BOURNEMOUTH presented its most glorious picture to the representatives of the Central Council who attended the third session of the 26th Council held on Whitsun Tuesday in the Town Hall.
A welcome from the Dioceses of Winchester and Salisbury opened the proceedings. The president (Mr. E. H. Lewis) and the hon. secretary and treasurer (Mr. E. A. Barnett) were accompanied by the Rural Dean of Bournemouth (Canon A. L. E. Williams) and Canon C. Carew Cox as they took their places on the platform.
The President announced that he had received a letter from the Bishop of Winchester regretting that he was unable to be present as he had received a summons to attend at Westminster Abbey for a Coronation rehearsal in which he had a part to perform.
The Rural Dean, who deputised for the Bishop, said Bournemouth was a very good centre for bell-ringers. There were some very good towers both in the Winchester and Salisbury Dioceses and he hoped they would sample some of those towers.
He understood their President came from Scotland and there were also two representatives present from Ireland. He came from Ireland and there was a fine ring of bells at Ballymena placed to the memory of his grandfather. He was at one time Rector of a parish in Yorkshire which had three old bells, one of which was cracked. While he was Rector he had the bells recast and three new bells added, making a nice ring of six. For those bells they had two teams, one being composed entirely of ladies, which became one of the crack teams of Yorkshire. He could not claim much personal connection with ringing except having broken a stay.
It was a great pleasure that morning to welcome 60 of them at the Communion held in his church. He felt it was the right way to begin. Campanology was not only a science; it was sacramental. Not only did they want to be proficient as ringers, but they wanted primarily to be Christians and loyal members of the Church.
Canon Carew Cox gave to the Council the apologies of the Bishop of Salisbury and the Bishop of Sherborne. Speaking on behalf of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild, he said they were very grateful to the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild for their kind invitation to share in the welcome to the Council. As most of them knew, at Bournemouth they were very near to Dorset and some of them had discovered that Dorset had some very fine bells and some natural attractions which they were not afraid to put into competition with anything Hampshire could offer. He wished he could have taken part in some of the ringing that Whitsun, but it had been impossible. But he did enjoy facing a large representative gathering such as that and it brought to his mind those active days when he, on a bicycle, went here and there and everywhere for the sake of ringing.
The President thanked Canon Williams and Canon Cox for their welcome and the Church authorities for placing their bells at their disposal.
TELEGRAM TO THE QUEEN
With the hearty accord of the meeting the Chairman suggested that the following telegram should be sent to H.M. the Queen:-
“The Central Council of Church Bellringers in annual meeting assembled at the Town Hall, Bournemouth, beg to offer your Majesty their loyal salutations. It will be the proud privilege of ringers to celebrate the forthcoming Coronation with the tribute of the bells, and it is their fervent prayer that your Majesty’s reign may constitute a long and glorious period in the history of our country.”
The following reply was received from Buckingham Palace:-
“Please convey to all members of your Council the sincere thanks of the Queen for their kind and loyal message of good wishes.” - Private Secretary.
CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNCIL
The Secretary announced that there were 54 associations and guilds affiliated to the Council with 150 members. In addition there were 24 honorary members and seven life members, making a total of 181. There were vacancies for two ringing members and five honorary members.
The following members attended:-
Life members.- Mr. E. H. Lewis, Mr. E. A. Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher.
Honorary members.- Mrs. L. K. Marshall, Messrs. J. P. Fidler, F. I. Hairs, A. A. Hughes, C. K. Lewis, W. Osborn, F. J. Sharp, E. C. Shepherd, P. L. Taylor, W. H. Viggers and A. Walker.
Ancient Society of College Youths.- Messrs. G. W. Cecil, A. B. Peck, J. F. Smallwood.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association.- Mr. S. G. Coles, Mr. H. J. Sanger, Miss N. G. Williams.
Cambridge University Guild.- Mr. E. M. Atkins, Mr. S. E. Darmon.
Chester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. Worth.
Coventry Diocesan Guild.- Mrs. D. E. Beamish, Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Derbyshire Association.- Mr. D. Carlisle, Mr. A. Mould.
Devon Guild.- Messrs. E. W. Biffen, J. E. Lilley and T. G. Myers.
Durham and Newcastle Association.- Mr. F. Ainsley.
East Grinstead and District Guild.- Mr. C. A. Bassett.
Ely Diocesan Guild.- Mr. F. W. Lack.
Essex Association.- Mr. F. B. Lufkin and Miss Hilda G. Snowden.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association.- Miss D. M. Drew, Mr. W. B. Kynaston, Mr. F. Skidmore.
Guildford Diocesan Guild.- Messrs. G. L. Grover, A. Harman, A. C. Hazelden, A. H. Pulling.
Hereford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. F. Lewis, Mr. W. F. Moreton, Mr. G. E. Oliver.
Hertford County Association.- Mr. R. G. Bell, Mr. C. W. Woolley.
Irish Association.- Mr. F. E. Dukes, Mr. J. T. Dunwoody, Miss Jean Stewart.
Kent County Association.- Mr. T. E. Sone, Mr. G. H. Spice, Mr. J. Willis.
Ladies’ Guild.- Miss D. Colgate, Mrs. A. Richardson, Mrs. P. J. Staniforth.
Lancashire Association.- Mr. J. Ridyard, Mr. C. Sharples.
Leicester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. H J. Poole, Mr. A. F. Rowley, Mr. E. C. Turner.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. Bray, Mr. G. F. Feirn, Mr. J. Freeman.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association.- Mr. T. M. Roderick.
London County Association.- Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Rodgers, Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Middlesex County Association.- Messrs. F. W. Goodfellow, T. J. Lock, C. W. Roberts, E. C. S. Turner.
Midland Counties Guild.- Mr. J. W. Cotton.
North Staffordshire Association.- Mr. R. S. Anderson.
North Wales Association.- Mr. W. Cathrall.
Norwich Diocesan Association.- Mr. W. C. Duffield, Mr. F. N. Golden. Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. and 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.
St. David’s Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. Hoare.
St. Martin’s Guild.- Mr. F. E. Haynes.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild.- Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. G. Harding, Mr. F. Precey, Mr. W. C. West.
Sheffield District.- Mr. N. Chaddock.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths.- Mr. P. N. Bond, Mr. G. H. Cross, Mr. F. E. Hawthorne.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society.- Mr. H. Knight, Mr. C. Wallater.
Suffolk Guild.- Mr. C. W. Pike.
Surrey Association.- Mr. A. P. Cannon Mr. F. E. Collins, Mr. D. Cooper.
Sussex County Association.- Messrs. F. Bennett, R. G. Blackman, F. Dallaway, L. Stilwell.
Swansea Diocesan Association.- Mr. Gwyn I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild.- Rev. and Mrs. A. S. Roberts, Mr. H. Miles.
Universities Association.- Miss M. R. Cross.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan 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.- Messrs. W. E. Critchley, P. J. Johnson, L. W. G. Morris, S. F. Palmer.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
These were received from Messrs. W. Ayre, P. E. Baker, A. L. Bennett, T. R. Butler, H. G. Cashmore, P. A. Corby, J. W. Clarke, G. E. Debenham, F. Dunkerley, J. T. Dyke (suffering from chest hæmorrhage), C. W. Evans, T. H. Francis, J. A. Freeman (unwell, and has a painful hip joint which might necessitate an operation), Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher, Messrs. D. Hughes. S. T. Holt, W. H. J. Hooton, H. Michael Howard, B. G. Key, G. L. Hewitt, J. W. Jones, Rev. J. Kingdon, Messrs. H. J. Mansfield, B. P. Morris, R. C. Noon, G. R. Newton, J. W. Raithby, J. Segar, A. Paddon Smith, C. J. Sedgley, G. E. Symonds, T. H. Taffender, Rev. W. H. R. Trewhella, Messrs. J. J. Webb, E. Alex. Young (who has been ill for the past three or four weeks) and F. Colclough.
Upon the president’s suggestion the hon. secretary was instructed to write letters to Mr. Dyke, Mr. Freeman and Mr. Young wishing them a speedy recovery.
The following new members were welcomed: Miss D. E. Colgate (Ladies’ Guild), Miss J. Stewart (Irish Guild), Mr. W. Cathrall (North Wales Association).
PRESENTATIONS TO MR. AND MRS. G. W. FLETCHER
The president said that last year they thanked Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher verbally for what they had done for the Council over a period of 21 years and the members of the Council thought that while they could not possibly repay them for what they had done they might, at least, make some tangible token of their appreciation and esteem. He asked them to accept a small offering from them all.
The silver salver was inscribed: “Presented to Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher by members of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, 1953.”
There were also two silver tankards which they thought they might find useful. The larger one was inscribed “G. W. F.” and the smaller one “E. K. F.” The latter had a glass bottom through which Mrs. Fletcher would be able to see how George was behaving himself (laughter).
These, continued the president, were secondhand silver, which was now often better than new, and on which there was no purchase tax. They had a small margin left over and, they were going to have a word with Mrs. Fletcher in case she might like a nice floral shrub or some other shrubs to plant in her garden (applause).
Mr. Fletcher, in reply, said it was a delightful gift and one they would appreciate very much. The president knew he had associations with the liquor trade and he might have noted that consumption was down and the Chancellor was not getting his fair share (laughter). They would cherish these two gifts very much.
The last 21 years had passed as a dream. It was very enjoyable; he made a lot of friends and he hoped he made no enemies. If he did make any enemies he could now perhaps see their point of view better as he was sitting below the platform (applause).
Mrs. Fletcher also thanked the members and assured the Council that before George joined the liquor trade he could get rid of one or two (laughter). Seriously, they were very grateful to the council and although they had had some hard times they had enjoyed every minute. She hoped they would be able to come and enjoy the meetings under the auspices of the new secretary.
ELECTION OF NEW LIBRARIAN
The president announced that Mr. Frederick Sharpe had been nominated as hon. librarian in place of Mr. W. H. J. Hooton and they were very grateful to him for being willing to take over the job. It was not an easy job; he had to do it for two months during Mr. Hooton’s illness and he could assure them it was not a light undertaking. They could not have a better man than Mr. Sharpe, who had much knowledge of the antiquarian side of their art and knew more about old books on ringing than any living man. There was no other nomination and he took it that it was their wish that Mr. Sharpe should become hon. librarian. He had been able to interest one of his ringers in the business side of the work and they felt very grateful to Miss Ayres for undertaking this work.
The Council agreed to the appointment.
Mr. Sharpe thanked the Council for electing him. Whether he continued in the office depended, he said, on certain circumstances. He lived in a small house and the library was rather extensive. Fortunately, opposite to him was a large rectory and the Rector had kindly placed a room at his disposal for housing the library. If at any time he should leave it might be possible that the new Rector would not let them have the room or might want to sell the rectory. He would like the Council to thank the Rev. E. S. Tarrant, Rector of Launton for placing the room at his disposal.
The Council decided, on the proposition of the chairman, to send a letter to the Rector of Launton thanking him for his kind co-operation.
ELECTION OF HONORARY MEMBERS
The following honorary members retired and were eligible for re-election: Mr. F. I. Hairs, Mr. C. K. Lewis and Mr. W. Osborn. There were five vacancies.
The Standing Committee recommended their re-election.
Mr. A. Hoare proposed the election of Mr. A. J. Pitman as an honorary member.
Mr. C. Roberts, seconding said it was time the genius of Mr. Pitman, as a composer, was recognised by the Exercise. His work had been invaluable and possibly nobody had done more than he had in the realm of composition. Composition was often relegated to the background.
Mr. F. E. Dukes proposed, and Mr. J. Dunwoody seconded, the election of Mrs. E. A. Barnett as an honorary member.
These elections were agreed to with acclamation.
LOSSES BY DEATH
The members stood while the following past members of the Council who had died during the year were remembered:- J. Broadley (Leeds), H. W. D’Aeth (Salisbury Guild), A. J. Harris (Leicester Diocesan Guild), R. T. Holding, C. H. Parry, R. Sperring (Chester Diocesan Guild), C. Edwards (Hereford Diocesan Guild).
Mr. P. J. Johnson said Mr. Broadley was a member of the Yorkshire Association for 67 years and was an officer for many years. While he had not done any peal ringing for 15 years, his record of peals was greater than that of any other member of the Association.
Mr. C. K. Lewis and Mr. G. W. Pullinger paid tributes to the memory of Mr. Edwards.
MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
These were published in “The Ringing World” of May 1st, 1953, and had been circulated to members. On the proposition of the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead they were accepted as a true record of the proceedings.
REPORT OF THE HON. LIBRARIAN
This report, signed by Mr. W. H. J. Hooton, stated:-
Except for copies of “The Bell News” there has been little borrowing, and in this connection the thanks of the Council are due to Mr. A. N. Wood, who discovered in two borrowed copies a fault in arrangement, and most generously had these rebound at his own expense.
An interesting purchase during the year has been a manuscript peal book compiled by a London ringer in the early part of the 19th century. This has been of some interest to the Peal Records Committee. New publications on the bells of Flint and of Stirlingshire, presented by the author, R. W. M. Clouston, are acknowledged with thanks.
The “Collection of Plain Major Methods” became available for sale and has been in steady demand. Stocks of other publications have been replenished by reprinting and “Village Bells” still proves a popular little book. Stocks are now high and further reprinting should not be necessary for some time.
It is with great regret I have been compelled to relinquish the librarianship at such short notice, though I should in any case have asked the Council to relieve me before long. As I have remarked in recent years, the library is always expanding and the work involved is now very considerable. For this reason, much that I should have liked to do in connection with the collection of books has had to be left undone.
The president has been able to give most valuable help in making arrangement for the accommodation of the books and I hope that the Council will approve of what has been done.
Books sold during the year numbered 1,271 and 69 free copies had been distributed. The book stock totalled 60,226 and was valued at £346 6s. 6d.
Mr. F. Sharpe moved the adoption of the report.
Mr. R. S. Anderson, in seconding, moved a sincere vote of thanks to Mr. Hooton for his excellent work to the Council as librarian. The Council hoped that he would soon be restored to normal health.
The report was adopted and the hon. secretary was instructed to write to Mr. Hooton on the terms suggested and also thanking him for all he had done.
“RINGING WORLD” COMMITTEE
The report, signed by Mr. J. F. Smallwood, stated:-
The year 1952 has been one of intensive effort to balance the gap between income and expenditure. Every possible economy has been continued, but in spite of this, expenditure has been greater than income. Thanks, however, to the splendid help in the form of personal donations, peal and quarter peal self-imposed levies, rendered by well-wishers, we were able to finish the year with a balance on the right side.
The circulation is gradually increasing but not so much as we had hoped, and we would earnestly appeal to all those who are to a position to influence the enrolment of new readers to make every effort to help us in obtaining sufficient readers to enable us to produce the paper profitably. We need hardly point out that the larger the circulation the smaller the cost per copy to produce.
Your committee are reluctant to suggest an increase in the price of the paper as they feel the solution to our difficulties lies in obtaining a larger circulation - and any increase in price might prejudice that effort. They feel that sufficient advantage has not been taken by responsible members of the Exercise of the opportunity of expressing their views on the front page of the paper. The Editor will be pleased to receive suitable contributions for publication.
To all those who sent in literary articles, letters to the Editor, etc., your committee offer their warmest thanks. We would also express our deep sense of gratitude to Mr. T. W. White, the Editor, for his conscientious and able work; to Mr. J. E. Jeater, who has looked after the accounts with commendable efficiency; to Mr. Michael Stephens for preparing the index, and to those who have defrayed the cost of blocks for the few illustrations we have been able to provide. To those who have helped us with donations, we reserve our best thanks, and would say that without their practical help we should have found it impossible to keep the price of the paper at fourpence. Their generosity has saved the situation and the thanks, not only of your committee, but of the whole Exercise, are due to them.
Many inquiries of all kinds relating to bells and ringers reach the office of “The Ringing World,” not only from the Exercise but from the National Press, magazines and other organisations. In dealing with these your Editor is playing a very useful part in popularising bells and ringing generally.
Mr. J. Frank Smallwood moved the adoption of the report and appealed to members to do their utmost to increase the circulation, Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded.
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said at the last Council meeting he asked a question which he was afraid was never answered. He would like to repeat it: What were the terms of reference of “The Ringing World” Committee? Last year they had sent to them a report of the Methods Committee for publication. It had been circulated to all members of the Council and they wanted it published. Was it the duty of “The Ringing World” Committee to say what should be published or was it their duty just to look after the business side? He asked what were their terms of reference.
The president: So far as we know there are no terms of reference.
Mr. G. W. Fletcher said if they went back to 1942 they would remember that they took over “The Ringing World” at very short notice - in fact it was on the day of the funeral of Jack Goldsmith. They formed a committee to save the paper and undertook financial obligations. The first committee was appointed to conduct negotiations for the purchase of the paper. Two years ago there was a discussion as to whether they should increase the price of the paper, and at that time, it was thought if they had people with technical experience on the committee it would be an advantage. Mr. J. F. Smallwood and Mr. F. I. Hairs were appointed as technical people. They also thought they should have representatives throughout the country and Mr. H. Poole and Mr. J. T. Dyke were appointed.
“I do not think there are any terms of reference. If you give a committee a job, they do it. The literary side is looked after by the Editor and it is his work. The Editor has no standing on the Council; he is not a member although he comes here to report the proceedings. I can see no need for terms of reference.”
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead: “I am not really satisfied. If that sort of thing can happen I think some rules and regulations with the Editor as controlling the editorial side and the Editorial Committee the business side should be drawn up. I am not casting aspersions at the committee. I think they have done a very good job of work.”
Mr. H. J. Poole: “I feel if the position is left it will right itself.”
Mr. C. K. Lewis supported Mr. Felstead. The committee should form the policy and the Editor carry it out.
Mr. A. G. Blackman held the same view.
Mr. Fletcher said the old committee used to talk to the Editor and the Editor produced a series of articles as suggested. Of course, under the present regime there would be articles submitted which the Editor would refer to the committee.
The hon. secretary presented the accounts and said that “The Ringing World” accounts for 1951 were now with professional auditors.
“The Ringing World” income and expenditure account showed the income for 1952 as follow: Rolls Publishing Co. £1,746 5s. 1d., Postal Subscribers £1,898 4s., Notices and Advertisements £789 5s. 11d., Donations £250 17s. 10d., Miscellaneous £2 12s. 9d., Sale of “College Youths” £1 2s. 6d., Advertisements General Fund nil (last year £22). Total £4,688 8s. 1d.
The expenditure was to Woodbridge Press printing and blocks £3,365 2s. 5d., dispatch of copies £129 19s. 9d., postage and wrappers £544 5s. 7d., Editor’s fees and expenses £240 2s. 6d., clerical assistance £108, postage, stationery and sundry £21 1s. 2d., Accounts Department £138 0s. 11d., miscellaneous £5 13s. 3d. Excess of income over expenditure £136 2s. 6d.
“The Ringing World” balance sheet showed assets as follows: Goodwill and blocks £200, debtors £629 3s., cash balances £1,531 12s. 11d., amount due from General Fund £28 2s. 3d. On the liabilities side the items were: Creditors £375 14s. 11d., payments in advance £518 8s. 11d., Capital Account balance, December 31st, 1951, £1,358 11s. 10d. Profit for the year £136 2s. 6d., making a total of £1,494 14s. 4d. (against £1,358 11s. 10d. in 1951).
Mr. A. A. Hughes moved the adoption of the accounts subject to audit, and Mr. F. W. Perrens seconded.
Mr. H. Poole questioned the deletion of a loan from General Funds of £200 that appeared in the liabilities of “The Ringing World” balance sheet. He asked where it had gone.
Mr. G. W. Fletcher replied that the General Fund had been increased by £200.
The accounts were approved.
The hon. secretary presented the Publications Account which showed Sales £92 2s. 2d., Stock £346 6s. 6d., Stock Stationery £2 15s., making a total of £441 3s. 8d. The account showed an excess of income over expenditure of £14 3s. 4d. No payment had been made for advertisements in “The Ringing World” (last year £20).
The General Funds of the Council showed on receipt side: Affiliation Fees 1952, £37 10s., Donation (life member) £1 1s., Donation to cost of Roll of Honour £6. Balances “Ringing World” £136 2s. 6d., Publications £14 3s. 4d.
On the expenditure side the items were: Roll of Honour £26, Carter Broadsheet £29 16s., Biographies Committee £14 17s. 9d., Binding “Ringing World” for library £1 3s. 6d., Stationery and Printing £31 4s. 1d., Telephone £3 8s. 8d., Postage £5 14s. 9d., Insurance (library) 8s. 9d., Cheque Book 8s. 4d., “Village Bells” (copyright and blocks written off) £5. Excess of income over expenditure £87 5s. (last year excess of expenditure over income of £46 1s. 3d.).
On the General Balance Sheet there was a balance carried forward to 1953 of £1,967 13s. 3d. against £1,880 8s. 3d. The accounts had been audited by Mr. A. A. Hughes and Mr. F. W. Perrens, who moved and seconded their adoption.
Mr. G. W. Fletcher deplored that the £20 payment by the Publications Account to “The Ringing World” for their advertisement that appeared weekly had been deleted. The item was originally put in at the request of “The Ringing World” Committee. It enabled the Publications Account to show a small profit instead of a deficit of £6. They had discussed from time to time the margin of profit of the publications and he suggested they should be re-examined. While they did not want to make a profit they did not want to see a loss. He proposed that next year this item of £20 be inserted.
The Council agreed to this course.
Mr. C. K. Lewis said he had been looking through the stock in the librarian’s hands. They had some old stock and he thought it would be better to write it off completely. This stock had been valued at the cost it was printed. He would like to see the stock re-valued.
The president said he prepared the figures by counting up the books. Most of the old stock was represented by a very small cost. The new stock was valued at the printing price and not the selling price. No doubt Mr. Sharpe will think on this question and write off some of the old stock.
Mr. E. C. S. Turner asked if it was usual to obtain quotations from different printers. He found, as secretary of the Middlesex Association, he could get his prices cut by almost 50 per cent by using Yorkshire firms.
The president said the question would be looked into.
Mr. W. C. Duffield said he was anxious to know about “The Ringing World” circulation. Without donations they would have had a loss instead of a profit.
Mr. J. Frank Smallwood said the circulation was about 5,600.
The accounts were adopted.
CARTER’S RINGING MACHINE
Mr. A. A. Hughes, reporting on the Carter Ringing Machine, said many parts had been renewed and it is in excellent order and was now in the museum. It had been suggested that in order to keep the machine in running order it should be inspected twice a year - in the spring and autumn - followed by a demonstration in the afternoon. The dates would be published in “The Ringing World.”
The adoption of the report was moved by Mr. Hughes and seconded by Mrs. Fletcher.
Mr. H. W. Rogers suggested that the machine should be seen running more frequently.
Mr. C. Roberts said he remembered being taken to see the machine with Mr. Young. Owing, to the obstruction of the then museum authorities it was impossible to see it properly. It had got into a defective condition. He thought the trustee had done a grand thing in getting the machine on view twice a year. It was very nice to know that there were people sufficiently public-minded to keep it in good condition.
Mr. A. Walker said Mr. Hughes’ son had done invaluable work in putting the machine in working order. Mr. Brian Price, when he was down from Wales, also did a great deal.
Mr. H. W. Rogers suggested that selected engineers belonging to the local Territorial Association should be given instructions about the machine and they might offer their services in running the machine.
The president: “We will leave that thought with Mr. Hughes.”
The report was then adopted.
CARTER’S BROADSHEET: £29 16s. WASTED
Mr. Albert Walker said the original proposition to have the Carter’s Broadsheet reprinted was the proposal of Mr. Symonds, of Ipswich, and seconded by himself at London in 1948. The sheets were originally printed by Carter at his own expense. At the time they believed they did the right thing. He understood that since the type had been set up there was some question that some of the peals were not true. The proofs were in Mr. Roberts’ hands. In the meantime nothing had been done about reprinting the copies and the printers pressed for the settlement of the cost of setting the type. This had been paid. He was afraid they were in a very unfortunate position.
Mr. C. W. Roberts said when the resolution was passed suggesting the reprinting of the Carter’s Broadsheet of Caters and Cinques he was not a member of the Council. Mr. Symonds suggested to him that he might like to check the proofs. This he (Mr. Roberts) was willing to do but he pointed out that as he was not a member of the Council it would be better for someone to go through the circuits and see if any misprints had occurred. He thought the Cinques Broadsheet of 1912 had appeared as a supplement in “The Bell News” in 1907.
As to the Caters, there were no false peals but there were misprints and his attention was first called to them by Mr. Bob Grimwood. In the Caters there were 12 palpable misprints and he felt that before the copy was sent to the printers somebody should have been selected to go through it.
He had seen the Cinques in “The Bell News” of 1907, and they consisted of peals of 5,007, 5,017 and 5,019. The 5,007 and 5,019 contained misprints and the 5,017 was all at sea. He felt, himself, that £29 10s. was a tremendous price to pay for a thing that was full of mistakes. He had the greatest admiration for Mr. Carter and his work but he felt that times and conditions changed in composition. He was not endeavouring to minimise its usefulness. When he was a young man he was told by an eminent ringer: “You need not try and compose peals of Stedman Caters as you will find them all in the Broadsheet.” The type had since been destroyed and he doubted even if it had been published it would have been an economic proposition. He was prepared to continue his work of checking the peals and would place them in the Central Council library as a memorial to Mr. Carter. No blame could be placed on Mr. Walker and Mr. Symonds, who acted in good faith.
Mr. A. H. Pulling: “This matter comes rather as a shock, because when I was younger I had the Carter Broadsheet and I think I called hundreds of them to Stedman Caters. Did Mr. Roberts see the original broadsheet? I had one, and when I went to the war I had one and I gave it with Lindoff’s London Surprise to someone for safe keeping. My recollection is that I have never had it back.”
Mr. C. Roberts: “Mr. Pulling can rest assured that what he called was true. There were only 12 out of 7,000 that had misprints.”
Mr. A. C. Hazelden: “Mr. Pulling has forgotten that he handed the copies to me for custody in the Guildford Diocesan Guild library. We have three copies.”
Mr. J. Freeman said the Broadsheet would have a very limited appeal to-day. He did not think the Broadsheet should be reprinted.
Mr. E. C. S. Turner agreed and suggested the committee should start from scratch.
Mr. C. Roberts thought there should be a similar publication to the book of Major methods. It should include Stedman Caters and Cinques, Erin and Grandsire.
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead proposed, and Mr. C. Kippin seconded, that the Council scrap any idea of reprinting the Carter’s Broadsheet and this was agreed to.
After the luncheon interval Mr. Felstead moved that the Peals Collection Committee be asked to consider the possibility of publishing a small booklet dealing with Stedman Caters and Cinques.
Mr. E. C. S. Turner seconded and asked that Mr. Roberts be co-opted on to the committee for this particular purpose.
Mr. Harold Poole: “I take it that the committee will refer the matter back to the Council before any action is taken.”
The president: “Yes.”
This was agreed to.
The Ringing World, June 5, 1953, pages 361 to 364
THE CIVIC WELCOME
A civic welcome was accorded the Council when it met in the afternoon, by the Mayor (Councillor W. P. E. Mears), who said he enjoyed meeting the advance guard of the Council the previous Saturday at dinner, which was a very enjoyable function. Apart from bells in churches they found in some countries bells around cows’ and goats’ necks. He was amazed recently, while in Switzerland, to find that each cow knew the sound of its own bell. It sounded fantastic but it was true. He hoped their stay would he a happy one.
The president thanked the Mayor for his welcome and for the use of a room in the Town Hall for the meeting. The Council, he said, appreciated the welcome from the Civic Authorities because they not only rang bells for Ecclesiastical purposes but on various State occasions. In many places they rang when the Mayor was elected. That morning they sent a loyal message to H.M. the Queen, and when he was asked what to say he told the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards to send greetings to the Queen to tell her they would be making an awful noise the following Tuesday. This, Mr. Edwards put into polite language. The Council expressed its approval of the Mayor’s good wishes by a hearty round of applause.
At the president’s request Mr. Frederick Sharpe and Mrs. Barnett took their places at the president’s table and received a hearty ovation.
The hon. secretary stated that Dr. Hatcher was unable to be present that day but he had written a progress report. He had been unable to complete the handbook but it was fairly clear that it should be ready next year. The Standing Committee recommended that the progress report be received.
Mr. F. I. Hairs proposed and Mrs. Marshall seconded, and this was agreed to.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Mr. H. Miles reported that last year St. Paul’s Cathedral librarian retired and a new librarian took his place. He met him by appointment in November and put four questions to him. These were: (1) Would he take responsibility for the custody of both Rolls of Honour? (2) Could they be shown open in a glass top case? (3) Could arrangements be made for a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths to turn over the pages at intervals? (4) That the Roll he withdrawn temporarily each Whitsun so that it would be on view at the Central Council meeting.
The librarian accepted verbally all four questions, but when he attempted to pin him down to writing, he found that the librarian could not obtain a glass case. He approached Mr. Cullen and he submitted a sketch drawing of such a case which would cost about £20. It would be made of oak and a suitable inscription would be engraved on the top. Its length would be 3ft., width 1ft. 6in. and height 2ft. 6in. He suggested that there might be some member who would like to present such a case to the Council. If not, he suggested that every Association affiliated to the Central Council should give 10s. towards the cost. He moved this.
Mr. A. B. Peck seconded.
The hon. secretary said the Standing Committee recommended that a case be provided for the Roll and that each Association affiliated should subscribe 10s. and that steps be taken to obtain a photostat copy of the Roll.
The recommendations in the report were taken in sections, Mr. F. E. Collins moved and Mr. F. Rogers seconded that the Roll be housed in St. Paul’s.
Mr. E. C. S. Turner moved and Mr. A. D. Barker seconded that the Roll be brought to each Council meeting.
The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow said the uniqueness of the Roll should be borne in mind before it was carted round the country.
Mr. J. Willis emphasised the importance of insuring the Roll.
Mr. P. J. Johnson was strongly against the Roll being taken out of the custody of St. Paul’s authorities.
Mr. A. B. Peck said it was decided at a recent meeting that a member of the St. Paul’s band should turn over the pages from time to time. He agreed with Mr. Johnson that it was inadvisable to move it. The Rolls were perfectly safe at St. Paul’s.
The proposal of the Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow, seconded by Mr. Johnson, that the Rolls remain in St. Paul’s and not he taken to the Central Council meetings was carried.
The next resolution, that in the event of no single member being prepared to pay for the case it be provided by each affiliated Society contributing 10s., was moved by Mr. Anderson and seconded by Mr. F. I. Hairs. This was carried.
Mr. P. J. Johnson moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Miles for his excellent work in compiling the Roll and the trouble he had taken in housing it. This was carried with acclamation.
Mr. Fletcher proposed that trustees be appointed for the Roll and that Mr. Miles be the first trustee. This was agreed to.
The Committee reported the following new methods rung during the year ended December 31st, 1952:-
Tower bells.- Jan. 5th, 5,040 Wallington Surprise Royal, Surrey Association; Jan. 16th, 5,024 Wath Delight Major, Norwich Diocesan Association; Jan. 17th, 5,088 Acton Surprise Major, Middlesex County Association; Jan. 19th, 5,024 Chesterfield Surprise Major, Derbyshire Association; Jan. 21st, 5,040 Spliced Surprise Maximus (7 methods), Leicester Diocesan Guild; March 24th, 5,280 Buckingham Surprise Maximus, Leicester Diocesan Guild; March 27th, 5,056 Middleton Surprise Major, Middlesex County Association; April 5th, 5,040 Southover Surprise Royal, Sussex County Association; April 12th, 5,024 Edmonton Surprise Major, Middlesex County Association; April 15th, 5,024 Pontefract Delight Major, Irish Association; May 15th, 5,040 Langley Surprise Royal, St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham; May 17th, 5,280 Colville Bob Major, Chester Diocesan Guild; June 7th, 5,040 Staffordshire Surprise Royal, St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham; June 12th, 5,040 Saltley Delight Royal, St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham; June 19th, 5,184 Plymouth Surprise Major, Middlesex County Association; June 26th, 5,280 Buckinghamshire Surprise Maximus, Leicester Diocesan Guild; July 31st, 5,184 Spliced Surprise Maximus (8 methods), Leicester Diocesan Guild; Sept. 13th, 5,088 Battersea Surprise Major, Middlesex County Association; Sept. 17th, 5,184 Saxlingham Imperial Bob Major, Norwich Diocesan Association; Oct. 6th, 5,056 Coslany Imperial Major, Norwich Diocesan Association; Oct. 15th, 5,040 Metropolitan Surprise Royal, Leicester Diocesan Guild; Oct. 18th, 5,056 Owen’s College Bob Major, Manchester University Guild; Nov. 8th, 5,088 Buckley Imperial Bob Major, North Wales Association; Nov. 15th, 5,120 Daresbury Imperial Bob Major, Chester Diocesan Guild; Nov. 15th, 5,152 Adelaide Surprise Major, Hertford County Association; Nov. 19th, 5,184 Aldeburgh Court Major, Norwich Diocesan Association; Nov. 22nd, 5,120 Grosvenor Imperial Bob Major, Chester Diocesan Guild; Dec. 3rd, 5,088 Whitwick Surprise Major, Leicester Diocesan Guild; Dec. 11th, 5,040 Spliced Surprise Maximus (10 methods), Leicester Diocesan Guild.
Handbells.- Jan. 14th, 5,120 Spliced Surprise Major (14 methods), Middlesex County Association; Feb. 23rd, 5,184 Spliced Royal (7 methods), Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild; Sept. 8th, 5,088 Spliced Royal (11 methods), Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild; Oct. 24th, 5,120 Spliced Surprise Major (16 methods), Hertford County Association.
Mrs. Fletcher moved and Mrs. Marshall seconded the adoption of the report which was agreed to.
The report, signed by Mr. A. C. Hazelden, stated:-
The inauguration of the very fine album for the safe keeping of our records, which was exhibited at Lincoln, has, without doubt, inspired both among those of this Council and outside it a more helpful and intelligent attitude toward the work of the Biographies Committee, resulting in the clearing of a good number of our old obscurities.
The committee have been fortunate in enlisting the help of Mr. J. Willis, of the Kent County Association, for the writing of the sheets for the album after the completed material has been edited by Mr. W. Viggers, and it is hoped by this arrangement that the work will progress at a steady rate until the present arrears have been made up. This allows Messrs. L. Stilwell and A. C. Hazelden to concentrate on the important task of watching and searching for information required for completing the records of old members of the Council, some of whom died 40 or more years ago, and recollection of whom has very often faded from the memory of their successors.
Our index books now contain the names of 632 persons who, in the 62 years of the Council’s existence, have been members. Of this total there are 213 departed members for whom the Biographies Committee have material for completing records.
Of the remaining 419 names, there are a further 24 who are known to be departed, whose biographies are defective only as regards a photograph. They are:- Mr. W. Bibby, Mr. J. Dillon, Mr. H. A. Heywood and Mr. W. Walmsley (Chester Diocesan Guild), Mr. E. E. Burgess, Mr. A. E. Coles and the Rev. H. C. Courtney (Bath and Wells Association), Mr. F. E. Dawe and Mr. H. Walton (Ancient Society of College Youths), Mr. H. W. D’Aeth, Mr. T. H. Beams and Mr. S. J. Hector (Salisbury Diocesan Guild), Mr. T. Groombridge. sen. (Kent County Association), Mr. T. Groombridge, jun. (Southwell Diocesan Guild), Mr. B. Keeble (Essex Association), Mr. R. G. Knowles (Hereford Diocesan Guild), Mr. W. Lawrence (Middlesex Association), Mr. G. T. McLaughlin (London County Association), Mr. D. J. Nicholls (Peterborough Diocesan Association), Mr. C. D. Potter (Barnsley and District Guild), Mr. J. W. Parker (Durham and Newcastle Association), Mr. Harvey Reeves (Worcester and Districts Association), Mr. E. F. Strange (Surrey Association) and Mr. G. Longden (Lancashire Association).
There are also a further 14 names of former members whose decease may be presumed, but of whom the Biographies Committee have little or no knowledge. They are:- Mr. R. B. Blanchard (Surrey Association), Mr. J. W. Creasey (Lincoln Diocesan Guild), Mr. F. Ball (Chester Diocesan Guild), Mr. T. Collinson (Birmingham Amalgamated Society), Mr. T. Card (Cumberland Youths), the Rev. Pitt Eykyn (honorary member), Mr. H. J. Bradley (Cumberland Youths), Mr. J. C. Buchanan (Hereford Diocesan Guild), Mr. Joseph Griffin (Midland Counties), the Rev. T. Hughes (Hereford Diocesan Guild), Mr. C. W. Metcalf (East Derby Association), Mr. C. E. Malim (Waterloo Society), Mr. A. E. Nunn (Kent County Association) and the Rev. J. U. Todd (Bath and Wells Association).
There are 381 names of present and past members of the Council presumably living, 96 of whom appear in our books as names only.
The committee again acknowledge with gratitude the help which many persons, both members of the Council and others, have given so readily and so fully, namely:- Mr. E. C. Shepherd, of Solihull, who has provided information about some cases in Midland areas and is now engaged on the rather obscure case of the late Mr. J. Griffin, of Burton-on-Trent; Mr. H. V. Frost, who has kindly cleared for us questions concerning the late Squire Proctor and Canon Woolmore Wigram; Mr. H. Walker, of York Minster, who has with equal generosity substantially helped us regarding the late Mr. W. H. Howard and Mr. George Breed.
Mr. A. C. Hazelden, who moved the adoption of the report, said the album was on view. He asked that Mr. Willis be added to the committee.
Mr. W. Viggers seconded and said it would be necessary to expand to a second volume. They wanted photographs of postcard size, and over £6 had been spent on copying photographs because they were not of the right size.
The report was adopted and Mr. J. Willis was elected a member of the committee.
PEAL BOARDS COMMITTEE
The hon. secretary reported that both members of the committee were absent. The report had not been circulated and it appeared that the committee asked for guidance as to what was to be done with the records when completed. The Standing Committee recommended that they be kept in loose-leaf form in the Council’s records.
Mrs. Fletcher moved that the records, when completed, be handed to the librarian and this was agreed to.
LITERATURE, PRESS & BROADCASTING COMMITTEE
The report stated that references to bells and ringing in the Press at large have been frequent and widespread. In view of the many technicalities often involved, occasional errors are practically inevitable, but it is eminently satisfactory to note that journalists of to-day take far greater care than was formerly the case to obtain and reproduce correct information on matters relating to the belfry. The prominence accorded in local newspapers to the installation or restoration of church bells indicates a lively interest on the part of the public while the activities of local bands, or individual ringers are found from time to time occupying two or three columns of print and illustration. Two typical examples may be cited. On December 8th, 1952, the “Scarborough Evening News” gave a full and circumstantial account of the re-opening of the bells of the Parish Church, and followed it up on New Year’s Day with a detailed description of the local band ringing at midnight. In each case photographs appeared of the ringers at their ropes. On March 14th, 1953, the “Bath Herald” devoted nearly half a page to an account of the work being carried out on the bells at Weston. The “Diocesan Notes” in the “Church Times” include frequent mention of bells, and recently reported a case of nearly 60 years’ service in a belfry. The “West Briton” always keeps a vigilant eye on the Cornish veteran, Mr. Sam Quintrell, and gave due prominence to the peal rung in celebration of his 97th birthday, with a picture of the band.
The forthcoming Coronation has naturally stimulated interest in the part to be played by ringers on that occasion. The “Manchester Guardian” published in November an admirably-written article on the ringers at Westminster Abbey. The Women’s Institute journal, “Home and Country,” conveyed Christmas greetings to its readers with a picture of ringers in the belfry at Pevensey, Sussex, on the front page. A writer in another paper tells of the interesting discovery of figures written above the notes of the tenor part to assist a singer in reading his part by relating the notes of the scale to the corresponding number of bells. From another continent the “New Yorker” comes to hand with an article entitled “The Canterbury Pleasure,” written by the daughter of a Derbyshire clergyman. Recalling vivid memories of the ringers at her father’s church, she tells of the bells regularly being rung up and down again on Sunday mornings and exactly at 11 o’clock the ringers making a very leisurely exit from the church. “They would pause in their journey,” she writes, “to acknowledge … congratulatory smiles bestowed upon them. Last to leave was the potman, his tray of empty jugs and tankards discreetly covered with a green baize cloth.”
It is satisfactory to note that “The Ringing World” has increased its circulation and paid its way well. Recent publications by members of the Exercise include one on “Bells of Cheshire,” by Mr. J. W. Clarke, and on “Bells of Oxford,” by Mr. F. Sharpe, while Mr. R. W. M. Clouston gives readers the benefit of his researches in towers of Flintshire and Stirlingshire. Mr. Clouston has also contributed to “The Belfry,” which continues with laudable enterprise to edify readers in the Maidstone District and has published erudite treatises on Method Structure, by Mr. Yorke-Bramble.
The report of the Irish Association states that in Dublin cinemas bells have featured in a film entitled “Saturday Calling,” and bells of Wexford have been heard on “News Reel” throughout the country, while the bells of most towers in Northern Ireland have been heard in one or another of the wireless programmes. The “Irish Bell News” is reported as thriving with a circulation exceeding 200. The “Ringing Towers” of New South Wales increases in scope and interest. The rehanging of Maitland bells was a prominent feature last year.
Both tower bells and handbells have featured in sound broadcasting as also in television, especially in Children’s Hour. A performance on handbells by twins, recently televised, was of special interest. On one occasion girl ringers had a part in Woman’s Hour. In one edition of “Country Magazine” a pleasing novelty was introduced by a band of West Sussex handbell ringers, which elicited from Ralph Wightman, who was presiding, the impromptu observation, “We have good ringers in Dorset, too”!
Broadcasts of bells before services have naturally varied in quality and a considerably higher average of striking is to be desired, but in the matter of quantity, ringers have a real grievance. It is quite the exception for ever the standard 1½ minutes to be allowed, and on a recent Sunday only eight or ten rounds came over from a Lincoln church. This curtailment of the very short time granted to ringers may well call for an official protest. Another point is that when bells are to precede a service the fact should be stated in “The Radio Times,” as is actually done in West Region programmes.
In the broadcast of bells on Christmas morning a very fair average of striking was maintained, but in no case was it quite faultless. Whatever ringing may be broadcast for the Coronation we trust that it will be of a quality worthy of the occasion.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, in presenting the report, said there were three thing that might be said. One was that in broadcasting it was a very wide field and they could only give a superficial report. Some of the broadcasts were not given in the particular region in which they were listening and there were a number of events which had not been included in the report.
The second was that owing to the lamented death of H.M. Queen Mary, that splendid television broadcast from Kingston Seymour, which many of them present saw, came too late to be included in the report. Everybody who saw it agreed that it was a perfect example, both visibly and in sound, of what bellringing was. It was splendidly arranged and presented by boys with handbells as well as the church bellringers. He was sure that those who took part in it, including two well-known members of the Council, were to be heartily congratulated.
The report referred to the curtailment of the short time allowed to ringers before broadcasting services. This was a serious matter. Some time ago some sort of statement was obtained from the B.B.C. that 1½ minutes would be allowed. In fact, it was quite the exception to hear the bells for 1½ minutes; ringing had been cut short in some broadcasts to half a dozen rounds. This was a matter in which ringers had a very real grievance.
Another matter was that when bells were to precede a service it should be stated in “The Radio Times.” It was given in the Western Region but not in every region. He thought some steps should be taken by the Council at its highest level to get some general understanding with the B.B.C. that bells should be included in the programme and that at least two minutes of uninterrupted ringing allowed.
Mr. A. Walker, seconding the adoption of the report, said he also felt very strongly about broadcasting. When he first started broadcasting they were asked to ring for 15 minutes and then it was gradually reduced. It should be dealt with from a high level. He had written to the B.B.C. in Birmingham and got in touch with the Religious Director but they were up against a stone wall.
The president asked for discussion to take place under the special resolution.
The report was then adopted.
The Ringing World, June 12, 1953, pages 377 to 378
TOWERS AND BELFRIES
Presenting the Towers and Belfries report, Mr. Frederick Sharpe said the first major consideration of the committee was a resolution by the Central Council for the Care of Churches, which was the body which largely controlled the Diocesan Advisory Committees. This Council passed four resolutions:-
(1). Bells earlier than 1600 should not be recast but preserved in the church, and no bells older than 1750 should be recast unless cracked. If bells of 1750 and onwards are permitted to be recast, the old inscription should be reproduced in facsimile on the new bell, with the dates of recasting added.
(2). When estimating for major work on bells the firms tendering should give the date and founder of each bell in the ring, and any points of special interest, including inscriptions, and the approximate age of the frame.
(3). No bells should be rehung or frame altered in ancient towers, save under an architect skilled in handling such buildings.
(4). This Council adheres to the advice they have already given on many occasions in former reports, especially in regard to the retention of canons.
A LENGTHY CORRESPONDENCE
The Towers and Belfries Committee, said Mr. Sharpe, started a lengthy correspondence. They felt they could not lay down hard and fast rules. It might be that a parish could not afford to buy an extra ton of metal if a bell cast in 1575 developed a crack. They felt that cases should be considered on their merits. If it was impossible to preserve the bell it might be possible to cut out the inscription and founder’s marks or preserve the head of the bell from the inscription belt upwards. In regard to the bells up to 1750, that they should not be recast unless cracked, it was a ridiculous suggestion. There was a number of bells cast between 1700 and 1750 and these should be taken on their merits and the inscription preserved.
In regard to the second resolution, that the firm tendering should give the age of the bell and frame, he thought it was putting a lot on the founders. He should hesitate to do it himself.
As to the resolution that no bell should be rehung save under an architect skilled in handling such buildings where were the men to be found?
In regard to the canons, a hard and fast rule could not be laid down because there were plenty of bells where the canons were not safe. If that rule was applied a mediæval bell would not be turned in.
The committee carried on a long correspondence with Dr. Eeles, and the next thing was an invitation to send a representative to the York architectural school where a residential course was being held for architects and diocesan surveyors. He went and lectured on bells, bell hanging and sound control on the lines laid down in the Council’s handbook. It was obviously a success because he was asked to go again.
The committee had dealt with 32 cases; there had not been anything exceptional. They had also dealt with four cases of sound control. There was one case where a diocesan advisory committee had suggested that a bell should be welded on to the sound bow. They were able to persuade them not to. In two cases they had been able to persuade the authorities not to provide amplifiers.
CUTTING OFF SHOULDER RING
Mr. W. Osborn, in seconding, endorsed what Mr. Sharpe had said. It was a rather sad thing, he said, to see an old bell that had been hanging in the tower and had called people to worship for hundreds of years being out of its element on the floor of the church. Many small parishes which raised funds to have their bells restored could not afford to replace the bell metal; recasting should be classed as the only satisfactory way to repair a cracked or damaged bell, If the bell had founders marks or other interesting inscriptions the shoulder ring could be neatly cut out; this had been allowed in two instances in his part of the country.
He had inspected the work and heard the bells at six places where founders had carried out major restorations; in all cases the frame structures were a sound engineering job and the bells, as a ring, were of fine tonal balance. One heard many rings of bells that were over-tenored; this was not so objectionable when the tenor was rung behind but when turned in it sounded like a giant striding among the others.
Steeplekeepers should bear in mind that because it was not necessary to visit the bells often to grease bearings, the new job should be frequently inspected. Clapper fittings were subject to a great amount of vibration which tended to loosen nuts and it was of great importance to keep all tight.
CARE OF ROPES
As ropes were now an expensive item, he wrote to the makers asking their advice as to the best treatment. They stated that it was advisable to treat the rope at the garter holes with pure white vaseline and if undue wear took place they could supply a soft leather sleeve. They did not advise greasing at guides or points of friction. In the event of the tower being excessively damp the ropes could be treated with Lectal rope preservative, which was best carried out at their works.
Mr. C. K. Lewis said he wrote to the Central Council for the Preservation of Churches and asked them who were the architects for the North West. He got four names and contacted each one individually and asked them what they knew of the subject. Three said they were not interested and the fourth “Heaven forbid that I should have anything to do with it.”
Mr. N. Chaddock said they had a spate of artificial bells in his area (Sheffield) and he wondered if the committee could take any action and follow the lead of the Ripon Diocese. There were some areas where this was permitted. There was also the question of copyright. Could anything be done in that direction? He thought it was a real danger to the bells of the future.
Mr. C. Roberts said there were many places where there was no provision for bells and the incumbents wanted something to call the people. On the general question of synthetic apparatus, he thought the best thing was a personal approach to the incumbent. Many people did not like to be dictated to from the top.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said he told one incumbent who proposed to install apparatus that the best thing he could do was to get boys with handbells and have them rung in the church porch.
Mr. F. I. Hairs: Would it be possible to have a typewritten report?
The report was adopted.
PEALS ANALYSIS COMMITTEE
The report for 1952 stated:-
As already reported in “The Ringing World.” the total of peals rung during 1952 has fallen below that of last year. The grand total was 2,618, made up of 2,395 on tower bells and 223 on handbells.
The lamented death of His Majesty King George VI. in February gave that month the highest total for the year. March, in Lent, produced more peals than August or September, so we ask ourselves this question: “Are we churchpeople?”
Chief among the “above the ordinary performances” are the peals of Spliced Surprise Maximus by the Leicester Guild, the octogenarians’ peal of Bob Major for the Kent Association and, beyond any doubt, the handbell peal in 16 Surprise Major methods for the Hertford County by Mr. H. G. Cashmore and his talented band.
A very good start with the new Plain Major Methods book has been made by the Chester Diocesan Guild and the Norwich Diocesan Association.
The leading Associations or Guilds are as follows - Leicester Diocesan 206, Kent County 155, Lancashire 147, Lincoln Diocesan 118, Oxford Diocesan 115.
One peal of Minor, containing Woodbine and rung for the Yorkshire Association, has not been included.
In the 1953 Analysis the committee very reluctantly will have to exclude peals of Doubles containing methods with 2-Lead Courses - e.g., Reading and St. Dunstan’s, to comply with the Decisions of the Council.
Further, the Committee ask, in all seriousness, for the conductors of peals, especially these rung in the latter part of December, to send off at once the particulars of the peals to the Editor so that they may be published by the last issue in January. This will enable the committee to have all particulars ready for the secretary of the Council when he asks for a report at the end of February.
Mr. H. Miles, in the absence of Mr. W. Ayre, submitted the report. The total number of peals rung in 1952, he said, was 2,619 - 2,396 tower bells and 223 handbells. These are as follows:- Maximus 36, Cinques 43, Royal 82, Caters 86, Surprise Major 450 (106 Cambridge), Treble Bob and Plain 456 (196 Plain Bob), Triples 339 (209 Grandsire), Minor 671 (311 in one method), Doubles 233. The committee objected very strongly to peals rung in the previous year not being submitted till the latter part of April. This was slackness on the part of the conductor and could have been avoided.
Mr. C. H. Kippin: I suppose the Peal Analysis Committee has not considered that peals rung in Lent should not be recognised by the Council.
Mr. C. Roberts pointed out that there was no restriction on ringing peals in Lent. All they did was a matter of taste. The only regulation was that peals should not be rung between Maundy Thursday and Easter Day. If, however, an incumbent gave permission to ring, the ringers were not to blame, He did not think it was, a matter on which the Council could dogmatise.
The President: We must always bear in mind that it is the incumbent who has the last word. The report was adopted.
The Ringing World, June 19, 1953, page 397
AFFILIATION FEE INCREASE
The Council next considered a motion that the annual affiliation fee to the Council be increased with effect as from January 1st, 1954.
Mr. F. J. Smallwood: I do not think it is necessary to say very much on this motion. We all know that increases have occurred in all direction making the affiliation fee look very ridiculous. It would appear that we spend five or six times more than we receive in affiliation fees. I therefore propose, on behalf of the Standing Committee, that the affiliation fee as from January 1st, 1954, shall be 10s. per member.
Mr. A. Walker seconded.
Mr. C. H. Kippin: In view of the fact that the amount is not stated in the motion we can only decide this year to put the affiliation fee up the following year.
The secretary disagreed and pointed out that the notice was given at Lincoln.
The motion was carried by a large majority.
COUNCIL AGAINST PEAL CHARGES
Mr. H. Miles then moved that on and from January 1st, 1954, a charge of 1s. should be made for every peal and quarter peal published in “The Ringing World.”
Submitting the motion, Mr. Miles said the year 1952 had been one of intensive effort on behalf of “The Ringing World.” Every possible economy had been continued and in spite of that, expenditure was greater than income. He thought the time had come when “The Ringing World” should be placed on a sound financial basis and not have to appeal to the well-wishers of the paper.
Most ringers had to pay 3d. a rope and in some cases 6d. for the report of their peal to be published in the Guild’s annual report. “The Ringing World” gave far wider publicity and he suggested it should be paid for. He felt it was one way of getting sufficient revenue to meet the cost of publication. Last year donations came to £257 7s. 10d. He counted up the peals and quarter peals and if a flat charge of 1s. was made it would produce £227 14s.
Mr. W. Chaddock seconded and supplemented Mr. Miles’ qualities to the help given by the voluntary contributors. Over a period of three weeks he found that the income from quarter peals was 1s. 1d. per quarter published and from peals 1½d. It seemed that the quarter peal ringers were doing very well but as regards peals, some had slipped. He did not like the idea of “The Ringing World” going cap in hand to make ends meet.
The Hon. Secretary: The Standing Committee considered this motion last night and recommended that it be referred to “The Ringing World” Committee.
Mr. R. S. Anderson said he looked on the motion in a degree as a vote of censure on the committee and that was the last thing that was wanted. What was wanted was bigger circulation. There were 25,000 ringers in the country and only 5,600 subscribed to “The Ringing World.” It was insufficient. Ringers as a class were not amenable to compulsion. He doubted if all would send in their peals if there was a charge.
Mr. A. H. Pulling was strongly opposed to the motion. When a thing was voluntary, he said, it was quite all right, but don’t make it compulsory. He supported referring the matter to the committee. Quarter peals contained news of where ringers were.
Mr. C. H. Kippin: With special reference to the Society of Roving Ringers.
Mr. P. Johnson said if they carried the motion they would find that the man who conducted the peal would pay “the bob.” As to the prospects of the paper, most of them would remember the fate of all the ringing newspapers. The whole problem was one of circulation. He wanted to suggest that peal ringing was the life blood of the Exercise. If they stopped peals they took all interest out of ringing. He agreed that much of the publicity of peals was personal advertisement. He implored them not to let other people read their copy of “The Ringing World.” They could buy it.
Mr. Harold Poole thought it would be inadvisable to accept the motion.
A member said the voluntary contribution was one of the most cheering efforts he had seen in the Exercise. “Don’t let us destroy that very lovely voluntary effort,” he implored.
Mr. J. E. Lilley asked individual members to do their utmost to get new readers. He got seven the other day at a meeting.
Mr. N. Chaddock denied that he was “getting at ‘The Ringing World’ committee,” He would be quite satisfied it the motion went to that committee.
Mr. R. G. Blackman: Instead of referring it to the committee I would like to see it rejected. You never expect people who provide the news to pay for it.
The motion was defeated by a very large majority.
RELATIONS WITH B.B.C.
The third motion was: “That an effort should be made by the Central Council to establish closer relations with, and recognition by the B B.C.”
Proposing the motion. Mr. C. W. Pipe said it was not a criticism of the Press, Literature and Broadcasting Committee. His idea was that a small representative body from the Council should interview the B.B.C. The long and short of the matter was that the Suffolk Guild thought that ringers were not getting a square deal with the B.B.C. The B.B.C knew very little about bells or ringers or what were good bells and good ringing. He thought it was time an approach should be made to them. There should be representatives up and down the country who would give advice. It was deplorable, as Mr. Edwards had said, that after all the hard work that was put into a broadcast only a few rounds should be heard. It had been said that day that there were 26,000 ringers he thought the number was nearly 40,000. In addition, there were those who had given up and did not ring on account of age who listened to bells, apart from the ordinary public. He thought there must be a quarter of a million people listening to these broadcasts and it was a great disappointment to them when they only heard a few rounds.
There was, at two minutes to eight on Sunday mornings, an admirable recording of Evercreech bells. He would like to put it to the B.B.C. that these records be changed once a month. On the occasion of the death of Queen Mary they heard the tenor tolled from Raveningham. He thought ringers and the public would like to hear the great bells tolled from other parts of the country.
Mr. J. E. Lilley said that broadcasts varied in different parts of the country. Through certain efforts in the West Region they got one and a half to two minutes’ ringing and they were told that if ringing was cut down to half a minute they should write to the authorities. It was only by bullying that they got results.
The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow said they ought to keep in their minds what was in the minds of the B.B.C. He took it that the B.B.C. looked on bells as the curtain-raising items. What they had to do was to establish a friendly relationship with the incumbents of churches from where broadcasts took place. When a broadcast was to take place the first person approached was the incumbent. If the local ringers could get him to support two minutes’ ringing then the B.B.C. would cut them down to one minute. They had to get at the incumbents and they would get at the B.B.C. He thought that any general approach would meet with better success if it went through regions. They wanted a sleuth in each region of the country to find out particulars.
Mr. H. G. Sanger said it was his privilege to belong to the Evercreech band and, rather contrary to some of the opinions expressed that day, they were approached by the B.B.C. to make bell records. They made a number of records. He had a letter, dated May 8th, which stated that they would be using Stedman Triples and Double Norwich for the following Sunday and Stedman Caters for Coronation Day on the Light Programme. As far as the Western Region was concerned they found a personal approach to the Religious Director had very good results and over the years it had borne good fruit. If any bells were to be used Mr. Dyke was approached as to the suitability of the bells and ringers. He thought the solution to the problem was for the various Diocesan Associations to approach the Region. Do underground work and find out who were the people responsible.
Mr. S. F. Palmer said a few weeks ago his Provost asked him to ring the Cathedral bells for ten minutes for a broadcast. The service was not broadcast in this country but for the Forces overseas. They were to ring from 7.30 to 7.40 and he heard from their friends that they were on the air just under two minutes. Although they gave them a good example of change ringing, they on their part, felt that just under two minutes was not long enough and they had had a raw deal.
Mr. C. K. Lewis mentioned recording at St. George’s, Stockport, where the bells were heard before and after the service. The incumbent there just put his foot down and he got what he wanted from the B.B.C.
Mr. J. T. Dunwoody said after years of patience, in 1946 they established in Northern Ireland that there would be no broadcasts of bells without consulting the District secretary. That had been faithfully carried out. He hoped that nothing would be done to upset that arrangement by an approach to headquarters.
Mr. Harold Poole: I feel this is purely a territorial matter. I move that it be left to the respective Associations and Guilds to deal with.
This course of action met with the approval of the Council and was carried.
NEXT COUNCIL MEETING
The hon. secretary said the Standing Committee considered the meeting place for the next Council meeting and left it to the meeting.
Mr. F. Perrens moved that the 1954 Council meeting be held at Newcastle-on-Tyne. For the last two or three years, he said, Newcastle had been in the picture and for some reason or another a meeting there was put off.
Mr. W. C. West advocated the next meeting being held in London.
Mr. R. S. Anderson seconded Newcastle.
The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards thought it was a big mistake to break with old tradition. For the last 40 or so years it had always been the custom for the first meeting of the new Council to be held in the Metropolis.
Mr. F. Ainsley, speaking on behalf of the Durham and Newcastle Association, said they would welcome the Council at Newcastle. They were bitterly disappointed at the decision last year.
There was an overwhelming vote in favour of Newcastle.
RECORD OF ATTENDANCE
The hon. secretary reported that 22 Association were fully represented, 24 partially and eight not at all.
|THE METHODS COMMITTEE REPORT|
The report of the Methods Committee and the discussion arising therefrom will be the subject of a special article.
VOTES OF THANKS
The president proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor and Corporation for the use of the room in the Town Hall and for entertaining the Council to tea. They also desired to thank the Rev. K. Felstead, Mr. G. Pullinger and Mr. A. V. Davis for the local arrangements; the Vicar of St. Peter’s for his welcome, taking the service of Holy Communion and for the use of St. Peter’s Hall for the Standing Committee meeting; Canon Carew Cox for his welcome on behalf of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild; Mr. A. Martin Stewart for the invitation to his nursery and his welcome and charming hospitality on Sunday afternoon; and to all incumbents for the use of bells.
The resolution was carried with acclamation.
Mr. R. S. Anderson thanked the president for the able way he had presided (applause).
Mr. G. W. Fletcher: I congratulate the secretary on the way he has faced up to that big ordeal, his first meeting (applause).
The Council was afterwards entertained to tea by the Bournemouth Corporation, the guests being received by the Deputy Mayor.
The appreciation of the Council was expressed by Mr. G. Pullinger (Master of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild) and Mr. W. C. West (secretary of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild).
In the evening a social was held at the Devonshire Hotel with Mr. Harold Poole as MC.
The Ringing World, July 3, 1953, pages 434 to 435, correction July 31, 1953, page 505
Many hundreds of hours on research were spent by the Methods Committee in fulfilling the Council’s resolution of four years ago, when the Committee was asked to define an acceptable extension of a method.
The report of this Committee - the work of the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, Messrs. H. G. Cashmore, N. Golden, C. H. Kippin and C. K. Lewis - were presented with recommendations to the Central Council meeting at Bournemouth and adopted by the Council.
The Ringing World, July 17, 1953, pages 472
The president said this matter might be very contentious. He asked members to speak briefly and to the point.
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said he would divide the report into three parts, one of which was not mentioned. The first was extension, consisting of ten pages. It stated the rejection by the committee of any kind of version and the acceptance only of mathematical true extension based on extension obtained from standard methods over which there was no question.
The committee organised a meeting in London at which anyone interested could attend. They had a full and frank discussion.
He would like to say on behalf of the members of the Methods Committee that there had been certain things said about their work on extension for the past two or three years - sometimes critical. He thought it was only fair to say that it was the Council who asked the committee to do it, and, secondly, they did not want the job, but having been given it, they had done their best with the results before them. He moved the adoption of the report on extension.
Mr. K. Lewis, seconding, said to a lot of people the report would be difficult to understand. Explaining terms, he said the portion in front of the treble was the front sub-section, and that behind the back sub-section; the whole made a section.
Mr. Harold Poole said last year he challenged the report on behalf of two people who had made a study of the subject. They had seen the report and they came away quite happy and thought some good would come out of it.
Mr. A. B. Peck: I should like to be assured that the five members of the committee absolutely understood the report. Frankly, I don’t.
Mr. C. H. Kippin: I do (laughter).
Mr. A. D. Barker: Mr. Felstead mentioned the meeting in London. I went along and was bundled out before they started the business.
Mr. Kippin replied that Mr. Barker turned up an hour too soon. The committee had arranged to meet first.
The Hon. Secretary: I arrived a little earlier than expected and I just escaped with my life.
Mr. W. Wilson said he was prepared to provide 300 or 400 roneo copies of the report.
The meeting then voted on the method extension section of the report, which was carried.
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said the second subject was irregular methods and this applied to Minor methods alone. They had made an investigation and had found no reason for altering the decision of the Council made some 50 years ago. Suffice it to say, they had found there was nothing in the irregular methods that was not in the regular ones and that in many cases there were definite advantages in the regular methods in the scope of composition. Although they could not point to any particular reason for disallowing them, it was the accumulation of small points. The committee recommended that the present decision be adhered to.
Mr. C. K. Lewis seconded, for, as a Minor ringer, he said, all his early ringing was on six bells and even now he was still at heart a Minor ringer though he did sometimes venture on higher numbers.
An investigation was made into the question of Minor methods both regular and irregular and it was found that the Plain Bob lead heads and ends were the only set which were common to both seconds place and sixths place methods. For example, most Minor ringers knew that Cambridge and Primrose were identical, row for row, until the handstroke of the treble’s full lead and that if one rang a plain course of each one would have rung the same changes but in a different order.
The irregular methods had not this feature and two methods in which the first lead was row for row identical until the treble’s hand-stroke lead would have quite different plain courses - one for the seconds place method and one for the sixths place method. This, he considered, was the most serious defect.
“Now as to types of work. For example, if we divide the work of Treble Bob minor methods into work below and work above the treble we get 36 different works below and 14 different works above, which, when combined together, give a possible 504 methods. Of these, 147 methods have a five lead ‘regular’ course and 146 methods a five lead ‘irregular’ course. The remainder are one, two or three lead courses only. No work which is contained in any irregular method is omitted from the regular methods. For instance, you cannot ring Cambridge below and Oxford Treble Bob above and get a regular method, but you can ring Cambridge below and Kent above and get Oswald. In this connection I am willing privately to help any band who want to progress and do not know how to set about it, if they will let me have a list of the methods they know.
”As to the question of 6-5s we find that a greater proportion of the irregular methods produce 6-5s in the standard calling than do the regular methods. Eighty-one out of 146 against 53 out of 147. Finally, a scrutiny of a collection of irregular methods made by a former and honoured member of this Council, the Rev. A. T. Beeston, discloses that only about 30 irregular methods were practised and most of those in the county of broad acres.
“In my investigation I started with an open mind and endeavoured to make a case for the irregular methods if it were possible, but I feel that there is no good case for them, and unwilling as I am to prevent anyone from ringing what he pleases, I cannot help being driven to the conclusion that It would not be right for the Council to recognise lead ends other than those of Plain Bob.”
Mr. C. Roberts said he thought Mr. Lewis had made an able exposition for retaining these lead ends which they knew so well. Mr. Lewis had left out the question of music. It came back to enthusiasm for good Minor methods as against reversing me bells in 5-6. He had never tried to ring any of the irregular methods because it was one of the things which was not done.
Mr. A. D. Barker said the Methods Committee appeared to have gone only on the scientific side. The Oxford Guild at its last meeting asked for the whole position to be investigated.
The Rev. K. Felstead: We were asked to go into it and this is our finding.
The resolution was carried by a large majority.
The Rev. K. Felstead said last year they did not come to a definite decision about three lead courses of Royal methods, but they did put an announcement in “The Ringing World” that it was their opinion that such methods should not be allowed in Spliced ringing because they did not get the full course of the method. He asked the Council to accept the resolution published in “The Ringing World.”
Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded.
The president said there were certain Royal methods with only three leads and they could not set a full course. The Methods Committee said these should not be allowed.
Mr. C. K. Lewis reminded the meeting of a saying of Mr. Driver, that it was up to the people who did splice to keep the game clean. They were going backwards if they allowed it.
The resolution was carried.
Upon the adoption of the report Mr. A. B. Peck asked for a ruling on the peal of London Surprise Royal he had rung. According to his peal book he was credited with it, according to the Council he was not.
Mr. Felstead: You are referring to the very first peal of London Surprise Royal.
Mr. Peck: Yes.
Mr. Felstead replied that the peal rung was London Surprise Royal No. 1 Version. He rang in a peal the previous day which was London Surprise Royal No. 3 Version. There were a lot of versions and the first was Stepney.
Mr. Peck: It is entered in our peal book as London and as London it will always remain.
Mr. Felstead: The decision was that they retain their own names.
Mr. C. Roberts said London Surprise Royal had a very chequered history. Suffice it to say, Mr. Gabriel Lindoff produced some methods which came very near to the extension of the Major. The peal was rung by ten members of the Ancient Society of College Youths. The title of Stepney was suggested after a long debate for the peal, but the Ancient Society were not consulted. He thought any decision to call the peal “Stepney” could be discounted. He thought the best thing was to call it London Surprise Royal No. 1 Version.
The report was then carried.
The Ringing World, July 31, 1953, pages 504 to 505