The following report of the Analysis and Records Committee upon the peals rung in 1935 will be submitted to the Central Council at their meeting on Whitsun Tuesday.
There has been a slight increase in the number of peals rung in 1935, as compared with 1934.
The following summary shows comparative figures:-
Peals of Maximus have decreased by 3; Cinques have increased by 12; there are 17 more peals of Stedman, and 5 less of Grandsire Cinques. Royal have decreased by 15 - Surprise by 5 and other methods by 10. Caters have increased by 14 - Stedman by 9, Grandsire by 4, and there is one peal of Erin. In Major there has been a decrease of 55. Surprise methods have decreased by 54 - London 6, Bristol 7, Superlative 9, and others 32. Only 10 new Surprise methods were rung, compared with 22 in 1934. Treble Bob have increased by 9 and Plain Bob by 10, whilst Double Norwich have decreased by 17. Stedman Triples have increased by 4, Grandsire Triples by 44, and other Triples methods by 4. Minor have increased by 26. There is a decrease of 1 in one method and 6 in seven methods, and an increase of 10 in two methods, 8 in three methods, 5 in four methods, 3 in five methods, and 7 in methods over seven. There is an increase in peals of Doubles, viz., 53 - 21 in one method, 8 in two methods, 18 in three methods, 3 in four methods, 1 in five methods, and 2 in over five.
The number of handbell peals has again decreased, but this year by five only.
The Kent County Association again head the list with 159 peals, a decrease of 4 on last year’s total. The Oxford Guild follow with 111, an increase of 14 over last year, and the Lincoln Guild with 107, an increase of 11. These are the only associations with over 100 peals. Twenty-six associations show an increase, the most noticeable being the Salisbury Guild, with an increase of 40, and the Sussex with an increase of 33. Eighteen societies show a decrease, the principal being the Middlesex Association with 49 less, and the Durham and Newcastle and Midland Counties with 21 less each.
There were no progressive lengths during the year.
5,152 Huntingdon Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, January 10th.
5,088 Lincoln Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, February 14th.
5,056 Belvedere Surprise Major, by the Middlesex Association, February 14th.
5,152 Buckingham Surprise Major, by the Midland Counties Association, May 6th, 1935.
5,248 Carisbrooke Delight Major, by the Chester Guild, August 17th.
5,088 Beaconsfield Surprise Major, by the Oxford Guild, August 31st.
5,216 Spliced Ealing, London, Rutland, Bristol, Cambridge, and Superlative Surprise Major, by the Middlesex Association, July 27th.
5,040 Hereward Bob Triples, by the Chester Guild, October 5th.
5,000 St. Clement’s Bob Royal, by the Ancient Society of College Youths, October 18th.
5,024 Dunwich Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, October 28th.
5,136 Eryri Major, by the Hertford County Association, November 19th.
5,184 Claybrooke Surprise Major, by the Midland Counties Association, November 23rd.
5,088 Wembley Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, November 30th.
5,024 Melbourne Surprise Major, by the Oxford Guild, December 5th.
5,184 Crayford Surprise Major, by the Kent County Association, December 21st.
5,088 Richmond Bob Major, by the Hertford County Association, February 2nd.
5,088 Spliced London and Cambridge Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, November 8th.
The only long length rung during the year was 10,368 Kent Treble Bob Major, at Horringer, for the Suffolk Guild.
Noteworthy performances include peals of Minor in 40 and 42 methods by the Chester Guild, and a peal of Spliced London and Cambridge Surprise Major on handbells by the Hertford County Association.
The following are the number of peals rung during each month in 1935 and 1934:-
There is a very substantial increase in the number of ringers who have scored their first peals. The total is 643, an increase of 140. Of this total 200 accomplished their first peal on the treble, 107 on the tenor, and 336 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 877, a decrease of 199. Of these 101 are claimed as first peal in a method for the treble ringer in either plain or treble bob hunts and 776 on an ‘inside’ bell. Ringers of their first peal ‘inside’ number 70, away from the tenor 18, Maximus 14, Cinques 7, Royal 25, Caters 25, Major 64, Triples 34, Minor 86, Doubles 41. On twelve bells 18, ten 62, eight 59, six 8, five 13. Surprise (excluding those who rang the treble and claimed first of Surprise) 32, in hand 21, in method in hand 42. New conductors number 82, and conductors in new methods 108.
Other footnotes show that 47 were the first on the bells 107 the first in the method on the bells, 43 the first since restoration or augmentation.
For the Royal Jubilee 202 peals were rung, Royal birthdays 25, birthdays 240, weddings (including silver, etc.) 126, muffled and half-muffled peals number 67, church festivals and dedications 20, welcome and farewell 50, Empire Day 3.
It would seem from the tables that very few methods are in common use, and with the large amount of material now available in the books published by the Council, we look forward to a greater variety of methods in the future. This would at least be some compensation to those members who have given so much time in preparing these books.
Included in the analysis is a peal of Minor rung at Wistaston for the Chester Guild on July 13th, published in ‘The Ringing World,’ page 471, and stated to contain three 480’s of Little Bob. We are unable to find any intimation from the Guild that this peal is not recognised by them, and we should be glad of the Council’s instructions.
We give below the number of peals rung in each of the representative years since 1881, the total for the whole period being 66,984:-
EDITH K. FLETCHER.
GEORGE R. PYE.
G. L. GROVER.
The Ringing World, May 22nd, 1936, pages 342 to 343
The following are among the reports to be presented at the meeting of the Central Council next Tuesday:-
PEAL COLLECTION COMMITTEE.
Peals in the methods authorised, viz., Grandsire and Stedman Triples, Bob Major, Double Norwich, Treble Bob, Superlative, Cambridge, London, Yorkshire, Pudsey, Rutland and Spliced Surprise, have been collected, typed and copies without the composers’ names attached have been sent to each member of the committee for selection.
These selections are gradually coming in, and the book is beginning to take shape.
Mr. J. A. Trollope’s article on Variations has been rewritten by that gentleman, and is now on sale.
During the past year a new edition of the Collection of Minor and Doubles Methods has been prepared and handed to the hon. secretary for publication in accordance with the resolution of the Council.
By rearranging the methods and compositions and by omitting matter which has ceased to be of any great importance since the last edition was issued, it has been possible to reduce the size of the book and consequently the cost, and at the same time to find room for a larger number of 720’s of Plain Bob, Kent Treble Bob and Cambridge Surprise, and a selection of 720’s in spliced methods.
A book on the Surprise Major methods has also been prepared and handed to the hon. secretary. It gives 237 methods, 98 peal compositions, an explanation of proof, etc., and a short historical sketch of Surprise ringing. We believe that there is a demand in the Exercise for such a book and that it will find a ready sale.
The Ringing World, May 29th, 1936, page 356
TUESDAY’S MEETING IN LONDON.
The newly-elected Central Council met in London on Tuesday, in the Council Chamber at the historic Guildhall, with a record attendance of 114 members. The morning session began at 11 a.m., when the members received an official welcome from the Dean of St. Paul’s.
There were present the following representatives:-
Ancient Society of College Youths - Mr. W. T. Cockerill and 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. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild - Mr. E. M. Atkins and Mr. E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan Guild - Mr. A. Crawley, Mr. J. W. Milner and Mr. H. Parker.
Devon Guild - Mr. T. Laver.
Dudley and District Guild - Mr. F. Colclough.
Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association - Mr. W. H. Barber and Mr. W. J. Davidson.
East Derbyshire and Notts Association - Mr. T. Clarke.
Ely Diocesan Association - Mr. C. W. Cook, Mr. F. Warrington and Miss K. Willers.
Essex Association - Mr. E. J. Butler, Mr. E. P. Duffield, Mr. G. R. Pye and Mr. L. W. Wiffen.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association - Mr. J. K. Armstrong, Mr. J. Austin and Mr. W. B. Kynaston.
Guildford Diocesan Guild - Mr. G. L. Grover, Mr. A. Harman, Mr. A. C. Hazelden and Mr. A. H. Pulling.
Hertford County Association - Mr. W. Ayre, Mr. H. E. C. Goodenough and the Rev. R. F. R. Routh.
Irish Association - Mr. G. Lindoff.
Kent County Association - Mr. J. H. Cheesman, Mr. T. Groombridge, Mr. F. M. Mitchell and Mr. T. E. Sone.
Ladies’ Guild - Mrs. E. K. Fletcher and Mrs. R. Richardson.
Lancashire Association - Mr. G. R. Newton, Mr. W. H. Shuker and Mr. T. B. Worsley.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild - Mr. J. Bray, Mr. G. Chester, Ven. Archdeacon Parry and Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association - Mr. J. W. Jones and Mr. C. H. Parry.
London County Association - Mr. F. E. Dawe, Mr. T. H. Taffender and Mr. J. A. Waugh.
Middlesex County Association - Mr. C. T. Coles, Mr. G. W. Fletcher, Mr. W. H. Hollier and Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Midland Counties Association - Mr. A. J. Harris, Mr. W. H. J. Hooton, Mr. J. H. Swinfield and Mr. E. Denison Taylor.
Norwich Diocesan Association - Mr. A. L. Coleman and Mr. F. Nolan Golden.
North Staffs and District Association - Mr. A. Thompson.
Oxford Diocesan Guild - Mr. A. D. Barker, the Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, Mr. A. E. Lock and Mr. R. H. Post.
Oxford Society - Mr. W. G. Collett.
Oxford University Society - The Rev. C. E. Wigg.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild - Mr. H. Baxter, Mr. R. G. Black and the Rev. E. S. Powell.
Romney Marsh and District Guild - Mr. P. Page.
St. Martin’s Guild - Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild - The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. S. H. Hillier, Mr. C. H. Jennings and Mr. F. W. Romaine.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths - Mr. G. H. Cross, Mr. G. Gilbert, Mr. J. Parker and Mr. G. W. Steere.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society - Mr. B. Horton and Mr. H. Knight.
Suffolk Guild - The Rev. H. Drake, Mr. C. Mee and Mr. Stedman H. Symonds.
Surrey Association - Mr. D. Cooper and Mr. C. H. Kippin.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild - Mr. Gwyn I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild - Mr. C. Lanxon.
Warwickshire Guild - Mr. D. H. Argyle.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild - Mr. H. Barton Mr. G. Pullinger, Mr. F. W. Rogers and Mr. G. Williams.
Worcester and Districts Association - Mr. S. T. Holt and Mr. C. H. Woodberry.
Yorkshire Association - Mr. J. Hardcastle, Mr. P. J. Johnson, the Rev. Canon C. C. Marshall and Mr. S. F. Palmer.
Honorary members - Mr. W. A. Cave, Mr. C. Dean, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Mr. A. A. Hughes, Mr. C. F. Johnston, 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.
Apologies were received from Alderman J. S. Pritchett (hon. member), Mr. C. E. Borrett (Norwich Diocesan Association), Mr. J. P. Hyett (Hereford Diocesan Guild), the Rev. E. V. Cox (Devon Guild), Mr. J. D. Johnson (Worcester and Districts), Mr. C. D. Potter (Barnsley and District), Mr. C. J. Sedgeley (Suffolk Guild), Mr. F. Wilford (Peterborough Diocesan Guild), Mr. J. W. Parker (Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association), Mr. C. W. Roberts (hon. member), Mr. A. King (Bedfordshire Association) and Mr. C. W. Woolley (Hertford County Association).
The Dean of St. Paul’s offered a hearty welcome to the City of London, not only on his own behalf, but also on behalf of the Lord Mayor, the Corporation and citizens of London.
The Dean was thanked by the president, and the Council, after prayers, then proceeded to the business of the day.
The hon. secretary’s report as to membership showed that the number of societies affiliated to the Council was 49. The territorial and diocesan associations number 43 and non-territorial associations six. In the 43 associations are 41 with an aggregate membership of 21,860. The other two have no annual subscribing members. The 49 affiliated associations are entitled to elect 134 members, and have up to the present elected 127.
MESSAGE TO THE KING.
On the motion of the President, the Council unanimously resolved to send a message of loyal congratulation to H.M. the King. It was in the following terms:-
The Central Council of Church Bellringers, assembled in the Council Chamber, Guildhall, London, for their 44th annual meeting, take this, the first opportunity in your Majesty’s reign, humbly to express to your Majesty the loyalty of the 20,000 change ringers they represent, and pray that your Majesty’s reign may be long and prosperous. (Signed) E. H. Lewis, President.
The reply received by the president from His Majesty was as follows:
Please convey to the Central Council of Church Bellringers assembled in the Council Chamber, Guildhall, the King’s sincere thanks for their kind and loyal message of good wishes.- Private Secretary.
Mr. E. H. Lewis was re-elected president, and Mr. G. W. Fletcher hon. secretary and treasurer.
To the vacant office of hon. librarian, Mr. W. H. J. Hooton was elected.
Mr. C. T. Coles and Mr. A. A, Hughes were re-elected hon. auditors.
The following hon. members were re-elected: Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. C. Dean, J. S. Goldsmith, C. F. Johnston, C. W. Roberts, J. A. Trollope and E. Alex. Young. The Earl of Shaftesbury was elected an hon. member in the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. J. Griffin.
A large number of new members were presented to the president, who afterwards referred to the losses of members and past members by death.
THE COUNCIL’S LIBRARY.
The report on library and publications was submitted by the hon. secretary, who said: The report this year must of necessity be somewhat incomplete, for with the tragic death of the honorary librarian, and the removal of the books from Walsoken, the work, in so far as the library was concerned, came to a standstill.
The sales department, however, was able to carry on, and the thanks of the Council are due to Mrs. Tyrwhitt-Drake and Mr. Peter Tyrwhitt-Drake, who, in the midst of their great sorrow, despatched a consignment of publications to the hon. secretary within a very few days of Mr. Tyrwhitt-Drake’s death.
The thanks of the Council are also due to Mr. R. Richardson, Master of the Lincoln Guild, for his great assistance in removing and storing the library and publications.
From the papers which have been examined, the purchases of books for the library amounted to £4 4s., and include ‘History and Art of Change Ringing,’ ‘Legends o’ the Bells,’ both by E. Morris, ‘Tintinnalogia, 1698,’ by J. White, and ‘Campanologia, 1854.’
Gifts of books were received from Mrs. Tyrwhitt-Drake, Mr. J. H. Benstead, Mr. G. P. Elphick, Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, Mr. R. Richardson, Mr. E. Denison Taylor and Mr. J. A. Trollope. Grateful thanks are due to these and to any others whose names are not recorded.
From the correspondence it would seem that applications to borrow books continue to increase, and it is possible that this will be more apparent when the library lists have been distributed.
Members are again invited to assist in the disposal of the fairly extensive stock of publications. A further supply of ‘Hints to Instructors’ has been purchased during the year, and ‘Variation and Transposition,’ by J. A. Trollope, reprinted by courtesy of ‘The Ringing World,’ is now on sale. ‘Laws’ are out of print, and a revision of this book is being made by Alderman J. S. Pritchett. Several orders for this valuable book are awaiting execution.
Inquiries have been received from, Australia and America, and, whilst these were addressed correctly, some orders from persons in this country are still sent to the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, at Caversham.
I wish to thank Mr. Peter Tyrwhitt-Drake for his assistance in preparing the library accounts, and those who have, in response to my advertisement, sent particulars of sale or return stocks. The failure of others to send these particulars is to be regretted, as it has caused a considerable amount of work. I trust the information will soon be forthcoming.
I tender my apologies for any delays which have occurred in the past few months in executing orders.
The number of sales effected was: Glossary 21, Rules and Decisions 8, Collections of Peals 27, Plain Major and Caters Methods 24, Triples Methods 80, Doubles and Minor Methods 34, Corrigenda leaflets 5, Model Rules for a Local Company 29, Report of Conference with S.P.A.B. 10, Card of Instructions 26, Preservation of Bells 28, Law Affecting Church Bells 25, Method Sheets 90, Hints for Instructors 383; total 790, of the total value of £21 6s. 5d.
The statement of accounts on sale of publications show receipts by the librarian £21 6s. 5d.; from agents holding stocks on sale or return, £1 14s. 1d.; total £23 0s. 6d. Advertising, postages, stationery and discounts amounted to £10 18s., leaving a balance on the year of £12 2s. 6d.
The balance in the general account at Whitsun, 1935, was £58 15s. 2½d. During the year, affiliation fees for 1935-36 amounted to £33, and arrears for 1934-35 to 15s.; interest on investments was £5, and the balance on sale of publications was £12 2s. 6d., making a total of £111 10s. 2½d.
The cost of publications was £14 17s. 1d. and of volumes for the library £4 4s. The other expenditure included a fee of 10s. 6d. in connection with the Carter Ringing Machine; £5 1s. the expenses of the Shrewsbury meeting; £1 13s. 9d., less donation of 5s. from Alderman J. S. Pritchett, the cost of entertaining the Australian tourists at Shrewsbury; advertisements, £2 10s.; stationery and printing, £6 14s. 11½d.; wreaths, £3 10s. 6d.; gratuities, 17s. 6d.; postage, etc., £2 19s. 8d.- a total expenditure of £42 13s. 11½d., leaving a balance of £68 16s. 3d. to carry forward.
The Council’s investments stand at the book value of £100, the market value being £149 1s. 10d.
The accounts were adopted.
A report was received from the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine (Messrs. E. A. Young and A. A. Hughes), who also recommended the appointment of Mr. A. G. Driver as a demonstrator of the machine.
The report of the Peal Collection Committee, whose work in preparing a collection of compositions is still in progress, was presented by Mr. G. Lindoff, and the committee, with the exception of Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, who resigned, was re-elected with the addition of Mr. T. B. Worsley.
The report of the Methods Committee stated that the new edition of the Collection of Minor and Doubles Methods had been prepared, and the Collection of Surprise Methods was in the hands of the hon. secretary.
The report was adopted and the committee re-elected, but the Council decided to defer for the present the publication of the Collection of Surprise Methods, in view of other commitments to reprint certain volumes now almost out of print.
On the Analysis Committee’s report, which has already been printed in our columns, it was decided to delete the peal rung at Wistaston, Cheshire, on July 13th, 1935, and which contained three 480’s of Little Bob, on the ground that it did not conform to the Council’s requirements for a peal. It was also resolved to instruct the committee not in future to include doubtful peals in the statistical tables, but to report them to the Council for decision.
The Committee was re-elected.
TOWERS AND BELFRIES COMMITTEE.
The report presented by the Towers and Belfries Committee was as follows:-
During the past year the members of the committee have not held any meetings. The members, however, have carried out a number of inspections in response to individual requests to do so. Any recommendations made have been in accordance with general principles already agreed.
In one case a request was made in general terms that the committee should take action to get a tower reopened after the architect responsible had stopped all ringing. The matter is being followed up but there is nothing definite to report as yet.
At the last Council meeting a request was made for information about silencing bells for practice purposes. Some such information is now available, and it is hoped that the committee will be able to meet at Whitsuntide and agree upon a recommendation.
The committee have lost a very good friend through the recent death of Mr. A. R. Powys, secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Mr. Powys was most helpful at the time of the meeting with his society, and since that meeting he had always been ready to discuss in a frank and fair-minded way any difficulties between architects and ringing interests.
The committee recommended that where there were bells which were said to be a nuisance to the public, the Davis Silencer should be used as a means of modifying the sound.
The report was adopted and the committee re-elected.
A lengthy report of the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee was presented, and an interesting discussion ensued as to the best manner of securing that when bell broadcasts were given the ringing should be of the best possible character.
The committee was re-elected.
The Peal Boards and Biographies Committees also reported and were re-elected.
In their report the Biographies Committee stated:-
The work of gathering biographical information concerning past members of the Council has been proceeding during the year, but will apparently take a considerable time to complete.
The number of past members up to last year was 325, and forms asking for information and photographs have been sent out in respect of each.
Up to the time of this report, 115 forms and 42 photographs have been returned. The committee hope that other forms and photographs will be sent in with as little further delay as possible.
With the formation of a new Council there are now further ‘past members,’ whose biographies have to be collected, and the committee propose to include this with the work that has been begun.
Thanks were accorded to all the committees for their work.
THE STANDING COMMITTEE.
It was decided that in future the auditors and past presidents and secretaries of the Council (being members) should be ex-officio members of the Standing Committee. This left a number of vacancies.
Six retiring members were re-elected en bloc, viz., Ald. Pritchett, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, W. A. Cave, C. F. Johnston, A. Paddon Smith and E. D. Taylor. For the remaining six places, twelve names were proposed, and the ballot resulted in the election of the Ven. Archdeacon Parry, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. R. Richardson, J. T. Dyke, S. H. Wood and A. Walker.
On the agenda was a series of motions relating to the definition of a ‘Spliced’ peal. One was in the name of Mr. C. T. Coles, with an amendment by Mr. J. Hunt, the other was in the name of Mr. S. H. Wood. When this matter was reached, Mr. Hunt withdrew his amendment, and, with the consent of the Council. Mr. Coles and Mr. Wood also withdrew theirs and substituted the following, which Mr. Wood proposed and Mr. Coles seconded:-
‘That compositions which contain more than one method shall be called “Spliced,” provided that the methods are so joined that the fundamental units of which they are constructed (i.e., the “Leads” in the case of Treble-dominated methods, the “Sixes” in the case of Stedman, Duffield and similar methods, etc.) remain intact.
‘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 during the peal.’
An amendment by Mr. G. Grover, seconded by Mr. E. M. Atkins, to omit all the words in the first paragraph beginning with ‘provided that,’ was defeated by a large majority and the proposition was carried.
A debate took place on a motion submitted by Mr. F. E. Dawe ‘To call attention to the present very inadequate support given to “The Ringing World” and to consider what steps (if any) can be taken to increase the circulation.’
Mr. E. A. Young seconded the motion and several members offered suggestions.
Eventually, on the suggestion of the hon. secretary, Mr. Dawe accepted and the Council approved of the following motion: ‘The Council requests all members and secretaries of affiliated societies to send in suggestions with a view to increasing the circulation of “The Ringing World,” these suggestions to be considered by the officers of the Council and Mr. Goldsmith, and a report circulated to all members.’
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith proposed ‘That with a view to providing future guidance, the officers of this Council be requested to consider the question of the correct method of muffling and ringing church bells on occasions of national and local mourning, and, after consulting at discretion those who may be able to give information, draw up a recommendation, which, if possible, shall be submitted to the Church authorities for approval and laid before the Council at the next meeting.’
Mr. G. W. Fletcher seconded.
An amendment was carried on the motion of Mr. E. P. Duffield, seconded by the Rev. H. Drake, that the recommendation should be first submitted to the Council, and with that alteration the motion was carried.
Mr. G. Pullinger proposed and Mr. F. W. Rogers seconded that ‘In the opinion of this Council, the morning session of the Council meetings should, where possible, commence at 10 a.m.’
There was a strong feeling against changing the present hour of 11, and, after an amendment to make the hour 10.30 a.m. had failed to elicit any support, the motion was defeated by a large majority.
The following motion was carried on the motion of the President, seconded by the Hon. Secretary: ‘That all persons having collections of books on ringing matters be invited to supply particulars to the hon. librarian and to indicate whether they are willing to give access to their collections.’
The Ringing World, June 5th, 1936, pages 373 to 374
CANTERBURY FOR THE NEXT MEETING.
It was resolved to hold the next meeting of the Council at Canterbury.
The president was authorised to send a letter of greeting and congratulation to the authorities and ringers at Hobart, Tasmania, on the occasion of the completion and dedication of the tower and ring of bells at St. David’s Cathedral, Hobart.
A message of congratulation was passed to the Hertfordshire handbell band, who, on the previous Friday, had, for the first time rung a ‘double-handed’ peal in four Spliced Surprise methods.
Thanks were accorded to the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the City of London for permitting the Council to meet in the Guildhall, to the Dean or St. Paul’s for his welcome, and to the various other people who had contributed to the pleasures and comfort of the members.
The president was thanked for presiding and he, in turn, paid a tribute to the great work done by the hon. secretary.
In the evening there was ringing at St. Paul’s Cathedral and various churches, and later a social gathering was held at headquarters, Anderton’s Hotel. This was attended by a gathering of over 200, and the chief features of the entertainment were Mr. Rupert Richardson’s films of ‘Famous Ringers,’ and a demonstration of Mr. J. S. Goldsmith’s ‘Ringing Machine,’ which caused much amusement.
The Ringing World, June 5th, 1936, page 370
FIRST MEETING UNDER NEW RULES.
There was, as we reported last week, a record attendance at the meeting of the Central Council in London on Whitsun Tuesday. Of the 127 elected members, representing the 49 affiliated associations, 102 were present, together with 12 out of 15 honorary members, making a total attendance of 114. By permission of the Lord Mayor and the City Corporation, the meeting was held in the Council Chamber of the Guildhall. Mr. E. H. Lewis, president of the Central Council, occupied the chair and had with him on the dais at the outset the Dean of St. Paul’s (Dr. Matthews). The detailed list of the members present was given in our last issue.
DEAN MATTHEWS’ WELCOME.
The President accorded a very warm welcome to the Dean of St. Paul’s.
Dr. Matthews, in reply, said he was afraid he was taking the place of a far more distinguished person than himself - the Lord Mayor - but, nevertheless, he was very glad to have the opportunity of giving a welcome to the Council to London and that great and ancient building - the Guildhall. He had at least one qualification to speak to bellringers in that he had been connected with two very famous places which were noted for their bells - Exeter Cathedral and St. Paul’s Cathedral. He had often been amazed when he had seen people make the great bells in Exeter speak, but he confessed that he had not seen the bellringers in St. Paul’s in action. The stairs one had to go up were somewhat difficult to a person of his habit and body.
Bellringing, continued the Dean, was in many ways a definite English occupation. He thought he was right in saying that change ringing was not known in any but Anglo-Saxon countries. Those who had heard bells in foreign parts had been astonished at the jingling and inconsequent row in contrast to the orderly and intricate manner in which the bells of this country were rung. It was a very ancient occupation, and one the Church ought to do all they could to encourage. How many people in foreign parts, in exile from the homeland, when they thought of their home town thought first of the sound of the bells which they used to hear. He always remembered someone in the wilds of Australia and a native of Exeter who told him that he often recalled the sound of the Cathedral bells when they were ringing and that was his chief memory of home.
Ringing was a very interesting and very great occupation which they had come there to discuss and represent.
‘May I,’ concluded the Dean, ‘not only on my own behalf, but on behalf of the Lord Mayor and all the citizens of London, give you a very hearty welcome to this city and hope that your conference and your ringing will be very pleasant to you and you will go away from this city with very happy memories of the time you spent in it’ (applause).
The President, in thanking Dr. Matthews for his welcome, said they could hardly hope the Lord Mayor could have been there, but he was not sure that it was not more appropriate that they should have the Dean of St. Paul’s with them that day, for the ringing of bells had grown up in the use of services of the Church. There were some 4,000 or 5,000 peals of bells in the country, and he could only recall four in secular places - one of them being the Imperial Institute, where he had the pleasure of ringing the previous day. The others were at Manchester Town Hall, Morpeth Watch Tower and Quex Park. It was an art which had formed a definite part of the Church, and for that reason it was appropriate that they should be welcomed by one of the leading ecclesiastical authorities in the city.
OVER 20,000 RINGERS REPRESENTED ON COUNCIL.
After the Dean had left, the first business was to receive from the hon. secretary (Mr. G. W. Fletcher) a report as to the representation of societies. After calling attention to the conditions of membership laid down under the new rules, the hon. secretary’s report said:-
The operation of the rule governing affiliation divides the associations into two groups - (1) territorial associations, and (2) non-territorial associations. In Group 1 there are three sections: (a) Associations with annual subscribing members; (b) associations whose members pay one life subscription only; (c) associations made up of affiliated towers with no individual subscriptions.
In this Council we have 43 associations in Group 1, of which 41 are in section (a). The aggregate membership of this section is returned as 21,860, made up of 19,445 annual subscribing ringing members, 1,674 annual subscribing honorary members, 438 resident life ringing members and 303 resident life honorary members.
Two associations previously associated with the Council are no longer included, the Sherwood Youths, who could no longer show a minimum membership of 75, and the Sussex County Association, who are considering the matter at their meeting on June 20th. The North Wales Association has rejoined. The representation of this section is 116, but only 111 members have been elected - vacancies being left in Bath and Wells, Lancashire, North Notts, North Wales, Swansea and Brecon, and Worcester and Districts Associations.
The London County Association falls into section (b). No particulars as to numbers of its members are available but efforts are being made to obtain them. The secretary has estimated that the numbers justify three representatives. The Truro Diocesan Guild have 66 towers affiliated with a fee of 5s. per tower. They have elected one representative only.
In Group 2 are the following associations: Ancient Society of College Youths, Society of Royal Cumberland Youths, Cambridge University Guild, Oxford University Society, Oxford Society and the Ladies’ Guild. The Oxford Society and the Ladies’ Guild are the only two associations in this group to furnish actual figures of membership. Approximate figures have been supplied by the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths. The group is represented by 14 representatives. An affiliation fee of 5s. has been received from the St. Clement Youths, but no particulars of membership are available and no member has been elected. Excluding the St. Clement Youths the total membership of the Council is as follows: Associations affiliated 49, total members to which entitled 134, total members elected 127.
All these associations have given an undertaking to loyally abide by the rules and decisions of the Council.
The total number of hon. members is 15.
With the exception of two associations, the North Notts and the Swansea and Brecon, who, whilst entitled to elect two representatives each, have only paid the fee for one member, all affiliation fees due to the Council have been paid.
Last year there were 51 affiliated associations; this year the number is 49.
WHY THE PRESIDENT ‘SPEAKS OUT.’
The Hon. Secretary stated that only one nomination for the office of president for the ensuing three years had been received, namely, Mr. E. H. Lewis, nominated by Mr. F. M. Mitchell and Mr. T. Groombridge, sen.
On being put to the meeting by Canon Coleridge, the election was agreed to with loud applause.
Mr. Lewis thanked the members for the honour they had done to him by re-electing him. He felt sometimes that he could not do all that he should do for the Council. He had a good many calls upon his time, apart from ringing, but the fact that they had nominated him for a further period of three years seemed to show that he had not lost their confidence. If they would bear with him he would do his best to carry on as he had done for the last six years (applause). He was afraid he sometimes got into trouble with some people for talking rather bluntly, but he had a feeling that it was his duty to say things straight out, if he saw that certain things were not what they should be. He did so, not because he wished to put his personal opinions over those of other people, but he felt, by putting him in that position, the Council had given him authority to speak out when things required saying (hear, hear). He got into serious trouble at Bristol not long ago because one of the ecclesiastical authorities there seemed to think he (Mr. Lewis) inferred that he was a fool. He had no intention of saying that. (A Voice: ‘But he was’ - laughter.) What he did intend to hint, continued Mr. Lewis, was that some architects were fools and that some were, perhaps, clever enough to befool ecclesiastical authorities. What he said was not meant for the particular authority in question, but he (the ecclesiastic) had taken it so. He hoped some day to meet him and explain. On the previous day, continued Mr. Lewis, during the ringing at Westminster Abbey, he felt obliged to say that it was quite hopeless to ring changes if the band who got hold of the ropes could not ring rounds, and he felt compelled to request one of the ringers to hand over his rope to somebody else. If the Council would endorse what he had said in the past it would give him courage to speak out again in the future when he thought it necessary to do so (hear, hear, and applause).
The President then said that only one nomination had been received for the office of hon. secretary and treasurer. Only Mr. Fletcher had been nominated. Those who had had experience of Mr. Fletcher’s period of office would agree with him that they could not possibly have anyone else. Mr. Fletcher was absolutely priceless as a secretary, and he had made his work as president very much less. It was a real pleasure to have such a secretary to work with (applause).
Mr. Fletcher’s re-election was agreed to with applause, and, in acknowledging his election, the Hon. Secretary appealed for more assistance from some of the members and some secretaries of associations. It was very difficult, he said, when information was wanted, to be told that it could not be given, when all the while it could be obtained locally far easier than he could get it. During the next three years there would be a lot of work to do, and they wanted to keep the Council posted up to date. When information was required he hoped members would kindly give it to him as speedily as possible.
The President reminded the Council of the loss by death of the late librarian, and said that they had now to fill the post. It was a post that was not very easy to fill, because it required not only a person with qualities that made a suitable librarian, but also someone who had at disposal a certain amount of room to contain the library and literature, which altogether ran to something like 15 cwt. of material. No nomination had been received, but the Standing Committee had considered the matter and recommended the election of Mr. W. H. J. Hooton.
Mr. A. A. Hughes proposed the election of Mr. Hooton, who would, he believed, make an excellent librarian for the Council.- Mrs. E. K. Fletcher seconded, and, the motion having been carried unanimously, Mr. Hooton, as a new member (one of the representatives of the Midland Counties Association), was introduced to the president and took his seat on the dais.
The formal presentation to the president caused some amusement, as Mr. Hooton is Mr. Lewis’ son-in-law.
Mr. Hooton, who was warmly received, said he was very proud that he was a friend of the last two librarians. He admired them both very much. He could not hope to be as efficient as Mr. Tyrwhitt-Drake. He saw some of Mr. Drake’s work, and it was very good. He would, however, do his best in any way he could (applause).
The auditors (Messrs. C. T. Coles and A. A. Hughes) were re-elected.
There were nine retiring hon. members, including Mr. Joseph Griffin, who, the President said, had tendered his resignation from the Council. The Standing Committee recommended the Council to accept the resignation, as, with advancing years, Mr. Griffin had not been able to attend the meetings for a considerable time.
Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed the re-election of the following: Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. C. Dean, J. S. Goldsmith, C. F. Johnston, C. W. Roberts, J. A. Trollope and E. Alex, Young.- Mr. W. T. Cockerill seconded and the motion was carried.
In the place of Mr. J. Griffin, the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards proposed the election, subject to his consent, of the Earl of Shaftesbury, who, he said, took a keen, practical interest in ringing, and who, although he had reached an advanced stage of life, had learned elementary change ringing.- Mr. C. H. Jennings, who seconded, said the Earl of Shaftesbury was the first peer of the realm to do any change ringing.- The Rev. H. Drake supported the motion, which was carried.
LOSSES BY DEATH.
The President next referred to the losses sustained by death, which this year, he said, had been very heavy. On Good Friday, as they knew, they lost Canon Elsee, who represented the Lancashire Association from the beginning of the Council up till 1935. During these 44 years he had attended 40 meetings. He was a member of the Standing Committee and had been president of the Lancashire Association for something over 40 years. He was a most valuable member of the Council, and although he did not often speak, when he did speak he always had something very good in the way of advice to give them. He did not think there was any member on whom they could rely for more sound advice than the late Canon Elsee. They missed him very much. Shortly before Canon Elsee died they heard of the tragic death of their late librarian, the Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake, who represented the Hertford County Association from 1919 to 1928 and the Ely Diocesan Association from 1929 to 1935. He attended 13 Council meetings and had been honorary librarian since 1933, having succeeded Mr. Jenkyn. His work as librarian was excellent, and as an official they would miss him very much. They would also miss him, many of them, as a very good friend. He (the president) felt their loss very much indeed, because both were members of the Cambridge University Guild, and he had known them from his earliest ringing days, and they were both godfathers to one of his children.
Continuing, the President said the Council had also lost the Rev. C. A. Clements, who represented the Lancashire Association in quite its early days, 1895 to 1902. From 1927 to 1935 he represented Chester Diocesan Guild. He had attended seven of their meetings, and some of those present knew him in the early days as a very good companion as well as a keen ringer. The death had also occurred of the Rev. E. S. C. Lock, a representative of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Association from 1927 to 1935, Unfortunately, he was not in good health and had not been able to attend any meetings. Mr. R. A. Daniell represented the Royal Cumberland Youths from 1900 to 1911 and had been an honorary member from 1912 to 1923. He had attended 13 meetings of the Council and had done a great deal of work for the Exercise in the way of historical research. As the Council knew, he had something to do with the finding of the will of Fabian Stedman. He was a man who was very keen on ringing, although perhaps one could not class him as a very great ringer from the point of view of striking. He used to ring at St. Mary Abbot’s, Kensington, where he was also in the choir for many years. They had also lost Mr. E. E. Richards, who represented the Kent County Association from 1891 to 1893, and then the St. James’ Society from 1894 to 1896. He attended four of the meetings in those early days. Death had also removed an old member in Mr. J. W. Rowbotham, who represented the College Youths from 1903 to 1905 and 1909 to 1911. He attended two meetings, presumably the two held in London.
In addition to these members of the Council, continued the President, he would like to refer to one other very good friend whom they had lost. Although he was not an active ringer, he was a very good friend to ringers and that Council; he referred to Mr. A. R. Powys, secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Some of the members of the Council would remember that, before the war, they used to quarrel with Mr. Powys and his society, and the Towers and Belfries Committee really originated from the fact that a letter of Mr. Powys, or of his society, was brought to the notice of the Council, and they decided to join issue with the society. They got to grips in 1912, but did not get very far until, through the intervention of Major Hesse, they met Mr. Powys. They then realised he was a man they could get on with. He was a most charming man; absolutely honest, particularly with himself and his own opinions, and immediately he saw that any of his opinions were wrong he was ready to withdraw them and readjust his views. Through that quality of his, the Towers and Belfries Committee were able to do a lot of good work with Mr. Powys, and he used to be able to influence his ‘die-hards.’ At Mr. Powys’ invitation, ‘die-hards’ on both sides used to meet at the luncheon table sometimes. It worked very well, much good resulted and they became very good friends. He (the president) felt they could not on that occasion omit to make mention of Mr. Powys and to say what a good friend they had lost in him. He and Mr. Fletcher represented the Council at the memorial service, which was held at the Church of St. Magnus-the-Martyr.
The Council expressed their regret at the losses sustained and their sympathy with the bereaved by standing in silence.
A number of new members were formally presented to the president.
BELLS IN NEW HOUSING AREAS.
When the minutes of the last meeting came up for confirmation, the Rev. Llewellyn Edwards reported on the action taken in connection with the motion passed last year urging the provision of peals of bells in new housing estates. In collaboration with the late Canon Elsee, he drew up a letter to bring the matter to the notice of Bishops and Archbishops. Twenty-four replies had been received and they had been classified as good, bad and indifferent. Indifferent replies numbered five, and there were two unfavourable replies, and in view of the qualities of the ringing in their respective dioceses they came from Bishops who ought to know better. One was the Bishop of Birmingham, who, in reply, said he could only say that in his opinion necessities must come before luxuries. The other was from the Bishop of Oxford who stated, ‘I am afraid it is very difficult to press for peals of bells in such towers. When I lived in Oxford I used to think we could do with far fewer bells.’
All the four Archbishops’ replies were classified as good. The Archbishop of York expressed his gratitude to the Council. The Archbishop of Armagh said he had sent it to the Bishop of Down, who was the only Bishop in his province who had to deal with new housing estates. The letter from the Bishop of Manchester was of melancholy interest, as it stated that it would be handed over to the Diocesan Advisory Committee, of which the late Canon Elsee was a member. The Bishop of Gloucester indulged in quiet humour by suggesting that bellringers should form funds for that purpose. The two best replies were from the Bishop of Chester and the Bishop of Norwich. The Bishop of Chester wrote ‘that any information you care to send me I will gladly bring before the Committee of Church Buildings,’ and the Bishop of Norwich said he would bring it before the Committee of the New Churches.
ADDITIONS TO THE COUNCIL’S LIBRARY.
The report on the library and publications, printed in ‘The Ringing World’ of June 5th, was presented by the hon. secretary.
The President said the booklet on ‘The Law Affecting Church Bells’ had been referred to Alderman Pritchett for revision, and would be put into the printer’s hands almost immediately. A paragraph would be added on the question of insurance, as well as the Rev. H. Drake’s notes on faculties.
Mr. J. A. Trollope, in moving the adoption of the report, said when Mr. R. A. Daniell died he went through his MSS. and books, with a view to securing any of value for the Council’s library. He secured a copy of the 1733 J. D. and C. M. ‘Campanologia’ and a photograph of Stedman’s will, which he had handed over. The ‘Campanologia’ was an edition which he thought they had not got in the library. It was in perfect condition, except that the leather binding had gone. During the past year, Mr. Trollope said, he had been able to secure, through a nephew of the late Mr. Jerram, two other books, which Mr. Tyrwhitt-Drake bought for the library. One of these books contained a copy of a book published in 1698 by J. White. It was a very rare book. There was one copy in the British Museum, the Rev. W. Pearson had a mutilated copy, but these were all he knew of. It was bound up with another edition of the J. D. and C. M. The other book was a second edition of Hubbard’s work, which was also rare. It was particularly interesting because it contained an autographed letter from Hubbard. The books were a considerable acquisition to the library, as they very seldom came on the market.
Mr. E. J. Butler seconded the adoption of the report, which was agreed to.
(To be continued.)
The Ringing World, June 12th, 1936, pages 389 to 390
CRITICISMS AT THE CENTRAL COUNCIL MEETING.
Some outspoken criticisms of recent broadcasts of bells were made in the course of an interesting discussion at the Central Council meeting. It arose on the report of the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee.
On the subject of broadcasting the report said: Broadcasts of bells have been commendably frequent, chiefly before evening services, with the welcome addition of well-struck Stedman Triples from Croydon Parish Church on a few Sunday mornings. On some of these occasions the transmission of the bells has been deplorably curtailed or interrupted - two particularly regrettable instances were the fading out of a fine touch of Stedman Caters at Bristol, in which several members of the Council were taking part, and Croydon bells being heard one Sunday for only 35 seconds - but a number of protests were seriously considered by the B.B.C., and a great improvement has been effected.
A highly gratifying feature has appeared in a series of broadcasts entitled ‘The Ringing Isle.’ Bells of various churches in the North have been broadcast on Sundays at 5.15 p.m., and a record taken of the ringing and reproduced on Monday evening. These broadcasts would serve their purpose better if they were arranged in consultation with responsible officers of the county or diocesan association concerned, so that towers might be selected not only for local or historical interest, but also with a view to a high standard of change ringing. The performances on these occasions have been, to say the least, uneven, but it is satisfactory to record that the latest example, Grandsire Caters well rung on the magnificent bells of Selby Abbey, was entirely admirable.
An intensely interesting broadcast was given from the Municipal Belfry at Berwick-on-Tweed on New Year’s Eve, and the midnight ringing from London towers was most effective. In the broadcast of his late Majesty’s funeral, the solemn tolling of Big Ben and the muffled peals from Westminster Abbey ‘with measured beat and slow’ were profoundly impressive.
The bells of St. Peter Mancroft were included in a talk to schools on East Anglia, but the record was not satisfactory, and protests from the Norwich Association and the Church authorities evoked an apology from the B.B.C.
Amongst notable performances for the purpose of broadcasting may be mentioned a touch of Major at Portsea, and touches of Caters at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, and Cinques at St. Laurence’s, Reading.
The Bells of Bethlehem were again heard in the memorable Empire broadcast on Christmas Day. Another familiar feature has appeared in a new guise. A new record of Bow Bells was transmitted one evening in the ‘Saturday Magazine.’ It remains to be seen whether it will prove such a favourite as that of the old ten bells.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, in moving the adoption of the report and referring to the broadcasting section, said apart from the beautiful broadcasts of muffled bells at the late King’s funeral, there were two matters of exceptional interest, one being the broadcast from the Municipal Belfry at Berwick-on-Tweed on New Year’s Eve, and the other the series of broadcasts on Sunday evenings under the heading of ‘The Ringing Isle.’ The quality of the ringing in the latter was referred to in the report, although not so bluntly as the president would probably have put it (laughter). But the intention of the B.B.C. was admirable.
Mr. A. P. Smith, in seconding, said he thought it was time somebody like the president did speak bluntly with regard to the quality of the ringing in some of the broadcasts. Much of the ringing put over was simply awful. They had heard ringing where the ringers could not even ring rounds. Instead of doing any good to the ringing Exercise, it definitely did harm. Whether that Council could do anything he did not know, but he suggested that if it could be done, associations, or church authorities, or captains of bands, should be prevailed upon to pick the best ringers available for the job, and not, if they were not competent, men who ordinarily rang at the tower.
Mr. G. R. Newton, referring to a broadcast from a Lancashire tower said he offered to get a band so that they could have good change ringing, but the local ringers decided that their own company should ring rounds and call changes rather than let an outside band come in to broadcast. That was all right, if they got good rounds and call changes, but it was not what members of the Exercise set out in the early days to do. Their idea was to put across good change ringing and let the public know what good change ringing really was. He was not decrying good rounds and call changes - one of the best broadcasts he ever heard was from Buckfast Abbey about 1925, when rounds and call changes were rung with mechanical precision. The point he wanted to make, however, was that on every possible occasion they should have a good touch of change ringing, and not encourage the ringing of rounds or even call changes (hear, hear).
The Rev. H. Drake suggested that representations should be made to the B.B.C. that they should have some person on their staff or have an honorary adviser competent to tell them something of what was necessary for ringing, so that the B.B.C. should not make mistakes in the future.
Canon Marshall said the secretary of the Yorkshire Association had received a letter from the B.B.C. asking him to suggest towers where good ringing took place. He did not know whether other secretaries had received any such letter.
POOR BROADCASTS FROM LANCASHIRE.
The President said it was a good thing to have the subject ventilated, particularly as to the quality of the ringing that was broadcast. He thought they could leave it to the committee to go on trying to get into touch with the B.B.C. He doubted whether such a course as suggested by Mr. Drake would be acceptable to the B.B.C. He thought it would be far better if the B.B.C. wrote to the associations in the way Canon Marshall had mentioned. He did not know whether that letter had anything to do with the fact that the four Yorkshire broadcasts had seemed to be so much better than the Lancashire broadcasts. He heard two of the latter, and he said to his family that he would be ashamed to make such a noise on practice night with his beginners. The playing of any other instrument in such a manner would not be tolerated for a single instant. When it was put out as change ringing it did a tremendous lot of harm.
Mr. A. P. Smith: It is a disgrace to the Exercise.
The President said the trouble was how to bring it home to ringers. Evidently there were parts of the country where ringers did not know what good striking was. They did not seem to have heard bells rung with rhythm, or to make any attempt to attain it. How to remedy this state of thing he did not know, except that they must go on trying to be missionaries to get better striking. It applied not only to Lancashire, but to many other parts of the country. It was one of the most serious things they, as a Council, had to tackle.
Mr. E. P. Duffield asked if the committee had considered the advisability of sending a letter to an the associations suggesting they should try to impress on their members the necessity of providing competent bands when bell broadcasts were to be given.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said one of the chief difficulties in that matter was the feeling of the local clergy and ringers. Many of the parochial clergy took the view that, when a broadcast was given, their own men should give it, and in the great majority of cases the local clergy did not understand what good ringing was. There was also the feeling among the local ringers.
Mr. A. P. Smith: That is exactly the case, and I am glad to hear Mr. Edwards, as a parson, admit it. All this trouble is due to the cussedness of the parson. It only requires the Vicar to say, ‘My own ringers are not good enough. I hear them every Sunday, and I am not going to allow such rubbish to be broadcast.’ The incumbent should say to the captain, ‘Choose a good band; we will have the best ringing it is possible to get from this tower next Sunday night.’ That is what you want to tell your brother parsons.
SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES.
Mr. J. Parker said that in many towers the ringers did not know that they did not ring as well as other people, and if the Vicar told them a special band was to be brought in for a broadcast, they would turn round and say, ‘Get them to come every other Sunday,’ and finish.
Mr. A. E. Sharman said he belonged to a band who rang for Sunday services a hundred times a year. He personally would not object to asking a band to come and broadcast, but it seemed to him if they were to turn round and say to their regular ringers, ‘We do not want you on Sunday when we broadcast,’ they would not get a band on the following Sunday. They had to be very tactful when they had a voluntary band.
Mr. S. H. Wood said he had heard no suggestion that any competent band should seek outside assistance. The point was a ringers who were not competent to ring properly should get outside help. There were a lot of local ringers, not very good ringers, who would rather make a bit of a noise, even though it was being broadcast, than call in outside assistance. It would be much better if they would take the wider view. It was very important to the whole Exercise that only the best ringing should go over the air.
Mr. P. J. Johnson said there seemed to be a great deal of haphazard method in the way the B.B.C. had been choosing the places from which to broadcast. He thought a way out of the difficulty would be to suggest to the B.B.C. that they approach the county or diocesan associations and ask their advice as to the bands in their districts which would be best for their purpose. Unfortunately, there were some individuals in bands who would insist on ringing, although it was known they were the very last persons who should be included if they wanted decent ringing. These broadcasts were arranged long before they took place, and it would be better if the responsible associations were consulted as to the qualifications of the ringers to broadcast. The only other alternative seemed to him to be for the B.B.C. to hold auditions at Broadcasting House. They would be ‘fed up’ more than the public (laughter).
Mr. G. Pullinger pointed out that a church was not chosen for the bell broadcast, but because it was a popular church and had a popular parson. It did not follow that the latter had a good team of bellringers.
Major Hesse said on the occasion of a broadcast to America from his own church (Haslemere) he chose two outsiders because he felt he could not include two of his own band. The two who were omitted had had ‘the hump’ ever since. That sort of thing broke up a band.
Mr. S. F. Palmer said at his own tower (Sheffield Cathedral), when they were asked to provide a broadcast, they immediately set themselves to practise specially for it on every available occasion. The broadcast was to consist of a course of Stedman Cinques, and he was proud to say they put a perfect course over the air. In the same way another church in Sheffield with eight bells a few weeks after followed this course and put some excellent change ringing over the air. In his opinion, if ringers at other churches would get in some special practice for the broadcast, the results would be better.
SUGGESTED APPROACH TO THE B.B.C.
Mr. F. W. Rogers suggested that the secretary of the Council might get into touch with the B.B.C. and get the programme of the proposed bell broadcasts for the next twelve months. He believed this would be available, because in the case of his church (Portsea) they had already been asked to broadcast next Palm Sunday. If the secretary got a list of these broadcasts and communicated with each guild or association, the secretaries of the latter, where they knew there was no competent change ringing band, could arrange for such a band to be formed.
Mr. A. Walker thought it would strengthen the hands of the committee if the approach to the B.B.C. were made by the committee. He could not say that it was always best to put over change ringing. If a band could not ring changes properly they could not put it over. It should be left to the ringers to decide; if they could ring rounds best, let them ring rounds. The ringing was put over not for the benefit of ringers, but for the general public, who were the people to be considered.
Mr. Duffield supported the suggestion of Mr. Rogers. He thought it would be possible to get advance information from the B.B.C., if they represented to the Corporation that their only desire was to take steps to secure better broadcasts, and then to approach the incumbents and say they hoped, if there was not a competent local band, that they would invite assistance from some ringing authority in their vicinity. It would, at any rate, diminish the number of very indifferent broadcasts.
The President said the whole thing required doing with a great deal of tact; there were all sorts of snags. He thought they could leave it to the committee, who had heard the various suggestions, including the suggestion about getting the list of broadcasts beforehand and then trying to influence the local incumbents or the local bands to put something good across.
This course was accepted and the report adopted.
(Continued from page 390.)
THE TREASURER’S OBSTINACY.
As hon. treasurer, Mr. Fletcher formally presented to the Central Council the audited accounts, details of which were given in our issue of June 5th.
Mr. A. A. Hughes (auditor) proposed the adoption of the accounts. He had only one criticism, and that was that the hon. treasurer had not charged the Council as much as he should have done on certain items of stationery and printing; he was far too generous to the Council. He (Mr. Hughes) thought the Council should have paid, but Mr. Fletcher was very obstinate (laughter). He could do nothing with him; he did not know if the Council could.
The President: Do you propose a resolution that the hon. treasurer be less obstinate? (laughter).
Mr. Hughes said the things which Mr. Fletcher had bought were of immense advantage to the Council. They remained the property of Mr. Fletcher for the use of the Council. They ought to be very much indebted to him for the way in which he treated the Council (applause).
Mr. Coles (auditor) seconded the accounts, which were adopted.
NEW DEMONSTRATOR FOR RINGING MACHINE.
In a report on the Carter Ringing Machine in the South Kensington Science Museum, Mr. E. A. Young, one of the trustees, said on May 22nd an official inspection was carried out. A defect or catch-up in the mechanism was discovered, but before it could be located, closing time arrived and they had to leave. Mr. Sharman (the demonstrator) would attend at an early date and rectify the defect, and the payment to him of the fee of one guinea was recommended. Mr. A. G. Driver had attended three times to have the machine explained to him. The trustees thought Mr. Driver would make a good assistant demonstrator and recommended him for appointment.
Mr. Young said they had to fill the post vacant by the death of Mr. Fardon, and, after seeing Mr. Driver, they thought he would be a suitable person to appoint. His knowledge of the science of ringing was far beyond that of the average ringer, and he had in addition a flair for machines. He had a number of inventions of his own, and he developed ideas some years ago for producing changes by machinery. In connection with these ideas he got into touch with Mr. Woodhouse. They thought Mr. Driver could safely be appointed to fill Mr. Fardon’s place. Mr. Young expressed regret that through the defect which was discovered, the machine could not be demonstrated on the previous day.
Mr. Hughes (the other trustee) seconded, and the report and recommendations were adopted.
The President said they regretted that Mr. Woodhouse had not been able to bring his machine to show the Council on that occasion as he had hoped. He did not feel equal to driving to Loudon with his machine, and did not like to send it by train, as already one sent by train had unfortunately been smashed up.
Mr. Hughes said Mr. Driver had had a lot to do with Mr. Woodhouse’s machine, and understood it almost as much as Mr. Woodhouse himself.
THE STANDING COMMITTEE.
The report of the Standing Committee was a purely formal one, stating that the agenda had been considered and recommendations had been or would be made to the Council in the course of the meeting.
The President, in formally proposing the adoption of the report, said he wanted to take the opportunity of saying something about the Standing Committee. He believed there was a feeling among one or two of the members that the business of the Council was largely ‘cut and dried’ by the Standing Committee the day before and that the average member came there and voted ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ That was not at all the intention or the fact. If they did not have a Standing Committee they would have to have at least two days for their meeting. The object of the Standing Committee was to go through the business first and when they made recommendations they made them because they thought they would shorten the business. It was just to give the Council a lead for discussion, but he hoped no member would think that because the Standing Committee made a recommendation they were not to get up and make a suggestion if they had something else which was better. He wanted to get rid of the impression that the Standing Committee tried to rule the Council. It did not try to do that at all; it tried to shorten the business by going through it and getting it into order beforehand.
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.
On the question of the election of the Standing Committee, the President pointed out that in 1933 the number of elected members was fixed by resolution at 12, with the officers and conveners of committees ex-officio. This time under the new rules they had two more officers, the auditors. Formerly the auditors were appointed by the Standing Committee from the Standing Committee at their meeting, and they audited the accounts then and there. They had changed that arrangement under the new rules, and the auditors were appointed officially by the Council for three years. The question arose whether the auditors were to be treated in the same class as the other officials and become ex-officio members of the Standing Committee. It was thought it would be a good thing if they were so treated.
Mr. A. P. Smith proposed that the auditors be regarded as ex-officio members. They were very important officials and should be present at the meetings of the Standing Committee when matters of finance were discussed. Mr. Smith added that he would like to make another suggestion and that was that such old servants of the Council as Canon Coleridge, ex-president, and Mr. E. A. Young, ex-secretary, should also be regarded as ex-officio members of the Standing Committee. It did not seem right to him, he said, that after so many years of excellent service they should have to run the risk of re-election. He moved that, in addition to the auditors, the ex-secretaries and ex-presidents of the Council be regarded as ex-officio members of the Standing Committee.
Mr. E. Denison Taylor seconded. He thought they would agree that it was absolutely necessary for the good conduct of the business of the Council that the auditors should be on this committee.
Replying to questions, the President said the actual rules of the Council merely provided for the appointment of a Standing Committee. The idea behind this resolution was that only ex-presidents and ex-secretaries who were still members of the Council should be ex-officio members of the committee. They were now merely appointing the Standing Committee for the next three years, but it would form a good precedent for the future.
The proposal was agreed to, and, on the suggestion of the president, the election of the Standing Committee was left over until the rest of the committees had been appointed in order that the Council might know who the conveners (also ex-officio members of the committee) were to be.
PEAL COLLECTION COMMITTEE.
The adoption of the report of the Peal Collection Committee, which appeared in our issue of May 29th, was moved by Mr. G. Lindoff, seconded by Mr. G. R. Newton, and agreed to.
Mrs. Fletcher resigned her seat on the committee, and Mr. T. B. Worsley was elected to fill the vacancy. The remainder of the committee, viz., the Revs. E. S. Powell and H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. G. Lindoff, G. R. Newton, G. R. Pye, C. W. Roberts and J. A. Trollope, were re-elected, with Mr. Lindoff as convener.
PRINTING OF SURPRISE METHODS DEFERRED
The adoption of the report of the Methods Committee, also published in ‘The Ringing World’ of May 29th, was moved by Mr. J. A. Trollope and seconded by Mr. S. H. Wood.
The President said the MS. of the book on Surprise Major methods had been handed to the hon. secretary. The Standing Committee had taken into consideration the question of publication, with a view to formulating a policy. The cost of printing the book, to keep its price down to about 3s., would involve an expenditure of between £80 and £100, which the Council could not stand at the moment without selling some of their securities, an action which the Standing Committee did not think wise. The committee came to the conclusion that it would be better to hold the book over for the present, so that it would be available for members to look through it, and then try to form some opinion as to the demand there was likely to be for the book. If it were thought there would be such a reasonable demand as would justify printing, they could then get into touch with the Standing Committee; and possibly get the book out before the next Council meeting, after getting final estimates. The committee recommended that the book be not immediately published, but that it be left to the officials to go further into the question, and, if necessary, get authority from the Standing Committee to print or otherwise bring it up again next year.
This course was agreed to and the report adopted.
On the motion of Mr. E. J. Butler, seconded by Mr. W. Ayre, the committee, consisting of Messrs. J. A. Trollope, S. H. Wood and E. C. S. Turner, were reappointed, with Mr. J. A. Trollope as convenor.
A ‘PEAL’ DELETED FROM ANALYSIS.
Mrs. Fletcher moved the adoption of the report of the Peals Analysis and Records Committee, which was printed in ‘The Ringing World,’ with the tables of analysis, on May 22nd. Since the report was prepared, Mrs. Fletcher said, the figures of the record peal of Stedman Cinques at Southwark had been found to be false, and the peal had been withdrawn. A note would be made of this in the Council’s records.
Mr. G. R. Pye seconded the adoption of the report.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith moved that the peal of Minor rung at Wistaston for the Chester Guild on July 13th, 1935, be deleted from the Council’s records. The peal, he said, contained three 480’s of Little Bob and did not conform to any decision of the Council regarding a peal of Minor. It did not contain seven true 720’s.
Mr. C. T. Coles, in seconding, said the onus of looking after the accuracy of peals was on the associations themselves. They should watch and see that all peals conformed to the decisions of the Council. It was the only way the Peals Analysis Committee and the Editor of ‘The Ringing World’ could be protected.
The Analysis Committee accepted the amendment to the report, which was then adopted.
Mr. Goldsmith then moved that it be an instruction to the committee not to include in the statistical tables any peal which was contrary to the decisions of the Council, but to draw attention to it in their report for decision by the Council.
Mr. G. L. Grover, who seconded, said the peal at Wistaston was not included in the report without due consideration. The committee put it in and called attention to it so that the matter might be raised before the Council.
Mr. E. P. Duffield asked whether, the Guild having already agreed to accept the decisions of the Council, such a motion was necessary? It seemed to him associations had already agreed not to accept such peals.
Mrs. Fletcher said the Chester Guild had not had an opportunity of considering the matter, as their annual meeting was to be held on the following Saturday. The Guild had not had a chance to discuss it before the committee published their report.
Mr. Pulling inquired whether this motion covered such things as Bob Triples and other methods which the Council had said should not be rung.
The President said the Council recognised such a thing as Bob Triples, but did not recommend it. It was only reasonable that all those societies who had agreed to abide by the Council’s decisions should see that their peals were in conformity with them. The Council was not legislating for the past but for the future.
Mr. Rogers: Does it mean that the Chester Guild must withdraw that peal?
The President: Yes, that is the normal course.
The motion was carried and the committee re-elected as follows: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher (convener), Messrs. C. Dean, G. L. Grover and G. R. Pye.
THE PRESS AND RINGING.
The report of the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee reviewed at some length the notice given to ringing in the Press of the country, remarking that a review of the past twelve months revealed a marked advance in the attention paid to the subject of bells and bellringing. Quotations from various articles were given, including pertinent extracts from the views of Mr. Filson Young in ‘The Radio Times.’ To these articles by Filson Young, continued the report, enthusiastic tribute was paid in a subsequent issue of ‘Radio Times’ by no less an authority in the musical world than Sir Richard Terry. Asking ‘What has happened to Christmas?’ Sir Richard deplored the passing of many old customs, and proceeded to say, ‘Another old custom that seems to have gone to the wall is the Christmas peal,’ and there followed from his pen a powerful plea for the maintenance of ‘the art and craft of change ringing.’ ‘In these days of stressed nationalism,’ he wrote, ‘it ought surely to be no difficult matter to keep alive a craft that is not only exclusively English, but in itself a most fascinating study and a most healthy recreation.’
Amongst numerous references in the daily Press generally to bells and the art of ringing, it is of interest to note a spell of correspondence in the ‘Times,’ initiated by Sir Evelyn Wrench, on ‘The Melody of Bells.’ Well-informed articles and letters have appeared in the ‘Norwich Diocesan Gazette’ on ‘Bells and Bellringing.’ Concluding a discussion on the ‘nuisance’ of bells, the ‘Birmingham Gazette’ summed up the situation in the terse sentence, ‘One a trial, but many music.’
The report further added that during the period under review Mr. E. Morris’ fascinating work, ‘Legends o’ the Bells,’ with a wealth of delightful illustrations, has been published by Sampson Low, Marston and Co. The story of the famous ringing tour in Australia and New Zealand, with a history of ringing in Australia, was published in book form under the title of ‘A Great Adventure.’ The ringers’ own journal, ‘The Ringing World,’ has celebrated its silver jubilee, and the Editor has received innumerable messages of congratulation, in which his colleagues on this committee heartily join.
After the discussion on Broadcasting, separately reported, the report was adopted.
The committee were then re-elected, viz.: The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards (convener), Messrs. J. S. Goldsmith, A. Paddon Smith and A. Walker.
(To be continued.)
The Ringing World, June 19th, 1936, pages 405 to 407
SINKING OF INDIVIDUAL VIEWS FOR A COMMON FORMULA.
A long-standing controversial point - the definition of a spliced method - was settled at the Central Council meeting by two of the keenest students of the problem joining forces and at the eleventh hour submitting a joint resolution in place of two individual motions.
Announcing the changes in the agenda, the President said he understood Mr. Hunt desired to withdraw his amendment, which was discussed and adjourned the previous year, and the proposers and seconders of Motions 14 and 15 (Mr. S. H. Wood and Mr. J. T. Dyke, and Mr. C. T. Coles and Mr. E. C. S. Turner) would like to withdraw their motions and substitute the following:-
‘That compositions which contain more than one method shall be called “Spliced,” provided that the methods are so joined that the fundamental units of which they are constructed (i.e., the “Leads” in the case of Treble-dominated methods, the “Sixes” in the case of Stedman, Duffield and similar methods, etc.) remain intact.
‘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 during the peal.’
A QUESTION OF NOMENCLATURE.
The President emphasised that it was purely a question of nomenclature. There was nothing which blessed or blamed one method against another. He would like an expression of opinion as to whether the Council would allow them to substitute this motion. The Standing Committee would like the Council to agree to the changes.
This course was agreed to.
Proposing the resolution, Mr. S. H. Wood said, as they knew, on the original agenda there was a rather long and technical resolution. There was one resolution passed as an amendment last year; there was one other amendment and a hint of one or two more coming up. Those responsible, therefore, got together and remarked, ‘If we are not very careful this is going to become an awful muddle, and we shall talk about it for hours and hours, and it will get beyond the point of being discussion and become a controversy’ (laughter). If they could get something simple which combined the main points and put them before Council in a simplified form, they would be saving the Council’s time and he thought it would be appreciated.
As to the resolution, part was the amendment he proposed last year and a part by the mover of the original resolution. There was a letter in ‘The Ringing World’ in the previous week in which it was stated that although the number of changes of method might be given, that did not indicate how difficult the peal was. Personally he thought the number of changes of method gave sufficient information.
As to the fundamental units, they would all see what they were getting at. How much of a method had they to put on paper to specify that method? Some people said one must ring the whole course, and unless they rang the whole course they had not rung the method. He did not agree with that. He submitted that what specified the method was one complete lead. If they looked at any Central Council publication they would find one complete lead and that satisfied them as to method. Some people might say, ‘Why not half a lead ?’ The answer was ‘No,’ and he hoped that they would agree that to satisfy the method they must give one complete lead. They had covered that in the resolution by saying the fundamental units should be the ‘leads’ in the case of Treble-dominated methods; and in the case of Stedman, etc., it should be the sixes.
If they passed the resolution it would clear the matter up. As the President said, it was only a matter of nomenclature, and although under the resolution certain portions of Kent and Oxford could not be joined together and called ‘spliced,’ he would be the last person to say, ‘You should not ring these peals.’ In fact, he preferred to ring Kent and Oxford that way, but he thought when they were so rung it should be called a variation of Treble Bob.
Mr. C. T. Coles seconded the motion.
Mr. J. Hunt congratulated the people who moved that resolution for gaining ‘their mental stability of mind.’ He characterised the resolution as ‘most ridiculous.’ He wanted to ask this question. He distinctly said at Shrewsbury that he mentioned a peal rung by the Midland Counties Association in six methods, and that was called a combined peal. He took it that under the present resolution it would not he called spliced because there was Kent and Oxford in it.
Mr. P. J. Johnson thought that the resolution would clearly define, much more than in the past, the status of those peals. They in Yorkshire were landed in a great difficulty by the fact of a misunderstanding. They had people who combined leads of Oxford and Treble Bob and called it another method. The whole Exercise would feel that the people responsible for the resolution had displayed great sense and dignity in agreeing to this combined resolution.
Mr. Coles said the resolution that was put up last year by Mr. Turner and himself was drawn up with the help of many distinguished people in the Exercise. It seemed to them that it was necessary to define what a spliced peal was. When they tried to define a spliced peal there was a great deal of difference in the sort of things rung. This year they had approached the matter from a different point of view, realising that the resolutions were likely to be misconstrued. Mr. Wood’s amendment at Shrewsbury seemed to meet one point - to find out how intricate the peal was, and he would like to say that the number of changes of method generally denoted the intricacies of the peal. There might be slight exceptions, but it was correct to say the more changes of method the more intricate the peal became.
As to the basis of the resolution, they must confine themselves to the definition of a method in the Council’s Rules and Decisions that ‘each lead shall reverse true to itself.’ There was no intention in the resolution to bar anything that had been rung or could be rung. As far as he was concerned he had every sympathy with people who ring Treble Bob and cut out the portions where the tenors were in the slow.
Mr. Coles referred to the peal in six methods by the Midland Counties Association, and said if Kent and Oxford were introduced into that peal, and if the units were broken, it would not come within this definition of a spliced peal.
Mr. A. H. Pulling asked, if it was possible to ring a peal of Spliced Major in which the changes of method were made when the treble laid its whole pull behind, whether that would be considered a spliced peal.
DESIRE FOR WHOLE METHOD.
Mr. J. A. Trollope replied that it was possible to change when the treble was behind, but pointed out that if such a course was adopted one did not get the whole of the work of the method. If only half the method was rung the band could not say they had rung that method. In theory they could change where they liked, but in that case, if the method was not completed, they only got a new method.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith asked, if a peal was rung with the whole of the changes of method made when the treble was behind, how would it be affected by the resolution? Would it be a ‘spliced’ peal ?
Mr. G. Grover pointed out that the merit was in the performance and not in the name. He moved, as an amendment, that the words ‘provided’ to ‘intact’ be deleted from the resolution.
Mr. E. M. Atkins, who seconded, thought there was a great danger in passing the resolution because they were going to make it very difficult for what ingenious people might bring forward in the future. For a long time he had in mind the splicing of methods with the treble at the back. He could not see why they should not carry on as at present, but by making it clear in the reports as to what had taken place.
Mr. Warrington: If you are going to allow this with the treble behind, you cannot condemn methods of 1,700 with a single behind.
Mr. Trollope: If you begin splicing in the middle of the lead, all you do is to create another method. If you splice them in any other way than when the treble leads, you break them up entirely (‘No, no’). If you keep on splicing you get a circular action. In a 720, if you keep on splicing, all you get in the end is a 720 of Original.
Mr. Hunt: You take Treble Bob Minor. You can ring a peal without any bobs. What happens if you ring a peal without any bobs and it is spliced? The Worcester variation of Treble Bob is rung without any bobs.
Mr. Holt: Can you supply us with a 720 Worcester Treble Bob Minor?
Mr. Hunt: The method is published.
Mr. Holt: When Worcester was invented the idea was to keep the tenors out of the hunt.
The President: I do not think any good will be done by going into the finer points.
Mr. Holt: If Worcester keeps the tenors out of the Slow, how can you get a 720 of Minor?
Replying to the amendment, Mr. Coles said there was nothing new in the ringing of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob combined. Records showed that in 1840 they called it Hudson’s New Light on Treble Bob, and it was first rung at Sheffield St. Peter’s. Whatever members of the Council thought, these peals, as rung in those days, were variations of Treble Bob and not spliced. As to splicing with the treble behind, the point those responsible for the resolution desired to make was that the splicing should take place at the lead-end. In doing it with the treble behind they were making an unsymmetrical method.
Mr. Wood, in amplification of the point, said in a lead of Cambridge Major if they left out the second’s place they called in Primrose. If they rang the first half lead of Cambridge and spliced it with Primrose the work of some of the bells would not change. If the amendment was passed the resolution was cut down to the resolution which originally stood in his name. In view of the fact that two members of the Council had each given way and sunk their own views in order to please as many people as possible, it would be a mistake to turn down half of it and go back to one of the original resolutions, although it happened to be his.
The amendment only found 13 supporters and was defeated by a big majority.
The Ringing World, June 26th, 1936, pages 422
(Continued from page 407.)
EFFORT TO REOPEN CHESTERFIELD TOWER.
The President presented the report of the Towers and Belfries Committee (which was printed in ‘The Ringing World’ of June 5th). Mr. Lewis said that members of the committee had carried out inspections in response to individual requests. The number of towers which had been dealt with, in some cases by inspection, in some cases by correspondence, was 18, excluding certain minor cases. Mr. Young had had one tower, Mr. Hunt three, Major Hesse had inspected five, and he (Mr. Lewis) had had nine cases to deal with. In the case of Chesterfield he was asked by the Midland Counties Association whether the committee could do anything to get the tower reopened for ringing. It had been condemned by the architect in spite of the fact that £5,000 had recently been spent upon it in restoration. He apologised to the members of the M.C.A. for having been somewhat slow in taking the matter up, but the letter was sent to him at a time when he was making weekly journeys to Scotland and he could not deal with ringing matters at all. But eventually he wrote to the Vicar of Chesterfield and put the matter in general terms, because they had no details of the reasons why the architect had condemned the tower, nor did they know at that time the name of the architect. It was, therefore, rather difficult for them to ‘butt in.’ In writing to the Vicar, he finished up his letter by saying that the committee recognised they had no standing between the Church authorities and the architect, but willingly offered their services if, thereby, the bells could once more be rung as they were in the past. He got a reply from the Vicar saying he was grateful for the letter and adding that the trouble was rather accentuated by the fact that they had changed their architect. He (the Vicar) would try and find out what opinion the architect was acting upon, as his impression was that most architects were not experts in the matter of bells. The Vicar promised to bring the letter before the Church Council. That, said Mr. Lewis, was on April 8th, but he had heard nothing since. As soon as they heard something more from the Vicar of Chesterfield they would try and get a little further. He wanted to assure the Midland Counties Association that they were trying to do their best and do it tactfully without causing trouble.
SILENCERS FOR NOISY BELLS.
Referring next to the request that the committee should give some information about the Davis Silencers, which had been in use at Bishopsgate and Bromley Common, and which, he believed, were also in use at Kingsbury, Mr. Lewis said he went specially to Bromley Common to hear the effect of these silencers in operation. The church at Bromley Common was in a residential area and the bells were very loud outside. They were a fairly powerful Simpson-tuned ring and were distinctly loud inside the tower also. It had become almost impossible for the ringers to practise because of complaints. They had tried these silencers and were now able to practise weekly without any complaint worth speaking about. The silencers were in the nature of an ordinary muffle, except that the leather was not so thick and outside it was a plate of steel. The effect at Bromley Common was almost the same as if the bells were muffled, but there was a certain amount of metallic tap against the bell. Criticism of the silencers had been raised that they would be expensive, as they did not last long. His inquiries showed that they cost about £2 for a set of 16 (for silencing eight bells), that at Bromley Common they had been in use for 12 months and were practically as good as new. Those at Bishopsgate had been used for 44 peals and were still serviceable. He thought, therefore, the criticism was not well founded. The Towers and Belfries Committee agreed to recommend the use of such silencers as well worth trial in cases where the bells were a serious source of nuisance on practice nights. They did not take the place of properly blocking up the windows, where the windows should be blocked up to render the bells quieter at all times, but in cases where funds were not available for blocking the louvres, the silencers were very well worth trying, with this warning: The committee thought it desirable, before purchasing a complete set, that trials should be made with various samples of different thicknesses of leather and steel, because they felt that each tower required to be treated on its own merits. They could not prescribe a general medicine for them all.
Mr. S. F. Palmer, referring to the case of Chesterfield, said he had ascertained that a reawakened interest was being taken in the bells by prominent Chesterfield churchpeople and townsfolk, and if the Council could follow the matter up now and continue to do so, there was great hope that the bells of Chesterfield would be heard again in the near future (hear, hear).
The report and recommendation were adopted and the committee reappointed as follows: Mr. E. H. Lewis (convener), Major J. H. B. Hesse, Mr. E. A. Young and Mr. J. Hunt.
OLD PEAL BOARDS.
On behalf of the committee which is collecting details of peal boards and other records relating to peals rung up to the year 1825, Mr. W. H. Hollier reported that the committee’s appeal for information had brought to light interesting records. Among those from the Lancashire Association was an old book, kindly lent by Mr. G. R. Newton, containing 25 records of ringing by the Liverpool College Youths and other societies. Mr. William Willson sent two old books, dated 1776 and 1779, recording peals rung by the Leicester Scholars. One of the records was as follows:-
‘At Wakefield on Monday May the 12th 1788 were rung a Peal of Tripple bob Tripples 5040 changes called Wakefield delight in 8 courses complete. The same set of Ringers without changing a man or setting a bell began another peal of Oxford Single Tripples in twelve courses consisting of 5040 changes and called Wakefields Surprise, both these peals consisting of 10080 changes were performed including the raising and setting the bells in 7 hours and 1 minute and were rang with exactness and nice distinction an instance never before done in the Kingdom. What adds to the singularity of the performance there were Two Fathers, Five Sons, Five Brothers, Four Cousins, One Uncle, One Nephew, yet only eight persons and only two names.’
The Sheffield and District Society sent records of peals rung at Sheffield Parish Church, which include the first peal of Cambridge Surprise, 6,040 changes, rung in 4 hours 18 minutes, the first in this method ever rung in the country.
The Kent County Association records included peals rung at Christ Church Cathedral (Canterbury), at the Wye and Ashford towers, and a book kindly lent by Mr. Harry Hoskins, in which were records of 17 peals rung at Greenwich by the Kentish Youths and one by the Eastern Scholars. The first was rung on December 1st, 1732.
Other records came from the Woolwich tower, Waltham Abbey, Romsey Abbey, St. Mary’s, Warwick, St. Mary’s, Ealing, St. Mary’s, Twickenham, St. Margaret’ s, Westminster, All Saints’, Fulham, the Watford Youths, Lavenham, Suffolk, Carisbrooke and Newport (Isle of Wight), Newark, Oldham, Croston, Preston, Thaxted, Eye and Shrewsbury. Records by the Society of Bristol youths had also been received, and the Leeds and District Society sent the record of ‘two whole peals of Holt’s Triples, rung at Otley, in 6 hours 22 minutes, the first in 3 hours 10 minutes, and the second in 3 hours 12 minutes, on Tuesday, 20th February, 1787, being the first set of ringers that ever completed the above in time and course in England.’
The committee tendered their sincere thanks to all those who had so kindly assisted them, and thanked in anticipation those who have promised to assist.
The report was adopted and the committee re-elected as follows: Mr. W. H. Hollier (convener), the Rev. C. E. Wigg and Mr. W. Ayre.
The adoption of the report of the Biographies Committee (printed in ‘The Ringing World’ on June 5th) was proposed by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, who emphasised the request contained in the report that those who had received forms and had not returned them would do so without delay, and also send with them photographs wherever possible.
Mr. W. A. Cave seconded and the report was adopted.
The committee was re-elected as follows: Mr. J. S. Goldsmith (convener), Mrs. E. K. Fletcher and Mr. W. A. Cave.
BALLOT FOR STANDING COMMITTEE.
The Council then came to the election of the Standing Committee, and for this purpose ballot papers were issued, and nominations invited by the president.
Mr. E. J. Butler proposed and Mr. C. Mee seconded that the six eligible retiring members should be re-elected, and this was agreed to. They were Alderman Pritchett, Messrs. W. T. Cockerill, W. A. Cave, C. F. Johnston, A. Paddon Smith and E. Denison Taylor.
Twelve names were proposed for the remaining six places, and when the result of the ballot was later announced, the following were declared elected: Archdeacon Parry, Mr. Rupert Richardson, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Messrs. J. T. Dyke, S. H. Wood, and A. Walker. The unsuccessful were Messrs. P. J. Johnson, S. F. Palmer, F. M. Mitchell, E. Guise, H. Knight and G. Chester.
The President expressed the thanks of the Council to the committees who had served them for the last three years for the work they had done, which, he said, was pretty considerable. A great deal of the work of the Council was done by committees in between the meetings. The Council did not hear much about it, but it represented many hours of labour in most cases.
MUFFLED BELLS - INVESTIGATION TO BE MADE.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith proposed the following motion: ‘That, with a view to providing future guidance, the officers of this Council be requested to consider the question of the correct method of muffling and ringing church bells on occasions of national and local mourning, and, after consulting at discretion those who may be able to give information, draw up a recommendation on the subject, which, if possible, shall be submitted to the Church authorities for approval and laid before the Council at the next meeting.’ He said he brought this motion forward because of the uncertainty that seemed to prevail, on the death of King George, as to the proper way in which bells should be muffled for the death of a sovereign and how and when they should be rung. As Editor of ‘The Ringing World,’ he received inquiries by post, telegraph and telephone asking for authentic information on the subject, but he was unable to give it. Correspondence in ‘The Ringing World’ afterwards showed that there was a desire for guidance, and he thought the officials of the Council were the best people to collect the information. If, then, they could issue it with authority of the Church behind it, those in doubt in future would have something definite to act upon. He emphasised there was no desire to do anything to interfere with ancient local customs, which in many cases were interesting survivals and would probably be a help to the Council officials in drawing up their recommendations.
The hon. secretary seconded the motion.
Mr. J. A. Trollope said with one exception, what was correct in the services of the Church for the King was correct for anybody else. The King was entitled to be married or buried in exactly the same way as a commoner. The only exception was his coronation service. Clearly, therefore, what was correct for an ordinary person was correct for the King; the only difference was in the elaboration; the essentials were exactly the same. The muffling of bells was invented by ringers for ringers. The earliest reference to muffling did not go back further than the eighteenth century, and that was to full muffling. The first reference to half-muffling was in 1785, and the first muffled peal was rung about 1816. In ecclesiastical matters it took he did not know how many centuries to make a ‘custom.’ The correct way to muffle bells was to do it in the way in which it sounded best to people outside.
Continuing, Mr. Trollope said if the question of the whole of the observance of the ‘passing bell’ could be investigated it would be of interest. There was a great deal of misunderstanding as to the use of bells at deaths and funerals, and most of the old customs were rapidly dying out. People talked of ‘the passing bell,’ but ‘the passing bell’ had not been rung in England for a matter of over two hundred years. ‘The passing bell’ was rung of course before the person died. The ordinary ‘death bell,’ which was now practically extinct, was rung immediately the person died; a bell rung at a funeral was a different thing altogether. How far that went back he was not quite certain. When the King died, the very first thing that was done was to send a message to the Lord Mayor of London requesting him to order the big bell of St. Paul’s to be tolled. They would observe said Mr. Trollope, that it was sent not to the ecclesiastical authorities, but to the Lord Mayor, and he was requested to order it. That was not done for religious purposes at all and it was not done out of respect for the dead King. It was simply done so that the citizens of London should have the earliest opportunity of knowing that the King was dead, because, in the case of disputed succession, it was to their interests to know immediately in the same way the ‘death bell’ that used to be tolled was an announcement. If they went through some 17th and 18th century diaries they would find that people in Oxford used to go about listening to the bells that were tolled, just as the ordinary man of to-day turned to the first page of ‘The Times’ in the morning to see who was dead.
Mr. W. H. Hollier spoke of the impressiveness of the bells of Westminster Abbey rung half-muffled on the occasion of the late King’s funeral.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said he was glad to hear it stated that there was no intention of suggesting interference with local customs. There were local customs in considerable variety, and it was most to be desired that where these local customs held sway there should be no attempt to introduce rigid uniformity. He thought, however, the resolution would be of great use in enabling guidance to be provided in towers where there was no regular practice and where advice was required. In investigating this question he thought the officials might collect valuable information as to the most impressive way of using bells.
The Rev. H. Drake expressed the view that the report of the officials should not be submitted to the Church authorities until it had been considered by the Council. If the Church authorities approved of it first, the Council could hardly discuss it afterwards. They could agree to it or not agree to it, but they could not very well, out of respect to the Church authorities, throw it out afterwards. He thought the proper thing would be first of all to discuss it at the next meeting, and then, if the Council agreed with it, to submit it to the Church authorities afterwards.
An amendment on these lines was proposed by Mr. E. P. Duffield, seconded by the Rev. H. Drake and carried, and the motion as amended was then adopted.
The President thanked Mr. Trollope for his historical survey, and said he had looked up the question of muffled ringing in the Oxford Dictionary to see if he could get any light upon it. The only reference he could find was in connection with the death of Beau Nash at Bath of which Goldsmith - Oliver not Jack (laughter) - wrote of the death of Nash in 1762 that he was ‘buried like a King’ and that the bells ‘rang a muffled peal of Bob Majors.’
The Ringing World, June 26th, 1936, pages 423 to 424
NEED FOR GREATER SUPPORT.
The question of promoting the circulation of ‘The Ringing World’ among ringers was discussed at the meeting of the Central Council. It was brought up on a motion placed on the agenda in the name of Mr. F. E. Dawe in the following terms: ‘To call attention to the present very inadequate support given to “The Ringing World,” and to consider what steps (if any) can be taken to increase the circulation.’
Mr. Dawe said this was a most important subject for the ringing Exercise. In 1878 he began taking a paper called ‘Church Bells,’ and he had taken the ringing papers right up to the previous week, but no ringing paper had ever been supported as it should have been. In the early days of ‘Bell News’ when he used to travel the country a great deal, he did his best to get support for that paper, and he found then, as he found now with regard to ‘The Ringing World,’ that in many towers ‘Bill Smith buys a paper and passes it round’ He had recently heard of a case where a good change ringing company existed. One man bought ‘The Ringing World’ on Friday for 3d. He kept it two days, then sold it to another member of the company for 2d., and this member in turn sold it to another for a penny two days later. ‘Nobody knows what becomes of it after that,’ added Mr. Dawe, amid laughter. Since he sent in his resolution he noticed the words ‘(if any)’ had been inserted. They were not his words, because he had the greatest hopes that something might be done, but in those two words there was just an element of a bucket of cold water thrown on the motion. Something must be done. They must have a ringing paper of some description and they should give ‘The Ringing World’ more support, not only to enable it to be made a better paper, but to make it worth a competent man’s while to give his time and skill to the publishing of it. The enthusiasm and energy of Mr. Goldsmith for over 25 years had been wonderful, and it was marvellous that with the meagre support he had kept the paper going. He (Mr. Dawe) had done his best to drive it into people’s heads that if they would support the paper properly it would be improved. At Warwick he made an offer, if a few others would do the same, to give £5 a year towards a fund for improving the paper, so as to endeavour to induce others to take it, but he had since discovered there would be a certain amount of difficulty over that. For one thing, as subscribers died out it might be difficult to replace them. But they wanted something done. He was going to suggest that all the associations should be requested to approach each individual member and use every persuasive power. In that assembly there were many skilled business men from some of the most go-ahead towns in the world. Some were hopeless when it came to discussing the question of retaining old and valuable and historic bells (laughter) - they would destroy anything for the good of trade - but he felt sure on this question of increasing the circulation of ‘The Ringing World,’ they would get the best advice from the best business men in the room. He knew it could be done and it would have to be done (hear, hear).
HOW HELP MIGHT BE GIVEN.
Mr. E. A. Young, who seconded, said all associations relied on propaganda, and one of the greatest pieces of machinery for this purpose was undoubtedly the press. The ringing Exercise was exceedingly fortunate in having a paper devoted to its interests. Mr. Filson Young made a special point of it in his article in ‘The Radio Times.’ What they had to do was to look ahead. If they lost their paper, they would lose their best means of propaganda and the preservation of their interests. When the time came that they lost Mr. Goldsmith they would have a difficulty in inducing anyone to succeed him and who would look after their many-sided interests unless he received a fair return for his labours. How were they to do something? It was difficult to know. The Council had not the money. It supported the paper by advertising, and he wondered whether Mr. Goldsmith could be allowed to put under the heading of the paper the words, ‘The official organ of the Central Council of Church Bellringers,’ and whether members of the Exercise, who had anything to advertise, would use its columns. As an instance of unexpected results from advertising in ‘The Ringing World,’ Mr. Young said he once wanted to sell a harp. He tried an advertisement in ‘The Ringing World.’ It seemed rather a forlorn hope, but within a fortnight he had sold it.
Mr. P. J. Johnson said it was regrettable to come across towers, as one frequently did, where only one copy was taken among perhaps eight or ten ringers. He supported the suggestion that ringers should use the advertising columns more, and he thought that associations in their annual reports might tell their members of the importance to the Exercise of a ringing paper and the serious difficulty of maintaining the circulation. They could urge members to support the paper as a duty, and to take it not only in their own interests, but in the interests of the whole Exercise. With the circulation that it had got he had often wondered how it had been possible to carry it on at all. If for any reason the paper ceased publication it would be a great blow to the Exercise. They all knew that. He felt it was their duty to act as propagandists (hear, hear). If they would do that and try to push the paper, he thought it would give new heart to their friend and probably lengthen his life by another 50 years (laughter and applause).
Mr. G. Pullinger advocated a scheme which he had put into practice for a number of years. He said he had taken two copies of ‘The Ringing World’ every week. That cost him sixpence and he believed it was worth it. His surplus copy he left at different towers all over the district. He did not leave them with the same man every week. In a number of cases, he believed, this had resulted in ringers becoming subscribers. He believed if every member of the Council from that time would take two copies a week and do as he had done, they would see good results. It was, perhaps, only a ‘flea-bite,’ but it was something to go on with (applause).
Mr. F. Warrington suggested that each association should make a grant of two guineas a year to the Editor of ‘The Ringing World’ to distribute copies to that value to those towers, known to the secretary, who did not take the paper. It would not, of course, be sent to the same towers every week, but it would probably lead to new subscribers.
THE QUESTION OF PRICE.
Mr. S. F. Palmer said he believed the great bugbear was the question of price. They in that Council, of course, all knew it was worth threepence, but they could not make ringers who did not take an interest believe it, although he believed they would take it if it were a penny. He thought the Council might approach the various associations with the idea of getting them to communicate with their towers and asking how much greater support they would give to the paper if it were published for a penny. They would thus find out what sort of a guarantee they would get. He believed, if the price were reduced to a penny, nearly every ringer would take it.
Mr. A. H. Pulling said the paper was worth its price to the enthusiasts, but to the ordinary man threepence was too much. At present they paid 13s. a year to a newsagent - if they paid 8s. or 9s. direct to Mr. Goldsmith and had the paper sent by post, they would get a better and a cheaper paper. He suggested that if three or four members of the Council discussed the subject they would find a way to do it.
Mr. J. A. Trollope said while there was something in the point Mr. Pulling had raised, and some people certainly did grumble about the price, he did not think that was the real trouble. People might pay threepence and grumble, but if the price were reduced to a penny they would have to increase the circulation so much that there were not sufficient ringers in England to make up the amount. They might do it with twopence, but a penny was out of the question. What they must do was to go on with their propaganda and persuade people that the paper was a necessity for the Exercise and try and get them to support it for their own sake.
Mr. G. R. Newton said after the matter was discussed at Plymouth four years ago the Lancashire Association decided to pay double the amount they had been paying for the notices of the meetings. If all the associations would do that, it would go a long way towards solving the financial difficulty. Continuing, Mr. Newton said he did not see why ringers should grumble at 3d. They lived in a world of their own, and ‘The Ringing World’ was the only thing that kept the Exercise together. He hoped other associations would follow Lancashire’s example.
The Hon. Secretary (Mr. G. W. Fletcher) said they were all agreed that they wanted to do the best they could to keep the paper going. In his experience in the last four or five years he had found that some members of the Council did not take the paper, and he was not certain that all secretaries of affiliated societies took it; at any rate he had come to the conclusion that some of his advertisements had not been read by them. The Council would remember, continued Mr. Fletcher, that four years ago the officers of the Council were requested to consider the matter and put forward suggestions. It was raised again last year, and he thought the time had come when they should ask members and associations to send their suggestions. There were plenty of grumblers, but they did not get suggestions. He, therefore, moved that ‘this Council requests all members and secretaries of affiliated societies to send in suggestions with a view to increasing the circulation of “The Ringing World,” that the suggestions be considered by the officers of the Council and Mr. Goldsmith, and that a report be circulated to all members.’
Mr. Dawe accepted this motion and seconded it.
Mr. J. W. Jones said with regard to propaganda he pushed the paper at practically all the meetings held by his association. He advocated obtaining the paper direct by post from the editorial office, instead of through a newsagent. It would make a tremendous difference, and he hoped all ringers would do this, as well as push the paper at their meetings.
Mr. J. Hunt supported the suggestion that the paper should be obtained through the post. If everyone did that, he believed it could be sold a penny cheaper.
The motion proposed by the hon. secretary was then put and carried.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith said he had deliberately kept out of the discussion so that the members should not be in any way influenced by what he might say. He hoped the discussion would lead to something practical being done, because his chief concern was for the future of the Exercise, which depended so largely upon having a ringing paper. He thanked the members of the Council for the very sympathetic way in which they had discussed the matter.
STAFFORD ARCHDEACONRY’S RECOMMENDATION.
At the annual meeting of the Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford at Lichfield, Mr. B. Horton, one of the representatives of the society at the Central Council meeting, quoting from what was said there, urged the members who were not already doing so to support ‘The Ringing World.’
Mr. F. E. Dawe, who made a trenchant appeal for a greater circulation for the paper, gave an account of his experiences in different parts of the country, remarking that in many places only one copy of the paper was taken for the whole company.
Mr. H. Knight pointed out the serious position in which ringers might be placed some day if the journal was not better supported, and advised each contributor to try and get at least one more subscriber, which would tend to put ‘The Ringing World’ on a sound footing.
The Chairman said he took a very serious view of the matter, and proposed that a recommendation should go from the society to the Central Council suggesting that, considering the importance of a weekly paper to the Exercise, the Central Council should take the matter up so as to assure the future of ‘The Ringing World,’ and further suggesting that the Central Council should ask for annual subscriptions from the ringing societies, so as to enable the price to be reduced to one penny per week, which should greatly increase the circulation. In conclusion, he urged ringers to do their best to keep ‘The Ringing World’ going.
His recommendation was carried.
The Ringing World, July 3rd, 1936, pages 438 and 440
(Continued from page 424.)
PROPOSAL FOR EARLIER MEETINGS DEFEATED.
For many years past the meetings of the Central Council on Whitsun Tuesday have begun at 11 a.m., and there have been occasions when the business has been so lengthy that members have had to leave before it finished. At the last meeting an effort was made to get the hour of meeting altered.
Mr. G. Pullinger (Winchester and Portsmouth Guild) moved that ‘In the opinion of this Council, the morning session of Council meetings should, when possible, commence at 10 a.m.’ He said it appeared to him, at several of the meetings he had attended, that the time had been insufficient to deal with the Council business, although that day it seemed to be otherwise. In recent years there had been a great deal of work, and the result had been that towards the end of the session the business had been rushed. Under such circumstances it could not be dealt with properly. What drew his attention to it was that at some of the meetings in the provinces members who had to travel long distances had to leave before the meeting ended. He knew of one case where a representative had been instructed by his association to vote on a certain question in a certain way, but was unable to do so because he had to leave before the question was reached on the agenda. The ideal way would be to spread their meetings over two days, but there was a considerable amount of difficulty in that. It was impossible to start their meeting on Whitsun Monday, because many guilds and associations held their annual meeting on that day, and the representatives would be unable to attend, or if they did, and the Central Council meeting was held at a distance, they would be unable to attend their own association’s meeting. There were many representatives who had to be back at their work by Wednesday morning, and if the meeting were extended to Wednesday they would be unable to be present. The alternative was to meet earlier on Whitsun Tuesday. The only objection he could see to this course was that the Standing Committee met before the Council meeting. That was not so serious as it used to be, because, owing to better travelling facilities, it had been found possible to hold a meeting of the Standing Committee on the previous evening. The committee had met at eight o’clock the night before, if they had met at seven o’clock they could have got through most if not all the business that had been left until that morning. The last thing he wanted to do was to add to the difficulties of the Standing Committee, but unless the Council could properly debate the matters that came before them in the time available they should meet earlier. If they could not meet at ten o’clock they should meet as soon after as possible.
Mr. F. W. Rogers, who seconded, said that day, thanks to the work of the Standing Committee, the business of the Council had been got through in a workmanlike manner earlier than it had been in the last two or three years, when members had had to leave the Council meeting long before the business had been finished. There ought to be no difficulty about starting their meeting earlier, as seventy or eighty per cent. of the members were in London on Monday evening. Mr. Rogers also threw out the suggestion that in future years the social at headquarters should be held on the evening before the Council meeting, instead of after the meeting.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said that wherever the meeting was held there were a certain number of members who could not arrive until the same morning. In view of the fact that their proceedings generally began with a civic or episcopal ceremony, and sometimes both, they wanted a full attendance at the time they did open. He would propose as an amendment that the time be 10.30, although he was in favour of eleven o’clock himself.
The Rev. H. Drake said for those unable to get to the place of meeting until the morning, ten o’clock was too early.
Mr. J. Parker said they must bear in mind those who had to do the Council’s work. After the previous night’s meeting of the Standing Committee, Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher worked until two o’clock in the morning to get papers ready for that day’s meeting. If they had to get up in time to be at that meeting at ten o’clock, he did not know what they would say. Eleven o’clock was quite soon enough.
Mr. E. A. Young said while he was secretary, taking one year with the other, they got through their business by half-past four or five o’clock. For about three years now there had been a wave of motions discussed which had taken up a lot of time, but it did not always occur. They might now be in for a cycle of quieter years.
Mr. S. H. Wood said he thought, if they met an hour earlier, there were people in the Council who would still manage to make the meeting last so that they would finish at just the same time (laughter). That day’s had been a better meeting than the last two or three had. If they could avoid the ‘red herrings’ and stick to the points put down on the agenda paper, there was no reason why they should not get the business done between 11 o’clock and 5 p.m.
The Hon. Secretary pointed out the difficulty of calling the Standing Committee together earlier, and the amendment for 10.30 was then put, but no one voted for it.
The original motion by Mr. Pullinger was voted on and was defeated by a large majority.
ACCESS TO RINGING BOOKS.
The President moved ‘That all persons having collections of books on ringing matters be invited to supply particulars to the hon. librarian, and to indicate whether they are willing to give access to their collections.’ He said the reasons for the motion were twofold; that all ringers who were interested in research in historical matters should know where they might be able to find the editions or copies of rare editions of some of the earlier books, and it was very desirable that the Council should know where these books were, so that, in case of death, they knew where they were going to be in the future and could safeguard them from being thrown away or getting into hands where they would not be appreciated. What they particularly wanted was to enable those interested in research to know where to find them. This motion, added the President, arose out of some discussion on some books he was able to pick up lately and which he did not like to ask the Council to buy, because it would have absorbed their funds for a year or two.
The hon. secretary seconded the motion, which was agreed to without discussion.
NEXT MEETING AT CANTERBURY.
The President said that from the discussion in the Standing Committee as to the next place of meeting, one or two things emerged, which it was just as well the Council should know. One was that the Council had changed a good deal in the last 40 years and there were very few of the original members left. Hitherto they had not repeated a visit to any place except London, but the committee saw no reason why they should not start to revisit places they had been to before. In view of that and in view of the fact that that was the beginning of a new Council, under new rules, indeed, that it was almost a new start, the Standing Committee threw out the suggestion, bearing in mind that the next meeting will be very close to the Coronation, and that in the circumstances they would not want to travel far, that the Council should go to Canterbury next year, with the idea perhaps of going to York the following year. There had been invitations to Leeds, to Ripon and to Dublin, but he thought, in any case, Dublin would be out of the question next time because of the Coronation.
Mr. F. M. Mitchell proposed that the next meeting be held at Canterbury. He was sure the Kent County Association would do its best to offer the Council a welcome.- Mr. E. A. Young seconded and the proposition was carried.
A MESSAGE OF GREETING.
Mr. J. S. Goldsmith called attention to the fact that in December the new tower and bells of St. David’s Cathedral, Hobart, Tasmania, would be dedicated. In view of the happy relations set up with Hobart ringers on the occasion of the visit of the English tourists in 1934, he thought it would be a nice gesture if, on the occasion of the dedication the Council, through the president, sent a message of congratulation and greeting to the church and ringers of Hobart. Major J. H. B. Hesse seconded the proposal, which was carried.
THE PYE MEMORIAL SCHEME.
Mr. C. T. Coles referred to the William Pye Memorial, which was first mentioned last year at Shrewsbury. The scheme was brought to a successful conclusion on the previous Saturday. He would like to thank those associations who supported the appeal. No fewer than 37 associations supported the scheme, which he thought was very satisfactory and showed the great esteem in which Mr. Pye was held by the Exercise. He asked the representatives of the associations and guilds to take back with them the thanks of the committee for the support they gave to the scheme.
Mr. E. P. Duffield, as one of the Memorial Scheme Committee, paid a tribute to the extraordinary amount of work done by Mr. Coles and Mr. Butler, the secretaries, in connection with the scheme. He felt it was only right that some public mention should be made of the indebtedness of the committee and the subscribers to the scheme to these two gentlemen (applause).
The President said it might interest the Council to know that the handbell band at Oxhey had rung a peal in four Spliced Surprise methods in hand. He thought they should send their congratulations to the ringers (applause).
The Hon. Secretary reported that of the 49 associations affiliated to the Council, 26 were fully represented at that meeting with 67 members, and 16 partially represented with 35 members. Only seven societies were unrepresented. Altogether 102 representative members were present and 12 honorary members, a record total of 114.
The President proposed a vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor and City Corporation for the use of the Guildhall. Without hesitation he could say it was quite as fine a room, if not the finest room, they had been in for a meeting. They were very much honoured by being allowed to meet there (applause). Continuing, he said they ought also to send a letter to the Dean of St. Paul’s for his kindness in coming there to welcome them. He also proposed that the thanks of the Council be sent to His Majesty’s Office of Works for the use of the bells at the Imperial Institute, and to the Church authorities and steeplekeepers at all the towers where ringing had been permitted; to the associations in the London area for their co-operation in making the arrangements, and particularly to the committee, Messrs. A. A. Hughes (College Youths), G. H. Cross (Royal Cumberlands), E. J. Butler (Essex), C. T. Coles (Middlesex), T. W. Taffender (London County), F. M. Mitchell (Kent) and C. H. Kippin (Surrey). To all these he proposed that a very hearty vote of thanks be accorded and that the hon. secretary be requested to write to them accordingly.
Canon Coleridge proposed a vote of thanks to the president, for the way in which he had conducted the meeting. It had been his privilege, he said, to attend 44 annual meetings of the Council, and he, therefore, knew something of what the president had to do. He could go back to the time when the Standing Committee met some time in the morning, towards 12 o’clock, and the Council began its meeting at 2 o’clock and ended at five o’clock. Then it was found that the Council had to meet in the morning and the Standing Committee had to meet much earlier. It would have been quite hopeless to think of the committee meeting the night before, because people could not get there. He thought the Council had done wisely to keep to the same hour. To succeed in the chair at that meeting they must have a man who was respected by his brethren, who knew the duties of the chairman and who knew the work for which the Council was summoned together. All these were combined in Mr. Lewis, and he wanted to say how pleased they were to have him in the chair. He hoped he would continue for the next 20 years.
The motion having been carried by acclamation, Mr. Lewis replied. He said he had tried to do his best, but what he had done had been made extraordinarily easy for him by Mr. Fletcher. They must not forget to give him a hearty vote of thanks, for he had done the brunt of the work (applause).
Mr. F. E. Dawe paid a tribute to the kindness of Mr. A. A. Hughes, to whom was due, he believed, the fact that they had obtained the use of the Guildhall.
The Hon. Secretary said it was entirely due to the efforts of Mr. Hughes that they met in that hall. If it would interest the members, he could tell them that Mr. Hughes was summoned to the bar - not in a place associated with bellringing - but he was acquitted and was with them that day (applause).
This concluded the business and the Council then rose.
During the afternoon His Majesty the King’s reply to the Council’s loyal message of greeting was received and read. The text of the message and the reply were printed in our issue of June 5th.
SPLICED TREBLE BOB MINOR.
Mr. J. Hunt writes pointing out, in connection with the discussion at the Central Council meeting on the resolution defining a spliced peal, that he did not reply to Mr. Holt’s inquiry as to whether a 720 of Treble Bob Minor in the Worcester variation could be obtained. He said he was of opinion that, as a 720 of Treble Bob Minor could not be obtained when the methods are spliced at the lead-end, the other method of ringing them should be recognised as spliced.
The Ringing World, July 3rd, 1936, pages 439 to 440