RICH in memories of London of the days of Christopher Wren was the first session of the twentieth Council (51st annual meeting), held at the Skinners’ Hall, London, on Whit Tuesday. There was a record attendance of 137 members.

Canon Adam Fox, the Master of the Skinners’ Company, and Dean Matthews, of St. Paul’s, attended to receive the Council. With the President (Mr. E. H. Lewis) were the hon. secretary and treasurer (Mr. G. W. Fletcher), Mrs. Fletcher, Mr. A. A. Hughes and Mr. W. H. J. Hooton (hon. librarian). The Master of the Skinners’ Company, in his words of welcome, said that his company had a bell in the hall which was the gift of Mr. Hughes and was rung in Corpus Christi Day. Someone had said the sound of bells was the last enchantment of the Middle Ages. As ringers they were survivors of a great art handed down from the Middle Ages, and he hoped that as the result of their deliberations their bells would ring more sweetly.

Dean Matthews, as the representative of the Church in the City of London, also extended a welcome. By a curious coincidence, he said, he had been connected with the two heaviest rings of bells in the country. He was Dean of Exeter before coming to St. Paul’s. He remembered one occasion at Exeter when the bells seemed to be ringing all day and all night, and as his deanery was underneath the belfry, he was keener for bellringers at the start than at the finish (laughter). As a result of that long athletic exercise, a tablet was erected in the belfry. Only the other day his verger informed him that the bells of St. Paul’s were to be rung for 3½ hours. Whether they broke down or not he did not know, but the fact was that they only rang for 2¼ hours and they had all his blessing when they left off.


He believed he was right in saying that the ringing of peals on bells was an art confined to this country; it was only in this country that reason and imagination had been brought in to make the art of bellringing. Another thing that was very interesting in bellringing was that it had come right out of the people. It is not something that had been put into action by a lot of highbrows who had enlisted people to carry out their ideals. It was something to be thankful for that this folk art had been developed under the inspiration of the Church.

The note of bells was a note like no other. In no other way could the joy and sorrow of a community be so well expressed. “When you ring your bells you are speaking to people’s hearts and what more can the greatest poet do?”

Dean Matthews then said the opening prayers.

The President, in acknowledging the greeting, said the Master made a remark which was very dear to him when he said that he hoped that their bells would be rung more sweetly as the result of the Council meeting. He would say that for years he had been emphasising the importance of striking, and the object of good striking was to see that the bells were rung more sweetly. He presented the Master with a copy of Mr. Trollope’s book, “College Youths.” The Master, in accepting the gift, promised to have it placed in the College Library.


The President said a ringer in Wales had suggested that Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh should be invited to open the proceedings of the Central Council in London. He wrote to the Princess making the suggestion and sent her copies of “The Ringing World” containing the peals rung for her coming-of-age and also her marriage. He had since received a letter from the Private Secretary to the Princess, who was much interested in the contents and the journals. Her Royal Highness, however, regretted that she would have to decline the invitation owing to the number of engagements.


The Hon. Secretary reported as to the representation of societies. On the roll there were 146 members from 53 associations as follows

24 Associations,4 members96
4 Associations,3 members12
13 Associations,2 members26
12 Associations,1 member12


Honorary members numbered 17, making in all 163.

The number of associations had increased by one by the reaffiliation of the North Wales Association. The Truro Diocesan Guild had increased from one to four representatives, and the Barnsley and District Guild, the Derby and District Association and the Midland Counties Guild from one to two representatives. The only association that had not paid its affiliation fee was the Scottish.


Ancient Society of College Youths.- G. W. Cecil, E. G. Fenn, H. R. Newton, A. B. Peck.
Bath and Wells Diocesan.- J. T. Dyke, H. J. Sanger, Miss N. Williams.
Bedfordshire Association.- H. Harding, A. C. Sinfield.
Cambridge University.- E. M. Atkins, Rev. B. F. Sheppard.
Chester Diocesan.- J. E. Bibby, J. W. Clarke, C. W. Lawton, C. K. Lewis.
Coventry Diocesan.- Mrs. D. E. Beamish, F. W. Perrens.
Derby and District.- G. C. Briggs.
Devon Guild.- A. L. Bennett, F. C. Smale.
Dudley and District.- F. Colclough.
Durham and Newcastle.- W. H. Barber, W. N. Park.
East Grinstead and District.- A. Relfe.
Ely Diocesan.- C. W. Cook, E. H. Mastin.
Essex Association.- F. V. Gant, F. B. Lufkin, H. J. Mansfield.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan.- W. B. Kynaston, S. T. Price, F. Skidmore, W. Williams.
Guildford Diocesan.- G. L. Grover, A. Harman, A. C. Hazelden, A. H. Pulling.
Hereford Diocesan.- G. E. Oliver, G. J. Lewis, W. F. Moreton.
Hertford County.- W. Ayre, R. G. Bell, H. G. Cashmere, C. W. Woolley.
Irish Association.- F. E. Dukes, J. T. Dunwoody.
Kent County.- Dr. E. St. J. Hatcher, F. M. Mitchell, T. E. Sone, G. H. Spice.
Ladies’ Guild.- Mrs. G. W. Fletcher, Mrs. A. Richardson, Miss E. Steel.
Lancashire Association.- P. Crook, W. H. Shuker, A. Tomlinson.
Leicester Diocesan.- A. Ballard, J. P. Fidler, H. J. Poole, A. E. Rowley.
Lincoln Diocesan.- J. Bray, G. E. Feirn, J. Freeman, J. A. Freeman.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan.- J. W. Jones, E. Stitch.
London County Association.- H. W. Rogers, T. H. Taffender, T. W. Taffender.
Middlesex County Association.- J. E. L. Cockey, A. W. Coles, T. J. Lock, W. G. Wilson.
Midland Counties Guild.- J. W. Cotton, B. G. Key.
North Staffordshire Association.- R. S. Anderson.
North Wales Association.- A. J. Hughes.
Norwich Diocesan.- W. C. Duffield, F. N. Golden, Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan.- A. D. Barker, Mrs. A. D. Barker, F. D. Boreham, A. E. Lock.
Oxford University Society.- Miss B. Spice.
Peterborough Diocesan.- G. W. Jeffs, W. Rose, G. S. Valentine, E. E. Whitmore.
St. David’s Diocesan.- A. Hoare.
St. Martin’s Guild.- A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan.- Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, G. Harding, W. C. West.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths.- G. H. Cross, T. H. Francis, F. C. M. Knight, G. W. Steere.
Stafford Archdeaconry.- H. Knight, C. Wallater.
Suffolk Guild.- C. W. Pipe, C. J. Sedgley, G. E. Symonds.
Surrey Association.- F. E. Collins, D. Cooper.
Sussex County.- R. G. Blackman, F. H. Dallaway, F. I. Hairs, O. Sippetts.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan. - D. H. Bennett.
Truro Diocesan.- H. Miles, Rev. A. S. Roberts, Mrs. A. S. Roberts, F. D. Teague.
Universities Association.- Miss M. Cross.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan.- Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, W. Pullinger, F. W. Rogers, G. Williams.
Worcestershire and Districts Association.- B. C. Ashford, S. T. Holt.
Yorkshire Association.- Rev. C. O. Ellison, P. J. Johnson, L. W. G. Morris, S. F. Palmer.
Honorary members.- C. Dean, G. E. Debenham, T. Groombridge, sen., W. H. J. Hooton, A. A. Hughes, C. H. Kippin, E. H. Lewis, W. Osborne, F. Sharpe, J. F. Smallwood, E. C. S. Turner, A. Walker.


These were received from Mrs. C. C. Marshall (hon. member), F. Ainsley (Durham and Newcastle), Miss H. G. Snowden (Essex), C. F. Johnston (hon. member), W. C. Wakley (Devon Guild), J. D. Johnson (Worcester and Districts), G. R. Newton (Lancashire), Mrs. O. Rogers (London County), E. A. Young (hon. member), Rev. C. E. Wigg (Oxford University), F. Precey (Salisbury Guild).


The following new members were presented to the President:- Mr. J. T. Dunwoody (Irish), Mr. G. W. Cecil (Ancient Society of College Youths), Mrs. A. S. Roberts, Mr. H. Miles and Mr. F. D. Teague (Truro Diocesan Guild), Mr. A. J. Hughes (North Wales), Mr. F. Skidmore, Mr. S. T. Price and Mr. W. Williams (Gloucester and Bristol), Mr. Geo. Oliver (Hereford Diocesan), Mr. W. N. Park (Durham and Newcastle), Miss Betty Spice (Oxford University), Dr. Hatcher (Kent County), Messrs. F. C. M. Knight and T. H. Francis (Royal Society of Cumberland Youths), Messrs. R. G. Bell and C. W. Woolley (Hertford County). Mr. A. W. Coles (Middlesex), Mr. F. V. Gant (Essex), Mr. E. H. Mastin (Ely), Messrs. J. E. Bibby, C. W. Lawton and C. K. Lewis (Chester Diocesan), Mr. R. S. Anderson (North Staffordshire), Mrs. A. D. Barker and Mr. F. D. Boreham (Oxford Diocesan), Mr. G. E. Symonds (Suffolk), Rev. C. O. Ellison (Yorkshire). Mr. B. G. Key (Midland Counties), Mr. E. E. Whitmore (Peterborough), Mr. G. C. Briggs (Derby and District), and Mr. W. Osborne (hon. member).


Mr. A. Paddon Smith, in proposing the re-election of Mr. Edwin H. Lewis, said they would all agree that he had presided over their gatherings with tact, conspicuous ability and never-failing courtesy. “I do not think we could better him and I can say while he never stifles debates, he makes speakers keep to the point and to the agenda.”

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, in seconding, said: “I consider the Central Council are extremely favoured by fortune in having one with the qualities of Mr. Lewis to preside over the proceedings.”

The resolution was carried with applause. Mr. Lewis, in thanking the members for “this renewal of confidence,” said he would endeavour to do his best for the Council, but age was creeping on and he thought they should be looking round for a possible successor.


Subject to his election as a member later in the meeting, Mr. G. W. Fletcher was elected secretary on the proposition of Mr. A. A. Hughes, seconded by Mr. H. Miles.

The President said there was some doubt about the interpretation of the rules. An honorary member, when elected, did not take his seat until after the end of the meeting at which he was elected. That was not quite clear in regard to officers of the Council. To keep things in order - he did not want anyone to say, if they utilised Mr. Fletcher’s services that day, that the proceedings were null and void - he would like to move from the chair that Mr. Fletcher act as secretary of the Council.

Mr. A. Walker seconded and the resolution was carried.


Mr. W. H. J. Hooton was re-elected hon. librarian on the proposition of Mr. W. Ayre, seconded by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards.


The Hon. Secretary announced that 14 honorary members were due to retire.

The President said the Standing Committee discussed the question the previous evening and they recommended four names, viz., Canon Coleridge, who had ceased to be a member of the Oxford Diocesan Guild, whom they thought they should retain as long as possible; Mr. G. W. Fletcher; Mr. W. Viggers, of Aldershot, who had done valuable work for the Biographies Committee; Mr. E. A. Barnett, who was a member of the Council and was a member of the Peal Collection Committee. If all the retiring members stood it would mean that there would be 18 names for 17 places.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed and Mr. F. Hairs seconded that these four names be added to the list.

Mr. Walter Ayre, Mr. J. P. Fidler and Miss M. Cross were elected tellers.

Later in the day the result of the ballot was announced as follows:-

Elected: Mr. C. Dean 133, Mr. W. H. J. Hooton 133, Canon Coleridge 133, Mr. E. H. Lewis 132, Mr. G. W. Fletcher 132, Mr. A. Walker 132, Mr. A. A. Hughes 131, Mr. G. E. Debenham 131, Mr. F. Sharpe 130, Mr. J. F. Smallwood 127, Mr. E. A. Barnett 126, Mr. W. Viggers 125, Mr. C. F. Johnston 124, Mr. E. Alex. Young 123, Mr. T. Groombridge, sen. 116, the Earl of Shaftesbury 112, Mrs. C. C. Marshall 111.

Not elected: Mr. E. C. S. Turner 101.


The President said that at the Standing Committee attention was drawn to the fact that in the minutes which were circulated no reference to the royal telegrams to Princess Elizabeth and Queen Mary was recorded. This matter had been rectified in the minute book. He moved that the minutes as published, with this addition, be taken as read and approved.

Mr. J. P. Smallwood seconded.- Agreed.


The Hon. Secretary stated that at the meeting last year the Standing Committee were asked to appoint a small committee to deal with the Roll of Honour and Revision of Rules. Obviously there was no time in the third session to complete the work - in fact there was little time to start it. It was thought fit that the members engaged on that work should wait until the result of the elections that day.


Members stood while the list of those who had died since the last meeting was read as follows:-

J. A. Trollope, Norwich Diocesan 1897-1899, hon. member 1900-1947, attended 35 meetings; Keith Hart, Sussex County 1912-1914; E. Denison Taylor, Midland Counties 1930-1938, attended nine meetings; Rev. E. S. Powell, Devon Guild 1914-1935, Peterborough 1936-1939, attended 16 meetings; R. Matthews, Worcester and Districts 1924-1926; Rev. H. Drake, Salisbury Diocesan 1903-1908; Norwich Diocesan 1918-1921, Suffolk 1922-1947, attended 27 meetings; J. J. Jutson, Peterborough 1924-1926; G. Chester, North Lincolnshire 1897-1899, Lincoln Diocesan 1900-1939, attended 16 meetings; F. B. Tompkins, Sussex County 1906-1914, attended seven meetings; E. H. Lindup, Sussex County 1915-1918.

A tribute to the memory of Mr. J. A. Trollope was paid by Mr. A. C. Hazelden, who said he was a most lovable man and it was a great sorrow to him when the end of his career came at Norwich.


The report of Mr. Hooton stated: During the year very few library books had been lent, but various searches had been made in the volumes of ringing papers and in MSS. for information required about peal compositions and records. Mr. F. J. Hill, of the British Museum, was given an opportunity of consulting the library in connection with his supplementary bibliography of bell literature.

The following gifts to the library were gratefully acknowledged: Papers of the late Henry Dains from Mr. Dew; “Ringing Worlds” (two volumes), Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher; “Radnorshire Bells,” remaining parts title and foreword, from Mr. F. Sharpe; MS. proof of “Treble Bob Major” from Mr. G. L. Joyce; “Directory of Church Bell Ringers,” fourth edition, and “Cambridge Surprise” (W. A. Cave), also “Method Splicing,” by J. P. Fidler, 1915, all from Mr. A. C. Godfrey; “Belfries and Ringers ” (Canon Ellacombe), from Mr. C. T. Coles, per Mr. E. C. S. Turner “Analysis of bells from the pre-Reformation foundry at Bury St. Edmunds,” from the late Rev. W. C. Pearson, per hon. secretary of Cambridge University Guild.

The number of copies sold had increased since last year, but the return was less owing to the exhaustion of higher priced books. The supply of “Hints” ran out and 2,000 had been printed to sell at 4d. There was still a steady demand for Triples Methods and for the Card of Instructions. The 300 “Mysteries Unveiled” made available last June had been reduced to 101. Requests for the following out of print books continued to come in: Doubles and Minor, and Major and Cater Methods. There had been enquiries, too, for figures of Doubles Methods, and for a book containing a large selection, and it was possible that such a publication was really needed.

Sales amounted to £25 11s. 7d.

Mr. Hooton, in moving the adoption of the report, said the Doubles and Minor book was being reprinted and there would be 750 copies available to he sold at 3s. 3d. He thought that a book on Doubles Methods was also necessary.

Mr. George Cross seconded.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner said if it was not too late he would like to see the Doubles section strengthened. If anybody had any Doubles methods he would see that they were in the book.

Mr. Hooton said the Doubles Methods contained a large number which were known as illegitimate. There were nearly 200 such peals.

Mr. C. H. Kippin: If these are published and rung, is it a fact that the Council will not recognise them? (laughter).

The President said what was proposed was that certain methods, which were not in accordance with the Central Council’s decisions and recommendations and should not be encouraged, were to be published in order to keep up interest among five-bell ringers. He thought these Doubles should be in a separate book, but that could be thrashed out by the Methods Committee.

The report was adopted.


The statement of accounts showed affiliation fees £33 15s., subscriptions honorary members £1, sale of publications balance £21 5s. 6d., which, with £324 9s. ld. carried forward, made a total of £380 9s. 7d. The year concluded with a balance of £286 12s. 2d., the main items being sums voted at 1947 meeting £22 11s., Libraries and Publications £36 1s. 9d., Biographies Committee £6 15s. 5d., expenses of Exeter meeting £3 6s.

The Secretary said the accounts were prepared the previous Wednesday, and after that day four affiliation fees had been received. He asked all representatives to ask their treasurers to pay promptly. The final balance was somewhat less than they started with. It was never intended to accumulate a big balance; they would prefer to see it in publications. He proposed the adoption of the accounts.

Mr. A. D. Barker seconded.

In reply to questions, the Hon. Secretary said the accounts were closed as near to Whitsun as possible. Mr. A. C. Hazelden suggested that the accounts should close on March 25th.

The Secretary replied that any alteration of date would have to be considered by the small committee dealing with revision of rules.


The report of the trustees stated that Mr. Young and Mr. Sharman (demonstrator) examined the machine about 10 months ago. In Mr. Sharman’s opinion, a good deal of overhaul would be necessary before the machine could be satisfactorily demonstrated. Many of the working parts were rather gummed up and a number showed wear. This would mean taking almost all of it to pieces for thorough cleaning and perhaps the renewal of a few parts. This would be rather costly, and as Mr. Sharman was not in good health at present it was difficult to say when such work could be undertaken. It would be an advantage to find someone sufficiently interested and with good mechanical knowledge to spend some time going over the machine with Mr. Sharman and so become properly acquainted with the principles of its operation.

Mr. A. A. Hughes moved the adoption of the report and said that Mr. Young resigned his trusteeship at Exeter.

Mr. Smallwood seconded the adoption of the report and also moved that Mr. A. Walker be appointed a trustee. This was agreed to.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said Mr. Brian Price was much interested in ringing machines and he would probably help to put it right.

The President suggested that the trustees get in touch with him.


The following were elected:- Mr. C. Dean, proposed by Mr. W. Ayre, seconded by Mr. Smallwood.

Mr. A. A. Hughes, proposed by Mrs. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. Hooton.


The Hon. Secretary reported that the Standing Committee had considered the agenda and had made certain recommendations which would be placed before the Council. As requested at the last meeting the following committees had been appointed:-

(1) To consider and report on the rules.

(2) To examine all decisions of the Council and report thereon (with power to co-opt from outside the Standing Committee).

(3) To consider the preparation of a Roll of Honour.

The President moved the adoption of the report, which was agreed.


The report stated: The work of compiling the Collection of eight-bell compositions is now finished, but the typing is not yet complete. It is hoped that this will be finished in the near future.

In view of the fact that Snowdon’s “Stedman” has recently been brought up to date and the “Grandsire” book in the same series is shortly to be revised, your committee has decided to omit these two methods from the present Collection and devote it entirely to Major methods.

The Collection contains a selection of compositions in all the Standard and a few near-Standard Major methods, plus a number of compositions of Spliced Surprise Major.

Mr. H. G. Cashmore moved and Mr. C. W. Woolley seconded its adoption.

The Secretary said the second paragraph rather ran counter to the report adopted by the Council in 1934, which stated that the committee should collect peals in these methods.

Mr. Cashmore replied that he did not know anything about the terms of reference in 1934. The list was presented in 1939, and in the intervening years he had heard a lot of criticism about that collection. It was not a good collection, so when the Council met in 1945 at Birmingham Mr. Newton and he were reappointed and he obtained the typescript from Mrs. Fletcher and found it was really a hotchpotch. It was not properly arranged and, moreover, it was being used extensively to flog the compositions of one individual. If it was the wish of the Council to insert Stedman and Grandsire they could do so, but they thought it would be a waste of time to include them as there were two publications devoted to these compositions.

Mr. Harold Poole supported the committee.

The Rev. Felstead: Does it not depend on what is in the new Grandsire book? The old one had hardly anything on peals.

Mr. P. J. Johnson thought if the Council included Grandsire and Stedman it would increase the size and delay publication.

Mr. Hooton said the book on odd bell methods was now exhausted.

The President said the original idea in 1934 was that this should be a small handbook for young conductors to give them a selection of all the different methods. Times had changed and it was for the Council to decide whether the publication took a slightly different form.

Mr. F. Hairs proposed that the committee’s recommendation be adhered to and this was agreed.

On the proposition of Mr. H. Poole, seconded by Mr. Walker, the committee was elected as follows: Messrs. H. G. Cashmore (convener), G. R. Newton, C. W. Woolley and E. A. Barnett.


The report submitted by Mr. Turner paid a tribute to the work of Mr. Trollope on this committee, with which he was associated for nearly 50 years. Two works were urgently needed by the Exercise - the collection of Plain Major Methods and a collection of Surprise Methods. During 1947 he recommended the printing without any amendment of the Collection of Doubles and Minor Methods.

Mr. Turner, in moving the report, said it would be the last one he would be concerned with. The work had given him much pleasure and he hoped that others more qualified would be able to carry on the work.

The Rev. Felstead expressed the hope that some means would be found of retaining Mr. Turner’s services.

Mr. George Cross thought the Council ought to thank Mr. Turner for his work. The Council should have done better than it did that day.

Mr. N. Golden said he would like to second the adoption of the report. Everyone knew the brilliance of Mr. Turner in the field of composition, and it seemed a pity that his services could not be retained. They had been speaking about these books for 14 years.

Mr. Sedgley: In losing Mr. Turner we are losing one of our best young men, and I think some means should be found of retaining his services.

The report was adopted.

The committee was elected as follows: The Rev. Felstead (convener), Messrs. C. K. Lewis, E. A. Barnett, H. G. Cashmore and Nolan Golden.


The committee represent a summary of the new methods and progressive lengths rung during 1947.


Tower bells.- Jan. 17th, 5,056 Oswald Delight Major, Chester Diocesan; Jan. 24th, 5,024 Eardley Surprise Major, Kent County; March 15th, 5,120 Spliced Surprise Major in 16 methods, Lincoln Diocesan; March 17th, 5,056 Double Mancroft Bob Major, Chester Diocesan; April 12th, 5,024 Cobham Surprise Major, Guildford Diocesan; June 7th, 5,184 Maidstone Bob Major, Oxford University; Oct. 2nd, 5,056 Eastcote Surprise Major, Middlesex County; Oct. 24th, 5,024 Liverpool Surprise Major, Chester Diocesan; Nov. 15th, 5,040 Lincolnshire Surprise Royal, Yorkshire; Nov. 15th, 5,024 Barnet Surprise Major, Hertford County; Nov. 29th, 5,024 Rotherfield Surprise Major, Sussex County; Dec. 6th, 5,040 Albanian Surprise Royal, Hertford County; Dec. 8th, 5,024 Willesden Surprise Major, Middlesex County; Dec. 19th, 5,120 Hethersett Imperial Court Bob Major, Norwich Diocesan.

Handbells.- Feb. 2nd, 5,184 Winchester Bob Major, Oxford University; March 30th, 5,040 Cambridge Surprise Royal, Leicester Diocesan; June 8th, 5,152 Marlborough Bob Major, Oxford University; July 9th, 5,120 Felstead Surprise Major, Hertford County; Sept. 28th. 5,280 Cambridge Surprise Maximus, Leicester Diocesan; Nov. 18th, 5,184 Jersey Surprise Major, Hertford County.

Progressive lengths.- April 7th, 9,000 Plain Bob Royal, Essex; July 12th, 5,152 Lincolnshire Surprise Major, Chester Diocesan; Oct. 4th, 14,144 London Surprise Major, Lincoln Diocesan.

Minor and Doubles.- On handbells peals of Minor were rung in 69, 91 and 105 methods by the Lincoln Diocesan; on tower bells Doubles in 22 and 25 methods, by the Oxford Diocesan Guild.

In checking the composition of the record length of Stedman Caters, 21,363 changes, rung at Appleton on April 22nd, 1922, it has been discovered that the figures published in “The Ringing World” and repeated in Morris’ “History and Art of Change Ringing,” are incorrect. In turning course B, although the figures of the course-end are given correctly, a bob at 5 is omitted. It is proposed that for future reference the composition shall be reprinted in “The Ringing World” in its correct form.

The committee desire direction as to whether the handbell peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major, 13,664 changes, rung at Bushey, Feb. 29th, conforms to the requirements of a record peal, in view of the fact that the conditions relating to a record attempt were not complied with.

Mrs. Fletcher moved the adoption of the report.

Mr. A. H. Pulling said regarding the 13,664 Double Norwich no one who knew the gentlemen who rang the peal would question that they rang the peal. As soon as one started ringing records they must be rung in a public place where people could hear and check the ringing. Going back to 1912, he could have rung his peal in a comfortable room, but the late Mr. Goldsmith informed him that as soon as one attempted a record it must be rung where people could hear it and check it. The record length of Bob Royal was at his suggestion rung in a public place.

The Secretary read the Decisions of the Council regarding peals rung to surpass a previous peal as follows:-

(1) That not less than seven days’ notice shall be given in the columns of the Ringing Press, stating the tower, day and hour at which the attempt is to be made and the number of changes proposed to be rung.

(2) That similar notice shall be sent to the conductor, or, if he cannot be traced, to some member of the band who rang in the peal which it is proposed to surpass; and to the secretary of the guild or association under whose title the said peal was rung.

(3) That a sealed copy of the figures of the proposed peal, which figures shall be strictly adhered to, be lodged previous to the attempt with the secretary or other responsible officer of the guild or association under whose title the band is to ring.

(4) That, if possible, a competent representative of each of the bands shall be present during the whole of the performance.

Mr. Harold Poole: I can quite understand why so few records are attempted. I think it is quite time we abided by these decisions.

Mr. Woolley: May I suggest that it does not apply to handbell peals.

Mr. R. S. Anderson moved that the peal be accepted.

Mr. Hairs seconded and the Council agreed to this course.

Questions were then raised as to the absence of an umpire; and Mr. Cashmore said if they were going to insist on umpires they must have them capable. Once a peal had been rung it was an accomplished fact whether there was an umpire or not.

Mr. Johnson replied that these were regulations made by the Council, and it was their duty to administer them and abide by them. This was not the decision of the Standing Committee, but of the Council. When it was said that it was desirable it was never contemplated that people would go and deliberately flout them.

The President: We have settled the matter and the report was adopted. To this committee were appointed Mrs. Fletcher (convener) and Mrs. Marshall.

The Ringing World, May 28th, 1948, pages 219 to 221



Mr. C. DEAN reported that the number of peals rung during 1947 was as follows

On tower bells1,953
On handbells221


Details were available for inspection by members of the Council. Included in the tower bells was a peal of Minor in two methods, one of which was Grandsire Minor, and a peal of Cambridge Surprise on January 18th, 1947, was understood to have been brought round by a Single. These peals were both included in the list. He moved the adoption of the report.

Mr. W. Ayre seconded and said he understood that this committee were blamed for having the word “Plain” put in front of some peals. He did not know why it had been done; it was the first he had heard of it.

The Secretary: I think it can be answered in a few words. If anyone has a collection he will find that the method is described as Plain Bob.

Mr. C. Woolley: The name of the method is not Plain, but is Bob. I, for one, cannot see my reason for altering it.

Mr. W. Ayre: As a member of the committee I have no recollection of any order being given. It struck me as being very funny at the time, but it is very useful.

The President: The answer is given in the Council’s own book. It is Plain Bob Major, so the committee thought the same terminology should be used in “The Ringing World.”

The President added that it was a recommendation of the Standing Committee that peals in Treble Bob methods in which singles are used be not recognised.

The Rev. Felstead: It is very awkward for me to get up and defend this as the conductor is not able to be present. Will this be a new recommendation or has there been some actual recommendation in the past apart from the general knowledge that it is not usually done?

The President: We cannot find anything in the decisions about Treble Bob Major methods.

The Rev. Felstead: I would like to put in a plea for it. It has been described as a wangle, which, of course, it is in a way, but in an attempt to get a different composition for Cambridge Major is it any more of a wangle than parting the tenors? (“Yes.”) I don’t think so.

Mr. P. J. Johnson declared himself strongly opposed to admitting such a peal. He would say that the Council dropped a great brick when they decided to admit Bankes James’ composition of Cambridge Minor. The people who rang this peal were leading the Exercise up the garden path. The peals had no value except as freaks. There were plenty of peals of Cambridge in which the traditional method and calls are used.


Mr. H. G. Cashmore: Mr. Johnson has stated that the reason why singles are not used in Treble Bob methods is that they are not necessary but singles are not necessary in Plain Major methods unless a length in excess of 20,000 is required, which is not very often, but this has not stopped their use. In my opinion, the reason why composers have not introduced singles in Treble Bob methods is that their use tremendously complicates proof.

This debate has arisen over Mr. Price’s peal of Cambridge, but the real question is whether singles should be used in Treble Bob methods generally, and I propose to approach the matter from that angle. In actual fact, I forestalled Mr. Price by some 15 years.

I produced two similar compositions, each coming round with a single at the Wrong lead, one a 5,090 and the other a 5,058. At the time I was seeking to produce something which would be an advance, musically, on Middleton’s composition, but had I used a little thought before I started I should have realised that with the single in that precise position it would not be possible to improve on Middleton’s peal as all the composition with the exception of the last two rows would have to be in the orthodox 25 true courses.

Having failed in what I set out to achieve I threw the figures into the fire and I think that Mr. Price would have been well advised to have done the same with his, not because he had used a single, but because the peal was no advance on Middleton’s.

If it can be shown that singles in Treble Bob methods generally can produce some advantage, why should they not be used? We all know that there are many fine Treble Bob methods of good construction which will not produce 5,000 changes with bobs only, but they might if singles were used.

Let me turn to another device which is in common use in peals of mixed Kent and Oxford Treble Bob. This consists of substituting Kent places for Oxford places or vice versa, and the effect on the subsequent lead-end is precisely the same as if a single were used - the lead-end is out-of-course and the bells remain out-of-course until the next substitution takes place when they come back into course. Now one result of this device is that the symmetry of the lead is destroyed, which is not the case when an orthodox single is used, and for this Council to permit something which alters the nature of the lead-end and destroys the symmetry of the lead and yet frown on an orthodox single which has the same effect on the lead-end, but is perfectly symmetrical, seems to me to be illogical.

I suppose it would be true to say that every innovation which has been introduced since bells were first hung in a tower has met with stubborn opposition from the die-hards of the day. Half pull ringing, the “turning in” of the tenor, and the substitution of the treble bob hunt for the plain hunt were, I have no doubt, regarded as things which would undermine the Exercise and bring it crashing to the ground. In my opinion, there can be no objection to the use of singles in any method, provided that their use produces some advantage which could not otherwise be obtained.

Mr. C. K. Lewis pointed out that Ilkeston should not be considered as “spliced,” but as “laminated.”

The President advised members to read Jasper Snowdon’s remarks on Treble Bob. He reminded the members that the motion before the meeting was that peals in Treble Bob methods in which Singles are used be not recognised.

Mr. Harold Poole: In view of what has been said by Mr. Cashmore, would it not be better for the committee to go into it thoroughly? I am against it; I think it is only a trick. He moved that it be referred to the committee and this was agreed to.

The report was then adopted, and elected to this committee were Messrs. C. Dean (convener), Mr. G. L. Grover and Mr. W. Ayre.


The President reported that during the year the committee had dealt with 32 towers, but as none of these involved new principles he did not think it was worth while going into details. Most of the enquiries related to the regulation of sound.

Mr. F. Sharpe said he had an architect friend who was anxious for old bells to be hung dead and all sound by Ellacombe hammers. He would urge the reprinting as early as possible of the Council’s publication on the Installation and Preservation of Church Bells.

The President: We have already powers to spend money on its reprinting.

Mr. George Williams: Some years ago at this Council meeting it was advocated that something should be done by the way of getting a rope or rail up staircases.

The President: We shall recommend it in the new edition.- The report was adopted. Messrs. E. H. Lewis (convener), E. Alex. Young, F. Sharpe and W. Osborne were re-elected.


In the period under review references to bells and bellringing have been of special interest in the provincial Press. The respective claims of youth and age in the belfry frequently attract the attention of journalists. Paragraphs in “News of the World” have raised the question whether either Brafield or Westhoughton can boast of “the youngest team of bellringers in Britain”! According to a statement appearing in the April number of “Home Words,” this distinction may fall to the four ringers of Gaywood Church, Norfolk, aged 9, 11, 12, 13. A more cautious claim has been asserted in the “Church Times” for Sam Quintrell, of St. Columb, aged 92, as “Cornwall’s oldest bellringer.” Matters of interest in connection with bells continue to figure prominently in the “Church Times,” which one week published a letter from a Dorset Rector paying a glowing tribute to the good qualities of ringers and their valuable service to the church.

An article of exceptional interest appeared last year in “The Guide,” giving a description of ringing at High Wycombe, in which a number of Girl Guides take part. One statement in a London newspaper credited a band with the feat of ringing 3,900 changes on Christmas Eve in half an hour, but in the main the general Press has shown a praiseworthy degree of accuracy in its treatment of the mysteries of the belfry. We are glad to note that the Irish Press has been especially enterprising in directing attention to the subject of bells and the activities of ringers.

With regard to broadcasting, during recent weeks an abnormal proportion of Sunday services have been broadcast without any sound of bells, but at an earlier date ringing was broadcast from a number of churches. Most of the striking was distinctly good, though call changes from one Devonshire village did not quite come up to the standard traditional in that county.

Of outstanding merit were the broadcasts from Bath Abbey, Twerton and Diss. The broadcast of bells on Christmas morning from different parts of the British Isles as well as from Bethlehem was thoroughly representative and satisfactory. On the other hand, it is to be regretted that the greatest festival of the Christian year was allowed to pass without a single ring of bells finding a place on the programme. Interesting matter has been introduced into some of the programmes with illustrations both of church bells and handbells. Notable among them was a visit to Taylor’s Foundry, with a description of the making and ringing of bells, and the Loughborough Carillon was heard to full advantage.

It remains to record with deep regret the passing from our midst of one of the foremost contributors to the literature of the Exercise. By virtue of wide experience and indefatigable research the late Mr. J. Armiger Trollope had amassed an unequalled store of information on the subject of bells and the history of ringing, besides bringing a high degree of ability to bear on problems of method construction. His book on Stedman is well known, and his “History of the College Youths” will retain a lasting place of honour as a work of classical importance.

Moving the adoption of the report, the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards regretted that when bells were used in connection with broadcast services they were never mentioned in “The Radio Times,” and, secondly, when bells were put on the air it was often done under a heading which had nothing to do with bells, so ringers had a legitimate grievance.

Another point was that there was no system in regard to the broadcast of bells for religious services. Bells should always be included in the programme of the great Christian festivals. They had an example on Whit Sunday of a broadcast from Bristol Cathedral which had no bells. It would have been better if the broadcast had been from a cathedral with good bells.

Mr. Paddon Smith seconded the adoption of the report.

Mr. Hazelden: What I find most disturbing is the unnecessary talks while the bells are on.

The report was adopted, and the committee, consisting of the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards (convener), Messrs. A. Paddon Smith and A. Walker, re-elected.


Mr. W. Wilson reported having received details of 277 old peal boards recording 308 performances of 1825 or earlier in 128 towers. Of these, details of 145 boards recording 160 performances have been typed.

Mr. W. Ayre seconded the adoption of the report.

Mr. G. W. Steere said at the meeting at Exeter it was mentioned that there was an old Cumberland peal board in the ruins of All Hallows’, Barking. He wrote to the Rev. “Tubby” Clayton asking for permission to remove the board to a place of security. He replied that he could not possibly let it go, but granted permission to copy the board. Mr. Steere said he replied that their concern was over the preservation of the board. In the end he received a note stating that it was placed in some place of security where it would not be damaged by the weather.

The report was adopted, and Messrs. W. G. Wilson (convener) and Walter Ayre and the Rev. C. Elliot Wigg were re-elected.


The report stated that an effort had been made to complete the records of members of the first Council, and they were still without particulars of the following members: F. W. Thornton, G. F. Attree, G. Walker, L. Newton, W. Baron, C. E. Malin, J. Holden, C. Hounslow and G. T. McLaughlin. Information would be welcome. The committee have secured the services of an expert photographer who is reproducing photographs loaned to the Council. Photos were still required of Ald. J. S. Pritchett, G. H. Phillott, F. E. Dawe, R. T. Woodley, G. Newson, J. Rogers and E. F. Strange.

Moving the adoption of the report, Mr. Hazelden said he had one bit of bad luck. He had collected a number of photographs, including Mr. J. A. Trollope’s. On the way to the photographer’s he lost them; in spite of a reward being advertised he had been unable to obtain any information of them. If any member had a photograph of Mr. J. A. Trollope he would be pleased to have the loan of it.

The report was adopted, and Mr. A. C. Hazelden (convener) and Mr. W. Viggers were elected to the committee.


The accounts of “The Ringing World” for the 15 months ending December 31st were presented by Mr. G. W. Fletcher. Receipts were: Rolls Publishing Company, £1,220 1s. 9d.; postal subscribers, £1,152 1s. 3d.; advertisements, £247 11s. 1d.; notices, £330 9s. 6d.; sale of “College Youths,” £51 9s. After meeting expenses there was a net profit of £186 8s. 1d. With the balance brought forward from Sept. 30th, 1946, of £950 12s. 6d. this resulted in £1,137 0s. 7d. being carried forward.

Mr. Fletcher said that in spite of three increases in cost of production and paper they had managed to pay their way. From the final figure of £1,137 there were likely to be some reductions, as they had not settled their tax position. The audit of the accounts was very nearly completed and responsibility for the delay must rest with him. With regard to the audit, the Standing Committee recommended that a fee be paid to Mr. Turner of £5 5s. for each year, making a total of £21.

Mr. A. Walker seconded and the accounts were adopted, subject to audit.

Mr. Turner asked for his fees to be paid to the C. T. Coles Memorial Fund of the Middlesex County Association, as he had no wish to benefit financially from his services.

The President made a full statement regarding the acquisition of “The Ringing World” and the dealing of the late Mr. Trollope. He said that the statement was presented to the Standing Committee the previous day, who resolved that a vote of confidence be passed to “The Ringing World” Committee for the way in which it had acted in all matters connected with the journal.

Mr. Paddon Smith proposed and Mr. F. Hairs seconded the adoption of the report. “The Ringing World” Committee was elected as follows: Mr. E. H. Lewis, Mr. A. A. Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher. This motion was proposed by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards and seconded by Mr. A. Walker, the latter remarking; “We all feel that the committee have done a very good job of work. The increased circulation of ‘The Ringing World’ is due to their efforts.”

Mr. F. W. Perrens said he would like to make one suggestion for the committee to look into to see whether they could not do something towards getting the peals up to date. He wrote some months ago suggesting three columns of peals to the page. He thought the peals could be contracted. Instead of 2 hours 46 minutes 2.46 could be given. If the names were displayed as at present the number of the bells could he deleted.

Mr. Harold Poole: Are we losing time?

The President: We get behind on special occasions. We did not get any relief from peal ringing during Lent.

Mr. Poole: Could we help the Editor by asking that we hold up for a month?

Mr. F. Hairs suggested that the margins of white on the pages could be reduced.

Mr. Nolan Golden advocated doing away with the title block.

The President promised that all the suggestions would be considered.


A ballot took place for the election of members of the Standing Committee and resulted as follows:-

Elected: Messrs. A. Walker 124, F. Perrens 122, the Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow 122, Messrs. H. Poole 120, J. F. Smallwood 117, J. T. Dyke 116, G. E. Debenham 115, A. Paddon Smith 114, P. J. Johnson 113, F. I. Hairs 113, A. H. Pulling 101, J. W. Clarke 89. Not elected: Mr. C. F. Johnston 78.

Mr. F. E. Dukes proposed and Mr. J. T. Dunwoody seconded that in Rule 13 the words “ringing papers” be deleted and “The Ringing World” be inserted instead, as “The Ringing World” is the official organ of the Central Council.- Agreed.


The following resolution was also in the name of Mr. Dukes: “That the book on handbell ringing suggested at the 1939 Council meeting be completed and printed at the earliest opportunity.” He said he had had many requests from their ringers in Ireland for instruction in handbell ringing.

Mr. J. T. Dunwoody seconded.

Mr. Hooton said he understood that the book had been revised considerably during the past two years.

Mr. C. Woolley: That is quite right. I have been rewriting the book and preparing it for the press.

Mr. Hairs: There are several ways of ringing handbells. There is the old-fashioned way and there is “the new look.” Are both included?

Mr. Woolley: The book will consist of a record of the old-fashioned way and another on the new way. There will be a lot about ringing by position, which I take it is what the speaker meant as the old-fashioned way.

The resolution was carried unanimously.


Mr. George E. Symonds proposed that the late Mr. John Carter’s broadsheets of peals of Stedman Caters and Cinques be reprinted and included in the list of publications on sale by the Central Council. He thought it would be a fitting memorial to such an illustrious ringer.- This was agreed to.

Arising therefrom, Mr. Harold Poole felt that something should be done in regard to Mr. Lindoff’s London. All the manuscripts of Mr. Lindoff were in Dublin and he thought they should be available to the Council.

The Chairman moved that the Peals Collection Committee be asked to examine Mr. Lindoff’s work in a similar form. Mr. Poole seconded and this was agreed to.


The Hon. Secretary reported that an invitation had been received to visit Cheltenham.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said he believed be was right in saying that there was a definite rota of places - once in London every three years and then meetings alternately north and south of Birmingham. He asked the Council, provided the Yorkshire Association could make the arrangements, to hold the next meeting at York.- The Rev. C. O. Ellison supported the invitation.

Mr. J. W. Jones proposed and Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded that the next Council meeting be held at York, subject to satisfactory arrangements.

Mr. F. W. Perrens asked the Standing Committee to reconsider holding meetings in London once every three years, as accommodation was now most difficult.


The Council agreed to a sum of three guineas being voted to the Report Richardson Memorial Fund, and a similar amount to the J. W. Parker Memorial Fund.


Mr. Perrens said that at various times there had been conversations as to the best day to hold a meeting. He enquired whether Monday would not be a better day than Tuesday.

The Rev. Edwards: It would be impracticable for any of the clergy to attend.


The President proposed a vote of thanks to the Master and Warden of the Skinners’ Company for giving the Council such wonderful accommodation. This was due to the advocacy of Mr. Hughes, who, besides being one of their honorary members, was a member of the Skinners’ Company. He also thanked the Dean of St. Paul’s and the incumbents of the various towers and the towerkeepers for having the bells in readiness. He also expressed his personal thanks to Mr. Fletcher for his help.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed a vote of thanks to the president and Mr. Hughes for kindly arranging and providing tea during the meeting.

Mr. Lewis was thanked for presiding on the proposition of Mr. A. A. Hughes.

The Ringing World, June 4th, 1948, pages 231 to 232

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional