The report of the Literature and Press Committee for 1954, presented to the Central Council at Bristol last Tuesday, shows that the art of change ringing had a good press in 1954. The report is signed by Edgar C. Shepherd (convener) and Fred E. Dukes, and states:-

Once again your committee has to report that ringers and ringing affairs have received considerable notice in the Press. The return of H.M. the Queen from her tour of the world was marked by a request from Parliament that all the bells of Britain should ring for the occasion, and newspaper notices of this stressed again the part bells play in our national life. Much more extraordinary was the light of publicity thrown upon the attempt at Loughborough to ring the extent of Major. Never in the history of ringing has so much attention been given, nationally and internationally, by newsmen and news agencies, to any bellringing project. The American Press was very interested, and an article in ‘Time,’ which began by being informative in transatlantic style, ended in the mock-heroic strain. The leader writer of ‘The Manchester Guardian’ was perhaps rather carried away by the stream of his own prose, and even ‘The Times’ was moved in sober fashion to compare the attempt with the climbing of Everest. Some of the less responsible portions of the National Press were crudely critical, and some correspondence for and against ringing naturally followed. Among the genuinely lighter comments was an amusing dialectic by ‘X.Y.Z’ in ‘The Suffolk Chronicle,’ which turned the mind back to Debenham and ringing feats of old time. Possibly the best article that came to hand was the well-planned and carefully written essay in ‘The Leicester Mercury,’ written before the attempt, and giving the layman a sensible survey of the proposed undertaking. The article was accompanied by a photograph of the inside of the Loughborough campanile.


It is with great pleasure that your committee notes the continued appearance during 1954 of a number of subsidiary ringing journals. Among these are ‘The Belfry,’ the quarterly magazine of the Maidstone District of the Kent Association, the ‘Irish Bell News,’ the lusty quarterly of the Irish Association, and ‘The Ringing Towers,’ issued by the New South Wales Association of Change Ringers. After a very able and conscientious period as Editor of ‘The Ringing Towers,’ Mr. W. M. Rowe has resigned and his place has been taken by Mr. T. W. Goodyear. The persistence and enterprise that produce these periodicals both at home and in the far distant outposts of the Exercise are greatly to be commended.

Certain individual ringers have during the year provided notices or news items in the press and among them are four of what may be termed ‘The Old Brigade still on active service.’ In June, Mr. Adolphus Roberts celebrated his 84th birthday, an occasion marked by an excellent photograph and note in ‘The Birmingham Mail.’ In the same city ‘The Sunday Mercury,’ on May 16th, chose Mr. Albert Walker as ‘Personality of the Week,’ and in October ‘The Surrey Times’ gave honourable mention of the golden wedding of Mr. Alfred H. Pulling, accompanied by a delightful photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Pulling. Towards the end of the year ‘The Oxford Times’ included Mr. Richard White, of Appleton, in its series ‘Impressions by David Peters.’ In January, ‘The Oxford Mercury’ in a cheerful article described Appleton and its claims to fame and included references to the Whites and the Holifields.

The articles have been well written and varied in style, ranging from Fred Norris’s light-hearted interview with the Rev. J. G. M. Scott in a West Country paper to W. A. Farmer’s authoritative account of Clunbury bells in ‘The Shropshire Magazine.’ ‘The Croydon Advertiser,’ of August 27th, gave us a reminder of the old Society of Croydon Youths and the work of Dr. A. B. Carpenter; and ‘J. P. D.’ in ‘The Harpenden Free Press’ discoursed pleasantly on the difference between carillon playing and bell ringing.


‘Pulman’s Weekly News’ revived the legend of the pixies and the bells of Ottery St. Mary, and the story of the destruction of the carillon at Cattistock was related by William Pike in ‘Home Words.’ To this little paper may, perhaps, go the palm for the most charming essay of the year, ‘A Novice goes Bell Ringing,’ a delightful account by B. J. Jackson of a layman’s approach to handling a bell and ringing rounds. Running it very close in simplicity and charm was John Saunders’ ‘The Bells of Steeple Aston’ in ‘The Lady’ of December 2nd.

Early in the year the continued correspondence on synthetic bells in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ was assisted by Mr. E. A. Barnett, and in ‘The Kent Messenger’ Dr. John Hatcher conveyed a New Year message to the people of Kent. To correspondence in ‘The Western Gazette’ on bells of the countryside, Mr. H. J. Sanger made a valuable contribution.

The ringing publications of 1954 cover the archæological, historical and practical approaches to our art. The Exercise will congratulate Mr. Frederick Sharpe on the completion of ‘The Church Bells of Oxfordshire’ by the publication of Volume 6 and the consummation of thirty years of compilation. Part XIII of ‘The Church Bells of Berkshire,’ by the same indefatigable student, appeared in the middle of the year. Mr. Wilfrid Wilson’s valuable essay on conducting, prepared for ‘The Ringing World,’ has been produced in book form with the title ‘On Conducting’ and is now on sale among the publications of the Council. Other books and pamphlets published during the year include the following:

‘Cheshire Bells,’ J. W. Clarke.
‘The Chester Scholars,’ J. W. Clarke.
‘Beginner’s Grandsire’ (2nd edition), A. Waddington.


Among the publications of the year not written primarily for ringers are ‘Oranges and Lemons,’ dedicated by the author, Miss Gladys Taylor, to the Ancient Society of College Youths, and ‘Bells in England,’ by Tom Ingram. The former work gives a survey of the churches of London and will appeal strongly to all ringers. We may agree with ‘The Ringing World’ that the description in this book of the Sunday ringing at St. Paul’s is most impressive. Mr. Ingram’s work covers bells of every kind, from door bells to bells on buoys, and contains an eight-page bibliography that would appear to us to be the most comprehensive ever published.

‘The Ringers’ Note Book and Diary,’ by Viggers and Hodgson, continues to appear and deservedly flourishes. It is of great use both as a diary and as a ringer’s vade mecum.

The Ringing World, June 3, 1955, pages 350



THERE is a saying in Bristol, ‘Ship shape and Bristol fashion.’ This in a sense exemplifies the success that attended the second session of the 27th Council (58th annual meeting) held in the Chapter House, Bristol, on Whit-Tuesday. With its wealth of bells there was a big programme of ringing extending from the Friday to the Tuesday, and after the Council meeting a civic reception was given to the members of the Council and their ladies by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (Ald. Harry Crook and Mrs. Crook) at the Elizabethan house, Red Lodge, with its wealth of treasures.

Proceedings on the Tuesday started with Holy Communion at Bristol Cathedral at which the Dean (the Very Rev. F. E. Lunt) was the celebrant.

The Council meeting opened with a welcome from the Dean and from Mr. Cyril R. Harding, Master of the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association.


The Dean said it was both a pleasure and a privilege to say a word of welcome to the Council, not only to the cathedral but, in the absence of the Bishop, to the Diocese. The Bishop had asked him to express his regrets at not being present but sent his warmest wishes for the success of the meeting.

In welcoming them to the Cathedral his mind went back to the time when he was an incumbent and had bells in his church, and had a happy relationship with these who came week by week to ring them. That was in Oxford and because of the proximity of the Colleges they had to limit ringing, therefore he was not always as popular as he might have been with the ringers.

‘I welcome the work that is being done by your Associations and I think it makes a big difference if what goes on in the belfry is in real fellowship and harmony with the rest of the Church. I often think you have a very great influence and opportunity of bringing young people into the closer fellowship of Christ’s Church; they get interested in ringing and realise what ringing stands for - in summoning people to God and the fellowship of His Church.’

The president (Mr. E. H. Lewis) in thanking the Dean for his kind welcome said the Council was very pleased to come to Bristol, which he believed was a return visit. It was a delightful place to come with its wealth of towers; with the exception of Oxford he was sure there were more bells per head of population than any other city. He also thanked the Master of the Gloucester and Bristol Association for all he and his committee had done to make them welcome.

Mr. Cyril R. Harding, Master of the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association, in a message of welcome said they very much appreciated the work of the Central Council. They would realise, however, that the majority of their towers were in agricultural districts where the work of the Central Council had not been heard of. They did try when they went into these country villages to get the ringers to conform to the rules of the Central Council.

‘I am perfectly satisfied that the ringing that has been carried on in the precincts of the city of Bristol has upheld the prestige and standard of ringing which was one of the objects of the Council. I hope your deliberations will be successful and that you will return to your homes with an everlasting memory of your visit to our ancient city of Bristol.’


The president took the chair supported by the librarian (Mr. F. Sharpe), the hon. secretary and treasurer (Mr. E. A. Barnett) and the assistant hon. secretary (Mrs. Barnett). Those present were:-

Life members: Mr. E. H. Lewis, Mr. E. A. Barnett, Mr. F. Sharpe, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher.
Honorary members: Mrs. E. A. Barnett, Messrs. J. T. Dyke, F. I. Hairs, A. A. Hughes, D. Hughes, C. K. Lewis, W. Osborn, Mrs. C. C. Marshall, Messrs. E. C. Shepherd, P. L. Taylor, W. H. Viggers.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Messrs. S. G. Coles, R. O. Fry, H. J. Sanger, Miss N. G. Williams.
Cambridge University Guild: Messrs. P. A. F. Chalk, B. D. Threlfall.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. J. W. Clarke, R. G. Corby.
Coventry Diocesan Guild: Mrs. D. E. Beamish, Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Derbyshire Association: Messrs. A. Mould, W. Robinson.
Devon Guild: Messrs. J. E. Lilley, T. G. Myers, Rev. J. G. M. Scott.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. H. J. Shuck.
Ely Diocesan Guild: Messrs P. Border, F. W. Lack, H. S. Peacock.
Essex Association: Messrs. J. H. Crampion, F. B. Lufkin, Miss H. G. Snowden.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Messrs. A. L. Barry, T. Boreham, W. B. Kynaston, F. Skidmore.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Mr. A. C. Hazelden.
Hereford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. G. L. Lewis, W. F. Moreton, G. E. Oliver, J. J. Webb.
Hertford County Association: Messrs. W. Ayre, R. G. Bell, E. Edmondson, C. W. Woolley.
Irish Association: Messrs. F. E. Dukes, J. T. Dunwoody, Miss J. Stewart.
Kent County Association: Mr. T. Cullingworth, Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher, Messrs. T. E. Stone, J. Willis.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss D. E. Colgate, Mrs. A. Richardson.
Lancashire Association: Mr. J. Ridyard, Rev. R. D. St. J. Smith, Mr. A. Tomlinson.
Leicester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. S. Burton, P. A. Corby, H. J. Poole, A. E. Rowley.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Messrs. J. Bray, G. E. Feirn, J. Freeman, J. A. Freeman.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Miss J. S. Evans, Mr. T. M. Roderick.
London County Association: Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Rogers, Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. F. W. Goodfellow, T. J. Lock, R. F. B. Speed, E. C. S. Turner.
Midland Counties Guild: Mr. J. W. Cotton.
North Staffordshire Association: Mr. R. S. Anderson.
Norwich Diocesan Guild: Messrs. H. W. Barrett, F. N. Golden, N. V. Harding, Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Barker, Mr. A. E. Lock.
Oxford University Society: Miss K. Higgins, Mr. R. B. Meadows.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Messrs. P. I. Chapman, G. W. Jeffs, E. Nobles, W. Rose.
St. David’s Diocesan Guild: Mr. J. A. Hoare.
St. Martin’s Guild (Birmingham): Mr. F. E. Haynes.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Messrs. G. H. Harding, W. C. West.
Sheffield and District: Mr. N. Chaddock.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. P. N. Bond, F. E. Hawthorne.
Southwell Diocesan Guild: Messrs. C. Glenn, J. Segar.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society: Mr. B. G. Key.
Suffolk Guild: Mr. C. W. Pipe.
Surrey Association: Messrs. F. E. Collins, W. F. Oatway, H. N. Pitstow.
Sussex County Association: Messrs. R. G. Blackman, F. H. Dallaway, H. Stalham, L. Stilwell.
Swansea and Brecon Guild: Mr. G. I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild: Mr. D. Burnett, Miss M. Lidgey, Mr. H. Miles.
Universities Association: Miss M. R. Cross.
Winchester and Portsmouth Guild: Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, Messrs. C. H. Kippin, G. Pullinger, F. W. Rogers.
Worcestershire and Districts Association: Messrs. B. C. Ashford, W. B. Cartwright.
Yorkshire Association: Messrs. W. G. Critchley, L. W. G. Morris.


Wholly represented2672-
Partially represented183824
Not represented10-15


Life Members52
Honorary Members118


The hon. secretary reported that there were 54 Associations affiliated to the Council with 150 members; there were also 24 honorary members and 7 life members, making a total of 181. There was one vacancy among representative members and 5 among honorary members. All subscriptions had been paid with the exception of the North Wales Association.


The secretary read apologies from the following members: Mr. F. Ainsley, Miss P. J. Ayris, Messrs. C. A. Bassett, H. D. Boreham, T. R. Butler, F. Dunkerley, J. P. Fidler, S. Foskett, T. H. Francis, A. Harman, J. E. Hobbs, Rev. J. Kingdon, Messrs. E. G. Fenn, H. J. Mansfield, A. H. Pulling, F. Precey, W. N. Park, J. W. Raithby, C. W. Roberts, Rev. A. S. Roberts, Messrs. C. J. Sedgley, B. F. Simms, J. F. Smallwood, Miss M. E. Snowdon, Mrs. P. J. Staniforth, Messrs. G. E. Symonds, T. H. Taffender, A. Walker, R. St. C. Wilson, J. R. Worrall. E. A. Young, E. W. Biffen, G. H. Cross, C. Wallater.


The following new members were presented: Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher (Kent), Miss M. Lidgey (Truro), Mr. A. L. Barry (Gloucester and Bristol), Mr. H. W. Barrett (Norwich), Mr. D. Hughes (Hon. Member), Miss K. Higgins (Oxford University), Mr. R. O. Fry (Bath and Wells), Rev. R. D. St. J. Smith (Lancashire), Mr. P. Border (Ely).


The president announced that a telegram was sent to Mr. E. Alex Young, a former hon. secretary of the Council, on his birthday on May 20th: ‘On behalf of all members of the Central Council may I offer you the good wishes and congratulations of the members of the Council on your 90th birthday.- Barnett.’

Mr. Young had sent a reply.


The secretary reported that there were five vacancies for hon. members. Mr. Rowe retired and was eligible for re-election. The Standing Committee had not made a recommendation. The recommendation was adopted.


The company stood while the members remembered Mr. F. Warrington, a member of the Council from 1936-47, representing the Ely Diocesan Association, who had died since the last meeting.


The Minutes of the last meeting, published in ‘The Ringing World’ of April 8th, were adopted subject to the following amendment: the name of Mr. J. Seager being substituted for Mr. C. Glenn.


One important matter decided during the year was the Council’s liability for Income Tax. This matter was taken up with the Inland Revenue authorities by the auditors of the accounts of ‘The Ringing World’ and the following points established:

(1) Any excess of affiliation fees over expenses of the Council itself is not taxable, based on the principle that mutual trading exists.

(2) Profits from the sale of publications and ‘The Ringing World’ are taxable only so far as they arise from persons who are not members of the Council or the affiliated societies.

(3) Income tax would be payable under Schedule ‘A’ on any real estate owned by the Council or under Schedule ‘D’ on any income from investments not already taxed at source.

Members will note that the interest on 3½ per cent Defence Bonds invested from the funds of ‘The Ringing World’ comes under (3). With regard to (2), the Inspector of Taxes accepted the computations of assessable profits based on my estimate of such sales as one per cent. and as the amounts involved were very small, he did not propose to raise an assessment up to and including the fiscal year 1953/54. The position regarding 1954/55 is at present under discussion.

The decision to increase the price of ‘The Ringing World’ from 4d. to 6d. is dealt with in its proper place, but it may be of interest to set out the position which would have arisen but for the generous donations received from ringers during the past three years:-

YearLoss on

Thus, instead of a deficit of £539 during this period the paper has been able to show a surplus of £362.

It was agreed by the Standing Committee last year that consideration should be given to increasing the amount for which the Library was insured, and as a result it was decided that the figure should be amended from £250 to £600.

I would like to express my thanks to Association secretaries who send me copies of their annual reports, and also to those who send other publications. The Council is again greatly indebted to Mr. W. G. Wilson and Miss C. L. Groves for very kindly making themselves responsible for the typing and duplicating of these papers.

A final thought - the first three societies to pay their affiliation fees for 1955 (apart from one Guild who did so in advance) were the Scottish and Irish Associations and the St. David’s Guild, in that order.

The hon. secretary moved the adoption of the report.

Mr. R. S. Anderson seconded and thanked the secretary for his work for the Council.

The report was adopted.


During the year the borrowing of books of reference increased considerably. Sales of publications increased by 25 per cent above the previous year’s total, and would have been greater had not the popular books on ‘Doubles and Minor Methods’ and ‘Preservation and repair of bells’ been out of print for most of the year. A new edition of the latter is now available and, at the moment of writing, negotiations are in hand with printers regarding a new edition of the Doubles book.

As a result of the price increases sanctioned last year, income exceeded expenditure by £4 2s. 1d. The ‘best seller’ has been Mr. W. G. Wilson’s book, ‘On Conducting,’ with ‘Village Bells’ second and ‘Hints to Beginners’ third.

Typed index sheets of the printed books in the Library have been made during the year and a welcome addition to the equipment has been the acquisition of six bookcases.

Where there are many copies of any book in the Library, printed since 1850, I recommend that all above three copies be sold.

During the year the Library has received the following gifts: ‘Cheshire Bells, Part III,’ from the author, Mr. J. W. Clarke; ‘Beginners’ Grandsire,’ from the author, Mr. A. Waddington; ‘Notes for Beginners,’ from the author, Mr. W. G. Wilson; the late Mr. C. Perry’s MSS., from Mr. A. C. Hazelden; and ‘The Irish Bell News,’ from Mr. F. E. Dukes.

Once again I must pay special tribute to the painstaking and efficient work of Miss P. J. Ayris in running the sales section of the library.

Mr. F. Sharpe in moving the adoption of the report said they would notice that they had made a profit which was very gratifying to him. It was necessary because the profit they made was absorbed by ‘The Ringing World’ charges for advertisements and helped with publications.

He had received that day from the president a treatise on experiments carried out at All Saints’, Loughborough; on the swinging position of bells and on experiments carried out in the Loughborough foundry with a spring bell-frame. He had also received a copy of the history of the London County Association and the North Southwark Diocesan Guild.

He expressed his thanks to Miss P. Ayris for seeing to the despatch of books and to the Rev. Eric Tarrant, Rector of Launton, for the use of a room in his Rectory for the library.

Mr. H. J. Poole seconded and the report was adopted.


Mr. A. A. Hughes reported that the machine was in good working order and was demonstrated on two occasions last year.

Mr. H. J. Poole, seconding, said he would like to express thanks for the demonstration given when the National Police Guild visited London.

The report was adopted.


Presenting the report of the Roll of Honour Sub-Committee, Mr. Harry Miles said, ‘You see in front of you a happy man. He has done a job given to him at York in 1949.’ The Roll of Honour was now finished. Another thing which had made him happy was the wonderful response from all quarters in the compilation of the roll.

There were a number of people be would like to thank. First, the two librarians of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mr. G. W. Henderson (since retired) and the Rev. W. M. Atkins; then Mr. C. Cullen, of Farnborough, Kent, who offered and wrote the roll free and designed the oak case. The roll in its case was placed just outside the gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The College Youths had agreed to turn over a page periodically.

It was proposed that photostat copies should be made of the roll. He asked Mr. F. Dunkerley to arrange with a firm at Oldham to make the stats - to send the original roll back to St. Paul’s, the stats to him and the account to the general secretary. Mr. Dunkerley sent the roll back to St. Paul’s, the stats to him and he paid the account personally. He thanked Mr. Dunkerley for his help and generosity.

Mr. R. S. Anderson in seconding the adoption of the report said he did not think there was a memorial in the country that had been done entirely by the people concerned. He moved that the secretary send an official letter of thanks to all who had contributed to the successful completion of the roll.

The report was adopted.



The balance sheet of the Central Council was as follows:-

Creditors, £558 17s. 4d. (£778, 1953); Payments in advance, £848 12s. 11d. (£767); Capital Accounts: ‘The Ringing World,’ £1,695 11s. 4d.; General Fund, £452 10s. 4d. Total, £3,539 11s. 11d.

Goodwill and blocks, ‘The Ringing World,’ £200; Library, £10; Bookcases, £15 15s.; Typewriter, £18; Stock of Publications, £289 13s. 6d.; Debtors, £715 3s.1d.; 3½ per cent Defence Bonds, £800 (£800); Cash at Bank and in hand, £1,491 0s. 4d. (£1,486). Total, £3,539 11s. 11d.


Expenditure- Biographies Committee, £4 6s. 7d.; Council meeting, Newcastle, £2 15s.; Accountants’ Fees, £15 15s.; Stationery and Printing, £9 7s. 3d.; Postage, £6 8s. 2d.; Telephone, etc., £1 5s. 5d.; Typewriter written off, £3; Bookcase written off, £3; Cheque book and Bank charges, 9s. 1d.; Insurance (Library), 14s.; Wreath, £2; Typing, £1 1s.; Excess of income over expenditure, £32 12s. 1d. Total, £82 13s. 7d.

Income- Affiliation fees, £75; Donations, £1 11s.; Balance (case for roll of honour), £2 0s. 6d.; Balance (publications account), £4 2s. 1d. Total, £82 13s. 7d.


Expenditure- To Woodbridge Press Ltd. (printing and blocks), £3,369 2s. 9d.; Despatch of copies, £140 10s. 6d.; Postage and wrappers, £583 13s. 9d. Editorial Office: Editor’s fees and expenses, £294 8s. 8d.; Clerical assistance, £120 3s. 8d.; Postage, stationery and sundry, £28 18s.; Accounts Department: Clerical assistance, £104; Postage, £20 5s. 2d.; Stationery and telephone, £17 19s. 9d.; Audit fee, £21; Sundry, £2 13s.; Net profit, £249 0s. 1d.

Income- Rolls Publishing Co., £1,844 7s. 11d.; Postal subscribers, £1,907 0s. 6d.; Donations, £335 14s. 4d.; Sundry sales, £25 12s. 9d.; Notices, £378 14s. 10d.; Advertisements, £421 9s.; Interest, 3½ per cent Defence Bonds, less tax, £18 16s.; General Fund advertisements, £20.

Moving the adoption of the report the hon. secretary said he suggested that the accounts of ‘The Ringing World’ be left to ‘The Ringing World’ report. On the general fund they had made a profit of £32, which was a welcome change. This had been brought about by the doubling of the affiliation fees which now amounted to £75. The accounts had been audited by Mr. A. A. Hughes and Mr. F. W. Perrens.

Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded the adoption of the report, which was adopted.


Your committee has to report another year of strenuous effort to maintain solvency. During 1954, another campaign was launched to obtain more postal subscribers. All affiliated Societies were invited to elect members to act as District representatives of ‘The Ringing World,’ their functions to be to try to obtain more subscribers, and also to forward to the Editor news of what was happening in their Districts. The result was encouraging and your committee is most grateful to these representatives for their efforts.

Towards the end of the year we felt there was a danger of an adverse balance, and your committee was forced to the necessity of raising the price of the journal to 6d. This decision was taken after three years’ vigorous struggle to keep the price at 4d. Rising costs left no alternative and it is to be hoped that when the effects of the increase are realised we may experience financial stability. So far as can be estimated the resultant drop in circulation is between three and four per cent - much less than we had expected.

The situation was saved last year, as in previous years, by the generous help received in personal, voluntary peal, quarter-peal and other donations.

In view of the discussion last year regarding the non-publication of letters written over a nom-de-plume, your committee decided to advise the Editor to consider such communications for publication provided they did not contain attacks on persons or bodies. A notice to this effect was published and the result has been obvious to all readers.

Your committee looks forward to the time when it may be possible to include more illustrations in the journal, and as soon as the financial position is sufficiently improved this, and other possible improvements, will be made. For the time being, however, economy and even austerity must continue until we sail in smoother waters.

Finally, we would place on record our sincere thanks to all who have helped in the production of the journal: to Mr. Tom White, the Editor, for his able and conscientious work; Mr. Jeater for his efficient supervision of the accounts; to all literary contributors; to all readers; to all district representatives; and last but by no means least to all who have, by their donations, helped us in a most difficult year.

Mr. F. I. Hairs in presenting the report regretted the absence of Mr. Smallwood. The rise in the price to 6d. was only made after careful consideration and was due to the fact that they were still depending on charity.

Mr. H. J. Poole seconded the adoption of the report.

The Rev. J. G. M. Scott said a great many people in his area were not change ringers. Call change ringers had no means of publicity for the results of their competitions except the local press. If those results were put in ‘The Ringing World’ they would get a substantial increase in circulation.

Mr. H. Miles supported this point of view.

Mr. Anderson said if the call change ringers sent the information to the Editor it would be published.

Mr. G. Pullinger: Could it be made possible for the paper to be open for advertisements?

The President: It is quite open.

Mr. J. E. Lilley: I don’t want to cross swords with Mr. Scott, but I feel this is a very controversial subject. We are struggling very hard in Devon to introduce change ringing and I am very pleased to say that through my influence there will be a change ringing band at Buckfast Abbey.

The Rev. J. G. M. Scott spoke of the friendly relations with the call change ringers and the Devonshire Association at the annual competitions at Dean Prior and had invited a band of change ringers to ring the service touch. A peal was rung at South Molton in honour of the South Molton band winning the ringing competition.

The report was adopted.

Introducing the accounts, the hon. secretary said they would notice on the income side that during the year the income from postal subscribers had increased and that was before the price increase. Donations had also increased. They would not have made a profit had it not been for these generous donations. The expenditure during the year was nothing unusual. It became clear that the paper would not have paid without an increase in price. The Standing Committee recommended that the accounts be passed subject to audit. These accounts were audited professionally.

Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded and the report was adopted.


The Committee have been gratified by the response made by 1954 new members to their request for the prompt return of the forms handed to them when they were introduced to the president.

Of the total forms distributed at Newcastle just over half were returned duly filled in, a few complete with a photograph. This, although better than previously, could be much improved. The particulars for which we ask have proved by our experience to be the minimum foundation required for the record of each member which the Council wishes to preserve.

The album, already containing a good number of finished obituaries, is on view. From those sheets it is hoped members will note the information that is wanted, also that provision is made for a photograph of post card size. This point is specially mentioned because, in the case of members elected before 1935 (many already deceased) photographs have in many cases been obtained only with difficulty and often only by reproduction from loaned and faded copies.

Our books now contain the names of 713 persons who have been elected to membership of the Council. Of this total 76 have not attended a meeting and 100 have attended one meeting only. 315 are known to be deceased. We have complete biographies of 215 deceased past members, and 72 others, whose biographies are partially complete, are those on whom Mr. Stilwell and myself are spending many hours of searching the pages of volumes of the ringing papers. In the hope of enlisting the help of present members we append a short list of records which need only a photograph for completion.

E. E. Burgess (Bath and Wells), died 6th April, 1933.
Rev. H. C. Courtney (Bath and Wells), died January, 1929.
Rev. C. C. Parkes (Bath and Wells), died 18th December, 1930.
C. W. P. Clifton (Lincoln), died 28th November, 1926.
C. Edwards (Hereford), died 2nd January, 1953.
J. P. Hyett (Hereford), died 23rd June, 1944.
F. E. Dawe (College Youths), died December, 1942.
H. A. Heywood (Chester Diocesan), died 20th July, 1943.
R. Sperring (Chester Diocesan), died 6th February, 1953.
T. Groombridge, Senr. (Kent County), died 29th October, 1951.
T. Groombridge, Junr. (Southwell), died 24th May, 1948.
R. A. Daniell (Cumberland Youths), died 20th December, 1935.
G. Longden (Lancashire), died 4th August, 1908.
W. E. Wilson (Lancashire), died 11th February, 1943.
R. G. Knowles (Worcester), died 22nd September, 1942.
F. Lees (Durham and Newcastle), died 12th August, 1897.
F. C. Willey (Yorkshire), died 29th October, 1929.
J. Basden (Middlesex), died 14th December, 1911.

Since the meeting at Newcastle and up to the time of preparation of this Report no deaths of members or of past members have been reported. We are, however, able to report on the deaths of some former members not previously reported to the Council which have come to our knowledge.

Thomas Card (Society of Royal Cumberland Youths 1906-1908), died 24th March, 1932.
A. E. Nye (Sussex 1894-1896), died 13th January, 1952.
G. H. Howse (Sussex 1909-1917).
G. A. Black (Essex 1915-1917), died 8th April, 1951.
J. W. T. Holgate (Yorkshire Association), died 15th October, 1951.

Moving the adoption of the report, Mr. A. C. Hazelden said information of the date of death was required of the Rev. W. W. Covey Crump, Ely Diocesan Association; Mr. S. J. Hughes, representative of the Dudley and District Guild; Mr. John Holden, of Saddleworth, Yorkshire Association; Mr. James Maddock, Bath and Wells; Mr. A. Taylor, Chester Diocesan Guild; Mr. J. W. Milner, Chester Diocesan Guild. He appealed to members to fill in the forms and send photographs.

Mr. John Willis, in emphasising the appeal, said to members of the Council, ‘This is the only lasting record that you will get.’

Mr. F. W. Rogers suggested that members should place a note with their wills asking executors to send a postcard giving the date of their death.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards paid a tribute to the work of Mr. Hazelden and his committee.


The publication last year of a list of towers where early peal boards exist, and from which details have been recorded, gave a clear indication of the progress made as well as a reminder that many more are still awaiting discovery.

Boards in towers where the bells are rung regularly - and especially where there is a band of change ringers - have in all probability been fairly well covered. On the other hand, there are towers where ringing once flourished but for some reason or other has now lapsed, and the bells have fallen into disuse. Such places provide opportunity for exploration, as instanced at Dedham, in Essex. Here the bells have not been rung for more than a century, but the ringing chamber has recently been examined with the result that a peal board recording 5,040 of Bob Major rung in 1818 has been added to the list. No doubt there are others to be located in similar circumstances.

Quite obviously the committee must depend on the interest and support of the members of the Exercise in general for the completion of its task and makes an earnest appeal for the search to be continued. The history of ringing will be enriched by these efforts.

During the past year some thought has been given to the form of binding for the safe storage of the records collected and it seems clear that in view of the possibility of extra sheets having to be added at any time in the future, a loose-leaf binding must be adopted. The committee is prepared to be responsible for the binding and it is hoped that the matter can be taken in hand shortly.

Mr. J. W. Clarke moved the adoption of the report and said that details were slowly coming in and 15 were received last year. Mr. W. Ayre seconded and the report was adopted.


During the past year the committee has produced a revised edition of the Council’s handbook, ‘The Installation, Preservation and Repair of Bells, Bell-frames and Fittings.’ Members of the committee gave given advice on restoration work in 40 towers - an increase of two on the previous year.

Mr. J. W. Clarke has advised on the restoration of the bells and fabric of one tower in Suffolk; and, in his capacity as chairman of the Chester Diocesan Advisory Committee, has done much useful work in that Diocese.

Mr. F. E. Collins has inspected the bells and gear in four towers in Essex and Hampshire. In each instance his advice has been taken and restoration schemes are pending. A scheme for the complete rehanging and augmentation of the bells in a Sussex tower, upon which he reported last year, has been adopted and the work is in hand.

Mr. J. Freeman has dealt with four inquiries in Lincolnshire. In one tower a major restoration involving the recasting and augmentation of the bells was advised; in two towers inspections were made following applications for faculties to rehang bells, and approval was recommended; in the other tower advice on the safety of ringing the existing bells was given.

Mr. E. H. Lewis has dealt with an inquiry from a Suffolk parish where precise calculations were required of the effect of lowering the swinging positions of the bells from 70 feet to 45 feet from ground level. He is also dealing with an inquiry from a Warwickshire tower.

Mr. W. Osborn has visited 12 towers in the West Country. In four instances he had advised on work of a major character involving the complete renewal of bell-frames and gear. In four towers he advised on the recasting of bells or the desirability of replacing them. In another tower, after a major structural restoration had been completed, the architect refused to allow the bells to be rung. Mr. Osborn advised the installation of reinforced concrete beams encircling the inner face of the tower walls, which has been done, and all is now satisfactory. As a member of his Diocesan Advisory Committee, he has given advice resulting in the granting of ten faculties. An application to install recorded bells in another tower was successfully quashed.

The convener has dealt with 15 inquiries in Bucks, Berks, Norfolk, Northants, Oxon, Suffolk and Yorks. In five instances major restorations involving complete rehanging in new frames are being carried out; in two instances problems regarding vertical vibration cracks in the masonry of towers were dealt with; in three towers advice on augmentations was given; in five towers repair work was advocated. In addition to these he has been in correspondence regarding minor repairs to the bells in a Cornish tower, and in two instances has given advice on sound control. An endeavour to persuade a donor to install a small ring instead of a larger chime was unsuccessful but a private arrangement was made with the bell founders that these bells should be cast to ringing weights. Lectures have again been given to the York Architectural Institute. This Institute has recently purchased a disused church and it is proposed to convert this into lecture rooms and a library. In the church is a derelict ring of six bells, four of which are mediæval. These are to be rehung in a new frame as a practical example for the instruction of students of Ecclesiastical Architecture.

Mr. F. Sharpe moved the adoption of the report and said it was a very brief summary of a considerable amount of work done by members of the committee.

Mr. F. E. Collins seconded.

Mr. C. Pipe asked the name of the Suffolk tower.

Mr. Sharpe said it was at Ipswich; they did not mention the names of towers for commercial reasons.

Mr. P. A. Corby said the Council must not lose sight of the great importance of the work of the committee. He thanked the committee for the work they were doing. There was a great scope for the work of this committee and it was his personal opinion that they ought to concentrate more on this aspect of their affairs than on the technical matters of change ringing, which took so much of their time. As one went round the country one realised the many towers that could take advantage of the services of the committee. He wondered if there were any means of making the work and services of the committee more widely known among the clergy and the diocesan advisory committees.

Mr. F. Sharpe replied that the chancellors and the secretaries of the diocesan advisory committees had been notified.

Mr. R. G. Blackman said for the annual meeting of the Friends of Chichester Cathedral the Archdeacon of Chichester had on the agenda ‘The bells and tower.’ He felt that such reports should be given to all annual meetings of parochial church councils.

Mr. C. K. Lewis said such a responsibility was up to the towers themselves. A measure had gone through the Church Assembly which required every church council to have their fabric examined by an architect every five years. The remedy was getting a ringing member on the parochial church council.

Mr. J. W. Clarke said there was not one architect in 100 who knew anything about bells. He had only seen one architect report on bells and that stated ‘bells rusting.’ On one occasion an architect designed a frame of timber and rubber. Fortunately that report came to the Advisory Committee and he was able to express his opinion. Many architects were still sent out by the Central Council for the Care of Churches who did not know anything about bells. He still felt that the best method was a representative of the committee on the Advisory Committee. Mr. Clouston had recently been appointed to the Ipswich Advisory Committee.

Mr. John Freeman, who is a member of the Lincoln Advisory Committee, thought local ringers should be more active and report conditions to parochial church councils.

The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow said when the quinquennial inspections began it seemed most important that advice should be taken in every case where the bells were out of order. He had met cases where the incumbent did not know how many bells he had got. At the quinquennial inspection somebody should submit a complete list of all unringable bells. Mr. Nolan Golden had provided such a list for the Norwich Diocese. Such lists might do no good, but they would prevent Archdeacons from saying they did not know.

Mr. W. Osborn stressed the importance of each tower having a steeplekeeper. Where there was a good steeplekeeper the bells were in good order. The steeplekeeper should report regularly to the parochial church council.

Mr. N. Chaddock asked Mr. Sharpe to send a circular concerning the services of the committee to the diocesan advisory committees where there was no ringing representatives.

Mr. J. A. Hoare asked if this would cover their Church in Wales.

Mr. Sharpe: I have on many occasions been down to Wales and examined towers and belfries. I have written a book on ‘The Church Bells of Radnorshire,’ and I have completed two-thirds of a book on the bells of Cardiganshire and one-third of one on Pembrokeshire. In regard to the quinquennial survey the difficulty will be to find architects who have any knowledge of bell ringing. As a rule they don’t know very much and don’t like to be told. We are making progress and the Council is represented on the York Institute, which instructs surveyors.

Mr. D. Burnett said it had been the practice at Truro Cathedral, where the meeting was presided over by the Bishop, to ask if the bells were in good order.

Mr. Sharpe called attention to the new edition of ‘Preservation and Care of Bells.’ A copy should be in the hands of each incumbent and secretary of the parochial church council.

The report was then adopted.

The Ringing World, June 10, 1955, pages 361 to 364




The formation of this new committee at Newcastle was considered necessary to cope with the ever increasing field of sound and vision radio, and as an endeavour to ensure that, eventually, all aspects of ringing introduced on sound and vision programmes should be of a good standard and suitably presented from the ringers’ point of view.

Your committee has, during the past year, made considerable effort to become acquainted with the heads of departments in the various regions and has attained some measure of success.

We have been fortunate in enlisting the co-operation of the Publicity Department of the B.B.C. in the person of Mr. F. L. Cobb, the chief of this department. We now have an understanding with him to the effect that all items relating to bell-ringing shall be sent to him from the various regions and particulars passed to ‘The Ringing World’ for publication. Obviously an arrangement of this sort will take a considerable time to reach perfection, as it involves the complete co-operation of the powers-that-be in the various regions. In this direction the members of your committee have made every endeavour to contact their religious directors and others concerned with the use of the bells in broadcasting and to persuade them to pass the necessary information in good time for publication. In due course we hope that we shall receive sufficient recognition by the B.B.C. to be consulted on all matters in this sphere of broadcasting. This may sound a little Utopian but should, we feel, be our ultimate objective.

In the main our contacts have concerned sound radio; we have, however, achieved some measure of success on the vision side. A suggestion regarding the Interlude on vision has been received from a member of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild, and we have been fortunate in enlisting the good offices of one of the leading vision producers to get this passed to the proper quarter. Should this idea become a fact, we feel sure it will be well received by the ringing fraternity.

We have during the year co-opted the services of the Rev. Gilbert Thurlow.

It is not proposed in this report to go into any great detail, with regard to what has been seen and heard on the radio during the year under review. Many rings, from all over the country, have been heard prior to divine service. In the main, the ringing has been of a fair standard. An old sore, of course, is how much uninterrupted ringing there should be. When we have established ourselves a little more firmly with the B.B.C. we hope to do something in this direction. Such items as the Bedfordshire Young Ringers’ tour and the long length attempt at Loughborough were well covered on the air. On the vision side, bells, particularly handbells, have been introduced on a number of occasions.

The most important point concerning all broadcasting in which ringers take part is that the highest possible standard of performance should be aimed at. The ringing of good rounds is much to be preferred to poor change ringing. This applies more particularly to country towers where a shortage of competent ringers precludes good change ringing. With the best will in the world, we feel our efforts will be in vain if ringers themselves do not put their house in order, and on this theme we would end our report.

Mr. H. Sanger moved and Mr. F. W. Rogers seconded the adoption of the report.

Mr. H. Miles said when big conferences were held the B.B.C. generally gave a news item. He thought that some arrangement should have been made.

Mr. Brian Threlfall suggested that the B.B.C. should be invited to broadcast a ringers’ meeting.

Mr. Sanger replied that the B.B.C. were not easy people to deal with and while they might suggest things it was not easy to get them through.

Mr. F. W. Rogers said that as to the B.B.C. reporting their activities at Eastbourne, some ringing at the Council meeting was recorded in the news the same evening.

Mr. F. Skidmore: The B.B.C. were informed of this meeting and said they would do what they could but they did not do anything.

Mr. C. Pope: I think the B.B.C. are more interested in the religious service than the bells. If an approach was made through the incumbent perhaps a little more time for the bells might be arranged.

Mr. F. W. Goodfellow said until recently the B.B.C. had a feature of the bells on Christmas Day and Easter Day. Could they inquire why it was dropped?

Mr. T. J. Lock said in regard to television it was pointed out to him that because of the apparatus required, ringing should be from the ground floor.

The report was adopted.


The report of this committee appeared on page 350.

Mr. E. Shepherd moved the adoption of the report and said the committee was very self-conscious of its defects. In the past, under the direction of the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, the reports were prepared with great care and scholarship. He thanked ringers who had forwarded papers and articles.

Mr. F. E. Dukes seconded the adoption.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards thought the committee had produced an admirable report.


The year 1954 showed a steady decline in the number of peals rung, particularly in the realm of handbell ringing. The grand total was 2,406, made up of 2,283 on tower bells and 123 on handbells. The former were split up as follows:

Maximus 34, Cinques 33, Royal 104, Caters 83, Major 923, Triples 266, Minor 621 and Doubles 219. It will be noted that the last two make up 34.9 per cent of the total. (Good for you, the countrymen!)

This total includes one peal of Plain Bob Cinques by the Norwich Association, one of Plain Bob Caters by the Suffolk Guild and one of Plain Bob Triples each by the Essex Association, Oxford Diocesan Guild, Suffolk Guild and the Truro Guild. One peal of Grandsire Doubles, by the Derbyshire Association, was not acceptable as 60 changes were added.

Outstanding performances. Peals worthy of special mention are:

A peal in 45 methods of Doubles in which the conductor rang two ‘inside’ bells, for the Middlesex Association.
Original Triples by the Winchester Guild.
Peals of Spliced Triples in 11, 10 and six methods by the Worcester and Districts.
Thirty-two Spliced Surprise Major by the Lincoln Guild.
Peals in 36, 42 and 48 Spliced Surprise Major methods by the Yorkshire Association.

Handbell peals. These are made up as follows:

Cinques 1, Royal 5, Caters 5, Major 45, Triples 10, Minor 36 and Doubles 21. The outstanding performance was a peal of Cambridge Surprise Major by the Leicester Guild.

We deplore the fading away of this branch of our art and fully recommend its fascination to the younger exponents of tower bells.

It our sincere wish that a permanent decision may be reached regarding the inclusion of peals of Plain Bob on the odd numbers.

Heading the peals totals was the Leicester Guild with 197 peals (10 on handbells) followed by the Kent County with 146, third was the Suffolk Guild (127) and the Essex Association fourth (123). The Cleveland and North Yorkshire Association and the Ladies’ Guild both failed to produce a peal this year.

Mr. W. Ayre moved and Mr. H. Miles seconded the adoption of the report and this was carried.


The Methods Committee has had a quiet year. Having completed the book of Doubles Methods, it has turned its attention to the revision of the Minor and Triples Methods books, as requested by the Council last year. The former, being a very popular publication, it was decided to reprint the last edition with only few alterations and then to produce a completely new work over the next few years. The revision of the Triples Methods book has commenced and we hope to have it in print for next year’s Council. Its contents will depend to some extent on the decisions of the Council about such methods at this session. We would like to express our appreciation at the help given to us by Mr. Segar.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead in moving the adoption of the report said there was not very much to say for once.

Mr. F. W. Rogers seconded.

Mr. W. E. Critchley asked about the Doubles book.

Mr. Sharpe replied that it went to the printers six weeks ago and the printer hoped to have the proof ready in a fortnight or three weeks’ time.

The report was adopted.


The Committee has not proceeded further with the proposed collection of compositions for Stedman Caters and Cinques. At the last Council meeting it was decided to await publication of the revised edition of ‘Stedman’ in the J. W. Snowdon series and reconsider the need for such a collection.

Mr. C. W. Woolley moved the adoption of the report and said he had a strong letter from Mr. C. W. Roberts who disagreed with the report

Mr. W. B. Critchley seconded.

The President: How is the revised book on Stedman Caters going?

Mr. E. C. S. Turner: It is anticipated that the new edition of Stedman will be finished by about the end of this year.

The report was adopted.


The committee reported the following new methods rung during the year ended December 31st, 1954:

2.5184Farndon Imp. Bob Maj. (Chester).
4.5152Hockley Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
9.5088Horsham Sur. Maj. (Sussex).
16.5056Southwell Sur. Maj. (Southwell).
25.5280Langley Sur. Maximus (Leicester).
27.5040Cawston Little Bob Maj. (Norwich).
30.5056Rugby Sur. Maj. (Oxford).
30.5088Holywood Del. Maj. (Irish).
4.5024Harlesden Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
8.5280Stoneygate Sur. Maximus (Leicester).
13.5152Handbridge Imp. Bob Maj. (Chester).
13.5088Spliced Sur. Maj. (36 methods) (Yorkshire).
19.5088Stoughton Sur. Maj. (Leicester).
20.5056Shrewsbury Bob Maj. (Chester).
27.5040Ludgate Sur. Royal (Lancashire).
8.5280Gartree Sur. Maximus (Leicester).
20.5040Southwell Sur. Royal (Winchester & Portsmouth).
5.5280Framland Sur. Maximus (Leicester).
8.5152Colmore Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
8.5056Byfleet Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
22.5152Evington Sur. Maj. (Lincoln).
24.5120Hodnet Imp. Bob Maj. (Shropshire).
13.5056Shirley Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
15.5152Queen Imp. Bob Maj. (Chester).
22.5280Southwell Sur. Maximus (Yorkshire).
22.5040Ellesmere Little Court Maj. (Shropshire).
29.5088Spliced Sur. Maj. (42 methods) (Yorkshire).
29.5056Winchester Sur. Maj. (Winchester & Portsmouth).
10.5024Quinton Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s)
10.5040Spliced Triples (11 methods) (Worcester).
14.5152Erdington Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
16.5056Falmouth Sur. Maj. (Essex).
18.5088Spliced Sur. Maj. (48 methods) (Yorkshire).
24.5120Twickenham Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
28.5024Ribblesdale Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
7.5024Portsmouth Sur. Maj. (Essex).
14.5088Gainsborough Sur. Maj. (Suffolk).
15.5056Moseley Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
19.5152Frankley Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
29.5152Ventnor Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
31.5040Winchester Sur. Royal (Winchester & Portsmouth).
19.5280Goscote Sur. Maximus (Leicester).
21.5040Oakham Sur. Royal (Lincoln).
28.5152Enfield Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
11.5088St. Wolstan’s Del. Maj. (Leicester).
11.5040Regina Bob Maj. (Oxford).
30.5024Ufford Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
1.5152Wombourn Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
2.5120Elford Sur. Maj. (Yorkshire).
7.5184Bordesley Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
9.5024Colchester Sur. Maj. (Essex).
15.5056Campsall Sur. Maj. (Yorkshire).
18.5152Tyseley Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
21.5120Olney Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
4.5024Zennor Sur. Maj. (Middlesex).
8.5056Tyburn Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
7.5056Beretun Bob Maj. (Hertford).
18.5088Fordham Sur. Maj. (Ely).
20.5152Ullenhall Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).
30.5152Bromford Sur. Maj. (St. Martin’s).

The report was proposed by Mrs. Fletcher and seconded by Mrs. Marshall and adopted.


Mr. E. A. Barnett moved an alteration of rules as follows: To amend Rule 4, Section (ii), by inserting the words ‘Non-Territorial’ between ‘the’ and ‘Societies.’ The section to read: ‘The representation of the Non-Territorial Societies now affiliated to the Council shall be as specified in the schedule of these Rules unless modified in application to and by permission of the Council.’

Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded and this was agreed to.


The president said that a number of motions before the Council had the same object in view. A meeting of proposers and seconders of these motions was held previous to the Standing Committee meeting to see if agreement could be reached on motions (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g). He was thankful to say that they had agreed to the following -

‘That this Council while not encouraging the ringing of peals which are not in accordance with its decisions resolves to recognise all true peals rung in conformity with the conditions required for peals laid down in 1951 (see “The Ringing World,” page 187, in the issue of March 25th, 1955) as subsequently amended, except that the Council is not prepared to recognise any peals rung to surpass a previous peal in length, number of methods or in any way which does not comply with its rules and decisions.’

This motion was considered by members during the luncheon interval and upon resuming the president asked Mr. C. K. Lewis to speak first.

Mr. Lewis said he became very concerned over this matter some time ago and he had come to the conclusion that they should be wrong from an historical point of view - and a member had suggested from a moral point of view - if they condemned these irregular methods. ‘Some people may have felt I have shifted my views. I have not. What I want is consistency for all decisions.

‘I still hold the view the Council’s decisions are a very desirable aim, but if people wish and desire to ring something that does not conform we shall be wrong from the historian’s point of view in abolishing them. Irregular peals would be lost completely and in 50 years’ time someone might come along and there would be no record. If Annable had his way peals with singles would be out. He did not like them. There was a danger that we should be losing something. I am anxious that nothing shall be lost, either regular or irregular, and the main point is that we should not dismiss anything because it is not in accord with our own ideas. Let us leave it to history to say if we are right. I have much pleasure in proposing this resolution.’

Mr. E. A. Barnett, in seconding, said it was the intention if the motion was passed that peals rung in 1953 which were deferred at last year’s meeting would automatically be allowed.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards said he had rung a fair amount of Plain Bob but probably on even numbers. He had the pleasure in taking part in the first peal of Bob Royal which was ever recorded for the Ancient Society of College Youths and that was rung on the Shrove Tuesday of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. He only attempted one peal of Bob Triples and that was not successful. On the five bells in his village church they rang Bob Minimus with the tenor behind because they were not capable of ringing any more. He knew many members of the Exercise enjoyed ringing Bob Triples, Bob Caters and Bob Cinques and found it a useful way of bringing on young ringers. He thought the Central Council should recognise any peal. The first peal ever rung was Bob Triples and the motion if passed would cover Bob Triples.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner: The amended resolution does not cover all I desired but I am content to let it stand.

Mr. C. W. Woolley said it was the first time he had come to a Council meeting with a decided opinion from his own constituents as to what they wanted. He felt the Council should not discourage anything. He had a ring of eight with 30 cwt. tenor and a young band. They were advised to ring Plain Bob and did so very successfully with the tenor behind. A band like that wanted encouraging. These extra words in the amended resolution were, he presumed, for long length peals. Personally he was all for them being recognised as peals.

Mr. W. F. Moreton said there were two points he would like to make. The first was that the resolution would allow all Minor methods - regular and irregular - to be included in the resolution. Secondly, there had recently been a lot of criticism of the Methods Committee and one of the things was Bob Triples. He would like to ask if the Methods Committee had ever said anything about Bob Triples.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead: Bob Triples has never been referred to the Methods Committee and we have never passed any judgment about it.

Mr. P. A. Corby said they did aim the previous night on a wording that would meet the case generally and suit all parties - the wording was perhaps a little less strong than suggested by Mr. Poole and himself. It was a fact that they should not lose sight of, that there had been strong expressions from the Exercise as to certain methods. The Council as a body was accused of saying that certain methods should or should not be rung and the rank and file of the Exercise did not like that and in some quarters they had been vocal in saying so. The purpose of the resolution was to realise the function of the Council in regard to the advice it should or should not give. In other words how far should the Council go? In the past the Council had got itself in difficult situations in seeking to find legitimate answers to many problems and there had been a tendency to draw the attention of the Exercise to some to the exclusion of others. In the past there had been an under emphasis on the word ‘surprise’ and more latterly there had been an over emphasis on ‘extension.’

‘So far as Bob Triples is concerned Mr. Poole and I made an attempt to test the feeling of the Exercise with regard to the resolutions coming before the Council today. I may say that with the exception of two members of the Council every reply was in favour of both resolutions. We had 120 replies and that shows that the Exercise generally is in sympathy with what we are trying to do today.’

Mr. H. J. Poole said it would be obvious to the members of the Council the confidence Mr. Corby had gained since he left Kent and went into Leicestershire. ‘I have agreed to the substituted motion and I think what we should be more concerned about than Bob Triples is the Exercise’s reaction to what the Council has done in recent years. It is quite obvious from all quarters that there is a strong feeling that the Council has gone beyond its intention or authority and it is very necessary we should bear in mind that we want and need the support of all the Exercise. We want not merely the support of members coming to this meeting but every ringer of the country and the only way to get that support was to be reasonable. I feel in the past that between the technicians (I have the highest possible regard for those people who have gone into method construction) and the practical ringers there was a gap which it was difficult to bridge. What we must however be concerned about is the Sunday service ringers. Whatever our views may be about peal ringing - and I am a keen peal ringer - we ought to bear in mind the Sunday service ringer. Up to now we have said, “You should not ring Bob Triples in peals.” We have many who say, “If it is good enough to be rung for Sunday service it is good enough to be rung to peals,” and this is having its reaction. We should listen to these people.’

Mr. Norman Chaddock moved as an amendment that the words beyond all true peals be deleted.

Mr. J. T. Dunwoody seconded.

Mr. C. K. Lewis in reply to the amendment said those who were a lot older than he would remember they used to ring Woodbine Treble Bob and with bobs call it Merchant’s Return, thus claiming two methods. If they were going to ring record lengths conditions should be more stringent than for ordinary gain.

Mr. N. Chaddock said the same fallacy would occur in an ordinary peal.

Mr. Lewis: You must protect people going for records by protecting them from spurious records. If you want to make a record in any direction you observe very strongly all the rules. Records require more stringent rules.

Mr. John Freeman opposed the amendment. He agreed that rules and decisions wanted to be considered from time to time and revised, but there was one proviso - some benefit should be gained. In his opinion nothing would be gained. He had never agreed that Bob Triples was a good start for the beginner. Having come from a tower brought up on Grandsire and Stedman it was not surprising. He did not think Mr. Corby’s Gallup poll could be taken as an expression of opinion. Mr. Poole pleaded the case of the blue line written three years ago; he expressed the opinion that if they followed the blue line they would get nowhere. If they supported the amendment they would be opening the door for everything they thought right or wrong to be swept away because they got a spate of letters in ‘The Ringing World.’

Mr. W. E. Critchley felt that by the resolution they would get the confidence and goodwill of many.

The Rev. J. G. M. Scott said in the matter of the last wording of the motion they would have to draw a distinction between peal records in length and records in the number of methods. Mr. Lewis had said one could call a bob in a method and call the result another method, like calling a bob in Cambridge and calling it Timbuctoo. If they chose to ring 105 methods and called a bob in each method they would get 210. Without some distinction in methods there would be a lot of dissatisfaction.

Mr. C. W. Woolley: Surely the Council will retain the right to say whether Cambridge with a bob is Timbuctoo?

Mr. E. A. Barnett: If we do that we shall be held as dictators.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner: Would it not be better to have a type of record for regular methods and another for irregular?

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead: I think we must be very careful about this. There ought to be some distinction between record peals and ordinary peals.

Dr. Hatcher: Surely we should specify conditions about record peals.

Mr. C. W. Pipe: Can we clear up Plain Bob on all numbers?

The President: This motion covers Plain Bob on all numbers. It also covers irregular methods.

Mr. H. Miles: The whole of the controversy has arisen because of the reference back of the Peals Analysis Committee. I should like to hear the views of the convener of the Peals Analyses Committee.

Mr. Walter Ayre: The convener of the Peals Analyses Committee has nothing to say.

Mr. Miles: As a member of the Peals Analyses Committee I don’t agree. At the last meeting I said that most of the Associations agreed to abide loyally by the rules and decisions of the Central Council and that was what we (the Committee) tried to do. We have tried to draw up the analyses under the rules and decisions of the Council. I contend if there is any rule that is not wanted all that is needed is to bring up a resolution to rescind the rule. All the time these rules and decisions appear on our books we must abide by them. We have heard a lot about dictatorial methods and who are the Central Council. The affiliated Associations are the Central Council. I think there is a lot of tosh being talked this afternoon.

Mr. A. E. Lock: I think it was said in 1905 that Bob Triples should not be practised because it is not worthy of being retained. That does not lay down a hard and fast rule. We on the Committee of the Oxford Diocesan Guild were almost unanimous that that resolution should be dropped.

Mr. A. D. Barker: There were 29 who voted for that and I voted against it.

Mr. N. Chaddock: The reason we should leave out the latter part of the resolution.

The amendment, which reads: ‘That this Council will recognise all true peals rung in conformity with the conditions laid down for peals in 1951, as subsequently amended,’ was put to the meeting and carried by a very large majority.

The Ringing World, June 17, 1955, pages 377 to 379, correction July 8, 1955, page 426



The report of this sub-committee, consisting of Mr. E. A. Barnett and Mr. C. K. Lewis, stated:-

In presenting our report, we feel that a résumé of the position which has been reached in the compilation of the Handbook is desirable.

The contents, as agreed by the Council in 1951, are to be:-

  1. Photograph of Sir Arthur Heywood. We assume that the Biographies Committee can supply this.

  2. Preface. A preface is being written by Mr. E. Alexander Young and we hope also to persuade Mr. G. W. Fletcher, as another past secretary of the Council, to contribute.

  3. The Council, its aims, history, procedure, etc. This is in draft form.

  4. Rules of the Council. The rules are as revised in 1950 and printed in ‘The Ringing World’ of 9th June, 1950, and we recommend that they be incorporated subject to any amendment agreed by the Council.

  5. Decisions, etc., of the Council. These, together with our recommendations, are attached at Appendix ‘A.’

  6. Members of the present Council. The list is readily available.

  7. Active Committees, Account of work, etc. It is hoped that drafts will be available by Whitsun for examination.

  8. Publications. The list will be prepared in consultation with the Librarian.

  9. The Council’s Library. As (8) above.

  10. The Council’s Journal. The history of ‘The Ringing World’ is being compiled.

Appendices. List of annual meetings, past and present officers, list of members 1891 to date.

The above information is readily available.

In view of the urgent need for this publication, we seek approval for printing to be put in hand as soon as possible, subject to any amendments arising as a result of the Council meeting. It was suggested that the book should be in loose-leaf form, but we fear the cost of this is likely to be prohibitive, and we feel that, for some time to come, amendment leaflets issued every three years should suffice.

We recommend that, when the book is printed, one free copy should be issued to each affiliated Society, with one set of amendments as they arise.

We have tabled two motions regarding the decisions which we feel are desirable.

We ask for authority to make any minor verbal alterations which may be desirable, without altering the sense of any statement.


The main work of the afternoon arose from the following motion, proposed by Mr. E. A. Barnett and seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis, which read:

That such decisions made by the Council since its inception as have not previously been rescinded or superseded be now rescinded, and that the decisions as presented to the Council at this meeting, or as may have been amended thereat, be substituted and incorporated in the Council’s Handbook.

These were as follows:-

That a committee be appointed to receive and classify all compositions of 5,000 changes and upwards and to issue an annual report in which all peals composed in the previous twelve months shall be published.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be rescinded was agreed.

That, in recording the performance of peals not previously rung, it is desirable to record at the same time the figures of such peals, unless they are already accessible in printed form, in which case the reference should be given.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be rescinded was agreed.


That it is desirable when a band of ringers belonging to more than one Association meet to ring a peal, they shall decide beforehand to which Association such peal shall be credited, and that for the future no peal shall be published under the name of more than one Association.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained.

After discussion, the recommendation was amended to read: That it is desirable when a band of ringers belonging to more than one Association meet to ring a peal, they shall decide beforehand to which Association such peal shall be credited. If, however, a peal is published under the name of more than one Association it shall be included in the Analysis under the first named Association.- Agreed.

That it is desirable, whenever convenient, at all important ringing meetings of church bell ringers that arrangements should be made for holding a short service in church.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That the variation of Cambridge Surprise hitherto known as the Burton Variation be known as ‘New Cambridge Surprise.’

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That the Council sees no valid objection against commencing a Treble Bob composition with one or two bobs Right.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner felt that this had now become obsolete, and on the proposition of Mr. Turner, seconded by Mr. P. A. Corby, it was agreed that it be rescinded.

That it is desirable that Thurstans’ well-known composition in Stedman Triples be designated his ‘four-part’; and his other compositions his ‘five-part’ and ‘one-part’ respectively.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained on historical grounds, although they considered the descriptions misleading so far as the ‘four-part’ and ‘one-part’ peals were concerned. The recommendations were agreed.

That in the opinion of the Council the publication of palpably false compositions and worthless methods reflects discredit on their composers.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That, in view of the continuance of the practice of publishing peals under the title of more than one Association, it is desirable to impress upon ringers the necessity of loyally carrying out the resolution passed by the Council in 1893.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be rescinded was agreed.

That, in the opinion of the Council it is desirable that promising ringers should be given the opportunity of learning how to conduct.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That Bob Triples and Grandsire Major not being regular methods are not worthy of being practised.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained, but it was agreed to rescind it on the proposition of Mr. W. E. Critchley, seconded by Mr. Nolan Golden.


That the Council declines to recognise any method hitherto rung or published as being entitled to the designation of ‘London Surprise Royal.’

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the addition at the end, ‘unless words No. 1, 2 or 3 version’ be added.

On the proposition of Mr. C. H. Kippin this was amended to, ‘unless the words “Stepney Version”, “Brighton Version” or “No. 3 or Beddington Version”,’ be added. The recommendation was then agreed.

That the attention of Associations be called to the desirability of accurate ‘striking.’

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That the Council do not consider that the Peals Analysis Committee can be held responsible for any peals not appearing in print before the end of February.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be amended to read:- ‘That the Council do not consider that the Peals Analysis Committee can be held responsible for the non-inclusion in the previous year’s analysis of any peals not appearing to print before the end of February.’ This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. H. Miles.

That the primary aim of all Associations should be the encouragement of ringing for Sunday Services and on the Festivals and their Eves.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That reports of peals, in order to obtain recognition by the Analysis Committee, must be published - within a period of eight weeks after performance.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be rescinded was agreed.

That the Literature and Press Committee be instructed to prepare a copy of the Bibliography to be deposited to the Council’s library and publish it in ‘The Ringing World,’ or in a pamphlet, as funds would permit.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be rescinded was agreed.

That the Council compile and keep up-to-date an official list of the first peal and the longest peal rung in each method on each number of bells.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the addition at the end of ‘and that affiliated Societies be asked to supply the figures of such peals.’ This was agreed with the further addition after ‘bells’ of the words ‘both tower and hand.’

That the Records Committee deal, for the time being, with peals of Triples, Major, Caters, Royal, Cinques and Maximus.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the addition at the end of ‘Sextuples and 14-In.’

A discussion followed during which Mr. Critchley asked for peals of Doubles and Minor to be included. To give effect to this it was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis, that the entire resolution be rescinded.

That in every Diocese there should be a recognised authority to give advice on matters concerning church bells, and that it is hoped that each Guild and Association will take steps to provide such authority.

The Standing Committees recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That the County and Diocesan Associations be asked to consider the possibility of establishing in their respective areas a Bell Restoration Fund, from which grants may be made for the restoration of any rings of bells within the area, when local funds are insufficient to meet the cost.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That the collection of first and progressive lengths be typed and kept by the hon. librarian for circulation amongst ringers.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be amended to: ‘That the collection of first and progressive lengths be typed and kept by the Records Committee for reference purposes.’

This was agreed to on the proposition of Mr. C. K. Lewis, seconded by Mr. E. A. Barnett.

That the Memorial Book be placed in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and deposited for inspection and on permanent loan and produced to the Council on demand.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained, substituting ‘books’ for ‘book’ and this was agreed.

That the Roll of Honour be placed on the table at the annual meeting.

The Standing Committees recommendation that this be rescinded was agreed.


That this Council, while urging on the Exercise the extreme importance of choosing suitable names for methods, declines to interfere with such rights as bands and individual ringers at present enjoy of giving names to new methods, and further is of the opinion that no alteration should be made in the names of old and historical methods except where urgently necessary.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.

That when any peal, practice or ringers’ meeting previously arranged happens to coincide with an occasion of public mourning, whether national or local, it should be the normal procedure to make emergency arrangements with the proper authorities for the muffling of bells before use, care being taken, unless otherwise directed, to have the muffles removed at the conclusion of the ringing.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.

That this Council strongly deprecates the recording as a peal on a commemorative tablet any performance which does not conform to the accepted standard of a true and complete peal, and calls upon all affiliated Societies to support the Council in this matter.

The Standing Committee recommended that that this be retained and this was agreed.

That this Council deprecates the breaking-up of church bells of proved good tone and real historic interest, urges the church authorities not to assent to their recasting except for the gravest reasons structurally or musically, and, furthermore, recommends that independent advice from persons qualified to advise on historic, engineering and musical grounds, be obtained in all such cases before action is taken.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.

That this Council deprecates the breaking-up of church bells of proved good tone and real historic interest, urges the Church authorities not to assent to their recasting except for the gravest reasons structurally or musically, and, furthermore, recommends that independent advice from persons qualified to advise on historic, engineering and musical grounds, be obtained in all cases before action is taken

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.

That this Council views with concern the comparatively small number of ringers ringing their first peal, and suggests that all ringers, mindful of their high calling, should do all in their power to encourage their less proficient brethren.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.


That to ensure the accuracy of the Council’s Peals Analysis, and as a matter of general interest, those responsible for sending the reports of peals for publication in the ringing press be urged to denote all ‘first peals’ and ‘first peals in the method’ both by any of the band and ‘as conductor.’

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained.

Mr. G. W. Fletcher asked if this was the time for indicating general terms.

The President: It was suggested at the Standing Committee that it might be possible to get a standard system, like (a) for first peals, and (b) for first in the method. It could be adopted by ‘The Ringing World’ first and if adopted by them by all the Associations.

A member said such a proposition would not be accepted.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner: I have a further objection with peal cards: ‘a’ and ‘b’ notes could not be employed.

Mr. C. K. Lewis said the idea was to get some standardised practice. The idea was to put letters from ‘a’ to ‘e’ and no footnotes.

The recommendation of the Standing Committee was agreed without any amendment.

That (1) while there may be exceptional cases in which the use of gramophone records of church bells is justified, any general adoption of such a practice is emphatically to be deprecated, not only on the grounds that a substitute for the real thing is unworthy of the Church of God, but also because it eliminates the living service of hand and heart and mind which is of the very essence of bellringing and is of true spiritual value as contributory to an act of worship; (2) the installation of such a mechanical device should be prohibited in any tower containing or capable of containing a ring of bells, except as a temporary expedient, as, for example, when tower or bells are under repair; (3) in the case of building new churches it is obvious that the erection of a tower and bells must be often left to a future generation, or even omitted altogether, but it is a vital point of principle that no sanction should ever be given to the building or designing of a tower inadequate to its legitimate purpose, with a view to the installation of a gramophone record instead of real bells. The one practical object served by a church tower is to make provision for bells and to erect a tower to hold a gramophone record cannot be regarded otherwise than as an architectural fraud, entirely unworthy of a building designed for sacred purposes.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.

That the method called ‘Steadfast’ is no different from Shipway’s principle of 150 years ago.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.

That unanimous decisions of the Methods Committee shall at once be published in ‘The Ringing World’ and shall be submitted to the next meeting of the Council for confirmation.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained and this was agreed.


(1) Conditions required for peals.

On all numbers of bells a true peal shall in all cases start from and end with rounds.

The use of visible aids to memory in conducting or ringing peals is not permissible.

Each bell or bells shall be rung throughout by the same person or persons.

Any objection which may be taken to a peal shall be raised at the earliest date and in any case within three months after publication, unless in respect of the truth of the composition.

With the object of emphasising the foregoing rules, and at the same time of giving a complete exposition of its views on the subject of peals in general, the Council in 1902 issued the following code, applying both to ordinary peals and also to peals rung to surpass previous achievements:-

(a) That any shift or error in ringing be immediately corrected.

(b) That no call be made, or having been made, be altered or withdrawn later than during the change at which a call would properly take effect.

(c) That no person other than those ringing in the peal shall take part in the calling or in rectifying an error.

(d) That if more than one person shall ring any bell, the fact be stated in publishing and booking the peal.

(e) That every bell must, during the peal, sound at every change.

(f) That in the case of a peal rung to surpass previous peals of 6,720 changes and upwards compliance with these further conditions is necessary:-

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the addition of a new sub-clause (f) (v.) :-

This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. R. S. Anderson, seconded by Mr. F. I. Hairs.

Also that clause (c) be amended by the insertion after ‘peal’ of the words ‘and the conductor.’

This was agreed with the addition after ‘conductor’ of the words ‘(if not himself ringing).’

On the proposition of Mr. C. K. Lewis, seconded by Mr. G. W. Fletcher, it was agreed to amend the fourth paragraph of the section regarding objection to a peal, by inserting after ‘in writing’ the words ‘to the conductor and the association.’

Mr. C. K. Lewis proposed and the Rev. J. G. M. Scott seconded that a further sub-clause (f) (vi.) be added:-

(2) Peals of Doubles.

(a) Peals of Doubles shall consist of 5,040 or more changes rung in:-

(b) Peals of Doubles may be rung with or without a covering bell.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the addition to clause (b) of: ‘No continuous leading bells are allowed.’

This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.

(3) Peals of Minor.

(a) Peals of Minor shall consist of 5,040 or more changes rung in:-

(b) No covering bells are allowed.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the following amendment to clause (b): ‘No covering or continuous leading bells are allowed.’ This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.

(4) Peals of Triples.

A peal of Triples shall consist of not fewer than 5,040 changes rung without interval and shall be always rung with one covering bell only, this bell in all cases to be the tenor.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained. After discussion it was agreed on the proposition of Mr. F. I. Hairs, seconded by Mr. C. H. Kippin, to delete the words ‘no fewer than.’

(5) Peals of Caters and Cinques.

Peals of Caters and Cinques shall comprise not fewer than 5,000 changes rung without interval and with one covering bell, this bell in all cases to be the tenor.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the title and opening phrase amended to ‘Peals of Caters, Cinques and Sextuples.’ This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.

(6) Peals of Major, Royal and Maximus.

Peals of Major, Royal and Maximus shall comprise not fewer than 5,000 changes rung without interval and without a covering bell.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the title and opening phrase amended to ‘Peals of Major, Royal, Maximus and 14-In.’ This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.

(7) Handbell Peals.

Where practicable there should be an umpire to every handbell peal. A handbell peal rung single handed, though technically a peal, should be discountenanced.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained. Mr. C. W. Woolley proposed and Mr. E. C. S. Turner seconded that the second paragraph be deleted, and this was agreed.

(8) Spliced Peals.

Peals which contain more than one method shall be called ‘Spliced,’ provided that methods are so joined that the fundamental units of which they are constructed (i.e., the ‘leads’ in treble-dominated methods, the ‘divisions’ in the case of Stedman, Duffield and similar methods) remain intact. Reports of all Spliced peals shall state the number of methods rung and the number of changes from one method to another during the peal. Variations of Oxford and Kent Treble Bob, where the method is changed when the treble passes through 3-4 down, cannot be described as Spliced peals.

Three-lead course Royal methods may not be included in Spliced peals.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

(9) Calls.

Calls are not part of any method, but are only means of passing from one course to another, and their form and placing can be capable of considerable variation.

A bob can affect any number of working bells and its effect should be to alter the coursing order of three of them. A single can also affect any number of working bells, and its effect should be to alter the coursing order of two of them.

Calls may be made at any place within the lead, but the traditional practice of making them at the lead end should be adhered to, and is recommended.

Only one type of bob, and single may be used in any one composition.

Singles in Treble Bob methods may be used only when a desired result cannot be obtained by bobs.

In no circumstances may bells lie still on going off into changes or returning to rounds, unless it is a part of the method.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the deletion of the last paragraph. This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.

The Ringing World, June 24, 1955, pages 393 to 395



That a photostat copy of the Roll of Honour be made, to be taken to Council meetings.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

That the Roll be housed in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be rescinded was agreed.

That, in future, all peals not conforming to the Council’s decisions will not be included in the Analysis; they will, however, if sent, be published in ‘The Ringing World.’

The Standing Committee make no recommendation regarding this, as it would be superseded if motions (e) or (f) on the agenda were carried. Motion (f), amended, was carried later.

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 Standing Committee recommended that this be retained with the addition of the following paragraph:-

‘That this Council is always ready to advise on alternative schemes.’

This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.


Report on Variation and Authorship.

The conditions controlling composition vary so greatly, according to the method treated, that it is impossible to devise a comprehensive set of rules which shall be equally applicable to all methods and yet free from the imperfection of being too lax when applied to some methods, and too stringent in the case of others. Each method requires separate consideration and rules determining the limits of originality in composition applicable to itself; and though it would, no doubt, be possible to form groups of methods, to each of which one set of rules might be applicable, the result would be both cumbrous and confusing. The following propositions are, therefore, limited to a general statement of the features distinguishing ‘originality,’ which are more or less applicable to all methods:-

(1) The earliest ascertainable true composition on any definite plan in any method, which is not a reproduction or obvious variation of the same composition in another method, is entitled to be termed the ‘original’ composition on that plan.

(2) Subsequent compositions on the same plan which are not demonstrably reversals or transpositions (as hereinafter described) or obvious variations of a previous composition in the same method, may be considered as ‘distinct’ compositions on the plan and allowed the claim of ‘originality.’

(3) Reversals in which the calls in one position are exchanged for these in another, including direct inversions of calling; Transpositions, by which one bell is substituted for another as ‘the observation,’ or rearrangements of the same calling; Artificial Alterations, such as the employment of alternative calls, the multiplication or subtracting or shifting of singles, or the redistribution of ‘shunting calls,’ by which the general result is not affected, but only the form of the composition - if applied to any previous composition possessed of the distinction of ‘originality,’ are to be considered as ‘Variations.’

In the foregoing statement, the word ‘plan’ is used in a comprehensive sense, as embracing not only the divisions of a composition into a given number of parts, but also the assignment of ‘qualities’ with reference to length, the treatment of ‘Fixed’ or ‘observation’ bells, or any other Distinctive Feature in Construction.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained was agreed.

Report of the Committee on Regular Methods.

(A) All methods are founded on principles.

(B) A principle is a collection of rows which form a perfect round block, in which:-

(a) Every bell does the same work.

(b) No bell moves up or down more than one place at a time.

(c) No bell lies more than two consecutive blows in any one place.

(C) Methods are formed from principles in two ways:-

(1) A principle may be used as a method when it conforms to the following rules:-

(a) It must be true within itself.

(b) It must be divisible into as many divisions as there are bells, each division, together with the hunting and place-making that connect it with the next division, to contain the whole working of the method.

(c) In the case of those methods in which the coursing order of the bells is altered by an alternative work (as the quick and slow in Stedman), these divisions are sub-divided.

(d) Each division, or, in (c), each sub-division, must reverse true to itself.

(2) One or more bells in any principle (called ‘hunts’) may be allowed to retain their original paths, while the places of the others are taken by working bells, which revolve about the hunt (or hunts), subject to the following conditions:

(a) No bell shall move up or down more than one place at a time.

(b) No bell shall strike more than two consecutive blows in any one place.

(c) There shall be as many plain leads in the plain course as there are working bells, each lead containing as many rows as the principle on which it is founded.

(d) The working bells shall be in the same coursing order at each lead head and end in the plain course.

(e) Each lead shall reverse true to itself, and, together with the hunting and place-making that connect it with the next lead, shall contain the whole working of the method.

Note: In 1952, 2(b), (c) and (d) above were modified in respect of Doubles methods only, as follows:-

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

(c) As far as possible there shall be as many leads in the plain course as there are working bells, but this requirement to be relaxed to include single-hunt methods which have three leads in the plain course.

(d) The working bells need not be in the same coursing order at each lead head and end in the plain course.

The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be retained with Section C(2) suitably reworded was agreed.


(A) A Plain Lead is a succession of rows so arranged that when the hunt (or hunts) has completed its work from the lead-head to the lead-end, it is in a different relative position among the working bells, but the working bells are in the same coursing order.

(B) A Bob Lead is a succession of rows so arranged that when the hunt (or hunts) has completed its work from the lead-head to lead-end it is in a different relative position among the working bells, and the working bells have three of their number in a different coursing order.

(C) A Single Lead is as a Bob Lead except that the working bells finally have two of their number in a different coursing order.

The Standing Committee recommended that these be retained with the addition after ‘lead-end’ in both (A) and (B) of the words ‘and the hunting and place-making that connect it with the next lead are completed.’

This was agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barrett, seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.


Principle.- This word is used in a purely technical sense.

Division.- All methods in Class (C) (i) are divisible into as many divisions as there are bells. The division of Stedman comprises a quick six and a slow six; for neither by itself contains the whole method.

Reversion.- If lines are drawn at the top and bottom of any division (or sub-division) all places counted from the top line downwards must correspond with places counted from the bottom line upwards.

Methods founded on two Principles.- In some cases it is possible to found a method on two Principles.

(Added in 1933).- An illustration of this statement is to be found in the Little and Alliance Methods, which have come into prominence of late years. In appearance their form places them outside the definition of Plain and Bob leads, but, properly speaking, they are in logical succession of such methods as Bob Major. Thus a Little Method is one which follows the rule except in so far as this is qualified by the restriction of the hunt to fewer places than the number of bells employed; an Alliance Method is one in which the hunt has a composite path comprising portions of more than one principle.

It should be noted that such methods, by themselves, are never capable of producing the full extent of the rows.

‘The bells to be in the same coursing order at each lead-head and end.’- This means that all methods must have what are known as ‘Plain Bob lead-ends.’

Division between leads.- This is:-

(a) In methods with one hunt (treble) - between the first and second blows of the whole-pull of the hunt, before or behind;

(b) In methods with two hunts (treble and bell in the hunt) - midway between the whole-pull of the first hunt and the whole-pull of the second hunt, before or behind.


(a) A Single method has all its places made on one side of the hunt (or hunts) only, e.g., Single Oxford Bob Major, all places above the hunt, and College Minor, all places below the hunt.

(b) A Reverse method is in all respects reverse to its single variation, e.g., Reverse Grandsire Triples.

(c) A Double method has places made above the hunt and places made to correspond with them below the hunt, e.g., Double Norwich Court Bob Major.

(d) A Compound method has places made on both sides of the hunt (or hunts) which are not related to each other, e.g., Cambridge Surprise. Some Compound methods can be reversed.

The Standing Committee recommended that these be retained with the following amendments

(i) Reversion.- The words ‘lead or’ to be inserted between ‘any’ and ‘division.’

(ii).- Note headed ‘The bells to be in the same coursing order at each lead-head and end.’ The words ‘For single-hunt methods and Grandsire lead-ends for those with two hunts’ to be added after ‘lead-ends.’

These were agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, and seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.

Report on Method Classification.

(Note:- The following tabular classification is taken from the 1907 Edition of ‘Collection of Legitimate Methods,’ Section I.)

Plain Methods, whether having one or two hunts:-

(a) Bob methods, having the Grandsire Bob place, either before, or behind, or both, the place being the extreme working bell nearest the hunt or hunts.

(b) Imperial methods having Imperial places as, for instance, those made in Kent Treble Bob.

(c) Court methods, having Court places, i.e., places other than those in (a) and (b).

The Standing Committee recommended the substitution of the following:-

Bob Methods.

These methods have the same Plain Bob place, either before or behind, or both, the place being made by the working bell coming in front of the treble. The simplest example is Double Bob. Any method in which such places occur is automatically a ‘Bob’ method, irrespective of any other class to which it may also belong.

Imperial methods.

These methods have contiguous places made as, for instance, in Kent Treble Bob.

Court methods.

These have places other than those in Bob and Imperial methods. There are two classes of Court method:-

(a) In which a bell coursing in front of the treble makes an internal place, crosses the treble’s path and immediately makes another place, e.g., Double Norwich.

(b) In which the bell coursing in front of the treble makes an internal place, hunts down to lead or makes an internal place away from the treble, hunts up and makes a third place immediately after crossing the treble’s path, e.g., New London Court.

College Methods.

In these methods, the normal characteristic is the dodging which takes place in 1-2, the bells which the treble leaves there dodging until its return, e.g., St. Clement’s College Bob.

Note.- Strictly, a ‘Bob’ method is as described above. By definition, a ‘Court’ method cannot be a ‘Bob’ method, but traditionally the word ‘Bob’ is added. Similarly, neither ‘Imperial’ nor ‘College’ methods are entitled to the addition of ‘Bob’ unless they possess a ‘Bob’ place.

Treble Bob Methods.

(a) Treble Bob methods proper have no places made at a cross-section.

(b) Pas-alla-tessera methods, having places made at all cross-sections but four.

(c) Pas-alla-tria methods, having places made at all cross-sections but three.

(d) Exercise methods, having places made at all cross-sections but two.

(e) Delight methods, having places made at all but one cross-section.

(f) Surprise methods, having places made at all cross-sections.

The Standing Committee recommended that (b) and (c) be deleted and that (d) be amended by the addition at the end of ‘three or four.’

The Standing Committee also recommended that the following note be added:- ‘The word “cross-section” as used here means the point at which the treble passes from, e.g., 1-2 to 3-4: it does not apply to the treble’s leading or lying.’

These were agreed on the proposition of Mr. E. A. Barnett, and seconded by Mr. C. K. Lewis.

The Ringing World, July 1, 1955, pages 409 to 410


The Standing Committee’s recommendation that as this report is available as a separate booklet, it be not included in the Handbook was agreed.


The Standing Committee’s recommendation that this be brought up to date as necessary and included in the Handbook was agreed.


(a) Standing Committee.

To consist of (i) the president, honorary secretary and treasurer, honorary librarian and conveners of committees ex-officio; (ii) twelve elected members (chosen by ballot if more than 12 names are proposed). The twelve retiring members to be the first names to be proposed. The committee to have power in the event of any other member of the Council being considered by them desirable, to co-opt not more than two members.

(b) Other Committees.

The Council should appoint the convener in the first instance, but changes may be made at any time by the committees.

The Standing Committee recommended that this be added to Rule (ii) (committees) and the following be reinstated in that Rule:-

‘At the annual meeting next after a triennial election, members of any committee who have not been re-elected to the Council shall (when such committee has a report to present) have the right to attend and vote upon any motion arising exclusively out of that report.’

Notice of motion was given accordingly.


The Standing Committee’s recommendation that as this report is available as a separate booklet, it be not included in the Handbook was agreed.

Mr. E. A. Barrett formally moved the adoption of the Handbook Sub-Committee’s report.

Mr. F. I. Hairs seconded, and the report as amended was adopted.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead expressed thanks to the members of the sub-committee for their wonderful work during the year. It was a tremendous job.

Mr. Barnett: I am very grateful to Mr. Lewis. He came down and spent four days with me.


Mr. Harold J. Poole: On behalf of the Leicester Diocesan Guild it is a great pleasure to me to extend to the Council an invitation to come to Leicester for their next meeting. If you come there next Whitsuntide I can promise you a memorable time. We shall leave no stone unturned to see that you have a good time.

Mr. Anderson moved, and Mr. Barker seconded that the invitation be accepted, and this was agreed to.

The secretary said that he had received a letter from the Executive Council of the Irish Association inviting the Central Council to hold their 1958 meeting in Dublin.

Mr. Poole: I should be only too glad to go, but it had been said that before we go to Ireland there should be a reasonable number making the journey to make the meeting a success. The year 1958 is the first meeting of a new session.

Mr. F. E. Dukes said they were prepared to adjourn to 1959 if the Council thought so.


Mr. R. S. Anderson: The first portion of the motion is one I move with the utmost regret, although I understand it is necessary. Our president has graced the chair of our meetings for many years with dignity, and the confidence of all members who have attended the Council. We, as a Council, cannot but regret most sincerely his decision not to continue in that high office. I understand his decision is irrevocable; he says he is getting old, but if that is so his appearance belies his age. We hope he will continue to give us his wise counsel even if he is not in the chair.

‘It was brought home to me this morning that the Master of the Gloucester and Bristol Association has a very fine badge and chain of office, yet the president of our Council has no distinguishing mark. At the Standing Committee last night the question was raised of the advisability of appointing a vice-president who could step into the presidential chair. I beg to move:-

(a) That a committee be appointed to consider nominations for the position of president, and to make a recommendation.

(b) To consider and submit to the Council suitable designs for a badge of office for the president.

(c) To consider the appointment of a vice-president of the Council.

(d) To alter any rules that are necessary.

‘It is suggested that the committee should be three members from the Standing Committee and three from the floor of the Council, and any suggestion for the position be sent to the Standing Committee.’

Mr. John Wallis: Was any financial limit set to a chain and badge of office? There is precious little you will get for £25.

Mr. Harold J. Poole: Having regard to the state of the balance sheet I suggest you leave it to the committee with a free hand to act.

The resolutions were carried, and Messrs. P. A. Corby, J. A. Freeman and T. J. Lock were appointed from the floor of the house to serve on the committee.

Mr. Anderson then moved a vote of thanks in the president for taking the chair at the meeting, which was carried with acclamation.

In thanking the Council, the president said they should not forget the great assistance they got from the hon. secretary. He did the bulk of the work to make the meeting a success.

The president then proposed an omnibus vote of thanks to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol for the use of the Chapter House; to the Dean for officiating at Holy Communion that morning and his welcome later in the morning; to the Master of the Gloucester and Bristol Association for his welcome; to Mr. Skidmore and the Reception Committee for making all the local arrangements and for their hospitality; to all the incumbents of the different towers in which they were privileged to ring and to all steeplekeepers who got the bells ready for them. This was carried with acclamation.

The Ringing World, July 8, 1955, page 426

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