Central Council Meeting - Brighton - 28 May 1985

The Council’s meeting in the Dome Theatre, Brighton, was its 88th Annual Meeting, and was opened with prayer lead by the Vice-President, the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA). The President, Mr. P.A. Corby (Life member) welcomed members and explained that he was at present undergoing a course of treatment and had consequently asked Dr. Baldwin to take the chair for the main part of the meeting; he said that he would be assisted by the immediate past President, the Revd. J.G.M. Scott (Devonshire G).

The Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Gloucester & Bristol DA), reported that, as last year, of the 66 societies affiliated to the Council two - the St. David’s Guild and the S. Derbyshire & N. Leicestershire Association - had insufficient members to entitle them to a representative; the remaining societies had 174 representatives. With 9 Life and 24 Honorary members, the Council’s strength was consequently 207. He said that all subscriptions except one, that of the University of London Society, had been paid. The President pointed out that, under the Rules, that Society’s representative would be unable to speak or vote at the meeting until the subscription had been paid; and this was at once given to the Secretary by Mr. P. Sanderson (London US).

Apologies for absence

The Secretary said that apologies had been received from Messrs. F.W. Perrens and E.C. Shepherd (Life), W.H. Dobbie, P. Sotheran and R.F.B. Speed (Honorary), and M.J. Freeman, P.M.J. Gray, W.C. Boucher, N.A. Johnson, J.L. Millhouse, C.J. Pickford, D. Martin and J.T. Shepard (representative members).

New Members

The President welcomed four new members of the Council, hoping that they would enjoy their period of office and that the Council will profit from their contributions. They were the Revd. B. Harris (Chester DG) and Messrs P.J. Flavell (Derby DA), S.S. Meyer (Ely DA) and A.D. Evans (Worcs & Dist A).

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.C. Duffield (Norwich, 1945-54), W.H. Coles (Middx, 1950-51), A.H. Reed (Bath & Wells, 1960-81), C.W. Roberts (Honorary, 1933-45 and 1950-51; Middx, 1951-54; Honorary, 1954-61), G.S. Morris (Salisbury, 1957-75), A.R. Elkins (Chester, 1960-63 and 1967-69), L. Stilwell (Sussex, 1951-57; Honorary, 1957-70), and J.W. Cotton (Midland Counties, 1946-78).

The Revd. L. Yeo (Devonshire G) said a prayer.

Election of Honorary Members

Five of the Council’s Honorary members’ terms of office expired at the end of this meeting: A.E. Bagworth, A.P.S. Berry, W.H. Dobbie, D.G. Thorne and Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson. Each was separately nominated for re-election - Messrs Bagworth and Dobbie for their work as Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine, Mrs. Wilkinson because of her work on the Redundant Bells Committee, Mr. D.G. Thorne as Editor of The Ringing World and for his work for the Publications and Public Relations committees, and Mr. A.P.S. Berry, as General Manager of John Taylor & Co, to represent the foundry. There were no other nominations.

In accordance with the Council’s Rules, voting was by ballot. The tellers (provided by the Sussex CA) subsequently reported that each had obtained the necessary majority of votes, and they were declared elected (applause).

Minutes of the 1984 meeting

The Secretary proposed the adoption of the Minutes published in The Ringing World of 1 February 1985, subject to the addition of the Universities Association and the Revd. M.C.C. Melville to the list of those attending the meeting, and was seconded by Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough DG). They were adopted without comment, and signed by the President.

The Secretary went on to say that, of the matters arising from the Minutes, the full version of the Peals Analysis Committee’s report had been included in the published Official Report of the meeting; the Administrative Committee had, as instructed, considered the Biographies Committee’s proposals for widening the scope of its work beyond past and present members of the Council and had agreed that the committee should work backwards in time; and suggested that the Towers & Belfries Committee’s report on the Council for the Care of Churches’ Code of Practice relating to church bells should be considered with that committee’s annual report, later in the agenda. This was agreed.

Report of the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer

Mr. Wratten moved the adoption of the following report:

Since last year’s meeting, three Guild representatives have resigned and replacements elected. Mr. W.B. Cartwright, who was elected a Life Member at Hull after representing the Worcestershire and Districts Association since 1951, has been similarly replaced by a new representative.

Members will have seen the account in The Ringing World last autumn of Mr. and Mrs. Morris’ visit to the Italian church bell ringers in the Verona area. As a result of that visit the local association, the Associazione Suonatori di Campane a Sistema Veronese (Association of Verona-style Bell Ringers) has presented the Council with a plaque and sent a message of good wishes.

I have been in correspondence with the General Secretary of the Winchester and Portsmouth DG about that society’s acceptance at its 1984 AGM of a ‘peal’ at Liss Campanile after it had been rejected by the Council. I have been assured that the acceptance was inadvertent, rather than deliberate, and that the Guild is seeking to correct matters at this year’s AGM, in July.


I reported last year that the Administrative Committee had agreed to a proposal to reorganise the Council’s finances. The new arrangements are reflected in this year’s accounts, and have entailed

  1. the amalgamation of the General Fund and the Clement Glenn and Thackray Bequests into a single fund;

  2. the dissolution of the Reserve Fund that was set up as a temporary measure last year, following the formation of The Ringing World Ltd, to hold the former Ringing World assets;

  3. the establishment of a Capital Reserve of £25,000, which will be increased annually in step with the rate of inflation ( a ‘rounded’ figure of 5% was applied for 1984);

  4. the transfer of former Ringing World investments from Stock Market securities to the National Savings Bank.

The final item has provided a lump sum net gain of some £13,300; and this extra capital has helped to increase the reorganised General Fund’s investment income from £2,300 in 1983 to £6,100 in 1984. Overall the Council’s assets have grown by some £23,000 during 1984, from £68,500 to £91,500.

During the autumn the Council’s Officers obtained and reviewed Committee budgets for 1985, and agreed a budgetted expenditure of some £4,600. This allows, inter alia, for the acquisition of a word-processing system for the Peal Compositions Committee, and of a set of Marler Haley display boards for use by the Public Relations Committee.

The report’s adoption was seconded by Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish), who asked that the Minutes record the Council’s gratitude to the Secretary and his wife for their work for the Council - a comment endorsed by the President (applause).

The report was then adopted without comment.

Mr. G.S. Morris (Worcester) at this point presented the President, as representing the ringers of Britain, with the plaque from the Verona Association. Accepting it, the President thanked Mr. Morris for his talk on Italian ringing at the Open Meeting and for his work in fostering relations with the Italian ringers, to whom he sent the Council’s good wishes.

1984 Accounts

After Mr. Wratten had introduced the Accounts, explaining the differences between 1983 and 1984 figures and saying that he would not propose their adoption until members had had the opportunity to consider the Library and Publications accounts when the reports of those committees were being presented, Mr. Groome questioned whether it was right that the value of the Library should be shown in the Balance Sheet as a nominal £10 while it was in fact insured for £25,000. Mr. Wratten agreed to pursue the point.

Accounts for 1984
General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1984
865Affiliation fees865.00
20Hire of exhibition cards-.-
18Hire of films26.52
29Sale of ties (net)9.19
2315Dividends and interest6,106.74
less: Transfer to Capital Reserve1,250.00


418Council meeting483.70
739Committee expenses (net)342.13
-Committee expenses, 198379.40
15Secretary’s expenses50.00
62Stationery, post and telephone74.38

1837Excess of income over expenditure4,596.78

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1984
86Stock of ties53.06
NS Income Bonds50,000.00
30839NS Investment Account23,890.77
929Bank Deposit Account445.35

149Cash and bank balances217.88
4590Sundry debtors1,365.57

150Affiliation fees in advance75.00
52Publications Fund57.62
-The Ringing World Ltd130.02
474Sundry creditors259.62


55541Net Assets75,450.37
General Fund
Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1984:
General Fund426.08
Clement Glenn Bequest2,279.46
Thackray Bequest8,297.62
Reserve Fund44,059.52

-Less: Transfer to Capital Reserve25,000.00

1837Excess of income over expenditure4,596.78

Add: Donations for bell restoration
and interest thereon - 1983
Ditto - 1984769.24

Profit (net) on sale of investments13,293.46

Add: Capital Reserve25,000.00
Allocated from income, 19841,250.00


Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1984
-Sales: annual reports181.05
-Library Catalogue, Part II9.50
-Donation (for use of JD & CM Campanalogia)100.00
50Transfer from General Fund50.00

281Books and records214.47
-Library Catalogue, Part II (50 copies)50.00
20Librarian’s expenses44.63
10Depreciation: Library fixtures10.00
1Bank charges.66

320(Dr)Excess of income over expenditure204.00

Friends of the CCCBR Library
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1984
20Library fixtures - cost less depreciation to date10.00
285Bank Deposit Account404.57
12Cash and bank balances106.85


327Net Assets£531.42
647Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1984327.42
320(Dr)Excess of income over expenditure204.00

Publications Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1984

Stock, 1 January 19848,811.78

Less: Stock, 31 Dec. 19849,891.82

Stationery, post and telephone908.64
Agency fees260.00
Publications Committee expenses112.02

1847Excess of income over expenditure2,933.75

Publications Fund
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1984
8812Stock, at cost9,891.82
53General Fund57.62
3049Bank Deposit Account3,247.93
1333Cash and bank balances2,966.00
5Sundry debtor-.-

20Payments in advance20.00
-The Ringing World Ltd622.15
644Sundry creditor-.-


12588Net Assets£15,521.22
10741Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198412,587.47
1847Excess of income over expenditure2,933.75

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1984
20Library fixtures, at book value10.00
85Stock of ties53.06
8812Stock of publications9,891.82
1780Cash and bank balances3,290.73
4595Sundry debtors1,365.57

170Amounts received in advance95.00
1119Sundry creditors1,011.79


68455Net Assets£91,503.01
Capital Accounts
55541General Fund75,450.37
12587Publications Fund15,521.22
327Friends of the CCCBR Library531.42



We have compared the annexed Balance Sheets and Income and Expenditure Accounts of the General, Friends of the CCCBR Library, and Publications Funds of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers with the books and vouchers of the Council. We have also examined the annexed Consolidated Balance Sheet. We have obtained all the information and explanations we have required and report that in our opinion, based on our examination, 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, 1984.

)Hon. Auditors

10th March, 1985

Rolls of Honour

The Trustee of the Rolls, Mr. W.T. Cook (College Youths, proposed the following report, which was seconded by Mr. Groome and accepted without discussion:

The two books containing the Rolls of Honour and their display case were moved last year from the south triforium gallery of St. Paul’s Cathedral to a passage in the north-west tower on the way up to the ringing room, and since they have been there they have been seen by a large number of ringers, most of whom had never seen them before. The easier access has also meant that the Trustee has been able to keep a better eye on them, and turn pages regularly. The books ware on display in the Crypt of St. Paul’s last June as part of the special display mounted there in connection with the twelve-bell striking competition, and considerable interest was shown in them.

Carter Ringing Machine

Mr. Bagworth, a Trustee of the Machine, reported on behalf of himself and his fellow-Trustee, Mr. Dobbie, that

Two visits were made to the Museum by Alan Bagworth, on 10 March and 17 June, for the purpose of cleaning and oiling the machine and tracing and correcting a fault which caused some bells to miss striking at times. The fault was traced to dirty contacts on the relays, which were cleaned and are now functioning correctly. Help in this work was given by Paul Ashton.

Nineteen people attended a demonstration on 30 June, which was arranged for the Wymondham Abbey ringers.

Adoption of the report was seconded by Mr. D. Hughes (Honorary), and the report was accepted.

After thanking the three Trustees for their work, the President then relinquished the Chair. Taking him place, Dr. Baldwin wished Mr. Corby a speedy return to full health.

Committee reports


“The Committee held its usual six-monthly meetings in London, in October and March, and has, as usual, coordinated and agreed the arrangements for the meeting at Brighton.

In October, following the Council’s meeting in Hull, there was considerable discussion on the organisation and conduct of the Council’s business at its annual meeting. Comments from a number of Council members had been received by the Secretary, and these were both welcomed and carefully considered by the Committee. It was noted, however, that the first meeting of each triennium, when the new committees are elected, presents particular problems, and special attention is consequently being directed to them. Arrangements for these meetings are still under review, and will be considered further during the next year.

Another topic that has generated considerable discussion has been the concern expressed in some quarters about the application of the ‘Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes’ issued by the Bells Sub-Committee of the Council for the Care of Churches. The Committee has asked the President to arrange a meeting between representatives of the Central Council (Messrs. Corby, Baldwin, Threlfall and Freeman) and of the Council for the Care of Churches to pursue this further.

The Committee noted, with gratitude, that The Ringing World Ltd had produced the Official Report of the 1984 meeting, which was circulated with The Ringing World of 3 August 1984, at no cost to the Council; and that the Board had offered to do the same for the 1985 report.”

Proposing the report’s adoption, Mr. Wratten drew attention to its second paragraph and said that he would welcome any further comments for consideration by the committee. He was seconded by Mr. M.J. Church (Guildford DG).

Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby DA) asked whether this would be the appropriate place to raise the question of Ruthin bells, which he understood had been discussed by the Administrative Committee when it last met. The Vice-President explained that the authorities at Ruthin were planning to convert the church’s ring of bells to an electrically-operated chime, and asked whether members wished to discuss the subject. Mr. J.K.R. Ellis (N. Wales A) seconded Mr. Halls’ proposition to do so and, on a show of hands, this was agreed.

Mr. Halls said that he felt that the Council, representing church bell ringers as it did, should do three things: deplore the plan to do away with a ringing peal, encourage the North Wales Association in its efforts, and offer the assistance of the Council’s committees in resolving the problem. As a proposition, this was seconded by Mr. C. Crossthwaite (Lancashire A).

In the ensuing debate, Mr. J.S. Barnes (Cumberland Youths) urged the Council not to do anything which might inflame the situation. He supported the North Wales Association, he said, but pointed out that it might well be necessary to back any proposals that were made with hard cash - which might also be needed were there to be any litigation. Although it was not a suitable case for the Rescue Fund, the committee would be prepared to coordinate a fund-raising effort were it necessary. Mr. B. Peachey (Police G) warned of the expense of litigation, and, in reply to a question from Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire A), the Vice-President explained that what might arise would be a Consistory Court hearing of an appeal against the granting of a faculty.

Mr. Ellis said that his association was pursuing the case with great energy, not least because it was the second such conversion in the area, the other being of a ring of four. In the Church of Wales the removal of a ring of bells was treated as a minor matter, that could be authorised under an Archdeacon’s certificate. He regretted that his recent letter to The Ringing World had caused offence in the parish (there had been talk of legal action), but nevertheless he felt that overall its effects would be beneficial in that it made clear that ringers would not sit idly by in cases of this sort. He would welcome the Council’s support, as long as it did nothing to harden present attitudes; a more oblique approach was now necessary.

Various suggestions were made as to how the first element of Mr. Hall’s proposition might be toned down in the light of these comments, the proposer and seconder finally agreeing to the substitution of “disapprove” for “deplore”.

After Mr. D.W. Struckett (Middx CA) had pointed out that Ellacombe had shown a hundred years ago that a ring and a chime need not be incompatible, Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) urged a more positive approach and proposed an amendment to Mr. Halls’ proposition by substituting that “this Council would like to encourage the parish in the use of church bells not only as a chime but for full-circle ringing” for its first element. He was seconded by Mr. T.F. Collins (Salisbury DG), and, on being put to the vote, this was accepted.

The amended motion was then agreed nem. con., and the Vice-President said that he would now approach the Archdeacon on those lines.

The report of the Administrative Committee was then adopted.

Redundant Bells

Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson (Honorary) moved the adoption of the Committee’s report, adding that, in order to keep the list of those seeking bells up-to-date, she would be writing to all those at present on it to confirm their continuing interest. She was seconded by Mr. J. Freeman (Life), and the report was adopted without debate.

“It would be difficult any longer to dismiss the downward trend in the number of churches being declared redundant as a mirage. Thirty-six churches were declared redundant in 1984, which compares with 47 in 1983 and 63 in 1982. The total since the introduction of the Pastoral Measure, 1968, now stands at 1,079; and on present trends it looks as if the forecast of about 1,400 redundant churches by the end of 1989 may be unnecessarily pessimistic.

It remains to be seen however at what rate declarations of redundancy will finally settle. It would seem unrealistic to imagine that churches will cease to become redundant - there are still many churches which would appear to be obvious candidates, including a number of ruinous buildings which for a long time have contained no bells - but the process seems likely to become one of routine housekeeping rather than a major purge.

The Report of the Faculty Jurisdiction Commission was received by the General Synod in July, 1984; but though resolutions were passed asking for draft legislation to be prepared we understand this is likely to happen with deliberation rather than with speed.

The Committee has this year been involved with 59 cases, including eight enquiries for rings of bells, and 16 for bells for augmentations, replacements, or for use as singles. Some three single bells and two rings are currently known to be at some stage of transfer.

There was one major disappointment during the year. Arrangements were being made by possible purchasers from Australia to acquire the bells of St. Stephen, Hampstead, for re-use as a ring. Indeed the plans were far enough forward to be mentioned when our last report was presented to the Council. Sadly, at the last minute, the price asked was revised to one much in excess of the scrap value of the bells, and the potential purchasers decided, rightly in our opinion, to withdraw.

Heavy rings of bells have once again been a prominent feature of the year, with not only some rings mentioned in previous reports, but the two heavy eights from Leicester, St. Mark and St. Saviour, hovering on the horizon. We need hardly mention - it has been stressed so often before - the problem of finding homes for heavy rings, but it is perhaps worth pointing out that a heavy ring need not be a 27cwt. ten: for practical purposes it may well be a six over 12cwt. St. Mary, St. Fagans, and St. Mark, Preston, are cases in point. There is indeed some interest, both from this country and from abroad, in re-housing such bells: but it would be wrong not to point out that there seems to us a strong possibility that some at least of these bells will be lost.

On the smaller scale, very much a bread and butter activity for the Committee is trying to match bells available with bells wanted for augmentations or for replacements. It seems that some bells may be being used for scrap locally when there is no instant fit for them for re-use in the immediate vicinity. When such circumstances arise it would be a great help if the Committee could be told: one church’s scrap metal may be another church’s ideal new treble - or a golden opportunity lost.

The chance of access to a word processor has unfortunately put back the schedule of the review of bells transferred during the past ten years; but on the credit side, the use of a word processor will mean that the list can continually and conveniently be updated. During the year we were grateful to several more Associations who sent details for inclusion, some very comprehensive. There now remain some half dozen major English territorial Associations who have not yet replied, and even at this late date it would be most helpful to hear from them.

Ending our report, as we do each year, by saying thank you, is in no wise an empty ritual: the Committee is very dependent on help from others, We have much cause to be grateful for the kind and generous way in which it has been given; in particular by the Associations, the Church Commissioners, the Council for the Care of Churches, and as well by Mr. Ranald Clouston, to whom we are once again indebted for copies of his notes prepared for the Council for the Care of Churches on bells in churches which are potentially redundant.”

Bell Restoration Funds

Mr. Barnes proposed the following report, and was seconded by Mr. I.H. Oram (Cumberland Youths), who pointed out that that the £1,000 mentioned in its fourth paragraph was taken from the donations shown in the Balance Sheet for the General Fund:

“The Committee met on three occasions during 1984, twice in London and in Derby. Members were saddened by the death in May of Mr. Kenneth S.B. Croft of Lincoln; Mr. Croft had been a founder member of the Committee and had contributed significantly to its work. His wisdom and considered opinions will be missed. At Hull Mr. Alan Smith was elected to the Committee and has already given valuable help by leading the campaign to encourage covenanting.

The covenanting campaign has been one of the Committee’s tasks during 1984. A leaflet was produced, an exhibition was mounted at the Hull meeting, articles were printed in The Ringing World, and all Guild Secretaries were contacted by a letter which pointed out the tremendous benefits to fund raising to be had from covenants.

We again helped the Manifold Trust by undertaking the administrative work in connection with its annual grant, which in 1984 was £10,000. Whilst the workload is very heavy in the February to May period, the work continues throughout the year; there is hardly a week which does not produce an enquiry or application. It should be noted that three schemes approved for grants in earlier years could not proceed for various reasons; however, the Trust agreed that these grants, amounting to £4,000, be added to the money available for 1984.

As a result of the Bow seminar held in September 1983 a sum of money was made available by a number of charitable trusts; following discussions with the Manifold Trust £1,000 was offered to one of the parishes applying for a grant from the Trust.

Work continued on a projected new publication for parishes which would give encouragement and help to PCCs and ringers who are considering embarking upon bell restoration schemes. The subject matter will include notes on technical considerations and costs, suggestions about fund raising, the help which may be available from charitable trusts and Guilds, information about covenants, loans and fund administration, and hints on publicity. Work has also begun on a second survey of unringable bells.

We learned during 1984 that the two bell foundries were making a joint approach to HM Customs and Excise with regard to the imposition of VAT on church bell restoration. A statement appeared in The Ringing World of 18 Jan. 1985. We should be glad to receive information about any other successful claims against zero rating.

During the year a number of articles have been written for The Ringing World. In order to help discover just how funds are raised the Committee is now actively seeking information from parishes which have run successful schemes.

Throughout the year a number of enquiries and requests for help have been received. We are aware that we should be receiving many more, and we are exploring ways of publicising further the services which we offer. Any suggestion would be welcomed. At present we have a contact in every Guild; perhaps we should work towards the ideal where, following a training day, that person is also our representative, able to give advice to parishes within the Guild area.”

The report was adopted after Mr. Halls had said, referring to the survey of unringable bells, that returns were still needed from the Peterborough DG, the Gloucester & Bristol DA, Lincolnshire and Humberside, Yorkshire and South Wales. Analysis on the returns so far received was not yet complete, although 57 towers seem to have disappeared from the original list of “unringables” - and 67 new ones had been added. The function of the survey was, he said, to draw attention to the rings which tended to be forgotten.

Towers and Belfries

The Committee reported as follows:

“Once again members have had an active year, and well over one hundred cases have been undertaken, ranging from answering a letter or a ’phone call taking perhaps five minutes, to visiting a tower at a considerable distance and writing a full report - perhaps two days’ work.

Three new members joined the Committee at the 1984 Council meeting, and in July these three and the Chairman met in Bristol for a briefing meeting. In October a normal committee meeting was held, for which the President joined us. The sole topic of discussion at this meeting was relations with the Council for the Care of Churches. Contact has been made with the C.C.C., and discussions are continuing.

Members have advised on a wide range of problems this year, and no one problem seems to have been sufficiently prominent to bring to the Council’s notice. However it is perhaps a little worrying that many, usually very competent, do-it-yourself schemes, some involving quite heavy work, are still being carried out with no insurance cover either for the participants or for the fabric of the church involved.

Council members are reminded that the Committee’s information leaflets are freely available for distribution to interested churches, on application to the Chairman.”

Moving the report’s adoption, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. B.D. Threlfall (Honorary) said that the relationship with the Bells Sub-Committee of the C.C.C. had accounted for a great part of the year’s work. A long and profitable meeting he had had with Mr. Peter Burman, the Council’s Secretary, had paved the way for a longer meeting between representatives of the Central Council (Messrs Corby, Baldwin, Freeman, Frost and himself) and of the Bells Sub-Committee which Mr. Burman had chaired. This again had been profitable, and it had become clear that the two bodies had more areas of agreement than of disagreement. On his committee’s two areas of prime concern, the C.C.C. Code of Practice and its list of bells for preservation, the two bodies were reviewing the wording of the former before it was reprinted; and it was clear that the C.C.C. did not regard the list as being of bells that must be preserved at all costs, but rather as a way of drawing attention to cases which merited particularly careful consideration before a decision was taken to (e.g.) recast. It had been agreed that there should be further informal meetings between the two bodies and that they should keep in closer touch in future.

In seconding, Preb. Scott endorsed what Mr. Threlfall had said about relations with the C.C.C. Both the Code of Practice and the lists of bells had been produced primarily for the use of the diocesan advisory committees; the former had been insufficiently publicised in the Exercise, while the lists were always available to those wishing to consult them. He added that members of the C.C.C’s Bells Sub-Committee (of which he was the chairman) had no legal authority to veto the recasting of “listed” bells: the decision rested with the Chancellor of the Diocese, who was advised by him Diocesan Advisory Committee.

After the Vice-President had commented that it was probable that the Council would next year have the opportunity to consider the revised Code of Practice, and Mr. Groome had thanked those who had replied to his letter in The Ringing World on the subject - it had enabled him to brief one of the Central Council representatives at the meeting - Canon E.G. Orland (Peterborough DG) enquired whether a similar rapport had been achieved with the Cathedrals Advisory Committee. Preb. Scott confirmed that relations were improving.

Mr. A.P.S. Berry (Honorary) asked whether the bellfoundries would be involved in the review of the Code of Practice, but the Vice-President said that this was a matter for the C.C.C. rather than the Central Council. Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (College Youths) noted that the original need for closer relations had been raised by the Public Relations Committee, and Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex A) , noting that conflict between conservationists and ringers was almost inevitable, suggested that thought be given as how best to retain bells to be conserved.

After the Vice-President had welcomed an offer from Mr. Oram to reproduce the pamphlet on insurance cover prepared some years ago, but with up-to-date figures, the report was adopted, and the committee thanked for its initiative.


“Towards the beginning of 1984 a circular letter was sent to all affiliated Guilds and Associations, drawing their attention to the ‘Friends of the Library’ scheme, and to the Library’s collection of Annual Reports. An encouraging number of replies was received, and nine Guilds/Associations joined the ‘Friends’. These, together with six new individual members, increased the number of ‘Friends’ to 65, with a consequent increase in subscriptions of £42.00. Several Associations have also helped with donations of back numbers of Annual Reports.

During the year, duplicate copies of Annual Reports were advertised for sale, and nearly all these were bought, raising another £181.00 for library funds. A donation of £100.00 was received from Mr. C.J. Groome for the use of the library’s copy of the J.D. & C.M. Campanalogia for reproduction in facsimile. As forecast in last year’s report, expenses, especially on rebinding, were down on the previous year, so 1984 saw us moving from a substantial deficit the previous year into a healthy excess of income over expenditure.

The year was another ‘record breaker’ for the number of new titles added to the collection - 149, of which only 20 were by purchase. The most important of these latter were books containing information about the Revd. H.T. Ellacombe and about Tom Tower, Oxford; a second edition of Ellacombe’s ‘Belfries and Ringers’; a copy of P. Ferriday’s biography of Lord Grimthorpe; and the purchase from the Education Committee of VHS cassette copies of the films ‘Birth of a Bell’ ‘The Ringing Isle’ and ‘The Tower of Washington’. Donations of CC publications and Snowdon series books bought our collection even nearer completion in these two spheres, and David Joyce presented a number of old gramophone records, mainly of handbells and carillons. Another important addition was the deposit in the library by Richard Speed of Ringing World Committee minutes, correspondence, etc. from 1962 onwards. These are exactly the sort of papers we feel should be placed in the library so that the Council’s archives form as complete a record as possible of the work of the various committees. The Library Committee is most grateful to all who donated items last year.

Part II of the Library Catalogue was published during the year; this gives details of all MSS and ‘non-book’ material in the library, and of holdings of Association annual reports. As in previous years, we received a useful number of additions to this part of the collection, including 24 reports for 1983 (seven up on last year). Our collection (still rather small) of newsletters was also increased with donations of some back numbers and current editions of: The Clapper (N.A.G.), D & N Times, G & B Cheltenham Branch and Swindon Branch Newsletters, Guildford District Newsletter, Irish Bell News, N.D.A. News, Old North Berks Branch Newsletter, and Soundbow (Sussex Association). Once again, the Committee would like to express its grateful thanks to all who take the trouble to let us have these newsletters.

There were fewer borrowings from the library, and fewer requests for information, than in previous years.

David Struckett and David Joyce resigned from the Library Committee in 1984. We thank them both very sincerely for all the work they did for the library. David House has returned to the Committee, together with Chris Pickford, whom we welcome for the first time. We feel sure their expertise will be put to good use. An area into which we hope to move in the future is closer liaison with Associations and Guilds, particularly those with libraries and archives of their own.”

Mr. W.T. Cook, the Hon. Librarian, proposed the report, and drew members’ attention to the summary of information on Association and Guild libraries which had been provided earlier in the day; he said he would welcome any updates. Replying to the Vice-President, he said he had no proposal for a replacement for Mr. Pickford (Bedfordshire), who had just resigned from the Committee, although Mr. N.A. Johnson (Durham & Newcastle DA) - who was not present - had shown interest.

Members agreed with Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life) that it would be wrong to elect someone in absentia. Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough DG) was then proposed by Mr. E. Billings (Peterborough DG), seconded by Mr. G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells DA), and elected to the committee.

The adoption having been seconded by Mr. W.A. Patterson (Irish A), the report was then accepted.

There were no questions about the Library Fund accounts, although Mr. Cook commented that, although the number of Friends’ subscriptions was growing, more were always welcome.


Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx CA) proposed his committee’s report.

“The following members and past members of the Council died during 1984:

H.S. PeacockEly Diocesan Association, 1954-1972. Died March 4, 1984. Attended 17 meetings.
A.E. RowleyLeicester Diocesan Guild, 1946-1960. Died March 6, 1984. Attended 13 meetings.
W.G. WilsonMiddlesex C.A. & London D.G., 1936-1949; London County Association, 1952-1973; Life Member since 1973. Died March 14, 1984. Attended 35 meetings.
F.A.H. WilkinsOxford Society, 1954-1984. Died March 21, 1984. Attended 25 meetings.
A.L. BarryGloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association, 1954-1972. Died April 28, 1984. Attended 15 meetings.
N.S. BagworthSurrey Association, 1963-1966; National Police Guild, 1966-1977. Died May 6, 1984. Attended 14 meetings.
K.S.B. CroftWinchester & Portsmouth D.G., 1975-1981; Honorary since 1982. Died May 12, 1984. Attended 8 meetings.
C.W. DenyerGuildford Diocesan Guild, 1960-1963; Honorary, 1971-1978; Life Member since 1978. Died May 18, 1984, Attended 15 meetings.
Sir John BetjemanHonorary, 1965-1977. Died May 19, 1984. Did not attend a meeting.
W.C. DuffieldNorwich Diocesan Association, 1945-1954. Died May 28, 1984. Attended 8 meetings.
W.H. ColesMiddlesex C.A. & London D.G., 1950-1951. Died July 20, 1984. Attended one meeting.
A.H. ReedBath & Wells Diocesan Association, 1960-1981. Died Sept. 15, 1984. Attended 20 meetings.
C.W. RobertsHonorary, 1933-1945, 1950-1951, and 1954-1961; Middlesex C.A. & London D.G., 1951-1954. Died Sept. 18, 1984. Attended 5 meetings.
G.S. MorrisSalisbury Diocesan Guild, 1957-1975. Died Nov. 22, 1984. Attended 13 meetings.
A.R. ElkinsChester Diocesan Guild, 1960-1963 and 1967-1969. Died Dec. 28, 1984. Attended 5 meetings.

C.W. Denyer was Editor of The Ringing World from October 1969 to November 1981, and then assisted the new Editor until the end of that year.

Three of the above served on Central Council committees, as follows:

K.S.B. CroftBell Restoration Funds, 1975-1984; Redundant Bells, 1979-1984; Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells, 1979-1984.
W.G. WilsonPeal Boards, 1937-1948; Standing/Administrative, 1945-1948 and 1963-1981; Beginners Handbook, 1956-1958; The Ringing World, 1960-1978, being its chairman for nearly 10 years; Publications, 1971-1981.
C.W. RobertsPeals Collection, 1933-1939 and 1954-1960.

A source of information, not often provided, is a cutting from the local newspaper, and we would request more such cuttings, this being in addition to tributes and appreciations included in Associations’ annual reports.

This Committee has embarked on the preparation of biographies of non-Council members, but the scope of the work will depend on cooperation received from other ringers, especially and preferably association officers. Any member of this Committee will be glad to receive papers with reliable biographical information of any ringer considered suitable for inclusion.

P.S. The Biographies Committee was formed in 1935, and Mrs. E.K. Fletcher, Messrs. Goldsmith, Cave, Hazelden, Barnett, Stilwell, Willis, Parrott, May and Threlfall were predecessors of the present Committee.”

Mr. Lock said that, after 50 years’ existence, the committee had been given a new task - to collect the biographies of ringers who had not belonged to the Council. A “limited” biographies sheet had consequently been produced, and he invited representatives to take copies back for use to record details of notable present and past members of their societies, and then to return them to him. Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) asked what the criteria were for inclusion, and was told by the Vice-President that the aim was to maintain records of potentially historic interest.

Having been seconded by Mrs. O.D. Barnett (Honorary), the report was adopted without further debate.


“1984 was a fairly quiet year for this Committee. We endeavoured to complete the work outlined at the beginning of the triennium, but one or two projects still remain incomplete. The major one is the book ‘Triples and Major for Beginners’; this is still outstanding due to heavy work commitments of those involved. We also have ‘Touches of Stedman Cinques’, the general interest film strip, and the handout for theological colleges to complete.

A number of items have been forwarded to the Publications Committee. These include leaflets on ‘Devon Style Call Changes’, ‘Rope Splicing’ and ‘False Course Heads’. A new leaflet entitled ‘So you want to be a Bob Caller’ is in course of preparation.

The super 8mm film, ‘Birth of a Bell’, has not sold well, so we are making available a video tape, price £12.50 post free. This may be obtained from the chairman; please specify the format required.

There has been little action reported on the pilot project of Graded Ringing. We hope to make a final report on this next year.

The Committee proposes to hold a seminar on Education in Ringing in the autumn of 1986. Further details will be published in due course.

Finally, one of our most valued members retired at last year’s Council meeting. Wilfred Moreton was a founder member of this Committee, and his name has become synonymous with efficient, caring teaching of ringing. We wish him well in his retirement.”

Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG) proposed adoption of the report, which he said had inadvertently omitted to mention the course that had been held at Nantwich during the year. Two members of the committee, Messrs. D. Potter (Yorkshire A) and R.B. Smith (Honorary), had had to resign because of pressure of work, and Messrs. H.J. Charles (Norwich DA) and N. Mattingley (Hereford DG) had been co-opted to fill the resulting vacancies.

He was seconded by Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth DG), who said that, in spite of there having been plenty of applicants to attend this year’s course, there were still some vacancies for the Leadership and the more advanced Minor and Major elements. The course would again be at Nantwich, but the 1986 would be in Kent.

Messrs. Charles and Mattingley were then individually elected to the committee.

Commenting on the report’s second paragraph and speaking on behalf of the Publications Committee, Mr. Groome said that the contents of the three items mentioned was still under discussion and publication was consequently not imminent. The Revd. L. Yeo (Devonshire G) urged the committee to consult the Devon Association before publishing anything on Devon-style call changes, not least in the interest of relationships between his own Guild and the Association; and Mr. P.J. Tremain (Truro DG) reminded members that call-changes - “which are not just poor man’s change ringing” - were practised west of the Tamar as well as in Devon.

Mr. P. Dyson (Chester DG) asked that the Official Report of the meeting include mention of the 1984 Nantwich course, which had involved, many of his Guild’s members. The Hon. Secretary undertook to ensure that this was done.

After the Vice-President had endorsed the Committee’s remarks about Mr. Moreton (applause), the report was adopted.

Public Relations

Mr. Wilby proposed adoption of his committee’s report, subject to a small amendment to the version that had been circulated in advance of the meeting, and was seconded by Mr. H.W. Rogers (London CA).

“The Committee undertook an opinion-sampling exercise in preparation for the presentation ‘Hello Council - Are You There?’ at the 1984 Open Meeting. The results demonstrated that general knowledge of the Council, its committees and their functions is poor and in some instances bizarre. When it is realised that most of those, sampled were participants in the Twelve Bell Contest eliminator and therefore amongst the more active and ‘switched-on’ members of the Exercise, it is apparent that the Council’s activities are not so clearly projected as many of us in the inside think. All committee chairmen are to be asked to provide an article on the history and current work of their committee for publication in The Ringing World in 1985/6.

The Committee is committed to improving the Council’s standing and influence with the Church at the national level. Contacts have been established with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Secretary of the General Synod, and officers of the Council for the Care of Churches. The Council has been invited to mount an exhibition on the work of the Council and its constituent societies in Church House, Westminster, to coincide with a meeting of the General Synod in 1985. It is intended that the Bells Sub-Committee of the Council for the Care of Churches will participate.

PR National Media - Philip Corby. The question of broadcast ringing quality and the accuracy of accompanying text has been brought to the fore again in connection with both ‘Bells on Sunday’ and ‘Christmas Bells’. It is not within the power of this Committee to supervise the media, only to advise when asked to do so and to act as the focus of opinion on behalf of the Exercise when appropriate. The general reaction to these considerations and the reduction and rescheduling of the ‘Christmas Bells’ broadcast, expressed in letters of complaint direct to the BBC, may have produced some sensitivity to ringers’ opinions. It is our intention to press for a restoration of both quantity and quality within the BBC in 1985. It remains a fact that the quality of ‘Church Bells on Sunday’ depends on the sense of those submitting tapes to ensure that any ringing which they do not want broadcast is wiped from the tape before forwarding to the BBC. The alteration to ‘Christmas Bells’ was made without any consultation with this Committee, and when it came to notice the schedules were already settled.

PR Overseas Liaison - Fred Dukes. A full report of this year’s activities has been published in The Ringing World. A newsletter is now sent to overseas ringers several times a year. The enthusiasm for ringing overseas is continuing to grow, especially in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. There are a considerable number of new rings and augmentations in Australia and USA in prospect at the present time. As ringing grows in strength overseas it will become the more important to build on the strong bond that exists between ringing overseas and in the British Isles. It would not be desirable for the Exercise to be split by the formation of other, ‘national’, ruling bodies and the development of diverging codes of practice as has happened in other activities. The Council must therefore be prepared to encourage even greater participation in its affairs by those overseas.

PR Association Liaison - David Potter. The number of associations with designated PROs is now 46. Plans are in hand to hold an association PROs conference in October 1985 in order to share ideas for an increased PR effort at local level and to involve association PROs in planning the national PH strategy. It may well be that such a conference should become a regular event.

PR Community Liaison - Angela Newing. The archdeacons and church architects’ list is up to date, as is the index of ringers and non-ringers with status and standing in the community. Following an exercise last year an up-to-date list exists of all diocesan bell advisers. The level of awareness amongst associations of their interests and responsibilities in the field of their relations with Church authorities has been raised. The exhibition to be presented to the General Synod will be the major Community Liaison campaign in 1985.

PR Promotions - Harold Rogers. Advice and assistance with preparation and presentation has been requested by numerous associations and individuals during the past year. The exhibition at the General Synod will be the major promotion for this Committee in 1985 and will make use of the new Marler Haley display stand purchased by the Council.

PR Central Council - David House. ‘Foundry Focus’ is now becoming a well-established feature in The Ringing World. By collecting together and publishing details of the very considerable amount of restoration work taking place month by month it is hoped to reinforce and encourage the bell restoration effort taking place within the associations. Various ways of promoting the work of the Council and its committees are under review, and the opinions and suggestions of Council members would be welcome.

PR Press Cutting Service - David Thorne. The cuttings from both national and local press continue to be received, and we remain indebted to John Taylor and Co. for the cuttings which they supply. Many items are used in The Ringing World and those of interest are entered into scrap books by David Potter and eventually find their way to the Council Library.


A number of requests for advice and/or help to arrange ringing are received and processed each year from other organisations. When requests are received to help organise sponsored ringing, unless the charity concerned is very clearly of national and popular appeal, a measure of discouraging advice is offered. Since the Church of England Children’s Society appeal raised £50,000 the word has got round that the bell ringers are good for that amount whenever there is an appeal! Obviously it is not in the interests of the Exercise that we should allow ourselves to be ‘used’ in this way. The Committee’s policy is to refer appeal organisers to the diocesan Bishops in order to obtain their support and for the Bishops to ask their clergy to have their bells rung. This process seems to work successfully as a filter. Where the clergy agree to back an appeal then it is hoped that Associations and local bands will cooperate whole-heartedly.”

Mr. D.T. Sim (Carlisle DG) said that members of his Guild had been upset by the changes in the “Christmas Bells” programme, and asked what was being done to restore the situation. Mr. Wilby repeated that the changes had been made by the BBC without consultation and added that, in spite of the pressure being applied by Mr. Corby on behalf of the committee, they were only supplicants, representing a minority interest group, and was consequently not optimistic about the outcome.

Mrs. M. Winter (North American G) said that she had complained to the BBC and had learnt that the Corporation had received only 15 complaints about the programme; if ringers wanted anything to change, they would have to make much more of an impact, she added. Mr. R.H. Newton (Oxford DG) endorsed the need to restore the programme to its original 30-minute length, but said that its original timing was not necessarily a good one - many ringers were ringing at that time.

At this point the meeting was adjourned for lunch. When it resumed at 2.15, Mr. H. Rogers reminded members that the displays that were on show in the foyer of the Dome Theatre could be borrowed by any society, provided only that the necessary transport was arranged. He also drew members’ attention to an East End Art and Crafts Display being arranged by the G.L.C. for 13 and 14 July, for which it had been requested that bells in the vicinity of the South Bank should be rung at midday on 14 July. The College Youths and the London County Association had both agreed to participate, and were each giving their fee for so doing towards bell restoration projects in which they were involve.

The report was then adopted.


Mr. C.J. Groome proposed the following report:

“1984 was a highly successful year for Central Council Publications, with sales of 8,934 items, valued at £7,219, a substantial increase from the previous year and a new record. This reflects the strengthening of the range of items, improvements in the design of old and new publications, and the better marketing and distribution arrangements through the Ringing World office.

The Committee met twice during the year. The most important matter considered was the launching of the ringing history project. A joint meeting was held with three members of the editorial committee. Currently this consists of Bill Cook, John Eisel, Chris Pickford, and Cyril Wratten, with Jean Sanderson acting as liaison between the two committees; Chris Pickford is the convenor. It was agreed that the work would focus on the development of change ringing and be produced in five parts, starting with the period up to the beginning of the eighteenth century and finishing with the period from 1945 to the present day. Synopses for the chapters in Part I are due in the Spring, and first drafts by the end of 1985.

The main publishing activities during the year were the new Minor methods collection, printed quickly from camera-ready copy, the very successful handbell tape, and Part II of the Library Catalogue. A new attractive format for short leaflets was used for reprints and for new ones, of which ‘Towards Better Striking’ and ‘Service Touches’ were the most popular.

The two main disappointments of the year were the difficulty with ‘Rung Surprise etc.’ arising out of last year’s Council meeting, and the delay with ‘Triples and Major for Beginners’, the latest of the Education Committee’s Progressive Change Ringing series. As well as these two publications, there is a substantial workload ahead for the Committee.

Publications were advertised fortnightly during the first three quarters of the year. After The Ringing World increased its advertising rates the period was extended to once every three weeks. The arrangement for pre-ordering publications through Central Council members was very successful, with sales of approximately £1,300. The arrangement is being repeated for the Brighton meeting. We also put an order form in The Ringing World again, and this gave a strong lift to sales in the crucial pre-Christmas period.

Because of the high level of sales and the resultant strong financial position, it was possible to freeze most prices for 1985.

The Committee decided at its October meeting to strengthen its membership by co-opting two additional members - John Couperthwaite (Guildford) and Ron Johnston (Yorkshire).

We should like to thank all those who have helped the Committee in any way, particularly The Ringing World staff whose excellent service in sending out orders by return has helped to build up the sales over 1984.”

He went on to report that Chris Pickford had now resigned from the ringing history project; the editorial committee was however continuing with its work, and would be meeting again in June. “Rung Surprise etc.” was again in print; and the first sets of Method Sheets, now in pad form, were also now available. He was seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol).

Following a question from Mr. Butler, it was agreed that in future the report should contain a list of book sales. The report was then adopted.

Commenting on the Publication Fund accounts, Mr. J.R. Pratt (Guildford DG) noted that, even at the present rate of sales, the stock of some items seemed likely to be excessive: was it realistic to still show them at cost in the accounts? Mr. Groome accepted the point, and said that periodically some holdings were indeed written off. Large quantities had in the past sometimes been procured in order to reduce unit costs, but as the growing use of modern techniques was offsetting type-setting costs, this was less likely in the future.

Adoption of accounts

Mr. Wratten then proposed adoption of the Council’s accounts as a whole. He was seconded by Mr. Patterson, and this was agreed.

Computer Coordination

“The Committee met in December to plan its future activities. Several new members had been elected at the last Council meeting and there was a feeling that the time was right for the Committee to take a more active role in advancing the use of computers in ringing. With this in mind it was decided to initiate the following actions:

Advice and assistance

We felt that we would like to offer advice and assistance to a wide range of bodies within the ringing fraternity and to individual ringers as far as our expertise allows. At the same time we appreciate that many people like to do their own thing, and we have no wish to stifle individual initiative. We are particularly keen to advise anyone planning to purchase computer equipment for ringing purposes as we feel that a certain amount of standardisation will prove beneficial by allowing the interchange of programs and data. With this in mind we made a proposal to the Administrative Committee for a standard computer configuration based on the BBC ‘B’ micro to be purchased by any Council committee which can justify its own computing resources.

Register of users

We have started to set up a register of people and Guilds/Associations who make use of computers for ringing purposes, including those with home computers as well as those who make use of mainframes. This has been tried before but has never been very successful because it has been done on paper, with all the attendant problems of keeping it up to date. We now intend to keep this register in machine readable form, and to supply information from it in printed form in response to enquiries from anyone who supplies a stamped addressed envelope. (The register may become too bulky for it all to be posted at standard rate.)

Articles for The Ringing World

The Committee discussed the possibility of running a newsletter but decided that there would not be enough interested people to make it a viable proposition. Instead we would like to see a regular series of articles in The Ringing World on computing topics. We will coordinate the production of this series and will commission articles on particular subjects as the need arises.


Several very successful and popular meetings have taken place in the past in the Bristol area where ringers with home computers have demonstrated their ringing programs. Consequently it was decided to hold another one further North, at Sawley in Derbyshire, and this will have taken place before the Council meeting.”

Proposing the report, Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) emphasised the value of standardisation and invited those considering acquiring equipment to consult either the Computer Coordination or the Peal Compositions committee so that they might benefit from their experiences. Regarding the proposed register of users, he said that a copy would be sent to anyone listed in it. He believed that as a society and providing those listed had no objection there was no need to register under the terms of the Data Protection Act - an interpretation that was questioned by the Vice-President. It was agreed that this should be investigated further, and the conclusions published in The Ringing World.

The report was seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor, and adopted.

Peal Compositions

The Committee’s report, proposed without comment by Mr. R.W. Pipe (St. Martin’s G) and seconded by Mr. R.C. Kippin (College Youths), was accepted without discussion.

“1984 should prove to be a watershed. By acquiring word-processing facilities based on the BBC ‘B’ microcomputer (thanks to generous financial assistance from the Council) we now have the means to radically alter our work and our output. In making our case for the equipment, we listed five factors:

Since that time we have not been idle. The equipment has been used to prepare the Multi-Minor collection (equivalent to 100 A4 pages) and all RW compositions from 1980 to 1984 inclusive. Subject to checking the accuracy of the text, these compositions need never be typed out again. Moreover, whether singly or as part of a collection a high-quality print can be obtained for any composition at any time.

The Committee has met three times since the last Council meeting. Top of its agenda has been the use and the administration of the word-processing equipment. The Multi-Minor collection, initiated by Bob Hardy, has been developed and finalised by Harold Chant, his replacement on the Committee. It should be available for publication during 1985. We have also considered possible future collections and have identified the following two:

For the past two years we have announced our intention to publish a booklet of RW compositions, following on from the 1980 collection, but have failed to do so. Now that we have these compositions on file we should achieve this aim for 1985 and regularly thereafter.

Current compositions for publication in The Ringing World continue at a steady rate and have generated several interesting topics of correspondence. Once again our thanks go to our checkers, who help us to maintain the requisite high level of accuracy.”

Peals Analysis

As now seems to be usual, discussion on the Committee’s report on peal ringing during the past year concentrated almost entirely on performances that had been omitted from the very detailed analysis. Adoption of the report was proposed by the Committee’s chairman, Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford DG) and seconded by Mr. O.C.R. Webster (Essex A).

“We have recorded a total of 4,704 peals rung in 1984, of which 4,342 were on tower bells and 362 on handbells. The overall total is 80 more than the revised total for 1983, comprising an increase of 106 on tower bells and a decrease of 26 on handbells. On tower bells the main increases were in peals of Cinques, Royal, Caters, and Doubles, with a sizeable decrease in peals of Minor; peals of Major on both tower and hand numbered virtually the same as last year. Handbell peals are at their lowest level since 1969.

The Yorkshire Association heads the list of leading societies for the third year running, followed closely by the Lancashire Association. The latter’s total of 266 is, we believe, a record for them. We are pleased to report that peals claimed as rung by local or Sunday Service bands increased to 64.

We have co-opted Timothy F. Collins on to the Committee and we are grateful for the assistance given to us by two former members, Frank B. Lufkin and Canon K.W.H. Felstead. We are also grateful to the association peal secretaries who responded to our chairman’s request for their peal totals to compare with our own records. The Committee met briefly after the 1984 Council meeting, and again in February to finalise records and agree the format of the report.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells, and comparison with 1983

Sixteen-1+ 1
Maximus219212- 71914- 5
Cinques88110+2217+ 6
Royal & Caters11
Caters169190+21911+ 2
Major19081910+ 2202202
Major & Triples12+ 1
Triples310291-1974- 3
Minor & Doubles37+ 4
Doubles210270+6039+ 6
Minimus1018+ 8


The leading societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

Yorkshire A.25119270
Lancashire A.2615266
Oxford D.G.17742219
Lincoln D.G.19912211
Leicester D.G.19118209
Derby D.A.18919208
Gloucester & Bristol D.A.1941195
Suffolk G.1632165
Ely D.A.1527159

Compared with the equivalent list for 1983, the Essex A. has dropped out, and the Ely D.A. has come in (for the first time). These nine societies rang 40% of the peals rung in 1984. Eight other societies rang over 100 peals.

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 542 first pealers in 1984, compared with 550 in 1983; and 75 firsts as conductor (95 in 1983).


Peals were rung in 1,831 towers (1,732 in 1983), in 39 of which it was the first peal on the bells. The number of towers with 10 or more peals remains fairly constant in the mid-40s (46 in 1984, 45 in 1983), but the proportion with over 20 peals is growing. The 46 towers with 10 or more peals (listed below) had 866 peals altogether, which is 20% of the tower-bell total for the year.

Loughboro’ Foundry44
Birmingham Cath.36
South Wigston25
Maidstone, All Ss.24
Bedford, St Paul22
Stourbridge, St Thos21
Windsor, St John20
Barrow Gurney19
London, St Mary-atte-Bow19
Bristol Cathedral18
Worcester, All Ss.18
Burton Latimer17
Nottingham, St Peter17
Birstall, Yorks15
12-Bloxwich, *West Bridgford, Cambridge (St Andrew), Farnworth, Ipswich (St Mary-le-Tower), Leckhampton, *Staveley
11-Derby (Cathedral), Kingsbury (Warwicks), Trumpington, *High Wycombe
10-Birmingham (St Martin), *Cadoxton, Lincoln (Cathedral), Manchester (Town Hall), Moulton (Northants), *Poplar (All Ss).

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

For the first time since 1965 the Bell Foundry does not head the list, and only eight times since 1948 has its yearly total been less than 50 - the last time was in 1967, and the lowest in any year was 32 peals in 1954.

Shoreditch’s 57 peals make it the church with the most peals in any year; before that it was Birmingham Cathedral with 54 peals in 1974.

Of the other towers, 1,026 had one peal, 360 had two, 158 three, 89 four, 57 five, 30 six, 26 seven, 16 eight, and 11 nine. One tower, Isleworth, reached its 600th peal during the year (the fourth tower to do so), and three - Shoreditch, Meldreth and Ashton-under-Lyne (St Peter) - passed the 500 mark.


Numbers of peals rung in the sore popular methods are set out here. Figures for 1983 appear in brackets. Single = single Surprise method other than those listed.

Cambridge S61(55)6( 6)
Single S50(55)3( 1)
Bristol S33(40)-( 1)
Yorkshire S29(37)-( -)
Spliced S25(16)1( 3)
Kent/Oxford TB2( 1)3( 5)
Stedman96(73)7( 1)
Grandsire12(10)-( -)
Single S100(97)11( 6)
Yorkshire S91(63)1( 1)
Cambridge S77(69)8(12)
London S60(48)3( 7)
Spliced S42(53)1( 2)
Bristol S36(25)2( 5)
Plain Bob32(25)6(12)
Kent/Oxford TB6( 4)20(22)
Stedman90(81)9( 7)
Grandsire94(81)2( 1)
Single S388(401)6(12)
Spliced S348(303)15(30)
Plain Bob198(194)73(56)
Yorkshire S209(204)18(17)
Cambridge S140(162)14(14)
Bristol S140(129)9( 9)
London S109( 83)2( 7)
Rutland S81( 91)15( 6)
Lincolnshire S74( 73)8( 6)
Superlative S76( 69)2( 4)
Double Norwich43( 60)7( -)
Kent/Oxford TB22( 22)22(31)
Pudsey S35( 48)1( 2)
Grandsire120(150)3( 3)
Stedman111(117)-( 3)
Plain Bob42( 34)1( 1)
2-6 methods239(260)12(18)
7 methods238(250)8( 9)
8+ methods170(148)10( 6)
Plain Bob137(153)19(29)
Cambridge S61( 57)6( 4)
Single S18( 33)1( 2)
2+ methods190(152)3( 2)
Stedman32( 29)1( -)
Grandsire28( 13)3( -)
Plain Bob10( 14)2( 1)

Peals of note

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


A Soc College Yths18108519332      2 3211 68977
Australia & NZ A    73 1             11 11
Bath & Wells DA  64391125122            99 99
Bedfordshire A33122272324           1 85186
Beverley & Dist S  2 5 6              13 13
Cambridge Univ G  1 53               9 9
Carlisle DG  2144               11 11
Chester DG92224442631  3 4 10 22 3 9639135
Coventry DG223114110          1   33134
Derby DA52459985222 1   1 329 4 18919208
G Devonshire Rs  2 357208           2272476
Durham & Newc DA 38 203711          3 43346
Durham Univ S1 1                  2 2
Ely DA133 901331101   11 1 4   1527159
Essex A2 111524397       4 12 1 11617133
Glos & Bristol DA582779193791          1 1941195
Guildford DG12322634    1 1 1 5 1 42850
Hereford DG  1165104     1 5 5  1271239
Hertford CA 139387321     211211 1 9118109
Irish A    1 1              2 2
Kent CA14199525297             126 126
Lancashire A6118151292251153  1     2  32615266
Leeds Univ S 1  1012            2 14216
Leicester DG66181211115167     1 3 11 3 19118209
Lichfield Archd S 437274171       2 10   631275
Lincoln DG35216866639         12   19912211
Liverpool Univ S 1  4 2            1 718
Llandaff & Mon DA 24317587             46 46
London CA632293122              75 75
Manchester Univ G    1 1              2 2
Middlesex CA21324461        1 3 1 59564
Midland Cs G  213 21           6 9615
N American G  451661        3 1325 322355
N Staffs A  4313251             28 28
N Wales A  1 1                2 2
Norwich DA  131343811         7   70777
Oxford DG4221879183410  1  3 10120 6217742219
Oxford Soc   32111             8 8
Oxford Univ S    2 1          1   314
Peterborough DG115 5064119   1         124 124
St David’s G    1                1 1
St Martin’s G42124226921             98 98
Salisbury DG 233152139         11  47249
Scottish A   11 2          2 1 437
Shropshire A    6162             15 15
S R Cumberland Yth2451917 2          1   58159
S Sherwood Yths      1              1 1
Southwell DG9315146743115      214   1407147
Suffolk G516642251482        1 1 1632165
Surrey A 2125125             18 18
Sussex CA2 104488194   1         96 96
Swansea & Brecon DG    2 1              3 3
Truro DG  141320227             67 67
Universities A                 1    11
Univ Bristol S 2113 1              8 8
Univ London S615 20 2          1   34135
Winchester & P’th G417244122010  1    1 5   1016107
Worcs & Dist A941156310145             121 121
Yorkshire A153356143192271      2 7 9125119270
Non-affiliated socs6426146672661     44227 6 15643199
Non-association14324847382       2 2   1094113


The following were published as peals in The Ringing World but have not been included in the Analysis for the reasons given:

Bristol, St Mary Redcliffe, 12 Feb.: Grandsire Sextuples on 13 bells. Decision B.5 states that peals of Sextuples shall be rung on 14 bells with the tenor as cover. It is understood that the bells on which this was rung are a true 13.

Liss Campanile, 7 Jan.: Grandsire Caters; 4 March: Liss S. Major; 24 Nov.: Cambridge S. Royal. The Council on 29 May 1984 decided, after debate, not to accept a peal rung in 1983 on the clay bells at Liss. Since then, our attention has been drawn to the definition of a bell given in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians: ‘An idiophone consisting of a hollow object, usually of metal but in some cultures of hard clay or even glass, which when struck emits a sound by the vibration of most of its mass …

Corrections to the 1983 Analysis

Changes to the 1983 peal totals arising from the late publication, withdrawal of and corrections to peals after the submission of our report for 1983 can be summarised as follows (all tower bell peals unless otherwise stated):

Chester DG - Major +1 Derby DA - Minor +1 (handbells) Ely DA Major +1 Kent CA - Major -1 N. American G - Major +2 N. Staffs A - Major +1 St Martin’s G - Triples -1 Suffolk G - Minor +1 Truro DG - Triples +1 Winchester & Portsmouth DG - Major -1, Triples +1 Non-Association - Maximus +1, Major +2

Revised totals for 1983 are consequently: tower bells 4,236, handbells 388; total 4,624.”

After Mr. H.W. Rogers had asked that some of the more important peals be published sooner, while they were still news, and the Editor, Mr. D.G. Thorne (Honorary) had said that they were published as soon as the reports were received, Mr. Wratten said, in reply to a question from the Vice-President, that the Grandsire Sextuples had been discussed at a Management Committee meeting of the Gloucester & Bristol D.A. but there was no request from the Association for it to be recognised by the Council.

Mr. Kippin accepted that, under the Decisions of the Council, the performance had been correctly omitted; he nevertheless wished to propose its recognition on grounds of merit, since it had been rung on a true 13. He was seconded by Mr. Peachey, who drew attention to the analogy of Basingstoke. Mr. D. Hird (Derby DA) said that the present Decision meant that a tower-bell peal of Sextuples could not be recognised until a 14-bell ring existed, but Mr. J.M. Jelley (Leicester DG), referring to the earlier exclusion of a peal of Stedman Sextuples at Leicester, said that as long as rules existed they should be applied.

After further inconclusive debate, Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life) proposed, and Mr. Frost seconded, that the motion be put. This was agreed by a large majority. Mr. Kippin’s proposal was defeated by 84 votes to 57.

Mr. D. Potter suggested that the Administrative Committee should review the Decisions relating to peal ringing in the light of what had been said, and was supported by Mr. J.R. Taylor, who urged the committee to generalise the Decisions and so reduce the number of such debates. The Vice-President said that this would be done, and invited members to assist by sending their views to the Hon. Secretary.

Attention then turned to the performances at Liss Campanile, Mr. D.C. Brookes (Llandaff & Monmouth DA) commenting on the Groves Dictionary definition that “in some cultures” implied in cultures other than our own; in this country bells are made of bell metal, he said. Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) however proposed recognition of the three omitted performances, on the grounds that the ring was now constructed to a properly engineered design, the bells had been specifically cast to the accepted shape and consisted of a material recognised in at least one place (Groves Dictionary) as appropriate, and that they included a first peal in a method, Liss Surprise Major. He was seconded by Mr. T.F. Collins.

After Mr. Peachey had repeated his last year’s arguments against recognising peals on the clay bells, and Mr. Wilby had pointed out that the Council was the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and asked the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild to let it get on with its proper business and not waste time, Mrs. Barnett moved next business, and was seconded by Mr. Massey. The motion was however narrowly lost, and Mr. A.P. Smith (Suffolk) moved that Mr. Jackson’s motion be put to the meeting; Mr. R.A. Grant (Surrey A) seconded. The motion was defeated by a very large majority on a show of hands.

Discussion now turned as how best to forestall a recurrence of such fruitless debates, Dr. Pett suggesting that the Editor of The Ringing World be asked not to publish performances of this sort. The idea received some support from the meeting, but Mr. Lufkin expressed the more general view that the Council should not dictate to the Editor what he published; it could set an unfortunate precedent, he warned. Mr. Brookes agreed, saying that all performances should be published, and it was for the Council to decide whether or not to accept them.

In reply to a suggestion from Mr. Jelley that “Omissions” should in future not appear in the Committee’s report, Mr. C.H. Rogers said that they had been included hitherto to enable the Council to decide whether they deserved recognition under the “special merit” provision of Decision (D).E. The Council had however now clearly decided that performances on clay bells were not acceptable, and there was therefore no need to draw attention to them in future.

A proposition by Dr. Pett, seconded by Mr. Peachey, that “performances at Liss be not published as peals in The Ringing World” was defeated on a show of hands. Invited by the Vice-President to comment, Mr. Thorne said that he had a clear view of the feelings of members and might well pursue a suggestion made during the debate by Mr. Struckett, that such events should be published under the heading of “Miscellaneous Performances” - a step for which there was well-established precedent.

The report was then adopted without further discussion.


Mr. D.E. Sibson (Cumberland Youths) proposed the committee’s report, making a number of corrections to the version in members’ hands, and was seconded by Mr. Wratten. He drew particular attention to Section E, which had been produced by Mr. Wratten to meet a requirement expressed last year.

A: First peals on tower bells in 1984
Jan35040Ribbleton S. MaximusS R Cumberland Yths
65040Queensgate S. RoyalPeterborough DG
75040Venachar S. RoyalS Northants Soc
145040Marlborough Bob CatersChester DG
195152Consett S. MajorLincoln DG
205040Durdham Down S. RoyalGlos & Bristol DA
215002Winwick S. RoyalS Northants Soc
285002Xau S. RoyalS Northants Soc
315024Dulwich S. MajorEly DA
Feb35152Vespasian D. MajorLincoln DG
45120Silverdale S. MajorN Staffs A
45040Yarwell S. RoyalS Northants Soc
75184Qualis on eight bellsWinchester & P’th DG
105056Lincote S. MajorS Northants Soc
115152Moreton S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
115002Zuarungu S. RoyalS Northants Soc
145088Clapham S. MajorEly DA
185152Amesbury S. MajorSalisbury DG
185152Edgcote S. MajorS Northants Soc
215056Yarborough D. MajorLincoln DG
215000Nottinghamshire D. Roy.Southwell DG
245088Glasow S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
255184Double Dunkirk D. MajorSouthwell DG
255040Noborough S. RoyalS Northants Soc
275040Wispa S. RoyalYorkshire A
Mar35024Brassica Oleracea Gemmifera S. MajorBedfordshire A
65184Welbourn S. MajorLincoln DG
85024Clere S. MajorWinchester & P’th
95184Rodbourne S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
135088Sherborne S. MajorEly DA
135280Rigel S. MaximusSt Martin’s G
155152Quantock D. MajorWinchester & P’th
175152Bray S. MajorMiddx CA & London DG
175152Quapergate S. MajorS Northants Soc
245088Surfleate S. MajorEssex A
245000Teeton S. RoyalS Northants Soc
265000Kintyre S. RoyalYorkshire A
Apr25040Caniklow S. RoyalYorkshire A
35040Winter MajorWinchester & P’th
45152Praseodymium S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
75152Ambleside S. MajorMiddx CA & London DG
75088Bishopstone S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
75088Foscote S. MajorS Northants Soc
75088Knockholt S. MajorKent CA
145152Kimcote S. MajorS Northants Soc
215088Hunsdon D. MajorHertford CA
235040Greenwich S. RoyalHertford CA
295184Petersfield S. MajorWinchester & P’th
May15152Brocklesby D. MajorLincoln DG
45088Kingshill S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
55088Ocelum S. MajorYorkshire A
75152Yateley S. MajorEly DA
85088Watergate S. MajorUniv of London Soc
125040Litchborough S. RoyalS Northants Soc
175088Greyville S. MajorOxford DG
225024Rochdale S. MajorEly DA
265024Abus S. MajorYorkshire A
June25152Spalding D. MajorLincoln DG
55040Carter’s TriplesSt Martin’s G
75152Centenary S. MajorHertford CA
95056Hook Norton S. MajorOxford DG
135024B.A.T.T.Y. Coll. Bob MajorB.A.T.T.Y.
155056Loatland S. MajorPeterborough DG
165088Puxley S. MajorS Northants Soc
225024Xiphodon D. MajorLincoln DG
235024Puddingstone S. D. MajorHertford CA
265024Meridian S. MajorEly DA
275024Hasketon S. MajorSuffolk DG
295024Gheluvelt D. MajorLincoln DG
305088Gilfach S. MajorYorkshire A
July35024Rainham S. MajorEly DA
75152Stonepit S. MajorS Northants Soc
75088Verbeia S. MajorYorkshire A
175088Liss S. MajorEly DA
215056Elaine S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
265184Mendip D. MajorOxford DG
275056Quoich D. MajorLincoln DG
285024Belisama S. MajorYorkshire A
Aug15019Carter’s CatersWorcs & Dist A
35120Stratton S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
45040Westhoughton A. MajorLancashire A
145152Studland S. MajorPeterborough DG
215024Londesborough D. MajorLincoln DG
225042Midsomer Norton S. Max.Glos & Bristol DA
265060Hunslet Imp. Bob CinquesWinchester & P’th
Sep185024Nova Little S. RoyalSouthwell DG
215152South Shields S. MajorLincoln DG
225056North Royston S. MajorYorkshire A
275152Blackdown D. MajorWinchester & P’th
295120Roade S. MajorS Northants Soc
Oct25056Swanage S. MajorEly DA
65056Chigwell Row S. MajorEssex A
135024Sarah S. MajorMiddx CA & London DG
135040Nile T.B. RoyalWinchester & P’th
155024Hyde S. MajorEly DA
175150Fluorine S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
185088Beltol S. MajorWinchester & P’th
205088Rev. Uppingham S. MajorEssex A
205120St. Bega D. MajorLondon CA
205040Berkeley T.B. RoyalGlos & Bristol DA
225040Sheffield Bob TriplesYorkshire A
245024Samarium S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
275056Brecknockshire S. MajorLlandaff & M’th DA
305000Canopus S. RoyalLeicester DG
305088Zebrina D. MajorLincoln DG
Nov35088Belerium S. MajorYorkshire A
35024Kingston S. MajorMiddx CA & London DG
35086Natrium S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
65000Nautilus S. RoyalLeicester DG
105040Middlemore S. RoyalS Northants Soc
135184Heavitree S. MajorEly DA
175088Clota S. MajorYorkshire A
225040St. Cecilia S. RoyalOxford DG
245184Iverium S. MajorYorkshire A
245056Mitcham S. MajorMiddx CA & London DG
245000Ullathorne S. RoyalS Northants Soc
245148Marlborough Bob CinquesChester DG
275088Lulworth S. MajorEly DA
285376Erbium S. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
305152Shincliffe S. MajorLincoln DG
Dec15120Atrabates S. MajorYorkshire A
15088Millenium S. MaximusWinchester & P’th
15024Coalpit Heath Coll. Bob MajorGlos & Bristol DA
45088Yetminster S. MajorEly DA
85088Iscalis S. MajorYorkshire A
85002Allington S. RoyalS Northants Soc
115120Glastonbury S. MajorEly DA
135040Zamora S. RoyalSouthwell DG
155088Littleworth S. MajorS Northants Soc
155152Hales Owen D. MajorWorcs & Dist A
185000Asgarby S. RoyalSouthwell DG
275088Torksey D. MajorSouthwell DG
285056Lilford S. MajorPeterborough DG
295280Woodside Park S. MajorEssex A
295000Kennett S. RoyalPeterborough DG
315152Double Somerleyton D. MajorWinchester & P’th
Oct148000170-Spliced S. MaximusS R Cumberland Yths
Nov241008028-Spl. S. Royal (a-t-w)London CA
B: First peals on handbells in 1984
Jan85040Beckington S. RoyalHereford DG
225040Anglia S. RoyalHereford DG
Feb275184Spalding Coll. Bob Maj.Norwich DA
Mar255024Peterstone Wentloog S. MajorHereford DG
Mar31515223-Spl. S. Major (a-t-w)Oxford DG
May215040The Hundred S. RoyalHereford DG
Jun135040Oakham S. RoyalOxford DG
275024Adelaide S. MajorOxford DG
Jul155040Boston S. RoyalHereford DG
Aug295040Prittlewell S. RoyalOxford DG
C: Record peals on tower bells in 1984
Mar2712000Middlesex S. RoyalSoc of Royal Cumberland Youths
31105604-Spliced S. Royal (a-t-w)Bedfordshire A
May2810560Yorkshire S. Max.Soc of Royal Cumberland Youths
D: Record peals on handbells in 1984
Jul2710440Bristol S. RoyalLeicester DG

E: Doubles and Minor

The following peals of Doubles, Doubles and Minor, and Minor have been progressive lengths in the methods or groups of methods concerned. Handbell peals are indicated by an asterisk (*).

Mar.161974*7200Plain BobSuffolk G
Feb.219017440Plain BobBath & Wells DA
Apr.28198412000StedmanBath & Wells DA
Feb.27177510080(method(s) unknown)(Lincolnshire)
Oxford DG
Nov.13196512720Southwell DG
Aug.11197415000Hereford DG
Feb.161950*7440Leicester DG
May261958*8880Derbyshire A
Nov.141962*15000University of London Soc
Doubles and Minor
Sep.519745400(multi-method)Manchester Univ. Guild
Apr.6182210080Plain Bob(Suffolk)
Plain Bob
Bedfordshire A
Aug.301953*10080Peterborough DG
Feb.201963*15840University of London Soc
May61973*18000Gloucester & Bristol DA
Feb.121978*18720Salisbury DG
Apr.318756480Oxford Bob(Sussex)
Jan.17185210080Oxford TB(Northants)
Oct.619625760Cambridge SOxford DG
Jan.1619655760London SSwansea & Brecon DG
Chester DG
Apr.241965*10800Swansea & Brecon DG
Plain & TB(multi-method)
May81920*10080Essex A
Nov.16195718000Essex A
Yorkshire A
Apr.261972*7200Yorkshire A
Dec.28196321600Chester DG
Old East Derbyshire/Yorkshire A
May17190810080Lancashire A
Mar.271964*10080Gloucester & Bristol DA
Jan.1193110800Yorkshire A
Dec.17198315120University of London Soc
(mixed methods)
Leicester DG
Dec.1819767200Gloucester & Bristol DA


It has been agreed that the principle rung in peals as Carter’s Triples, Caters and Cinques in 1980, 1982, and 1982 respectively, will in future be called Birmingham-Carter’s, and that the principles rung in 1984 are the original versions.

5096 Grandsire Sextuples, rung on Feb. 11 and credited to the Gloucester & Bristol DA, has not been included in the Peals Analysis Committee’s analysis, and has therefore also been omitted from the above lists.”

Mr. J.R. Mayne (Honorary) pointed out that the method rung on 27 September as Blackdown Delight would have to be renamed, as the name had already been used for an unrelated method in 1961. Subsequently, in reply to a question from Mr. Peachey, he confirmed that the Liss Surprise Major rung on 17 July was the same method as in the performance at Liss Campanile on 4 March. Mr. Jackson commented that for the Records Committee to have omitted the latter from its list of first performances was to have prejudged the Council’s decision on whether to accept it - to which Mr. Bagworth pointed out that the relevant section was headed “First peals on tower bells” (laughter).

Mr. A.P. Smith, remarking on the name of Surfleate - which had been changed from Surfleet because the method was not an extension of the Minor - deplored the practice of naming near-extensions with re-spellings of the original name. He urged more honesty, and proposed that the Council invoke Decision (E).D.5 and invite the Essex Association to suggest a name more clearly distinct than Surfleate for the method rung on 24 March 1984. The proposal was seconded by Mr. Struckett and, on being put to the vote, was approved by 65 votes to 32.

The report was then adopted.


“The Committee paid its respects to 1984 computer technology with the publication of the new Minor collection. This was prepared through several drafts entirely on computer, and finally camera-ready copy was passed to the Publications Committee and the printer. This eliminates the possibility of errors being introduced at the printing stage and now allows revised editions to be produced very easily. It is hoped that this sort of facility will allow more frequent up-to-date collections to be published.

Two other collections are being prepared in the same fashion. The Doubles Collection Part II, incorporating Principles, Little, Alliance and Treble Place methods, should be ready in 1985. A complete collection of Plain methods from Minimus to 22-in is being compiled and is expected to be ready for publication shortly.

The Committee has considered the potential for the use of computer equipment in other areas of its activities. It would be most useful to have access to equipment compatible with that used by other committees for the storage and transfer of method information, for assisting with more esoteric method collections, and for methods research.

At a meeting in Winchester in September considerable thought was given to asymmetric methods. The conclusions of the Committee were:

The discussion arose from the 1984 Council debate on the Ely DA peal claimed in 500 methods. In March the Committee had reported to the Administrative Committee that there was no technical reason why the 500 methods should not be recognised. At the Council meeting the technical considerations were ignored, resulting in a decision to record 250 asymmetric methods, a conclusion which this Committee cannot accept and is seeking to remedy.

The problems and inconsistencies of method extension continue to exercise the Committee and it is hoped that an interim publication, clearly representing the present situation, will be prepared in due course.

In view of the current work load and the broad ranging discussions facing the Committee Mr. Peter Niblett has been co-opted to the Committee.”

Moving the report’s adoption, Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood (Honorary) made three points: it was now apparent that the conclusions summarised in the report’s fourth paragraph were not unanimous; that Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth) would become Chairman of the committee as from the end of the meeting; and that the Committee, having reached a unanimous conclusion that the peal of Spliced Surprise Major rung by the Ely Diocesan Association on 2 October 1983 had contained parts of 500 different methods, each of which was sufficient to define the method concerned, had sent a properly signed Notice of Motion concerning the peal to the Hon. Secretary for inclusion in the agenda of the meeting - but this had not been included. Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middx CA) seconded.

Mr. Wratten said that the Administrative Committee had discussed the possibility of there being a Motion concerning the Ely DA peal concerned, about which there had been a lengthy discussion at Hull which had concluded with a vote, and had decided that it would be out of order. On receipt of the Notice of Motion he had therefore notified Mr. Sherwood accordingly.

Following a brief discussion as to whether the Motion should indeed be debated, during which Mr. Blagrove denied a statement by Mr. Wilby that the Methods Committee’s consistent advice about the peal had been ignored by the Records Committee - he said that the Methods Committee had changed its mind since the Hull meeting - the Council voted to consider the matter.

Mr. Sherwood consequently proposed “that the peal of 8000 Spliced Surprise Major rung by the Ely Diocesan Association on 2nd October 1983 should be recorded as a peal in 500 methods and the Association be asked to submit method names”. He said that the Council’s Decisions did not require a minimum amount of any method to be included in a peal before it could be named, and that methods spliced at the half-lead should both be symmetric and not differ only at the halflead or the leadend. His committee saw no reason why they had to be treated as asymmetric methods.

Seconding, Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary) said that, following last year’s meeting, at which he had voted in favour of recognising the peal as being one in 250 asymmetric methods, he had determined that the composition used had been sufficient for the band to claim it was one in 500 methods, spliced at the half-leads. He went on to quote a number of instances where individual leads in recognised Spliced Surprise Major compositions could not be uniquely labelled.

A number of different points were made in the ensuing discussion. Mr. Struckett, who said he supported the motion, said he understood the peal had been rung by reference to the work above and below the treble and wondered whether a distinct term was required for this form of splicing. Mr. H.J. Charles (Norwich DA) pointed out that, if the composition concerned were to be rearranged, a quite different sequence of halfleads might well result and give a further 250 asymmetric methods. Mr. Jelley wondered whether methods such as Olympus and Olympia were relevant, and was assured by Mr. A.P. Smith that they were not - they simply had an unusual form of symmetry, he said.

Several members expressed bafflement at the technicalities of the question, and Mrs. Wilkinson finally proposed that the Methods and Records Committees be asked to form a joint working party to produce a written statement for consideration at the next Council meeting. She was seconded by Mrs. A. Newing (Univ. of Bristol S). On being put to the vote the motion was however very narrowly defeated, by 80 votes to 75.

Mr. C. Crossthwaite (Lancashire A) then proposed, and Mrs. Barnett seconded, that “the Motion be put”. This was agreed, and the motion was then subsequently carried by a large majority (applause).

Following a short break for tea, Mr. S.J. Coleman (Surrey A) raised the topic of the Doubles method generally rung under the name of Reverse Canterbury, which he said was the third most popular 5-bell method. He strongly deplored the Methods Committee’s decision to rename it Canterbury and to give the name Reverse Canterbury to a different method. It had, he said, by so doing done more to tarnish the image of the Council in the eyes of ordinary ringers than had all the discussions about peals at Basingstoke - technicalities had been allowed to over-rule common sense. He proposed “that the method Bob Doubles with Imperial places at the lead end retain its name of Reverse Canterbury Doubles”, and was seconded by Mr. G.W. Massey, who said that a strong plea had been made at the AGM of the Bath & Wells DA for the old name to be retained, regardless of any technical argument to the contrary.

Mr. Blagrove denied that there was any confusion: until the 1930s Plain Bob with places at the lead had been rung, on all numbers, under the name of Canterbury, and the Committee was now calling it Canterbury Pleasure. Reverse Bob with places at the halflead was now called Canterbury Place (Doubles) or Canterbury Bob (Minor), he explained. He was supported by Mr. A.P. Smith. Several members however pointed out that the change was being ignored by the Exercise, and also that a clear inconsistency had been introduced between various Council publications.

On being put to the vote, the motion was carried by a very large majority, only four members voting against it. Mr. A.P. Smith said that the forthcoming Part II of the Doubles Collection would include the agreed name among other corrections to Part I.

After Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough DG) had asked whether the Methods Committee could provide The Ringing World with a list of newly-named methods every 6 months or so, the Committee’s report was adopted.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

On behalf of the Fund’s trustees Mr. R.J. Cooles (Honorary) proposed adoption of the report and accounts.

“Despite the apparent risk to several rings of eight bells, the Fund has received no approaches in the year from either local associations or concerned ringers for assistance in any initiative.

St. Pierre du Bois, Guernsey, completed payment for Feltham bells and placed the order with the Foundry for hanging the bells. The work was underway at the end of the year.

St. Paul’s, Stoneycroft, are continuing their payments for Widnes bells as arranged. These have enabled repayment to be made in full to all those individuals and Associations who have supported us.

The Fund was involved in negotiations for the sale of a chime of eight from Canonbury, London, to Australia for the refurbishment from the back six to be hung for ringing. No financial assistance was required.

New offers of loans in case of need are to be welcomed, and may well be needed urgently. The sums required to rescue a peal of bells from destruction have increased, particularly as it is heavy rings that are most at risk.

We are grateful for the continuing support of those who have already promised loans.”

Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1984

60Excess of income over expenditure£124.51
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1984
-Loan to PCC of St Pierre du Bois745.00
6527Bells from St Catherine, Feltham, at cost-.-
3000Loan to PCC of St Paul, Stoneycroft2,040.00
4415Bank balances3,334.17

3375Deposit by PCC of St Pierre du Bois for Feltham bells-.-
2547Loans from Guilds and individuals-.-
2000Thackray Bequest-.-
745Sundry creditors720.00


5275Net Assets£5,399.17
5215Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19845,274.66
60Excess of income over expenditure124.51

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 1984.

)Hon. Auditors

9th April 1985

He was seconded by Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary) and, after Mr. Blagrove had commented that members of the Middlesex A and London DG would be delighted that Feltham bells had been successfully transferred, the report and accounts were adopted.

Future Meetings

At this point Mr. Corby resumed the chairmanship of the meeting, thanking the Vice-President for “bearing the heat of the day” (laughter and applause).

Mr. Wratten summarised the invitations that had been received for future meetings of the Council, which now covered each year up to and including 1991. Mr. E.G.H. Godfrey (Surrey A) then summarised the arrangements to date for the 1986 meeting, which would be in Reigate. He was followed by Mr. D.T. Sim (Carlisle DG), who confirmed his Guild’s warm invitation for the Council to visit its area in 1988, and by Mr. H.M. Windsor (Coventry DG) who, referring to his Guild’s invitation for 1987, said that it was hoped that Coventry Cathedral bells will again be in action by then.

On the proposition of Preb. J.G.M. Scott, seconded by Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge UG), the Coventry Guild’s invitation was formally accepted, as subsequently was the Carlisle DG’s - proposed by Mr. G.A. Halls and seconded by Mr. H.J. Charles.

Any other business

Mr. Barnes suggested that it might be appropriate for the Council to make a small presentation to the Italian ringers who were visiting England later in the week. The President said this had been briefly discussed by the Officers, and it had been agreed to leave action to the Hon. Secretary.

Mr. Wratten then reported that 184 members had been present at the meeting - 7 Life, 21 Honorary, and 156 representative members from 60 different societies. This was one less than the total last year at Hull, but compared with an attendance of 42 when the Council last met in Brighton, in 1896.

The President ended the meeting by proposing a comprehensive vote of thanks - to Brighton Corporation, the Mayor of Brighton and the Bishop of Chichester for their warm welcome, the officers and members of the Sussex County Association for their work and welcome, incumbents for the use of their bells, all those involved in Sunday’s Open Meeting and in the corporate Communion, and to the Vice-President for all his work during the weekend. A remark that Dean Thurlow would be celebrating his 50 years in the ministry the following weekend drew loud applause.

Preb. J.G.M. Scott, who had assisted the Vice-President on the platform throughout the meeting, said that this would be his last meeting as a representative of the Guild of Devonshire Ringers, and expressed the Councils best wishes to Mr. Corby for a speedy return to full health (applause).

The meeting closed at 6.10 p.m.

The Ringing World, June 21, 1985, supplement

Overseas liaison for year 1984

Introduction: The sources of information given in this report are The Ringing World, Ringing Towers; The Clapper; Irish Bell News; letters from friends overseas and the media. Thanks are accorded to all contributors and I trust this acknowledgment of sources of information is complete. Taylor’s and Whitechapel Foundries were helpful too with some details of their overseas work.

Communications. During the year three “Newsletters” were sent to each area overseas where rings of bells are located, whether they are ringable or not. Contact was made with Kilifi and Lahore, which had previously been out of touch or should I say out of reach, due to absence of a name to write to. Some changes of officers in various Societies may be the reason for lack of replies to letters. Amongst the changes were: Beryl Morrison stepped down to be replaced by Michael Batten in North American Guild; they also have a new Public Relations Officer. Sue Wright, Hon. Sec. of ANZAB, resigned and Mrs. Rei Ngatai has taken over. In Transvaal there has also been some reorganisation. Dr. Ruth Hutchinson in Zimbabwe has stepped up and her place taken by Ms Anne Phillips. To those who have stepped down I accord sincere thanks for their work for ringing and for keeping me regularly informed of what goes on in their respective areas. To those who are now in the “hot seats”, very best wishes and the hope of continued communication. Already both Michael Batten, President NAG; Martin Meier, PRO, NAG; Anne Phillips of Zimbabwe, have shown that they are worthy successors to their predecessors who were most helpful to our committee’s work. It should be mentioned that George and Ruth Morris as reported in the R.W. spent some time in Italy and established a liaison with the Italian Ringing Society. Their report was one of great interest and their method (Italian) of ringing full circle enlightening. Our gratitude to them for this interesting relationship.

Public Relations. Old St. Paul’s, Wellington, NZ, and the Old Post Office, Washington, D.C., bells were included in “Church Bells on Sunday” and gave us an insight of the very high standard of striking overseas. Radio NZ interviewed the captain of the Auckland ringers. St. Paul’s Cathedral ringers appeared on TV in Australia; TV crews were also present to film the Kalamazoo dedication, also Texarkana First Presbyterian Church ringers and an interview with Marie Cross. Perhaps the most frequent to appear was Bill Theobald, who with Jeff Smith did much for PR at Kalamazoo; David Graves and Ian Charter were shown on Texas TV.

During a quarter-peal at Old Post Office, Washington, a TV crew were constantly moving around the ringing room filming the ringers: it shows what stamina Washington ringers are made of to succeed with the quarter in such circumstances! Perhaps one of the best advertisements, from the recruitment point of view, was the filming of a 12-year-old learning how to ring at Christchurch Cathedral, NZ, under the guidance of Dr. Bob Bennett for a weekly children’s programme. It was an interesting scene, which included experienced ringers practising change-ringing. The A.G.M. of ANZAB in Perth received good coverage on three channels of TV, and one gave a 15-minute segment to bellringing and to the meeting.

The press also gave prominence in some cases to bellringing, bells and ringers. Such mentions are numerous, but Kalamazoo seems to have topped the league with extended coverage. The press references together with photographs include the following: Wellington Cathedral dedication and interview with Pleasance Purser, their RM; the sponsored peal at Auckland was supported by the New Zealand Herald; Natal Mercury made an appeal for recruits for Durban rings of bells, and Mrs. Jane Gant was interviewed. Both the New England Magazine and Business 58 gave prominence to the Old Church, Boston.

A point, which could be borne in mind by everyone desiring better public relations, is the example set by the Watertown, Perkins Institute for the Blind, USA., whereby notices of peal attempts are distributed to houses nearby to advise the occupiers of the proposals. Also from the USA Martin Meier, PRO, has outlined his own “job specification” in The Clapper, which is a very useful idea for all PROs.

Meetings and Tours: Annual General Meetings were reported and good attendances mentioned in connection with the Zimbabwe Guild, North American Guild, the Australian and New Zealand Association, Durban Bellringers Guild, and Transvaal Society. Some changes in officers were made, and in some cases the social aspect included dinners.

In regard to ringing tours - two parties from the UK went to America, namely, Martin Fellows to Southern States and Patrick Bird’s party to the more northerly parts, where five peals were rung all for the Gloucester and Bristol Association; these included some NAG resident ringers.

We read of a large interchange of ringers between UK and overseas, which included parties from USA who rang some peals in the UK. There were also exchanges between overseas ringers such as Antipodes and Africa and USA.

Augmentations and Restorations: The old ring of eight from St. Edmond’s, Northampton, was the basis of the new magnificent 12 with two semi-tones for the new Cathedral of St. Paul, Wellington, NZ, which were dedicated on Easter Sunday. On 6th June the new ring of eight at Kalamazoo College, Michigan, was dedicated. A new eight was provided at the Cathedral, Miami, Florida; and the First Presbyterian Church, Texarkana, received the lightest ring of eight bells in USA. Houston, St. Thomas, is the proud possessor of a new eight, too.

For the future, it is learned that Wangratta Cathedral, Victoria, Australia, is to get the ring of eight from St. George’s, Bolton; interest is being shown to have a ring of bells by St. John’s Cathedral, Denver; and some action appears to have been taken to provide a ring at Claremont, Perth, by the formation of a sub-committee who are inquiring about some redundant bells. Also, rumour has it that a redundant eight or ten has been lined-up for a West Australian tower and a sponsor or donor is being sought.

From Australia it is learned that bellringing is regarded as an ethnic art, and as such grants towards the costs of new rings are available from the Arts Council. On the augmentation side, Victoria, BC, were augmented to a 10, and it is hoped that Sydney, NSW, will have its first 12 through the provision of four trebles and a flat 6th; they have introduced a fee for ringing to help to pay for the new bells for St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

The proposed new bells for St. John’s Cathedral, New York, now seem to be a long way off as the towers have not yet been built. York bells, near Perth, have arrived on site and a steel self-supporting frame is being provided inside the existing tower to carry them. Regretfully, the ring at Abilene, Texas, about which there was some criticism on their ringing qualities, appear now to be not ringable and hang only as a chime.

Whilst on USA, it is reported that a sum of money has been allocated for a new ring of bells for Little Rock Cathedral, Arkansas.

It is good to see such development towards new rings and augmentations, and there seems to be a contest between America and Australia as who has and will have the greatest number of rings of bells: at present they are fairly even. Let the competition continue and perhaps there will be a never-ending provision of rings, and of course ringers to man them!

Peals and Quarter-Peals: The following table gives details of those peals and quarter-peals recorded in the publications referred to in the “Introduction”:

PealsQuarter Peals
New Zealand2-602
South Africa11152


The methods consisted of the standard Plain, Treble Bob and Surprise, covering the range from Doubles to Maximus. Firsts include Grandsire Caters at Victoria, B.C., on the augmented ten; all-ladies’ band at Kwe-Kwe; London Surprise Minor and Little Bob Royal (first in Africa), and Oxford T.B. Major in Zimbabwe; Jeremiah T.B. Minor and Xarifa Delight Minor at Kalamazoo College, and first peal at Adelaide Town Hall. Yorkshire and Victoria Surprise Major in Australia were scored. It is noteworthy to see the number of very young ringers included in peals and quarters. Keep up the good work!

Recruitment: Under this heading I am including courses in ringing; the first of these refers to the AGM of NAG in Washington, when a successful course on ringing was included in the weekend’s activities. In Durban an appeal was made through the Natal Mercury for bellringers, and we learn that this brought some response. As a result of press publicity and TV coverage, some recruits were gained. Exhibitions and demonstrations of ringing both on tower- and handbells must inevitably bring along interested persons. The display at Kalamazoo College during the period of the dedication of the bells brought much attention from the public and, it is hoped, some recruits.

Clergy and Ringers: It is very pleasant to read that the new Rector at Parktown, Transvaal, has decreed that there should be more open ringing and less soundproofing. In Zimbabwe, their Bishop departed for the UK and he exhibited a deep interest in the bellringing. The Dean of Wellington was given a large amount of publicity in connection with the new 12 in his Cathedral, for which he devoted a tremendous amount of energy. Although only these cases are highlighted, it is known that in general the clergy are 100% behind the ringers and do everything in their power to see that the bells are kept ringing. On behalf of the PR Committee, we are very appreciative of the interest and support given to bellringing and ringers by the incumbents everywhere.

Overseas Directory: The Overseas Directory of ringers was up-to-date at the time the previous report was prepared. Since then a card-index system has been set up, and it is being completed as more up-to-date information comes to hand from overseas areas. As well as names and addresses of ringers, particulars of ringing times at the various towers are recorded where such information has so far been received. Hopefully, shortly, the card-index will be completed and then be kept up-to-date on an annual basis.

Thanks: I cannot close this report without expressing sincere thanks to all of the correspondents during the past year, especially to John Maeder, Durban; Beryl Morrison, Michael Batten and Martin Meier of USA; Jim Reeve of Christchurch, NZ; Dr. Ruth Hutchinson and Anne Phillips, of Zimbabwe; and Shirley Bolton, Transvaal. Sue Wright and David Knewstub, Australia, too were most helpful. Our thanks go to all ringers everywhere for their devotion to ringing and to those by whose endeavours new rings of bells and additions are being installed; to those who by their energies assist new bands - in particular Bill Theobald, who seems to steal the limelight: doesn’t he deserve it!; Marie Cross for her work at Texarkana, and the Houston ringers and many others who travel long distances to give assistance with installations and training. If any out-standing name has been omitted, I ask indulgence; nevertheless, their efforts are much appreciated, and to them we are grateful. With very many thanks to one and all overseas who are doing a wonderful job to ensure that our ancient Art is being kept very much alive.

With very best wishes for the future,

Public Relations Officer,
Overseas Liaison.

The Ringing World, May 31, 1985, pages 471 and 473



Whilst circulation figures remained constant during the year, a significant number of readers switched from newsagents’ delivery to becoming postal subscribers. This trend, prompted by the holding of the subscription rates since 1 January 1982 and the parity which was achieved in 1984 between the two methods of buying the paper, has been actively encouraged by the Board with a campaign offering donations to Bell Restoration Funds of the subscribers’ choice for new annual subscriptions.

Following our appeal last year for someone to produce an annual Ringing World index, Mrs. Rowena Gay of Lichfield came forward, and the result has been a comprehensive and well-received index for the first time in many years. Following a review of our policy regarding advertisements and notices a new system was introduced in the Autumn with the objectives of establishing realistic charges for commercial advertisers and of encouraging the use of the Notices pages by guilds and associations. Early indications are that this policy is working satisfactorily, although several guilds and associations are still not advertising all their activities.

As an experiment the Central Council meeting report was produced as a single unit rather than being spread over three or four issues of the paper. Whilst generally well received the layout and future costings of this method of producing the report in this way are subject to continuing discussions.

The Editor continues to represent the paper at various ringing functions up and down the country, and the Board appreciates his enthusiastic approach to the job both in and out of the office. Our thanks go to Joy Eldridge for her work in the Guildford office and to the many volunteers whose time and commitment to The Ringing World ensure the continuing health of the paper.

H.W. Egglestone


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