The Central Council



There are few more beautiful areas of its kind than the Wye Valley in the spring and early summer, and this alone gave pleasure to the many Central Council members and other ringing visitors when they converged on Hereford for the 79th Annual Meeting over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

There was a record attendance of 180 members present, the previous one being at London in 1972 when 177 attended. It must be many years, too, since all affiliated associations have been present, as was the case this year.

The overall success of the meeting was, we believe, the warmth of the welcome and the detailed organisation of the host Guild. The organising committee of the Hereford D.G. may now feel at ease and very satisfied that the tremendous efforts in fund-raising and attention to detail, together with the programme of ringing events were amply rewarded by the complimentary comments heard on all sides. Nothing had been left to chance, and everyone did their job efficiently.

Fortunately there are plenty of bells to ring - mainly sixes and eights - but the residents of villages and towns are accustomed to their bells ringing at peculiar times, for the well-known Hereford Course at Easter-time has trained them. The tours and peals, the visits and services, were all well supported.

The Sunday Open Meeting, with the “Ringing World” as the subject for debate, attracted a record attendance of well over 200, extra seats having to be brought in, and with Mr. John Freeman (immediate past president) in the chair was, we believe, an interesting and useful evening, well spent, with much learned on all sides.

The Bank Holiday Monday, although rain fell heavily in the afternoon, was most enjoyable, and in the evening at the Park Hall Ballroom, Wormelow, about 300 guests and visitors enjoyed a delightful dinner, the formal speeches of welcome by the Hereford D.G. Master (Mr. John Eisel), the Lord Bishop of Hereford (Rt. Rev. J. R. G. Eastaugh) and the Mayor of Hereford (Cclr. W. A. Vowles) being brief, amusing and very sincere.

The president of the Central Council (Mr. E. A. Barnett) in similar vein expressed thanks to the Master, the Bishop, the Mayor and especially to the organising committee and members who had laid on the dinner and entertained the Council members. The evening was a great social occasion and the extensive accommodation was ideal for such an event.

The service of Holy Communion in the Cathedral on Tuesday morning was well attended, the Dean of Gloucester (V. Rev. Gilbert Thurlow) assisting at the service. Well before the assembly time of 10.15 for the business meeting, many members of the Council had assembled and the observers’ gallery was crowded. The hall was well-lit, the public address system working well, and with the president, the vice-president (Rev. John Scott) and the secretary (Mr. C. A. Wratten) all present, the meeting started two minutes early!

Generally all went smoothly and the agenda was dealt with expeditiously, but thoroughly. At 12.30, the item on the adoption of the various committee reports being reached, the president called the meeting off for the lunch break, resuming promptly at 2 p.m.

The afternoon session was a little prolonged, several of the printed details being supplemented by the addition of verbal reports, proposals for the future and lengthy verbiage, not strictly appertaining to the report being proposed for adoption, but as time was not pressing the chairman did not intervene.

The meeting was closed at 4.50 p.m., following the usual votes of thanks, and soon the bells in the city could be heard again. Many of the Council members and visitors returned home the same evening whilst others continued to enjoy the hospitality of friends, visited beauty spots or just lazed around.

It was, we believe, one of the easiest and happiest meetings for many years, and as such encourages the officers and committees to work together just that little bit harder to further the objects of the Exercise - the glory of God and the welfare of the Church and its ringing population.

Mr. William T. Cook was elected by ballot to the important office of librarian and a library committee elected. This step was taken following the sudden death last February of the former librarian, Mr. Frederick Sharpe, and to whom many tributes were paid.

The 1977 meeting will be at Derby, but the actual date has yet to be decided. The Bank Holiday weekend is to coincide with the Silver Jubilee of the Queen’s accession, when celebrations will be taking place. It is to be announced in our columns when a decision by the Administration Committee is made.

The Ringing World, June 11, 1976, page 497

Central Council Meeting


The Park Hall, Wormelow, about three miles out of Hereford, is a magnificent centre for dances, dinners and other entertainment. The entrance drive is wide and there is plenty of parking space, whilst the rockery and gardens in the front of the building are magnificent and look very beautiful when floodlit.

The Hereford Diocesan Guild arranged for the civic and ecclesiastical reception to be held at the Park Hall on the Monday evening and nearly 300 attended. In spite of the large number there was plenty of room and the well-lit and excellently-planned dining room was gaily decorated, the guests and visitors being entertained by the Hereford Guild members.

The principal guests were received with acclamation and the Dean of Gloucester (V. Rev. Gilbert Thurlow) said grace. Seated at the top table were:-

Mr. John Eisel (Master) and Mrs. Eisel, the Bishop of Hereford and Mrs. J. R. G. Eastaugh, the Mayor of Hereford (Ccl. W. A. Vowles), Mr. Edwin A. Barnett (president, Central Council) and Mrs. Barnett, Rev. John Scott (vice-president, C.C.) and Mrs. Scott, Mr. Cyril A. Wratten (secretary, C.C.) and Mrs. Wratten, Mr. John Freeman (past president, C.C.), Miss Elizabeth Sharpe, Mr. George Cousins (secretary, Hereford Guild) and Mrs. Cousins, Mr. and Mrs Fred Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. Reg Powell, and Messrs. Austin Wingate and Frank Sims.

Following a pleasant and well-served meal, the Master welcomed the Central Council members on behalf of the Hereford D.G. and said it was almost 50 years since the Council had visited Hereford. He then introduced the Bishop who, during the course of a short but amusing speech, spoke of the 1,300th celebration of the Diocese and of his own efforts in the belfry many years before. He hoped that the Council would not leave it so long before returning to Hereford.

On the civic side, the Mayor of Hereford said how delighted he and his fellow councillors were to have the Central Council attending and holding their annual conference. He instanced the many attractions to be visited and also spoke of the countryside which was always beautiful, but at its best in Spring.

Mr. Edwin Barnett, responding on behalf of the Central Council, said that only a few weeks after the last Hereford meeting, this article appeared in the R.W. of 13 July, 1928:-

“A company of ringers who were going to visit the city had been offered some weeks before, through the local company, the opportunity of ringing with them for morning service at the Cathedral. Judge of their astonishment therefore when on arrival they found that the Dean, on hearing of the proposed visit, had not only forbidden that they should be permitted to ring, but had even debarred them from going up into the tower.”

During the laughter which followed this statement, there was renewed loud laughter when Mr. Barnett added: “It was not the Dean of Hereford who debarred them - it was the Dean of Gloucester!” (Dean Gilbert Thurlow applauded loudly this statement!)

Continuing, Mr. Barnett said that the Diocese of Hereford was founded by the 6th Bishop of Rochester - who had been driven out from there. He also gave several other interesting and amusing facts and wished the Hereford Diocese a successful commemorative year. Mr. Barnett also thanked the Mayor for his attendance and welcome, and as it was one of his (the Mayor’s) first official functions, expressed the best wishes of all to him for a happy term in office.

Adding the thanks of all to the Master and the organising committee for their organisation, hard work and the members on their generosity in entertaining the Council members, the president sent good wishes to Mr. T. Cooper (a member of the committee) who had had to enter hospital.

After the formal proceedings had ended the diners spent a pleasant hour or so discussing a variety of subjects and enjoying each other’s company.

The Ringing World, June 18, 1976, page 517

Central Council Meeting


“The best attended open meeting since open meetings started six years ago,” was how the meeting chairman, Mr. John Freeman, put it in his opening remarks. And the ballroom at The Green Dragon Hotel, Hereford, was certainly packed with well over 200 people. Mr. Freeman said that he was surprised that it had taken the Administrative Committee six years to choose The Ringing World as the subject of the open meeting, since our journal is vital to the health of the Exercise.

The first speaker was Mr. Wilfrid G. Wilson, chairman of the Ringing World Committee, who began by introducing the other members of the committee, each of whom stood up to be recognised: Mr. Denis A. Bayles (Durham and Newcastle Association), Mr. Howard W. Egglestone (Suffolk Guild), Mrs. Angela Newing (University of Bristol Society) and Mr. Richard F. B. Speed (Honorary Member). The sixth member, Mrs. J. S. King (Llandaff and Monmouth Association) was unable to be present. Mr. Wilson talked about the committee meetings held two or three times a year, usually at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The meetings were mostly occupied with financial matters (and there would be a meeting after this open meeting to consider the printer’s request for a further increase of about £2,700 per year). The committee was grateful to the Council officers who often attended its meetings, to the treasurer, Mr. Douglas Hughes, the accountant, Mr. David Tate, and especially to our editor, Mr. Charles W. Denyer, who everyone was indeed glad to see tonight after his recent illness [applause]. Our editor had been told that he must take things easily in future. He was to give up his chasing around the country to meetings, and must eventually consider retirement. A new editor would have to be found before too long. Committee members would be pleased to attend functions in the editor’s stead.


During 1975, continued Mr. Wilson, 51 newspapers and 237 periodicals closed down. The Ringing World, which had begun in 1911, had kept going ever since, and its cost compared favourably with other specialist magazines. Ringers could help by always submitting material for publication on time, by sending peal and quarter peal reports in the correct style, by writing the names on the back of group photographs, and, above all, by trying to increase the circulation. From a figure of almost 6,000 a year-and-a-half ago, the circulation had dropped to less than 5,400, and it was vital for the future of the journal that this figure should be increased.

The editor then gave a description of the various printing processes involved in the production of the Ringing World, and the recent introduction by the printers of the technique of offset lithography currently in use for the production of Ringing World covers. This process, which results in clearer printing, is also cheaper because printers blocks are no longer needed for the reproduction of pictures. Mr. Denyer described the weekly production timetable, giving details of all its stages. A large number of examples were passed round the hall, including the metal offset litho sheets (which someone remarked would be useful for producing simulated thunderclaps to drown hecklers in the later discussion!).


An informative display of photographs taken around the office and press room was on show, and the editor expressed his gratitude to the staff at Seven Corners Press for their help and co-operation in preparing this display material. He also praised the work of the new office manager, Miss Wynne Bartlett, whose duties included opening and sorting the 60 to 100 letters which arrived every day, as well as dealing with the advertisements and other financial matters. Mr. Denyer’s speech was interspersed, as usual, with entertaining anecdotes. He found the footnotes to peals and quarter peals most amusing, and quoted a few, including a quarter peal “Rung to congratulate our tower secretary, X, on the birth of a daughter by all the members of the tower”.

Mr. Denyer then referred to his own health. A new editor would be needed some time in the future, and life would be a bit more dull when he was unable to attend meetings and functions throughout the country. He concluded by re-emphasizing the need for improved circulation figures to maintain the Ringing World’s viability.

The discussion which followed included praise for the journal and its producers from several speakers, as well as various suggestions for improving the finances. Rev. M. C. C. Melville suggested a fortnightly production, to which Mr. Wilson replied that this had been considered by the committee but turned down. The overheads would be about the same as at present with only half the financial return, as the Ringing World would still have to employ an editor and keep an office, and advertisements could be out of date before publication, which would further reduce revenue. Mr. Melville also wondered whether public libraries could be persuaded to take the journal. The committee agreed to investigate this, but Mr. Bayles felt that the Ringing World already went into too many “private libraries” so that the number of readers was far greater than the number of subscribers. What was needed was more subscribers. The introduction of more adverts was suggested, and it was felt that some increase might be possible, although few enterprises other than those connected with ringers and ringing would wish to use the journal in this way. Dr. John C. Baldwin wanted further details of the relative costs to the Ringing World of subscriptions through newsagents and by post, which Mr. Wilson promised to supply. Mr. David House said that, since it costs subscribers an extra £3 a year to take it by post, he would be willing, if it helped the Ringing World, to have it from the newsagent and give the journal the extra £3 as a donation.


There was discussion on charging for peals when published in their present form (otherwise they should be printed in quarter peal style), and charging for footnotes, before Dr. John Baldwin expressed his view that the number and quality of comments during the meeting had been fairly trivial, suggesting that most people were thoroughly pleased with the journal and liked it every week. This view was supported, by Mrs. Jill Staniforth who, as a previous member of the Ringing World Committee, said that she fully understood the difficulties that the committee faced. She proposed that a collection for the Ringing World be taken at the door. (This resulted in a donation to the journal of £28.).

In his closing remarks, Mr. John Freeman said that he considered the Ringing World to be unique. Its readers had a considerable voice in its conduct, and comments were always welcomed by the editor although it was essential that he maintained his independence. Mr. Freeman was sure that the committee would take note of all the helpful points that had been raised.

The Ringing World, June 25, 1976, page 535

All aboard: after the lunch period during the Monday coach tour of Central Council members, a few stragglers arrive and leisurely enter the coach. See story on p. 559.
Ringers entering coach

The Ringing World, July 2, 1976, page 553

Central Council Meeting


As is customary on Bank Holiday Monday, the host Guild organises peals, motor tours and a coach trip, and the Hereford D.G. certainly “went to town” for the benefit of their guests and visitors. Tower-grabbers were everywhere, but generally the organised bands were able to travel around comfortably, although the heavy rain which fell during the afternoon did dampen certain parties who were touring.

The coach trip, however, was not in any way impaired, and the ringing, plus the interesting and entrancing scenery, gave pleasure to the 30 or so regulars who enjoy this particular mode of travel and the company of fellow-ringers and their respective partners. The eight bells of Bromyard were first to be heard, and then into Shropshire to enjoy the ring of eight at St. Mary Magdalene in Bridgnorth. Here the town centre had been closed for a sponsored event by the local inhabitants, and it took the charms of the organiser (Austin Wingate) to persuade the ladies who barred the way before the coach was permitted to pass through.

Lunch was taken in a well-known picnic and beauty spot - Long Wynde - in the Carding Mill Valley, where the sheep wander around hoping for tit-bits and attention. A notice on the cafe door reads: “Don’t feed the sheep outside” and one wag added: “No, bring them in!”.

At Church Stretton a couple of additional car-loads of ringers were present, but the first touch was not particularly well-struck. Someone suggested excessive indulgence at lunch was the reason, but later the ringing returned to the finer quality which was the general standard for the day.

The magnificent church at Ludlow was admired and studied by those who felt unable to climb the many steps (163?) up to the ringing chamber, and many gems were found in the chancel and chapels. The final touch of Bristol at the end of the 40 minutes allowed was probably the best of the day, and even the rain and the fact that one West Country ringer had to be “found” (a lovely cup of tea, he said!) did not take away any of the pleasures.

At St. Andrew’s, Presteigne, the final tower, all who wished had a pull, although one or two of the “elders” had had enough and spent the time chatting in the church or on the coach. The journey back was wet, but as the general feeling was that “we need the rain” - nobody complained. It would have made little difference had they done so. One earnest gardener said he hoped it was raining on his garden on the Hampshire/Surrey borders.

All were back at their temporary residences in time to prepare for the events of the evening - the Civic Reception and Dinner. It was a delightful climax to a happy day spent in genial company, and one which always pleases.

Thanks were given wholeheartedly to Austin for his arrangements by those attending who were:-

Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett, Mr. and Mrs. Bagworth, Messrs. J. Dunwoody, F. Perrens, R. Wetenhall, W. G. Wilson, C. W. Denyer, W. Boucher, D. Threlfall, J. Pryor, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, Messrs. R. W. Percy. J. Hartless, J. G. Prior, K. Arthur, Miss Hilary Dash, Messrs. M. Bowers, R. Curtis, D. E. Potter, E. Hudson, D. A. Bayles, M. Wooley, W. Theobald, W. Simmonds, and Mr. and Mrs. W. Thompsett; and the organiser, Austin Wingate.

The Ringing World, July 2, 1976, page 559

Central Council Meeting

Among the groups in the headquarters hotel at Hereford who were enjoying the weekend were two well-known people who said they came early to visit relatives. When asked where these relatives lived, the reply came: “Oh, they are in the churchyard - our ancestors!”. It seems one part of the family originated from Hereford before moving to the north-west of England.

* * *

Unfortunately, a proper gavel was not available for the president to use at the meeting on Tuesday. However, order was kept by the use of a carpenters mallet - a battered one, but serviceable.

* * *

An apology was given for Peter Border, who promptly stood up in the hall and said he had “made the meeting in the end”. “Oh, he’s here - I couldn’t see him!” was the comment, which brought laughter, for Peter’s size is unmistakable.

* * *

It was unfortunate that Miss Elizabeth Sharpe, of Launton, who was at the reception the evening before, was absent from the business meeting on Tuesday. The tributes to her father, Frederick, were manifold and sincere.

* * *

When a legal point was raised during the debate, an appeal to Mr. William Cartwright brought the response that he had not received notice of the question and could not therefore prefer judgement. However, Mr. John Camp rose to the occasion and gave his opinion.

* * *

“We must be careful not to throw out the bath water with the baby - or is it the baby with the bath water?” queried one speaker amidst laughter.

* * *

It was noticeable that after the luncheon break the effect the rather monotonous voices of one or two speakers had on the assembly. Nodding heads, closing eyes and drooping mouths were observed in several places! As one observer remarks, it was a remarkable cure for insomnia.

The Ringing World, July 9, 1976, page 577

Three officers of the Salisbury D.G. at the Reception for Central Council members: Mr. Ross Robertson and his wife Judith, with Mr. E. J. Hitchins.
Ross and Judith Robertson, Eric Hitchins

The Ringing World, July 9, 1976, page 581

The secretary of the Central Council, Mr. Cyril Wratten, with the Bishop of Hereford (Rt. Rev. J. R. G. Eastaugh) at the Civic Reception for the Council.
Cyril Wratten, John Eastaugh

The Ringing World, July 9, 1976, page 584

Central Council Meeting, 1976, Official Report (Part I)

The second session of the 29th Council - the Council’s 79th annual meeting - was held on Tuesday 1 June, in the Town Hall at Hereford. The chair was taken by the Council’s President, Mr E A Barnett.

The meeting was opened with prayer, led by the Revd J G M Scott, Vice-President of the Council.

The Secretary (Mr C A Wratten) reported that 65 societies were affiliated to the Council, with 174 representative members. The Rules provided for 24 Honorary members, and there were nine Life members. The Council’s membership thus stood at 207; a decrease of one since the last meeting. There were no vacancies.

Only one subscription, that of the S David’s Guild, had not been paid.

Apologies for absence were received from Messrs W Ayre, N Chaddock, J E Collins, T Cooper, J W Cotton, J G Gipson, N V Harding, J Jelley, R J Johnston, D McEndoo, T Page, H N Pitstow, G W Randall, D Sloman, P Taylor, M J Uphill, and T W White.


The President welcomed eight new members, saying that he hoped they would find their membership of the Council both enjoyable and profitable. They were Messrs A F Scholfield and M Thomson (Chester), G W Simmonds (Devonshire Guild), B Harris (Stafford), P T Hurcombe and D D Smith (Sussex), J Hartless (Winchester & Portsmouth), and D E Potter (Yorkshire).

Two other members, Messrs D Hird (Derby) and R Percy (Sussex), who had joined the Council in 1975 but had not been present at the meeting last year in Lincoln, were similarly welcomed.


Two nominations had been received for the office of Honorary Librarian, Mr W Butler (Oxford DG) and Mr W T Cook (College Youths); a short biographical note on each had been circulated to members at the start of the meeting.

Proposing Mr Butler, Mr W G Wilson (Life Member) said that his love of books, and of ringing books in particular, was well known. As Librarian, he would be fully supported by his wife, Jennifer. And although it was easy to say that London would be a more central place to hold the Library than Newbury, most of the Library’s work was done by post. Mr J Freeman (Life Member) formally seconded the nomination.

Mr B D Threlfall (Cambridge University), proposing Mr Cook, said that he had known him for a number of years: he was a past master of the Cambridge University Guild, had worked in a law firm, and now taught modern languages. As a member of the former Library Committee, he was well-qualified for the post; he also lived near London, which would be an advantage. And as a bachelor, he would not have to worry about what a wife thought (laughter). Seconding, Mr P A Corby (Kent) said that he knew Mr Cook through the College Youths, where he had done sterling work in caring for that society’s property. His lucid writing, especially on historical matters, was known to readers of “The Ringing World”.

Following precedent, the election was by ballot, tellers being provided by the Hereford Diocesan Guild. Mr Cook received 101 votes, and Mr Butler 67. Mr Cook was consequently declared elected, and joined the Council’s officers on the platform. In welcoming him, the President expressed the Council’s gratitude to both candidates for being prepared to undertake an onerous task (applause).


Mr G A Dawson (Sherwood Youths) said that it was not always clear why honorary members had been elected. He felt that the purpose was to have people who had something to contribute to the work of the Council. He hoped proposers would amplify their nominations (hear, hear).

The seven retiring members were each proposed: Mr and Mrs G R Drew, who handle the Council’s publications, by Mr W G Wilson, seconded by Mr F Dukes (Irish); Mr C W Denyer, the editor of “The Ringing World” by Mr D Hughes (honorary), seconded by Mr H W Rogers (London County); Mrs M J Wilkinson, as the secretary of the Committee for Redundant Bells and the member most involved in the detailed work of that committee, by Mr J Freeman, seconded by Mr F Reynolds (Lancashire); Mr R H Dove, author of the “Bellringer’s Guide to the Church Bells of Britain” by Mr F N Golden (Norwich), seconded by Mr N S Bagworth (Police); Mr F A White, whose experience as a bell-ringer was needed by the Council, by the Revd J G M Scott (Devonshire Guild), seconded by Mr W A Theobald (N American); and Mr G W Pipe, who has over a number of years built up a close relationship between the Council and ringers overseas, by Mr D Beresford (Cumberland Youths), seconded by Mr J R Mayne (honorary).

In addition, Mr W E Critchley was proposed by Mr W F Moreton (Yorkshire), who said that he had been convener and chairman of the Peals Collection Committee for the past 20 years but had resigned as a Yorkshire Association representative on moving from the county in 1975; Mr S Jenner (Kent) seconded. Mr D E Sibson (Cumberland Youths) proposed, and Mr D Hughes seconded, Mr W H Dobbie, who had looked after the Carter Ringing Machine for many years and had until 1975 been one of its trustees.

Mr H W Rogers congratulated the proposers on the way in which they had made their nominations, and hoped that this would serve as a precedent for the future. He enquired whether there was any possibility of accepting all nine nominees as honorary members. The President said that the Rules did not allow it.

The election was by ballot, and later in the meeting the President announced that the successful candidates were, in alphabetical order, Messrs W E Critchley, C W Denyer, W H Dobbie, G R Drew, Mrs S M Drew, Mr G W Pipe, and Mrs M J Wilkinson.


The Council stood in silence while the President read the list of past and serving members who had died since the Council last met: Messrs W A Osborn (honorary member 1948-74, died 8 July 1975); B A Sollis (E Derbys & W Notts 1960-63, died 20 Nov 1975); T M Roderick (Llandaff & Monmouth 1951-75, died 1 Feb 1976); F Sharpe (honorary 1939-54, Life 1954-76, President of the Council 1957-63, died 7 Feb 1976); Canon C E Wigg (Oxford Univ 1935-54, died 8 March 1976); E C Birkett (Police 1957-65, died 19 March 1976); and E Guise (Gloucs & Bristol 1925-28 and 1932-47, died in May 1976).

The Revd M C C Melville (Universities) said a short prayer.

The President said that although it was no longer the custom to pay tribute at the annual meeting to the work of past members, he felt justified in breaking convention by referring to the great amount of valuable work done by the late Mr Sharpe for ringing, which had been recognised throughout the Exercise.


The Secretary moved the adoption of the Minutes of the 1975 meeting at Lincoln, as published in “The Ringing World” of 30 April 1976 and circulated to members: Mr D E Sibson seconded.

Mr J E Camp (Oxford Univ) pointed out that the Minutes omitted any reference to the successful motion of next business that he had proposed during the debate on the Library Committee’s report. Subject to the addition of such a reference, the Minutes were then agreed. There were no matters arising that were not covered elsewhere in the agenda.


Since its last meeting the Council has lost one of its best-known members. Frederick Sharpe, FSA, who died on 7 February, had served on the Council since 1939, was a former President, and was the Council’s Librarian at the time of his sudden death. His work on a number of committees is mentioned in the reports that follow, and he was in addition widely known as an author and lecturer. The loss to the Council, as to ringing in general, is a severe one.

There have been no other losses by death of any serving members during the year, although eight members have resigned their positions as representatives. These are: Messrs J G Hallett and B Jones, both of the Chester Diocesan Guild; P H D Jones (Devonshire Guild); C F W Eyre (Archd of Stafford); G Francis and J R Norris (Sussex); W T Perrins (Winchester & Portsmouth); and W E Critchley (Yorkshire). Mr Perrins was a member of the Methods and Peal Compositions committee, and Mr Critchley, chairman of the Peal Compositions Committee, a post he had held since 1957.

In September, the Council was registered with the Charity Commissioners as a charity. The Commissioners accepted the Council’s Rules without comment as evidence of our charitable status, and back-dated registration to 1 June 1971, when the Rules were adopted. The Chief Inspector of Taxes (Charities Division) has subsequently confirmed that a refund of tax paid since that date is due, and negotiations to agree the sum involved are in hand.

In October I was informed that the late Miss Kathleen A Hill, of Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, had left £100 to the Council in her will. Although Miss Hill was not, I understand, herself a ringer, she had always taken a very close interest in the church and ringers at S Michael’s, Bishop’s Stortford. The Administrative Committee subsequently decided that this generous bequest should be devoted towards the upkeep of the library.

Throughout the year I have continued to receive a steady stream of enquiries from members of the general public on a variety of topics, from American tourists who want to see ringing to a parish wanting a form of service for a bell dedication. Particularly noticeable have been the number of requests for information about recordings of bells and ringing.

Cyril A Wratten, Honorary Secretary.

Mr C A Wratten, in proposing adoption of his report, made some slight amendments to the version that had been circulated to members, and added that negotiations for a refund of tax were continuing. In reply to a question from Mr I H Oram (Kent) he confirmed that most of any refund would go to “The Ringing World” account, although a small sum would be due to the Publications Fund.

Mr D E Sibson seconded, and the report was adopted.


The President said that consideration of “The Ringing World” accounts would be deferred until the “Ringing World” Committee’s report was considered later in the meeting, and that adoption of the Council’s accounts would be dealt with then. In the meantime the Secretary commented on the other accounts. Dealing with the General Fund, he said that since the North American Guild’s subscription was paid in dollars it was the only one that increased from year to year, matching the fall in the pound (laughter). There had been a certain amount of non-recurring expenditure during 1975, amounting to some £100 - mainly for printing, but also by the Towers and Belfries Committee - and as a result he was not proposing to seek an increase in subscriptions this year. One, would however almost certainly be sought at next year’s meeting.

Turning to the Clement Glenn Bequest account, he said that the most significant feature was the large expenditure on behalf of the Education Committee for the purchase of leaflets, filmstrips and records. A certain amount of this expenditure had already been recouped from sales during the year.

There were no questions or comments.


As Mr Sharpe had died before being able to write a report on his work as Librarian during 1975, no formal report could be presented to the Council. Mr W G Wilson had, however, with the permission of Mr Sharpe’s daughter been through the papers at Launton, and made a verbal report.

At Lincoln, he said the Council agreed inter alia to make a grant for the year of £50 to the Librarian for maintenance and equipment Almost half of this sum had been spent on rebinding six books and a further six, now at the binders, would take care of the remainder of this vote.

As far as he could determine, about 30 ringers borrowed books during 1975. Many others had visited the library to consult its contents and, perhaps as important, to call on Frederick Sharpe’s immense experience. They, and the members of the Library Committee at their meetings, had enjoyed the hospitality of Fred and his daughter Elizabeth.

Mr E C Shepherd (Life member) added that Mr Sharpe had also seen his “Church Bells of Herefordshire,” a remarkable achievement, through the press.

The Revd J G M Scott explained briefly what was to become of the late Mr Sharpe’s unique collection of material relating to bells. Under his will it had been left in the hands of five trustees to be kept together for the use of those interested in bells and bell history. The trustee’s main problem was to find a suitable home for the collection, which included books, manuscripts and other documents, bells and handbells, plaster casts, and various other items. A museum might well find the books an embarrassment, while a library would have difficulty in accommodating the hardware. He asked that any suggestions for a suitable home should be sent to him or to one of the other trustees - Miss E Sharpe, Miss E M Bliss, Dr J C Baldwin, and Dr T G Pett.

The President thanked Mr Wilson and the Revd J Scott for their statements.


Two demonstrations have been given during the year, one to the Cheshunt Ringers on 16 March when 14 people attended, and the second on 17 May with 17 people from Selly Oak, Birmingham.

During both demonstrations the machine worked well.

Douglas Hughes, Trustee.

The report was adopted on the proposition of Mr D Hughes, seconded by Mrs O D Barnett (honorary). Mr Hughes and Mr W H Dobbie were thanked for their work with the machine.

A little later in the meetings after the results of the ballot for honorary members had been announced and it was known that Mr Dobbie had been elected, Mr B D Threlfall proposed, and Mr D E Sibson seconded, the election of Mr Dobbie as a second trustee of the Carter machine. This was agreed.


Mr P A Corby proposed on behalf of the Administrative Committee that Rule 12(iv) should be amended to read:

“The other committees shall consist of not more than five elected members unless a greater number shall be decided by the Council before nominations are accepted. Members shall be chosen by ballot if nominations exceed the agreed membership. Each of these committees shall have power to co-opt not more than two members of the Council.”

He said that last year the Council had run into some difficulty when electing committees. This had been considered by the Administrative Committee, which did not wish to remove the Council’s right to elect whom it wished to a committee. A committee’s chairman was in the best position to judge how large a committee was required and could if necessary ask the Council to agree to a larger one before seeking nominations. But the norm should be no more than five members. Mrs O D Barnett formally seconded

There was little discussion of the motion’s main tenor - although a suggestion by Mr F E Dukes that exceptions should be specified for such committees as the Towers and Belfries was rejected by the President - but some discussion followed on when such a change in Rule should take effect.

An amendment, that the Rule should be amended with effect from the Council meeting to be held in 1978, proposed by Mr J E Camp and seconded by Mr J G A Prior (College Youths), was defeated after Mr C J Groome (Peterborough) had pointed out that a new committee was likely to be elected later in the meeting and that the change should, if agreed, be effective for that election. The original motion was then passed with one dissenting vote.

The next three motions, all proposed by the Secretary on behalf of the Administrative Committee, all dealt with the future of the Library. As Mr Wratten explained, they had been presented in this way in order to simplify voting, enabling certain parts to be rejected if necessary without having to reject the whole.

The three arose, he said, from the Administrative Committee’s consideration of the earlier Library Committee’s report, referred to it by the Council last year at Lincoln. It had been felt that a committee should be established with full responsibility for the running of the library, including estimating likely expenditure and recommending to the Council how any money required should be obtained. In addition, since it was likely that some expenditure would be necessary before such a committee had had an opportunity to devise, and obtain Council approval of, a financial policy, it was felt that a sum of money should be made available to it if required during the first year.

He then moved the first of the motions, “that a committee, to be known as the Library Committee and to be responsible on behalf of the Council for the care and maintenance of the Council’s Library, be formed. The Honorary Librarian shall be chairman of the committee.”

Seconding, Mr P M J Gray (Australia & New Zealand) said that the work associated with the library had passed the point where it could be dealt with by one person alone. He said that the Council was fortunate to have people with experience in this field among its members.

The motion was carried without debate, and the President asked for nominations for members; he pointed out that the new Librarian was automatically a member and that therefore, unless a case to the contrary was agreed, a maximum of four other members could serve on it. Mr J S Barnes (Cumberland Youths), who had first brought the question of the Library’s future to the Council’s notice in 1974, was proposed by Mr I H Oram and seconded by Mr P A Corby; Mr D E House (College Youths), a professional librarian, was proposed by Mr D E Sibson and seconded by Mr F N Golden. Mrs A E Stevens (Shropshire), another librarian and a member of the earlier Library Committee, declined nomination. Mr W Butler, the unsuccessful candidate for the post of Honorary Librarian, was then proposed by Dr T G Pett (Oxford DG), seconded by Mr W G Wilson; and Mr P M Wilkinson (Cumberland Youths), an archivist, was proposed by Mr J S Barnes, seconded by Mrs O D Barnett. There were no further nominations, and these four were duly elected to form, with Mr W T Cook, the new committee.

The second of the three motions was “that the Council authorises the Library Committee to spend up to £200 as may be necessary on the Library during its first year.” It was formally proposed by Mr Wratten and seconded by Mr Gray. In reply to a question from Mr W G Wilson, the Secretary said that the money would come from the General Fund, £100 of it from the donation by the late Miss Hill, which had already been allocated to the Library as stated in the Administrative Committee’s report, and the bulk of the rest from monies outstanding from grants made to the Library at Lincoln last year. He agreed to make clear in the Minutes that the sum allocated would not be additional to those monies. The motion was then carried.

The third motion, “that the Library Committee reports to the Council in 1977 on its future financial requirements and its recommendations as to how these should be met,” was similarly proposed and seconded by Messrs Wratten and Gray respectively. Mr F E Dukes suggested that one way of raising money could be by allowing ringers to become Friends of the Library on payment of an annual donation. The motion was carried.

Mr G A Dawson said that he had last year asked the librarian to report this year on the sale of surplus books from the library; clearly this could not be done. He did however ask that next year the new committee should report on any sales, saying on what grounds they had been made and what charges had been made to buyers. The President said he was sure the committee would bear this in mind.

The two remaining motions dealt with changes to the Council’s Decisions on peal ringing and on methods and calls. They were both proposed on behalf of the joint Records and Methods Committees by Mr F T Blagrove (Middlesex) and seconded by Mr D E Sibson.

The first, that “in peals of Doubles and/or Minor, the methods rung in each extent and/or round block shall be listed separately” (in reports in “The Ringing World”), lead Mr Dawson to comment that its adoption could cause a large increase in Ringing World printing costs; he asked whether Mr Denyer would like to comment. Mr Denyer said that he could publish only what was submitted. Mr Blagrove said that both this and the second item of the motion, that if a record length is rung the peal report and the figures of the composition, if not previously published, should be sent to the Chairman of the Records Committee (rather than to “The Ringing World,” as required by the original decision), had already been agreed by the Council when it had approved certain recent committee reports; the motion was intended merely to formalise the situation.

Each of the items was voted on separately, and both were agreed by large majorities.

The final motion contained eight items, each of which was voted on separately. Mr Blagrove explained that the first, to insert in Decision A1 “A change is the progress from one row (permutation) to the next, effected by the interchange of bells in adjacent positions in the rows” was intended to clarify the meaning of the term “change” and stop the use of “jumping” changes. This was agreed. The second item, a change to the definition of a call by removing the insistence that for methods with hunt bells at least one of the hunts should be unaffected by all calls in a given composition, arose from the peal of Superlative Surprise Major composed by Mr A J Cox and accepted by the Council at Lincoln as marking a technical advance - it used calls which had the effect of changing the hunt bell; the same composition had also made another small change, to the classification of methods with two or more hunt bells, necessary. This should now read, in part, “with the treble as principal hunt, being generally unaffected by calls, …” Both items were agreed without discussion.

Another change, to B1, so that it now referred to the treble’s path being restricted to fewer positions than the number of bells (rather than to fewer places), was similarly agreed after Mr Blagrove had explained that this was simply a wording correction.

The next item was to add Double methods to the list of classifications in B2, said Mr Blagrove. It read: “Double methods shall have the prefix ‘Double’ in their title. The corresponding method with no internal places below the treble shall have the same name and the prefix ‘Single’.” He went on to explain that this referred only to Plain methods, and that it was not proposed to apply it to Plain Bob. In reply to an enquiry from Mr W F Moreton, he said that it would be correct to use the prefix Double for a method that had no Single variation. This item was agreed by a large majority, eight voting against.

Another wording correction, so that B3 referred to dodges in a position pair instead of in a position, was agreed without discussion.

The final item of the motion caused considerable debate. This sought to add a requirement for the Council to approve names given to new methods by the bands that first rang them. Several members wondered what procedure would have to be followed, and the Revd J G M Scott said that he felt it would be taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut - the problem of offensive or nearly offensive names was only a small one. Mr A J Martin (Chester) pointed out that about a hundred new methods were named each year: if a band wished to, it would tie up the Council meeting each year by choosing doubtful names. Canon K W H Felstead (honorary) said he supported the motion: he felt the Council should have the right to change a name, although it should seldom need to be used. Agreeing, Mr J E Camp suggested that a better form of words might be “subject to the power of the Council to change the name if it considers it necessary.” The proposer and seconder of the motion agreed to accept these words instead of the original “(subject to the) approval of the Council.” Mr Blagrove added that he hoped that proposals for a name to be changed would come from individual members of the Council, rather than as a formal recommendation from a committee.

Mr B D Threlfall wondered what power the Council in fact had: it could only refuse to include a name in its publications. Mr Denyer asked how he, as editor of “The Ringing World,” which was itself a Council publication, could be expected to recognise any name to which the Council might subsequently object.

Replying, Mr J R Mayne said that the proposition would have no affect on “The Ringing World” - nothing additional would be required of the editor; and the Council did have some power - any name that did not appear in the Council’s publications would soon disappear. Any loss of power that the Council might have suffered in recent years, he added, had been due mainly to its half-hearted application.

On being put to the vote, the motion in its revised wording was carried by a large majority.

The Council at this point broke for lunch.

When it resumed at 2pm it turned to the committee reports for 1975.



The committee has met twice since the Lincoln meeting - at Birmingham in October and at Oxford in March. In addition to the routine business of preparing for the 1976 meeting, it endorsed arrangements made by the secretary and Mr W Butler for the storage of the Council’s Library following the death of the Librarian, and also agreed to contribute £10 from Council funds to the Oxford Diocesan Guild’s proposed joint memorial to Frederick Sharpe and Canon Elliot Wigg.

Two items referred to the committee by the Council at Lincoln were considered in detail - the future of the Methods Committee, and an evaluation of the report of the Library Committee.

For the first, the committee recommends that the Methods Committee, as at present constituted, should continue in being. In reaching this conclusion it agreed that the committee still had work to do, in preparing selective method collections (as opposed to comprehensive computer-generated listings), and that it was the body responsible for advising on the interpretation of the Council’s Decisions on methods. This work cannot readily be undertaken by any other committee.

For the second, it was felt that, as the Council had already agreed at Lincoln to the general principles of the Library Committee Report, the next step should be the establishment of a Library Committee with overall responsibility for the maintenance and running of the Library. As part of this responsibility it will have to decide not only what it is desirable should be done, but what it is practicable to do. In its discussions on this point, it will doubtless avail itself of the thoughtful and detailed recommendations of the Library Committee Report. A motion to establish such a committee, with the Honorary Librarian as chairman as proposed in the Library Report, consequently appears on the agenda for this year’s meeting.

It was also felt that this new committee will require some financial support during its first year, and a second motion proposes that expenditure of up to £200 during this period be authorised. This sum will include £100 left to the Council by Miss Kathleen Hill and already allocated to the Library.

By the end of the first year the Library Committee should be in a position to provide the Council with not only a budget forecast but also suggestions and proposals as to how any monies required should be obtained. The Council should thus, from 1977, have detailed expenditure and income figures on which to base any financial decisions concerning the Library.

C A Wratten, Secretary.

The report was adopted, without discussion, on the proposition of Mr C A Wratten, seconded by Mr F E Dukes.


The following member and past members have died during the period under review:

M J FellowsDudley & District Guild, 1966-71.
Died 8 February 1975. Attended 3 meetings.
J J WebbHereford Diocesan Guild, 1951-66.
Died 12 March 1975. Attended 1 meeting.
W A OsbornHonorary member, 1948-74.
Died 8 July 1975. Attended 14 meetings.
B A SollisE Derbyshire & W Nottinghamshire Association, 1960-63.
Died 20 November 1975. Did not attend a meeting.
T M RoderickLlandaff & Monmouth Diocesan Association, 1951-75.
Died 1 February 1976. Attended all 24 meetings.
F SharpeHonorary member, 1939-54; Life member, 1954-76.
Died 7 February 1976. Attended 30 meetings.
Canon C E WiggOxford University Society, 1935-54.
Died 8 March 1976. Attended 5 meetings.

M J Fellows took part in record lengths of 16,368 Cambridge S Maximus and 15,699 Stedman Cinques, both at S Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham, and had circled Kidderminster, Netherton, Wychbold and Stoke Prior towers to peals. In October 1974 he became the youngest person, at age 26 years 10 months, to ring 1,000 peals. He was a joint organiser of a ringing tour in the North American Guild area in 1973.

W A Osborn learned to ring at Musbury, Devon, when seven years of age. He was a member of the Towers and Belfries Committee, was tower advisor to the Bath and Wells Diocesan Association, and was tower captain at North Cadbury, Somerset, for 46 years.

T M Roderick was Master of the Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild and of the Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association in successive years. He was a member of the Towers and Belfries Committee.

F Sharpe: a full appreciation of this gentleman would fill many pages. He was born at Launton and learned to ring there at the age of 14, being captain of the tower since 1927. In “The Ringing World’s” series he was featured as “Servants of the Exercise, No 2.” In addition to being an accomplished tune ringer on handbells, he rang tower bells double-handed to many quarter peals and also to “rise” and “fall.” He took part in the early radio and television broadcasts of handbell ringing. He did a lot of writing, being the author of “The Church Bells of the Deanery of Bicester, Berkshire, Radnorshire, Oxfordshire,” etc. He was currently Master of the Oxford Diocesan Guild. A stalwart member of the Central Council for many years, he became Honorary Librarian, 1954-57 and 1969-76, and President, 1957-63. He was elected a member of the Towers and Belfries Committee in 1946, and has also served on the Standing/Administrative, Sunday Service and Education, Publications, and Redundant Bells committees.

T J Lock, (Chairman)
57 Holloways Lane,
North Mymms,
Hatfield, Herts.
G A Dawson
W H Viggers

In moving the adoption of the report, Mr T J Lock (Middlesex) asked new members to ensure that they returned their biography sheets to him. Mr W H Viggers (honorary) seconded, and the report was adopted.


With one member’s 1975 activities still unreported, it is not possible to give any grand totals of the year’s work, but the figures which we can give will show some indication of the proportion of our work taken up with different problems. Needless to say, most towers present more than one problem, so that adding together the figures below will not give any useful total: the number of towers dealt with probably approaches 200. Repair and maintenance (49) took first place, with rehanging (36) second. Sound control, in which the Council has for some time been trying to foster a greater interest, shows some response to this encouragement, with 31. Masonry and tower stability account for 26.

The widespread impression of financial gloom which most people seem to take for granted does not seem to be having much effect on augmentation (28) and recasting (10), and we dealt with two plans for entirely new rings. But one church’s affluence may go hand in hand with another’s struggle for survival, and we had 12 cases for redundancy and five for transfer of bells from one church to another.

As in so many years past, a very great share of the work was done by Fred Sharpe, who carried out 46 tower inspections and dealt with 26 other cases by correspondence. Our new members have begun to show their worth, and we are specially grateful to Clarke Walters who made the long trip to Drumbo near Belfast after the Chairman had found difficulty in getting other members to volunteer for it, and the Drumbo wardens had suggested that none of us was brave enough!

Although this is the 1975 report, it would be quite unreal to write it now without referring to Fred Sharpe and Trevor Roderick. Only time will tell how the Committee will get on without the former: we can only be deeply grateful that, thanks to his courage, foresight and wisdom, very little committee business was left unfinished, and none in confusion when he was so suddenly taken from us. But how the committee will share the work which he did, and fill the gap left by his authority and knowledge, we cannot tell. As a colleague, a friend and a man he will be irreplaceable.

Trevor Roderick will be hard to replace in a different way - as a specialist: his experience and status as a stonemason were of inestimable value to the Exercise as a whole, and not merely in Wales where most of his Towers and Belfries work was done. In addition, his integrity and loyalty to the Church, in which he was deeply respected, were also a most valuable asset to ringing in general.

The Committee met twice in 1975 apart from an informal meeting at Lincoln, and we are happy to say that this year will see the publication of the new maintenance handbook. This project started as an idea to revise the former book; then was seen as an expansion of part of the “Towers and Bells Handbook”; and has emerged as an almost entirely new publication, which unlike the former one will be illustrated.

The cost of the service which we try to provide has naturally become very much heavier during the past year, as most of our expenses, viz travelling and postage, have risen in cost more than most things. We hope that the Exercise will consider us to be worth the money, and would venture to suggest that insofar as our meetings have been largely concerned with the new handbook the expense involved in holding them might be taken into consideration when the price of the handbook is decided on. The only cost has been in our travelling and postage: the meetings were accommodated at “Derwen” at no cost to the Exercise.

John G M Scott (Chairman)
Newton S Cyres Vicarage,
Brian Austin
John C Baldwin
F E Collins
W L Exton
John Freeman
Alan J Frost
George W Massey
Frank Reynolds
Brian Threlfall
S Clarke Walters

The Revd J G M Scott proposed the adoption of the report. He referred to the death during 1975 of Mr W A Osborn who, although not a member of the committee at the time of his death, had nevertheless earlier served on it with great distinction for many years; he would be sadly missed in his home county of Devon.

He then drew the Council’s attention to the fact that members of the committee were insured only to the extent that they had themselves individually arranged. Yet they travelled long distances on the Council’s behalf, and did such things as climbing towers to see whether they were safe to climb (laughter). Could the Council arrange some form of block insurance for the committee’s members, he asked.

In an aside, he said that some two years ago he had been sent some plaster casts of coin impressions on bells. These he had sent to the British Museum for expert advice. They had now at last been returned, together with much interesting information, but unfortunately he could no longer recall from whom the casts had come. Could anyone help?

After Mr B D Threlfall had seconded, the Secretary said that he had obtained details of possible insurance cover for members of the committee some two or three years ago, and had sent them to the then chairman (Mr F Sharpe) for comment, but had heard nothing further. He recalled that there had been some restrictions on the age of members for which cover could be provided, however. He said he would pursue the matter.

Mr W L Exton (Southwell) said that he had been surprised to learn that only two of his fellow committee members were covered for personal accident insurance by their own societies. He himself was covered in this way while engaged in any belfry work within the Southwell Diocese, but outside the diocese he was covered only by a personal policy. A related subject, he added, was Public Liability insurance. A growing number of societies were engaging in do-it-yourself restoration work without making adequate insurance arrangements to cover themselves in the event of an accident to persons or property, such as cracking a bell. They should be actively encouraged to take out both group personal insurance and public liability (third party) insurance. He proposed that the Council should request the Administrative Committee to consider the whole aspect of insurance as applied to bells and restoration work with a view to:

(a) providing adequate and reasonable Group Personal Accident Insurance for all the members of the Towers and Belfries Committee;

(b) providing Guilds and Associations with information on the minimum insurance cover they should hold for both Personal Accident and Public Liability; and

(c) negotiating collectively on behalf of all Guilds and Associations to obtain the best available cover at the most reasonable cost.

A suggestion from Mr G Dodds (Hertford) that local church insurance policies should be adequate drew a response from Mr Threlfall that very few churches insured anyone other than their paid employees.

Mr R H Dove (honorary) said that at Harrogate there had been complaints that their bells were to quiet. He had been assured that an amplifier that was available would not be suitable, and asked for advice on how to make the bells sound louder.

The report was then adopted.


It will be recalled that we have stressed in our previous reports and during discussion at Central Council meetings, that the preponderant influence wielded by bell ringers in the matter of redundant bells is through the contacts made by territorial associations with diocesan authorities. The role of this Committee is then principally a co-ordinating one, pooling the experience gained in operating the complex procedures of the Pastoral Measure in various parts of the country, and making this experience available.

In this co-ordinating role the Committee has been involved in more than 50 cases during 1975, ranging from arrangements by the Lincoln Guild for the six bells of S Michael, Stamford, to the sending to a church in Kenya by the Southwell Guild of a ten inch bell from S Michael, Radford.

One case has caused us particular concern. The Church of S George, Bolton, had been declared redundant, and the Lancashire Association through its Secretary had made persistent requests for information on the likely fate of the bells. No precise information was forthcoming, but the Association had been given to understand that they were likely to be retained and be available for use when the church became a music centre. It was, however, only after the sale had been arranged that the Association was informed that the bells had been sold overseas. While there is no objection of course to the principle of sending bells to Anglican churches overseas, it is extremely sad that the advice of the local Association was here ignored. There was ample scope in this case for the measures envisaged in dealing with redundant bells to have succeeded in classic style: a church in the same county seeking a ring of bells, the Association informed and on the spot. It is, of course, extremely discouraging; but we hope it will at least persuade all associations to redouble their efforts to build contacts with their diocesan authorities - even, or perhaps especially, with the less co-operative ones.

A second case which could be mentioned contained marked contrasts. A request to this Committee for a ring of bells for Chelsea Old Church in the Diocese of London was referred to the Surrey Association who were engaged in finding a home for the eight bells of Immanuel, Streatham. Here the transfer, efficiently guided by the Surrey Association, has been made with the full co-operation and interest of the Southwark Diocesan authorities. A late development, suggesting that these bells may now be recast before being installed at Chelsea, is particularly unfortunate, and would destroy the whole object of the scheme of retaining the bells and preserving the value of their casting.

We have mentioned in earlier reports the service which we hope we can provide in maintaining a “bells available and wanted” register. Similar lists are kept by the Church Commissioners for other contents of redundant churches. At the present time the register includes some 45 requests for single bells, either for use alone, or for augmentations, eight requests for rings of bells, and four requests for frames. More information, particularly of bells available, their dimensions and pitch, but also of those wanted would greatly improve the service which the register can provide.

We are extremely grateful to those associations who responded to our appeal for more information on the redundant bells’ situation in their areas. We would like to thank the Bath and Wells, Derby, Norwich, Worcestershire, and Yorkshire Associations for their comprehensive reviews. If we are to try to provide a continuing picture of the developing situation for the Council, we do need this flow of information to be continued and extended to all associations throughout the country.

Once again our thanks are due to the national organisations concerned with churches that are, or may become, redundant. We have to acknowledge the considerable help and kindness we have received from the Redundant Churches Fund, the Council for Places of Worship, and the Redundant Churches Department of the Church Commissioners. The slightly altered role of the Church Commissioners in fittings disposal was mentioned in our report last year; but in practical terms the assistance we have had from them this year leaves us as indebted to them as ever. An event which we believe to be of considerable importance occurred recently, and will, we hope, be followed up. The Church Commissioners arranged a one-day seminar for Diocesan Furnishings Officers, choosing three special topics concerned with redundant churches. It was the first meeting of its kind; and an invitation was made to this Committee to provide a speaker to deal with the subject of bells. It was a major recognition of the Council’s work on redundant bells, and of the organisation and effort devoted to this work throughout the country.

At 31 December 1975, 539 churches had been declared redundant. The number at 31 December 1974, was 455. Details of the bells involved in these totals are not all available, but as far as our records go, these 84 churches include one five, seven sixes, and four eights. The total number of churches is above the uniform trend of redundancies which would have led to the forecast of 790 redundant churches made by the 1960 Bridges Commission; and the Advisory Board are convinced that this figure will be substantially exceeded. As far as we can determine from the confidential lists made available to us by the Council for Places of Worship, at least a further 200 churches are being considered for possible redundancy within the next few years. These include one twelve, seven tens, twelve eights, six sixes, and seven fives. Not all these churches will of course become redundant, as all churches in an area are of course considered in cases of possible pastoral reorganisation. However, it does give some idea of the scope of the problem. It remains to be seen what the impact of Value Added Tax, general financial stringency, and rising repair costs, will be on future redundancies, and whether these will be offset by the proposed State aid towards the maintenance of church buildings.

The Report of the Pastoral Measure Revision Working Party, which we mentioned last year, was duly presented to the General Synod in July; and was passed to their Standing Committee to prepare the recommended Code of Practice, and an Amending Measure to put into effect the Working Party’s suggestions. It will be recalled that the Working Party had recommended that fittings disposal should become subject to a Code of Practice. The suggestion that the Redundant Churches Fund and the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches should be amalgamated was referred to the Department of the Environment for consideration.

Once again we express our very sincere thanks to Mr R W M Clouston for his invaluable help in continuing to provide us with copies of the notes on the bells of possibly redundant churches which he prepares for the Council for Places of Worship. Without them our task would be considerably more difficult, and we are grateful indeed to him.

This Committee, like so many others, owes a tremendous debt to Mr Sharpe. His assistance in the initial sub-committee formed to assess the need for work on redundant bells was invaluable, and his high reputation with the authorities of the church made the task of establishing contacts with them a great deal easier. We shall greatly miss his counsel, and his encyclopaedic knowledge.

In concluding, may we re-emphasise what we have said in earlier reports. Dealing with redundant bells requires above all a soundly based local organisation, in touch, and in sympathy with the diocesan authorities. It requires too the vigilance of every ringer to ensure that decisions are not taken hastily, without proper advice, and that carefully made plans are not thwarted by theft or loss. It is in these respects that everyone is involved in the problem of redundant bells.

D Beresford (Chairman)
326 Brampton Road,
Bexley Heath, Kent.
E A Barnett
G A Dawson
K W H Felstead
J Freeman
A J Frost
G Nabb
Gilbert Thurlow
Jane Wilkinson

Proposing the adoption of the report, Mr D Beresford said that the Committee had been able to send a speaker to the Church Commissioners’ seminar for Diocesan Furnishings Officers, mentioned in the report, and this had marked a step forward in the relationship between the Commissioners and the Council. The Commissioners had also sent a circular to Diocesan Bishops, giving advice on the disposal of the contents of redundant churches. It had stressed the value of any bells and suggested that advice should be sought before they were disposed of. It acknowledged the help given by the Committee for Redundant Bells, and gave an address through which the committee could be contacted. Any enquiries received in this way would of course be referred to the ringing societies concerned, Mr Beresford added.

He said that there was a very large demand for single bells and rings of bells, and that there was therefore little justification for scrapping any bells that became redundant unless they were of very poor tone. As to the value, he suggested that the redundancy funds should, as a minimum, receive the scrap value of any bells, disposed of.

He then referred to a recent editorial in “The Ringing World” which had suggested the use of a redundant church in each diocese for training ringers. A written reply would be sent, but in the meantime it was felt that such a scheme could lead to the requirement for money to maintain the tower and bells and for insurance, money that could perhaps be better spent on improving the facilities in a central, living, church. However the possibility of making use of a church maintained by the Redundant Churches Fund would be investigated.

The Ringing World, June 25, 1976, supplement, corrections July 23, 1976, page 617

Central Council Meeting, 1976, Official Report (Part II)


For the future, the Committee intended holding a seminar in London later in the year, hopefully with speakers from such authorities as the Church Commissioners, the Redundant Churches Fund, and societies with experience in dealing with redundant bells. It was hoped that representatives of many ringing societies would attend.

Finally Mr Beresford said that the committee was not proposing to seek a replacement for the late Mr Sharpe; he paid tribute to the sterling work of Mrs Jane Wilkinson (honorary) on the Committee; and he underlined the importance of the final paragraph of the Committee’s report.

Mr J Freeman seconded.

Mr G A Halls (Derby) said that he regarded the work of the Committee for Redundant Bells amongst the most important of the Council. But he had been disappointed in the written report, which contained little information on hard results. There was also considerable vagueness about what bells were redundant or available for transfer. Although he accepted that some of this information might be confidential, he nevertheless felt that the information contained in the register that had been mentioned should be more generally available.

Mr Beresford said that Mr Halls was under a misapprehension. The committee was a co-ordinating one, and all the results were obtained, not by the committee, but by the various societies. The purpose of the committee was to bring the various bodies concerned into touch with one another.

After Mr F Reynolds had confirmed the difficulties encountered over S George’s, Bolton, the report was adopted.


During its first year of operation the committee has met on three occasions - on 22 July at Southampton, on 19 October in London, and on 24 January at Hatfield. Gratitude is expressed for the hospitality received at each venue.

The work of the committee has covered two main areas, the production of a booklet (which should be on sale on 1 June) consisting of papers on aspects of bell restoration funds, and an enquiry into the present state of such funds, of which a summary is appended. We would like to express our appreciation of the very considerable amount of assistance we have received from ringers with both projects.

A number of enquiries have been received during the year and useful contacts have been made with Guild officers. While the committee has concentrated its work on bell restoration funds, and has not yet considered the implications of registering an entire Guild, including its Bell Restoration Fund, as a Charity, it is aware that some Guilds have been required by the Charity Commissioners and the Board of Inland Revenue to register in entirety. The reason for this is unclear and may lie in the detailed wording of Guild and Bell Restoration Fund rules, and in the specific financial situations which exist. The Charity Commission has recently written to this committee that “it would appreciate that both a Guild and its fund should be registered separately.”

In recent years there has been an awakening of awareness among ringers of their need to play an increasingly significant part in financing, and in obtaining finance, for bell and tower restoration. Some Guilds are doing sterling-work in this sphere; others, whose officers and members may not have been fully aware of the situation or of the possibilities, may wish to make an appraisal of their position. We would gladly give advice and help, and we reiterate our willingness to address gatherings of ringers should this be requested.

We ask that we be kept informed of successful fund-raising ventures so that methods may be shared by others.

During the coming year we hope to build upon the work achieved this year. We hope to be of service to ringers, and we look forward to strengthening our connection with them. The law and the tax situation will be kept under review, and, when it makes its report, we shall make known to ringers the implications of the Royal Commission which is at present conducting an enquiry into Charities.

John S Barnes (Chairman)
56 Leamington Avenue,
Kent BR6 9QB.
Kenneth S B Croft
Martin D Fellows
Gordon A Halls
Ian H Oram

Proposing the adoption of his committee’s report, Mr J S Barnes also commented on a survey of existing bell restoration funds that had been completed - the President later said that copies of this would be sent by the Secretary to all affiliated societies - and on a 24-page booklet that was now available from the Publications Committee. This dealt with Bell Restoration Funds, and consisted of a series of papers on various aspects of fund-raising and investment and associated legal matters. It had been prepared by the Bell Restoration Funds Committee with the assistance of a number of other ringers, to all of whom he was most grateful.

Seconding, Mr G A Halls, who had been responsible for producing the Survey mentioned by Mr Barnes, said that he had obtained replies to his enquiries from all 151 societies approached, probably, he suggested, because he had written in the first place to their Council representatives. He stressed one finding: that in 1974 the average income per member to restoration funds had amounted to 47p, which he considered a low figure in any circumstances. He pointed out that for the Beverley and District Society the corresponding figure was £2.36, and suggested that every society should aim for an annual income of at least £2 per member.

He went on to say that there appeared to be two distinct and alternative policies that could be adopted in running a bell restoration fund: to accumulate capital with the specific intention of using the interest for grants, or to spend income more or less as it was accumulated. Examining each in some detail, he pointed out that if the first policy was followed it was essential that the annual income should exceed the rate of inflation if the capital fund was not to depreciate. Thus, if the inflation rate were 20%, income per year should be greater than 20% of the fund’s accumulated capital. And since it was vary difficult to invest capital at an interest rate that would compensate for inflation, the committee felt bound to recommend against this first policy during a time of rapid inflation.

The second policy presented other problems, the chief of them being one of cash flow. He suggested that, averaged over a period of about seven years, a restoration fund’s capital should be about 2½ times its annual income if this policy was being followed. If it consistently exceeded five times the income, then useful ways of spending the excess should be sought: the society should initiate restoration work. He warned that for about one year in seven the fund might well be empty because of unforeseen (and unforeseeable) demands on it, but said that this should not give rise to alarm: every penny would at least have been spent on restoration, and not lost on inflation.

The President suggested that Mr Hall’s most interesting analysis would form a worthwhile article for “The Ringing World”; Mr Halls said he would consider this.

Mr N J Diserens (Oxford DG) pointed out that, compared with the total costs of bell restoration work, the grants that were being made were insignificant. Every effort should be made to increase grants.

The Revd J G M Scott agreed that grants were financially often insignificant, but said that psychologically they were invaluable. In small parishes they often served to “prime the pump,” and their worth should not be denigrated. Mr A J Frost (London Univ) agreed, but said there should be more of them.

The report was then adopted.

Before the next report was considered, Mr G A Dawson drew attention to the apparent discrepancy between the membership figures for some societies, as given in the Survey, and their scale of representation on the Council. The Secretary suggested that this might be because the Survey included only ringing members, whereas the totals he had been given by affiliated societies included honorary and resident life members.


Following recent correspondence in the “RW” it has been necessary to reconsider the contents of the proposed collection of Plain Doubles Methods. The correspondence has related to the definition of standard calls for methods, and the relationship to Variations of these methods, and the use of asymmetric methods.

It is suggested that the collection should consist of:

(a) Symmetric and asymmetric twin hunt methods such as Grandsire, with standard calls defined for each method.

(b) Symmetric four lead methods with 123 or 125 places at trebles lead, such as All Saints Place and New Bob.

(c) Symmetric four lead methods with no internal place at trebles lead, such as S Faith Place.

(d) Symmetric three lead methods with 123 or 125 places at trebles lead, such as Braywood Bob and Bedfont Slow Course. The standard calls for methods in b, c and d are defined as any alteration of the places at the trebles lead.

(e) Other asymmetric methods which can give a true extent of 120 changes, such as Swanton Bob.

(f) Other asymmetric methods which cannot give true extents, but which can be spliced together or with other methods, such as Burghclere Bob.

(g) Variations of (a), using each others calls and of (b), using calls made above the treble, at other than the trebles lead.

All Saints

New Bob
S Faith
Slow Course

The above collection would be so large that it is suggested that it be given in place notation, and followed by similar collections of other types of Doubles methods. A collection of a selection of all types of methods with leads in full could be made if there is the need for such.

We suggest that the decisions of the Council relating to methods, peals and also method extension should be made available through the Publications Committee in sheet form, until such time as the “Council Handbook” is published.

F T Blagrove
S J Ivin
M C W Sherwood

Mr F T Blagrove proposed the adoption of the report, copies of which had been circulated to members at the start of the meeting. He explained that its adoption would enable the committee to start preparing a new collection of Doubles methods. Mr S J Ivin (honorary) seconded.

Dr J C Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth) said that the report’s recommendations needed careful consideration, and that an opinion was being sought on something the members had had little time to think about. He suggested it would be helpful if the report could first be published in “The Ringing World” and comments sought. Mr D A Frith (Lincoln), who said that he had had quite a lot to do with Doubles ringing, agreed.

The President suggested that the Council took note of the report, that it should be published as Dr Baldwin had suggested, and that it should be considered again in the light of the comments received. This was agreed.


A First peals on tower bells, 1975:
Jan75184Deng S Major (Manchester Soc)
125000Vermuyden S Royal (Ely DA)
175152Orinoco D Major (Oxford DG)
185056Milthorpe S Major (S Northants Soc)
185088Kingshurst S Maximus (Leicester DG)
205024Westmorland S Major (Lancashire A)
285184Little Burstead Little S Royal (Suffolk G)
Feb75056Cairngorm McWomble the Terrible D Major (Non-Assn.)
85120Easton Neston Major (S Northants Soc)
85376Templeborough S Major (Yorkshire A)
105440Clanfield S Major (Sussex CA)
155040Thorley S Royal (Ely DA)
225088Balcombe S Major (Sussex CA)
225040Holbeach S Royal (Ely DA)
Mar75152Woodley S Major (Bath & Wells DA)
85024Bolney S Major (Sussex DA)
85056Cambodunum S Major (Yorkshire A)
85016Original Cinques (Manchester Univ G)
105088Rye S Major (Sussex CA)
155040Tarporley S Royal (N Staffs A)
175056New Hunslet S Major (Yorkshire A)
175280Derby County S Major (Lancashire A)
225230Xenia S Maximus (S Martin’s G)
295088Lagentium S Major (Yorkshire A)
Apr55088Hailsham S Major (Sussex CA)
55088Olicaria S Major (Yorkshire A)
125040Easton Neston Alliance Major (S Northants Soc)
135056Ball S Major (Derby DA)
195120Birstwith S Major (Yorkshire A)
265056Aldermaston Bob Major (Winchester & Portsmouth DG)
295148Shoreditch Alliance Maximus (Soc of R Cumberland Y)
May35088Pomfret S Major (Yorkshire A)
35040Daventry Alliance Major (S Northants Soc)
105056Henfield S Major (Sussex CA)
245042Zelah S Maximus (S Martin’s G)
255148Ewerby Alliance Royal (Lincoln DG)
305054West Bridgford S Major (Southwell DG)
315088Delgovicia S Major (Yorkshire A)
June95152Huntingdonshire S Major (Lancashire A)
145120Calcaria S Major (Yorkshire A)
225152Folklore S Major (Kent CA)
285088Easton Neston D Major (S Northants Soc)
285040Welland S Royal (Peterborough DG)
July125024Petvaria S Major (Yorkshire A)
125148Swindon Alliance Royal (Soc of R Cumberland Y)
185056Yeoveney S Major (Middx CA & London DG)
195088Monkton Combe S Major (Bath & Wells DA)
295152Tunstall S Major (Kent CA)
Aug95024Goodwood S Major (Sussex CA)
155152Isambard S Major (Bath & Wells DA)
165088Firle S Major (Sussex CA)
165088Isurium S Major (Yorkshire A)
185024Humberside D Major (Lincoln DG)
305088Bernicia S Major (Yorkshire A)
305040Easton Neston Supreme Alliance Major (S Northants Soc)
Sept65088Caturactonium S Major (Yorkshire A)
205280Twice Brewed S Major (Peterborough DG)
205040Ardessie S Royal (Hertford CA)
265136Moulton Alliance Royal (Peterborough DG)
Oct45088Derventium S Major (Yorkshire A)
45024Easton Neston Bob Major (S Northants Soc)
115088Withymoor S Major (Worcestershire & Dist A)
115152Addington S Major (Peterborough DG)
115088Vriconium S Major (Yorkshire A)
175040Briswich Hybrid Major (Bath & Wells DA)
185088Deira S Major (Yorkshire A)
205122Bucks S Major (Lancashire A)
255152Durweston D Major (Ely DA)
255152Zverinogolovskoye S Major (Leicester DG)
315124Harrow Weald Alliance Major (Middx CA & London DG)
Nov15016Town Hall Little S Maximus (Lancashire A)
35120North Humberland S Major (Lancashire A)
55152Westminster S Major (Oxford DG)
85088Shirburn S Major (Oxford DG)
85088Morbium S Major (Yorkshire A)
165040Haslemere S Royal (Lancashire A)
175152Cambridgeshire S Major (Lancashire A)
295056Mashonaland S Major (Oxford DG)
295042Apsley S Maximus (Leicester DG)
305232Redcliffe’s S Maximus (Oxford DG)
Dec125024Vesuvius S Major (Bath & Wells DA)
135120Corinium Dobunnorum S Major (Yorkshire A)
175152Ightham S Major (Kent CA)
205088Aquae Sulis S Major (Yorkshire A)
295152Orpington S Major (Kent CA)
305152New Middlesex S Major (Lancashire A)
315152Double Diamond S Major (Oxford DG)
B First peals on handbells, 1975:
Jan135280Lyddington S Maximus (Oxford DG)
195042Langley S Maximus (Oxford DG)
Mar95120Central Council TB Major (Ely DA)
May85040Lincolnshire S Royal (Oxford DG)
225040Pudsey S Royal (Oxford DG)
Oct15040Superlative (No 2) S Royal (Oxford DG)
C Performances and Record peals on Tower Bells, 1975:
Jan412152Little Bob Major (Gloucester & Bristol DA)
117248Minimus (3 methods) (Coventry DG)
Feb2213440Pudsey S Major (Lancashire A)
May105040Spliced S Maximus (8 methods) - silent (ASCY)
D Performances and Record peals on handbells, 1975:
Feb121680Kent TB Royal (Leicester DG)
Apr910560Cambridge S Maximus (Oxford DG)
145088Spliced S Maximus (3 methods, all the work) (Oxford DG)
D E Sibson (Chairman)
24 Poplars Farm Road,
Barton Seagrave,
F T Blagrove
G Dodds
J R Mayne
C A Wratten

After making a number of corrections to the report as circulated, Mr D E Sibson proposed its adoption, and Mr J R Mayne seconded.

Mrs Newing (Bristol Univ) suggested that Mashonaland (29 Nov) should read Matabeleland, but Mr Sibson assured her that the report was correct. Mr A F Scholfield enquired what the policy was about the publication of the compositions of record length peals, since it did not appear to be consistent. Mr Sibson replied that it was the same as for other compositions; the committee’s responsibility was only to collect for the Council’s records the compositions of record lengths, not to ensure their publication.

The report was then adopted.


The routine work of collecting peal compositions for publication in “The Ringing World” continues. The system of having them all proved by the Computer Co-ordination Committee, then typed in a suitable format, causes some time-lag, but there seems to be no other satisfactory method.

Stocks of the “Collection of Compositions in the Popular Major Methods” are reported to be low, and discussions have begun how best to remedy this.

Possibilities include a corrected reprint, although the collection is now to be regarded as out-of-date, having been printed ten years ago. If it is decided that a completely new collection is desirable, consideration needs to be given to the best method of reproduction, having regard to present printing coats and possible demand.

W E Critchley (Chairman)
90 Hardwick Road,
Northants NN8 3AG.

The report was adopted, without discussion, on the proposition of Mr W E Critchley, seconded by Mr I H Oram.


This has been a year of steady effort and has featured a large amount of correspondence for the committee. More than 80 communications have been received and sent. The checking of 110 compositions has been co-ordinated, and thanks are extended to Hilary Muirhead, T G Pett, M J Hobbs and others for the willing help they have given. A full committee meeting was held in November, with the chairman of the Methods Committee in attendance, and among the reviews of progress were discussions of the various computer generated method collections in course of preparation.

There has been evidence of advances in a number of other directions. R Baldwin has completed the greater part of his new paper on the Algebra of Change-ringing. A D Leach has handed over to the committee a complete user manual for PROVE-8, his PDP-8 programme for proving compositions, together with a master paper tape so that copies may be distributed to interested experimenters. R Shipp has completed work on the improved version of ROWMAS, and he likewise has provided the committee with user manuals and a card deck for general issue to those FORTRAN users who would like to make copies.

The Publications Committee has re-published the paper by Maurice Hodgson on False Course Heads, complete with R Baldwin’s amendments. T G Pett has finished the task of checking the touches and compositions in the manuscript of a new paper on the subject of Treble Bob and Splicing. The first draft of the CC Collection of Treble Dodging Minor Methods has been produced by members of this committee in collaboration with F T Blagrove and R Bailey. The project of making a CC Collection of named Plain Methods on 8, 10 and 12 has been started.

James R Taylor (Chairman)
7 Farleigh Road,
BS19 3PB
John C Baldwin
Stephen J Ivin
Derek E Sibson
Cyril A Wratten

Mr J R Taylor (Gloucs & Bristol) proposed, and Dr J C Baldwin seconded, the report’s adoption. Mr W E Critchley expressed his personal gratitude for the work done by the committee: without this assistance his own committee’s work would be a great deal harder, he said.

Mr D E Sibson said that a listing of all Surprise Major and Royal methods rung to the end of 1975 was now available through the Publications Committee. It was hoped that next year’s listing would also contain further groups of methods, including Surprise Maximus, he added.

The report was adopted.



4,236 peals were rung in 1975 (4,105 in 1974), 3,758 on tower bells and 478 on handbells. The tower bell total is a record, and the overall total is the second highest, the highest being 4,338 in 1972 when the handbell total was 623.

There was an increase in peals on the higher numbers of bells in both tower and hand, and a significant increase in tower bell peals of Triples, whereas Major in the tower was down a little; and while peals of Minor increased in both tower and hand, Doubles peals decreased significantly in both.

Most societies showed increases in their totals, reflecting the popularity of peal ringing throughout the Exercise. The Leicester Diocesan Guild regained its position at the top of the “league table” with 254 peals, after having come second to the Kent County Association in 1974.

The composition of Superlative Surprise Major by A J Cox with a variable hunt bell, which the Council agreed to accept last year, has been rung again and the peal concerned has been included in the Analysis. Apart from this, all peals have appeared to conform with the Council’s requirements. We consider, however, that peal reports should in many cases indicate more clearly what has been rung: for example, multi-method peals of Minor should have listed the methods rung in each 720, rather than just a list of methods for the whole peal; peals of spliced should show the number of changes of method and indicate half-lead splicing where appropriate; and explanations should be given of unusual lengths.


Major & Triples1--1--
Minor & Doubles55-12--2


The following societies rang 130 or more peals:

Leicester Diocesan Guild22133254
Kent County Association2392241
Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild18736223
Oxford Diocesan Guild17844222
Chester Diocesan Guild12892220
Yorkshire Association1707177
Lancashire Association1432145
Essex Association1343137
Worcestershire & Districts Association12312135
Sussex County Association134-134

Compared with the similar list for 1974, the Essex Association replaces the Suffolk Guild.

The Devonshire Association, the Ladies Guild, the National Police Guild and the S Derbyshire and N Leicestershire Association did not ring any peals in 1975.


The 3,758 tower bell peals were rung in 1627 towers (59 more than in 1974). 875 towers had 1 peal, 357 - 2 peals, 168 - 3, 91 - 4, 38 - 5, 25 - 6, 16 - 7, 10 - 8, 7 - 9 and 39 had 10 or more. The towers with 10 or more are as follows:

Loughborough, Bell Foundry60
Birmingham, Cathedral40
South Wigston22
Bedford, S Paul21
Ashton-under-Lyne, S Peter19
Maidstone, All Saints18
Norbury, Cheshire16
Leicester, Cathedral15
Leicester, All Saints15
East Tytherley14
Bristol, Cathedral13
Cambridge, S Andrew13
Moulton, Northants13
Easton Neston12
Hanbury, Worcs12
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Cathedral12
Nottingham, S Peter12
Windsor, S John12
Hayes, Middlesex11
Lincoln, Cathedral11

Twenty of these towers were in the 1974 list of towers with 10 or more peals.


Numbers of peals in the more popular methods are as follows:

Maximus - Cambridge518
Kent TB48
Cinques - Stedman652
Royal - Cambridge749
Plain Bob3012
London (No.3)401
Caters - Grandsire755
Major - Yorkshire2259
Plain Bob21797
Spliced S1768
Triples - Grandsire1237
Plain Bob241
Minor - Plain Bob20771
2-6 methods23924
7 methods22612
8+ methods1056
Doubles - Grandsire33-
2+ methods1381

In proposing the adoption of the report, Mr F B Lufkin (Essex) said that Prof R J Johnston (Australia & New Zealand) had been co-opted to the committee during the year, and had been responsible for the analysis of first pealers and those calling a peal for the first time. Mr C H Rogers (Middlesex) seconded. Mr A Dempster (E Derbys & W Notts) said that his society had been trying to complete a list of its peals, but that the committee had been unable to help. Was there any way of checking without going back through all the back issues of “Bell News” and “The Ringing World”? The President said that he feared there was no alternative.

The report was then adopted.


A total of 619 ringers rang their first peal in 1975 (22 more than in 1974), 608 on tower bells and 11 in hand. In addition, six ringers rang their first peal on tower bells having earlier rung one in hand, and 55 rang their first in hand having previously rung tower bell peals.

First peals were scored in the following methods:

Plain Bob - Minimus to Royal322
Grandsire - Doubles to Cinques96
Stedman - Triples to Cinques7
2 or more methods - Minor87
2 or more methods - Doubles57
Cambridge - Minor & Major18
Kent TB - Minor & Major9
Yorkshire S Major6

250 first peals were on a fixed hunt bell, 49 on a cover bell and 318 on a working bell

91 ringers conducted peals for the first time (three more than in 1974), 84 on tower bells and four in hand, in the following methods:

Plain Bob - Doubles to Major47
Grandsire - Doubles to Cinques8
2 or more methods - Minor19
2 or more methods - Doubles5
Yorkshire S Major5
Cambridge S Major3

57 societies shared the first pealers; 25 had ten or more and four (Essex Assoc, Lancashire Assoc, Oxford DG and Winchester & Portsmouth DG) had more than 30.


We consider the following peals to be worthy of special mention and we wish to congratulate those who took part:

A S College Youths: Leicester - 8 Spliced S Maximus - Non-conducted.

Australia & NZ Assoc: Melbourne - 7 Surprise Minor - By one family.

Cambridge UG: Cambridge - Stedman Triples - Non-conducted.

Dronoldore Soc: Dore - 10,016 Bristol S Major.

Essex Assoc: Leytonstone - Bob Doubles - 5 first pealers and first as conductor.

Gloucester & Bristol DA: Bristol - Cambridge S Royal and Maximus by bands of ladies.

Lancashire Assoc: Accrington - 13,440 Pudsey S Major (record length in method).

Leicester DG: Leicester - 21,680 Kent TB Royal on handbells (longest peal in hand).
Loughborough BF - 11,127 Stedman Caters.

Lincoln DG: Skillington - 103 m/v Doubles - First as conductor.

Non-Association: Witchampton - Grandsire Doubles - First peal by all the band.

N American G: Chicago - Bob Minor - 4 first pealers and first as conductor;
Washington - Erin Cinques on handbells.

N Staffs Assoc: Brown Edge - Bob Doubles - 4 first pealers and first as conductor, by local band.

Oxford DG: Langley - 10,560 Cambridge S Maximus on handbells; 8 Spliced S Maximus on handbells.

Oxford US: Peals of Spliced Surprise Major by resident members.

SR Cumberland Youths: Shoreditch - 14 Spliced S Royal all the work (Also by Oxford DG at Newbury).

Sussex CA: Turners Hill - Stedman Triples - 7 firsts in method.

Universities Assoc: Bedford - Stedman Caters - Non-conducted.

Yorkshire Assoc: Rawmarsh - Bob Doubles - 5 first pealers.

F B Lufkin (Chairman)
108 Salisbury Road,
Essex CO15 5LT.
N J Diserens
K W H Felstead
R J Johnston
C H Rogers


A.S. College Youths165411564747
Australia & NZA12411819
Bath & Wells D.A.15359732118121263129
Bedfordshire A.1542832417575
Beverley & D.S.153212111415
Cambridge U.G.3320312312161303464
Carlisle D.G.333
Chester D.G.4825834671220441612892220
Coventry D.G.1155243115113256662
Derby D.A.393395137272
G. Devonshire R.111212122929
Durham & N.D.A.12232661210521062
Durham U.S.1455
E. Derbys & W.N.A.1899
E. Grinstead & D.G.111
Ely D.A.1164212023212147628104
Essex A.3464659376211343137
Gloucester & B.D.A.6271134232114109109
Guildford D.G.133216121147148
Hereford D.G.11192217260262
Hertford C.A.3321941912248511667
Irish A.110111113215
Kent C.A.33339108965922392241
Lancashire A.121132807243121432145
Leeds U.S.61211010
Leicester D.G.1811561241934438316322133254
Lincoln D.G.476435489211223125
Llandaff & M.D.A.135161096250252
London C.A.521361813148149
Manchester U.G.111122156171229
Middlesex C.A.133179714141
Midland C.G.334644747
N. American G.1113112114162026
N. Staffs A.210111414
N. Wales A.21144
Norwich D.A.22253151139210611117
Brought Forward825116584999152548412321833911142370222102882498
Oxford D.G.3277781364311512191617844222
Oxford Society112211412122325
Oxford U.S.1422658331346
Peterborough D.G.83212225161162
Railwaymen’s G.222
St. David’s G.1122
St. Martin’s G.2251226116767
Salisbury D.G.31161641440545
Scottish A.111255
S.Sherwood Y.1221177714
Shropshire A.231611313
Southwell D.G.4151632531257360
Stafford Archd. S.121621711139241
Suffolk G.1533523511392395
Surrey A.11132131212
Sussex C.A.737493281134134
Swansea & B.D.G.11112
S.R. Cumberland Y.2633125258260
Truro D.G.2212419145353
Universities A.1121021214
U. Bristol S.14171313
U. London S.31517617113322254
Winchester & P.D.G.511286897113113224518736223
Worcs. & D.A.1116674286111012312135
Yorkshire A.711549673821241707177
Aldenham C.Y.111
Birmingham U.S.421437
Bristol S.3144
Bushey S.5235510
S. Cambridge Y.2122347
Cumbrian A.111
Dronoldore S.513549
Liverpool U.S.31599
Manchester S.101010
Northern Univ. S.1233
Nottingham U.S.31314
S.Rambling R.222
Sheffield U.G.11355
S. Northants S.922263939
U. Wales S.2355
AFFILIATED SOCIETIES15970268130160822594741975343571620610130536134614074
GRAND TOTALS16072280135169223497642005343581821610134537584784236

The Ringing World, July 2, 1976, supplement, corrections July 23, 1976, page 617, August 27, 1976, page 715

Central Council Meeting, 1976, Official Report (Part III)


The real evidence of our work during the year is contained in the 51 issues of “The Ringing World” (including one double issue). The major matters dealt with at our main meetings in March and November 1975 were reported under the heading “About Ourselves” on pp257 and 973 respectively. Summarising, the 51 issues provided our readers with 1,072 pages plus 12 pages of supplements; two special issues; 49 cover pictures of churches, with accompanying articles; as many as 396 other pictures, compared with 330 in 1974; 35 technical and 59 other articles. The contents also included compositions, cartoons, puzzles, and extracts from issues of 25, 40 and 50 years ago.

At the 1975 Central Council meeting we experience the first of several changes to affect us and our work. Mr R S Anderson on ceasing to be a member of the Council also ceased his membership of the committee, and Mrs Staniforth also resigned from the committee because of other commitments. Tribute was paid by the Committee Chairman to the work of each (see “RW” Supplements of 20 and 27 June). With a fine sense of balance, the Council maintained the strength of the committee by adding three new (and younger) members to help the three remaining members.

Changes also had to be made in the staffing of the Guildford office. Mr and Mrs Charles Lucas, who had served “The Ringing World” faithfully and well for many years, decided that the time had come to retire, though they were kind enough to agree to stay until a replacement had been found. Our Chairman paid tribute to them on 12 September (p745) and on 7 November (p909), appeared a report of the presentation to them of a cheque and souvenir. We thank the many readers who contributed towards this presentation.

The search for a new office manager was not easy - we needed somebody able to run an office and to grasp the strange language used by ringers; nearness to Guildford was essential for a part-time-job; and of course we cannot pay a liberal salary. Through a coincidence quite unconnected with ringing, Miss Wynne Bartlett was approached and agreed to become our office manager for the time being from 1 October. On 10 October appeared (p825) her photograph and a potted biography. Since that date both the committee and our Editor have had reason to be thankful for the able and conscientious way in which she had carried out her duties.

It will be recalled that from 1 January 1975 the price of the paper had to be increased to 12½p, to meet an increased charge of some 26% for printing, and that the new printing contract was for the period until 30 April 1975. In fact, our printers were able to maintain the new charge until the summer and at our autumn meeting we had to consider an increased charge from 1 August 1975, which, after negotiations, amounted to about £1,700 for the remainder of 1975 and some £4,000 in a full year. It will also be recalled that from 1 April 1975 we had to increase the postal subscriptions rate to cover the rise in postal charges from 17 March. In the autumn we had to take into account a further increase in postal rates. This latest increase and the new printing contract will increase our estimated costs in 1976 by some £5,500. Reluctantly we put up the price of the paper, through newsagents, to 15p a copy from 1 January 1976, with commensurate increases for postal subscribers and advertisers.

Our accounts for the year 1975 will be presented separately and our comments in this report will therefore be limited. At the end of 1974 we had a surplus of income over expenditure of £2,770. Twelve months later the corresponding figure is £2,470. This suggests that our budget consideration at the end of 1974 was reasonably accurate, considering the difficult financial circumstances, and we hope the similar budgeting, loading to the increased charges for 1976 will be found equally reliable.

Inevitably the increases have affected our circulation - the average weekly issue for February 1976 being 5,460, compared with 5,664 in February 1975. We are thankful that the drop has been no more, but ask our readers to help us to obtain more subscribers; the increased revenue this will bring will help to meet the overhead costs.

Our accountant has again looked into the question of the comparative costs to us of newsagents’ and postal copies, and he confirms that postal subscribers are of greater benefit to the “RW”. At the same time, if the cost of postage is excluded, the amount paid per copy by the postal subscriber is less than the price through the newsagent. We know that some of our readers choose the method which brings the most benefit to “The Ringing World,” but would stress that so long as possible we hope to be able to supply the paper in whichever way the customer prefers. During the year we have, however, had to cope with many difficulties in dealing with agent-supplied copies.

With the advice of our accountant we have been able to continue our policy of adding to our investments, both as a contingency reserve and so that the annual interest can add to our revenue. As the accounts show, the “at cost” value of the investments at 31 December 1975 was over £18,000. This must, however, be compared with an estimated budget for 1976 of at least £44,000. The interest etc from the investments has added a welcome £1,900 to our income.

We must in this report express our appreciation of the donations sent in by so many of our readers, especially the quarter-peal ringers. In 1975 they have surpassed themselves, the total being over £2,800, some £750 more than last year. We must also thank all those who take the trouble to write for us; our advertisers; the anonymous provider of an Index; and Messrs Goldsmith and Drake and their staff at Seven Corners Press Ltd, whose co-operation goes far beyond the normal customer/provider relationship. In the increasing use by the firm of the offset lithographic process, outlined on 14 November (p929), when they started producing the covers by this process, our Editor and Mr Drake have worked closely together for the benefit of us all.

During 1975 we note that in Britain 51 weekly newspapers ceased publication and there was a drop of 237 in the number of periodicals. This is an indication of the difficulties being met in this sphere, and adds force to our plea for the Exercise for help in our task in ensuring the continuance of “The Ringing World,” with an increased circulation and a standard as high as our finances will allow.

In conclusion we must express our thanks to our Editor, Mr C W Denyer, for his continued efforts and enthusiasm, both in the office and on his many journeys round the country; and to Miss Bartlett for the efficient running of the office. We must also thank most sincerely the officers of the Council who attend our meetings whenever possible and are always helpful; Mr Douglas Hughes, as much for his hospitality as for being our Treasurer; and Mr David Tate, accountant and auditor, for all his work, including time and expert advice given freely at our meetings. The Chairman acknowledges with gratitude the help and support he receives from the other members of the committee.

W G Wilson (Chairman)
42 Willow Grove,
D A Bayles
H W Egglestone
J S King (Mrs)
A Newing (Mrs)
R F B Speed

Mr W G Wilson proposed that the report be adopted. He said that he had been thrilled by the attendance at the open meeting on Sunday evening, and that the spontaneous collection at its end had raised £28 for the journal. He had also been delighted to learn that the two bellfounders were increasing their donations to the paper (applause).

He said that circulation had dropped, averaging 5,376 per week during May, and must be increased. He urged societies to do all they could to bring in additional subscribers.

He then turned to the editorial in the previous week’s issue of “The Ringing World,” on the health of the editor. Everyone hoped, he said, that Mr Denyer would be able to continue quietly with the work for many years yet, but the committee must be prepared to find a successor. He asked that any suggestions should be sent to him.

After Mrs A Newing had seconded, Mr Halls enquired whether the drop in circulation might be due, not to losses of subscribers, but to a failure to recruit new ones. Mr Wilson said that, although the committee could not be sure, he felt that it was probably the former.

Mr D E House asked whether the committee had tried to discover why anyone stopped taking the paper. He wondered whether the contents, rather than the cost, might have caused the drop in circulation, and suggested that a pilot survey of lapsed postal subscribers could be illuminating. Mr Wilson doubted whether such a survey, would be cost effective - many postal subscribers had changed to getting their copy through newsagents, he said - but promised to consider the suggestion further.

After the report had been adopted, Mr Wilson commented on the journal’s accounts. He said that income and expenditure had been running at about £40,000 each during the past year, and that for 1976 £45,000 had been budgetted for. After the meeting the committee would be considering a request from the printer for a further increase in costs, he added. The amount given in the form of donations had increased, he said, and this was greatly appreciated. Because of the Council’s new charitable status its expenditure on taxation was shown in the accounts.

In reply to a question from the President, he said that £15.70 had had to be paid to the bank because an arrangement whereby surplus funds were automatically transferred from the current account to the deposit account had at one point caused the former to run briefly into the red.

There being no further questions, the Secretary proposed, and Mr D E Sibson seconded, the adoption of the Council’s accounts as a whole. This was carried.

The editor of “The Ringing World,” Mr C W Denyer (honorary), then made a brief statement. He said that he was grateful to all those who had sent him their best wishes. He hoped to be able to carry on, but in view of his health he could not guarantee to do a 100% job, and he thought the time had come when the Council should start looking for a successor. In the meantime the quality of the journal was dependent upon the quality of the contributions it received, he said. He concluded by thanking everyone for their support over the past years, and sat down to loud applause.


This committee, although a very small one, has worked hard and achieved much during 1975.

I think it fitting to point out, at this stage, our terms of reference, so that members of the Council and ringers generally can judge our efforts for themselves. They are:

To maintain contact with the press and Broadcasting organisations with a view to presenting to the public a correct image of bellringers and their work; to keep in touch with ringers overseas by the appointment of one of its members as Overseas Liaison Officer.

To take the last part first, the committee is very fortunate in having Mr George Pipe as a member, and one whose business takes him much overseas. During the year he has gathered together a vast amount of material and has been able to compile a “Directory of Overseas Ringers,” thus enabling contact between ringers far and wide. It would be helpful if this Directory could be duplicated and each Association provided with a copy. Mr Pipe has proved a very competent Overseas Liaison Officer and certainly one not afraid of hard work. We hope that the Directory will prove of use to ringers at Diocesan level.

Our other hard-working committee member is Mr Harold Pitstow, who received the OBE in the “New Year’s Honours List” as Secretary of the Westminster Abbey bellringers. Our sincere congratulations are offered to him. Mr Pitstow has been working closely with the BBC for many years on the “Christmas Bells” radio programme. Opinions expressed concerning the 1975 programme were mostly complimentary. The commentary, too, was interesting, with personal details about the various ringers taking part.

“The Otago Daily Times” (New Zealand) of 23 August gave wonderful coverage of the new bells given to the First Church of Otago by Mr H H Richmond. The Ringing Master of this new society is Mr J B Wilson, previously master of the University College of Wales Society. The article contained pictures of the new band of ringers, diagrams of change ringing and pictures of the casting and tuning of bells. The article was altogether most informative, packed with interest and correct detail, and should do much to further interest in bells in New Zealand.

In Ireland the press and magazines gave coverage to a lot of ringing information. Miss June Kelly, a member of John’s Lane Society, had an article published in the magazine of the Irish Life Assurance Company. The article was called “In Steeples Far and Near.”

Throughout the length and breadth of our land the press have been most interested in our art, and the “Daily Mail” has even asked for prior notice of interesting events.

Our “scouts” who watch for interesting material have provided so much that individual mention of all articles would be quite impossible. We can see very clearly though that great interest is taken in ringing by all classes of publications, and information thus reaches a very wide variety of readers.

As with press, so with radio and television coverage. All our regions seem to delight in using the sound of bells, especially so for advertising! Again, the material gathered is such that only a brief skim can be made of all the interesting items. John Betjeman’s marvellous documentary on television, “A Passion for Churches,” gave pleasure to many, as did the repeat of “The Nine Tailors” by Dorothy L Sayers. Durham Cathedral ringers and their bells appeared in a local BBC TV programme and on Tyne-Tees.

In the West Country, Tom Ingram was interviewed on BBC2, giving explanations of some of the many bell inscriptions and bell poetry to be found in the West. On HTV in March the Axbridge handbell ringers were shown ringing changes, and then tunes accompanied by a guitar. The gentlemen ringers wore smart top hats and tails with red cummerbunds, and gave a fine rendering of the song “The Streets of London.”

On the HTV programme, “Aquarius,” there was an excellent coverage of The Hill Residential College at Abergavenny, Gwent. This contained good shots of the Abergavenny ringers in action, and also included Mrs Sheila Parry’s little handbell ringers.

From Ireland many bells were broadcast, including those of Christ Church, Dublin, Holy Trinity, Drumbo, S Comgalls’, Bangor, and Armagh Cathedral. In the programme “Sounds around Eleven” a fine touch of Cambridge Surprise Maximus was heard together with an interview with David House, Master of the College Youths. This produced an interesting account of the history of change ringing in Ireland and a general outline of ringing by persons of all ages.

However, this report must not be a lengthy screed: all other information gathered but not mentioned is to hand, and is available to anyone interested. The committee members have enjoyed their year’s work and would like to offer sincere thanks to all our helpful “information scouts.”

We would bid each and every ringer in the land remember that they too, in a way, are members of the public relations committee, and that favourable opinions of our art rest with them.

J S King (Mrs) (Chairman)
The Cedar Tiles,
High Beech Lane,
H N Pitstow, OBE
G W Pipe

Proposing the adoption of the report, Mr J S King (Llandaff & Monmouth) said that the committee was in touch with Baroness Philips about providing suitable names for a list of speakers for women’s clubs, and was trying to build up contacts with local radio stations.

Seconding, Mr G W, Pipe (honorary) said that, while it was not feasible to distribute copies of the overseas directory referred to in the report to all Council members, copies would be sent to the secretaries of affiliated societies. The directory contained the names and addresses of some 200 overseas ringers. In reply to a question from Mr W G Wilson, he said that he doubted whether it would be worth publishing the directory in “The Ringing World” in view of the difficulty in keeping it up-to-date.

Mr Pipe added that the committee planned to be more outgoing, not just to collect information but to dispense it. It would be sending a report of the day’s meeting to “The Church Times.” He suggested that use could well be made of diocesan newsletters for publicity purposes.

Mr W Simmonds (Devonshire Guild) said that they had had little success in their dealings with local radio in the West Country. He suggested that, instead of waiting for radio engineers to make their own recordings of bells, societies could themselves make tape recordings of good ringing on good bells and offer these.

The report was adopted.


1975 saw the completion of the following projects by the committee:

An open meeting on teaching was held at Newbury and attended by members from 13 Associations and Guilds in the South of England. A provocative lecture by a member of the committee stimulated a discussion which was reported at length in “The Ringing World.” A similar meeting, run on modified lines, will be held in the North during 1976. Work on an 8mm cine film is still in an experimental stage; the subject matter has yet to be decided. We would welcome advice and ideas from those interested.

The day-to-day work of the committee has continued. Contact is being maintained with the theological colleges; the Washington film sent out on loan; requests for information on bells and ringing supplied to students working on projects and theses. (One of the latter required information about the physical actions involved in ringing for a paper on movement!) A small, but regular demand continues for the pamphlets produced by the committee; suggestions for other titles would be welcomed.

Most of the members of the committee are involved in organising and assisting at ringing courses throughout the country. However, if is felt that this work is not a specific committee activity, and therefore is not reported.

W Butler (Chairman)
7 The Waverleys,
Berks RG13 4AW
A R Agg
N Chaddock
W F Moreton
C M Smith
R B Smith
J M Tyler

Mr W Butler proposed the report’s adoption, and emphasised that ideas for further pamphlets would be welcomed. Mr J M Tyler (Peterborough) seconded, and the report was adopted without discussion.


The main job over the last year has been the reprinting of a number of items that have proved worthwhile in the past. This work should continue, but owing to the high cost of printing it has been estimated that £1,000 will have to be borrowed to cover the cost. In an attempt to avoid this situation in the future the committee have decided to adopt “replacement cost pricing.” This will enable us to keep pace with costs and hopefully to be able to meet future printing costs without borrowing.

“The Beginners Handbook” is still our best seller, with over 3,600 being sold last year. “Tutors 1 and 2” also continue to sell well, and a reprint is being arranged.

Regrettably the Doubles book is still not available. It had been hoped that this would have been in our hands by this time.

Owing to the excessive cost of postage nowadays, the committee wish to suggest that Associations and Guilds appoint officers to handle CC publications in their areas, and make these available at meetings, etc. This policy should increase our sales, and owing to the discount that can be allowed for large orders, a profit could be made to boost local funds. A few areas have already decided that this is worthwhile.

It is hoped the present prices can be held stable until the end of this year, and from then on we shall review prices annually.

Geoffrey R Drew (Chairman)
Tewkesbury, Glos.
Christopher Groome
Edgar Shepherd
Wilfrid G Wilson

After Mr G R Drew (honorary) had proposed the report’s adoption and Mr C J Groome had seconded, Mr M P Phipps (Derby) enquired whether it would be possible to give an extra discount to societies making large orders, as suggested in the report. Mr Drew said that the committee would consider this idea, and the report was then adopted.

Mr C Mew (Surrey) enquired what progress had been made with the new Council Handbook. The Secretary regretted that there had been none since the last meeting.

The President at this point expressed the Council’s thanks to all committee members for their work and their reports.

Copies SoldStock
Towers & Bells Handbook2461,193
Minor Methods139923
Popular Major Compositions11249
Surprise Compositions9898
Change Ringing on Handbells2051,775
10 and 12-bell Compositions101652
Tutor’s Handbook, Part 1324147
Tutor’s Handbook, Part 2279214
On Conducting231876
Stedman Compositions61259
Stedman Cinques Starting Courses4125
Touches of Triples2621,693
Ringing for Service160468
Grandsire Caters95263
Blue Line Proof67942
Beginners’ Handbook3,6081,210
Spliced Triples839
Four-way Minor Table91193
Method Sheets: DNCB64334
Methods sheets: Triples8954
Model Code of Rules66433
Electrical Warning Cards39698
Recruiting Leaflets5701,172
Rung Surprise Major Methods15415
Symbolic Treatment of FCH21979
Library List67188
Variation & Transposition65954


The President said that no invitation had yet been received for the 1978 meeting. As no invitation came from the meeting, he said that it was clearly not possible to pursue this any further at this stage. He then asked Mr G A Halls to tell the Council of the Derby Diocesan Association’s plans for the 1977 meeting.

Mr Halls said that the meeting would be on 7 June in view of the Government’s decision to move the Spring Bank Holiday to coincide with the Jubilee of the Queen’s accession. The Association’s motto for the meeting would be “Maximise; minimise” - to maximise members’ enjoyment, and to minimise their costs. A very full programme was being arranged and although the standard set by the Hereford Guild would be hard to beat, they would do their best to better it.

Mr C K Lewis (honorary) said that he was a little worried at the thought that some 200 ringers would be talking when they ought to be in their towers, helping to celebrate the Jubilee. A number of members, including Dean Thurlow (life), Mr K S B Croft (Winchester & Portsmouth) and Mr D A Frith, agreed, and a lengthy discussion ensued. Mr K J Darvill (Oxford DG) suggested, quoting the “Daily Telegraph” Information Service, that the Jubilee Day was to be on 6 June.

The President said that the matter should be left for the Administrative Committee to resolve in consultation with Mr Halls and his Association. A rough count of hands showed that Council members would prefer the meeting to be held on the Wednesday if the Jubilee fell on 7 June.

Looking to the future, the Secretary said that the Council had already received invitations for 1980, from the Winchester & Portsmouth DG; for 1982, from the Bedfordshire Association and from the Salisbury DG; and for 1985, from the Sussex CA.


Mr C W Pipe (Suffolk) made a plea for the acceptance of shorter peals. Although a minimum of 5,000 changes had been the standard for 250 years, conditions had changed, and he felt that shorter peals should be allowed when either necessary or desirable. All members, he said, had encountered complaints about lengthy periods of ringing, while both very young ringers and the elderly members of the Exercise were often extremely physically distressed when they tried to ring a conventional peal.

He did not wish members to vote on his suggestion, but to report back to their societies and obtain their reactions. Perhaps next year it would be possible to put a suitable motion before the Council, he said.

Mr R B Smith (honorary) said that, although he was sympathetic with Mr Pipe’s plea, he felt that the growth in peal ringing reflected in the Peals Analysis Committee’s report showed that there was little general interest in shortening peals. In fact, he felt that it might be better to double the number of changes required for a peal, in order to compensate for easier-going bells (laughter). Mr F Reynolds said that the answer to complaints about noise was to install sound control, not to shorten peals (hear, hear). Mr A E Rushton (Bedfordshire) suggested that a new term was required for touches of the length suggested by Mr Pipe.

The President then announced that of the 207 members, 180 were present.

This was three more than the previous record attendance, at London in 1972.

Forty-nine societies were fully represented, 15 partially represented, and only one not represented.


The President expressed the Council’s thanks to the Hereford Diocesan Guild, and in particular to its Master, Mr J Eisel, and Secretary, Mr G T Cousins, their committee and helpers, for all their arrangements for the weekend and meeting; to those who had acted as tellers earlier in the day; to the Dean and Chapter of Hereford for allowing the Council to have a Communion Service in the Cathedral that morning, and to the Deans of Hereford and Gloucester for officiating; and finally to the various incumbents for allowing the use of their bells.

Speaking personally, he said that he too was grateful for the opportunity to be in the Chair at a Council meeting in Hereford: his grandfather had been a ringer at Ross-on-Wye, and had called the first quarter-peal rung by the Hereford Diocesan Guild, at Holme Lacey.

The Vice-President thanked the President for the conduct of the meeting, and the Secretary and his wife for their work; and Mr W G Wilson thanked Miss D E Colgate (Ladies) for her assistance in taking notes of the meeting.


Life Members: E A Barnett, J Freeman, F W Perrens, E C Shepherd, A G G Thurlow, W G Wilson.
Honorary Members: Mrs O D Barnett, H C Chant, F E Collins, C W Denyer, R H Dove, G R Drew, Mrs S M Drew, K W H Felstead, D Hughes, S J Ivin, C K Lewis, J R Mayne, G W Pipe, R B Smith, R F B Speed, W H Viggers, Mrs M J Wilkinson, Mrs M A Wratten.
Anc Soc of College Youths: W T Cook, D E House, J G A Prior, A N Stubbs.
Australia & New Zealand Assoc: P M J Gray.
Bath & Wells Dio Assoc: G W Massey, E Naylor, A H Reed, J S Walton.
Bedfordshire Assoc: J H Edwards, A E Rushton.
Beverley & Dist Soc: I G Campbell.
Cambridge Univ Guild: B D Threlfall, S C Walters.
Carlisle Dio Guild: R W D Wetenhall.
Chester Dio Guild: A P Foster, A J Martin, A F Scholfield, M Thomson.
Coventry Dio Guild: P Border, H M Windsor.
Derby Dio Assoc: G A Halls, D Hird, M P Phipps.
Devon Assoc: B E Bartlett.
Durham & Newcastle Dio Assoc: K Arthur, D A Bayles, D Martin.
Durham Univ Soc: C C Monson.
E Derbys & W Notts Assoc: A Dempster.
E Grinstead & Dist Guild: A N Brock.
Ely Dio Assoc: A M Barber, G E Bonham.
Essex Assoc: J Armstrong, F B Lufkin, P J Rothera.
Gloucester & Bristol Dio Assoc: L C Edwards, A R Peake, J R Taylor, C A Wratten.
Guildford Dio Guild: M J Church, D E Parsons, T Skilton.
Guild of Devonshire Ringers: J M Clarke, D J Roberts, J G M Scott, W Simmonds.
Hereford Dio Guild: P Hughes, R G Powell, A T Wingate.
Hertford County Assoc: A R Agg, G Penney, G Dodds, R E Hardy.
Irish Assoc: F E Dukes, J T Dunwoody.
Kent County Assoc: P A Corby, I H Oram, S Jenner, M J Hiller.
Ladies Guild: Miss D E Colgate, Mrs P J Staniforth, Mrs J Summerhayes.
Lancashire Assoc: C Crossthwaite, D R Jones, J Kershaw, F Reynolds.
Leeds Univ Soc: A M Glover.
Leicester Dio Guild: B L Burrows, P J Staniforth, B G Warwick.
Lincoln Dio Guild: G E Feirn, D A Frith, J L Millhouse, P H Reynolds.
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio Assoc: J C Baldwin, Mrs J S King, M J Pryor.
London County Assoc: H W Rogers, Mrs O L Rogers, Dr J M Weddell.
Manchester Univ Guild: M C W Sherwood.
Middx County Assoc: F T Blagrove, T J Lock, C H Rogers, B C Watson.
Midland Counties Guild: J K Smith.
National Police Guild: N S Bagworth.
N American Guild: W A Theobald.
N Staffordshire Assoc: E Nixon.
N Wales Assoc: Mrs N M Randles.
Norwich Dio Assoc: H W Barrett, M Cubitt, F N Golden.
Oxford Dio Guild: W Butler, K J Darvill, N J Diserens, T G Pett.
Oxford Soc: F A H Wilkins.
Oxford Univ Soc: J E Camp, D J Roaf.
Peterborough Dio Guild: E Billings, B R Care, C J Groome, J M Tyler.
Railwaymen’s Guild: E J Franklin.
S David’s Dio Guild: J H Payton.
S Martin’s Guild: T R Hampton, R W Pipe.
Salisbury Dio Guild: E J Hitchins, R G W Robertson, N O Skelton.
Scottish Assoc: T Lewis.
Shropshire Assoc: R B Dorrington, Mrs A E Stevens.
Soc of Royal Cumberland Youths: J S Barnes, D Beresford, D E Sibson, P M Wilkinson.
Soc of Sherwood Youths: G A Dawson.
Southwell Dio Guild: W L Exton, S Humphrey, R B Mills, Mrs B N Reed.
Stafford Archd Soc: B Harris, C M Smith.
Suffolk Guild: T N J Bailey, H W Egglestone, C W Pipe, L R Pizzey.
Surrey Assoc: R J Cooles, S F Kimber, C F Mew.
Sussex County Assoc: C L Champion, P T Hurcombe, R Percy, D D Smith.
Swansea & Brecon Dio Guild: J A Hoare.
Truro Dio Guild: W C Boucher, F M Bowers, W R Curtis, Miss J H Dash.
Universities Assoc: M C C Melville.
Univ of Bristol Soc: Mrs A Newing.
Univ of London Soc: A J Frost.
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio Guild: K S B Croft, G K Dodd, J Hartless.
Worcestershire & Dist Assoc: A C Berry, W B Cartwright, M D Fellows, R G Morris.
Yorkshire Assoc: S J Gullick, E Hudson, W F Moreton, D Potter.

The S Derby and N Leics Association was not represented.

The Mayor of Hereford (Ccl W A Vowles) is welcomed by the Master of the Guild (left) Mr John Eisel and Mr Peter Hughes.
John Eisel, Walter Vowles, Peter Hughes

The Organising Committee of the Hereford DG: (L to r) Messrs P Hughes, F Bennett, N Mattingley, J C Eisel, Austin Wingate, G Cousins and R G Powell.
P Hughes, F Bennett, Norman Mattingley, John Eisel, Austin Wingate, G Cousins, R G Powell


338Affiliation fees348.17
-Bequest (Miss K. A. Hills)100.00


-Council meetings, 1974 & 197564.00
Committee expenses:
Computer Co-ordination4.03
Towers and Belfries83.44

15Secretary’s expenses15.00
93Stationery and printing141.37
17Ringing World: notices17.50

94Excess of Income over Expenditure19.05


17Clement Glenn Bequest263.98
201Cash and Bank Balances20.61

15Publications Fund36.04
-Sundry creditors26.50


213Net Assets£232.05

119Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1975213.00
94Excess of Income over Expenditure19.05


58Investment income64.29
4Hire of Washington film (net)6.79
1Prayer Sheets.68



14Education Committee expenses7.02
-Open meeting (Newbury)14.20
Less Stock, 31 December474.82

-Ringing World: advertisements3.00

42Excess of Income over Expenditure136.46


398£563 Treasury 3½% Stock 79/81 at cost397.92
769Leeds and Holbeck Building Society516.26
-Education Committee stock474.82
-Sundry debtor205.00
132Cash and Bank Balances96.44

17General Fund263.98
-Publications Fund7.64


1282Net Assets£1418.82

1240Accumulated Fund, 1st January 19741282.36
42Excess of Income over Expenditure136.46


-Goodwill, Blocks, etc, at cost200.00
Less amount written off200.00

Investments at cost:
Abbey National Building Society2000.00
Brighton Corporation 6¾% Bonds500.00
Tyndall Income Units - 5002 Units3499.57
Distillers Co. Ltd.- £1000 7¾%
Unsecured loan stock 1988/93
Bass Charrington Breweries Ltd. - £1200
7¾% Unsecured loan stock 1992/ 97
3% Savings Bonds 1965/75-
Imperial Group Ltd.- £900 8% Convertible
Unsecured loan stock 1985/90
E.M.I. Ltd.- £850 8½% Convertible
Unsecured loan stock 1981
British Electricity 3½% Guaranteed
Stock 1976/79 - £5076.60
Midland Bank Ltd.- 7½% Convertible
Subordinated Unsecured Loan Stock 1983/93
Grand Metropolitan Ltd.- 1300
Ordinary 50p shares
Carrington Vijella Ltd - 3500
Ordinary 25p shares

Cash at Bank:
5300Deposit Account9.78
2808Current Account4357.01
106Trustee Savings Account292.92

3Cash in hand19.08

Less Creditors:
5239Expenses and taxation2335.45
5810Subscriptions in advance7922.49


13573Net assets£16043.87

Represented by:
Capital Account:
10803Balance at 1 January 197513573.44
2770Net profit for the year2470.43


1695Stock of Publications2472.81
3014Debtors and payments in advance3494.87
14592Investments at cost19153.51
8877Cash and Bank Balances5434.55

5273Sundry creditors2361.95
5810Amounts received in advance7922.49


17105Net Assets£20281.30

213General Fund232.05
2036Publications Fund2586.56
1282Clement Glenn Bequest1418.82
13574“The Ringing World”16043.87


Hon. Treasurer



728Stock, 1 January1695.04

1695Less Stock, 31 December1997.99

158Postages and telephone248.09
68Ringing World: advertisments96.22

827Excess of Income over Expenditure550.43


16General Fund36.04
-Clement Glenn Bequest7.64
326Cash and Bank Balances638.71

1Sundry creditors93.82

2036Net Assets£2586.56

1209Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19752036.13
827Excess of Income over Expenditure550.43


15264Postal subscriptions19846.76
118Profit on sale of calendars151.50
433Sundry receipts603.55
1422Interest receivable1606.24
-Profit on sale of 3% Savings Bonds293.63


4413Wrappers and postage7224.70
1708Editor’s fees and expenses1958.84
1438Editorial and accounts assistance1558.62
166Rent and telephone176.92
375Postages, stationery and sundries586.76
84Miscellaneous expenses111.46
100Accountancy charges155.00
-Bank Interest15.70

2770Net income for the Year2470.43



We have audited the annexed balance sheet dated 31 December 1975 and have obtained all the information and explanations we required. In our opinion, the balance sheet is properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and correct view of the state of the affairs of “The Ringing World” according to the best of our information and the explanations given to us, and as shown by the books.

Chartered Accountants

Temple Chambers,
Temple Avenue,
London, EC4Y 0ER.

March 1976


We have compared the annexed Balance Sheets and Income and Expenditure Accounts of the General, Clement Glenn Bequest, and Publications Funds of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers with the books and vouchers of the Council. We have also examined the annexed Consolidated Balance Sheet. We have obtained all the information and explanations we have required and report that in our opinion based on our examination and the report of the Auditors of “The Ringing World” not audited by us, the aforementioned Accounts are properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and fair view of the state of the Council’s affairs on 31st December 1975.

HAROLD N. PITSTOW)Hon. Auditors.

April 1976

The Ringing World, July 9, 1976, supplement

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