THE warmth of the welcome to the Central Council to Newcastle after an absence of 41 years could not have been surpassed. A large number of towers were placed at the disposal of visiting ringers, and at the conclusion of the meeting a civic reception was given by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress in the beautiful Laing Art Gallery.

The 27th Council (57th annual meeting) was held on Whit Tuesday in the Cathedral Library and proceedings were opened by a welcome from the Lord Mayor and the Bishop of Newcastle (the Right Rev. N. B. Hudson). They were received by Mr. E. H. Lewis, the president of the Council, and with them were the Provost (the Very Rev. N. M. Kennaby) and the president of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association (Mr. R. A. Gofton).

The Lord Mayor said he had come to the conclusion that the art of change ringing was a very complicated one and one which he himself would not endeavour to try to learn. During the war the bells were silent and he knew they had a lot of hard work to get their teams together and start the bells once again. To-day they had a great difficulty in getting teams together, partly because the young men started off and then had to go on National Service and then start again. Ho hoped they would all enjoy their stay.

The Lord Bishop, in his welcome, said it was a great occasion for their Association because they had not visited Newcastle for 40 years. For 15 years he had been patron of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association and, so far as he could recollect, that was the first time he had done anything as patron.

For his information their secretary sent him particulars of the Council meeting and from it he was impressed by two facts: the determination of all concerned to keep high the art of campanology (if that was the correct word), and that behind it there was a determination to do their best to the glory at God. “I am convinced that once this art or any other art is divorced from the spiritual life of the Church it degenerates.” He would like to pay a humble tribute to that work and the motive behind it.

The second point was that those who offered this service were worshipping church workers and not people outside the Church.

The President thanked the Lord Mayor for his civic welcome and the Lord Bishop for his ecclesiastical welcome. “We always feel,” said Mr. Lewis, “that we are connected with both Church and State and workers for both.”

As regarded the word “campanology,” it was often used, to their regret. They liked purity in all things; they did not like words that were a mixture of Latin and Greek.

It was 41 years since he attended the last Central Council meeting at Newcastle. It was the coldest Whitsun that he could remember.

There was one interesting thing about meeting there. The earliest mention in English literature of bells was made by the Venerable Bede, who lived just across the river. It was mentioned in connection with St. Hilda at Whitby.

He thanked the Provost for allowing them to meet in the Cathedral Library and for conducting the service that morning.

The Provost then opened the conference with prayer.


Life members.- Mr. E. H. Lewis, Mr. E. A. Barnett, Mr. F. Sharpe, Mr. G. W. Fletcher, Mrs. G. W. Fletcher.
Honorary members.- Mrs. E. A. Barnett, Mr. F. I. Hairs, Mr. A. A. Hughes, Mr. C. K. Lewis, Mrs. C. C. Marshall, Mr. E. C. Shepherd, Mr. P. L. Taylor.
Ancient Society of College Youths.- Mr. A. B. Peck.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association.- Mr. H. J. Sanger. Miss N. G. Williams.
Bedfordshire Association.- Mr. J. M. Stephens, Mr. S. Foskett.
Cambridge University Guild.- Mr. B. D. Threlfall.
Chester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. W. Clarke, Mr. R. G. Corby, Rev. J. Kingdon, Mr. W. Longman.
Coventry Diocesan Guild.- Mrs. D. E. Beamish, Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Derbyshire Association.- Mr. A. Mould, Mr. W. Robinson.
Devon Guild.- Rev. J. G. M. Scott.
Dudley and District Guild.- Mr. H. J. Shuck.
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. H. S. Peacock.
Essex Association.- Mr. J. H. Crampion, Mr. H. J. Mansfield, Mr. F. B. Lufkin, Miss H. G. Snowden.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association.- Mr. T. Boreham, Mr. W. B. Kynaston, Mr. F. Skidmore.
Guildford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. H. Pulling, Mr. J. R. Worrall.
Hereford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. W. F. Moreton.
Hertford County Association.- Mr. W. Ayre, Mr. R. G. Bell, Mr. E. Edmondson.
Irish Association.- Mr. F. E. Dukes, Mr. J. T. Dunwoody, Miss J. Stewart.
Kent County Association.- Mr. T. Cullingworth, Mr. T. E. Sone.
Ladies’ Guild.- Mrs. A. Richardson.
Lancashire Association.- Mr. F. Dunkerley, Mr. J. Ridyard, Mr. A. Tomlinson.
Leicester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. S. Burton, Mr. P. A. Corby, Mr. H. J. Poole, Mr. A. E. Rowley.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. Bray, Mr. G. E. Feirn, Mr. J. Freeman.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association.- Miss J. S. Evans, Mr. T. M. Roderick.
London County Association.- Mr. H. W. Rogers, Mrs. H. W. Rogers, Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Middlesex County Association.- Mr. F. W. Goodfellow, Mr. T. J. Lock, Mr. R. F. B. Speed.
Midland Counties Guild.- Mr. J. W. Cotton.
North Staffordshire Association.- Mr. R. S. Anderson.
Norwich Diocesan Association.- Mr. N. V. Harding, Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Barker, Mr. F. D. Boreham, Mr. A. E. Lock.
Oxford Society.- Mr. F. A. H. Wilkins.
Oxford University Society.- Mr. R. B. Meadows.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild.- Mr. P. I. Chapman, Mr. G. W. Jeffs, Mr. E. Nobles, Mr. W. Rose.
St. David’s Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. A. Hoare.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham.- Mr. G. E. Fearn, Mr. F. E. Haynes.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild.- Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. G. H. Harding, Mr. F. Precey, Mr. W. C. West.
Scottish Association.- Mr. R. St. C. Wilson.
Sheffield and District.- Mr. N. Chaddock.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths.- Mr. F. E. Hawthorne.
Southwell Diocesan Guild.- Mr. C. Glenn, Mr. J. Segar.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society.- Mr. B. G. Key.
Suffolk Guild.- Mr. C. W. Pipe.
Surrey Association.- Mr. F. E. Collins, Mr. W. F. Oatway, Mr. H. N. Pitstow.
Sussex County Association.- Mr. R. G. Blackman, Mr. H. Stalham.
Swansea and Brecon Guild.- Mr. G. I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild.- Mr. D. Burnett, 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.
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.


The following were received: P. N. Bond, P. Border, S. G. Coles, G. H. Cross, Miss S. E. Colgate, P. A. F. Chalk, G. W. Cecil, W. Cathrall, F. H. Dallaway, G. E. Debenham, T. H. Francis, J. A. Freeman, J. P. Fidler. R. O. Fry, N. Golden. A. C. Hazelden. G. L. Hewitt, Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher, D. Hughes, G. J. Lewis, Miss M. Lidgey, J. E. Lilley, W. Longman, T. G. Myers, G. E. Oliver, W. A. Osborn, B. D. Price, A. J. Pitman, F. W. Rogers. Rev. A. S. Roberts, L. Stilwell, C. J. Sedgley, G. E. Symonds, J. F. Smallwood, Rev. R. D. St. J. Smith, Miss M. E. Snowdon, Mrs. J. Staniforth, E. C. S. Turner, T. H. Taffender, W. H. Viggers, A. Walker, C. W. Woolley, C. Wallater, J. Willis, J. J. Webb, E. A. Young, A. L. Barry, E. W. Biffen, G. H. Harding, S. T. Holt, F. Precey.


The following new members were presented to the President:-

Mrs. O. Barnett (hon. member), J. M. Stephens. S. Foskett (Bedfordshire). B. D. Threlfall (Cambridge University), R. G. Corby (Chester), W. Robinson (Derbyshire), the Rev. J. G. M. Scott (Devonshire). H. J. Shuck (Dudley and District), H. S. Peacock (Ely), J. H. Crampion (Essex), T. Boreham (Gloucester), J. R. Worrall (Guildford), E. Edmondson (Hertford), T. Cullingworth (Kent), A. Tomlinson (Lancashire), S. Burton, P. A. Corby (Leicester), Miss J. S. Evans (Llandaff), R. F. B. Speed (Middlesex), N. V. Harding (Norwich), F. A. H. Wilkins (Oxford Society), Miss K. Higgins (Oxford University), P. I. Chapman, E. Nobles (Peterborough), G. E. Fearn (St. Martin’s), R. St. C. Wilson (Scottish), C. Glenn (Southwell), B. G. Key (Stafford Archdeaconry), W. F. Oatway, H. N. Pitstow (Surrey), H. Stalham (Sussex), D. Burnett (Truro).


The President announced that the following telegram had been sent to the Queen:-

The Central Council at Church Bell Ringers in annual conference assembled at the Cathedral Library, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, desire to offer your Majesty their loyal congratulations on the happy completion of your royal progress through the British Dominions, which it was the privilege of the ringers to celebrate on the occasion of your Majesty’s return.

The following reply was received from Buckingham Palace:-

Chairman, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, Cathedral Library, Newcastle-on-Tyne,- The Queen sincerely thanks all assembled at the Annual Conference of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers for their kind message of loyal congratulations and for the way in which they helped to celebrate Her Majesty’s return to this country.- Private Secretary.

The President stated that Mr. Alexander Young had just entered his 90th birthday and he proposed that the following telegram be sent to him: “Central Council meeting, Newcastle. All members send kind regards and best wishes.”


Mr. A. A. Hughes proposed the re-election of Mr. E. H. Lewis as president. “We all know the wonderful work he has done for this Council for so many years,” he said.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead seconded and the resolution was carried with hearty applause.

Thanking the Council for the confidence placed in him for another year, Mr. Lewis said: “I had very seriously thought of saying that I would not stand again, but as we had recently got a new secretary I thought it was my duty for the sake of continuity to carry on. You must seriously think of a successor next time. In the meantime I will do my best.”


On the proposition of Mr. F. I. Hairs, seconded by Mr. H. J. Poole, Mr. E. A. Barnett was elected hon. secretary and treasurer.


The President proposed the election of Mr. Frederick Sharpe as librarian. “Those of us who are in touch with the inside work of the Council know he is doing a tremendous amount of work and we are very grateful that he is carrying on,” he said.

Mr. Barnett seconded and the resolution was carried.


The following retiring honorary members were re-elected: The Earl of Shaftesbury, Messrs. J. P. Fidler, H. M. Howard, A. A. Hughes, D. Hughes, Mrs. L. K. Marshall, Messrs. E. C. Shepherd, P. L. Taylor, W. H. Viggers and A. Walker.

The Standing Committee recommended the appointment of Mr. J. T. Dyke and Miss P. J. Ayris, and upon the proposition of Mr. F. W. Goodfellow, seconded by Mr. W. G. Wilson, Mr. C. W. Roberts was also elected an honorary member.

Messrs. A. A. Hughes and F. W. Perrens were re-elected hon. auditors, on the proposition of Mr. R. S. Anderson, seconded by Mr. W. Ayre.


The Council stood while the names of the following were read:-

H. R. Butcher, Sussex Association, 1919-20 and 1938-39; D. D. Cooper, Surrey Association, 1933-53; W. H. J. Hooton, Midland Counties 1936-38, honorary member 1939-50, life member 1951-53; T. Law, Central Northampton Association 1921-23, Peterborough Diocesan Guild 1930-1932; G. R. Newton, Lancashire Association 1930-50, hon. member 1951-53; W. Perkins, Central Northants Association 1915-20; J. H. W. White, Warwickshire Association 1932-35.


The minutes of the last Council meeting, published in “The Ringing World” of April 30th, which had been circulated, were taken as read.


This is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the past twelve months, but merely to record items of interest which do not fit conveniently into other reports.

Apart from dealing with the usual assortment of queries from members of the public and outside organisations, the secretary has been interviewed by a correspondent of “The Daily Telegraph,” and had conversations with “The Times,” “The Daily Express” and “The Daily Mirror.” Letters on behalf of the Council appeared in the two first mentioned papers; one to “The New Yorker ” gave rise to considerable correspondence with Canada and the U.S.A. A letter was sent to Mr. Ivor Bulmer-Thomas in support of his motion regarding synthetic bells which was passed by the Church Assembly, and to the Bishop of London to protest against the electronic device at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street. The Publicity Officer of the B.B.C. was again asked whether advance information of ringing before broadcast services could not be supplied to “The Ringing World”; no reply has yet been received.

The following have ceased to be members of the Council and our thanks are offered to them for their past services:-

E. M. Atkins, Cambridge University, 1921-23, 1927-53; P. E. Baker, Gloucester and Bristol, 1951-53; A. Ballard, Leicester Diocesan, 1945-53; K. Beardsall, Scottish Association, 1951-53; A. Bennett, Devon, 1946-53; F. Bennett, Sussex County, 1906-14, 1951-53; A. P. Cannon, Surrey, 1951-53; H. G. Cashmore, Hertford County, 1939-53; F. Colclough, Dudley District, 1933-53; S. E. Darmon, Cambridge University, 1951-53; G. E. Debenham, hon. member, 1939-54; Miss D. M. Drew, Gloucester and Bristol, 1951-53; W. C. Duffield, Norwich, 1945-53; J. T. Dyke, Bath and Wells, 1927-53; F. V. Gant, Essex, 1948-53; G. L. Grover, Guildford, 1930-53; C. H. Harding, Bedfordshire, 1946-53; J. W. Jones, Llandaff and Monmouth, 1907-53; W. F. Judge, Oxford Society, 1946-53; H. Knight, Stafford Archdeaconry, 1915-53; E. H. Mastin, Ely Diocesan, 1948-53; B. P. Morris, Peterborough, 1951-53; R. C. Noon, Peterborough, 1951-53; Alderman A. Paddon Smith, St. Martin’s Guild, 1921-53; C. W. Roberts, Middlesex, 1933-41, 1950-53; Mrs. A. S. Roberts, Truro, 1948-53; C. Sharples, Lancashire, 1951-53; A. C. Sinfield, Bedfordshire, 1946-53; D. Smith, Chester Diocesan, 1951-53; G. H. Spice, Kent County, 1939-53; Rev. W. H. R. Trewhella, Truro, 1932-35, 1951-53; E. C. Turner, Leicester Diocesan, 1951-53; L. J. Williams, Lancashire, 1937-38, 1951-53; Rev. C. E. Wigg, Oxford University, 1935-53; J. Worth, Chester Diocesan, 1951-53; B. D. Price, hon. member, 1951-54.

Finally, the secretary’s thanks are expressed to all who have assisted in any way during the year. Mention must be made of the kindness of Mr. W. G. Wilson and Miss C. L. Groves in again undertaking the typing and duplicating of the attached papers.

Moving the report, the hon. secretary called attention to the loss to the Council caused by the retirement of Mr. J. W. Jones, of Newport, who had been a member for 46 years. At the meeting of the Standing Committee it was decided to send him a message of good wishes.

This was agreed to and the report was adopted.


At our meeting last Whitsun I was appointed librarian, and the Rev. E. S. Tarrant agreed to house the library in Launton Rectory. We are greatly indebted to him. Miss Ayris agreed to continue to run the sales section of the library for me, and had it not been for kindness in relieving me of so much work, I could not have accepted office. The indexing of the books and manuscripts is proceeding slowly: I am in urgent need of files and bookcases, but am reluctant to ask the Council for them in view of the financial situation.

The borrowing of books of reference appears to be limited to a few who are engaged in research. In regard to sales, “Village Bells” is the best seller, with “Hints to Beginners” a good second. Sales of “Change Ringing on Handbells” and “Doubles and Minor Methods” are also very good.

“Double Norwich Court Bob Caters,” “Collection of Peals, Section II.,” and “Variation and Transposition” are sold out, and a decision on reprinting them is required. A decision on the reprinting of “Doubles and Minor Methods” is also needed as stocks are almost exhausted. Stocks of “Preservation and Repair of Bells” are very low and, as convener of the Towers and Belfries Committee, I am able to report that the committee recommends it be reprinted, subject to minor revisions.

The fact that the library is expected to pay £20 for advertisements in “The Ringing World” has made the balance sheet look unhealthy; and to offset it I recommend, that the prices of the undermentioned publications be increased as follows: “Major Compositions,” from 2s. 9d. to 3s.; “Change Ringing on Handbells,” from 2s. to 2s. 6d.; “Preservation and Repair of Bells,” from 1s. 2d. to 2s.; “Cambridge” Method sheets from 4d. to 6d.; “Bristol” Method sheets from 4d. to 6d.; “Plain Major Methods,” from 3s. to 3s. 6d.

I also recommend that no discount be allowed on quantities of “Village Bells.”

A grateful acknowledgment is made of the gift by the relatives of the late Mr. A. J. Corrigan of his publications on change ringing, a limited number of which are available for sale, Mr. A. N. Wood, of Northampton, has once again rebound several copies of “Bell News” and “The Ringing World,” and in some instances has inserted copies where the originals were defective or missing. Our sincere thanks are tendered for this valuable work.

During the year the library has received the following gifts: Copies of “The Irish Bell News” from Mr. F. E. Dukes; “St. Martin’s Youths” from the author, Mr. E. C. Shepherd; “Notes for Beginners” from the author, Mr. W. C. Wilson; and I have placed in the library a copy of volume IV. of my “ Church Bells of Oxfordshire.”

The report showed that 949 publications were sold for £313 7s. 7d. Best sales were: “Village Bells” 223, “Hints for Beginners” 164, “Handbells” 116, “Doubles and Minor” 82, “Preservation of Bells” 57.

The hon. secretary reported that the Standing Committee recommended that “Preservation of Bells” and “The Minor Collection,” with amendment, be reprinted, and that “Double Norwich Bob Caters,” “Collection of Peals, Section II.,” be not printed.

Mr. F. Sharpe, in moving the adoption of the report, paid tribute to the work of Miss Ayris.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, seconding, said in reprinting “Minor Methods” it was suggested that some doubtful methods be removed.

Mr. J. Seager regretted that they had no publication dealing with Spliced Triples. He was the compiler of the Four Ways Tables and he hoped that in the reprinting of “Minor Methods” there would be a rearrangement, He regretted that the sales of the Four Ways Tables were disappointing. He was prepared to put down a lump sum so that a copy of the Table could be sent free with the remaining 66 books of Minor.

Mr. Felstead promised to consult Mr. Seager when the book was revised. The report was adopted.


Presenting the accounts, Mr. E. A. Barnett said there was an excess of expenditure over income of £53 on the general account which was largely due to a donation of £50 to the Canon Coleridge Memorial Fund. The affiliation fees of £37 10s. would be doubled next year, which would give a margin on the right side. The publication account showed a loss of £3 15s. 7d., which was due to the payment of £20 to “The Ringing World” fund for advertisement.

Mr. F. E. Dukes questioned whether some of the £1,486 cash at bank and in hand could not be invested. He noticed that £800 had been invested in 3 per cent. Defence Bonds.

Mr. Barnett replied that the money for the investment came out of “The Ringing World” account. The cash at bank and in hand was always higher at the beginning of the year.

The accounts were adopted.


Mr. A. A. Hughes presented the report of the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine, and said at the demonstration on Whit Saturday the machine worked very well and there was an attendance of 46. Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded the adoption of the report.

In reply to other questions, Mr. Hughes said arrangements were being made for another demonstration in September.


The secretary reported that the sub-committee appointed to consider the Council’s Handbook had not submitted a written report. Dr. Hatcher had resigned owing to pressure of other business and he had the MSS. The Standing Committee had appointed Mr. C. K. Lewis and himself to take over the work. This was agreed to.


Mr. H. Miles said that in 1949 at York he was asked to compile the Roll of Honour; it was now 1954 and was approaching finality. There were 32 pages in the first Roll of Honour and 23 in the second, and the photostat copies would cost 6s. per page, making a total of £16 10s. The binding of the photostat copy would be about £3 10s. The site of the Roll of Honour had been agreed. It would be near the library in St. Paul’s Cathedral and passed by thousands of people on their way to the Whispering Gallery. A card at the foot of the staircase would give an indication of where to go. All he needed now was to go ahead with the construction of the case. Forty-three associations had to date contributed £21 10s.

Mr. P. J. Johnson, in seconding, thanked Mr. Miles for his work.

The Secretary said the recommendation of the Standing Committee was that the report be adopted, the construction of the case be proceeded with and the matter of the photostat copies be put in hand.- This was agreed to.

The Ringing World, June 18, 1954, pages 393 to 395




During the past year your committee have continued their efforts to keep the paper solvent. Every possible economy has been effected, but without the generous support which has been given by the Exercise in donations and voluntary levies we should have ended the year with an adverse balance.

Subject to audit, we have finished the year with a small balance on the right side. The great increase of peal and quarter peal ringing due to the Coronation made it necessary to produce larger 20-page papers, and practically the whole cost of this was defrayed by donations from well-wishers.

Your committee recently launched another drive to obtain the necessary number of postal subscribers needed to place the paper on a sound self-supporting basis. Previous efforts to this end have been most disappointing and your committee regret that they have not received the support they had expected. If this last effort is unsuccessful, a serious position will arise. Although we have repeatedly stressed that the key to the solution of financial difficulties is increased postal circulation, sufficient appreciation of this fact would appear to be lacking. We look to every member of the Council to support the latest drive for postal subscribers. It would be unwise to expect that the donations, voluntary levies, etc., will continue indefinitely - and whilst gratefully admitting that these have saved the paper, we cannot reasonably continue to depend upon them. We feel confident that, with sufficient effort all round, our goal can be reached and some easement can be accorded to those who are making frequent donations.

Whilst we are unanimously of the opinion that it would do more harm than good to raise the price of the paper, we must bow to the ruling of the Council on the matter.

During the year we have co-opted Mr. R. S. Anderson to serve on this committee and have found his ideas and interest most helpful.

Your committee unanimously decided to instruct the Editor not to accept anonymous letters and, whilst there have been a small number of protests at this action, they feel they were interpreting the general wishes of the Exercise. We should be grateful if the Council will either endorse or reject this decision.

Once again we would express, on behalf of Council, our most grateful thanks to all who have helped in the continuance and production of “The Ringing World.” To Mr. White, the Editor, for his capable and conscientious work and interest, to Mr. Jeater, to all literary contributors and to the many generous subscribers who have helped us through a most difficult period we accord our warmest thanks.


In the absence of Mr. Smallwood, Mr. H. J. Poole presented the report of “The Ringing World” Committee. He said when the committee was appointed three years ago they were in dire distress. The price of paper had increased by £8 an issue, and it was a job to know what to do for the best. The committee made various decisions and had kept the ship afloat. Three years was a long time with a sinking ship, but it was still afloat. They had tried all along to avoid increasing the cost of the paper.

He would like to say how much the committee appreciated the donations that had been received, but they felt that they ought not to rest on that support. They did not want to increase the price. At the present time they were in the midst of their second drive for postal subscribers, which was being backed up by each association. He hoped the meeting would support the recommendation that they carry on as they were at the moment and see the effect of the new scheme.

Now in regard to anonymous letters in “The Ringing World” the committee were asking the Council either to endorse or reject that decision. That matter would be discussed when the motion was received. The committee were there to carry out the wishes of the Council and they hoped the Council had sufficient confidence in them to confirm what they were doing.

In connection with “The Ringing World,” a lot of work was done behind the scenes, and in that direction he would like to refer to the work of Mr. Smallwood. He thought it was only right that the Council should show their appreciation (applause). So far as the Editor was concerned, the relations between him and the committee were very cordial. In their efforts to cut their expenditure Mr. White accepted a reduction of £1 a week in his salary. That cut had now been restored. Mr. Jeater was now also receiving £2 a week for his work and the committee did appreciate very much what he was doing. Mr. Hughes had been appointed hon. treasurer to “The Ringing World,” and his experience and knowledge had been most helpful. The Secretary (Mr. Barnett) had worked hard as the link between the Council and the Exercise.

Mr. A. B. Peck seconded the adoption of the report.

In reply to questions by Mr. N. Chaddock, the General Secretary said the accounts for 1952 had been revised and the profit was £62 and not £136. These figures had been certified by their professional auditors.

Mr. A. H. Pulling said the late Mr. Goldsmith had no illusion about the difficulties of “The Ringing World.” Of about 40,000 ringers approximately 36,000 were only interested in their Sunday ringing and did not care a hang about ringing in general. Personally he would not pay 4d. for a paper dealing with football (laughter).

In answer to another question from Mr. Chaddock, Mr. Poole said the drive for new postal subscribers had produced to date 140 from 49 associations.


Mr. B. G. Key said the secretary of the Archdeaconry of Stafford had written suggesting a levy of 1s. per year from each member of every Guild or Association. That revenue would make “The Ringing World” solvent.

Mr. P. J. Johnson criticised such a suggestion as impossible. The secretaries had a hard job to get in the subscriptions.

Mr. Key: It was carried unanimously by the meeting.

Mr. H. Miles: How would you do it in Cornwall where we don’t have individual subscriptions?

The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow asked the committee not to worry too much on having to depend on charity. He would remind them of what St. Paul said about charity - the most valuable of all gifts. It was on charity that the Christian Church depended and it was on this charity that they kept their bells going. He would like £3,000 from anyone who felt charitably disposed for the restoration of the bells of St. Andrew’s, Norwich. They would only get those bells by charity and they would also only keep “The Ringing World” going by that means - and it was a grand thing to exercise this charity in this uncharitable age of 1954.

Mr. C. K. Lewis suggested sending a letter to all parish priests in Crockford calling attention to “The Ringing World.” They would get the parsons asking their ringers if they took “The Ringing World.” It was surprising what gentlemen in the dog collar could do.

Mr. R. S. Anderson said Mr. Thurlow spoke of charity seriously. “The Ringing World” was a business and not a charity. Mr. Thurlow, however, did not exercise charity when he asked him for a contribution towards the £150 required for his own bells.

The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow: But I did offer him a contribution on condition (laughter).

Mr. F. E. Dukes asked how many members of the Council were supporting “The Ringing World” by becoming postal subscribers.

Mr. E. A. Barnett: Last September 120 members took “The Ringing World” by post and 52 did not.

The report was adopted.


“The Ringing World” accounts for the year showed a total revenue of £4,721 3s. 6d., made up as follows: Rolls Publishing Co., £1,799 10s. 11d.; postal subscribers, £1,765 8s. 9d.; donations, £310 14s. 2d.; sundry sales, £15 13s. 8d.; notices, £383 3s.; advertisements, £421 4s. 6d.; blocks, £5 8s. 6d.; general fund advertisement, £20.

Expenses.- Printing and blocks, £3,441 3s. 6d.; despatch of copies, £131 15s.; postage and wrappers, £547 19s. 6d. Editorial Office - Editor’s fees and expenses, £258 6s.; clerical assistance, £115 13s. 8d.; postage, stationery, £19 12s. 9d. Accounts Department - Clerical assistance, £104; postage, £20 0s. 6d.; stationery and telephone, £9 15s. 9d.; audit fees, £21; sundry, £5 1s. 7d. Excess of income over expenditure, £46 15s. 3d.

Introducing “The Ringing World” accounts, Mr. Barnett said the Editor’s cut was restored in July, 1953, and the additional sum had been counterbalanced by £20 received from the Council’s publications account. They had also to pay £21 for professional auditors’ fees. The sum of £800 had been invested and that would bring in £28 a year for the next eight or 10 years. The investment was made last November. He had received the auditors’ official report on the 1951-52 accounts.

The accounts were adopted.


Mr. J. R. Worrall submitted the following motion:-

“That this Council disapproves of the ban on the publication in ‘The Ringing World’ of letters signed with a pen name and instructs the Editorial Committee to rescind it forthwith; furthermore, that this Council expresses its complete confidence in the ability of the Editor of ‘The Ringing World’ to select only such letters as he considers suitable for publication.”

He said the Editorial Committee gave no reason for the imposition of the ban. He thought that the matter arose from the letter signed “Cumberland” and there was very little in that letter at which to take offence. It criticised the Ancient Society of College Youths, but apart from that he saw no reason why it should have occasioned the ban. These letters were not really anonymous, as the Editor knew the name and address of the sender. No Editor would accept correspondence unless it was so signed.

He felt that this ban was imposed because it was a matter dealing with the College Youths. He felt that had it been criticism of a lesser Society it might have passed unnoticed.

He would like to put forward two points against the ban. First of all it enabled a writer to submit a critical letter without the fear of any possible recriminations. He himself was a member of the College Youths, and in consequence of that motion he was afraid he would be very unpopular at the annual dinners. They had an example in a letter at the comment that was aroused when an individual said he was a College Youth and that was taken as the official view. That was clearly stated in the letter as the view of the individual and not the College Youths.

If the president or general secretary wished to write a letter and his name appeared at the bottom of it that letter would be taken as coming from the Council. Under a nom-de-plume those individuals could express their personal opinions without it being interpreted as the official view. He submitted that there were more reasons in favour of the ban being removed than against it.

Miss Jacqueline Evans seconded.

Mr. Anderson said the argument advanced for a nom-de-plume in a national journal could not be advanced for “The Ringing World,” which was purely a domestic and parochial journal. In the past there had been numerous letters in “The Ringing World” of a very controversial nature and very scathing remarks had been made. In a number of cases the originator of the criticism had been directed to the wrong person. “The Ringing World” Committee felt that if anyone had anything to say of a constructive nature he should not be afraid to hide his light under a bushel. The committee considered that this motion was the equivalent of a vote of no confidence in them.


The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said his first Council meeting was at Norwich, and they all knew some of the unfortunate things that happened about “The Ringing World” there. It was then a case of a pistol being held at the representatives’ heads and a threat to resign if they did not agree with the Editor. Surely they could express an opinion that day without it being interpreted as a vote of no confidence and it being accompanied by a threat to resign.

Mr. H. J. Poole assured Mr. Felstead and the Council that there was no pistol threat about the report of the committee. There was no suggestion that if they passed the resolution the committee would retire. He would say that the motion was very badly worded in instructing the committee to rescind the ban. It was suggesting that they had every confidence in the Editor and no confidence in the committee. The relationship of the Editor with the committee was most cordial.

Mr. Worrall explained that he intended no such thing. He thought the Editorial Committee was elected by the Council and that the Council was the only body that could instruct the committee.

Mr. P. J. Johnson said that anonymous letters were a constant source of trouble and stirred up trouble up and down the country. If they permitted such letters they would have a lot of dirty linen washed in public. He hoped the day was far distant when they would give carte blanche authority to insert such letters.

Mr. R. G. Blackman asked the Standing Committee if he offered a contribution of £300 to “The Ringing World” would they insist on his name being published. There were often very good reasons why a man’s name should not be published.


The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards hoped “The Ringing World” Committee would reconsider the ban. There were uses to anonymous correspondence. In regard to “The Ringing World,” all the letters he had written had appeared under his own name. A short time ago he had occasion to use a nom-de-plume. “The Western Gazette” published extracts each week of 100 and 200 years ago, and one of these reports gave an account of a celebration with spiced ale. He thought it would be an interesting to know what were the ingredients of this beverage. He could not as a parson ask the question under his own name - there would have been protests from temperance societies and other bodies. The result was that many interesting letters were received.

The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow said in regard to the possible anonymous donor of £300, he had only to write a postcard to the Editor and it would be published in Belfry Gossip. To officials who were afraid that their views in a letter might be taken as an official expression: they could disclaim it in the letter. The president could write: “This is not connected with Cambridge, cement or the Central Council.”

Mr. P. A. Corby said he thought it was most unfortunate that in this discussion personalities should be allowed to creep in. It was entirely wrong to assume that because a letter was written anonymously it was necessarily pernicious. Some years ago a certain ringer of his acquaintance was tackled by the Editor to write a series of articles on a technical subject. The ringer concerned said, “I can do it, but I think a lot of people can do it a lot better, but I will do if you keep my name out.” The result was that the articles were written under a nom-de-plume selected by the Editor, but eventually recognised. As far as “The Ringing World” Committee was concerned, they had taken a steam hammer to crack a walnut. There was no reason why this question of anonymity should not be left to the Editor. He asked the proposer and seconder if they were prepared to amend their motion slightly to that effect.

Mr. A. A. Hughes recalled the anonymous letters in the old “Bell News,” which caused a frightful lot of ill-feeling.


Mr. F. E. Haynes said a letter signed gave a yard stick by which it could be judged. Many regular correspondents to “The Ringing World” would find it useful if they could send their letters in anonymously. He would like to plead for the maintenance of the present practice.

Mr. Bernard Ashford commented that matters frequently raised in anonymous letters were local which should be thrashed out at branch or annual meetings. That was a point they should bear in mind.

Mr. N. Chaddock said the late Editor wrote anonymous letters to stimulate correspondence.

Mr. A. B. Peck asked if it was the letter signed “Cumberland” that caused the motion.

Mr. H. J. Poole: It was that letter which brought it to the notice of the Editorial Committee. In the past there had been a great deal of misrepresentation of facts in anonymous letters and his Guild decided not to reply to them. The result was that many people got a false impression of the Guild.

Mr. J. T. Dunwoody asked in the light of the discussion, whether the mover would withdraw the motion and leave it to the discretion of the committee.

Mr. A. D. Barker said the committee in their wisdom imposed the ban. The motion to him appeared to be a direct negative.

Mr. G. W. Fletcher thought the motion was badly worded. He suggested the following: “That this Council expresses complete confidence in the ability of ‘The Ringing World’ Committee to select such anonymous letters as it considers suitable for publication.”

This was carried nem con.

“The Ringing World” Committee was then re-elected.


About the time that our report for 1953 was being prepared a critical examination of the Press reports of every Council meeting was undertaken by Mr. Stilwell with special attention to those elected to membership of the Council and their attendance at meetings. The result of his investigation was complete and set out in a book provided for the purpose before the 1953 meeting. Thus the figures given to the Bournemouth meeting were not quite accurate.

Mr. Stilwell’s effort disclosed that in the 63 years of the Council’s existence, 663 persons have been elected to membership. Of these 64 did not attend a meeting of the Council, 96 attended one meeting only and 285 former members are known to be deceased. Concerning the latter item there is reason to believe that some former members have died without the event being reported, either in the Press or to the Council. A few such cases have been found and the committee urge all members to be watchful to see that notices of deaths of past members, if not reported in “The Ringing World,” are furnished to the Biographies Committee. Since the Bournemouth meeting the following deaths have been announced: W. H. J. Hooton, G. R. Newton, W. Perkins, J. H. W. White, H. R. Butcher, D. D. Cooper, T. Law.

Nearly fifty biographies have been added to our Record Book as completed during the past year and we need only photographs to complete the records of the following deceased past members: Messrs. J. Dillon, H. A. Heywood, W. Walmsley (Chester Guild), E. E. Burgess, A. E. Coles, Rev. H. C. Courtney (Bath and Wells), Messrs. F. E. Dawe, H. Walton (College Youths), E. F. Strange (Surrey), T. Groombridge, sen. (Kent County), T. Groombridge, jun. (Southwell), B. Keeble (Essex), R. G. Knowles (Hereford), G. T. McLoughlin (London County), C. D. Potter (Barnsley and District), J. W. Parker (Durham and Newcastle), Harvey Reeves (Worcester).

The committee again offers thanks to its many friends in all parts of the country who have endeavoured to help it in what is and must remain a difficult task.

The committee was re-elected with thanks for its services. Mr. Blackman asked new members to fill in the forms as quickly as possible.

Mr. G. W. Fletcher congratulated Mr. Stilwell on his analysis. Before those figures were used, he said, they should make certain that they conformed with the official records of the Council.


The committee has considered the question of a collection of compositions of Stedman Caters and Cinques, and considers that a useful one could be produced of the same size as the “Collection of Compositions in the popular Major Methods.” The committee now awaits the decision of the Council as to whether such a collection shall be undertaken.

Since submitting the report for 1953-54, the committee has learned that “Stedman” in the J. W. Snowdon series is being republished in revised form and will include a collection of more modern peals of Caters and Cinques. The committee recommends that no decision be taken until this book has appeared, when the position can be reviewed.

The Secretary stated that he had received a minority report from Mr. C. W. Roberts strongly dissenting from the view expressed. He felt that it would not be a modern collection of peals and that the collection could be improved. The Standing Committee discussed it and recommended that the minority report be not accepted.

The report was adopted, and Messrs. C. W. Woolley, A. J. Pitman and C. W. Roberts were elected to the committee with power to co-opt.

The Ringing World, June 25, 1954, pages 409 to 410




After having to peruse lengthy reports for the past few years it will, no doubt, be a pleasure to the Council to have to consider only a short statement from the Methods Committee! Our investigations proceeded on the Extension of Methods as a result of the acceptance by the Council of our recommendations last year, and we published in “The Ringing World” of February 12th, 1954, the practical results of our work.

The preparation of a book of Doubles methods presented more problems than we had realised, in various directions. Each time we thought we really had finished during the past two or three years, new points cropped up which needed resolving. However, we are pleased to say that the task is now accomplished and the MSS. in the hands of the secretary of the Council for early publication. We trust that the book will fill a long awaited need of 5 and 6-bell ringers.

Our opinion has been asked about the naming of the method Loughborough. This was first rung in a peal of Spliced Major at Wigston Magna in 1937. The figures were published in “The Ringing World.” The same method was rung at Helmingham in 1938 and called Framsden. It appears as such in Corrigan’s Surprise method book. We are unanimously of the opinion that the method be called Loughborough and that the name Framsden should be withdrawn.

Mr. F. Sharpe asked if the committee would consider a book of Triples Methods desirable.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead: If it is the wish of the Council we should have much pleasure in producing such a book with special reference to splicing.

The report was adopted and the committee elected as follows: Rev. K. W. H. Felstead (convener), Messrs. F. N. Golden, C. K. Lewis and C. H. Kippin.


During 1953 bells and bell ringing received considerable notice in the Press. The period of the Coronation was, of course, marked by great ringing activity and newspapers all over the country gave much attention to the part that this ringing played in the ceremony and its attendant rejoicing. Among the broadcasts it is interesting to note that a recorded portion of the Coronation Day ringing was sent out on all English transmitters of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Numerous paragraphs and short articles on ringing matters have appeared in all papers during the year. Among these an article on the Westminster Abbey ringers’ part in the Coronation was published in “The Manchester Guardian,” a thesis entitled “Silver Tongues” in “The Wolverhampton Express and Echo,” and an editorial in “The Star” complaining of bells and suggesting that they be rung only on special occasions. This editorial brought forth strong protests from Mr. G. L. Grover, of the Guildford Diocesan Guild, Miss W. Oliver, secretary of the Southern District of the Ladies’ Guild, and others.

At the end of the year Norman Shrapnel, of “The Manchester Guardian,” visited a belfry in Cheshire and captured the spirit of the seasonal ringing in an admirable article, and at about the same period “The Leicester Evening News” dealt with New Year Eve ringing with Mr. Ernest Morris in the background.

Ringers themselves, too, contributed to the public Press, among these essays being “St. Martin’s Youths,” by Edgar C. Shepherd, in “The Birmingham Post,” and a series by W. A. Farmer in “The Shropshire Magazine” entitled “Shropshire Bells.”

In the columns of “The Western Gazette,” an admirable article appeared from the pen of Mr. H. J. Sanger emphasising the value of bells as a traditional feature of country life. A little later the same journal published an account by Mr. J. B. Powlesland of young ringers receiving instruction at Shaftesbury.

That enterprising publication, “The Belfry,” provides an attractive feature with sketches of Kentish churches and interesting notes on their history and architecture. “The Belfry” evidently aims at encouraging a family spirit among ringers of the Maidstone District. “The Ringing Towers” continues to give vivacious and detailed accounts of activities on the other side of the world. “Irish Bell News” contains an interesting account of the bells of Mount St. Alphonsus Monastery, Limerick, and a lucid description of operations in a bell foundry, written by an eye-witness.

In May “The Ringing World” received honourable notice from “Punch,” when an article called “Belfry Probe,” by Alan Hackney, was cleverly and amusingly constructed from two articles in “The Ringing World” of November 28th, 1952. Our journal reprinted the article on September 11th, 1953, and a copy of the booklet, “St. Martin’s Youths,” was sent to Mr. Hackney.

Considerable attention has been directed during the year to what has been described as the menace of synthetic bells and the use of recordings of bells amplified from towers. In May “The Ripon Diocesan Gazette” issued a statement on the matter, and in November a motion came before the Church Assembly deprecating “The introduction into churches of recordings of bells and instruments simulating the sound of bells.” The motion was deferred to the next session when it was duly carried.

In the same month “The Newcastle Evening Chronicle” seemed to show some support for synthetic bells, as did also a misguided paragraph in “The Church of England Newspaper,” but a letter to “The Daily Telegraph” from Mr. E. A. Barnett, secretary of the Central Council, strongly condemned such things. Mr. H. Walker, Mr. Arthur and others also penned effective protests in the local Press.

During 1953 the following publications on bells and ringing made their appearance: “Church Bells of Flintshire,” Ranald Clouston; “St. Martin’s Youths,” Edgar C. Shepherd; “Church Bells of Oxfordshire, Vol. IV.,” Frederick Sharpe. From the pen of Mr. J. W. Clarke has appeared Part III. of “Cheshire Bells,” also a most interesting account of “The Chester Scholars.”

In the issue of December 12th, 1953, “The Ringing World” gave an account of a week-end course in bell ringing held at Thaxted under the auspices of the Essex County Council Further Education Committee. This was a most interesting experiment, and it may be hoped that it will serve as an incentive to further enterprise in this direction in other parts of the country.

With the exception of Christmas morning, broadcasts of tower bells on the Home Services have been almost exclusively in connection with religious services, including the Coronation. Here one comment may be in place. In the ringing before a service it quite frequently happens that the general effect is spoilt by one inexpert member of the band. Although the bells may be heard for only a minute, or slightly more, every effort should be made by careful practice and rehearsal to eliminate any obvious defect.

In the Christmas broadcast quite a good standard of striking was maintained, although without reaching perfection. For two years in succession the Easter festival has not been honoured with a special broadcast of bells, which is much to be deplored.

Handbells have occasionally been introduced in the Children’s Hour and have also been heard from Luxembourg.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, moving the adoption of the report, said it had been his privilege for a quarter of a century to present the report and during that time broadcasting had been added.

The Standing Committee recommended the acceptance of the report and thanked the committee for their services.

After the report was adopted the Standing Committee recommended that the committee be reconstructed - Literature and Press under Mr. Edgar Shepherd (convener) and Mr. F. E. Dukes with power to co-opt. This was agreed to.

Mr. Shepherd made an appeal to members to support the committee as it was not possible for him to read every newspaper.


The Standing Committee recommended the establishment of a committee dealing with broadcasting and television, consisting of Messrs. H. J. Sanger (convener), G. E. Fearn and J. T. Dunwoody.

Mr. Crampion regretted that there was no representative on the committee.

The Secretary said the person who had most to do with ringing in London was Mr. Bert Langdon, and he was not a member of the Council.

Upon Mr. Crampion’s suggestion, Mr. Hughes was added to the committee.


During the past year members of the committee have given advice on restoration work in 38 towers. Mr. J. W. Clarke has advised on two bell restorations in Cheshire and has done much useful work as a member of the Diocesan Advisory Committee. Mr. F. E. Collins has made inspections and given advice on new installations and restoration work in six towers, in the counties of Essex, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Warwick. Mr. E. H. Lewis has been called in for advice in another Warwickshire tower. Mr. W. Osborn has visited seven towers in the West Country and advised on both new installations and restoration work. During the year Mr. Osborn has been appointed to serve on the Bath and Wells Diocesan Advisory Committee, and has also been in correspondence with the Rector of Oakville, Canada, regarding his bells. The convener has dealt with 22 cases; eight of them by direct correspondence with Diocesan Advisory Committees, whose requests for help are becoming more numerous. His remaining 14 cases were situated in the counties of Berks, Bucks, Norfolk, Northants, Oxford, Suffolk and Yorks.

Of the total of 38 cases dealt with by members of the committee, three have related to the structural condition of towers, one was a simple augmentation to an existing ring and, of the remaining 34, advice was given in 18 cases on the restoration of old bells and existing bell frames, and in 16 cases the parochial authorities were advised to install new frames. Some of these involved recasting of bells and augmentation of rings; in seven cases advice was also given on sound control.

The convener has had a great deal of correspondence on the subject of recorded bells. The members of the committee feel we need not be unduly anxious in regard to these installations. The Central Council for the Care of Churches is bitterly opposed to them and has strongly advised its Diocesan Advisory Committees accordingly. Most Chancellors act on the advice of their Advisory Committees, and it has been found that in many cases temporary faculties only have been granted.

The convener has again given a series of lectures on bells, bell towers and bell hanging to diocesan surveyors and architects at the York Architectural Institute.

The Councils handbook on the “Installation, Preservation and Repair of Bells, Bell-frames and Fittings” is almost out of print. It was last reprinted in 1948 and has proved one of the library’s “best sellers.” The committee recommends it be reprinted subject to some minor revisions.

Moving the adoption of the report, Mr. F. Sharpe stated that during the year the committee had dealt with 38 cases situated in all parts of the country. He mentioned the case of a tower that had developed a vertical vibratory crack measuring 38ft. and where the ringers persisted in ringing. They were most annoyed when he suggested they should stop. They had considerable correspondence with the secretary of the Central Council for the Care of Churches and he would like it to be known that the authorities were doing all they could to stop recorded bells.

Mr. F. E. Collins seconded the adoption of the report.

Mr. J. H. Crampion considered this the most useful of all the committees of the Central Council. Speaking for his part of the country, he knew of the good work the committee had done.

Mr. J. W. Clarke said he had made a report on a tower in Cheshire which was split 8ft. in length due to the movement of the frame. He recommended the tenor be not used, but it was still in use. “I may have to report serious damage to the tower in consequence,” he added.

The President: I think it was at the Newcastle meeting that the Towers and Belfries Committee was made. I had been working on the forces involved when the bells were swinging and I gave a brief report in 1913.

Mr. P. J. Johnson: I remember the diagrams which were sent round by Mr. Lewis and Mr. Richardson.

Mr. R. G. Blackman suggested that the Council send an official letter to the incumbent and the ringing master of the tower reported. If anything happened it might be the death of a ringer.

Mr. Clarke said he wrote to the Central Council for the Care of Churches and asked for the names of the architects they recommended. He got into touch with all three of them and none of them had any knowledge of bells and bell frames.

Mr. Sharpe added that they endeavoured to give instructions to diocesan surveyors and architects in bell hanging. He had a case where the vicar called in one of the most prominent architects, who was satisfied with the bells. He (Mr. Sharpe) found that the frame was loose in nearly every joint and almost completely honeycombed by death-watch beetle.

The Standing Committee recommended that the committee be re-elected with Mr. Sharpe as convener, and that Mr. John Freeman be added to the committee. This was agreed to.


The committee begs to report the following new methods and progressive lengths rung during the year ended December 31st, 1953:-

Tower Bells

Jan.10.5088 Liscard Imp. Bob Maj. (Chester)
Jan.14.5040 Waterloo Bob Triples (Norwich)
Jan.17.5056 Oxfordshire Sur. Maj. (Oxford)
Jan.22.5184 Trowbridge Surprise Major (St. Martin’s)
Jan.24.5088 Westminster Imp. Bob Major (Chester)
Feb.4.5040 St. Edmundsbury Bob Triples (Norwich)
Feb.9.5152 Crewe Sur. Major (St. Martin’s)
Feb.11.5040 Carshalton Bob Trip. (Norwich)
Feb.14.5120 St. Valentine’s Imp. Bob Maj. (Chester)
Feb.26.5280 Metropolis Surprise Maximus (Leicester)
Feb.26.5024 Neasden Sur. Maj. (Middlesex)
Feb.28.5040 Malpas Imp. Bob Maj. (Chester)
Mar.2.5040 Cheshunt Sur. Maj. (Middlesex)
Mar.14.5152 Bebington Imp. Bob Major (Chester)
Mar.14.5184 Loddon Delight Maj. (Norwich)
Mar.19.5000 Hingham Little Imp. Bob Maj. (Norwich)
Apr.27.5056 Sedbergh Court Maj. (Norwich)
May6.5152 Aylestone Sur. Maj. (Leicester)
May16*5024 Chesterfield Sur. Maj. (Derbys)
June2.5040 Spliced Sur. Max. (12 methods) (Leicester)
June13.5152 Cholmondeley Bob Major (Chester)
July12.5024 Wicken Sur. Maj. (Peterboro’)
July16.5056 Shalford Sur. Maj. (Guildford)
Aug.12.5024 Shouldham Delight Major (Norwich)
Oct.17.5152 Poulton Imp. Bob Maj. (Chester)
Oct.31.5040 Spliced Triples (6 methods) (Worcestershire)
Nov.21.5152 Imberhorne Sur. Maj. (Sussex)
Nov.23.5056 Ashton-u-Lyne Sur. Major (St. Martin’s)
Dec.5.5152 Christleton Bob Maj. (Chester)
Dec.5.5040 Pudsey Sur. Royal (Chester)
Dec.26.5056 Kirklington Sur. Major (Southwell)
Dec.26.5088 Eardisland Delight Major (Hereford)


Aug. 21. 5040 Spliced Maximus (12 methods) (Universities)

Progressive Lengths

Jan. 31. 13139 Grandsire Caters (Winchester and Portsmouth)
Oct. 17. 15840 Plain Bob Royal (Winchester and Portsmouth)
Longest length of Royal in any method on tower bells or handbells.

* To replace false peal included in 1952 records and subsequently withdrawn.

Mrs. Fletcher, in moving the adoption of the report, asked for the deletion of Pudsey Surprise Royal by the Chester Diocesan Guild. The first peal in this method was rung 20 years ago.

The committee was re-elected, with Mrs. Fletcher as convener.


In presenting this report, we ask for permission to continue our collection, for we feel that there are a large number of old peal boards in different parts of the country of which we have no record.

Up to date, with the exception of a few peals (the name of their location not being known), and the peal boards in Lancashire, which have not yet been taken from “The Bell News,” the details of 273 old peal boards, recording performances of 1825 or earlier, have been typed out in triplicate.

These records, when complete, will be made up into loose leaf folders as suggested; one set in date order, the second in alphabetical place order and the third as a reserve check.

We ask every representative of the Council to make it his or her primary business to obtain further information and forward it to us, that we may “wind up” this committee this session.

Attached is a comprehensive list of the records in our possession:-

Berkshire.- Reading.
Bucks.- Denham.
Cheshire.- Malpas, Stockport.
Cambridgeshire.- March.
Derbyshire.- Ashbourne, Derby.
Essex.- Chelmsford, Waltham Abbey.
Gloucestershire.- Cirencester, Gloucester, Painswick, Stroud.
Hampshire.- Romsey.
Hertfordshire.- Aspenden, Hatfield, Hertford, Rickmansworth, St. Albans, Watford.
Isle of Wight.- Carisbrooke, Newport.
Kent.- Ashford, Benenden, Biddenden, Bromley, Canterbury, Folkestone, Greenwich, Margate, Northfleet, Rolvenden, Woolwich, Wye.
Norfolk.- Alborough, Aylsham, Costessey, Diss, East Dereham, Garboldisham, Gislingham, Hingham, Kenninghall, King’s Lynn, Loddon, North Elmham, Redenhall, Swaffham, Thetford, Yarmouth, Yaxham.
Northants.- Harlestone, Kettering, King’s Sutton, Raunds, Rothwell.
Northumberland.- Newcastle.
Notts.- Newark.
Oxfordshire.- Oxford.
Shropshire.- Shrewsbury.
Somerset.- Bristol.
Staffs.- Walsall, Wolverhampton.
Suffolk.- Boxford, Eye, Hadleigh, Halesworth, Lavenham, Woodbridge.
Lancashire.- Bolton, Croston, Oldham, Preston.
Lincolnshire.- Gainsborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Pinchbeck, Spilsby.
London.- Cripplegate, Clerkenwell, Holborn, Islington, Kensington, Lambeth, Shoreditch, Southwark, Waterloo Road.
Middlesex.- Ealing, Fulham, Twickenham.
Surrey.- Epsom, Farnham, Godalming, Guildford, Kingston-on-Thames, Leatherhead, Mitcham, Reigate.
Sussex.- Brighton, Cuckfield, Eastbourne, Horsham, Seaford, Waldron.
Warwickshire.- Aston, Birmingham, Warwick.
Wiltshire.- Aldbourne.
Worcestershire.- Halesowen, Kidderminster, Worcester.
Yorkshire.- Otley, Sheffield, Wath-on-Dearne.

Mr. J. W. Clarke said it was felt by the committee that the time had come to try and finish the work of the committee. It could be quickly finished if the suggestions made in the report were carried out.

The Standing Committee recommended that the committee, with the exception of the Rev. C. E. Wigg, be re-elected with Mr. Clarke as convener. This was agreed to.

The Ringing World, July 2, 1954, pages 425 to 426




The Peals Analysis Committee, in submitting their report for 1953, draw attention to the downward trend in peal ringing in the last few years.

In spite of the fact that 1953 was Coronation Year, the total number of peals rung was less than that of 1952. There was an increase of 16 in tower-bell peals, but a decrease of 69 in handbell peals. June saw 432 tower-bell peals rung, but this was followed by a reaction, for the number of peals during the remainder of the year fell well below the average.

Although in many churches the bells are rung regularly for the Sunday services, there are also many rings of bells which are silent on Sunday owing to lack of ringers. It is, therefore, heartening to find that in some districts young ringers are being encouraged and trained to become peal ringers.

Once again it is noticed, with congratulations, that the Leicester Diocesan Guild, with only 11 peals short of the previous year’s total, occupy the first place in the Analysis. The Lancashire Association have moved up into second place, with the Essex Association in third place, the highest they have been for some time.

The five- and six-bell ringers have again upheld their reputation, accounting for 38.1 per cent. of all the tower-bell peals.

The Chester Guild have broken fresh ground in the Plain Major methods; the Norwich Guild in the Triples methods and the Worcester and Districts with Spliced Triples, while the Leicester Guild have enhanced their reputation with Spliced Maximus in twelve methods on tower bells and Stedman Sextuples on handbells.

The Middlesex Association accomplished a fine feat in ringing a silent peal of London Surprise Major on handbells, and the Hertford County a similar one of Cambridge Surprise Major.

Two remarkable peals which call for special mention are the handbell records of Grandsire Caters and Plain Bob Royal, both by the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild, which, we have no doubt, will be dealt with more fully by the Records Committee.

It has been pointed out that there is a decision of the Council against peals of Plain Bob Triples, Caters and Cinques, therefore the committee have no option but to delete from the Analysis the following peals of Bob Triples:

Chester Guild (1), Essex Association (1), Hertford County (2), Kent County (1), Llandaff and Monmouth (1), Leicester Guild (1), North Staffs (1), Oxford Diocesan (1), Suffolk Guild (2), Winchester and Portsmouth (1) - a total of 12, which makes the peal figures 2,400 on tower bells and 154 on handbells.

Another “peal” of Plain Bob Triples, rung at Littleport, without a cover bell, was not entered.

In conclusion, we thank peal ringers for responding to our request to send in peal reports with promptitude, but still wish that Minor and Doubles ringers would always state the number of methods rung.

Mr. W. Ayre, in presenting the report, commented: “I think the fun begins now.” He said in the last few years they had had an occasional peal of Bob Triples. That year there were 12. He pointed put that there was a rule in 1904 and 1927 against ringing peals of Bob Triples, so they had been slipping very badly. He decided to bring the matter up because he disliked the Council making decisions and not abiding by them. The committee were not trying to dictate and tell them what they should ring or not ring, but simply to abide by the decisions of the Council.

Mr. H. Miles seconded.

The Secretary: The Standing Committee recommended that the report be adopted.

Mr. N. Chaddock moved that peals of Treble Bob be included in the 1953 Analysis and that exclusion be deferred until after the publication of the Council’s Handbook. He felt that the introduction of such a regulation would cause resentment. Some of the peals were rung specially for the Coronation.

Mr. W. F. Moreton seconded. He regarded the introduction now without warning as a big mistake.

Mr. Barker: The warning was given in 1904.

Mr. Eric Critchley asked how many towers throughout the country knew of the regulations. As a peal secretary he would accept such peals.

Mr. C. K. Lewis objected most strongly to the amendment. In the last few years, he said, they had refused to accept peals of Minor because they were irregular. It was not the fault of the Analysis Committee it was the fault of the Council - they ought to know the decisions. The decision touched him deeply because his Guild rang a peal of Bob Triples to the memory of his friend Bob Newton and it was his sad duty to turn it down. The analysis ought to be a record of things that conformed to the Council’s decisions. He asked if they could have an assurance from “The Ringing World” Committee that all peals would be recorded and then only peals that conformed to the Council’s decisions would be recorded in the Peal Analysis Committee’s report. He had great sympathy with the Minor ringers who had their peals taken away without warning. If they gave way to eight-bell ringers it would discourage Minor ringers who rang 38 per cent. of the peals.

Mr. F. Dukes said they had no official warning that these peals were to be thrown out. He asked how many Associations had an official copy of the rules.

Mr. P. J. Johnson asked the members to put some sort of logic into their statements. It was no use being fair to one and unfair to another. It was well known since 1904 that Bob Triples had been discouraged by the Council. The Council was not saying to ringers, “You can’t do this or that”; all it was, saying was that these peals would not be admitted to the Analysis.

Mr. Robinson thought that the enforcement of the decision should not be done without notice. He would like to move that the decision be amended.

Mr. Johnson added, with emphasis, that the decision could not be amended at that meeting.

Mr. Harold J. Poole thought that to cut the peals out now would do a great deal of harm to young ringers.

The Rev. J. G. M. Scott said he lived in a county (Devonshire) where there was a great deal of Grandsire. If he had a band of his own he would try and get them through Bob Doubles before they heard Grandsire. He reminded the Council that the first recorded peal by John Garthon in 1715 was Bob Triples. He asked the Council to rescind the decision as to Bob Triples.

Mr. J. R. Worrall supported the views of Mr. Poole. He said he had taken part in three peals of Bob Triples. “I asked someone whom I thought would know whether there was a decision against it and I was told they simply frowned upon it.”

Mr. C. W. Pipe: I have rung and conducted Bob Triples and I did not know there was a decision against Bob Triples.

Mr. John Freeman: Personally I cannot see any merit in ringing Bob Triples. I assume that the rule was drafted by people who thought it was not worthy of being practised. I do not believe in the school of thought that if a peal was rung in innocence it should count. If ever I am pulled up by the police in Leicester I shall tell them that I did it in all innocence! He supported Mr. K. Lewis.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead took the view that the method had been rung so long that it would be a pity to rule out these peals.

Mr. G. W. Fletcher: We have heard a lot about this innocence, but about three weeks ago a member of the Methods Committee rang a peal of Bob Caters in the Eastern Counties.

The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow supported the views of Mr. Scott. As in the first recorded peal of 1715 it would be very sad to have to report that that was a good peal in every sense except in the eyes of the Central Council. If that decision came to pass the third edition of his book (“The Church Bells of Norwich”) would have to have a very long footnote to that peal that it was not recognised by the Central Council (laughter).

“I feel in this age of specialisation that my sympathies are not with all the experts who can ring anything, but with the young ringers in the village towers who are struggling to do this and that.”

Mr. Harry Miles: Is it not a fact that every Association agrees to abide by the decisions of the Council?

Mr. Anderson said that Mr. Johnson was a member of the Council when the decision was made. Why had he allowed peals of Bob Triples in the Analysis?

Mr. Johnson: I feel you are getting all muddled. The point was made in the question asked by Mr. Miles. All your Associations have had this information since 1904, and if I have a responsibility so have you.

Mr. F. Dunkerley: I want to support Mr. Johnson. You have a rule and this is no place to rescind it. If you want to rescind it you must give notice.

Mr. R. G. Blackman felt that these peals should be allowed because they had accepted them since 1904. He moved that the 12 peals of Bob Triples referred to in the report be included in the Analysis and that the exclusion of these peals be deferred until after the publication of the Council’s handbook.

Mr. Johnson maintained that such a resolution was out of order.

The President: Strictly speaking, that is right. Notice should be given.

Mr. Johnson: If you do this you open the floodgates on any decision of the Council.

Mr. W. Robinson suggested deferring the acceptance of the paragraph in the report until the next meeting.

It was eventually agreed to accept the report with the exception of the paragraph dealing with Bob Triples and that paragraph be postponed until next year.

The Secretary said the decision of the Standing Committee was that in future all peals not conforming to the Council’s decisions will not be put in the Analysis; they will, however, if sent, be published in “The Ringing World.”

The committee was elected as follows: Mr. W. Ayre (convener), Mr. H. Miles and the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead.


The following were elected to the Standing Committee: Messrs. R. S. Anderson, W. B. Cartwright, F. E. Dukes, J. T. Dyke, J. Freeman, F. I. Hairs, P. J. Johnson, C. K. Lewis, H. J. Poole, A. H. Pulling, Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow and Mr. E. C. S. Turner.

The president moved a vote of thanks to the retiring committee for their work.


Before the motion was presented the president said in view of what they had heard recently he would ask the proposer to accept the following amendment:-

“That this Council deprecates the increasing number of installations of synthetic and recorded bells, which it considers to be unworthy of use in the house of God, and wishes to support the responsible authorities in the steps they are taking to prevent their installation.”

The president said that since the motion was sent in they had heard that the Church Assembly had passed a strong resolution, and also the Central Council for the Preservation of Churches. He thought it would be more appropriate it they added their support.

Mr. F. E. Hawthorne accepted the amendment and accordingly moved it.

Mr. Walter Ayre seconded.

The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow suggested that “imitation” was a better word than synthetic. People might not think so but there were parts of the country that were not against recorded bells. He quoted a case of an Archdeacon, who, when the Queen arrived, played his gramophone not from the church tower but on the Vicarage lawn. One incumbent, finding that his church bells were a gramophone, attached a notice to the record: “This peal is not to be rung any more.”

The president said the main argument against recorded bells was: “Why not recordings of choirs from other churches, or sermons from the vicars of other churches, in fact why have your own vicar at all?”

Mr. J. A. Hoare spoke of the prevalence of recorded bells in Wales and said that the reason was that recorded bells did not cost much, only £110.

Mr. J. W. Clarke said he had been in this fight for some time. Every application that came before the Chester Advisory Committee was met with a strong recommendation that it be not granted, but in some cases it had. If any of them had met Chancellor King they would know that he still gave way on recorded bells with a number of reservations, such as the kind of ringing. If they got the support of the Chancellors they could do most things.

The motion as amended was carried.


The secretary reported that invitations had been received from Bristol and Leicester. This was discussed by the Standing Committee, who decided to leave the decision to the Council. Bristol was last visited in 1898, and Leicester in 1911.

Mr. F. I. Hairs proposed Bristol.

Mr. H. J. Poole asked the Council to place on record the invitation to Leicester the following year.

The Council decided to hold the next meeting at Bristol.


The hon. secretary reported that 114 Council members were present. Twenty-four Associations were fully represented, 26 partly, four not represented. There were five life and seven honorary members present.


The president proposed a vote of thanks to the Provost and Chapter of St. Nicholas Cathedral for the use of the Cathedral library, the Provost for officiating at the service, the Lord Bishop, the Lord Mayor and the Master for their welcome, Mr. D. Bayles and Mr. K. Arthur for making local arrangements and to all incumbents and towerkeepers for the use of the bells and having the bells ready (applause).

Mr. A. A. Hughes proposed a sincere vote of thanks to the president for the way he conducted the business (applause).

Mr. F. E. Dukes proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Barnett, Mr. F. Sharpe and the Editor of “The Ringing World” (applause).

The Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress afterwards gave a civic reception and conversazione in the Laing Art Gallery. During the evening a touch of Stedman Cinques was rung by members of the Council, conducted by Mr. H. J. Poole.

The Ringing World, July 9, 1954, pages 441 to 442

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