The following report of the Analysis and Records Committee upon the peals rung in 1936 will be submitted to the Central Council at their meeting on Whitsun Tuesday:-

There has been a considerable decrease in the number of peals rung in 1936, as compared with 1935.

The following summary shows comparative figures:-




Peals of Maximus and Cinques remain the same, but there is an increase of 2 in the Surprise methods, and a decrease in the Kent Treble Bob. Cinques also remain the same. There are three peals less of Stedman, and three more of Grandsire. Royal have increased by 8 - three Surprise methods and other methods 5. Caters have increased by 9 - Stedman by 7 and Grandsire by 3. No other Cater method was rung. Major methods have decreased by 51. Surprise methods show a decrease of 50 - London 15, Cambridge 22, Bristol 3, Superlative 17. Spliced Surprise have increased by 4, sundry Surprise by 10, Yorkshire by 2, new Surprise methods by 1. Kent Treble Bob have increased by 4, Oxford Treble Bob have decreased by 1, and Spliced Treble Bob by 2. Double Norwich have decreased by 6 and Plain Bob by 23. Sundry plain methods have increased by 17.

Triples have decreased by 71 - Stedman by 33 and Grandsire by 44. Sundry methods have increased by 6.

There is again an increase in Minor of 31. In one method peals have increased by 25; in two methods there is a decrease of 14; in three methods an increase of 10; in four methods no change; in five methods a decrease of 1; in six methods an increase of 1; in seven methods a decrease of 4; and in methods over seven an increase of 14. In Doubles there has been a decrease of 33. In one method there is a decrease of 19; in two methods a decrease of 21; in three methods a decrease of 4; in four methods a increase of 6; in five methods an increase of 5; and in methods over, an increase of 12.


A still further decrease has taken place, and this year there are no peals of Maximus or Cinques. Royal have decreased by 2, Major by 4, Triples by 5. Caters have increased by 4, Minor by 5, and Doubles by 1.


The Kent County Association still head the list, with 128 peals, a decrease of 27 on last year’s total. The Lincoln Guild follow with 112, an increase of 5. These are the only associations with over 100 peals: Nineteen associations show an increase and 25 a decrease.


5,216 Crayford College Bob Major, by the Norwich Diocesan Association, July 2nd, 1936.


5,040 Spliced London, Bristol, Cambridge and Superlative Surprise Royal, by the Surrey Association, January 18th.
5,088 Uxbridge Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, February 15th.
5,040 Little Oxford Bob Major, by the Hertford County Association, February 22nd.
5,088 Chester Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, March 6th.
5,088 Killamarsh Surprise Major, by the Yorkshire Association, April 18th.
5,088 Hughenden Surprise Major, by the Oxford Diocesan Guild, April 18th.
5,152 Spliced Painswick, Yorkshire, Superlative and Cambridge Surprise Major, by the Oxford Diocesan Guild, April 29th.
5,024 Cassiobury Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, May 16th.
5,024 Leeds Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, May 14th.
5,088 Leicestershire Surprise Major, by the Midland Counties Association, May 23rd.
5,056 Sandringham Surprise Major, by the Oxford Diocesan Guild, May 27th.
5,056 Pyrford Surprise Major, by the Guildford Diocesan Guild, September 24th.
5,088 Cornwall Surprise Major, by the Suffolk Guild, October 19th.
5,152 Newcastle Surprise Major, by the Oxford Diocesan Guild, October 31st.


5,056 St. Clement’s College Bob Major, by the Lincoln Guild, March 22nd.
5,088 Spliced London, Cambridge, Superlative and Bristol Surprise Major, by the Hertford County Association, May 29th.


Noteworthy performances include the peal of Spliced Surprise Major in four methods on handbells by four members of the Hertford County Association, which undoubtedly ranks as the greatest performance yet accomplished on handbells.

Other outstanding performances are the peal of Surprise Royal in four methods by the Surrey Association, and the peals of Minor in 42, 48, 51, 57, 60, 61 and 70 methods by the Lincoln Guild, and in 46, 52, 66 and 68 methods by the Chester Guild.

The following are the number of peals rung during each month in 1936 and 1935:-



There is a very serious decrease in the number of ringers who have scored their first peals. The number is 517, as against 643 in 1935. On eight bells and over, 69 rang the treble, 92 inside and 51 the tenor; on 5 and 6 bells, 99 rang the treble, 151 inside and 51 the tenor. The number who rang their first peal in a different method or method on a different number of bells is 1,434, an increase of 619. Ringers of their first peal inside number 68; away from the tenor 10; Maximus 5; Cinques 13; Royal 22; Caters 15; Major 72; Triples 24; Minor 127; Doubles 37; on twelve bells 33; ten 66; eight 32; six 13; five 5; Surprise 36; in hand 4; in method in hand 62. New conductors number 57 - 27 on eight bells and over, and 30 on five and six. This is a decrease of 25. Conductors in new methods number 179. New conductors on handbells number 3.

Other footnotes show that 44 were the first on the bells; 169 the first in the method on the bells; 27 the first since restoration or augmentation.

For the funeral of King George V., 175 peals were rung, muffled and half-muffled. Other muffled peals number 57.

For Proclamations and Accessions 22 peals were rung; Royal birthdays 7; birthdays 241; weddings (including silver, etc.) 97; church festivals and dedications 25; welcome and farewell 58; anniversaries 62.

During the year 27 peals have been withdrawn as follows:-

Record peal of Stedman Cinques - College Youths.
2 peals London Surprise Major - Sussex Association.
12 peals Kent Treble Bob Major - Surrey Association.
1 peal Kent Treble Bob Major - Guildford Guild.
3 peals Kent Treble Bob Major - Middlesex Association.
1 peal Kent Treble Bob Major - Suffolk Guild.
3 peals Kent Treble Bob Major - Norwich Diocesan Association.
1 peal Kent Treble Bob Major - Worcester and Districts.
1 peal Oxford Treble Bob Major - Yorkshire Association.
2 peals Stedman Caters - Gloucester and Bristol Association.

And these have been deducted from the total of peals rung.

We give below the number of peals rung in each of representative years since 1881, the total for the whole period being 68,706:-

1917 (war year)130

Included in the tables as peals of Doubles are 13 peals for the Hereford Diocesan, one for the Swansea and Brecon, one for the Devon Guild, and one for the Ely Diocesan Guild, all containing either Pitman’s, Morris’ or Lindoff’s 240’s or ‘spliced 240’s’ of Grandsire. We are a little doubtful if the Council has made any decision which expressly recognises these compositions.

We have had in mind the instructions given to us last year by the Council, but in view of the fact that peals containing the compositions referred to have been accepted by the Council in previous years, we hesitate to decide that these peals are contrary to any decision of the Council, and have, therefore, included them.

Two peals of Doubles rung for the Hertford County Association and included in the tables are stated to contain ‘Oxford Singles.’ Inquiries have been made, but no information bas been obtained on which we could definitely decide that these peals should be omitted from the tables.

A peal of Minor in seven methods included in the tables and rung for the Yorkshire Association contained a plain course of Woodbine Treble Bob in addition to an extent in that method. We are not clear as to whether the plain course concluded the peal or was sandwiched between extents.

The committee recommend the appointment of Mr. Walter Ayre to serve on this committee.

(Signed) G. L. GROVER.

The Ringing World, April 23rd, 1937, pages 268 to 269



President Elected an Honorary Member.

The second session of the sixteenth Council, the 45th annual meeting, was held in the Chapter House at Canterbury Cathedral on Tuesday.

There were present 83 representative members and 12 honorary members, 51 representative and four honorary members being absent. Of the 50 affiliated societies, 19 associations were fully represented, 20 partially represented and 11 were unrepresented.

The chair was occupied by the president (Mr. E. H. Lewis), who is a representative member of the Cambridge University Guild, but the affiliation fee of the Guild not having been paid, under the rules Mr. Lewis was debarred from speaking or voting. The situation was met by electing him an honorary member.

Before the meeting opened, however, the President said that, had his engagements permitted, the Archbishop of Canterbury would have been present to welcome them, but he had had to return to London. Fortunately, they had someone else to welcome them to the county of Kent and the city of Canterbury in the person of an old member of the Council, who was for many years secretary of the Kent County Association - Canon Helmore (applause).

Canon Helmore, who is now considerably over 80 years of age, was received with renewed applause. He welcomed the Council to the Cathedral, the city and the county. He wished the Council success in their deliberations and hoped the result of their meeting would be the progress of the Council and the cause they had at heart. He added that he used to be a member of the Council, but that was a thing of the past.

The hon. secretary (Mr. G. W. Fletcher) reported as to the constitution of the Council, which consisted of 50 affiliated associations, entitled to 138 members of whom 135 had been elected, and 15 hon. members. He added that the subscriptions of the Durham and Newcastle, the North Notts, the North Wales and the Cambridge University Guild had not been paid.

The difficult situation in which the president was thus placed was surmounted by Mr. A. Paddon Smith immediately proposing the election of the president as an honorary member.

Mr. S. H. Wood seconded, and, as a member of Cambridge University Guild, expressed regret for the omission which had produced the rather unfortunate situation.

The motion was carried with applause.


The following message of loyalty and congratulation to the King was passed by the members standing:-

During the afternoon the following reply was received from Buckingham Palace:-

After the reading of the message the members joined in singing the National Anthem.

The following retiring hon. members were re-elected: Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. A. A. Hughes, E. C. S. Turner and S. H. Wood.

After the presentation of new members to the president and the reading of a long list of apologies for absence, reference was made, by the president to the members and past members who had died during the year, and the Council stood for a few moments in silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the departed.


The report of the hon. librarian referred to the additions made during the year to the library and asked for instructions as to the disposal of 962 copies of the ‘Glossary,’ much of which was out of date. It also called attention to the fact that the following books were exhausted: ‘Rules and Decisions of the Council,’ ‘Model Rules for a Local Company’ and ‘Preservation of Bells.’ The two latter are in demand.

The Council adopted the report and decided to distribute the copies of the Glossary to associations free of charge, on payment of carriage, and to reprint ‘Model Rules’ and ‘Preservation of Bells.’ They also decided to reprint ‘Hints for Instructors and Beginners’ if necessary.

Thanks were accorded to the donors of books to the library.

The statement of. accounts showed that the receipts, which amounted to £51 18s. 5d. Included £30 15s. from affiliation fees for 1936-7 and 10s. in arrears for 1935-6, £1 10s. from hon. members’ subscriptions, £5 from interest on stock and £14 3s. 5d. from sales of publications. The expenditure amounted to £15 3s. 1d., leaving a. balance on the general account of £105 11s. 7d., compared with £68 16s. 3d. last year.- The accounts were adopted.


The Methods Committee, in their report, pointed out that they had in working order a scheme by which all methods can be tabulated and indexed, and any information regarding them can be obtained in a very few minutes. The assistance of the Council was asked in making it operative. Several thousands of Surprise methods are available, and any information respecting them will readily be given to any ringer or band asking for it.

The report went on to deal with the question of claims to methods by those who work them out. These men, the committee said, had a right to claim that they had composed the methods, but the claim to ownership and exclusive rights had failed. That, however, did not diminish the credit which rightly belongs to those men who have made so many good methods available for the Exercise.

The following recommendation of the committee, as well as the report, was adopted.


The Towers and Belfries Committee in their report said that the committee had given advice in some dozen cases. In several of the towers advice was asked about modification of sound near the church. Since the last meeting of the Council the Anti-Noise League had printed a pamphlet on the subject. The committee thought it desirable to co-operate with the Anti-Noise League as far as possible, and, after reviewing the pamphlet, decided to send copies to all Archdeacons with a covering letter recommending it to their serious consideration.


In moving the adoption of the report, the President gave an interesting dissertation upon the welding of bells. As the result of what he had seen in the case of a bell welded, which had cracked again, he expressed the opinion that it was useless to weld a bell cracked at the sound bow. Mr. Lewis explained the scientific difficulties in the way of successful welding.

He also gave some important details as to the effect upon weak towers of the lowering of bells in peal, and, referring to the recent case of the refusal of a faculty at Thetford, reminded the Council of the importance of the various associations having someone on the Diocesan Advisory Committees wherever possible.

Discussion took place, and on the president’s suggestion a resolution was passed to obtain from the affiliated associations information as to what was happening in the dioceses, so that they might know which associations had representatives on the diocesan advisory boards and which had not. When they had that information, the President said, they could consider what further action could be taken.

A discussion next followed as to the insurance of ringers, which elicited the information that the Ecclesiastical Insurance Company was prepared to insure against accidents to ringers (whether paid or voluntary) in the belfry and in going to and from ringing, at the rate of one shilling per ringer per annum, with a minimum of ten shillings.

It was resolved to make a donation of one guinea to the Anti-Noise League in recognition of the gift to the Council of the leaflets sent out to the Archdeacons, and to keep the Council in touch with the League’s activities.

The report of the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee reviewed the treatment of ringing by the Press, and referred to the principal events in broadcasting in which bells had figured.- The report was adopted.


In the report of the Peal Boards Committee it was stated that many interesting records had been received, including a complete list of 48 peals rung by the Society of Sherwood Youths, which was established in 1672. Many records had been sent without the names of the performers. The committee asked the Council’s opinion whether the names of the performers should be obtained and recorded, and it was decided that the fullest information should be obtained and recorded.

The Biographies Committee reported that only slightly over half the number of forms sent out had been returned, and asked those who had the remainder in their hands to send them in at an early date. Permission was asked to spend up to three guineas for the necessary albums, and also to incur expenditure in having certain photographs copied that were at present only on loan.

The report was adopted, together with a suggestion by the Standing Committee that the Biographies Committee be empowered to have all the necessary photographs copied to bring them to a uniform size. The committee were also authorised to obtain biographical details and photographs from present members of the Council, for future use, the committee having expressed the opinion that this course would save much trouble in the future.

A report, arising out of last year’s discussion on the subject of increasing the circulation of ‘The Ringing World,’ said that the request to members of the Council and secretaries of affiliated societies for suggestions had an extremely disappointing result, and it was resolved to give a further opportunity for suggestions to be sent in.

The president presented a report upon the question of muffled ringing, which was approved in general outline, and when further information as to local customs has been obtained it will he submitted to the authorities of the Church for their approval.

The Ringing World, May 21st, 1937, page 335


The following motion was then discussed:-

That so much of all previous resolutions of the Council as defines or attempts to define what shall be recognised as a peal of Doubles be rescinded and that the following be substituted therefor:-

  1. Peals of Doubles shall consist of 5,040 or more changes rung in:-

    (a) True and complete Six-Scores, without interval between any two Six-Scores and without rounds or any other row being struck more than once before the next change is made.

    (b) Round blocks consisting of two or more Six-Scores, provided that each of the Six-Scores which comprise the round blocks shall be itself a true and complete round block.

    (c) Twelve-Scores known as Morris’s and Pitman’s.

    (d) Combinations of (a), (b) and (c) above or any two of them.

  2. At the conclusion of 5,040 or more changes, rung in accordance with (1) above, one true touch of any length less than 120 changes may be added.

  3. Peals of Doubles may be rung with or without a covering bell.

It was moved by Mr. Wilfred Wilson, in a ‘maiden’ speech. He reviewed the course of the controversy on Minor and Doubles peals, commencing with the Hereford meeting in 1928, and urged the Council to adopt his proposal as placing Doubles on the same basis as Minor, since the admission of the Bankes James arrangement.

The motion was seconded by Mr. E. C. S. Turner and opposed by Mr. S. H. Wood and Mr. J. S. Goldsmith.

Mr. J. Hunt, Mr. C. T. Coles and Mr. P. J. Johnson spoke in support, the last-named on the ground that the Council should be consistent in its inconsistency.

An amendment, moved by Mr. Trollope and seconded by the Rev. H. Drake, to omit clause 2, was carried, but another amendment, moved by Mr. W. B. Kynaston and seconded by Mr. S. H. Hillier, to delete sub-clauses (b), (c) and (d), was defeated by a considerable majority, and the resolution, as proposed, was then adopted.

The Council by a large majority decided to meet next year at Leeds. Other places proposed were Leicester and Dublin.


On the motion of Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. Trollope, it was resolved to send a letter to the Ancient Society of College Youths congratulating them upon attaining their tercentenary.

On the suggestion of Mr. F. W. Rogers it was also decided to send a letter of congratulation to the Ladies’ Guild on reaching their silver jubilee.

The subject of ‘radio’ bells was ventilated, but no action taken.

Mr. A. J. Harris broached the subject of the publication of notices of matters of major importance at least six months before the Council meeting, so that associations might have the opportunity of considering them at their own annual meetings.

It was pointed out that, to enable all associations to have this opportunity, motions would have to be handed in a year ahead.

The President ruled that no action could be taken that day as an alteration of the rules was involved, and due notice must be given.


It was resolved, subject to the scheme being carried out to provide a memorial to the late Canon H. J. Elsee, to subscribe a sum of three guineas. The scheme at present before the committee of the Lancashire Association consists of improvements in the tower of St. George’s Church, Bolton, estimated to cost about £450.

A sum of three guineas was also provisionally voted to a scheme, if one were set on foot, for a memorial to the late Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake, who was librarian of the Council.


The President. made reference to the practice in some places of jangling the bells up and down, and called attention to a previous resolution of the Council that bells should preferably be raised in peal, but where it was necessary to raise them otherwise it was desirable to raise them singly and in order. He hoped that ringers would adhere to this practice where they could not raise or lower the bells in peal.

An omnibus vote of thanks to all concerned in the arrangements for the meeting was passed, and hearty thanks were also accorded to the hon. secretary and Mrs. Fletcher, and to the president.

This brought the meeting to a close soon after 5 p.m.

Members and friends afterwards took tea at the County Hotel as the guests of the Kent County Association, and later there was a social evening.

Throughout the week-end there was much ringing done on the bells of the Cathedral and other churches in Canterbury and neighbouring places. There was also a tour of the grand old Cathedral conducted by Mr. Morton Pierce.

A fuller report of the meeting will be commenced in our next issue.

The Ringing World, May 21st, 1937, page 340




The meeting of the Central Council at Canterbury on Whitsun Tuesday was held in the Chapter House of the Cathedral. Mr. E. H. Lewis (president) occupied the chair, and the following members were present:-

Ancient Society of College Youths: Mr. A. B. Peck.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Messrs. H. W. Brown, J. T. Dyke, J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: Mr. A. King.
Cambridge University Guild: Messrs. E. M. Atkins, E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. A. Crawley, H. Parker.
Devon Guild: Mr. T. Laver.
East Derbyshire and Notts Association: Mr. T. Clarke.
Ely Diocesan Association: Messrs. C. W. Cook, F. Warrington, Miss K. Willers.
Essex Association: Messrs. E. J. Butler, G. R. Pye, L. W. Wiffen.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Mr. W. B. Kynaston.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. G. L. Grover, A. C. Hazelden, A. H. Pulling.
Hertford County Association: Mr. W. Ayre.
Kent County Association: Messrs. J. H. Cheesman, T. Groombridge, F. M. Mitchell, T. E. Sone.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, Mrs. R. Richardson.
Lancashire Association: Messrs. W. H. Shuker, L. J. Williams, T. B. Worsley.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Ven. Archdeacon Parry, Messrs. J. Bray, R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. W. Jones, C. H. Perry.
London County Association: Messrs. F. E. Dawe, T. H. Taffender, J. A. Waugh.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. C. T. Coles, G. W. Fletcher, W. H. Hollier, W. G. Wilson.
Midland Counties Association: Messrs. A. J. Harris, J. H. Swinfield, E. Denison Taylor.
Norwich Diocesan Association: Messrs. A. L. Coleman, F. Nolan Golden.
North Staffs and District Association: Mr. A. Thompson.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, Messrs. A. D. Barker, A. E. Lock, R. H. Post.
Oxford Society: Mr. W. G. Collett.
Oxford University Society: The Rev. C. E. Wigg.
Romney Marsh and District Guild: Mr. P. Page.
St. Martin’s Guild: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. S. H. Hillier, C. H. Jennings, F. W. Romaine.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. G. H. Cross, G. Gilbert, J. Parker, G. W. Steere.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society: Messrs. B. Horton, H. Knight.
Suffolk Guild: Rev. H. Drake. Mr. C. Mee.
Surrey Association: Messrs. W. Claydon, D. Cooper, C. H. Kippin.
Sussex County Association: Mr. H. R. Butcher.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild: Mr. Gwyn I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild: Mr. C. Lanxon.
Warwickshire Guild: Messrs. D. H. Argyle, F. W. Perrens.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild: Messrs. G. Pullinger, F. W. Rogers, G. Williams.
Worcester and Districts Association: Mr. J. D. Johnson.
Yorkshire Association: Messrs. J. Hardcastle, P. J. Johnson, S. F. Palmer.
Honorary members: Messrs. W. A. Cave, C. Dean, J. S. Goldsmith, J. H. B. Hesse, A. A. Hughes, C. F. Johnston, J. A. Trollope, E. C. S. Turner, A. Walker, S. H. Wood, E. Alex. Young.


After the Council had been welcomed by Canon Helmore, the hon. secretary (Mr. G. W. Fletcher) reported that the Council had now 50 affiliated societies, entitled to elect 138 members. The total elected was 135. There were 15 honorary members. All subscriptions had been paid except those of the Durham and Newcastle, North Wales and North Notts Associations and Cambridge University Guild (of which the President is one of the representatives).

Mr. A. Paddon Smith said it was unfortunate that the Cambridge University Guild subscription had not been paid. It made it impossible under the rules for the president to speak or vote at that meeting, because he was a representative of the Guild. That was an impossible position for the Council to be in, and in order to regularise the situation he had great pleasure in proposing that the president be elected an honorary member of the Council.

Mr. S. H. Wood, in seconding, said, as a member of the Cambridge University Guild, he would like to express regret that the omission of the Guild had placed the president in that rather unfortunate situation.

The motion was carried with applause.

The President proposed that a message of loyalty and congratulation be sent to the King upon his Coronation.

The text of the message (which was carried by acclamation), together with the King’s reply, was published in our last issue.

On the motion of Mr. J. A. Trollope, seconded by Mr. C. F. Johnston, the following retiring hon. members were re-elected: The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Messrs. A. A. Hughes, E. C. S. Turner and S. H. Wood.

Two members attending a Council meeting for the first time were presented to the president.

Apologies for absence were received from the Rev. Canon C. C. Marshall (Yorkshire Association), the Rev. E. V. Cox (Devon Guild), the Rev. W. M. K. Warren (Bath and Wells Association), Messrs. R. G. Black (Peterborough Diocesan Guild ), H. Barton (Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild), G. Chester (Lincoln Diocesan Guild), G. Lindoff (Irish Association),W. H. J. Hooton, hon. librarian (Midland Counties Association), S. E. Armstrong (Sussex County Association), G. R. Newton (Lancashire Association), E. P. Duffield (Essex Association), C. J. Sedgeley (Suffolk Guild), A. E. Sharman (Bedfordshire Association), K. Thacker (North Staffs and District Association), W. Saunders (Shropshire Association), C. E. Borrett (Norwich Diocesan Association), S. H. Symonds (Suffolk Guild), W. T. Cockerill (Ancient Society of College Youths), F. Colclough (North Staffs Association), C. H. Woodberry (Worcestershire Association), W. J. Davidson and W. H. Barber (Durham and Newcastle Association), H. E. C. Goodenough and C. W. Woolley (Hertford County Association), Alderman J. S. Pritchett, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. C. W. Roberts (hon. members).


The President referred to the loss of members and past members by death. They included the Rev. A. H. F. Boughey, an hon. member of the Council from 1892 to 1928, and president from 1918 to 1900. The President said they all knew Mr. Boughey so well that he need say little about him at that moment, except, possibly, to refer to his extraordinary capacity for teaching young ringers both on hand bells and in the tower. A great many of his pupils had occupied positions of importance in the Exercise, particularly among the clergy.

Others who had passed on were the Rev. E. W. Carpenter, representative of the Kent County Association and afterwards an hon. member, a member of the Council 1891-1932; Mr. F. Wilford, Central Northants and Peterborough Associations, a member of the Council 1904-1936; Mr. A. Coppock, Midland Counties Association and Sherwood Youths, a member of the Council 1924-1935; Mr. J. Phillips, Lincoln Guild; a member of the Council 1932-1935; Mr. H. S. Ellis, St. James’ Society, a member of the Council 1912-1914; Mr. R. J. Dawe, Sussex Association, a member of the Council 1909-1911; Mr. A. N. Wreaks, Lancashire Association, a member of the Council 1895-1896; and Mr. G. W. Stokes, Sussex Association, who was elected last year but never had the opportunity of attending a meeting.

Referring to the late Rev. E. W. Carpenter, the Rev. H. Drake mentioned that he was one of two famous brothers who served on the Council. Only a year or two before he died he gave a new treble bell to Stoke-by-Clare tower, had the bells rehung and taught a band of ringers.

The members stood for a few moments in silence as a mark of respect.

The minutes of the last meeting, held in London, having been printed, were taken as read, and adopted.


The report of the hon. librarian was presented by the hon. secretary.

It was as follows: The thanks of the Council are due to the following persons for gifts to the library: Canon Elsee (through Mr. Peter Crook): ‘Carillons of Belgium and Holland’ (Gorham Rice, 1915), ‘Curiosities of the Belfry’ (Briscoe, 1883), Church Bells of Leicestershire (North), Suffolk (North), Warwickshire (Tilley and Walters). Mr. R. A. Daniell: Note book, photo of Stedman’s will. Mr. J. A. Trollope: ‘Church Bells’ (‘Arts of the Church’ series).

The only purchase has been a copy of the ‘Tintinnalogia’ reprint. The library list is being revised.

As far as publications are concerned, I should be glad to have instructions for the disposal of 962 copies of the ‘Glossary.’ These might be sold at a reduced price if the Council thinks it advisable to circulate a book containing much out-of-date matter.

Stocks of the following books are exhausted: ‘Rules and Decisions,’ ‘Model Rules for a Local Company,’ ‘Preservation of Bells.’ The two latter are in demand and should be reprinted, while the stock of the ‘Plain Major and Cater Methods’ book is getting low.

The new book of ‘Doubles and Minor Methods’ and the book on the ‘Law Affecting Church Bells’ are in the press.

Two orders for books came from Australia, and a letter from Sydney asking for information about patent clappers for practice.

More than one inquiry for a book on double-handed handbell ringing had been received.

The secretary reported that the Standing Committee had considered the various recommendations in the librarian’s report. As to the disposal of the 962 copies of the ‘Glossary,’ the committee recommended that they be offered to associations free of charge, on payment of carriage, as it was thought they might be given away by the associations to people who would benefit from their use.


With regard to ‘Model Rules for a Local Company’ and ‘The Preservation of Bells,’ the committee recommended that the reprinting be undertaken, and asked the Council to allow the committee to decide what number shall be printed, as they first wanted to make an estimate of the likely demand. As to a book on double-handed handbell ringing, the committee recommended that it be left to the officers to consider. The committee also recommended that a further supply of ‘Hints to Instructors and Beginners’ be printed.


The Rev. H. Drake suggested that the remaining copies of the ‘Glossary’ be destroyed. It did not seem to be right, he said, that they, as a Council, should continue to publish a book which the librarian said contained much that was out of date. Far too many were printed to start with, and he thought the best thing to do was to destroy the old copies and start making a new Glossary.

Mr. E. Alex. Young seconded the proposal, pro forma.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith said although the ‘Glossary’ was not entirely accurate, it contained very much useful information. The committee’s proposal was that they should make use of it by distributing it free, on payment of postage, and that, he thought, the Council should do.

Mr. J. A. Trollope said the ‘Glossary,’ as far as it was a glossary, was one of the best books ever published by the Council. It was the work of Earle Bulwer, who devoted an enormous amount of research work to the compilation of the book. What was out of date about it was the final chapter, which consisted of about a quarter of the book; that was written before sufficient was known about the subject, The ‘Glossary’ itself was one of the best books the Council had ever issued.

Only the proposer voted for the motion to destroy the copies and all the recommendations of the committee were adopted, together with the suggestion of Mr. S. H. Wood that the final chapter of the ‘Glossary’ should be stamped ‘out of date.’


The librarian’s accounts showed that £18 18s. 2d. had been received from the sale of publications, and in addition 18s. from the Durham and Newcastle Association and 18s. 5d, from the president of the Council - making a total of £20 14s. 7d. After paying expenses there was a balance on the year of £14 3s. 5d.

The President said in the accounts he was down as an agent, having sold 18s. 5d. worth of books. It might interest members to know that he took a bagful of books with him to the annual meeting of the Kent County Association, and opened a ‘shop.’ In about ten minutes he had 18s. 5d. in his pocket. He recommended that course of action to other members. There were still a number of copies of publications out on sale or return, and in these cases the librarian did not know what sales had been made, as there had been no return.

The hon. secretary said Mr. A. E. Sharman, of the Bedfordshire Association, had presented to the library a book written by Mr. Charles Herbert, of Woburn, containing all the 40,320 changes of Bob Major.

A vote of thanks was passed to all donors of books to the library.


The statement of the Council’s accounts was submitted by Mr. G. W. Fletcher, who is hon. treasurer. The receipts were as follow: Balance, Whitsun, 1936, £68 16s. 3d.; affiliation fees, 1935-36 arrears, 10s.; 1936-37, £30 15s.; subscriptions, hon. members, £1 10s.; interest on Conversion Stock £2 9s. 8d.; interest on Consols, £2 10s. 4d.; sale of publications, £14 3s. 5d. The expenditure included: Publications, £1 1s. 1d.; ‘Tintinnalogia’ reprint, 6s.; Carter ringing machine (fees and expenses), £1 3s.; advertisements, £2 2s.; stationery, printing and postage, £10 9s.; Ringers’ Directory, 2s.; balance in hand, £105 11s. 7d. The market value of the investments was £141 19s.

The accounts were adopted on the motion of Mr. A. A. Hughes, seconded by Mr. C. T. Coles (auditors).


Mr. E. A. Young, as a trustee, reported on the Carter Ringing Machine. The machine had been examined, and although it showed signs of wear, they detected no particular fault. On account of alterations being carried out at the Museum, it could not be run on power, but the demonstrator revolved it by hand and it ran over a plain course of Grandsire.

Mr. Hughes, the other trustee, seconded the report, which was adopted.

The President said he had had a letter from Mr. G. F. Woodhouse, of Sedbergh, Yorks, who regretted that, owing to the distance, he could not bring his machine to Canterbury for demonstration. As he could not travel more than 20 miles an hour when conveying the machine, it would take him three days to do the journey. He hoped, however, to be able to demonstrate the machine to the Council at some time when they came north.

The Standing Committee reported that they had considered the agenda and recommendations thereon had been or would be placed before the Council.- This was adopted on the motion of the secretary, seconded by Mrs. Fletcher.


The hon. secretary said he had received a letter from Mr. Gabriel Lindoff, dated May 12th, in which he said that owing to several members of the Peals Committee not having yet returned their selection of peals, he was still unable to hand in the completed collection.

This letter was adopted as the report of the committee, on the motion of Mr. J. A. Trollope, seconded by Mr. W. H. Hollier.


The report of the Methods Committee was as follow: At the last session of the Council we reported that the MSS. of the book on Surprise Major Methods and the third edition of the Minor Methods Collection had been handed over. The Council has already approved publication of these and it awaits favourable financial conditions.

During the past year the question has again, been raised of forming a Register of Methods. We wish to point out that the committee has in working order a scheme by which all methods can be tabulated and indexed, and any information regarding them can be obtained in a very few minutes. This scheme will be explained in detail at Canterbury and the assistance of the Council asked in making it operative.

The MS. collection given by the committee to the Council’s library at Shrewsbury contains 817 of the best of the Surprise methods, complete with a full lead, diagram, false course-ends and a comprehensive collection of suitable peal compositions. These are arranged on a plan by which any method can readily be turned up once the places in it are known.

In addition the committee has a manuscript collection containing several thousands of Surprise methods and other members of the Exercise (notably Mr. Driver and Mr. Lindoff) have large and more or less exhaustive collections.

There is, therefore, no lack of methods, and any information respecting them will readily be given to any ringers or band asking for it.

But perhaps that is not what is asked for. It seems that what some people want is a scheme by which, when a man. has worked out a method which he has reason to believe has not previously been rung or published, he can register a claim to it as his composition and property. If that is what is wanted we fear it cannot be done. It might have been possible years ago when every method was considered to be a separate thing, each with its own composer and owner, but a study of the mathematical laws which control method construction has shown that methods are not independent, but that the existence of one implies the existence of many more. We cannot separate methods and say that this one is the composition of A and that of B, this one belongs to C and that to D.

Given the existence of Stedman’s Imperial Bob, such methods as Norfolk and Peterborough and Cornwall and many others automatically follow. Cambridge and Yorkshire were undoubtedly composed quite independently of each other, yet a man who knows the construction of Cambridge knows that Yorkshire must exist and that its lead ends and rows must be thus and not otherwise. It would be absurd to give to the man who first composed a method the credit for all those which spring from it about which he knew nothing, and it is impossible to consider any man as the author of a method which could have been got from an older one by merely mechanical means, no matter how it actually was got. Further, during the last 30 years many clever men have been working at methods, some on comprehensive and exhaustive lines. Their work overlaps and the same method may and probably has been composed by several persons. Between them it is not possible to distinguish. The old test of priority of publication altogether breaks down, for the vast numbers have never been published, yet no one can say they have not been composed. If A writes out a method on Monday and B works out the same on Saturday, quite independently, it is difficult to see why A should be considered the exclusive owner, especially as he may merely have more or less blindly written out some figures while B had worked on some definite plan. Therefore, even if a man could prove that he was the first to write out the lead of any method, we cannot see that he has acquired any ownership or proprietary right.

We must, however, emphasise the fact that this does not diminish the credit which rightly belongs to those men who have made so many good methods available for the Exercise. These men have the right to claim that they have composed methods. It is the claim to ownership and exclusive rights that fails.

Mr. J. A. Trollope formally moved the adoption of the report and Mr. E. C. S. Turner seconded. The latter remarked that the committee had the proofs of the new edition of the Doubles and Minor book in hand, and they hoped it would be on the market very soon. They noted that the librarian had reported that the Plain Major methods was nearly sold out. The committee would take the reprinting of it in hand.

The report was adopted.


Mr. S. H. Wood moved the following recommendation on behalf of the committee: That in order to assist the Council in keeping up to date a Register of Methods which have been rung, the secretaries of affiliated associations be asked to forward to the Council the figures of any method rung for the first time and the composition, together with particulars of first performance. Mr. Wood said that practically as long as he could remember, speaking campanologically, the Exercise had been calling, about every six months, for two things. The first was a register of compositions and the second a register of methods. So far a register of compositions had been ruled out as impracticable, and, as far as he could see, it would be impracticable for many years to come, for these two reasons: As far as he knew there was no method of working out all the possible compositions of even one method, say Bob Major, and if it was possible to work them all out, was there anybody in that Council who would be prepared to say whether any particular two of them were the same compositions, or variations, or different compositions?

In regard to methods, however, they were on very different ground. There was nothing to prevent somebody writing out all the possible Surprise Major methods, except that it would probably take longer than one man’s lifetime; but it was a perfectly straightforward job. Although, perhaps, no one in that room was prepared to say how many there were, there was a definite number. Unlike compositions, there was no question of any two methods being the same; therefore, it was possible to have a register of methods. It seemed to him, however, that what was really required was a system of indexing, so that any method could be placed in its proper category and thus avoid two methods being rung under the same name, or two names given to the same method.

There were in existence a number of registers of methods - there was nothing new about that. The Records Committee had a very excellently kept register, which was indexed by names, but if somebody rang a new method and gave it a name there was no simple way of finding out whether those figures had been previously rung under a different name, which was what, it seemed to him, the Exercise really wanted. He had been working on a system lately which would fulfil the requirements. He need not describe the system, but it would be sufficient for the Council to know that if he were given half a lead of a Surprise Major method, he could tell them in less than one minute whether it had been rung before, and, if so, give them details. It was based upon the half-lead end, which was the first of the two rows in which treble lay behind. He had worked out all the possible half lead ends which would give regular methods. There were 1,116 of them, and they were written out in the index.

Mr. Wood proceeded to show by the example of Cambridge how the system worked, and went on to say that the recommendation asked that the Council should be furnished with the details of methods claimed to be rung for the first time, and as soon as they got the figures they would be able to say if they had been rung before. He thought it was clear that if a band wanted to make certain before ringing a, new method, that had not been previously rung, they should write to the Council or to him and he would be glad to reply by return of post.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner seconded the motion, which was carried.


The Council next had before them the report of the Peals Analysis and Records Committee, published in our issue of April 23rd last.

Mrs. Fletcher, in moving its adoption, said that since the publication of the report it had been pointed out that a peal of Bob Minor, published as a non-association peal, had been credited to the Ely Association and this alteration had been made in the records. A peal in seven Surprise Major methods was omitted from the list of new methods and this had now been included.- Mr. G. R. Pye seconded the report.

Mr. A. D. Barker asked for information about the peals of Doubles which had included a method described as Oxford Singles.

The President said they had found out that Oxford Singles was a method with one bell lying eight consecutive blows behind. The Standing Committee had passed a recommendation that the Council regret that such a method should be rung, considering the number of methods there are. He added that with regard to the peal of Minor, in which an odd course of Woodbine Treble Bob had been rung, the Standing Committee recommended that further inquiry be made to ascertain at what stage of the peal this addition was included.

Mr. W. Ayre said the peals which included Oxford Singles were rung for his own association, the Hertford. He intended to bring the matter up before the association and suggest that these peals be deleted from the records.


The Rev. F. L. Edwards referred to the decrease in the number of handbell peals. The ringing of handbell peals should be encouraged as much as possible. He thought there were three advantages in handbell ringing. First it required a larger amount of skill and that was all to the good of the Exercise and progress. Second, it could be done without any annoyance to the neighbourhood, and, third, it was much easier for four people to meet for repeated attempts than it was for a larger number.

There was also, said Mr. Edwards, a serious decrease in the number of ringers ringing their first peal. So far as the Salisbury Guild, which he represented, was concerned, he was glad to say it was a conspicuous exception. In a large proportion of the peals rung by the Guild there was a ringer who rang his first peal or his first in the method. One other point he had noticed in the report was that seven peals were rung on royal occasions or birthdays and over 200 birthday peals as compliments to one or another of the band. It was very nice and very friendly to have these birthday peals rung, but he thought ringers would do well to consider the attitude of the general public towards it. The public could understand a peal rung for a royal birthday, but a peal for the birthday of an individual ringer appealed to no one outside the band of ringers. Ringers would do well to make the occasion for peals in these days more occasions of public interest (hear, hear).

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, referring to the committee’s statement that their inquiries as to Oxford Singles had not, at the time of the report, brought forth any information, moved that it be an instruction to the committee that, when necessary information is not forthcoming, when the statistics are made up, the peals should be ignored and omitted from the Analysis. Mr. Goldsmith said the Council could not expect the committee to hold up their work for the sake of dilatory correspondents, and it was unfair to ask them to expend endless time on seeking information. The Council could be quite sure that the committee would require only reasonable information.

This motion was seconded by Mr. A. Walker and carried, as were also the recommendations of the Standing Committee. The report was adopted, and, on the motion of Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. F. Perrens, Mr. Walter Ayre was added to the committee.

The Ringing World, May 28th, 1937, pages 355 to 357


The report of the Towers and Belfries Committee was as follows: During the year the members of the committee have given advice in some dozen cases, applying the principles with which the Council are familiar. In several of the towers advice was asked about modification of sound near the church. Since the last meeting of the Council the Anti-Noise League have printed a pamphlet on this subject, being mainly the reprint of an article which appeared in the ‘ R.I.B.A. Journal.’

Your committee think it desirable to co-operate with the Anti-Noise League as far as possible, and, after reviewing this pamphlet, decided to send copies to all Archdeacons, with the following covering letter:

As an addendum to the report for 1935-36, the committee said: At the Council meeting of 1935, a request was made that the committee should inquire about the so-called ‘silencers’ and make a recommendation as to their use.

The ‘Davis silencers’ have now been used over a considerable period in several towers with success, and your committee think that they are well worth a trial in towers where it is desired to reduce the volume of sound during practices and peals without taking any permanent steps such as blocking up louvres.

The silencers consist of a leather pad resembling a muffle, with a thin steel plate attached to the face. The result of their use is to give an effect rather like muffled ringing, while retaining a certain amount of metallic tap of the clapper. To get the best effect in each individual case, it is evident that experiments should be made with different thicknesses of leather. For this purpose the committee are obtaining samples of different thicknesses which can be lent to towers for this purpose at no cost other than postage both ways. These silencers are not expensive and have shown little wear after twelve months’ use.


The President, in moving the adoption of the report, said he had heard, since he came to Canterbury, that there had been some slight criticism of the committee that they did not do very much good; that the bellfounders could get on very well without them and that it would be better to leave these matters to the founders. He thought half the cases he had dealt with had been dealt with at the request of bellfounders, who had asked for his help in getting over snags with diocesan bodies or with architects. He hoped that answered the criticism.

A few of the jobs where they had helped were Boston Stump, Croydon, North Weald, Chiddingfold, Crondall, Shalford and others. In several cases they were of assistance in getting over the difficulty of the antiquarian architect. That brought him to the question of Thetford, where a restoration scheme was held up by the Chancellor of the Diocese. If on the Diocesan Committee which dealt with these matters, there had been a representative of the ringing fraternity, this difficulty would probably not have arisen (hear, hear). He proposed to ask the Council later to take steps empowering them to obtain the names of Diocesan Committees where they had a representative who knew something about bells and of those who had not, so that the Council could take some steps to get a representative of ringers on every Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Recently, said the President, there was a letter in the Press referring to Saham Toney. He was called in with the late Mr. Powys, secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and he was entirely in favour of keeping that old bell frame. It was unfit to carry the bells, but was an extraordinarily interesting old frame. They arranged that it should be offered to a museum, but neither South Kensington nor Norwich could take it. If it was to be kept elsewhere than in the tower it would have meant that the parish had to provide some sort of shed to house it, but they had it lifted higher in the tower and those interested could now see it. The bells had been rehung in a perfectly good teak frame, lower down in the tower, where they should be hung. He thought they were right in preserving that old frame (hear, hear).

Mr. A. L. Coleman (late secretary of the Norwich Diocesan Association) said they had tried hard to get a representative on the Norwich Diocesan Committee. They had pointed out that there was nobody on the committee who knew anything about the technique of bells and bellhanging. Unfortunately, the reply was that they had quite sufficient members on the committee already and did not want any more, and they ignored the suggestion that they should have a representative of the association on the committee. With regard to Thetford, he thought, if only they had had a representative, the point raised there might have been put right. Their president, Archdeacon McDermott, agreed with him with regard to then representation, but the Bishop thought otherwise.


Mr. J. A. Trollope remarked that it had been said in several cases that if they had a weak tower and dropped the bells in peal, it was liable to endanger the safety of the structure. He asked the president if the committee could give any definite information on that point.

The President said that, as members probably knew, every tower had a natural period of oscillation of its own, which could not be altered, unless they altered the structure of the tower or added or subtracted a large weight to some portion of the tower. Normally speaking, each tower had a natural period of oscillation, and it was a curious fact that the natural period of the forces set up in ringing a normal peal of bells nearly coincided with the average period of oscillation of the average tower. Therefore, they would find in nearly every case there was one particular speed of ringing which did get the two sets of oscillations in tune one with the other. He could quote a good example of that. If strangers went to ring the bells at St. Andrew’s, Holborn, they nearly always found they had got a man’s job, or even more than a man’s job, because they rang the bells at what they considered the normal speed of bells of that weight. The local band rang the bells without any difficulty whatever, because they rang them a little bit quicker. St. Andrew’s tower was rather tall for its width; there was a fairly big tower arch. One might call it a ‘whippy’ tower and its period was rather slow; therefore, if the bells were rung at normal speed for bells of that weight, they got the two forces in step. If they rang a little quicker all was well and there was no trouble about ringing. He could quite understand there were certain towers which had a rather quicker period, either short towers, or towers which were thick in comparison to their height. He could conceive that bells when part of the way down would get in step with the tower, and if they were to continue to ring the bells at that height it was possible it would do some damage to the tower, but they would have to do so for some considerable time, unless the tower was so weak that they ought not to ring at all.

Mr. Trollope said the tower he had specially in mind was Guildford Cathedral.

Mr. E. A. Young said they were progressing so rapidly that the thought had occurred to him that it might be possible in time for experts to find out the exact speed at which every individual peal of bells should be rung so that accentuation of oscillation could be prevented. One of these times they would, perhaps, have issued by every firm of bellfounders a statement showing in every instance what the speed of ringing should be, whether bells must not be lowered in peal, or, if lowered, not maintained in a certain position. The knowledge they were gaining emphasised the great value of the Towers and Belfries Committee.

Mr. A. H. Pulling said, with regard to Guildford Cathedral tower, after ringing on Coronation Day the bells were lowered in peal, and there was a bigger vibration when the bells were half-way down than he had ever known before. They were always warned not to lower them in peal by the late Mr. John Taylor. After their experiment the other night, he did not think they would try it again.

The President said Guildford Cathedral tower was of a distinctly ‘whippy’ type. Not only was it unbuttressed, but it was built of brick, with many courses of mortar and liable to more movement than a tower built of stone with fewer joints. What happened at Guildford was, probably, that when the bells were half-way down they got, not in tune with the tower, but in tune with the octave of the tower.


Replying to Mr. E. C. S. Turner, who asked if the Council proposed to take any action with regard to the bells of All Hallows’ Church, Lombard Street, which is to be demolished, the president said two societies, the College Youths and the Middlesex Association, had written to the Bishop of London requesting that when the bells were taken down they should be removed to some other church as a whole peal and not split up. He thought those representations would have some effect, in view of what happened in the case of St. Andrew’s, Wells Street, but it might be a good thing if the Council also passed a resolution.

Mr. S. F. Palmer asked if anything further had been done or heard with reference to Chesterfield.

The President said the next move with regard to Chesterfield was with the Vicar. The Council could not very well butt in any more. They did as much as they could in the first instance, and the Vicar promised to write and report further, but he had never done so.

Mr. Palmer said he was sorry to say the ringers were not taking any active interest in it at all. They were waiting for the authorities to move.

The President said the committee suggested the Council might buy a set of Davis Silencers, which could be put on loan to people who wanted to try them, on payment of postage. The Standing Committee recommended that such purchase be authorised, and he proposed that the silencers be purchased and be loaned to any responsible person who asked for the loan of them, in order that they might be tried out.

This was agreed to.

With regard to the circulation to Archdeacons of the pamphlets issued by the Anti-Noise League, the President said these pamphlets were given to the Council by the League, although they normally made a charge. The Standing Committee thought it very desirable that the Council should keep closely in touch with the Anti-Noise League and to have the League on their side rather than against them. In order to show their goodwill in a practical form, he proposed that the Council send the League a donation of a guinea, partly in gratitude for the pamphlets they had had and partly in anticipation of favours to come (laughter).

The proposal was agreed to.

The President then moved that the Council send an appropriate letter to the Church authorities with regard to All Hallows’, Lombard Street, asking that when the bells were moved, they be moved as a whole peal and not split up.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards: And hung for ringing.

The President: Yes, we will put that in, and add ‘in a proper tower.’

The motion was carried.


The President next moved that the Council take steps through the local secretaries to find out which of the Diocesan Advisory Committees had got a member who knew anything about bells and bellhanging, and which of them had not. They might then take steps, he said, to bring a little pressure to bear, so that on each Advisory Committee there was at least one member with a knowledge of bells; even if he were only elected an ad hoc member for cases in which bells were involved.

The President added that in his own diocese they had not got anyone directly on the committee, but he mentioned a case in which he had been consulted by the Archdeacon of Tonbridge. The Archdeacon wanted to know what he should do about a certain bell that had been welded three times and had once more cracked. The diocesan authorities were inclined to recommend that the bell be welded again. He (Mr. Lewis) promised to look into the matter and he went to see the bell. It was quite true that it had been welded three, if not more, times. About a year before he had heard a clock strike on it, and if it had struck on two or three feet of rusty iron girder it would have been much more musical than the welded bell (laughter). The bell was quite hopeless, and entirely devoid of tone. He doubted if it was ever a good bell. He told the Archdeacon it would be foolish to attempt to retain the bell. He pointed out that at the time of Stalschmidt’s survey there were at least 70 other bells by the same founder in the county, so it was not a unique example, and the authorities at Rochester had, a few years before, destroyed at least one if not two bells by the same founder in their own Cathedral. The Archdeacon saw sense in the matter and was willing to have the bell recast. That showed what could be done if there was someone in touch with the diocesan authorities who could advise them. That was why he wanted to see someone in every diocese who could be sent for, even if he was not a member of the Advisory Committee, when questions concerning bells arose.


The President continued that he did at one time think that welding might be worth a trial in cases where the Church authorities were prepared to risk welding, rather than have a bell recast, if it were definitely pointed out to them that welding was an experiment and might succeed, and if it did succeed, the first time it might cost them less than recasting; but that they always had to face the possibility of several re-welds, and if it had to be done more than once the result would cost them more than recasting in the first place.

If authorities were prepared to face these risks and the cost of taking the bell down and replacing it more than once, he was at one time prepared to recommend it, but he was inclined now to say that welding at the sound bow was quite hopeless. The reason was this: He had seen a piece of a bell which was welded and where the weld had broken the metal had not gripped at all, except in odd spots. It was not a proper weld and he believed that was probably the case in most welds of old bells. Although they might look all right on the surface, the metal had not got a proper grip inside. To unite an alloy of copper and tin must be extraordinarily difficult, because tin rapidly oxidised and burned out. In welding they had to build up the metal, after having first opened the crack. Allowance would be made for a certain amount of burning out, but it must be very difficult to hit off the right amount of tin for the process and to get the new metal built up to resemble the old in its exact composition. He had come to the conclusion, therefore, after having seen the result of a broken welding, that only in very exceptional cases should welding be tried.

Mr. A. Walker said that while the welding of iron or steel was a success, he agreed with the president that it must be very difficult to re-weld old bells, considering the constitution of the metal and the different fusing points. He agreed it should not be encouraged.

Mr. E. A. Young asked the president if his remarks referred only to welding in the sound bow and not necessarily in the crown of a bell ?

The President said he did not know of any case where a bell welded in the sound bow had been finally successful without cracking again. He knew some bells had apparently been welded in the crown, and as far as one could say up to date had been more or less successful, but he still rather mistrusted it. If it were not for the expense he would like to see a bell carefully broken up to see what actually had happened.

The Ringing World, June 4th, 1937, pages 373 to 374 and 376


Speaking on the report of the Towers and Belfries Committee with regard to Diocesan Advisory Committees, Mr. George Pullinger said that about seven or eight years ago the Winchester Diocesan Guild approached the Bishop in an indirect way - if approach were made in a direct way they often got refused - through a member of the committee. The result was that in matters relating to bells Mr. Wilfred Andrews or Mr. George Williams was asked to give advice.

Mr. Walter Ayre said in Hertfordshire they had great difficulty in getting any voice in bell matters when they came before the Advisory Committee. He approached the chairman, who told him they had enough to do with the bellfounders. They had an axe to grind and did not seem to know anything about the other part of the job at all. Later in regard to another matter two representatives of the Bedfordshire Association and Hertfordshire Association, which made up the diocese of St. Albans, met the Bishop, and he seemed greatly in favour of having someone who knew about bells and bellhanging on the committee. So they ‘lived in hopes.’

Mr. J. Hunt pointed out that Advisory Committees met on church matters a dozen times a year, but might only have to deal with a question relating to bells once in a year. It was unnecessary to have to attend a committee twelve times to discuss bell matters only once.

Mr. C. F. Johnston said Thetford had been referred to. Unfortunately, he knew a little about Thetford. If anybody could be found who could get the Advisory Committee to give instructions how to rehang the bells on the old headstocks, four of which are entirely derelict, the bellfounders would be very grateful.

The Rev. H. Drake said there were two difficulties about having a representative on the Diocesan Committee. One had been referred to. If they had a member of an association on the Diocesan Committee, he had got a great deal of work to do that had nothing to do with bells. Bells did not come up very often, perhaps only two or three times a year. In Suffolk they had had the same trouble that most of them had. They had approached the committee and had had a nice answer, but nothing seemed to have been done. What they really wanted was not to have a member on the Advisory Committee as a ringer, but someone who should be elected ad hoc, or as an assessor for bells, and that the Advisory Committee should not pass any work on bells until the assessor had been consulted and probably called to advise the committee at a particular meeting. The other difficulty was one of their own. All associations were not coterminous with dioceses. Those which were diocesan associations could readily get into touch with the Diocesan Advisory Committee or the diocesan authorities, but all associations could not do that, because some were county associations and in some cases two associations covered one diocese, or two dioceses were covered by one association. Could they not do something through the Central Council for the Care of Churches instead of through the separate Diocesan Committees? If they could get the Central Council for the Care of Churches to agree that every Diocesan Committee should have an assessor to deal with questions relating to bells, he thought it would be better step than each association approaching its own Diocesan Committee. If necessary he would move a resolution to that effect.

The President said the resolution before the Council was that in the first place they should get information as to what was happening in the dioceses. After that they could take further action.

The motion was carried.


The Rev. H. Drake referred to a recent letter in ‘The Ringing World’ and asked the committee to consider the question of the legal liability of church authorities in the case of accident to a member of the public after a tower had been declared to be unsafe for ringing. He thought when a tower had been declared unsafe, authorities ‘gave themselves away’ if an accident happened or a malingerer pretended to have sustained some injury from the tower. He thought the Towers and Belfries Committee should consider, as soon as they could, the question of insurance in such circumstances, and, if possible, get something printed about it which could be published in the ‘Law of Church Bells.’ It was important it should be done, because even where church authorities had insured their church generally about accidents of this kind, it was quite certain if they were to forbid ringing because of the condition of the tower and were not to inform their insurance company, the company would refuse to pay. It was most important that church authorities should know that, and that, if they were going to forbid ringing, it might involve them in the event of an accident.

The Hon. Secretary said the proofs of the revised booklet on ‘Laws’ was in his hands and would shortly be printed. There was a paragraph with regard to the insurance of ringers. The view was expressed that there was no obligation to insure voluntary ringers or other voluntary churchworkers against accident. The Ecclesiastical Insurance Company, however, had a special scheme of insurance based upon a premium of 1s. per ringer, with a minimum premium of 10s. That provided, he thought, for £250 in the event of a fatal accident, £125 for partial disability or disablement and 30s. a week during temporary disability for any ringer injured in any tower where he had gone for practice, or while travelling to or from his own or other tower.

The Rev. H. Drake said that did not cover his point. Suppose a member of the public was going past a tower where change ringing had been forbidden and pretended that he had been injured by something falling from the tower, the church authorities would have considerable difficulty in proving they were not liable.

Mr. L. J. Williams said that was a matter for the church authorities and not for the Council.

The president said Mr. Drake had raised the question of a tower said to be unsafe for ringing. He had never yet found a tower unsafe because of ringing; it might be unsafe for other reasons.

Mr. J. W. Jones said his Vicar had told him that since the case in which damages were awarded for an injury in church, through a defect in bell fittings, he had paid for insurance of the bellringers, the choir and even the congregation against any accident happening in church.

Mr. F. W. Rogers asked what the Council recognised as the definition of a paid ringer and a voluntary ringer. This was rather important when they talked about insurance claims, because in some churches, although they might not pay their ringers, they made them a gratuity which was shown in the church accounts as ‘payment to ringers.’ Were the ringers bound to sign some form to say they were paid ringers?

The Hon. Secretary said it had never been decided what was a ‘paid’ ringer, and the Insurance Company would not decide it. Their scheme was devised to get over the difficulty, so that in the event of a claim arising, which might be a Workmen’s Compensation Act claim, no question would arise.

Mr. Trollope said he thought the company took the position that they insured the ringers and did not bother whether they were paid or not.

The President said the only condition was that the church authorities paid ten shillings a year to insure them.


The Rev. H. Drake said with regard to the question of noise outside a tower, he had advised several towers to have their windows bricked up. Now it had come to a question of his own tower, what he had had done had not been successful. He would like to ask the committee to go further into the question of lessening the sound outside towers.

The President said if Mr. Drake would send him the particulars of the tower, with full dimensions and details of what he had done and what substance he had used, he would go into the matter.

The committee’s report was adopted.


The Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee presented the following report:-

Numerous references to bells and ringing in the London and provincial Press have manifested a sympathetic and friendly attitude, with increasing appreciation of change ringing as a national art and of the part played by bells in our national life. The tercentenary of the College Youths has attracted attention. In the Midlands the bells of Birmingham Cathedral have been very much in evidence. Several articles on the subject, with pictorial illustrations, have been published in the local Press, while Sir Charles Hyde, owner of the ‘Birmingham Daily Post,’ himself guaranteed the cost of the new peal. The record set up in Dorset by the band of ringers at Marnhull in completing 40 years of continuous service figured prominently in the ‘Daily Express.’ The ‘Morning Post’ published an article ‘In Praise of Campanology’ over the signature Sentinel, which elicited from an appreciative correspondent a somewhat unusual comment: ‘It is a happy thought,’ he wrote, ‘that bell music is the only medium of expression that has never come to base uses … The organ is too often degraded … The pianoforte has lost its character. But the bells are still left to send out their uplifting message free from jazz.’ (This last sentence suggests an apt moral: never to let change ringing ‘lose its character’ by the admission of any jazz rhythm!) Agents of the district Press were diligent in their attention to the party of clerical ringers recently visiting Evesham, and Press photographers awaited them at Stratford-on-Avon.

The official organ of Imperial Steel Works, Ltd., would seem one of the most unlikely of publications to invite the attention of its readers to the history and traditions of church bells. That journal, however, which has for its title ‘The Edgar Allen News,’ published in few years ago, ‘in fear and trepidation,’ as the editors tell us, an article on bells. ‘The result was surprising. From all quarters of the world letters and comments came in, showing how greatly the subject of bells interested readers.’ Further articles on bells have accordingly appeared from time to time, and last June three pages were devoted to a review of Mr. E. Morris’ recently published work, ‘Legends o’ the Bells,’ reproducing a number of the illustrations and recommending ‘all interested in bells to make a point of buying it.’

The ‘Church Assembly News’ in two successive numbers contained admirable articles, with good illustrations, on ‘Bells, their care and their use,’ by a ringer. An article on the Guild of Ringers appeared in the current issue of the ‘Salisbury Diocesan Gazette.’ The ‘Radio Times’ of last December contained an interesting paragraph on bells, with reference to a talk on that subject arranged in the Northern Ireland programme. ‘The Bells of England,’ by Hugh M. Blendel, appearing in ‘The Sign’ for March, was written in the right spirit and well illustrated, but contained not a few inaccuracies. One sentence, which follows up a reference to bells installed in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee with the strange statement that ‘the decline of the art will find few such additions to mark the Coronation this year,’ is conspicuously wide of the mark in view of the fact that the bell foundries have all been working at high pressure and that just lately a whole column in ‘The Ringing World’ was taken up with notices of opening of bells.


The committee are glad to be able to issue an exceptionally satisfactory report on broadcasting. Many of the services transmitted have been introduced by the church bells, and, with one or two unfortunate exceptions, the ringing has been worthy of its purpose, while the voice of the announcer no longer interrupts for an undue length of time. Well-struck touches of Caters on the fine peal of bells lately installed at Croydon have been a great feature of the Sunday morning programmes. Amongst the evening broadcasts the bells of St. Mary’s, Nottingham, and those of Stepney have been heard with especially beautiful effect.

On New Year’s Eve and in other Christmas programmes the bells of St. Mary’s, Redcliffe, and of village churches were a delightful feature. On one notable occasion especially the English art of ringing came into its own. New Year’s greetings were broadcast from the various countries of Europe, with music or song in the characteristic idiom of each nation. The contribution of England took the form of records of the bells of Westminster Abbey and of a country church.

The series ‘Churches and Chimes’ was well conceived, but the time allotted to the bells in each case was disproportionately short. Talks on clock chimes have been interesting, and handbells have been introduced with good effect. Our ancient art was put to its most modern use on Christmas Day, when four College Youths featured with handbells in a television programme at the Alexandra Palace, and proved one of the most successful ‘turns.’

With the greatest satisfaction of all we record the fact that the parody of bell music produced by the chiming apparatus, which for the last ten years has been employed as a prelude to the monthly service broadcast from St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, has given way to genuine ringing on this well-known peal of bells, well and worthily carried out by the Royal Cumberland Youths.

On May 1st the B.B.C. devoted a quarter of an hour of their Saturday evening programme on the Midland Regional to the new bells of Birmingham Cathedral. The bells had been dedicated at a service about an hour before, and they were ‘on the air’ in some excellently rung Stedman Caters. Councillor A. Paddon Smith, a member of this committee, broadcast a description of the rejuvenated peal and something of their history. It was a very successful and interesting broadcast and another evidence of the increasing publicity which is being given to bells.

In moving the adoption of the report, the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards apologised for one omission. There should have been included, he said, a notice of an interesting work recently published by Canon Perkins on the bells of Westminster Abbey. In the report was a reference to a team of ringers at Marnhull, Dorset, who had completed 40 years’ service together as ringers. Since that appeared, the Press had referred to some other old ringers in Wiltshire who had rung together for 48 years.

The report was seconded by Mr. A. Walker and adopted.


In the afternoon the reception of committee’s reports was continued.

Mr. W. H. Hollier submitted the following report of the Peal Boards Committee: We are pleased to be able to report considerable progress since the last meeting of the Council. We have received details of many interesting records of peals rung before 1826, as well as many of a later date.

Many details sent to us do not contain the names of the performers - only the date, place and name of method rung being given, and others do not give the name of the conductor. The committee desire the Council’s opinion whether the names of the performers should be obtained and recorded.

We have received a complete list of 48 peals rung by the Society of Sherwood Youths (established 1672); a record peal of Minor, 15,120 changes, rung at All Saints’, Wath-on-Dearne, on Shrove Tuesday, 1816, in 8 hours and 27 minutes, in 21 methods; a peal of Double Norwich Royal rung at St. Peter Mancroft, 5,040 changes, on Monday, April 17th, 1769, this being ‘the first compleat 5,040 that ever was rung in the known World’; a peal of Oxford Treble Bob Royal, 6,200 changes, at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, by the London Youths on Monday, January 19th, 1767, in the Year of Bells 3257.

Other notable peal records of which details have been received include: St. Paul’s, now the Parish Church of St. Mary, Oldham, three peals of Bob Major - 10,080 changes (1793), 14,480 changes (1794) and 15,120 changes (1821). Also a peal of Treble Bob Major, 14,016 changes (1821).

Many of the old peal boards record the first peal rung on the bells or the first in a new method, i.e., 5,040 Treble Bob Triples at St. Peter’s, Huddersfield (1821), and 5,040 Oxford Treble Bob Caters at St. Martin’s, Birmingham (1817).

The committee tender their sincere thanks to all who have assisted them in this interesting historical work and to those who have promised to do so. They will be pleased to receive assistance from any interested ringer during the coming year.

In moving the adoption of the report, Mr. Hollier called attention to the committee’s wish for instructions as to obtaining further details of the records, where the names of the ringers had not been supplied. There were many cases in which they could not obtain the names of the conductors as they were not recorded on the boards. Mr. Hollier specially directed attention to the peal at Wath-on-Dearne referred to in the report as one of special interest. This record was as follows: All Saints’ Church, Wath-on-Dearne. On Shrove Tuesday, February 27th 1816 the following 21 methods were rung, being 720 each of Evening Delight, Cambridge, Morning Exercise, Primrose, College Pleasure, Saint Anne’s Delight, Duke of York, Evening Star, Symphony, Morning Star, Tulip, London Scholars, Navigation Bob, City Delight, Cheapside, Bob Royal, Morning Pleasure, College Treble, Oxford Treble, Violet, Rodney’s Victory, making 15,120 changes, which were brought round in a grand and masterly style in eight hours and twenty-seven minutes without a man quitting his rope, while the whole was performed by the following persons: Treble, Christopher Taylor; second, Joseph Blackburn; third, Joseph Myers; fourth, Edward Myers; fifth, Matthew Blackburn; sixth, William Blackburn. The whole was conducted by William Blackburn.

Mr. Hollier said they had only received two records of peals of Minor rung up to the year 1826. The committee thought there must have been more rung than that, and he appealed to members to assist the committee in tracing the records.

Mr. W. Ayre seconded the adoption of the report, which was agreed to.

Mr. A. D. Barker moved that the committee be instructed to get as many details as possible from the old records.- Mr. R. Richardson seconded.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said on some of the old peal boards the calling of the peal was given. Such an instance was at Wakefield, where there was the record of a peal of Cambridge Royal rung nearly a hundred years before the one at Cheltenham.

The President said all possible details ought to be recorded.- The motion was adopted, and Mr. Wilfred Wilson’s name was added to the committee, the President remarking that he would be of great assistance in preparing the records in a suitable form for retention in a book.


The Biographies Committee submitted the following report: Since the last report of the committee, 54 further forms, giving biographical details of past members of the Council, have been received, bringing the total up to 168. This, however, is only slightly over half the number of forms sent out, and the committee hope that the remainder may be received at an early date from the secretaries of associations or others in whose hands the forms now are.

It is proposed to collate the biographies in a loose-leaf book, so that it may be conveniently added to from time to time, but owing to the great variety in the style and size of such photographs as have been received, the committee consider it will be necessary to have a separate photographic album, with cross-references to the subjects in the biographical volume. The committee ask the permission of the Council to incur an initial expense, up to three guineas, for the purchase of these books.

In a few cases the photographs which have been sent in are only on loan. The committee recommend that the Council should give them permission to have these pictures suitably copied, at a cost not exceeding 1s. 6d. each.

In view of the difficulty that has been experienced in obtaining details of many past members, with whom contact has been lost or who are largely unknown to the present generation, the committee think it would be a good plan if, during the coming year, they are allowed to collect biographical details of the members of the present Council. Particulars of future members can be obtained as they come to the Council. These details could be kept for future reference and added to the albums when the subjects cease to be members of the Council. This plan, the committee feel, would have the advantage of securing the necessary information from the members themselves, which afterwards need only be brought up to date, and would also enable photographs to be obtained of the members during their term of office.

The adoption of the report having been formally moved by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith and seconded by Mrs. Fletcher, the hon. secretary said the Standing Committee had considered the recommendations contained in the report and wanted to amend them. They thought it would be best if the photographs could be kept with the biographies, and in order that a satisfactory job might be made of it the Standing Committee recommended that all the photographs should be reproduced in one uniform size. The committee had suggested that biographical details of present members should be collected, and the Standing Committee recommended this should be done.

Mr. Goldsmith said the Biographies Committee were glad to accept the recommendations of the Standing Committee. Their original recommendation was made as being the cheaper method. He appealed to those who had in hand forms which had already been sent out to return them as soon as possible to facilitate the committee’s work. The committee’s object in suggesting the collecting of biographies of present members was to make it easier to collect the information. Particulars of some past members were unknown to the ringers of to-day, while others were completely lost sight of. If information were collected from the members themselves, although it would not go into the biographies until they ceased to be members of the Council, the committee would have authentic information to work on.

Mr. C. T. Coles said the difficulties of association secretaries in getting some of the forms completed was that they got into the hands of friends who had no interest in the matter, or of past members themselves whose interest had entirely evaporated. In some cases, in spite of several appeals, the papers had not been returned.

The report, amended by the recommendations of the Standing Committee, was adopted.

The Ringing World, June 11th, 1937, pages 391 to 393


At the last meeting of the Council the following resolution was carried: ‘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.’

The report has not been circulated because the response to the request contained in the resolution was extremely disappointing. Only three letters were received - one from an affiliated society containing a resolution passed at an annual meeting, one from a ringer, and one from a District Master of an association.

Among the suggestions were a reduction in price, if necessary, by means of subsidies or guarantees from the associations; payment for the publication of peal reports; also that all reports should be reduced to not more than half a column in length to make room for more items of news.

With regard to the financial suggestions, the report said that perhaps the following figures would assist members in their consideration of the present position: Taking the present circulation as a basis for each 1d. in the reduction of price, the annual sum of £866 13s. 4d. has to be guaranteed or subscribed, which, if apportioned between societies on the basis of their membership of the Council, is equal to £6 5s. 7d. per member of the Council annually. This does not seem to be a solution, for there are many societies who already have difficulty in paying current expenses.

The other main suggestions are that the contents need revision so that instead of long articles about one particular event a series of shorter articles covering a wider field would create more interest. In this, unless the Editor is to rewrite all reports, the remedy seems to be in the hands of those who send in the reports, etc., for publication by ensuring that the matter has the widest possible interest, and that those local details which are so often inserted are eliminated.

As regards payment for the insertion of peal reports, we believe this would to, some extent result in non-publication unless members of societies were bound by the rules of their societies to do so, and this also applies to the payment suggested for the publication of reports of meetings.


In considering this matter the following points must be borne in mind: (1) ‘The Ringing World’ is a privately owned venture, and the Council has no control over it. (2) The Editor, anxious for the continuance of the paper if he is compelled to give up, has called attention to the fact that with the present circulation it is improbable that anyone would undertake the financial responsibility. (3) The Editor regrets that he is compelled to charge 3d. per copy, but has generously agreed to give the Exercise the first benefits which arise from increased circulation, either by increasing the size of the paper or reducing the cost. (4) The Editor is willing to consider all practical suggestions, but cannot shoulder further financial burdens.

With regard to this last point, the officers of the Council feel that as the present support is so inadequate (under one-fifth of the annual subscribing members of societies represented by the Council), ‘The Ringing World’ cannot be expected to shoulder further financial burdens.

The officers think that a further opportunity should he given to members and secretaries to send in their suggestions, and propose that the final report in this matter be deferred. In the meantime, they would like to point out that adverse criticism if unaccompanied by constructive proposals tends to decrease rather than increase the circulation.

Mr. T. Clark asked if it was the business of the Council to deal with this matter. He thought it put the burden on the wrong shoulders. ‘The Ringing World’ did not do the Council as much good as it did the individual ringer, and he thought they should try and increase the sale through the associations. He brought the subject up at the meetings he attended, and he had sold a good a number of copies in that way. They would do better by getting back to the associations.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said in Yorkshire ringers took a good deal of satisfying. When they talked to a Yorkshireman about spending 3d. he looked at what was on the other side. He knew of at least one twelve-bell tower that took one copy of the paper for the twelve ringers (‘Shame’). He sincerely sympathised with ‘The Ringing World.’ When they realised that the Exercise numbered somewhere about 40,000 it was hopeless to expect that they were going to get a large proportion of them sufficiently interested to buy the paper. Another thing he was convinced of was that it was quite hopeless to expect they were going to get another enthusiast such as the present Editor to shoulder the responsibility and to pay for other people’s luxury of getting their reports on the cheap. He thought, sooner or later, the Council would have to consider a scheme for the future of ‘The Ringing World.’ Those who were or had been secretaries of associations had been speaking on this matter for a good many years, but in looking round and seeing what they had done it seemed to him they were nearly as badly off as they were at the start. He had fought many battles for ‘The Ringing World’ and would be interested to know the experience of other representatives. He felt they would not get another man in all England with the enthusiasm of the present Editor, and he shuddered to think what would happen when he lost his enthusiasm or the health to carry on.

The Hon. Secretary said on the basis of Mr. Johnson’s estimate of 40,000 ringers he could amend his note and say, not that not one-fifth, but not one-tenth of the ringers supported the paper.

The report was adopted.


The President submitted the report of the officers as to muffled ringing. He said he hoped the Council would adopt it as far as its main suggestions were concerned, and he then wanted them to leave it to the officers to add further details and allow them to circulate it and get it finally passed by the ecclesiastical authorities without delaying it to next year’s meeting.

The report was as follows: The practice of muffled ringing for Royalty, or indeed for any person, is comparatively recent. As far as we can trace, ringing with bells half-muffled or fully muffled was first practised by ringers as a mark of respect to deceased ringers about the beginning of the 18th century, and was later introduced for persons other than ringers.

Various customs have grown up in different parts of the country, and we think it undesirable that these customs should be changed. Where there is no fixed custom we should recommend the following practice:-

  1. That as a mark of respect bells should be rung half-muffled (open at handstroke).

  2. That bells should not be rung muffled for a service on a Sunday or feast day, unless the service is a funeral or of the nature of a memorial service.

  3. That if the death of Royalty occurs, or a death in a parish where a meeting has been arranged, either the bells should not be rung or be rung muffled in a few touches with carefully chosen bands. We deprecate the holding of an ordinary practice meeting with the bells muffled.

  4. That all muffled ringing should be in as slow time as possible.

  5. That certain local customs are worthy of more general adoption. For example, the Cambridge custom, of setting up one bell at a time, gradually reducing the number and then tolling the age on the tenor, is very effective.

For this last reason we should like association secretaries to send us particulars of local customs in order that a selection might be added in our final report.

We suggest that this final report should be circulated to the Standing Committee, and, if approved of by them, circulated to all members, and finally sent to the ecclesiastical authorities. If they also approve it could be published without further delay.

The President added that he would be glad to hear any criticisms or suggestions on the five main points which were recommended for use in places where they had no established local custom.

Mr. J. Hunt said one vital thing was omitted from the report. Muffled ringing should always be done with the tenor behind.

The President: No, I don’t agree.

Mr. Hunt: As a ringer for over 40 years I have never heard ringing that sounded as solemn as when it is well struck with the tenor behind, I think that point ought to be added.

Mr. S. H. Wood: I disagree entirely. I think the most beautiful ringing is in Major when you get the minor changes, that is 6587 followed by 5678 coming up muffled.

Mr. L. J. Williams: What is the point of putting in Mr. Hunt’s suggestion when a band can only ring one method?

Mr. P. J. Johnson said in the district in which he lived (Leeds) they generally muffled the bells at handstroke, the idea being that, in ringing Major, the tenors struck in their right order with an open backstroke. Another advantage was that it hid any bad leads at handstroke (laughter).

Mr. C. Mee said in Suffolk they always had the handstroke open.


Mr. J. A. Trollope said the oldest custom in connection with ringing for funerals was the custom of ringing ‘three times three’ for a man, and ‘three times two’ for a woman, That was not only English, but European, and went back certainly to the early middle ages. What they did at his church was to ring three whole pulls slowly, before and after the other ringing, not only because it was rather effective with the bells half-muffled, but also because it helped to continue to some extent a custom which, like so many others, was dying out rapidly, especially since the war.

Mr. F. W. Rogers asked if the committee could give them any information as to the occasions on which to ring bells fully muffled.

The President said the committee and the Standing Committee did not recommend fully muffled ringing. Fully muffled ringing had, to a large extent, the same effect as shuttering up the windows - it reduced the carrying power of the bells, but had not the same appeal to the public as half-muffled ringing. They did not get the striking contrast between the two blows, which was so effective.

Mr. Crawley said that at his church they had rung two peals fully muffled and the bells were heard at a greater distance than when they were open (laughter).

The President: Very often, when windows are blocked up, the bells are heard better at a distance.

The Rev. H. Drake supported what Mr. Trollope had said, and added that ‘times times one’ was used for a child. He suggested that that be added to the report.

Replying to Mr. F. Warrington, the President said the committee was not concerned with customs of chiming; their reference was with regard to muffled ringing.

Mr. W. A. Cave pointed out that there was nothing in the report referring to the ‘whole pull and stand.’

The President said that was one of the customs which they proposed to add at the end.

Mr. Cave said there was nothing more effective than this for a memorial service or when the coffin was being taken from the church to the grave.

Replying to Mr. Mee, the President said he did not think they should attempt to collect all the chiming customs. They were already recorded, as far as many counties were concerned in the county histories.

Mr. G. Cross seconded the adoption of the report which was agreed to, together with the recommendation that it should be completed and circulated before the next meeting.

This completed the committee’s reports, and Canon Coleridge proposed a vote of thanks to all committees for their laborious work and for an they had done.- Mr. T. Groombridge seconded and the motion was carried.

The Ringing World, June 18th, 1937, pages 409 to 410


The following motion was on the agenda:-

That so much of all previous resolutions of the Council as defines or attempts to define what shall be recognised as a peal of Doubles be rescinded and that the following be substituted therefor:-

  1. Peals of Doubles shall consist of 5,040 or more changes rung in:-

    (a) True and complete Six-Scores, without interval between any two Six-scores and without rounds or any other row being struck more than once before the next change is made.

    (b) Round blocks consisting of two or more Six-scores, provided that each of the Six-scores which comprise the round blocks shall be itself a true and complete round block.

    (c) Twelve-scores known as Morris’ and Pitman’s.

    (d) Combinations of (a), (b) and (c) above or any two of them.

  2. At the conclusion of 5,040 or more changes, rung in accordance with (1) above, one true touch of any length less than 120 changes may be added.

  3. Peals of Doubles may be rung with or without a covering bell.

In proposing the motion, Mr. W. G. Wilson said he made no apology for bringing the matter before the Council, because the position which arose on the Peals Analysis Committee’s report last year made it inevitable that something should be done to clear the question up. The definition in the motion meant that peals should be recognised if they consisted of the ordinary 120’s or of ‘spliced’ 120’s. Examples of ‘spliced’ 120’s were included in the second edition of the Doubles and Minor Collection. They consisted of round blocks, in which a six-score was commenced and before it was finished, one or more other six-scores were rung, and then the first was finished. With regard to the Morris and Pitman arrangements, the latter was equivalent to the Bankes James arrangement on six bells and the Council had already approved of that. In the Morris arrangement the 120 changes were rung at handstroke and also at backstroke, so that they had two 120’s intermingled more than they had with an ordinary round block.


Mr. Wilson went on to review the attempts which the Council had made to deal with the matter. Doubles had never been dealt with before the Hereford meeting in 1928 and that was when the trouble started. In 1928 Mr. Goldsmith moved a resolution trying to define what peals on five or six bells were. The one relating to Doubles was: ‘That peals of Doubles consist of 42 true and complete 120’s rung without interval and without rounds or any other row being included, or rung more than once in any 120. A peal may be lengthened by any number of 120’s fulfilling the same conditions, with or without one touch of less than 120.’ That definition said, ‘42 true and complete 120’s.’ The Minor definition was exactly the same, except that it referred to seven 720’s, although Mr. Goldsmith claimed that it would enable Bankes James’ Cambridge to be rung. He also said it would allow Pitman’s, but excluded Morris’. The Rev. H. Law James seconded that motion. Several people felt doubtful, if a peal was to consist of 42 120’s, whether Pitman’s and Morris’ could be rung, and whether round blocks of 240’s would be excluded, and Mr. James said definitely ‘No.’ Although that definition excluded everything except 120’s, the proposer and seconder said the only thing it did exclude was Morris’. The Council passed the resolution. The next lot of trouble was in 1929 at Chelmsford, when the Methods Committee reported that they wanted to include certain compositions in the new edition of their book, it being said that if the Exercise found they were valuable they would get used; if they found they were of no use they would disappear, but, said Mr. Wilson, they had not disappeared yet. During the debate Mr. Goldsmith said he was in favour of including the Bankes James Cambridge, but hoped the Council would decide that the other compositions in dispute should be excluded, although, said Mr. Wilson, he had assured the Council in the previous year that they were included in the resolution. That 1929 meeting was the year when they had an amendment to exclude the compositions from the book passed by one vote, 30 to 29, but could not carry it as a substantive motion, which showed there was a good deal of doubt. When it was suggested it should be included as an appendix with an indication that the insertion did not commit anybody to the opinion that the compositions were suitable for peal ringing, it was carried by 44 votes to three, which seemed to him to bring out the fact that a lot of members thought they were valuable enough to put in the book, even if they were doubtful about ringing a peal containing them.


After that debate Mr. Whittington had a motion which was deferred until a later date, but he did ask one question: Would the inclusion of these compositions in the book commit the Peals Analysis Committee to accepting them in their report, and he was definitely told ‘No.’ But every year since then they had been included in the report, and the Council had approved of the tables without debate, and had even done so again that morning. In 1929 there was an article in ‘The Ringing World’ which said the position with regard to peals of Doubles was in a most unsatisfactory state, that things could not remain as they were and sooner or later the question would have to be settled. That was eight years ago and still the question was not settled. They had a rest for a year or two and the question was next brought up in 1934 when the Council decided that, notwithstanding any definition to the contrary, peals in any recognised Minor method containing compositions on the Bankes James plan were, in the opinion of the Council, permissible. That settled the Minor question and was a commonsense way of dealing with it, although they were warned on that occasion that it would bring other things in its train. As far as Minor was concerned they had had no more of it. What he was asking the Council to do that day was the same as they had already done for the Minor. The immediate thing that caused that motion to be put on the agenda was the decision of the Council last year, when, they would remember, the Council considered a report of the Peals Analysis Committee and a peal of Minor was mentioned which had been rung in 1935 and did not conform to the decision of the Council, because it contained three 480’s of Little Bob. The Analysis Committee was then definitely instructed to exclude it from the report, but no one suggested that they should exclude peals in which Pitman’s and Morris’ arrangements had been rung. The Council also instructed the committee to exclude from their tables any peals which were contrary to the decisions of the Council and to draw the Council’s attention to them for discussion. That made the question bound to be considered that day. Even if his motion had not been on the paper, said Mr. Wilson, the Council would have had to consider it that morning on the report of the Analysis Committee. There were three things which the Council could do. They could carry on as they were now doing, disapproving of these peals on paper and allowing them in the report. He did not think the Council would agree that that was satisfactory. They could decide to enforce the original motion on Doubles and exclude everything except 120’s. If they did that they would be treating Doubles ringers different to the way in which they treated Minor ringers, with less reason, because Doubles ringers were more restricted. The other course, and the one he wanted them to choose, was to pass his resolution and face up to the situation that progress had been made in composition; that five-bell ringing could do with something extra, and should be dealt with in the same way as six-bell ringing. He was asking them to do nothing terribly revolutionary. They had done it for Minor, and in 1928 they were assured by the proposer and seconder that Pitman’s and Bankes James’ arrangements were included.

Mr. Wilson was warmly applauded on the conclusion of his ‘maiden’ speech in the Council.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner, in seconding, said that from the Analysis Committee’s report he observed that one of the affiliated societies had rung no less than 13 peals during 1936, which included these 240’s. He thought that was a good reason for passing the resolution.


Mr. S. H. Wood congratulated Mr. Wilson on the way he had stated his case in his first speech to the Council, especially bearing in mind the task he had got, for he had not got a leg to stand on (laughter). It took a certain amount of courage to talk about Doubles or Minor at all. The grounds on which he (Mr. Wood) opposed the motion were, first, the length and complicated nature of the rule. The existing rule seemed to him to be quite simple and concise, it was understood by everybody. It might not have been at first, but he thought they all now understood what 120 of Doubles was and what 720 of Minor was. He felt the Council was going to be a laughing stock if it could not say what it would accept as a peal of Doubles without taking up half a page of the printed agenda paper and having three clauses and four sub-clauses to explain it. As regards Morris’ and Pitman’s arrangement he did not feel very much either way. He did not do much Doubles ringing himself and he would like to hear the views of Doubles ringers as to whether they wanted to continue ringing these compositions. He could not see that they wanted to alter the whole principle of a peal. Recently he went through the whole history of the controversy. It seemed to him that one main thing came out of the long and bitter years of struggle and that was that after a certain amount of dithering and wavering on the part of the Council they did, in the end, reaffirm the previous principle that peals on six and five bells should consist of the requisite number of extents. The Bankes James Minor was not recognised by the Council until it was proposed that, notwithstanding that it was not in conformity with the existing definition of a peal, it should be accepted. He could not see why they could not do the same with the Doubles and say that the Morris and Pitman arrangements could be let in as exceptions. Mr. Wilson himself said that when they passed the resolution on the Bankes James arrangement it ended the controversy and nothing more had been heard of it. Everybody was satisfied and everybody would still be satisfied with regard to the Doubles.

Mr. J. A. Trollope congratulated Mr. Wood on the most persuasive way he had talked the largest amount of tosh and tripe that he had heard for a long time (laughter). When he talked about the Bankes James composition having been let in as an exception, he was not speaking the truth. That was brought in ‘notwithstanding anything to the contrary.’ As to Mr. Wood’s objection to this definition of a peal of Doubles on the score of its length, he (the speaker) had been a member of the Council for 40 years and he had seen a number of attempts to formulate definitions. Most of them had shown how extraordinarily difficult it was. There was one criticism of the present motion he would offer, and he would move as an amendment the omission of the second clause about ringing an odd touch. He did not know where that came from. A peal of Doubles should be in multiples of six-scores and a peal of Minor should be in multiples of 720. (A Voice: Hear, hear).


Mr. Trollope: I know exactly what I am saying, you won’t get me on that (laughter). It was extraordinarily difficult, continued Mr. Trollope, to say in a definition exactly what they meant by truth and completeness except on seven bells. They all agreed that on seven bells a peal should consist of 5,040 changes ‘without repetition of a change or a bell out of course.’ If they were to ring Holt’s ten-part peal and at the end ring a touch of, say, a thousand in the same method without interval, could they claim they had rung a peal of 6000 of Grandsire Triples? He thought not. They would have rung a peal and a touch; the fact that they had been rung without interval would not alter the fact. The same principle ought to be made to apply to Doubles. The ringing of odd bits was not only contrary to the principle on which peal ringing should be done, but he did not think it was wanted. He moved the deletion of Clause 2.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith opposed the motion on the ground that what should constitute a peal of Doubles was already adequately defined. It was quite true that when he moved the definition at Hereford he said he considered it included the Pitman Doubles, and he now frankly confessed that he changed his opinion on this point very soon afterwards, and that was the reason he opposed its inclusion in the ‘Doubles and Minor Collection’ at Chelmsford. The Morris and Pitman arrangements were not on the same footing as the Bankes James arrangement of Cambridge Minor, and in proof of this the speaker quoted the Council’s own rules on ‘Regular Methods.’ In these rules it was laid down that ‘in methods with one hunt, which included Minor, the division between the leads was between the first and second blows of the whole pull of the hunt, before or behind.’ Therefore, Minor methods had rounds as the first row of the method, and, that being so, the Bankes James arrangement consisted of true extents. But when they came to Doubles the Council’s rules laid it down that ‘in methods with two hunts (the treble and another) the division between the leads was midway between the whole pull of the first hunt and the whole pull of the second hunt, before or behind.’ Thus rounds was not the first row of Grandsire Doubles, and consequently Pitman’s arrangement did not consist of true extents. There was, therefore, a definite distinction between the Minor and Doubles, and he asked the Council not to accept the motion on the ground that the Doubles should be admitted because they had accepted the Minor.


As to whether there was any real demand among ringers to ring these compositions, as was suggested by Mr. Turner when he said that last year one association had rung peals including these arrangements 13 times, Mr. Goldsmith said an entirely different complexion was put upon this fact when they realised that 12 of these peals were called by the same conductor and the other by one of his band. Only on three other occasions had this arrangement been used by other conductors, and even then in one case only 240 was used and in another only a 720. He suggested that these facts showed there was no real demand for the admission of these compositions as peals, and in any case if conductors and ringers wanted greater variety in their peals they could get it by the far more interesting way of substituting other bells than the treble as the hunt bell, and by doing so they could continue to ring true extents, which should be the basis of all peals of Doubles and Minor. He warned the Council that this motion was only the thin end of the wedge on the part of those who held that any sort of arrangement of Doubles or Minor should be accepted as a peal as long as a recognised method was used and every row of Doubles appeared 42 times and every row of Minor seven times. He contended that this was against the tradition of peal ringing and asked the Council to vote against the motion.

The President asked if the 13 peals rung by one association had been rung in five-bell towers.

Mr. Goldsmith said in only two or three instances was that the case.

The President said he asked in case the band was limited to ringing Doubles.


Mr. P. J. Johnson said it seemed to him that the Council, having accepted certain things, must accept certain other things, and he could not see how they were going to get out of it. Once having accepted the Bankes James arrangement they must, to be consistent in their inconsistency, accept this motion. It was wrong to have accepted the Bankes James arrangement, but, having done so, they must accept this other. One or two of the speakers, continued Mr. Johnson, had put up the argument that these compositions were something that ringers wished to ring. He thought that was one of the things that settled the Bankes James job. What they had to decide, however, was not what ringers cared to ring - that had nothing to do with the matter at all - but a mathematical problem. What they had to decide was whether they were going to ring repetitions, but, having decided to accept the Bankes James composition, to be consistently inconsistent they must accept this motion.

The Rev. H. Drake supported the amendment to leave out paragraph 2 and was prepared also to leave out paragraph 3.

Mr. C. T. Coles, in congratulating the mover and seconder on giving the Council the only subject for discussion that day, apart from the committee reports, said, from his own experience, he was astonished at their temerity in reintroducing the subject. With regard to the number of peals rung, said Mr. Coles, Pitman’s composition was published in December, 1923, and Morris’ in December, 1926. Up to the end of 1930 Pitman’s composition had been rung in peals, wholly or in part, some 139 times by 15 associations. About that time the controversy began and people began to look upon them suspiciously as being false. Since then there had been a considerable falling off. This year, up to date, they had been rung three times, by three associations and three different conductors. The compositions had never been rung by the association which Mr. Wilson and he represented, so they did not attempt to regularise them for their own sake but for the sake of the Exercise at large. A composition of Triples or Major if known to be false was ignored; ringers would have nothing to do with it but there were a considerable number of people who did not consider that the Morris’ and Pitman arrangements could be regarded as false. If they had had any doubt on the subject they would have ignored them. He reminded the members that these compositions had been published by the Council; were they, then, to be told that they encouraged the ringing of them but refused to recognise them in peals? If they did they would certainly, as Mr. Wood said, make a laughing stock of themselves. If these compositions were to be barred, were the Council going to delete the peals from all previous analyses or only from last year’s; or would it be only from this year’s or only from that day? If they were false why should they not all be cut out? Another difficulty the committee would be faced with was that peals were not always fully described. Occasionally a report merely stated ‘5,040 Grandsire Doubles.’ Were the committee to write and ask for further details or were the committee to be allowed to put these particular peals in the analysis and so encourage a certain amount of dishonesty among conductors, who could ring Pitman’s and Morris’ compositions to their heart’s content and not describe them? It was said that the Bankes James peal consisted of true 720’s because rounds was the first row of the method. If it consisted of true 720’s there was no need to bring up the resolution three years ago admitting it as an exception. In conclusion, Mr. Coles asked members of the Council who were not six and five-bell ringers and who had fundamental objections to six and five-bell peals, not to enter the controversy, but to let it be settled by those who were in sympathy with the six and five-bell ringers. The Council had published these compositions in one of their publications and had included the peals in the analysis tables for the past 14 years; if they were to be consistent, therefore, they must admit them at this stage.


Mr. J. Hunt said he did not agree with accepting the Minor, and he still did not agree to-day, but he felt, in justice to the five-bell ringers, that, having accepted the Bankes James Minor, they must accept this resolution. He, however, supported the deletion of Clauses 2 and 3. They did not want to finish a peal with a touch of two bobs. With regard to the covering bell, they had been ringing peals with that for the last 40 or 50 years or more.

Mr. Wilson accepted the amendment to delete Clause 2 relating to the additional touch at the end of a peal, although, he said, he did not know there was anything fundamentally wrong about it.

Mr. Kynaston then moved as an amendment to delete all the motion after 1(a).- Mr. Hollier seconded, but the amendment was lost.

Mr. S. H. Wood moved that sub-clause (b) be deleted. He said this provided for starting a 120, and then splicing into it another 120. It would be possible, he said, to go on splicing the six-scores one into the other, until they got a one-part 5,040, the only thing about which was that they had each change 42 times.

Mr. Goldsmith said to delete this would be more inconsistent than ever, and Mr. Coles said if it were taken out it would be one of the most foolish things the Council had ever done.

Mr. A. D. Barker said the Bankes James and the Morris and Pitman arrangements were not rung as much as they used to be, and he thought the use of them would die out in time.

Mr. Wood’s amendment was negatived, and the original motion (omitting Clause 2), on being put, was carried, the President remarking that it was by about a three to one majority.

The Ringing World, June 25th, 1937, pages 425 to 426


When the Council was called upon to decide the place of the next meeting, the President said the Standing Committee recommended that the Council should visit Yorkshire.

Mr. P. J. Johnson (Leeds) said the matter had been discussed in the past by the Yorkshire Association, who, would rather the Council visited Leeds. Leeds was in the centre of some of the finest scenery in the finest county of England (laughter and applause), with some of the finest bells in England and some of the finest-looking ringers (laughter). He proposed that the next meeting of the Council be held at Leeds.

Mr. S. F. Palmer (Sheffield) seconded. He did not agree with all Mr. Johnson had said (laughter), because they had some of the best scenery in England round Sheffield and they had some fine bells.

The Hon Secretary said that at their meeting on the previous evening the Standing Committee received an invitation for the Council to visit Leicester.

Mr. J. Harris, who proposed that the meeting be held at Leicester, said that although there were good bells in Leeds, they claimed to have better bells in Leicester (laughter). They opened, on Coronation Day, what they considered the finest peal of twelve they had ever heard, and they were the only City in the world, outside London, that had two rings of twelve. In Leicester also they claimed to have three town halls - a Roman forum, a thirteenth or fourteenth century town hall and the present town hall. If the Council would go to Leicester they would be sure of a good welcome.

Mr. J. H. Swinfield seconded.

The Hon. Secretary said the last meeting in Yorkshire was in 1904 and the previous meeting to that in 1895. There were only two occasions since the formation of the Council when they had been north of a line from Liverpool to Sheffield - York in 1904 and Newcastle in 1913. The last meeting at Leicester was in 1911.

Mr. C. Mee asked if they had not promised the Irish Association that they would go to Dublin. He thought it was time they considered that, and proposed that the Council visit Dublin next year. Mr. Crawley seconded.

The President pointed out that next year it was, according to the general rota followed, the turn of the North to have a meeting.

The places were put to the vote and Leeds was carried by a large majority.

Mr. S. H. Wood suggested that the Council should consider visiting Edinburgh in the not too distant future - possibly the next time they went North. Although Edinburgh was a rather long way, it would be the first time the Council had gone over the border. While he could no longer speak for the Scottish Association, he was sure the Council would get a warm welcome from that association.


Several minor matters were discussed under the heading of ‘Other business.’

Mrs. G. W. Fletcher proposed that the Council send a letter to the Ancient Society of College Youths congratulating them upon attaining their tercentenary (applause).

Mr. J. A. Trollope, in seconding, said his qualification for doing so was because he was not a College Youth and because to some extent he represented the only other society which could, in antiquity and historical interest, equal the College Youths - he meant the Norwich Scholars. It was not the fact that the society was 300 years old that mattered, but the Exercise was indebted to the society because during its 300 years of existence it had preserved the continuity of the art and science of change ringing. Without it, or something of the sort, change ringing would undoubtedly have lapsed, even if it had been invented. He did not suppose that anyone inside or outside a lunatic asylum would invent it to-day, but, having been invented as it was, the only way in which it was possible to continue it and hand it on was by means of such a society as the College Youths. The society had had its ups and downs, but it had, until modern times, always stood at the top of the Exercise and had been, so to speak, the aristocracy of the art, taking the position which, in much the same way, that Council filled at the present time. The whole Exercise was really indebted to the society, to the men who were dead and gone, for the science and art which they had to-day, and it was only right that that Council should offer its congratulations.

The motion was carried with applause, and the president (who is also Master of the society) said he would convey the good wishes to the College Youths. He was sure they would be much appreciated.

Mr. F. W. Rogers said he thought they might also congratulate the Ladies’ Guild on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee this year.

In putting this to the meeting, the President said he felt, in doing so, he was getting a little of his own back on Mrs. Fletcher (laughter).- The motion was agreed to.


The Hon. Secretary said that during the year he had received a letter asking for the opinion and criticism of the Council on the subject of ‘radio’ bells, which were to be installed in certain churches. He wished to give the members the opportunity of expressing their views on this subject, which was becoming very important.

Mr. S. H. Wood said that there had recently been an article in the ‘Guardian’ on a new kind of ‘carillon,’ electronic in character. The first public demonstration had been given, and it was described as a new departure in the art of campanology (laughter). Mr. Wood said he thought they had got to be careful about these things. It was no good ‘going off the deep end about it.’ Personally, if he heard of a Church being built which was not going to have a tower, or any chance of ever having a tower which would carry a peal of bells, he would much rather it had something of this sort, or ‘radio’ bells, so that it could provide some good bell music on a Sunday morning, rather than use one single bell, or no bell at all. There was, of course, the danger about such remarks printed in the Press as to it being the beginning of a new era in the art of campanology. For one thing, that statement was not true. Such an instrument could not have anything to do with campanology because it had no bells. He thought, however, that they ought to work in conjunction with the builders of this new instrument rather than against them.

Mr. Trollope said this development was probably done for organ work in cinemas, although, no doubt, the makers would like to sell it elsewhere if they could.

Mr. Cave said that at St. Christopher’s in Bristol they used records and an amplifier and they heard the bells quite clearly where he lived. Many people had been taken in and thought a peal of bells was ringing.

Mr. Wood said there were actually three such cases in Bristol.

Mr. L. J. Williams said there were already four or five installed in the Blackburn district.

No action was taken by the Council.


The Hon. Secretary said a suggestion had been received regarding motions of major importance, particularly those relating to what should constitute a peal. It had been suggested that such notices should be in the hands of the secretary of the Council six months before the Council meeting. The idea was that they should be circulated to associations some time before the Council meeting to give an opportunity to associations to discuss them and give their representatives some idea of what the members wanted.

Mr. J. Harris, who was responsible for the suggestion, said there was only one object in view and that was to enable associations to discuss matters of importance at their annual meetings. If they looked through the issue of ‘The Ringing World’ which was published the week before Easter they would find that eight of the big associations had their annual meetings on Easter Monday. Unfortunately, the secretary could not get the Council’s agenda through to the representatives in time for those meetings. He thought it would relieve the secretary of a good deal of stress at the last moment if notices were in his hands some time before, and it would be better for all concerned. It could not be said there was anything so urgent that it could not be got in six months before, and if it was not important enough for that it was not worth considering. If longer notice were given every member of the Council could learn the views of his own members and everyone would benefit. He suggested that the last date for notice be December 31st.

The President said the Council would sympathise with what Mr. Harris had said, but he did not think they could pass it as a resolution because it involved the alteration of rules.

Mr. Harris said perhaps it could be kept in view for future action if nothing could be done that day.

Mrs. Fletcher pointed out that many of the associations held their annual meeting just after the meeting of the Council. Her own Guild was an example. Their annual meeting was in July, and if they were to have a chance of considering motions, these would have to be in the hands of the secretary of the Council within a fortnight after the last meeting.


The President said Mr. George Newton, had he been present at the meeting, wanted to mention the project of raising a memorial to the late Canon Elsee. It was to take the form of an alteration to the tower of St. George’s, Bolton, and he (Mr. Newton) added that he thought the Council would be glad to subscribe to the memorial.

Mr. T. B. Worsley said the Lancashire Association had had an estimate for the work. It amounted to about £450, and he was afraid that would be rather too much to raise.

Replying to a question, Mr. Worsley said the matter would come to a head before the next meeting of the Council and the scheme accepted or rejected.

On the motion of the Rev. H. Drake, seconded by Mr. E. A. Young, it was decided to vote the sum of three guineas to the scheme, if carried out.

The President said the Ely Diocesan Association had asked whether the Council contemplated providing any memorial to the late Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake (the Council’s honorary librarian), and whether, if they were doing so, the co-operation of the Guild would be acceptable. The President said the Council could not undertake anything, but if the Ely Association were prepared to do so he had no doubt the Council would be ready to subscribe. If the Ely Association went on with the scheme he thought the Council might contribute three guineas.

This was agreed to.

The Ringing World, July 2nd, 1937, page 441


The President said some time ago the Council passed a resolution that bells should preferably be raised in peal, but if not it was desirable they should be raised singly and in order. He was afraid, in spite of that, in parts of the country bells were still jangled up anyhow. Not very long ago he went to the opening of a new peal of bells, and, getting there early, sat in the church. The ringers began to pull the bells up, and the lady who was with him remarked, ‘What dreadful bells.’ The bells were all right, said the President, but the local ringers started by pulling up the second and seventh together. It did not give the bells the best chance. He suggested that members of the Council, where possible, should get the Council recommendation followed. These little things did count with the public. Another thing which might be done in many places where there were ten or twelve bells and they were not all lowered in peal, but were let down anyhow. It would be better if the back four were dropped singly and the front six in case of ten and the middle six in case of twelve let down in peal, finishing with chiming the bells round. It would put a little polish to it.


The Hon. Secretary pointed out that in the case of some societies changes were made in representation and the alteration was not notified to him according to the rules. He was getting out a little booklet which he proposed to issue to every member of the Council. It would contain the names and addresses of all representative members of the Council, and if alterations were made without notification the book would be out of date before it was issued. He appealed to all members to get the secretaries of their societies to send him full information as far as representation was concerned.

The Hon. Secretary then reported that at that meeting there were 83 representative and 12 honorary members present, a total attendance of 95. Fifty-one representative members and four honorary members were absent. Nineteen societies were fully represented, 20 partially represented and 11 were unrepresented.


The President proposed an omnibus vote of thanks expressing gratitude to the Dean and Chapter for the use of the Chapter House, to the Kent County Association for the tea which they were going to provide for the members and their friends, to Mr. Mitchell, hon. secretary of the Kent County Association, and Mr. Luck and the committee of the association appointed to make the arrangements for the meeting; also to Mr. T. E. Sone for undertaking the peal arrangements at the various towers, to the various church authorities who had given them the use of the bells, and to the towerkeepers; also to Mr. Martin Pearce, who had conducted members round the Cathedral.

The motion was carried with acclamation.

Mr. W. Ayre proposed a vote of thanks to the hon. secretary for the tremendous amount of work he had done in connection with the meeting.- Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, who seconded, referred to the work which Mrs. Fletcher also had done, particularly in typing all the reports of the committees, which had been of great assistance to the members.- The motion was carried with applause.

Canon Coleridge proposed a vote of thanks to the president. They were deeply grateful to Mr. Lewis, he said, for the admirable manner in which he had conducted their proceedings (applause).

The President, in acknowledging the motion, which was carried by acclamation, said his task was greatly lightened by all that Mr. Fletcher did for them.

This concluded the business and the Council then rose.

Afterwards a large party were the guests at tea of the Kent County Association at the County Hotel, where, later, a social evening was spent. In the meantime there was ringing on bells at various Canterbury churches.

The Ringing World, July 2nd, 1937, page 442

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