Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee’s Review

THE following report of the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee was presented to the Central Council meeting at Lincoln last Tuesday:-

During the past twelve months two events have especially drawn the attention of the Press to the subject of church bells. One was the installation of the heaviest ring of bells in the kingdom at Liverpool Cathedral. The other was the lamented death of our beloved King. It was natural that in the reports of the national mourning and of His Majesty’s burial frequent references were made to muffled bells paying solemn tribute to his memory. The continental Press likewise made mention of the “mournful carillon” heard from the belfry of Westminster Abbey.

THE REV. F. LLEWELLYN EDWARDS, convener of the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee, who celebrates the 50th anniversary of his ordination next Sunday. For 37 years he was hon. general secretary of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild.
Frank Llewellyn Edwards

Many articles or paragraphs dealing with bells and the art of ringing have appeared in newspapers and magazines. Those published in the Midlands have included reports of lectures given by members of St. Martin’s Guild and an interview with Mr. Ernest Morris, photographed above the tenor bell of St. Margaret’s, Leicester, as well as instructive contributions from his fertile pen. Featured in a Southern journal is Mr. L. W. Andrews, 92 years of age and believed to be the oldest bell-ringer in Hampshire. Under the heading, “These Happy Bell-ringers,” the “Aberdare Leader” gives a detailed description of Christmas ringing at Aberdare, with a picture of the band in the belfry. Readers of the “Daily Mirror” were enabled last July to see the familiar personality of Ruggles conversing with Mr. R. White, of Appleton, who was represented as explaining, among other things, how a single is made in Stedman Caters The new 20 ton bell of Vienna has naturally figured in the daily Press.

The trade pamphlet, “Kodak Bulletin,” published a most illuminating article on “Ring the Changes” by Mr. R. G. Bell, of Watford, with an illustration of the author teaching his son to ring. Under the title, “New Year harmony across the Sea,” the “Children’s Newspaper” of 5th January gave an illustrated account of young handbell ringers in Boston, U.S.A. The admirably produced “Shropshire Magazine” continues to interest its readers in the bells of the county. Useful articles on the care and use of bells have appeared in diocesan publications. Mr. W. A. Osborn has contributed to the “Bath and Wells Gazette” advice on the “Care of Ancient Bells.” The Irish Press has continued to give prominence to news of bells and ringing.


The Exercise itself is showing marked enterprise in literary activity. In Kent, “The Belfry” maintains its high standard, and besides furnishing news and practical instruction for ringers it publishes illustrated notes on churches and bells of the Maidstone District. Recent numbers have included verses written by the Rector of Snodland and dedicated to his ringers, and contributions from the president of the Central Council and Mr. A. York-Bramble. “Ringing Towers,” of New South Wales, is now in its sixth year of publication and replete with interesting information. Its account of the competition and dinner at Sydney gives a delightful impression of cordial relations between the Anglican and Roman communities in the sphere of ringing. The death is recorded of Mr. R. H. McDonald, a former captain of the Sydney Cathedral ringers, at the age of 95. Useful hints are given on handbell ringing, and the Universities Association is reported to have rung the first peal in Australia of Bob Major “in hand.” A new publication in this class is the “Irish Bell News,” ably edited by Mr. F. E. Dukes, which records the rededication of Drogheda bells by the Archbishop of Armagh, and gives a most interesting account of a lady ringer’s visit to America, where she was asked at a moment’s notice to address the congregation on a Sunday morning and rose to the occasion with a talk on Irish church bells.


With regard to broadcasting, the bells of many churches have been broadcast before Sunday services, with varying standards of ringing. The admirable series of broadcasts from towers in the West was continued last summer and included a visit to Poole, where the principal speaker was Mr. A. Macdonald. The first broadcast from Liverpool Cathedral, on the occasion of a visit from our present Queen, was of historic interest, but for obvious reasons did not do justice to the bells.

The full grandeur of their tone was heard on Christmas morning, when all the ringing broadcast, from Stedman Cinques at Birmingham to set changes at North Tawton, was of a commendably high quality. We are glad to be able to give a similar report, with one unfortunate exception, of the broadcast on Easter Day. Letters received from different parts of the country furnished evidence that the slower pace adopted at Birmingham for this purpose enabled listeners to hear all the twelve bells quite distinctly. Ringing at a number of Irish churches has been recorded and broadcasts of bells have figured prominently in the “Ulster Mirror” programme. Mr. J. T. Dunwoody has broadcast a talk on bell-ringing with handbell illustrations. In the Children’s Hour of the B.B.C. school bands of handbell ringers have been introduced from time to time. The young band at Liverpool Cathedral have also broadcast a handbell performance.

Bell-ringing has again had a part in television. Notably successful transmissions of sight and sound came from Leeds Parish Church and Wickersley School, to the advantage of the Exercise.


The Biographies Committee

The report of this committee, signed by Messrs. A. C. Hazelden, W. H. Viggers and E. A. Barnett, stated:-

The work of this committee has gone steadily forward; in fact, there is no “close season.” To obtain even occasional details of Council members long since departed often requires searching many years of ringing papers, while current “Ringing Worlds” have to be studied carefully for information regarding present members who have not co-operated by giving us the particulars asked for.

In accordance with the Council’s decision at Chester, we have proceeded with the album for the safe keeping of records, and the completed cover containing a selection of biographies written up as specimens is on view. Our present hope is that a member of the Council who has the necessary time and skill will come forward and offer to continue with the writing up of the sheets. The task would not be onerous - perhaps 12 to 18 sheets annually once the accumulated arrears have been cleared. In 1950 eight and in 1951 nine deaths occurred of former members of the Council.

Once again we have to express our thanks to those ringers who have helped us. Although they are too numerous to mention individually, we must refer to a generous offer by Mr. L. Stilwell to undertake research work. He has, in fact, completed for us the records of the late Messrs. W. T. Cockerill and C. F. Winney, and this alone involved a critical examination of ringing periodicals over a period of some sixty years. We offer our thanks for an exceptional effort.

Analysis of our index of past and present members of the Council reveals that 518 were elected between 1891 and 1950. Of these, 155 are deceased, and their biographies record completed to the Council’s requirements; a further 113 are known to be deceased, but their records often lack only one item, such as birthday, first peal date or, in 23 cases, a photograph. Many dates of birth, etc., could be ascertained by research at Somerset House, if the Council is prepared to sanction the expenditure of 3s. 6d. in each instance. Of a further 104 men who, at various times, have been members we know nothing; they appear in our books as names only. Some of them will be reading this report, and we appeal to them again to give us the few particulars we need.

The names of the 23 deceased members for whose records we require a photograph ONLY are given below, in the hope that members will help us to complete them:-

G. P. Burton, died Sept. 21st, 1948; W. Bibby, June 3rd, 1941; Rev. H. Courtney, January, 1929; J. Dillon, Feb. 9th, 1936; H. A. Heywood, July 20th, 1943; J. P. Hyett, June 23rd, 1944; W. H. Hollier, Dec. 29th, 1937; B. Keeble, April 14th, 1932; F. Knights, Nov. 27th, 1928; W. J. Nevard, Aug. 29th, 1942; D. J. Nichols, May 24th, 1929; F. G. Newman, Sept. 25th, 1933; G. T. Potter, March 2nd, 1934; E. E. Richards, Nov. 18th, 1935; E. F. Strange, April 14th, 1929; W. E. Wilson, Feb. 11th, 1943; S. Wood, April 16th, 1932; W. Walmsley, Feb. 14th, 1933; R. T. Woodley, Nov. 15th, 1943; J. Basden, Dec. 14th, 1911; S. J. Hector, Feb. 15th, 1952; T. H. Beams, Aug. 25th, 1930; W. Baron, July 19th, 1904.

The Ringing World, June 6, 1952, pages 361



AFTER an absence of 30 years, the Central of Council of Church Bell Ringers held their annual meeting at Lincoln on Whit Tuesday. It was one of the happiest of Council meetings. The Lincoln Diocesan Guild as hosts were unsparing in their efforts to make the assembly a big success, and they received full co-operation from the Bishop and Dean and also the civic authorities, the Council being the guests at tea on Tuesday of the Mayor and Corporation. Proceedings on the Tuesday started with a celebration of the Holy Communion in the Cathedral at 8 a.m., and the Council meeting was held in the historic Chapter House.

Of the business before the Council, the most important was appointment of a new secretary in place of Mr. G. W. Fletcher, who has held the office with distinction for 21 years. Mr. E. A. Barnett, of Crayford, was elected his successor. The President (Mr. E. H. Lewis) voiced the appreciation of the Council of Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher’s long and faithful service.

The Methods Committee had a disappointing day. Their report on Method Extension was referred back. Mr. H. Miles was able to report the completion of the Ringers’ Roll of Honour, and appreciation was expressed of the honorary work of Mr. F. Cullum in writing the roll.

Concern was expressed by Mr. G. W. Fletcher at the finances of the Council. The inadequacy of affiliation fees to meet the ordinary expenses of the Council was commented on, and this is to form the subject matter of a notice of motion to be presented at the next conference at Bournemouth.


After prayers by the Dean, the Lord Bishop of Lincoln, in welcoming the Council, said he believed he was right in saying that it was in 1922 when the Council were last at Lincoln. He accepted that they were all born then, but a considerable amount of water had flowed since.

He hoped they were enjoying their stay there. Among the delegates he noticed his old friend Dan Cooper and representatives from the old Parish Church of Croydon - one of the famous towers of the country. He met some of them a few years back at a service at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, and he remembered the good dinner afterwards.

He expected by now they had rung in every tower in Lincolnshire. A bell ringer’s idea of fun was to cover as vast amount of territory as he could and to ring in as many towers as possible for about 10 minutes.

“You are doing a wonderful job of work and in it you are carrying on one of the ancient crafts and at the same time proclaiming to the world the Christian call to worship.”

He hoped they would obtain a thrill in holding their meeting at the Chapter House, one of the most historic buildings in the country. In that very hall the Parliaments of England used to be held in the days of Edward I. If they turned back the carpet they would find a wooden plug and from that hole the Royal Standard of England was flown. The King occupied his seat and the ornamental lions that formed the arms of the chair had been thumped by Plantagenet monarchs.

The Council rose as the Lord Bishop, accompanied by the Dean, left the Chapter House.

Mr. E. H. Lewis (president) took the chair, supported by the hon. secretary and treasurer (Mr. G. W. Fletcher) and the hon. librarian (Mr. W. H. J. Hooton).

The impressive majesty of Lincoln Cathedral. A consciousness of its grandeur and, great spiritual witness brought the thoughts of those attending the Central Council above mundane things. The Dean personally conducted the visitors around the Cathedral on Whit Monday.
Lincoln Cathedral


Ancient Society of College Youths.- Mr. J. F. Smallwood.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association.- Mr. S. G. Coles, Mr. J. T. Dyke, Miss N. G. Williams.
Bedfordshire Association.- Mr. H. Harding, Mr. A. C. Sinfield.
Cambridge University Guild.- Mr. E. M. Atkins, Mr. S. F. Darmon.
Chester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. W. Clarke, Rev. J. Kingdon, Mr. D. Smith, Mr. J. Worth.
Coventry Diocesan Guild.- Mrs. D. E. Beamish, Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Derbyshire Association.- Mr. D. Carlisle, Mr. A. Mould.
Devon Guild.- Mr. A. L. Bennett, Mr. E. W. Biffin, Mr. J. E. Lilley.
Dudley and District Guild.- Mr. F. Colclough.
Durham and Newcastle Association.- Mr. F. Ainsley, Mr. W. N. Park.
East Grinstead and District Guild.- Mr. C. A. Bassett.
Ely Diocesan Guild.- Mr. F. W. Lack, Mr. E. H. Mastin.
Essex Association.- Mr. H. J. Mansfield, Miss H. G. Snowden.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association.- Miss D. M. Drew, Mr. W. B. Kynaston, Mr. F. Skidmore.
Guildford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. L. Grover, Mr. A. C. Hazelden, Mr. A. H. Pulling.
Hereford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. J. Lewis, Mr. W. F. Moreton.
Hertford County Association.- Mr. W. Ayre, Mr. R. G. Bell.
Irish Association.- Mr. F. E. Dukes, Mr. J. T. Dunwoody.
Kent County Association.- Mr. T. E. Sone, Mr. J. Willis.
Ladies’ Guild.- Mrs. G. W. Fletcher, Mrs. A. Richardson, Mrs. P. J. Staniforth.
Lancashire Association.- Mr. P. Dunkerley, Mr. J. Ridyard, Mr. C. Sharples, Mr. L. J. Williams.
Leicester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. Ballard, Mr. H. J. Poole, Mr. A. E. Rowley, Mr. E. C. Turner.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. Bray, Mr. G. E. Feirn, Mr. J. Freeman, Mr. J. A. Freeman.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association.- Mr. T. M. Roderick.
London County Association.- Mr. H. W. Rogers, Mrs. H. W. Rogers, Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Middlesex County Association.- Mr. T. J. Lock, Mr. C. W. Roberts, Mr. E. C. S. Turner.
Midland Counties Guild.- Mr. J. W. Cotton, Mr. B. G. Key.
National Police Guild.- Mr. T. R. Butler.
North Staffordshire Association.- Mr. R. S. Anderson.
Norwich Diocesan Association.- Mr. W. C. Duffield, Mr. F. N. Golden, Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. D. Barker, Mrs. A. D. Barker, Mr. F. D. Boreham, Mr. A. E. Lock.
Oxford University Society.- Mr. R. B. Meadows.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. W. Jeffs, Mr. B. P. Morris, Mr. R. C. Noon, Mr. W. Rose.
St. David’s Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. Hoare.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham.- Mr. F. E. Haynes.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild.- Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. C. Harding, Mr. W. C. West.
Sheffield and District Association.- Mr. N. Chaddock.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths.- Mr. P. N. Bond, Mr. G. H. Cross, Mr. T. H. Francis, Mr. F. E. Hawthorne.
Southwell Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. W. Raithby.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society.- Mr. H. Knight, Mr. C. Wallater.
Suffolk Guild.- Mr. C. W. Pipe, Mr. C. J. Sedgley, Mr. G. E. Symonds.
Surrey Association.- Mr. A. P. Cannon, Mr. F. E. Collins, Mr. D. D. Cooper.
Sussex County Association.- Mr. F. Bennett, Mr. R. G. Blackman, Mr. L. Stilwell.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild.- Mr. H. Miles.
Universities Association.- Miss M. R. Cross.
Winchester and Portsmouth Guild.- Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, Mr. C. H. Kippin, Mr. G. Pullinger, Mr. F. W. Rogers.
Worcestershire and Districts Association.- Mr. B. C. Ashford, Mr. W. B. Cartwright.
Yorkshire Association.- Mr. W. E. Critchley, Mr. P. J. Johnson, Mr. L. W. G. Morris, Mr. S. F. Palmer.
Life members.- Messrs. E. H. Lewis, G. W. Fletcher, W. H. J. Hooton, E. A. Young.
Honorary members.- Messrs. E. A. Barnett, J. P. Fidler, F. I. Hairs, Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher, Messrs. A. A. Hughes, C. K. Lewis, Mrs. C. C. Marshall, Messrs. G. R. Newton, F. Sharpe, E. C. Shepherd, P. L. Taylor, W. H. Viggers.


Wholly represented2871
Partially represented2143
Not represented5

Life Members5
Hon. Members12


The Secretary reported that the membership of the Council now numbered 54, compared with 53 last year. The Sheffield and District Society was elected a non-territorial society at the last meeting.


These were received from the Rev. and Mrs. A. S. Roberts, the Rev. W. H. R. Trewhella, Ald. A. Paddon Smith, Messrs. B. D. Price, J. W. Jones, G. H. Spice, F. B. Lufkin, G. E. Debenham, F. Precey, G. L. Hewitt, H. J. Sanger. A. Walker, G. W. Cecil, A. J. Hughes, P. A. Corby, T. H. Taffender, F. W. Goodfellow. T. G. Myers, J. J. Webb, F. H. Dallaway, E. G. Fenn, W. Osborn, C. W. Woolley. K. Beardsall, P. Baker, A. B. Peck and D. Hughes.


Upon the proposition of the chairman, the Council decided to send the following telegram to the Queen: “The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers at annual meeting at the Chapter House at Lincoln assembled desire to convey to your Majesty their expression of their loyal devotion and pray that your Majesty may be preserved for many years to preside over this Realm and Empire. (Signed) E. H. Lewis, president.”

The following telegram in gracious acknowledgment was received: Bell Ringers, Chapter House, Lincoln: The Queen sincerely thanks the members of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers assembled at their annual meeting for their kind and loyal message which Her Majesty much appreciates.- Private Secretary.

The Secretary reported that upon the death of the late King, on behalf of the Council he sent a telegram expressing the members’ sympathy to the Queen.


The following new members were introduced:

Messrs. J. E. Lilley (Devonshire Guild), J. P. Fidler (hon. member), E. Shepherd (hon. member), J. Raithby (Southwell), P. L. Taylor (hon. member), W. G. Wilson (London Counties), Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher (hon. member).


The Secretary announced that there were two nominations for the post of hon. secretary and treasurer to the Council, viz., the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, proposed by Mr. E. H. Lewis and seconded by Mr. W. H. J. Hooton on behalf of the Selection Committee and supported by 24 members of the Standing Committee; Mr. E. A. Barnett, proposed by Mr. F. J. Smallwood and seconded by Mr. F. E. Haynes.

Messrs. Charles W. Roberts and Mr. F. Ainsley were appointed tellers. The ballot resulted:-

Mr. E. A. Barnett76 votes
Rev. K. W. H. Felstead52 votes

Mr. E. A. Barnett, in thanking the Council for his election, said he was well aware that the job of secretary was no sinecure and to follow the present secretary would be doubly difficult. Nevertheless, he assured the Council that he would do his utmost in their interest, and with their goodwill and the help of his wife and other members of his family he was sure he could carry the job off. It was with regret that he must sever his connection with the Methods Committee, with whom he had had the pleasure of working for the last four or five years. The success of the committee was in no small way due to the excellent way Mr. Felstead ran the committee.


Mr. W. Rowe was re-elected an honorary member on the proposition of Mr. F. W. Perrens, seconded by Mr. F. Hairs.

The Council decided on the recommendation of the Standing Committee that the four vacancies for honorary members should be kept open.


The President proposed the election of Mrs. E. K. Fletcher as a life member. Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded and the resolution was carried amid applause.

Mr. Wilfred G. Wilson, in proposing Miss M. E. Snowdon as life member, mentioned her great work in carrying on the publications started by her brother.

Mr. E. A. Barnett seconded and the resolution was carried.


The Council stood as the following members who had died were remembered: Mr. J. Swindley, Chester Guild, 1939-1947; Mr. T. W. Taffender, London County, 1939-1951; Mr. T. Laver, Guild of Devonshire Ringers, 1933-1939; Mr. T. Groombridge, Kent County, 1909-1938, hon. member 1939-51; Mr. S. J. Hector, Salisbury Guild, 1934-36; Dr. J. C. E. Simpson.

The President also reported the death of Miss Nora Johnston, sister of Mr. Cyril Johnston.


Mr. F. W. Perrens moved and Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded that the minutes of the last meeting as circulated be approved.- Agreed.

Arising from the minutes, the Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow said it seemed to him that the Festival of Britain Sub-Committee had not really shown sufficient imagination, drive and diplomacy in the way they had dealt with the Festival project. He wished to refer to three items. There was no ringing at the Festival Church; no printed blurb to bring the idea of ringing before the man in the street, and no film or film strip had been proceeded with. He had two reasons for bringing these matters forward. One was that one of the advantages of living in a democracy was that they had the fun of being critical without being constructive, and the other was that he had the privilege of speaking in a Chapter House because theirs at Norwich fell down in 1708.

The Secretary said the Festival of Britain Committee was a sub-committee of the Standing Committee and an opportunity would be given later. He would like to remind Mr. Thurlow when a proposal was made involving work the job was generally given to the proposer (laughter).


New publications appearing on the list include the Card of Instructions, Model Rules, a second edition of the Handbell book and “Village Bells.” The two latter books are much in demand, and it would be advisable to reprint “Village Bells” in the course of the next twelve months. The stock of Stedman and Grandsire sheets will soon be exhausted and might be reprinted. The opinion of the Council on renewal of the stock of Double Norwich and Cambridge Court sheets, and on the addition of a sheet of some other popular method, would be valuable. The Collection of Major Methods is in the press.

The accounts show a complete year under the increased postal rates and expenses are heavy. Thanks are due to those who have been thoughtful enough to include a contribution towards postage, especially when ordering single copies of publications.

Several books have been lent during the year, including the whole issue of “Bell News” and “Ringing World” to 1939. Mr. Dove very kindly made himself responsible for the conveyance of these books by road.

The thanks of the Council are due for the following presentations: “Rings of Bells in Plymouth,” F. Stuart Worth, by the author; “Memorandum of Technology of Method Structure,” MS. typed, A. York-Bramble, by the author; “Church Bells of Oxfordshire,” Vol. III., F. Sharpe, by the author.

A copy of “Among the Bells” and one of Walters “Church Bells of England” have been sent on permanent loan to the Irish Association of Change Ringers.

Mr. Hooton said the following books had been received since the report had been prepared: Two parts of “Church Bells of Worcestershire,” by A. A. Hughes; “Beginner’s Grandsire,” by Mr. F. Warrington; “Cheshire Bells” (two parts), J. W. Clarke. During the year two parts of “Church Bells of Oxfordshire” had been published and one part of “The Bells of Buckinghamshire.”

The accounts showed that 1,522 copies of various publications were sold during the year, the total receipts being £81 17s. 7d.

Moving the adoption of the report, Mr. Hooton said he wanted to make one plea. There were scattered about the country books which were the property of the Central Council. Some years ago when the librarianship changed he found there was no record of copies sent out on sale or return. He had put two letters in “The Ringing World” on the subject. No books had been sent out on sale or return for 20 years. He asked secretaries to return the copies.

Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded the adoption of the report.

Mr. F. W. Rogers said he had several books mentioned by Mr. Hooton in his possession and during the year he had been trying to get the copies outstanding from different towers.

Mr. Hooton announced that the new collection of Plain Major Methods was published that week and was now on sale at 3s.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said some years ago the librarian used to send out books in bulk to the associations. He thought it would be a good thing if they could sell books in this way.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner supported Mr. Johnson. Commending the new book of Plain Major Methods, he said many of the methods were far more difficult to ring than Surprise methods.

The report was adopted.


The Council’s balance sheet on the liabilities side showed creditors £316 18s. 2d., payments in advance £817 3s. 2d., general funds balance £1,880 8s. 3d. On the assets side were: Goodwill and blocks, “Ringing World,” £200, library £10, stock of publications £223 2s. 4d., stock of stationery 12s., copyright and blocks, “Village Bells,” £5, debtors £632 1s. 7d., cash in bank and in hand £1,943 13s. 8d.

Income and expenditure account. General funds: To insurance, library, 8s. 9d., expenses Biography Committee less Shepherd bequest £9 6s. 5d., expenses of other committees £2, stationery and printing £15 9s., telephone £7 3s. 4d., postage £3 8s. 8d., wreaths £7 4s., expenses Chester meeting £4 4s. 6d., binding “Ringing World” £1 0s. 6d., “Village Bells” copyright and blocks written off £5. Losses: “Ringing World,” £15 19s. 8d., publications £12 1s. 5d.

Income was: Affiliation fees £37, subscription life member 5s. Excess of expenditure over income was £46 1s. 3d. The balance carried forward to 1952 was £1,880 8s. 3d.


The accounts for “The Ringing World” showed a loss of £15 19s. 8d. On the expenditure side: Printing and blocks £2,902 13s., editorial office rent £6 10s., editor’s fees and expenses £258, clerical assistance £118 12s. 4d., postage £10 16s. 11d., stationery and sundry £1 5s. 7d., despatch of copies £112 1s., postage and wrappers £408 14s. 9d. Accounts department: Clerical assistance £52, postage and telephone £26 12s. 8d., stationery and sundry £27 1s. 6d.

On the income side: Rolls Publishing Co. £1,753 0s. 5d., postal subscribers and donations £1,508 6s. 1d. advertisements £249 5s., notices and peal fees, etc. £372 1s. 11d., sale of College Youths book less royalties £3 14s. 8d., general fund advertisements £22.

The publications account showed sales £81 17s. 7d., stock December 31st, 1951, £223 2s. 4d., excess of expenditure over income £12 1s. 5d.

Mr. G. W. Fletcher, in presenting the accounts, said they were somewhat a dismal story. Regarding the publications account they were selling their books too cheaply, and as they printed new books they must considerably increase the price. For 25 years they had been selling a book which cost 2s. 4½d. for 2s. 6d., and an envelope to-day cost 1d. In regard to “The Ringing World,” they had 1,500 postal subscribers and some of the subscriptions were accompanied with donations. He would like them seriously to consider whether the time had not been reached when they should increase the selling cost of “The Ringing World.” Uncertain income by the way of donations would not get them anywhere.

On the general fund of the Council, Mr. Fletcher questioned the adequacy of the affiliation fee of 5s. per association. The time had come when it should be increased to a reasonable figure. It was not right that members of “The Ringing World” Committee should travel to Birmingham and London for meetings at their own expense. He had been asked by the Standing Committee to give notice of an increase in the affiliation fees. He moved the adoption of the accounts, “The Ringing World” accounts being subject to audit.

Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded and the accounts were adopted.


The report of the trustees (Mr. A. A. Hughes and Mr. A. Walker) stated that repairs had now been completed. The machine had been demonstrated on tower bells and on its own set of handbells and was in excellent running order. It could now be returned to the Science and Art Museum.

Mr. Hughes moved the adoption of the report.

The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow asked where the machine would go.

Mr. Hughes: As the judge said, “it will go to the place whence it came” (laughter).

Mr. F. W. Rogers: May we ask what arrangements are made for ringers and others to view the machine when it goes to the place whence it came?

Mr. Hughes: No arrangements have yet been made.

The report was adopted.


The Hon. Secretary: The formal report of the Standing Committee is that they have considered the agenda and have made recommendations that will be placed before the Council.

He moved the adoption.- Agreed.


The Hon. Secretary said the preparation of a handbook was left at Chester to a small committee with Dr. Hatcher to complete. They hoped the handbook would be available this time next year.

Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher said the aim was that the handbook would provide a source of information on all matters appertaining to the Council. He understood that all conveners of committees were putting their expert advice at his disposal and as a result several sections were already completed.

It was decided to leave the handbook in the hands of Dr. Hatcher and Mr. Fletcher to act as a small committee.


The report of Mr. H. Miles stated:-

At the Central Council meeting at Chester in 1951 two estimates for writing and binding the Roll were submitted. As both estimates were high, Mr. J. W. Clarke was appointed to act with me in an endeavour to get much lower estimates from other sources.

After some time had elapsed, Mr. Clarke submitted a scheme under which the Roll would be written and bound by students at Chester College at a much lower figure than those of the original estimates.

In the meantime, however, I had interviewed personally a London ringer who is in the trade and who generously offered to write the names without payment, so that the total cost would be that of the materials and binding only.

These two proposals were submitted to the Standing Committee for their opinion, with the result that the work was entrusted to the London ringer, and it is now progressing so satisfactorily that there is every prospect of the completion of the Roll by the time the Council meets at Whitsuntide. If this turns out to be the case, it is hoped to have the Roll on view at Lincoln.

Perhaps I may be allowed to add that in my opinion the London ringer deserves the Council’s warmest thanks for his unselfish work on the Roll of Honour.

Mr. H. Miles said the writing of the Roll had been done voluntarily by a ringer, Mr. F. Cullum, which was a very generous piece of work. On behalf of the Council he extended to Mr. Cullum their warmest thanks for an excellent job. The second Roll had been made in the same way as the first, but the style of writing was different.

The suggestion was that the Roll, instead of being deposited in the library of St. Paul’s where applications had to be made to inspect it, should be placed in a glass case in the long gallery. The Roll would be open, and the proposal was that the College Youths who rang there Sunday by Sunday should be asked to turn over the pages. The case would cost money. If there was any member present who would make a voluntary gift of that case it would be very welcome.

Mr. R. S. Anderson seconded and said it added a great deal to the sentimental value of the Roll that a ringer had undertaken the job and had done so voluntarily.

Mr. E. Alex Young said it was an excellent piece of writing and the Roll was something they would always be proud of in years to come.

Mr. J. W. Clarke also congratulated Mr. Cullum on his lettering.

The Hon. Secretary proposed that the very grateful thanks of the Council be extended to Mr. Cullum and Mr. Miles for their excellent work. The actual cost of the Roll was £26 and they had received an. anonymous donation of £6. He proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Cullum and Mr. Miles.

Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded.

The report was adopted.


The report of the sub-committee, signed by Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher and Mr. G. H. Spice, stated: Since the adoption of its main report at the 1951 Council meeting at Chester, the Festival Sub-Committee has been active in only two respects:-

(1) Following the apparent misunderstandings in connection with ringing at the Festival Church of St. John, Waterloo Road, more negotiations took place which led to the arrangements published in “The Ringing World” of July 20th, 1951.

(2) Further enquiries were made into the possibilities of making a film about ringing, but unfortunately no means of direct sponsorship was found.

In asking that the Festival Sub-Committee should now, like the South Bank itself, be broken up, its members wish to place on record their appreciation and thanks for the encouragement received from ringers all over the country, who by their response helped to make the Festival of Britain the success it undoubtedly was.

Dr. Hatcher, in presenting the report, said in regard to films their proposal was to explore all possibilities of making a film, which was very different from a film strip. There was no comparison in cost between the two.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said no reference was made in the report to handbell ringing.

Mr. Harold W. Rogers said the Rural Dean of Battersea approached the local association of ringers to arrange for handbell ringing, and the London Counties Association was then approached and made the necessary arrangements.

The report was adopted.


The report of the committee stated: We have given further consideration to the projected collection of Royal and Maximus compositions mentioned in our 1951 report and have come to the conclusion that, owing to the simplicity of composition in Royal and Maximus (14 and 10 courses respectively being required out of a possible 60), a collection of these compositions is not needed. We therefore propose to abandon the project.

We suggest that the committee be now disbanded since its continuance serves no useful purpose, and that it be re-formed if and when circumstances call for such a committee.

Mr. E. A. Barnett moved the adoption of the report and said the committee proposed their own liquidation.

Mr. Walter Ayre seconded.

The Hon. Secretary: At the Standing Committee it was proposed that the report be adopted with the deletion of the last paragraph.

It was agreed that the report be adopted with the exception of the last paragraph.


The report of the committee stated: The year 1951 was a prolific peal ringing year, producing a grand total of 2,957 peals - 2,661 on tower bells and 296 on handbells - beating the high total achieved in 1949.

A large number of peals was rung to mark the Festival of Britain, and very successful ringing tours added to the normal peal ringing.

The Leicester Diocesan Guild headed the list with 189 peals on tower bells and 62 on handbells, followed by the Kent County Association with 180 on tower bells and three on handbells.

Outstanding performances deserving the congratulations of the Exercise are as follows: 15,480 Cambridge Surprise Royal, Lancashire Association; 25 Spliced Surprise Major methods, Oxford Diocesan Guild; 10,368 London Surprise Major, Midland Counties Guild; Spliced Surprise Maximus (6 methods), Leicester Diocesan Guild; 126 Minor methods in nine 720’s, Leicester Diocesan Guild; 105 Minor methods in seven 720’s, Leicester Diocesan Guild. On handbells: 12 Spliced Surprise Major methods, Hertford County Association; Kent Treble Bob Fourteen, Leicester Diocesan Guild; 42, 46 and 50 Spliced Plain Major methods, Lincoln Diocesan Guild.

The above totals include peals which do not comply with the Decisions of the Council, and we ask for a ruling as to their inclusion. These are:-

Coventry Diocesan Guild: 2 peals of Doubles “in hand,” 5,200 and 5,660 changes.
Essex Association: 1 Minor in 6 methods containing Woodbine Treble Bob.
Hereford Guild: 1 Minor in 5 methods, containing Reverse Canterbury.
Kent County: 1 Spliced Major containing Canterbury Pleasure; 2 Minor in 5 methods, containing Reverse Canterbury; 3 Minor in 4 methods containing Reverse Canterbury.
Lancashire Association: 1 Minor 7 methods, containing Woodbine; 1 Minor in 5 methods, containing Woodbine.
Leicester Diocesan Guild: 1 Minor in 3 methods, containing Reverse Canterbury.
Midland Counties Guild: 1 Minor in 4 methods, containing Reverse Canterbury.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: 1 Minor in 18 methods, containing Reverse Canterbury; 2 Minor in 17 methods, ditto; 1 Minor in 16 methods, ditto; 1 Minor in 14 methods, ditto; 1 Minor in 9 methods, ditto; 3 Minor in 8 methods, ditto; 3 Minor in 7 methods, ditto; 1 Minor in 5 methods, ditto; 1 Minor in 3 methods, ditto.
St. Martin’s Guild: 1 Doubles in 4 methods, 5,089 changes.
Sussex County Association: 1 Minor in 4 methods, containing Reverse Canterbury.
Truro Diocesan Guild: 1 Minor in 4 methods, containing Reverse Canterbury.

In all reports of peals where more than ONE method is rung we ask correspondents to state how many methods were actually rung, and to check their reports before posting, as that would save time and trouble when records are being compiled.

Presenting the report, Mr. Walter Ayre said there was another peal for non-inclusion, one containing Canterbury Pleasure from the Kent County Association.

Mr. H. Miles seconded.

Mr. Harold Poole: Can we have this clear? Do the proposer and seconder want these peals excluded?

Mr. Ayre: We want a ruling whether we abide by the Decisions of the Council.

Mr. Miles suggested that discussion should be left until after the Oxford Diocesan Guild’s resolution had been carried.

Mr. Anderson expressed the view that the Peals Analysis Committee should abide by the Decisions of the Council.

Mr. E. A. Barnett: There is the fact that the method, Reverse Canterbury Pleasure, although it does not comply with the Council’s Decisions, is contained in the Council’s Minor and Doubles Collection. It is rather hard to delete these peals when the figures are given in a publication.

Mr. N. Golden said there was confusion as to what was meant by Canterbury Pleasure and Reverse Canterbury Pleasure. Some people know the method under one title and some under the other.

The Hon. Secretary said the Standing Committee recommended that the Peals Analysis committee be instructed to delete these 26 peals and make a note that the figures are not included as they did not comply with the Decisions of the Council.

The report of the committee was then adopted.

Mr. H. Miles said there was a peal of Kent Treble 14. He did not like the name. He suggested the title Maximissimus or Excellior.

Mr. C. Roberts said some years ago he took part in a peal of 14. Mr. J. A. Trollope suggested the title of the peal as Plain Bob 14.

Mr. C. K. Lewis supported. Mr. Roberts.

Mr. John Worth: Was the peal a true extension?

The report was adopted.

The Ringing World, June 13, 1952, pages 377 to 380



Apart from the normal way of transacting our business (by post), the Methods Committee was able to meet in London on two occasions during the year. Our work has proceeded on the same subjects as last year. The Plain Major Methods book was finished, the proofs have been corrected and it will be available to the Exercise very shortly. We hope it will be found useful to all ringers. We have investigated Doubles Methods further, and have come to the conclusion that the following departures from the rules laid down for methods on higher numbers of bells are required:-

(a) The working bells need not be in the same coursing order at each lead head and end in the Plain Course.

(b) No bell shall strike more than four consecutive blows in any one place, such four consecutive blows only to occur when the treble is at the front or at the back.

(c) As far as possible there shall be as many leads in the Plain Course as there are working bells, but this requirement to be relaxed to include single hunt methods which have three leads in the Plain Course. The first two of these have already been accepted by the Council, and we hope that our recommendation to accept the third will also have its support. We believe these are absolutely necessary if we are to provide sufficient material for 5-bell ringers to ring 42 different 6-scores.

The main part of our work on Extension of Methods has already been circulated to the members of the Council in order that it could be published in “The Ringing World” and comments invited from the Exercise as a whole. We expect there will be discussion on some points. If our findings are accepted, they will have the following results on methods which have been rung:-

Methods accepted: Albanian (Royal and Maximus), Bedford (Major to Maximus), Belgrave (Major to Maximus), Buckingham (Major and Maximus), Cambridge (Minor to Maximus), New Cambridge (Major to Maximus), Leicestershire (Major to Maximus), Lincolnshire (Major to Maximus), Lindsey (Royal and Maximus), Prittlewell (Royal and Maximus), Pudsey (Major to Maximus), Rochester (Major to Maximus), Solihull (Royal and Maximus), Wigston (Major and Maximus), Wye (Major and Royal), York (Minor to Maximus), Yorkshire (Major to Maximus).

Methods rejected: Aldenham (Royal and Maximus), Bristol (Royal and Maximus), London Royal, Painswick Royal, Rutland (Royal and Maximus), Superlative (Royal and Maximus), Warwickshire Royal, Wembley Royal.

(There may be others we have missed, but in any case we intend to examine all the “extensions” from the Major which appear in the late Mr. Corrigan’s book and to report on them later.)


We believe that the above results confirm the essential soundness of our investigation. We recommend that methods which do not conform with our findings should be renamed, if possible by the band that first rang them, if not, by the Council in open session. We would, however, exclude Double Norwich from this recommendation, for although the Royal is not the true extension of the Major, we believe the Exercise would wish to retain their names because firstly, the Royal was rung before the Major and secondly, the latter has been and is rung so frequently that it would hardly be possible to change its name now.

Our opinion has been asked about certain methods which do not conform with the Central Council rules, and we have emphasised that, under the present decisions, they must be regarded as irregular, which presumably means that peals rung in those methods cannot be recognised. We have also had a query on the use of 3-lead course Royal methods used in spliced Royal ringing (i.e., those having second lead-heads of 1795038264 and 1860492735), and our opinion is divided on whether they should be allowed. We feel that this matter should be immediately clarified and ask the Council to come to a decision as soon as possible.


The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said it was proposed that the report be presented in various stages because at various points there were decisions to be made by the Council on the recommendations. First of all there was the non-controversial subject - the publication of the book on Plain Major Methods, and they hoped it would prove useful to the Exercise. They had included in it the whole of the possible Plain and Little Major Methods which had a Plain Bob coursing order in 7-8 and two not in that category which had been rung.

In Doubles Methods they had produced all the methods possible, and they found it necessary to ask the Council to adopt the third recommendation if they were going to get a sufficient number of different methods to allow a peal to be rung in 42 completely different methods. In the past so many methods had been rung which were really the same method and being different only because they had a different Bob and Single. They had produced 42 entirely different methods. They recommended the usual fourth place bob and not a variety, and the three rules they asked the Council to adopt. The first two had been accepted by the Council at Chester, and they asked the Council that day to accept (c) “as far as possible there should be as many leads in the Plain Course as there are working bells, but requirement to be relaxed to include Single hunt methods which have three leads in the Plain Course.”

If the Council allowed these three rules and allowed methods like Stedman Doubles there would be roughly between 50 and 60 clearly different methods they could put in a little book. He moved the adoption of Rule 3.

Mr. F. W. Rogers seconded and the rule was accepted.


The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said they now came to a more controversial question, that of extension, which the Methods Committee had thrust upon it a few years ago. They had done their best to tackle a subject which, 25 year’s ago or a little more when it came before the Council, the latter had shelved the whole issue by passing a resolution that it was not competent to judge.

Members of the Council had some weeks ago a supplementary report on extension. It was hoped that report would be published in “The Ringing World”, and, owing to a misunderstanding, it was only put in that week.

In the matter of extension they had considered the pivot bells. One thing had been pointed out to him that their report didn’t say that they were only considering mathematical extensions and that it was possible to interpret it as applying to “fiddled” methods as well. He would point out that they only had mathematical extensions in mind and that they had ruled out any that were not.

After last year’s meeting they considered the question more particularly of the practical ringer - the man who, when he rang a method, did not know how it was put together but whether it resembled its parent method. They said that unless that mathematical extension resembled its parent it could not be accepted. In considering the question they took up again the question of pivot bells upon which the sequence of a method depended, and they came to the conclusions they had already received.

In the case of methods rejected he was thinking in particular of Bristol, which was ruled out by pivots. In the case of Bristol Royal they had come to the conclusion that because the pivot sequence was not in accordance with that prescribed, that would give the extension in the same order as the original, it should be rejected. He had there the reasons why other methods were rejected. They might have worked on the wrong principle, but they had to draw the line somewhere, else they would get methods with no resemblance from the practical point of view with the parent method. He moved the adoption of the supplementary report. It meant that if the supplementary report was accepted, then automatically the list in the report would go with it.

Mr. C. K. Lewis, seconding, said, in arriving at these conclusions, the Committee had tried to consider all the people who had written to them, and they had read some lengthy treatises and tried to digest them. Some people had written rather more briefly, but they had also been considered. They had tried to reach their basis not from the point of view of the man with a piece of squared paper, but from that of the man at the end of the rope, who rang the Major and then wanted to ring the Royal of the method.


Mr. H. J. Poole said he hoped that anything he said would not be taken to reflect discredit on the committee or their efforts to solve method extension. First of all, it seemed to him to be a battle between the practical ringer and the mathematician, and the mathematician had been referred to as the man with a bit of squared paper. They would be in a bad way if they relied on the blue line merchants. He represented the practical ringers, and he wanted to say they did not want the Methods Committee to study them to the exclusion of the mathematician.

The next thing he wanted to point out was what was said in the past - and he referred to the 1950 report. There was much argument - with little attention to views of the ordinary ringer to prove that someone’s extension was correct. Was it any use referring this to the ordinary ringer? He suggested that that was not the right and proper approach. They (the committee) said in 1950 they had been unable to reconcile theory and practice. He suggested that it was impossible. In 1950 the Council accepted four rules, deferred No. 5. This was considered in 1951 and is amended to-day.

He felt that the Methods Committee’s approach was wrong. They should consider what was possible and not what was desirable. So far as the challenge from the practical ringers to the mathematicians was concerned, if a musical composer wanted to extend a quartet piece of music to a full orchestra he did not consider the opinion or ability of the ordinary violin player or the five finger exercise man at the piano. It was equivalent to putting a left hand glove on a right hand, and the way the Methods Committee suggested was to chop off the thumb of the right hand to make it fit.


In 1937 there was a series of articles published in “The Ringing World” called “A New Series for Advanced Ringers,” and this was what was said:-

“In placing the methods before the Exercise, Mr. Lindoff has selected only those that conform to the COMMON SENSE rule that places the method.”

In the issue of April 2nd, 1937, when printing Lindoff’s No. 61. the following was stated: “Below we print another Surprise method which is EQUALLY PERFECT on ten bells and twelve bells as it is on eight.” The present rule, as suggested of limited pivot bells, excludes the extensions of that method.

In 1946, I sent to Frederick H. Dexter an extension of a method, received from a ringer and asked for his comments. He wrote: “Years back … and others worried me stiff with their ideas. They will not realise that the true extension of any method is got by correct construction, which, if carried out properly, and the result gives the proper cycle of lead ends, i.e., what we are pleased to call Bob Major lead ends, irrespective of the order in which the lead ends occur, then that will be a proper extension. Bristol will do for an argument. The trouble with everyone who tries to extend Bristol, first try to get a diagram, next extending lead ends, which, to say the least, is all tripe. Some extensions a nitwit can easily produce the answer, i.e., Cambridge, York, Yorkshire, Pudsey and a host of others. All the extensions admitted are of the type the nitwit can produce. Is this progress?”

Could the Council afford to ignore the advice of these people who had years of experience? In Gabriel Lindoff and Fred Dexter they had practical ringers.

“The next point is the desirable against the possible. If you consider what is desirable and not what is possible, do you think there will be any progress? In many cases it means that you are taking the easiest line of resistance. It means in this case you come along with every good intention, but you have limited the scope to what is of the nitwit type, which means no progress either for construction or ringing. If the Fathers of the Council in olden days had ended on this line it would have prevented any Spliced ringing.”

The gateway to Maximus ringing was by Major and Royal. One did not start working from Maximus, but from eight to ten and then to 12. What the committee were doing with this rule was to limit the extension to the easy blue line method and cut out the difficult one like Bristol. The effect of this rule was that the future of the 12 bell methods was going to be confined to the easy blue line methods.

“Take the case of Bristol. Nobody on this Council can suggest that there is not some relationship in the Major, Royal and Maximus. They may not agree that it is perfect, but they cannot deny that it is related. If this rule goes through you will have three different names, and I think it would be utter chaos to give them different names. If you are going to suggest that Double Norwich is not altered we are entitled to say we have rung Bristol Maximus and that should not be altered. There is no consistency in making a rule and at the same time making an exception to it.”


“This Council is entitled to the loyal support of all the representatives of the Guilds, if we want that support we must be consistent in our judgment. It is easy to make rules, but a lot of people in front of me will say how easy it is to break them. Don’t let us stifle the enthusiasm of the 12 bell bands; it will be wrong to confine their activities to the easy blue line methods. We want simple rules which the average man can understand. If you have read “The Ringing World” this week there are two articles, and if you understand both of them you are a better man than I am” (laughter).

Mr. Poole then moved the following amendment: “That method extension be controlled by rules accepted by this Council in 1950, and that two or more extensions of the same parent, fully complying with those rules, shall bear the name of the parent and be distinguished by the word “version” prefixed by some further identifying name.”

Mr. A. E. Rowley seconded.

Mr. John Worth: I understand listening to that that we should accept London Royal No. 3 version as well as Bristol Maximus?

Mr. Poole: I am glad of the opportunity of that. You will remember that it was mentioned that they were only dealing with mathematical extension and not methods that had been “fiddled.” Now you people who know anything about “fiddles,” know that London is “fiddled.” The rule has already been accepted, in 1950, which excludes London Surprise Royal. No one has suggested there is a proper extension of London Surprise Royal. What they are doing is to get the nearest. There can be no suggestion that if London goes out, Bristol goes out. Bristol Maximus is the most intricate and the most musical method yet rung on 12 bells and it is the only method affected by this Rule No. 5.

Mr. Leslie Morris: Some years ago they refused to acknowledge London Surprise Major.

Mr. C. J. Sedgley: I see they have Superlative Maximus in this excluded list. An extension was given by Gabriel Lindoff and John Carter. I challenge anyone to produce an alternative. All other methods have alternatives, but there is no alternative to Superlative.


Mr. E. A. Barnett said it had always been accepted that there was no extension of London to Royal. Mr. Poole quoted from a series of articles by Mr. Gabriel Lindoff in “The Ringing World”, and he urged them to accept Mr. Lindoff’s representations. He would remind the Council that in 1908 a method was rung at Stepney which was called London Surprise Royal, and that method was subsequently renamed Stepney because it was far from a proper extension of London.

Mr. Eric Critchley: I am a tyro in methods. I resume the Methods Committee should be able to produce an extension. For instance, Aldenham Royal has been rejected. Can they produce Aldenham Royal?

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead replied that there were methods which would not extend and give a legitimate lead end, and that was the case with London. Everybody admitted it was a “fiddle.” There was a theoretical extension, but it only gave a seven lead course. They had ruled Aldenham out because it would not give a true mathematical extension.

Mr. Critchley: Am I right in assuming that there are no mathematical extensions of the methods named?

Mr. Felstead: We have investigated them and have decided that they are not mathematical extensions.

Mr. Critchley: I would like to press my point and say the Methods Committee should try to produce them.

Mr. Felstead said what Mr. Poole had said had not convinced him in the slightest that the committee had erred in any way in the position they had taken up. It seemed to him that Mr. Poole was concerned over names. It must be Bristol Royal. He could not see why they should not ring those methods under different names. As to the point of Double Norwich they were quite willing to give way. They thought that with such a long history the Council would not stand for it.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said the debate was very involved, and while it might be easy to the figure merchant to the ordinary ringer it was almost Double Dutch. He suggested that they did not take a decision on this matter, because evidently there was a wide divergence of opinion. He suggested that they deferred consideration and it should come up at the next Council. This was seconded.


Mr. C. W. Roberts: The main point seems to be that there are a certain number of methods that will extend very easily by merely a continuation of the blue line. Those we all accept. But there is furthermore another group whose extensions are mathematical but do not follow the blue line contour. You will find in the plain course of these methods that the salient features are preserved. There is furthermore another type of extension which Mr. Harold Poole has called rather humorously “fiddles.” These are extensions devised where no methodical extension is possible to give the Exercise something by keeping the work of the Major as far as possible, and where it is not possible other extension work has been introduced and every endeavour is to keep it to the original. One of these is London No. 3, but it is not a mathematical extension.

A young friend would like the Methods Committee to get out extensions which are not possible. If it has proved impossible to the genius of the Exercise you cannot expect the poor committee to do it.

I would like to suggest method extension under three headings, i.e., simple extensions that conform to the blue line and those which are passed and accepted. Then there are the mathematical extensions, and one of them is Bristol and another Superlative. They are quite good working extensions, and I think they can be incorporated in some form or another with the parent name and some distinction to show which particular version is rung. In regard to the “fiddles,” I would say, before we can scrap them - although they appeal to the people who ring them - we should try and get some formulæ which should connect them with the method, although no mathematical extension was possible. In the interest of progress we do not want to throw anything out. What we want to do is to endeavour to get the best out of our ringing.

The amendment was then put and carried by a two to one majority.

Mr. Perrens suggested that Mr. Harold J. Poole be co-opted a member of the Methods Committee, but it was pointed out that the committee had power to co-opt him.

Mr. Felstead said in regard to the query on the use of 3-lead course Royal methods used in spliced ringing that only came before the committee two or three weeks ago, and he was afraid they had not had the time to thrash it out. He had put it in the report in the hope that they might be given a lead.

Mr. Harold Poole moved that it be referred back, and this was agreed to.

Later in the meeting the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead pointed out that Mr. E. A. Barnett, by his appointment as hon. secretary, would not be eligible to serve on the Methods Committee. He asked the Council to appoint Mr. C. H. Kippin as the fifth member and to give the committee power to co-opt others. This was agreed to.

The Ringing World, June 20, 1952, pages 393 to 394



The committee reported the following new methods rung during the year ended December 31st, 1951


Jan.4.5,088.Wirral S.MMiddlesex.
Feb.2.5,040.St. Lawrence B.M.Chester
"4.5,120.Spliced S.M. (25 methods).Oxford.
"8.5,040.Birm. S.R.St. Martin’s.
Mar.1.5,152.Vauxhall S.M.St. Martin’s.
"10.5,088.St. Giles S.M.Lincoln.
"31.5,088.Lyme S.M.Salisbury.
Apr.1.5,152.Hanbury S.M.St. Martin’s.
"14.5,056.Rotherham S.M.Yorkshire.
"30.5,152.Leamington B.M.Norwich
July12.5,040.Wye S.R.Leicester.
"28.5,152.Burslem S.M.North Staffs.
Aug.9.5,040.Warwicks S.R.St. Martin’s.
Sept.8.5,088.Springfield S.M.Hertford.
"20.5,056.Hereford S.M.Middlesex.
Oct.4.5,088.Kensington S.M.Middlesex.
Nov.1.5,040.Harborne S.R.St. Martin’s.
"3.5,056.Braunstone S.M.Leicester.
"22.5,152.Warnham S.M.St. Martin’s.
"24.5,184.Brinklow S.M.Middlesex.
Dec.20.5,040.Spliced S.Max. (6 methods).Leicester.
"22.5,152.Harleston S.M.Norwich.
"26.5,088.Cherwell S.M.Oxford.


Dec. 15. 15,480. Cambridge S.R. Lancashire.
This is the longest length of Royal yet rung in any method.


Apr.25.5,120.Spliced S.M. (12 methods).Hertford.
"17.5,040.Kent T.B. 14Leicester.
Feb.6.5,120.Spliced Major (42 methods).Lincoln.
"19.5,004.Spliced Major (46 methods).Lincoln.
Mar.11.5,088.Spliced Major (50 methods).Lincoln.
Nov.9.5,220.Spliced Royal (5 methods).Oxford.
Dec.9.5,104.Spliced Max. (3 methods).Winchester & Portsmouth.

Mrs. Fletcher moved the adoption of the report, and this was agreed to.


Mr. F. J. Sharpe said they had dealt with 43 cases in the course of the year. Of these, Mr. Osborn had dealt with 15 for the Diocese of Bath and Wells, and he reported great activity in bell restoration in the whole of the West Country. In addition, Mr. Osborn had written articles on bell restoration and preservation for the Bath and Wells Diocesan publication. Mr. Lewis had dealt with one case. He (Mr. Sharpe) had dealt with 27 cases, all of them involving rehanging or recasting of the bells. He had visited 21 towers, and the remaining six were sent to him by various diocesan faculty committees for vetting. In one case he was able to persuade the Vicar and Parochial Church Council in a Welsh parish not to install amplifiers, but to restore and rehang a ring of bells, and in another case they were fortunate enough to persuade the authorities to install a ring instead of a chime. The 27 cases he had dealt with were in 13 counties. He drew no fees and in only one case in seven years had a Parochial Council offered to pay his expenses. They needed some additional members on the Towers and Belfries Committee. Mr. Osborn did the Bath and Wells Diocese, and Mr. Clarke the North of England. He would like to propose that Mr. F. E. Collins be appointed a member of the committee to undertake S.E. England.

The President seconded, and the report was adopted, and Mr. Collins was elected to the committee.


The report of this committee appeared on page 361.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, in moving the adoption of the report, referred to Mr. Sharpe’s excellent work on Oxford bells. Articles on ringing and bells had appeared in all parts of the world. He congratulated the editors of local publications such as “The Belfry” from the Maidstone District, “The Irish Bells News” and “Ringing Towers” (Australia).

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead seconded.

The report was adopted and, in submitting it to the meeting, the President congratulated the convener on the 50th anniversary of his ordination, which would take place the following Sunday.


Mr. J. W. Clarke submitted a verbal report, and said that during the coming year they proposed to make a final drive so that the whole business could be wound up and completed. They hoped to make an appeal through “The Ringing World” for records of those old peal boards sent in.

Mr. W. Ayre seconded, and the report was adopted.


The report of the Biographies Committee appeared on page 361.

Mr. A. C. Hazelden, in moving its adoption, suggested that the name of Mr. L. Stillwell be added to the committee. Their serious headache was the 100 odd names of persons of whom they knew nothing. They were equally divided between the living and those who were dead.

Mr. W. Viggers seconded, and the report was adopted, with the addition of Mr. Stillwell’s name being added to the committee.


The report of “The Ringing World” Committee stated:-

When this committee was appointed last year, with powers to act as it thought desirable, particularly regarding the price of the paper, it was generally the impression of the Exercise that the obvious course to be taken would be to increase the price.

After due consideration, your committee decided that this step could not be taken until every possible economy had been made, and all reasonable means exploited to increase the revenue. It was felt that an increase in the price would result in the loss of possibly some hundreds of lukewarm readers, so that the advantage of price increase would be partly cancelled out by a reduction of subscribers, and the Exercise would be worse off by their loss.

We decided to increase the charges for advertising space, which was fixed at a considerably higher level, and at the same time we equalised the charges to all the larger advertisers.

Negotiations on this matter were successful in every case, and the result will be a substantially larger income from this source, the full effect of which has not yet appeared, as the charges could not come into effect until Oct. 1st, 1951.

We found, however, that this was insufficient to cover the weekly loss which was due to the rocketing prices of paper and labour. We felt that if the cost of the preparation of the paper could be spread over a larger number of readers we could close the gap. An appeal was therefore launched for 1,000 more postal subscribers, but the result up to date has been somewhat disappointing, only about 300 being obtained. In this we feel that with a little more support from the Exercise generally the result would have been more satisfactory and the continuance of the price of 4d. per copy assured. We are still reluctant to increase the price until the Exercise has had an opportunity of making the necessary effort to bring in the remaining 700 new postal subscribers.

We have to record our appreciation and thanks to many generous wellwishers who have sent donations to help in the financial difficulty, and also to those who have imposed a levy upon themselves when sending up reports of peals and quarter-peals.

We, as a committee, do not feel it to be within our terms of reference to make such levies compulsory, although it has been forcefully suggested by many that this should be done. Such a step is for the consideration of the Council. We would point out, however, that the imposition of a levy on peals published might discourage some peal ringers from sending in reports, and the Peal Analysis might not, therefore, give a true reflection of the year’s achievements.

Providing there are no further increases in labour costs, we are of opinion that the peak of rising costs has now been reached, and there are already indications that paper will tend to become cheaper and more plentiful.


We would again stress the need for a larger circulation, and earnestly appeal to all readers to make an effort to help the committee to obtain more postal subscribers.

Our thanks are tendered to Mr. T. W. White for his helpful gesture in suggesting a lower salary for his services, to Mr. Jeater for his efficient and conscientious service in looking after the accounts; and to those who have sent in literary contributions (some in lighter vein) which have been appreciated by all but a few.

We regret it has not been possible to provide more illustrations owing to the very high cost of printing blocks. We suggest that those who are anxious to have pictures published should help us in these difficult times by defraying the cost of blocks themselves.

Unless the Council instructs us otherwise, we recommend that our decision to keep the price at 4d. for the present should be confirmed, and we trust that the flow of voluntary donations will continue so that we may be able to hold our own. As it is necessary for your committee to have quick access to information regarding income and expenditure, we recommend that the Council should authorise the election of a “Ringing World” treasurer. Should this be approved, Mr. A. A. Hughes is willing to act in that capacity. To him the committee tender their thanks for all helpfulness and willingness whenever he has been approached for necessary information.

Mr. J. F. Smallwood moved and Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded the adoption of the report.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said he mentioned earlier on that a certain article was not published when they thought it should and that it was suitable for publication. The thought occurred to him: had the committee any proper terms of reference and what was the relationship between them and the editor? He would suggest that the committee be responsible for the business side and the editor responsible for all that was to be published. The report was then adopted.

RINGERS’ ROLL OF HONOUR.- A photograph of the Roll of Honour which was on view at the Central Council meeting at Lincoln. The binding of the Roll, like the earlier one, is carried out in royal blue crushed morocco leather, and the title in block Roman capitals in gilt is: “Church Bell Ringers’ Memorial Book, 1939-45.” The size of each page is 14 inches by 10½ inches. The folios are of hand-made paper, and the names are written on one side only - fourteen names to a page. There are 290 names in the Memorial Book and they appear in alphabetical order, together with the tower and association.
The Rolls for the two wars are now contained in a box covered outside with blue binding cloth and inside with a soft white material. The box is hinged so that it opens out flat and it has the title on the spine. The title page of the last Roll has a coloured decorative laurel border, through which runs a gold pattern surrounding the inscription in burnished gold and black. The second Roll was written without accepting any payment by Mr. C. Cullen, of Chelsfield Park, Farnborough, Kent, and the completion of the names was undertaken at the request of the Council by Mr. H. Miles.
Rolls of Honour


Mr. A. E. Lock, on behalf of the Oxford Diocesan Guild, submitted the following resolution:-

“The Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, as represented by its General Committee, views with apprehension the possibility of the enforcement of the Central Council rule, requiring all methods rung in peals to have Plain Bob lead ends, and requests the Council to preserve the status quo and to re-examine the whole question of irregular methods in the light of present day knowledge and practice.”

He said that those who were not mathematical gymnasts knew very little of splicing except the popular mainbrace variety. In support of the resolution he submitted the following arguments: -

(1) “Rules and Decisions” were first published in 1904, and they appeared in revised form in 1927. The 1927 edition says on page 27: “The bells to be in the same coursing order at each lead head and end. This means that all methods must have what are known as Bob Major lead ends.” This rule has never been enforced, and therefore due notice of enforcement should be given, particularly as it would otherwise cause a number of affiliated associations, by their constitutions, to disown a number of peals rung in good faith and for worthy objects.

(2) The Central Council’s publication, “Collection of Doubles and Minor Methods,” contains two such irregular methods, Reverse Canterbury Pleasure and Reverse College (Plain methods 30 and 31 respectively). How can the Council refuse to accept peals containing these methods when ringers are encouraged to ring them!

(3) The standard of Plain Bob lead ends is purely arbitrary and it excludes many methods well worth ringing. It was set up in 1904, when, for example, nothing was known of method splicing. Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Minor will splice with at least six other plain Minor methods. This is merely one example, but it is sufficient surely to justify the retention of the method and to a reconsideration of the principles involved.

(4) In Doubles Minor and Triples all the changes have to be rung. Why then should it be insisted that only Plain Bob lead ends should appear?

(5) It is believed to be a fact that a large number of peal ringers and Association officials are not fully conversant with the Council’s rules and decisions. It is admitted that copies of the 1927 edition are quite scarce. Is it fair then for the Council to assume that all ringers have had reasonable access to these rules and decisions? An attempt to enforce them in these conditions of scarcity would be unfair, unpopular and would create a great deal of bad feeling.

(6) Far too little notice is taken of the spiritual side of ringing. All ringing (including peals) should be an act of praise to Almighty God, where the standards demanded of us are (a) truth, (b) perfection in striking, (c) mental skill and application. Would the Central Council be bold enough to say that a peal which included Woodbine Treble Bob, satisfying the conditions (a), (b) and (c) above, was unacceptable to God because one of the methods did not have Plain Bob lead ends?

Concluding, he said he thought the Council should take a fair and generous view, give reasonable notice of enforcement, and at least the rule should not be retrospective.

Mr. A. D. Barker seconded.

Mr. C. H. Kippin suggested that the motion be referred to the Methods Committee.

Mr. C. K. Lewis said he would not prevent anybody ringing anything in a peal. He felt what they were concerned about was whether the peal should appear in the “The Ringing World” and not what appeared in the Analysis, The argument of splicing had been introduced. He had done as much splicing as anyone. As to the rules not being well known, he thought that Mr. Pink knew them quite well.

Mr. F. E. Sharpe said the thing that hurt the General Committee of the Oxford Guild, and there were 99 per cent. in favour of the motion, was that it was made retrospective. They felt it would be better from today these peals should not be recognised.

Mr. Locke: If they are retrospective they will go back to 1927.

Mr. C. W. Roberts said this matter of irregular lead ends had been a thing worked for in the past, and was generally accepted by all bands and composers.

Miss M. Cross: We are not asking for the future, but about the past.

Mr. Felstead: I would like to see that these peals be not recognised as from last year.

The motion was carried.


The Secretary reported that the Council had received an invitation to visit Newcastle next year, and the Standing Committee, by a small majority, decided to recommend Bournemouth.

Mr. W. N. Park proposed that the next Council meeting be held at Newcastle. It would be an interval of 40 years since the Council were last there.

Mr. F. W. Perrens proposed and Mr. R. G. Blackman seconded that the next meeting be held at Bournemouth.

By a large majority the Council decided to accept Bournemouth.

Mr. G. Pullinger, on behalf of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild, said they would be glad to welcome the Council to Bournemouth, and he was sure the members of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild would co-operate with them and give the Council as good a time as possible.

The Ringing World, June 27, 1952, pages 409 to 410



The Secretary reported that the Standing Committee had considered the matter of the time of meetings, and recommended that in future the Council meet at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.


The President, from the chair, proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the Bishop of Lincoln, the Dean and Chapter for all they had done for the Council, and particularly to the Dean for conducting them round the Cathedral the previous day and celebrating Holy Communion that morning. They would also like to thank the members of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, and particularly the Master, Mr. J. A. Freeman, and the secretary, Mr. Bray. He would also like to thank all incumbents where they had access to bells and to the tower keepers for getting those bells ready. Finally, he would like to thank the Mayor and Corporation of Lincoln for their hospitality.


The President: This is the end of Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher’s combined service as hon. secretary and treasurer, and we cannot possibly let them go without expressing our very sincere thanks to them for all they have done for us over these rather more than 20 years. They have brought the status of the Council and its business to a very high standard, very much different from what it was in the very old days, I feel it is impossible sufficiently to express in words what we owe to them. I should like to say more, but we are very pressed for time. I hope that the arrangements which have been started to express our gratitude in a more tangible form will be accomplished.

Mr. A. A. Hughes, in seconding, said he had worked with Mr. Fletcher for many years, and it was only by working with him that one realised all the work he had put in. He knew in business he was a very busy man, and rarely got through his ordinary work before 9 p.m.

The resolution was carried with acclamation.

Mr. Fletcher, in reply, said it was somewhat difficult to realise that it was probably the last time he would occupy that place. He thanked the President and the Council for their co-operation over a very long period, and he hoped they would extend to his successor the same support as they had given him. He was sure the secretaryship would be in safe hands, but it would not be in safe hands unless the members of the Council played their part. If they had any new ideas he was sure he would consider them. He hoped to be present at Council meetings for many years to come.

Mr. R. S. Anderson proposed a vote of thanks to the President for presiding.


The Council meeting was followed by a tea, given by the Mayor and Corporation, held in the Co-operative Hall, and attended by 214 members and their wives.

The Mayor of Lincoln (Cclr. J. W. Giles) presided, supported by the Lord Bishop, the Dean and the Archdeacon of Lindsey.

The Mayor, in his welcome, said he understood that it was 30 years since the Council last visited Lincoln. He knew they were a national body, and as such were expected to hold their meetings at different centres. He should imagine that the Diocese of Lincoln was where the art of change ringing was practised as widely as anywhere, as they in Lincolnshire thought very highly of their churches and their bells.

Although he knew nothing about change ringing, many years ago his father was a bell-ringer at St. Botolph’s in Lincoln. He had in his possession a letter written by the Town Clerk of Lincoln in 1887 which read: “I herewith send you a cheque for £4 10s. in discharge of your account for bell ringing for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.” He trusted they had had a profitable meeting.

Mr. E. H. Lewis, in reply, said: I am sure all the guests to-night wish to thank the Mayor and Corporation for their very generous hospitality. Ringers, as you know, ring for State occasions as well as ecclesiastical occasions, and we always like to know we are in touch with Mayors and Corporations as well as the ecclesiastical authorities. We passed formally in the Chapter House a vote of thanks to the Bishop and the Dean for what they had done for us, and I would like to express our thanks personally to the Bishop for coming to welcome us. We would like to thank the Dean for a most interesting trip around the Cathedral and for his explanation of that wonderful building, for allowing us to ring the Cathedral bells, and for taking the celebration this morning, which was well attended. We also want to thank the Lincoln Diocesan Guild for all they have done. When I last visited Lincoln for your Jubilee I tried to think of my connection with Lincolnshire. The only one I could think of was that my dining room chairs were made from the wood taken from a Grantham bell frame. Since I have been here I have thought of a much better connection, because, having been born in Nottingham, I was born in the Diocese of Lincoln, as that was before the Diocese of Southwell was created. Mr. Mayor, I thank you for your hospitality, and the Lincoln Diocesan Guild for making this week-end so enjoyable.

The Dean, who is president of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, disclaimed any hard work in connection with the visit, and said the hard work had been done by Mr. J. Bray and Mr. J. A. Freeman.

A social evening was afterwards held at the Saracen’s Head.

The Ringing World, July 4, 1952, page 425

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