Members of the Council their relatives, friends and other ringers, gathered in the top floor suite of Ashburton Court, The Castle, Winchester on Whit Monday evening for the formal welcome to the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild’s area and to meet the civic and religious dignitaries. The fine view over the city and beyond was commented upon, for the very well-chosen and excellent room is at the top of this six-floor building. With much glass, sliding doors and a verandah running the full length, there were many present who were outside for periods enjoying the panoramic views from this vantage point.
Each guest received a glass of wine as they entered and after a period of time whilst friend greeted friend whom they perhaps had not seen for 12 months. Mr. Kenneth S. B. Croft (Master, W & P) called the gathering to order, welcomed everyone on behalf of the Guild and then introduced the Bishop of Southampton (Rt. Rev. John Cavell).
Apologising for the absence of the Lord Bishop of Winchester (Rt. Rev. J. Taylor) who was abroad, “probably in China at the moment”, the Bishop said he welcomed the Central Council to Winchester and Portsmouth on behalf of the Bishops of both these Dioceses. The original Winchester Diocese, he said, took in the present Guildford Diocese, the Portsmouth Diocese and also at one time Southwark. The countryside in Hampshire was beautiful and he hoped all had enjoyed the fine village and town churches and their bells, and would continue to do so during their stay in the area. The Bishop spoke of his life and acquaintances whilst serving the Church of St. Andrew, Plymouth, and concluded: “In the name of the Winchester and Portsmouth Dioceses I welcome you. God bless you as you summon people to worship by your bells.”
Welcoming the Council and other guests on behalf of the civic authorities, the Mayor of Winchester (Cllr. Mrs. M. P. Pitt) said it was in 1914 that the Central Council last visited their City and she hoped it would not be another 66 years before they came again. She spoke of the clamour and noise of traffic these days and added, “There is nothing more beautiful than the church bells ringing out on a frosty morning when the towns and villages are more at peace.
“Church bells”, she added, “are the language of our country for they ring both for joyous and sad occasions, proclaiming many messages to all around.
“Thank you for your work and I welcome you all to our city”, concluded the Mayor.
The president of the Central Council (Mr. E. A. Barnett) on behalf of the Council expressed thanks to the Bishop and to the Mayor for their greetings and good wishes, and he also welcomed the Mayor’s husband (Mr. P. F. Pitt).
“I am pleased to know that this is one of the first official duties of the newly-elected Mayor,” added Mr. Barnett, “before she has had time to get fed up with these sort of engagements” [laughter].
Thanking the Master of the W & P Guild and all the members for the tremendous amount of work they had carried out preparing for the Council’s visit, Mr. Barnett said they were all very grateful to everyone concerned. As regards the next visit to the W & P he suggested they invite the Council for their Bi-centenary Celebrations -2079! [laughter and applause].
Mr. Ken Croft then made several announcements and spoke of Mr. Arthur Davis’s 80th birthday that day [cheers and applause]. He, the Master, hoped that all would continue to enjoy the evening and the remainder of their stay with the W & P.
Three leads of Kent T.B. Major were then rung by Roy Le Marechal 1-2, John Colliss 3-4, Alison Surry 5-6, and Mark Esbester 7-8, following which a fine buffet meal was served and the social round continued.
Later a “very special” draw was held, and as this has been in preparation for many months there was great excitement when it was announced that the draw would now take place. Mr. Derek Jackson, who earlier had been much in evidence dressed in a home-made top hat and carrying card notices, suddenly removed a dressing gown and was greeted with shouts and cheers when he was found to be attired in an old-fashioned striped bathing costume.
Derek’s appearance was forgotten, however, when he called on four young lady ringers to assist him with the draw and these ladies walked in wearing bikinis! They were part of the ladies band that rang a peal last year in bikinis for “the summer that never was!”
The proceedings then got underway and the cheers, jeers and applause which greeted winners present, particularly certain male ringers who all enjoyed themselves immensely. There were about 50 prizes in all.
A licensed bar was available and ringers and friends spent the remainder of the evening entertaining each other.
The W & P members responsible for the evening are to be congratulated on the excellent organisation and catering arrangements.
The Ringing World, June 6, 1980, page 494
A slightly damp squib. That was the impression the open meeting at Southampton left with at least one listener. He had expected that the large gathering (about 160 ringers, did someone say?) would be clamouring to know what on earth this or that committee thought it was up to when it decided so-and-so; or perhaps demanding the resignation of the officers, or even insisting that a special meeting be summoned under Rule 9 (“… a requisition signed by 25 members”). But no. Maybe the chairman, John Freeman, was right in thinking that since the Council changed some of its constitution and procedures a decade ago there has been far less criticism of it than used to be the case. Or perhaps most people took to heart the comment of the opening speaker, Philip Corby, that there were a number of vital tasks the Council could not do, such at teach learners, talk to one’s local incumbent, maintain bells or raise money for restoration work. What it did do, through the appropriate committees, was offer advice on these matters; the rest was up to all of us as individuals.
Andrew Wilby of the College Youths and Mark Esbester of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild both agreed that the Council couldn’t itself provide good teachers and leaders, of whom there was a shortage all round the country. Local enthusiasts were needed. David Potter of the Yorkshire Association, however, felt that if the Council didn’t devote some attention to local problems there would be less and less ringing as time went on - people would simply gravitate to “centres of excellence” like London, where a lot happened in the middle but precious little in the outer suburbs. This view was shared to some extent by David Hird of the Derby Association, based on his own experience; but both the chairman and Clarke Walters of the Cambridge University Guild stressed the need for such centres, otherwise standards would be even lower than they are now.
Not that everything committees do went unchallenged. Early on, Gordon Halls of the Derbyshire Association, ever the scourge of complacency, while giving full marks for some aspects of their work such as training courses and the publications that were produced, felt that they gave insufficient encouragement at the lower levels. He thought some sort of recognition, like Scouts’ or Guides’ badges, was needed for learners. Tony Smith of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild, supported by Ken Croft, the Master of that Guild, wanted committee and other reports to be published before the Council’s meetings, for how otherwise could ordinary guild members make their views known in advance? He could recall only one instance of a committee seeking people’s views, and that was back in 1968! The secretary thought the idea a good one where recommendations were involved (provided, though he did not specifically say so, he received these in time!). He could have added that, way back in the 1920s, prior publication of reports was not uncommon.
Marcus Sherwood of the Methods Committee also welcomed the idea of prior publication. Michael Church of the Guildford Guild instanced last year’s meeting at Penzance as one at which members got their priorities right, important issues such as insurance, public relations and bell restoration funds forming the main topics of discussion. Technical committees had their place - he agreed with Andrew Wilby that they did a good job - but other matters, notably education, were of more concern for the future. Finally, John Croft of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild also considered there were more important matters than arguing over technical merits - the question of redundant bells, for example - but one matter he felt should have been touched on to a greater extent was the need for closer contact between ringers and the Church.
And so to the chairman’s summing-up, during which he thanked those who had taken part in the discussion. All then went their separate ways, the majority to see the film on casting a bell, presented by Wilfrid Moreton. As Phil Corby said at the beginning, it must be good that ringers from everywhere meet in one place; but to the writer at least, it seemed a pity that more non-members of the Council had not spoken during the meeting.
This traditional coach outing was enjoyed by 22 members and friends, and although this used to be regarded as mainly for the more senior members (in age), this year the party included some younger ringers. A prompt start was made at 9 a.m. from King Alfred’s statue, Winchester, for the first tower, Eling, augmented from 6 to 8 two years ago.
The party alighted at the Toll Bridge, one of the few left in the country, and walked past the recently-reopened Tide Mill, which had been out of use for over 30 years and is believed to be the only mill worked by the sea and still in use.
For the next tower, Milford-on-Sea (8), the journey was via Beaulieu and Lymington; and whilst some rang the bells, others enjoyed coffee and biscuits in the Church Hall, prepared by Ena Robertson. The groups then changed over! After travelling via Burley and Ringwood to Fordingbridge, a very pleasant 14 cwt. eight, there was a leisurely lunch at a restaurant at Gorley.
The journey to Romsey Abbey was by way of Godshill and some of the minor roads in the New Forest. Romsey’s bells (24 cwt.) were the heaviest of the day but did not cause problems, and the hour soon passed on these fine bells.
The last tower, Upham, is another recent Hampshire augmentation, their weight, about 8 cwt., making a difference in the speed of the ringing from the previous tower. A return to Winchester was made by 6 p.m. The party was accompanied by W. & P. ringers Susan and John Hartless.
The Ringing World, June 20, 1980, page 537
At precisely 10.45 a.m. the president (Mr. E. A. Barnett) called the assembly to order and the Conference was opened with prayer, led by the vice-president (Rev. J. G. M. Scott). At the outset, the secretary (Mr. C. A. Wratten) reported on the representation: 65 Societies with 172 members; 8 life members; and 24 honorary members, totalling 204, but there were three vacancies.
All subscriptions, except those of the Devon Association; S. Derbyshire and N. Leicestershire, had been paid.
A number of apologies had been submitted, including those of Messrs. W. B. Cartwright, R. H. Dove, D. A. Bayles, S. J. Ivin, H. N. Pitstow, J. M. Clarke, T. Cooper, J. G. Gipson, J. A. Hoare, R. Hughes, W. H. Jackson, R. J. Palmer, N. O. Skelton, W. A. Theobald, A. T. Wingate.
A welcome was extended to new members, viz: Messrs. A. J. Martin and I. Nicholls (Chester Guild), S. G. Pitt (Staffs), D. Jackson (Winchester and Portsmouth), D. Town (Yorkshire) and W. Patterson (Irish), the President wishing them an enjoyable period in office.
Mr. F. E. (Ted) Collins (hon. member) having resigned as a member of the Towers and Belfries Committee “because he felt unable to climb about over bellframes etc”, was elected a life member of the Council on the proposition of the Rev. J. G. M. Scott, seconded by Mr. K. S. B. Croft, both these gentlemen speaking highly of the great experience, reliability and service of Mr. Collins, who suitably acknowledged the honour accorded him.
The following honorary members, due to retire, were re-elected after each had been proposed and seconded, reasons for their nomination being given by their sponsors: Mr M. H. D. O’Callaghan, Mrs. O. D. Barnett, Mr. R. J. Cooles, Mr. H. Chant, Mr. J. R. Mayne, Mr. C. K. Lewis and Mr. R. H. Dove. At this stage of the proceedings the members stood whilst the names of the deceased who had served the Council were read out, and the Dean of Gloucester (V. Rev. Gilbert Thurlow) said an appropriate prayer for the departed.
The deceased members were:- F. W. Bailey (died 28 May, 1979). Represented the Midland Counties Association 1927-1930 and attended 1 meeting. J. H. J. Bluff (died 2 August, 1979). Represented the Peterborough Diocesan Guild 1966-1972 and attended 5 meetings. A. L. Bennett (died 27 September, 1979). Represented the Guild of Devonshire Ringers 1957-1960, but did not attend a meeting. T. R. Butler (died 13 October, 1979). Represented the National Police Guild 1950-1957 and attended 3 meetings. E. Hudson (died 1 November, 1979). Represented the Yorkshire Association 1966-1969 and 1975 until his death: attended 8 meetings. B. E. Bartlett (died 11 December, 1979). Represented the Devon Association 1961-1978 and attended 12 meetings. J. S. Seager (died 28 December, 1979). Represented the Sheffield & District Society 1967-1973, and the Yorkshire Association 1973-1974. He attended 7 meetings. W. F. Judge (died 28 January, 1980). Represented the Oxford Society 1946-1954 and attended 2 meetings. Canon W. R. Ingram (date of death unknown). Represented the Chester Diocesan Guild 1933-1936, but did not attend a meeting. J. L. Garner-Hayward (died 10 May, 1980). Represented the Coventry Diocesan Guild 1960-1962, and an Honorary Member 1967-1972; attended 9 meetings.
An amendment to the minutes, already published, was accepted and these were then approved, as was the hon. secretary’s report, it being noted that Mr. B. Harris had resigned, he being replaced by Mr. S. Pitt.
Several minor queries were raised and answered satisfactorily by Mr. Wratten when he presented the Council’s Statement of Accounts, after which Mr. Cook reported on and proposed the adoption of the Rolls of Honour, Mr. Wratten seconding. The Carter Ringing Machine report was agreed on the proposition of Mr. D. Hughes, seconded by Mr. W. Dobbie.
When the Administrative Committee report had been proposed and seconded, Mr. Groome spoke about the clarification of that part of it concerning honorary membership. He queried whether or not there would be a change of rules next year.
Mr. Barnes seconded Mr. Groome’s motion but Mr. G. Dawson and Mr. J. Freeman spoke opposing it. The amendment was lost by a large majority and the original motion being put to the meeting was carried.
The Rev. J. G. M. Scott proposing the adoption of the Towers and Belfries Committee’s report said that the previous evening Mr. Brian Threlfall had been elected chairman of that Committee he (Rev. J. Scott) having retired from that body. Mr. D. E. Potter was elected to the Towers and Belfries Committee.
Answering a question by Mr. P. Gray about “Lubrication of Plain Bearings”, it was stated that publication could be arranged. The President expressed thanks to Mr. Scott for his work on the Committee.
There was considerable discussion when Mr. J. Barnes presented the report of the Bell Restoration Committee. He spoke of VAT; of more “feed back” from fund raising activities; a survey of Restoration Funds; survey of unringable bells and for which he expressed appreciation to Messrs. G. Halls and M. Church.
Mr. Barnes told of the sum of £25,000 being raised at Charlwood, Surrey, 36 residents of Texas, USA, coming to stay in Charlwood, British Caledonian organising the trip. Mr. M. Church seconding the adoption of the report, stated that Societies who had not already registered their funds as charities should do so without delay. He also gave facts and figures on the average amount raised per head during 1978 (£14) and pressed for an increase in this amount.
Mr. G. Halls gave a detailed report on the unringable bells survey he had carried out. The information on four bell rings was not complete, and other information could not be completely accurate. That 30 per cent of unringable bells was caused by the tower being unsafe and 60 per cent from unsafe fittings were reported, but each Guild had been obliged to find out the state of the bells in its own area. Various views and opinions of the survey and funds were expressed by Messrs. Nixon, Potter, Massey and Cater, Mr. Church saying that the report was meant to indicate “what the funds were doing”, after which the report was adopted.
Mrs. J. Wilkinson presented the report of the Redundant Bells Committee, being seconded by Mr. A. Frost. It was stated that electronic equipment would be available for use of Associations.
Mr. G. Halls said it was a good report but he would like to have more specific details which said which bells were going and to where.
That in most cases the movement of bells was confidential it was stated, but being pressed for further information, Mrs. Wilkinson said she would endeavour to give details where possible and further discussion on the subject of augmentations by recasting, and of the ring of eight for sale at Northampton was debated by Messrs. G. Halls, A. Wilby, J. Hird, M. Tyler and G. Dodds before the report was adopted.
Mrs. Wilkinson said that Mr. Frost had been co-opted on the Committee and. it was agreed that he would be a full member.
At this stage the President adjourned the conference for the luncheon break.
To be continued
The Ringing World, June 20, 1980, page 541
The Ringing World, June 27, 1980, page 549
On resumption after lunch the report for discussion was that of the Ringing World, and the debate lasted an hour and covered many aspects of the journal’s production. Mr. R. F. B. Speed presented the report and this was seconded by Mr. H. W. Egglestone.
At the outset, Mr. Speed told the Council members that on the previous Thursday notice of a 20 per cent increase in printing costs, back-dated to April, had been received from the Seven Corners Press; also that a successor was being sought for the editor; and, regarding publication of quarter peals, it had never been the R.W. policy to provide a complete record of these.
Mr. J. Hartless said, regarding charges for peals, he was surprised at this statement: 90 per cent rang as a form of punishment [laughter] and the cost to each was anything from £3-5. A peal fee was quite reasonable.
Mr. Groome, speaking on the financial position of the journal, said it should not be dependent on donations; all advertisements should be charged at the full rates, and not variable according to the individual type of advertising. He thought 25p for the R.W. would have no adverse effect on the sales, and as for quarter peals it would be a good idea to have a complete record printed.
The complacency of the Committee in thinking it can maintain the reserves was a comment by Mr. G. Massey. If donations were deducted the net profit was £1,250 in a full year, and that was no way to run any business. There must be a realistic price charged and a profit of £4,000 to £5,000 a year made, excluding donations.
Mr. Corby asked that a definition of a peal and a quarter-peal ringer should be given. He rang both, but the two previous speakers had put them in different categories.
Mr. Church agreed that an economical price should be charged for the R.W. He asked Mr. Speed if, for a replacement editor, a printer, a ringer or a journalist was required? [All three for preference.- Ed., R.W.]
Mr. A. Wilby said that for 25,000 ringers the R.W. circulation was only 5,000, and when the price went up the circulation went down. Could not the Committee find agents to sell the paper?
Mr. R. Cater commented that if a professional editor were employed, the cost of the R.W. would have to go up to 35p. A professional journalist / editor would want £10,000 a year, and that was the sort of money to look for.
Mr. J. Mayne suggested the journal be published in two parts: one for general circulation and a peal supplement published at an economic rate, the charge for each part being in excess of 23p.
Mr. R. B. Smith suggested a charge of 30p or more. The present editor’s salary was derisory. Why not a double price range - a standard one and a reduced charge for O.A.P.s and ’teenagers? Mr. P. Hurcombe said the previous speakers had forgotten the ringers who do not take the R.W. at all and suggested a levy be made from all ringers to keep costs down.
Replying, Mr. Speed said it had been decided not to charge for peals because of the cost of administration. He agreed it would be better to get away from depending on donations, and if a higher price were charged for each copy, donations would go down.
As regards the editor’s salary: when a new editor was employed it would be necessary to pay him the going rate.
A two-part publication had its advantages but would not save much, if anything, and there would be a problem with newsagents and their costs.
The President said he felt there had been a useful discussion on the Ringing World and on being put to the meeting, the report was approved.
The Ringing World accounts were next discussed and Mr. Speed made several points in answer to questions on editorial assistance.
Mr. R. B. Smith said he felt the Editor should be paid more in expenses to avoid taxation, but it was stated that there was a fixed allowance made for this on professional advice.
Questions on investments and deposit accounts were asked by Messrs. Dukes and Hartless, Mr. Speed giving satisfactory explanations of these points.
The R.W. accounts were agreed, as were the accounts of the Central Council generally.
Mr. H. Rogers spoke appreciatively of the work of the editor and, in particular, being able to publish the Ringing World during the recent dispute in the printing industry. He proposed a vote of thanks and confidence in the work of the editor during the past year.
The meeting concurred.
There was a further lengthy debate when the Publications Committee report was submitted for approval by Mr. G. Drew., seconded by Mr. C. Groome, the former stating that the Doubles Collection was on sale that day but for the Triples Collection nothing was being produced.
It was inferred that there was at times a conflict between the committees, particularly those of the Publications and Education, and Mr. Drew said there had to be a priority list.
Mr. Massey said the Publications Committee must be progressive and it was time the Council realised that publications cannot be self-generating. It would be necessary to inject new capital for, if up-to-date publications were to be published, it was necessary to pay for them - even perhaps by a levy on associations.
Mr. W. Butler said that ideas on education change, and it would be necessary to revise the Beginners Handbook and perhaps publish it in a different form. Mr. Drew said a printer’s quote for reprinting the Handbook had been staggering and if accepted this would double the charge to 50p a copy.
Dr. Jean Weddell said the price was not relevant - education methods had changed and the Handbook was required.
Criticising the new Doubles book, Mr. D. Frith said it cost 60p and the pages were only half full. [Laughter] The Place Notations given were not understood by 90 per cent of Doubles ringers and he felt the book was not worth the money.
Mr. Drew said it was produced by the Methods and not the Publications Committee.
Others taking part in the discussion were Messrs. D. Roberts and D. House, and eventually the President asked the assembly to vote on the report, which was then approved.
The Education Committee’s report was presented by its chairman, Mr. W. Butler, who thanked two members who retired - Messrs. B. Harris and D. Joyce. He said that Messrs. G. Morris and D. Parsons had been co-opted, and later these two gentlemen were elected full members of the committee.
Mr. Butler queried whether or not the School for Instructors was worth-while and spoke of the course to be held in Winchester from 29-31 August.
After Mr. M. Tyler had seconded the adoption of the report, the President suggested that the question of courses would be a suitable subject for next year’s Open Meeting.
Mr. Cater said that the Committee were disappointed that Guilds had not taken up sponsorships for the course, and hoped that next year they would do so.
The question of standards was touched upon by Messrs. Jackson, Tyler and Mayne, whilst Mr. C. Crossthwaite thought that more time should be spent teaching learners.
Mr. Dyson said that education should be at a local level and it was not possible to force people to go on courses. In any case it was not practical, for many could not afford to sponsor ringers if there were long distances to travel.
After Mr. Massey had stated that instructors must receive instruction before teaching learners, Mr. B. Threlfall commented that if too much time was spent on courses, the beginners would never get down to handling a rope.
Mr. Butler, winding-up the debate, said tower captains should be able to do all the necessary jobs in a tower - including steeple-keeping and instructing.
The Ringing World, June 27, 1980, page 567
The report was approved.
Mrs. J. King proposed and Mr. P. Smart seconded the adoption of the Public Relations report. The Committee had produced a directory of P.R.Os and a paper giving a code of practices for the guidance of P.R.O.s.
Stating that his own Association had decided against electing a P.R.O., Mr. Massey queried the Education Committee’s terms of reference. He did not think the Committee had the right to change the rules of the Council and formal notice of such changes was necessary.
The President commented that he had no doubt the Committee would bear this in mind for next year.
The BBC’s contact with Mr. R. B. Smith about the long length peal with which Mr. Smith had been associated was referred to by Mr. C. K. Lewis, whilst Mrs. J. Wilkinson said that if the Council accepted the Committee’s report they also had to accept the terms of reference. Would the Committee delete that paragraph?
Mrs. King replied that the Committee were carrying out last year’s wishes of the Council, and the President commented that from a technical point of view an amendment to the Council rules was necessary. Mrs. King then said the paragraph would be deleted.
This brought a suggestion from Mr. R. Hardy that the words “now ought to be” would clarify the wording, and after this had been amended to “this should be” the report was adopted, Mr. Massey commenting finally that he hoped the Committee intended to make the alteration.
It was his aim to make as complete a collection as possible of everything published which related to bells and bellringing, said Mr. W. Cook in proposing the adoption of the report of the Library Committee. He expressed thanks to the Friends of the Library who had joined, and asked that three books which had been on loan for long periods be returned forthwith.
The insurance at present was for £4,700, whereas he (Mr. Cook) felt that a more realistic value would be nearer £20,000. A quote for this had been received and was £56.60 and covered fire, storm, tempest, etc., but not theft on the premises.
Recordings were kept in some libraries, said Mr. R. B. Smith, and Mr. Cook said public recordings were collected, but not those of a private nature. A list of all reports received was available, he added, in reply to another questioner.
Was there anyone who could offer advice to the Council on how £20,000 would be used if the library was completely destroyed? asked Mr. P. M. J. Gray. He suggested the premium money be spent on safeguards.
Mr. J. Baldwin proposed that the question of the premium for the insurance be referred to the Admin. Committee and, after being seconded, this was agreed and the report was also approved.
Expressing appreciation to members who had assisted in research, Mr. T. Lock presented the Biographies Report, this being seconded by Mr. G. Dawson. A book on Railways by Sir A. P. Heywood was handed over to the Library by Mr. Cook, who said two portfolios were available for anyone interested to inspect later in the day.
Mrs. Olive Barnett was co-opted on the Committee, the President saying that two members could be co-opted if necessary.
The report was adopted.
Mr. M. C. W. Sherwood, in proposing the adoption of the report of the Methods Committee, said that the second paragraph was now out of date. Publications were now of a standard size and, referring to the previous comment about half-empty pages, said this gave space for the writing-out of methods. [Laughter]
After Mr. F. T. Blagrove had seconded, the report was adopted.
Four amendments were made to the Records Committee’s report by Mr. D. E. Sibson, and this, being seconded by Mr. J. Mayne, was put to the meeting and accepted. A somewhat longer discussion took place after Mr. F. Lufkin had presented the Peals Analysis report for adoption, and Mr. C. H. Rogers had seconded it. Mr. Lufkin was critical of those who sent in to the R.W. peal reports that were sometimes very late. It was not possible to be accurate when this occurred, and the end of February was the latest time for the previous year’s peal reports.
Two corrections to the Committee’s report were given by Mr. C. Rogers and then Mrs. A. Newing, acting on behalf of the band that rang the peal of Treble Jump Minor in November, 1979, explained what occurred during the ringing, and other reasons why the peal should be accepted by the Council. She proposed an amendment to delete the reference in the report. There being no seconder, the amendment was not proceeded with, and Mr. Hird then spoke of the peal at Nottingham where Triples were rung on the front seven bells and Doubles on the back five.
When Mr. Exton said he considered the peals should not be included, Mr. R. B. Smith asked: “On what grounds should the peal be excluded?”.
Mr. C. K. Lewis said there was no interval between each change, as specified by the rules, and Mr. A. Wilby said peals of Triples needed a covering bell. He continued: “If you want a new class of method, put it on paper and submit it to the Council for approval!”.
The proposed amendment was lost, and Mr. Mitchell asked that the peal at Worcester on July 31, 1978, deferred until 1979 and rejected, be referred back to the Committee and either passed or an amendment to the rules be made.
Messrs. Potter, Halls and Chant took part in the debate and eventually the proposition was lost by a large majority.
Mr. J. Taylor proposed the acceptance of the Computer Co-ordination Committee’s report, and, on being seconded by Mr. J. Baldwin this was approved.
The report of the Peals Compositions Committee was put forward by Mr. R. W. Pipe, who thanked the R.W. editor for publishing compositions so regularly. It was hoped to establish a network of people with computer programs.
Mr. R. Hardy seconded the adoption of the report, and after Mr. Pipe had stated that there was not a large backlog of compositions outstanding, the Council accepted the report.
Dean Gilbert Thurlow, speaking about the Rescue Fund, said it called for action, not discussion. It was hoped that interest-free loans would be forthcoming when the need arose.
Mr. Massey seconded the adoption of the report, which was approved.
This concluded the discussion and adoption of all the reports, the President expressing thanks to committee members and Trustees for the work they had carried out in the past year. The reports gave an indication of the activities in which the Council were involved and which had never been exceeded. [Applause]
The Ringing World, July 4, 1980, pages 580 to 581
An invitation by Mr. Edwards to hold the Central Council meeting in 1982 in the Bedfordshire Association’s area was approved, after it had been announced that a previous invitation to go to the Salisbury D.G. area had been withdrawn.
When “Other Business” was announced, Mrs. Jill Staniforth said she felt that the Ringing World should be put on a business footing, and proposed that the Central Council’s auditors be asked to look into the possibility of forming a finance company, open to Associations and Guilds and to individuals to take up shares in order that the Ringing World may be put on a permanent business footing.
Mr. R. B. Smith seconded, and after the President had asked the meeting if they wished to discuss this proposition it was put to the vote and approved by 44 to 39.
Mr. Corby said it was only a matter of looking into the feasibility of the matter and was a worthwhile investigation. Mr. Massey suggested that the remit should be more general.
When Canon Felstead said it was too late to raise such an important subject and that it be put on next year’s agenda, Mr. Wilby proposed that the job be done properly, whilst Mr. J. Freeman felt that the R.W. Committee should have an opportunity to discuss the question and to comment.
Mrs. Staniforth: If the Council’s auditors think it viable they should get on with it and report to the R.W. Committee.
Mr. Church (one of the C.C. auditors) wished to have a discussion with his fellow auditor (Mr. E. Godfrey) and would prefer wider powers to study the subject, and Mrs. Staniforth agreed with him.
The proposition was approved.
Mr. Hurcombe stated that the invitation for 1985 for the Council to visit Sussex was provisionally approved, and he asked that this be confirmed so that the bookings of certain hotels and centres could be made immediately. The confirmation of the visit was given.
Mr. Campbell asked for confirmation of the Council’s acceptance of their visit to Beverley in 1984 and this was approved.
There being a vacancy on the Admin. Committee, Mr. Threlfall proposed Mr. S. Clarke-Walters be elected, and this proposition being seconded by Mr. W. Cook, Mr. Walters was elected
Mr. H. W. Rogers suggested that “School for Instructors” be the subject for next year’s meeting and coupled with it: How to deal with recruiting in the 80s.
It was decided, on the suggestion of Mr. C. K. Lewis, that a message of good wishes be sent to Mr. B. Harris who is to be ordained at Lichfield on June 28. Mr. J. Baldwin stated that Mr. G. Benfield was also to be ordained on the same date.
It was stated that the 1983 meeting would be in Staffordshire.
Mr. G. Halls asked that guidance on the various Central Council committees be given before next year’s Council, and this was agreed by the secretary.
Mr. Wratten reported that 52 Associations (135 members) were fully represented at the meeting; 8 partly (19) and 11 absent; 5 not represented (7 absent), and there were 7 life members (1 absent) and 16 honorary members (5 absent); the total present being 177.
Thanks were expressed by the President to the Master, officers and members of the Winchester and Portsmouth D.G., particularly Messrs. R. Cater and D. Jackson; to the ladies for food supplied and the gentlemen for waiting at table; the Mayor of Southampton and her husband; the Bishop of Southampton; the Deans and Chapters at Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals; the incumbents and local ringers at all churches used during the weekend; the head of King Edward VI School and the bursar; the R.W. Editor and Miss Colegate, and the hon. secretary and Mrs. Wratten.
Mr. Corby thanked the President for his able conducting of the Council meeting. [Applause]
The Ringing World, July 4, 1980, page 589
During the car tours on Saturday, 24th, and Monday, 26th, bands from the following towers arranged and served refreshments while C.C. visitors waited to ring: Shedfield, Bishops Waltham, New Alresford, Petersfield, Overton, Brockenhurst, North Stoneham, Curdridge, East Tytherley, Lockerley, Micheldever, Woolton Hill.
* * *
Many Guild ladies volunteered to help Mrs. Gail Cater with refreshments at the reception on Monday, 26th, or to help Mrs. Madeline Croft with the lunch at the meeting on Tuesday, 27th. Mrs. Jessie Kippin, living in Chandlers Ford, on the “dividing line” of the two areas, volunteered for both.
* * *
Typical of the Guild members’ response was that of Mr. and Mrs. Symes, of Micheldever. Not only did they spend two hours on continuous washing-up at the reception, but on Wednesday morning they opened up their lovely garden at The Forge, Micheldever, and served coffee and biscuits to C.C. visitors on the lawn.
* * *
The Isle of Wight coach tours on Sunday, 25th May, offered a choice of a leisurely, scenic route or a rushed, tower-grabbers route. Everyone chose the latter and the former was abandoned. A packed coach party were drilled at the double by Harold Rogers and Cyril Wratten, so that not a moment was lost on an over-tight schedule. They were so regimented that they were even able to inspect an extra tower (Shorwell) and reach the evening ferry in time!
* * *
There were 10 extra prizes for a special C.C. members’ draw. These included the Centenary record of Winchester District bells, a Centenary mug, a Centenary goblet and five pairs of pints of ale at the pub nearest the meeting hall.
* * *
During the lunch on Tuesday, home-made wine was served by our ace brewer, Commander W. A. Harris of Petersfield. This was so popular with the delegates that two of them neglected to claim their prizes of two pints of ale at the local. (We understand 10 gallons were consumed!)
* * *
The car tour on Wednesday, 28 May, took visitors through typical Hampshire County lanes, in brilliant sunshine, to visit many of our rings of six. The day was so popular that there were sometimes queues of about 20 ringers in the churches. As we reached the final church of the day, at the end of the final event, the clouds opened and it poured with rain for the first time during the visit.
* * *
As “home” of 9-bell ringing, one of the successful peals completed was of Bob Caters at All Saints’, Basingstoke, on Sunday, 25 May. Two Guild members travelled all the way from Bristol University, in the middle of examinations, for the opportunity to participate.
* * *
The trifles supplied for the “sweet course” at the Tuesday luncheon were made by lady members of the Guild who came from the Districts during the weekend. A complicated transport system had to be organised by Mrs. Madeline Croft in order to collect and deliver them.
* * *
One member from our Channel Island towers, Mr. W. Hall, attended the Open Meeting at Southsea on Sunday, 25 May. He was delighted to ring with C.C. members at Portsmouth Cathedral, his first experience of 10-bell ringing, and to complete a course of Grandsire Caters.
The Ringing World, July 18, 1980, pages 639
The 1980 meeting of the Central Council was held in Southampton, at the King Edward VI School, on May 27, and was attended by 177 members. The meeting was chaired by the Council’s President, Mr. E.A. Barnett, and proceedings opened with prayer led by the Vice-president of the Council, the Revd. J.G.M. Scott.
The Hon. Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Gloucester & Bristol DA) reported that 65 societies were affiliated to the Council, of which two - the Devonshire Association and the S. Derbyshire & N. Leicestershire Association - had not yet paid their subscriptions for 1980. The Council’s membership consisted of 172 representative, 8 Life, and 24 Honorary members. However, since there were three vacancies among the Honorary members, the Council’s actual total membership was 201.
Apologies for absence had been received from 17 members: Messrs. T.W. White (Life member), D.A. Bayles, R.H. Dove, S.J. Ivin, and H.N. Pitstow (Honorary members), and W.B. Cartwright, J.M. Clarke, T. Cooper, J.G. Gipson, J.A. Hoare, P.L. Hughes, W.H. Jackson, R.J. Palmer, N.O. Skelton, M.C.W. Sherwood, W.A. Theobald, and A.T. Wingate (representative members). Mr. Sherwood did however subsequently join the meeting.
The President welcomed new members to the Council, saying that he hoped they would find the proceedings both instructive and enjoyable. The new members were Messrs. A.J. Martin and I.R. Nichols (Chester DG), S.G. Pick (Stafford Archd. Soc.), D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth DG), and D. Town (Yorkshire A); and W.A. Patterson (Irish A) who joined the Council in 1979 but had not been at the 1979 meeting.
Election of Life member
Mr. F.E. Collins (Honorary member) was proposed for election as a Life member of the Council by the Revd. J.G.M. Scott, who spoke of Mr. Collins’ sterling work over many years for the Towers & Belfries Committee. He said that Mr. Collins had a wealth of knowledge and experience, and had much to contribute to the work of the Council.
Seconding, Mr. K.S.B. Croft (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) described Mr. Collins’ reliability and realism and his services to ringing in the area since his return to Hampshire.
Mr. Collins was elected on a show of hands, the president’s announcement of the result being greeted with loud applause. Mr. Collins then briefly thanked the Council for the honour it had done to him, adding that it was not until he heard his proposer’s and seconder’s speeches that he had realised how good he was (Laughter).
Election of Honorary members
Seven Honorary members completed their three-year term at the end of this meeting. Together with the three vacancies already existing, ten places were consequently available.
Seven names were individually proposed and seconded: Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan, a financial expert who was already advising the Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells; Mrs. O.D. Barnett, in recognition of her work for the Council; Mr. R.J. Cooles, a solicitor and adviser to the Rescue Fund; Mr. H. Chant, a recognised authority on Minor ringing; Mr. J.R. Mayne, a valued member of the Records Committee; Mr. C.K. Lewis, well-known for his work while on the Methods Committee; and Mr. R.H. Dove, producer of the “Bellringer’s Guide to the Church Bells of Britain”.
Each was elected on a show of hands.
Loss of members through death
Members stood in silence as the President read the list of those who had died since the Council’s last meeting.
They were Messrs. F.W. Bailey (Midland CA 1927-30, died 28 May 1979), J.H. Bluff (Peterborough DG 1966-72, died 2 August 1979), A.L. Bennett (Devonshire G 1957-60, died 27 September 1979), T.R. Butler (National Police G 1950-57, died 13 October 1979), E. Hudson (Yorkshire A 1966-69 and 1975 - death, died 1 November 1979), B.E. Bartlett (Devonshire A 1961-78, died 11 December 1979), J.S. Seager (Sheffield & District S 1967-73 and Yorkshire A 1973-74, died 28 December 1979), W.F. Judge 1946-54, died 28 January 1980), J.L. Garner-Hayward (Coventry DG 1960-62 and Honorary member 1966-73, died 10 May 1980), and Canon W.R. Ingram (Chester DG 1933-36, whose date of death is at present unknown).
Dean Thurlow said a short prayer.
Minutes of the last meeting
The Minutes of the 1979 meeting were adopted without comment, subject to the correction of the name of the Oxford University Society in the list of those present, on the proposition of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mrs. O.D. Barnett.
Since last year’s meeting in Penzance there have been five changes in the Council’s membership. E. Hudson (Yorkshire Association) died in November 1979, and A.F. Scholfield and M. Thomson (Chester Diocesan Guild), B. Harris (Archdeaconry of Stafford Society), and R. Savory (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) have resigned. Since all were elected representatives, they have been replaced by their parent societies - by D. Town, A.J. Martin, I.R. Nichols, S.G. Pick, and D.C. Jackson respectively - and the Council’s total membership consequently remains unchanged at 201.
All the Council’s funds have increased in value in 1979, the Council’s total worth growing from £35,626 to £38,588 over the year, or by 8.3% overall. The percentage increases for individual funds during the past two years have been as follows:
|Clement Glenn Bequest||2.1||4.5|
|“The Ringing World”||2.1||1.4||*|
|(* 3.5% after allowing for a legacy of £500)|
The growth in the Publications Fund reflects the great increase in sales to which the Publications Committee refers in its report, while that in Library funds is due to the growing and welcome support for the Library Committee’s “Friends of the CCCBR Library” scheme.
The figures are in general satisfactory, but in view of the rate of inflation prevalent in recent years the significant dwindling in real value of “The Ringing World” resources, in particular, gives cause for concern. As members will be aware, the Ringing World Committee is actively seeking ways to improve this situation.
As instructed by the Council at last year’s meeting, I wrote to the secretary of the Winchester and Portsmouth D.G. to ask that the name of the method rung to a peal on 14 February 1978 under the name of Superlative Minor Surprise Major and credited to that society, should be changed. The conductor of the peal has subsequently written to “The Ringing World” to say that it had been renamed “Old Superlative Surprise Major”.
Cyril A. Wratten (Hon. Secretary)
The Secretary proposed the report’s adoption, and was seconded by Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire A). This was agreed without further discussion.
|Income and Expenditure account for the year 1979|
|-||Hire of exhibition cards||32.77|
|Towers & Belfries||24.00|
|50||Friends of CCCBR Library||50.00|
|30||Depreciation, exhibition cards||30.00|
|128||Stationery and printing||210.89|
|60||Postages and telephone||56.62|
|172||Excess of income over expenditure||55.82|
|Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1979|
|139||Exhibition cards (cost less depreciation to date)||108.75|
|241||Cash and bank balances||191.84|
|21||Clement Glenn Bequest||21.20|
|9||Affiliation fees in advance||21.15|
|-||“The Ringing World”||83.50|
|168||Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1979||339.81|
|172||Excess of income over expenditure||55.82|
|Clement Glenn Bequest|
|Income and expenditure account for the year 1979|
|-||1978 tax recovered||6.60|
|51||Film hire (net)||39.19|
|23||Education Committee expenses||6.82|
|50||Depreciation - films||50.00|
|29||Excess of income over expenditure||64.44|
|Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1979|
|150||Films (cost less depreciation to date)||100.00|
|398||£563 Treasury 3½% Stock 79/81 at cost||397.92|
|-||Post Office Savings Bank||655.48|
|420||Leeds & Holbeck Building Society||-|
|69||Cash and bank balances||92.35|
|1401||Accumulated Fund, January 1979||1429.80|
|29||Excess of income over expenditure||64.44|
|Income and expenditure account for the year 1979|
|-||1978 tax recovered||241.14|
|74||Excess of income over expenditure||£736.69|
|Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1979|
|5656||Leicester Building Society||6401.24|
|5582||Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1979||5656.35|
|-||less: purchase of electronic instruments|
for the use of the Council’s committees
|74||add: excess of income over expenditure||736.69|
|Income and expenditure account for the year 1979|
|2553||Stock, 1 January||2390.29|
|2390||less: Stock, 31 Dec.||3422.75|
|318||Postage & telephone||500.21|
|49||Publications Committee expenses||74.00|
|535||Excess of income over expenditure||1402.62|
|Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1979|
|2257||Cash and bank balances||2700.58|
|401||Clement Glenn Bequest||224.34|
|135||“The Ringing World”||376.23|
|3564||Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1979||4099.33|
|535||Excess of income over expenditure||1402.62|
|Friends of the CCCBR Library|
|Income and expenditure account for the year 1979|
|50||Transfer from General Fund||50.00|
|10||Depreciation, library fixtures||10.00|
|18||Excess of income over expenditure||49.12|
|Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1979|
|70||Library fixtures (cost less depreciation)||60.00|
|30||Cash & Bank balances||87.05|
|90||Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1979||107.93|
|18||Excess of income over expenditure||49.12|
|“The Ringing World”|
|Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1979|
|200||Goodwill, blocks, etc.||200.00|
|200||less: Amount written off||200.00|
|Investments at cost:|
|2000||Abbey National Building Society||2000.00|
|-||Brighton Corporation 6% Bonds||500.00|
|3999||British Electricity Guaranteed Stock 1976/79 - £5076.60||-|
|907||Carrington Viyella Ltd - 3500 Ordinary 25p Shares||907.48|
|1756||EMI Ltd - £1750 8½% Convertible|
Unsecured Loan Stock
|933||Francis Industries Ltd - 2000 Ordinary 25p Shares||932.88|
|1194||Anthony Gibbs Income Units - 3647.42 Units||1194.02|
|977||Grand Metropolitan Ltd - 1486 Ordinary 50p Shares||1211.43|
|1154||Hestair Ltd - 1250 Ordinary 25p Shares||1154.04|
|1530||Imperial Group Ltd - £1700 8% Convertible|
Unsecured Loan Stock 1985/90
|224||Midland Bank Ltd - 68 Ordinary £1 Shares||224.40|
|1199||- 1630 7½% Convertible Substituted|
Unsecured Loan Stock 1983/93
|1227||Northern Engineering Ltd - 1308 Ordinary Shares||1227.44|
|157||- 163 Preference Shares||156.74|
|3500||Tyndall Income Units - 5002 Units||3499.57|
|-||Sedgwick Forbes Bland Payne Group Ltd.|
- 543 Ordinary 10p Shares
|-||British Exchequer 10% Stock 1983 - £5969.77 Stock||5076.60|
|7818||Debtors and prepayments||10120.21|
|Cash at Bank:|
|1265||Trustee Savings Bank Account||271.66|
|14||Cash in hand||12.00|
|7111||Subscriptions in advance||12183.40|
|23497||Accumulated Fund, l January 1979||23992.86|
|496||Excess of income over expenditure||837.54|
|Income and expenditure account for the year 1979|
|192||Profit on sale of calendars||142.04|
|2136||Interest & dividends receivable||2550.54|
|-||Profit on sale of investments||1077.72|
|36724||Printing & blocks||43511.14|
|8483||Wrappers & postage||9068.68|
|2725||Editor’s fees and expenses||3353.04|
|1208||Editorial and Accounts assistance||148.00|
|373||Rent and telephone||390.20|
|667||Postages, stationery & sundries||395.03|
|-||add: Legacy received||500.00|
to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers on the accounts of their official journal
We have audited the annexed balance sheet dated 31st December 1979 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.
London, EC4Y 0ER
|Caldwell and Braham|
|Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1979|
|70||Library fixtures at book value||60.00|
|150||Films at book value||100.00|
|139||Exhibition cards at book value||108.75|
|2390||Stock of publications at cost||3422.75|
|7683||Debtors and payments in advance||9696.45|
|27231||Investments at cost||30539.64|
|8005||Cash and bank balances||17063.48|
|7170||Amounts received in advance||12204.55|
|1430||Clement Glenn Bequest||1494.24|
|108||Friends of CCCBR Library||157.05|
|23993||“The Ringing World”||24830.40|
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 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 1979.
|25th March 1980|
In reply to a question from Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough DG), Mr. Wratten explained that the interest shown for the Thackray Bequest was from only part of the year, and that the Bequest was being held in a building Society (where it was attracting 15% interest since tax was recovered) in order to be readily accessible.
Acceptance of the accounts was deferred until after the report of the Ringing World Committee and the Ringing World accounts had been discussed.
Rolls of Honour
The following report was adopted on the preposition of Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY), seconded by Mr. Wratten:
During the year the book containing the names of those ringers who had died during the First World War was borrowed for an exhibition of the writer’s work in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and was later returned safely to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The photocopies of the Rolls of Honour are on display at the Council meeting.
W.T. Cook (Trustee)
Carter Ringing Machine
Three demonstrations were given during the year:
two on Saturday, 17 February, to 14 people from Staplehurst, and 25 from the Southern District of the Essex Association
on Wednesday, 22 August a visit was arranged for Mr and Mrs Cummins and Jurgen Bath and family from Berlin. Several friends from Sevenoaks also enjoyed the visit.
A visit on 17 April was cancelled, and on this day we took the opportunity to give the machine a good clean-up and oiling. Five friends - the Smith family from St. Mary’s, Winkfield - paid a visit in the afternoon.
There seems to be little change in the condition of the machine.
Douglas Hughes and Walter H. Dobbie (Trustees)
The report was adopted, without comment, on the proposition of Mr. D. Hughes (Honorary), seconded by Mr. W.H. Dobbie (honorary).
The Committee has met twice in London during the past year. Mr R. Cater, representing the Winchester and Portsmouth D.G., attended the October meeting, and with his assistance arrangements were made for this year’s meeting of the Council.
At the same meeting Mr E.G.H. Godfrey, F.C.A. (Surrey Assn.) was elected as Hon. Auditor in succession to Mr H.N. Pitstow, who, as reported at last year’s Council meeting, had resigned. Two sub-committees were also set up to look into questions that had been raised at Penzance.
The first was tasked with making a detailed investigation of the type and level of insurance it considered advisable for ringers, including those engaged in inspections or restoration work. An interim report on what has proved to be a very complex subject was made at the Committee’s March meeting. In general, personal accident insurance is readily available for ringers, but at varying rates and frequently only for those in the 16-60 range. Further investigation into public liability cover however remains to be completed, and the sub-committee would welcome details of any claims that have been made under this heading; these should be sent to the Secretary of the Council. A final report should be available for the 1981 Council meeting.
The second sub-committee was asked to recommend whether there is any case for changing the present title of “Honorary Members” of the Council or for instituting an additional Class of membership. Its report was considered at length at the March meeting, and it was agreed that
no additional class of membership should be created
honorary membership should remain as at present, but that in future election should be by ballot and require the vote of a majority of those present.
The President is consulting the Council’s legal adviser to see whether this would entail a change in the Rules.
At the October meeting the report of a further sub-committee, which had been asked to consider the terms of office of the Council’s President, was discussed. This concluded that there was considerable merit in limiting the term of office of both the President and Vice-President to three years, a conclusion that was endorsed by the full Administrative Committee which agreed that in normal circumstances these posts should be held for only three years each.
The Committee has continued its policy, begun in 1978, of considering in detail the aim’s and plans of the Council’s various committees. This is a continuous process, with two or three Committees being discussed at each meeting.
Cyril A. Wratten (Secretary)
Mr. Wratten proposed the report’s adoption, and was seconded by Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish A), Mr. Wratten commenting that the proposed change in the way Honorary members were elected would indeed require a change in the Rules.
A proposal by Mr. C.J. Groome, seconded by Mr. J.S. Barnes (Cumberland Youths), that the paragraph relating to honorary membership should be referred back to the committee, was defeated on a show of hands, Messrs. G.A. Dawson (Sherwood Youths) and J. Freeman (Life) having spoken against it.
The report was then adopted as presented.
Towers and Belfries
We have to apologise again for not being able to give a statistical analysis of our work in 1979, because not all members of the Committee have been able to send in their reports in time. So we can only report that we have had another busy year as far as bell inspections are concerned. Enquiries about sound control seem to be tailing off a little - perhaps the first rush of urgent cases brought about by the Control of Pollution Act have now been dealt with.
The Committee has held two meetings, and its work as a Committee (as opposed to work done by individual members) has been greater and more varied than for some years.
The 1959 Code of Practice, drawn up between this Committee, the Central Council for the Care of Churches (now the Council for Places of Worship), and the bellfounders, was overdue for revision, and we have devoted a good deal of time and thought to it. The Committee was almost unanimous on most of the important points, and in some cases suggested a stronger conservation policy then that advocated by the C.P.W. A draft of the Code, revised in the light of the Committee’s suggestions, is now being submitted to the bellfounders.
We have taken up the subject of plain bearing lubrication, about which no really informed research has been done, and have had a most enlightening paper on the subject from a specialist in the science of lubrication at Cardiff University, and its recommendations will be published in “The Ringing World” as soon as we have compiled a list of the trade-names of suitable lubricants marketed by the main oil companies.
Our efforts to discover what had happened to the Warner Bequest, which was reported at last year’s Council meeting to have been made to endow research into the art of bellfounding, have so far met with no success. The reference to “The Ringing World”, which was supposed to have given an account of the bequest, proved to contain nothing about it, and search of the paper’s files all round that period has produced no more information. However, we are still exploring the subject and hope to discover something.
We are in the process of compiling a card-index of tower-inspection reports, so that it will be possible, when a member is asked for advice, to find out whether a report has been made out on the tower in question in previous years, who made the report and for what purpose, and where the report can be found. As the Committee has been in existence for nearly 70 years, there must still be a great number of its reports still in existence, and it can often be valuable to know what the situation in a tower was before the existing installation was made.
The Council has negotiated insurance cover for members of the Committee to cover them against personal injury when carrying out inspections. Members of the Committee have agreed that this cost should be borne by the parishes which seek our advice, and we have adjusted our mileage rate for inspections to include this item.
Once again we have discussed the shape of the Committee, without coming to any agreed conclusion as to whether it ought to seek the help of Council members, or even non-members, who are not full members of the Committee. The issue really comes down to one of responsibility to what extent can people whom the Council has not elected to act on its behalf in this work speak with the Council’s authority, and, to what extent can the Council accept responsibility for their opinions and activities?
We have drawn up a brief summary of the Committee’s nature and purpose, its method of working and its limitations, including the formula suggested by the Council’s legal adviser which exempts it from liability in respect of advice given by Committee members. Copies of this summary will be sent with our replies to requests for advice and assistance.
The Committee will this year have to elect a new Chairman, as the present Chairman has been elected Chairman of the Council for Places of Worship’s Bells Sub-committee and feels that he might find himself in a situation which could only be resolved by an attack of schizophrenia.
Two matters are still outstanding in the Committee’s business. One is the investigation into a possible standard contract for bell restoration, with which little progress seems to be possible at present. The other is the final analysis of the material contained in the Strathclyde report on sound control and noise problems in towers. S. Clarke Walters was asked to undertake this work and we hope that he will be able to complete it although he has had to resign from the Committee on accepting a directorship with a firm of bellhangers. The firm’s gain is our loss, and we would like to put on record our appreciation of his expertise and assiduity in the Committee’s work.
|Revd. J.G.M. Scott, MA (Chairman)
Newton St. Cyres Vicarage
J.C. Baldwin, BSc DPhil MBCS
A. Dempster, BSc CEng MICE
A.J. Frost, AADipl RIBA DCHM
|J. Freeman, CEng MIMunE|
B. Harris, BSc
F. Reynolds, AMCT
B. Threlfall, MA CEng MICE FFB
S.C. Walters MA MSc CEng MIMunE
In proposing the report’s adoption, the Revd. J.G.M. Scott said that the committee had the previous evening elected Mr. B.D. Threlfall (Cambridge UG) to succeed him as chairman. Mr. Threlfall seconded, and went on to propose that Mr. D. Potter be added to the committee to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge UG); the latter proposition was seconded by Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA).
After Mr. P.M.J. Gray (Australia & New Zealand A) had commented that he hoped that the recommendations on lubricating plain bearings would be produced in leaflet form for distribution to churches, and the President had thanked the Revd. J.G.M. Scott for his work as chairman of the committee (applause), the report was adopted. Following this, Mr. Potter was elected to the committee.
Bell Restoration Funds
The Committee has met twice during the year, on both occasions in London.
The most significant event of 1979 has been the publication of the revised edition of the booklet “Bell Restoration Funds”. It was reviewed in “The Ringing World” of 1 February 1980 (p.88). Priced at 80p, it is available from the Publications Committee.
Since the booklet went to press one Guild, registering its B.R.F. as a charity and aware of the increasing and desirable provision of sound control, inserted an additional clause in Rule 2 of the Model Rules so as to permit expenditure on that item. The Charity Commission and the Inland Revenue approved the addition and both Guilds and towers should note the amendment. The precise form of words used was “the provision of new or repair of existing sound control installations”.
We are pleased to report that, acting on the advice of the Committee, a London tower has received over £2,000 from grant-making trusts.
At the 1979 Council meeting mention was made of a tower in Northern Ireland at which the ringers’ Tower Fund had been assessed by H.M. Inland Revenue for payment of Corporation Tax on investment income. We have received confirmation from the ringers that the tax bill has been paid. Their fund was not registered as a charity and the ringers were under the impression that as they were members of a church which enjoyed charitable status they had no need to register it. The Inland Revenue however ruled that, as they had their own constitution and officers, they were not a part of the church organisation.
Our advice at the Penzance meeting was that, as the Charity Commission had stated that in all probability such funds should be registered, ringers should effect that registration. Later, in a letter to “The Ringing World”, Mr C.K. Lewis asked whether, under church law, ringers could legally establish their own funds. Enquiries have revealed that a number of factors are involved and that the position is far from simple. A statement will be sent to “The Ringing World” as soon as possible.
The question of payment of V.A.T. on bell augmentations and on restoration work was taken up by the Council’s Hon. Secretary, Mr C.A. Wratten, who wrote to the Churches Main Committee, which in turn approached H.M. Customs and Excise. That body felt that because of possible wider implications they could make no relaxation on taxation on such work. Nevertheless, if a substantial structural alteration was to be made, a church might be able to get that part of the work zero-rated.
Starting on 30 November and continuing throughout December “The Times” carried a number of letters of concern at the church having to pay 15% VAT on repairs which were necessary to protect the nation’s heritage. On 24 December an article warned that, if fiscal harmony took place within the E.E.C. charities would stand to lose one-third of their income to taxation. Then on 26 January 1980 “The Sunday Times” had an article concerning the Church and VAT. Representations have been made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by M.P.s by the Director of the National Council of Social Service, and by other bodies, and we hope that there may be some easing or even removal of the tax as it affects the Church.
At the Penzance meeting a national Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells was established. Under the Rules of the Fund the Chairman of our Committee is a Trustee of that fund.
During the year work has continued on the survey of unringable bells, and on the periodic survey of bell restoration funds. It is hoped to be able to present both reports at the 1980 Council Meeting. Early replies from the latter survey indicate that Guilds are not yet investing their funds so as to obtain the best results, general advice on which may be obtained from this Committee.
We welcome information on fund-raising. One village band has presented the Committee with a detailed account of how it raised over £20,000. It is of interest to note that even in these stringent times both its Parish Council and its Borough Council made substantial grants. Two other instances are known where Parish Councils are doing likewise.
From information received it would appear that in certain circumstances some help for bell restoration work might be forthcoming from the civil engineering department of a local university. Information on this subject would be particularly welcome.
It is encouraging to note that a number of Guilds have formed working parties to assist in bell maintenance work, thus forming a strong link between the Guild, the parish, the ringers and the church. In some cases a Guild Technical Officer or Advisor has been appointed to report on bell installations, to give advice and to co-ordinate work. We unhesitatingly recommend this idea to other Guilds.
|J.S. Barnes (Chairman)
56 Leamington Avenue,
Moving the report’s adoption, Mr. Barnes said that in spite of considerable lobbying the rate of VAT on bell restoration and augmentation remained at 15%. This meant that societies contributing as much as 10% of the cost of such work were in practice simply paying two-thirds of the tax bill.
He also asked for more information on successful fund-raising efforts, and said that the committee would welcome summaries of sources of income in such cases, since these could well be of help to others. In the meantime he thanked all those, society officers and others, who had assisted the committee during the past year, in particular with the surveys of bell restoration funds and of unringable bells.
Mr. M.J. Church (Guildford DG) seconded, and went on to describe the bell restoration funds survey which he had carried out on behalf of the committee. Copies of this had been distributed to Council members and would be sent to all affiliated societies. He reiterated the legal requirement for such funds to be registered with the Charity Commissioners, and he also urged trustees of funds to be prepared to move their investments round if necessary in order to maximise income.
A number of speakers reacted to his observation that the survey showed that these funds were contributing the equivalent of 62p per ringer towards work costing on average £14.30 per ringer. This was equivalent to only 4% of the cost, and he would like to see this proportion increase to at least 10%.
The Ringing World, July 11, 1980, pages 603 to 606
Messrs. E. Nixon (N. Staffordshire A), G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells DA), R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) and D. Potter all emphasised that ringers gave far more towards such work than went through society funds, Mr. Potter commenting that he hoped the survey’s figures would not be interpreted as showing that ringers paid only 4% of the cost of bell restoration work.
Replying, Mr. Church said that the survey was intended to show only the state and contribution of societies’ bell restoration funds, and should be read as such.
Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby DA) then introduced the committee’s survey of unringable bells, for which he had been responsible, explaining that “ringability” of a ring had been defined arbitrarily an meaning that all the bells were ringable for 15 minutes by an average Sunday Service band without anyone becoming exhausted in the process. He hoped that the survey would not be treated as a challenge for someone to prove that any “unringable” bells could be rung, but rather as providing a measure of the amount of work to be done in the way of restoration.
The information had been collected over a year, and could not therefore be completely accurate, since some rings might by now have been restored and others become ringable. But the figure of 528 unringable rings of five or more bells - or some 10% of those in the country - was a very good indication of the scale of the problem. Of these some 30% were unringable because of unsafe towers, and 60% because of the state of the fittings.
Many grants from restoration funds were being given to improve ringable bells, and he suggested that a greater proportion should perhaps be directed to restoring some of these unringable one.
The report was then adopted.
The outstanding event of the Committee’s year has been the Central Council’s decision to set up a Rescue Fund for redundant bells. Since the Fund is of course autonomous, its doings will in future be dealt with in a separate report, but its beginnings were the concern of this Committee. Inevitably most of the meetings and paperwork had taken place before 1 January 1979, but we would like to record our gratitude to the members of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee who shared the task, and to Mr R.J. Cooles and Mr M.H.D. O’Callaghan for their generously given professional advice.
We have this year to report that the Bridges Commission forecast that 790 churches might be declared redundant in twenty years has now been exceeded - in little over half that time. At 31 December 1979 794 churches had been declared redundant: 84 in 1977, 59 in 1978, and 52 in 1979.
This year the Committee has been involved with some 54 cases, including six requests for rings, and 21 for bells for augmentations, replacements, or for use as singles. Some six bells or rings are currently at some stage of transfer.
We have been concerned this year to note an apparent increase in attempts to transfer bells under faculty from churches which appear likely to be affected by redundancy. Moreover, applications for such faculties are not invariably unsuccessful. This is inevitably likely to lead to hurried or ill-considered disposals; and should the church finally not become redundant, or on redundancy be transferred to another denomination, it can result in a church which is only partly furnished. It might indeed be possible to argue that the Pastoral Measure encourages this tendency. The proceeds of sales of contents under the Pastoral Measure do not necessarily return to the parish; and it is furthermore not unknown for parishioners to be offered the choice of selling fittings to pay for repairs, or of facing the likelihood of redundancy.
We therefore welcome the news that the General Synod is setting up a Commission to review the operation of the Faculty Jurisdiction, and hope that its recommendations may help to clarify the situation.
We record our gratitude to the Church Commissioners, the Council for Places of Worship, and the Redundant Churches Fund for their support and interest once again this year. And we express our thanks to Mr Ranald Clouston, whose notes on the bells of potentially redundant churches are such an invaluable source of information to us.
During the year we invited Mr K.S.B. Croft to become a co-opted member of the Committee.
|Mrs Jane Wilkinson (Chairman)
Holly House, West Ashling,
|Canon K.W.H. Felstead|
The Very Revd. A.G.G. Thurlow
Mrs. Wilkinson (Honorary) moved the report’s adoption, and said that her committee and the Towers and Belfries Committee would be submitting their ideas to the Chichester Commission that was reviewing the Faculty Jurisdiction on behalf of the General Synod.
She added that the electronic equipment for measuring bell tones, purchased with money from the Thackray Bequest, would shortly be available for loan to societies.
After Mr. A.J. Front (London US) had seconded, a number of members asked for more information about which bells had been transferred to which churches. Mrs. Wilkinson explained that when the committee first became aware of a potentially redundant ring the information was often provided in confidence. Subsequently the committee always sought to involve the local association, and was consequently not always aware of the outcome of any negotiations that ensued. The committee did not normally seek to negotiate transfers itself.
In reply to a question from Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (College Youths), Mrs. Wilkinson said that it was the committee’s policy, as a conservationist body, to encourage the transfer of bells intact, rather then to see redundant bells as a source of metal for recasting. Individual cases were of course always considered on their merits.
Following the report’s adoption by the Council, Mrs. Wilkinson proposed that Mr. K.S.B. Croft be elected a full member of the committee; he was at present co-opted. This was seconded by Canon K.W.H. Felstead (Honorary) and agreed.
At this stage, it being 12.30, the Council adjourned for lunch. The meeting was resumed at 1.45.
“The Ringing World”
In 1979 the recipe was much as before, with no great national events to swell the peal columns. We published 1,108 pages - slightly less than in 1978 - with sixteen 24-page issues and one of 28. There were three special issues celebrating the centenaries of associations founded during the era of Victorian moral reform. The special articles provided fascinating glimpses of ringing over the last 100 years.
A number of features introduced recently have continued to be popular, “As you were …” and “New Methods” being examples. We now publish compositions most weeks, together with the occasional review article.
As we are all too painfully aware inflation is still with us; somehow the effect on printing always seems to be more than the going rate. As a result our surplus for the year was held to a little over £300. Our reserves now represent about four months of our annual expenditure, whereas some years ago they represented a full year. With the threat of further substantial increases in costs your Committee found it necessary to increase the price to 23p from January 1980.
Donations are again up, to nearly £5,000 as is our income from investments. Together they subsidise each copy of “The Ringing World” by 2.6p.
Circulation remained fairly steady during the year, and we are pleasantly surprised that there has been a drop of well under 200 since the price increase.
As we mentioned last year, we devoted the income from the Burchnall Bequest to an essay competition. Although we had some excellent essays, there were insufficient entries to encourage us to repeat the competition this year. We will be holding a competition for the best newsletter.
Charles Denyer, our Editor, continues to interest and entertain us each week with unfailing regularity. If anyone doubts his achievement let him look at our paper over the last eleven years and see the changes. He is our ambassador and salesman-in-chief. Your Committee’s biggest problem is that he cannot go on for ever. We have had two hopefuls who have fallen by the wayside and we have to continue our search for a new editor. You all know the qualifications, he most be dedicated to ringing, knowledgeable about the printing trade, willing to travel, etc. etc. Helpful suggestions would gladly be received by any member of the Committee.
Many of our office functions are now carried out by Seven Corners’ staff. They are becoming used to our ways and the operation is running more smoothly than last year as can be seen from our improved cash-flow situation. In addition a number of kind friends assist the editor in the office. Naturally we have hiccups and we apologise to those who have been over - (or under!) billed or have received their “Ringing World” late.
The Committee has decided against compulsory charges for the publishing of peals and quarter-peals; the constructive contributions to the debate from our readers were appreciated. The Committee are considering other possibilities for improving our financial position.
In conclusion we must yet again thank all those who by their advice and efforts make the publication of our paper possible. These include the Council officers and Messrs Cartwright, Hughes and Tate who look after our legal affairs, money and accounts respectively. Douglas and Mrs Hughes have yet again made us most welcome at the Bell Foundry for our meetings.
|R.F.B. Speed (Chairman)
88 High Street, Hillmorton,
Mrs J.S. King
Mrs A. Newing
In the course of proposing the report’s adoption, Mr. R.F.B. Speed (Peterborough DG) made three points.
The first was that, following a further 20% increase in printing costs on May 1st, there would almost certainly have to be an increase next year in the cost of The Ringing World. The second was that the committee would welcome the names of any potential successors for Mr. Denyer as the journal’s editor. Mr. Denyer had now held the post for eleven years, and although everyone was more than satisfied with his work he himself now felt the need to consider retirement in the not-too-distant future. His final point was that, while as many quarters as possible were published, it had never been the policy to provide a complete record of all quarter-peals rung.
The lengthy discussion that followed concentrated mainly on the journal’s finances, although several speakers urged that every effort should be made to publish all quarters reported. There was a general feeling that The Ringing World should be priced on a commercial basis and should not rely upon donations.
Mr. Hartless (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) felt strongly that there should be a charge for the publication of peals, while Mr. Massey urged that the paper’s financial reserves should be considerably increased. He said that they had more than halved over the past ten years, while in the same period, ignoring donations, the paper had in fact made a net loss of £1,250.
Mr. Wilby said that increased circulation would solve many of the problems, and pointed out that, of the 25,000 ringers in the country, only 5,000 bought The Ringing World each week. Mr. P.T. Hurcombe (Sussex CA) suggested that there should be a financial levy on all ringing associations, since the paper was for the benefit of all ringers.
Mr. J.R. Mayne (Honorary) suggested that peals should be printed in a supplement, for which there would be an extra charge, but admitted this might have practical difficulties. Mr. R.B. Smith (Honorary) supported him, adding that the paper could perhaps be provided at a lower cost to old age pensioners and those under 16.
Several speakers pointed out that a new editor would probably have to be paid a higher salary than Mr. Denyer, and provision should he made for this. An enquiry from Mr. Church as to whether the committee was seeking an editor a printer who could learn something of ringing, or a ringer who could learn something of printing, was unfortunately left unanswered.
Replying to the debate, Mr. Speed said that the many points made would be carefully considered by the committee at its next meeting. In some cases the administrative cost of implementing the suggestions might well cancel out any increase in income, while increases in cost had always to be balanced against ensuing drops in circulation.
Having been seconded by Mr. H.W. Egglestone (Honorary), the report was them adopted.
Mr. Speed then briefly discussed the Ringing World accounts and answered a number of questions about them before proposing their adoption. Mr. Egglestone seconded, and they were adopted.
Mr. Wratten then proposed, and Mr. Croft seconded, the adoption of the Council’s accounts as a whole, and this was agreed without further discussion.
Mr. H.W. Rogers (London CA) said that, while he was of course appreciative of the work of the Ringing World Committee, particular thanks were due to the man in the “hot seat” who got the paper out every week. He thanked the Editor on behalf of the Council for all he had done in the past year (prolonged applause).
1979 was an outstanding year for Central Council publications. The following comparison with the previous year tells its own story:
|Items sold||5811||8778||+ 51|
Thus the policies followed by the Committee over recent years are now bearing fruit. As a reminder, these are:
planned expansion of the range by publication of new titles
updating of existing titles
robust pricing to generate the income for reprints and new titles
standardised format based on A4 and A5, using new cover design and the Central Council logo
more vigorous advertising
New titles published during the year were “Bell Restoration Funds”, “Maintenance Handbook”, “Treble Dodging Minor Methods”, and “Library Catalogue” (Part 1). Of these the Maintenance handbook has been particularly successful, with half of the initial print order already sold.
The “Beginners’ Handbook” continues to sell well. Present stocks are only sufficient to last to the end of 1980. The Education Committee would like this publication to be rewritten. The decision on whether to replace the existing text or not will turn on a judgment of whether the new version is sufficiently better to justify a higher selling price to pay for the new typesetting.
“On Conducting” is to be reprinted. “Ringing for Service” is also due to go out of print in 1980 and the Committee has agreed to reprint with minimal changes. Again the Education Committee is contemplating a rewrite, but there must be great concern about the cost of setting up a new booklet which is likely to be a slow seller.
New publications at the printers are “Progressive Change Ringing” and “Collection of Major Compositions”. The copy for the Doubles book had still not materialised at the end of 1979. Other possible publications still in preparation include Method Sheets, Triples Collection, Plain Major, Plain Minor, Algebra of Change Ringing, Composition, and Elementary Conducting. A new record to replace “Rhythm of the Bells” is also under consideration by the Education Committee.
A new pattern of advertising has been introduced. Larger adverts in “The Ringing World” before Christmas gave prominence to particular publications and led to a surge in orders. In 1980 the weekly small advertisement is to be replaced by larger fortnightly adverts giving greater prominence to the best sellers and headed by the new Central Council logo.
Because of the buoyancy of sales, prices for 1980 were raised less than in the previous year. However bigger than expected increases in postal charges and printing costs may mean that further price increases are necessary during the year.
The Committee met twice during the year. To improve liaison with the Education Committee it was decided to co-opt Bill Butler. The Committee feels that the success of its strategy depends on good liaison with authors and other committees at all stages, a position which has been endorsed by the Administrative Committee.
|G.R. Drew (Chairman)
Mr. Drew (Honorary) proposed, and Mr. Groome seconded, the report’s adoption, Mr. Drew pointing out that the reference to a Triples Collection should be deleted since he now understood that nothing was in fact in hand. He asked that committee chairmen should let him know, in writing, of anything that they were producing or planning to produce.
Mr. J.M. Tyler (Peterborough DG) enquired who would decide whether a revised Beginners’ Handbook should be published, and Mr. D.E. House (College Youths) pointed out that the Council had decided in 1978 that it should. Mr. Massey said he was unhappy about the references to doubts about the value of publishing revised texts, and asserted that it was always necessary to progress.
Mr. Drew said in reply that he had doubts whether a new Beginners’ Handbook, which would probably have to sell at nearly 50p a copy, would be a viable economic preposition, and Mr. D.A. Frith (Lincoln DG) said that he could not accept that, because something was new, it was necessarily better; the new Doubles Collection could in his opinion not be recommended, since it would not be understood by most Doubles ringers.
After Mr. D.M. Joyce (Kent CA) had complimented the committee on its new advertising policy, and the President had commented that the committee would doubtless consider the points made, the report was adopted.
In our last report we detailed our aims and objectives for the next three years. Work on these has progressed steadily during 1979, two meetings of the Committee being necessary to co-ordinate results. These are as follows:-
The second book in the “Progressive Change Ringing” series has been passed to the Publications Committee. This is an entirely new work, “Conducting for Beginners”, by Mr C.K. Lewis.
The third book in the series is the new “Beginner’s Handbook”, which is at the second draft stage, and should be ready for printing during 1980.
The fourth book, “Triples and Major”, is still in the first draft.
We reported last year that a leaflet entitled “Running a Practice” would be published. We now hope to incorporate this in a new work to replace “Ringing for Service”.
The weekend ringing course approved by the Council last year has been arranged for 29-31 August 1980 at King Alfred College, Winchester. Territorial societies have been invited to sponsor one or two members for any of the five courses offered. If any places remain, they will be advertised in “The Ringing World”.
The symposia on teaching beginners planned for the latter end of the year had to be postponed and will be held in the early part of 1980. We intend to continue these in various parts of the country.
Work on the general interest film strip is proceeding, but very slowly. We hope to report better progress next year.
“Elementary Method Construction”, a new leaflet, is now available from The Publications Committee.
In addition to these special projects, the normal work of the committee has continued. The exhibition cards have been sent out on loan on eleven occasions, and the two 16mm films have also been hired eleven times. Talks were given to theological colleges where requested; regrettably, only three asked.
At the Council meeting last year the comment was made that some attention ought to be paid to the instruction of tower captains and these who teach ringing. The point was well received by the Council; it is perhaps a sad reflection on our reports that so few Council members have appreciated that so much of our efforts are already dedicated to this propose. The following was written after a seminar on teaching held by us at Malvern Link in 1977:-
“Should there be a school for instructors so that there is a recognised standard throughout the country? Ringing is one of the few occupations where the instructor has no particular qualifications for the job. If you played the organ, you would expect to be taught by a competent and suitably certificated musician. When so much expensive equipment is being used, would it not be sensible for each instructor to attain an agreed level of competence?”
Has the time come for the Council to set up tests and standards? It might cause dissension now, but could help solve some of the problems of teaching the future generations of ringers. That, after all, is the primary aim of this Committee.
Affiliated guilds and associations may wish to note that we are offering a course for tower captains at Winchester this year. Although they may be too late for this year’s course, they should bear this in mind for 1981, and encourage some of their members to attend. The Committee has lost two members from its ranks. Mr B. Harris has retired from the Council, and Mr D.M. Joyce finds that his other commitments prevent him from playing an active part in this Committee and he has therefore resigned. We hope to co-opt two replacements before the Council meeting.
|W. Butler (Chairman)
7 The Waverleys,
Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG) proposed the report’s adoption, and was seconded by Mr. J.M. Tyler.
Mr. Butler said that there were still some places available on the committee’s ringing course at Winchester in August, and hoped that more associations would sponsor pupils for future courses of this type - causing Mr. P. Dyson (Chester DG) to comment later that he felt that such education should be at local level, and that moreover his Guild could not afford to sponsor anyone to come to Winchester for a course.
Mr. Butler also asked for comments on the idea of setting standards for instructors. The Secretary suggested this might make a suitable topic for next year’s Open Meeting.
The committee’s idea had a mixed reception. Mr. Tyler suggested that a parallel should be drawn between teaching ringing and teaching music, but this was questioned by Mr. C. Crossthwaite (Lancashire A). Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) saw the teaching of youngsters as a hazardous undertaking requiring some sort of certificate of competency for the instructor. Mr. Mayne saw no danger in teaching people to ring, but did agree the need for good standards of training - although he wondered who would set them.
Mr. Massey thought that some distinction should be made between instructors, tower captains, and steeple-keepers, while Mr. Threlfall foresaw a danger of becoming involved in administration at the expense of practical ringing.
Mr. Butler thanked members for their comments, and stressed that the committee was thinking very much in the long term. The report was then adopted. The co-option of Messrs. R.G. Morris (Worcester & Districts A) and D.E. Parsons (Guildford DG) to the committee was endorsed.
The report from this Committee falls into two distinct parts. One concerns the traditional gathering and recording of coverage given to bell-ringing by radio, television and press. The other is concerned with the work of the Committee in trying to implement the instructions of the last Council meeting.
The Committee has had two lengthy meetings and spent many hours in deliberations. At this point we feel it advisable to state afresh the three aims of this Committee. They are:
The establishment of closer contact with the broadcasting organisations, and promotion of press coverage.
The extension of overseas contacts.
The promotion of church bell-ringing in all its aspects to the general public.
We consider these aims now to be the “terms of reference” for the work of this Committee as they go further than those in the Central Council Handbook. They also incorporate the ideas put forward at the Penzance meeting and are more in line with the objectives of a Public Relations organisation.
We intend to put these aims into operation by the production of a Directory of Public Relations Officers; those officers appointed by their societies before the end of February are listed in the Appendix to this report.
We envisage some of the purposes of the directory to be:
For general publicity, and for use by Central Council representatives.
For use by all regions of the BBC and ITV, and for the Press, local and national.
For information centres, diocesan officers, etc.
To aid the growth of a general communications network for ideas and information to pass both ways.
The Public Relations Officers would be the work-force of the Public Relations Committee, and the Directory would aid the identification of members.
We feel that the production of this annual directory will in future take the place of the Committee’s report. This directory will be the vehicle through which the aims of the Committee can best be put into operation.
The Committee feels that press coverage is the province of the Guild Public Relations Officers and must be handled by them at local level, as newspapers require local names to sell.
To further the aim of closer contact with broadcasting authorities, Public Relations Officers could do much to keep local stations informed of all bell-ringing events. Most stations have a diary or What’s On spot, and will advertise forthcoming events.
The Committee has asked the BBC to explore the idea of a “hobby/documentary” programme for transmission at peak viewing times. Our thanks are expressed to Mr Peter Sotheran, member of the Regional Advisory Council of the BBC, for advice in this direction. (Mr Sotheran is trying to interest Humphrey Burton, Head of Music and Art, in the Twelve-Bell Competition.)
Requests for guidance to bands in maintaining good public relations have been received, and the production of a pamphlet is in the pipeline, together with some useful guidelines to Guild Public Relations Officers.
The Committee feels that the real work in public relations will be done by the Guild Public Relations Officers, the very nature of the job in hand dictating this: close personal contact at local level will produce the best results. The Public Relations Committee will serve as a co-ordinating body and, hopefully, as a source of ideas.
The foregoing thoughts will explain the Committee’s thinking and its hopes for the future.
Mr William Theobald has continued to keep the Overseas Directory updated. He has spent much time in North America and is a mine of information about successful public relations operations there. He has reported on successful campaigns at Washington Cathedral, Boston, and Hendersonville, and sums up these activities by saying that “in America public interest in bell-ringing is always being solicited”.
Radio again gave first class coverage to bell-ringing throughout the year. The “Church Bells on Sunday” programme has a wide following, and it would seem the producer has a good supply of material. The provision of this material lies entirely in the hands of bell-ringers themselves.
The “Christmas Bells” programme attracted the usual mixture of criticism and praise from bell-ringers, but was warmly received by Church people generally. The Committee feels bound to remind the Council that the ringing broadcast in this programme is such as would be heard by inhabitants of any parish when the local band is at the ropes, although not perhaps the perfect ringing produced by imported experts. The programme was again built up for the BBC by Mr Harold Pitstow, who has been doing a very fine job for over 30 years.
In Ireland bells were heard over the air on many occasions; the bells of Christ Church, Dublin, were given much publicity prior to their removal, and the new bells at St John’s, Newcastle, Co. Down, were featured on BBC Radio Ulster’s “Good Morning” programme. This channel also broadcast a 30-minute programme called “The Ring of Centuries”, dealing with ancient bells in Northern Ireland.
In England, on 29th May, the centenary of the Essex Association was featured on the local V.H.F. Current Affairs programme. Many radio plays and serials gave us snatches of ringing, always when the plot demanded a Sunday morning atmosphere; six-bell recordings were most frequently used. Ringers were delighted to hear Mr Charles Denyer on Radio 1, chatting about some stolen bells.
During February and March there was excellent television coverage of the re-hanging of Gloucester Cathedral bells, on “Blue Peter”, “Points West” and HTV West. Dean Thurlow was interviewed, the bells were shown being unloaded and hoisted into the tower, and were heard ringing at the first try-out. Coverage was of a high standard, and generated much interest in the West.
Some fine ringing on 12 bells was heard in HTV’s serial “Caradus” during March, and some good rounds on eight as background to a wedding in the “Flambards” serial. Also during March “Songs of Praise” came from Bangor, Co. Down, when the ringers were shown in action and one, Barbara Humphries, was later interviewed. One incorrect “shot” was shown by BBC at Christmas time, when in the film “The Go-Between” change-ringing on 12 bells was heard but the six ringers appeared to be chiming by their action on the ropes.
The Press seems to be very favourably disposed towards bells and ringers in Ireland, and many articles have been brought to our notice. In particular both The Irish Independent and The Evening Echo reported the ringing at Limerick for the Papal visit, the former under the startling headline “Famed bell ringers practising peals of joy”.
In Wales the South Wales Echo advertised the opening of the tower of St. John’s, Cardiff, to the public, and the South Wales Argus had a full page spread, with photographs, on the ringers at St. Woolos’ Cathedral, Newport. This article appeared on Christmas Eve as a special tie-up with the “Christmas Bells” programme.
In London The Kensington Post had an interesting article about the bells and ringers of St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, with two photographs of the ringers and many historical details. In September the Middlesex Chronicle carried a splendid picture of Harold and Olive Rogers splicing a bell rope; with this picture was a comprehensive article by John Ponder about the Rogers family, Isleworth parish church, and bell-ringing both local and national.
No doubt other newspapers and journals carried equally interesting articles but no one has cared sufficiently to bring them to our notice. Perhaps the Guild Public Relations Officers will remedy this in the future.
The help of Mr F.E. Dukes, Mr N.W.H. Simon, and Mr. H. Rogers has been much appreciated, and we express our thanks to them.
|Mr J.S. King (Chairman)
The Cedar Tiles, High Beech Lane,
H.W. Pitstow, OBE
After Mrs. J.S. King (Llandaff & Monmouth DA) had proposed the adoption of the report and Mr. P.G. Smart (Guildford DG) had seconded, Mr. Massey questioned the report’s third paragraph. Any change in the terms of reference of a committee entailed a change in the Council’s rules, he said. After some discussion, the committee agreed that the paragraph should be amended to start
“We consider these aims should now be the ‘terms of reference’ …”
The President commented that the committee would doubtless formulate any proposal for a change of Rule on the basis of what had been said.
The report was then adopted as amended.
Once again the Library Committee can report a busy and useful year. The Open Meeting at Penzance, where the Council’s Library was one of the topics for discussion, provided a useful opportunity for publicising the work and scope of the Library and the kind of service it is able to perform for the Exercise.
At the Council meeting David Joyce, who was already a co-opted number of the Committee, was elected a full member in place of Dr. J.C. Baldwin, who had unfortunately found it impossible to play an active part in the Committee’s work.
Part 1 of the new Library Catalogue, giving details of the printed books in the collection, was completed during the year and is now on sale. We are very grateful to David House for the work he put in on this, particularly for typing all the entries in the form in which they appear in the Catalogue.
An important result of the Open Meeting was an increase in the number of Friends of the Library, which by the end of the year stood at 39, including eleven Guilds and Associations as corporate members. The amount contributed by the Friends last year to the Library Fund was nearly £100, and this has helped us to pursue our policy of acquisitions to the collection.
The most important acquisition, however, was the gift to the Library of all the ringing books and papers of the late Revd. C.D.P. Davies, which were handed over last April by his son, Cdr. J.D.R. Davies. Besides a number of printed books, there was a large collection of letters and other papers which are of considerable interest.
In addition to these items, and other items that were purchased, we are grateful to a considerable number of people who have presented works to the Library during the year. In all, and excluding Annual Reports, 123 new items were added to the collection in 1979. Full details of these new acquisitions are being circulated to Friends of the Library.
Other activities have followed the usual pattern, with a number of interesting queries for the Librarian to deal with, mainly by letter but with a few personal calls. Borrowings also showed a slight increase, the total for the year being 37. During the year the proposal for lending out books of which the Library has more than two copies to Association libraries on indefinite loan was put into effect; 27 such books - nearly all of those which fell into this category - have been lent in this way.
The collection of Association reports has continued to grew, and we are grateful to all who have presented old or current reports to the Library. There are still large gaps in the collection, and we will continue to welcome any help that can be given in this way. In this connection, it would be most helpful if representatives of societies could bring a copy of their annual report with them to the Council meeting - provided, of course, that their society is willing to present a copy to the Library.
The work of maintenance has gone on during the year, and a number of books have been rebound. We are particularly grateful to Mr E.C. Shepherd, who presented five volumes of “The Ringing World” to replace volumes which were not in a fit state for rebinding, and who helped in the work of rebinding some other books.
|W.T. Cook (Hon. Librarian)
47 Manor Road,
Mr. W.T. Cook, moving the report’s adoption, said that the committee felt that the Library, at present insured for £4,700, should be insured more realistically, for £20,000. For this a premium of £56.60 p.a. had been quoted.
After Mr. D.M. Joyce (Kent CA) had seconded, Mr. P.M.J. Gray said that he would rather see the £56 spent on improving the Library’s security: if books were lost many of them could never be replaced, regardless of insurance cover. Following a suggestion from Dr. J.C. Baldwin, it was agreed to refer the question of the Library’s insurance to the Administrative Committee.
Replying to Mr. R.B. Smith, Mr. Cook said that the committee was collecting published recordings of bells and ringing, as well as books and reports. After he had thanked those associations who had provided copies of their annual reports, the report was adopted.
The undermentioned members and past members of the Council died during 1979:
|J. Phillips||Llandaff & Monmouth D.A. 1930-1933. Died Jan. 3 1979. Attended two meetings.|
|H. Walker||Doncaster & District Soc. 1927-1929. Died Feb. 4 1979. Attended one meeting.|
|J.F. Smallwood||Honorary, 1939-1951; Ancient Soc. of College Youths, 1951-1965; Life, 1965-1979. Died Feb. 5, 1979. Attended 23 meetings|
|G.S.G. Joyce||Guildford D.G. 1957-1960. Died Feb. 25, 1979. Attended two meetings.|
|H. Miles||Oxford University Soc. 1929-1935; Truro D.G. 1948-1963. Died March 1, 1979. Attended 17 meetings.|
|J.E. Burles||Lancashire A. 1963-1966. Died May 10, 1979. Attended three meetings.|
|F.W. Bailey||Midland Counties A. 1927-1930. Died May 28, 1979. Attended one meeting.|
|J.H.J. Bluff||Peterborough D.G. 1966-1972. Died Aug. 2, 1979. Attended five meetings.|
|A.L. Bennett||G. of Devonshire Ringers, 1957-60. Died Sept. 27, 1979. Did not attend a meeting.|
|T.R. Butler||National Police G. 1950-1957. Died Oct. 13, 1979. Attended three meetings.|
|E. Hudson||Yorkshire A. 1966-1969 and 1975-1979. Died Nov. 1, 1979. Attended 8 meetings.|
|B.E. Bartlett||Devon A. 1961-1978. Died Dec. 11, 1979. Attended 12 meetings.|
|J.S. Seager||Sheffield & District Soc. 1967-1973; Yorkshire A. 1973-1974. Died Dec. 28, 1979. Attended 7 meetings.|
John Frank Smallwood was a member of the Warwickshire Guild (now the Coventry Diocesan Guild) from its foundation in 1907. He was Master of the Ancient Society of College Youths in 1950. He held the Queen’s Coronation Medal, awarded for services to ringing at Westminster Abbey for the Coronation. A great contribution to the Exercise was his work for the Central Council. He served on the first committee appointed to examine the Rules and Decisions of the Council and was Chairman of The Ringing World Committee for a period of 14 years from 1951. Using he pen name of “Jafus” he contributed the series “Servants of the Exercise”, the last one of which, No. 53, was a tribute to himself, written by E.C.S.
Harry Miles was Master of the Oxford City Society in 1908 and 1927, and of the Oxford University Society 1921-1923. He did much to advance change ringing in Oxford - with the Diocesan Guild, with the City Society, and with the University Society - and also in Cornwall. His membership of the Oxford Diocesan Guild spanned 82 years. He served on the Central Council Standing Committee and on the Peals Analysis Committee. The Ringers’ Roll of Honour for the Second World War took him five years and enormous labour to complete, and is now housed in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Ringing owes him a great debt for his devotion, his skill, his kindness, his encouragement - and his fund of anecdotes.
The Biographies Committee has been in correspondence with a number of societies in an endeavour to gather missing information on past members, and we hope to continue this work. We are progressing with the preparation of a booklet on the lives and contributions to ringing of past members of the Council, in readiness for the Council’s centenary. This entails searching for material not hitherto in the Committee’s records, and Council members could help us tremendously in this effort by making known the availability of old reports, documents, etc. A series of lives and contributions to ringing by past members is currently appearing in The Ringing World, and we appeal to the whole Exercise to provide us with any authentic additional or missing material, including in some instances a photograph. Consideration is being given to a suggestion that a list be published of those of whom we would like a photograph, and this could happen after our correspondence with societies has been completed.
|T.J. Lock (Chairman)
57 Holloways Lane,
Revd. M.C.C. Melville
Mr. T.J. Lock (Middlesex CA), who proposed the report’s adoption, presented the Library with a copy of Sir Arthur Heywood’s “Minimum Gauge Railways”. He also thanked those who had helped the committee in its researches into the lives and interests of past Council members and added that Mrs. O.D. Barnett, who had been of particular assistance, had been co-opted to the committee.
Mr. G.A. Dawson formally seconded, and the report was adopted.
The Committee has answered a variety of enquiries throughout the year concerning methods old and new. A significant number of these queries relate to method design and method extension.
The Doubles Collection (Part 1) has been completed and is now in the hands of the Publications Committee.
Work is in progress with a view to producing a booklet on Method Extension which, it is hoped, would be both comprehensive and comprehensible.
|M.C.W. Sherwood (Chairman)
131 Shawclough Way,
Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood (Manchester UG) said that the report’s second paragraph was now out-of-date, as the Doubles Collection was now on sale. Replying to Mr. Frith’s earlier criticism of the Collection, he said that the only practicable way of giving some 300 methods was to do so using place notation, a system which was now generally understood.
Seconding, Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middlesex CA) said that the new Collection was part of a planned series, and that it could be considered a report on Doubles methods and variations as much as a Collection, in that it for the first time listed the “standard” calls for Doubles methods.
The report was adopted without discussion.
|First peals on tower bells in 1979|
|Jan.||3||5024||Xenopus S. Major||Worcestershire & Dist. A.|
|15||5120||England S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|17||5024||Zed S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|19||5152||Zirconium S. Major||Gloucester & Bristol D.A.|
|20||5024||Glannaventa S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|20||5184||Tuxford S. Major||Ely D.A.|
|27||5024||Alauna S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|Feb.||3||5184||Monavia Insula S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|10||5152||Knapwell S. Major||Ely D.A.|
|10||5184||Thule S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|13||5120||Towcester S. Major||Midland Counties G.|
|13||5088||Xenon S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|18||5024||Kearsley S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|20||5152||Krypton S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|26||5024||Pisces S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|Mar.||3||5088||Orcades S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|3||5024||Stanmere S. Major||Middlesex C.A. & London D.G.|
|3||5120||Yealmpton S. Major||S. Northants Soc.|
|6||5040||Mickleover S. Royal||Leicester D.G.|
|17||5088||Vanadium S. Major||Gloucester & Bristol D.A.|
|21||5184||Neon S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|24||5184||Kidsgrove S. Major||N. Staffs A.|
|27||5088||Osmium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|31||5040||Daresbury S. Royal||Chester D.G.|
|Apr.||3||5152||Molybdenum S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|3||5040||Yarmouth S. Maximus||Soc. of Royal Cumberland Youths|
|6||5088||Fulton S. Major||Middlesex C.A. & London D.G.|
|7||5120||Longovicium S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|16||5184||Branodunum S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|17||5088||Gobannium S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|20||5022||Quasimodo S. Major||Gloucester & Bristol D.A.|
|21||5024||Wiay S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|25||5088||Titanium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|25||5040||Osterley S. Royal||Middlesex C.A. & London D.G.|
|28||5152||Chesterfield T.B. Major||Dronoldore Soc.|
|30||5024||France S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|May||1||5040||Brackenfield S. Royal||Leicester D.G.|
|1||5086||Shoreditch D. Maximus||Soc. of Royal Cumberland Youths|
|5||5088||Canonium S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|7||5088||Corston S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|8||5024||Helium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|12||5184||Burwood S. Major||Oxford D.G.|
|13||5280||Cuckoo T. Place Major||Archdeaconry of Halifax G.|
|14||5024||Netherlands S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|22||5152||Iridium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|26||5024||Skipton S. Major||Hertford C.A.|
|27||5000||Halstead S. Royal||Truro D.G.|
|June||4||5152||Eire S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|6||5120||Quicksilver S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|16||5088||Clausentum S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|23||5056||Kenya S. Major||Peterborough D.G.|
|23||5088||Nemetostatio S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|30||5088||Radon S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|30||5120||Verterae S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
The Ringing World, July 18, 1980, pages 627 to 630
|July||3||5056||Pinchbeck S. Major||Peterborough D.G.|
|4||5024||Gadolinium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|6||5088||Bulby S. Major||Lincoln D.G.|
|7||5056||Lactodorum S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|21||5184||Blestium S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|21||5152||Camp David S. Major||Leicester D.G.|
|23||5088||Italy S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|25||5152||Uranium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|28||5088||Bovium S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|28||5152||Coney S. Major||Non-Association|
|Aug.||3||5120||Isledon S. Major||Middlesex C.A. & London D.G.|
|18||5184||Scitis Insula S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|23||5040||Nideggen S. Royal||Oxford D.G.|
|25||5056||Sleaford D. Major||Lincoln D.G.|
|25||5056||Gargrave S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|25||5056||Grendon S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|26||5120||Brierfield S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|27||5088||Riley Green S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|27||5040||Johnson’s Hillock S. Royal||Lancashire A.|
|28||5056||Silsden S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|29||5152||Kildwick S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|30||5184||Foulridge S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|31||5056||Firwood S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|31||5088||Salterforth S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|Sept.||4||5088||Yttrium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|4||5088||Cornwall S. Maximus||Soc. of Royal Cumberland Youths|
|7||5120||Tee-Jay S. Major||Lincoln D.G.|
|7||5152||Utah D. Major||Cambridge Youths.|
|11||5080||Inkersall S. Royal||Leicester D.G.|
|21||5088||Wrinkonshire S.M.||Lincoln D.G.|
|22||5088||Maude S. Major||Sussex C.A.|
|25||5152||Dysprosium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|25||5088||Grimsby S. Major||Ely D.A.|
|29||5056||St. Michael’s D. Major||Worcestershire & Dist. A.|
|Oct.||1||5184||Belgium S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|2||5040||Lutterworth S. Maximus||Soc. of Royal Cumberland Youths|
|5||5184||Grestun S. Major||Gloucester & Bristol D.A.|
|6||5024||Verlucio S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|10||5056||Argon S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|11||5024||Deepdale S. Major||Oxford D.G.|
|13||5184||Hookergate S. Major||Lincoln D.G.|
|17||5040||Isleworth D. Royal||London C.A.|
|18||5152||Einsteinium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|18||5056||Old Cambridge S. Major||Oxford D.G.|
|20||5088||Hebden Valley S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|20||5024||Roxeth S. Major||Peterborough D.G.|
|22||5024||Luxembourg S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|24||5120||Beryllium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|27||5120||Gants Hill S. Major||Essex A.|
|27||5184||Privett S. Major||Winchester & Portsmouth D.G.|
|Nov.||3||5120||Corby S. Major||Peterborough D.G.|
|4||5040||Malaya Alliance Major||London C.A.|
|4||5056||Vernemetum S. Major||Lincoln D.G.|
|5||5152||Denmark S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|6||5040||Quernhow S. Royal||Leicester D.G.|
|8||5152||Wolfram S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|10||5184||Overthorpe S. Major||S. Northants Soc.|
|14||5184||Fermium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|15||5040||Avon D. Maximus||St. Martin’s G.|
|16||5024||Jod S. Major||Gloucester & Bristol D. A.|
|24||5088||Belfast D. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|24||5152||Promethium S. Major||Gloucester & Bristol D.A.|
|Dec.||1||5184||Aesica S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|1||5152||Fenhouses S. Major||Lincoln D.G.|
|1||5056||Que Que S. Major||Oxford D.G.|
|3||5056||Zodiac S. Major||Lancashire A.|
|8||5056||Bibra S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|8||5152||Mosborough T.B. Major||Dronoldore Soc.|
|11||5024||Olveston S. Major||Peterborough D.G.|
|12||5152||Caesium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|13||5152||Portsmouth D. Major||Winchester & Portsmouth D.G.|
|14||5088||Annfield Plain S. Major||Lincoln D.G.|
|14||5056||Uranus S. Major||Southwell D.G.|
|15||5280||Chester Alliance Maximus||Chester D.G.|
|18||5152||Scandium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|20||5184||Inkpen S. Major||Winchester & Portsmouth D.G.|
|22||5024||Ictis Insula S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|24||5088||Woodford S. Major||Essex A.|
|26||5056||Isle of Wight S. Major||Winchester & Portsmouth D.G.|
|27||5056||Lithium S. Major||Bath & Wells D.A.|
|29||5088||Combretovium S. Major||Yorkshire A.|
|First Peals on handbells in 1979|
|Jan.||31||5000||Norwich S. Royal||Univ. of London Soc.|
|31||5148||Cantuar Alliance Maximus||Oxford D.G.|
|Feb.||14||5088||Barford S. Maximus||Oxford D.G.|
|Mar.||6||5040||35-Spliced S. Maximus||Oxford D.G.|
|Apr.||27||5040||7-Spliced S. Royal (all the work)||Oxford D.G.|
|Performance on tower bells in 1979|
|Nov.||2||6336||Plain B. Caters||Cambridge Univ. G.|
The method rung on 14 February 1978 and left un-named at last year’s Council meeting has been renamed Old Superlative S. Major by the band.
The method rung as West Germany on 26 November 1979 had already been rung as Radon S. Major; Wigan Pier S. Major, rung on 25 August 1979, had been rung in Spliced as Grendon; and Liffey S. Royal (29 December 1979) had been rung as Uppington.
|D.E. Sibson (Chairman)
24 Poplar Farm Road,
After making some corrections to the report as circulated and reporting that the method rung in 1978 as Veryan Surprise Major had been renamed Vatersay Surprise Major, Mr. D.E Sibson (Cumberland Youths) moved the adoption. Mr. J.R. Mayne seconded and the report was adopted.
We have recorded 4496 peals as being rung in 1979, of which 4022 were on tower bells and 474 on handbells. The overall total was seven less than in 1978, with tower-bell peals up by 49 and handbell peals down by 56.
On tower bells the main increase has been in peals of Doubles and Minor, with decreases on the higher numbers, thus to some extent reversing the trend of recent years. The biggest change in method popularity is the drop of in peals of London S. Major - somewhat surprising in view of the fact that totals for all the “standard eight” Surprise Major methods have remained remarkably consistent in recent years.
We wish to draw the attention of the Council, and the Exercise generally, to Rule C4 of the Decisions relating to peals in more than one method. This reads:
“Peal reports shall state the number and names of all methods and all variations separately. For peals of Spliced, the number of changes of method at lead-head and half-lead shall be stated separately, and for peals of Triples and above the number of changes rung in each method shall be stated. In peals of Doubles and/or Minor the methods rung in each extent and/or round block shall be listed separately.”
A considerable number of such peals in 1979 were not published correctly, although they have been included in the Analysis.
Breakdown of peals by number of bells and comparison with 1978
|Royal & Caters||1||+1|
|Minor & Doubles||2||7||+5|
The leading societies
The following societies rang 150 or more peals:
|Winchester & Portsmouth D.G.||264||65||329|
Compared with a similar list for 1978, the Essex A. and the Lincoln D.G. have come in and the Gloucester & Bristol D.A., the Southwell D.G. and the Worcestershire & Districts A. have dropped out. Both the Essex A. and the Winchester & Portsmouth D.G. were celebrating their centenaries in 1979; the Essex total was a record for that Association and this may well also be the case for the Winchester & Portsmouth - indeed this is only the second time in the last 12 years in which an association has rung over 300 peals in a year.
Three affiliated societies did not ring a peal: the Irish Association, the Ladies Guild and the South Derbyshire & North Leicestershire Association.
Peals were rang in 1733 towers (1696 in 1978), as follows:-
And the following 41 towers had 10 or more peals:
|14||-||Ashton-u-Lyne (St Peter), Bristol (Cathedral), Brockenhurt, Cambridge (St Andrew), Daventry, *Edenham|
|13||-||Maidstone (All Saints), Trumpington|
|12||-||Bowden, *Hanbury, Windsor (St John)|
|11||-||*Bishopstoke, Bristol (Christ Church), Grundisburgh, *Heywood, Nottingham (St Peter), *Oaks-in-Charnwood, *Whitchurch (Glamorgan)|
|10||-||Ault Hucknall, Bushey, *Eastwood (Notts), Ipswich (St Mary-le-Tower), Leicester (All Saints), Warsop.|
|* Towers which had fewer than 10 peals in 1978|
First pealers and firsts as conductor
There were 580 first pealers in 1979, and 106 ringers conducted a peal for the first time. The comparable figures for 1978 were 596 and 76 respectively. The Essex Association, with 46, had most first pealers, followed by the Winchester & Portsmouth D.G. with 33 and the Oxford D.G. with 30.
Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1978 appear in brackets where known.
Single S = peals of Surprise in single methods other than those listed.
Peals of note
We consider the following peals to be worthy of special mention and we congratulate those who took part:
A.S. College Youths - 11,111 Stedman Caters on handbells. Bedford, 5019 Stedman Cinques (silent and non-conducted, band drew for places). Loughborough and Leicester, silent and non-conducted Stedman Caters and Cinques by the same band on the same day.
Cambridge U.G. - Harston, 5040 Spliced S. Minor in 102 methods (first blows in all the methods by all the band)
Essex A. - Great Parndon, 5040 Minimus in 11 methods (first peal by all the band).
Gloucester & Bristol D.A. - Hinton Waldrist, 5040 Plain Bob Minor (youngest ever peal band - average age 12 years 94 days).
Llandaff & Monmouth D.A. - Caerphilly, 5040 Plain Bob Doubles (5 first pealers).
North American G. - Houston, 5040 Minor in 3 methods (5 first pealers).
Oxford DG. - 5040 Spliced S. Maximus in 35 methods on handbells (at the time the most Maximus methods rung on handbells).
Peterborough D.G. - Wansford, 7920 S. Minor in the 41 standard Surprise Minor methods.
Salisbury D.G. - 20,048 Plain Bob Minor on handbells (longest peal for the Guild)
S.R. Cumberland Youths - Bristol, St. Stephen, 5040 London S. Royal (all ladies band),
Southwell D.G. - 5152 Kent T.B. 14-in (first on 14 by all the band)
Suffolk G. - Blythburgh, 5040 Doubles in 2 methods (first peal by all the band).
Surrey A. - Kingston-upon-Thames, 5103 Grandsire Cinques (first on 12 by the local band).
Winchester & Portsmouth D.G. - Abbots Ann, 5040 Erin Doubles (42 separate extents).
Worcestershire &. Districts A. - Northfield, 5056 Plain Bob Major (5 first pealers and first as conductor).
Non-association - Willesden and Harlington, two different peals of Spliced S. Major rung silent and non-conducted by the same band on the same day, bands drew for places.
The following were published as peals in “The Ringing World”, but have not been included in the Analysis for the reasons given:
Bristol, St. John, 19 Nov. - “Treble Jump” Minor - “jump” changes contravene Rule A1 of the Definitions and requirements for methods and calls.
Nottingham, St. Peter, 13 Aug. - “On 12 Bells” - not in accordance with the Rules, being neither Maximus, Triples nor Doubles. Both these types of performances have been rejected by the Council in the post.
Arising from a proposition made by Mr D.E. Potter and passed at the 1979 Council meeting, we report that the following peals of Doubles have been removed from the 1978 Analysis.
Peterchurch, 21 Jan. 1978 - included methods with 8 consecutive blows in one place.
Kentchurch, 18 Feb. 1978 - included methods with two leads only.
To help us in our work, particularly with peals of Doubles, we have co-opted Mr Dennis A. Frith.
|F.B. Lufkin (Chairman)
108 Salisbury Road,
|Canon K.W.H. Felstead|
Moving the report’s adoption, Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex A) said in reference to paragraph 3 that the Council should seriously consider either enforcing or amending the rule. He also said that late reports made an accurate report extremely difficult: the committee needed the information by the end of February in order to complete its report in time for the Council meeting. Mr. C.H. Rogers (Middlesex CA) seconded.
Mrs. A. Newing (Bristol UA) asked on behalf of the University of Bristol Society that the peal of Treble Jump Minor be recognised, on the grounds that the treble ringer required special skill, ringing had to be by rhythm and not by ropesight, and composing and conducting Treble Jump methods required a high degree of expertise. The proposal failed to obtain a seconder.
Mr. D. Hird (Derby DA) then proposed that the “peal on 12 bells” at Nottingham be recognised, and this was seconded by Mr. R.B. Smith. On being put to the vote, the amendment was heavily defeated. Mr. A.W.R. Wilby commented that bands wishing to ring a peal of something completely new should first seek to have the appropriate rule amended, rather than seek retrospective recognition.
Mr. G.A. Halls said that although the statistics contained in the report were very interesting, some allowance for membership should be made when listing the leading peal-ringing societies in future.
After the report had been adopted, Mr. F.M. Mitchell (Shropshire A) asked that a peal of Cambridge Surprise Minor rung at Strensham, Worcs., in 1977 and rejected by the Council in 1979 on the recommendation of the committee, should be referred back with an instruction for the committee either to accept it or to propose a change of rule. Mr. B.L. Burrows (Leicester DG) seconded.
After Mr. H. Chant had spoken strongly against the recognition of single-method Minor compositions containing five or more consecutive plain leads, Mr. Blagrove said that the point had been covered by the Council in 1973. The proposition was heavily defeated on a show of hands.
1979 Peals Analysis
|AS College Youths||23||12||8||7||15||7||2||1||5||3||1||1||1||75||11||86|
|Australia & N.Z.A.||1||5||4||2||1||13||-||13|
|Bath & Wells D.A.||2||7||2||67||16||22||13||2||1||1||1||129||5||134|
|Beverley & D.S.||2||3||9||1||7||2||22||2||24|
|G. Devonshire R.||1||25||5||5||6||1||42||1||43|
|Durham & N.D.A.||1||1||3||16||1||8||8||30||8||38|
|E.Derbys & W.N.A.||1||1||-||1|
|E. Grinstead & D.G.||1||1||2||-||2|
|Gloucester & B.D.A.||4||8||17||3||53||12||31||4||10||132||10||142|
|Llandaff & M.D.A.||2||1||9||4||22||4||10||5||1||1||2||57||4||61|
|N. American G.||1||2||7||1||2||2||1||1||13||4||17|
|N. Staffs A.||7||1||19||6||33||-||33|
|N. Wales A.||1||7||2||10||-||10|
|St. David’s D.G.||3||1||1||5||-||5|
|St Martin’s D.G.||34||8||4||1||18||11||1||76||1||77|
|S.R. Cumberland Y.||16||2||6||12||1||37||-||37|
|S. Sherwood Y.||3||3||-||3|
|Stafford Arch. S.||2||1||3||1||34||3||18||1||1||4||62||6||68|
|Swansea & B.D.G.||7||1||1||8||1||9|
|U. Bristol S.||3||2||1||12||1||5||1||24||1||25|
|U. London S.||1||9||1||8||4||8||6||19||18||37|
|Winchester & P.D.G.||9||7||9||6||89||16||89||1||37||1||1||1||7||9||32||3||12||264||65||329|
|Worcs & Dist A.||2||4||10||8||62||8||23||2||6||1||1||125||2||127|
The Committee met in Cheltenham on 9 September 1979. This meeting was followed by a joint meeting with the Peal Compositions Committee. Both meetings were later reported in “The Ringing World”.
During the year 78 peal compositions were computer-checked by the Committee’s helpers as a service to the Peal Compositions Committee. Of these, nine were false or short. A further 16 compositions were received and are at the time of writing being checked. Our thanks are offered to A.D. Leach, T.G. Pett, P.J. Bird, J.C. Manley, and P.G. England for their help with computer checking.
The Committee has taken part in an exchange of views with the Peal Compositions Committee on the notation of compositions, and has also worked up sets of guidelines for the choice of computer checking systems and for the checker who uses such a system. These guidelines are now under consideration by the Peal Compositions Committee.
Other work by the Committee has been the continued effort on development and maintenance of Central Council collections of methods, and the transmission of material to new users of existing computer programs for ringing applications.
|J.R. Taylor (Chairman)
7 Farleigh Road,
The report, proposed by Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol DA) and seconded by Dr. J.C. Baldwin, was accepted without discussion.
This has been a very busy year for the Committee. Three meetings have been held (one jointly with the Computer Co-ordination Committee); a flood of compositions has been prepared for publication in “The Ringing World”, and the backlog largely cleared; two Collections have been progressed; and various articles have been written for “The Ringing World”. On top of this, we lost the services of our experienced chairman, Mr W.E. Critchley, when he did not stand for re-election as an Honorary Member of the Council. The Committee wishes to record its appreciation of all the work that Eric has done on its behalf.
Publications in “The Ringing World”
More compositions were published in 1979 (109) than in any previous year, and we thank the Editor for his co-operation in reducing the congestion. Thanks are also due to Mr J.R. Taylor for the speedy and effective service he has provided for checking compositions. We are now aiming for the normal time between initial submission and publication to be about three months.
In addition several review articles were published, and although this has received a mixed reception we shall persevere with it in the belief that informed comment is helpful to the overage conductor as well as stimulating interest in the art of composition.
This does not mean we are satisfied with all aspects of publication in “The Ringing World”: accuracy remains a problem, despite the fact that we now type out every composition; compositions from other sources are a worry if it is not clear that they are unofficial; the layout in general lacks a thread of continuity. We shall continue to seek to resolve these issues with the Ringing World Committee.
Following our original recommendations on notation for compositions, a follow-up article was published (R.E. Hardy; RW 1979, p.858) to explain earlier nomenclature. This was in response to a request made at the last Council meeting. Bob Hardy also wrote an article (“The Stedman Triples Calculator”; R.W. 1979, pp. 911, 965) explaining the theory behind twin-bob peals and showing how they can be produced in a systematic way.
We have become aware that many computer programs now exist for checking compositions, yet are unable to accept the authority of these sources because we do not know how reliable they are. As a result, the checking effort is duplicated, and time is lost before a composition can be submitted to “The Ringing World”. We have discussed this with the Computer Co-ordination Committee and they have now produced some guidelines to which checking programs should conform. We propose to adopt these, in conjunction with a set of test compositions for vetting the output from a program. It still remains to establish a procedure with proper safeguards, but we hope to publish the details shortly.
Progress on the Major Methods collection has been slow. One set of proofs has been received and checked, but a further set is required before publication can proceed. Meanwhile, thanks largely to the assistance of Mr R. Dennis, the content of the Stedman Caters and Cinques collection has now been prepared and submitted to the Publications Committee.
We also have the basic material for a booklet on the extraction of falseness, proof, and composition of Surprise, for beginners in this field. We would welcome the views of the Publications Committee and the Council on the likely demand for this.
|R.W. Pipe (Chairman)
84 Presthorpe Road,
Birmingham B29 4NL
In proposing the adoption of the report, Mr. R.W. Pipe (St. Martin’s G) thanked the editor of The Ringing World for his help in clearing much of the backlog of compositions awaiting publication, and also the Computer Co-ordination Committee for its assistance in proving them. He added that it was hoped to establish a network of people with approved proving programs. Mr. R.E. Hardy (Hertford CA) seconded.
Mr. Blagrove said that priority of publication should be given to compositions that had been rung, but Mr. Pipe said his committee did not always know which had been rung and which not.
The report was then adopted.
Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
The Fund, which was set up by the Central Council on May 29th, 1979, has now been registered with the Charity Commissioners - registered charity number 278816. We would ask ringers in general for support for the Fund, in the hope that its existence will be of advantage to these - and indeed to the Church at large.
So far no rescue of bells has been undertaken by the Fund, though one case did come forward during the autumn. Though preparations were far advanced, help from the Fund was finally not needed; the trial run of procedure was, however, helpful.
We are grateful to Mr R.J. Cooles and Mr M.H.D. O’Callaghan, who have kindly accepted our invitation to act as honorary advisers to the Fund.
|Gilbert Thurlow, Chairman
A.J. Frost, Honorary Treasurer
Jane Wilkinson, Honorary Secretary
Dean Thurlow (Life) moved the report’s adoption. He said it was one that called for action, not discussion. He stressed the third line: cash was not being sought, but individual undertakings to provide interest-free loans, perhaps at short notice, when required.
Mr. G.W. Massey seconded, and the report was adopted.
Thanking committees for their work, the President said that the reports that had been discussed indicated an unequalled degree of activity, and that the trustees and committee members deserved the Council’s congratulations (applause).
Mr. J.H. Edwards (Bedfordshire A) extended a hearty invitation from the Bedfordshire Association for the Council to hold its 1982 meeting in Bedfordshire; the Council had, he said, not yet visited Bedford. The invitation was accepted with applause, and the President said that the meeting would be on Tuesday, June 1st.
Any other business
An invitation from the Beverley & District Society for the Council to hold its 1984 meeting in the Beverley area was accepted; as were earlier invitations from the Society for the Archdeaconry of Stafford (for 1983) and the Sussex County Association (for 1985).
Mrs. J. Staniforth (Ladies G) sought to propose a motion that “the auditors of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers be asked to look into the possibility of forming a finance company, open to Associations and Guilds and to individuals to take up shares in order that ‘The Ringing World’ may be put on a permanent business footing”. She was seconded by Mr. R.B. Smith, and by 44 votes to 39 the Council agreed to debate the proposition.
Mr. G.W. Massey thought that the remit should be a more general one, a point endorsed by the auditors - Messrs. M.J. Church (Guildford DG) and E.G. Godfrey (Surrey A). After a move to defer a decision until next year’s meeting had been rejected, the auditors agreed that, subject to certain professional requirements, they would be prepared to look into the general financial structure of “The Ringing World” and to make a report, with any recommendations, through the Ringing World and Administrative committees. In this form the proposition was carried.
Mr. B.D. Threlfall pointed out that his election as chairman of the Towers & Belfries Committee left a vacancy on the Administrative Committee, and proposed Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge UG) to fill it. This was seconded by Mr. W.T. Cook, and carried.
Mr. H.W. Rogers asked that, if the subject of standards for instructors was to be considered at the 1981 Open Meeting, it should be combined with a discussion of the recruiting of ringers in the 1980s.
Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary) said that Mr. Brian Harris, who had this year resigned from the Council, was to be ordained in Lichfield Cathedral on June 29th and licensed to St. Chad’s, Lichfield; he suggested sending a message of best wishes from the Council. Dr. Baldwin added that Mr. Gordon Benfield, another former member of the Council, was also to be ordained on that day.
The Hon. Secretary reported that 7 Life, 16 Honorary, and 154 representative members had attended the meeting, with 60 of the 65 affiliated associations being represented.
Votes of thanks
Closing the meeting, the President proposed a comprehensive vote of thanks - to those in the Winchester & Portsmouth DG, in particular the Master, Mr. K.S.B. Croft, Mr. R. Cater, and Mr. B. Fry, the Secretary, for their welcome and work at the meeting and reception, at lunch, and outside; to the Mayor of Guildford and the Bishop of Southampton for their attendance at the previous evening’s reception; to the authorities at Portsmouth and Winchester Cathedrals for welcoming Council members at their services; to incumbents and ringers at the churches visited; and to the Headmaster and Bursar of King Edward VI School for the use of the hall.
He also thanked Mr. Denyer (Life) and Miss G.E. Colgate (Ladies G) for their help in reporting the meeting, and the Secretary and Mrs. M.A. Wratten (Honorary) for their work throughout the year. Finally, at the end of his last full meeting as President of the Council, he thanked all Council members for their forebearance. (Applause)
Mr. P.A. Corby thanked the President, on behalf of the Council, for his conduct of the meeting.
The Ringing World, July 25, 1980, pages 651 to 654