29 May 1984

Official Report

The first meeting of the 32nd Council was held in the Middleton Hall of Hull University on Tuesday, May 29th. After the President, Prebendary J.G.M. Scott (Devonshire Guild), had opened it with prayer, the Hon. Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Gloucester & Bristol DA), reported that 66 societies were affiliated. Two - the St. David’s Guild and the S. Derbyshire & N. Leicestershire Association - had insufficient resident members to entitle them to a representative, but the remainder were represented by 174 members. There were 21 Honorary members and 8 Life members, giving the Council a total strength of 203. All subscriptions had been paid.

He then reported apologies for absence from Messrs F. Perrens and E.C. Shepherd (Life members), D. Hughes, J.R. Mayne, and P. Sotheran (Honorary), Miss Freda Cannon and Messrs B.C. Bass, J.T. Dunwoody, R.E. Hardy, S.F. High, D.C. Jackson, W.H. Jackson, and J.R. Pratt (representative members), and from Messrs. M.C.W. Sherwood and B.D. Threlfall who, while no longer members of the Council, had hoped to be present to give their committee reports for 1983.

The next item on the agenda was an application from the Cumbrian Association to affiliate to the Council, but the President announced that he had been notified that this application was not being pursued. He consequently went on to welcome the new members of the Council:

New Members

Messrs. M.J. Freeman (Bath & Wells), C.J. Pickford (Bedfords.), P.L.H. Brooke (Cambridge Univ.), D.T. Sim (Carlisle), Mrs B. Winter (Coventry), Mr. M.E.C. Mears and the Revd. L.J. Yeo (Devonshire Guild), Mr. N.A. Johnson (Durham & Newcastle), Revd. P. Newing (Durham Univ.), Miss L.H.M. Boyle (Ely), Messrs. P.H. Allen (Gloucester & Bristol), W.J. Couperthwaite (Guildford), M.J. Lodwick and D.C. Manger (Kent), Mrs P. Watson (Ladies), Messrs. A. Cattell (Leicester), L. Townsend (Lincoln), D.C. Brookes (Llandaff & Monmouth), M.J. Uphill (London CA), D.R. Pettifor (Manchester Univ.), N. Brock (Middx CA & London DG), Dr N.G. Sharp (N. Staffs), and Messrs. J.K.R. Ellis and P.F.T. Smith (N. Wales), B.J. Stone (Oxford Society), P.D. Niblett (Oxford Univ.), D.J. Jones (Peterboro’), B.A. Richards (Southwell.), S.D. Pettman and A.R. Smith (Suffolk), D.D. Smith (Sussex), R.J. Perry (Truro), P.J. Sanderson (London U.), R.K. Williams (Worcs. & Districts), and R.J. Johnston (Yorkshire). Four other new members were not present - R.O. Wright (Devon A.), J.R. Pratt (Guildford), Miss F. Cannon (Ladies’), and R.G. Fanthorpe (Southwell).

Losses through death

Members stood in silence as the President read the list of those who had died since the Council last met.

They were Messrs W.J. Davidson (Durham & Newcastle, 1933-48), B.F. Sims (Bedfordshire, 1955-60), B.G. Key (Midland Counties G, 1948-54, and Archd. of Stafford, 1954-69), H.S. Peacock (Ely, 1954-72), A.E. Rowley (Leicester, 1946-1960), W.G. Wilson (Middx. 1936-49, London CA 1952-73, Life since 1973), F.A.H. Wilkins (Oxford Society, 1954-84), A.L. Barry (Gloucester & Bristol, 1954-72), N.S. Bagworth (Surrey 1963-66, Police 1966-77), K.S.B. Croft (Winchester & Portsmouth 1975-81, Honorary since 1982), C.W. Denyer (Guildford 1960-63, Honorary 1971-78, Life since 1978), and Sir John Betjeman (Honorary, 1965-77).

Dean Thurlow said a prayer.

Election of officers

Before inviting his successor to take the Presidential chair, Preb. Scott commented on the work achieved during the past three years, which he felt might prove to be one of the most important periods in the Council’s history. He drew attention to the new lease of life acquired by the re-formed Public Relations Committee; the progress in the field of bell restoration funds; the way in which the Rescue Fund had settled down to hard and profitable work; and perhaps most important of all, the foundation of The Ringing World Ltd, which had meant among other things that the Council now had access to some £50,000 of capital and an annual income of perhaps £4,000 a year to be used for the benefit of the Exercise. He paid tribute to those who had made this possible, naming particularly Bill Cartwright, Michael Church, Bob Cooles, and Cyril Wratten.

He said that he had enjoyed his time as President, but regretted that two moves of house and one of parish had prevented him from visiting as much of the Exercise as he would have wished.

He then welcomed the new President, Mr. P.A. Corby (Life member), who thanked him on behalf of the Council for his contribution to the Council’s work, not just as President but over many years. (Applause)

Mr. Corby then announced the election of the remaining officers for the next three years, there being only one nomination for each post: the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth) as Vice-President, Mr. C.A. Wratten as Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, and Mr. W.T. Cook (College Youths) as Hon. Librarian. Each in turn thanked the Council, Dr. Baldwin commenting that he hoped to serve as well as his predecessor, and Mr. Wratten remarking that his post evidently did not merit remission for good conduct (laughter).

Election of Life Member

In proposing Mr. W.B. Cartwright (Worcs. & Districts), Mr. Wratten said that he had served as the Council’s legal advisor - an entirely honorary and unofficial post - for the past 30 years, and that the Officers, committees, and the Council were deeply indebted to him for his advice and assistance in many areas.

Seconding, Mr. H.W. Egglestone (Oxford DG) spoke of Mr. Cartwright’s work for the Ringing World Committee and more recently for The Ringing World Ltd. and noted with regret that, at the age of 84, he had felt it necessary to take a perhaps less active role.

The proposal was passed unanimously, Mr. Cartwright was then welcomed and congratulated by the President, who said that it had given him great personal pleasure to have presided over this particular item of business.

Mr. Cartwright thanked him sponsors and members for voting for him, adding how greatly he appreciated the honour that had been done to him. (Applause)

Election of Honorary Members

Of the ten Honorary members whose term expired at this meeting, Mr. K.S.B. Croft had recently died, Canon K.W.H. Felstead did not seek re-election, and Mr. Egglestone was now a representative member of the Council.

The remaining seven were individually proposed and seconded for re-election - A.J. Frost, an architect whose professional advice was sought by the Towers & Belfries and Redundant Bells committees; D. Hughes, for his work as Treasurer of the Ringing World; Miss Jean Sanderson, who had been an immense help (laughter) on the Publications and Library committees; R.B. Smith and R.F.B. Speed, for their work for the Council; W.H. Viggers, the Biographies Committee’s link with the Ringing World; and Mrs M.A. Wratten, the Council’s “unofficial assistant Secretary”.

There were four other nominations: Mr. B.D. Threlfall, as a highly qualified and very active member of the Towers & Belfries Committee; Mr. M.J. Church, one of the Council’s Hon. Auditors and a member of the Board of The Ringing World Ltd and of a number of Council committees; Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood, a member and most recently Chairman of the Methods Committee, who, like Michael Church, had ceased to be a representative member following a move of house; and Mr. J.M. Tyler, a member of the Education Committee and author of the Beginners’ Handbook.

All eleven were elected by ballot.

Election of Honorary Auditors

Messrs. M.J. Church (Honorary) and E.G.H. Godfrey (Surrey) were re-elected for a further term as the Council’s auditors, the former being proposed and seconded by W.B. Cartwright (Life) and F. Reynolds (Lancashire), and the latter by R.J. Cooles and A.E. Bagworth (both Honorary).

Minutes of the 1983 meeting

After making three corrections to the published Minutes - the addition of Mr. H. Chant to the list of Honorary members present, the substitution of the name of T.F. Collins for B. Castle in the list of Salisbury DG representatives present, and the addition of H.T. Rooke (Southwell DG 1951-3, 1966-9) to the list of members who had died - Mr. Wratten proposed their adoption. He was seconded by Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough). They were approved without comment.

Report of the Honorary Secretary

Mr. Wratten moved the adoption of the following report:

“The Councils 32nd triennium opens with 40 new representative members, compared with 34 three years ago. With the death in March of Wilfrid G. Wilson, a former Chairman of the Ringing World Committee and well-known as a writer on ringing, the number of Life Members of the Council has decreased to nine; and two of the retiring Honorary Members, Canon K.W.H. Felstead and Mr. K.S.B. Croft, do not seek re-election this year. I thank them, and all those others who served on the last Council and are no longer members, for their various contributions to the life and work of the Council.

The certified membership of the 48 territorial societies affiliated to the Council who have made their returns to me is 27,337, The corresponding total in 1981 was 25,233. I do not have figures for the Devon Association or the South Derbyshire & North Leicestershire Association; the latter, like the St. David’s Guild, however still has too few resident members to entitle it to a representative on the Council.

At the other end of the scale the largest Association continues to be the Oxford Diocesan Guild, with 2,073 members, while six other societies - the Bath & Wells, Salisbury, Kent, Essex, Yorkshire, and Lancashire - each have over a thousand members. Increased membership has entitled the Durham & Newcastle, North Staffordshire, and Southwell Guilds to increase their representation on the Council.

On the financial front, 1963 was another satisfactory year, with existing funds increasing their worth by some £1,980. A further £475 was received before the end of the year from various charitable trusts for bell restoration, this as a result of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee’s reception at Bow in the autumn.

However the major financial development arose from the formation of The Ringing World Ltd, which began trading on 1st July. As had been previously agreed, the assets of the former Ringing World Fund became at that time part of the Council’s general funds (they are shown in the accounts for 1983 as constituting a Reserve Fund), The Ringing World Ltd being a legally separate and distinct body with its own finances. The implications of this change have been considered by the Administrative Committee, and are referred to in that committee’s report.

Overall the Council’s assets grew during 1983 from £56,400 to £67,900.”

After he had added, in reference to the reports third paragraph, that it had been pointed out that the Southwell Guild had in fact for some time had sufficient members to warrant an extra representative but had not hitherto elected a fourth one, the report was seconded by Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish). The latter said that he hoped the Minutes would record their deepest thanks to the Secretary and his assistant for all they do for the Council.

The report was then adopted.

1983 Accounts

Mr. Wratten introduced the accounts, drawing members’ attention to the Reserve Fund that had been established as a temporary measure, and to the fact that the Ringing World accounts covered only the first six months of the year, the remaining six months appearing as part of the report of the Directors of The Ringing World Ltd. He said that he would not propose their adoption until there had been an opportunity to consider the Ringing World, Publications and Library accounts with their respective committee reports.

General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1983
865Affiliation fees865.00
19Hire of exhibition cards5.00
39Sale of ties (net)28.76
-Sale of exhibition cards15.00

586Council Meeting418.29
146Committee expenses173.23
30Depreciation - exhibition cards18.75
15Secretary’s expenses15.00
15Postage and telephone34.56

59Excess of income over expenditure179.91

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
19Exhibition cards - cost less depreciation to date- . -
189Stock of ties85.49
137National Savings Bank1054.68
25Cash and bank balances149.36
20Sundry debtors54.07

35Affiliation fees in advance150.00
-Thackray Bequest62.90
1Publications Fund52.58
108Sundry creditors173.83


246Net Assets£904.29
187Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1983246.17
59Excess of income over expenditure179.91

-Add: Donations for bell restoration and interest thereon478.21

Clement Glenn Bequest
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1983
46Film hire (net)17.56

19Exhibition Committee138.44
107Printing- . -

161Excess of income over expenditure107.46

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
2002National Savings Bank2292.55
170Sundry debtors- . -

-Sundry creditors13.09

2172Net Assets£2279.46
2011Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19832172.00
161Excess of income over expenditure107.46

Thackray Bequest
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1983
32Public Relations Committee283.40
-Bell Restoration Funds Committee143.92
-Ringing World Ltd registration52.00
100Sundries- . -

511Excess of income over expenditure166.00

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
6132National Savings Bank6522.38
-General Fund62.90
2000Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells2000.00

-Sundry creditors287.66

8132Net Assets£8297.62
7621Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19838131.62
511Excess of income over expenditure166.00

Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1983
22Sales- . -
50Transfer from General Fund50.00

17Librarian’s expenses20.00
10Depreciation - Library fixtures10.00
-Bank charges.53

155(Cr)Excess of expenditure over income320.00

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
30Library fixtures - cost less depreciation to date20.00
607Cash and bank balances297.42

--- . -

647Net Assets£327.42
492Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1983647.42
155Less: excess of expenditure over income320.00

Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1983
Period 1st June to 31 December

9205Stock, 1 June (estimated)8190.15

8442Less: Stock, 31 December8811.78

993Postage and telephone303.27
269Publications Committee expenses226.65
-Agency fees150.00
3Sundries- . -


Excess of income over expenditure for period1250.61
Add: Net Income, 1 January to 31 May596.00

2000Total Net Income for 1983 carried to Accumulated Fund1846.61
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
8442Stock at cost8811.78
1General Fund52.58
-Deposit Account3049.15
2751Cash and bank balances1333.02
55Sundry debtor5.04

253The Ringing World- . -
20Payments in advance20.00
235Sundry creditor644.10


10741Net Assets£12587.47
8741Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198310740.86
2000Total net income for 19831846.61


Note:No accounting records are available for the first five months’ trading and the above account has been prepared from cash balances transferred as at 1 June 1983 and estimated stock valuation at that date.

“The Ringing World”
Income and Expenditure Account
for the half-year ended 30th June 1983
41079Postal Subscribers25,654.59
147Profit on sale of calendars- . -
818Sundry receipts335.08
2554Bank interest received1,373.34

60465Printing and blocks30,794.00
13318Wrappers and postages11,185.16
2062Carriage and Porterage546.00
9980Editor’s fees, expenses, etc.5,238.82
825Editorial and Accounts assistance440.00
3569Rent, telephone and services1,859.53
810Postages, stationery and sundries117.00
257Miscellaneous expenses65.73
750Accountancy charges500.00
750Computerisation fee- . -


6445Net Income£6,118.53
Balance Sheet as at 30th June 1983
200Goodwill, blocks, etc.200.00
200Less: amount written off200.00

-- . -
24778Investments at cost24,778.35
14250Debtors and prepayments13,817.13
38886Cash and bank balances48,844.61

29906Subscriptions etc. in advance29440.99


34504Net Assets£41,718.87
25326Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198334504.62
6445Net income6118.53
2733Investment income1095.72


Auditors’ Report to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers on the Accounts of their official Journal

We have audited the annexed Balance Sheet dated 30th June 1983 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.

Chartered Accountants

Parkville House,
Bridge Street,
Pinner, Middx.

March, 1984

Reserve Fund
Income and Expenditure Account
for the Period ended 31st December 1983
-Investment income received (gross)1387.86
-Stamp Duty5.50

-Excess of income over expenditure1382.36
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
-Investments at cost (market value £31,019)19624.46
-National Savings Bank20969.77
-Deposit Account929.08
-Sundry debtors2536.21

--- . -

-Net Assets£44,059.52
Accumulated Fund:
-Net Assets of “The Ringing World” at 1 July 198341718.87
-less: Birchnall Bequest not transferred500.00

-Excess of income over expenditure for the period1,382.36
-Profit on redemption of investments893.17
-National Insurance surcharge refund565.12

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
30Library fixtures; at book value20.00
19Exhibition cards, at book value- . -
189Stock of ties85.49
8442Stock of publications8811.78
16241Debtors and payments in advance4595.32
33049Investments at cost (market value £8,837)54442.07
42270Cash and bank balances1779.80

29960Amounts received in advance170.00
13847Sundry creditors1118.68


56443Net Assets£68,455.78
Capital Accounts
246General Fund904.29
10741Publications Fund12587.47
2172Clement Glenn Bequest2279.46
8132Thackray Bequest8297.62
647Friends of the CCCBR Library327.42
34505“The Ringing World”- . -
-Reserve Fund44059.52


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, Thackray Bequest, Publications, Friends of the CCCBR Library, and Reserve 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, with the exception of the Publications Fund, which we have not audited for the period 1 January 1983 - 31 May 1983 as no accounting records were available. Subject to the foregoing, we report that in our opinion based on our examination and the report of the Auditors of “The Ringing World” at 30th June 1983 not audited by us, the aforementioned Accounts are properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and fair view of the state of the Council’s affairs at 31st December 1983.

Michael J. Church, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
Eric G.H. Godfrey, F.C.A.)

April 1984.

Trustee of the Rolls of Honour

The Trustee, Mr. W.T. Cook, proposed the following report, and was seconded by Mr. C.J. Groome:

“As a result of the suggestions made at the 1983 meeting, a few possible alternative places for keeping the Rolls of Honour were investigated but with no positive result. In February this year (1984) permission was sought from the St. Paul’s Cathedral authorities to move the Books and Display Case from its former position in the Library Aisle (where it was getting in the way of new developments) to the passage immediately beneath the Ringing Room. This permission was readily granted, and the Rolls of Honour can now easily be seen by all who go to ring, or to watch the ringing, at St. Paul’s.”

After Mr. Cook had sought the Council’s approval for the Rolls to be put on display on the occasion of the National 12-Bell Competition at St. Paul’s in June, the report was adopted.

Mr. Cook was re-elected Trustee on the proposition of Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (College Youths), seconded by Mr. W.A. Patterson (Irish), the President thanking him for his work.

Carter Ringing Machine

The machine’s two Trustees, Messrs. A.E.M. Bagworth and W.H. Dobbie (both Honorary members) reported that

“Three demonstrations have been given during the year - on October 8th to a group from Lymington in Hampshire; on the morning of November 5th, the day of the Ancient Society of College Youths Dinner; and on November 26th to the University of London Society on their dinner day. About 100 people attended these demonstrations.

Methods rung have included Plain Bob Major and Royal, and Stedman Caters and Cinques. A request to ring Carter Cinques was made by John McDonald on November 5th. This was successfully rung at the end of the session.

The mechanical parts of the machine have operated reasonably well, but it seems to require time to settle down for faultless performance during an operating session.

The electrical mechanism which operates the bells caused problems on November 26th. The fault has been traced to ‘sticking’ relays which operate the striking solenoids on top of the bell case. Arrangements are in hand to clean the contacts of these relays following a maintenance/ fault investigation session on March 10th.”

The report was adopted without comment and the Trustees re-elected on the proposition of Mr. H.W. Rogers (London CA), seconded by Mr. J.S. Barnes (Cumberland Youths).


Members had before them three motions, all related to the formation of the Ringing World Ltd. The first, removing from the Council’s Rules the Auditors’ right to examine the audited accounts of the Ringing World, was proposed by Mr. R.J. Cooles (Honorary), who explained that the journal’s accounts were now the sole responsibility of the Company and that the wording of the Rule was as a result no longer relevant.

Mr. Wratten formally seconded, and the motion was agreed without discussion.

The second motion, proposed by Mr. Wratten sought changes to a number of Rules, the effect of which would be to do away with the Ringing World Committee - since all its functions and responsibilities had now been assumed by The Ringing World Ltd’s directors - while ensuring that the journal’s management continued to be represented on the Council’s Administrative Committee.

He was seconded by Mr. Egglestone, Chairman of the Ringing World Committee, and this motion too was agreed without further discussion.

The final motion proposed the addition of a new Rule, that

“All Members of the Central Council as shall from time to time consent in writing shall be entitled to be members of The Ringing World Limited.”

It was moved by Mr. Egglestone and seconded by Mr. Wratten, who explained in reply to a question from Canon Orland (Peterborough) that “from time to time” in practice meant each year, since members were given the opportunity of consenting to (or declining) membership of the company when signing the attendance roll at each Council meeting.

Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary) questioned the inclusion of the words “be entitled to”. After consulting the Articles of Association of The Ringing World Ltd the proposer and seconder of the motion agreed that they should be deleted, and in this modified form the motion was then passed.

Committee reports

The Ringing World

“Whilst this report is for 1983, it is appropriate to emphasise the very significant improvements to the health of the paper since the Council met at Rochester at the beginning of the last triennium and set the Committee the objective of standing the paper on its own feet financially. The handing over to the Council of their investment in ‘The Ringing World’ and the subsequent loss of investment income available to the Committee has concentrated the mind to the extent that this objective has been achieved, the paper itself has undergone something of a major overhaul in that three-year period, circulation has been held and is beginning to increase, and the finances of the paper are now on such a footing that we can expect to continue to achieve a sufficient level of profitability to allow continued improvements to the journal.

Two other major objectives were achieved in 1983. Firstly, after a considerable period of preparation, The Ringing World Limited commenced trading on July 1st. The initial reaction is that apart from more formalised procedures regarding meetings and accounting it has made no difference to the day-to-day running of the paper. The second major breakthrough came at the end of the year when the Committee finally achieved an objective it had set itself - that there should be parity between postal subscribers and the price which those who purchased the paper at newsagents had paid. Through gradual increases to the cover price over a 2½-year period, with no increase to postal subscribers, this has finally been achieved, and it is our intention that this position should be maintained.

1983 also saw the introduction of what many see as a natural development with The Ringing World acting as agents for the Publications Committee, with all books now being stocked at Guildford and Ringing World staff dealing with orders for publications.

Evidence of the Committee actively marketing the paper comes with the successful introductory offer to those taking out an annual subscription for the first time, whereby a bell fund of their choice benefits with a £3 rebate. By the end of February 164 new subscribers have taken up this offer, to the mutual satisfaction of your committee and many bell fund treasurers.

Whilst the level of sales has not appreciably altered since the fall some three years ago, there were at the end of 1983 some healthy indications that sales are beginning to increase. With an apparent slowing down of the inflationary spiral your committee are optimistic that this increase can be continued.

The following comparisons will be of interest:

Ringing World sales at the end of February

NewsagentsPostal subscribersTotal

This year all calendars printed were sold, and we are thus encouraged to continue this service to our readers.

It is normal for this report to finish with a note of thanks to the many people who make the weekly appearance of your paper possible. David Thorne and Joy Eldridge continue to carry out their duties with unfailing enthusiasm at Guildford. Many volunteers give unstintingly of their time to the running of our business and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Summarising, we would claim that your paper is now a very sound business, which we hope is meeting the needs of the Exercise.

H.W. Egglestone (Chairman) M.J. Church
C.J. Groome
R.F.B. Speed
A.N. Stubbs
A.W.R. Wilby

Moving the report’s adoption, Mr. Egglestone paid tribute to the contributions that had been made to the paper by Wilfrid G. Wilson and Charles Denyer, both of whom had died within the past six weeks. He went on to say that the healthy figures achieved in 1983 were being maintained and that, in spite of an increase in printing costs that had recently been agreed, it had been decided not to increase the paper’s price to its readers.

As part of a policy to make full use of the modest profits achieved, it had been decided to seek someone to prepare a comprehensive index to each year’s issues in return for a retainer. A suitably experience volunteer was wanted.

During the past two months there had been an exhaustive review of the paper’s advertising policy, details of which will a published in the near future. Finally, and to the regret of the members of the committee, Mr. Speed (Honorary) had indicated his desire to retire from the committee; he thanked him for his work and contribution to the success of the paper.

Seconding, Mr. Groome said that the number of new postal subscribers resulting from the scheme mentioned in the report’s fourth paragraph had reached 202, and it had been decided to extend the scheme for a further year. He asked members and societies to publicise its benefits. Referring to the new advertising policy mentioned by the proposer, he said that it was hoped that one result would be an increase in the number of ringing meetings being advertised in the paper.

After the President had associated the Council with the remarks made about Wilfrid Wilson, Charles Denyer and Richard Speed, the report was adopted.

Peals Analysis


We have recorded a total of 4,615 peals rung in 1983, of which 4,228 were on tower bells and 463 on handbells. The overall total is 99 fewer than the revised total for 1982, largely accounted for by a 20% drop in handbell peals. On tower bells, increases in the number of peals of Maximus, Major, Triples and Minor were offset by decreases of other numbers, leaving the total almost the same. For the first time for many years there were no handbell peals on more than 12 bells.

The Yorkshire Association again heads the list of leading societies, followed closely by the Lancashire Association and the Derby Diocesan Association. The Leicester DG, in 4th place, is in its lowest position for several years. We understand that the Lincoln Diocesan Guild total of 218 peals is a record for that Guild, beating its previous record, set in 1965, by 24. We are pleased to report that peals claimed as rung by local or Sunday Service bands increased to 53.

In our 1982 report we stated that we would be looking into the feasibility of doing the peals analysis by computer. It appears that it would be technically possible. The peals are accumulated on a floppy disk ready for printing, and there is a disk-to-disk copying facility, so that a spare copy could be generated from which the analysis could be performed.

There are however two problems which prevent this being done immediately. One is the technical one of providing the facility to read and process the floppy disk. This is one of the requirements that the Computer Co-ordination Committee should take into account in any proposed computing facilities for the Council. The other is one of negotiating with the printers to obtain this information. It would be helpful if The Ringing World Committee (or Board) could make a formal approach to the printers on this matter. The next step would be to obtain a floppy disk for testing. Anyone who has the facilities and would be willing to have a go at processing the disk should contact a member of this committee.

The committee met once during the year to finalise records and agree the format for the report.

Breakdown of peals by numbers of bells, and comparison with 1982

Maximus198218+201719+ 2
Cinques9588- 771- 6
Royal & Caters21- 1
Major & Triples-1+ 1
Minor & Doubles83-5
Doubles247210-37113- 8

42304228- 2484387-97

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

Yorkshire Association23811249
Lancashire Association2362238
Derby Diocesan Association20426230
Leicester Diocesan Guild19722219
Lincoln Diocesan Guild2144218
Oxford Diocesan Guild13859197
Gloucester & Bristol DA1671168
Essex Association13625161
Suffolk Guild151-151

Compared with the equivalent list for 1982 the Southwell DG has dropped out, whilst the Lincoln DG, the Gloucester & Bristol DA, and the Essex Association return. Ten other societies rang over 100 peals,

First peals and first as conductor

There were 550 first peals in 1983 (563 in 1982), and 95 firsts as conductor (79 in 1982). The Essex Association had most first pealers with 38, followed by the Sussex CA (28) and the Gloucester & Bristol DA (36).


Peals were rung in 1,732 towers (1,809 in 1982), in 25 of which they were the first peal on the bells. There are in England still eleven 8-bell towers, 172 with 6 bells (94 of them in Devon), and 222 with 5 bells without a peal. Nearly all the 8-bell towers and many of the others are regarded as unringable. The following 45 towers had ten or more peals in 1983:

Loughborough (Bell Foundry)51
Birmingham (Cathedral)37
Barrow Gurney30
South Wigston28
Maidstone (All Saints)21
Bedford (St Paul)20
Cambridge (St Andrew)18
Burton Latimer18
Windsor (St John)18
London (St Mary-atte-Bow)17
Nottingham (St Peter)16
Worcester (All Saints)15
Ipswich (St Mary-le-Tower)14
Stourbridge (St Thomas)14
Birstall, Yorks.13
Kingsbury, Warwicks.13
12-Bristol (Cathedral), Boston (Advent), Hughenden, Leicester (Cathedral), Wormingford*, Greenwich*
11-Hungerford, Stoke Damerall*, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon (Christ Church)*, Tuxford, Worsley*, Uxbridge (St Margaret)
10-Birmingham (St Martin), Blankney*, Bushey, Elloughton*, Farnworth*, Grundisburgh, Sawley.
* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

These towers had 788 peals, a smaller proportion of the total than in recent years. Of the other towers, 902 had one peal, 379 had two, 180 three, 97 four, 61 five, 24 six, 22 seven, 19 eight, and 12 had nine. Two towers, Birmingham (St Martin) and Hughenden - reached their 500th peal during 1983, making ten in all with over 500 peals.


Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1982 appear in brackets. “Single S.” = Single Surprise methods other than those listed.
Cambridge S.55(54)6( 5)
Single S.55(34)1( 4)
Bristol S.40(38)1( 1)
Yorkshire S.37(29)-( 1)
Spliced S.16(25)3( 2)
Kent/Oxford TB1( -)5( 4)
Plain Bob-( 2)-( -)
Grandsire10( 9)-( -)
Single S.97(105)6( 8)
Cambridge S.69( 82)12(11)
Yorkshire S.63( 76)1( 2)
Spliced S.53( 24)2(14)
London S.48( 54)7( 2)
Plain Bob25( 29)12(14)
Bristol S.25( 34)5( 2)
Kent/Oxford TB4( 5)22(26)
Grandsire81(76)1( 2)
Single S.401(381)12( 8)
Spliced S.302(277)30(28)
Plain Bob194(209)56(70)
Yorkshire S.204(203)17(20)
Cambridge S.162(141)14(13)
Bristol S.129(120)9(10)
Rutland S.91(103)6( 6)
London S.83(110)7(11)
Lincolnshire S.73( 73)6( 9)
Superlative S.69( 76)4( 4)
Double Norwich60( 56)( -)
Kent/Oxford TB22( 23)31(46)
Pudsey S.48( 43)2( 2)
Grandsire150(129)3( 3)
Stedman117(118)3( 4)
Plain Bob34( 38)1( -)
2-6 methods260(253)18(21)
7 methods250(239)9( 5)
Plain Bob153(161)29(58)
8+ methods148(114)6(10)
Cambridge S.57( 69)4( 3)
Single S.33( 25)2( 1)
2+ methods153(191)2( 3)
Stedman29(26)-( -)
Plain Bob14( 9)1( 6)
Grandsire13( 17)-( 2)

Peals of note

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

Bath & Wells DA-Midsomer Norton: 5088 Bristol S. Maximus (silent and non-conducted, bells drawn before the start)
Ely DA-Cambridge: 5152 Half-lead Spliced Double S. Major (23 methods, all the work); Cambridge: 5120 Variable Hunt Spliced S. Major (20 methods, all the work for 8 bells)
Chester DG-Marple: 5040 Spliced TB Minor (74 methods - most regular TB); Sutton: 6480 Spliced TB Minor (85 methods - most regular TB)
Essex Assn.-Thorpe Bay: 5040 Plain Bob Triples (5 first pealers)
Glos. & Bristol DA-Stratton St Margaret: peals of Spliced Plain Major in 300, 330, 350, 375, and 400 methods, the last two being most methods to a peal; Tetbury: 5024 Cambridge S. Major (youngest S. Major band); Blaisdon: 5040 Doubles (5 first pealers)
Lincoln DG-Addlethorpe: 5040 Plain Bob Doubles (4 first pealers, first inside, and first as conductor; also first on the bells)
Soc. of Royal Cumberland Ys-Shoreditch: 5040 Spliced S. Maximus (first by all-ladies band); St Martin-in-the-Fields: 5007 Stedman Cinques (all-ladies band)
Non-Association-Lockington: 5040 Cambridge S. Royal (youngest Royal band); Nottingham: 5042 Cambridge S. Maximus (youngest 12-bell band); Worcester (All Ss): 20,001 Stedman Cinques (longest peal on 12); Bedford: 5040 Spliced S. Maximus (Bristol and Superlative; first with changes at half-lead)
Oxford DG-5040 Spliced S. Maximus (Bristol and Superlative; first with changes at half-lead on handbells).


The following, accredited to the Winchester & Portsmouth DG, was published as a peal in The Ringing World but has not been included in the analysis. After a careful study of the circumstances, we recommend that the Council should accept it as a peal under Decision E.

Portsmouth (St Mary): 5040 Grandsire Triples, on 11 June, which contravened Decision A.7 in that the conductor was not a ringing member of the band. The circumstances are that it was rung for the 50th anniversary of the augmentation of the bells, that the band was of local ringers built up over the last three years by Mr. E. Salmons (the conductor), that two participants rang their first peal, and that Mr. Salmons’ health does not permit him to ring peals. The Winchester & Portsmouth DG have strongly recommended to us the worth of this peal.

Corrections to the 1982 Analysis

Changes to the 1982 peal totals arising from late publication, withdrawal of, and correction to, peals after the submission of our report for 1982 can be summarised as follows (all tower bell peals except where otherwise stated):

ANZAB - Triples +1, Major -1; Beverley & District Soc - Minor -1; Durham & Newcastle DA - Maximus +1; Ely DA - Major +1; Lichfield Archd. Soc (handbells) - Minor +1; Llandaff & Monmouth DA Major +1; Oxford DG - Triples -1; Suffolk G - Major +2, Caters +1; Winchester & Portsmouth DG - Minor +5; Non-affiliated - Major +1; Non-Association - Triples +1.

Revised totals for 1982 are consequently; Tower bells 4230, Handbells 484; Total 4714.

F.B. Lufkin (Chairman) Canon K.W.H. Felstead
D.A. Frith
T.G. Pett
C.H. Rogers
O.C.R. Webster


A.S.CollegeYouths1596917611     122    64569
Australia & N.Z.A.  1 512         1   9110
Bath & Wells D.A.2 535172691           104 104
Bedfordshire A.635 26628             74 74
Beverley & D.S.  1 3 13             17 17
Cambridge U.G. 1411312         3   22325
Carlisle D.G.  11611             10 10
Chester D. G.7152332281    1 11 27 4 7943122
Coventry D.G.2 11262132        1   47148
Derby D.A.12 41141065251      9 7 10 20426230
G. Devonshire R. 121399173            72 72
Durham & N.D.A.618222272          4 50454
Durham U.S.    1 1             2 2
E.Derbys & W.N.A.    1               1 1
E.Grinstead & D.G.    1               1 1
Ely D.A.  2179133383   1       1391140
Essex A.3 8 5155910        16 9 13625161
Gloucester & B.D.A.841688293010          1 1671168
Guildford D.G.432126232      5 7   431255
Hereford D.G.1 11245105      4 11 1 471663
Hertford C.A. 135355151      4421 2 653196
Irish A.    1             1 112
Kent C.A. 2203459305            114 114
Ladies G.      1             1 1
Lancashire A.84201010440427   1       22362238
Leeds U.S.1 1 721             12 12
Leicester D.G.77181211920103 1    5 1511 19722219
Lichfield A.S.1 24245123    1 2 31  51758
Lincoln D.G.22868379691       31  2144218
Liverpool U.S.    3               3 3
Llandaff & M.D.A.2154338228        1 1183386
London C.A. 415111744 4           59 59
Manchester U.G.    3           1   314
Middlesex C.A.3 2245772  1   4 3   69776
Midland C.G.  1 31        2   3 5510
N.American G.  1414461      3 15 6 302454
N.Staffs A.  2114231            23 23
N.Wales A.    2               2 2
Norwich D.A.1 13188374        2 3 72577
Oxford D.G.641096612238    8 14325 9 13859197
Oxford S. 2 3335             16 16
Oxford U.S. 11 3111            8 8
Peterborough D.G.21614232921        1   1051106
Railwaymen’s G.    1 1             2 2
St.David’s D.G.    1               1 1
St.Martin’s G.41164323133             103 103
Salisbury D.G.1 94227138        111 64367
Scottish A.  112 1             5 5
S.R.Cumberland Y.20291141              47 47
Shropshire A.    3 91            13 13
Southwell D.G.9 164323304      3 2 1 986104
Suffolk G.21914216431            151 151
Surrey A. 2125254            21 21
Sussex C.A.1 1045012186        1   1011102
Swansea & B.D.A.  116211            12 12
Truro D.G.  141115235            59 59
U.Bristol S. 12 10 5         1   18119
U.London S.4 2 11631    1 1 1513 272148
Winchester & PDG2 815152481  1    111 1013104
Worcestershire &DA67626211174   1        116 116
Yorkshire A.1315141408183      1 415 23811249
Central Council1   1               2 2
Non-Affiliated S.312212895314    7 3 6 6 16722189
Non-Association165172311132        8 1 87996

In moving the report’s adoption and thanking the other members of the committee at this, his last “official appearance” as Chairman, Mr. Lufkin (Essex) made special mention of the work of Canon Felstead and Christopher Rogers. The former, who had joined the committee in 1954, did not seek re-election. He also thanked Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middx CA) for his behind-the-scenes assistance.

He said that the Committee’s policy had always been to carry out the Council’s wishes, and that if its reports had prompted controversy, that controversy had arisen from the Council’s Decisions, not from the committee.

Seconding, Mr. Rogers (Guildford) thanked Mr. Lufkin for his services, and drew attention to the committee’s recommendation about the peal at Portsmouth on 11 June. He added that two performances at Liss Campanile - one on the buckets, and one on the ceramic “bells” - had not been included in the analysis in view of the Council’s previous decision on peals there.

Mrs. G.W. Davis (Winchester & Portsmouth) said that her Guild accepted that peals rung on the buckets at Liss were not recognised by the Council. She urged the Council, however, to give serious consideration to recent developments there. As Master of the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild she jealously guarded its reputation and that of the Exercise, and she felt that peals recently rung there conformed to all the requirements. She therefore proposed that peals rung on the clay bells at Liss should be recognised, a motion seconded by Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth).

Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) said that the committee had omitted the 1983 performance purely on the definition of a “bell”. All dictionaries that had been consulted had agreed that a bell was made of cast metal. He noted however that references to the peals at Liss had been deleted from the report as circulated; did the Administrative Committee have the authority to amend committee reports before they were put to the Council?

After Mr. B.F. Peachey (Police) had deplored the raising of peals at Liss for a second time, Mr. Wilby moved, and Mr. Speed seconded, that the motion be put. This was agreed. Mrs Davis then proposed

“that the Council recognise the peal of 5000 Kent TB Royal rung on the clay bells at Liss on 31 August 1983”

saying that she considered the project exciting and worthwhile; it was something being done by young people, which opened up further possibilities and deserved recognition. She was seconded by Mr. Cater.

On being put to the vote, the amendment was lost.

Mr. Groome said that, although the Administrative Committee had indeed discussed the report, it had not amended it. Mr. Wratten said that he accepted responsibility for deleting the reference; he had done this after consulting Mr. Rogers - who had wanted to retain it - in the light of the Administrative Committee’s discussion.

Mr. Groome then proposed, and Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) seconded, that the paragraphs concerned be restored and included in the Ringing World report of the meeting. This was agreed.

They read as follows:


The following performances (all accredited to the Winchester & Portsmouth DG) were published as peals in The Ringing World, but have not been included for the reasons given:

Liss Campanile:27 April, 5040 Cambridge S. Minor
and31 August, 5000 Kent T.B. Royal

In view of the Council’s previous decisions not to recognise peals in this ‘tower’, these performances have not been included.”

Mr. Rogers proposed, and Mr. Lufkin seconded, that the peal at St. Mary’s, Portsmouth, on 11 June 1983 be recognised, and this was agreed.

After Mr. R.J. Perry (Truro) had pointed out that the Truro DG had rung 16 peals of Triples, rather than the 15 reported - a correction accepted by Mr. Lufkin, who said it would be reflected in next year’s report - the report was adopted in its complete form.

Mr. Wratten proposed on behalf of the Administrative Committee that the new committee should have six members. He was seconded by Mr. Lufkin, and this was agreed.

Eight names were proposed and seconded - Messrs. C.H. Rogers, D.A. Frith (Lincoln), O.C.R. Webster (Essex), P. Sanderson (London Univ.), T.F. Collins (Winchester & Portsmouth), D.H. Niblett (Kent), T.G. Pett, and D.C. Brown (Oxford Univ.), a ballot resulting in the election of all except the fourth and fifth.

By now it was 12.30, and the President adjourned the meeting for lunch. When it reconvened at 2.15, following a meeting of The Ringing World Ltd, the first item considered was the report of the Records Committee.


A. First peals on tower bells in 1983:
Jan.15088Brynbuga S. MajorLlandaff & Monmouth DA
15184Goldsmith S. MajorCentral Council
45280Fleet S. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Youths
85120Ian’s D. MajorManchester Soc.
85024Kappa S. MajorYorkshire A.
85040Jervaulx S. RoyalS. Northants Soc.
155184Knightley S. MajorS. Northants Soc.
155120Onnum S. MajorYorkshire A.
165040Shrewsbury S. RoyalLancashire A.
225000Kislingbury S. RoyalS. Northants Soc.
295152Fairford S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
315042Damgate S. MaximusLeicester DG
Feb.15080Usborne S. RoyalLeicester DG
15088Premiere S. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Youths
45152Shildon S. MajorS. Lincs. Soc.
55120Alton S. MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
55056Twobrokes S. MajorLeicester DG
55040Chater S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
125040St. Andrew’s Bob TriplesWorcestershire & Districts A.
125056Linshire S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
185120Mayfield S. MajorPeterborough DG
185152Rubidium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
195056Heathencote S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
195088Horreaclassis S. MajorYorkshire A.
255040Ragsdale S. RoyalPeterborough DG
265040Loundes S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
285042Applegate S. MaximusLeicester DG
March15040Tewkesbury S. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Youths
55184Kimpton S. MajorHertford CA
55002Maidford S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
65000Totterdown S. RoyalBath & Wells DA
125152Hookey S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
125120Pinnata Castra S. MajorYorkshire A.
195040Nassington S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
195184Supreme A. RoyalChester DG
265000Oxendon S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
295024Hydrogen S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
April65152Madretsma S. MajorLeicester DG
135056Tellurium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
165152Phyllosan S. MajorOxford DG
205152Bishop Auckland S. MajorS. Lincs. Soc.
275056Elisabethium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
May25120Gropenhole S. MajorChester DG
35088Quebec S. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Youths
45088Hamilton S. MajorLeicester DG
55088Merryhill S. MajorHertford CA
75088Pilton S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
135184Hebburn S. MajorLincoln DG
145000Plumpton S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
145040Zummerzet S. RoyalBath & Wells DA
145056Esau D. MajorSouthwell DG
165008Double Bishopstoke Little S. MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
185152Germanium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
185088Millfield S. MajorLeicester DG
195120Durban S. MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
215152Nonesuch S. MajorUniversity of Bristol Soc.
275088Oldham S. MaximusAncient Soc. of College Youths
285040Quarryhall S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
June15152Argentum S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
75152Vallium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
155056Roundhills S. MajorLeicester DG
175024May Week D. MajorCambridge University G.
185120Debdale S. MajorS. Northants. Soc
215040Quixwood S. RoyalSouthwell DG
245056Knuston S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
255042Nottingham D. MaximusSouthwell DG
265040Limerick S. RoyalLancashire A.
July25040Ravensthorpe S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
65088Barrow Gurney S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
65152Tonenails S. MajorLeicester DG
95088Giggleswick S. MajorYorkshire A.
95120Nethercote S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
165088Congavata Aballava S. MajorYorkshire A.
165040Derngate S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
215088Aberhonddu S. MajorSwansea & Brecon DG
245040Shaw Bob MajorLancashire A.
275056Wyre Forest D. MajorWorcestershire & Districts A.
285152Irnham D. MajorLincoln DG
295152Rhodium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
305040Ormskirk A. MajorLancashire A.
315040Bolton A. RoyalLancashire A.
Aug.15040Ashton-under-Lyne A. MajorLancashire A.
25016Horwich A. MajorLancashire A.
25040Stretford A. MajorLancashire A.
35040Croston A. MajorLancashire A.
35040Worsley A. RoyalLancashire A.
45064Walkden A. MajorLancashire A.
55040Jacob’s Wells S. RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
55040Hoghton A. MajorLancashire A.
65056Barking S. MajorEssex A.
65040Newchurch A. MajorLancashire A.
65040Farnworth A. MajorLancashire A.
205184Lamport S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
205024Zeeland S. MajorMiddlesex CA & London DG
255024Thriplow S. MajorEly DA
265040Anglia S. RoyalSuffolk G.
275056Clifford D. MajorWorcestershire & Districts A.
285120Southern Cross S. MajorANZAB
295152Barnard Castle S. MajorLincoln DG
295088New Deane D. MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
315152Ozone S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
Sept.35120Fairway S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
35088Tamesis S. MajorYorkshire A.
35152West Bridgford D. MajorSouthwell DG
65016Broadgate A. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Youths
75056Hagley S. MajorWorcestershire & Districts A.
105184Melksham S. MajorSalisbury DG
105000Sywell S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
175088Castra Exploratum S. MajorYorkshire A.
185024Ilford S. MajorEssex A.
235040Goldings S. RoyalPeterborough DG
265184Barry Peachey’s Dog Little S. MajorUniversity of London Soc.
Oct.15184Ad Ansam S. MajorYorkshire A.
15152Orton S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
15152Wootton-under-Edge S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
85000Aldwincle S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
135152Queen Camel S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
135024Agrippa D. MajorSouthwell DG
155024Colonia S. MajorYorkshire A.
185088Xavier S. MaximusSoc. of Royal Cumberland Youths
205024Kingsbury D. MajorOxford DG
215024Platinum S. MajorBristol Soc.
295184Sabrina S. MajorYorkshire A.
Nov.55120Augusta S. MajorYorkshire A.
55152Fiskerton D. MajorLincoln DG
95184Francium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
95280Betelgeuse S. MaximusSt. Martin’s G.
125056Xauen S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
195152Dunster S. MajorMiddlesex CA & London DG
195088Lambda S. MajorYorkshire A.
195152Long Ashton S. MajorBath & Wells DA
195000Thornby S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
235152Cadmium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
265280Berkshire S. MaximusChester DG
285042Gallowtree Gate S. MaximusLeicester DG
Dec.35088Barnwell S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
55120E=Mc² S. MajorSt. Olave’s Soc.
55000Galloway S. RoyalYorkshire A.
105000Ullapool S. RoyalS. Northants. Soc.
115088Newfoundland D. MajorMiddlesex CA & London DG
155152Brown Willy S. MajorOxford DG
205088Neptunium S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
275056Great Tew S. MajorOxford Soc.
275056Lundy S. MajorEly DA
295056Iodine S. MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
295280Nottinghamshire D. MajorSouthwell DG
315056Kilby S. MajorS. Northants. Soc.
Jan.75000300-Spliced Plain MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
March115000330-Spliced Plain MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
April85250350-Spliced Plain MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
May65584375-Spliced Plain MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
June35890400-Spliced Plain MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
Oct.28000250-Spliced S. MajorEly DA
B. First peals on handbells in 1983:
Feb.155152Cassiobury S. MajorEssex A.
March165280Zanussi S. MaximusOxford DG
May75088Bourne S. MajorUniversity of London Soc.
June85040Horsleydown S. RoyalOxford DG
125208Normanton A. MajorN. American G.
185184Normanton A. RoyalN. American G.
July315152Horsham S. MajorHereford DG
Aug.45088Rochester S. MajorHereford DG
315160Palgrave A. MaximusOxford DG
Sept.285148Shoreditch A. MaximusOxford DG
Dec.85024Glasgow Little S. RoyalLeicester DG
285040Much Birch S. RoyalHereford DG
295040Aldenham S. RoyalHereford DG
C. Record peal in 1983:
Oct.2220,001Stedman CinquesNon-Association

D.E. Sibson (Chairman) F.T. Blagrove
G. Dodds
J.R. Mayne
C.A. Wratten

After making some corrections to the report in members’ hands, Mr. D.E. Sibson (Cumberlands) moved its adoption, noting that the Methods and Records Committees had agreed, by a majority of 8 to 1, that the peal of 8000 Spliced Surprise Major rung by the Ely DA on October 2nd should be recorded as one in 250 methods. He was seconded by Mr. Blagrove.

Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth) said that he was the dissenting voice concerning the peal of Spliced, which had been one of 250 leads, in which each half-lead had been different, and which had been reported as one of 500 methods spliced at the half-lead. He was unable to support the contention that it consisted of 250 asymmetric methods.

Considerable discussion ensued, several members feeling that to recognise the methods as asymmetric could have unwanted repercussions for existing peals of half-lead spliced. Dr. Pett asserted that the peal had effectively been in a single method, with different variations in each half-lead.

In reply to Mr. G. Dodds (Hertford) Mr. Blagrove said that very few asymmetric methods had so far been pealed, but this was mainly because they were difficult to ring and compose for; the peal, he said, must either be in 250 asymmetric methods which could be named, or in 500 symmetric methods that could not be named, for a full lead of each had not been included.

Both Dr. Pett and Mr. P.M.J. Gray (ANZAB) said that the Council elected expert committees to advise it, and an 8-to-1 majority was very persuasive. The latter however wondered whether, in view of the comments that had been made, the committees concerned should be asked to consider further.

At this point Mr. Smith’s proposition, that the peal be recorded as one in 500 methods, which had been seconded by Mr. Peachey, was put to the meeting, when it was lost, by 69 votes to 32.

Discussion then briefly centred on whether, having declined to recognise the peal as one in 500 methods, the Council could still ask the committees to consider the question further, Mr. Groome finally proposing that the peal be referred back for further consideration. He was seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol), but the proposition was defeated on a show of hands.

Mrs. A. Newing (Bristol Univ.) then proposed, and Mr. Peachey seconded, that the committee be asked to consider a different and more appropriate name for the method pealed by the University of London Society on September 26; she thought the present name (Barry Peachey’s Little Dog) brought the Council and the Exercise into disrepute.

After Mr. Chant (Honorary) had remarked that the method presumably came home at the end of the lead (prolonged laughter), the President said that the Council had in the best felt such effusion best ignored, and Preb. Scott said that the name brought the band, not the Council, into disrepute. Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson then moved, and Mr. Groome seconded, “next business”, and this was agreed.

The report was adopted as presented, and Mr. Sibson reported that the Committee had decided to collect information on record lengths of Minor in various classes. This would be done by Mr. Wratten, and might be extended to include Doubles peals.

A ballot for the new committee resulted in the election of Messrs. Blagrove, Brown, Mayne, Sibson, and Wratten, Mr. D. Buckley (Bath & Wells) being unsuccessful. Mr. Dodds did not seek re-election.


The following report was adopted, without discussion, on the proposition of Mr. A.P. Smith, seconded by Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary):

“The Committee met on two occasions during the year, at Windsor and at Rugeley. Work on the new Minor methods publication was brought to a conclusion, particular attention being given to the format and content of the compositions section. The collection will now include an explanation of alterations and corrections to nomenclature. The final draft was approved for publication and handed over to the Publications Committee.

Work continued on the Doubles Collection, Part II, and an amendment list for Part I has been compiled. It is intended that this will be distributed with copies of Part I in stock and published in The Ringing World.

A need was identified for a collection of Plain methods at all stages, both odd and even, to complement the annual T.B. Collection. Subject to the Council’s approval, work has begun on this project in collaboration with the Records Committee.

Pending further research into method extension an interim publication is proposed, based on previous reports on extension. It is hoped that the ready availability of such a publication would inhibit the incidence of anomalies currently perpetrated.

In response to a request from the Computer Co-ordination Committee recommendations were formulated concerning the format and content of the Surprise, Delight, and T.B. Collection. A succinct method of expressing the incidence of falseness is still being sought.

Routine work has continued in monitoring methods appearing in The Ringing World and in responding to queries about methods and method names.

M.C.W. Sherwood (Chairman) F.T. Blagrove
S. Humphrey
C.K. Lewis
A.P. Smith

Mr. Humphrey (Derby) did not seek re-election to the committee, and six other names were nominated for membership - Messrs. Blagrove, P.L.H. Brooke (Cambridge Univ.), Lewis, P.D. Niblett (Oxford Univ.), Sherwood, and A.P. Smith. A ballot resulted in the election of all except Mr. Niblett.

Peal Compositions

“The last gasp of 1983 saw the publication of the ‘Stedman’ collection - much to the relief of all concerned. From the time that Bob Dennis was commissioned to supply the material for the collection in 1977 it had taken over 6 years to completion. It is evident from our experience with this and the earlier ‘Major’ collection that traditional printing methods are ill-equipped to handle such technical publications and force us to adopt a very rigorous and uncompromising approach to ensure the quality of end result that we require. We continue to see a very real need to acquire our own word-processing resources (not to publish independently, but to prepare the technical content of the publication), and await the outcome of the present investigations with interest.

Nevertheless we are pleased with the ‘Stedman’ collection and regard it as a significant addition to the Exercise. Containing 41 compositions of Caters and 44 of Cinques, it can claim to be representative, up-to-date, and with a wide appeal to anyone interested in conducting or composing peals of Stedman.

Our other collection, Multi-Minor, is now treading water, awaiting the outcome of the work on word-processing facilities.

In the Ringing World we published over 70 compositions and reviewed a number of these, including the record 20,001 Stedman Cinques. We are indeed grateful, once again, for the work of Chris Kippin’s team of voluntary helpers who provide computer checks on these compositions and so help us to build a high level of confidence. We are rather behind our plan to publish a booklet of 1981 and 1982 RW compositions, but will aim to have this ready by mid-year together with 1963 compositions.

R.W. Pipe (Chairman) D.W. Beard
P. Border
R.E. Hardy
R.C. Kippin
M.C.W. Sherwood

Proposing the report’s adoption, Mr. Pipe (St Martins) said that the committee was now progressing the multi-Minor collection, although the member primarily responsible, Mr. Hardy (Hertford), was not seeking re-election. He was seconded by Mr. Kippin, and the report was accepted.

On behalf of the Administrative Committee Mr. Wratten proposed that the new committee should have six members. This was seconded by Mr. Groome, and agreed.

Messrs. P. Niblett and R. Baldwin (Hertford) were unsuccessful in the ballot that ensued, the elected committee consisting of Messrs. Beard (Yorkshire), Border (St Martin’s), H. Chant (Honorary), Kippin, Pipe, and Sherwood.

Computer Co-ordination

The committee reported as follows:

“This year the work of the Committee has continued through the activities of individual members and by correspondence. The collection of rung Surprise, Delight, and Treble Bob methods, maintained on behalf of the Records Committee, has been updated to the end of 1983. The reduced size format introduced last year is being retained, and it is further hoped that a significant improvement in the quality can be achieved by gaining access to a laser printer. It is hoped that the scope of these collections can one day be enlarged to embrace all hitherto rung methods on seven or more bells.

The work of proving peal compositions before publication in The Ringing World is now undertaken by Chris Kippin and his team of checkers, to whom we are once again grateful. Two further contributors have had their programs validated by running a set of test compositions. The importance of this validation is once again highlighted by the attention recently drawn to a false composition published in 1979, even though a reliable check had been made. It is always possible that even the most carefully designed System can be circumvented by obscure circumstances.

Work on the publication of further collections of Ringing World peal compositions, in association with the Peal Compositions Committee, has been delayed, regrettably, but it is hoped that the problems encountered can be overcome in the very near future.

It is encouraging to see more Associations and Guilds holding courses and meets on computers in ringing. It has not always been possible for a member of the Committee to be in attendance at these events, due mainly to their wide geographical dispersion, although several organisers have gained the benefit of advice from individual Committee members. The launching of a Newsletter to help home computer enthusiasts maintain contact with others has not progressed as quickly as had at one time been hoped.

The Administrative Committee has considered the possible acquisition of a word-processor for use by the Council and its committees. In the last twelve months the cost of a complete word-processor system including disc and printer has fallen to under £1,000, and under new financial arrangements agreed for the Council it may be possible for at least one of the committees to make a strong case for such an acquisition in support of its work, particularly in the area of preparation of material for publication.

D.W. Beard (Chairman) T.G. Pett
D.E. Sibson
J.R. Taylor
C.A. Wratten

Moving the report’s adoption, Dr. Beard said how pleased he was to see the Council meet at Hull University. He went on to say that this year’s Rung Surprise (etc) Collection had been delayed pending the outcome of the debate on the 250/500-Spliced Surprise peal, that the collection of 1981 RW compositions had been prepared but not that for 1982. He would welcome assistance from anyone with a BBC Micro in entering such compositions for publication. Three members of the committee, he added, - Messrs. Sibson, Wratten, and himself - did not seek re-election this year.

Dr. Pett seconded, and commented particularly on the Council’s future computing needs, which, he said, included not only a word-processing facility but also data-base capabilities and processing power. Committees should not go off independently. The options open were either to purchase a central system for use by all committees - which would need a full-time operator; to have a remotely accessed central system - which might be possible in 2-3 years’ time; or for individual committees to have their own general purpose machine. He recommended the latter, but stressed the need for standardisation of equipment.

After Dr. Beard had said, in reply to a question from Mr. Dodds, that the newsletter was still being discussed, Mr. A. Cattell (Leicester) suggested that the Church Computer Users Group might be helpful. Mr. P. Church (Beverley) enquired about the sale of software, and Dr. Beard commented that at least one ringer was offering programs for the cost of the cassette - a step which he welcomed.

The report was then adopted.

On a ballot, Messrs. P. Church, G. Dodds, Pett, Taylor, and M. Thomson (Chester) were elected to form the new committee, Mr. P.L.H. Brooks being unsuccessful


The Publications Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. C.J. Groome.

“The main feature of 1983 was the resignation of Geoff and Shirley Drew in the Spring after many years of service to the Council. The Committee had not met for a year and the work of producing and distributing the publications had slowed down owing to the then Chairman’s heavy business commitments and, latterly, health problems. The Council did of course record its gratitude to the Drews for their work at its last meeting.

The Committee met twice during the rest of the year. At its first meeting the main priority was to determine how the publications should be stored and distributed. The decision to accept the kind offer of The Ringing World Committee was debated at some length by the Council last year. We are pleased to report that the arrangement is working very well, with Council publications now available by return of post. Both Central Council Publications and ‘The Ringing World’ have gained, and will gain further, from the sharing of distribution and marketing arrangements. Accordingly the Committee’s recommendation is to continue the agency agreement with The Ringing World Limited.

With the difficulties and the lack of new publications earlier in the year there has been a fall in sales, from 7,027 to 5,685 items. However, sales picked up strongly towards the end of the year with the more efficient marketing arrangements, the publication of some new titles, and heavier promotion in ‘The Ringing World’.

The Committee set itself three major publishing targets for the rest of the year: printing a second edition of the Council’s second-best seller, ‘Doubles and Minor for Beginners’; publishing the ‘Tower Captain’s Handbook’; and resolving the long-standing problem of publishing the collection of Stedman compositions. All three have been achieved. In addition a new compact format of ‘Rung Surprise’ was successfully marketed, together with a new booklet on ‘Judging Striking Competitions’ and a new version of the Belfry Warning Notice.

New items in the pipeline include Triples and Major for Beginners; RW Peal Compositions for 1981 and 1982; a handbell learning tape; a recruiting package; Call-Change Ringing; Proof of Bob Major; Easily Remembered Service Touches; Rope Splicing; Library Catalogue, Part II; Rung Plain Triples; Collection of Minor Methods; Standard Surprise Major; method sheets; and Composition of Symmetrical Treble Dodging Major.

Potentially the largest undertaking ever by the Committee and the Council is a new History of Ringing which the Committee wishes to commission from a team of authors. A provisional editorial committee has been proposed, consisting of W.T. Cook, J. Eisel, C.J. Pickford, and C.A. Wratten, and the Committee has agreed to pay out-of-pocket expenses for a feasibility study. It is envisaged that the whole exercise might take 5 years and publication could be in one or more parts. Since printing could easily cost over £20,000 for 6,000 copies at today’s prices, Council approval in principle is sought for this venture.

The publications have continued to be advertised fortnightly in ‘The Ringing World’. An innovation towards the end of the year was the insertion of an order form in the journal. Although inserts are expensive, sales shifted to a new and higher level which has been sustained. The Committee has also decided to organise better the large number of sales made each year at the Council meeting, by sending an order form to each representative in advance. The aim is to encourage not only advanced ordering, but also bulk orders for bookstalls; some affiliated societies still do not provide this service at their Branch or District meetings.

C.J. Groome (Chairman) R.G. Morris
Miss J. Sanderson
J.R. Taylor
D.G. Thorne

Mr. Groome said that the idea of ordering publications for collection at the meeting had been both successful and helpful, and would be repeated. The new Minor Methods collection would be available in the next few weeks, and both this and the new cover design for pamphlets had been produced from computer-prepared camera-ready copy, considerably speeding the printing process.

He particularly commended to the Council the proposed History of Ringing, and was warmly supported by Mr. W.F. Moreton (Yorkshire) and Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life). Mr. J.S. Barnes (Cumberlands) suggested that it would be appropriate if it could be produced to coincide with the Council’s centenary.

Dr. Beard questioned the committee’s pricing policy for certain items which he described as “non-durable”, instancing the yearly “Rung Surprise” listing, and urged the committee to ensure that it gave value for money. Mr. Groome replied that it was necessary to consider prices overall; the Stedman Collection was having to be sold at a loss, for example. But he noted Dr. Beard’s point.

Mr. D.J. Carr (Kent) wondered whether some publications might be issued on some form of computer-readable medium. The Vice-President, Dr. Baldwin, pointed out the difficulty in finding a medium that could be accepted by a variety of computers.

After it had been seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor, the report was adopted and the new committee elected after a ballot. It now consists of Miss Jean Sanderson and Messrs. Groome, Morris (Worcester & Districts), Taylor, and Thorne (Honorary). The unsuccessful nominees were Messrs. J. Couperthwaite (Guildford) and R. Johnston (Yorkshire).


“After its election at Rochester in 1981, this Committee produced a comprehensive programme of work for our eight members. This report for 1983 summarises our activities in the final year of the triennium, and details the progress we have made in achieving our objectives.

We continue to prepare new books and leaflets. ‘Triples and Major for Beginners’ should be in the Publications Committee’s hands by the Council meeting; ‘Judging Striking Contests’ and ‘Proof of Bob Major’ are on sale; and ‘Touches for Service’ is being printed, whilst ‘False Course Heads’ is nearing that stage.

The cassette tape ‘Teach yourself Change Ringing on Handbells’ is now in production, and the Committee would like to thank Christine Potter, John Potter, Harold Chant, Mark Ockleton, Graham Grant and Adrian Moreton for their help in preparing it.

Work on other projects in the audio-visual field continues, but it will be some time before the general interest film-strip is available. V H S copies of ‘Birth of a Bell’ are, however, available from the Chairman of this Committee.

Last year we mentioned the possibility of obtaining a copy of ‘Ringers Required’, a 16mm black-and-white film made in 1959. We were advised by the Administrative Committee that this would not be a good investment, so the matter was dropped.

We also suggested in our last report that the loan of exhibition cards might now be handled by the Public Relations Committee. This has been agreed, and they have also taken over the loan of the Council’s two 16mm films, ‘This Ringing Isle’ and the Washington film.

For the second year running we held our annual ringing course at Lackham Agricultural College, Lacock. About 80 students attended, nearly a third of whom were on the Towers Captains Course. We urge all members of the Council to publicise the latter vigorously: the future of the Exercise lies in the hands of those who teach. This year the course is to move north to the Cheshire College of Agriculture, Reaseheath, Nantwich. It has been suggested on a number of occasions that we leave the south of England; we hope that the northern guilds and associations will give us their support.

The pilot scheme on graded ringing assessments has now been running for 18 months in the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild. They invited tower captains to take part, and those who considered it pertinent did so. The other guilds who offered to join the pilot scheme have not yet implemented it fully.

The Australia and New Zealand Association invited us to help in running courses in Australia. We were unable to assist in person but contributed a number of specially written lectures for their use. We wish them well in their efforts.

W. Butler (Chairman) R. Cater
W.F. Moreton
R.G. Morris
D.E. Parsons
D.E. Potter
R.B. Smith
J.M. Tyler

In proposing the report Mr. Butler (Oxford DG) said that “Triples and Major for Beginners” was not in fact yet with the Publications Committee, urged more societies to sponsor students at the Committee’s annual ringing course, and asked that the pilot Graded Assessments scheme be extended for the remainder of the triennium: it was still too early to provide a final report on it. He also thanked Mr. Moreton, who did not seek re-election, for many years service on the committee and to the Exercise (applause).

Seconding, Mr. Cater said that 11 students had so far enrolled for the Nantwich course, and more would be welcome. Numbers of students had however been declining over the years, and he expressed some concern about the course’s long term future.

Commenting on the Graded Assessments scheme, Mrs. Davis said that she thought the Winchester & Portsmouth DG had now got it right. Towers which had adopted it had found it of benefit, but participation must be voluntary - assessments were solely an aid.

Several members commented on the problem of obtaining support for the ringing course. Mr. H. Charles (Norwich) said that his Association had found only one taker for its offer of sponsorship, and Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby) wondered whether the tower captains course, which he understood was the main concern, should have another title - “Management Techniques in Ringing” perhaps (laughter).

Mr. Cater said that all society secretaries were notified each year of the course, and was aware that students seemed reluctant to come forward. He feared that some candidates might be overawed by the course being run by the Central Council.

The report was adopted.

For the Administrative Committee Mr. Wratten proposed that the new committee should have eight members. This was seconded by the Vice-President, and agreed. Twelve names were proposed: Messrs Butler, Cater, H.J. Charles, S.J. Coleman (Surrey), W.J. Couperthwaite, F.D. Mack (Devonshire G), N.R. Mattingley (Hereford), Morris, Parsons, Potter, R.B. Smith, and Tyler. After a ballot the President announced that all except Messrs. Charles, Couperthwaite, Mack and Mattingley had been elected.

Public Relations

The proposer of the report, Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (College Youths) said that only about ten affiliated societies did not now have PROs. The committee was beginning to receive requests for advice and help, and in this context he paid special tribute to Mr. H.W. Rogers (London CA) for his hard work in support of associations. He was seconded by Mr. D.E. House (Honorary).

“The end of the triennium is a time to look back as well as forward. This was a completely new committee this session, with a new remit: broadly, to evolve an active and outgoing PR policy for the Council. This objective has been developed over the past three years and the committee organised to promote ringing throughout the Council’s constituent societies and to foster good PR on behalf of the Council itself. It is interesting to note that the original constituent committees brought together in 1971 in the PR Committee still exist as roles within the organisation. The Church Press Committee of 1903 becoming Literature in 1912 and Literature and Press in 1925, plus the separate Broadcasting and Television Committee of 1954, are represented in the role of PR Officer - National Media. With the passage of time the centre of activity with the broadcasting media remains one of the committee’s prime interests.

Another constituent was the Overseas Ringing Committee (1963), whose responsibilities are now vested in the Overseas Liaison Officer. This task is of great importance to the future spread of Church bell ringing and is probably better pursued now than ever before.

The rest of the committee’s organisation reflects the fact that good PR has to be conducted at all levels in ringing and the major task for the future is to develop the policy at local level with the Guild and Association PROs.

1983/84 Activities

PR National Media - Philip Corby. Liaison has continued with the BBC and assistance given with ‘Christmas Bells’ and ‘Church Bells on Sunday’. It must be repeated that the media do not allow us any form of control over their output. In general the trend is towards an increasing number of bell broadcasts, specifically, as background, or even in adverts.

PR Overseas Liaison - Fred Dukes. Contact has been established with all areas overseas where there are ringers, and the overseas directory has been brought up-to-date. A full report of general interest has appeared recently in The Ringing World.

PR Association Liaison - David Potter. It is pleasing to report that there are new many more Association PROs, who are beginning to operate. The National Bell Towers Open Day - reported verbally last year - was a great success. Porch cards have been distributed nationwide at the Council’s expense. The Guild PROs Handbook is now in draft form and intended for publication in 1984/5.

PR Community Liaison - Angela Newing. There now exists a complete list of Archdeacons and Church architects, offering the possibility of the Council being able to represent its views directly to these people should it become desirable over some particular issue. An index has also been created of ringers and non-ringers with status and standing in the community who are known to be sympathetic to ringing. Associations are being urged to consider their relationship with Diocesan Authorities - particularly with reference to Diocesan Bell Advisors - the question being how well Associations are able to represent the interests of their members, whilst not forgetting the overall needs of the Church generally and of the local Church in particular.

PR Promotions - Harold Rogers. An extremely active year. The Expo Tower was set up at two shows, at Wandsworth and Putney. It is now in private ownership and the possibility of its purchase by the Council is being examined. Displays were mounted at St Mary-le-Bow in connection with the Council’s Bell Restoration reception, and assistance has been given to several locally-organised exhibitions, including Peterborough Cathedral. Local Associations are encouraged to develop their own material. There is a need for the Council to purchase its own display units in the near future.

PR Central Council - David House. This aspect of the Committee’s work, previously allocated to the Chairman, is now a separate function. ‘Foundry Focus’ in The Ringing World is an idea on trial. Plans to explain and promote the work of the Council’s committees, inside and outside the Exercise, are being developed.

PR Press-cutting Service - David Thorne. Much material is now received, examined, published in The Ringing World if of general interest, and selected items are kept by the committee for reference.


Much assistance has been given by Peter Sotheran, who was elected to the Committee last year, in the rapid production of posters, porch cards, etc. It is hoped to develop this production and advisory capacity as a service in the future.

The Committee hopes that it has laid the foundations during this triennium for an active promotional style of PR throughout the Exercise which will be of benefit for the future. This committee has started the ball rolling; the next committee must help it gain momentum.

A.W.R. Wilby (Chairman) P.A. Corby
F.E. Dukes
D.E. House
Angela Newing
D.E. Potter
H.W. Rogers
P. Sotheran
D.G. Thorne

Mr. R.J. Perry (Truro) asked whether there was any further news on the Expo tower. Mr. Wilby said that the owner wanted to restore it, but might bf interested in its ultimate sale.

Mr. Rogers appealed for unwanted Marley-Hayley display stands - and Mr. J.K. Foot (Liverpool Univ.) immediately offered him a set of 24 (applause and laughter).

After the report had been adopted, Mr. Wratten proposed, on behalf of the Administrative Committee, that the new committee should be nine in number; Mr. W.A. Patterson seconded. This was agreed.

The nine retiring members were then individually proposed and seconded, and were elected on a show of hands.


Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx) proposed, and Mrs O.D. Barnett (Honorary) seconded the committee’s report:

“The undermentioned past members of the Council died during 1983:

R.G. HooperGloucester & Bristol Dioc. Assn. 1960-66. Died 1 January 1983. Had attended 3 meetings.
F.V. GentEssex Association, 1945-54. Died 7 February 1983. Had attended 4 meetings.
P.L. HughesHereford Dioc. Guild, 1969-81. (Date of death not reported.) Had attended 9 meetings.
S.T. HoltWorcestershire & Districts Assn. 1936-57. Died 12 May 1983. Had attended 6 meetings.
W.J. DavidsonDurham & Newcastle Dioc. Assn. 1933-48. Died 30 May 1983. Had attended 4 meetings.
B.F. SimsBedfordshire Assn. 1955-60. Died 13 October 1983. Had attended 2 meetings.
B.G. KeyMidland Counties Guild, 1948-54; Soc. for Archd. of Stafford, 1954-69. Died 3 December 1983. Had attended 18 meetings.

T.J. Lock (Chairman) Mrs O.D. Barnett
G.A. Dawson
Rev. M.C.C. Melville
B.D. Threlfall
W. Viggers

Mr. W. Butler enquired what progress there had been in publishing the biographies of well-known past members of the Council, as had been proposed some time ago. Mr. Lock said that half-a-dozen had appeared in The Ringing World, and information for others was being collated; he would however welcome any further information on past Council members.

Mr. C.H. Rogers asked to what extent the committee’s biography sheets were used in preparing obituaries for The Ringing World. Mr. D.G. Thorne said he used what was supplied by his correspondents.

After the report had been adopted a proposition by Mr. Wilby, seconded by Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge Univ.), that the committee be invited to consider widening the scope of its work beyond Council members and to report back to the Administrative Committee, was agreed by the meeting.

The President said that the new committee would have five members. The outgoing six were all proposed in turn, Mr. Threlfall proving unsuccessful in the ensuing ballot.


“The Committee’s two meetings in 1983 were largely concerned with the programme of rebinding and conservation of books in the Library needing such treatment, the proposed publication of Part II of the Library Catalogue, and discussion of possible future projects. The programme of rebinding is now virtually complete, except that where there is more than one copy of a particular work in the Library, only one has been bound. The typescript of Library Catalogue Part II covering all MS and non-book items, as well as Association reports, has been passed to the Publications Committee for consideration. The Committee has done good work in obtaining copies of books which were not in the Library. We now have a collection of all known CC publications, except for one or two editions of certain works, and our collection of the ‘Snowdon Series’ now has copies of very nearly every edition of each title. The possibility of producing a really comprehensive index of ‘The Ringing World’ was also considered, but such a project will obviously take a good deal of time.

As will be seen from the Accounts, 1983 was an expensive year for the Library, but we feel that the money has been well spent. The rebinding programme cost £239, and purchases for the collection amounted to £281. These included all new publications advertised during the year in ‘The Ringing World’ (a few of these were donated). Other notable purchases were copies of Raven’s ‘Church Bells of Dorset’, ‘Church Bells of Huntingdonshire’, a history of the Antient Society of St Stephen’s Ringers, Bristol, and Stephen Wood’s peal book. Altogether 28 titles were added by purchase, and a record figure of 96 were given to the Library. The consequent growth of the collection is beginning to present problems of shelf space, but so far these have been overcome.

In addition, 17 Association reports for 1982 were received (a drop of three from the previous year) as well as a number of back copies, and current copies of the following periodicals:

The Clapper
Guildford District Newsletter
Canterbury District Newsletter
The D & N Times
Irish Bell News
Old North Berkshire Branch Newsletter
Face to Face (Salisbury DG)

The Committee is indeed grateful to all who have donated so many items to the Library in the past year - and specially to those who regularly send periodicals and reports. However, there is still only a small selection of the many local Newsletters represented in the Library.

Only one new member was added to the ‘Friends of the Library’, and as no subscriptions were received from eight members, the total subscriptions (£154.00) were down by £22.00 in 1983. The high level of expenditure on purchases and rebinding meant that £100 had to be transferred from the Deposit Account (originally provided by the Thackray Bequest). While it is not anticipated that 1984 will see such calls on the funds as 1983, it is hoped that many more, especially Council members, will seriously consider joining the ‘Friends’ so as to help maintain and increase this incomparable collection of books and other materials on Bells and Bell Ringing. Needless to say, we are immensely grateful to all who did subscribe last year - without their help we should have had to pass over some very rare opportunities of purchases which filled significant gaps in the collection.

The letter published in ‘The Ringing World’ last year concerning books reported by previous Hon. Librarians as having been given to the Library and which are not now there, produced no definite result.

Borrowings from the Library, at 31, were slightly up on last year. The Hon. Librarian received the usual number of requests for information.

W.T. Cook (Hon. Librarian) D.M. Joyce
Miss J. Sanderson
D.W. Struckett
P.M. Wilkinson

Mr. Cook proposed the report. He said that Part II of the Catalogue was now ready for publication, and that sales of duplicate copies of Association reports had been very successful. The Library had received a generous donation from Mr. C.J. Groome for his use of the Library’s JD & CM Campanalogia, and there had been a slight increase this year in the number of Friends of the Library. Finally he thanked David Joyce, who was no longer on the Council, for his work, and who had donated to the Library a number of 78 rpm records of bells.

He was seconded by Mr. P.M. Wilkinson (Cumberland Youths).

Mr. Potter suggested that the Committee should appoint an association liaison officer to generate interest in, and the preservation of, local ringing records. He was concerned that the records of defunct local societies were being lost for lack of interest.

In reply to a question from the Revd. M.C.C. Melville (Universities), Mr. Cook said that the Armiger Trollope MS book, reported missing a couple of years ago, had not been found.

The President pointed out that, as the Hon. Librarian was an ex officio member of the Library Committee, only four members could be elected. There were six nominations - Miss J. Sanderson and Messrs. Wilkinson, D.E. House, C.J. Pickford, N.A. Johnson (Durham & Newcastle), and B. Johnston (Yorkshire), Mr. Struckett not seeking re-election - of which the first four were elected by ballot.

Accounts adopted

At this point the Council’s accounts for 1983 were adopted, as proposed by Mr. Wratten and seconded by Mr. F.E. Dukes.

Towers and Belfries

In the absence of Mr. B.D. Threlfall, the committee’s report was proposed by Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary), who was seconded by Mr. F. Reynolds (Lancashire).

“Once again the Committee has had an active year, and members have given advice to upwards of a hundred towers on very diverse topics - the Chairman was even asked why one tower should not have a ring of bells installed. It is worth commenting that a typical visit may take several hours’ travelling time, a couple of hours on site, and several more hours writing a report. We very much hope that towers feel they get good value for the time we give - they are only asked to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

A successful autumn meeting was held at the Chairman’s home, attended by the majority of the members. At this meeting S.C. Walters was co-opted to the Committee on having severed all his business connections with Messrs Eayre and Smith: we were very glad to have the benefit again of his considerable knowledge. After the meeting, Mr. Reg. Badcock of Soundweld discussed his work with the Committee over lunch.

The major problem during the year has been an increasing divergence of opinion over the problems of conservation. Whilst fully endorsing the desirability of preserving the Church’s artistic heritage as set out in the Council for the Care of Churches’ Code of Practice agreed with this Committee in 1981, we note that the bell-founders have not yet agreed, nor are necessarily aware of, the Code. We are also very much aware of the practical problems of ringing and ringers, of the technical problems associated with bell-founding and bell-hanging, and of the very considerable financial problems faced by individual parishes. Most of us also sit on our respective Diocesan Advisory Committees, either as full members or as bell advisers, and are aware too of similar conflicts of interest in other directions. Accordingly our reports endeavour to reflect the inevitable compromises, and to look for the best possible solution taking all these factors into account.

W.L. Exton will not be a member of the Council, and hence of the committee from now on: we are most grateful to him for his past work, and for his offer to help on an ad hoc basis in the future.

B.D. Threlfall (Chairman)
- for the Committee

Mr. Frost explained that the Code of Practice mentioned was available from the Council for the Care of Churches and referred to lists of bells county by county. Mr Groome, who could not recall the Code being discussed by the Central Council, felt that it was too tightly drawn and was being implemented even more tightly. The preservation of the Church’s “artistic heritage” has sometimes meant the preservation of cracked bells, and made it increasingly difficult for poorer parishes to restore their rings, he said; the old was being preserved at the expense of the good. He proposed that the Committee be asked to report at next year’s meeting on the Code of Practice, its basis and its implications, a proposal seconded by Mr. A. Cattell (Leicester).

Preb. Scott, who is also Chairman of the Bells Sub-committee of the Council for the Care of Churches, said that the Towers and Belfries Committee had carefully considered and agreed the Code, bearing in mind the requirements, not the desires, of ringers. It was only a guide, with no executive authority, and was implemented by Chancellors on the advice of their Diocesan Advisory Committees. He would however he happy for the Committee to consider it again.

After Mr. Frost had commented that such an agreement had existed for some 25 years, Mr. Groome’s proposition was put to the vote and carried.

Mr. G.A. Dawson (Southwell) moved that the words “nor are necessarily aware of” be deleted from the report’s third paragraph; the code had been circulated to the founders in 1981, he said. He was seconded by Mr. A.P.S. Berry (Honorary), and on being put to the vote, this too was agreed.

The report was then adopted in its modified form.

Mr. Wratten proposed, for the Administrative Committee, that the new committee should have ten members. He was seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor, and this was agreed.

Those of the retiring members who were eligible and willing to stand again - Messrs. A. Dempster, A.J. Frost, G.W. Massey, D.E. Potter, F. Reynolds, Preb. J.G.M. Scott, and Messrs. B.D. Threlfall and S.C. Walters - were proposed en bloc, and Messrs. F.D. Mack, B. Stone (Oxford Soc.) and J.B. Taylor were individually nominated. In order to avoid the necessity for a ballot, Mr. Potter withdrew his name, saying that he would be content to be co-opted if required, and the remainder were elected on a show of hands.

Bell Restoration Funds

The committee reported that

“The most important event in 1983, and a landmark in the history of the Central Council, was the Reception and Exhibition held at St Mary-le-Bow, London, on 22nd September. Organised in conjunction with the Public Relations Committee, its purpose was to interest Trustees of London-based Charitable Trusts in supporting church bell restoration. Those attending included the Council’s President, the Vice-President and the Hon. Librarian, together with Committee representatives and other Council members. The event was a major step in the promotion of bell ringing and bell restoration. Many good contacts were made; the Council has gained a first-rate exhibition which is already in demand and which may be adapted for use by any Guild or parish; we are better placed to assist Guilds and parishes; and we now know what ringers can achieve by co-operation and effort. The presentation was professional in every respect and we are grateful for the tremendous amount of willing help we received from both ringers and non-ringers.

The Manifold Trust again made grants towards church bell restoration which in total amounted to £15,000. A stipulation this year was that in general the bells must have been unringable for some time in order to qualify for a grant. As far as possible the grant should also be an incentive to help get a restoration scheme started. Attention has thus become focussed upon the five hundred unringable rings of bells which form the nucleus of the unringables. In the parishes concerned the bells may not have been regularly rung for 50 years or more, there may be no local ringers to initiate a restoration scheme, and there may be little or no knowledge of the support which would be forthcoming from the local Guild and the Central Council. We have therefore prepared for Guilds a leaflet of suggestions which may help them in their approaches to such parishes.

We have also prepared a leaflet about ways of creating awareness and interest in initiating a restoration scheme and indicating the various methods of fund raising which are available.

In the course of the year we undertook our triennial survey of Guild Restoration Funds, an account of which has appeared in ‘The Ringing World’. The help of all those who supplied information is appreciated and we tender our thanks. The ready availability of current statistics is important in our communications with charitable trusts and enables us to quantify the part played by bellringers’ Guilds in bell restoration work.

We continue to receive enquiries about covenenting and in order to help Guilds promote this valuable method of fund raising we are working on an information leaflet. Some Guilds already have a Covenenting Officer; we recommend that all Guilds consider making such an appointment.

Our supply of articles to ‘The Ringing World’ has continued throughout the year. One article concerned the registration of an entire Guild as a Charity and reflected the enquiries we have received on that topic. Our article promoted a reply from the Peterborough Guild who provided valuable practical experience on their own whole-Guild registration.

The subject of Value Added Tax on bell and tower restoration work has again arisen, and from information we have received it is clear that some parishes have avoided paying VAT on at least part of the work. It is hoped that a statement may be possible in the course of the year.

We have had an extremely busy year, including three full Committee meetings and, in connection with the Bow Reception and Exhibition, a further seven sub-Committee meetings. The support we are able to offer Guilds and parishes in tackling the 500 unringable rings of bells is likely to give us much work in the years to come and offers a challenge to all ringers.

J.S. Barnes (Chairmen) E. Billings
M.J. Church
K.S.B. Croft
G.A. Halls
J.F. Mulvey
I.H. Oram

Mr. Barnes moved the report’s adoption, adding that the leaflet of suggestions is available on request, and that the committee had offered to give administrative help to the Barron Bell Trust which, although its trustee was apparently not replying to letters, was functioning and making six or seven grants a year. The committee was also willing to act as a clearing house for loans from one BRF to another, allowing BRF money not required in one area to be put to use elsewhere. He also paid tribute to the late K.S.B. Croft, whose last work for the committee had been the production of the covenanting leaflet. He was seconded by Mr. I.H. Oram (Cumberland Youths).

Mr. A.R. Smith (Suffolk) welcomed the work of the Manifold Trust, but wondered whether the committee could encourage trusts to assist churches with, not unringable, but barely ringable bells; these constituted the main problem facing the Suffolk Guild.

The report was adopted.

A new committee of seven members having been agreed, as proposed by Mr. Wratten for the Administrative Committee and seconded by Mr. Potter, Messrs. Barnes, Billings, Church, Halls, P.L.J. Matthews (Salisbury), Mulvey, Oram and A.R. Smith were in turn nominated. A ballot resulted in the election of all except Mr. Matthews.

Redundant Bells

“The hesitant downward trend in the number of churches declared redundant continues. Indeed, if this remains the case, there is even some ground for optimism that the Church Commissioners’ forecast that 609 churches would be declared redundant between 1980 and 1989 may not be reached. At December 31 1983, 1,043 churches had been declared redundant - 47 of them in 1983, 63 in 1982, and 66 in 1981.

As we mentioned in our last report, the Pastoral Measure 1983, which supersedes the original Measure of 1968, was due to come into force in 1983. It duly did so on 1st November, and made two important changes as far as the care of fittings in redundant churches are concerned. Before, the church building alone was vested during the Waiting Period in the Diocesan Board of Finance: now the contents too are vested. As well, the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches, a body of experts who previously advised only on the church building, is now required to consider the contents also.

At the end of the year came the Report of the Faculty Jurisdiction Commission, to which we submitted comments in 1979. Though this report has still to be accepted by the General Synod, we are very pleased to note that it has come down very strongly in favour of the scrupulous observance of the faculty procedure for any necessary disposals of contents during the Waiting Period, pointing out that authority for disposals during the Waiting Period should not be delegated entirely to the Diocesan Furnishings Officer. Any tightening up of rules which makes casual disposals of bells less likely can only be welcome.

The Committee has been involved this year with 54 cases, including ten enquiries for rings of bells, and 18 for bells for augmentations, replacements, or for use as single bells. Some seven bells or rings are currently at some stage of transfer.

Among the requests for rings of bells, three were later withdrawn, one indeed with the intention of purchasing a completely new ring, since there seemed little chance of the ideal redundant ring appearing. On the other side of the coin, however, is the ring - St Nicholas, Colchester - which had been given to another church when its original home was demolished in the 1950s. The recipient church had no use for the bells, and a new home was sought. Fortunately, as it turned out, the two possible destinations we suggested came to nothing; because we now hear that the owners of the bells - St Martin, Basildon - have after everything decided to build a tower and hang the bells, an unforeseen but very satisfactory outcome.

The weight of rings available continues to be a problem. Indeed, it is probably true to say that finding a home for any ring with a tenor of over 12cwt - perhaps one should even say 10cwt - is, almost regardless of quality, extremely difficult. Of the two apparent major factors in this - strength and size of possible tower, and cost - it does seem that cost is most often the deciding factor. While it is only natural perhaps that churches and Diocesan Furnishing Officers should want to receive a realistic market price for their bells, it may prove something of a Pyrrhic victory if these same bells have eventually to be scrapped because the price of re-housing them is set too high. It is perhaps too optimistic to hope that a wider view could be taken: moving bells from one church to another without any money changing hands is merely a relocation of resources. It does not diminish the total wealth of the Church.

Obviously the church most in mind with a weight problem is St Stephen, Hampstead, with its 27cwt ring of ten, now in storage. One possibility, where the tower proved too small, was investigated; but apart from that it is difficult to see clearly what the future of the bells can be. We continue to travel hopefully; but with decreasing assurance, particularly since there is some chance that two more rings of comparable weight - St Stephen, Low Elswick, and St Thomas, Bristol - may also soon be needing new homes.

Finding the right redundant bell is seldom easy. We were sorry that two churches this year were for financial reasons unable to take up the chance of apparently ideal bells or, unfortunately, even to consider purchasing them and hanging them later.

Work is continuing on the review of bells transferred in the last ten years; we hope soon to have the results available. We are particularly grateful to those Associations who have gone to very considerable trouble to provide comprehensive, and in many cases extremely detailed, information. We hope that those Associations who have not yet been able to reply may perhaps also be able to help us.

As well, we say thank you to those Associations who have provided the more routine information which is invaluable. While it was disappointing to discover from the Faculty Jurisdiction report that only two thirds of the D.A.Cs are involved in discussions on furnishings in redundant churches, we remain convinced that the forging of closer links between Association and diocese is the best possible way of avoiding the loss of bells from redundant churches.

Another major source of information is the notes Mr. Ranald Clouston prepares for the Council for the Care bf Churches; we thank him for his kindness in providing us with copies. We are grateful, too, to the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their kindness and interest, and for the help which they so readily and generously provide.

E.A. Barnett
R.J. Cooles
K.S.B. Croft
G.A. Dawson
J. Freeman
A.J. Frost
G.W. Massey
M.H.D. O’Callaghan
J.G.M. Scott
Gilbert Thurlow
Jane Wilkinson

Mrs Jane Wilkinson (Honorary) moved the report’s adoption, urging Associations to reply to the committee’s questionnaire on transfers, and saying that it now seemed virtually certain that the Hampstead bells would go to Australia. She also paid tribute to the late Mr. Croft. Mr. J. Freeman (Life) seconded.

For the Administrative Committee Mr. Wratten proposed a membership of eleven for the committee, and he was seconded by Dr. J. Armstrong (Essex). This was agreed. The retiring members were proposed en bloc with the addition of the President of the Council, Mr. Corby, and the Revd. P. Newing (Durham Univ.) was also proposed. To avoid the necessity for a ballot, Mr. Corby declined nomination, saying that he could be co-opted to the committee. Although Mrs. Wilkinson said that she was unhappy at this suggestion, the elected committee consisted of Mrs Wilkinson, Dean Thurlow, Preb. Scott, Revd. P. Newing, and Messrs. Barnett, Cooles, Dawson, Freeman, Frost, Massey and O’Callaghan.

Committee Chairmen

Before dealing with the report of the Administrative Committee, the President invited the newly-elected committees to select their chairmen. These were then declared to be

Bell Restoration Funds- J.S. Barnes (Cumberland Youths)
Biographies- T.J. Lock (Middlesex CA & London DG)
Computer Co-ordination- Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG)
Education- W. Butler (Oxford DG)
Library- Hon. Librarian, W.T. Cook (College Youths)
Methods- M.C.W. Sherwood (Honorary)
Peal Compositions- R.W. Pipe (St Martin’s)
Peals Analysis- C.H. Rogers (Guildford)
Publications- C.J. Groome (Peterborough)
Public Relations- A.W.R. Wilby (College Youths)
Records- D.E. Sibson (Cumberland Youths)
Redundant Bells- Mrs M.J. Wilkinson (Honorary)
Towers and Belfries- B.D. Threlfall (Honorary)

Administrative Committee

The Hon. Secretary, Mr. Wratten, proposed the report and was seconded by Mrs. O.D. Barnett.

“The Committee has met twice in London during the past twelve months, during which it made the arrangements for this year’s Council meeting and has endorsed the arrangements being made by the Sussex County Association for next year’s meeting in Brighton. The lack of any invitation for the 1986 meeting is beginning to cause some concern, and it is hoped that something will soon materialise.

Following last year’s survey of Council members’ views of the arrangements for ‘the Council weekend’, in which 95 members said they preferred official events to be restricted to two days and 50 said they preferred the previous three-day spread, the Committee decided that in future official functions should whenever possible be concentrated into two days, Monday and Tuesday - as they are this year. (Because of local circumstances, the 1985 meeting will however be on the three-day plan.)

The arrangements for the election of committees at the first meeting of each triennia were discussed at length, but no radical changes have been made. It is hoped that improved administrative arrangements will simplify and speed the process at this year’s meeting.

The transfer of some £42,000 of former Ringing World funds to the Central Council consequent upon the formation of The Ringing World Ltd caused the Committee to establish in October a small working party consisting of the two Auditors (Messrs Church and Godfrey), Mr R.J. Cooles sand the Hon. Secretary and Treasurer (Mr Wratten), to examine the management of the Council’s finances.

Their report, adopted at the March meeting, concluded that financial responsibility should remain with the President, Vice-President and Hon. Secretary/Treasurer, and made a number of recommendations to simplify accounting and investment. Something over £3,500 a year, depending on interest rates, should be readily available in future to support the work of the Council in, for example, financing major new publications, public relations work, the Rescue Fund, the Library, and so on. In these circumstances, affiliation fees will be directly related to meeting the Council’s administrative costs, the bulk of which of course arise from the annual meeting.

C.A. Wratten (Hon. Secretary)

Asked by Mr. Foot about the current value of the former Ringing World investments in view of the recent slump in the Stock Market, Mr. Wratten said that they had all been realised a month before, when the market was booming. The report was then adopted.

Twelve nominations were made for the twelve elected members of the new committee (the others being the officers, committee chairman, and the Chairman of the Board of The Ringing World Ltd), and these were elected en bloc. They were: Mrs. Barnett, Drs. J. Armstrong and D.W. Beard, and Messrs. W.B. Cartwright, R. Cater, M.J. Church, R.J. Cooles, J. Freemen, P.M.J. Gray, D.E. House, I.H. Oram, and S.C. Walters.

Mr. H.J. Charles (Norwich), commenting that it had been necessary to rush discussion of the last few committee reports, enquired whether the Administrative Committee could look into the possibility of rearranging the order of reports from meeting. The Hon. Secretary said that this was done as a matter of course.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

The Secretary of the Fund, Mr. R.J. Cooles presented the following report; he was seconded by Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan.

“The support given by members of the Council at the June meeting in entering into 33 loan arrangements totalling nearly £6,000 was a great encouragement and has enabled us to be confident of being able to call on funds to meet most demands. New support is, of course, always welcome, both to spread the load and to provide additional resources in case of need. The total sum available to the Fund is around £21,000.

Although we know of cases where the existence and availability of the Fund have been referred to by Associations in negotiating transfers of redundant peals, we have not had any specific ‘rescue’ request in 1983. However, we were pleased to record the dedication of the 8 from Holy Trinity, Blackburn, at St Silas, Blackburn, in February 1983, and to receive repayment of the Fund’s loan to acquire the bells. The bells of Widnes, rescued at the end of 1982, have received attention pending their rehanging at Stoneycroft, and by the end of the year £800 of the Fund’s loan had been repaid.

In December we were delighted to conclude negotiations for the ring of ten from Feltham, bought by the Fund in 1982 initially for the Middlesex Association, to pass to St Pierre du Bois in Guernsey. Hopefully the 10 will be ringing by the autumn of 1984. Half of the sums due to the Fund have been repaid at the end of the year on the basis that the rest would follow in the first half of 1984. This would then enable a substantial repayment of loans to those generous individuals who had been willing to offer loans and had done so.


Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1983
14Donations- . -

--- . -

61Excess of income over expenditure59.31
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1983
6462Bells from St Catherine Feltham at cost6,526.75
2650Loan to PCC of St Silas, Blackburn-
-Loan to PCC of St Paul, Stoneycroft3,000.00
1000Cheque in hands of Treasurer-
2955Bank balances4,414.91

-Deposit by PCC of St Pierre du Bois for Feltham bells3,375.00
2650Deposit by Middlesex County Association for Feltham bells-
2482Loans from Guilds and individuals2,547.00
2000Thackray Bequest2,000.00
720Sundry creditors745.00


5215Net Assets£5,274.66
154Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19835,215.35
5000Grant from Manifold Trust-
61Excess of income over expenditure59.31


R.J. Cooles
M.H.D. O’Callaghan


We have obtained all the information and explanations we have required and report that in our opinion the above Income and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet are drawn up so as to exhibit a true and fair view of the state of the above Fund at 31st December 1983.

M.J. Church, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
E.G.H. Godfrey, F.C.A.)

The report and accounts were adopted without discussion. The President reminded members that it had been agreed when the Fund was set up in 1979 that it should be administered by the members of the Committee for Redundant Bells, and that therefore no election was necessary.

Future meetings

The Hon. Secretary said that the 1985 meeting would be in Brighton, when the Council would be the guests of the Sussex County Association; he had received a provisional invitation from the Surrey Association for 1988, and a firm one from the Coventry Diocesan Guild for 1987 - when it was hoped the restored Coventry Cathedral bells would be opened; and that invitations for 1989 and 1991 had already been received from the St Martin’s Guild and the Ancient Society of College Youths respectively.

After Mr. P.T. Hurcombe (Sussex) had said that his Association would be sending out details of its arrangements early next year and urged members to reply promptly so that Brighton Corporation could have the information it would require, Mr. G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells) said that the Bath & Wells Diocesan Association would be celebrating its centenary in 1990, and he hoped the Council would hold its meeting that year in their area (applause).


The Hon. Secretary reported a near-record attendance it the meeting of 185 members - 6 Life, 17 Honorary, and 185 representatives from 82 different societies. Two societies, the Devon Association and the Swansea and Brecon DG, were not represented.


The President proposed a comprehensive vote of thanks: to committee members and chairmen for their work, to the Bishop of Hull and the Mayor of Beverley for their welcome to the Council the previous evening, to incumbents for the use of their bells and to the Vicar of Beverley Minster for that morning’s service, to the Secretary and the retiring President, and above all to the members and officers of the Beverley and District Society for all they had done to make the Council so welcome. He mentioned particularly Neville Pailing and Peter Church and their organising committee, Mrs Sally Beard who had been responsible for the food at the reception, and Dr David Beard for his good offices with the University. (Prolonged applause)

Mr. Cartwright thanked the President on behalf of the members for his conduct of the meeting (applause), and the meeting closed at 18.05.

The Ringing World, August 3, 1984, supplement

Overseas Liaison

(Central Council Public Relations Committee)

Since Fred Dukes took over the job of Overseas Liaison Officer in 1982 he has applied to it his tremendous enthusiasm and the contact between the Council and overseas ringing that he has established can never have been better.

As last year Fred’s report is of general interest, and it would be a pity for it to be edited down to fit into this Committee’s annual report to Council. I therefore have pleasure in presenting it unexpurgated in advance and with my thanks to Fred for another year’s excellent work on behalf of our friends overseas.

Andrew W. R. Wilby,
Chairman, PR Committee,
Central Council.

* * *

Public Relations

During the year, the appointment of Public Relations Officers in all areas overseas was completed. The NAG officially elected Mr. Stephen Collins, ANZAB appointed the Assistant Secretaries to include PR in their duties and their names appear in the Ringers Diary. Where there is no National Association and in particular in Africa, ringers in each of the areas have agreed to act as PR officers. So it may now be said that every area overseas where there are active bell-ringers there is a PRO.

Public Relations can be said to be generally on an excellent basis, particularly in the Americas and Australia and New Zealand where the media has given publicity to bell-ringing. Ringing has been seen on TV and individual bellringers interviewed on both TV and Radio. I must mention Bill Theobald, who seems to have stolen the show in USA where his appearance on a number of Channels was noted, and he also seems to have a way with Royalty as he was summoned by a Royal visitor to explain all about bells and bellringing. Bill has done much to foster ringing and good relations, which we trust was responsible for the provision of additional rings of bells during his years of work in that area. In both ANZAB and NAG areas a tribute must also be paid to the local ringers for their efforts in seeing that more bells are being provided.

The Exercise as a whole must be grateful to our, friends overseas for all that they are doing to maintain our ancient Art and to spread its gospel.

Augmentations and restorations

During 1983, we are pleased to record much work in the augmentation and restoration areas. In Canada, the eight at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC was augmented to a ten, in time for the visit of HM The Queen. The USA was the recipient of a ten in the Old Post Office tower, Washington DC. This was the gift of the Ditchley Foundation. They are a replica of Westminster Abbey bells and were cast in Whitechapel. A ring of six bells was installed in the Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene, Texas, which from early reports were not entirely satisfactory, but efforts were put in hand to rectify the matter. The ring at the Old North Church, Boston was restored and is now a nice going ring. It is with pleasure that we note that the new twelve with semitones have been erected in Wellington Cathedral, New Zealand and are to be dedicated at Easter 1984. St. Paul’s, Papanui were augmented to an eight and dedicated in September. Christ Church, St. Lawrence, Sydney were rehung in modern fittings, and the Ballarat Town Hall bells were restored.

For the future, we learn that additional rings of bells are likely to appear during the next year or two, amongst which are: York (8), near Perth; Claremont, Perth (6); University of WA (8 or 10); Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas (8); Kalamazoo College (8); Miami Cathedral (8); Episcopal Cathedral, New York (14); and a semi-tone for St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.

This is very good news, and we trust that we will be able to record that most of these rings will have materialised in 1984 and that we will hear of further additions in the years ahead.


Regular communications were maintained with every area where there are active bands of ringers. From letters received from overseas friends, it is evident that such communications are being regarded as welcome and helpful. Contact was made with Lahore, as a result of a conversation with Mr. Andrew Holland who visited the church earlier in the year.

The only place with which contact was not made was Kilifi, Kenya, but thanks to Mr. Mercer’s recent note in the RW, a letter will shortly be on its way to St. Thomas’s Church.

In letters received, it is very evident that visits from ringers, particularly change-ringers from these islands, and other places overseas, are eagerly anticipated and the help which can be given is very much appreciated. The writer can put any ringer, going to places near rings of bells, in touch with the proper person who will be only too pleased to make necessary arrangements for ringing. We hope such ringers will take the opportunity to ring overseas and to help and encourage the “locals”. In some places, your assistance is necessary and would be appreciated.

Overseas Directory of Ringers

The Overseas Ringers’ Directory was brought up-to-date, thanks to the ready response received to our request. The Editor of The Ringing World and Bill Theobald were helpful too in listing unattached ringers and to all gratitude is expressed. The value of such a directory proved itself when requests were made for addresses from both home and overseas sources.

Change ringing

Progress in change ringing is being maintained in most towers abroad and several quarter peals and peals were scored. For the interest of those reading this report, a summary of such performances is tabulated hereunder:


The breakdown of these figures over each country is given thus:

New Zealand-37--
S Africa19-2

Note: These figures reflect the published totals, they were extracted from The Ringing World, Ringing Towers, and NAG Report.

Methods ranged from Plain methods (Doubles to Royal) to Surprise methods, including Cambridge, Superlative, Yorkshire, London, Bristol, Pudsey, New Cambridge, Southern Cross and Spliced. The spread of these methods covers virtually all areas. Two hand-bell peals of Normanton Alliance were scored in USA - one of Major and the others of Royal. We cannot close this section without complimenting Zimbabwe, on scoring its first peal of Cambridge, that of Minor at Harare Cathedral. Parktown ringers scored six quarter peals during their tour of the UK in April.


In July, a week was given in Boston, USA to teaching sixteen enthusiasts. And it is delightful to note that most were ringing in “rounds” after five days instruction. Good work.

We learned with regret that Burwood, Australia had to close its doors because of lack of a sufficient number of ringers to form a team. Later in the year, however, it was with pleasure that we noted the reopening of the tower following the training of a new team. Let’s hope that it will not be necessary to “shut shop” again, and that other towers which are struggling will soon be back to normal with a sufficient supply of recruits. It is in this area that visitors can assist locals where their expertise could be helpful.

International Striking Competition

Following a discussion at a meeting of this committee, overseas areas were sounded out to obtain their views regarding a suggested International Striking competition. Whilst some parties occasionally visit the UK, others would find it impossible to come here. Alternative suggestions were put forward by interested parties that the competition might be run on a recorded tape basis. For the present no action is being taken in furtherance of these proposals until they have been again discussed by the committee.


From the various towers, we learn that in Durban, the weekday practices are advertised in the local papers. There was also a letter complaining about the long duration of ringing during the visit of a well-known UK ringer and from the Parktown ringers. Mrs. Jane Gant replied to this complaint and invited the “Affected” to come and see the ringing.

The Papanui, N.Z. restoration was adequately covered on TV and Radio, and in the local press. Grahamstown ringers were seen on TV, during the running of a serial on Eastern Cape Province. Several towers in the USA and Australia were given publicity in the press and over the air in connection with special events.

Twinning of towers

Suggestions were put to overseas towers that they might like to twin with suitable towers in the UK. Some replies came to hand and the information passed on to David Potter who was given the responsibility of completing the necessary arrangements.

African Association

Mrs. Shirley Bolton invited offers with a view to forming a National Association for Africa. Whilst a few towers would like the idea, distances and currency restrictions would make it difficult for them to be really active. We hope that Mrs. Bolton’s efforts will not be allowed to rest, and that once the seed has been sown, it may eventually grow into an organised society. Close relations are being maintained between various towers even though they may be several hundred miles apart.

Affiliation to Central Council

The USA and Canadian ringers are represented on the Central Council through two representatives, and the Australian and New Zealand ringers through one representative. The African ringers are not represented and are unable to become affiliated to the Council because of the lack of numbers necessary to qualify. The efforts of Mrs. Bolton to form an Association, if successful, would probably still not qualify them to become affiliated. So Africa is the only area with bellringers which is not represented on the Council. Proposals are being considered which might get around this problem and hopefully we may be able to welcome representation from our African towers in the not too distant future. In the meantime this committee will keep an eye on things as far as Africa is concerned, in fact one tower has asked us to do so.


In conclusion, I would like to express appreciation for all the good work being down in all areas overseas in fostering and maintaining ringing, our thanks are also due to those whose efforts have been responsible for the provision of additional bells and rings of bells. Those who teach and by their regular attendance ensure continuity of ringing and church service ringing in particular are owed a great debt of gratitude. So on behalf of the Central Council in general, and of this Public Relations Committee in particular, I would like to say a sincere thank you to one and all.

Overseas Liaison Officer,
PR Committee, Central Council.

The Ringing World, March 23, 1984, pages 253 to 254

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