Central Council Meeting


Well-known for their kindliness and generosity, at all times, the people of Cornwall gave a great welcome to members of the Central Council, their relatives and friends over the Bank Holiday weekend (May 25-29) and, despite the somewhat inclement weather, a most enjoyable time was spent. The visitors were spread over a wide area, some residing in caravans and tents in and around Penzance whilst others were resident in hotels and boarding houses within a radius of 20-30 miles of the C.C. HQ - The Union Hotel, Penzance. From time to time groups small and large congregated in various localities, but the main assembly for all was the Reception given on Monday evening by the Truro D.G. when the civic and religious bodies attended to extend an official welcome to the Council.

St. John’s Hall is part of the Municipal Offices of Penzance and from 7 p.m. onwards a large gathering assembled to partake of sherry and to meet, perhaps for the first time for 12 months fellow members of the Council from all parts of the British Isles and from overseas.

At 8 p.m. on the platform were the President, Truro D.G. (Canon Arthur S. Roberts), the Central Council President (Mr. Edwin A. Barnett) and Mrs. Olive Barnett, the Mayor of Penzance (Cllr. Lionel Spargo) and his wife, the Mayoress, the Bishop of St. Germans (Rt. Rev. Bishop Michael), the chairman, Penzance Branch, Truro D.G. (Mrs. Margaret Byrne) and the hon. secretary, Central Council (Mr. Cyril Wratten).

Canon Roberts first welcomed the gathering on behalf of the Truro D.G., expressing pleasure and appreciation of the attendance and support given by clergy from the various parishes. He introduced the Bishop of St. Germans and thanked him for his support and encouragement during the brief period since becoming Suffragan Bishop.

The Bishop, clad in the brown habit of the Franciscan Order, said this was his first official engagement as Assistant Bishop. He extended a warm welcome to the Council members from all parts of the British Isles and representatives from Australia and elsewhere, and spoke of his connection with St. Bene’t’s Church, Cambridge (Fabian Stedman’s tower) where the bells were restored in 1935 by bellringers to mark the tercentenary of the death of Fabian Stedman.

At the Reception on Bank Holiday Monday the VIPs were entertained in the Mayor’s Parlour, and Mrs. Margaret Byrne (chairman, Penzance Branch) and her husband Reuben are here seen with the Mayor (Ccllr. Lionel Spargo) and his wife (the Mayoress).
At the Reception on Bank Holiday Monday the VIPs were entertained in the Mayor’s Parlour, and Mrs. Margaret Byrne (chairman, Penzance Branch) and her husband Reuben are here seen with the Mayor (Ccllr. Lionel Spargo) and his wife (the Mayoress)

Looking through some old books one day the Bishop had found a leaflet about St. Bene’t’s Church and later the Bishop of Truro (Rt. Rev. Graham Leonard) had seen it. It transpired that Bishop Leonard and his wife had been married at St. Bene’t’s, so there was a real interest in that old Saxon Church where change-ringing started!

“I am sure other countries view with astonishment the English churches with their rings of bells,” said the Bishop, “and are no doubt envious of our wonderful heritage. Wherever you may have come from, I bid you a very warm welcome and wish you all every success with your deliberations tomorrow,” concluded Bishop Michael.

Canon Roberts then introduced Cllr. Michael Spargo, Mayor of Penzance, who in a brief but interesting speech extended a welcome to the Council on behalf of the citizens of Penzance. He spoke of the three old bells formerly in the church tower at Paul, where he had lived all his life, and of the recasting and rehanging of a new ring of six - 30 years ago.

“I love the bells on Sundays for Church services,” added the Mayor, “but do keep your Grandsires, or whatever you call them, down at other times. Sometimes when sitting in the garden nearby they can become …” (The rest of this sentence was drowned with laughter and applause from the company).

“I welcome you all to Cornwall and thank you for coming to Penzance,” concluded the Mayor.

At the Civic Reception there was sherry for all: (l. to r.) Bro. David Columbus, the Bishop of S. Germans (Rt. Rev. Bishop Michael), the Rev. John Scott (vice-president, C.C.), Mr. Edwin A. Barnett (president, C.C.) and Mrs. Olive Barnett (hon. member, C.C.).
At the Civic Reception there was sherry for all: (l. to r.) Bro. David Columbus, the Bishop of S. Germans (Rt. Rev. Bishop Michael), the Rev. John Scott (vice-president, C.C.), Mr. Edwin A. Barnett (president, C.C.) and Mrs. Olive Barnett (hon. Member, C.C.)

“Forty years ago, our President and I had several escapades together,” said Canon Roberts, introducing Mr. Edwin Barnett, who then thanked the Mayor and The Bishop for their kindly welcome. It was the Council’s first visit to Penzance, although in 1964 they had come to Truro. Dean Thurlow was the Council’s president at that time and many members would also recall the fine welcome given then.

Thanking the Truro D.G. for their hospitality, Mr. Barnett said he did not hold the Guild responsible for the appalling weather that day (it had rained continuously) a comment which produced much laughter. The Council did not have anywhere reserved for the meeting in 1979 and were grateful to the Truro D.G. for coming to their rescue. Mrs. Margaret Byrne (Penzance District Chairman) was also thanked for the part she and her members had played in making the arrangements and for the organisation (applause).

The formal part of the evening completed, Mr. Peter Cummings (Camelford) then demonstrated his electronic device for change ringing, explaining its capability and usage on anything up to 12 bells. This demonstration was well received. Indeed for the remainder of the evening there were groups around the device and many changes in a variety of methods were rung.

A splendid buffet was laid out for the company and the bar was well patronised. The whole evening was an outstandingly successful operation and many compliments were heard on the excellent arrangements made.

To photograph officers of the two oldest societies together would, a few years ago, have been an impossibility! However, at the Civic Reception we were pleased to find the Master of the Cumberlands (John Barnes) (right) enjoying the company of the secretary of the College Youths (Jim Prior), together with Mrs. Ann Speed and her son Gregory.
To photograph officers of the two oldest societies together would, a few years ago, have been an impossibility! However, at the Civic Reception we were pleased to find the Master of the Cumberlands (John Barnes) (right) enjoying the company of the secretary of the College Youths (Jim Prior), together with Mrs. Ann Speed and her son Gregory

The Ringing World, June 15, 1979, page 490

Central Council



Morning Session:

Anyone who has attended a meeting of the Central Council could visualise the activities taking place on the Tuesday following the Spring Bank Holiday, as members and other interested persons arrived at the Conference Hall. This year at Penzance, in Cornwall, was no exception and over an hour before the appointed time for commencement cars and groups of people were converging on St. John’s Hall - part of the Municipal Buildings, although there was no indication that St. John’s Hall was part of the building. The hurly-burly on the steps, in the entrance and round the tables where members “sign in” was as is customary, and the Council’s Book Stall, being set up, found a goodly number of prospective clients.

In the main hall, having had the experience at the Open Meeting on the Sunday of the poor acoustics, the local branch of the Truro D.G. had secured a public address equipment to enable the president (Mr. E. A. Barnett) and other Council officers on the platform to make themselves heard clearly to the members seated in the body of the hall. There was also a microphone for the use of the other members and four loud speakers were arranged in suitable positions. The chairs had been set out in curved formation with a centre gangway and at 10.30 exactly the president called the meeting to order.

The Rev. J. G. M. Scott (vice-president) led the meeting in prayer and immediately it became obvious that the voices over the loud speakers were going to cause problems. However the hon. secretary (Mr. C. A. Wratten) proceeded to report on representation of Societies - 204 possible total and all subscriptions had been paid. A list of apologies for absence were read out and one other given from the body of the hall and the president then welcomed new members who were asked to stand as their names were called. Mr. Barnett particularly greeted Mr. Adrian Moreton and said this was another case of father and son being Council members at the same time - Adrian’s father being Mr. Wilfrid Moreton (Yorkshire Assn.)

At this stage, having endeavoured to experiment with the loud speakers, Miss Doris Colgate asked for a short halt to the proceedings whilst the “Press” moved from the platform to a position below the stage. The “wandering” microphone was also repositioned, one loud speaker cut off and a “hood” put over the microphone. This and a subsequent adjustment helped considerably and the business meeting then proceeded.

Six honorary members retired and were eligible for re-election. Mr. C. Groome spoke of the function of honorary members and suggested a change of title, as some were elected to help the Council whilst others were elected to membership as an honour. He felt there should be two categories - co-opted and honorary.

The Chairman said the proposers of an individual for hon. membership always gave the reason for proposal, and said that the admin. committee could discuss the two-category suggestion before the next meeting.

Names put forward for hon. membership and elected were Mrs. O. Barnett, Mr. G. R. Drew, Mrs. Drew, Mr. W. H. Dobbie and Mrs. M. J. Wilkinson. Messrs. W. E. Critchley and G. Pipe did not seek re-election, but no other nominations were made.

The gathering stood whilst the names of members or former members who had died were read, and the V. Rev. Gilbert Thurlow said prayers for the departed.

The minutes of last year’s meeting, having been printed and circulated were, after a few small adjustments, adopted, as was the secretary’s report. In this it was stated that some £5,600 had been received from the executors of the late Mrs. Margaret Thackray and a further £204.56 had been recovered from Inland revenue that had been paid in duty on the Estate.

Insurance had been effected on behalf of members of the Towers and Belfries Committee and, following a comment by Mr. K. Darvill, the secretary said payment of £1000 would be made from the Insurance Co. for serious injury and £10 per week for temporary disablement. Although it was suggested that this might not be adequate coverage and several members gave their own opinions, it was pointed out that full coverage would be considerably more expensive. Mr. Frost said he was glad to be offered any coverage and several individuals suggested the subject be further studied during the coming year.

Mr. Mew told the meeting that a number of associations already had Insurance Cover for their members and advised all associations to send details to the C.C. hon. secretary.

The 1978 Balance Sheet and finances were then discussed and it was pointed out that there were two additional accounts this year: the Library and the Thackray bequest.

The adoption of the Accounts was then deferred until the Ringing World report and accounts were approved later in the day.

The Carter Ringing Machine report was accepted and thanks expressed to Messrs. W. Dobbie and D. Hughes, the trustees.

Mr. W. T. Cook reported on the Rolls of Honour and said that the First World War Book had been borrowed for an Exhibition and would be returned soon. Mr. Cook’s report was approved.

Mr. Wratten proposed, and the Rev. John Scott seconded the adoption of the Administrative Committee’s report and, commenting upon the Thackray bequest mentioned in the article, Mr. George Feirn said he had known Mrs. Thackray and she would have approved the proposed allocations suggested by the Committee. This was that £3500 be available if needed for a rescue fund for redundant bells, if one were established; £1000 earmarked for loan to the Publications Committee; £500 to the Library; and up to £350 to purchase an instrument(s) for use of the Council’s Committees to determine the precise notes of individual bells. A sub-committee’s report appended was for observation only and not for discussion, said the Chairman.

Mr. Crossthwaite asked if the bequest could be used for other purposes, to which an affirmative answer was given.

A question by Mr. K. Darvill about the use of the money allocated to the Library received a reply which was satisfactory and Mr. C. K. Lewis suggested a contingency fund be formed for emergencies.

Mr. Potter said he understood the £3500 would be self-generating and that was the intention of the committee replied the chairman.

The report was adopted.

The Chairman of the Biographies Committee, Mr. T. J. Lock, proposed the adoption of his Committee’s report which gave details of some past members of the Council who had died during the year, viz: J. I. P. Davis, H. G. Bird, A. Locke, B. Horton, A. E. Rushton, T. R. Boreham, J. P. Fidler, F. T. Waite and the Ven. C. O. Ellison. Mr. G. A. Dawson seconded and the report was approved, Mr. W. Butler enquiring how many members had not as yet completed the forms. Mr. Lock said there were only a few and appealed to these members to fill in the forms. He was reluctant to ask relatives of deceased members for details.

Mrs. Barnett suggested publishing the names of those who had not supplied details and Mr. Dodds proposed that the Chairman of the Committee and the R.W. editor get together to publish the photos of members still not recorded.

Mr. J. Barnes asked if the Committee would consider publishing details of the lives and contributions to ringing of former members, and Mrs. Newing suggested fresh detail sheets be issued to members to up-date the information already given.

Mr. M. Church asked the Committee Chairman to give details of the working of the Committee and this Mr. Lock did, to the interest and satisfaction of all.

The president thought Mr. Barnes’s suggestion a good one and this is to be considered in the future and acted upon if thought advisable.

Mr. W. T. Cook, the CC. librarian, in presenting the report of the Library Committee thanked the Friends of the Library for their support and expressed the hope that others would join and contribute. A catalogue of books would be published in the next two or three weeks and would be on sale through the Publications Committee. The suggestion last year about surplus copies being available to other Guilds has not yet taken place but would shortly be put into effect.

The report was adopted, and Mr. D. Joyce was elected to the Committee (he had been co-opted during the year) after Mr. Baldwin had said he could not attend the meetings and had resigned.

A letter of thanks is to be sent to Comdr. J. D. R. Davies for the gift of several books and papers which belonged to his father (the late Rev. C. D. P. Davies).

Recently Mr. and Mrs. William B. Cartwright of King’s Norton, Birmingham, celebrated their golden wedding and received the congratulations of their many friends in the Exercise. Bill is very proud of his latest ringing pupil and insisted that David Pipe (son of Roderick and Gillian) be in the photograph taken at Penzance.
Recently Mr. and Mrs. William B. Cartwright of King’s Norton. Birmingham, celebrated their golden wedding and received the congratulations of their many friends in the Exercise. Bill is very proud of his latest ringing pupil and insisted that David Pipe (son of Roderick and Gillian) be in the photograph taken at Penzance

On the proposition of Mr. M. C. W. Sherwood, seconded by Mr. F. T. Blagrove, the report of the Methods Committee was accepted, no views on a Method Extension booklet suggested being given.

Considerable discussion took place after Mr. D. E. Sibson had proposed the adoption of the Records Committee report, and he had given a number of corrections and amendments to the lists of peals. The peal of Superlative Minor S. Major was excluded because “it is not a true extension”. A request for the name to be changed had been ignored by the band and now the Committee was in communication with the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild to find a suitable name for the method.

Those taking part in the debate were Messrs. Hartless, Smith, Lewis, Mounsey, Frost and K. Croft, the latter, who is the W. & P. Master, commenting that he was happy to abide by what the Council had decided and the Guild would rename the method.

The Council members approved the report.

Another discussion took place on the report of the Peals Analysis Committee, put forward by Mr. F. B. Lufkin, seconded by Mr. C. H. Rogers. A number of corrections and additions were first made to the printed details circulated. Mr. Lufkin declared that a number of peals of Doubles did not conform to the Council’s rules and this had occurred in the previous year also. He added: “Let us forget the past but be correct in the future.”

Mr. Potter disagreed and said that peals that did not conform to the Council’s rules should not be accepted and Mr. Walton stated that he had refused a peal for his Guild and hoped the Council would also not accept it.

Mr. Frith asked the indulgence of the Council as the present rules were confusing, to which Mr. Potter said it was wrong to bend the rules for one year.

Mr. Lufkin: “I made the suggestion on the spur of the moment. At this stage I don’t know which peals were wrong and it will take time to sort them out.”

The peal at St. Paul’s, where at the start two ringers were on the tenor, but was completed with only one when the strap broke, also received consideration and it was decided to take a vote on each point separately. The proposal to refuse acceptance of the St. Paul’s peal was lost and the committee’s report was then accepted nem con.

Mr. O. C. R. Webster who had been co-opted as a member of the committee was elected to full membership.

At this stage the Council adjourned for luncheon.

(To be continued)

The Ringing World, June 15, 1979, pages 506 to 507

Central Council Meeting


Despite the fact that he had only just come from St. Mary’s, Penzance parish church where he was the guest preacher at Evensong, the V. Rev. Gilbert Thurlow (Dean of Gloucester) was very much “on the ball” on Sunday, May 27 when he chaired the open meeting in St. John’s Hall. He called the gathering to order a few minutes after 8 p.m. and continued to harrass the stragglers who persisted in conversation and took their time in finding suitable chairs on which to sit.

Then in a typical “Gilbertian” manner our Dean and former C.C. president welcomed the company (150 - 200 attended), thanked the Truro D.G. for their planning and then introduced Mr. William T. (Bill) Cook, the Council’s Librarian. [“Do you want a drink, Bill?” asked the chairman, pointing to the water carafe and glass - an aside which with all its implications, brought loud laughter from the audience, for Bill does not drink - water].

Thanking the chairman for the introduction, Mr. Cook then gave a brief history of the founding of the Council’s Library, the first books being collected in 1892, a year after the Council was formed. About that time and in 1893 the unsuccessful candidate for the secretaryship of the C.C. - Edward Strange gave and collected various Bibliographies, pamphlets and catalogues, together with Bell News and other books on bellringing.

In 1911, R. A. Daniell took over the care and collection of the books, but the first appointed Librarian of the Council was the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn in 1913. Until then the books, etc. produced for the Council were sold by a publishing firm. The Council felt that this firm was taking too much of the profits, and decided to take over the selling themselves. There was still no library for general use as such.

In 1920 books bequeathed to the Cambridge U.G. from Sir A. P. Heywood were passed to the Central Council, Cambridge U.G. already having a library of its own.


The C.C. Library started with 36 books and in 1920 C. W. O. Jenkyn’s home housed the Library and this arrangement has been continued by successive librarians.

When B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake became Librarian, £5 a year was allocated from C.C. funds for purchases etc. of books and the collection increased - but mainly with gifts rather than purchases. When Mr. Cook took over the Library three years ago, following the death of Mr. Fred Sharpe, there were about 800 books with many additional pamphlets and reports.

In 1976 the Council elected a Library Committee and more people became involved, producing ideas and suggestions for improving and enlarging the collection of books. At the present the new catalogue of the contents of the Council’s Library is almost complete. Mr. David House, a committee member, who had rendered considerable professional assistance, had had the entries typed and an enlarged copy of one section was displayed.

At present the Library contains about 1000 items and Mr. Cook gave details of some of the books in the collection, many being of considerable value. It was intended to increase the scope of the Library and to collect everything possible connected with our art - including the various newsletters now published by many Guilds; also recordings and discs of bells.


At this stage comments and discussion were invited from the assembly by the Chairman and a number of questions were asked and answered. Mr. Harold Rogers queried the possibility of fire or other damage happening and asked if there was not a safer place for the library than in a private house. It was said that accessibility was greater in a private house, and in any case, there was still the possibility of damage and loss even in a public building or library.

Mr. Michael Church suggested that the Library be split up to reduce the chance of complete loss at any time. This idea had been mooted, it was said, in 1974 but had not been followed up.

Mr. Ken Lewis said that in former times books had been lent out and it had taken eight years to get some of them returned. Mr. Cook replied that this had been overcome and only one book at present was overdue - by one week! [laughter and applause].

Mr. Tom Lock suggested that second and third copies of various publications might be collected where no reprint was possible and so ensure continuity against losses in the collection. This was agreed in principle by the Librarian and the second set will be stored elsewhere.

The Chairman said it was desirable to have a dynamic library (in use), and another static one for preservation and replacements.

The Rev. John Scott spoke of the value of Association Libraries where many smaller but valuable items were collated, such as call-change cards; old minute books; ringing competition rules; etc. and it was felt that this was better for such items than the C.C. Library. It created more local interest among ringers.

Mr. Cook said he was endeavouring to obtain lists of books etc. held by the different guilds and societies so that he could, if necessary, advise an applicant that the book requested was in his or her own guild library.

Dean Thurlow suggested that photostat and Xeroxed copies of the more rare books be made and perhaps other libraries could then have a copy of such books. This point was noted.

Mr. Campbell raised the question of in-filling - advertising for books known to be in existence but not yet in the Council’s possession and Mr. Massey said the RW should be used for this purpose. He also stated that, having heard that £61 had been subscribed by Friends of the Library, he felt this was a poor response. More ringers could and should contribute in this way. Covenanting was not considered practical at present, it was announced, in reply to a question.

A recent bequest to the C.C. would benefit the Library, an amount from these funds being allocated for the use of the Library Committee.

Others taking part in the debate included Messrs. Jones, Girt, Dobbie, Denyer, Butler, Struckett, Dukes and several useful suggestions for improving and implementing the Council’s Library were made. It was felt that the Council’s Library and Publications were not controversial subjects and towards the close of the evening there was little further discussion.

Mr. Cook was thanked for his discourse and in reply said he had expected the Publications Committee to be represented on the platform. Mr. Groome (one of the two members of the Publications Committee present) said he was not aware that the Committee had been invited to be represented. Nevertheless he gave valuable assistance in several matters during the evening, from the body of the hall.

The Rev. John Scott expressed thanks to Dean Thurlow for presiding over the Open Meeting and the gathering dispersed at 9.30 p.m.

We had expected to take a photograph of three Council members who have conducted 1,000 peals, but John Mayne was absent. However, we got Jack Millhouse and Peter Border to pose and, to make the picture more attractive, persuaded Mrs. Gillian Pipe to join the two gentlemen.
We had expected to take a photograph of three Council members who have conducted 1,000 peals, but John Mayne was absent. However, we got Jack Millhouse and Peter Border to pose and, to make the picture more attractive, persuaded Mrs. Gillian Pipe to join the two gentlemen

The Ringing World, June 15, 1979, page 508

Central Council Asides …

With his rosy cheeks and cheerful smile, octogenarian Edgar Shepherd was greeted by many old friends. At the Reception he startled one or two by commenting “I’m going to speak to the Bishop: I must take my trousers off!”. In fact because of the weather Edgar had on a pair of light, waterproof over-trousers, and this was what he removed before meeting the Bishop.

* * * *

Some difficulty was experienced with the public address equipment in the hall during the early stages of the Conference on Tuesday. The loudspeakers were moved, around to help those listening. The microphones - one for the president on the platform and the other in the body of the hall, for use of speakers during the debates - seemed to be the cause of trouble, and when the President’s wife (Mrs. Olive Barnett) moved to the microphone to speak, the engineer in charge of the equipment caused amusement by nipping along and placing a muffle over the microphone before Mrs. Barnett could speak. However, her words were - as is usual - clear and to the point.

* * * *

There were not many Council members resident in the Union Hotel H.Q. It was fully booked very early on, but it transpired that the management have a contract with a well-known coach firm, and each day 40-50 travellers arrive and occupy the main body of the hotel.

* * * *

Seagulls are wonderful birds in flight, but at 5 a.m. (and earlier) at this time of the year their natural breeding instincts cause the male birds to serenade the females with most peculiar noises - often like cats fighting! On the cliffs this causes no nuisance, but on the roofs of the hotels and boarding houses it can be irritating - especially after a late night imbibing with fellow guests!

* * * *

“You’ve had a nightmare: there was no storm - at least I didn’t hear one,” said a well-known ringer to his equally well-known ringer wife. She had said that there was flashing and banging, shoutings and much noise on Monday morning at 1.30 onwards. The nightmare was not the lady’s but that of three men in a yacht which, having its screw jammed by a wire hawser in Mounts Bay, sank, after the crew had sent up distress rockets. They were rescued by the inshore lifeboat, and later as the coach party of ringers drove round the bay two masts were all that was visible of the yacht.

* * * *

At St. Budock at 10.30 on Monday, several coach tourists hoped for a coffee. However, the church is some way from the straggling village and none was available. One fortunate individual begged a lift from a lady motorist and visited a bungalow some distance along the road, where he had relatives residing. His comment, “Well I’ve had coffee”, was greeted with derision when he ascended the coach. He almost missed it but his sister-in-law ran ahead to acquaint the driver that one of the party was at the end of the road waiting to be picked up.

* * * *

The hills all round the area, in fact everywhere in Cornwall, prevented one Yorkshireman who has a spot of heart trouble, from walking too far. He had his walking-stick, however, and with the help of his wife did not miss very much.

* * * *

Visiting Carbis Bay for ringing on the Sunday, it was learned that Dean Gilbert Thurlow was up in the tower ringing with his long-time friend Canon Arthur Roberts. At the bottom of the tower were two of the local ringers, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Sullivan. When the clerics descended, introductions were made by Canon Roberts of the Dean and the Sullivans, and a photo was taken of the four ringers. After the click of the shutter, Dean Gilbert Thurlow quipped: “There you are, you now have a photo of Gilbert and Sullivan!”.

* * * *

The service of Holy Communion on Tuesday at St. Mary’s, Penzance, was well attended by the ringers, about 70 being present. Canon A. S. Roberts was celebrant, assisted by the vicar (Canon Newton). There was a service touch on the eight bells before 8 a.m. by a selected band.

The Ringing World, June 22, 1979, page 519

Central Council Meeting


In addition to the several car tours arranged by the Truro Diocesan Guild during the weekend and also for certain days following the Council meeting on Tuesday, the Bank Holiday Monday, as is customary, was enjoyed by a number of ringers and friends on a coach tour around the area. Possibly because of the uncertain weather prevailing and the difficult petrol situation, the 41-seater coach was full - the first time this has occurred for at least 10 years.

Leaving headquarters at 9 a.m. (in the rain), the journey, was made to Helston (8, 15¾ cwt.) and continued on to St. Budock, near Penryn (8, 10 cwt.). The parish church for Penryn is St. Gluvias (8, 11¾ cwt.) and here the coach driver was applauded for his handling of his vehicle - on a hill, on a double bend, and in pouring rain. The church car park has a narrow entrance and is on a slope. It really was a remarkable piece of manœuvring.

The Brookdale, Truro, a very fine and well-appointed hotel, had been selected for the lunch break, and before the meal hand-bells (supplied by Frank Reynolds) were in evidence and much enjoyed. The meal was superb and fortunately time to digest it had been allowed, although one or two of the “not-so-young” ringers felt inclined to have a nap afterwards. However, by 2.45 everyone was dashing from the coach across the very wet roads to Truro Cathedral, and here were met by the head verger, Michael Cole, formerly of St. Andrew’s, Farnham, and later at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. The Canon Treasurer also greeted the tourists and there were many other visitors keeping out of the rain inside the Cathedral. The 10 bells (33¾ cwt.) were kept going and considerable interest was evinced by many, for the bell ropes rising and falling can be seen from one corner of the building.

At the Brookdale Hotel, when luncheon was taken during the coach tour on Monday, handbells were brought out and entertained not only the tourists but a number of others in the hotel bars. (l. to r.) Frank Reynolds, Malcolm Bowers, Cyril Crossthwaite and Anthony Davidson.
At the Brookdale Hotel, when luncheon was taken during the coach tour on Monday, handbells were brought out and entertained not only the tourists but a number of others in the hotel bars. (l. to r.) Frank Reynolds, Malcolm Bowers, Cyril Crossthwaite and Anthony Davidson

The final tower was Camborne where, by the kindness of David Bath and his family, tea and biscuits were served in the adjoining hall - and welcome indeed was the “cuppa”. However, the general idea was that each ringer should have a pull before the tea drinking, although Frank Reynolds who was in command here let several slip away without first ringing.

The reception, later in the evening, necessitated a return to Penzance by 5.45, and the rain which had persisted all day was just a drizzle at that time. Ringers, whether by coach or car, were more fortunate than the organisers and participants of a local donkey derby which was in progress as we drove into Penzance. The mud and slush everywhere there was incredible, and we should be thankful that, whatever the weather, we are able to enjoy our bellringing.

Thanks were extended to the Truro D.G. members who had joined the tourists, and particularly Malcolm Bowers (organiser) and Anthony Davidson. In addition to these two, organising the ringing were Cyril Crossthwaite, Frank Reynolds and Ted Collins.

The Ringing World, June 22, 1979, page 521

Central Council Meeting

(Continued from p. 506)


Afternoon Session:

The first report to be dealt with after the luncheon interval was that of the Computer Co-ordination Committee which was presented by Mr. J. R. Taylor. Mr. Harold Chant complimented the compilers of the Minor Methods booklet, and Dr. Baldwin said the list of methods rung this year and in future years would be added and so keep the list up to date.

The report was adopted.

Mr. W. E. Critchley, in proposing the acceptance of the Peals Composition Committee, said some benefits had accrued from the liaison procedure with the Computer Co-ordination Committee discussion that had been held.

Mr. Mew said that not only should the Committee’s notation leaflet be published but a glossary of terms should be available for young conductors, the president suggest in that an article in the R.W. would help. Dr. T. G. Pett thought the Committee had done a good job and Mr. H. Rogers queried the contents of the Composition Book: (a) Its contents; (b) Did it include Stedman Caters and Cinques; (c) When would it be available?

When Mr. Critchley said it was only a replacement of an out-of-date book, Mr. Rogers uttered a despairing groan and sat down amidst the laughter of the gathering.

It was stated that the manuscript of the Stedman Caters and Cinques Book was in the hands of Mr. R. Dennis.

A motion by Dr. Pett that recommendations of the Committee be adopted and adhered to in all the Council’s publications was approved, but Mr. C. K. Lewis, whilst agreeing on standardisation of the Committee’s presentation of compositions did not support the idea of the R.W. not accepting compositions in any other form.

The Committee’s report was accepted.


After Mr. W. Butler had proposed the adoption of the Education Committee, Dr. Baldwin said that for any of the Council’s courses, associations should be encouraged to sponsor certain applicants who were attending. In 1980, Mr. R. Cater told the gathering, he had booked accommodation at Winchester at which it was expected there would be about 60 students, the type of course not yet having been decided, but it was mainly to help tower captains.

Mr. Wilby said tower captains are the people who should be trained and urged the Education Committee to “teach the teachers”, to which Mr. Butler replied that discussion groups at courses often debated this, and the good tower attended whilst the indifferent ones were absent.

Mr. J. M. Tyler seconded the report, which was approved.

Stating that it was hoping to publish four more publications in the coming year, plus the Library List and Doubles Methods, Mr. C. Groome proposed the acceptance of the Publications Committee’s report. He also gave comparative prices of five years ago with present-day inflationary costs. Four points made were: (1) to encourage associations to have bookstalls at meetings; (2) increase advertising, explaining contents of various publications; (3) the design competition symbol accepted was available for use by the Council; (4) to co-opt the chairman of the Education Committee to the Publications Committee.

Mr. J. R. Taylor seconded and Mr. D. Roberts expressed appreciation on behalf of the Devon Guild for the Committee’s co-operation. Mr. Dodds spoke of the Thackray Bequest helping to keep costs down, to which Mr. Groome replied that it required £1,000 to maintain the publications in hand. The funds would be used in a way to ensure money was available for further publications. The £1,000 must be used so as to increase its value rather than it should disappear through inflation, was an observation made by Mr. Potter. The chairman said he was sure the Committee would consider these points during the year, after which the report was adopted.

Moving the adoption of the Ringing World report, Mr. Richard F. B. Speed expressed thanks to Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Oatway for practical assistance periodically given in the office at Guildford, and Mrs. Angela Newing, seconding, spoke of the Burchnall Bequest and asked for ideas to improve the competition for this part of the publication. There was no discussion or questions asked, and the report was accepted.

The R.W. accounts were then presented by Mr. Speed for adoption, and after elaborating on one or two of the items, Mrs. Newing again seconded and the accounts were approved without debate.

Mr. C. A. Wratten then proposed the adoption of all the accounts of the Council which, Mr. W. T. Cook seconding, were accepted. Thanks were accorded the auditors, Mr. Michael Church and Mr. Harold Pitstow, for their work. Mr. Pitstow wished to resign and the administrative Committee will fill the vacancy until the next elections.

After Mrs. J. S. King had presented the Public Relations Committee’s report there followed considerable discussion and some criticism, Mrs. Newing suggesting that the Exercise was in need of more good publicity, perhaps with press releases. She also said this would assist local ringers to publicise local events and it was important to build up links with radio and T.V.

Mr. G. Morris said he was a personal friend of the originator of “Church Bells on Sunday” (Mr. David Wilmott), who thought we ought to have 15 minutes a week if enough backing came from the Exercise.

Mr. Barnes said that London Radio and other local radio stations gave good publicity to ringing. He was surprised no mention of the Council meeting had been given on the Sunday programme and at the BBC nobody seemed to have any contact with Mr. Pitstow.

The former editor of the Church Times, now with the Church Information Office (C.I.O.), was keen to give ringing news but does not receive it. It was suggested the Committee make contact with this gentleman.

The Rev. John Scott, supporting Mr. Barnes, said the present Editor of Church Times was not interested in news from bell-ringers, but if it came from C.I.O. they might use it.

The R.W. editor said that the BBC rang him nearly every week to check items for publication on the Bells on Sunday programme, and he had occasionally given them up-to-date items for use. On only one occasion, however, had anything he had provided been broadcast. The Penzance Branch (Truro D.G.) had sent a recording and also details of the meeting; the Public Relations Committee had also sent details, and he (the editor) had told the BBC about it, but nothing had been broadcast. The R.W. regularly sent two free R.W. copies each week to the BBC.

The president of the Truro D.G. (Canon Arthur S. Roberts), centre, was here, there and everywhere greeting the guests and visitors at the Reception on Monday. One of the most important was the Bishop of S. Germans (Rt. Rev. Bishop Michael), seen here on the left, with Mr. Frank Perrens (right).
The president of the Truro D.G. (Canon Arthur S. Roberts), centre, was here, there and everywhere greeting the guests and visitors at the Reception on Monday. One of the most important was the Bishop of S. Germans (Rt. Rev. Bishop Michael), seen here on the left, with Mr. Frank Perrens (right)

Others taking part in the debate were Messrs. G. Dodds, P. Smart, J. Baldwin, K. Darvill, I. Campbell and A. Wilby, the latter proposing that associations elect a Public Relations Officer. He thought the Irish Association did a good job in public relations.

After the debate the report was adopted.

The Redundant Bells Committee’s report was presented by Mrs. J. Wilkinson, who said that to May 28 there were 758 redundant churches. She appealed to associations to notify her of any information they had, particularly regarding redundant bells, and this, Mr. G. Halls said, was more relevant to the Committee.

Mrs. Wilkinson said the information on bells was not always available, but Mr. Ranald Clouston’s reports were invaluable.

The report was adopted.

The Bell Restoration Fund Committee became a permanent committee last year and the report was presented by Mr. J. Barnes. It was again stressed that all restoration funds must be registered if the income was over £18. V.A.T. was also discussed, various experiences in this matter being exchanged among members, including Messrs. Groome, Lewis, Oram, Corby and Halls.

Mr. G. Halls gave details of his survey of unringable bells and produced a duplicated sheet with interesting information and comparisons. He spent some time explaining the items and in reply to Mr. Corby’s question of figures given for London, said he had five sources of information.

The chairman thanked Mr. Halls for his work and the report was then accepted.

The work of the Towers and Belfries Committee and its report was given by the Rev. J. Scott (chairman), Mr. Alan Frost seconding the adoption of the report.

The Strathclyde report and the problem of bell clappers snapping were queried by Mr. Halls, and the Committee’s chairman said the former was still being dealt with, whilst there was no further information on clapper failures.

Mr. Butler said money for research had been left by Mr. Robert Warner and perhaps this could be used for clapper breakages research.

Mr. G. Dawson said he thought the money was in the hands of the bellfounders. He asked that more statistics be included in the report, and the Rev. John Scott said statistics were not always available but they would endeavour to include any that were.

The report was adopted.

This was the completion of the Committees reports and the president thanked all members involved for their work during the year.

Mr. F. Dukes asked if the address as well as the chairman’s name could be put at the end of each report, and this was agreed.

After Mr. Dawson had asked who had not supplied details of their membership for the Biographies Committee, Mr. Lock read out a list of eight names. He said he would inform associations of any form sent in which did not carry full details.

There were three motions before the Council. The first was proposed by Mr. I. G. Campbell and seconded by Mr. W. F. Moreton: That the Council accords territorial status to the Beverley and District Society.

Mr. Campbell, giving information to support the proposal, said their membership was 1,030; that no other meetings were held in the area; and they had their own constitution, offices, etc. Mr. Moreton also spoke on similar lines, saying that the Yorkshire Association was in full agreement with the proposal.

Several points were raised about the possibility of problems arising, but when Mr. Campbell said the area covered was the old East Riding of Yorkshire, the motion was put by the chairman and carried.

“That the Council sets up a fund for the rescue of redundant bells” was proposed by Mrs. M. J. Wilkinson on behalf of the Committee. Mr. J. Barnes seconded. It was pointed out that there was a need for money for bells, but it was not to be used over the heads of local guilds. Local funds were not at risk nor sovereignty over its bells.

Mr. Barnes suggested £10,000 be the objective, of which £3,500 from the Thackray Fund was the start. It was suggested that donations come from the association general funds and contributions (? by covenant) from individuals, with unsecured loans also a possibility. The money would be in the hands of trustees and invested in such a way as to be readily available.

Mr. Moreton strongly supported the motion which had the support of the Administrative Committee. Mr. Croft also spoke in favour, but Mr. Darvill queried the amount of money involved.

Mr. Smart said £10,000 would not go far, and asked about storage and the security of bells “rescued”, as did Messrs. Thompson and Sibson, the latter suggesting a better way to raise funds would be to gather a list of people willing to subscribe at short notice.

Mr. Mew, endeavouring to dispel misgivings, said £6,500 was a comparatively small sum to raise among all the associations. It was only put in once, the money coming back from resales. Mr. Frost said although £10,000 was the target (£3,500 from the Thackray Bequest) the scheme could work on less.

Mrs. Wilkinson said the money was needed “to buy time” and the bells would be stored by the guilds concerned, but where necessary storage could be made available. It was feasible that bells would be bought at scrap value prices and resold at a small profit, thus enlarging the funds. There could also be a charge for expenses, and insurances would be covered.

The motion was carried, five members voting against.

The rules of the Fund had been printed and circulated and on the proposition of Mrs. Wilkinson, seconded by Mr. J. Barnes, were approved without debate.

IN 1980

The Council is to meet in 1980 on May 27 in the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild’s area, and in 1981 (May 28) in Kent. Mr. P. Corby, in characteristic manner, gave details of the proposed visit in 1981 and the meeting concurred.

Periodically the question arises about problems some members have in attending the Council’s meeting on Bank Holiday Tuesday, and this year Mr. Clarke Walters voiced the difficulties. He asked if the meeting could not take place on Bank Holiday Monday, but Mr. R. Cater said that next year’s meeting would have to be on Tuesday as it was impossible to arrange the hall hiring and catering arrangements on the Monday. He said it was proposed to vary the arrangements in 1979: on Sunday the open meeting would be in Portsmouth; Monday a Reception would be in Winchester, and on Tuesday the Conference would take place in Southampton.

Invitations were sent to the Council for 1982, Bedfordshire Association; 1983, Staffordshire Association; and 1985, Nottingham area.

Mr. Darvill asked about the N. American visit and Mr. W. Theobald’s proposal, it being reported that Mr. Theobald was at present in the U.S.A. Nothing has been done about it, added the chairman.

Details of the attendance that day were given as follows: 65 associations were fully represented by 91 members; 23 partly represented by 46 members (29 absent); 5 were not represented (6 absent); and there were 5 life members present (3 absent); 11 honorary members (12 absent). Total: 153 present (50 absent).

Miss Doris Colgate (Sevenoaks) who for many years has taken minutes of the Council meetings, was this year presented with two pot plants. Her astonishment and surprise were evident when Mrs. Olive Barnett handed them to Doris, who haltingly expressed her thanks.
Miss Doris Colgate (Sevenoaks) who for many years has taken minutes of the Council meetings, was this year presented with two pot plants. Her astonishment and surprise were evident when Mrs. Olive Barnett handed them to Doris, who haltingly expressed her thanks

The president thanked the Truro Diocesan Guild for making the arrangements and for the excellent way everything had been carried out. He particularly expressed appreciation to the officers and members at the reception, the towers and on the tours; the Vicar of St. Mary’s, Penzance, for the use of the church for Holy Communion, and incumbents of churches where the bells were used; and Canon Roberts (Truro D.G. president) for his part in the proceedings, and to the R.W. editor and Miss Doris Colgate for recording the proceedings.

Canon Roberts also thanked the working committees and members who had assisted, and expressed the hope that the Council would not wait another 16 years before returning to Cornwall for their conference.

Mr. Phil Corby said the members were grateful to Mr. Barnett for the excellent way he had conducted the proceedings over the weekend, and also thanked the librarian (Mr. Cook) and the vice-president (Rev. John Scott) and also - perhaps most of all - Mr. Cyril Wratten, our secretary.

The sustained applause was proof of the members’ appreciation, and the president then declared the meeting closed.


Ringing on Sunday morning at Carbis Bay were many visitors, and the locals handed over to them. When the vicar (Canon A. S. Roberts) came down from the tower with his fellow ringer, Gilbert Thurlow (Dean of Gloucester), they met Mr. and Mrs. Tom Sullivan of the local band. Having photographed them (l. to r.: Mrs. Sullivan, Gilbert Thurlow, Arthur Roberts and Tom Sullivan), the Dean said: “Now you have a photograph of Gilbert and Sullivan!” - In 1948 Gilbert Thurlow dedicated the banner for the (then) new parish of Carbis Bay.
Ringing on Sunday morning at Carbis Bay were many visitors, and the locals handed over to them. When the vicar (Canon A. S. Roberts) came down from the tower with his fellow ringer, Gilbert Thurlow (Dean of Gloucester), they met Mr. and Mrs. Tom Sullivan of the local band. Having photographed them (l. to r.: Mrs. Sullivan, Gilbert Thurlow, Arthur Roberts and Tom Sullivan), the Dean said: “Now you have a photograph of Gilbert and Sullivan!” - In 1948 Gilbert Thurlow dedicated the banner for the (then) new parish of Carbis Bay

The Ringing World, June 22, 1979, pages 535 to 536

This group photograph was taken outside the hotel where they were staying for the Central Council meeting in Penzance. (Top) The hotel proprietors: then Mr. Godfrey and Ruth Morris; Colin Champion and Mr. A. Hoare; (front) Miss Hoare, Mrs. Champion, R. G. T. Morris, Penny Morris and Mr. Smith.
This group photograph was taken outside the hotel where they were staying for the Central Council meeting in Penzance. (Top) The hotel proprietors: then Mr. Godfrey and Ruth Morris; Colin Champion and Mr. A. Hoare; (front) Miss Hoare, Mrs. Champion, R. G. T. Morris, Penny Morris and Mr. Smith

The Ringing World, July 6, 1979, page 563

On their way into the hall for the Central Council meeting at Penzance on the Tuesday: Peter Border, Marcus C. W. Sherwood and Mrs. Margaret Sherwood.
On their way into the hall for the Central Council meeting at Penzance on the Tuesday: Peter Border, Marcus C. W. Sherwood and Mrs. Margaret Sherwood

The Ringing World, July 20, 1979, page 611

The Central Council H.Q. at Penzance.
The Central Council H.Q. at Penzance

The Ringing World, July 20, 1979, page 627

At the Central Council meeting Reception at Penzance: some of the local ringers and their vicar.
At the Central Council meeting Reception at Penzance: some of the local ringers and their vicar

The Ringing World, July 27, 1979, page 636

Central Council Meeting: Penzance, May 29, 1979, Official Report (Part I)

When the Central Council held its 82nd annual meeting in St. John’s Hall, Penzance, on Tuesday, May 29th, the chair can taken by the President of the Council, Mr. E.A. Barnett.

The Council’s Vice-President, the Revd. J.G.M. Scott (Devonshire Guild), opened the meeting with prayer, after which the Hon. Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Gloucester & Bristol DA), reported that 6 societies were affiliated to the Council, with 172 representative members. The Rules provided for 24 Honorary members, and there were eight Life members, making the total possible membership of 204. There was one vacancy among the Honorary membership, however. All subscriptions had been paid.

Apologies for absence had been received from a number of members: Messrs. J. Freeman, T. White, and W.G. Wilson (life members); D.A. Bayles, G.R. Drew, Mrs. S.M. Drew, H.W. Egglestone, Canon K.W.H. Felstead, D. Hughes, J.R. Mayne, G.W. Pipe, H.N. Pitstow, R.B. Smith, and P.L. Taylor (honorary members); and K.C. Chambers, J.T. Dunwoody, J.H. Edwards, W.L. Exton, P.M.J. Gray, D. Hird, I.M. Holland, E. Hotine, P.T. Hurcombe, B. Mills, E. Nixon, R.J. Palmer, W.A. Patterson, G. Penney, R.R. Savory, J.T. Shepard, Mrs. J. Staniforth, P.J. Staniforth, W.A. Theobald, B.D. Threlfall, and Dr. J.M. Weddell (representative members). The President commented that Mr. J. Freeman, a former President of the Council, had recently returned home from hospital, and said he was sure members would wish to send him their best wishes (hear, hear).

New members

The President welcomed seven new members of the Council: Messrs. R. Eccles (Australia & New Zealand), K. Lewin (Bedfordshire), P. Dyson (Chester), G. Parting (N. Wales), P.J. Everall (Shropshire), I.V.J. Smith (Sussex), and A. Moreton (Yorkshire). In expressing the hope that they would find their time on the Council both enjoyable and profitable, Mr. Barnett commented on the fact that the election of Mr. A. Moreton to the Council provided another of the rare instances of father and son both being members at the same time.

Election of Honorary members

The three-year term of six Honorary members - W.E. Critchley, W.H. Dobbie, G.R. Drew, Mrs. S.M. Drew, G.W. Pipe, and Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson - had expired, and the President said that of these Messrs. Critchley and Pipe were not seeking re-election.

Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough) commented that there seemed to be some confusion about honorary membership of the Council: the name suggested that it was an honour bestowed on those who had rendered some service to the Exercise, but he understood the real intention was to enable the Council to co-opt ringers and others in order to make use of their experience and special skills. He wondered whether there might be a case for changing the name or for having co-opted and honorary members, and suggested that the Administrative Committee should look into the matter.

He went on to say that anyone proposed and seconded for honorary membership almost automatically became a member if there was a vacancy: it was important that members should have an opportunity to vote against a nomination if they wished.

The President agreed that the Administrative Committee should look into Mr. Groome’s first point and report at the next meeting of the Council, but added that it was the practice for proposers to give a reason for their nominations.

At this point Dean Thurlow (Life) suggested that the election should perhaps be deferred until the various committee reports had been considered, since members would then have a better idea of who was required, but the President said that a committee was able to co-opt extra members at any time if it wished. He then said that there were seven vacancies and asked for nominations.

Four names were proposed and seconded: W.H. Dobbie, one of the two Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine; Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson, chairman of the Committee for Redundant Bells; G.R. Drew, Chairman of the Publications Committee and responsible for the distribution of Council publications; and Mrs. S.M. Drew, who helped him in the day-to-day handling of orders. Each were individually elected on a show of hands.

Loss of members through death

Members stood in silence as the President read the names of those who had died since the Council last met: F.T. Waite (Glos. & Bristol DA 1945-47, died 3 May 1978), A.E. Rushton (Bedfordshire 1960 until his death on 12 July 1978), T.R. Boreham (Glos. & Bristol 1954-60, died 4 Aug. 1978), J.P. Fidler (Leicester DG 1946-51, Honorary 1951-67, died 22 Nov. 1978), Ven. C.O. Ellison (Yorkshire A 1948-51, died 12 December 1978), J. Phillips (Llandaff & Monmouth DA 1930-32, died 3 Jan. 1979), H. Walker (Doncaster & District A 1927-30, died 4 Feb. 1979), J.F. Smallwood (Honorary 1939-51, ASCY 1951-65, Life since 1965, died 5 Feb. 1979), G.S.G. Joyce (Guildford D.G. 1957-60, died 25 Feb. 1979), and H. Miles (Oxford DG 1929-35, died 1 March 1979).

Dean Thurlow said a short prayer.

Minutes of the last meeting

The Secretary moved the adoption of the Minutes of the 1978 meeting, which had been published in The Ringing World on 2 March and copies of which had been sent to members, subject to the deletion of the name of P.L. Hughes (Hereford DG) from the list of those present and the correction of the name of the Oxford University Society. Mrs. O.D. Barnett (honorary) seconded, and the Minutes were adopted.

The Secretary accepted the point made by Mr. Groome that references in the Minutes to some committee members having been elected and others being re-elected could be misleading: all were in fact elected to the new committees.

Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex) said that enquiries had now been made about the peal of Minor rang on 30 July 1977 and referred to in the Minutes under the Peals Analysis Committee, and it was now clear that, since it had contained six consecutive plain leads, it was not acceptable.

Secretary’s report

Two members of the Council, J. Frank Smallwood (Life member) and Alfred E. Rushton (Bedfordshire Association), have died since the Council’s last meeting, and six representatives - R.J. Johnston, Australia & New Zealand Assn.; A.J. Martin, Chester D.G.; D. McEndoo, Irish Assn.; R.B. Dorrington, Shropshire Assn.; D.D. Smith, Sussex County Assn.; and S.J. Gullick, Yorkshire Assn. - have resigned. The only change in the number of representatives for any society is in the North Wales Association, where a growth in resident membership to 178 has entitled the Association to a second member on the Council. The total strength of the Council is thus now 203.

In my last report I said that the Council had been left a considerable sum, in excess of £2,400, in the will of the late Mrs Margaret Thackray, but that at that time the estate had not yet been wound up. This has now been completed, and during the past year I have consequently received some £5,600 from the executors. At the time of writing I am trying to recover from the Inland Revenue a further £200 that had been paid in duty. If the attempt is successful, the total bequest will amount to £5,787.21. Recommendations to the Council as to how this considerable sum can best be used are included in the report of the Administrative Committee.

During the past year negotiations have been completed with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Ltd for the insurance of the members of the Towers and Belfries Committee while engaged in work on behalf of the Council, and suitable cover has as a result been provided since February 1979.

The revised edition of the Central Council Handbook was published at the end of 1978. Complementary copies have been sent to the secretaries of all societies affiliated to the Council, and further copies are being sold with other Council publications by Mr and Mrs Drew.

Cyril A. Wratten (Hon. Secretary)

After making some small changes to the report that had been sent to members, Mr. Wratten said that he had now received a cheque for £204.56 from the Inland Revenue in repayment of tax on the late Mrs Thackray’s estate. He also said that, in Appendix II of the Council handbook, an asterisk should be added against the East Grinstead & District Guild to indicate that it was a non-territorial society. He proposed the adoption of the report, Mrs. Barnett seconded, and this was agreed.

In reply to a question from Mr. K.J. Darvill (Oxford DG), Mr. Wratten said that the members of the Towers and Belfries Committee were each insured for £1,000 in the event of death or permanent disablement and for £10 per week for 104 weeks in the event of temporary disablement. Mr. Darvill wondered whether the Council thought this adequate and went on to suggest that the Council, which already recommends the insurance of ringers, should perhaps recommend the type and level of insurance cover it considers advisable. Commercial firms insuring their employees did so for 3-4 times their annual salary, he said.

The Revd J.G.M. Scott said that his committee had been satisfied with the terms when they were first proposed, adding that the premiums for cover of the sort mentioned by Mr. Darvill were likely to be very high. However, his committee would consider the position in the course of the next year.

Mr. P. Border (Coventry DG) asked whether the insurance that had been taken out covered any damage that might be caused in the course of an inspection, and on being told that it did not, suggested that it should do so. Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish A) wondered what the legal position was if a visiting band, ringing with the incumbent’s permission, were to cause some damage: could (and should) they insure against any claim that might arise? Mr. H. Windsor (Coventry DG) said that his Guild had looked into the insurance situation and had found that comprehensive cover was very expensive to obtain, whereas public liability cover was much cheaper (some £35 per year) and covered the Guild in the event of any damage being caused.

Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire A) said that the subject of insurance was too complicated for useful discussion in full Council, and suggested that the Administrative Committee make a detailed investigation and report its findings to the Council next year. Supporting him, Mr. C.F. Mew (Surrey A) asked affiliated societies to help by providing the Secretary of the Council with what information they had available on the subject.

The President said that the Administrative Committee would look into the matter as requested.

1978 accounts
General Fund
Income and expenditure account for the year 1978
343Affiliation fees516.81

Committee expenses:
Computer Co-ordination10.40
Public Relations (1977)4.75
Ringing World4.50
Towers & Belfries26.60

69Friends of CCCBR Library50.00
-Depreciation, exhibition cards30.00
15Secretary’s expenses15.00
119Stationery and printing127.76
50Postage and telephone59.77
-Bank charges.25

32(Dr)Excess of income ever expenditure172.42

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1978
less: transferred to Friends of CCCBR Library10.00

Library fixtures, at 1 Jan. 7880.00
less: transferred to Friends of CCCBR Library80.00

-Exhibition cards (cost less depreciation to date)138.75
27Publications Fund27.29
290Cash and bank balances240.97
126Sundry debtors-

-Clement Glenn Bequest21.20
136Affiliation fees rec’d in advance9.00
50Sundry creditors37.00


257Net Assets£339.81
289Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1978257.39
-less: assets transferred to Friends of CCCBR Library90.00

32(Dr)Excess of income over expenditure172.42

Clement Glenn Bequest
Income and expenditure account for the year 1978
53Investment income35.71
9Film hire (net)50.98
2Prayer sheet sales17.12

21Education Committee expenses22.77
48Depreciation, film50.00
-RW Notices1.78

5(Dr)Excess of income over expenditure29.26

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1978
-General Fund21.20
140Publication Fund400.97
200Films (cost less depreciation to date)150.00
398£563 Treasury 3½% Stock 79/81 at cost397.92
555Leeds & Holbeck Building Society419.73
124Cash and bank balance68.98
5Sundry debtor-

-Fees paid in advance29.00
21Sundry creditor-

1401Net Assets£1429.80
1406Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19781400.54
5(Dr)Excess of income over expenditure29.26

Friends of the CCCBR Library
-Transfer from General Fund50.00

-Librarian’s expenses5.00
-Depreciation, Library fixtures10.00

-Excess of income over expenditure17.78

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1978
-Library fixtures (cost less depreciation to date)70.00
-Cash and bank balances29.93

-Subscriptions in advance2.00

-Net Assets£107.93
-Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1978.15
-Assets transferred from General Fund90.00
-Excess of income over expenditure17.78

Publications Fund
Income and expenditure account for the year 1978

3018Stock, 1 January2553.60

2553less: Stock, 31 December2390.29

254Postage and telephone318.29
35Publication Committee expenses48.50
-Competition prize5.00

332Excess of income over expenditure534.95

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1978
1276Cash and bank balances2256.83
-Sundry debtor33.87

-Received in advance18.40
27General Fund27.29
140Clement Glenn Bequest400.97
98Sundry creditor135.00

3564Net Assets£4099.33
3232Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19783564.38
332Excess of income over expenditure534.95

The Ringing World
Income and expenditure account for the year 1978
24676Postal subscribers24354.87
102Profit on sale of calendars191.94
1010Sundry receipts1012.27
2059Interest receivable2135.53
1078Taxation refund from earlier years-

8939Wrappers and postages8482.76
2529Editor’s fees and expenses2725.11
2034Editorial and accounts assistance1208.37
199Rent and telephone373.13
327Postages, stationery and sundries666.98
141Miscellaneous expenses210.82
220Accountancy charges250.00
541Loss on sale of investments-

2809Excess of income ever expenditure496.11


Auditors Report

We have audited the annexed balance sheet dated 31st December 1978 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 & Braham
Chartered Accountants.

February 1979

The Ringing World
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1978
200Goodwill, blocks, etc.200.00
200less: Amount written off200.00

Investments at costs
2000Abbey National Building Society2000.00
500Brighton Corporation 6¾% Bonds-
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
933Francis Industries Ltd. - 2000 Ordinary 25p Shares932.88
1194Antony Gibbs Income Units - 3647.42 Units1194.02
977Grand Metropolitan Ltd. - 1300 Ordinary 50p Shares977.07
944Hestair Ltd. - 1250 Ordinary 25p Shares1154.04
1530Imperial Group Ltd. - 1700 8% Convertible
Unsecured Loan Stock 1985/90
1199Midland Bank Ltd - £1630 7½% Convertible
Substituted Unsecured Loan Stock 1983/93
-68 Ordinary £1 Shares224.40
1227Northern Engineering Ltd. - 1308 Ordinary Shares1227.44
157£163.50 Preference Shares156.74
3500Tyndall Income Units - 5002 Units3499.57

Cash at Bank:
2869Deposit Account445.19
4353Current Account3684.25
1056Trustee Savings Bank Account1264.52

38Cash in Hand14.04
Less Creditors:
9030Subscriptions in advance7111.34


23496Net Assets£23992.86
Represented by:
20687Accumulated Fund, 1 January 197823496.75
2809Excess of income over expenditure496.11

Thackray Bequest
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1978
-Leicester Building Society£5656.35
Accumulated Fund:
Bequest received during year5582.65
Interest received73.70

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1978
80Library fixtures at book value70.00
200Films at book value150.00
-Exhibition cards at book value138.75
2553Stock of publications2390.29
6010Debtors and payments to advance7683.23
21776Investments at cost27231.07
10007Cash and bank balance8004.71

9166Amounts received to advance7169.74
2751Sundry creditors2882.23


28719Net Assets£35626.08
Capital Accounts
257General Fund339.81
3564Publications Fund4099.33
1401Clement Glenn Bequest1429.80
-Friends of CCCBR Library107.93
-Thackray Bequest5656.35
23497“The Ringing World”23992.86


Report of the Honorary Auditors to the members of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

We have compared the annexed Balance Sheets and Income and Expenditure Accounts of the General, Clement Glenn Bequest, Publications, Thackray Bequest, and Friends of the CCCBR Library 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 1978.

HAROLD N. PITSTOW)Hon. auditors
14th March 1979

Mr. Wratten said that the new funds had had to be established during the year - one for the Friends of the Library, and the other for the Thackray Bequest. The establishment of the former had entailed some transfers from the General Fund. In reply to a question, he said that the Thackray Bequest would probably continue to be shown separately. The apparent increase in income from affiliation fees, shown in the General Fund, was not in fact a real one, for many of the 1977 fees had been paid in advance; in the Clement Glenn Bequest, the increased income from film hire reflected the use now being made of “The Ringing Isle”, purchased from the BBC in 1977.

Replying to Dr. J. Armstrong (Essex), he said that the insurance shown in the accounts was for the Council’s Library and stock of publications and libel insurance for The Ringing World.

The President said that he would defer the adoption of the accounts until those of The Ringing World had been dealt with as part of the report of The Ringing World Committee.

Carter Ringing Machine

Mr. W.H. Dobbie (Honorary) proposed, and Mrs. Barnett seconded, the following Trustees’ report:

During 1978 the machine was demonstrated on three occasions and was seen by a total of about 80 ringers from the Canterbury Cathedral Guild, St. Mary’s, Eastbourne, and the University of London.

The machine ran well, requiring only the usual minor adjustments. During the year the Officer in Charge of the acoustics gallery, Mr V.K. Chew, retired, and the Trustees, on behalf of this Council, wrote a letter of thanks and appreciation for the interest he has always shown.

Contact has been made with his successor, Dr. D.B. Thomas, and his assistants.

Douglas Hughes and Walter H. Dobbie, Trustees.

The report was adopted without question, and the President said how much the Council appreciated the work done by the trustees during the year.

Rolls of Honour

The Trustee, Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY), had no formal written report, but said that, as expected in last year’s report, the World War I Roll of Honour had now been loaned to an exhibition of the work of its illuminator, Albert Cousins, and was at present in Cambridge. Should members wish to see them, photocopies of the Rolls were on display in the hall.

The report was accepted after Mr. K.S.B. Croft (Winchester and Portsmouth DG) had seconded its adoption.

Committee reports


The Committee met twice during the year, at Birmingham in October and in London at the end of March. In addition to the arrangements for the 1979 meeting in Penzance, it discussed three major items:

  1. the establishment of a rescue fund for redundant bells. The need for such a fund was agreed in principle by the committee, which went on to discuss in detail draft rules for such a fund. This item is the subject of two Motions on the agenda of the Penzance meeting.

  2. the Thackray bequest (details of which are given in the Hon. Secretary’s report). The Committee decided to recommend to the Council that

    and that the residue should be retained for use as the Administrative Committee should decide.

  3. the date of the annual meeting. A sub-committee examined the implications of moving the date in order to take advantage of (e.g.) university accommodation, and recommended unanimously that there should be no change. This recommendation was endorsed by the full Committee when it met in London.

In view of the general interest that has been expressed in the use of university accommodation for the Council’s annual meeting, the sub-committee’s report is attached as an Appendix to this report.

Cyril A. Wratten (Secretary)

Appendix: Report of the Council Meeting Working Party

The Working Party, consisting of the President and the Secretary of the Council, Dr. J.C. Baldwin, Mr M.J. Church, and Mr M.C.W. Sherwood, was set up at the last meeting of the Admin. Committee to examine the implications of moving the date of the Council’s annual meeting in order to take advantage of (e.g.) university accommodation, and to make recommendations as appropriate.

The Working Party met in Cheltenham on 4 March; Mr Church was unable to be present, but had sent detailed comments based on papers that had been previously circulated. It had before it

It considered the potential advantages of such a move - primarily the ready availability of suitable accommodation for meetings and social gatherings, and the obvious advantage of having most people together for an extended period but agreed that the hoped-for advantage of cheaper accommodation was unlikely to materialise; costs quoted by several universities, while less than those of recent HQ hotels, were greater than those of many smaller hotels and guest houses, while commercial conference centres charge at least as much as HQ hotels.

While recognising the desirability of providing ample opportunities for Council members and other ringers and friends to meet before and after the annual meeting, it nevertheless felt strongly that the benefits to be gained were insufficient to outweigh the associated disadvantages. The latter were seen as

The Working Party therefore recommends unanimously that no change be made in the date of the Council’s Annual Meeting.

After Mr. Wratten had proposed the adoption of the report and the Revd. J.G.M. Scott had seconded, the President pointed out to members that the Appendix, being a report to the Administrative Committee and included only for information, was not open for discussion.

Discussion centred on the uses proposed for the Thackray Bequest, Mr. G.E. Feirn (Lincoln DG), who had known Mrs. Thackray, saying he was sure she would have approved of the committee’s recommendations. She had not herself been a ringer, but had always been very interested in bells and ringers, an interest inherited from her father, who had been a ringer in the Sheffield area and a great friend of Arthur Craven. Mr. C. Crossthwaite (Lancashire A) was assured by the President that if the report was adopted but no rescue fund was set up for redundant bells the £3,500 earmarked for such a fund could be used in some other way. Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary) suggested that the £3,500 should not be used solely for a rescue fund but should form a more general contingency fund, an idea refuted by Mr. Potter who said that a rescue fund would be self-generating - any bells bought being subsequently resold - whereas there was a very real possibility that money in a contingency fund might simply be expended.

Mr. Darvill enquired how the £1,000 proposed for the Publications Committee and the £500 for the Library would be used. The Secretary said that the former would provide money to pay for the printing or reprinting of publications and would be recoverable from their sale, and Mr. Cook, the Librarian, said that the £500 would be used to purchase books that would be too expensive to buy from existing funds.

The report was then adopted without amendment.


Mr. T.J. Lock (Middlesex CA) proposed the adoption of his committee’s report, and was seconded by Mr. G.A. Dawson (Sherwood Youths):

The undermentioned member and past members of the Council died during 1978 (details of one member included in last year’s report are not repeated):

J.I.P. DavisSalisbury Diocesan Guild, 1957-60. Died 5 January 1978. Attended one meeting.
H.G. BirdWorcestershire & Districts Association, 1930-36. Died 13 February 1978. Attended 3 meetings.
A. LockeTruro Diocesan Guild, 1963-75. Died 2 April 1978. Attended 11 meetings.
B. HortonStafford Archdeaconry Society, 1936-45. Died 20 April 1978. Attended 4 meetings.
F.T. WaiteGloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association, 1945-48. Died 3 May 1978. Attended 2 meetings.
A.E. RushtonBedfordshire Association, 1960-78. Died 12 July 1978. Attended 16 meetings.
T.R. BorehamGloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association, 1954-60. Died 4 August 1978. Attended 5 meetings.
J.P. FidlerLeicester Diocesan Guild, 1946-51; honorary member 1951-67. Died 22 November 1978. Attended 12 meetings.
Ven. C.O. EllisonYorkshire Association, 1948-51. Died 12 December 1978. Attended 2 meetings.

Following the large change in membership of the Council at the beginning of this triennial period we thank all members who have submitted their Biography sheet, and would urge remaining members to take similar action.

The Committee notes with satisfaction that several obituary reports and appreciations, as printed in The Ringing World, have contained much more helpful and informative material.

As a result of last year’s election 72 members now form the several committees of the Council, the total membership of which was reported to be 202.

T.J. Lock (Chairman)
G.A. Dawson
Revd M.C.C. Melville
B.D. Threlfall
W.H. Viggers

Replying to Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG), Mr. Lock said that he thought the number of members who had not yet completed a biography sheet was relatively small. (After checking, Mr. Dawson was able to say later in the meeting that 163 past and present members had not returned their sheet.) After Mrs Barnett had suggested that the committee publish a list of those still outstanding and Mrs Newing (Bristol US) had asked if it were possible to send each member another sheet in order for them to update their record, Mr. M.J. Church (Guildford DG) asked how the committee worked.

Mr. Lock said that one member was responsible for updating individual records from reports in The Ringing World, while a second collected cuttings for filing with the biographies. A third member works on the records of deceased members preparing the information for Mrs. Dodds to write up for inclusion in one of the committee’s portfolios of final records. Finally the two members who had joined the committee in 1978 were engaged in research on early members of the Council. In each case they welcomed information on such things as deaths which had not been reported in The Ringing World - such as the Secretary of the Council had been able to do in the case of the late F.T. Waite.

Mr. J.M. Jelley (Leicester DG) said that there were frequent references these days to the need to be able to access centrally-stored personal information: would Mr. Lock allow members to delete information in their biographies? (Laughter)

Mr. J.S. Barnes (Cumberland Youths) asked whether the committee would be able to produce a publication giving details of the lives and contributions to ringing of past Council members, perhaps to mark the Council’s centenary in 1991. He realised that such a publication would entail a great deal of work, but he felt sure that it would be of considerable general interest. Mr. Lock replied that he would be willing to undertake the task if the Council wished, and the President commented that he thought Mr. Barnes’ idea an excellent one. The report was then adopted.

The Ringing World, July 6, 1979, pages 571 to 574

Central Council Meeting: Penzance, May 29, 1979, Official Report (Part II)


Undoubtedly the most encouraging feature of 1978 has been the initial success of the “Friends of the C.C. Library”. During the year six Associations and 17 private individuals joined, subscribing a total of £61. This amount, together with the Council’s grant at £50 and donations of £3, has enabled the Committee to pursue its policy of acquisition, and fourteen titles were added to the collection by purchase. Also, the 1668 Tintinnalogia has been rebound. Another 30 titles were added to the collection by presentations - probably a record number. This is apart from the generous donations of Association and Guild reports, which have been coming in steadily through the year. Indeed, this is easily the fastest-growing section of the collection, but there are still many gaps, and a number of Associations are completely unrepresented. Further lists of holdings of other libraries and collections have also been received. To all who have supported the Library by becoming Friends or who have donated books or worked hard to find old reports for the Library, the Committee expresses its most cordial thanks.

Good progress has been made in re-cataloguing the collection, so that it is hoped that at the Penzance meeting the first part of the revised Library List, covering all works in the collection except MSS, will be on sale.

Borrowings during the year totalled 19, a slight drop on last year, and there were no personal visitors to the Library - though these would always be welcome. There were also fewer postal requests for information than in the previous year.

The Committee has met to discuss its future policy on a number of matters, and has made suggestions about improvements to the storage of the collection, the sorting of MS ringing papers, and the Central Council archives. Further enquiries have been made as to rebinding of some of the books on which this work is needed. There is, in fact, a lot to be done in this direction, and any offers of help would be very much appreciated. Our thanks go to David House for having the complete set of “Church Bells” recased.

Obviously, if we are to maintain and improve the standard of the collection, which must surely be the best collection of books on bells and bell-ringing in the country, we are going to continue to need the support of the Exercise in general. More members of the “Friends” (individuals or Associations) would be most welcome, and the librarian has a number of leaflets giving details of the scheme. We will continue to welcome gifts of books and papers on ringing and of Association reports. As already mentioned, there was an excellent response last year, and the number of gifts was too great for them to be listed separately in this report, as has been the custom in previous years. All donors have, of course, been individually thanked.

A number of Associations now produce occasional newsletters, extracts from which appear from time to time in The Ringing World, and perhaps copies of these could be passed to the Library.

W.T. Cook (Hon. Librarian)
J.C. Baldwin
W. Butler
D.E. House
P.M. Wilkinson

Proposing the report’s adoption, Mr. Cook stressed the importance of the “Friends of the Library” scheme; he thanked those who were already members, and hoped more would join. He added that donations of books and annual reports continued to be welcome. In spite of what was said in the report it had not been possible to have the revised Library List ready in time for the meeting, but it would be available within the next few weeks and would then be obtainable from Mr. Drew in the usual way.

The delay in completing the revision had meant that it had not yet been possible to offer surplus books on extended loan to the libraries of affiliated societies, as had been agreed at last year’s Council meeting, since until the List was complete it had not been clear just which books were indeed surplus. However, he could now provide on request a list of books that were available.

Finally he reported that Mr. D.M. Joyce (Kent CA) had been co-opted to the committee during the year. Mr. Joyce seconded the report’s adoption, and this was agreed.

Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA) said that he had unfortunately been unable to attend any of the committee’s meetings during the year. Since the committee had so much work to do, he felt it best that he should resign, and he proposed the election of Mr. Joyce to the committee in his stead. Mr. G.W. Massey (Bath and Wells DA) seconded, and Mr. Joyce was elected.

After the President had thanked the committee for its part in the Open Meeting on Sunday evening, he reported on the meeting he and the Librarian had had with Cdr. J.D.R. Davies, son of the Revd C.D.P. Davies who had been, at one time Secretary of the Council. During the meeting Cdr. Davies had presented the Library with his father’s ringing books and papers, containing many items of considerable historic interest. He relayed Cdr. Davies’ best wishes to the Council, and proposed that the Secretary send Cdr. Davies a letter of thanks and best wishes from the Council (applause).


The completion of the Doubles Collection has been delayed owing to conflicts with the privately-produced Hiller collection. However, the manuscript is now complete and publication is anticipated this year.

The Committee is considering a suggestion that a booklet on Method Extension should be produced, and would welcome the view of the Council on this.

M.C.W. Sherwood (Chairman)
F.T. BlagroveS.J. Ivin

The report was adopted on the proposition of Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood (Manchester UG), seconded by Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middlesex CA). In spite of prompting from the President, there were no comments from the meeting on the report’s final paragraph.


A. First peals on tower bells in 1978:
Jan.25184Bremetennacum S. MajorYorkshire A.
75184Old Whittington T.B. MajorDronoldore Soc.
75184Lemanis S. MajorYorkshire A.
75056Xamavale S. MajorOxford D.G.
105120Capricorn S. MajorLancashire A.
215024Canovium Varae S. MajorYorkshire A.
215002Old S. RoyalS. Northants Soc.
275040Gunnersbury Alliance RoyalLondon County A.
305184Ardingly S. MajorSussex C.A.
Feb.45088Tadcaster S. MajorYorkshire A.
65184Aquarius S. MajorLancashire A.
75042Hampstead S. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Y.
115040Clavis Bob TriplesA.F. & A. Masons of E.
115152Staveley T.B. MajorDerby D.A.
115024Dodleston S. MajorChester D.G.
115152Papworth Everard S. MajorEly D.A.
115088Voreda S. MajorYorkshire A.
145280S. MajorWinchester & Portsmouth D.G.
255280Clerkenwell S. MaximusSt. Martin’s G.
285088Barrow-upon-Soar D. MajorEly D.A.
Mar.15056Harby S. MajorLeicester D.G.
115088Spinis S. MajorYorkshire A.
185088Virosidum S. MajorYorkshire A.
225056Youghal S. MajorLeicester D.G.
255184Audlie S. MajorNorth Staffs A.
255120Concangium S. MajorYorkshire A.
275088Magis S. MajorYorkshire A.
Apr.15056All Fools S. MajorLancashire A.
35024Aries S. MajorLancashire A.
45038Reading S. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Y.
85088Melandra S. MajorYorkshire A.
125056Warkton S. MajorLeicester D.G.
155088Brigantia S. MajorYorkshire A.
225184Loidis S. MajorYorkshire A.
285040Wyke Alliance RoyalMiddlesex C.A.
295088Erasipteron Bolsoveri S. MajorYorkshire A.
May15056Newark S. MajorHertford C.A.
15024Taurus S. MajorLancashire A.
135152Isle of Ely D. MajorEly D.A.
135056Piddington S. MajorOxford D.G.
135120Rolleston-on-Dove S. MajorLeicester D.G.
205088Noviomagus S. MajorYorkshire A.
225152Gemini S. MajorLancashire A.
245056Victoria Alliance RoyalLondon C.A.
275088Anderita S. MajorYorkshire A.
295040Essex S. RoyalNon-Association
June35120Shoreditch D. MajorMiddlesex C.A.
35120Corstopitum S. MajorYorkshire A.
65152Eton S. MajorHertford C.A.
165024Vyvyan S. MajorUniversity of Bristol Soc.
175088Condate S. MajorYorkshire A.
175088Isca S. MajorLlandaff & Monmouth D.A.
175040Ilsington S. RoyalS. Northants Soc.
245184Olenacum S. MajorYorkshire A.
July15120Caversham S. MajorOxford D.G.
35184Xibury S. MajorHertford C.A.
85152Bolsover T.B. MajorDronoldore Soc.
85184Brocavum S. MajorYorkshire A.
85088Veryan S. MajorMiddlesex C.A.
105120Cancer S. MajorLancashire A.
155120Galacum S. MajorYorkshire A.
165184Dewi Sant S. MajorLlandaff & Monmouth D.A.
185058Quidenham S. MajorHertford C.A.
215184Clapton D. MajorMiddlesex C.A.
245024Leo S. MajorLancashire A.
Aug.25152Single Arlecdon Bob MajorCarlisle D.G.
95088Kimys S. MajorLlandaff & Monmouth D.A.
105040Marsden S. RoyalCoventry D.G.
125088Bravonium S. MajorYorkshire A.
125184Old Swinford S. MajorWorcestershire & Dist. A.
195088Onna S. MajorYorkshire A.
215056Edenbridge S. MajorHertford C.A.
265024Agra S. MajorLancashire A.
265152Oadby S. MajorLeicester D.G.
265184Portus Adurni S. MajorYorkshire A.
265040Aligarh S. RoyalLancashire A.
275148Double Norwich C.B. CinquesNorwich D.A.
285088Dehra Dun S. MajorLancashire A.
305088Krishna S. MajorLancashire A.
305088Madurai S. MajorLancashire A.
305120Penistone S. MajorYorkshire A.
Sep.15088Meerut S. MajorLancashire A.
25088Saharanpur S. MajorLancashire A.
35040Tirunelveli S. RoyalLancashire A.
115088Virgo S. MajorLancashire A.
125056Norton Malreward S. MajorBath & Wells D.A.
165024Cardington S. MajorHertford C.A.
165152Mulso S. MajorPeterborough D.G.
195216Barrow Gurney D. MajorBath & Wells D.A.
225056Queenhithe S. MajorMiddlesex C.A.
305184Bremenium S. MajorYorkshire A.
Oct.25184Libra S. MajorLancashire A.
145184Abonae S. MajorYorkshire A.
175056Wadworth S. MajorBath & Wells D.A.
215088Burrium S. MajorYorkshire A.
245042Holywell D. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Y.
285120Cunetio S. MajorYorkshire A.
285040Uppington S. RoyalS. Northants Soc.
Nov.45088Moorgreen S. MajorYorkshire A.
65024Scorpio S. MajorLancashire A.
115088Letocetum S. MajorYorkshire A.
185056Bromham S. MajorBedfordshire A.
185120Moridunum S. MajorYorkshire A.
185040Edington S. RoyalOxford D.G.
275088Sagittarius S. MajorLancashire A.
Dec.25088Colombo D. MajorMiddlesex C.A.
25088Boddington S. MajorLancashire A.
25088Natal S. MajorOxford D.G.
35024Ystradyfodwg S. MajorLlandaff & Monmouth D.A.
55040Lockington S. RoyalLeicester D.G.
95024Tanatus Insula S. MajorYorkshire A.
95040King’s Norton S. RoyalSt. Martin’s G.
165088Durovigutum S. MajorYorkshire A.
175088Tetbury S. MajorGloucester & Bristol D.A.
265184Regulbium S. MajorYorkshire A.
285056Farleigh S. MajorBath & Wells D.A.
305056Exhibition S. MajorEly D.A.
B. First peals an handbells in 1978:
Jan.45120Orwell S. MajorHertford C.A.
115090Hughenden S. MaximusOxford D.G.
Feb.15120Olney S. MajorHertford C.A.
195032Little Bob EighteenNon-Association
225088Deansgate S. MaximusOxford D.G.
Mar.15280Quex S. MaximusOxford D.G.
155024Zennor S. MajorHertford C.A.
Apr.55280Mellor S. MaximusOxford D.G.
125280Oldham S. MaximusOxford D.G.
195040Uxbridge S. MaximusOxford D.G.
May105056Woodston S. MajorHertford C.A.
285168Little Bob TwentyNon-Association
June75042Kidderminster S. MaximusOxford D.G.
285280Folgate S. MaximusOxford D.G.
July95040Little Bob Twenty-TwoNon-Association
175280Strathclyde S. MaximusOxford D.G.
Aug.35056Aldenham S. MajorChester D.G.
75088Belfast S. MaximusOxford D.G.
Sep.25088Belfast S. MajorAncient Soc. of College Y.
65280Illinois S. MaximusOxford D.G.
255184Norwich S. MajorSt. Olave’s Soc.
205042Verona S. MaximusOxford D.G.
Oct.45280Xenia S. MaximusOxford D.G.
125042Zelah S. MaximusOxford D.G.
245152Sowerby D. MajorUniversity of London Soc.
Jan.116120Bristol S. RoyalAncient Soc. of College Y.
C. Record Peals on tower bells in 1978:
Jan.2815,120Bristol S. RoyalSt. Martin’s G.
July2310,032Lincolnshire S. MaximusAncient Soc. of College Y.
Oct.2822,899Stedman CatersAncient Soc. of College Y.
D. Record Peal on handbells in 1978:
Feb.1118,720Plain Bob MinorSalisbury D.G.
D.E. Sibson (Chairman)
F.T. Blagrove
G. Dodds
J.R. Mayne
C.A. Wratten

Proposing the report’s adoption, Mr. D.E. Sibson (Cumberland Youths) made a number of corrections to the report as circulated, and then explained that the method first pealed on Feb. 14 had been reported under the name of Superlative Minor Surprise Major. Although the band insisted that the method rung was an extension of Superlative Surprise Minor, this was incorrect: the Minor method had Plain Bob lead-ends and the Major did not. The band had declined to change the name, and the Records Committee therefore recommended that the Winchester and Portsmouth DG be asked officially to obtain or suggest an acceptable name, or, if it were unable to do so, that the Council should itself decide the name.

Mr. G. Dodds (Hertford CA) seconded, and first the report and then the committee’s verbal recommendation were in turn accepted. Mr. J. Hartless (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) explained that the method rung in February had been Cambridge S. Major reversed; since Cambridge Minor reversed was Superlative, surely the same name should be used for the Major? Mr. Sibson reiterated that this did not conform to the Report on Extension, and Mr. Dodds added that reversals of methods very rarely extend to higher numbers within the agreed rules for extension.

Mr. A.J. Frost (London US) asked whether the Winchester & Portsmouth DG was not intending to rename the method as requested, but was reassured by Mr. K.S.B. Croft that the Guild was happy to abide by the Council’s decision, and would seek to persuade the band concerned to agree (applause).

After Mr. P.N. Mounsey (Oxford US) had questioned whether the 6120 Bristol S. Royal rung on Jan. 11 was a record length, Mr. Sibson explained that, since it was under 10,000 changes, it was considered a “progressive” length; he agreed that a heading to that effect would have been helpful.

Peals Analysis


We have recorded 4504 peals as being rung in 1978, of which 3974 were on tower bells and 530 on handbells. While the total is some 350 fewer then in 1977, which because of the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Silver Jubilee was a quite exceptional year for peal ringing, it is still some 270 more than in the two previous years. Handbell peals show an increase of 48 over 1977.

Taking the years 1975-1978 as a whole, the main increase in tower bell peals has been with Maximus, Cinques, Royal and Major, with a significant decrease in peals of Minor. Totals of Doubles, Triples and Caters peals have remained much the same.

The analysis of methods rung shows a considerable decrease in peals of Plain Bob and Grandsire compared with 1977, when the high numbers in these methods reflected the many local band Jubilee peals, and significant increases in other methods, particularly Cambridge and Bristol Royal and Maximus.

Of many notable tower-bell peals rung in 1978 we consider that pride of place must go to the 22,899 of Stedman Caters at Appleton by the Ancient Society of College Youths. This was the longest peal on more than eight bells. On handbells the peals of 18-in, 20-in and 22-in, the firsts ever on these numbers stand out as exceptional performances.

There is one peal on which we need to seek a decision from the Council: the peal of Stedman Cinques by the A.S.C.Y. at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, on 1 November. This peal began with two men on the tenor but, because the “strap” rope came adrift after seven courses, the man on the box completed the peal unassisted. Strictly speaking, this peal contravenes No. 4 of the Council’s “Conditions required for all peals” (Each bell must be rang continuously by the same person or persons); or, alternatively, condition No. 7 (No assistance of any kind shall be given to any ringers by any person not ringing is the peal.). Clearly there was no prior intention to contravene the conditions; in fact, in the end more was achieved than had originally been intended. In view of this, we recommend the Council to accept this peal, and we have provisionally included it in the analysis.

We report that peals were rang by 40 societies which are not affiliated to the Council, which we have grouped together in the analysis under the heading “Non-affiliated societies”.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells and comparison with 1977

Royal & Caters1-1
Minor & Doubles32-1


The leading societies

The following societies rang 150 or more peals:

Yorkshire Association23635271
Winchester & Portsmouth D.G.20061261
Leicester D.G.21036246
Lancashire Association18013193
Gloucester & Bristol D.A.17119190
Oxford D.G.14034174
Southwell D.G.13133164
Worcestershire & Districts A.1504154

Compared with a similar list for 1977, the Southwell D.G. has come in with a considerable increase in its total; those dropping out are the Bath & Wells D.A., The Chester D.G., the Essex Assoc. and the Norwich D.A. We understand that the Yorkshire Association’s total is a record for that Association.


Peals were rung in 1696 towers, compared with 1904 in 1977 and 1641 in 1976. This figure is broken down as follows:


And the following 38 towers had 10 or more peals:

Loughborough, Bell Foundry54
Birmingham, Cathedral35
South Wigston28
Barrow Gurney26
Bedford, St Paul25
Harrogate, St. Wilfrid20
Burton Latimer19
Windsor, St John17
Ashton-u-Lyne, St Peter15
13-Daventry, Walkden, Worcester (All Saints)
12-Birstwith, Bristol (Cathedral), Brockenhurst, Greasley, Ipswich (St Mary-le-Tower), Maidstone (All Saints), Nottingham (St Peter), Rotherham
11-Bowden, Bristol (Christ Church), Bushey, Cambridge (St Andrew), Easton Neston, Oldham (St Mary), Trumpington
10-Ault Hucknall, Hayes (Middx), Netherton, Leckhampton, Warsop.

First pealers and first as conductor

There were 596 first pealers in 1978 and 76 ringers conducted a peal for the first time. While these totals are respectively 284 and 32 less than in 1977, they are much the same as in other recent years. The Gloucester & Bristol D.A., with 41, had most first pealers, followed by the Bath & Wells D.A. with 35 and the Winchester & Portsmouth D.G. and the Yorkshire A. with 30 each.


Numbers of peals rang in the more popular methods are set out below:

1977 totals, where available, are shown in brackets:

Spliced S.9(13)-
Plain Bob37
Plain Bob36(59)26(20)
Spliced S.142
Spliced S.239(228)15(20)
Plain Bob223(269)83(69)
D. Norwich525
Plain Bob25(45)-
2 - 6 methods27630
7 methods21015
Plain Bob179(232)36(38)
8+ methods9610
2+ methods1602

Peals of Note

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

Committee membership

R.J. Johnston resigned from the Council in July 1979, but he continued his section of the Committee’s work for the remainder of 1978. We were grateful for this, and wish to report that during the time he was a member of the Committee he undertook his full share of the work, and we regret that he had to resign. In July we co-opted Owen C.R. Webster of the Essex Association. We would like the Council to confirm him as a full member of the Committee for the remainder of the current triennium.

F.B. LUFKIN (Chairman)
O.C.R. WEBSTER (Co-opted)

Mr. Lufkin proposed the adoption of the report. He said that the committee had recently learned that several peals of Doubles included in the Analysis had not conformed to the Council’s rules in that they had included unacceptable methods, some with 2-lead plain courses and others with 8 successive blows in the same place; he also now understood that such peals might have been rung in earlier years. The committee was, he said, willing to overlook them on this occasion, but now that the Council’s Decisions on methods and peals were now readily available in the Council Handbook, it would not recognise such peals in future. He finished by drawing members’ attention to the report’s recommendation on the peal at St. Paul’s Cathedral on 1 Nov.

There followed a discussion on the questioned peals of Doubles, the general tenor being that they should not be accepted. Mr. J.S. Walton, Peal Secretary of the Bath & Wells DA, said that his society had refused to accept a peal containing one such method, Pride of Nempnett, and that it expected the Council to support it when it applied the Council’s own rules. Mr. D.A. Frith (Lincoln DG) argued that the Council’s rules on Doubles were confused and confusing, and asked the Council’s indulgence regarding these peals; if it were to reject them but accept the peal at St. Paul’s Cathedral, it could be accused of applying double standards. The Revd. J.G.M. Scott said that, if the rules were indeed confused, it could well be because the Council had not had the courage of its convictions in the past.

Mr. Potter said that the Council should abide by its own rules, and proposed that any peal of Doubles which did not conform should not be accepted; Mr. Walton seconded this amendment.

Mr. Lufkin said that he accepted that his original suggestion had been wrong. It would take time to identify the peals concerned, but he would be happy to support Mr. Potter’s proposition and to let the Council know next year which were the peals in question.

The proposition was then voted upon and passed by a large majority.

Appendix: 1978 Peal Analysis

A.S. College Youths3012551442        27239   722395
Australia & N.Z.A.    121                4-4
Bath & Wells D.A.1142671018 25        2 3   1285133
Bedfordshire A.652 26222 3          1   66167
Beverley & D.S.   17 7                15-15
Cambridge U.G.12311714        1 427   291443
Carlisle D.G.    3 1 1              5-5
Chester D.G.317346338 4        7 25 8 10540145
Coventry D.G.7 613351111       5 3613 651883
Derby D.A.4215573428          3 12   13115146
G. Devonshire R.1 1113912 3              40-40
Durham & N. D.A.21532977              10 541064
Durham U.S.1 2 81                 12-12
E. Derbyshire & W.N. A.      2                2-2
E. Grinstead & D.G.    1                  1-1
Ely D.A.113249225 3      75415 1 8623109
Essex A.114264641 7              126-126
Gloucester & B.D.A.89172751432 14        3 11 5 17119190
Guildford D.G.2 8222518 4            1 61162
Hereford D.G.1 121359 121         1   44145
Hertford C.A.2 3330411 2        511211 552075
Irish A.  1   1 1             1314
Kent C.A.1211432724 13              94-94
Ladies G.      1                1-1
Lancashire A.1221651001223 82         1 11118013193
Leeds U.S.    3 1                4-4
Leicester D.G.983081171224 2        422316 21036246
Lincoln D.G.237249657 81         4 1 1355140
Llandaff & M.D.A.144429416 1          2 3 63568
London C.A.22711193                 44-44
Manchester U.G.  2 10 1            1 1 13215
Middlesex C.A.1 343193              1 51152
Midland C.G.  172626          1 3 1 42547
N. American G.  221034          116   21829
N. Staffs A.  6 31112 1              51-51
N. Wales A.  2 2 1          1     516
Norwich D.G.123227330 6          7   74781
OXFORD D.G.13124591738 6      20 4 4 6 14034174
Oxford S.  22221                9-9
OXFORD U.S.3 2 5 10          1 5   20626
PETERBOROUGH D.G.  3144 28 3              79-79
St. Davids D.G.    31                 4-4
St Martins D.G.2614821861                75-75
Salisbury D.G.  1 16821 2         17116 482573
Scottish A.    3 4            2 3 7512
S.R. Cumberland Y.1822 19              1   41142
S. Sherwood Y.1  111  1            1 516
Shropshire A.   1131                6-6
Southwell D.G.711435953417      4 12 1114113133164
Stafford Arch. S.1 8133215 5          2   65267
Suffolk G.5115265221 25        1   121364140
Surrey A. 1 1222 2              10-10
Sussex C.A.  4343818 3          1   79180
Swansea & B.D.G.    41                 5-5
Truro D.G.  21259 2              21-21
Universities A.    1            2 2   145
U. Bristol S.111 5 3 1              12-12
U. London S.11111419            8 5 281341
Winchester & P.D.G.8196831963 83   115 8129115 20061261
Worcs & Dist A.33107851321 8          112 1504154
Yorkshire A.2322101371045 61     1 11117 5 23635271
Non-Affiliated Socs.7326574328 62      21 16 2 15421175
Non-Association 31131848 2 111 11   1   49655

Mr. G.A. Dawson then proposed, and Mrs. A. Newing seconded, that the peal at St. Paul’s Cathedral be deleted from the analysis, but the amendment was defeated by a large majority.

The committee’s report was then accepted subject to the deletion of the unacceptable peals of Doubles.

Mr. Lufkin had earlier said that the committee would like to replace one of its members who was no longer on the Council, Dr. R.J. Johnston, by Mr. O. Webster (Essex); this was now proposed by Mr. H.W. Rogers (London CA), seconded by Mr. F.E. Dukes, and agreed. Mr. Lufkin added that, in view of the increasing number of handbell peals, the committee would like to co-opt a handbell expert, and he would be pleased to learn of any recommendations.

As it was now nearing 12.30, the meeting was adjourned at this point for lunch. The meeting was resumed at 1.45.

Computer Co-ordination

The Committee met at Backwell on 29 November 1978: a summary of the business dealt with was published in The Ringing World. A ringing-machine meet, the first event of its kind, was held the same day at Backwell. Nine ringing machines and one computer were shown, and 27 adults attended. H. McNaughton wrote an account of the meet which was also published in The Ringing World.

During the year 103 peal compositions were computer checked by the Committee’s helpers as a service to the Peal Compositions Committee. Of these, 20 were false or did not come round. A further eleven compositions were received, but were returned unchecked for reconsideration by the Peal Compositions Committee during their review of the routine for refereeing compositions. Our thanks are offered to Hilary Muirhead, M.J. Hobbs, A.D. Leach, T.G. Pett, P.J. Bird and J.C. Manley for their help with computer checking.

Work by members of this Committee has continued on the compilation and maintenance of Central Council collections of methods, including Surprise Major, Royal and Maximus; Delight and Treble Bob Major, Royal and Maximus; Treble-dodging Minor; and Plain Major. Dr J.C. Baldwin has written to The Ringing World, asking for offers to take over from him the computer services side of the activity. We wish to express our appreciation and thanks to him for this part of the work which he has so enthusiastically done for a number of years.

J.R. Taylor (Chairman)
J.C. Baldwin
S.J. Ivin
D.E. Sibson
C.A. Wratten

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester and Bristol DA) and seconded by Mr. D.E. Sibson, who said that in future the computer listing of Surprise methods rung on eight or more bells would be extended to include all treble-dodging methods.

Mr. H. Chant (Honorary) congratulated those responsible for the new collection of treble-dodging Minor methods, which he said would be very useful to all kinds of ringers - theorists, arrangers (he caused laughter by commenting that composers seemed to deal only with higher numbers of bells), and those wishing to leave their names to posterity. The book was not a substitute for the existing Collection of Minor Methods, nor was it intended to be. He suggested it should be brought to life by using its blank pages to record when methods were first rung and by whom. (Applause)

After Dr. Baldwin had said that the committee would each year provide a list of new names in order to keep the collection up-to-date, the report was adopted.

Peal Compositions

Two meetings were held during the year, a third being cancelled because of impossible weather conditions.

The topics dealt with during the year fall into three main categories.

  1. Nomenclature of Peal Compositions

    According to the request made by the Council, the Committee considered in depth the difficult question of nomenclature, with particular reference to the headings used for calls in the columns of compositions. Due note was taken of both past and present customs, but the deciding factor in our final recommendations was clarity and lack of ambiguity. An article was published in the Ringing World (23 Feb. 1979, page 170) to make public our views.

  2. Book of Compositions

    The Committee was aware of the need for quick action is get this published; nevertheless the draft copy presented to them at the beginning of the year received some criticism. The resulting amendments inevitably caused some further delay, but we are relieved to report that the copy is now in the hands of the Publications Committee.

  3. Publication of Compositions in the Ringing World

    The Committee generally regarded the present system of publishing compositions with disfavour, the chief criticisms being that

    (a) there was a total lack of pattern, with no connecting thread between those appearing in a particular issue;

    (b) many of those which appeared were dubious with respect to both originality and intrinsic value;

    (c) there is a widespread criticism of the time taken for a composition to appear in print.

    After many hours of discussion a system was agreed which it was hoped, would go a long way in meeting the first two faults. Details of these changes were published in the Ringing World. The Committee did try to find ways in which the third point might be met, at least in part.

The liaison procedure with the Computer Co-ordination Committee was discussed. Some changes to the procedure were suggested, which did not receive full agreement from the Computer Co-ordination Committee. Nevertheless, some benefits have accrued from discussion between the Committees and it is hoped that this will prove to be an on-going field of study.

W.E. Critchley (Chairman)
P. Border
R.E. Hardy
R.W. Pipe
M.C.W. Sherwood

Proposing the report’s adoption, Mr. W.E. Critchley (Honorary) said that a joint meeting of his committee and the Computer Co-ordination committee was planned, but that the system of publishing compositions described in para. 3 of the report had now been withdrawn at the request of the Ringing World Committee. Mr. R.W. Pipe (St. Martin’s Guild) seconded.

Mr. C.F. Mew said that, although the committee had published an article on the nomenclature of peal compositions, it had last year been asked to produce a leaflet explaining the old systems and recommending a new one: was this being pursued? Mr. Critchley said that the committee had not interpreted the Council’s instructions in that way, but Mr. Mew insisted that, although the article had been admirable, new conductors still needed a glossary explaining the many types of nomenclature used in the past. The President commented that an article is The Ringing World would be more generally useful than a leaflet. The report was adopted.

Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) congratulated the committee on its recommendations, and having said that he would like to see them enforced proposed that they be adopted by the Council and adhered to in all Council publications, including The Ringing World. Seconding, Mr. Critchley said that his committee had already been following them unofficially, but would welcome official backing.

Is spite of an objection by Mr. C.K. Lewis that any restriction on the way compositions were published in The Ringing World could well inhibit the development of composition, the motion was carried by a narrow majority.

Mr. H.W. Rogers asked what the new book of compositions would contain. When Mr. Critchley said that it was a replacement for the out-of-print “Compositions for Major Methods”, he gave an audible groan (laughter) and asked what had become of the promised book of Stedman Caters and Cinques compositions. Mr. Critchley replied that it was still is the hands of Mr. R.E. Dennis.


It has been another busy year, with sales maintaining previous levels. During 1978 the Committee also took on the responsibility for all items produced by the Central Council, although, because of handling problems, LP records and film strips will continue to be despatched by Mr C.M. Smith.

The Committee met once during the year and reviewed all aspects of its work. The new Central Council Handbook was available for inspection, having been produced to the new house style designed by Mr Peter Devenish in the design competition. The overall effect was considered to be very pleasing, and it was decided to use the basic design for all new publications.

The logo on the back of the Handbook was devised by Mr Devenish after the competition, and the Committee wishes to thank him for his efforts. It was decided to use this on all future publications; it is also available for use on Central Council notepaper if members wish.

It is intended that all future publications will be produced in the standard A5, A4 and A3 sizes, and with the use of the new cover design this will improve the general appearance of Central Council publications, making them more professional without any additional cost.

Further items are being prepared for publication. “Progressive Change Ringing” is in the hands of the Committee and we are considering the question of its publication, together with other projects which we are still awaiting, in the light of the expense involved. Work is almost complete on a set of method sheets for 8-bell towers. It is good to see some of the promised material, and we hope the long-awaited Doubles book will soon be on the list.

G.R. Drew (Chairman)
C.J. Groome
E.C. Shepherd
J.R. Taylor
W.G. Wilson
Appendix: sales, 1974-78
Towers and Bells Handbook518246186107120
Minor Methods Collection156139142146125
Rung Surprise Methods-15412098110
Tutor’s Handbook, Part 1129324144--
Tutor’s Handbook, Part 2212279124--
Tutor’s Handbook (combined)--79202143
Change-ringing on Handbells169205225249156
On Conducting209231204161160
Ringing for Service1481609912373
Beginners’ Handbook28463608306130023123
Bell Restoration Funds--246635
10 and 12-bell Compositions67101522942
Library List-67634225
Starting Courses of Stedman Cinques324118246
Stedman Compositions3961272423
Variation & Transposition-65736251
Symbolic Treatment of FCH-21604130
Touches of Triples4326212812488
Conducting Grandsire Triples66---92
Conducting Stedman Triples----94
Elementary Method Splicing74---65
Grandsire Caters4895385124
Blue Line Proof7367644542
4-way Table of Minor Methods6091557064

The Ringing World, July 13, 1979, pages 595 to 598

Central Council Meeting: Penzance, May 29, 1979, Official Report (Part III)


Model Code of Rules8866683732
Method sheets:Plain Bob Minor--11916268
Double Norwich44645412140
Stedman & Grandsire60466114152
Recruiting Poster368570516627360
Recruiting Leaflets----270
Belfry Warning Notice----132
Prayer Sheets63681187780
Popular Major Compositions9511245--
Surprise Compositions69987812-
Spliced Triples3382817-
Switchgear Warning Card2739912-

In the absence of Mr. Drew, Mr. C.J. Groome proposed the report’s adoption. He said that, in addition to the Council and Maintenance Handbooks and the new Minor collection that had been published during the year, work on books on Major compositions, Progressive Change Ringing, bell restoration funds, and Doubles methods, as well as the new Library list and a set of method sheets was well in hand.

Commenting on the committee’s pricing policy, he said that he made no apology for the increases in selling prices. The Education Committee’s comments were wrong: it was essential to generate sufficient income to cover future printing coats, which were constantly being forced up by inflation. He urged all societies to appoint someone to run a bookstall of Council publications at their meetings, and said that the committee was to increase its advertising. In order to improve its liaison with the Education Committee it had been agreed to co-opt the latter’s chairman on to the committee.

After Mr. J.R. Taylor had seconded, Mr. D.J. Roberts (Devonshire G) expressed his Guild’s gratitude for the energy and vision displayed by the Education and Publications committees (applause).

In reply to a question from Mr. G. Dodds as to whether the £1,000 from the Thackray Bequest would be used to keep selling prices down, Mr. Groome said that the money was needed to meet foreseen printing costs; he added that good stewardship required that the money should be recouped and reused, and not simply used up (hear, hear).

The report was adopted.


This year’s report fells conveniently into two sections. The first of these covers the work initiated by the Committee during the last triennial session of the Council; the remainder of the report deals with the new Committee’s plans for the next three years.

Talks on ringing, open days, Ringers’ Sundays and exhibitions have now become a regular feature in many areas of the country. To cater for these the Committee produced sets of exhibition cards which were on display at Guildford. We decided that they should be hired to users to help recoup the considerable financial outlay of the Council. The charges are £2 for one day, £3 for two days and £5 for ten days, carriage extra. The Ringing World for 25th August 1978 (page 710) gives more details for those who wish to avail themselves of this service.

The most frequent request received by the Publications Committee has been for a sequel to “The Handbook”. We have now produced this, calling it “The Progressive Change Ringing - Doubles and Minor”, and have passed the manuscript to the Publications Committee. Another frequent request has been for a simple book on elementary conducting; this is at the draft stage and should be ready for the Publications Committee during 1979.

A very enjoyable seminar was held at Bishop’s Stortford in February at which Mr J.M. Tyler opened the discussion with a talk entitled “Starting from Scratch”. Although the numbers attending were not large, the subsequent exchange of ideas was full of useful hints and showed the keen interest taken by those present in teaching the next generation of ringers,

At the last Council Meeting Mr N. Chaddock indicated that he intended retiring from the Council. He was a member of this Committee from its inception and its chairman for many years, and we should like to record our appreciation for his past services. Mr R.B. Smith also retired from the Committee, and we thank him for his work also. We welcomed three new members, and two meetings were held during the latter part of 1978. At these the Committee decided its policy for the next three years. This can be summarised as follows:-

  1. To rewrite the “Beginners’ Handbook”. The first chapter has been drafted: new illustrations have to be prepared. We suggest that a cassette or tape is produced as an optional extra to amplify some passages.

  2. Symposia will be held on teaching beginners at various centres throughout the country. The first of these will be to North Yorkshire, the second in the Chester area.

  3. A new leaflet called “How to Run a Practice” will be written.

  4. A general interest film strip, on the lines of “A Ring Restored”, will be prepared.

  5. A replacement for the record “The Rhythm of the Bells” will be sought.

  6. A poster illustrating “A Bell Hung for Ringing” will be produced.

  7. A new book - “Triples and Major” - will be added to the “Progressive Change Ringing” series.

  8. A more active policy regarding weekend courses will be pursued. As well as the help given by Committee members at courses such as Hereford, Easthampstead and Loughborough, we consider that the Council should organise its own course each year.

Besides these the usual work of the Committee has continued. We wrote to all the Theological Colleges last year, offering our help in acquainting their students with the art of ringing and its role in the church today. Twenty-three letters were sent and six replies were received; three claimed that they had insufficient time in their programme to allow for an hour’s talk, three requested them. These are being arranged. The 16 mm sound films have been hired on several occasions: they may now be obtained from Mr D. Joyce, Ethelburga House, High Street, Lyminge, Folkestone, Kent.

The Hereford course was one of the earliest tangible results of this Committee’s efforts. George Cousins has been associated with it for many years as course secretary, and has seen it grow in size and stature. His retirement will be keenly felt, for his local knowledge and contacts were a valuable asset.

Six years ago the committee produced the first in a series of duplicated leaflets. The idea was to provide at low cost a simple explanation of some of the stumbling blocks encountered by the beginner. The production was undertaken by volunteer labour, and the leaflets sold at a few pence each - a little more than the cost of the paper. During 1978 we have prepared “Elementary Method Construction”, and the draft copy is now ready. Since March 1978 the sale of these leaflets has been in the hands of the Publications Committee, who have increased the sale price until a profit of over 500% is being made, excluding postage. This inflated cost is resulting in poor sales, and it is hard to know whether our committee should continue to prepare similar material. Our terms of reference include the phrase, “to disseminate knowledge in ringing matters”, and to accomplish this we must get the information through to the Exercise. We feel that this can only be carried out if material of this type is practically given away. We would welcome the Council’s guidance on this matter. The Publications Committee has also taken over the advertising of the record “The Rhythm of the Bells” and the film strip “A Ring Restored”, although the distribution of both is being handled by this committee. We feel that the lack of displayed advertisement has brought about a drop in sales of these items, the main outlet now being the person-to-person sales by members of this committee.

We would welcome help from Council members on one matter. For some years Mr W.F. Moreton has been accumulating 8 mm film on casting, tuning and hanging of bells. If a viewing can be arranged at Penzance he would appreciate members’ comments.

W. Butler (Chairman) R. Cater
B. Harris
D. Joyce
W.F. Moreton
C.M. Smith
J.M. Tyler

Mr. W. Butler, who proposed the report’s adoption and who was seconded by Mr. J.M. Tyler (Peterborough DG), said that the exhibition cards were proving very popular. Work on the booklet on basic conducting, which goes up to where W.G. Wilson’s “On Conducting” starts, was nearly complete, and, commenting on the report’s penultimate paragraph, he said he was pleased to see that the pamphlets were new being sold at a lower price.

Dr. Baldwin endorsed the idea in the report that the Council should run its own course, and suggested that affiliated societies should sponsor attendance by their own members, perhaps being given the chance to make bookings before individual bookings were accepted. Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) said that accommodation for a course in Winchester had already been booked for August 1980, the first available date; the course would cater for some sixty resident students, but its content was yet to be decided.

Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) urged the committee is concentrate on training leaders and teachers and not on teaching learners, since tower captains who more than anyone who had most effect on the quality of instruction, the standard of ringing, and the motivation (and indeed the wastage) of learners. He asserted that such concentration on what he called “tower management” would be an excellent long-term investment. Mr. Butler readily accepted this point, but commented that when the Oxford DG had run a course for tower captains, it had been only the good captains who had attended.

The report was adopted.

The Ringing World

It has become customary to start this report with statistics. In 1978 we publish 1120 pages, some 28 less than in 1977 when the Queen’s Jubilee necessitated some extra-large issues. There were two 28-page issues and 17 of 24 pages, with the usual cover pictures of churches and many other photographs. The editor took the opportunity, with some of the 24-page issues, to publish articles which had been “on the books” for some tine. The year culminated in the magnificent colour pictures of Gloucester Cathedral - a fine example of some of the new printing facilities at our disposal.

Our accounts are given in detail elsewhere. Suffice it to say that we budgeted to break even and ended with a modest profit of just under £500. This was due to increasing circulation, the continuing generosity of our readers and the increased income from notices.

Since our last increase in price in January 1976, printing costs have risen by 26% and so your committee considered that they had to increase the price to 18p from January 1979 with the hope of maintaining this price for two years.

During the year the circulation increased by about 200 - in December it averaged 5722 (December 1977 - 5502). However the initial impact of the price increase has been a drop of about 100.

During the year we received the Burchnall Bequest of £500. It was decided, rather than to absorb the money into our funds, to use it to encourage young ringers - this year with an essay competition.

Our editor Charles Denyer, has continued to perform the miracles to which we have become accustomed, of getting the paper out on time, soothing the critics and publishing as many ¼ peals as possible while still providing something else to read! Our thanks to him and all at Guildford who contribute each week to the production of the paper.

Our office manager, Iolo Davies, left us at the end of July and returned to teaching. His duties are now carried out by Seven Corners on our behalf. Needless to say, there have been some teething troubles, now mainly overcome. Seven Corners are introducing computer systems which will enable us to mechanise our accounts and subscriber records.

As has been mentioned in The Ringing World, computerised type-setting, with all its benefits, has been introduced at Seven Corners and by the time you read this it is expected that the whole of our journal will be set up in this way.

It has been suggested that all committees of the Council should review their objectives and future plans once every triennium. In our case the main objectives may seem obvious:

  1. publication of The Ringing World weekly;

  2. maximum penetration of The Ringing World into the ringing fraternity.

We believe that the paper fulfils its functions by:

  1. disseminating news,

  2. advertising events and other material,

  3. recording events,

  4. publishing articles of technical, educational, historical and general interest,

  5. providing a forum for discussion.

We plan to continue the expansion of the paper by the publication of increasing numbers of 24-page issues, so that a better balance can be achieved between news and articles. We would also hope in take advantage of modern technology to continue the improvement in the quality of the paper with, for example, the possibility of more coloured covers.

In conclusion we thank all those who have helped us during the year, in particular our Treasurer, Douglas Hughes, and our Accountant, David Tate, who together keep us straight financially. Once again Douglas and Mrs Hughes have most kindly entertained us at the Bell Foundry for our meetings. We have always had the benefit of at least one of the senior officers of the Council at our meetings, and on occasion the presence of our legal adviser has cheered us on our way.

R.F.B. Speed (Chairman)
D.A. Bayles
H.W. Egglestone
Mrs J.S. King
Mrs A. Newing
A.N. Stubbs

Mr. R.F.B. Speed (Peterborough DG), in proposing the report’s adoption, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Oatway for their help and Mr. Ray Fanthorpe who had been selling back numbers of the journal to the considerable financial advantage of The Ringing World.

Seconding, Mrs. A. Newing spoke of the Burchnall Bequest of £500, which the committee wished to use to help increase the paper’s circulation. There had been some criticism of the competition which had been run, with subscriptions to the paper as prizes, and the committee would welcome ideas as to how best this should be modified this year.


After the report had been adopted without comment, Mr. Speed dealt with the paper’s accounts. There had been increased income from sales through newsagents, and the apparent drop in donations had arisen only because the level of donations had been exceptionally high during the Jubilee year of 1977. Actual printing costs had increased by some 10%, the remainder of the increase shown in the accounts - due to Seven Corners Press having taken over certain administrative responsibilities - being offset by the reduction in the cost of editorial and accounts assistance.

The accounts were then adopted on Mr. Speed’s proposition, seconded by Mrs. A. Newing, after which the adoption of the Council’s accounts as a whole was proposed by Mr. C.A. Wratten, seconded by Mr. W.T. Cook, and agreed.

The President at this point thanked the two auditors, Messrs. M.J. Church (Guildford DG) and H.N. Pitstow (Honorary) for their work, and said that Mr. Pitstow, who had audited the Council’s accounts for a considerable number of years, now felt the time had come to resign from that position. In accordance with Rule 11, the Administrative Committee would arrange to fill the resulting vacancy for the remainder of the triennium. He expressed the Council’s thanks to Mr. Pitstow for his many years of service.

Public Relations

This is the first report from our “new look” Committee which now includes Mr William Theobald and Mr Peter Smart. At the close of the year Mr George Pipe terminated his long service as “Overseas Liaison Officer”, and this position has been passed to the willing shoulders of Mr William Theobald whose frequent journeys overseas make him the man for the job. The overseas Directory has been delivered into Mr Theobald’s safe keeping for continued updating and for proposed contact with the Transvaal Society. Eight requests for Directory information were dealt with during the year and future enquiries should be made to Mr William Theobald c/o The Whitechapel Bellfoundry. Our appreciation and thanks are extended to Mr George Pipe for all his interest and hard work over a long period.

Many items of interest have been gathered during the year and are available on request. The services of Mr Fred Dukes, Mr Eric Naylor and Mr Denis Bayles have been much appreciated and we express our thanks to them.


A most comprehensive report of “Public Relations” at work in North America, has been provided by Mr William Theobald and his interesting material is available for inspection. The “noise-pollution” laws in America are so strict that it is possible for quite a small group of people is “shut down” a tower permanently. At Hendersonville, North Carolina, where a new ring of eight bells was thrust upon the neighbourhood, a first step in developing a good relationship was the distribution of an information-packed leaflet to everyone in the listening area. The dedication of the bells was covered with a press conference for all the local newspapers. Full news items featured on all the available radio and television channels. As a result, the only complaint was that not enough “bell-music” could be heard and a flood of beginners came forward! Generally American press, radio and television all give very good coverage to bell-ringing activities and the North American Guild’s Annual Meeting receives much attention. It was reported that the Mayor of Boston, living opposite the Church and at one time antagonistic, became through liaison with the ringers very interested in their art.


Radio continues to give bellringing much publicity. The most familiar programme is, of course, “Church Bells on Sunday”, a truly ringers’ programme - giving us a variety of recordings and items of interest provided by ringers themselves. The presentation is agreeable to the layman and bellringer alike. May we plead that the standard of recordings sent to the B.B.C. is as high as possible. We note that many ringers would favour the vetting of tapes and a policy of “less talk - more ringing”.

Mr Harold Pitstow was again responsible for all the spade-work connected with the “Christmas Bells” programme. This resulted in an acceptable feature on Christmas morning. Much hard work and effort went into this programme and the ringers concerned gave of their best, something which the critics tend to forget.

Radio Orwell used Ipswich bells as background for a programme called “One Faith” and Bury Cathedral bells were heard before the enthronement of the new Bishop. In lighter vein, on November 8th Radio 2 visited a belfry in Derby where two lady ringers were reputed to have shed five stones in weight between them since learning to ring. However, the interview with the Tower Captain was interesting and covered the whole range of ringing activities, including finally an invitation to listeners to learn the art. In Ireland, Church bells were broadcast frequently as an introduction to a service. Radio Eireann in “Sunday Miscellany” devoted one of its programmes to bells and bellringing, and this was both instructive and interesting. During the year a variety of bells were heard in Ireland, and on Christmas Eve, Grandsire Cinques from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.


Only four features concerning bells have been brought to our notice. The Essex Centenary ringing at Kirkby-Le-Soken on December 29th received coverage as did the augmentation celebrations of St. Peter’s, Sudbury, during the Autumn. In November, pupils of Patchway Junior School, Bristol were shown ringing tunes and changes on handbells in preparation for a performance at the Royal Albert Hall. In Ireland, there was coverage of the restoration of the bells of Christ Church, Dublin.


Journalists in Ireland have been busy reporting the activities of bellringers and articles have appeared in the Sunday Independent, the Evening Herald and the Belfast Telegraph. The Homes and Gardens Magazine carried a two page article by Patt Burr entitled “Ringers World”. The Farmers Weekly published a splendid picture of Sara and Julia Richardson of Foxley Farm, Feckenham, Worcs., at a Church bellringing practice. The sisters are featured in a full page spread with their prize winning flock of Ryeland Sheep.


Close contact is continued with the National Association of Woman’s Clubs. We act as a clearing house and put Club Secretaries in touch with speakers in all parts of the country. Many ringers continue to give talks and lectures on bells and bellringing to a wide variety of organisations and in some cases, certainly the Bath and Wells, the bell restoration fund benefits from the fee. These talks, we feel, are real “Public Relations” in that the “bell-ringing mystique” is taken right out to the public.

The image of bellringers presented in the public by Press and television is, we feel, a correct one. However much can be done by the ordinary ringer to ensure that this state of affairs continues. We stress continual watchfulness and would urge that suitable material reaches local and national press, television, radio and of course, “Church Bells on Sunday”.

So to our work for the future - we aim to

  1. try to establish closer contact with the broadcasting organisations,

  2. try in encourage more press coverage,

  3. try to extend our overseas contacts,

  4. give consideration to ways and means of “Selling ringing to the public.”

We would be very happy to receive any ideas, hints, advice, points of view etc., that ringers may have which would be helpful to us in our efforts.

Jacqueline S. King (Chairman)
Harold N. Pitstow, O.B.E.
Peter G. Smart
William A. Theobald (Overseas Liaison Officer).

Mrs. J.S. King (Llandaff & Monmouth DG) proposed the report’s adoption, adding that Mr. J.L. Girt (Suffolk G) had been co-opted to the committee in place of Mr. G.W. Pipe, who use no longer a member of the Council, and that Mr. P.G. Smart (Guildford DG) was now working with Mr. Pitstow in his dealings with the BBC. Mr. Smart seconded.

Mrs. A. Newing thanked the committee for a very interesting report, but said that she felt the committee should take a much more active part by, for example, providing press releases to the local and national press and the Church Times, helping bands to publicise local events, and building up its contacts with the media generally so that the latter should know whom to contact for ringing news.

Several members spoke of the importance to ringing of the BBC’s “Bells on Sunday” programme and of its disappointing standard in recent weeks. Mr. J.S. Barnes was surprised that there had been no mention of the Council’s meeting the previous Sunday, and Mr. R.G. Morris (Worcs. and Districts A) said that the programme’s original producer, Mr. David Wilmott, had once told him that he thought there could be 15 minutes’ ringing news on the radio each week if there were sufficient support from the Exercise, but that he had never heard anything from the Council.

Mr. C.W. Denyer (Life, and Editor of The Ringing World) said that he was in regular and close contact with the BBC about the “Church Bells on Sunday” programme, and knew that the Penzance Branch had provided the BBC with details of the Council’s meeting. But it was apparently BBC policy not to broadcast anything in advance in case it did not materialise.

Mr. Barnes said that the Church Times showed little interest in ringing matters - a point endorsed by the Revd. J.G.M. Scott - but said that Mr. John Trevissick, at one time that paper’s News Editor, was now working at the Church Information Office and was very willing to publicise ringing; he urged the committee to capitalise on this good will.

Mr. A.W.R. Wilby said that members were expecting a great deal of the committee. It could operate only at national level, and individual societies should have their own PR officer to build up local contacts; they should not expect the Council’s Public Relations Committee to do this work for them. The President added that, however large the committee was, it could not cover the whole country.

Replying to the debate for the committee, Mr. Smart said that not all the criticism was justified. Much information on ringing was sent to the BBC, but it was not being used. The committee could not force a producer to use it, nor did it have any control over the timing of programmes - another point of which there had been criticism. The committee’s traditional function had been the gathering of information, but he hoped that a more positive approach would develop considerably over the next few years.

After the report had been adopted, Mr. Wilby proposed, and Mr. J.R. Taylor, seconded, a proposition that the committee should write to all affiliated societies, inviting them to elect a public relations officer. After Mr. K.J. Darvill had supported the idea, suggesting further that the committee might consider running seminars for such officers, the motion was carried.

Redundant Bells

As predicted in our 1977 report, 1978 has shown a levelling out in the numbers of churches becoming redundant. Indeed, on the face of it, there has been a definite decline: 59 churches were declared redundant in 1978, and this compares with 84 in 1977, 60 in 1976, and 84 in 1975. The most recent lists of churches which have been referred to the Council for Places of Worship for their advice - one of the very earliest stages in redundancy proceedings - also show, so far, the same trend. While these figures are of course encouraging, it would still be right to be cautious. There remain several dioceses which have yet really to tackle the problem of their redundant churches.

The total number of churches which have been declared redundant since the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into operation in April 1969 is 742 to December 31st 1978. The Bridges Commission in 1960 predicted 790 redundancies in twenty years. It looks as if their figure will be exceeded in little more than half that time.

The Committee has this year been involved with some sixty-four cases, including one request for a frame, ten requests - some very tentative - for rings of bells, and seventeen requests for bells for augmentations, replacements, or use as singles. Eight enquiries have produced offers of bells, and some seven bells or rings are currently at some stage of transfer. This figure does not include the ring from St. Catherine, Feltham, where the authorities at a late stage had second thoughts and the bells are now to remain in their original, though now redundant, church. Not all bells of course which need new homes come from churches affected by the Pastoral Measure; and the Committee is from time to time involved with bells which could be said to be redundant with a small “r” rather than with a capital one. An interesting feature this year has been the increase in enquiries from churches overseas, several of which have been for rings of bells. It is not obvious whether this is due to an upsurge of interest in ringing, or merely to a sudden awareness that England has redundant churches. We feel that, providing every effort has been made to re-house bells near their original home, and providing that they are not of special historical or archaeological interest, the transfer of rings of bells to Anglican churches overseas is something to be encouraged.

A recurrent problem has been the melodramatic tendencies of a few local church authorities. Fortunately not many, but nonetheless all too often, we have been told that such-and-such bells have got to be removed and found a new home in a hurry, or they will be sold for scrap. The usual time limit, for some unexplained reason, seems to be ten days. One unfortunate Association - the Scottish - was faced with just this situation this year at St James, Leith. After they had exhausted all local possibilities of new homes a recipient church was found for the bells in America. Then, against all the odds, and just within the Leigh church council deadline, a local church was at the last minute found. Happily for Leith : perhaps not quite so happily for the American church, which had already embarked on sending the ready money which was a condition of the bells being saved from scrapping. But suitable recipient churches able to produce the money at the drop of a hat are few and far between: it would be particularly helpful if associations passing on requests for rings of bells could give some indication if a church is likely to have money instantly available.

We have been working during the year with the Bell Restoration Funds Committee in the preparation of a scheme for a rescue fund for redundant bells which might help in this sort of situation. This was an idea which received some support in the replies to the redundant bells questionnaire sent out to the associations in 1973. Members of the two Committees have met on several occasions, and after taking the advice of the Administrative Committee in October, hope to present a draft scheme to that Committee in March with a view to bringing proposals to the 1979 meeting of the Central Council. We are very grateful to Mr R.J. Cooles and Mr M.H.D. O’Callaghan who have generously given us their professional guidance.

Once again it is a pleasure to record our thanks to the Church Commissioners, the Council for Pieces of Worship, and the Redundant Churches Fund for their help and kindness. It is very much appreciated.

Mr R.W.M. Clouston has again most generously sent us copies of the detailed notes on the bells of potentially redundant churches which he prepares for the Council for Places of Worship. They are for us a tremendously important source of information, and we do thank him for his help.

Jane Wilkinson (Chairman)
E.A. Barnett
G.A. Dawson
K.W.H. Felstead
J. Freeman
A.J. Frost
G.W. Massey
Gilbert Thurlow.

Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson (Honorary) proposed the report’s adoption, commenting on its first paragraphs that, although the number of redundancies was levelling out, the committee had hoped that it would decline: it was in fact the only committee of the Council to have a built-in death wish (laughter). The Church Commissioners however saw no prospect of an end to redundancies. The committee still needed information on redundant churches and their bells from local societies, and conversely, if a stated requirement for redundant bells had been met, it could save wasted effort later if the committee were told.

After Mr. A.J. Frost had seconded, Mr. G.A. Halls commented that it would have been more helpful to have been told the number of redundant bells rather than of redundant churches. Mrs. Wilkinson replied that the number of bells was not always known to the committee, which relied heavily on Mr. Ranald Clouston’s records - that was the sort of information they needed from local societies.

The report was then adopted.

Bell Restoration Funds

At the Guildford Council meeting the Committee became a permanent Committee - and its terms of reference were agreed. They appear in the new Council Handbook together with a description of the type of work undertaken. The meeting also agreed to our being strengthened to six members and we welcomed Mr Michael Church.

The Open Meeting at Guildford was on the subject of Bell Restoration Funds and was led by this Committee. The most important point which arose (and was later reiterated at the Council meeting) was that Guilds MUST register their B.R.F.s as charities. Several Guilds are taking steps to comply with the law and some have consulted us on various points, particularly with regard to framing a constitution. The two offices of the Charity Commission have now agreed upon a set of model rules, copies of which may be had on request.

Although at present many charities are unable to meet all requests for help, it is encouraging that, as a result of our work, St. James, Whitehaven received a grant of £2,000 towards the cost of the installation of bells acquired from Derby. Mr G.A. Halls was present at the dedication and opening.

We have met formally on two occasions during the year, in London and in Birmingham. In addition several meetings have been held with members of the Committee for Redundant Bells, regarding a proposed national rescue fund for redundant bells. A draft scheme was placed before the Administrative Committee in October and, having obtained opinion and comment, it is hoped to present an amended scheme at the March 1979 meeting.

Work is now well advanced in preparing a second edition of the booklet “Bell Restoration Funds” and we hope that it will be published by the Publications Committee during 1979.

A new project being undertaken is a country-wide survey of unringable bells, the result of which will allow an assessment of future requirements of B.R.F.s, albeit at current prices. We are grateful to Council members for their assistance.

Our investigation into the levying of V.A.T. at standard rate on augmentations has been disappointing: the authorities have suggested that perhaps they have been too generous in the past. Representations are being made to the Churches Main Committee to see if matters can be taken further.

Certainly if any appeal is made to the public the Commission should be consulted. The model rules produced for B.R.F.s may easily be adapted for a tower fund. We would stress that there is nothing to fear to seeking advice from the Charity Commission.

During the year several enquiries have been received regarding tower restoration or maintenance funds.

Any tower which has an appeal fund might consider continuing it as a maintenance fund when the main appeal has been met, and we commend this. Although we would not advocate the accumulation of large sums in the present financial climate, there is so much to be said for such a fund in order to provide for purchase of ropes, provision of sound control, minor repairs and maintenance.

John S. Barnes, (Chairman)
Eric Billings,
Michael J. Church.
Kenneth S.B. Croft
Gordon A. Halls
Ian H. Oram.

The adoption of the report was proposed by Mr. J.S. Barnes, who said that there had recently been a case of a local band being asked to pay tax on its bell fund since it had not been registered as a charity. This underlined the committee’s repeated statement that all such funds should be registered with the Charity Commissioners.

Seconding, Mr. I.H. Oram (Cumberland Youths) said that the Churches Main Committee saw little prospect of a change in the present VAT rules, and he could therefore only suggest that negotiations should be opened with the local VAT office if substantial work had been carried out, in the hope of alleviating the VAT bill. Mr. J. Hartless commented that the VAT authorities now admitted that the Oxton case (where no VAT had been charged on an augmentation) had been a mistake.

Several members spoke on the advantages and dangers of incorporating local bell funds into general parish funds - in general it avoided the need for separate registration as a charity, but there could be the risk of the money being diverted to other purposes. Mr. P.A. Corby (Kent CA) pointed out that the church bells were the responsibility primarily of the incumbent and churchwardens and did not belong to the ringers, and that it was therefore important that there should be close co-operation between ringers and church authorities.

After the report had been adopted, Mr. G.A. Halls reported on the results to date of the survey of unringable bells, which was now about 80% complete. These suggested that about 10% were unringable, although the proportion of unringable 5s and 6s was higher (about 35%), and the figure for rings of four seemed to be something over 50%. From the information so far available, the highest proportion of unringable towers seemed to be in the East Anglian counties and in Gloucestershire.

He suspected that there was a hard core of unringable towers, and the committee hoped that the publicity would encourage their restoration; it might also encourage local societies to keep a close watch on the situation in their own areas.

Towers & Belfries Committee

The amount of work which many members of the Committee have had to do in 1978 does not suggest that enthusiasm or money are getting noticeably less plentiful where bell restoration is concerned. There is a slow but steady growth in transfers of bells from places where they are no longer wanted to places where they are needed either for new installations or for augmentations; but augmentations with new bells are still going ahead as well.

It is evident that the readiness of ringers to do simple restoration and repair work for themselves or for one another is still increasing; we find that we are very often asked to suggest what can be done on a “do-it-yourself” basis, and to give outlines of the way such work can be carried out. Some of these projects are quite ambitious.

The Committee has held two meetings, one in London and one in Frome. These provide a most valuable opportunity for members to exchange problems, experience and ideas, and as a result of our last meeting we are following up enquiries into bell lubrication.

We are investigating the possibility of getting the bellfounders and bellhangers, the Central Council and the Council for Places of Worship to agree to a standard set of conditions for contracts concerned with bell work; such standard conditions are widely used in industry, and would be very useful to all concerned.

The subject of hearing damage, raised by the Strathclyde Report, was taken up with Dr Kell, a specialist in this subject with the Department of Community Medicine in the Welsh National School of Medicine. His conclusions are that in ringing-rooms “the risk of hearing damage appears to be small, and due to the relatively low sound levels reported (in the Strathclyde report), ringers who are exposed to noise at work would not receive a further substantial dose in ringing-chambers.” However, the risk of hearing damage in bell chambers when bells are being rung is very large, and hearing protection is advised for anyone exposed to it. He suggests various forms of protection, the most readily available being ear muffs and “E.A.R.” plugs, both of which are available at safety shops. We on our part would suggest that the Council might provide warning cards on this subject to publicise the risk of hearing damage to people who go into belfries while ringing is going on.

The Maintenance Handbook is now at last in the hands of the printers, and we very much hope that it may be available by the time of the Council meeting.

During the years, members of this Committee have issued reports on a very great number of towers, and many of these reports are still extant, filed away in various places. It is often very useful to knew the condition of a tower at the time of previous report, and we plan to compile a card-index of tower reports so that members can know whether any particular tower has been reported on, and when and by whom, and where the report can be found.

John G.M. Scott, Chairman
The Vicarage, Newton St Cyres, Exeter EX5 5BN.
J.C. Baldwin, BSc, DPhil, MBCS.A. Dempster, BSc, CEng, MICE, MIStructE.
W.L. Exton.A.J. Frost, AADipl, RIBA, DCHM.J. Freeman, CEng, MIMunE.
B. Harris, BSc.J. Hartless.G.W. Massey.F. Reynolds, AMCT.
B.D. Threlfall, MA, CEng, FFB.S.C. Walters, MA MSc CEng, MIMunE.

The Revd. J.G.M. Scott, proposing the report’s adoption, said that the maintenance handbook was now available. It unfortunately contains some mistakes, which would be corrected in future printings, but the only serious one was so p. 12 where the top two diagrams had been transposed. He had recently been in touch with Mr. W.B. Cartwright (Worcs. & Districts A, the Council’s legal adviser) on the committee’s legal responsibility for any advice it gave, and the committee was now acting on the advice he had given. Mr. A.J. Frost seconded.

Mr. G.A. Halls said that previous committee reports had referred to the Strathclyde report, which had much valuable information on acoustics within towers although the validity of its comments on the risks to hearing had been questioned. Was there any intention of publishing the former, he asked. He also enquired whether anything more had been discovered about the cause of clapper failures, of which there had recently been a spate at Derby Cathedral. Mr. Scott said that the committee had it on its agenda to proceed with the Strathclyde report, but that the clapper problem was still very much a mystery.

Mr. Butler said that when Robert Warner died in about 1948 he had left a sum of money for research to be associated with bell-founding (Mr. G.A. Dawson later added that it had been left to the Bellfounders Company of London), and wondered whether this could be used. The committee noted the suggestion, and in reply to a request from Mr. Dawson, the chairman said he would try to give some statistical break-down of the committee’s work in future, although this was often difficult to categorise. The report, the last of those from the Council’s fifteen committees, was then adopted.

After the president had given omnibus thanks to the committee members for their work during the year, Mr. Dukes asked that the addresses of the chairmen should in future be included in all reports.


Mr. I.G. Campbell proposed “that the Council accords Territorial status to the Beverley and District Ringing Society.”

He said that the Society had a membership of some 130, with its own constitution, elected officers, and a number of non-resident members, and that no other society held meetings within its area (in response to a question, he later said this was roughly the old East Riding of Yorkshire). He stressed that it was not the aim of the motion that the Society should be able to increase its representation on the Council, a point taken up by the seconder, Mr. W.F. Moreton (Yorkshire A), who said that the motion was concerned solely with status. Since 1946 the Beverley & District Society had increasingly assumed responsibility for the organisation of ringing in its area, and had for some time carried out all the functions usually ascribed to a territorial society. Mr. Moreton said that he was seconding the motion with the blessing and encouragement of the Yorkshire Association, which now functioned only nominally in the Society’s area.

Mr. Halls said that he had always been taught to be suspicious when two Yorkshiremen got together (laughter), but there were already several anomalies in the territorial or non-territorial status of some affiliated societies, and he supported the motion. Mr. C.F. Mew spoke in similar vein.

On being put to the vote, the motion was carried without dissent.

On behalf of the Committee for Redundant Bells, Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson then proposed “that the Central Council sets up a fund for the rescue of redundant bells”.

She drew members’ attention to the fourth paragraph of the report of the Committee for Redundant Bells, and said that a rescue fund would above all enable time to be bought. The committee had in hand a number of requests for rings of bells, but to the best of her knowledge only one parish had cash immediately to hand should a ring become available. It was always easier to raise funds against a specific target, she said, but at present there was often a vicious circle - no bells available so no incentive to raise money, and then no money to hand when bells do suddenly become available. A rescue fund would enable the Council to break this circle.

Mr. J.S. Barnes seconded the motion on behalf of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee, saying that the fund would help societies to save rings of bells by providing the necessary financial support, but it was is no way intended to supplant their own work. He said the initial target would be £10,000: £3,500 would at once be available from the Thackray bequest, and he hoped the remainder would be made up by contributions from societies and individuals (as a charity the fund would be able to benefit from covenants) and by fund-raising events. The proposed fund and rules had been discussed at length by the Administrative Committee, he concluded, and the motion had that committee’s support.

The motion was strongly supported by Mr. Moreton and Mr. Croft, who applauded its positive approach, but several members, while supporting its principle, expressed doubts about such things as the pricing policy to be followed and the problems of storage, insurance and fund-raising. Mr. M. Thomson (Chester DG) wondered whether the suggested sum of £10,000 would be adequate, and thought that any contributions from societies must inevitably have some adverse effect on their own restoration funds: was it worth saving one ring if it meant that four or five others would not be restored, he asked. Mr. D.E. Sibson was sympathetic to this view and suggested that, rather than build up a large fund, it would be preferable to have a list of people willing to provide short-notice loans.

Mr. Mew pointed out that the £6,500 required to make the fund up to £10,000 amounted to only £100 from each affiliated society, and that this would moreover be a once-only donation, since the money would be reusable. Mr. Frost agreed, reiterating that £10,000 was only a target and that the fund would be able to operate with its initial £3,500.

Replying, Mrs. Wilkinson said that, as Mr. Mew had pointed out, the fund would be constantly regenerated as purchased bells were re-sold. There was no intention of holding bells for lengthy periods, but some secure storage space was already available and she hoped local societies might be able to find more. Bells could either be bought and sold at the current scrap metal price, with the possibility of an associated profit or loss, or they could be bought and sold at the same price; in either case the cost of insurance could be recovered by a small service charge.

The motion was then put to the vote and was carried, five members having voted against it.

Mrs. Wilkinson then proposed, and Mr. Barnes formally seconded, the adoption of rules for the fund; these had, she said, been considered in detail by the two committees and by the Administrative Committee and were the outcome of a number of successive drafts. They were adopted without discussion.

1981 meeting

After the Secretary had reminded members that an invitation to hold the 1981 meeting in Kent had been noted two years ago, Mr. P.A. Corby said that the Council had been served by two Presidents with close associations with Kent - Messrs. E.H. Lewis and E.A. Barnett. The Council had met in Lincoln when John Freeman vacated the chair, and he now extended a sincere and warm invitation for the Council to follow this precedent and come to Kent for its meeting in 1981, on Spring Bank Holiday Tuesday. The invitation was seconded by Mr. M.J. Hiller, and accepted amidst applause. The President asked Mr. Corby to pass the Council’s thanks to the Kent County Association.

Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge UG) said that the traditional Tuesday meeting often entailed members having to take time off work: would it be possible to have the meetings on Bank Holiday Monday? Mr. R. Cater said that it was generally very difficult to hire a hall on a Bank Holiday, and the 1980 meeting in the Winchester and Portsmouth area would be on the Tuesday. He then described the arrangements being made for that meeting, with an Open meeting in Portsmouth on Sunday evening, a reception in Winchester on Monday, and the annual meeting in Southampton.

Any other business

The Secretary reported that 153 members had signed the roll, compared with the record 181 at Guildford last year and with 140 at Truro in 1964. 37 societies were fully represented, 23 partially represented and five absent.

Votes of thanks

The President expressed the Council’s thanks to the Truro Diocesan Guild for its arrangements and to all those who had helped with the reception and other events; to the Mayor of Penzance and the Bishop of St. Germans for their welcome; to the Vicar of Penzance, Canon W.R. Newton, and Canon A.S. Roberts for their parts in that morning’s Communion service; to the various incumbents for the use of their bells; and to Miss D.E. Colgate and Mr. Denyer for their recording of the day’s proceedings (applause).

Mrs. Barnett at this point presented Miss Colgate with flowers as an appreciation of her services (applause).

Canon Roberts, President of the Truro Diocesan Guild, thanked the President for his remarks, and said how much the Guild had enjoyed having the Council as its guest; he hoped it would not be 16 years before the Council visited Cornwall next time (laughter and applause).

Mrs Corby thanked the President for his conduct of the meeting, and the Vice-President, Librarian, and above all the Secretary for their work for the Council (applause).

The Ringing World, July 20, 1979, pages 619 to 622


Life Members: E.A. Barnett, C.W. Denyer, F.W. Perrens, E.C. Shepherd, A.G.G. Thurlow
Honorary Members: Mrs. O.D. Barnett, H. Chant, F.E. Collins, W.E. Critchley, W.H. Dobbie, R.H. Dove, S.J. Ivin, C.K. Lewis, 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 Assn: R. Eccles
Bath & Wells Dioc. Assn: G.W. Massey, E. Naylor, A.H. Reed, J.S. Walton
Bedfordshire Assn: K. Lewin
Beverley & Dist. Soc: I.G. Campbell
Cambridge Univ. Guild: S.C. Walters
Chester Dioc. Guild: P. Dyson, A.F. Scholfield, M. Thomson
Coventry Dioc. Guild: P. Border, H.M. Windsor
Derby Dioc. Assn: T. Ball, G.A. Halls
Durham & Newcastle Dioc. Assn: A.G. Craddock, D. Martin
Durham Univ. Soc: C.C. Monson
E. Derbys. W. Notts Assn: A. Dempster
E. Grinstead & Dist. Guild: A.N. Brock
Ely Dioc. Assn: G.E. Bonham, J.G. Gipson
Essex Assn: J. Armstrong, F.B. Lufkin, D. Sloman, O.R. Webster
Gloucester & Bristol Dioc. Assn: B. Bladon, L.C. Edwards, J.R. Taylor, C.A. Wratten
Guildford Dioc. Guild: M.J. Church, T. Page, D.E. Parsons, P.G. Smart
Guild of Devonshire Ringers: F.D. Mack, D.J. Roberts, Revd. J.G.M. Scott
Hereford Dioc. Guild: R.G. Powell
Hertford County Assn: A.R. Agg, G. Dodds, R.E. Hardy
Irish Assn: F.E. Dukes
Kent County Assn: P.A. Corby, M.J. Hiller, D.M. Joyce, D.H. Niblett
Ladies Guild: Miss D.E. Colgate, Mrs. J. Summerhayes
Lancashire Assn: C. Crossthwaite, D.R. Jones, J. Kershaw, F. Reynolds
Leeds Univ. Soc: C.J. Frye
Leicester Dioc. Guild: B.L. Burrows, J.M. Jelley, B.G. Warwick
Lincoln Dioc. Guild: G.E. Feirn, D.A. Frith, J.L. Millhouse, M.A. Rose
Llandaff & Monmouth Dioc. Assn: J.C. Baldwin, Mrs. J.S. King
London County Assn: H.W. Rogers, Mrs. O.L. Rogers
Manchester Univ. Guild: M.C.W. Sherwood
Middlesex County Assn. & London Dioc. 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.H. Jackson
N. Wales Assn: G. Parting, Mrs. N.M. Randles
Norwich Dioc. Assn: F.C.J. Arnold, J.B. Pickup, J.R. Smith
Oxford Dioc. Guild: W. Butler, K.J. Darvill, N. Lawrenson, T.G. Pett
Oxford Soc: F.A.H. Wilkins
Oxford Univ. Soc: P.N. Mounsey
Peterborough Dioc. 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 Dioc. Guild: E.J. Hitchins, P.L.J. Matthews, R.G.W. Robertson
Scottish Assn: N.E. Booth
Shropshire Assn: P.J. Everall, 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 Dioc. Guild: B.A. Richards
Stafford Archd. Soc: B. Harris, C.M. Smith
Suffolk Guild: T.N.J. Bailey, J.L. Girt, Revd. L.R. Pizzey, R.C. Whiting
Surrey Assn: E.G.H. Godfrey, S.F. Kimber, C.F. Mew
Sussex County Assn: A.R. Baldock, C.J. Champion, I.V.J. Smith
Swansea & Brecon Dioc. Guild: J.A. Hoare
Truro Dioc. Guild: W.C. Boucher, Mrs. M.P. Byrne, R.L. Byrne, Miss J.H. Dash
Universities Assn: Revd. M.C.C. Melville
Univ. of Bristol Soc: Mrs. A. Newing
Univ. of London Soc: A.J. Frost
Winchester & Portsmouth Dioc. Guild: R. Cater, K.S.B. Croft, J. Hartless
Worcs. & Districts Assn: A.C. Berry, W.B. Cartwright, M.D. Fellows, R.G. Morris
Yorkshire Assn: E. Hudson, A.M. Moreton, W.F. Moreton, D. Potter

The Ringing World, July 27, 1979, page 646

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