number of methods, but he thought some serious work should have been done upon, it, and there was no evidence before the Council that any serious work had been done on Class 3 by the Methods Committee. Mr. Powell went on to enumerate the methods in this class which had been published, such as Guildford, Northampton, Crofton, Surrey, Elstree and others unnamed, and in some cases they had been found as intricate to ring as London. He also gave the results of a careful examination which he said he had made of this type of method, not in order to find the actual methods, but to investigate the possibilities of getting good methods. He also worked out the false course ends, and the thing that surprised him most was to find that, although he did not find one with a clean proof scale, probably half of them would produce a peal of 5,000 changes. He did not know how many methods with these composite places the committee had included in their book, but he did know that it was impossible for two men, one of them a busy business man, to have made a really exhaustive and sufficient examination of the 15 groups of methods which were included in Class 3, so that whatever the committee might tell them of the contents of the book, whatever Class 3 methods had got into it must have got there almost accidentally. They ought to have a numerically stronger committee. Last year he did all he could to obtain it himself, and Mr. Trollope knew he nearly resigned then on that particular point. If his amendment was passed they could set to work to get a larger and stronger committee so that this further investigation might be undertaken. What he suggested was that they should mobilise the best brains of the Exercise both inside and outside the committee in getting something as a real basis for the work. If that were done, he believed the result would be that they would have a collection of about 600 methods with less than 100 Class 1, probably 200 to 300 Class 2, and they would certainly have at least 200 of Class 3. There could not be anything like a representative entry of Class 3 in the present book; there had not been sufficient number of hours in which to do the work.
‘LACK OF IMAGINATION.’
If the Council passed the amendment, they would, as he said, proceed to strengthen the committee, who would first proceed to examine the two volumes now before the Council, and if, for the sake of argument, they were perfectly satisfied with the book and found that it contained a thoroughly representative collection, all that would have happened would have been twelve months delay, and that was not a very serious matter in the circumstances. Mr. Trollope would then come again next year and tell them that his judgment had been vindicated, and that he (Mr. Powell) had been proved to know nothing about the subject, and he would take it smilingly and perfectly cheerfully. That was the worst that could happen. But supposing they turned down the amendment, what then? The Council must not think that by voting against the amendment they would be voting a vote of confidence in the Methods Committee. They would be doing nothing of the kind. When he wrote to Mr. Trollope and asked for the manuscript collection, he was told that it was the personal property of Mr. Trollope and Mr. Ernest Turner, and that, although they proposed to hand it over formally to the Council Library, they strictly reserved the copyright. Their sympathies, continued Mr. Powell, must be with the other member of the committee, Mr. Wood. It was a humiliating position for one who had been allowed to do a big slice of the work. Of course, that statement on the face of it was only bluff, and it was a bluff that they called, because whether the report of the committee was or was not the report of the committee as a whole, it had been presented to the Council as such and accepted as such, and the book had been accepted by the Council. Therefore, it was now the property of the Council. The copyright might be that of Mr. Turner and Mr. Trollope - that he would not deny - but the book was the property of the Council, and the Council could show it or use it in such way as they pleased. Mr. Trollope had also referred to it as ‘my MS. book’ - this time it was not even Mr. Turner and Mr. Trollope, but they could agree that both statements were undoubtedly true because they knew perfectly well that Mr. Turner had been carefully brought up from his youth by Mr. Trollope (laughter), and while the hands might be the hands of Mr. Turner, the voice was undoubtedly the voice of Mr. Trollope (laughter). He did not mean that in any way offensively; if it was thought to be offensive he would withdraw it. The point he wanted to make was that Mr. Trollope’s attitude prevented the book being available for study by members of the Council before publication. He had spoken rather stringently, and he did not withdraw a single thing he had said, but he would like to add that all of them - no member of the Council more than he - had a very high opinion of Mr. Trollope’s abilities, but he thought there was one quality in which Mr. Trollope was lacking, and that was the quality of imagination. In the bringing out of this book they had missed Mr. Law James to an extent that it was perhaps difficult to realize, unless they had worked with Mr. Law James as intimately as he (the speaker) had done. To bring out that record peal of London, to bring out that wonderful splicing of the Surprise Major methods which Mr. Law James thought of, was not done just by hard work. There was in it just a spice of something else - they could call it flair or genius; he preferred to call it imagination. It was, he felt, the absence of imagination which was the explanation of both the way in which the committee had been run in recent mouths, and also the reason why people like Mr. Bankes James, Mr. Lindoff and others were not approached, and why efforts were not made to work out the class of methods to which he had referred. It was in order to try and ensure that this book should be as representative as it could possibly be that he moved the amendment.
A QUESTION OF ‘REVENGE.’
Mr. Trollope said he did not propose to answer everything that Mr. Powell had said. What the Council was asked to vote upon was not a question whether the committee should be strengthened or a much better Surprise book published, but simply whether a man, who for some reason took a personal dislike to one member of the committee and could not have his own way, so left the committee, should get his revenge by trying to smash the committee. He was sorry to put it so brutally, but that was what was intended by the amendment. The committee had no quarrel with Mr. Powell, it was Mr. Powell who had quarrelled with them. They had been willing to work with Mr. Powell, but he had refused to work with the committee. Mr. Powell had suggested that he (Mr. Trollope) had treated him in some way other than he treated the rest of the committee. He had done nothing but observe the ordinary routine of their committee. He sent out an invitation to the committee to co-operate on this Surprise book at the beginning of July, but Mr. Powell did not reply until November, when he refused to co-operate. As he refused to co-operate, the other members of the committee got on with the work without him. Mr. Powell had told them about methods in Class 3. He (Mr. Trollope) knew all about the methods in Class 3. They could talk of millions of methods, but if they thought of examining them they would never get out a Surprise book. They must bring other things into consideration. They had taken the experience of the Exercise and their own experience, and for the last twelve months he had put in three or four hours per day, and he defied anyone, whether expert or anything else, to say it was not a representative book. If they liked to hang it up and appoint a committee of archangels, they could not do more than had been done, but if they did hang it up for a year the committee would lose touch with things and probably make mistakes. The committee were quite surprised at the attitude Mr. Powell had taken up; it was quite unjustified.
The President: Can you say roughly how many of the methods to which Mr. Powell has referred are in the Collection?
Mr. Trollope: Every method Mr. Powell has mentioned is in the Collection, and of Class 3 methods there are altogether about 50, I should think.
The Hon. Librarian said while Mr. Powell had been making a long speech he had been reading the book (laughter), and as a result he knew a great deal more about Surprise methods than most of the Council (laughter). A more comprehensive work than that it would be impossible to imagine. Mr. Powell quoted a method called Guildford. ‘It is here on the page in front of me,’ said Mr. Drake. ‘There is a lead in figures, the diagram, the false course ends worked out and a note when the first peal was rung, by what association, by whom conducted and the date, while in the corner there are references to other sections of the book which even I can understand. I think the answer to Mr. Powell’s objection is, “Look at this book!”’ (hear, hear).
Mr. C. T. Coles: If this amendment is carried, are the committee to be instructed to prepare another collection? If so they would only be doing the same work over again.
The President: I think that would be the case.
Mr. Coles: If I were a member of that committee and were instructed to do what I had already done, I should turn round and say, ‘Get on with it yourself’ (hear, hear).
The amendment was then put and defeated by a large majority, and the recommendation of the committee was carried.
Mrs. Fletcher proposed and Mr. G. R. Pye seconded the adoption of the report of the Peals Analysis and Records Committee (published in ‘The Ringing World’ on May 17th), and this was adopted, Mr. Pulling suggesting that the reference to the peal of Minor by the Chester Guild in 39 methods deserved a better description than that of merely a ‘fine performance.’ In his opinion it was a wonderful performance (hear, hear).
THE STRESSES ON BELL TOWERS.
The following report of the Towers and Belfries Committee was presented: Since the last meeting of the Council the members of the committee have reported on 16 towers which have been referred to them individually. In ten of these cases the question was one of rehanging; in three cases additional bells were desired; there was one problem of sound modification, and in the remaining tower there was a desire to preserve an old frame which was probably of the same date as the tower, but which was beyond further use. In this last instance an attempt was made to get the frame preserved as a museum piece either at South Kensington or at the County Museum. Neither museum would accept it for lack of space, and it will probably be preserved in the tower itself by raising it above the new frame which is to be installed.
During the year the accuracy of the calculations as to horizontal and vertical forces exerted by bells was called in question by a letter in ‘The Ringing World.’ It was pointed out that no allowance was made for the amount by which bells are tucked up. It might be as well to point out that ‘tucking up’ was fully dealt with in the calculations which have been in the Council’s Library for the past 20 years. For instance, it is there shown that the vertical force exerted by a revolving body can vary from the weight of that body to five times the weight of the body, but it is also pointed out that these figures ‘go far beyond the limits of practical bellhanging.’
During the past year these figures have been rechecked and also the figures have been worked out for all reasonable limits of ringing bells. As an example, the coefficient, which must be multiplied by the nett weight of the bells to obtain the maximum vertical force, varies from 4.25 for a 4 cwt. bell to 3.10 for a 3 ton bell hung as the tenor of a peal of 12. The corresponding coefficients for the maximum horizontal force are 2.33 and 1.45. The figures which have been formerly used of 4 for the maximum vertical force and 2 for the maximum horizontal force remain serviceable for all ordinary purposes when considering the strength of a tower or frame.
The President proposed the adoption of the report, and, in seconding, Mr. E. A. Young referred to the value of a rope wound round the newel of spiral steps leading to ringing chambers. It was, he said, very useful, and had on many occasions prevented accidents. It was of more use, he considered, round the newel than on the outside of the stairs. Most towers, however, had not got such provision, and he would like to see it adopted more generally.
The Rev. H. Drake asked if the committee, in connection with the modification of the sound of bells, had gone into the question of the use of silencers, such as they had heard of lately, and whether these fittings were on the market? If they could be recommended, the committee might issue a leaflet on the subject which could be usefully sent to the clergy: and Archdeacons and Rural Deans and even the Church Assembly might be asked to do what they could to influence the reduction of sound in cases where the bells were really a nuisance. It was a serious matter for ringers, and he thought it would be more serious in future. If they did not take some steps themselves in this matter, steps might be taken for them which they did not like. He thought the committee might take this matter into consideration during the coming year.
The President said a good deal had already been published about sound modification in the Central Council’s publications, but the committee would bear Mr. Drake’s suggestion in mind.
The report was adopted.
The Ringing World, July 5th, 1935, pages 430 to 431
AUSTRALIAN PRESS AND RINGING.
In a lengthy report, the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee said: Publications of various sorts have included several noteworthy references to bells and bellringing. Pride of place is claimed by the visit of English ringers to Australia to take their part in the centenary celebrations. Numerous statements on this subject appearing in the ‘Times’ and other English newspapers were well written and gave full and accurate information.
The tour aroused an unprecedented interest in bellringing in the Commonwealth Press, and from the moment of their first landing the visiting ringers were the subject of frequent interviews and newspaper photographs, while their activities received considerable prominence and there were articles in the newspapers on the subject of bells and bellringing. In addition, broadcasts of ringing at Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney gave great pleasure to thousands of Australians and special delight to English people who have settled there.
The report gave several extracts from Australian newspapers, and went on to say that, inspired by the visit of the English ringers, one particularly well-informed article on the bells of Sydney, written by Theodosia Wallace, appeared in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald,’ Sydney’s most influential newspaper. It was entitled ‘Bells of Sydney, their music and memories,’ and reviewed in some detail the origin and history of the ringing peals in the city. Speaking of the art of ringing, the article said: ‘A good ear-filling sound from one large instrument is dear to man. There seems to be something satisfying to the soul in it, apart from its utility. No instrument can vie with a cast bell for a sound signal. And there is something soul-stirring in the sight of six, eight, ten or twelve men standing in a circle ringing the changes - all bellringing is voluntary - for pure love of it, more soul-stirring than the robots who now ring the bells of St. Peter’s, in Rome, can possibly be.
‘Most people are intrigued, if not fascinated, by bells, regarding them, and rightly so, as musical instruments. When a petition was got up by some of the people at Darling Point about 30 years ago to have the bellringing on Thursday evenings stopped, it met with such a hostile reception that it was not carried beyond the first three houses.’
The following little bit of history, retailed in the same article, will probably interest members of the Council:-
‘Some of our bells are of remarkable antiquity. Governor Hunter was a great lover of bells, and he imported the first, made by Mears, in 1794. But there was nowhere to put them and they were not rung until ten years later, when he built a brick tower on Church Hill. Two years later the tower fell down, and the bells, fortunately unhurt, were placed in the tower of St. Philip’s. Afterwards King George IV. gave some bells to St. Philip’s, but they mysteriously disappeared. Three have been found, one in the gaol at Bourke, one at the lightship at South Head and one at Randwick School. They are now in the possession of the Australian Historical Society.’
And one bit more: ‘There was a time when St. Mark’s, Darling Point, had a team of ringers as good as any in the old world or anywhere else. Among the pleasant social customs was the supper held at St. Mark’s Rectory on New Year’s Eve for the bellringers and an annual cricket match between the bellringers of St. Mary’s and All Saints’, Parramatta. The losers paid for the dinner.’
Continuing, the report said the great gathering of some 600 ringers and friends last June for a service of praise and thanksgiving at Milton Abbey, Dorset, was very fully reported in the Press of the south-western shires. The Diocese of Salisbury came again into prominence with the installation of a ring of twelve bells at Trowbridge on St. James’ Day, followed by a broadcast from the tower on August Bank Holiday. The fact that the local branch of the Salvation Army provided one of the bells led to a notice in the ‘War Cry’ as well as in the local Press. It is gratifying to observe that the editor of the ‘Wiltshire Times’ invited contributions towards the cost of the bells.
After referring to other Press notices in connection with bells, the report went on to say that an outstanding literary event was the appearance of two delightful articles in the ‘Daily Herald’ by that prince of journalists, Mr. H. V. Morton, who included in his series ‘Ghosts of London’ an account of a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral belfry on a practice night and of the subsequent proceedings at the Coffee Pot. The technical information gathered by the writer on this occasion was reproduced with conspicuous accuracy and lucidity, and the description of all that he saw and heard, given in his inimitable manner, could not fail to appeal to the imagination of his wide circle of readers. His impressions of change ringing were summed up in the statement that ‘a bellringer requires the mind of a senior wrangler, the eye of a hawk, the ear of a musician and the biceps of a healthy human being.’ Observing that the books of the Ancient Society contained the names of ‘men of every type, age, trade and profession,’ he designated it ‘a democracy of tintinnabulation,’ and ended his narrative of the meeting at the Coffee Pot with the words, ‘It is in such simple happy gatherings that London turns her back on vulgarity and keeps faith with her past.’
Concluding with a brief statement on the subject of broadcasting, the report went on to say that the use of a record of Bow Bells as the interval signal is naturally gratifying to ringers and appears to find favour with the vast majority of listeners. A most interesting article in an official publication of the B.B.C. told the story of the adoption of that signal, and the broadcast given in person by the present Master of the College youths and other well-known ringers associated with him in making that record constituted a notable feature of the series ‘In Town To-night.’ A splendid broadcast of the new ring of twelve bells at Trowbridge, with the distinguished author and lecturer, Mr. A. G. Street, taking a prominent part in the explanatory dialogue, occupied a place of honour in the Western Regional programme last August Bank Holiday. The magnificent Empire broadcast arranged for Christmas Day transmitted the seasonable music of bells from various parts of the King’s Dominions, beginning with the Bells of Bethlehem and ending by a most happy inspiration with those of a Gloucestershire village. The New Year was also greeted with quite a boisterous clamour of bells, and as for the announcer’s assertion that the bells heard included those of St. Paul’s Cathedral - a little allowance must be made for imaginative flights of fancy at that midnight hour of romance! The Royal Wedding last November and His Majesty’s Silver Jubilee this year were the occasion of most effective broadcasts from the towers of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, while the bells of St. Clement Danes during the Jubilee procession came floating over the ether in one of the most perfect transmissions ever heard. There have been broadcasts of bells from various churches in connection with religious services, some of them with conspicuously good effect, but it is to be regretted that the bells of Birmingham seem to have been banished from the Midland Regional, while the absence of joy bells from the Easter programmes was a serious omission.
The committee recommended that a letter be written to the B.B.C. congratulating them on the broadcasts given at Christmas and at the royal functions and on the interval signal, but expressing regret at the omission of bells at Easter and at the discontinuance of the transmissions from the Midlands, and chiefly from Birmingham.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who moved the adoption of the report, said it was this year one of exceptional length, but he did not think there was any need to apologise for it, because the circumstances were of special interest. He thought the Council would agree that the quotations from the Australian Press on the subject of the visit of the English ringers were well worth while including. The provincial Press had quoted at considerable length advice given by Archdeacons at their visitations on the care and use of bells, and one referred particularly to the belfry as sometimes a neglected part of the church. He thought that most of the reports that had appeared in the Press had been written by writers who had taken pains to make them accurate. Mr. Edwards added that during the year at least two members of the committee had given lectures on bells and ringing which had aroused considerable interest.
LLANSTEPHEN AND ITS BELLS.
With reference to the bells at Llanstephen, a subject which had been before the Council once or twice, Mr. Edwards recalled that it had been stated that the fine ring of eight bells had not been rung because there was an incumbent who objected to them being rung, in spite of the fact that a lady formerly living in the parish established a legacy for the express purpose of having them rung, and made it clear that they were to be rung and not chimed, and that eight men should be engaged. The bells, it had been stated, had simply been chimed and the money divided up amongst the few people who chimed the bells by an apparatus. He (Mr. Edwards) had entered into this matter a good deal, and last August he had an opportunity of paying a visit to Llanstephen and saw Mr. Morris, who was captain of the ringers when the bells were rung. After a long consultation they drafted a letter to the Bishop of the diocese calling attention to the state of affairs. The Bishop acknowledged the letter and said he would go into the matter, but just the same thing happened that had happened previously. The Bishop wrote to the Rector and told him of the complaint, and the Rector had replied that ‘the bells are rung for all the Sunday services.’ The Bishop, therefore, added in his reply that the terms of the will were thus complied with. Mr. Morris wrote again and pointed out that the bells were chimed and not rung, and gave quotations from the will, but all he got from the Bishop was an acknowledgment of the receipt of the letter. He (Mr. Edwards) was afraid, therefore, they must give up this case as a bad job, but it was the kind of thing in which the Council should use its influence if ever it could.
Mr. A. Paddon Smith, in seconding, quoted the report in the morning papers of that day with regard to Mr. Justice Hawke’s action in permitting the bells at Chelmsford Cathedral to be rung despite the holding of the Assizes in the adjoining Shire Hall. He said he thought this was more interesting and far more valuable to the Council than the 38 minutes’ speech they had had the displeasure of listening to from the Rev. E. S. Powell. He thought it was a shocking thing that the Council’s time should have been wasted to such an extent. He hoped for the sake of his congregation that he did not preach for 38 minutes in such a style. If he did he would have no sympathy with him if his congregation dwindled to nil.
Mr. J. W. Jones said they must not blame the Vicar of Llanstephen altogether. The Vicar who was at Llanstephen when the trouble arose was not now there, but he was a most kindly man. The real trouble was that the ringers there had wanted to ‘boss’ the whole parish, and, he was told, would not turn up to ring for service until five or ten minutes to eleven, and then expected to ring until ten minutes or a quarter past eleven. The Vicar told him he put up with it as long; as he could and then felt it was time to put his foot down.
The report was adopted, and, in moving the recommendation, Mr. Edwards said he gathered it was a mistake to criticise the B.B.C. on points of detail, and, although there had been some criticism that the interval signal consisted of call changes, it would, he thought, be of no use to press that point. The main thing was they had got Bow bells on the wireless as the thing considered by the B.B.C. as the sound most typical of London and, through London, of England.
The recommendation was approved.
This concluded the consideration of the reports of the committees, which were thanked for the work which they had done during the year. This part of the business had occupied the Council until 4.15.
INCREASE OF HONORARY MEMBERS.
The President moved, in accordance with notice, an alteration to rules affecting the constitution of the Council. It was in the following terms: ‘To amend Section 2 of Rule 2 by deleting the word “fifteen” and substituting the word “twenty”; the rule to read, “Of honorary members, not exceeding twenty in number, elected by the Council.”’
The President, in explaining the object of the motion, said the number of members used at one time to be 12, and then it was increased to 15, but the number of elected members of the Council had increased in much greater proportion than the number of honorary members. All the honorary members’ places were filled and practically everyone of them was doing a great deal of work for the Council. There were one or two people that the Standing Committee had in mind who might be exceedingly useful to the Council as honorary members, even though they did not attend many meetings. At present, however, they had no room to put them on. They thought, therefore, it was advisable to add to the possible number, although it did not mean that they would want to elect all five at once. From time to time there was somebody who would be very useful to the Council, and they wanted to be able to elect them as honorary members.
The hon. secretary (Mr. G. W. Fletcher) seconded the motion, which was supported by Mr. E. A. Young (a former secretary), and carried nem. con.
PROVISION FOR BELLS IN NEW CHURCHES.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards proposed the following motion: ‘That an address be presented by the Council to the diocesan Bishops requesting them to take measures to ensure that the designs prepared for churches to serve new centres of population shall include due provision for the ultimate erection of substantial towers to accommodate peals of bells properly hung for ringing, at such points as to place every group of houses within hearing of a peal of bells; at the same time directing their lordships’ attention to the fact that all cause of annoyance from the sound of bells can be effectually eliminated if architects’ designs conform to the recommendations of the Towers and Belfries Committee.’ Mr. Edwards said it was not intended for a moment that the address to the Bishops should be expressed in the form of the motion, but that the points brought before them should be on the lines indicated. Large new districts were springing up in all parts of the country, and the spiritual needs of the inhabitants of these districts were left to the church authorities to make provision for. Many of the dioceses in the country were actively raising funds to carry out schemes for the erection of churches to serve the new centres of population. When these churches are designed, one of the chief things that had to be aimed at was low cost of building, and furnishing these churches with towers and peals of bells was not a thing that, in most cases, could be contemplated when the churches were being erected. That, however, was no reason why arrangements should not be made for the architects’ designs to provide for the ultimate erection of towers suitable for hanging peals of bells to be properly rung, when funds were forthcoming and circumstances permitted. He believed it was Liverpool that used to be rather unkindly called the ‘black spot on the Mersey.’ But he could mention a ‘black spot’ on the South Coast of England, and that black spot was none other than the county borough of Bournemouth and its adjacent territory. For the whole of the four miles from Bournemouth to Poole, on one side, there was only one church with a peal of bells; for the whole of the five miles from Bournemouth to Christchurch on the other side there was not a single church with a peal of bells; and the same thing applied to the whole tract of country running inland, where extensive building had taken place and was still taking place. The result was they had a vast area covered with houses where the great majority of the inhabitants lived entirely out of the reach of the sound of a peal of bells. There were abundant churches over a large part of this territory, and he believed most of them were well filled with worshippers, but nearly all of them had only one bell. It would not be desirable or necessary that all these churches should have a peal of bells, whose sound would conflict and clash with one another if they were rung at the same time, but what was wanted in such cases was one church here and another there, in the most suitable positions, in possession of a peal of bells. If the Bishops, or even some of them, could be induced to take that view and ensure that a reasonable number of the new churches thus built in well-chosen positions should be so designed that when funds were forthcoming or some rich benefactor offered, a peal of bells could be installed, it would be all effort well worth while on the part of the Council. There was one essential point, and that was that the architects’ designs should be of a practical character. It was no use spending hundreds of pounds in building a tower if it would not hold the bells after all. It would be worth while, therefore, if the Council addressed a memorial of this kind to the diocesan Bishops, expressed in diplomatic and respectful language, calling attention to the fact that it would be a great loss to our English traditions if tens of thousands of people in many parts of the country were permanently to settle right out of the hearing of a peal of bells. They were often told when bells were dedicated that the bells had a wider audience than any clergyman could reach with his voice, that the bells sent out a call to worship to the public, whether they would hear or whether they would forbear; that they were the voice of the Church proclaiming the truth for all to hear. Yet they had growing up these vast districts where there were no bells and ringers had no chance of sending out their message, and children would not know what a peal of bells sounded like except by hearing them broadcast or by going to some other place, where they might hear bells rung as a curiosity. He suggested they might well address a carefully worded memorial to the Bishops on the subject.
Mr. C. H. Jennings seconded and endorsed all Mr. Edwards had said with regard to Bournemouth and parts of Dorset. Thousands of the rising generation were growing up out of the reach of the sound of the bells, and that was just the thing to create an objection to the sound of bells in the future.
Mr. W. A. Cave asked why Mr. Edwards picked on Bournemouth?
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards: Because I know it.
Mr. Cave said Weymouth had not a peal of bells at all, whereas Bournemouth had got two peals of bells.
Mr. Jennings said one of the reasons Weymouth had no bells was that the town stood on sand, and it would be impossible to build a tower which would withstand the ringing of bells.
The President said that was not sufficient answer. If they went to St. Nicholas’, Liverpool, they would see a church built on a hill of loam sand, and the building was as sound now as on the day it was dedicated.
Mr. R. Richardson said if they came to Surfleet they would wonder why the church stood at all. The spire was 6ft. out of plumb, and when they got down 4ft. they came to quicksilt.
The Rev. Canon Elsee said while they would all sympathise with the object of the motion, and might feel that bells were such a very vital and integral part of English life that it was a pity that great new suburbs and new populous districts should spring up in which the people had no chance of hearing a peal of bells, he doubted the wisdom of couching their address to the Bishops in such terms as those of the motion. Every one of the parishes with which he was familiar were at their wits’ end to know how to provide places of worship and schools for the people in the new districts, and he was afraid that such a resolution as was here proposed, if sent in anything like those terms, would be certain to be thrown aside. It was no use talking of building towers for bells when they had got enough to do to try and put up elementary buildings at the present time. At the same time, he did sympathise with a good deal that Mr. Edwards had said. He thought it might be worth while addressing a letter suitably worded to the Bishops. It might be passed on by them to the advisory committees, pointing out that bells had had a very long connection with life in England, and that it was a pity that in great new districts there should be no provision made for the sound of church bells to be heard in the future, and suggesting that, where provision is made for a tower to be attached to a church, care should be taken that it should be of sufficient size and strength to hold a peal of bells. Something like that, be thought, might be of value, but he hoped it would not be put in such peremptory terms as the motion.
The Rev. Ll. Edwards said he entirely accepted Canon Elsee’s suggestion as to the lines on which the letter should be drawn up.
On this understanding, the motion was put and carried.
The Ringing World, July 12th, 1935, pages 445 to 446
The notice of motion by Mr. C. T. Coles, regarding the definition of a ‘spliced’ peal, was next on the agenda, and the President explained that in view of certain things which had come to light since the motion was originally drafted, the proposer and seconder (Mr. E. C. S. Turner) wished to substitute an amendment which had been circulated and which, with the consent of the Council, would be taken as the motion.
The Council having agreed, the motion, therefore, read as follows:-
‘That in view of the extension of the practice of splicing methods, this Council resolves that the term “spliced” shall be applied only to those peals in which there are at least as many changes of method as there are courses in the peal, subject to the following stipulations:
‘(a) In peals in even-bell methods in which singles are used the number of changes of method before a single shall be at least equal to the number of courses preceding the single, and, similarly, after a single, equal to the number of courses which follow it.
‘(b) In peals in odd-bell methods, the number of changes of method shall be at least equal to the number of changes of the bell in the hunt, or of the courses in the peal. Subject only, in peals in which less than six methods of Triples are rung, to any reduction of the number necessitated by two or more hunt bells, relating to the same method, being consecutively called into the hunt.
‘(c) The conditions relating to even-bell methods shall apply in peals of Minor to each 720 individually, and for the purposes of this rule each 720 with a Treble Bob hunt shall be considered to have six courses, and each 720 with a Plain hunt or with an Alliance and Little hunt, twelve courses.
‘(d) Peals of Doubles shall be deemed to comply with this rule if there is at least one change of method within a 120 and not more than half a six-score is rung without changing into a different method.
‘Peals which contain more than one method but which do not conform to the foregoing, shall be called “Combined” peals.
‘That as splicing involves changes of methods at plained, bobbed and singled leads alike, it is further resolved that peals in which the change of method is not made at the lead-end, such as certain peals of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob, shall not be termed “spliced peals.”
‘These decisions shall apply to peals on all numbers of bells.’
TIME FOR DIFFERENTIATION.
Mr. Coles, in proposing the motion, said in view of what had gone on during the last few years in the ringing of spliced peals, it was time they distinguished between the different forms in which methods were spliced. At first they had peals in which they rang approximately one-half in one method, followed by a second half in another method, even to the extent of joining Caters and Royal. That was followed by ‘block’ splicing, in which, say, a block of Bob Major was followed by a block of Double Norwich and so on two or three or four times in the peal. Next he believed Mr. Joseph Parker produced a composition of Cambridge and Superlative, in which each method appeared in each course, and later they got Mr. Law James’ wonderful peal of spliced Surprise Major in four methods. Since then they had had some very clever spliced peals by Mr. Turner and Mr. Wood, one in 14 methods by Mr. Turner and one in 21 methods by Mr. Wood, neither of which had yet been rung, while, as they knew, Mr. A. J. Pitman had produced Surprise peals in all numbers of methods up to 12, which had been rung, and one in 16 methods. It was true that, in a sense, all these peals were spliced peals, but if they were to differentiate between them it meant that some types would not be known as spliced in future. If they were to do that they would ask which class of peals should retain the old name? The peals which were most popular were those in a number of methods such as Mr. James’ and Mr. Pitman’s peals, which had become very popular and, by reason of their popularity, should, he contended, retain their name of spliced peals. A new name should he found for the other class. There might be some members of the Council who would object to the suggestion that it was necessary to make any definition at all, but he would remind them that in days gone by, and even early in the history of the Exercise, it was found necessary to differentiate between methods. It had been found necessary, for instance, to define what Surprise is, and what Treble Bob and Delight and Court methods are. It was found necessary to classify these things, and he suggested that the time had arrived when they should classify these different types of spliced peals. The original motion placed on the order paper was one which was arrived at after several attempts to find something which would make a peg on which to ‘hang their hats,’ but it was quickly found that to specify that the limit without a change of method should be the length of a normal course was not enough. Mr. Pitman had sent him a peal in which he had found a way to put in nine consecutive leads of London. That was a very wonderful thing, which up to now had defied the attempts of other composers. That opened the way for finding a spliced peal in four Surprise methods, in which every bell did all the work of all the four methods. Mr. Pitman had succeeded in doing that, and, further, he had spliced into the peal nine consecutive leads of London. With Mr. Goldsmith’s assistance they had been able to draw up this new series of recommendations which they thought satisfactorily covered the ground. The peal of Spliced Surprise Minor rung a few weeks ago, conducted by Mr. Ralph, was one which everybody would heartily agree would come under the higher class of a spliced peal but that peal included nine consecutive leads of one method and if they put on the limit of a normal course, this peal could not be claimed as a spliced peal. Then, too, the forty-two method peal of Treble Bob rung in Cheshire in the alternative form that was first published transgressed the normal course proposal, although no one could say it was not in the highest class. Having explained the objects of the individual paragraphs of the motion, Mr. Coles went on to refer to the proposal regarding Oxford and Kent Treble Bob. Here reminded the Council that the way in which peals in these methods had been rung in the past was by changing the method when a call was made, but by this means the change of method did not take place at the lead end as it did in other peals of Minor and Major, and he called attention to the definition of a regular method given in ‘Rules and Decisions,’ in which it was stated that ‘Each lead shall reverse true to itself, and, together with the hunting and placemaking that connect it with the next lead, shall contain the whole working of the method.’ If they spliced Kent and Oxford under the conditions under which peals had been rung in the past, they did not get, in the lead where the change of method was made, the whole working of the method. Seeing that it was possible to get peals of Kent and Oxford with the methods spliced at the lead ends, he suggested it was time they made a different definition for that particular class of peal. In conclusion, Mr. Coles thanked Mr. Goldsmith and Mr. A. G. Driver for the assistance they had given in drawing up the amended definitions.
Mr. E. C. S. Turner seconded.
Mr. J. Hunt contended that the changing of the method in the middle of a course was as straightforward a spliced peal as ever they wanted to ring. There was no such thing as combined ringing. In his opinion the right term was ‘laminated,’ a term which the president, as an engineer, would thoroughly understand. Laminated meant overlapping, and when they rang methods that were spliced in the middle of a course they ‘laminated’ those methods, and where they rang two or three courses of a method before changing to another, that was splicing and they could not get away from it. Mr. Coles’ resolution had not gone far enough. Every credit was due to the men who rang these spliced Surprise peals, but he contended that when they rang a spliced peal which did not produce a full course of some of the methods, they could not say the peal included those methods. To ring, say, only 160 changes of one method in the peal was not, he contended, ringing that method. There should be at least a complete course of each method in the peal. He considered the most perfect spliced peal ever composed was the Superlative and Cambridge by Mr. J. W. Parker, which had an equal number of changes of each method. If, however, they rang 160 changes of a method and finished the peal with eight or nine other methods and did not come back to the first method, they ought not to count it as a method. They could not say they had rung a Major method unless they had rung seven leads of it. He moved, as an amendment, ‘That a spliced or laminated peal shall contain a full course of each method rung.’
Mr. James Parker seconded.
Mr. Coles asked if Mr. Hunt was prepared, on that amendment, to rule out practically all the spliced Surprise peals that had ever been rung.
Mr. P. J. Johnson asked what was the object of this motion. Was it merely that they should amuse themselves with a discussion on terminology? Didn’t the ordinary ringer understand what he saw in a peal report when it stated the number of methods rung and the number of changes? Was it worth while bringing men from the ends of England to sit there like owls and listen to something which did not seem worth while? (laughter). He could not see that the Exercise was going to be any better off for it, and while it might be amusing to some people, to others it was sheer boredom (laughter).
Mr. Trollope said if Mr. Johnson was not interested there were other people who were, and among them people who had rung peals in four methods and upwards. It was one thing to ring a method and be called upon to take up another method at a particular lead, when they could learn the change beforehand, as they did the start of each method in a peal of seven different methods of Minor, but those who had rung spliced Surprise knew it was a very different thing to have to change to any one of a number of methods at any lead. Here they had two things called by the same name, and the proposal was to call one thing by one name and one by another. Whether Mr. Johnson was bored or not did not affect the matter at all, the point remained that at present both things were called ‘spliced.’
A COMPLICATED SUBJECT.
Mr. S. H. Wood said this was a very complicated subject; it would be another Minor controversy, and they would agree that the hour of five minutes past five was too late in the day to start going into it. If they acted hurriedly they might pass a resolution which they would afterwards regret. He asked Mr. Coles if he would be prepared to put off a discussion of this matter until next year; if so, he would suggest that in the meantime they adopt an amendment that peals containing more than one method should be called spliced peals, but that the reports of spliced peals should include a reference to the number of methods rung and the number of changes from one method to another during the peal. That would get over the difficulty to a certain extent, for it was extraordinarily difficult to draw an exact line between what they would call ‘spliced’ and what they would call ‘combined,’ although he knew that if they had spliced Surprise in two methods with 87 changes of method it was a very different matter to a peal of Plain Bob and Double Norwich with one change of method.
Mr. Coles, in accepting the suggestion, asked to be allowed to reply to Mr. Hunt’s fallacies. Mr. Hunt had said that if a peal was rung with 160 changes of one method and all the other changes in another method, that ought not to be called a spliced peal. He (Mr. Coles) agreed with him. That was not splicing as he hoped the Council would define it. Mr. Hunt’s amendment was not a fair one to spring on the Council after all that had been done to try and find a satisfactory solution.
Mr. Hunt: In a spliced peal you should ring a full course of every method, but if in a peal you only ring five leads of Bob Major you cannot say you have rung Bob Major.
The President said it seemed to him that Mr. Hunt’s amendment cut out nearly the whole of the spliced peals already rung and made splicing easier rather than more difficult, because he insisted on a full course of every method being rung, presumably a full continuous course, although it did not say so.
Mr. Wood’s amendment was agreed to by the Council.
OLD PEAL RECORDS.
Mr. W. H. Hollier proposed that ‘In the opinion of the Council, it is desirable that a record should be made of all peal records contained on tablets, boards or otherwise in the church towers of the country prior to the year 1825, and that a committee be appointed to undertake this work.’ Mr. Hollier said they should do their best to preserve the records of those who so ably laid the foundations of the art of change ringing. He gave several instances of old peal boards in the towers of the diocese which he represented.- Mr. C. T. Coles seconded, and the motion having been carried a committee was formed, consisting of Mr. Hollier, the Rev. C. E. Wigg and Mr. W. Ayre, with power to ask for help from members of the Council generally, the President remarking that the Standing Committee suggested that the committee should get the members of the Council to co-operate in their respective districts.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith proposed ‘That to ensure the accuracy of the Council’s peals analysis and as a matter of general interest, those responsible for sending the reports of peals for publication in the ringing Press are urged to denote all “first peals” and “first peals in the method” both by any of the ringers and “as conductor.”’ He pointed out that one of the most interesting things in peal reports was to observe where first peals had been rung or called and to observe the progress made by ringers from method to method. It was also important that these things should be recorded if the Council’s analysis was to be accurate and the committee saved a waste of valuable time in compiling statistics which, not being complete, were largely useless. To those who argued that such details were only of interest to the actual first pealer or conductor and therefore, need not be published, he pointed out that, carried to its logical conclusion, they might say the same of all the particulars about a peal. The ringers in the peal knew who the conductor was therefore they might ask, why publish his name? The ringers themselves knew who had taken part in the peal; why then publish their names? The truth was, all the details were interesting to those who followed ringing with any attention to things that happened outside their own tower, and they were important as a matter of record and even of history. Therefore, they should all be included.- Mr. A. C. Hazelden seconded the motion, which was agreed to.
PAST MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL.
Mrs. E. K. Fletcher moved and Mr. G. R. Pye seconded ‘That a record be prepared of past members of the Council, giving a short account of their work, and, where possible, a photograph, and that a committee be appointed to undertake this work.’
The motion was agreed to without discussion, and a committee, consisting of Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, Mr. W. A. Cave and Mrs. Fletcher, appointed to carry out the work, in consultation with Canon Coleridge in the case of the earlier members.
TRURO GUILD’S POSITION.
This was the last of the motions on the agenda, and under the heading of ‘Other business,’ the Rev. W. H. Trewhella raised the question of the position of the Truro Diocesan Guild under the new rules of the Council, which would come into force next year. Although they had about 800 members, up to the present they had always paid 5s. and sent one representative, although they were entitled to four. Next year they would have to pay for all four. Their membership was not individual, but went by towers. If a ringer became a member of a tower that was affiliated to the Truro Diocesan Guild he automatically became a member of the Guild. Out of their 800 members only about 55 were change ringers, and while the Central Council might interest the change ringers, it did not interest the non-change ringers, and he could not say what this section of the Guild would say to the increased subscription. If, therefore, they broke away from the Council, he would be sorry, but the Council would understand that their position was rather different from the rest of the associations, and it would not be because they were against any of the Council’s rules, but more on financial grounds.
The President suggested that Mr. Trewhella should not let the Truro Diocesan Guild take any drastic action. The Council realised that their circumstances were of a very special kind, and if they could not afford to pay for four members they should come back and talk it over with the Council before they broke away (applause).
The Rev. W. H. Trewhella thanked the president, and said he would do his best with his members next February. They were a long way away from the rest of the ringing world, but they liked to be linked up with the ringers of the rest of England and to welcome the change ringers who came to Cornwall and could show them how to do things they had not been able to do themselves, such as was done in that wonderful week last autumn (applause).
PROPOSED MEMORIAL TO MR. W. PYE.
The President said he understood that in a few weeks’ time a scheme was to be launched for a memorial to the late Mr. William Pye, sponsored by the Middlesex Association, and backed by the Essex Association. That appeal would be a national appeal, and it would help the organisers if it had the backing of the Central Council. He was not going to suggest that they should make any subscription, certainly not that day, because after all their finances were not primarily for that kind of purpose, but if they passed a resolution approving of the scheme and notifying all the affiliated societies that it was approved by the Council, it would do more to help than if they merely gave a donation. He proposed that the Central Council back up the scheme and notify the affiliated societies that it did so (hear, hear).
The motion was at once agreed to.
The President said the hon. secretary had found it very useful to have copies of association reports as they came out. He would be very glad if the hon. secretary of each association would send him two copies.
The President said the next meeting of the Council would be in London when the new rules would come fully into force and associations must pay affiliation fees based upon the number of members to which they were entitled.
‘THE RINGING WORLD.’
Mr. C. H. Kippin asked what had happened with regard to the committee appointed the previous year to go into the question of advancing the circulation of ‘The Ringing World.’
The President said the committee had had one meeting and still had the question before them. The Editor had introduced a new feature to try to interest more young ringers, and members of the Council could now assist by trying to induce young ringers to subscribe to the paper.
Mr. F. E. Dawe said this was one of the most important matters that could be brought before the Council. When Sir Arthur Heywood brought the Council into being it was principally to protect the rights of ringers and their interests in the future. Sir Arthur never had any idea that the members would come hundreds of miles to listen to a lot of twaddle that sent some of them to sleep and bored the remainder (laughter). What they should talk about were matters concerning their own future. There was a strong feeling growing up in many places and particularly in towns about church bellringing, and they would have to be very alert and prepared to meet that opposition. The only means they had of keeping in touch over things like this was through the ringing paper, and that paper only received scant support all over the country, compared to what it should receive. There were even a number of good ringers who did not support it, and in far too many cases there was only one copy taken for a tower and passed round. They could not put pressure on ringers to take the paper, but they could use their persuasive powers to induce them to do so. Hints for beginners were all very well, but in a month’s time there was a fresh batch of beginners and it needed repeating all over again. What they wanted was more general support, and it behoved all ringers to do their best to increase the circulation.
VOTES OF THANKS.
Canon Coleridge proposed a vote of thanks to the president for the able way he had conducted the day’s business, and the motion was carried by acclamation.
Mr. W. H. Shuker proposed a vote of thanks to the hon. secretary, who did a lot of work, not only during the meeting, but all through the year. He would also like to thank the secretary’s able assistant (Mrs. Fletcher) for all she had done.
The President said he was sure the Council wished to give their best thanks to the Mayor and Corporation of Shrewsbury for the use of that beautiful Council Chamber, one of the nicest rooms in which they had ever met. They also wished to thank the Bishop of Lichfield for his presence in the morning and for his address of welcome, the Shropshire Association for their hospitality, and Major Trevor Corbett, Mr. R. R. Pole and the committee who had made such excellent arrangements for the Council, the incumbents of the various churches for the use of the bells, and all the towerkeepers. These votes were duly accorded.
Mr. Walter Ayre moved a vote of thanks to the Methods Committee for all the work they had put in. They spent an enormous amount of time in the interests of the Council, and he could speak personally of Mr. Trollope’s willingness to supply Surprise methods to anyone who asked for them.- The motion was carried.
This concluded the business of the Council, which rose shortly before 6 p.m.
Afterwards members and their friends were the guests of the Shropshire Association at tea, which was served at the Lion Hotel.
Thanks to the association were voiced by the president and acknowledged by the Rev. E. C. Pigot, the hon. treasurer, in the absence of Major Trevor Corbett, the Master, for whose absence he apologised. He hoped the visit of the Council would put new life into the association.
Ringing took place at various churches in the evening, and afterwards a social took place, when many old friends had the opportunity of enjoying an hour or two together.
The Ringing World, July 19th, 1935, pages 461 to 463