The Central Council Meeting in Guildford last week was an outstanding success in every way. The Guildford Guild’s organisation was superb; the Civic and Ecclesiastical Reception in the Royal Grammar School on the Monday, attended by 300, was noteworthy not only for the tremendous buffet served but also for the quality of the speeches, which one veteran Council member said were the best he had heard for many a year.

For a variety of reasons the attendance at the service of Holy Communion on Tuesday morning was not good, and the beautiful summer-like weather over the weekend made a number of Council members wish they did not have to stay indoors all day. The “strangers’ gallery” around the Civic Hall’s Conference Room, where the business of the Council was transacted, did not have more than 70 present at any one time, the average being 30-40. Fortunately the spacious rooms allowed plenty of accommodation for everyone, the majority of members preferring the seats in the middle and back, and then complaining that the speakers in the front could not be heard: “Use the mike” was their cry!

The principal officers of the Council on the platform kept the long agenda moving well - particularly so in the morning; but items began to drag somewhat for the last hour-and-a-half in the afternoon. Just after 5 p.m. everyone had had their say and the 1978 Council Meeting ended, the venue next year being planned for Penzance, Cornwall.

New members, new committees, new chairmen with hopes and aspirations for the future - all have their part to play, and we trust that their new-found interests and enthusiasm will continue throughout the year. These will be proved when the Council reassembles during Spring Bank Holiday weekend, 1979.

The Ringing World, June 9, 1978, page 477

Central Council


Bell Restoration Fund Discussed

Between 180-200 attended the Open Meeting in the Cathedral Refectory on Stag Hill, Guildford on Sunday evening, May 28, and well before the appointed time (8.30 p.m.) groups of ringers were standing or sitting around outside in the warm evening sunshine, the views of Guildford and its surroundings being admired, as well at the Cathedral.

A bar was specially arranged for the company inside the hall and did good business. The Rev. John Scott, vice-president of the Central Council welcomed the gathering and introduced four of the five speakers: Messrs John Barnes, Gordon Halls, Kenneth Croft and Ian Oram. Mr. Eric Billings was unable to attend and speak but sent his manuscript on the subject which was read out after the others had addressed the meeting.

Bell Restoration Funds, the topic for discussion, had changed considerably over the years, it was stated. Whereas coppers were collected at meetings and wealthy patrons had paid for restorations, etc., nowadays the churches could not always afford to undertake the work and patrons were hard to find. Ringers themselves were now fund raising and also carrying out much of the work of overhauling the bells and appurtenances. Any Association with a healthy bells restoration fund could be a deciding factor when overhauls were considered necessary. Ringers could and should shoulder the responsibility and their programme of fund raising should include investment management and trusteeships. But these funds must register as a charity; this was the law! The tax man could otherwise take 50 per cent (or more) of the funds. A buoyant fund could bring people together and produce a sense of achievement. There was a booklet available explaining details and giving advice on funds and fund raising, said Mr. Barnes.

A letter in the Ringing World was referred to and the necessity to register as a charity was again stressed. The diverse opinions of the Charity Commissioners in London and in Liverpool were discussed. A representative for the Beverley and District Society said they had no trouble at all in their area when registering and this also was stated by the Bath and Wells DA secretary.


Mr. Gordon Halls was eloquent when he gave his findings from statistics and information collected. He produced two large cards (“I hope you can see them at the back” - (laughter!) - “NO”.) and proceeded to give a descriptive dialogue on how the investments and funds were raised in the Derby Diocese and other areas. The cash flow and problems of inflation were dealt with and the building up of the fund with particular reference to capital in relation to income over a period of years explained. It appeared that a Guild could and should, if necessary, spend out more in a year than was collected.

Mr. D. Hird and Mr. C. Groome, both of the Peterborough DG spoke of their experiences, the latter suggesting that preventative maintenance costs to all bells - singles to rings of eight or more was a worthwhile expense for this saved large sums being outlayed at a later stage.

Mr. Stan Mason said it was better to help people to help themselves, and as there were many more bells in the country than could be used and maintained, it would be better to keep only bells of antique value and dispose of others not used.

Mr. M. Church said secular bells or those in redundant churches should not be maintained from bell restoration funds registered as a charity.


Mr. Kenneth Croft read a prepared paper as follows:

Most of us are aware, I think, that very few Church Councils are in a position to provide money for bell restoration, however desirable they might think it to be. It therefore falls to us as ringers to act in a supporting role and at the same time to grasp the fact that we don’t own the bells. We are privileged persons - as I once heard Edgar Shepherd put it: guests in Someone else’s House. Our corporate action ought to stem from that realisation.

Ideally, therefore, fund raising needs to be directed by a person who is capable of providing inspiration, who has his or her general order of priorities right and whose motives are perfectly honest. [Laughter]

Bell installations are worth preserving, whether we regard bellringing as a part of church worship or as a cultural activity which can do much for individuals to enhance the quality of their lives.

As the B.R.F. Committee booklet is virtually sold out, most people will be aware of the basic methods of fund raising, whilst imaginative minds will soon supply others. Readers of the Church Times a fortnight ago will have seen the picture of the Provost of Coventry inaugurating an unusual sponsored marathon by trotting up and down the steps of his cathedral carrying a thimbleful of water! I don’t propose to give a list here - the current issue of the Ringing World has one - the vital point is to know when enough is enough and not to end up the loser through being over-persistent, and so, let’s face it, a nuisance. We must bear in mind that, important as it is to us, bellringing, as an art, is a comparatively minor one.

When a Guild is starting a B.R.F., two major considerations will have to be faced. First: is the annual membership subscription to be pitched so as to include an amount to be set aside specifically for the fund? Is it thought proper to levy, or not? Secondly: is the fund to accumulate capital (and if so, how much), or not? Consider here that any fund whose investment income exceeds £15 per annum must be registered as a charity, which in turn affects the type of investment that can be made.

The placing of investments constitutes a part of the work of fund raising. Judicious and prompt investment to achieve the best yield is an important part of the duties of trustees. Briefly, three successive, sensible stages might well be: Trustee Savings Bank investment, middle grade investment for sums of £500 upwards and then the higher levels (this committee can recommend advisers).

I cannot over-stress the value of regular income, however the fund is managed, which immediately brings to mind the covenant scheme - excellent because of the Income Tax that can be reclaimed. A treasurer should know how the system works. There is nothing to fear and help is readily available from at least two sources: H.M. Inspector of Taxes (Charity Division), Bootle, Lancashire, and the Central Council Bell Restoration Funds Committee.

In the final issue, successful fund raising, I believe, stems from the development of good fellowship in a Guild. That is the thing to aim for. Don’t go out and bludgeon for the last 5p piece at some tower on an open day, thereby perhaps losing a ringer (and what he might contribute) for ever; rather forego a little in the interest of right relationships, then the tide will flow in, fast or gently as may be, and if the trustees in their turn honour their obligations, it will never ebb.

£100,000 FUND.

Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG master) gave the meeting facts and figures regarding his Guild’s proposed £100,000 fund which was started in 1975. At present there were £3,600 a year being collected (the aim was £10,000) and how much was collected from the ringers and the public etc. was given.

Several individuals present spoke on the subject, including Messrs. E. Futcher, K. Darvill, D. Frith, R. J. Palmer and Rev. L. Pizzey.

Mr. Ian Oram’s contribution to the subject was on covenanting and the advantages which resulted to all concerned (see p. 510). Mr. Stan Mason disputed the advantage to the individual who paid by covenant. Others contributing to this part of the discussion included Messrs. Church, Croft, D. Martin, J. Baldwin, Lewis, Lufkin, Donkin, A. Smith and Mrs. O. Barnett, whilst Mr. Oram answered many questions raised.


Mr. Eric Billings’ paper read as follows:

I very much regret not being present at this Open Meeting to discuss the topic of investing funds once they have been raised.

I feel I must make it quite clear from the outset that the ideas and suggestions I put forward are not those of a “professional investment manager”, but are based on my experience of managing the funds of the Bell Fund of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild and, as such, the registration of a fund as a Charity is a prerequisite condition.

It is first of all necessary to establish what is to be the operational policy of the fund -

Gordon Halls has previously expressed some opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of these alternative policies, but my opinion is firmly in favour of the latter, which is the policy operated by the Peterborough Diocesan Guild.

Having decided on this policy, the investment needs of our Bell Fund fell naturally into two categories, namely:-

The options for Medium to Long Term Investments are far ranging in respect of both time span, interest rates and Capital appreciation and include:-

As Trustees of a Capital sum, currently in the region of £4,000, it was felt that “gambling” on the Stock Exchange was not the Trustees’ scene and we also lacked the expertise, so we opted for investing in Local Authority Bonds - a policy which has proved to be successful.

Currently, we have about £2,250 invested in these Bonds for periods of 3 years at interest rates ranging between 11% and 13½% - the 11% bonds being a recent renewal of previously 12¾% bonds. These investments provided £300, inclusive of reclaimed tax, of last year’s £1,300 income, the remainder of the income coming from Short Term Investments, Donations, Covenants and Special Fund Raising Activities.

The need to have money readily available for paying grants is obvious, and whilst Long Term Investments can be “cashed in” under some circumstances, it is usually at the expense of a reduced interest rate. It is therefore essential that a “pool” of ready money is available to meet these needs. The interest rates on Short Term Investments are generally lower than those for Long Term and are not for any period of time - they are therefore subject to sudden change, although Banks, Building Societies and the Post Office do not necessarily change on the same date. However, the variations in changeover dates and rates over a period of time would not normally justify switching funds around the “institutions”. The Peterborough Diocesan Guild does not invest any Bell Fund monies in Banks’ Deposit Accounts, where interest rates are lower, and until recently we placed our Short Term Investments in a Post Office Investment Account. However, the recent confirmation that some Building Societies are prepared to open Basic Rate Category Accounts, on which tax paid is reclaimable, caused a change in policy, and our short term investments are now placed in one of these special accounts with the Anglia Building Society. My letters to the “Ringing World” - 1977, p. 998, and 1978, p. 186 - explain the situation concerning these special accounts.

Those responsible for placing investments and reclaiming tax paid are no doubt aware of the administration work involved, and as a fund grows so does the work. In the Peterborough Diocesan Guild we have resolved this problem by using the services of the Official Custodian for Charities - a part of the Charity Commission - and I would commend his services, which are free, to any fund treasurer. In a sentence - the Custodian invests our funds in his name on our behalf; he then receives the NET interest payments, but remits to us the GROSS interest and then reclaims any tax paid to balance his books. This not only speeds up the total payments due to the Guild, but also eliminates most of the administration work. He will invest as directed by us and in addition offers free investment advice.

To summarise, whether investing for long or short term, provided the investment can be regarded as “safe as a tower” then you take advantage of the best interest rates going at the time the money is available - it’s simple really, especially when it’s not your own money. Furthermore, if you can get someone else to do the “donkey work”, such as the Official Custodian, then do so - I assure you he is a most trustworthy individual even though he is a Servant of Her Majesty’s Government.

by Ian Oram

Having recalled that the previous speakers had identified the need for funds, Ian Oram stated how simple it was to raise funds by covenanting. He asked the audience to indicate how many paid some amount of tax at basic rate. In response to a second question, how many of you covenant - whatever the amount? - only between 10% and 15% responded. He pointed out that presence in the hall that evening implied a keen interest in Bell Restoration Funds - and yet why was that interest not put into effect by covenanting?

What is the point of a covenant? - it enables the Guild to take advantage of its charitable status by reclaiming tax paid on donations. The deed of covenant itself shows a willingness to give for seven years: it must only be capable of being honoured for this period. How much should you give?-at least £1 is not too much to ask - a lot of you will pay that for three pints of beer - give that £1 under covenant and it’s worth £1.52. To illustrate the cumulative effect, if 95 members covenanted to give £1 per annum for seven years, £1,000 would be raised.

Suppose all the money is required at once? Then a deposited covenant is the answer - the full amount is given (say £7) and then in theory the Fund pays you back £1 each year which you immediately return to the Fund so that tax can be reclaimed on each annual donation.

Very little is required of you, the giver, except to agree to sign the deed and give your donation. All the administrative work involved can be done with little effort - a qualified accountant is not necessary.

The speaker concluded by asking the audience: “Why do you not covenant?”.

Summing up, the chairman said it had been a very “Open” meeting indeed, and the information given and the discussions and debates had been excellent. It certainly gave one and all something to think about and upon which to act.

He thanked those responsible in the Guildford Guild for the organisation and Mr. E. A. Barnett expressed appreciation to the Rev. John Scott for chairing the meeting.

The Ringing World, June 16, 1978, pages 499 and 510

The Central Council



THE MONTHS of preparation by the Guildford DG to ensure that the 30th Council (81st annual meeting) should be carried through without any delays or frustrations were successfully accomplished over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, May 27th-30th. The lovely warm and sunny weather, which continued over the whole period, enhanced the beautiful Surrey countryside and enabled the delegates and their friends to travel around in comfort (traffic permitting). In Guildford on Bank Holiday Monday the Surrey County Show was an added attraction for those who did not wish to ring all the day long at the many towers available, and the diocese, being a compact one, the short distances between villages enabled many visitors to grab a larger quota of rings than is possible in many counties.

The Civic Hall, Guildford, is a large and well planned building with easy access and car parking, and long before the assembly time - 9.15 on Tuesday, May 30th - the Council members were milling around meeting old friends, chatting about events that had taken place and signing in. The president (Mr. Edwin A. Barnett) called the gathering to order promptly at 9.30 and the vice-president (Rev. J. G. M. Scott) opened the meeting with prayer.

The president welcomed the assembled company and said that it was important that the business finished by 5.00 p.m. He referred to the small attendance at the Communion Service in Holy Trinity Church that morning (7.30 a.m.) and explained that the timing was, perhaps, difficult.

The secretary (Mr. Cyril A. Wratten) gave the apologies of several members unable to attend and also reported that the possible total membership was 203 and there was one vacancy. All subscriptions had been paid.


New members of the Council were named and each stood and received a welcome from the president, following which, there being only one nomination for each office, the following were declared elected: president, Mr. E. A. Barnett; vice-president, Rev. J. G. M. Scott; hon. secretary and treasurer, Mr. C. A. Wratten; hon. librarian, Mr. W. T. Cook. These officers will serve for a further three years,

On the proposition of Mr. M. J. Church (Guildford DG) seconded by Mr. P. G. Smart, Mr. C. W. Denyer was elected to life membership of the Central Council.

There were 11 vacancies for honorary membership and the following ten, having been proposed and seconded were declared elected, viz.: Canon K. Felstead, Mrs. M. Wratten, and Messrs. D. A. Bayles, H. W. Egglestone, D. Hughes, P. L. Taylor, W. H. Viggers, R. B. Smith, S. J. Ivin and H. N. Pitstow, OBE.

The hon. auditors are Messrs. M. J. Church and H. N. Pitstow. The meeting stood whilst the names of faithful departed and former members were read: C. A. Bassett, R. Leigh, R. G. Bell, G. I. Lewis, W. Ayre, A. Lock and B. Horton. Dean Thurlow led in prayer and the president spoke of the long service to ringing and to the Council in particular of Mr. Walter Ayre.

At Monday’s Reception: (l. to r.) The Bishop of Guildford (Rt. Rev. David Brown), the Guildford D.G. Master (Mr. Michael Church), his fiancée (Miss Lucy Freemantle), the Central Council’s president (Mr. Edwin A. Barnett) and his wife (Olive), an honorary member of the Council.
At Monday’s Reception: (l. to r.) The Bishop of Guildford (Rt. Rev. David Brown), the Guildford D.G. Master (Mr. Michael Church), his fiancée (Miss Lucy Freemantle), the Central Council’s president (Mr. Edwin A. Barnett) and his wife (Olive), an honorary member of the Council

The minutes of the 1977 meeting in Derby, which had been printed in the Ringing World and also circulated to members, were confirmed and there being no matters arising the hon. Secretary’s report was presented and, with several small amendments, was accepted.

The Council’s statement of accounts were discussed and, as is customary, were not voted upon at the early stage, The Ringing World accounts section being dealt with later in the meeting when the journal’s report and balance sheet were presented under another item on the agenda. It was stated that the Derby DA had met all the expenses connected with the 1977 meeting of the Council and therefore there was no charge to the Council.

Following the acceptance of the report of the trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine, presented by Mr. D. Hughes, Messrs. Hughes and W. Dobbie were re-elected trustees and appreciation of their good work noted by the meeting.

The Roll of Honour - two books containing the names of ringers in both World Wars who had lost their lives - now in St. Paul’s Cathedral Library - was reported upon by the Council’s librarian (Mr. W. Cook) and accepted. Mr. Cook was re-elected trustee.


An amendment to Rule 12 (ii) and Rule 13 (xiv) regarding the Council’s library that “the Library Committee be responsible for the care and maintenance of the Council’s library” was proposed by Mr. Cook and seconded by Mr. C. A. Wratten and carried without a debate.

There was a discussion, however, regarding the wording of the proposal to add three sub-sections to Rule 13 of Bell Restoration Funds, and taking part in the debate were Messrs. Alex Martin (“Ringers should be told how mean they are!”), P. Gray, A. Frost, C. Groome and P. Corby. Eventually Mr. Martin proposed and Mr. C. Crossthwaite seconded that the details as set out in the order paper be accepted, and this was carried. The three added clauses read:

Another debate took place on a proposal by Mr. C. Mew, seconded by Mr. R. B. Smith:

Visiting the Ringing World office during Monday were: (l. to r.) Mrs. Jill Staniforth, Mrs. Lucille Corby. Mr. Will H. Viggers (who conducted the tour of the printing works), Mr. Peter Staniforth and Mr. Philip A. Corby.
Visiting the Ringing World office during Monday were: (l. to r.) Mrs. Jill Staniforth, Mrs. Lucille Corby. Mr. Will H. Viggers (who conducted the tour of the printing works), Mr. Peter Staniforth and Mr. Philip A. Corby

Mr. J. R. Mayne said he had much sympathy with the proposal but disagreed with the word “standardisation” as not possible or desirable. New notations were very complex.

Mr. K. Lewis agreed and seconded Mr. Mayne’s proposal to change the word “standardisation”.

Supporting the initiative of the committee, Mr. F. Lufkin said many of the terms were too loosely used; but Mr. P. A. Corby spoke against the amendment. Mr. J. Freeman did not agree, stating that too much was being made of the difficulties.

Mr. W. F. Moreton suggested that if the proposals were accepted the committee should produce a leaflet and he proposed that the word “education” be replaced with “peal composition”.

It was eventually agreed that neither designation be used leaving just the word “committee”. Others taking part in the discussion were Messrs. J. H. Edwards, D. Sibson, C. Rogers, G. Massey and W. F. Critchley who asked that the word “standardisation” be removed. The original proposition was then passed as amended, but deleting the word “standardisation”.


There was another long and complicated debate on a proposal by Mr. W. Butler, seconded by Mr. K. Darvill:

Eventually it was proposed by Mr. P. Gray seconded by Mr. P. A. Corby that the Council proceed to “next business” as it was considered that the Council exists to see that essential aspects of ringing can be carried out.

This proposal was carried and the Council took “next business”.


At 11.30 am, the meeting had dealt with 14 of the 18 items on the agenda and item 15 was to receive, discuss and, if thought fit, to adopt the reports of the (14) committees appointed by the Council. It also had to pass such resolutions as was necessary and to re-appoint the various committees. These reports, already circulated, are always fully debated and take up considerable time, but show the exact state of affairs in the work the Council is carrying out during each year. Before the luncheon interval (at 12.30) five reports had been presented and agreed.

Mr. J. C. Baldwin, at the outset, said that three years ago members had a list of individuals and their interest in connection with the various committees but had not one this year. He proposed that at the commencement of each of the Council’s three year sessions the lists be available. Mrs. A. Newing seconded.

The president said the Administrative Committee thought the lists would cause confusion, but if the members thought otherwise, they would produce lists in future.

The proposal was carried, and the first report - that of the Records Committee was presented by Mr. D. Sibson who gave several minor corrections to the printed details. Mr. J. Baldwin seconded the report, which was approved. It was stated that an updated collection of Delight methods was available and one of Surprise also would be ready shortly. Mr. Baldwin displayed a microfilm which could be obtained if access to necessary equipment were possible by purchasers.

Mr. K. Croft and Mr. F. Blagrove are to co-operate regarding compositions in the Bellringers’ Diary.

The Records Committee was re-elected.

The Methods Committee report was also adopted Mr. Blagrove announcing that the Collection of Doubles Methods was now in manuscript and that he had taken note of suggestions by Mr. D. Frith.

Canon Felstead proposed the committee be re-elected and this was agreed.

Mr. W. E. Critchley presented the report of the Peals Composition Committee and told the gathering that the manuscript of the Major Compositions Collection was being checked. Mr. M. C. W. Sherwood seconded the adoption of the report which was carried.

The vice-president of the Central Council (Rev. John G. M. Scott) addressing the open meeting held in the Cathedral Refectory on Sunday evening. He chaired the meeting, attended by 180-200 ringers and friends.
The vice-president of the Central Council (Rev. John G. M. Scott) addressing the open meeting held in the Cathedral Refectory on Sunday evening. He chaired the meeting, attended by 180-200 ringers and friends

The committee (after a ballot) now comprises: Messrs. W. E. Critchley, M. C. W. Sherwood, P. Border, R. Hardy and R. Pipe.


Proposing the acceptance of the report of the Computer Co-ordination Committee, Mr. J. R. Taylor thanked Messrs. David Leach, Peter Rowe and Charles Denyer for arranging the demonstration the previous day at the offices of Seven Corners Press. It had been a very successful operation.

After the report had been accepted, the existing committee was re-appointed.

There was a long debate when the Peals Analysis Committee’s report was presented by Mr. F. Lufkin. Among the peals not accepted but discussed was one of Cambridge S Minor (“a round block of 5040 changes”) and further enquiries are to be instigated about this peal.

Technical details of peal compositions and variable hunt bells were brought up and the secretary had to read decisions made at previous Council meetings to clarify several points.

The inclusion of one paragraph in the report which stated that the Devon Association had not rung a peal in 1977 was criticised, the Association being in the main a call-change one, therefore not likely to ring a full peal of 5000 changes. However, it was pointed out that peals had been rung by the Association’s members and would be rung again and possibly this year. It was therefore agreed to leave the “offending” paragraph, it being likely that other guilds would be added on future occasions as not having rung a peal during the year.

Taking part in the discussion were Messrs. B. Warwick, F. Blagrove, C. A. Wratten, H. Rogers, M. Fellows, T. Lock, C. Rogers, J. Freeman, D. Roberts, B. Threlfall and R. Robertson.

The report was adopted and the committee elected, viz.: Messrs. T. Pett, C. Rogers, F. Lufkin, R. Johnston and Canon K. Felstead.

At this stage the president adjourned the conference, the next report, that of The Ringing World, being considered a long one which could not be quickly dealt with.

(To be continued)

The Ringing World, June 23, 1978, pages 514 and 531


Founded on December 31, 1927, the Guildford DG is celebrating its Golden Jubilee and one of its few surviving founder members (Mr. Charles W. Denyer) was proposed for life membership of the Council at the meeting held in Guildford on May 30. Taught to handle in 1920 by his father and the late George Gilbert, Charles was District secretary (in 1929) and District ringing master for 25 years, Later he was elected Guild master and served for four years, also being a Central Council representative for a session.

A vice-president of the Guild since 1962, Mr. Denyer became editor of the Ringing World in 1969, following Mr. T. W. White who is also a life member of the Council. One of his (Mr. Denyer’s) aims has been to visit Guilds and Associations throughout the country to meet fellow ringers and during his 8½ years as editor has visited 53 of the affiliated Societies.

Proposing Mr. Denyer and giving details of his ringing career, Mr. M. J. Church (Guildford Guild master) said it was mainly for his services to ringing and the Guildford DG in particular that the recommendation was made, his work as RW editor being well known and appreciated. It would be an honour for the Guild and a well-deserved reward for Charles.

Mr. Peter Smart, endorsing the comments made by Mr. Church, seconded the proposal which was carried with acclamation, the president stating at the outset that four-fifths of the membership must vote for the motion for it to be carried.

Acknowledging the honour to the Guildford Guild and to himself, Mr. Denyer commented that the eulogy to which he had listened sounded like his own obituary (laughter). However, he was very pleased and grateful to the Council for the honour conferred and hoped he would be able to serve them in one way or another for many years yet.

Celebrating his 50 years as a bellringer was Mr. Patrick A. Cannon, when he attended the Civic Reception for the Central Council members at Guildford’s Royal Grammar School on Bank Holiday Monday. His celebration dish? - fruit salad and fresh cream! Peter Border, seen here with Pat, was en route to select a dish of his own choice during the buffet meal.
Celebrating his 50 years as a bellringer was Mr. Patrick A. Cannon, when he attended the Civic Reception for the Central Council members at Guildford’s Royal Grammar School on Bank Holiday Monday. His celebration dish? - fruit salad and fresh cream! Peter Border, seen here with Pat, was en route to select a dish of his own choice during the buffet meal

The Ringing World, June 23, 1978, page 515

Central Council


THE CUSTOMARY reception by the Civic and Religious bodies in the area in which the Council meets was this year held in the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, on Bank Holiday Monday evening. The perfect weather and the well-appointed building were ideal for the 300 who attended, suitable liquid refreshment being offered the visitors as they entered the great hall. There were a number of invited guests, including the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church (Canon A. Carey) and the two directors of Seven Corners Press (Mr. G. G. Goldsmith, who was accompanied by Mrs. Goldsmith) and Mr. M. E. Drake.

On the platform were the president of the Central Council, Mr. E. A. Barnett and Mrs. Olive Barnett, the CC hon. secretary, Mr. Cyril Wratten, and Mrs. Marjorie Wratten, the Master of the Guildford DG Mr. Michael J. Church, the guild’s hon. secretary, Mr. Alan Smith, the treasurer, Mr. Alan D. Flood, together with the Mayor of Guildford. Ccl. Lt.-Col. B. E. Tyrwhitt-Drake and the mayoress, Mrs. Tyrwhitt-Drake, the Lord Bishop of the Guildford Diocese, Rt. Rev. David Brown. Mr. Church first welcomed everyone, introducing the guests, particularly the mayor, who himself is a ringer and a member of Cambridge University Guild.

The Mayor of Guildford Lt.-Col. B. E. Tyrwhitt-Drake) with the Mayoress (on his left) enjoying a joke with another of the guests - and the secretary of the Guildford D.G. (Mr. Alan Smith). Mrs. Pauline Smith is on the extreme left.
The Mayor of Guildford Lt.-Col. B. E. Tyrwhitt-Drake) with the Mayoress (on his left) enjoying a joke with another of the guests - and the secretary of the Guildford D.G. (Mr. Alan Smith). Mrs. Pauline Smith is on the extreme left

Ccl. Lt.-Col. Tyrwhitt-Drake extended a warm welcome to the Central Council and wished them a successful conference. He said that he had been brought up on plenty of bellringing stories, his father having been librarian of the Central Council in the 1930s. He was delighted that the Guildford Diocese had at last been “recognised” by the Central Council and concluded: “Don’t leave it too long before you come again!”.

The Bishop, in an amusing talk in which he referred to ringers as being “kind to Bishops”, said they (the Bishops and Clergy) looked after the “secondary” part of the church and whereas it was the numbers of communicants on the electoral rolls which the clergy counted of importance ringers assessed a church by the number and weights of the bells in the tower (laughter and applause). The Bishop spoke of the different ways that parishioners were called to worship in Africa where he had ministered for many years and suggested that if and when church bells in England were unobtainable they ask British Leyland for car wheels which make a loud clanging, when beaten with a hammer (laughter) and was most effective!

He welcomed the Council on behalf of the Diocese.

The Guild Master then extended a welcome to Council members on behalf of the Diocesan Association and hoped that every attention and comfort would make them feel at home and enable them to enjoy to the full the hospitality extended by the Guildford Guild members.

The success of the evening was in no small measure due to the work of these ladies and a number of gentlemen who prepared and served the substantial buffet meal, for which they deserve every commendation. (Back, l. to r.) Mavis White, Pam Giddings, Margaret Bird, Carolyn Tubbs, Carole White; (front) Betty Brown, Pam Bird (who organised the catering), Joyce Parsons and Alison White. Yvonne Eloie was not to be found when the group was collected for the photograph.
The success of the evening was in no small measure due to the work of these ladies and a number of gentlemen who prepared and served the substantial buffet meal, for which they deserve every commendation. (Back, l. to r.) Mavis White, Pam Giddings, Margaret Bird, Carolyn Tubbs, Carole White; (front) Betty Brown, Pam Bird (who organised the catering), Joyce Parsons and Alison White. Yvonne Eloie was not to be found when the group was collected for the photograph

Acknowledging the welcome by the Mayor, the Bishop and the Guildford Guild Master, Mr. Edwin Barnett thanked them for their kindly greetings to the Council. He referred to the Mayor’s late father and said it was appropriate that Guildford should have elected his son as Mayor at this particular time. The marvellous weather, and beautiful countryside, were helping everyone to have a delightful weekend.

Following the speeches a magnificent buffet supper was served by lady ringers and helpers - mainly from the Chertsey District and Guildford Cathedral band, and their gentlemen did much of the fetching, carrying and washing up. The bar did a brisk trade and the evening ended well after 11 p.m.

The Ringing World, June 23, 1978, page 531

Drinks for all! Hilda and Bill Oatway, of Leatherhead, Surrey, do the “rounds” at Guildford’s Royal Grammar School during the Civic Reception for the Central Council on Bank Holiday Monday.
Drinks for all! Hilda and Bill Oatway, of Leatherhead, Surrey, do the “rounds” at Guildford’s Royal Grammar School during the Civic Reception for the Central Council on Bank Holiday Monday

Central Council

Monday’s Coach Tour

Twenty members of the Central Council and the Guildford Guild availed themselves of the coach tour arranged for Bank Holiday Monday through the Surrey countryside.

The first stop was at Godalming to try out the newly-rehung eight, then touring on to the picturesque village of Chiddingfold (8), much admired by all.

The next place of call was “The Swan” in Haslemere, where, after some suitable lubrication, an excellent and very substantial lunch had been arranged. At least one of the party felt more like taking a siesta than tackling the Haslemere 10 - light as they are (13 cwt.).

Over the hill, through Hindhead’s well known beauty spot, and on to Grayshott (8), from where the tour took us past the holiday crowds sweltering by the “inland seaside” of Frensham Great Pond and to the massive Saxon tower of Frensham (8). Here, after ringing, the local band and their vicar generously entertained the whole party to tea and cakes.

The return to Guildford was via Farnham and the Hog’s Back, with its magnificent views, completing a leisurely and most enjoyable day. - E.J.B.

The Ringing World, June 30, 1978, page 535


(Continued from p. 531)


After lunch, Mr. Wilfrid G. Wilson rose to present the report and accounts of The Ringing World Committee, first congratulating the editor on his election as a life member of the Council. He also expressed thanks to all the officers, committee members and many others who had, in any way, assisted during the year.

Mr. Wilson said the journal had more than maintained its service to its readers and was better than the national press which varied its contents and reduced its number of pages from time to time but charged the same. He referred to the RW budget system which seemed to be working reasonably well. There was a slight improvement in sales: 5,552 in February and 5,578 in April compared with 5,399 last year. The latest figure - for May - was 5,595, but much bigger increases were required to help keep the accounts out of the red.

The editor, said Mr. Wilson, had agreed to continue in office for another 12 months from next October and he was pleased that his (the editor’s) health permitted this decision. Hoax peals continued to be sent in, but many were spotted before publication. The article in The Ringing World ten days ago about covenanting for subscription pointed out that it was not possible to proceed with this suggestion.

Considerable time and thought had been given to the arrangements for office management in Guildford and negotiations were proceeding with the directors of Seven Corners Press for the administration to be carried out by their staff.

The price of The Ringing World had been maintained for three years; the paper having improved in quality and the accounts showing a surplus. These improvements could not have been accomplished without the help and encouragement of the Exercise and the new committee to be elected would need continuing help and support.

After several questions had been dealt with by Mr. Wilson, Mr. R. F. B. Speed seconded the report which was adopted.


The Ringing World accounts were then detailed by Mr. Wilson, who drew attention to the record amount received from donations. He explained the loss on the sale of one batch of shares, but new shares purchased connected with Northern Engineering were satisfactory.

The Ringing World accounts were adopted and the whole of the accounts for the Central Council were then proposed for acceptance by Mr. Wratten, seconded by Mr. Baldwin, and approved.

There was a ballot for membership on The Ringing World Committee and this resulted in the following elections: Messrs. R. F. B. Speed, D. A. Bayles, H. W. Egglestone, A. Stubbs, and Mesdames J. S. King and A. Newing. The former chairman (Mr. W. G. Wilson), after 19 years, did not seek re-election, but promised continuing support and help to the committee as desired. He was thanked by the president and received the applause of the Council members for his long and faithful service.

One of the groups that visited the offices of the printers of the Ringing World on Bank Holiday Monday during the C.C. weekend in Guildford. Mr. Will H. Viggers points to one of the Intertype machines which sets the type for the ringers’ journal.
One of the groups that visited the offices of the printers of the Ringing World on Bank Holiday Monday during the C.C. weekend in Guildford. Mr. Will H. Viggers points to one of the Intertype machines which sets the type for the ringers’ journal


Owing to a misunderstanding by the president, the Publications Committee report followed the The Ringing World debate and it was proposed by Mr. G. Drew, seconded by Mr. W. G. Wilson. A number of questions were asked regarding the reprinting of the Council’s books, one in particular causing considerable discussion: Plain Major Methods. Mr. D. E. Sibson suggested that the methods be produced but not in book form and Mr. R. F. B. Speed commented that the book was outdated and it would be a waste of time and money to reprint it.

Mr. Drew, answering a question, said that it would cost four or five times as much to produce a new book with compositions included. The debate then took the form of computer-sheets at 10p versus the cost of the present book - almost 25p. Messrs. Mayne, Dodds, Baldwin, Lufkin, Walters, Threlfall, Crossthwaite, Struckett and Wilson all took part in the discussion but eventually the report was agreed.

The five members of the committee are Messrs. Drew, Wilson, E. Shepherd, Taylor and Groome.


The Public Relations report was submitted by Mrs. J. S. King, and carried, Mr. W. F. Moreton commenting on the Bells on Sunday programme at 7.45 a.m. Mr. David Wilmott, who had enlivened the presentation by giving items of news, had been posted overseas and the secretary was asked to write to the BBC thanking them and Mr. Wilmott in particular, for the coverage of church bells. The president said that he had already written a personal letter of thanks to Mr. Wilmott.

The Suffolk Guild, it was announced, had had an hour-long programme on Radio Orwell and Mr. W. Theobald announced that North America had another ring of eight bells at Hendersonville.

The committee elected consists of Mrs. J. S. King, and Messrs. Theobald, G. W. Pipe, Pitstow and P. Smart.

Mr. R. Cater congratulated the Education Committee on the display cards they produced, when that committee’s report was presented by Mr. W. Butler. The question of cheaper reproduction was difficult, but would be sought, said Mr. Butler, who stated that the designs and photographs were his own. He had reservations about anyone and everyone reproducing them before consultation. Mr. Edwards asked if the Ringers’ Handbook could be brought up-to-date and Mr. Moreton said it was well worth while to continue its publication.

Mr. Drew said it was possible to reprint cheaply but any revisions made would add considerably to the costs. The Rev. M. Melville asked that the 8mm film be not allowed to drop from use, to which Mr. Moreton replied that there was no question of this happening.

The report was adopted and the committee elected consists of Messrs. D. Joyce, R. Cater, W. Moreton, B. Harris, W. Butler, J. M. Tyler and C. Smith.


The Rev. J. G. M. Scott, presenting the report of the Towers and Belfries Committee, spoke of the Strathclyde report which was mentioned last year and said he would like to see it published in an Acoustical Journal and their findings included in the Towers and Bells Handbook. He accepted responsibility for the lateness of the Maintenance Handbook.

Checking compositions by computer was one of the sidelines during the Central Council’s weekend in Guildford. David Leach (Hawley), seated at the computer, was one who demonstrated the work and also seen are Peter and Angela Smart, who helped organise the visit, and Maurice Drake, Director of Seven Corners Press, printers of the Ringing World.
Checking compositions by computer was one of the sidelines during the Central Council’s weekend in Guildford. David Leach (Hawley), seated at the computer, was one who demonstrated the work and also seen are Peter and Angela Smart, who helped organise the visit, and Maurice Drake, Director of Seven Corners Press, printers of the Ringing World

Mr. F. E. Collins was retiring from the committee because of advancing years and thanks were accorded Mr. Collins for his services over many years.

The discussion which followed was mainly about the variation in the number of decibels given in various reports and Mrs. Newing and Messrs. Halls, Booth, Dawson, Reynolds, Collins, Mounsey and Lewis also expressed opinions about the subject and on the question of the welding of bells which arose from the report. Whereas 40-50 years ago welding was a 99 per cent failure, it was stated, today the success rate was very much better, although no actual figures were available.

The welding of clappers and why they broke in the first place was also not satisfactorily explained, one speaker saying that the bellfounders themselves would like to know the answer - and the remedy!

Details of the activities of the 12 committee members were supplied in reply to a questioner and eventually the following were elected: Rev. J. Scott, Messrs. J. Baldwin, W. Exton, J. Freeman, A. Frost, G. Massey, F. Reynolds, B. Threlfall, C. Walters, B. Harris, J. Hartless and A. Dempster.

One of the longest discussions of the day took place when the Bell Restoration Fund report was proposed for adoption by Mr. J. S. Barnes. This had been the subject for the open meeting in Guildford Refectory Hall on Sunday evening and much of the discussion then was repeated in Council, several members absent on the first occasion seeking information during the report stage on Tuesday.

Covenants, the Barron Bell Trust, Customs & Excise, VAT and charity registration of bell funds, were fully explained, and the fact emerged that at least one guild had registered the whole guild as a charity.


It transpired the Bell Restoration Funds must be registered by law, and that the officers of the Charity Commissioners and Customs & Excise had different views in different areas of the country.

The Associations, known to have bell funds in existence and registered, were read out and after further discussion to which Messrs. Barnes, Oram, P. Rogers, Martin, Gray, Church and Halls contributed, the report was approved.

The six committee members are Messrs. Barnes, Billings, Church, Croft, Oram and Halls.

Mrs. J. Wilkinson in presenting the Redundant Bells Report said there was now a levelling out and the latest figures showed 69 as compared with 83 last year. Several diocesan authorities were tackling the problems and she asked associations to pass on all possible information to the committee. She thanked Mr. and Mrs. D. Beresford and Mr. J. Baldwin for help and advice.

After the report had been seconded by Mr. A. Frost and adopted the president endorsed the comments about Mr. Beresford and sent good wishes to him for improved health (applause).

The committee was re-appointed.

That £26 had been received from Friends of the Library and that a resolution to open a banking account for that body were stated by the librarian (Mr. W. Cook) in presenting his report. It was noted that, following agreement by the Council in 1959, there were now 25-30 books available for sale, there being more than two copies of these already in the library.

Mr. G. Massey was concerned about the sale of these books many of which had been presented or “willed” to the Council’s library and he proposed they be offered on long loan to other affiliated societies who had libraries.

Mr. G. Dawson seconded and the proposition was carried.

The report as amended was accepted by the members and the committee appointed is as follows: Messrs. W. Butler, D. House, P. Wilkinson and J. Baldwin with Mr. Cook as chairman. Mr. Barnes, because of his many commitments, did not stand for election and was thanked by the Council for past services.

It was then agreed to open a Friends of the Library Account with Midland Bank, Sidcup, Kent.

Mr. T. Lock presented the Biographies report which was seconded by Mr. W. Viggers and agreed. The committee was then elected, viz.: Messrs. Lock, Viggers, Threlfall and Melville.


The Administrative Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. C. A. Wratten who gave details of attendances by elected members at the five meetings over the past three years. He then stated that the chairmen of each of the Council’s 14 other committees were ex officio and that there were 12 seats for which to ballot. Seventeen names were proposed and elected were: Mrs. Barnett, and Messrs. P. Gray, W. B. Cartwright, W. G. Wilson, I. Oram, M. Church, J. Freeman, F. Dukes, B. Threlfall, P. Corby, G. Halls and J. Baldwin.

The report was adopted.

An interested ringer listening to explanations of computer checking give by (left) Peter Rowe (Farnham). Standing at the rear are Peter Wilkinson and John Freeman.
An interested ringer listening to explanations of computer checking give by (left) Peter Rowe (Farnham). Standing at the rear are Peter Wilkinson and John Freeman


An invitation for the Council to meet in 1979 in the Penzance Branch, Truro DG, was given by Mrs. Byrne and accepted by the meeting, the date to be May 27. In 1980 an invitation has been extended by the Winchester and Portsmouth DG to Southampton; in 1981 to Kent, 1982 to Bedford; 1983 to Lichfield (Staffs.) or Salisbury.

An invitation for the Council to go over for a meeting to the North American Guild in Boston if practical, was suggested by Mr. W. A. Theobald and when a show of hands was called for to indicate how many could and would attend about 50-60 so indicated. However further enquiries as to cost, travel and other details will first be made. 1984 is an “election year” and this may have some bearing on whether or not such an ambitious decision is undertaken, however enthusiastic the ringers are on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1985 the Sussex CA has provisionally invited the Council.

Following two announcements by Mr. Church, regarding the ringing in the Guildford area, Mr. J. Shepard asked if The Ringing World editor would alter the new arrangement for submission of peals and quarter peals and bring them into line, i.e. 14 days or one month for both.

The editor said he could not do this as The Ringing World Committee had decided on the policy which he carried out.

(Editor’s Note: If we could afford a 24-page issue every week a change would be made. It depends entirely on increased sales which at present do not permit the extra cost of £107 for the four pages extra.)


The secretary gave details of the attendance at the meeting (202 possible):

55 fully represented138
8 partly represented19(9 absent)
4 not represented-(6 absent)
Hon. members17(6 absent)

181(21 absent)

The attendance constituted a new record.

The president spoke of three members who were not elected to the Council this session and who had served for many years, viz.: Mr. Nolan Golden (1930-1977), Mr. Joseph Cotton (1946-1977); Mr. C. W. (Jim) Pipe (1946-1977). He thanked these persons for past services and also expressed the Council’s appreciation to the Guildford DG officers and members for their kindness, hospitality and excellent organisation for the weekend. In particular he thanked the master (Mr. Michael J. Church), Mr. Alan Flood (treasurer) and Mr. Alan Smith (hon. secretary), and the band of stewards and helpers in the Civic Hall, who had acted as scrutineers for the four ballots necessary. The ladies and gentlemen at the Civic reception were not forgotten for all their cooking and hard work preparing the meal. The president thanked the Mayor of Guildford (Cllr. Lt.-Col. B. E. Tyrwhitt-Drake) and the Mayoress, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese (Rt. Rev. David Brown) and in addition the rector of Holy Trinity Church, the Dean of Gloucester and the Rev. M. C. C. Melville who took part in the service that morning. The many incumbents, tower keepers and others who met visitors and organised the ringing were remembered, and also appreciation for Miss Doris Colgate and The Ringing World editor who had been hard at work “scribbling all day”.

The loud applause compensated these individuals for their efforts on behalf of the Council and the Dean of Gloucester then expressed the thanks of all to the “platform party” for the handling of the meeting (renewed applause).

The hall was cleared by 5.15 all delighted to go out into the lovely spring sunshine.

The Guildford DG as a whole, the organising committee in particular and also the Central Council members have cause to be thankful for the great success and the happy weekend so much enjoyed by them all.

The day after the Council meeting, we were pleased to welcome the editor of Irish Bell News to the Ringing World office. Fred E. Dukes of Drogheda, Louth. Ireland, resting on his car with (left) Iolo Davies and Will H. Viggers.
The day after the Council meeting, we were pleased to welcome the editor of Irish Bell News to the Ringing World office. Fred E. Dukes of Drogheda, Louth. Ireland, resting on his car with (left) Iolo Davies and Will H. Viggers

The Ringing World, June 30, 1978, pages 551 to 552

CENTRAL COUNCIL MEETING (1978) - Official Reports (Part 1)

THE CENTRAL COUNCIL held its 81st annual meeting in the Civic Hall in Guildford on Tuesday, May 30th, the chair being taken by the President, Mr. E. A. Barnett.

After the meeting had been opened by prayer, led by the Council’s Vice-President, the Rev. J. G. M. Scott (Devonshire Guild), the President welcomed those present and said that the meeting would have to be finished by 5.00 p.m. if at all possible. He also commented critically on the very poor attendance of Council members at the Holy Communion service earlier that morning in Holy Trinity church - a source of considerable embarrassment to those who were there, he said.

The Secretary, Mr. C. A. Wratten (Gloucester & Bristol DA), reported that 65 Societies were affiliated to the Council, returning 171 representatives between them. The Rules provided for 24 Honorary members, and there were eight Life members, giving a possible total membership of 203. There was however one vacancy. All subscriptions had been paid, he said.

Apologies for absence were received from Messrs. N. Chaddock, S. J. Ivin, H. N. Pitstow, P. L. Taylor, W. B. Cartwright, J. M. Clarke, J. A. Hoare and A. F. Scholfield.


The President welcomed 35 new members: Messrs. R. H. Dove (honorary), A. W. R. Wilby (College Youths), T. Ball (Derby), F. D. Mack (Devonshire Guild), A. G. Craddock and P. Rogers (Durham & Newcastle), R. J. Palmer (Ely), O. Webster (Essex), B. Bladon (Gloucester & Bristol), D. M. Joyce and D. H. Niblett (Kent), C. J. Frye (Leeds University), M. A. Rose (Lincoln), I. M. Holland (Llandaff & Monmouth), J. T. Shepard (London County), D. W. Struckett (Middx. County & London Diocesan), M. Quimby (Midland Counties), W. H. Jackson (North American), F. C. J. Arnold, L. F. Bailey, J. B. Pickup and J. R. Smith (Norwich), H. Lawrenson (Oxford Diocesan), P. N. Mounsey (Oxford University), R. F. B. Speed (Peterborough), T. Skilton (Railwaymen), P. L. J. Matthews (Salisbury), F.M. Mitchell (Shropshire), N. E. Booth (Scottish), B. A. Richards (Southwell), J. L. Girt and R. C. Whiting (Suffolk), E. G. H. Godfrey (Surrey), A. R. Baldock (Sussex), and R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth). He also welcomed three members who had joined the Council in 1977 but had been unable to attend last year’s meeting - Mr. S. Richardson (Carlisle) and Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Byrne (Truro).

Two new members, Mr. E. Hotine (Chester) and Mr. R. R. Savory (Winchester & Portsmouth) were not present.


There was only one nomination for each of the Council’s main offices and the President accordingly declared the following elected:

President:Mr. E. A. Barnett (Life member).
Vice-President:Rev. J. G. M. Scott (Devonshire Guild).
Hon. Secretary and Treasurer:Mr. C. A. Wratten (Gloucester & Bristol).
Hon. Librarian:Mr. W. T. Cook (College Youths).

After expressing some doubts about the ethics of declaring himself elected (an aside from the Vice-President that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor caused a roar of laughter), the President thanked the Council on behalf of himself and the other officers for their expression of confidence.


Only one name had been put forward for the honour of Life membership of the Council - Mr. Charles W. Denyer of the Guildford Diocesan Guild. Proposing his election, Mr. M.J. Church (Guildford DG) reminded members of the Council’s Rule concerning Life membership - it was intended for those who merited the honour through their services to the art of ringing. He said that Mr. Denyer had held office in the Guildford Guild for almost the entire 50 years of its existence and the Guild’s present standing was in no small way due to his efforts. In 1969 he had become editor of The Ringing World, and an honorary member of the Council the following year. Since then he had travelled throughout the country, spreading his enthusiasm for ringing wherever he went, and attending either a dinner or an agm of virtually every society affiliated to the Council in the process; in addition he was a constant source of help and advice to the many ringers and non-ringers who sought his assistance. It would, he concluded, be most appropriate for Charles Denyer to become a Life member of the Council here in Guildford, the heart of his own Guild and the home of The Ringing World.

Mr. P. G. Smart (Guildford), who seconded the nomination, stressed that although it was as editor of The Ringing World that Mr. Denyer had become so widely known in the Exercise, it was his wider services to ringing over many years that so eminently qualified him for the honour of Life membership.

The nomination was accepted almost unanimously amid prolonged applause. Thanking the Council, Mr. Denyer said that he was deeply grateful for the honour, which he was pleased to accept. He hoped to serve ringing and the Council for many years yet, he concluded.


The President said that, of the ten retiring members, one (Mr. R. F. B. Speed) was now a representative member on the Council and a second (Mr. N. Chaddock) did not seek re-election. The election of Mr. Denyer, hitherto an honorary member, to Life membership meant that there were now 11 vacancies to be filled.

There were ten nominations for the vacancies - eight retiring members: (Mrs. M. A. Wratten, wife of the Hon. Secretary; Canon K. W. H. Felstead, a valued member of the Peals Analysis Committee; D. Hughes, treasurer of The Ringing World and a trustee of the Carter Ringing Machine; the bellfounder P. L. Taylor; W. H. Viggers, a member of the Biographies Committee; R. B. Smith, of the Education Committee; H. N. Pitstow, an auditor and member of the Public Relations Committee; and S. J. Ivin, of the Methods and Computer Co-ordination Committees); and Messrs D. A. Bayles and H. W. Egglestone, who had both served on The Ringing World Committee.

There being no other nominations, they were declared elected.


The two retiring auditors, Mr. H. N. Pitstow and Mr. M.J. Church, were both re-elected, the former on the nomination of Mr. C. H. Rogers (Middlesex), seconded by Dr. J. Armstrong (Essex), and the latter nominated by Mr. P. G. Smart and seconded by Mr. C. W. Denyer.


Members stood in silence as the President read details of former members of the Council who had died since the last meeting: Messrs. C. A. Bassett (East Grinstead & District G 1951-60, died July 19th, 1977); R. Leigh (Lancashire A 1963-66, died August 14th, 1977); R. G. Bell (Hertford CA 1948-72, died August 20th, 1977); G. I. Lewis (Swansea & Brecon DG 1934-39 and 1951-73, died October 4th, 1977); W. Ayre (Hertford CA 1926-73 and a Life member since 1973, died February 20th, 1978); A. Locke (Truro DG 1963-75, died April 2nd, 1978); and B. Horton (Stafford AS 1936-45, died April 20th, 1978).

The Dean of Gloucester, the Very Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow (Life) said a short prayer, and the President then commented that Mr. Ayre had been a member of the Council for a continuous period of 52 years.


The Secretary moved the adoption of the Minutes of the 1977 meeting, copies of which had been circulated to members and which had been published in The Ringing World of February 24th, 1978, and Mrs. O. D. Barnett (Honorary) seconded. They were adopted without discussion, there being no matters arising that were not covered elsewhere in the agenda.


The 30th Council opens with a membership of 202, five less than last year. The drop is accounted for by the death of one Life member, Walter Ayre; by one Honorary member (Mr. R. F. B. Speed) becoming a representative member and by the reduced representation of the Devonshire Association (from four members to three), the Southwell Diocesan Guild (from three members to two) and the Midland Counties Guild (from two to one) This decrease has been only partly offset by the North American Guild’s growth in membership having entitled it to a second representative on the Council.

At the time of writing not all societies have yet made their full returns, but of the 146 representatives whose elections have so far been notified 28 are new members of the Council. This represents 19 per cent of the elected membership, and compares with a turn-over of 25 per cent at the start of the last triennium.

The total resident membership of affiliated societies, as so far certified to me by their secretaries, amounts to 22,339, which compares with some 24,000 in 1975. The largest is the Oxford Diocesan Guild with 1,834 resident members, but other societies with over a thousand members are:

Bath and Wells Diocesan Association1,777
Salisbury Diocesan Guild1,206
Kent County Association1,177
Essex Association1,085
Yorkshire Association1,047
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association1,018

Together these seven appear to account for over a third of the ringers belonging to affiliated territorial societies.

During the year one society, the Transvaal Society of Church Bell Ringers, has applied to affiliate to the Council, but was not eligible under the Rules since its membership was only 32, less than half the minimum required. It seems there may be scope for a federation of African ringing societies, perhaps on the lines of the North American Guild, which would together then be large enough to qualify for affiliation.

In December I was notified of a bequest to the Central Council of a considerable sum, likely to be in excess of £2,400, in the will of the late Mrs. Margaret Thackray, of Caistor in Norfolk, the widow of Canon Thackray who was at one time a chairman of a branch of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild. The estate is still in the hands of solicitors, and until it is finally settled I do not know what the final sum will be, nor when it will be received.

It will be recalled that when the Council met last year in Derby no invitation was received for the 1979 meeting. Subsequently the Ely Diocesan Association and the Cambridge University Guild together made a provisional invitation to go to Cambridge. Because of difficulties in finding suitable dates, however, this invitation has since had to be withdrawn. The position at the time of writing is consequently that the Council still has no invitation for next year’s meeting.

CYRIL A. WRATTEN, Hon. Secretary.

Proposing adoption of the report, Mr. C. A. Wratten brought the figures in the second and third paragraphs up to date. Of the 171 representatives, 37, or 22%, were new members, he said, and the total certified membership of affiliated territorial societies (excluding the Devon Association, from which no return had been received) was 26,247. In reply to a question, he later said that since this figure referred to resident membership it should be fairly accurate. He also said that the typescript of the new Council Handbook was now with the Publications Committee. Mr. F. E. Dukes (Irish) seconded, and the report was adopted.

Commenting on the reference to the Transvaal Society, Mr. Dukes said that there were probably a number of societies throughout the world in a similar situation. He would not advocate any alteration to the Council’s Rules to enable them to become affiliated, but suggested that affiliated societies might consider “adopting” one of them.


Mr. D. Hughes moved the adoption of the following report of the machine’s trustees, expressing in particular his appreciation of the work of Mr. and Mrs. Dobbie.

One demonstration was given during the year, when the St. Albans ringers and friends visited the Science Museum in November. (An earlier demonstration arranged to take place in April had unfortunately to be cancelled due to Mr. and Mrs. Dobbie having been involved in a road accident.)

The machine continues to function reasonably well requiring no more than the usual attention to fine adjustments as the need arises.


Mrs. Barnett seconded, and the report was accepted without discussion. Mr. D. E. Sibson (Cumberland Youths) then proposed, and Mr. E. C. Shepherd (Life) seconded, the re-election of the two trustees, Messrs. Hughes and Dobbie, and this was agreed, the President endorsing Mr. Hughes’ earlier comments about Mr. and Mrs. Dobbie.

355Affiliation fees342.92
37Royalties and sales14.70
20F. Sharpe memorial collection29.00
12Central Council meeting, 1977-
Committee expenses:
Bell Restoration Funds30.00
Computer Co-ordination (1976)2.80
Towers & Belfries52.75
Towers & Belfries (1976)13.50
9Depreciation, Library fixtures10.00
15Secretary’s expenses15.00
92Stationery and printing119.08
8The Ringing World: notices8.55
-Bank charge.50
28F. Sharpe memorial29.00
57(Cr)LESS: Excess of Expenditure over Income31.52
90Library fixtures (cost less depreciation to date)80.00
27Publications Fund27.29
21Clement Glenn Bequest21.05
121Cash and Bank balances290.16
20Sundry debtor14.70
-Affiliation fees received in advance135.81
-Sundry creditor50.00
289Net Assets257.39
Represented by:
232Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1977288.91
57(Cr)LESS: Excess of Expenditure over Income31.52
55Investment income52.96
3Film hire (net)9.38
1Prayer Sheet sales1.50
1Education Committee expenses20.52
-Depreciation - film (“This Ringing Isle”)48.40
53(Cr)LESS Excess of Expenditure over Income5.08
398£563 Treasury 3½% Stock 79/81 at cost397.92
764Leeds & Holbeck Building Society555.24
-Film - cost less depreciation to date200.00
154Publications Fund140.22
111Cash and Bank balances123.90
-Sundry debtor4.31
21General Fund21.05
1406Net Assets1400.54
Represented by:
1409Accumulated Fund, 1st January 19771405.62
66Transfer to Publications Fund-
53(Cr)LESS Excess of Expenditure over Income5.08
2474Stock, 1st January3018.21
3018Less: Stock, 31st December2553.60
262Postages and Telephone253.56
116The Ringing World: advertisements147.43
56Publication Committee expenses35.00
579Excess of Income over Expenditure332.44
491Cash and Bank balances1275.92
27General Fund27.29
154Clement Glenn Bequest140.22
96Sundry creditor97.63
3232Net Assets3564.38
Represented by:
2587Accumulated Fund, 1st January 19773231.94
66Transfer from Glenn Bequest-
579Excess of Income over Expenditure332.44
23130Postal subscription24675.96
70Profit on Sale of calendars101.67
1047Sundry receipts1009.86
1746Interest receivable2059.07
-Taxation refund from earlier years1078.30
8430Wrappers and postage8938.65
2413Editor’s fees and expenses2529.28
1704Editorial and accounts assistance2034.37
209Rent and telephone198.38
295Postages, stationery and sundries327.28
152Miscellaneous expenses140.93
180Accountancy charges220.00
-Loss on sale of investments540.60
4643Excess of Income over Expenditure2809.49

Report of the Auditors

We have audited the annexed balance sheet dated 31st December 1977 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 affairs of “The Ringing World”, according to the best of our information and the explanations given to us and as shown by the books.

Temple Chambers,
Temple Avenue,
London EC4Y 0ER
Caldwell and Braham,
Chartered Accountants.

March 1977

200Goodwill, blocks, etc200.00
200LESS: amount written off200.00
Investments at cost:
2000Abbey National Building Society2000.00
500Brighton Corporation 6¾% Bonds500.00
3999British Electricity 3½% guaranteed
Stock 1976/79 - £5076.60
907Carrington Viyella Ltd. - 3500 Ordinary 25p shares907.48
1756E. M. I. Ltd £1750 8½% Convertible
Unsecured Loan Stock 1981
-Francis Industries Ltd. - 2000 Ordinary 25p shares932.88
-Antony Gibbs Income Units - 3647.42 Units1194.02
977Grand Metropolitan Ltd - 1300 Ordinary 25p shares977.07
-Hestair Ltd - 1000 Ordinary 25p shares944.04
1530Imperial Group Ltd. - £1700 8% Convertible
Unsecured Loan Stock 1985/90
1199Midland Bank Ltd - £1630 7½% Convertible
Substituted Unsecured Loan Stock 1983/93
-Northern Engineering Ltd - 1308 Ordinary1227.44
-- £163.50 Preference156.74
3500Tyndall Income Units - 5002 Units3499.57
1029Bass Charrington Ltd - 7¾% Unsecured
Loan Stock 1992/97
842Distillers Ltd -7¾%Unsecured Loan Stock 1988/93-
Cash at Bank:
2928Deposit Account2869.33
5632Current Account4353.23
118Trustee Savings Bank Account1055.92
24Cash in hand38.41
LESS Creditors:
9021Subscriptions in advance9030.13
20687Net Assets23496.75
Represented by:
16044Accumulated Fund, 1st January 197720687.26
4643Excess of Income over Expenditure2809.49
90Library fixtures, at book value80.00
-Film, “This Ringing Isle”, at book value200.00
3018Stock of Publications2553.60
5119Debtors and payments in advance6009.64
19401Investments at cost21775.83
9424Cash and bank balances10006.87
2427Sundry creditors2750.94
9021Amounts received in advance9165.94
25614Net Assets28719.06
289General Fund257.39
3232Publications Fund3546.38
1406Clement Glenn Bequest1400.54
20687“The Ringing World”23496.75


We have compared the annexed Balance Sheets and Income and Expenditure Accounts of the General, Clement Glenn Bequest, and Publication 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 at 31st December 1977.

28th March 1978.


Commenting on the accounts, the Secretary drew members’ attention to the fact that all the expenses of last year’s meeting at Derby had been met by the Derby Diocesan Association (applause), and said that the Library expenditure shown under the General Fund included the £50 grant paid by the Council. On the advice of the auditors, the cost of the BBC television film, “This Ringing Isle”, which had been bought from the Clement Glenn bequest, was being written-off over five years.

In reply to a question from Mr. C. H. Rogers, he said that the apparent drop in affiliation fees was due to some having been paid in advance in 1976. Other questions concerned the increase in committee expenditure (the main difference was a charge of £30 for a computer listing of charities obtained from the Charities Aid Foundation for the Bell Restoration Funds Committee), the odd 92p in affiliation fees (due to changing the North American Guild’s fee, paid in dollars, into sterling), and the basis for the valuation of the Publications Committee’s stock (which is the cost price of purchase). Negotiations to recover tax paid on Clement Glenn Bequest investments were continuing, he said.

After the President said that adoption of the accounts would be deferred until those of The Ringing World had been discussed as part of The Ringing World Committee’s report, the Council turned to the next item on the agenda.


A letter was received in September from Mr. Raymond Lister, MA., Senior Research Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, in which he stated that he had been asked to arrange in 1979 an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, of work by the illuminator Albert Cousins. It was he who wrote the earlier (1914-1918) Roll of Honour, and Mr. Lister asked if the Council would be willing to lend the book to the museum for the exhibition. He had already contacted Mr. A. R. B. Fuller, the St. Paul’s Cathedral Librarian, who was seeking the approval of the Dean and Chapter for this to be done.

In view of the stipulation made in 1931 that the book was not to leave the St. Paul’s Cathedral Library, permission was sought from the Officers of the Central Council for the book to be lent out for this exhibition, and this permission was granted.

Mr. Lister, who rates the book as a very fine example of Cousins’s work, will be contacting me towards the end of the year about the exact dates when the book will be required, and Mr. Fuller will be asking me for a formal note of confirmation. It is understood that the exhibition will be taking place in the Lent Term of 1979.

Both Rolls of Honour are on display in the St. Paul’s Cathedral Library, and are in good condition.

W. T. COOK, Trustee.

After Mr. Cook (College Youths) had proposed the report’s adoption and had been seconded by Mr. W. F. Moreton (Yorkshire), Mr. A. J. Martin (Chester) asked for further information on the Rolls; not all members of the Council were aware of just what they were, he said.

Mr. Cook explained that the first contained the names of all ringers killed during the First World War, and had been completed in 1924. At the Council’s request it had been placed in the library of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where it was later joined by a similar volume listing those who had died in the 1939-45 War. Both were now held in the library in a specially-made display case.

The report was then adopted, and Mr. Cook re-elected trustee on the nomination of Mr. T. J. Lock (Middlesex), seconded by Mr. D. E. House (College Youths).


The President explained that the first two motions on the agenda, entailing changes to the Council’s Rules, required the agreement of two-thirds of those present if they were to be accepted. He then asked Mr. W. T. Cook to propose the first.

Mr. Cook said that the purpose of the motion was to add the Library Committee to the Council’s permanent committees by including it to the list of committees in Rule 12, and by inserting its terms of reference (“To be responsible for the care and maintenance of the Council’s Library”) in Rule 13, and moved its adoption. Mr. C. A. Wratten formally seconded, and the motion was carried without debate.

The second motion was designed to incorporate the Bell Restoration Funds Committee in a similar way, by adding the committee to the list in Rule 12 and its terms of reference to Rule 13. On the agenda the latter read:

Moving the motion, Mr. J. S. Barnes (Cumberland Youths) sought permission to substitute a briefer statement of the committee’s function: “To advise on all aspects of bell restoration funds”. Mr. I. H. Oram (Cumberland Youths) seconded, saying that members would have seen the range of activities of the committee from its report and that he felt the more general terms of reference that were now proposed were more applicable. The proposed change prompted considerable discussion. Mr. A. J. Martin objected to the change, saying that while the original terms of reference were positive the proposed ones were not sufficiently specific. After Mr. P. M. J. Gray (Australia and New Zealand) had said that, while he half agreed with Mr. Martin, he felt that in general it was preferable to have simple terms of reference (as had the Council’s other committees), Mr. A. J. Frost (London University) suggested that a better wording would be “To encourage all aspects of bell restoration funds”; Mr. P. A. Corby (Kent) agreed. On being put to the vote, the change was not accepted by the Council. A motion proposed by Mr. N. E. Booth (Scottish) and seconded by Mr. I. M. Holland (Llandaff & Monmouth) to add Mr. Barnes’s terms to those on the agenda was lost, and Mr. Martin then proposed that the motion as set out on the agenda paper be put. Mr. C. Crossthwaite (Lancashire) seconded, and the motion was carried without further discussion.

Mr. C. F. Mew (Surrey) then proposed:

He said that there were considerable discrepancies between the ways in which peal compositions were set out, even between different Council publications, and quoted the example of Double Norwich Major; In early publications of the Council the calls were given as being at 1, 4, 5 and 6, then as I, V, H, and O, and had now reverted to 1, 4, 5, 6. But even the latter was inconsistent with the convention for Triples ringing, where similar numbers were used to indicate the intervals between calls. There were even greater variations in the notation of peals of Grandsire Caters and Cinques. While there were doubtless historical reasons for these conventions, they served only to confuse the young and aspiring conductor.

Seconding the motion, Mr. R. B. Smith (Honorary) said that the rider about an explanatory leaflet had been largely his idea, In recent years there had been considerable changes in the style of composition, particularly in moving the back bells on higher numbers, and he quoted an example of a composition he had recently received, containing a single at 7½ with the footnote: “The single at 7½ is called at 6½ in fact”. There were older examples: a call at the first lead of a course of Bob Triples was notated a Middle, yet in Bob Major it was a Wrong - and in each case the same bells were affected. As a minimum, the Council should at least set its own house in order.

Mr. J. R. Mayne (Honorary) said that, while he was in sympathy with the motion, he could not agree with the aim of standardisation, which would be neither practicable nor desirable in a constantly changing situation. He proposed the deletion of the words “the standardisation of”. Mr. C. K. Lewis (Honorary) agreed, saying that standardisation could become a straightjacket for composers.

In the discussion that followed there was general support for the aims of the motion, although Mr. J. Freeman (Life) thought that too much was being made of the difficulty facing new conductors, and that puzzling over an unfamiliar notation often enabled a ringer to learn a great deal about the composition. On being put to the vote the amendment was however agreed by a clear majority.

Mr. W. F. Moreton (Yorkshire) then proposed that the explanatory pamphlet should be produced by the Peal Compositions Committee, rather than the Education Committee, and Mr. D. E. Sibson seconded. In reply to a question from the President, Mr. Critchley (Honorary), chairman of the Peal Compositions Committee, confirmed that he was willing to undertake the task.

Replying to the debate, Mr. Mew said that his aim had been to ensure standardisation within a method, rather than across the board, and the second amendment was then passed, followed by the final version of the motion - thus omitting any reference to standardisation or to the Education Committee.

The fourth and final motion before the Council read:

It was proposed by Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG), who stressed that it was a personal motion and not brought on behalf of his Guild. He said that the roles for representation on the Council had not changed since 1890, when most associations had 100-200 members and the largest had 650. Today there were seven societies each having over 1,000 members, returning between them 28 representatives, or one for each 360 members, while 34 smaller territorial societies returned 116 representatives, or one for each 140 members.

He did not wish to inaugurate a discussion on how the plan of representation might be amended: if the need was accepted, then the details should be left to the proposed committee to work out in time for next year’s meeting.

Mr. K. J. Darvill (Oxford DG), who seconded, said that the present situation was further complicated by the existence of non-territorial societies, membership of which enabled many ringers to have a “second bite of cherry”. He stressed that acceptance of the motion would not commit the Council to any change, a point queried by Mr. D. E. House, who felt that acceptance of the motion as worded meant that the Council considered the present position unfair.

Mr. P. M. J. Gray said that the Council existed to enable the essential central functions of ringing to be carried out, and that the present system of providing its members produced the right mixture of talents that it needed. He proposed that the Council move on to the next business, and after Mr. P. A. Corby had seconded this was agreed.



A. First peals on tower bells in 1977:
Jan.55056Zerere S. Major (Leicester D. G.)
65136Fenchurch S. Maximus (St. Martin’s G.)
85088Ratae Coritanorum S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
85042Swindon S. Maximus (Soc. of Royal Cumberland Y.)
155088Pons Aelius S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
155040Hardwick S. Royal (S. Northants Soc.)
165040Oxbridge S. Royal (Lancashire A.)
225088Salinae S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
295056Dubris S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
295024Radstone S. Major (S. Northants Soc.)
Feb.25040Osterley Alliance Royal (London C. A.)
55280Kittlingbourne S. Major (Lancashire A.)
55080Clydesville S. Royal (Oxford University Soc.)
65056Elizabeth II Jubilee S. Major (Lancashire A.)
115040Spelthorne S. Major (Middlesex CA.)
125152Longstanton D. Major (Ely D. A.)
125056Dallington S. Major (Sussex C. A.)
175122Jubilee S. Major (Bath & Wells D. A.)
195024Camulodunum S. Major (Essex A.)
195088Segontium S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
245042Northfield S. Maximus (St. Martin’s G.)
Mar.55280Ickford S. Major (S. Northants Soc.)
55120Lugovalium S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
55040Kenilworth S. Royal (Bath & Wells D. A.)
65056Heworth S. Major (Lancashire A.)
75152Carmarthen S. Major (Lancashire A.)
115088Nimrod S. Major (Bath & Wells D. A.)
125056Gore S. Major (Middlesex C. A.)
125088Juniper S. Major (S. Northants Soc.)
125040St. Gregory S. Royal (Peterborough D. G.)
145056Coleorton S. Major (Leicester D. G.)
195088Lindinis S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
Apr.95088Caesaromogus S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
105088Margidunum S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
125184Arbeia S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
125184Jamestown S. Major (Bushey Soc.)
125056Kirkham S. Major (Chester D. G.)
135040St. Nicholas Bob Triples (Stafford Archd. Soc.)
145184Caius S. Major (Ely D. A.)
305120Galava S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
May35280Kingsland D. Maximus (Soc. of Royal Cumberland Y.)
145056Kimberley S. Major (Glos. & Bristol D. A.)
145088Praetorium S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
205152Avon County S. Major (Bath & Wells D. A.)
205056Springrove Alliance Royal (Middlesex C. A.)
285088Vindolanda S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
June45088Wigsthorpe S. Major (Peterborough D. G.)
45040Havant S. Royal (Oxford D. G.)
45086Combretonio S. Maximus (Lancashire A.)
45088Deansgate S. Maximus (Ancient Soc. College Y.)
65152Majestic S. Major (Glos. & Bristol D. A.)
75008Abbots Bromley Imperial Bob Major (Stafford Archd. Soc)
115088Guolop S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
145280Jubilee S. Maximus (Soc. of Royal Cumberland Y.)
185088Aquae Arnemettae S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
185088Otmoor S. Major (Oxford D. G.)
205152Double Entendre S. Major (Lancashire A.)
245152Festalban S. Major (Hertford C. A.)
255088Othona S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
July15088Threadneedle S. Major (Soc. of Royal Cumberland Y.)
25152Olicana S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
105152Yelling D. Major (Ely D. A.)
115120Flint S. Major (Lancashire A.)
125280Folgate S. Maximus (Soc. of Royal Cumberland Y.)
165376Burton Latimer S. Major (Peterborough D. G.)
165056Sheppey S. Major (Surrey A.)
235088Ad Pontes S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
295088Adamantium S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
Aug.75022Winchester D. Major (Ely D. A.)
205056Maidulph S. Major (Glos. & Bristol D. A.)
245088Folgate S. Major (Glos. & Bristol D. A.)
275040Imperial S. Royal (Lancashire A.)
285040Argyll S. Royal (Beverley & District Soc.)
305152Queen Elizabeth II D. Major (Lancashire A.)
305056Regina S. Major (Lancashire A.)
315184Prince Consort S. Major (Lancashire A.)
Sept.15280Monarch S. Major (Lancashire A.)
25184Sovereign S. Major (Lancashire A.)
105088Xois S. Major (S. Northants Soc.)
175024Mytholmroyd S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
185040Kirton S. Royal (Lancashire A.)
235184Humph S. Major (Bath & Wells D. A.)
245152Lyndhurst S. Major (Winchester & Portsmouth D. G.)
265184Dursley S. Major (Sussex C. A.)
265152Merioneth S. Major (Lancashire A.)
Oct.15088Osleset S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
15040Bogside S. Royal (Oxford University Soc.)
105088Lower Beeding S. Major (Sussex C. A.)
155152Uttlesford D. Major (Ely D. A.)
175088Caernarvon S. Major (Lancashire A.)
285040Smallberry Alliance Royal (London C. A.)
295056East Hagbourne S. Major (Oxford D. G.)
Nov.55152Eykyn S. Major (S. Northants Soc.)
55088Sorviodunum S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
55160Morland S. Royal (Ancient Soc. College Y.)
125056Furness S. Major (Lancashire A.)
185056Lampton Alliance Royal (Middlesex C. A.)
205056St. Cecilia Imperial B. Major (Winch’ & Ports’th D. G.)
265040Upwood S. Royal (Ely D. A.)
Dec.95152Temple S. Major (Glos. & Bristol D. A.)
125184Cardigan S. Major (Lancashire A.)
275152Tresham S. Major (Peterborough D. G.)
275038Ashton S. Maximus (Lancashire A.)
295152Over D. Major (Ely D. A.)
315088Navio S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
Mar.265000100-Spliced Cinques (Glos. & Bristol D. A.)
May.7580811-Spliced S. Maximus (Ancient Soc. College Y.) (all the work)
B. First peals on handbells in 1977:
Apr.95040St. Simon’s Coll. B. Caters (Winch’ & Ports’th D. G.)
May85088Queen Adelaide S. Major (Yorkshire A.)
115040St. Clement’s Coll. B. Royal (Winch’ & Ports’th D. G.)
July275019Stedman Septuples (Ancient Soc. College Y.)
Aug.15280Albanian S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.)
105280Ealing S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.)
315280Wembley S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.)
Sept.215042Gartree S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.)
Oct.135088Rochester S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.)
Nov.305120Daventry S. Major (Hertford C. A.)
305280Timaru S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.)
Dec.75184Lincoln S. Major (Hertford C. A.)
195280Jubilee S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.)
Feb.2350884-Spliced S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.) (all the work)
Mar.28505650-Spliced S. Major (Lancashire A.)
May4505675-Spliced S. Major (Lancashire A.)
June851205-Spliced S. Maximus (Oxford D. G.) (all the work)
July285056100-Spliced S. Major (Lancashire A.)
Sept.2850806-Spliced S. Royal (Oxford D. G.)
C. Record Peals on handbells in 1977:
Apr.225088Plain Bob Major (Winchester & Portsmouth D. G.)
June1212345Stedman Cinques (Ancient Soc. College Y.)
Nov.2714144London S. Major (Ancient Soc. College Y.)
Dec.2740320Plain Bob Major (Ancient Soc. College Y.)

The Ringing World, July 7, 1978, pages 563 to 566

Central Council Meeting (1978) Official Reports (Part 2)


Before the meeting turned to the first of the committee reports before it, Dr. J. C. Baldwin Llandaff & Monmouth) said that three years ago members had been sent details of the Council members’ interests and qualifications. The same information had been obtained by the Secretary this year, but the results had not been generally circulated. Why was this?

The President said that the Administrative Committee had discussed the question, and had felt that a list was liable to cause more confusion than help; but if it was felt that such a list should be circulated in future, it could be done.

There was general approval when Dr. Baldwin proposed, and Mrs. A. Newing (Bristol University) seconded, that such a list should be circulated to all members in future.


FIRST PEALS, ETC. (see p. 566)

Oakley S. Royal and Britannia S. Royal, claimed as first peals in the methods, had been rung before, as Woodspring S. Royal and Vermuyden S. Royal respectively.

Sandhurst S. Major (November 14th, 1973) has been re-named Great Somerford S. Major as it is not an extension of Sandhurst S. Minor.

Erin Caters on handbells, recorded in the report for 1975, had been previously rung and should be deleted. 5120 4-Spliced S. Royal (all the work) rung on handbells on December 15th, 1976, for the Oxford DG should have been included in the report for 1976.

D. E. SIBSON (Chairman), F. T. BLAGROVE,

After making some small corrections to the version of the report that had been circulated, Mr. D. E. Sibson moved its adoption. He added that the collection of Delight methods was now available, but that he would welcome any comments on it since there were still some questions to be answered; that the collection of treble-dodging Minor methods was almost ready for publication; and that the up-dated Surprise collection would be available if the report was approved.

Dr. Baldwin seconded, and went on to ask whether those interested in having a copy of the Surprise collection on microfilm would contact him. While a microfilm version could be produced without undue difficulty, he would need to know the likely requirement in advance, he said.

The report was then adopted and, after Mr. Corby had enquired whether a classical education was now a prerequisite for membership of the committee (in view of the names being used for new methods in some areas) (laughter), the retiring members - Messrs. Sibson, Blagrove (Middlesex), Dodds (Hertford), Mayne and Wratten - were re-elected en bloc on the proposition of Mr. Corby, seconded by Mrs. J. Staniforth (Ladies’).


The method rung at Slough on October 1st as Londonderry Surprise Royal is not a correct extension of Londonderry Surprise Major. Upon request, the band and conductor changed the name to Bogside. There is no extension of Londonderry Surprise Major.

Work is proceeding on the collection of Plain Doubles methods, and it is hoped to have the manuscript at the Guildford meeting.

F. T. BLAGROVE (Chairman),

Mr. F. T. Blagrove moved the adoption of the report, and said that the manuscript of the Doubles collection was now complete. Mr. M. C. W. Sherwood seconded, and the report was adopted without discussion.

Canon K. W. H. Felstead (Honorary) proposed the re-election of the committee’s three members (Messrs. Blagrove, S. J. Ivin (Honorary), and Sherwood), and after it had been seconded by Mr. A. E. Rushton (Bedfordshire), this was agreed.


A new collection of Compositions for Major Methods has been made and is now in manuscript form. This book should be in print in the next few months. It will contain 200 compositions and will take the place of the previous Central Council Collection, which is now sold out.

The processing of compositions for publication in “The Ringing World” has continued, and few editions have appeared during the year under review without at least one or two peal compositions in them. A system of double checking, though adding to the delay in publication, has ensured the absence of misprints.

W. E. CRITCHLEY (Chairman), S. JENNER,

The report was adopted on the proposition of Mr. W. E. Critchley, seconded by Mr. M. C. W. Sherwood, the former adding that the typescript of the collection of Major compositions, mentioned in the report, was now being checked.

Eight names were duly proposed and seconded for the five places on the new committee, and in accordance with the Council’s Rules voting was by ballot, tellers being provided by the Guildford Guild. The result, announced later in the meeting, was that Messrs. P. Border (Coventry), W. E. Critchley, R. E. Hardy (Hertford), R. W. Pipe (St. Martin’s), and M. C. W. Sherwood were elected; the unsuccessful candidates were Messrs. I. M. Holland, C. K. Lewis and D. E. Parsons (Guildford).


A. D. Leach has completed the implementation of SiRiL (Simple Ringing Language) for PDP-11 computers. A paper tape of the system and an operating summary are available. By courtesy of “The Ringing World” management a demonstration of this and other ringing systems in action has been arranged for Central Council members on Monday, May 29th, at The Ringing World offices between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The thanks of this committee are offered to Hilary Muirhead, M. J. Hobbs, A. D. Leach and T. G. Pett for help they have given with checking peal compositions for publication in “The Ringing World”. Despite day-to-day problems they have checked more than 100 compositions for the Council, ten of which were false, and have also provided other checking services to individual composers. M. J. Hobbs has borne a heavy load of 70 compositions, of which 14 were false. Some assistance has been given to J. N. Longridge in the preparation of his Collection of Compositions, and to P. G. K. Davies in checking the compositions for his Ringing World article on Spliced Surprise Major.

Work by three members of the committee has continued on the new collections of Treble-dodging Minor, Plain Major and Delight and Treble Bob Major, Royal and Maximus methods. Preparation and checking is largely complete, and presentation will be in the form of computer listings similar to the now well-known Collection of Surprise Major, Royal and Maximus which J. C. Baldwin painstakingly updates and publishes once a year. When all these are in regular production it is hoped to move into the areas of Alliance and odd-bell methods.

J. R. TAYLOR (Chairman), J. C. BALDWIN, S. J. IVIN,

Mr. J. R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol) proposed the adoption of the report, and expressed his thanks to David Leach, Peter Rowe, and the Editor of The Ringing World for their parts in the computer demonstration at the Seven Corners Press the previous day. Dr. J. C. Baldwin seconded, and the report was adopted.

Mr. F. E. Dukes proposed that the old committee be re-elected, and Canon K. W. H. Felstead seconded; this was agreed.



Peal ringing in 1977 was undoubtedly dominated by the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. A total of 4,854 peals (4,372 on tower bells, 482 in hand) was rung - over 500 more than in any previous year; 880 ringers rang their first peal (compared with 597 in 1976) of whom 189 appeared in the Jubilee issue of “The Ringing World”; there were marked increases in the numbers of peals rung in the simpler methods, reflecting the efforts made by local bands all over the country to ring peals for the Jubilee; and the 1,904 towers pealed in 1977 (compared with 1,641 in 1976) included many “rare” ones.

Other events also contributed to increased peal activity in certain areas - most notably in Norfolk, where the Norwich Diocesan Association celebrated its centenary with 255 peals, more than twice its 1976 total, making it second only to the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild in the association “league table”. By contrast, the Kent County Association, with 128 peals, rang less than half its 1976 total.

The ringing of the extent of Major must stand as the foremost of several notable achievements on handbells. The number of handbell peals rung was about the same as in the previous four years, but with a rather higher proportion in 1977 on the higher number of bells. The Chester Diocesan Guild again rang the most peals in hand.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells, and comparison with 1976:

Caters & Royal11
Doubles & Minor13+22-2


The rather surprising drop in tower-bell peals of Maximus is largely accounted for by the reduced activity of the St. Martin’s Guild in this area.

The leading societies:

The following societies rang 150 or more peals:

Winchester & Portsmouth DG22951280
Norwich DA22629255
Oxford DG20746253
Yorkshire Association21512227
Lancashire Association19810208
Leicester DG17627203
Bath & Wells DA16515180
Worcestershire & Dist. Assn.1735178
Chester DG11657173
Essex Association157157
Gloucester & Bristol DA14314157

Compared with a similar list for 1976, the Norwich DA, Worcestershire & Dist. Assn. and Essex Assn. have come in. and the Kent CA has dropped out.

The Devonshire Association was the only affiliated society not to ring a peal during 1977.


Peals were rung in 1,904 towers, compared with 1,641 in 1976.

1,017 towers had one peal; 407 had two; 188 had three; 115 had four; 55 had 5; 37 had six; 19 had seven; 14 had eight; and 11 had nine peals.

The following 41 towers had ten or more peals:

*Loughboro’ Bell Fdry.64
*Bedford, St. Paul25
*Birmingham Cathedral23
*Windsor, St. John22
*South Wigston20
Bristol, Christ Church17
*Ashton-u-Lyne, St. Peter16
*Worcester, All Saints12
Carbis Bay11
*Leicester, St. Margaret11
Nottingham, St. Peter15
*Cambridge, St. Andrew14
*Maidstone, All Saints14
*Bristol, Cathedral13
*Easton Neston13
Burton Latimer10

* In last year’s list of towers with ten or more peals.

First pealers and first as conductor:

There were 880 first pealers in 1977, 283 more than in 1976; and 108 ringers conducted a peal for the first time, 16 more than in 1976. The Oxford DG, with 55, had most first pealers; others with 40 or more were the Yorkshire A, Gloucester & Bristol DA, Guildford DG and Winchester & Portsmouth DG.


Numbers of peals rung in some of the more popular methods are set out below, 1976 totals, where available, are shown in brackets:


Spliced S.13
Grandsire22( 7)
Plain Bob59(34)
Major-Plain Bob269(213)
Spliced S.228(211)
London120( 99)
Lincolnshire82( 78)
Stedman87( 58)
Plain Bob45( 29)
Minor-Plain Bob232(196)
Cambridge81( 54)
Doubles-Grandsire36( 22)
Stedman15( 13)
Plain Bob17( 29)


Maximus-Cambridge8( 6)
Cinques-Stedman11( 7)
Royal-Plain Bob20(14)
London18( 1)
Kent T. B.10
Caters-Stedman8( 7)
Grandsire9( 4)
Major-Plain Bob69(75)
Kent T. B.25
Spliced S.20(17)
London20( 9)
Triples-Grandsire5( 4)
Stedman2( 4)
Minor-Plain Bob38(41)

Peals of note:

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


The following were published in “The Ringing World”, but have not been included in the Analysis for the reasons given:


We should like to draw the Council’s attention to the following matters:

  1. A peal of Cambridge S. Minor by the Worcestershire & Districts A. at Strensham on July 30th was stated to be a round block of 5040 changes. We have included this peal in the Analysis, but without further details of the calling we do not know whether it accords with the Rules.

  2. The peal of Qualis by the Gloucester & Bristol DA in Bristol on July 8th has been included as mixed Caters and Royal.

  3. Peals (other than Doubles and Minor) rung with variable hunt bells have been included in the Analysis, but it is not clear whether they accord with the Rules. We should appreciate a ruling from the Council on this matter.

  4. As we have often said before, essential details are missing from too many peal reports. Would all conductors please do everything possible to ensure that their peals are published correctly with all relevant details, and that when mistakes do occur corrections are notified to “The Ringing World” as soon as possible.

  5. In view of the large increase in 1977 of “other” societies for which peals were rung (many with only one or two peals each), we have grouped them together under the heading “Non-affiliated Societies” in the table of peals by associations.

  6. Finally, we are grateful to the few societies who have assisted us by supplying copies of their peal lists or in other ways.


Mr. F. B. Lufkin drew members’ attention to two points towards the end of the report - the reference to the “round block of 5040 changes” of Cambridge Surprise Minor, and the use of variable hunt bells in peals. Did the Council wish to accept these peals, he asked, moving the report’s adoption.

Mr. C. H. Rogers seconded, adding that some late corrections meant that two peals should be added to the Oxford Guild’s total, and one to that of the Norwich Association. On Mr. Lufkin’s queries, he emphasised that the committee was not seeking to dictate what should be rung, but seeking guidance.

After Mr. B. G. Warwick (Leicester) had failed to obtain a seconder for a proposal to accept the 5,000 of Yorkshire rung in Leicester, Mr. Blagrove explained that the Council’s decisions now permitted the use of variable hunts, and that, since it was technically possible to produce an acceptable round block of 5040 changes of Minor - it had only to be possible to split it into seven true 720s - it had to be assumed that the Worcestershire band had done so. Mr. M. D. Fellows (Worcs. & Districts) said that neither he nor the other Association representatives were aware of the details of the peal in question, but he undertook to make enquiries of the conductor of the peal and notify the committee of the outcome.

Mr. T. J. Lock sought deletion of the reference to the Devon Association not having rung a peal in 1977; as a society of call-change ringers they could never ring a change-ringers’ peal, he claimed. Mr. Blagrove agreed, but Mr. D. J. Roberts (Devon Guild) said that peals had been rung for the Association in the past, and that there were a number of change ringers in Devon who belonged to both Guild and Association. He hoped that a peal might be rung for the Devon Association next year. The move to remove the reference was not accepted.

After Mr. Lufkin had agreed with Mr. R. G. W. Robertson (Salisbury) that the peal of Minimus at Addington would have contained 48s, and not 240s, the President suggested that the report should be adopted, less the queried peal of Cambridge Minor pending the outcome of Mr. Fellows’s enquiries, and this was agreed.

Mr. B. D. Threlfall (Cambridge University) suggested that in future the committee should try to resolve such questions with the society concerned before the Council meeting. Mr. Lufkin accepted his point, but said that the peal of Cambridge had deliberately not been referred to the Worcestershire and Districts Association first because he wished to test the feeling of the Council.

Mr. Lufkin said that, of the old committee, Mr. N. J. Diserens was no longer a member of the Council, that the remaining four were willing to serve again, and that Mr. Threlfall and Dr. T. G. Pett (Oxford Guild) had expressed interest in the committee’s work. Messrs. Rogers, Lufkin, Felstead, Johnston (Australia & New Zealand) and Pett were then elected to form the new committee.

At this point, it being nearly 12.30, the President adjourned the meeting for lunch.


As is our custom, readers were informed on March 25th (RW, p. 245) and November 25th (p. 1017) of the major matters dealt with at our two meetings in 1977. Readers have also been kept fully informed of other events at Guildford during the year; and the Editor in three editorials in November stressed the necessity for readers’ continued help if their paper was to survive.

In the 51 issues (one double) in 1977 we provided 1,136 pages (1,100 in 1976) plus 12 pages of supplement (12); four (one) special issues; 50 (50) cover pictures of churches, with accompanying articles; 482 (378) other pictures; nine (21) technical articles; and 75 (51) other articles; and all the now usual items. Mr. Davies’s Junior Page was started on May 6th and appeared 15 times. Without extra charge, we were able to give 24 pages on 15 occasions: 28 pages in three issues, and of course our 36-page Jubilee issue in which appeared 390 peals and 1,128 quarter peals (only one duplicated). So many peal and quarter peal reports were sent in after the deadline that the two subsequent issues had to have extra pages.

Our accounts for 1977 will be presented separately, but to summarise briefly they show a surplus of income over expenditure of £2,809, compared with £4,643 the previous year. This in spite of expenditure £5,900 up on 1976. In our last annual report we wrote that “this rate of surplus could well not be repeated in 1977 if we were to maintain our present price for the whole year”. Nevertheless we think that a surplus of nearly £3,000, which includes £500 net exceptional income, is satisfactory in the present financial circumstances, especially when we allow for the extra expenditure entailed by our Jubilee and other oversize issues. So far our faith in the generosity of many of our readers is being justified and the generosity shown in 1977 to the tune of £4,186 (some £1,000 more than the record of 1976) is still being maintained. As we informed our readers on November 25th we decided to retain the present price as long as possible in 1978, although we know that we shall need to incur additional expenditure of some £5,000.

During the year we have continued to add to our investments with the aim of building up a reserve and at the same time producing a welcome increase in our income. The accounts will show the details.

We are glad to report again that our Editor, Mr. C. W. Denyer, is maintaining his good health - indeed his spirits seem to rise with every improvement of the paper. He seems to thrive on the larger issues, the more pictures and therefore the more work. His almost weekly contacts with ringers all over the country, while they often make his job a seven-days-a-week one, are most useful in providing material to add interest to the journal and in keeping up its circulation. Compared with the drop shown last year (February 1976 - 5,460; February 1977 - 5,373) we can now see that the slight improvement expected has been maintained, the figure for February 1978 being 5,552. This slight increase is not commensurate with the efforts being made by “The Ringing World” Committee and the Ringing World staff, and we must again stress that increased circulation is the best way to ensure the continuance of the journal, which we are convinced is essential to the well-being of the Exercise.

This report may sound complacent in parts, but we know that we owe our grateful thanks to many of our readers for their generous financial help, for their articles and news items which so often overfill our pages, and once again to the anonymous provider of our index. We thank also the bell-founders of Loughborough and Whitechapel for their continued help with their Gift Page. We cannot repeat too often how much we owe to Messrs Goldsmith and Drake and the staff of Seven Corners Press Ltd., who so appreciate both our needs and our difficulties and who, in the friendliest way possible give us all and more co-operation than we could really expect.

We know that our readers will agree when we express the debt which we all owe to Charles Denyer, our Editor, for the magnificent work he has done in making each year’s “Ringing World” an improvement on the previous year and in helping, officially or otherwise, so many who daily seek his advice. To our great regret Miss Bartlett, our office manager, left us officially at the end of September and we thank her for all her help and efficiency. She left England in January and right up to the day before she was helping her successor in the many details of his new job. We are grateful to Mr. Iolo Davies for his help in the office and especially for his innovation of the Junior Page. We thank him for all his hours of work and effort.

Our thanks go also to the President and Secretary of the Council for their attendance at our meetings; to Mr. Douglas Hughes who looks after our money for us and, with Mrs. Hughes, is host at our meetings at the Foundry; to Mr. David Tate, accountant and auditor, for all his professional help and advice and especially this year with the office work. The Committee Chairman expresses his gratitude for all the help and support given throughout the year and indeed throughout the whole of the three three-year terms as chairman.

W. G. WILSON (Chairman), D. A. BAYLES,

The report’s adoption was proposed by Mr. W. G. Wilson (Life), who began by congratulating the journal’s editor on the honour paid him earlier in the day. He went on to thank all those who had contributed to the paper during the past year, and then said that it had more than maintained its service to ringers. Although the budgeting system was working well, and circulation was showing a slight improvement (5,578 copies had been sold in April and 5,595 in May, compared with 5,399 in April 1977), even better circulation was needed if inflation was to be counteracted.

He was pleased to say that the editor’s contract had been renewed for a further year from October, and added that consideration was being given to the management of The Ringing World office. A scheme proposed by the printers, Seven Corners Press, whereby they should look after this side of the business, had been agreed in principle by the committee, but the paper’s accountant had expressed some reservations and these would be discussed with the firm and resolved by the new committee. There was a safeguard that any agreement which might be reached could be cancelled if it proved unsatisfactory. One point was that the committee would no longer have the same direct control of the staff involved.

Mr. Wilson referred to the kind remarks by the President about the paper and the committee’s chairman that had recently appeared in the report of a lecture he had given at the Hereford Course, and claimed that there was no other newspaper that could boast of having retained its price for three years, of increasing its size and quality, and at the same time of showing a £10,000 surplus. This had been due, he said, to an unremitting watch on costs and the widespread support of the Exercise. The 1978 figures were so far on target, but it would not be an easy year and the new committee will need every support.

After Mr. R. F. B. Speed (Peterborough) had seconded, Mr. M. J. Church asked for some clarification of Mr. Wilson’s remarks about the new arrangements for the paper’s office; had they been agreed by the present committee, or was it to be left to the new committee? He had also always understood that the Council employed only one person, the editor, and the reference to “the staff employed” therefore puzzled him.

Mr. Wilson explained that the committee had agreed the proposals in principle and had instructed him, the editor, and the accountant to resolve some points of detail. Since the proposals had only been made within the past month, it had not yet been possible to complete this stage, so that if any difficulties were to arise, it would be the responsibility of the new committee to resolve them. As to the staff, there had always been somebody to assist the editor - at one time it had been Mr. and Mrs. Lucas, then Miss Bartlett, and at present there was Mr. Iolo Davies (although the latter was not an employee of the paper).

Answering a question from Mr. J. Hartless (Winchester & Portsmouth), Mr. Wilson said that the additional expenditure of £5,900 mentioned in the report was the result of generally rising costs; this figure had been a fairly consistent one in recent years, he explained.

After the report had been adopted, Mr. Wilson turned to the paper’s accounts, and commented on the record number of donations which had enabled the paper to continue without an increase in price. Printing costs had risen by £4,400, but a new printing process meant that blocks were not always now required. Investment income had risen by £300, but £500 had been lost on the sale of some fixed interest stock. This would ultimately have been redeemable at par, but by then inflation would have reduced its value to a third, he explained.

He proposed, and Mr. Speed seconded, the accounts’ adoption, and this was agreed, as was the adoption of the Council’s accounts as a whole, as proposed by the Secretary and seconded by Dr. J. C. Baldwin.

Turning to the election of the new committee, the President commented that the old one had had six members, rather than the five that was normal under the Rules. It was agreed that it should continue to have six, and a number of nominations then ensued. Mr. Wilson declined to stand again, saying that he had served on the committee for 19 years and had been its chairman for the past nine; the job was an onerous one, he said, and he would prefer to make room for younger blood. The President said that this news would be received with regret, and that everyone was very grateful to Mr. Wilson for his work for the journal (applause).

After a ballot, the new committee was declared to consist of Messrs. D. A. Bayles and H. W. Egglestone (both Honorary), Mrs. J. S. King (Llandaff & Monmouth), Mrs. A. Newing, and Messrs. R. F. B. Speed and A. N. Stubbs (College Youths). The unsuccessful candidates were Messrs. P. T. Hurcombe (Sussex) and A. W. R. Wilby (College Youths).


This third report from our committee could be very much longer than its predecessors, but space permits only a brief mention of the many interesting items, programmes and happenings that took place during Jubilee Year.

We must express our sincere thanks to the Rev. J. G. M. Scott, Mr. Denis Bayles, Mr. John Dunwoody, Mr. Fred Dukes and Mr. Kenneth Croft for their help in gathering information. This information, including newspaper cuttings, photographs, etc., is all together at The Cedar Tiles, Chepstow, and is available to anyone at any time.


The Jubilee Year brought bells and bellringers “into their own”, and most of the television and radio coverage of the Queen’s visits was accompanied by the sound of bells. This showed in no uncertain manner that ringers everywhere performed their duties to public satisfaction. Celebratory peals and quarter-peals were warmly welcomed by Church and State. The birth of a son to Princess Anne was naturally marked by much ringing. During an HTV interview with the Phillips’s grandparents at Great Somerford the re-hung bells were heard and good shots of the ringers appeared on our screens. The same programme gave us Minchinhampton bells (near the new home of the Princess at Gatcombe Park). The television highlight of the year was without doubt “Look to, Treble’s Going”, a programme in the “Open Door” series. This was produced in the Northern Region by Mr. Peter Sotheran of Marske-by-Sea, Cleveland. Mr. Sotheran was instrumental in ensuring a most interesting and accurate programme which could not fail to educate all who saw it. He kindly asked this committee to vet the script and to add ideas where appropriate. “Well done” to all who worked for or took part in that programme.

Another highlight in the West was the television by BBC and HTV of the Rev. Geoffrey Stickland and his very young ringers at Quedgeley, Glos. This shows young children of seven-plus in action in the belfry and the following discussion on teaching methods with Mr. Stickland. In the North the centenary of the Durham and Newcastle Association received publicity from both the BBC and Tyne-Tees Television. In Ireland, yet again, much was shown on television - the augmentation at Holy Trinity, Drumbo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Christ Church, Dublin.

Nationally, bells were heard in many popular television series, from “Crossroads” to “Emmerdale Farm”. Indeed every “Sunday Morning” on the screen seems to have rounds on six bells or Minor as a background!


Radio too has done much to further our art, and the Christmas Bells Programme was the result of much care, time and trouble taken by Mr. Harold Pitstow. The ringers at the chosen towers find that their inclusion in the programme provides a tremendous boost to their enthusiasm. Much local interest must be aroused where recordings have been made for the “Church Bells” programme on Sunday mornings. This is a national effort and on the whole recordings have been good and the comments interesting.

Local radio has been quick to cover occasions of note in England and Ireland. Mr. Stephen Bell, the Newcastle Diocesan Adviser, was able to broadcast in Radio Newcastle’s “Soundings” on the maintenance of bells and their fittings. Radio Ulster broadcast an interview with Peter Furness about the training of ringers, and Radio Bandon broadcast an interview with Fred Dukes during Bandon Civic Week. Radio Orwell gave 30 minutes’ coverage to the “Art of Ringing”; Radio Solent interviewed the band who rang the handbell Major extent. It can be seen that many different aspects of our art have been explained to the public.


Many interesting articles have reached the committee, from both national and local press. The Farnham Herald published a photograph of the band that rang the handbell Major extent in action, together with a well-written account stressing the technical details. The event was also mentioned in The Times, Telegraph and Daily Mail.

In contrast the Ottery St. Mary News carried an article entitled “Ringers Plunged into Darkness” - a fuse had blown during the annual ringing meeting! Morpeth papers carried photographs of the Mayor “receiving” the town’s handbells after their restoration. In Ireland the journalists were busy producing articles in the Limerick Leader, Belfast Telegraph, Newry Reporter, and the Irish Times, to mention but a few.


An exhibition on bells and ringing was held in the church at Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland, and Mr. Frank Ainsley, the chief steward, was heard in an extended interview on radio. Devon County Library Service produced an exhibition of photographs and other material on bells, book lists, etc., all excellently displayed. This was done in conjunction with the North Devon area and was staged in a number of branch libraries and at Exeter, and was possibly the first such display put on by the County Library Service.


The Overseas Directory is still in the hands of Mr. George W. Pipe, and will remain so for constant updating and reference. Seven enquiries have been dealt with during the year, and the number is dwindling annually. This is good, as a high proportion of overseas ringers now take “The Ringing World” and this provides direct links.

Close contact is maintained with the National Association of Women’s Clubs and a steady stream of speakers is provided for meetings throughout the country.

Association with the National Organisation for Gifted Children continues, the aim being to cater for these children and introduce them to local bands.

It will be seen from this report that much is being done in many directions to foster good public relations. Continued watchfulness from every ringer will always be needed to enable our art to flourish and expand into the future.

G. W. PIPE (Overseas Liaison Officer).

After Mrs. J. S. King had proposed the report’s adoption and Mr. G. Feirn (Lincoln) had seconded, W. F. Moreton commented approvingly of the BBC’s Sunday morning programme on bells and ringers. He was very sorry to learn that the programme’s presenter, Mr. David Willmott, was going overseas, and suggested that a letter should be sent to thank him. The President said that he had in fact already written on those lines to Mr. Willmott.

Mr. J. L. Girt (Suffolk) said that the Radio Orwell programme mentioned had in fact lasted an hour, and Mr. W. A. Theobald (N. American) reported that a further ring of eight had been installed in the United States, at Hendersonville, Ca. - tenor 9.0.24 in A. He added that there was intense activity in the States at present. The report was then adopted.

Again a ballot proved necessary when the new committee was elected, those elected being Mrs. King and Messrs. G. W. Pipe and H. N. Pitstow (both Honorary), P. G. Smart and W. A. Theobald. The unsuccessful nominees were Messrs. I. G. Campbell, K. J. Darvill, J. T. Dunwoody (Irish) and P. T. Hurcombe.


The committee has the following work in hand:

  1. Exhibition material. The preparation of the master copies has continued throughout the year and is now nearing completion. Each set will consist of 25 cards, 15in. x 12in. in size, reproduced photographically; at current prices the cost will be approximately £45 for each set. It is likely that some Guilds and Associations may wish to purchase sets for their own use, rather than hire them, and this suggestion has been made to 50 of the larger organisations.

  2. The booklet on Elementary Method Ringing has been held up due to other work, but the first draft should be ready shortly and it is hoped to have it printed later in the year.

  3. The booklet on Elementary Conducting has also been held up through the resignation of Mr. A. R. Agg from the committee, but it is anticipated that this will be completed this year.

  4. Mr. W. F. Moreton continues to amass material for the 8mm film on casting, tuning and hanging.

The following work has been completed:

  1. A leaflet on “How to Organise a Weekend Course” was written during the year and has been circulated to Associations. It is hoped that the expertise gained by members of the committee and their colleagues will prove of value to the Exercise as a whole.

  2. A leaflet on “Conducting Stedman Triples” has been prepared and is now available. “Method Splicing” and “Conducting Grandsire Triples” have been reprinted in a new format.

The Washington film became very worn and was returned to America in exchange for another copy in better condition; this has now been out on hire three times. The BBC film “This Ringing Isle” was hired out on four occasions. From the beginning of this year hire charges were increased to £3.00 and £5.00 respectively.

A seminar entitled “Starting from Scratch” was held in February at Malvern Link and proved very successful, and it is planned to hold more meetings like it at different centres round the country.

The committee received, a suggestion that the Prince of Wales’s Jubilee Fund be asked to sponsor a week’s summer ringing school for youngsters. The probable cost would be about £60.00 for each student. An application has been made to the Fund, but at present no more information is available.

During the year stocks of the record “Rhythm of the Bells” and the film strip were exhausted, and both have since been re-ordered. An outlet for their sale exists in Cathedral and Abbey bookstalls, and the committee would be very grateful for any help ringers at such places can give with this project.

Requests for information have increased during the year, especially from America, and answering these takes up a disproportionate amount of time. A simple request from a library for details of current records of ringing involves a good deal of research through back numbers of “The Ringing World”; looking up queries on papers dealing with the mathematical side of ringing takes even longer!

Finally the committee considers that the “Beginner’s Handbook” should be revised and brought up to date; they request the Council’s permission to undertake this.

W. BUTLER (Chairman), N. CHADDOCK,

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr. W. Butler, who added that the booklet on elementary method ringing was now in final draft, and would be ready later in the year; that Mr. C. K. Lewis had taken over the work on the conducting booklet; and that the committee was not optimistic of obtaining any grant from the Prince of Wales’s Jubilee Fund. Mr. J. M. Tyler (Peterborough) seconded.

Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth) congratulated the committee on its exhibition cards, which he had found most useful, but felt that the latest price (£65, rather than £45 as quoted in the report) was rather high: would it not be possible to produce them more cheaply, he wondered.

Mr. Butler said that unmounted photographs would be cheaper, but would nevertheless cost about £45; as to the possibility of ringers producing their own copies of the cards, as suggested by Mr. A. J. Frost, he said he would need to consider the copyright implications of such a course.

Mr. J. H. Edwards (Bedfordshire) wondered why the Beginners’ Handbook should need bringing up to date, and Mr. Drew added that the present very low price of the Handbook was possible only because the original type was still set up: a new book would inevitably be more expensive.

Mr. Moreton said that there had in recent years been a great deal of original thought in the Exercise on teaching, comparable to the new ideas on bell restoration funds, and that this had been reflected in some of the recent advances in ringing. He felt up-dating was therefore clearly worthwhile. Mr. Butler confirmed this, and added that the committee had carefully considered such factors as cost before making what was a unanimous recommendation. On being put to a vote, the proposal was endorsed by a large majority.

The Rev. M. C. C. Melville (Universities) asked what was happening about Mr. Moreton’s 8mm film on bell casting, and was assured that it was not being allowed to drop. It was taking a long time to collect suitable pictures, said Mr. Moreton, and he had found some difficulty in getting expert comment on what had been done.

The report was then adopted and a new committee elected. Mr. Butler said that he would like a committee of seven, in view of the heavy workload, and this was accepted. The following were subsequently elected: Messrs. W. Butler, R. Cater, B. Harris (Stafford), D. M. Joyce (Kent), W. F. Moreton, C. M. Smith (Stafford), and J. M. Tyler.


The income from sales has fallen this year, and with the increase in selling prices at the start of 1977 this is a bad sign. We believe this is wholly due to the fact that there were no new items for sale and the situation cannot be rectified until other committees provide the material for publication. In our report to the Council last year we pointed out that the Doubles book was still not available, and the mini version of the Towers and Bells Handbook was not making much progress.

The following statements to the Central Council on June 8th last year lead us to budget for several new items for publication:

We cannot sell books if those who accept responsibility for producing them do not do so. We urge the Council to urge on those responsible the necessity for completion as soon as possible.

The committee met once during the year and a wide range of topics was discussed. The selling prices for 1978 were set after a full review of costs, and fully reflect probable replacement costs. A competition was also set for redesigning the covers of Central Council publications.

We recommend reprinting the Plain Major Methods book. It can be achieved at a reasonable cost, so long as the present book is just updated and not rewritten. The Council may wish to appoint someone to check the 1952 edition for accuracy before it goes to the printer.

We propose in the near future to produce a set of about half-a-dozen new method sheets for an eight-bell tower, to be sold as a set. If successful this idea could be extended.

A detailed survey of recent orders proved it would not be advantageous to the Council to offer a deduction of more than 10 per cent on large orders because of the high cost of postage for parcels.

The Publications Committee continues to be optimistic and with the help of other committees in the production of requisite copy, 1978 could be a record year.

G. R. DREW (Chairman), E. C. SHEPHERD,

Mr. G. R. Drew (Honorary) proposed, and Mr. W. G. Wilson seconded, the adoption of the report. There ensued a lengthy discussion on the need for the Plain Major Methods collection to be reprinted, Mr. Sibson pointing out that it would inevitably be out of date within six months, and that a computer listing of Plain Major, Royal and Maximus methods could be available within the next year. Several members, including Mr. C. Crossthwaite (Lancashire) and Mr. F. B. Lufkin, pointed out that a computer listing would not include any compositions, and Dr. D. W. Struckett (Middlesex) suggested that a computer might be used to produce instead a comprehensive list of possible methods (which would inevitably include a high proportion of very poor quality material, commented Mr. J. R. Mayne). After some further discussion on relative costs, it was ultimately agreed that the recommendation to reprint the 1952 collection should be endorsed.

Mr. Drew commented that the collection would however need up-dating and said that he had informally approached Mr. Nolan Golden for assistance. Dr. Baldwin said that help of this sort was already available from the Methods and Records Committees; he added, in reply to a question from Mr. I. G. Campbell (Beverley & Dist.) that it was “not impossible” that a comprehensive listing might perhaps be produced to order.

Mr. C. J. Groome (Peterborough) said that the previous evening the committee had judged the entries for the design competition, for which 25 designs had been received from ten people. The winner had been Mr. Peter Devenish, and second was Mr. Graham Grant.

Mr. I. H. Oram commented on the lack of any details of the publications stock, as was usually given, and the Secretary said that he would arrange for these to be included in the report of the meeting.

After the report had been adopted, the retiring committee was re-elected with the addition of Mr. J. R. Taylor.

Publications stock (at December 31st, 1977):
899Towers and Bells Handbook
635Minor Methods Collection
1550Change-ringing on Handbells
57110- and 12-bell Compositions
717Tutor’s Handbook
511On Conducting
208Compositions of Stedman Caters and Cinques
34Stedman Starting Courses
246Ringing for Service
1441Touches of Triples
174Grandsire Caters
835Blue Line Proof
10147Beginners’ Handbook
19Stedman Triples
878Symbolic Treatment of FCH
819Variation and Transposition
83Library List
28Bell Restoration Funds
68Four-way Minor Table
969Methods Sheets
328Model Code of Rules
2648Recruiting Leaflets
677Electrical Switch Warning Cards
371Safety Notices
1797Prayer Sheets
8“Rhythm of the Bells” records
94“A Ring Restored” filmstrips
744Film strip notes
500Conducting Grandsire
532Method Splicing
26Proof of Bob Major


Members of the committee dealt with over 100 enquiries during 1977; the great majority of these involved an inspection and a detailed report.

There has been an increasing call for advice on do-it-yourself repairs and overhauls, so that some of us find ourselves not only specifying what is needed but trying to suggest how it can be done. Even where ringers’ associations are not running their own volunteer workers, local bands are becoming more ambitious and apparently more successful, In at least one case, too, there has been an interesting and very harmonious combined effort in which the bellfoundry designed a frame, a local engineering firm built it, and volunteers installed it, along with the light ring of eight which the bell-founders had cast from an old and over-heavy six.

This clearly reflects a tendency which can be seen in many facets of Church life; another trend reflected in our work is the increase in transfers of bells from one tower to another, as the Church redeploys its resources and looks more carefully at the most effective way of using them, but a steady rate of augmentation and even of new rings of bells shows that the Church still values its bells and is prepared to make the most of them.

Structural problems in towers show a decline this year; it may be a temporary one, or it may be that the Inspection of Churches Measure has now brought to light the worst of these problems.

Our last meeting received news from the CPOW Bells Conservation Sub-Committee of the fortunes of Soundweld Ltd. Early predictions that bells repaired by welding would be liable to something like a 50 per cent failure rate have proved to be unfounded; while it has to be remembered that a welded bell will never be better than it was before it became cracked, the likelihood of success is very good, and the cost, so far from being comparable with that of recasting, is very much lower. Welding would seem to be a practical solution to the problem posed by some ancient or historically important bells which become cracked, and it is to be hoped that Soundweld Ltd. will have sufficient work to remain in business.

We have instituted some research into clapper failure, and have been given some useful information on the subject by the bellfounders and hangers; we would be glad to have any relevant information on the subject from other members of the Council.

The committee has sought expert opinion on the subject raised by the Strathclyde University report; at the time of this report’s compilation no very clear conclusion has appeared.

J. G. M. SCOTT, MA (Chairman), B. AUSTIN, ARIBA,

The Ringing World, July 14, 1978, pages 587 to 590

Central Council Meeting (1978) Official Reports (Part 3)

Proposing the report, the Rev. J. G. M. Scott said that the committee had come to the conclusion that the Strathclyde University report was very good and important, and they would like to see it published in an acoustical journal. He accepted the Publication Committee’s criticism about the maintenance handbook, but work on that was now underway. He went on the say that the committee was losing the services of Mr. F. E. Collins (Honorary), its longest serving member and one with great experience of bell-hanging, who felt unable to continue in view of his age.

Finally he said that a number of Council members had expressed interest in helping the committee - far too many for all to join the committee itself, although use would be made of their services. He hoped that the main considerations in nominating members (of which he hoped the committee would still continue to have 12) would be the requirement for a good spread over the country, and the need for all members to be seen to be totally impartial as between the various firms engaged in this work. Mr. B. D. Threlfall seconded.

Mrs. Newing said that she felt that the Strathclyde report should be submitted to an audiologist for comment, as opposed to someone in the scientific acoustic field, and Mr. G. A. Halls (Derby) queried the level at which sound damaged hearing: was the 80 db(A) quoted in the report perhaps a misprint for 90 db(A)?

Mr. N.E. Booth read a letter from the authors of the report, in which they said that their aim had not been to discuss internal sound control, but to provide data which the Council could hopefully use as a basis for setting up standards for acoustic design in bell towers. 80 db(A) had been quoted as a maximum safe level. The Rev. J. Scott quoted from a reply he had sent to this letter, in which he had said that the idea of the Council imposing standards, while desirable, was not really practicable. Nor was he sure that acoustic design was a precise science.

Mr. G. A. Dawson (Sherwood Youths) deplored the reference to a predicted failure rate of 50 per cent for welded bells, which he felt was quite unjustified; he asked for the reference to be deleted. Mr. Scott reiterated that this was a prediction and not a commercial estimate, and added that he was delighted that the prediction had been so wrong. Mr. F. Reynolds (Lancashire) said that he had not been a member of the committee when the estimate was made, but at the time he would have thought a 50 per cent success rate very optimistic.

Mr. Halls asked who was doing the research on clapper failure, and was told that the committee was collecting information on failures - the size of bell involved, the type of clapper, and so on. Mr. Scott told Mr. P. Mounsey (Oxford University), who suggested that this was a job for the bell-founders rather than the Council, that the committee was in fact trying to help the founders, who were at a loss as to the reason for the failures.

After the report had been adopted, the President paid tribute to the work of Mr. Collins, thanking him for his services over many years (applause). Replying to Mr. C. J. Groome, Mr. Scott said that although Mr. B. Austin had been involved in only two inspections during the past year; the other committee members had been very busy. Twelve members were then elected to serve on the new committee - the Rev. J. G. M. Scott and Messrs. Baldwin, A. Dempster (E. Derbys, and W. Notts.), Exton, Frost, Freeman, B. Harris, J. Hartless (Winchester & Portsmouth), Massey, Reynolds, Threlfall and Walters.


The committee has met twice during the year, on both occasions in London. As reported to the 1977 meeting, Mr. Eric Billings has been co-opted to the committee, which has benefited markedly from his experience.

Work has continued on a number of topics but perhaps the most significant discovery has been that tax deducted from the interest paid by Building Societies may be reclaimed under certain circumstances. To be eligible to reclaim the tax it is necessary to open a special account, known as a Basic Rate Category Account, with a Building Society; evidence of exemption from taxation is necessary. The interest on Basic Rate Category Accounts is paid net by the Building Society and the tax can then be reclaimed by completing form R68 obtainable from Inland Revenue Offices. However, tax paid on Share Accounts with a Building Society continues not to be reclaimable under any circumstances.

Comparative rates of interest at March 1st, 1978, were as follows:

In response to a query raised at the 1977 Council meeting, the Charity Commission has confirmed that registration of any bell restoration fund held by a Guild is a legal requirement unless it has “neither permanent endowment, nor any income from property amounting to more than £15 a year, nor the use and occupation of any land.” Property is understood to include investments, and probably only six or seven bell restoration funds are receiving less than £15 pa in income from that source.

Quite apart from this obligation, it is advantageous and advisable for Guilds to register their bell restoration funds as charities, both to avoid taxation of 52 per cent on investment income and to benefit from the advantage of covenanted donations. The committee has considered the advantages and disadvantages of whole-Guild registration, as opposed to registering only its bell restoration fund. It is felt that in many cases a Guild could find it too restrictive to have the whole Guild registered as a charity. We thus recommend registration of the bell restoration fund only.

Work continues on the revision of the booklet “Bell Restoration Funds”. We are currently awaiting approval of the revised Model Rules from the Charity Commission. It will be remembered that differences of opinion arose between the Commission’s London and Liverpool offices, resulting in difficulties for Guild officers.

Thought has been given during the year to the need to form a National Bell Fund which would be used only to assist in the removal, storage and re-housing of redundant rings of bells. Discussions are taking place on this subject with the Committee for Redundant Bells.

A tremendous advantage is to be gained from covenanted donations to charities. However, the reluctance of most donors to covenant their donations is a sore point with many charity promoters. Talks have taken place with the Charities Aid Foundation at Tonbridge during which posters prepared by the committee have come under consideration; these talks continue.

We are at present investigating the inconsistency with which VAT is at present levied on bell restoration work. Details of any incidence of VAT and details of schemes which have resulted in zero-rated VAT being levied would be helpful.

It is proposed to carry out a survey of the number of unringable rings of bells in the country in order to quantity the real need for bell restoration work.

Since our last report we have received from the Charities Aid Foundation a list of some 270 trusts known to be sympathetic to religious causes. Some of them may respond sympathetically to bell and tower appeals, and details are available on request. Articles appearing in “The Ringing World” have included “Bell Restoration Funds and Exemption from Taxation on Grounds of Charity” by Mr. J. Cadman (March 4th, 1977) and “Operating a Covenant Scheme” by Mr. I. H. Oram (September 16th, 1977). In addition several letters have been published on topics concerning bell restoration funds. Interest has been shown in the unique position of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild, which is a committee of its Diocesan synod. Covenanted donations to the Guild’s bell restoration fund are collected on its behalf by the Diocesan Secretary.

Thanks are expressed to all who have helped the committee during the year. We are encouraged by comments we have received after our request for information last year and are pleased to note the vigour and health of some bell restoration funds. In particular, it has at times been very clear that a strong fund has given impetus to local restoration schemes.

J. S. BARNES (Chairman), E. BILLINGS,

Mr. J. S. Barnes said that the committee’s work was increasing steadily. At the open meeting on Sunday night the legal requirement for bell restoration funds with an investment income of over £15 per year to register as a charity had been made very clear; at the meeting there had also been an inference that the committee’s booklet on Bell Restoration Funds was not entirely accurate - this was not so, the misunderstanding having arisen because the London and Liverpool offices of the Charity Commissioners interpreted their own rules differently! He also stressed that there was nothing to fear about making a covenanted donation to such a fund. Finally he asked that, in view of the workload, the Council would agree to increasing the committee to six members. He moved the report’s adoption.

After Mr. I. H. Oram had seconded, Mr. P. Rogers (Durham & Newcastle) asked what the disadvantages were of registering a society as a charity in its entirety; his own association had recently done so, and had encountered no problems. Mr. Barnes said that, since a charity could not be charitable to itself, registration might have an effect on any policy of (for example) subsidising society dinners or outings. Mr. M. J. Church asked which societies still needed to register their restoration funds. Mr. Barnes hesitated to answer, he said, because his figures were by no means up-to-date, but he suggested the Bath & Wells, Chester, Gloucester & Bristol, Guildford, Hereford, Leicester, Lincoln, Middlesex, Norwich, St. Martin’s, Shropshire, Swansea & Brecon, Yorkshire and possibly the N. Staffordshire. Some may have already registered, and not all may have an investment income of more than £15, he added.

Mr. P. M. J. Gray commented that he considered the penultimate paragraph to be the most important in the report. Many bells were ringable, he said, but only by young, fit, well-trained males, and there was much that needed improving there. During the past two years the committee had done a great deal, and although ringers could not pay for everything to be done that was necessary, the committee was showing how the available money could best be used and invested.

Mr. A. J. Martin regretted that the bell-founders were not contesting VAT assessments on their work, but leaving it for the ringers to do. There had been a recent case in Cheshire where the ringers had saved £280 by doing just that. Replying to this point, Mr. Oram said that the committee was discussing just that point with the Customs and Excise authorities; at present practice varied from office to office.

The report was then adopted, and in the election of the new committee that followed, six members were proposed and seconded for the five places. Mr. K. S. B. Croft offered to stand down to save the necessity for a ballot, but was persuaded not to do so. As a result, the former committee members were re-elected with the addition of Mr. M. J. Church, the unsuccessful nominee being Mr. A. E. Rushton.


Perhaps because the Pastoral Measure 1968 is now nearly ten years old, there have this year been no apparent major upheavals among the ecclesiastical authorities concerned with redundant churches. The work of the committee has to a great extent reflected this wider picture; it has in the main been a year of routine work rather than of excitement.

While it is in many ways pleasant to feel that the machinery, both of the church authorities involved and of the committee, is to a certain extent “run in” and working, it is dangerously easy to become complacent about the redundant church situation. The Bridges Commission in 1960 forecast 790 redundancies over 20 years from the coming into action of the Pastoral Measure. The number of churches which had been declared redundant by December 31st, 1977, was 683 - after just under nine years working of the Measure. So far there is little positive indication of any slackening of the rate at which churches are becoming redundant; but though the 1977 figure does in fact show an increase over the previous year the Church Commissioners’ Redundant Churches Department suggests that the numbers are perhaps beginning to level out. This suggestion appears to be borne out by the Council for Places of Worship confidential lists of churches considered for redundancy. These lists, of course, cast a shadow some two or three years before a redundancy declaration, and though not all churches considered do in fact become redundant, it is daunting that these lists this year have contained some 12 rings of five or more bells. But even if the numbers are levelling out - and it is, so far, difficult to discern a clear trend - it is increasingly obvious that the Bridges figure is likely to be very substantially exceeded.

Eight-four churches were declared redundant in 1977. This compares with 60 in 1976, and 84 in 1975.

This year some 85 cases have come to the committee. These have included two requests for frames, 11 requests for rings of bells, and 21 for single bells or pairs for the augmentation of existing rings. Offers of bells have resulted from ten enquiries, and currently some eight rings or single bells are in varying stages of transfer. At one end of the scale, it is good to know that the eight bells of All Saints, Brightside, have found a new home at Worksop, and at the other that a half-cwt. bell was found at short notice for a missionary in Nigeria.

We must of course emphasis that the cases that come to the committee are very much the tip of the iceberg. The hard work and organisation of the local associations mean that a very large proportion of the problems are solved without any need for involving the committee.

It is however extremely frustrating that many requests for bells remain persistently - though not, we hope, permanently - unresolved. It is perhaps inevitable that the comparatively small number of redundant bells that become available cover a wide range of shapes and sizes. The bulk of the requests we receive are predictably for bells for augmentations. This in practice usually means bells weighing from three to five hundredweight. So a bottleneck is created; and all too often the bell that on paper looks a possibility turns out to be lost, or sold with the building, or too old, or too thin, and the search has to begin again. We have had once again several requests this year for scrap bell metal. While the attractions of scrap metal are obvious, we feel that we should again make it clear that the policy of the committee has been, and is, to try to re-house bells intact. While each case must of course be taken on its merits, this policy is based both on the fact that recasting loses the value of the original casting, and on the damaging loss of credibility with the church authorities and the public that could result if the committee appeared to have no concern for the historical and conservation aspect. This is not to say that redundant bells should never be recast; but to point out a more excellent way. We are indeed presently considering the possibilities of a scheme by which apparently unrehousable bells could be used to the general benefit.

At the risk of becoming monotonous, we would once again ask the associations to keep us in the picture with what they are doing. The importance of close contact between associations and dioceses cannot be over-emphasised, and the sharing of experience gained can help us all.

We are once again grateful to the Church Commissioners, the Council for Places of Worship, and the Redundant Churches Fund, for their help and interest during the year. Mr. Clouston’s notes for the Council for Places of Worship, of which he most kindly sends us copies, have once again been invaluable. We do thank him for his help.

We are particularly sorry that our chairman. Dennis Beresford, decided in May that due to ill health he would have to retire from the committee. The committee, which he had led from its inception, was very much his brain-child; and probably only those who have served on it with him can know how tremendous is the debt owing to him for the energy and enthusiasm which he brought to the task. We hope it will not be long before he feels able to return.


Proposing the report’s adoption Mrs. M. J. Wilkinson (Honorary) said that there were some signs in the latest figures that the numbers of redundancy declarations were beginning to level out, although not too much reliance should be placed on this. She asked that societies continue to pass on to the committee any information they receive, and urged them to maintain the closest possible liaison with their diocesan authorities.

She added that if no reply was received from the committee to a request for, for example, a redundant bell, it merely meant that no suitable bell was yet available; as soon as something suitable appeared, the applicant would be contacted. It would however be helpful if applicants could notify the committee if they had managed to satisfy their requirement in some other way, so that their names could be deleted from the waiting list.

After she had thanked Mr. D. Beresford, the previous chairman of the committee, and Dr. J. C. Baldwin for their help to the committee during the past year, Mr. A. J. Frost seconded and the report was adopted. Members then accepted Mrs. Wilkinson’s recommendation that the committee should have eight members, and the retiring seven were re-elected, with Mr. G. W. Massey (Bath & Wells) being elected as the eighth.


The Hon. Librarian’s first full calendar year in office has been one of considerable activity. In the first place, nearly all the books which were thought to be missing, as mentioned in last year’s report, have now been found and placed in the Library. This included a number of items of considerable interest which had never been fully listed. Also, a number of books have been given to the Library, and the committee expresses its thanks for the following gifts:

We are also very grateful to Mr. Vernon Green, for having a copy of Lynam’s The Church Bells of Stafford beautifully rebound.

As a result of the appeal made at last year’s Council meeting, a large number of Association and Guild annual reports have been presented to the library, and this section now forms the nucleus of a useful collection. However, there are still very many gaps, and copies of reports will continue to be welcomed.

There were also donations to the Library’s funds amounting to £10.75 and this amount, together with the Council’s annual grant of £50, has been spent on the purchase of books with gramophone records, thus adding a further 21 titles to the collection. At the suggestion of the Administrative Committee, the books purchased with the £50 grant have had a book-plate, specially designed by Mr. Ernest Gosling of Maidenhead, inserted in them, worded as follows:

The committee is very grateful to Mr. Gosling for his help in this matter.

A complete set of current Central Council publications has at last found its way into the Library, and the collection of CC publications in the Library is now almost complete. The only works not represented are: “Report of the Conference with the SPAB”, 1923; “The Law Affecting Church Bells”, 1931; and the Method Committee’s report on Extension, 1954. If anyone has copies of these which they would be willing to donate, we would be most grateful.

All the additions mentioned above, excluding Association reports, mean that just over 100 titles have been added to the Library list in 1977. This means of course that the Library list at present on sale is somewhat out-of-date, apart from the inaccuracies it contains. However, the work of re-cataloguing the Library has been started, and it is hoped that a revised Library list will be available next year.

During 1977 38 books were borrowed from the Library, and about 25 postal requests for information were dealt with. There were five visitors to the Library.

There has been a good response to the request for lists of the holdings of Association and Guild libraries, and the librarian now has details of 23 collections.

The Library Committee has met twice during the year. It was decided to give publicity to the Library and its work by means of a Ringing World article, and a small display at the Derby meeting; both these resulted in increased interest among ringers in the Library and its work. The question of having some of the Library’s books rebound was discussed, and a start has been made on this. However this is going to be a very long and expensive job if all the books, especially the paperbacks, are to be brought into a good state of preservation.

Discussion has taken place on what should be the scope of the Library’s collection, particularly with regard to recordings of bells and such items as photographs. The committee feels that, for the moment, and until it is clear how much money is available, it would be best to limit the collection of such items to published gramophone discs or tapes, as well as films and filmstrips. The present holding of such items is very small, and any donations of such material would be welcome. At a later stage we might ask for a volunteer to collect an archive on reel-to-reel tape or cassette of interesting bell recordings. The committee is grateful to Mr. Clive Smith, who has already expressed his willingness to help by providing a selection of such recordings.

The most important decision reached by the committee was to go ahead with the formation of a “Friends of the Central Council Library” scheme to raise much-needed money for the purchase of books, etc., for rebinding, and for improvement of the housing of the Library. It is hoped that many members of the Council will be willing to support such a scheme, details of which are available from the Hon. Librarian.

The committee seeks the Council’s guidance on one matter. There are several books of which the Library has three or four copies, some of which (particularly those on the bells of various counties) are currently fetching a good price on the market. It seems to us that it is not necessary for the Library to hold more than two copies of such works, but we would seek your approval before proceeding to advertise such books for sale.

W. T. COOK (Hon. Librarian), J. S. BARNES,

Mr. W. T. Cook, in moving the adoption, said that he had omitted to thank Mr. Dukes for letting the library have copies of Irish Bell News. Commenting on the report’s final paragraph, he said that in 1959 the Council’s Standing Committee had in fact authorised the Librarian to sell any copies of post-1850 books in excess of two, but there were now some 28 or 29 volumes in this category, and he would welcome confirmation of this policy. Mr. J. S. Barnes seconded.

Mr. G. W. Massey said that he was concerned over the sale of books from the Council’s library, books which in many cases were donations or bequests, intended for the use of ringers generally and not to go into private hands. While he appreciated the committee’s good intentions, he suggested that it would be better for any surplus copies to be offered on long loan to affiliated societies which had libraries of their own. Mr. G. A. Dawson seconded this proposal, which was carried by a large majority.

Subject to this proviso, the report was then adopted.

When the President asked for nominations for the new committee, he explained that Mr. Cook, as the Council’s Librarian, was automatically a member. Mr. Cook in turn said that Mr. Barnes had decided not to stand for re-election to the committee because of his other commitments; he was very grateful for all Mr. Barnes’s help in the past.

Messrs. Butler, House and P. Wilkinson (Cumberland Youths) were then re-elected, and Dr. J. C. Baldwin elected, to complete the committee.

Mr. Cook then formally moved a motion to open a bank account for the “Friends of the Central Council Library”, from whom £26 had already been received. Mr. Barnes seconded, and the motion was carried without debate.


The deaths of the following past members of the Council are reported:

Walter Ayre had served on the Peals Analysis and the Peal Boards Committees of the Council; he had been Hon. Secretary, President (in 1935 and again in 1969), and a Life Member of the Hertford County Association; and had completed 70 years as a bellringer.

The committee thanks those members who have submitted their outstanding biography sheets, and would remind others that blank forms are readily available. The committee also thanks Mrs. Joyce Dodds of St. Albans for writing the biographical records for another triennial period.

The committee would appreciate it if the writers of obituary notices or appreciations of past members of the Council would, when submitting copy to The Ringing World, include all known biographical details, as this would save time and avoid the necessity of making further enquiries.

T. J. LOCK (Chairman), G. A. DAWSON,

Having emphasised the importance of the final two paragraphs of the report, Mr. T. J. Lock proposed its adoption, and was seconded by Mr. W. H. Viggers (Honorary). This was agreed, and the retiring members of the committee were re-elected with the addition of Mr. B. D. Threlfall and the Rev. M. C. C. Melville.


The committee has met once since the last Council meeting, at Birmingham in March, when it made final arrangements for the 1978 meeting and discussed the provisional invitation that had then been received for the meeting in 1979.

It also discussed the arrangements for the sale of Council publications, some of which had hitherto been handled by the Publications Committee while others were dealt with by the Education Committee. With the ready co-operation of these two committees it was agreed that in future the Publications Committee would be responsible for all pricing and advertising, and that all orders for Council publications (including records and filmstrips) would be dealt with by Mr. and Mrs. Drew.

The bequest by Mrs. Thackray, referred to in the Hon. Secretary’s report, was discussed, but the committee decided that it could not make any recommendation to the Council as to how the money should be used until the full extent of the bequest becomes known and further enquiries have been made by the President and Secretary. It is hoped to have some recommendations to lay before the Council when it next meets.

The committee is the Council’s largest, with a membership of 28, and it does all its business at formal meetings which are normally held twice a year. Since it was elected at Lincoln in 1975 it has met on five occasions, when the average attendance has been 20.

E. A. BARNETT (President)
J. G. M. SCOTT (Vice-President)
C. A. WRATTEN (Secretary)
Committee Chairmen
Elected Members: Mrs. O. D. BARNETT,

After the Hon. Secretary had given details of committee members’ attendances over the past three years, he proposed the report’s adoption, the Rev. J. G. M. Scott seconded, and the report was accepted.

There was then a short interval to enable the newly-elected committees to agree their chairmen and notify the Secretary, before nominations were made for the 12 elected members. Both Mr. W. F. Moreton and Mr. C. Crossthwaite declined re-nomination, but a total of 16 nominations meant a further ballot was necessary. This resulted in the re-election of Mrs. Barnett and Messrs. Cartwright (Worcestershire), Corby, Dukes, Freeman, Gray, Speed, Threlfall and Wilson and the election of Messrs. I. H. Oram, M. J. Church and G. A. Halls. Those unsuccessful were the Very Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow, Mrs. A. Newing, Mrs. J. Staniforth and Mr. E. Billings (Peterborough).


On behalf of the Truro Diocesan Guild, Mrs. R. L. Byrne invited the Council to hold its 1979 meeting in Penzance, an invitation which was seconded by the Secretary. This was accepted, as was the suggested date for the meeting of Tuesday, May 29th.

The Secretary reported that an invitation to hold the 1980 meeting in the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild’s area had been noted in 1974, and Mr. K. S. B. Croft confirmed that the invitation was still open; if it were accepted the meeting would probably be arranged in Southampton, he said. He suggested that it be held on the Tuesday after the Spring Bank Holiday, the date of which was after some discussion finally agreed to be May 27th. Mr. R. Cater seconded the invitation, and this too was accepted.

After the Secretary had said that he had also received an invitation from the Archdeaconry of Stafford Society for the Council to hold its 1983 meeting in Stafford, when the Society would be celebrating its centenary, Mr. W. A. Theobald enquired whether there would be any interest in the Council holding a meeting in North America. If there was, he said, he was prepared to approach the North American Guild. Although it was clear from a show of hands that a number of members would indeed be prepared to travel to America for a meeting, Mr. A. Wilby thought that the cost involved would effectively disenfranchise many societies, while it would also seem rather immoral to spend a large sum of money in this way when so much was needed for bell restoration. Mrs. M. J. Wilkinson thought it a very kind thought, but suggested that a much stronger vote in favour was necessary if the idea was to be actively pursued.

At the suggestion of the President, Mr. Theobald said he would try to obtain a firmer estimate of likely costs etc. in time for next year’s Council meeting.


Mr. Church said that the Guildford Guild had enjoyed making the arrangements for the Council’s meeting.

Mr. F. Reynolds (Lancashire) reported a recent case where at a striking competition a Hastings stay had broken and had come out through the louvres of the tower, striking a child outside. Such things were in theory almost impossible, he said, but he urged that precautions should nevertheless be taken. This prompted Mr. J. R. Mayne to recall a similar case at Haddenham many years ago; on that occasion a broken clapper which had been flung through the louvres was not found until 17 years later, when the nearby duckpond was drained!

Mr. J. T. Shepard asked that those reporting quarter-peals to The Ringing World should be allowed a month to do so, as were the peal ringers, but Mr. Denyer explained that the important difference between the two cases was that peals had to be published, whereas quarters did not.

The Secretary reported that of the 202 members, 181 were present, beating the record of 180 set up at the 1976 meeting in Hereford. 53 of the 65 affiliated societies were fully represented, and a further eight partially so.

The President noted that of those who were no longer members of the Council, three in particular had been members for considerable periods: Mr. F.N. Golden, who had joined the Council in 1930, Mr. J. W. Cotton (1946) and Mr. C. W. Pipe (also 1946).


The President expressed the Council’s thanks to the Guildford Diocesan Guild for its arrangements, including the excellent reception the previous evening and the hard-worked tellers, the Mayor and Bishop of Guildford for their words of welcome, the Rector of Holy Trinity, Guildford, the Dean of Gloucester and the Rev. M. C. C. Melville for the various parts they had played in the Communion service earlier in the day, to the various incumbents and ringers who had met the members on their ringing outings, for the use of their bells, and to Miss D. E. Colgate and Mr. Denyer for the record they had taken of the proceedings (applause). The Dean of Gloucester thanked the officers for their conduct of the meeting (applause).


Life Members: E. A. Barnett, J. Freeman, F. W. Perrens, E. C. Shepherd, A. G. G. Thurlow, T. W. White, W. G. Wilson.
Honorary Members: Mrs. O. D. Barnett, H. C. Chant, F. E. Collins, W. E. Critchley, C. W. Denyer, W. H. Dobbie, R. H. Dove, G. R. Drew, Mrs. S. M. Drew. K. W. H. Felstead, D. Hughes, C. K. Lewis, J. R. Mayne, R. B. Smith, W. H. Viggers, Mrs. M. J. Wilkinson, Mrs. M. A. Wratten.
A.S. College Youths: W. T. Cook, D. E. House, A. N. Stubbs, A. W. R. Wilby.
Australia & New Zealand Ass.: P. M. J. Gray.
Bath & Wells Dio. Ass.: G. W. Massey, E. Naylor, A. H. Reed, J. S. Walton.
Bedfordshire Ass.: J. H. Edwards, T. W. Groom, A. E. Rushton.
Beverley & District Soc.: I. G. Campbell.
Cambridge Univ. Guild: B. D. Threlfall, S. C. Walters.
Carlisle Dio. Guild: S. Richardson.
Chester Dio. Guild: A. J. Martin, M. Thomson.
Coventry Dio. Guild: P. Border, K. Chambers, H. M. Windsor.
Derby Dio. Ass.: T. Ball, G. A. Halls, D. Hird.
Durham & Newcastle Dio. Ass.: A. G. Craddock, D. Martin, P. Rogers.
Durham Univ. Soc.: C. C. Monson.
E. Derbys. & W. Notts. Ass.: A. Dempster.
E. Grinstead & Dist. Guild: A. N. Brock.
Ely Dio. Ass.: G. E. Bonham, J. G. Gipson, R. J. Palmer.
Essex Ass.: J. Armstrong, F. B. Lufkin, D. Sloman, O. Webster.
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Ass.: B. Bladon, L. C. Edwards, J. R. Taylor, C. A. Wratten.
Guildford Dio. Guild: M. J. Church, T. Page, D. E. Parsons, P. G. Smart.
Guild of Devonshire Ringers: F. D. Mack, D. J. Roberts, J. G. M. Scott.
Hereford Dio. Guild: T. Cooper, R. G. Powell, A. T. Wingate.
Hertford County Ass.: A. R. Agg, G. Dodds, R. E. Hardy, G. Penney.
Irish Ass.: F. E. Dukes, J. T. Dunwoody.
Kent County Ass.: P. A. Corby, M. J. Hiller, D. M. Joyce, D. H. Niblett.
Ladies’ Guild: Miss D. E. Colgate, Mrs. J. Staniforth, Mrs. J. Summerhayes.
Lancashire Ass.: C. Crossthwaite, D. R. Jones, J. Kershaw, F. Reynolds.
Leeds Univ. Soc.: C. J. Frye.
Leicester Dio. Guild: B. L. Burrows, J. M. Jelley, P. J. Staniforth. B. G. Warwick.
Lincoln Dio. Guild: G. E. Feirn, D. A. Frith, J. L. Millhouse, M. A. Rose.
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio. Ass.: J. C. Baldwin, I. M. Holland, Mrs. J. S. King.
London County Ass.: H. W. Rogers, Mrs. O. L. Rogers, J. T. Shepard, Dr. J. M. Weddell.
Manchester Univ. Guild: M. C. W. Sherwood.
Middx. County Ass. & London Dio. Guild: F. T. Blagrove, T. J. Lock, C. H. Rogers, D. W. Struckett.
Midland Counties Guild: M. Quimby.
National Police Guild: A. W. Gibbs.
N. American Guild: W. A. Theobald.. W. H. Jackson.
N. Staffordshire Ass.: E. Nixon.
N. Wales Ass.: Mrs. N. M. Randles.
Norwich Dio. Ass.: F. C. J. Arnold, L. F. Bailey, J. B. Pickup, J. R. Smith.
Oxford Dio. Guild: W. Butler, K. J. Darvill, H. Lawrenson, T. G. Pett.
Oxford Society: F. A. H. Wilkins.
Oxford Univ. Soc.: P. N. Mounsey, D. J. Roaf.
Peterborough Dio. Guild: E. Billings, C. J. Groome, R. F. B. Speed, J. M. Tyler.
Railwaymen’s Guild: T. Skilton.
St. Martin’s Guild: T. R. Hampton, R. W. Pipe.
Salisbury Dio. Guild: E. J. Hitchins, P. L. J. Matthews, R. G. W. Robertson, N. O. Skelton.
Scottish Ass.: N. E. Booth.
Shropshire Ass.: R. B. Dorrington, F. M. Mitchell.
Soc. of Royal Cumberland Youths: J. S. Barnes, I. H. Oram, D. E. Sibson, P. M. Wilkinson.
Soc. of Sherwood Youths: G. A. Dawson.
Southwell Dio. Guild: R. B. Mills, B. A. Richards.
Stafford Archd. Soc.: B. Harris, C. M. Smith.
Suffolk Guild: T. N. J. Bailey, J. L. Girt, L. R. Pizzey, R. C. Whiting.
Surrey Ass.: E. G. H. Godfrey, S. F. Kimber, C. F. Mew.
Sussex County Ass.: A. R. Baldock, C. J. Champion, P. T. Hurcombe, D. D. Smith.
Truro Dio. Guild: W. C. Boucher, Mrs. M. P. Byrne, R. L. Byrne, Miss J. H. Dash.
Universities Ass.: M. C. C. Melville.
Univ. of Bristol Soc.: Mrs. A. Newing.
Univ. of London Soc.: A. J. Frost.
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio. Guild: R. Cater, K. S. B. Croft, J. Hartless.
Worcestershire & Dists. Ass.: A. C. Berry, M. D. Fellows, R. G. Morris.
Yorkshire Ass.: S. J. Gullick, E. Hudson, W. F. Moreton, D. Potter.

The Ringing World, July 21, 1978, pages 611 to 613


A.S.College Youths161914 4237     1 1282211   8327110
Australia & N.Z.A.      12           1 2 336
Bath & Wells D.A.1213 2651534 33     2 436   16515180
Bedfordshire A.  13 1033537 1         3   993102
Beverley & D.S.1 3  3 2 1         1 2 10313
Cambridge U.G. 3  32416 2         6 4 391049
Carlisle D.G.     4   1             5 5
Chester D.G.5 10 3431035 10     3 15 30 9 11657173
Coventry D.G.423 435 18          13 1 66571
Derby D.A.2212 471228 1             122 122
G.Devonshire R.111  321216 5             68 68
Durham & N.D.A.  8 232514 1         1 10 621173
Durham U.S.1 2  5 3               11 11
E.Derby & W.N.A.  1  1 5               7 7
E.Grinstead D.G.       5               5 5
Ely D.A. 15 454230 5         4   1014105
Essex A.212 5731057 7             157 157
Gloucester & BDA661419531028 16     2 6 4 2 14314157
Guildford D.G.2 3 135911 7           1 68169
Hereford D.G.  4 213619 22         1 1 66268
Hertford C.A.124 233414 2       3217 3 622587
Irish A.         1           2 123
Kent C.A. 219 942645 3       2     1262128
Ladies G.       1               1 1
Lancashire A.15321 5113931 1         9 1 19810208
Leeds U.S.     4 1               5 5
Leicester D.G.10512 51041722 1       511712117627203
Lincoln D.G.313 238343 5         5   985103
Llandaff & M.D.A. 45 53069 17       1   1 76278
London C.A.148 7243            1 1 47249
Manchester U.G.     713           2   11213
Middlesex C.A.2 6 131123               55 55
Midland C.G.  1 13931 2         1 2 47350
N.Police G.       1               1 1
N. American G.  2  6 4       111 7 1 121123
N. Staffs A.1 5  15 5               26 26
N. Wales A.     323               8 8
Norwich D.A.153 4502130 31         22 7 22629255
Oxford D.G.3212 7882256 1521   1621021211120846254
Oxford Soc.    521                8 8
Oxford U.S.1 2 110 3           3 1 17421
Peterborough D.G. 17 333435 5             88 88
Railwaymen’s G.    1                  1 1
St. David’s D.G.     2   3             5 5
St Martin’s D.G.993 192                33 33
Salisbury D.G.  1 1131021 91      2 2 6 561066
Scottish A.  1 11 4               7 7
S. Sherwood Y.    11 1 2           1 516
Shropshire A.  2 142                9 9
S.R.Cumberland Y.17 1  141                33 33
S.Derby & N.L.A.         1             1 1
Southwell D.G.318  25740 5       9112 7 8929118
Stafford Archd.S.  11 12142117         2   66268
Suffolk G.5113 543447 12         1   1301131
Surrey A. 11 41143 3             27 27
Sussex C.A.  4 4541123 4             100 100
Swansea & B.D.G.     2 1               3 3
Truro D.G.  3 315316 6             46 46
Universities A.     1           2 2   145
U. Bristol S. 31 11 7               13 13
U. London S. 12  1126           3 6 22931
Winchester & PDG4215 79415691211    331152144 22951280
Worcs. & Dist. A. 19 9971035111           5 1735178
Yorkshire A.13426 151121130 4         11 1 21512227
Non-Affiliated Socs.3327 2103621 5       1114 5 17021191
Non-association 26 218412 2   1 2 2 52  461258

F.B. Lufkin (Chairman)
N. J. Diserens
K.W.H. Felstead
R.J. Johnston
C.H. Rogers.

The Ringing World, July 21, 1978, page 614

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