THE beautifully designed and lavishly equipped Town Hall at Stoke-upon-Trent provided most acceptable accommodation for the 64th annual meeting of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers held there on Whit Tuesday.
Opposite the Town Hall is the Parish Church of St. Peter ad Vincula and it was here than more than 100 members of the council assembled for Holy Communion, at which the Bishop of Lichfield (the Right Rev. A. S. Reeve) was the celebrant, assisted by the Archdeacon of Stoke (the Ven. G. Youell), who is president of the North Staffordshire Association, and the Rector of Stoke (Preb. F. A. R. Chapman).
The service was followed by breakfast in the Town Hall, at which the beautiful china was much admired. The Bishop and Archdeacon were both present and the company were the guests of Stoke Parish Church. The president (Mr. Frederick Sharpe) expressed the sincere thanks of the members and their ladies to the hosts.
Proceedings in the Council Chamber, as is customary, started with welcomes from Church and State. The Lord Mayor (Mr. Gordon Dale) opened the proceedings. to be followed by the Bishop and Archdeacon. The president was accompanied by the vice-president (the Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow), and with them were the honorary secretary and assistant honorary secretary (Mr. E. A. Barnett) and the librarian (Mr. F. E. Perrens).
The Lord Mayor of Stoke, in his welcome to the Central Council, said he was sure they would find the people of Stoke-on-Trent very friendly. They were a great industrial centre, being the centre of the pottery industry for the world.
“Everyone,” said the Lord Mayor, “likes to listen to church bells. They have been from time immemorial the Christian way of welcoming Christian people to their churches. Bells were part of their English way of life, and it was a great disappointment when they ceased to ring during the war.”
Thanking the Lord Mayor, the President said: “We can only say ‘Thank you’ for your sincere welcome and the delightful arrangements that have been made for our pleasure, ringing and entertainment.”
The Lord Bishop of Lichfield, on behalf of the Diocese, gave a welcome to the Council. “As I go round the diocese,” said Dr. Reeve, “I often hear the bells of the Church not only ringing but being rung well, and it is very heartening to see the way a number of our younger people are coming forward and showing keenness to learn the art.”
The Bishop said he felt the art of change-ringing was something particularly associated with the Church of England. He was told that there were a few towers in the country belonging to other Christian communions, but it was mainly in the Church of England that the art of change-ringing was practised. The ringing of bells gave witness to the presence of God and summoned men and women to worship Him and give their lives to His service.
“That you are ready to give time and effort to do that we thank God, and I am very glad to think that the number of ringers throughout the country is steadily growing, and in this diocese we feel very heartened about the progress being made.”
Concluding, the Bishop said he was very glad to come and celebrate Holy Communion at the Parish Church that morning and to join their members at breakfast, “I felt that service was a great gathering of true fellowship of people devoted to the work of the Church and wanting to help it forward.”
The welcome on behalf of the North Staffordshire Association was extended by the President, the Archdeacon of Stoke (Ven. G. Youell), who mentioned that the Association got on extremely well with their Roman Catholic brethren from Cheadle.
REPRESENTATION OF SOCIETIES
The Hon. Secretary reported that 58 Associations were affiliated to the Council with 158 members. The rules provided for 24 honorary and seven life members, making a total of 184. All subscriptions had been paid, with one exception - the National Police Guild.
A NEW AFFILIATION
The Rev. John Scott, on behalf of the Guild of Devonshire Ringers, proposed that the Council accept the application of the Devon Association to affiliate to the Council. It was a great pleasure to them in Devonshire, he said, to think that the call-change side of the Exercise, with which they had been closely related, was to be affiliated to the Council.
Miss B. M. Boyle seconded and the resolution was carried.
Ancient Society of College Youths: Messrs. J. F. Smallwood and W. Williams.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Messrs. A. H. Reed, G. Salmon, H. J. Sanger and Miss N. G. Williams.
Bedfordshire Association: Messrs. S. Foskett and A. E. Rushton.
Cambridge University Guild: Dr. C. M. P. Johnson and Mr. B. D. Threlfall.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. H. O. Baker, J. W. Clarke, A. R. Elkins and J. Worth.
Coventry Diocesan Guild: Mrs. D. E. Beamish and Mr. J. L. Garner-Hayward.
Cumberland and North Westmorland Association: Mr. G. McKay.
Derbyshire Association: Messrs. G. A. Halls and A. Mould.
Devon Association: Mr. B. Bartlett.
Devon Guild: Miss B. M. Boyle, Rev. J. G. M. Scott and Mr. N. Mallett.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. H. J. Shuck.
Durham and Newcastle Association: Mr. K. Arthur.
Ely Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. G. Gipson, E. H. Mastin, D. F. Murfet and H. S. Peacock.
Essex Association: Messrs. J. H. Crampion, P. J. Eves, F. B. Lufkin and Miss H. G. Snowden.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Messrs. A. L. Barry, R. G. Hooper, W. B. Kynaston and C. A. Wratten.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. C. W. Denyer, H. N. Pitstow and W. H. Viggers.
Hereford Diocesan Guild: Rev. E. G. Benson and Mr. A. T. Wingate.
Hertford County Association: Messrs. W. Ayre, R. G. Bell, G. W. Critchley and G. Dodds.
Irish Association: Messrs. F. E. Dukes and J. T. Dunwoody.
Kent County Association: Messrs J. R. Cooper, P. A. Corby, T. Cullingworth and I. H. Oram.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss D. E. Colgate, Mrs. A. Richardson and Mrs. P. J. Staniforth.
Lancashire Association: Messrs. P. Crook and J. Ridyard.
Leicester Diocesan Guild: Messrs. E. Morris, P. J. Staniforth and B. G. Warwick.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Messrs. J. Bray, G. E. Feirn, J. Freeman and J. L. Millhouse.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Mrs. D. J. King and Mr. T. M. Roderick.
London County Association: Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Rogers and Mr. W. G. Wilson.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. F. T. Blagrove, F. W. Goodfellow, T. J. Lock and J. R. Mayne.
Midland Counties Guild: Mr. J. W. Cotton.
New South Wales Association: Mr. P. M. J. Gray.
North Staffordshire Association: Messrs. R. S. Anderson and E. H. Edge.
North Wales Association: Mr. D. H. B. Millward.
Norwich Diocesan Association: Messrs. H. W. Barrett, F. N. Golden, N. V. Harding and Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Barker and Mr. P. Walker.
Oxford Society: Mr. F. A. H. Wilkins.
Oxford University Society: Mr. S. J. Ivin.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Messrs. P. I. Chapman, E. Nobles and G. W. Jeffs.
St. David’s Diocesan Guild: Mr. R. Warburton.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham: Messrs. G. E. Fearn and F. E. Haynes.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Messrs. J. T. Barrett, G. H. Harding and G. S. Morris.
Sheffield and District Society: Mr. N. Chaddock.
Shropshire Association: Messrs. R. Newton and H. Poyner.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Messrs. D. Beresford and F. E. Hawthorne.
Southwell Diocesan Guild: Messrs. B. M. Buswell and D. H. Rooke.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society: Messrs. G. W. Hughes and B. G. Key.
Suffolk Guild: Messrs. J. W. Blythe and C. W. Pipe.
Surrey Association: Messrs. A. P. Cannon, F. E. Collins and W. F. Oatway.
Sussex County Association: Messrs. R. G. Blackman, R. W. R. Percy and H. Stalham.
Swansea and Brecon Guild: Mr. G. I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild: Messrs. W. C. Boucher and D. Burnett.
Universities Association: Miss M. R. Cross.
University of Bristol Society: Dr. T. P. Edwards.
University of London Society: Dr. D. N. Layton.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild: Mr. A. V. Davis, Rev. K. W. H. Felstead and Messrs. J. Hartless and F. W. Rogers.
Worcestershire and Districts Association: Messrs. B. C. Ashford, D. Beacham and W. B. Cartwright.
Yorkshire Association: Messrs. G. Benfield, V. Bottomley, W. E. Critchley and L. W. G. Morris.
Life members: Messrs. F. Sharpe, E. A. Barnett, F. W. Perrens, E. H. Lewis and Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Fletcher.
Honorary members: Mrs. E. A. Barnett, Messrs. J. P. Fidler, A. A. Hughes, D. Hughes, C. K. Lewis, W. F. Moreton. A. J. Pitman, H. L. Roper, E. C. Shepherd, R. F. B. Speed, P. L. Taylor, A. Walker and T. W. White.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Messrs. J. E. Chilcott, C. J. G. Watts, T. G. Myers, D. A. Bayles, B. A. Sollis, E. J. Ladd, A. C. Hazelden, G. J. Lewis, J. J. Webb, F. Dunkerley, Rev. R. D. St. J. Smith, Messrs. S. Burton, T. H. Taffender, E. C. Birkett, D. J. Smith, B. Austin, W. C. West, R. St. C. Wilson, P. N. Bond, F. J. Cullum, J. D. Clarke, L. G. Brett, Miss R. J. Seabrook, Rev. A. S. Roberts, Messrs. R. Overy, H. Miles, Miss M. E. Snowdon, Mesdames C. C. Marshall and J. G. Steeples, Messrs. J. T. Dyke, F. I. Hairs, L. Stilwell and J. Willis.
New members presented to the President were Messrs. H. O. Baker (Chester Diocesan Guild), B. Bartlett (Devon Association), N. Mallett (Devon Guild), D. F. Murfet (Ely Diocesan Association), Rev. E. G. Benson (Hereford Diocesan Guild), Messrs. A. T. Wingate (Hereford Diocesan Guild), E. H. Edge (North Staffs Association), Mrs. A. D. Barker (Oxford Diocesan Guild), Messrs. S. J. Ivin (Oxford University), E. Nobles (Peterborough Diocesan Guild), R. Newton (Shropshire Association), J. Hartless (Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild) and W. F. Moreton (honorary member).
NEW LIFE MEMBERS
On behalf of the Standing Committee, it was proposed that Mr. J. T. Dyke and Mr. A. Walker be elected life members.
Proposing the resolution, Mr. J. Frank Smallwood said the Council had very few honours to bestow on its servants, and he thought life membership was the most appropriate way of recognising the excellent work of these two stalwarts.
Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded and the resolution was carried unanimously.
Mr. A. Walker: I can only tell you how very grateful I am that you have made me a life member. I have been an honorary member for 29 years; I have met many old friends and enjoyed every minute of it.
NEW HONORARY MEMBERS
The Hon. Secretary said that Mrs. Steeples had intimated that she did not wish to be re-elected to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee recommended that Mrs. R. F. B. Speed be elected an honorary member in recognition of the work she was doing in helping Mr. Speed in the sale of publications, and that the remaining vacancies be left unfilled.
The election of Mrs. Speed was carried on the proposition of Mr. W. F. Moreton, seconded by Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Mr. George Pipe, from Australia, attended the meeting, and on the proposal of Mr. F. E. Dukes, seconded by Mr. A. D. Barker, he was also elected an honorary member.
The President paid tribute to the work of Mrs. Steeples in connection with the library and her assistance to him in connection with the clerical work associated with his office as President.
LOSSES BY DEATH
The members stood as the following list of past and present members who had died since the last meeting were remembered: Messrs. Edward W. Biffen (Devon Guild), Fredk. M. Mitchell (Kent County Association), Albert E. Lock (Oxford Diocesan Guild), Frank Skidmore (Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association), Chas. H. Woodberry (Worcestershire & Dists. Association), George Gilbert (Society of Royal Cumberland Youths), Chas. H. Hawkins (St. David’s Diocesan Guild), John L. S. Glanville (Devon Guild), James Parker (Sussex County Association and Society of Royal Cumberland Youths), John R. Sharman (Middlesex Association), John A. Freeman (Lincoln Diocesan Guild), W. E. Yates (Oxford Diocesan Guild), Adolphus Roberts (Warwickshire Guild), F. Colclough (Dudley and District Guild) and Fredk. Smale.
Since the last meeting the dates of death of the following past members had become known to the Council: Dr. Lewis Mackenzie (Devon Guild, died October 30th, 1942), Rev. Thomas S. Curteis (Kent County Association, March 19th, 1913), Rev. Augustus C. Lee (Hereford Diocesan Guild, January 14th, 1934), Ernest F. Poppy (Suffolk Guild, October 24th, 1939), Tom Redman (Lancashire Association, March 29th, 1942).
The Rev. John Scott paid tribute to three Devonshire ringers - Ted W. Biffen, John Glanville and Fredk. Smale. All three, he said, were fine ringers, tremendous teachers of learners and wonderful churchmen. Mr. J. Bray, in a tribute to Mr. John A. Freeman, Master of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, said he was a very sincere churchman, a kindly friend and a man of great wisdom. They were missing him very much.
Mr. A. D. Barker referred to Mr. Albert Lock, a very faithful servant of the Oxford Guild, serving for many years as a Branch secretary. Of Mr. George Gilbert he said he did a lot of good work wherever he went.
Mr. W. B. Kynaston, in a tribute to Mr. Frank Skidmore, said when he took over the secretaryship of the Gloucester and Bristol Association it was not in a very good position, and it was almost entirely due to him that they were in a much stronger position today.
Mr. I. H. Oram referred to the long services to the Kent County Association of Mr. F. M. Mitchell as secretary from 1929 to 1946, and he was also treasurer of that period and continued so until 1956.
Mr. C. K. Lewis spoke of the reputation of Mr. James Parker, the father of one who was a most efficient secretary of the Council.
Mr. A. A. Hughes mentioned the passing of Mr. Alfred B. Peck recently, whom he had known for 55 years.
Mr. J. W. Clarke called attention to the passing of Mr. Langford, who had been the mainstay of the Crewe Branch for a very long time.
Mr. A. V. Davis, in a reference to Mr. Martin Stewart, said although he was principally associated with the Salisbury Diocesan Guild, the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild were very grateful for his help.
ONE QUESTION FROM THE MINUTES
After the minutes of the Folkestone Council meeting had been adopted, on the proposition of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mr. Leslie Morris, Mr. Dennis Beresford rose to say that the minutes were not correct inasmuch as the peal of Minimus referred to in the Peals Analysis Committee’s report was not accepted. The report was proposed by the convener as published, and this report did not make any mention of the peal of Minimus. The Standing Committee proposed the adoption of the report, with the exclusion of the peal of Minor and the inclusion of the Minimus peal. The peal of Minor was voted on and the Minimus was not.
The President: You are, in fact, asking us to say that the minutes are not correct?
Mr. Walter Ayre: it is quite correct what Mr. Beresford says. That is why, when you come to the Peal Analysis Committee’s report, Minimus is referred to as a performance and not counted in the peal total.
Mr. Beresford: We tried to raise it at the end of the last meeting as there was a lot of confusion on the floor.
Mr. R. S. Anderson moved and the Rev. John Scott seconded, that the committee pass on to the next business and this was agreed to.
REPORT OF THE HON. SECRETARY
Mr. E. A. Barnett reported: The past year was relatively uneventful as far as special activities were concerned, although the usual crop of enquiries from the public was received. These included one from a Swedish gentleman, who will be paying a visit to this country in July, sponsored by the British Council. I am grateful in Mr. Ernest Morris for dealing with another query from the British Information Service in Berlin.
The reissue of the gramophone record of 5 Spliced Surprise Major on handbells, made at Bushey before the war, proved extremely successful, and at the time of writing only a handful remain of the 200 which were purchased.
Correspondence was exchanged with the Archbishop of Canterbury and others during the progress through Parliament of the Noise Abatement Bill.
Mr. W. N. Park, who kindly prepared the accounts of “The Ringing World” during the past three years, has unfortunately been unable to continue doing so and I should like to record my thanks to him for his assistance. It has now been agreed that this major task should be undertaken professionally.
Some difficulty has been occasioned because certain Association secretaries fail to notify changes in their representation. Would all concerned please note Rule 5 (iv) (as renumbered in 1960) requires the names and addresses of new representatives to be forwarded to the secretary of the Council forthwith.
Lastly, my thanks are yet again due to Mr. W. G. Wilson and Miss C. L. Groves for typing and duplicating these papers.
This was adopted.
REPORT OF THE HON. LIBRARIAN
Mr. F. W. Perrens reported: As was to be expected, the sale of publications this year has not reached last year’s outstanding record, but nevertheless it is over two and a half times the average for the eight years previous to 1959. This increase is due largely to the continued demand for the “Beginners’ Handbook,” although the sale of many other publications has shown a marked increase. “On Conducting” was reprinted during the year, after being revised by Mr. W. G. Wilson, to whom our thanks are due, and copies sold showed an increase of nearly fifty per cent on last year.
It is to be regretted that the hope we built up last year, based on the Methods Committee’s report, of having the “Collection of Minor Methods” on sale during the year has not materialised.
For gifts to the library, we thank most warmly Mr. E. H. Lewis for a copy of “De Nio Marlarna” - Dorothy Sayers (“The Nine Tailors”), for beautifully bound copies of the 1677, 1702, 1733 and 1766 editions of Campanologia Improved, and for Clavis - Campanologia, 1788 and the Cambridge University Guild for two copies of its history, 1929-1954.
We also tender our thanks to Mr. E. C. Shepherd for a further supply of “Grandsire Caters,” to Mr. J. Segar for a supply of “Spliced Triples” and “Blue Line Proof,” and to Mr. F. E. Dukes for sending us copies of “The Irish Bell News.”
I conclude, as usual, but none the less sincerely, with a well-earned tribute to Mr. R. F. B. Speed for his work in connection with the sales section of the library. The Exercise is greatly indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Speed for housing a large stock of publications and for the efficient manner in which the work is done.
Sales during the year: Method sheets - Cambridge 23, D.N.C.B. 37, Stedman and Grandsire 45; Preservation of Bells 141, Four Way Minor Table 63, Handbell ringing 131, Major Compositions 57, Collection of Peals, Section III 16, Report of Conference, S.P.A.B. 4, Doubles Methods 157, Model Rules 37, Village Bells 129, Card of Instruction - Care of Bells 227, Plain Major Methods 67, Methods Committee Report 20, On Conducting 170, Handbook 71, Electrical Switchgear Card 2, Grandsire Caters 58, Beginners’ Handbook 1,662. Total 3,117.
Mr. F. E. Perrens, moving the adoption, said the Collection of Minor Methods was now it the hands of the printers and they hoped it would be available in the near future.
Mr. E. H. Lewis, in an explanation of his gift, said there was a firm in Stockholm that printed translated books. Miss Sayers took the view that it was quite impossible to translate “The Nine Tailors.” Finally, a Miss Burgeaud was appointed to undertake the work and he was asked to help. He took Miss Burgeaud to a local practice and also to St. Paul’s. The book was published as a paper back and he had it rebound.
As to the other books, Mr. Lewis said he intended that his books should come to the Central Council, but now he had a granddaughter who had started to ring. He suggested that if any books he was presenting were duplicates, the Council should keep the better copies and the others would be available for his granddaughter.
The president thanked Mr. Lewis for his gift, and the report was adopted.
TRUSTEES OF THE CARTER RINGING MACHINE
Messrs. A. Walker and A. A. Hughes report: There were no requests for demonstrations during the year, and no open demonstrations were given. The machine was tested towards the end of the year and a fault found in some of the original electrical insulation, which was replaced. Following this a mechanical fault developed, but this is not of a serious nature and it is anticipated that it will be eradicated before this report is put before the meeting.
Mr. A. Walker proposed and Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded the adoption of the report. Mr. Douglas Hughes informed the Council the machine was now working properly and the report was adopted.
Presenting the report of the Standing Committee the honorary secretary said that Mr. H. Miles, the trustee of the roll of honour, had resigned with effect from December 31st. The Standing Committee recommended that Mr. H. N. Pitstow be elected trustee in place of Mr. Miles.
Mr. G. W. Fletcher seconded and this was agreed to.
The president spoke in appreciation of Mr. Miles’ work in connection with the roll, which included the compilation. Unfortunately, he had not been well and they would like to send him their best wishes and hopes that his health would soon be normal.
LETTER TO THE ARCHBISHOP
The honorary secretary said the Standing Committee considered the retirement of Dr. Fisher as Archbishop of Canterbury and proposed that a letter should be sent to him from the Council with their best wishes. The proposed letter read:
“At the annual meeting of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers on Whitsun Tuesday, I was instructed to convey to Your Grace, on behalf of the members and of the ringers generally, our best wishes to Mrs. Fisher and yourself for a long and happy retirement.
“We remember, with gratitude, Your Grace’s keen interest in our art, to which you have frequently given expression by your presence in the belfries of the churches up and down the land.”
Mr. R. G. Blackman seconded and the letter was approved for submission to His Grace.
RINGING ON ENTHRONEMENT DAY
The honorary secretary said a suggestion had been made by Mr. Birmingham, not a member of the Council, that a manifesto should be issued by the Council for ringing on the occasion of the enthronement of Dr. Ramsey as Archbishop of Canterbury. The Standing Committee recommended that the enthronement of Dr. Ramsey as Archbishop of Canterbury on Tuesday, June 27th, was an occasion which all ringers should observe and on which they should ring the bells. The proposal was that the president should insert the following letter in “The Ringing World”: “The enthronement of Dr. Ramsey as Archbishop of Canterbury on Tuesday, June 27th, is an occasion which, I feel confident, all ringers will regard their duty to recognise. May I express the hope that, so far as possible, the bells of every church will be rung at some time during the day and that many peals and quarter peals will be attempted either on the day or as soon afterwards as practicable.
“I would urge ringers to see that all possible publicity is given locally, preferably beforehand, to the ringing, thus bringing to the notice of the general public our part in this important event in the life of the Church.”
Mr. E. C. Shepherd moved and Mr. A. D. Barker seconded, that the letter be published and this was agreed to.
The Ringing World, June 2, 1961, pages 365 to 367
“RINGING WORLD” COMMITTEE
The report for 1960, signed by Mr. J. F. Smallwood, stated: Owing to the inevitable accounting delays the report of your committee must, of necessity, be in two parts if it is to be in the hands of members for the annual meeting of the Council and when commencing this report the final figures are not available.
Nevertheless, an equally important matter again to be brought to the attention of the Council is that of circulation. Copies sold in the issue of December 30th, 1960, were 5,488, but the comparative figure for 1959 was 5,719. The last analysis available at the time of preparing this report was for April 7th, 1961, giving a number of 5,503 against 5,605 for the same week in 1960. Your committee does not make any apologies for again urging all members of the Council the importance of postal subscription and the additional net revenue from this source as compared with the amount received from sales through newsagents. Despite all the efforts of your committee over many years it is not encouraging to note that the percentage of direct copies is practically static.
For the issue of December 30th, 1960, postal copies represented 42.34 per cent, and on April 7th, 1961, the figure was 42.96 per cent. Comparative figures for copies through newsagents were 57.32 per cent and 56.69 per cent, giving a turnover to postal copies of .62 per cent. Although the ultimate aim of your committee remains the same - all copies by post - the response of the Exercise generally is, to say the least, apathetic.
We do most earnestly appeal to all Associations to make “The Ringing World” more widely known among members and especially young members. Dare we offer a suggestion to all towers to commence a custom of presenting to some of their members a year’s subscription to “The Ringing World” for regular attendance and/or progress during the year?
“The Ringing World” is the only paper published for the Exercise and we have all read of conditions fifty years ago when the paper was born. How could the Exercise survive, let alone progress, without means of intercommunication?
The answer to a successful and progressive paper is in your hands. You are the owners of the paper. We have no paid reporters and depend on every ringer, young or old, expert or learner, to send us copy. Your committee will be pleased to increase the size of the paper if the Exercise will give its support by raising the circulation. If, as in times past, 6,000 copies a week could be sold, the present circulation reflects little interest in the Exercise generally by the great majority of ringers. Surely even the most parochial of ringers must find something to his taste in the paper’s pages, and its present price is only the equivalent of three cigarettes a week.
The Exercise itself is hamstringing the efforts and aspirations of the committee and must realise that only by an increased circulation can the paper be enlarged. Give us the tools and we will do the job, but who can make bricks without straw?
The annual accounts of “The Ringing World” have been circulated and members are urged not to read the profit for the year of £973 without further examination of the figures and reference to the committee’s report for 1959. The amount of £973 is firstly not the working profit. Donations, for which this committee on behalf of the Council give their warmest thanks, amounted to £426, reducing the profit to £547. Also the interest on investments of £182 must be taken into consideration, bringing the balance down to £365 and this is the true working surplus for the year.
The comparative figure for 1959 was £73, but as pointed out in the 1959 report a further wages increase in the printing trade was inevitable and negotiations on this are now proceeding. Forecasts in the trade are that the increase will be 7½ per cent, and whilst in 1962 the full benefit of higher postal subscriptions will be felt the Council must realise that the margin is very narrow and leaves little for expansion and development.
This report is of necessity lengthy, but cannot be closed without your committee once again apressing their thanks and appreciation to all who so wholeheartedly give their practical support to your paper. The editor and his staff, Mr. Jeater on the accounts, and Mr. H. L. Roper compiling the index, continue their work unstintingly, and to these and the many others too numerous to mention individually, we say most gratefully “Thank you.”
Finally to this Council in particular and to ringers everywhere, please help us to help you by seeking new subscribers, for only increased circulation can mean a larger and more comprehensive “Ringing World.”
Moving the adoption Mr. Smallwood said the report emphasised the need for more readers, which they felt was vitally necessary if they were to produce a better paper. The profit made looked spectacular, but if they were to break it down they would see that the actual profit was not large and certainly did not justify launching out in any great scheme. The solution was to try and obtain more readers.
Mr. R. S. Anderson formally seconded the adoption.
Mr. W. F. Oatway: I notice that this report is only signed by the convener. Is it right that other members of the committee have not subscribed to the report?
“A VERY GOOD JOB”
Mr. Smallwood: One of our members is absent and I have not been able to get hold of him. Another member does approve of it. I did not write it and at the time of the preparation of the report I was very busy shifting house. I think he has made a very good job of it.
Mr. Wilfrid G. Wilson said when he received a copy of the report he thought it was sent for observation and he sent it back with his observations. When he received the report back it was too late for it to be circulated with the other committee reports. He had had some correspondence over the report and he felt it was not a report of their activities.
Mr. T. J. Locke said he was under the impression that while it was desirable that some copies be sold to postal subscribers it was also agreed that copies should be sold through the newsagent. The point needed clarifying.
Mr. A. D. Barker: Will the committee give consideration to having life subscribers? They would get a lot of money in that way.
Mr. R. S. Anderson assured Mr. Wilson that his observations regarding the delay in publication of the report were not personal. The accountant must wait for Mr. Jeater before he could start his audit. He would like to draw attention to the profit of £973 and its breakdown in the third paragraph of the report.
“You will see that we are still, and likely to be, dependent on the voluntary contributions,” continued Mr. Anderson. “We are exceedingly grateful to all contributors; we are not refusing them. Our aim is to put ‘The Ringing World’ on a sound basis without donations.”
“I would like to tell you what will happen in September, with the new printing wages. The basis for settlement for the 10 printing trade unions was a 5½ per cent increase in 1959 and a reduction in the number of hours worked from 42 to 41 in September, 1961, and from 41 to 40 in 1962. With a little mental arithmetic you will see it is another 10 per cent increase in wages. That is what we are continually up against.”
Mr. Norman Chaddock complained that “The Ringing World” was too stereotyped in its news He noticed in one issue that quarter peals were printed in a larger type and was disappointed when they went back to smaller type.
Mr. H. L. Roper congratulated the committee and Mr. White on producing the Jubilee issue and for their work. The paper was an absolute godsend on Fridays, and he hoped they would not pay too much attention to the jeremiahs.
The Rev. John Scott said in the Jubilee issue the peal reports were put in the back of the issue, with the other advertisements; could that not be permanent and give the news in the front pages?
Mr. C. W. Denyer called attention to “The Ringing World” Jubilee. They were looking forward to welcoming all ringers to the Guildford area on June 17th, when their celebrations would be held. There would be a pilgrimage to the grave of Mr. Goldsmith at Pyrford, which was near to the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society. There would be conducted tours of the new Cathedral at Guildford by their own guides and they would take part in Evensong; afterwards a meal would be laid on at a restaurant, next to St. Nicolas’ Church. While in the Cathedral, visitors would be able to see the actual bell which was a memorial to A. H. Pulling. It was in the south ambulatory.
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead said in regard to the Jubilee issue, he thought for one dreadful moment that there were no peals.
The editor addressed the meeting on various matters. When the report was presented there were six dissentients.
Mr. T. Dunwoody remarked that they were still waiting for the minority report.
Mr. Wilson: There is no minority report.
“THE RINGING WORLD”:
Sundry creditors £636 17s. 6d. (£602 last year); amounts received in advance, postal subscriptions and notices £1,458 2s. 6d. (£2,086); provision for income tax £55 16s. (£45); capital account £5,870 7s. 11d. (£5,097). Total £8,021 3s. 11d. (£7,830).
Debtors £1,034 5s. 5d. (£862); investments £4,800 (£3,600); cash at bankers £2,016 13s. 6d. (£3,112); due from Central Council of Church Bell Ringers £170 5s. (£54). Total £8,021 3s. 11d. (£7,830).
“THE RINGING WORLD”:
PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT
Woodbridge Press printing £4,543 5s. 6d. (£3,952); blocks £161 9s. (£37).
Editorial office expenses - editor’s fees and expenses £508 13s. 9d. (£400); clerical assistance £165 (£158); postage and sundries £23 19s. 11d. (£24).
Postal subscribers - despatch of copies £921 9s. 5d. (£823); addressing and wrapping £283 1s. 6d.
Accounts department - clerical assistance £182 (£156); postage £20 7s. 3d. (£25); stationery and sundries £30 10s. 10d.
Miscellaneous expenses £31 15s. 11d. (£33); audit and accounting fees £36 15s. (£47); income tax £70 18s. 3d. (£63).
Profit for year £973 7s. 9d. (£575).
Total £7,952 14s. 1d. (£6,568).
Rolls House £2,996 7s. 8d. (£2,251); postal subscribers £3,198 13s. 7d.; donations £426 2s. 1d. (£357); advertisements £522 0s. 9d. (£425); notices and peal reports £588 18s. 11d. (£546); sundry receipts £38 15s. 6d. (£38); interest on investments £181 15s. 7d. (£157). Total £7,952 14s. 1d. (£6,568).
The honorary secretary said the expenditure had risen by £750 and there had been a substantial increase under most headings. There had also been a considerable increase in income, because of the increased price, but the full increase was not reflected because postal subscribers, who paid before the end of the year got their copies at the 6d. rate instead of 8d.
On the revenue side there was a 20 per cent increase in advertisements and donations showed a fairly similar increase.
Turning to the balance sheet, Mr. Barnett said they had written off £200 for goodwill and blocks which they would remember was paid by the Council for the purchase of “The Ringing World.” After 16 or 17 years that had ceased to have much meaning. They were able to invest another £1,200 in Defence Bands. The finances of the paper were in a fairly healthy state. He did not feel that there was any need for them to feel pessimistic. When they started making a loss that was the time for them to be worried. He moved the adoption of the report.
Mr. R. S. Anderson seconded.
Mr. A. V. Davis said in the Jubilee issue they read of the great struggles in the past to maintain the journal. He thought the committee should get together to back the amount of enthusiastic work done by the editor and back the great efforts being made to perpetuate their “Ringing World.” They could all help by selling the additional odd copy.
The Rev. John Scott: Can we have peals at the end of the “R.W.”?
The president: That is a domestic matter for the committee.
The accounts were then adopted.
THE BALANCE SHEET
As at December 31st, 1960: Library £10; office and library equipment £26 15s. 11d.; stock of publications £419 18s. 4d.; stock of gramophone records £24 5s. 4d.; debtors and payments in advance £1,035 6s. 5d.; investments at cost £5,562 18s. 4d.; cash at bank and in hand £2,440 18s. 6d.; making a total of £9,520 2s. 10d. The Clement Glenn bequest stood at £830 2s. 4d. (interest £23 2s. 2d.).
THE GENERAL FUND
To expenses: Biography Committee £26 15s.; Sunday Service Committee £14 16s. 8d.; honorary secretary £10; stationery and printing £23 19s. 7d.; postage £10 16s. 7d.; telephone £2 2s. 8d.; office and library equipment written off £6; insurances £1 16s.; A. H. Pulling Memorial Fund £5 5s.; typing £2 2s.; cheque book 8s. 4d.; sundry expenses 2s. 6d.; excess of income over expenditure £9 12s. 4d.
By affiliation fees £78 10s.; balance publications account £33 9s.; balance gramophone account £1 3s. 8d.
The accounts were presented by Mr. E. A. Burnett, who moved their adoption. The publication account (profit £33 9s. against £4 in 1959), he said, showed a much larger profit, largely due to the second 5,000 copies of the “Beginners’ Handbook” being a reprint with the type standing, therefore cheaper All the records had now been sold.
Regarding General Fund income and expenditure account the large expenses of the Biographies Committee were not likely to recur.
Mr. F. E. Dukes seconded and the accounts were adopted after Mr. P. A. Corby had been assured that the item “squares” in the gramophone account had nothing to do with rock ’n’ roll, but related to the squares of cardboard used for packing the records.
Mr. J. W. Clarke (Convener) reports: A very considerable number of 19th century peal boards, obtained mainly from copies of “Church Bells,” has now been collected, but the list is unlikely to be in any way complete. It will help considerably if members of the Exercise will forward details of boards which exist in their own towers as well as those encountered when visiting. The exact layout of the board, together with a note on any decoration, should be given if possible.
The report was proposed by Mr. J. W. Clarke and accepted.
BROADCASTING AND TELEVISION COMMITTEE
It is with considerable satisfaction that we can at last report co-operation with the B.B.C. throughout the Regions, particularly in connection with the Christmas broadcast.
The new arrangement of pre-recording the various bells has made it possible to obtain very much better results; in fact, near perfection may well be achieved during the coming years.
There are, of course, several problems still to be rectified, the most important of them being the placing of the microphones when the recordings are made. The broadcast from Sheffield Cathedral was completely spoilt due to the poor position of the microphone, and a recent service broadcast from St. Mary’s, Southampton, suffered in the same way. We also feel that a responsible ringer, with good judgment, should vet the recordings from each tower and select the most suitable portion for final broadcasting. If possible, the committee member for each region will endeavour to do this at the coming Christmas. We also feel that whilst we should have ample time to make our selections of towers, the actual recordings should be made as near Christmas as is practicable. It will also be our endeavour in the future to include ringing on all numbers from six to 12, and so satisfy all tastes.
Pre-service ringing has been heard on numerous occasions on B.B.C. programmes and in a few instances on I.T.V. Bells have also featured in other programmes, including the series “The A.B.C. of the Church,” by John Betjeman, and in “Town and Around,” when three veterans of the tower took part in the ringing from Hurstpierpoint.
During the year the bells of some of the Northern Ireland towers were also broadcast prior to services, and although strong representations have been made to the B.B.C., with consequential promises of improvement, there is still cause for concern that the time given to the bells on the air is so short, sometimes only a few seconds as a background to the announcement. St. Donard’s, Belfast, broke new ground in that they were heard on the B.B.C. Television (N.I.) when the service was televised from the church.
In Southern Ireland several bell broadcasts have been heard, particularly on New Year’s Eve, and efforts are being made to get the bells on the air prior to broadcast services.
The Christmas Broadcast was generally very well received, and we feel was a considerable improvement on previous years. To a great extent, the fact that the bells were pre-recorded, and our opportunity to select towers where a fair standard could we expected, made this possible. If we are able to cover the points made in our general remarks we feel confident of further improvement.
The sudden death of Preb. Martin Willson was a great loss to us in the West. Mr. Willson had always been extremely helpful to the Committee and had provided a valuable liaison between us and the B.B.C. in general. We are happy to say that our relationship with those responsible for religious broadcasting in the West still continues to be a very happy one, and for this we are most grateful.
This report would not be complete without the inclusion of our sincere thanks to all those who have assisted us during the year, and to the B.B.C. our appreciation of the opportunities given us to co-operate with them, particularly with regard to the Christmas Broadcast.
Signed by H. J. SANGER (Convener),
A. G. G. THURLOW,
H. N. PITSTOW,
G. E. FEARN,
J. T. DUNWOODY.
Mr. H. Sanger, in moving the adoption of the report, said he had additional information of an American broadcast by the Launton Handbell Ringers, when a description was also given of the bells.
Mr. H. N. Pitstow seconded.
The Hon. Secretary: The Standing Committee recommended that Mr. R. S. Wilson, of the Scottish Association, who had rendered a great deal of assistance, should be added to the Committee.
Mr. Sanger said he would be very willing for Mr. Wilson to be co-opted to the Committee.
DESIRE FOR LIVE BROADCASTS
Dr. Layton said he noticed that the Christmas broadcast of bells was a recording. He thought it was deplorable. If they were to broadcast Christmas ringing it should be live ringing.
Mr. A. V. Davis supported this view.
Mr. Edge said 20 minutes past nine was not the general time for ringing and there was a tendency then to go to pieces. He could not help feeling that the ringing would be better in a recording.
Mr. E. K. Lewis commented that the idea of ringing on Christmas morning was an act of worship, and as such one could not do it by a recording. If the ringing was not up to standard because the band had got nervous that could not be helped. He thought they were doing a lot by removing the personal element.
The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow felt they had to be sympathetic with the B.B.C. with all their technical difficulties. He thought it was best to leave it to the B.B.C.
Replying to the debate, Mr. Harry Sanger said when they had a live broadcast they had a big crop of letters; when they were recording they were using bells which would be used on Christmas Day. Personally, his sympathies were with those who attempted live broadcasts whether they were good or not. At Christmas time, because of the heavy demand, the B.B.C. had difficulty in finding all the necessary equipment. The spirit of Christmas was not entirely absent from the recordings.
The report was then adopted.
The honorary secretary said arising from the report of the Peal Analysis Committee last year over the question of a peal of Minor bring rung, in which two ringers changed over. Mr. Cartwright was asked to consider rewording the rule. He submitted to the Standing Committee the following:
“Each bell shall be rung throughout by the same person and there shall be no exchange of bells by any of the ringers during the ringing of a peal, provided, however, that this shall not prohibit the ringing of any bell throughout the peal by two persons at the same time, where the weight or go make this essential.”
The honorary secretary said he gave formal notice that this alteration to the rules would be proposed next year.
The Ringing World, June 9, 1961, pages 385 to 386
LITERATURE AND PRESS COMMITTEE FOR 1960
Messrs. Edgar C. Shepherd and F. E. Dukes report: The year has brought forth a more than usually interesting number of full scale articles. Certain trade periodicals are encouraging essays on hobbies and spare-time occupations, and two notable specimens have come our way. In “Timkin,” Patrick Chapman has given a clear exposition of the broad aspect of change ringing with reference to bell ringing employees of the firm. In “The Computer’s Journal” for April we have “Computers and Change Ringing” D. G. Papworth. This deals with the proof and composition of Plain Bob by use of a Pegasus.
The magazine of the Crabtree Electrical Company published an article on electrical installations for bells and “The Belfast Telegraph,” in an article in May, forecast a great growth in electronic devices for producing bell effects. The first of these essays has an advertising rather than altruistic motive, and the latter qualifies its views by quoting the number of young people now being attracted to ringing. “Wills Magazine” printed an article by Michael Horseman expounding our art and adding the more unusual feature of notes on the organisation of the Exercise.
In the non-technical Press, Loughborough and its bells had two important recognitions - “Making the Mouths of Bawling Brass” by Geoffrey Moorhouse in “The Guardian” and a scholarly article by C. V. Hancock in “The Birmingham Post and Gazette.” The latter had a fine photograph of the carillon tower. Two articles that are of outstanding interest for the layman attract notice: “Ringing the Changes” appeared in “Home Words” for January. Here Michael Stevenson dealt with bell customs and uses. A photograph of Ernest Morris supplemented the text. On a similar theme “St. Cuthbert’s Church, Darlington,” by Robert Scarr, appeared in “The Darlington and Stockton Times.” Together with these we find, for the young, the very fascinating “Ring in the New,” published in “Eagle” of January 2nd. Here Ernest Morris writes of boy ringers; and his attractive approach, together with the seven illustrations, have the aim of interesting young folk.
An outstanding piece of work in Anthony Upton’s “The Bells of the Borough,” where the five rings of bells in the borough of Solihull are fully dealt with in an essay that succeeds in being factual without falling into the dullness of a catalogue.
Feature articles have, as usual, occupied parts of newspapers during the year, and the following may be mentioned as showing contrast in approach, “Lancashire Life” (January) reported Victor Zorian visiting Hawkshead to meet the ringers. There is the usual type of reporting, but with it we have some good photographs of bell handling, of young girl ringers, and of single handed handbell practice. “A piece of Bob Minor,” J. L. Jones, in “The Farmers’ Weekly” takes us to Chewton Mendip. This report is well illustrated and gives a description of a bell being pulled up. An unusual feature is the representation of the five tones of a bell in music notation. A defence of the art of ringing comes from “The Braintree and Witham Times,” where the gossip writer states that he likes the ringing of bells “so long as there is some method in it” and “so long as they do not ring too long.” Verb. sap.! A similar eulogy of our art was voiced in the General Notes and News of the “North London Press” of March 11th, in which the columnist praised ringing as a hobby especially for the young.
Young ringers continue to attract the notice of the Press and this year there have been numerous paragraphs of juvenile bands. Among these we have found the young ringers at Westhoughton in “Tillotson’s Newspapers,” the band at Swynnerton in “Stone Guardian,” the very young people at Knowle, Warwickshire, and the boys of Tudor Grange Grammar School, Solihull, ringing for their own school service. This widespread recognition of youthful ringers should help to counteract the erroneous belief in some quarters that ringing is a dying art, a fallacy that still serves to fill up odd spaces in newspapers, and which was once again attacked during the year in Mr. York-Bramble’s letter to the B.B.C.
One of the most important notices of the year was undoubtedly the report of the bell ringing festival at Carlisle. The news cutting that reached us has no date or name, but it presents a very full account of the festival and displays it prominently. The Dean of Carlisle, at Evensong in the Cathedral, spoke of the skill and devotion of bell ringers and emphasised the importance of their work in the Church.
Against this welcome and valuable publicity we would draw attention to the distasteful report of a disagreement between incumbent and ringers at Walberton, Sussex, in October. The blatant heading and vulgar writing in connection with this delicate matter bring no credit to the “Sunday Despatch” and provide us with an example of publicity we can well do without.
References to ringers and ringing affairs of past always attract a good Press and two examples of this may be quoted from the past year. In November “The Coleshill Chronicle” published a photograph of the local ringers of 1903, a band that included the well known Fred Clayton. The journal took great trouble to search for and publish particulars of the men and the photographer. A more notable relic still is the diary (1851-1857) of Alfred Arney, the Bristol ringer. This valuable document was recently rescued and published in the Bristol “Evening Post” by Mr. F. C. Jones, lecturer in Bristol history for the W.E.A. Mr. Jones has hopes of finding further notices and recordings by Arney.
All ringers will welcome the tribute to the president of the Central Council, appearing in “The Church Times” during August. The sincerity of the writer of the pen picture is emphasised by this fine reference to Mr. Sharpe and his work: “To this work Mr. Sharpe brings the balanced judgment of an historian the practical approach of a craftsman and an acute ear for music.” We feel that these measured words, coming from the lay world, are of great value and must not be omitted from this report.
A further reminder of our work and its links with (and scrutiny by) the ecclesiastical world is shown in the 14th report of the Central Council for the Preservation of Churches, where the importance of ringers is stressed and some severe remarks on “Gramophone Bells” are undoubtedly timely.
Lastly we have a valuable piece of propaganda in the North Oxfordshire edition of “The Country Churchman” for November. In his article “In the Belfry,” Mr. E. A. Barnett discusses recruiting for the belfry and poses pertinent questions on the responsibilities of both ringers and clergy in the securing of competent instruction.
The following publications and periodicals appeared during the year: “The Irish Bell News,” “The Ringing Towers,” “The Ringers’ Magazine,” “The Belfry,” “The Bellringers’ Diary.”
Many ringers will have read, with interest, John Betjeman’s “Summoned by Bells,” which ran for three Sundays in “The Sunday Times” and appeared in book form. John Betjeman at one times rang at Offington and Farnborough, and his collected poems contain many references to bells.
“The Steeple Bells and Clocks of Shankhill Parish Church,” by John Irwin, gave, in a small booklet, a very comprehensive treatment of its subject, and “St. Mary’s Church, Southampton,” edited by Kenneth Croft, dealt with the destruction and restoration of the bells and included among its charming illustrations a line drawing of the bells in the raised position.
The impressions we get of the year’s work are, first of some good reporting by lay writers and second, some first rate contributions by ringers themselves in the explanation of their art and its place in Church life.
Moving the adoption of the report Mr. E. C. Shepherd said they were impressed by the excellent works written by ringers.
Mr. F. E. Dukes, in seconding, said the unseemly publication of disputes in belfries was no credit to the Exercise. They should do their best to avoid these disputes getting into the public Press.
Mr. R. G. Blackman said he noticed a reference to Walberton. This matter got into the papers before it was known by the ringers. Unfortunately the information was obtained from someone who hardly ever went into the belfry.
Mr. H. L. Roper asked what happened to the valuable collection of cuttings? Were they kept by the committee?
Mr. Shepherd replied that he retained some of them.
Mr. J. R. Mayne asked if the Council proposed to take any action concerning the photographs that appeared in “The Sunday Pictorial”? They should consider what action should be taken.
The president replied that it would come up automatically in next year’s report.
Mr. E. K. Lewis suggested that it should be reported to the Press Council.
NOT BY INVITATION
Mr. G. McKay, of the Cumberland and Westmorland Association, said the incident, unfortunately, took place in a fringe tower. He could assure the Council that the conduct of the ringers in this tower was normally quite in order. There was a rather strange article that appeared in a newspaper, when, after a practice, a resident tried to spear a ringer. The second article was in “The Sunday Pictorial” and it was not done at the invitation of the local ringers or approved of by the incumbent. The incumbent was under the impression that a very different report would appear. Their own Association president was taking the matter up with the local paper and the local tower.
Mr. Philip Gray called attention to the excellence of the article that appeared in “The Observer.”
Mrs. P. J. Staniforth said what appeared in “The Sunday Pictorial” involved the Ladies’ Guild. The General Committee of the Ladies’ Guild had considered the matter and were of opinion that it should be treated with contempt.
Mr. John R. Mayne commented that it was inconceivable that those in the belfry did not know that the pictures were being taken.
Mr. T. W. White urged that if the Council considered approaching the Press Council it should be done at once. It was no use making a complaint when the report was received in 1962.
The report was then adopted. The question of taking any action and notifying the Press Council was left to the committee.
The Ringing World, June 9, 1961, page 387
PEALS ANALYSIS COMMITTEE
In presenting the report for 1960 the Committee (Mr. W. R. Ayre, Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, Mr. H. Miles and Mr. H. L. Roper) are pleased to report an increase of 427 peals over the 1959 total.
The grand total of peals accepted to date is 2,837, against 2,410 in 1959, with 2,750 on tower bells (2,283) and 87 on handbells (127) - a great gain on tower bells (due mainly, we suggest, to the two royal occasions) but a sad drop on handbells, and we wonder why?
Here is the analysis broken down:-
In addition, there were six performances of Minimus - two on tower and four “in hand.” There was a general rise in the number of peals rung on all numbers, but Royal and Major slumped badly on handbells.
626 FIRST PEALERS
An amazing number of first pealers was shown in “The Ringing World” - 626 - a most gratifying sign, with 70 attaining first as conductor.
The Lincoln Guild somewhat closed the gap between it and the Leicester Guild, which still holds the premier position. The Chester Guild has moved up, but the Lancashire Association, while ringing more peals than last year, has dropped down. The first seven places are as follows:-
Leicester D.G. 180, Lincoln D.G. 157, Chester Guild 155, Yorkshire Assn. 146, Kent C. 140, Oxford D. 138, Essex Assn. 123.
What has happened to the Ladies’ Guild? - no peals in 1960! Were the Police too busy with other things, as they too are missing? The Scottish Association also failed to score.
A “peal” of Nightingale Treble Place Major is not included as two types of call were used, as reported by the composer. This was for the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild.
The Committee ask for guidance regarding the “peal” of “The Dragon Major,” rung by the Oxford Guild, in which six blows are made in 4ths place at a bob.
A peal of Bob Minor for the Bedfordshire Association, rung December 16th, 1959, and published in “The Ringing World,” page 228 in the issue of April 1st, 1960, has not been included in either 1959 or 1960 records - a pity, as there were three first pealers.
22,400 Plain Bob Major by Essex Association.
113 methods of Doubles by Oxford Guild.
Peals in 98, 74 and 47 methods of Minor on tower bells and 87 and 77 methods of Minor on handbells.
Methods of which ten or more peals were rung are as follows:-
Maximus.- Cambridge 23, Yorkshire 16.
Cinques.- Stedman 27.
Royal.- Cambridge 47, London 17, Yorkshire 16, Plain B. 38.
Caters.- Grandsire 46, Stedman 31.
Major.- Spliced S.: 5-12 methods 22, 4 methods 24, 2-3 methods 11, Bristol 47, Cambridge 122, Lincolnshire 41, London 65, Pudsey 13, Rutland 23, Superlative 26, Yorkshire 128, Kent T.B. 44, D. Norwich 76, Plain B. 253, Little B. 13.
Triples.- Grandsire 103, Stedman 63, Plain B. 20.
Minor.- 21 methods and over 18, 14-20 methods 16, 7-13 methods 238, 6 methods 17, 5 methods 44, 4 methods 80, 3 methods 77, 2 methods 43, 1 method 343.
Doubles.- 15 methods and over 13, 7-14 methods 29, 5 methods 25, 4 methods 20, 3 methods 24, 2 methods 40, 1 method 133.
A slightly more varied list than for 1959.
Again we ask peal ringers to ensure that the account sent in to the “ R.W.” is accurate and fully descriptive. Doubles conductors please, please specify the number of methods previous to the enumerated list - or state the number of variations. This will help us a great deal. We note with pleasure that our request for peals to be sent in promptly has received attention. Thank you.
Mr. W. Ayre in moving the report said it was the Convener’s report with the full approval of members of the Committee. Everything had been approved by them. They would note that in addition to the peal total there were six performances of Minimus, “and on my own body I am going to keep it as such.”
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead: I have been put in an awkward position by the Convener. I was prepared to second the report if the suggestion of the Standing Committee was accepted to change performances of Minimus to peals of Minimus.
Mr. H. L. Roper: If the Rev. Felstead has any qualms of conscience, I have not. I don’t mind if you call it a peal or a performance. I’ll second the report.
The Hon. Secretary: The Standing Committee recommended the adoption of the report with the substitution of the word peal for performance for peals of Minimus. They also recommended that the peal of Nightingale Place Treble Major be not accepted.
Mr. F. T. Blagrove asked the Convener of the Peals Analysis Committee why the peal of Nightingale was excluded as it conformed in every way with the rules. It was not rung as a gag, it was rung to commemorate the opening of the Florence Nightingale Memorial Chapel. It was rung for a thoroughly good reason.
Mr. Walter Ayre: I am no expert. I feel very sorry about excluding it, but previously we have excluded such peals. It was pointed out to him that what he ought to have done was to refer it to the Methods Committee.
Mr. Blagrove: The peals that were excluded were before this thing was added to Decisions (d). The things excluded were before it was added to second (d) - the Liversedge variation of Kent Treble Bob with two types of bobs. Peals of Treble Bob with two types of singles were excluded.
He would go further: Stedman used two types of bob, one at thirds and the other at ninth. He moved that the Council include this peal as it conformed to condition (d).
Mr. W. Ayre: The implication of Mr. Blagrove is that I should know all the compositions. It was only when the composition was put in “The Ringing World” that I knew it.
Mr. C. K. Lewis said the Committee was expected to compile an analysis, and if necessary it should have expert advice.
Mr. Wilson seconded the amendment.
TO METHODS COMMITTEE
Mr. N. Chaddock said Mr. Lewis had not told them of the recommendation of the Methods Committee.
Mr. Lewis: The Methods Committee had not discussed it. If we did it might lead to a fight. In the past peals had been accepted which did not conform to the decisions of the Council, and I think this is a case where we might accept the amendment.
After further discussion the matter was referred to the Methods Committee.
The Minimus question was then discussed and Mr. D. Beresford suggested that the Council should be consistent with the decisions taken at the last meeting. Words were put into the mouth of the Convener which he did not use.
Mr. J. Freeman: It seems to me that we have the Council’s decision on the compilation of the peals analyses and we have heard a great deal of case law from Mr. Justice Ayre [laughter]. In my opinion these 4-bell peals should be included.
A member, in supporting Mr. Freeman, thought peals of Minimus should only be rung in 4-bell towers.
The Council then agreed that these peals of Minimus count as peals.
Dragon Major then came under discussion, and Mr. Lewis said the Committee had recognised in the past peals of Grandsire Royal and Grandsire Major as even-bell methods which had six blows. He moved they accept it.
Mr. F. W. Perrens seconded and the Council agreed to accept it.
Mr. G. Dodds deplored a peal of Grandsire Doubles with only two callings.
Mr. F. W. Perrens: The peal obviously conforms to the rules and we should not waste time debating it.
The report as amended was then accepted.
The report, signed by Mr. A. C. Hazelden, covers a period from June, 1960, to May, 1961.
Of the total of those who, in the seventy years of the Council’s existence, have been elected to membership at the time of the preparation of this report, 450 are known, or for good reason are believed to be, deceased. The records of well over 300 of these will be found in our albums. Others’ records are in various stages of completion.
It will be noted that some records are without photographs - a fact which we deplore. It is pleasing to report that, as a result of our enquiry for photographs in our 1960 report, good photographs have been obtained of the late F. E. Dawes, Arthur Craven and A. Coppock, the last named by the kind assistance of the Town Clerk of Nottingham. For the completion of these records we need only photographs of the following: C. E. D. Boutflower, John Clark (Ross), A. E. Coles, Henry Dew, Rev. C. W. H. Griffiths (Bath and Wells), R. G. Knowles, G. Londen, W. Walmsley. All these photographs are believed to exist.
A list of deaths since the last meeting and remembered earlier in the proceedings was included in the report.
A rather complicated arrangement, which began at Folkestone and in which Messrs. Ralph Edwards and G. E. Fearn took part, resulted in a good photograph of the late F. E. Dawe, taken from a book, formerly owned by the late J. George. This end of a long quest is eminently satisfactory, because F. E. Dawe was, in 1891, the first secretary of the Central Council. Mr. L. W. G. Morris and Mr. W. Barton co-operated successfully in the completion of our record of the late Arthur Craven, who died five years before our committee was first set up. Mr. B. C. Ashford provided all we needed regarding the late C. H. Woodberry and Mr. G. I. Lewis searched for us through the records of two extinct Welsh Guilds for the peals record of the late C. H. Hawkins.
Mr. W. Viggers, in presenting the report which was adopted, said they had completed 50 new biographies during the year.
After the luncheon interval a pleasing ceremony took place, Mr. E. H. Edge, honorary secretary of the North Staffordshire Association, said the director of his company (William Adams and Sons Ltd.) had been very interested in the conference and they had prepared a small memento of the occasion in the form of an ash tray, suitably engraved. The tenor bell was that of Stone, cast by Abraham Rudhall in 1710 and the inscription “When you mee ring ile sweetly sing” was on the bell. A memento was presented to each member.
The president, in expressing his thanks to Mr. Edge, asked him to convey to the directors of William Adams and Sons Ltd. the Council’s thanks for such a delightful gift. They were a firm of distinction and claimed to be the oldest family business by direct descent in the county, dating back to 1480.
The Ringing World, June 9, 1961, page 388
The year 1960 has been a quiet one for this Committee, giving time for the inspiration of previous years to filter through the Exercise generally. One factor contributing to our relative inactivity is that the Convener has been undergoing a one-year full-time course of professional study.
However, we are able to report that the booklet “Ringing for Service” is now available, and there are already signs that this attractive and useful guide to the efficient organisation of the Sunday Service band will meet a long-felt need.
Guilds and Associations can contribute to the work of the Central Council by ordering a stock of this booklet for resale or issue to any tower in their area in need of guidance. Tower leaders can help by ensuring that a copy is made available to their incumbent. We also recommend that copies be issued to the theological colleges and that it be advertised in the ecclesiastical press.
The process of encouraging the growth of courses in bellringing by evolution has continued during the year, and we have been instrumental in bringing about another successful course at Grantley Hall, Yorkshire, and assisting the Peterborough Diocesan Guild with a course to be held at Knuston Hall, Northamptonshire, in June. Negotiations for other courses are in hand, and we shall be pleased to share the knowledge and experience we have gained with any Association which might seek advice or guidance in organising a course.
EVENING SCHOOL COURSE
In addition to week-end residential courses we have had several enquiries regarding evening school classes and have supplied material for syllabuses. In three cases we have been able to help the establishment of evening school courses by finding suitable tutors. The success of week-end courses run by the Gloucester and Bristol Association and the Oxford Diocesan Guild, and the announcement of further courses in these areas this year, indicates that this development is meeting a real need.
Successful expansion in this field will do much to strengthen the position of the art and science of bellringing amongst other recognised cultural and educational activities.
A noticeable feature of recent courses has been the tremendous interest in various aspects of ringing shown by non-ringing students of all ages attending the colleges on other parallel courses.
It is regretted that this year we are unable to report any progress with regard to theological colleges, but it is hoped that progress in this direction may be made in the future.
One thing we would like to do is to ensure that all theological college libraries contain suitable books on bellringing and church bells. A visit to one college by a member of this Committee revealed that the library did not contain a single book about bells or bellringing.
Perhaps with the help of the Librarian we might be enabled to do something to rectify this position during the coming year.
We shall be pleased to receive from Association officials suggestions as to any other possible lines of action to enhance the value of the work of this Committee, and we record our thanks to those who have assisted us in any way.
The report was signed by
N. CHADDOCK (Convener),
W. F. MORETON,
F. B. LUFKIN,
D. N. LAYTON.
Moving the adoption of the report, Mr. Chaddock suggested that the booklet “Ringing for Service” should be advertised in the ecclesiastical press. In regard to residential courses, every course should be a success. If any course was a failure it prejudiced other college courses, because they passed the information on. He felt that ringing literature should be in theological colleges. A colleague of his had been in one college where there was not a single book on ringing.
Mr. F. B. Lufkin seconded.
The Hon. Secretary: The Standing Committee recommended the adoption of the report and recommended that the title of this Committee be changed to Sunday Service Ringing and Education Committee.
Mr. Edgar C. Shepherd: There is a clumsiness about the title, particularly at the end.
Mr. E. K. Lewis said the point was that this Committee had to contact local authorities and they wanted to create a feeling that they were an education committee.
Mr. N. Chaddock agreed to the change of title and the report was adopted.
The report, signed by the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, Messrs. F. T. Blagrove, C. K. Lewis and J. R. Mayne stated that during the year the Minor book was, at long last, completed and was sent to the printers in January. Work on the Triples book has proceeded, the chief difficulty being the production of peals for some of the methods. Most of these problems have now been solved.
The Secretary of the Council wrote to the Secretary of the Stafford Archdeaconry Society concerning the peal of Gainsborough Surprise Royal, which was the subject of controversy last year. Although the latter said that the conductor of the peal would write to the Methods Committee about it, no such letter has been received.
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, in moving the adoption of the report, said they received about ten days ago the proof of the first half of the Minor book. In regard to Gainsborough Surprise Royal, a letter was received from the conductor of the peal. The Committee had had a few moments to consider that peal and would like to recommend to the Council that they were in favour of not recognising that peal because it would open the way to very many similar situations and it was not according to the rules.
Finally, he would like to echo what Mr. Lewis had said, that any committee of the Council that had problems or difficulties should come and ask the advice of the Methods Committee. There was a rule of the Council that when the Methods Committee was asked for a decision a unanimous recommendation should be published immediately in “The Ringing World” and come before the Council for ratification. There were two Committees - the Peals Analysis and the Records - where advantage of this could have been taken.
Mr. C. K. Lewis endorsed the views of the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, and said he hoped the conductor of Gainsborough Royal would agree to change the name. It was not a correct extension in their point of view.
The Convener (Mr. W. E. Critchley) reported that by the time the Council met the Collection of Stedman Caters and Cinques should be in readiness for the printer.
The chief consumer of time had been the proving of all the peals in the collection, whether or not they had appeared previously in other Stedman books. The Committee wished to place on record their grateful thanks to Mr. W. Barton, who so willingly shared the proving with Mr. Pitman; also to all the contributors, far too numerous to mention individually.
Mr. John Freeman seconded.
The Hon. Secretary said the Standing Committee recommended that the report be adopted and the Committee asked to prepare a new collection of well-known Major methods to replace the present collection which would shortly be out of print.
Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, Mrs. L. K. Marshall, Messrs. F. T. Blagrove and J. R. Mayne report the following new methods and progressive length for the year ending December 31st:
|Jan.||7,||5,056 Foxearth S.M., Middlesex;|
|9,||5,088 Bicester S.M., Oxford Dio.;|
|9,||5,088 Birmingham S.M., St. Martin’s;|
|9,||5,152 Repton S.M., Derbyshire;|
|16,||5,024 Kelshall S.M., Hertford;|
|18,||5,040 Coalville S.R., Leicester;|
|23,||5,024 Gresford S.M., Lincoln;|
|25,||5,040 Morecombelake S.R., Leicester;|
|30,||5,088 Evesham S.M., Worcestershire;|
|Feb.||4,||5,056 Shoreditch S.M., Middlesex;|
|6,||5,056 Tilstock Imp. M., Shropshire;|
|13,||5,120 Uttoxeter S.M., Stafford;|
|20,||5,056 Aspenden S.M., Middlesex;|
|25,||5,024 Swansea S.M., Middlesex;|
|27,||5,040 Hillingdon S.R., Middlesex;|
|Mar.||5,||5,056 Holland Bob M., Essex;|
|5,||5,152 Unstone S.M., Derbyshire;|
|12,||5,152 Dronfield S.M., Derbyshire;|
|12,||5,024 Halstead S.M., Essex;|
|Apr.||9,||5,040 Grundisburgh S.R., Suffolk;|
|9,||5,056 Grundisburgh S.M., Suffolk;|
|21,||5,152 Northolt S.M., Middlesex;|
|23,||5,088 Harthill S.M., Yorkshire;|
|30,||5,184 Derwent S.M., Leicester;|
|May||2,||5,040 Narborough S.R., Leicester;|
|7,||5,040 Hampstead S.R., Middlesex;|
|7,||5,152 Windsor Delight M., Leicester;|
|7,||5,280 Lyddington S. Max., Lincoln;|
|9,||5,040 Osgathorpe S.R., Leicester;|
|12,||5,120 Brondesbury S.M., Middlesex;|
|21,||5,088 Codicote S.M., Hertford;|
|June||2,||5,088 Tolleshunt D’Arcy Coll. Bob M., Essex;|
|2,||5,024 Esher S.M., Middlesex;|
|4,||5,120 Woburn S.M., Bedfordshire;|
|24,||5,120 Nelson Bob M., Lancashire;|
|27,||5,040 Queniborough S.R., Leicester;|
|30,||5,184 Jarrow S.M., Middlesex;|
|July||8,||5,152 Osgathorpe S.M., Leicester;|
|11,||5,040 Primethorpe S.R., Leicester;|
|14,||5,056 Islington S.M., Middlesex;|
|18,||5,040 Xaymaca S.R., Leicester;|
|Aug.||4,||5,056 Uckfield S.M., Middlesex;|
|Sept.||1,||5,024 Queensferry S.M., Middlesex;|
|3,||5,040 Bilsborrow Imp. Bob M., Lancashire;|
|17,||5,020 Shifnal Alliance M., Shropshire;|
|24,||5,056 Bottesford S.M., Leicester;|
|29,||5,088 Hammersmith S.M., Middlesex;|
|Oct.||3,||5,040 Ravenstone S.R., Leicester;|
|8,||5,040 Tamworth S.R., Stafford;|
|8,||5,184 Sawley S.M., Derbyshire;|
|17,||5,040 Shackerstone S.R., Leicester;|
|27,||5,184 Zeals S.M., Middlesex;|
|29,||5,160 Spliced Plain M. (29 methods), Lancashire;|
|Nov.||5,||5,040 St. Leonard’s Bob M., Oxford Dio.;|
|7,||5,040 Thrussington S.R., Leicester;|
|10,||5,280 Verwood S.M., Middlesex;|
|19,||5,056 Zelah S.M., Leicester;|
|21,||5,040 Verdon S.R., Leicester;|
|26,||5,088 Heywood S.M., Lancashire;|
|Dec.||2,||5,056 The Dragon Major, Oxford Dio.;|
|3,||5,040 Isleworth Litt. Bob R., London County;|
|8,||5,120 Southampton S.M., Middlesex;|
|10,||5,040 Derbyshire S.R., Derbyshire;|
|10,||5,152 Tyrone S.M., Stafford;|
|12,||5,040 Wellsborough S.R., Leicester;|
|17,||5,024 Trumpington S.M., Ely;|
|17,||5,056 Nailsea S.M., Leicester;|
|26,||5,040 Luton S.R., Bedfordshire;|
|26,||5,088 Nettleham S.M., Lincoln;|
|29,||5,184 Clevedon S.M., Middlesex.|
Apr. 9, 22,400 Plain Bob Maj., Essex.
Mr. F. T. Blagrove, in moving the adoption of the report, said the committee would like to draw attention to a decision of the Council that Societies should send records of all first performances to the committee. There were several Societies who did not send in these returns and involved the committee in a great deal of time in tracing the compositions.
Mr. John R. Mayne seconded.
Mr. Brian G. Warwick: Do I take it that every time a first performance or record is rung it has to be sent to the committee?
Mr. Blagrove: It is printed that every Society should send it to the committee.
The report was then adopted.
The Ringing World, June 9, 1961, page 389
The first motion before the Council, which was in the name of Mr. P. A. Corby, seconded by Mr. J. R. Cooper, read:-
“That the conditions required for peals as laid down on page 19 of the Council’s handbook be amended by the addition of the following:-
‘A peal shall be rung with five or more changing bells’.”
Mr. Corby said he was moving the motion as a private member and not on behalf of his Association. The purpose of bringing the motion was to give the Council an opportunity of expressing opinion, since most people left the meeting at Folkestone feeling that they had been rather taken by storm, and they had now heard the minutes of that meeting challenged.
The suggestion that the Council should not recognise peals of Minimus was made on two grounds. One was that it was quite unnecessary and he had yet to learn of any 4-bell tower where there had not been plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere. Similarly, if people felt that they must ring peals of Minimus it would be logical to ring Stedman on three bells, quick and slow alternately.
His main objection was that it was an extremely difficult task to guarantee that one had in effect rung the requisite number of extents to a peal. He had the greatest difficulty in counting up to sevenths and back again. To count 210 or something beyond that without aid - such as putting raisins in one pocket and transferring them to another - was extremely difficult.
Mr. J. R. Cooper, seconding, said the main reason of the motion was to clarify the position.
Mr. W. B. Kynaston said he did not think the extents mounted up to 210 in each case. If Mr. Corby rang Kent Treble Bob Minimus the number would be 105.
DESIRE FOR LOCAL EVENTS
Mr. A. E. Rushton pointed out that 4-bell ringers, if they wanted to celebrate a birthday or a local event, would desire to ring in their own tower. He asked Mr. Corby that if he desired to celebrate his birthday he would not go next door. In this country there were some very good rings of four.
Mr. W. E. Critchley: I think peals of Minimus are just rubbish and I also think we can find plenty of rubbish in higher numbers.
Mr. J. P. Fidler: I think I can say that I have visited more 4-bell towers than anyone. Never have I found in a 4-bell tower a band capable of ringing changes. When peals were rung in 4-bell towers they were rung by tower snatchers.
Mr. John Freeman: In 4-bell towers Mr. Corby will be regarded as a squire [laughter]. I can see little merit in ringing peals on four bells, but there may be occasions when to maintain interest a peal should be rung there. I do not think we should legislate for something that is “a flash in the pan.” I would like to move “the next business.”
The Rev. J. G. M. Scott seconded and said he thought that people who rang these 4-bell peals should be seen by a psychologist.
Mr. F. E. Haynes: I should like to object to a motion being put on the paper and not debated properly.
A vote to pass on to the next business was heavily defeated.
Mr. J. H. Crampion: We don’t want to stop them ringing - in fact we can’t. The point is that we should recognise them.
Mr. F. B. Lufkin: In the Essex Association we started off by deploring these peals, and I was one who deplored them. In the discussion that ensued the majority of members were in favour of encouraging 4-bell ringing. I think the main thing is to encourage Sunday service ringing. If a person rang a 4-bell peal I would be unhappy if it was not recognised. I would like to move an amendment that 4-bell peals be permitted if rung in 4-bell towers only.
Miss Boyle seconded.
Mr. W. G. Wilson supported the amendment for the simple reason that their job was to encourage ringing, and to pass a motion that it should not be recognised would not.
Mr. W. F. Oatway commented that if the amendment was accepted the next step would be only 10-bell peals in 10-bell towers, 8-bell peals in 8-bell towers and six in 6-bell towers.
“LOWERING THE STANDARD”
Mr. John R. Mayne: This raises a far deeper issue. It is a question as to what extent we should attempt to legislate on the activities of the Exercise. There has been a movement to legislate much less and the effect was that quite a lot of sound ringing has ceased. If we accept 4-bell peals, what about 3-bell and 2-bell peals? We have another complication. “The Ringing World” is the official organ. If we accept them they will have to be published in “The Ringing World.” Do we want our “Ringing World” full of peals of Minimus? Personally, I think we are lowering our standards and I am afraid a lot of people think the same. Personally, I shall vote for the resolution.
Mr. B. D, Threlfall: The more years the Council go on talking about peals of Minimus the more people will go on ringing them.
Mr. F. E. Dukes: If you legislate not to accept Minimus then the Associations may lose 4-bell towers.
Mr. A. P. Cannon: If we don’t accept Mr. Corby’s resolution it is a retrograde step. I happen to know the perpetrators. They will be ringing Minimus on rings of five with the tenor behind. There were two such quarter peals of Minimus, and on one occasion the tenor was rung by two people. I am for helping anybody, but not to Minimus.
Mr. C. K. Lewis said he was in favour of Minimus. The first peal of Minimus was rung by two of his pupils in 1938. In the Chester Guild they had one 4-bell tower with ten members, and when they got going they would press for augmentation. If the Council discouraged Minimus they would get 4-bell towers being abandoned and becoming derelict.
Mr. Lewis pointed out that he could ring a peal of Minimus with five or more changing bells. How many rings of 12 have only five or six bells rung on a Sunday? Anyone interested in ringing would move from four or five bells upwards. If any of them had tried ringing Minimus they would find it was darned hard work.
Mr. Philip Gray said that the most important decision reached that day was to accept the Devon Association as members. It was the first time they had accepted a non-change-ringing Society as members. By accepting them they should also accept Minimus.
Mr. J. L. Garner-Hayward: If the effect is to encourage 4-bell ringers I am all against the motion.
BENEFIT OF STUNTERS
Mr. R. G. Blackman: We have our rules as to what shall be a peal. By altering those rules we are going to take a degrading step for the benefit of those who try to ring stunts.
Mr. P. A. Corby: Would the opposers of the motion consider the practical difficulties? As an experienced ringer I find if difficult to count 210.
Mr. Rushton: I can give Mr. Corby the name of a 4-bell tower where they ring the four bells regularly to changes. We might deplore 4-bell ringing but it is not necessarily a stunt.
Mr. G. Dodd: How many 4-bell methods are there?
Mr. F. T. Blagrove: There are 11 plain methods.
The President: I think if you go into it that there are nearly 40.
Mr. A. D. Barker: If we allow this we will be encouraging stunt ringing.
Various attempts were then made to produce an appropriate amendment. Eventually one proposed by Mrs. Staniforth and approved by Mr. Cartwright was presented to the meeting: “Peals of Minimus on tower bells may be recognised in towers that contain four bells only. Peals on four handbells or less shall not be recognised.”
Miss M. Cross seconded this and it was carried by 78 votes to 57.
Mr. R. S. Anderson submitted to the Council the following motion: “That this Council takes note of the present trend of ecclesiastical architecture in that no tower capable of containing a ring of bells to be rung traditionally is incorporated in new churches nor is any provision made for the addition of a tower, and urges the Royal Institute of British Architects and all diocesan authorities to be mindful of the essentially English art of bellringing and ensure in their design for new churches that the voice of the Church through the bells is not lost to future generations. That the Towers and Belfries Committee keep this matter before them.”
Mr. Anderson said new parishes were being created throughout the length and breadth of the land. They were being built in a new style and very few of them had a tower capable of taking a ring of bells. The usual reply to any criticism was that they could not afford a tower. There were churches being put out of use and in some of those churches there were bells. He felt that those bells should be transferred to new churches. He was told that the cost of a light ring of five or six with a 2 cwt. tenor was a little over £1,000. He was not suggesting that bellringing would go out during the next decade, but churches were being built without towers and being provided with electronic equipment which was utterly false. The Central Council for the Care of Churches was also concerned.
Mr. E. H. Edge, seconding, said they felt very strongly about this in North Staffordshire, and they felt that British architects had a big responsibility for this state of affairs. If economies had to be made it was invariably the church tower that came first.
The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow suggested that the motion should be amended to “deplores the present trend of church planning” for “trend of ecclesiastical architecture.”
This was agreed to, and the motion was carried.
The Hon. Secretary said the Council had received three invitations for next year. The Norwich Diocesan Association had invited the Council to Great Yarmouth, the Salisbury Diocesan Guild to Salisbury in 1962 or the following year, and the Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association to Cardiff in 1962. The Council was last at Norwich in 1946, in Salisbury in 1923 and intended to visit Cardiff in 1940 but could not because of the war.
Mr. F. E. Haynes moved that the Council meet in London. It was high time they went to London.
The Council decided by a very substantial majority to visit Cardiff.
Mr. R. S. Anderson, said before the Council met at Cardiff Mr. E. H. Lewis would have celebrated his 80th birthday. He moved that the Council extended to him heartiest congratulations and best wishes for that 80th anniversary.
Mr. E. H. Lewis: I can only say thank you very much. It is 53 years since I was first elected. I was not able to get to all the meetings during the first World War. I thank you for your good wishes and the friendliness you have always shown to me.
Mr. Anderson then asked the Council to show its appreciation to the Chairman in the usual way. Hearty applause for Mr. Sharpe followed.
Dr. Layton said a short time ago the secretary of his Society received a letter asking for contributions to the fund for a presentation to the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the annual meeting of the London University Society it was decided to contribute to the Fund. He asked where contributions should be sent.
Mr. Barnett replied that secretaries should tend their contributions to him and he would send them in one lump sum.
The Ringing World, June 9, 1961, page 390
During 1960 the work of the Towers and Belfries Committee again increased. Advice on bell restoration was given in 67 towers, nine more than last year. They may be analysed geographically thus:-
Berkshire 4, Buckinghamshire 12, Breconshire 1, Cardiganshire 3, Cheshire 5, Cornwall 2, Essex 2, Gloucestershire 2, Hampshire 2, Herefordshire 1, Huntingdonshire 1, Lincolnshire 5, Northamptonshire 11, Oxfordshire 5, Pembrokeshire 1, Somerset 7, Surrey 2, Wiltshire 1, Yorkshire 1. To these may be added one enquiry from Scotland, where advice was given on the recasting of a turret bell.
In seven towers advice, was given on recasting, in one tower the installation of a new bell. Thirty towers sought advice on rehanging, 28 on the repair of existing gear and 12 on sound control and improvement.
No outstanding or unusual problems were reported by members of the Committee. Mr. Clarke advised on the sale of the bells of St. Michael’s, Chester, details of which have been reported in “The Ringing World.” Mr. Austin was disturbed to find in one tower that “restoration” had been carried out by enthusiastic amateurs without professional advice. Many of the requests for advice came as the direct result of quinquennial surveys by architects, and we foresee much bell restoration in the near future. We find many towers in a neglected state, with little or no routine maintenance work being carried out, and urge all Guilds and Associations to emphasise to their members the need for regular inspection, adjustment and lubrication of bell gear.
The Council’s handbook on the Preservation and Repair of Bells, Bellframes and Gear will soon need reprinting. We recommend that a new edition be printed incorporating such revision as the Committee may decide, and that the text of the joint statement issued by the Central Council for the Care of Churches and our Council clauses (b) to (h) as approved at our meeting last year be incorporated in the new edition. After further discussion between representatives of both Councils, clause (a) has been amended as follows:-
“(a) Bells cast before 1600, if sound, should not (as a general rule) be recast. As such bells are of archæological importance, they should be preserved intact, incorporated in a ring or hung as single bells. If such a bell, though sound, is of poor tone or is cracked, advice should be sought from the Central Council for the Care of Churches as to whether it is of sufficient interest to justify its retention in the church or in a museum as a complete bell, or whether it is enough to preserve the crown, canons and inscription band, and recast the remainder. Permission to recast cracked bells should only be sought if adequate proposals are adopted for mounting and display of the crown, canons and inscription band in the church.”
We recommend that this clause be incorporated in the new edition of the handbook.
(Signed) FREDERICK SHARPE (Convener),
J. W. CLARKE,
F. E. COLLINS,
E. H. LEWIS,
W. A. OSBORN,
J. G. M. SCOTT,
The President in moving the adoption said that since the report had been typed they had given advice in regard to a Devon tower. Mr. Scott said the incumbent took not the slightest notice. As well as members of the Committee there were others who gave advice, such as Mr. Ernest Morris. They did not deprecate the work of others.
Mr. F. E. Collins, seconding, said the matter of bell restorations was still very brisk in the South of England. Another matter was sound control, and they were getting nearly as many enquiries for this as for restorations. Sound control had to be gone into carefully because sound modification could be only a short step to a distorted musical effect outside. He had received the following letter:-
“Our bells are rather noisy outside. We want to do something to deaden them down. We have some sheets of galvanised iron - would that be suitable?”
Mr. E.H. Lewis, speaking on “firing” of bells, said that if all the bells were roped to one side they would get the maximum force, “Firing” took place slowly, and because of that they were not likely to get the tower down. Each case should be considered on its merits.
The report was adopted and authority given to the Committee to reprint the Council’s handbook on the “Preservation of Bells.”
Mr. G. W. Biddulph, chairman of the North Staffs Association, said this was the first time the Council had been in their district, and they need only to be there for a short time to realise that they had a wonderful industry and Stoke was the world centre of the pottery industry. Members had received a souvenir ashtray, and they would have liked to give the Council a further token of their industry but unfortunately the Central Council had no permanent headquarters. They had therefore decided to make a presentation of a Doulton figure to Mrs. Sharpe, and asked the President to accept it on her behalf.
Thanking Mr. Biddulph, the President said this was a delightful surprise and he knew Mrs. Sharpe would like to have permanent possession of it.
Mr. C. W. Pipe, who is back on furlough from Melbourne, was asked to give a résumé of ringing in Australia. He said Australians were very interested in what the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers were doing. He remembered in 1958 going to Sydney, when a young ringer came up to him and asked if George Fearn was a professional. [Laughter.]
Over in the West they had Perth, where in the Great Adventure in 1934 the visitors could not ring. Until last year the tower was recognised as unsafe, but round about Christmas an architect and civil engineer considered that the bells could be swung again. Perth was 2,100 miles from Melbourne.
The next centre was Adelaide, 800 miles to the east of Perth, where there was a fine ring of eight at St. Peter’s Cathedral, with a tenor 41 cwt. in C. He would like to pay tribute to the work of Enid Lloyd Roberts, who for two years travelled 70 miles each Sunday for Bob Doubles. The band were now ringing Stedman Triples and man for man were the best band in Australia.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, his tower, had the only 12 outside the United Kingdom, and they could say that ringing there at the end of last year was at its peak. At Melbourne they could ring Grandsire and Stedman Caters and Bob Royal. There was an octave at St. Patrick’s (R.C.) Cathedral which was cast by Murphy, of Dublin. They rang there on the first Sunday in each month.
The next centre of importance was Sydney, 600 miles away, where there were nine or ten rings of bells. Unfortunately they did not do as much as they could. They also had two eights at Hobart and other rings at Yass, Ballarat and Maryborough.
He made an appeal to the British bell-founders to send a representative to Australia as he was certain there was plenty of business. The Dutch Consul had approached him on behalf of Dutch bellfounders.
The second point was the possibility of a Great Adventure the Second. It would be a very nice outing and do a welter of good to the ringers of Australia. All the change-ringers in Australia take “The Ringing World,” and they long for the day of Great Adventure II.
Mrs. Richardson, as the only one of the Great Adventure party now living, said everywhere they rang they were received with great kindness.
The Hon. Secretary reported that there was a record attendance of 147, against 144 last year. Details:-
|34 fully represented||83|
|20 partly represented||45||29|
|5 not represented||5|
VOTE OF THANKS
The President proposed a vote of thanks to all who had made the meeting such a success. He especially mentioned the Lord Mayor, Dr. Reeve, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Archdeacon of Stoke, the Rector of Stoke (who entertained the Council to breakfast), Mr. G. W. Biddulph, Mr. R. S. Anderson, and Mr. E. H. Edge for the local arrangements, and also incumbents and tower keepers.
The meeting was followed by a civic reception and tea, at which the guests were received by the Lord Mayor.
A social evening was afterwards held at the Grand Hotel.
The Ringing World, June 9, 1961, pages 391 to 392