Central Council Meeting - Reigate - 27 May 1986

The 89th Central Council meeting, held in the Concert Hall of Reigate Grammar School on Tuesday, May 27th, was opened with prayer led by the Vice-President, the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA). There was a near-record attendance for what promised to be an interesting meeting, particularly in view of the motions on peal ringing that were on the agenda and which had been a topic of discussion among delegates before the meeting began.

After the President, Mr. P.A. Corby (Life Member) had welcomed those present, the Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Gloucester and Bristol GA), reported that there had been no change in the number of affiliated societies, which remained at 66, although one - the Durham & Newcastle GA - now had an additional representative. With the number of Life and Honorary members remaining unchanged from 1985, Council membership had thus increased from 207 to 208, and now matched the record of 1976.

All subscriptions had been paid.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary reported that apologies had been received from Messrs. E.C. Shepherd and A.G.G. Thurlow (Life), D. Hughes, P.D. Sotheran, R.F.B. Speed and J.M. Tyler (Honorary), and N. Brock, P.M.J. Gray, B. Harris, F.B. Lufkin, D. Martin, P.D. Niblett, B. Peachey and P.J. Tremain (representative members).

New members

Welcoming seven new members - P.J.S. Albon (Bedfordshire), Mrs J.E. Orchard (Derby), D.J. Roberts (Devonshire G), Mrs. B. Wheeler (Durham & Newcastle), A.F. Alldrick (Hertford), A.F. Bogan (Irish) and J.A. Anderson (St. Martin’s) - the President said that he hoped they would enjoy their membership of the Council.

Losses through death

Members stood in silence as the President read the name of four former members of the Council who had died since the last meeting: B.C. Ashford (Worcs, 1945-72); J.T. Dunwoody (Irish, since 1948); F.E. Hawthorne (Cumberland Youths, 1950-66); and A.D. Barker (London CA 1924-36, Oxford DG 1936-66, London CA 1966-69).

Election of Life Member

One member of the Council, Mr. C.A. Wratten, was nominated for Life membership. Proposing his election, Mr. E.A. Barnett said that, after 15 years in the post, Mr. Wratten was the Council’s second longest serving Hon. Secretary and Treasurer. Many members might indeed have believed that, as Secretary, he was already a Life Member of the Council, but this was not so. Mr. Barnett also mentioned Mr. Wratten’s ability as a practical ringer and his knowledge of ringing history - and remarked in an aside that it was entirely coincidental that Mr. Wratten, the President and Vice-President of the Council, he himself and the husband of the motion’s seconder all had strong links with Kent! (Laughter).

Seconding, Dr. Angela Newing (Bristol Univ) said that she had been impressed since her first Council meeting by Mr. Wratten’s quiet efficiency, and remarked on the amount of time he devoted to Council work throughout the year.

After the President had reminded members that Life Membership was conferred in recognition of “services to the Art of Ringing”, Mr. Wratten was unanimously elected to prolonged applause. Mr. Wratten thanked members most sincerely for the honour they had paid him, saying that it was a great pleasure to be rewarded in this way for something he enjoyed doing.

Election of Honorary Members

Eight of the present Honorary Members completed their elected period at the end of this meeting, leaving eight vacancies to be filled. As is now the custom, nominations were made individually and election was by ballot.

Eight nominations were made and seconded by various members of the Council: Kenneth Lewis, a member of the Methods Committee; Mrs. Olive Barnett, “for her inspired common sense”; Harold Chant, who was “of no Minor importance” to the Peal Compositions Committee (laughter); Michael O’Callaghan, the Rescue Fund treasurer and a member of the Redundant Bells committee; Robert Cooles, another member of that committee and a Board member of The Ringing World Ltd; John Mayne, a member of the Methods Committee and a contributor to the work of other committees; David House, a valued member of the Administrative and Library committees; and Preb. John Scott, a former President of the Council.

Later in the meeting, after the votes had been counted by tellers of the Surrey Association, the President announced that all were duly elected. (Applause)

Minutes of the last meeting

The Hon. Secretary proposed the adoption of the Minutes of the 1985 meeting at Brighton, which had been published in The Ringing World of February 28th. He was seconded by Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough).

Mr. I.H. Oram (SRCY) pointed out that the Minutes of the Towers & Belfries Committee report should refer to “the sub-committee’s earlier report” rather than to “the committee’s earlier pamphlet”, and this was accepted. The Minutes were then adopted without further discussion, and signed by the President. Mr. Corby said that matters arising from the Minutes were all covered elsewhere in the Agenda.

Secretary and Treasurer’s report

“Since the Council’s last meeting one representative member, John Dunwoody of the Irish Association, has died, and five others have resigned. I am pleased to welcome their successors, and also an additional representative from the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association. This society had 470 members at the beginning of the present triennium, but has hitherto sent only three representatives rather than the four to which it is entitled.

In November a service, attended by Her Majesty the Queen, was held in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the General Synod of the Church of England. The Central Council was invited to be represented, and the President, Mr. P.A. Corby, accordingly attended.

Earlier in the year I was able to represent the Council at a civic reception in Great Malvern, Worcs., in honour of a party of visiting Italian ringers from the Verona region. On behalf of the Council I presented them with a copy of Wilfrid Wilson’s ‘Change Ringing’, and received in return a replica of the Peace Bell of Rapallo, cast after the First World War from guns of the warring nations. This gift is now held by the Hon. Librarian.

Turning to the Accounts, one of the recommendations accepted by the Administrative Committee when the Council’s financial arrangements were reviewed was that the link between the income from affiliation fees and the administrative cost of running the Council should be clearly shown. I am grateful to the Council’s auditors for their work in recasting the General Fund account accordingly.

The investment income shown in the audited account is that agreed and certified at the time of the audit. I am however in correspondence with the National Savings Bank concerning a further £900-odd of interest for 1985. If this claim is accepted by the Bank, the additional income will be reflected in the accounts for 1986.

In 1985 there were two unusually large items of General Fund expenditure, both made possible by the increased investment income. The first was a donation of £500 to The Ringing World Ltd as a contribution to the cost (amounting to something over £1,000) of publishing and distributing the Official Report of the meeting at Brighton. The second was the purchase of a BBC ‘B’ microcomputer and associated equipment for use by the Peal Compositions Committee; the use to which this is being put is described in that committee’s report. In view of the very low resale value of such equipment, its cost has, with the agreement of the auditors, been entirely written off.”

Moving the adoption of his report, Mr. Wratten said that the National Savings Bank had now accepted that an additional £965.18 was due to the Council; nearly £50 of this belonged to the monies held for bell restoration, The adoption was seconded by Mr. F. Dukes (Irish), who thanked Mr. and Mrs. Wratten for their work for the Council.

1985 Accounts

Mr. Wratten introduced the accounts by explaining the main differences in the General Fund and the consolidated balance sheet from the previous year. He noted that the accommodation for last year’s Council meeting had been provided free of charge by Brighton Corporation, and reminded members that the Capital Reserve element of the General Fund was being increased by the annual rate of inflation. With the auditors’ agreement, the book value of the Library had not been increased above the nominal £10, although it was insured for £25,000, since its precise value was almost impossible to calculate.

Accounts for 1985
General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1985
865Affiliation fees870.00
-Affiliation fee, 19845.00

Less: Administrative costs
484Council meeting350.20
50Secretary’s expenses50.00
74Stationery, post and telephone35.22


Investment Income
6107Dividends and interest8,522.35
(1250)less: Transfer to Capital Reserve1,500.00

Less: Committee costs, grants, etc.
342Committee expenses2,598.59
79Committee expenses, 198428.93
-The Ringing World Ltd.500.00



4957Excess of income over expenditure4,154.52
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1985
53Stock of ties53.06
50000NS Income Bonds50,000.00
23891NS Investment Account29,234.55
445Bank Deposit Account132.49

218Cash and Bank balances99.97
1366Sundry debtor1,347.05

75Affiliation fees in advance110.00
58Publications Fund-.-
130The Ringing World Ltd.-.-
260Sundry creditors356.87


75450Net Assets£80,400.25
General Fund
55063Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198547,952.92
(25000)Less: Transfer to Capital Reserve-.-
4597Excess of income over expenditure4,154.52
13293Profit (net) on sale of investments-.-

478Add: Donations for bell restoration and
interest thereon to 1 Jan. 1985
769Donations and interest, 1985295.36

-Less: Paid to Walsgrave1,000.00

25000Add: Capital Reserve26,250.00
1250Allocated from income, 19851,500.00



Note: Committee Expenses £2,598 include the purchase of Computer Equipment for use by the Peal Compositions Committee in the sum of £1381.

Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1985
-Reimbursement from Pewsey Press2.00
50Transfer from General Fund75.00

214Books and microfilms147.07
-Newsletter and Catalogue Supplement47.38
45Librarian’s expenses26.21
10Depreciation: Library fixtures10.00

204(Cr)Excess of expenditure over income115.53

Friends of the CCCBR Library
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1985
10Library fixtures - cost less depreciation to date-.-
404Bank Deposit Account183.69
107Cash and Bank balances222.20


531Net Assets£415.89
327Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1985531.42
204(Cr)Excess of expenditure over income115.53


The market value of the Councils Library is not reflected in these accounts. It is insured for £25,000.

Publications Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1985

8812Stock, 1 January 19859,891.82

9892Less: Stock, 31 Dec. 19858,266.22

909Stationery, post and typing735.67
-Administration (1984)33.00
112Publications Committee expenses109.74
-Ringing History project317.70

2934Excess of income over expenditure1,757.98

Publications Fund
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1985
9892Stock, at cost8,266.22
3248Bank Deposit Account6,436.23
2966Cash and Bank balances2,710.75
-The Ringing World Ltd10.00
57Sundry debtor-.-

642Sundry creditors144.00

15521Net Assets£17,279.20
12587Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198515,521.22
2934Excess of income over expenditure1,757.98

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1985
10Library fixtures at book value-.-
53Stock of ties53.06
9892Stock of publications8,266.22
3291Cash and Bank balances3,032.92
1365Sundry debtors1,357.05

95Amounts received in advance110.00
1012Sundry creditors500.87


91503Net Assets£98,095.34
Capital Accounts
75450General Fund80,400.25
15521Publications Fund17,279.20
532Friends of the CCCBR Library415.89



We have compared the attached Accounts on pages 2 to 5 with the books and vouchers of the Council and have obtained all the information and explanations we have required. We report that in our opinion the 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 1985.

MICHAEL J. CHURCH, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
April, 1986

Replying to a question from Mr. A.R. Smith (Suffolk), Mr. Wratten said that General Fund investments were reviewed periodically by the officers, although a policy decision had been taken some years ago not to invest in gilts. The investment aim was to receive maximum income. He also confirmed Mr. Threlfall’s (Honorary) belief that the insurance of the Library was paid from the General Fund.

The President said that he would defer the formal acceptance of the Council’s accounts as a whole until members had had an opportunity to consider the reports of the Library and Publications Committees later in the Agenda.


The Agenda included four motions, the first of which was proposed on behalf of the Administrative Committee by the Hon. Secretary. He said that, as explained in that committee’s report, it had been decided that, in an attempt to speed the business of the first meeting of each triennium, nominations for committee membership could in future be made to the Secretary in advance of the meeting. To do this however it was first necessary to amend Rule 12(iv), which required the Council to decide the size of a committee before any nominations could be accepted. The motion proposed that the size should be decided before nominations were closed, rather than before they were accepted. The motion was seconded by Mr. R.J. Cooles (Honorary).

Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby) said that he believed the Rule concerned was now numbered 13 rather than 12; and the President said that the Secretary would ensure that the correct number appeared in the Minutes of the meeting. Replying to a question from Dr. Newing about the effect of this change on those who might be seeking election as honorary members, he said that he anticipated nominations being made in the expectation that election to honorary membership would occur; but if it did not, the nomination would of course be invalid.

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

The second motion, proposed by Mr. W.J. Couperthwaite (Guildford), asked the Records Committee to prepare a report for consideration by the Council on the Council’s Decisions relating to the naming of methods, and in particular of those first rung in peals of Spliced. Mr. Couperthwaite said that the motion, which he was proposing on behalf of his Guild, had arisen from two aspects of the now famous 1983 Ely DA peal of half-lead Spliced. The first was that it seemed unreasonable that a band should be able to name a method after ringing just 16 changes of it in a peal; the second was that the names of the methods rung in that peal had not been published in “The Ringing World”, and it was consequently impossible for any band naming a newly-pealed method to be sure that it was not inadvertently choosing an unacceptable name. He would like the Records Committee to bear these points in mind, and perhaps prepare a replacement for Decision (E) D.5 likely to be more acceptable to the average ringer; but his Guild was not making any specific proposal, although it would be happy to contribute its ideas to the Committee’s deliberations.

Seconding, Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford) said that there had been some doubt whether the matter should be referred to the Records or to the Methods Committee. He felt that the Records Committee was the correct one, but would accept an amendment if members thought otherwise.

Mr. G. Dodds (Hertford) thought the motion a very good one, but asked when the report should be submitted to the Council: should it be next year? Mr. Couperthwaite said that that had been the intention, and accepted the addition of “at next year’s meeting” at the end.

Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY), speaking for the Records Committee, said that he had offered through “The Ringing World” to provide on request a list of the 500 names chosen by the Ely DA band, but had had only one reply. The names would however appear in the next Collection of Rung Surprise, etc. The President then put the motion to the vote, and it was passed.

A second motion inspired by the 1983 peal was moved on behalf of the Methods Committee by its chairman, Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth). This sought a change to the Council’s Decisions to permit the Council, if it thought fit, to hold a method as unnamed. He said the proposal arose from a feeling that a band should ring more than a half-lead of a method in a peal in order to name it: there had been a feeling at the Council’s meeting in Beverley that the Ely DA band had rung a peal in 500 methods, but had not rung enough of the methods to name them. He emphasised that the decision as to whether a rung method should be left unnamed would be the Council’s, not the band’s, and noted that the Council already had the power to change a name if it felt it necessary.

After Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary) had formally seconded the motion, Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire) enquired about the relationship between this motion and its predecessor; if passed, would it preempt any Record Committee proposals? Mr. C.H. Rogers felt it would on the contrary provide useful guidance for the committee.

The Revd. L.J. Yeo (Devon G) wondered how it would be possible for the Council “to leave a method unnamed”, as the motion proposed, once a band had named it. Should not the Council rather withdraw the name? Mr. R.J. Perry (Truro) said the name would just lapse.

After Mr. T.F. Collins (Salisbury) had urged that the names of the methods in the Ely DA peal be published in “The Ringing World”, the motion was put to the vote and passed.

Recognition of peals

The final motion proposed a major revision of the Decisions defining what the Council recognises as a peal. At the 1985 Council meeting the Administrative Committee had been asked to review these Decisions, and it had subsequently entrusted the task to the Methods Committee. That committee had accordingly put a motion on the Agenda.

Before asking Mr. A.P. Smith to move his committee’s proposals, the President said that he feared the debate that would follow could occupy much time unproductively. If it took up too much of the Council’s time, it could lead to criticism. He would therefore be sympathetic to a motion setting a time limit for the discussion. Dr. Newing proposed that discussion be limited to 30 minutes, and was seconded by Mr. R.A. Grant (Surrey); this was agreed on a vote. Mr. A.H. Smith (Bedfordshire) commented that this did not mean that the discussion had to last 30 minutes (laughter).

Mr. A.P. Smith started by thanking those who had replied to his letter in “The Ringing World” about the Decisions, and then went on to review briefly cases of odd-bell peals rung without a cover that had been discussed by the Council in the past. He said that the seconder would explain the details of what was proposed, but he wished to make two points. The first was that the proposal concerned only what the Council recognised as a peal and hence included in its records; it did not seek to dictate what ringers should or should not ring. The second was that the committee had considered recommending minor adjustments to the relevant Decisions, but had recognised that to do this would be to avoid the central issues and could lead to a continuation of the fruitless debates of the past. He concluded by pointing out some of the implications of the existing Decisions, such that they recognise a peal of Doubles and Minor but not one of Major and Caters.

Seconding the motion, Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood (Honorary) explained the principles underlying the proposed changes. The first was that there was a fundamental division between peals rung on more than seven bells and those rung on less, since the former required a minimum of 5,000 changes and the latter a minimum of 5,040 changes. The committee proposed to join odd and even-bell peals into one group on each side of that division, with the use of a cover bell consistent throughout. The second was that Minimus was now brought into line with the higher numbers, and no longer treated as a quite separate category. He realised that this was an emotive issue. Finally it had modified the definition of how extents might be put together for peals on seven bells or less. The essence of the original wording had however been retained. The proposed Decision was, he said, both more lucid and more comprehensive than the present one. Ringing should not be inhibited by decisions made by the Council, and he urged members to consider the proposals logically and not be influenced by natural prejudice.

Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middlesex) said that when the Council had altered its Decisions in the past it had done so in reaction to specific developments in the Exercise. There seemed to be a clear interest in ringing peals on odd numbers of bells, and this he accepted. But the proposed changes would for example also recognise peals of Minimus rung four-in-hand. If it were procedurally acceptable, he would like to propose an alternative change to the relevant Decision, which would change only the requirement for cover bells.

During the ensuing discussion on how best to deal with this suggestion, Mr. J.R. Mayne (Honorary) said that he would support Mr. Blagrove. The Council should respond to needs, not run ahead. He saw one major flaw in the committee’s proposals: Mr. Sherwood’s advocacy of logic and symmetry was specious. Diversity in ringing was very real, and it was not sensible to make peal-ringing on all numbers the same.

Mr. S.J. Coleman (Surrey) urged members to support the motion, which he said had implications beyond peal-ringing. Many ordinary service ringers throughout the country, however misguidedly, thought that the Council’s Decisions laid down what they could ring for touches and quarter-peals; and nothing should be done to inhibit Service ringing.

Mr. P.J. Sanderson (London Univ.) said he was concerned about the possibility of one-man peals of Minimus. He wished to propose an addition to the motion, that “Peals of Minimus shall only be rung on tower bells” and was immediately seconded by Mr. R.J. Johnston (Yorkshire).

At this point Mr. T.F. Collins proposed “that the motion be put” and was seconded by Mr. Groome. This was agreed, and the amendment proposed by Mr. Sanderson was then carried by a large majority. The original motion, as modified, was then put to the vote and declared carried by 106 votes to 62 (applause).

Mr. C.H. Rogers enquired for the Peals Analysis Committee when the revised Decision case into effect. The President said that they came into effect immediately.

Trustees’ reports:

Rolls of Honour

Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY) proposed adoption of his report, and was seconded by Mr. W.A. Patterson (Irish).

“During the year, the St. Paul’s Cathedral authorities kindly provided a base for the display case for the two books to stand on, as the passage where it is sited leading to the ringing room has a slope to it. This has considerably improved the look of the display case. Otherwise there is nothing to report, save that the books and case remain in good condition.”

The report was adopted without discussion.

Carter Ringing Machine

The report was proposed and seconded by the machine’s Trustees, Mr. A.E. Bagworth and Mr. W.H. Dobbie (both Honorary members):

“No requests for demonstrations were received in 1985 and no running sessions were held.

An enquiry was received from the Liverpool area for a demonstration in April/May. This has now been postponed. Consideration is being given to arranging a demonstration on the Ringing Day to be held in London on September 20th for The Ringing World’s 75th anniversary.”

Mr. Bagworth confirmed that arrangements had now been made for the machine to be on display in the Science Museum on 20th September.

After the report had been adopted, the President thanked the Trustees most warmly for looking after the machine and for the demonstration that they had given to members and friends the previous afternoon.

Committee reports


“When it met in London in October the Committee reviewed actions being taken on matters arising from the Council’s meeting at Brighton - insurance cover, the implications of the Data Protection Act for ringing societies, and the Council’s Decisions relating to peal ringing. The results have been reflected either in articles in The Ringing World or as Motions before the Council this year.

The Committee also considered the current revision of the Council for the Care of Churches’ Code of Practice for the conservation of bells and their fittings, and in March the Hon. Secretary was asked to write to the Secretary of that body to propose the formation of a small joint committee to prepare a draft acceptable to both Councils. The Committee is most anxious to ensure that the final document takes into account the views of all interested parties, including bells advisers on diocesan advisory committees, bell founders and hangers, and ringers.

In considering the arrangements for the Reigate meeting the Committee decided, in view of the lack of an obvious topic for general discussion, not to sponsor an Open Meeting this year. The Methods Committee however undertook to arrange with the Surrey Association for a small pre-Council meeting for those wishing to discuss the proposed changes to the Decisions on peal ringing. For the future, the Hon. Secretary would welcome suggestions of general-interest topics for discussion at future Open Meetings.

In October the Committee established a small working group under the chairmanship of the Hon. Librarian to consider the possibility of producing a history of the Central Council to mark its centenary in 1991. An interim report, presented at Oxford in March, was encouraging, and the working group has been asked to pursue this matter further.

Some half-dozen Council members replied to the Secretary’s request for comments on the arrangements for the triennial ‘election’ meeting, and their helpful suggestions were taken into account when in March the Committee discussed the conduct and organisation of that meeting. It was noted that, given the increase in the number of committees (there were 10 in 1971, and there are now 13, plus The Ringing World Ltd), the election of committee members must inevitably take longer than it did some years ago. In an effort to streamline this process, however, it was agreed to introduce in 1987 a scheme whereby nominations, suitably proposed and seconded, could be made to the Secretary in advance of the meeting. Only additional nominations will then need to be taken during the meeting itself. To make this possible, it is necessary to amend the wording of Rule 12(iv), and a motion to that effect is consequently included in this year’s Agenda.

Members will be aware through their reading of The Ringing World of the various ringing plans relating to the Australian bi-centennial celebrations in 1988. In October the Administrative Committee was pleased to agree unanimously to the following motion, which was proposed by Mr. P.M.J. Gray, one of the Australia and New Zealand Association’s representatives on the Council, and seconded by Mr. T.J. Lock:

‘The Central Council Administrative Committee note the forthcoming Bi-Centennial of the Commonwealth of Australia that will be celebrated during 1988. They welcome the initiative of arranging touring parties of ringers to Australia and New Zealand and the setting up of a Fund to enable ringers everywhere to mark the Bi-Centennial by contributing to the restoration of Australia’s oldest ring, at Holy Trinity, Hobart.

The Committee commend these projects to members of Council and of The Ringing World Ltd. for their support and assistance.’”

The report’s adoption was proposed by Mr. Wratten, who said that he had just received a letter from the Secretary of the Council for the Care of Churches, informing him that it had been decided to suspend work on revising the Code of Practice for two or three years. He also drew attention to the request for topics for discussion at Council Open Meetings, and more especially to the report’s final paragraph. In this context he welcomed Mr. Laith Reynolds, President of the Australia and New Zealand Association, who was present as an observer. The report’s adoption was seconded by Mr. M.J. Church (Honorary).

Mr. F.M. Mitchell (Shropshire) asked that the possibility of obtaining 3rd party insurance cover for all ringers be considered further. His own association had been quoted a premium of £2 per member for such cover, which was quite impracticable; he understood the Sussex Association was paying only 20p per member. Replying, Mr. I.H. Oram (SRCY) said that the article on insurance published in “The Ringing World” on 14th February had said that a national scheme would pose considerable administrative problems; but he would be willing to keep the position under review.

Commenting on the reference to the Council for the Care of Churches Code of Practice and the Secretary’s remarks, Mr. Groome said he assumed that the existing Code would continue to be applied until a new one was agreed. But the application of this code was causing some problems, and he hoped the 2-3 years referred to would be used to develop a comprehensive ringers’ view of what was needed. He suggested that the Administrative Committee should pursue the matter, in consultation as necessary with the Towers and Belfries Committee. Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) said that the Public Relations Committee had already decided to develop a strategy for consideration by the Administrative Committee.

Towers and Belfries

“Once again, the Committee had a fairly busy year: upwards of a hundred and fifty enquiries were dealt with by members, ranging from a visit with full report to a telephone enquiry.

Two meetings were held, one at Brighton immediately preceding the Council reception and a second in the autumn at Shardlow, Derbyshire.

The latter meeting was almost entirely taken up with discussion of the latest draft of the Council for the Care of Churches’ Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes, and a large number of suggestions for its improvement were made for the consideration of the CCC’s Bells Sub-committee. Although not strictly relevant to the year under report, 1985, it is perhaps worth recording that the Code is still (March 1986) under review by the CCC Conservation Committee prior to their publishing a new edition.

One technical point which Committee members feel to be worth some emphasis is the importance of taking some care with the design of external sound control measures, both the sound control side itself, an increasingly important aspect, and the practical side - making sure that it is actually safe, and that it does not produce undesirable side-effects such as condensation.

Information sheets, which detail the Committee’s activities and give a list of members with their addresses, are always available from the Chairman or any member.”

Moving the adoption of his report, Mr. B.D. Threlfall (Honorary) announced that he had the previous day ceased to be the Chairman of the committee; the new chairman was Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol). Seconding, Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) thanked Mr. Threlfall for his chairmanship and for the lead he had given the committee; remarks that were endorsed by the President who coupled them with a welcome to Mr. Taylor.

Mr. C. Crossthwaite (Lancashire) commented that this was one of the Council’s most important committees. In the past it had been virtually the only source of information and advice but now there were a growing number of association bell advisers around the country. He wondered whether there was a need for some closer co-operation between the committee and these advisers, for there had been some instances of disagreement between advice given by the two sides. Mr. Taylor said the committee would be happy to discuss this suggestion at its next meeting. The report was then adopted.

Bell Restoration Funds

The following report was proposed by Mr. J.S. Barnes (SRCY) and seconded by Mr. Halls:

“The Committee met on three occasions, each of them in London, and accounts of these meetings have appeared in The Ringing World. It has been a very busy year, with two major national surveys and an increase in correspondence with parishes.

The two surveys, of Guild bell restoration funds and of unringable bells, provided us with up-to-date figures which we can use in our contacts with trustees of charitable trusts. The first survey showed that, on average, both income received by Guild bell restoration funds and grants made from them is continuing to rise at about twice the rate of inflation. That there is a real increase is good, but on the other hand only half the income is actually being spent on bell restoration, the rest of it being used to accumulate capital. The second survey showed a static situation in the number of unringable rings of bells. Approximately twenty towers leave the list each year, but they are replaced by about twenty others which join it. A summary of each survey is being prepared for The Ringing World.

The Committee again assisted the Trustees of the Manifold Trust with the administrative work involved in making their annual grant towards bell restoration. The total sum available in 1985 was £13,000. In addition some £465 was made available by other trusts, this resulting from continuing contact with trustees who attended the reception and exhibition at St. Mary-le-Bow, London, in 1983. During the year two parishes notified us that they had received £340 and £100 for bell restoration work as a result of information supplied by us about charitable trusts. (The first parish also received a grant of £200 for clock repairs.) As reported in The Ringing World, we have been pleased to make contact with the Trustees of the Barron Bell Trust, and we will endeavour to maintain the link.

During the year our new Committee brochure was completed and is available on request. Our new booklet for parishes is also complete and should also be available in mid-1986. Entitled ‘Organising a Bell Restoration Project’, it includes sections on the composition of the organising committee, technical specifications and considerations, launching the appeal, fund raising, and publicity.

We have kept in touch with the North Wales Association with regard to the situation at Ruthin, where a faculty application was made by the PCC for permission to recast the unringable ring of eight bells into a light chime. The application was refused and developments are awaited.

Having in mind the success of our 1982 seminar, we have begun to plan for another, to be held at Northampton on Saturday, 4 April 1987. With the title ‘Bell Restoration - Making it Happen’, we hope that every Guild will be represented and that Guild officers will encourage attendance of both ringers and representatives from parishes where a restoration project might be possible. The seminar is planned to act as a catalyst for these towers.”

Mr. Barnes thanked all who had contributed to the two surveys mentioned in the report, and said that the new brochure mentioned was now available. He went on to suggest that it could be very advantageous if every society were to circularise every parish in its area to tell it about its bell fund, whether or not the church concerned had any bells; both clergy and parishioners moved, and it was important to make them aware of what their local society could do. He also commended the Essex Association for two exhibitions which it had arranged should be held in Chelmsford and Southend.

Mr. Halls said that the two surveys had tended to provoke more questions than answers. The analysis of Bell Restoration Funds, which had again been conducted by Michael Church, showed that there was now nearly a quarter of a million pounds available, and this needed to be used more vigorously. Left in the funds, it could in fact be, counter-productive, since people would wonder why they needed to contribute further when so much was already available. Societies should, he said, do more to initiate restoration work, rather than wait to be asked to contribute to schemes others had started.

As to unringable bells, which accounted for about 10% of all rings, he accepted that there were many hopeless cases where the bells had been unringable for perhaps decades. But it was our responsibility if rings became unringable today. He had several times suggested a Central Council bell restoration fund, although his committee was not enthusiastic about the idea. He did not think it would compete with guild funds, as had been suggested, since it would not be tapping the same sources; while experience in assisting the Manifold Trust had shown that there was no reason to fear any local bias in the administrators of such a fund. In essence he felt that (a) there was a large amount of capital that was not being spent, (b) there were plenty of problems on which it could be used, and (c) a national, Central Council-sponsored, fund might help.

Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) said he was very surprised at Mr. Hall’s repeated criticism of accumulated capital. The argument had been valid when inflation was outstripping rates of interest; but this was no longer true. The Oxford DG’s policy for the past ten years had been to invest for the future, with the result that it was now able to pay out more each year than it received in donations. He felt it was a pity that Mr. Halls should criticise such societies, rather than applaud their success. (Hear, hear)

Replying to a question from Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester and Portsmouth), Mr. J.K.R. Ellis (N. Wales) said that he had received five letters of support from Associations over Ruthin, as well as formal support from the Council and very valuable help from a number of Council committees. After the Chancellor had made very clear to Ruthin PCC that he would reject their proposed application for a faculty to replace the bells with a lightweight chime, the PCC had not done anything more. The original bells consequently remained in the tower, but nothing was being done to restore them to ringing order. As far as the North Wales Association was concerned, even this was better than having them replaced by what Mr. Ellis called disparagingly “an ice cream chime”.

The report was then adopted without further discussion; and at this point, since it was nearly 12.30, the Council broke for lunch.

When the meeting was resumed at 2.15, Mrs. Jane Wilkinson (Honorary) proposed the adoption of the following report, and was seconded by Mr. E.A. Barnett.

Redundant Bells

“For some years now we have been charting the fall in the number of churches declared redundant; and we have expressed our hope that the fourteen hundred churches predicted to be declared redundant by 1989 would prove an exaggeration. 1985 is no exception: thirty churches were declared redundant, as against 36 in 1984 and 47 in 1983, which brings the total since the introduction of the Pastoral Measure, 1968, to 1,109.

We do however understand that an increased number of churches is in the pipeline for consideration. As we suggested last year, this appears to include a number of buildings which have already been superseded by new churches, and which in some cases are already ruinous. Not all the churches being considered will however fall into this category; and whether the threatened increase in numbers is simply a very strict good housekeeping exercise or whether there is some other reason - one cannot help recalling the statistics of falling communicant numbers - remains at the moment to be seen.

The Committee has this year been involved in some 47 cases, including five enquiries for rings of bells and 21 for bells for augmentations, replacements, or for use as singles. Some six single bells and two rings are currently known to be at some stage of transfer.

One of the most interesting cases this year has been a general post of bells in east London. It centres on the temporary acquisition by the Rescue Fund of the bells of St. Stephen, Ealing, and their ultimate installation at St. Mary, Rotherhithe, a tower whose present bells are too heavy for the structure. These in their turn will move to St. Anne, Limehouse, an empty but stronger tower: and the only casualties - which one hopes can be rehoused - look to be the clock bells from Limehouse. While the scheme is somewhat complicated, there seems good hope of success.

Not for the first time the Committee is concerned about the fate of several heavy rings of bells. The futures of the heavy eights from St. Thomas, Bristol, St. Mark, Leicester, and St. Stephen, Low Elswick, remain uncertain. While there may at the moment be no immediate reason for haste, there is so far no sign of convincing homes for them. The bells of St. Stephen, Hampstead, remain in store; and given the unrealistic price being sought for them seem likely to remain so.

On the other hand, there has been considerable interest shown this year in bells moving to countries overseas. Australia, perhaps in view of its bi-centenary, has probably been most active. Churches in this country tend to react with horror to the possibility of housing bells with a tenor of over about 18 cwt: but this does not seem to be necessarily the case abroad. It may well be, therefore, that the best possibility of saving heavy rings is to look abroad; and we feel some concern when we hear of gloomy prognostications that ‘all our bells are going abroad’. While this is not in fact the case, we remain convinced that rings of bells should as a general rule be preserved intact. In cases where it is impossible to honour the Pastoral Measures intention that fittings should be re-housed close to their original home there would seem some merit in spreading change ringing around the globe. Certainly insularity is no help at all.

If it is right to rehouse rings of bells intact, it follows that, as a general rule, attempts should be made to rehouse sound single bells without simply using them as scrap metal - to save the value of the casting if for no other reason. This has been the principle upon which the Committee has worked from the beginning. It does mean, however, that we are unlikely to be able to be of help to anyone seeking scrap metal; and it seems right to point this out, since over and above the enquiries for bells for re-use, we have had an exceptional number of seekers for scrap metal this year. Principles apart, of course, any scrap metal available tends to be picked up quickly at a local level and never reaches this Committee.

The review of bells transferred is proceeding rather more slowly perhaps than could be wished, and it is hoped that the results will be available within the next few months.

The Committee relies very much on help from others; and while it may seem dull to an outsider it is a source of much gratitude - and indeed of some pride - that we have been able during each year of the Committees existence to record our gratefulness for help from the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches. Mr. Ranald Clouston’s notes on churches potentially redundant have again been invaluable; and we are of course dependent on the local Associations for their support and help. We thank them all.”

Referring to the report’s third paragraph, Mr. J.F. Mulvey (Lichfield) asked in how many transfers the committee had been involved. Mrs. Wilkinson said that the wording was deliberately vague in view of the wide range of “involvement”. The committee served as a safety net for the societies, but since the committee’s inception its members would, she would guess, have been physically involved in the transfer of perhaps four bells.

Mr. R.C. Kippin said that he understood St. Thomas’ church, Bristol, was to be taken over by the Redundant Churches Fund, and that the bells would remain in the tower. The local association would be encouraged to get them ringable once more.

Following some exchanges on the meaning of “a general post” in the report’s next paragraph, the Revd. M.C.C. Melville (Universities) said that he had recently rung at Wellington Cathedral in New Zealand, where eight Northampton bells were part of the ring and were being put to good use by an enthusiastic band under Rei Ngatai.

Mr. R. Eccles (ANZAB) gave an update on the Hobart appeal money was coming in, he said, but he urged members to encourage their societies to contribute to this bicentennial gift to Australia - each pound raised in Britain was being matched by £10 from Australia. The report was then adopted.

Peals Analysis

Introducing his committee’s report, Mr. C.H. Rogers said that the handbell peal of 23-Spliced Surprise by the St. James’ Guild was not in fact the first - an Oxford DG band had rung one in 1984. He drew members’ attention to the recommendations contained in the report, which he hoped would be helpful. He was seconded by Mr. D.A. Frith (Lincoln).


We have recorded a total of 4,510 peals rung in 1985, of which 4110 were on tower bells and 400 on handbells. The overall total is 198 fewer than the revised total for 1984, comprising a decrease of 236 on tower bells and an increase of 38 on handbells. It is good to see the number of handbell peals rising after their low point in 1984, the principal increases being in peals of Caters (164% up) and Royal. On tower bells, only peals of Maximus showed an increase; peals of Minor are at their lowest level for at last twenty years and Doubles peals are also significantly down.

For the fourth year running the Yorkshire Association heads the list of leading societies, with 249 peals, followed again by the Lancashire Association and the Oxford DG.

In the section of the report on peals not complying with the Decisions relating to peal ringing, for the first time the Committee’s recommendations are given. It is hoped that this will assist the Council in coming expeditiously to decisions on these peals. Where we recommend that a peal be accepted, it has for convenience, been included in the Analysis; where we recommend to the contrary, it has not been so included. Any variations between our recommendations and the Council’s decisions will be noted in the ‘Corrections’ section of our 1986 report.

The Committee has met once since the last Council meeting - in February to finalise our records for 1985 and to agree the format of the report. We are grateful to Canon K.W.H. Felstead for supplying the section on Towers.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells and comparison with 1984

Sixteen1-- 1
Fourteen-2+ 2
Sextuples-1+ 1
Maximus213227+ 141413- 1
Cinques110101- 9712+ 5
Royal454415- 395573+ 18
Royal/Caters12+ 1
Caters190178- 121129+ 18
Major19131892- 21202186- 16
Major/Triples21- 1
Triples29129148+ 4
Minor877768-1095964+ 5
Minor/Doubles72- 5
Doubles270225- 45912+ 3
Minimus188- 10

43464110-236362400+ 38

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

Yorkshire Association22425249
Lancashire Association2424246
Oxford Diocesan Guild18147228
Leicester Diocn. Guild20918227
Lincoln Diocn. Guild2154219
Gloucester & Bristol DA208-208
Derby Diocesan Assn15212164
Suffolk Guild153-153

These societies also occupied the first eight positions in 1984, but in a slightly different order. The Ely DA (159 last year) has dropped out of this list, but is one of eight other societies which rang over 100 peals in 1985.

First pealers, firsts as conductor, and local band peals

There were 563 first pealers in 1985 (542 in 1984) and 63 firsts as conductor (75 in 1984). Sixty-three peals were claimed as rung by local or Sunday Service bands.


Peals were rung in 1,714 towers (1,831 in 1984), in 28 of which it was the first peal on the bells (39 last year). The following 42 towers had ten or more peals (46 last year) totalling 791 peals altogether (865 in 1984):

Loughboro’ Foundry50
South Wigston29
Birmingham Cath.28
Maidstone, All Ss25
Barrow Gurney24
Stourbridge, St Thos20
Windsor, St John20
London, St Mary-atte-Bow19
Worcester, All Ss18
Ipswich, St My/Tower16
Leicester Cathedral15
*Leicester, St Mary15
Nottingham, St Peter15
Burton Latimer15
Bristol Cathedral14
13-Bedford (St. Paul), Farnworth, Trumpington
12-Birstall (Yorkshire), *Fallowfield, *Surfleet, *Luton
11-Derby Cathedral, Leckhampton, Moulton (Northants), Stratton St. Margaret
10-Accrington, Bishopstoke, *West Ham

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

During the year Leicester Cathedral reached its 500th peal and Nottingham, St Peter reached its 400th There are now 28 towers with more than 400 peals, 12 with over 500 and four with over 600 (but soon to be joined by Shoreditch and Meldreth, both of which had 592 peals at the end of the year).


Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1984 appear in brackets. Single S. = single Surprise method other than those listed.
Cambridge S.49(61)7( 6)
Single S.54(50)1( 3)
Yorkshire S.41(29)1( 0)
Bristol S.38(34)2( 0)
Spliced S.28(25)0( 1)
Stedman78( 96)11( 7)
Grandsire18( 12)1( 0)
Single S.115(100)10(11)
Cambridge S.72( 77)12( 8)
Yorkshire S.77( 91)1( 1)
London S.54( 60)5( 3)
Plain Bob31( 32)12( 6)
Spliced S.33( 42)4( 1)
Bristol S.24( 36)6( 2)
Kent/Oxford T.B.2( 6)11(20)
Grandsire88( 94)14( 2)
Stedman81( 90)15( 9)
Single S.448(390)16( 6)
Spliced S.355(348)27(15)
Yorkshire S.193(209)21(18)
Plain Bob148(198)46(73)
Cambridge S.146(140)5(14)
Bristol S.122(139)5( 9)
London S.91(109)8( 2)
Rutland S.85( 80)2(15)
Lincolnshire S.73( 74)2( 8)
Superlative S.59( 76)3( 2)
Double Norwich55( 43)4( 7)
Kent/Oxford T.B.22( 22)33(22)
Pudsey S.34( 35)1( 1)
Single Delight20( )3( )
Grandsire126(120)6( 3)
Stedman107(111)2( 0)
Plain Bob45( 42)0( 1)
2-6 methods199(239)17(12)
7 methods225(238)6( 8)
8+ methods121(170)9(10)
Plain Bob131(137)21(19)
Cambridge S.57( 61)8( 6)
Single S.21( 18)1( 1)
2+ methods168(190)9( 3)
Stedman29( 32)2( 1)
Grandsire20( 28)0( 3)
Plain Bob7( 10)1( 2)

Peals of Note

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

Peals not complying with the Decisions on peal ringing

  1. Selston, Notts. - 27 January, Plain Bob Triples (Non-Association); 20 June, St. Simon’s Triples (Non-Association); 23 August, Plain Bob Triples (Cambridge UG) - all rung on seven bells. Decision (D) B.4 states that peals of Triples shall be rung on eight bells with tenor as cover. However, at the time these peals were rung there were only seven bells in the tower the ring being then in the course of augmentation from six to eight. The Council has in the past decided to accept peals rung on odd numbers of bells in similar circumstances, most recently at Accrington and Broughton-in-Furness. Accordingly we recommend that under Decision (D)E, having regard to the local circumstances, the above three peals be accepted for inclusion in the Analysis.

  2. Matlock, Derbyshire - 17 August, Plain Bob Caters (Derby DA) - rung on nine bells. Decision (D) B.5 states that peals of Caters shall be rung on ten bells with tenor as cover. The nine bells at Matlock consist of a ring of eight and one extra bell, hung for ringing, which does not form part of the ring. The tower is not generally recognised as a nine-bell tower. We recommend that the peal be not accepted.

  3. Brimpton, Berkshire - 5 December, Real Stedman Minimus (Winchester & Portsmouth DG). The conductor has sent the Committee full details of this principle, which is claimed as being the best possible version of Stedman on four bells. However the ‘peal’ fails to conform to the Council’s Decisions on two grounds: (a) it is not true in the plain course (Decision (E) A.1); and (b) it was not, and cannot be, rung in true and complete 24s, each starting from rounds (Decision (D) B.1). We have consulted the Methods Committee on the matter and, in the light of their Chairman’s advice, we recommend that the peal be not accepted.


A Soc College Yths159112137         51     57663
Australia & NZ A1  132            1   718
Bath & Wells DA1 51391329181             107 107
Bedfordshire A2342204143              52 52
Beverley & Dist S  1 7 8               16 16
Cambridge Univ G1  1512               10 10
Carlisle DG  3351                12 12
Chester DG5331484423        13 15 3 10931140
Coventry DG31  21 112 1 1          40 40
Derby DA21266886212        11811 15212164
G Devonshire Rs1111314212            1762870
Durham & Newc DA12621833             1 35136
Durham Univ S  2 1  1              4 4
Ely DA118 808216      3  17   12511136
Essex A  52444291        1 5 4 851095
Glos & Bristol DA14317101188317              208 208
Guildford DG423 26411         1 2   50353
Hereford DG   2541210        35111 1332154
Hertford CA2252405251        1117 13 8232114
Irish A    1               1 112
Kent CA41203473204              102 102
Ladies G      1               1 1
Lancashire A9 238122214810  1       3  12424246
Leeds Univ S 1 14                 6 6
Leicester DG84121214811113        102311120918227
Lichfield Archd S 451342181          615 651277
Lincoln DG7103868335792       1 2 1 2154219
Liverpool Univ S1  1613               12 12
Llandaff & Mon DA 26214564          1 1 39241
London CA431482821               60 60
Middlesex CA1 413063     2   2 16   452065
Midland Cs G  2 3 121           3 9312
National Police G    1                 1 1
N American G  121447        3474 5 282351
N Staffs A  242433               36 36
N Wales A    1                 1 1
Norwich DA1 112393312       11953  801999
Oxford DG10 18810318186      511022315 18147228
Oxford Soc 211   1              5 5
Oxford Univ S   18 1             1 10111
Peterborough DG1 574793521              125 125
Railwaymen’s G   1 1                2 2
St David’s G    1  2              3 3
St Martin’s G32932151521          1   79180
Salisbury DG  52246116              54 54
Scottish A  212 2         2 3 4 7916
Shropshire A    1121              5 5
S R Cumberland Yth1729111                 40 40
S Sherwood Yths  546 2         1 3   17421
Southwell DG3263212961       5 3   53861
Suffolk G6213130853372  1          153 153
Surrey A 3111 32              11 11
Sussex CA1 81149193612              136 136
Swansea & Brecon DG    1 12              4 4
Truro DG 1 61520183             263265
Univ Bristol S1 2 3 2               8 8
Univ London S 1321311               21 21
Winch’r & Po’th DG5 36375257        1 7 1 88997
Worcs & Dist A81071588125          1   1091110
Yorkshire A19530151221411611      1 15 9 22425249
Central Council 11                   2 2
Non-affiliated socs15336129110236      3213 21 4 19643239
Non-Association2172963869      12 113   1168124

Corrections to the 1984 Analysis

Changes to the 1984 peal totals arising from the late publication of and corrections to peals after the submission of our report for 1984 are summarised below. All are tower bell peals except where stated.

S.R. Cumberland Y - Major (handbells) -1; Non-Association - Major +2, Major (handbells) +1, Maximus +1; non-affiliated societies - Major +1.

Revised totals for 1984 are consequently: tower bells 4,346, handbells 362; total 4,708.”

Mr. A. Dempster (East Derbys & West Notts), referring to the “peals” which had not complied with the Council’s Decisions, said that he was the tower captain at Selston where there was now a ring of eight. If the two 7-bell peals there noted as Non-Association were recognised, he said, they would be credited to the Southwell DG. He urged the acceptance of all three, and seconded a proposal by Mr. D. Hird (Derby) to that effect.

Mr. Hird said that he had rung in the Matlock “peal” mentioned, and assured the Council that this had not been rung to cause controversy, but simply because the band wanted to ring a 9-bell peal there. The extra bell had the same note as the 6th of the ring, and the composition rung had been arranged to capitalise on that, so that it contained all the 56678s, 66578s and 65678s (laughter). Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge) interjected that the two bells did not have exactly the same note, and Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) urged members not to accept it.

After Mr. N.J. Freeman (Bath & Wells) had said that the Axbridge peal on which the committee had commented favourably had been rung by six, rather than five, first pealers, and the President had confirmed that acceptance of the report as printed would mean acceptance of its final recommendations, the report was adopted. without further comment.


Proposing the report, Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY) made a number of corrections to the version in members’ hands before being seconded by Mr. Mayne. Mr. Sibson was unable to tell Mr. C. Forster (Leeds Univ) what the “D.” of Clent D. Delight (March 28) stood for - it was, he said, published as such in The Ringing World - although several members suggested “Double”.

A. First peals on tower bells
Jan15024Dagenham Sur. MajorEssex A
55056Barnstaple Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
55000Barchester Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
55024Japanese Del. MajorLincoln DG
85024Shaftesbury Sur. MajorEly DA
125000Barsetshire Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
175152Zacatecas Del. MajorSouthwell DG
195148Chester All. RoyalChester DG
195002Puddingdale Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
215040Tinsley Sur. RoyalYorkshire A
235040Nickel Little Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
295088Tintagel Sur. MajorEly DA
315040Aldebaran Sur. MaximusSt. Martin’s G
Feb25152Amersham Sur. MajorOxford DG
35076Orgreave B. CatersYorkshire A
65120Manganese Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
95088L.U.S.C.R. Sur. MajorLiverpool Univ. Soc
95088Streatham Sur. MajorMiddx CA & London DG
125088Haslingfield Sur. MajorEly DA
135152Revcouvan Sur. MajorLeicester DG
165120Begbroke Sur. MajorOxford DG
165040Colham Sur. RoyalMiddx CA & London DG
235088Northcliffe Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
275152Sedgefield Sur. MajorLincoln DG
285152Hucknall Del. MajorSoc of Sherwood Yths
Mar25184Millcote Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
25040Edale Sur. RoyalKent CA
55040Elcombe Sur. MaximusSoc of R. Cumberland Yths
65152Thulium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
125056Wincanton Sur. MajorEly DA
145042Indesit Sur. MaximusSt. James G
185152Kilkhampton Sur. MajorEly DA
185076Waterloo B. CatersYorkshire A
235002Wordsworth Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
285024Clent D. Del. MajorOxford DG
295088Silver Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
305040Furtho Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
Apr65152Hunsdon Sur. MajorHertford CA
65040Eccleswich Sur. RoyalYorkshire A
75136White Nile T.B. MaximusOxford DG
95184Grafton Del. MajorOxford DG
105152Lutetium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
115208Greenham Little Sur. MajorOxford DG
125040Gretton Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
135152Elmodesham Sur. MajorOxford DG
135040Handyman Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
155056Evening Star Del. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
165000Finisterre Sur. RoyalSouthwell DG
175152Mendelevium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
205152Edgbaston Sur. MajorHertford CA
235184Bridgwater Sur. MajorEly DA
275088Newbold-on-Avon Sur. MajorCoventry DG
285184St. Marylebone Del. MajorSt. Olave’s Soc
295056Langport Sur. MajorEly DA
May15152Chromium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
25042Husqvarna Sur. MaximusSt. James G
45152Catherine Sur. MajorEly DA
65152Somerton Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
115040Hartwell Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
145000Jericho Sur. RoyalSouthwell DG
145040Tresco Sur. RoyalKent CA
165152Misbourne Sur. MajorOxford DG
185152Tarvin Sur. MajorChester DG
215248Dulverton Sur. MajorEly DA
275088Horsham Little Sur. RoyalCentral Council
275040Sussex County Sur. RoyalAncient S of College Yths
295024Selenium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
305184Vulcan Sur. MajorDerby DA
June15184Meletium Sur. MajorYorkshire A
15152St. Aubyns Sur. MajorWorcester & Dist. A
15024Willingale Sur. MajorEssex A
65015Carter’s CinquesSt. Martin’s G
85056Tinea Sur. MajorYorkshire A
115024Dunbar Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
175024Porlock Sur. MajorEly DA
195152Sedgemoor Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
205024X Del. MajorOxford DG
225152de Senlis Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
225088Middlestown Sur. MajorYorkshire A
225040Eldene Sur. RoyalGlos & Bristol DA
235024Knutsford Sur. MajorLancashire A
235000Ranmoor Sur. RoyalYorkshire A
275184Hirundai Sur. MaximusSt. James’ G
285088Verrecchia Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
295088Ruardean Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
July25088Wimbledon Sur. MajorEly DA
35056Protactinium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
55184Quemerford Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
65184Brimsdown Sur. MajorEssex A
65024Warminster Sur. MajorMiddlesex CA & London DG
85088Wonderful T.B. MajorDronoldore Soc
95152Fairwarp Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
105056Nickhill Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
125152Harwich Sur. MajorEly DA
135088Briga Sur. MajorYorkshire A
135184Charwelton Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
135088Imodium Sur. MajorSt. James’ G
155056Euryalus Sur. MajorDurham & Newcastle DA
195152Xeranthemum Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
205184Leucomagus Sur. MajorYorkshire A
235024Scawthorpe Sur. MajorEly DA
275152Hemel Hempstead Sur. MajorHertford CA
275024Ryme Intrinseca Sur. MajorYorkshire A
Aug35184Jurby Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
105184Vindonium Sur. MajorYorkshire A
135040Buckledown Little Sur. MajorEly DA
165056Jorvik Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
175056Ryme Extrinseca Sur. MajorYorkshire A
175184Tiffield Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
245152Quatford Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
275056Oban Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
275024Sidbury Sur. MajorEly DA
305120Thatcham Sur. MajorOxford DG
315184Whitfield Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
Sep25152Noxious T.B. MajorDronoldore Soc
35088Dodleston Sur. MaximusSoc of R. Cumberland Yths
45088Berkelium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
75024Weedon Bec Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
75040Danetre Sur. RoyalGlos & Bristol DA
175120Charlton Kings Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
185152Venusium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
195040Herschel Sur. RoyalOxford DG
215184Oldfield Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
215152Sunningdale Sur. MajorMiddlesex CA & London DG
Oct15088Darracott Del. MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
45056Gleneagles Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
55088Norwood Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
75152John the Baptist T.B. MajorDerby DA
95086Aluminium Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
125152Turnberry Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
195024Uxela Del. MajorYorkshire A
195040Xhosaland Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
265184Bishops Cleeve Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
295376Groombridge Sur. MajorLondon CA
Nov25280Blue Nile T.B. MajorTruro DG
25024Lutodarum Sur. MajorYorkshire A
25184Oghole Sur. MajorSouth Northants Soc
25088Rednock Del. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
25090Amersham Sur. MaximusOxford DG
65152Cobalt Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
95040Beodericsworth Sur. RoyalSuffolk G
165040Redwell Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
225000Logwell Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
235184Camboritum Sur. MajorYorkshire A
235002Swanspool Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
305088Kingswinford Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
305024Monks Kirby Sur. MajorCoventry DG
305040Merrywood Sur. RoyalGlos & Bristol DA
305000Whytewell Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
Dec35040Horsleydown Sur. RoyalSoc of R. Cumberland Yths
45056Great Western Del. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
65056Tingdene Sur. MajorPeterborough DG
75024Farnborough Sur. MajorGuildford DG
75120Tamara Sur. MajorYorkshire A
95024Cinderford Sur. MajorEly DA
115000Plaistow Sur. RoyalNon-Association
145152Cockroft Del. MajorOxford DG
145000Kingswell Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
185152Nitrogen Sur. MajorGlos & Bristol DA
225056Inowroclaw Sur. MajorYorkshire A
285184Seteia Sur. MajorYorkshire A
285040Hollowell Sur. RoyalSouth Northants Soc
B. First performances on handbells
Mar35088Huddersfield Sur. MajorHereford DG
195152Ipswich Sur. MajorEssex A
Apr25040Braintree Del. RoyalChester DG
285040Violet T.B. RoyalDronoldore Soc
Jun305040Southwell Sur. RoyalHereford DG
Sep85120Guernsey Sur. MajorHereford DG
225008Winchester B. MajorYorkshire A
C. Record peal on tower bells
Oct1211520London Sur. MinorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
D. Record peal on handbells
Aug1815120London Sur. Royal (No. 3 vn)Leicester DG

The report was adopted.


The Methods Committee’s report was adopted without discussion after having been proposed by Mr. A.P. Smith and seconded by Mr. Sherwood, Mr. Smith noting that updates to collections were being published in The Ringing World as had been requested and that a leaflet was now available, updating the Doubles collections.

“The Committee met on three occasions during the year, at Windsor (RW p. 359), Brighton and Cambridge (p. 887). Following a request at the Council meeting in Brighton, a new feature of the reports of our meetings in The Ringing World was corrections and amendments to our publications and comments on the nomenclature of recently-rung methods (p. 947).

Preparation of the Collection of Doubles Methods, Part 2, was completed and camera-ready copy passed to the Publications Committee, although problems with the cover design and the printers delayed publication beyond the end of the year. However, this delay permitted the inclusion of additional material.

The Committee now has available a complete compilation of reports on Extension covering 1950 to 1954 and 1971. Our intention is to seek the Council’s approval of any changes considered desirable before formulating a new Decision (G) to replace all previous reports. We will recommend that subsequent editions of the Handbook include the new Decision, although we recognise the desirability of a separate publication including explanations and examples.

In a shorter time scale, the Collection of Plain Methods is now in draft and we hope that publication may be achieved during 1986. The collection will initially cover stages from Triples upwards since, with the exception of Minor methods with more than two consecutive blows in the same position, Doubles and Minor are covered by publications in print. The collection could be extended to these stages in the future.

Two other potential publications are under consideration - a complete collection of Plain Minor methods, in a similar format to that used for the Treble Dodging Minor Methods, and a collection of Principles which would include, for each rung principle, a diagram, details of the first peal and the composition used. Work will proceed on these projects subject to the Council’s approval and the agreement of the Publications Committee.

An additional work item this year was consideration of the Decisions on peal ringing. This was referred to the Administrative Committee by the Council in Brighton and subsequently allocated to the Methods Committee in accordance with Rule 13 (iv). We are grateful to those ringers who responded to our request for their views and these were invaluable in preparing our recommendations to the Administrative Committee.

After providing the Records Committee with the basis of the Alliance method section of the Collection of Rung Surprise, Delight, Treble Bob, and Alliance methods to the end of 1984, advice was given on tenors parted falseness and the Collections to the end of 1985 should indicate the presence of Shuttleworths groups for Major methods.

To aid it in its work, the Committee has compiled an abstract of the current Decisions. This task uncovered two errors in the 1978 Handbook. The second sentence of the second paragraph of Decision (D) D, as agreed by the Council in St. Albans (RW 1969 p. 988), should read

Any such performance not rung in full compliance with these conditions shall not be recognised as a peal and shall not be published in ‘The Ringing World.’

Secondly, Decision (F) printed in the 1956 Handbook was omitted from the 1978 revision and is as follows:


Variation and Authorship:

The conditions controlling composition vary so greatly, according to the method treated, that it is impossible to contrive a comprehensive set of rules which shall be equally applicable to all methods and yet free from the imperfection of being too lax when applied to some methods, and too stringent in the case of others. Each method requires separate consideration and rules determining the limits of originality in composition applicable to itself; and though it would, no doubt, be possible to form groups of methods, to each of which one set of rules might be applicable, the result would be both cumbrous and confusing. The following propositions are, therefore, limited to a general statement of the features distinguishing ‘Originality,’ which are more or less applicable to all methods:-

(1) The earliest ascertainable true composition on any definite plan in any method, which is not a reproduction or obvious variation of the same composition in another method, is entitled to be termed the ‘original’ composition on that plan.

(2) Subsequent compositions on the same plan which are not demonstrably reversals or transpositions (as hereinafter described) or obvious variations of a previous composition in the same method, may be considered as ‘distinct’ compositions on the plan and allowed the claim of ‘originality’.

(3) Reversals in which the calls in one position are exchanged for those in another, including direct inversions of calling; Transpositions, by which one bell is substituted for another as ‘the observation,’ or rearrangements of the same calling; Artificial Alterations, such as the employment of alternative calls, the multiplication or subtracting or shifting of singles, or the redistribution of ‘shunting calls,’ by which the general result is not affected, but only the form of the composition - if applied to any previous composition possessed of the distinction of ‘originality,’ are to be considered as ‘Variations.’

In the foregoing statement, the word ‘plan’ is used in a comprehensive sense, as embracing not only the divisions of a composition into a given number of parts, but also the assignment of ‘qualities’ with reference to length, the treatment of ‘fixed’ or ‘observation’ bells, or any other Distinctive Feature in Construction.


That it is desirable that Thurstans’ well-known composition in Stedman Triples be designated his ‘four-part’; and his other compositions his ‘five-part’ and ‘one part’ respectively.

That in the opinion of the Council the publication of palpably false compositions and worthless methods reflects discredit on their composers.”

Public Relations

The report was proposed by Mr. Wilby and seconded by Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire).

“The ‘Christmas Bells’ programme on Radio 4, the subject of much comment at last year’s Council meeting, was returned to its former length although at an earlier time. The presentation of ‘Church Bells on Sunday’ is due to change in 1986, and our thanks are due to Miss Kate Moon for the high degree of personal interest that she took in presenting the programme. It was not uncommon for her to attend ringing functions.

The Committee organised or assisted in the organisation of a considerable number of exhibitions. These included exhibitions at Colchester Castle, Fulham, Towcester, and at Church House, Westminster, during the General Synod meeting in July. The latter was manned by members of the Committee during the week. Another major event in London was the participation in the GLC’s ‘Arts and Crafts’ Weekend. This included displays on the South Bank and simultaneous ringing at thirteen Central London towers. This exercise earned £610 for the participating societies’ funds. There are already a considerable number of bookings for displays and exhibitions in 1986 but further requests from societies or from individual towers will be welcomed.

The press cuttings activity continues - some of the material gathered being used in The Ringing World. The Ringing World office provides a most important liaison and contact centre not only for this Committee but also for the rest of the Council. Many initial contacts from the public come through this source and the contribution to these activities by The Ringing World staff may not be widely appreciated. They deserve our thanks.

The Overseas Liaison report is to be published separately and in full in The Ringing World as previously because of its general interest. Considerable interest is being generated in Australia because of the twelve restoration or new bells projects that have been initiated by members of ANZAB for the Bi-Centennial celebrations in 1988.

Many enquiries are received each year seeking advice or assistance on such matters as how to deal with a PCC who are against the idea of a bell restoration, or from a churchwarden wanting to know how to recruit and train a band of ringers. This year enquiries have included whether or not to replace the chain on a ting-tang with a rope, whether the Committee could arrange exchange ‘au pair’ visits with continental ringers, and a request to provide a handbell tutor for an educational cruise. All such enquiries are either directed to those who can help or are dealt with sensitively.

Help has been given to two film companies during the year and facilities arranged for filming. The demand from the public for this type of information service is growing.

Further porch cards have been developed for free distribution to societies and individuals. The liaison with the Bell-founders to produce ‘Foundry Focus’ continues. A conference for PROs is planned for Easter 1986 in the City of London. It will be in part educational and in part a planning exercise to coordinate PR policy and activity at local and at national level.”

Mr. Wilby said that the PR Conference had taken place of Holy Saturday, and that it was proposed to hold a similar conference on the same day next year. He added that the committee intended to make a fresh approach to the various bands in Africa to see whether they might be brought together; they constituted the one major group of change-ringers that were not affiliated to the Council. Finally, he said that the Expo tower was now in poor condition, and it had been decided that it would not be a viable proposition to buy it. The possibility of having a new, modernised version was being considered.

Mr. T.J. Lock (Middlesex) advocated a low-key approach to the African bands, reminding members of the potential political difficulties of suggesting a union between for example the Zimbabwe and South African guilds. Mrs. M.B. Winter (N. American) said that the Council was a very remote body for overseas societies; a better approach would be to ask how the Council might be able to help them.

Mr. J.D. Cheesman (Surrey) wondered whether the bell-founders would be involved in any discussion of the Council for the Care of Churches’ code of practice, but was told by Mr. Wilby that the Public Relations Committee would be considering only strategies that the Administrative Committee might follow. Mr. D.C. Brookes (Llandaff & Monmouth) asked what was being done to correct errors on “Church Bells on Sunday”. Mr. Wilby said that they were pointed out to the BBC, although it was very difficult to do anything but react after the event.

The choice of Holy Saturday for the PR conference provoked a strong reaction from a number of members, Mrs. J. Wilkinson, the Revd. L.J. Yeo (Devon Guild) and Mrs. G.W. Davis (Winchester and Portsmouth) in particular asking the committee to reconsider its decision, which they deplored. Mr. Lock said that the Council should be careful not to exaggerate the significance of the decision - after all, peals were rung during Holy Week and even occasionally on Good Friday, he said - and Mr. D.E. House (Honorary) said he was sure the committee would have noted the remarks that had been made.

The report was then put to the vote and carried.


“Most of the energies of the members during 1985 went into the continued preparation of educational books and leaflets or similar but non-literary tasks. Titles in preparation include ‘Triples and Major for Beginners’, ‘Conducting Stedman’, ‘So you want to be a Bob Caller’, and ‘Rounds to Bob Doubles’. In addition a Recruiting Package is being prepared, a handout for students at theological colleges, a general interest slide strip, and a video on handling faults. A leaflet on place notation was completed. The film ‘Birth of a Bell’ was transferred to video and is on sale.

The Committee held two meetings in 1985 and much of the time at them was taken up with chasing progress on the above tasks. Future meetings however are going to allow time to discuss some of the fundamental concepts concerning the role of teaching in bell ringing.

It is hoped that over the next few years the committee can concentrate on other areas of work as well as book-writing and become more active in the guilds and associations, promoting the teaching of ringing by giving talks and demonstrations and by participating if requested in local teaching days.

Two members resigned from the Committee at the start of the year - Bob Smith because of pressure of his work, and David Potter because of transport problems arising from his relative geographic isolation. The Committee thanks them for their hard work over many years. They were replaced by Hayden Charles of Norfolk and Norman Mattingley of Herefordshire who have enthusiastically plunged into the tasks already in hand. (Bill Butler, the Chairman, resigned in early 1986 because of work pressures.)

A decision was made to hold a seminar on education in autumn, 1986, to which representatives of guilds and associations will be invited.

The 6th Annual Ringing School was held for the second time at Reaseheath College of Agriculture near Nantwich, Cheshire during July. The local ringers and officers from the Chester Diocesan Guild and the North Staffordshire Association are to be very warmly thanked for their considerable support in the Schools organisation, for arranging towers, and for helping at the practical sessions. As at all the Schools, the main tuition was concerned with teaching ringers how to set about teaching and leading others. (The 1986 School will be at Hadlow in Kent on 25-27 July, by kind invitation of the Kent County Association. All guild and association secretaries have been contacted and asked to encourage students to attend and have been invited to sponsor them.)

At the Central Council meeting at Rochester in 1981 representatives agreed to the running of a pilot scheme for Graded Ringing Assessments, and this was followed by a meeting of interested guilds and associations. The scheme is flourish in as a teaching aid in the Winchester and Portsmouth DG, but has not taken on more widely. The Committee therefore recommends to the Council that direct Central Council involvement in the scheme be discontinued although it is hoped it will still flourish in those areas where it is of benefit. The Committee will be pleased to give any guild or association guidelines and operating details for the scheme on request.”

The adoption of the Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. R. Cater (Winchester and Portsmouth), who paid tribute to the contributions of the Chairman for the past nine years, Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG), and of Messrs. R.B. Smith (Honorary) and Potter; he also thanked the officers and members of the Chester DG for their help at Nantwich. He concluded by saying that the committee would be trying to be more ‘evangelical’ in future, with members very willing to give talks and demonstrations on request.

Seconding, Mr. Butler updated the printed report. The text of ‘Triples and Major’ had now been passed to the Publication Committee, and ‘Rounds to Bob Doubles’ was being typeset. The 1986 autumn seminar would be held, on 4 October, at the Northampton Teachers’ Centre, and would deal with courses, practices and meetings - an agenda would appear nearer the time in The Ringing World.

After the President had endorsed the remarks about Mr. Butler’s work (applause), Mr. D.T. Sim (Carlisle) asked what the committee’s policy was towards the use of video films. Mr. Cater said that it would be discussed when the committee met in a couple of week’s time, but he thought video recordings were a more practical medium than the more traditional film. He welcomed a further suggestion from Mr. Sim that the existing Progress Chart should be modified to cater separately for 6-bell towers, 8-bell towers, and so on.

Mrs. Davis thanked the Council for having supported the Graded Assessments scheme for the past five years. It had been very successful as a teaching aid in parts of the Winchester and Portsmouth DG, she said, particularly among the young. The scheme would continue under the Guild’s auspices, and she invited anyone seeking advice on its operation to contact her.

The report was then adopted.

Peal Composition

Proposing the report, Mr. R.W. Pipe (St. Martin’s) said the committee was making good use of its computer, and had now handed the text of the Multi-Minor collection to the Publications Committee. He was now standing down as the committee’s chairman, and would be replaced by Mr. Kippin.

“Early in 1985 we acquired our BBC ‘B’ microcomputer and associated equipment, and this set the tone for the year. The talking about what we were going to do had to stop and the action begin!

Our main venture has been the preparation of the Multi-Minor collection. This has comprised some 400 basic extents which we have typed into the system and the resulting text has been computer checked. The final version is almost ready to hand over to the Publications Committee, having at this stage incurred no outside costs whatever.

All Compositions now sent to The Ringing World are handled by the system. The text is first produced on the micro, and a printed copy is sent for checking independently. If true, the composition is stored on the database and a copy is sent to The Ringing World; if false, it is deleted from the system. In 1985 55 of the 94 we published were prepared in this way. Thus, as promised, we are building up a master collection of compositions, having already got 1980-1984 on file.

In all of this the contribution of the checkers is invaluable. Not only do they check the truth of the compositions, but they also correct any significant errors in the text.

An initiative which we started with ‘Months’ peals has produced a good response from peal bands but a rather disappointing one from composers.

In 1986 we shall be giving thought how best to structure our database and shall begin preparation of two other collections - Universal Compositions and Spliced, tracing the historical development.”

Seconding, Mr. Kippin thanked Mr. Pipe for his work, and particularly for getting the computer work so well in hand, a comment that was endorsed by the President to applause before the report was adopted.

Computer Co-ordination

After making one correction to the printed version, Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) proposed the following report:

“Work has continued on compiling a register of computer users. This now contains 21 entries, which are stored in a Lotus 1-2-3 database system. It is being sent out to everyone on the register. Other members of the Central Council may obtain a copy by sending a large stamped addressed envelope to Peter Church (173 Westbourne Avenue, Kingston-upon-Hull HU5 3JA).

An article was written for ‘The Ringing World’ on the implications of the Data Protection Act. It is the view of the Committee that the exemptions are intended to apply to bodies such as the Central Council and the Guilds and Associations, which should therefore not need to register. However, it is not possible to give a definite ruling on this, and anyone who is still undecided should make their own enquiries of the Registrar.

A survey of all published articles on the use of computers in ringing is being undertaken, starting with The Ringing World and then extending to other technical journals. Geoff Dodds has written a book entitled ‘Basic Ringing on Computers’ which he hopes to have published during the coming year. This is a follow-on from his articles on this subject which appeared in The Ringing World last year.

In response to the Committee’s request, a general purpose peal proving program for the BBC ‘B’ has been produced by Andrew Craddock and another for the Electron has been advertised recently. The Committee members continue to receive a small number of requests for advice, but it is noticeable that the emphasis has shifted from the proving and production of changes to record-keeping and other administrative functions.

Finally it is perhaps timely to emphasise how important it is to check thoroughly any program that is used for proving. There is a test set of peal compositions available to help with this, which can be obtained from any member of the Committee.”

After Mr. Taylor had seconded, Mr. P. Church (Beverley and District) said in reply to questions that the “large” envelope should be C5 size and should bear a 20p stamp. Mr. A.P. Smith warned that there was nothing magical about computer proving programs - they were simply as good as the person using them.

The Vice-President, Dr. J.C. Baldwin, said that he had unfortunately not been present when the Administrative Committee had discussed Dr. Pett’s advice about the Data Protection Act. A letter would be appearing in The Ringing World to say that, contrary to what Dr. Pett had said, the Registrar’s advice was that there were likely to be very few exemptions from the need to register under the Act. Dr. Baldwin consequently urged societies using computers - even home computers - to hold personal information about their members to register; it cost only £22 for three years.

Replying, Dr. Pett said that the question was basically a legal, rather than a computer, one, and legal advice should perhaps be sought. But the advice that the Vice-President had quoted had been given to the computer industry, and the Act specifically exempted “unincorporated bodies” which he believed included the Council and its affiliated societies. When asked the Registrar had declined to give a specific ruling, he said; while registration implied more than simply paying £22, for it imposed a number of responsibilities.

After Mr. M. Thomson (Chester) had commented that registration might cost the Exercise £3,000 which would be better spent on bell restoration, and that his experience of similar societies’ views supported Dr. Pett’s interpretation, Mr. R.B. Smith said that it would be important for The Ringing World Ltd to register if it held subscription details on a word processor; on the other hand the Board might prefer to revert to a manual system - a suggestion that prompted Mr. Wilby to advocate a general policy of BOTTOMS (“Back On To The Old Manual System”) (laughter).

Mr. W.B. Cartwright (Life) felt unable to give an off-the-cuff legal opinion, but offered to get together with Mr. Cooles to discuss the matter, and perhaps take Counsel’s opinion on the question. The President terminated the discussion by saying that he felt sure the committee would have noted the points made, and would be guided by them. The report was then adopted without further discussion.


Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx), in proposing the report, said that there had been very little response from societies to his earlier request for suggestions of non-Council members whose biographies merited recording by the committee.

“The following member and past members of the Council died during 1985:

L. StilwellSussex County Association, 1951-57; Honorary, 1957-70
Died March 3, 1985. Attended 11 meetings.
J.W. CottonMidland Counties Guild, 1946-78
Died March 21, 1985. Attended 27 meetings.
B.C. AshfordWorcestershire and Districts Assn, 1945-72
Died June 19, 1985. Attended 27 meetings.
J.T. DunwoodyIrish Association, 1948-85
Died November 5, 1985. Attended 30 meetings.
F.E. HawthorneSoc. of Royal Cumberland Youths, 1950-66
Died December 23, 1985. Attended 13 meetings.

L. Stilwell was a member of the CC Biographies Committee, 1952-63, for which he did much early researching and writing over a period of years in compiling an alphabetical record of Council members since the first meeting in 1891. In addition to ringing 1,002 peals and circling 32 towers to peals, he was a much travelled ringer, visiting every country where campanology is practised and taking part in the Great Adventure II world tour.

J.W. Cotton was a founder member of the Midland Counties Guild, and its Hon. Secretary 1946-77. His peal total exceeded 1,500, of which over 1,000 were rung for the Guild.

B.C. Ashford was the Worcestershire and Districts Association’s Northern Branch Hon. Secretary for 30 years, 1939-69. In 1970 he was elected a freeman of the Association.

J.T. Dunwoody, I.S.O., was a member of the CC Broadcasting and Television Committee, 1954-72, the lifetime of this committee. Of the Irish Association he was Northern District Hon. Secretary from 1948 onwards, Ringing Master from 1960 onwards and a Life Member since 1971. He was made a Companion of the Imperial Service Order in 1975 for services rendered on industrial development work.

Thanks are extended to Mrs. Joyce Dodds of St. Albans for writing up the Biography records during another triennial period.”

After Mr. G.A. Dawson (Southwell) had seconded, there was a brief discussion about the need for photocopies of the committee’s biography sheets, in case of loss of or damage to the originals, and Mr. Oram said he had some suggestions which he would be discussing with Mr. Lock. The report was then adopted.


In moving the adoption of the report below, Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY, Hon. Librarian) emphasised its third paragraph. He said the number of association libraries was growing, and this was an encouraging trend since it could lead to the preservation of material that might otherwise be lost. He noted that the Accounts showed that more had been spent during 1985 than had been received, and commented that shelf space to hold the library was becoming short. Finally, he thanked the Friends of the Library for their continued support.

“The main concerns of the Library Committee during the last year have been the need for a new edition of the Library Catalogue Part I and the question of encouraging affiliated Guilds and Associations to have and look after their own libraries and archives.

The urgency of producing a new catalogue was highlighted by the production of the 1984 supplement for issue to Friends of the Library, which ran into 25 pages, due partly to a revision of existing entries, and partly to the record number of acquisitions mentioned in last year’s report. Indeed, since the publication of the catalogue in 1979 the Library has nearly doubled in size. The Publications Committee has agreed to publish a new catalogue, and the production of this is well in hand at the time of writing.

At last year’s Council meeting a list was circulated to members showing the information so far received about Association libraries, with a request for further information. As a result of this and previous correspondence it appears that at least 33 such libraries exist. We hope that Council members will urge on their Associations the importance of having a library, which can provide a useful service to their members and serve as a repository for the Association’s archival materials and records of its activities. The value in financial terms of such an asset is not always realised, and members of the Library Committee are very willing to assist Associations with the valuation of the contents of their libraries, if so desired. Some Associations set aside a regular budget for new acquisitions and for conservation, and this is a practice highly to be recommended. The Library Committee will be very happy to give advice on these points if requested, while not wishing to interfere in any way. In return, we would welcome receipt of a list of the holdings of such libraries, as this can be useful to us in many ways. (Those we already have are listed in Library Catalogue Part II.)

New titles added to the Council’s Library in 1985 amounted to 81, of which 23 were acquired by purchase. Among these acquisitions were two early editions of works in the Snowdon series, bringing our collection even nearer to completion in this section; a first edition (1845) of Hubbard’s Campanalogia, generously donated by Mr. C. Earp of Melbourne, Derby; a first edition of Banister’s Art and Science of Change Ringing, 1874; and the peal records of Frederick C. Newman, presented by Mr. D. Bromwich of Taunton. This last is of great interest, as it contains a number of photographs and press cuttings. It was found by Mr. Bromwich in a local antique shop.

We also purchased microfilms of the peal and name books of the Ancient Society of College Youths and the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths. Our collection of Central Council publications is now very nearly complete. As far as is known the only Central Council publications not in the Library are:

Our only ‘wants’ in the Snowdon Series are: Ropesight - 1st edition, 1879; Standard Methods (letterpress) - editions of 1881, 1908, 1928, 1944 and 1951; and Diagrams - 1944 and 1951.

A useful number of Association newsletters was once again contributed, and we thank all those who continue to let us have these, as they provide such a valuable record of ringing events as well as many most worthwhile articles. Annual reports for 1984 were received from 25 Associations. Again, we are most grateful for these, and to those who have supplied us with reports from previous years.

Membership of the Friends of the Central Council Library now stands at 68, including corporate membership by 25 Associations. During the year we received a generous donation from Mr. T.S. Jennings, who made extensive use of the Library in connection with research he is undertaking. The main item of rebinding was the twelve volumes of J.A. Trollope’s MS History of London Ringers and Ringing in the 17th and 18th Centuries. During 1986 we expect to spend money on the provision of further shelving, on expenses connected with the production of the new catalogue, and possibly on further microfilming. Members will see from the accounts that in 1985 expenditure exceeded income by £115.53. The extension of acquisitions by purchase and the conservation of items already in the collection could not be maintained without the generous support of the Friends of the Library, and we are most grateful to them for their help in making it possible to continue to provide a service to the Exercise.

The use made of the Library by ringers and others seems to be growing steadily. During the year, apart from the borrowings by Mr. Jennings already mentioned, there were 30 other borrowings, and an average of one request per week for information was received by the Librarian, and dealt with to the beat of his ability.

Regrettably Christopher Pickford found he had to resign from the Committee owing to pressure of work, and his place has been filled by Derek Jones, whom we welcome.”

Seconding, Mr. P.M. Wilkinson (SRCY) congratulated Mr. Cook on the enormous amount of work he did for the Library (applause); and the report was then adopted.


This was the last committee report to be considered, and was proposed by Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough) and seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor.

“1985 was a year in which the foundations were laid for major steps forward in the future, notably with the launch of the Ringing History Project and consideration of a Ringers’ Atlas. Lack of any new best sellers, competition from other publishers, and experimental deferment of major promotional activity from the pre-Christmas period to January 1986 have contributed to a fall in sales from £7,219 in 1984 to £5,797 in 1985, a drop of some 19%. However, the financial situation continued to strengthen, with an excess of income over expenditure of £1,758 and reserves of over £9,000, so that the Committee is well positioned to fund its ambitious plans for future publications.

From the appended sales comparison it will be seen how dependent the Council’s publishing activities are on a few best sellers such as the ‘Beginners Handbook’ and ‘Doubles and Minor for Beginners’. It is on the sale of these publications that our ability to fund and distribute the more technical books depends. In this context we were disappointed not to receive the copy for ‘Triples and Major’ in the Education Committee’s Progressive Change Ringing series, even though it was supposed to be ready by the time of the last Council meeting. This publication is seen as an important addition to the Council’s range of publications and a first priority for funding.

The new pack of method sheets for the eight standard Surprise Major methods has sold well. Rung Surprise etc. came back on the market, but has not sold as well as hoped, possibly because of the problems with some of the methods. Two other publications came in for printing, Place Notation and Part II of the Doubles Collection. Unfortunately the printer who had successfully produced most of our publications in recent years ran into financial difficulties and was merged with another firm. We are trying two different printers and hopefully now have a period of stability ahead of us.

Other Committee publications in the pipeline include a recruiting package, a rope-splicing leaflet, method sheets for ten popular Triples and Major methods, ‘So You Want to be a Conductor?’, ‘Conducting Stedman’, ‘Rounds to Doubles’, a multi-Minor collection, ‘Ringing World Compositions’, a Plain Minor collection, a rung Plain method collection, and ‘Organising a Bell Restoration Project’.

In accordance with the Council’s view that some slow sellers should be written off, the Committee is to send the Library a small stock of ‘Variation and Transposition’, ‘Ringing World 1980 Peal Compositions’, ‘Symbolic Treatment of FCHs’, and ‘Model Rules’, and to scrap the rest. ‘Change Ringing on Handbells’ and ‘Doubles and Minor for Beginners’ are due to be re-printed. Consultations are being started with the Towers & Belfries Committee on the future of the ‘Towers and Bells Handbook’

The Committee responded to the substantial increase in the advertising rates of The Ringing World by reducing the frequency of its regular advertisement from fortnightly to once every three weeks. It also maintained the popular facility for prior ordering by Council members for handing over publications at the Council meeting.

The other major promotional activity has been directed at the branches and districts of affiliated societies, to encourage the establishment of bookstalls. In November letters were sent to 184 secretaries with a complimentary copy of ‘Bell Restoration Funds’ and a voucher redeemable against bookstall purchases. This was backed up by the inclusion of an order form in The Ringing World early in January, 1986, to coincide with the AGMs of many branches. By the middle of February only four of the 184 had responded. The Committee knows of cases where the contents of the letter were not even passed on to members by the recipients, a fact which confirms doubts about the efficiency of ringing organisations as a means of communicating with ringers, mirroring as it does the experiences of other Council committees.

The two new members of the Committee were asked to carry out a thorough review of the Council’s publishing policies. As a result the Committee proposes to take the initiative in commissioning publications from other committees and from outside authors along the lines of the Ringing History Project, Part I of which is likely to be published before the next Council meeting. It also proposes to offer remuneration beyond out-of-pocket expenses to authors in appropriate cases where securing the considerable endeavours of a particular author or authors could lead to a publication of substantial and enduring importance to the Exercise. In this connection it is planned to involve commercial publishers in joint ventures for books which have a market outside the Exercise.

1986 promises to be an exciting year for Central Council Publications.”

Mr. Groome reverted to an earlier question from Mr. A.R. Smith about investment policy, and said that most of the Publications Fund money, which was normally held on deposit at the bank, was working money and so not available for investment. Turning to the committee’s attempts to encourage associations to maintain stocks of Council publications for local sale, he said that there had been only five replies to the letters sent, together with vouchers to the value of some £900, to branch and district secretaries; there was, he said, a real problem in establishing close contact with association members.

Members raised a number of points in reaction. Mr. A.P. Smith regretted the decision to scrap some titles, and felt that there were better uses for them than simply throwing them away. Mr. Butler expressed concern at the committee’s stated new policy of commissioning “outside” authors, for two reasons - it was the responsibility of the other Council committees to produce matter for the Publications Committee to publish on their behalf, and the new policy opened the doors to the publication of poorer quality or even technically unacceptable work. He urged the deletion of the relevant sentence in the penultimate paragraph, and was supported by Mr. N. Mattingley (Hereford).

Mr. Groome said that he was surprised by the defensive attitude of the Education Committee. He accepted that most of the work was and should be done by the committees, but there were some topics, such as the projected History of Ringing, which were not the responsibility of any committee and on which the experts were not necessarily members of the Council. Mr. Cater said he was pleased to accept Mr. Groome’s clarification of his committee’s views.

Mr. P. Dyson (Chester) deprecated the committee’s lack of courtesy in writing to branch and district secretaries without ensuring that General Secretaries were aware of what was being done (hear, hear). Mr. R.J. Perry confirmed that he, as Gen. Secretary of the Truro DG, had not been notified; and Mr. J.M. Jelley (Leicester) said there had been no reply from Leicester DG district secretaries because the Guild secretary brought a stock of Council publications for sale at district meetings. Mr. Barnes however commented that the Bell Restoration Funds Committee had encountered similar difficulties in getting replies from some guilds; he felt the Council was still very remote to many guilds, and even more so to branches. More needs to be done to make guilds aware of what the Council is doing, and what help it can provide, he said.

Mr. Sim commented that Pam Copson’s beginners’ book was selling extremely well, whereas the Council’s Beginners Handbook was not being read. Could the Publications Committee try to devise a more attractive for its books for learners, he asked. Mr. D.J. Roberts said that the committee had an impressive array of wares, but suggested more vigorous marketing, perhaps using regional representatives.

Replying to the various points, Mr. Groome said that he had noted the comments made about the approach to associations and apologised for the discourtesy in not informing the General Secretaries, but not for approaching those at branch level. As to “throwing away” books, the Council had asked them to write off unneeded stock; in the cases concerned, it was simply no longer viable to advertise some titles. Mr. Wratten interjected that there were 42 years’ supply of “Variation and Transposition” and 32 years’ of “Symbolic FCH” in hand at the end of 1985 (laughter). And he accepted Mr. Sim’s point about the need to be careful to avoid pompousness and to seek the beat way of getting over a message. The report was then adopted.

Mr. Wratten then proposed the formal adoption of the Council’s accounts, and was seconded by Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish). This was agreed.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

Mr. Cooles proposed the adoption of the Fund’s report and accounts for 1985.

“1985, although apparently a quiet year for the Fund, was in fact building up a head of steam for activity in 1986. Suffice it to say (for what has to be a report on 1985) that the Fund has been involved in negotiations to purchase the ring of eight from St. Stephen’s, Ealing, threatened by the sale of the church for residential development, with a view to the bells being rehung at Rotherhithe.

It has endeavoured to keep watch over moves to take out the bells at St. Saviour’s, Leicester (actually removed in 1985), St. Mark’s, Leicester, and St. George’s, Hyde.

In the case of the Leicester bells there is concern for their future, particularly as the local guild is not consulted by the Diocese and parishes concerned.

As ever the Fund would be grateful for the names of additional persons willing to loan funds to acquire rings of bells at risk to ensure their preservation for use in other churches, and we urge members of the Council, who are members of the Fund, to support this work.”

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1985

124Excess of income over expenditure299.11
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1985
745Loan to PCC of St Pierre du Bois720.00
2040Loan to PCC of St Paul, Stoneycroft1,080.00
-Deposit with Messrs Creswell & Cooles Lewis and Co700.00
3334Bank balances3,918.28

720Sundry Creditors720.00

5399Net Assets£5,698.28
5275Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19855,399.17
124Excess of income over expenditure299.11

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 properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and fair view of the state of the above Fund at 31st December 1985.

MICHAEL J. CHURCH, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
April, 1986

Mr. Cooles said that the Fund had now acquired the bells from St. Stephen’s, Ealing, paying from money in hand; that the bells of St. Saviour’s, Leicester, had now been broken up; and that watch was still being kept on the situations at St. Mark, Leicester, and at Hyde. He was seconded by Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary).

After the latter had reassured Mr. Halls that, if all those who had promised loans were to do so, there would be sufficient money available to purchase if necessary the rings from Leicester and Hyde, the report and accounts were adopted.

Future meetings

The President reminded members that next year the Council would be the guests of the Coventry DG, and the following year, 1988, of the Carlisle DG, adding that invitations had been received, although not yet formally accepted, for 1989, 1990 and 1991. In addition the Secretary had now received an invitation from the Lincoln DG for the Council to hold its 1999 meeting in Lincolnshire.

Mr. H.M. Windsor (Coventry DG) said that arrangements were well in hand for the 1987 meeting. The order for rehanging the Cathedral bells in Coventry was now ready to be placed, and he hoped the bells would once again be ringable in the new year.

Mr. J. Anderson then proposed, and Mr. Pipe seconded, that the Council accept the St. Martin’s Guild invitation for 1989; this was readily agreed, and the President said that the invitation was accepted with great pleasure (applause).

Other business

After a number of minor administrative matters had been dealt with, Mr. Wratten said that 190 members had signed the roll - only one less than the record attendance at Lichfield in 1983; and that only three societies had been unrepresented.

The President then proposed a comprehensive vote of thanks. Noting that this was the last meeting of the present Council he thanked all members for their help, support, friendliness and kindness. A number would be retiring, he said, noting particularly Mr. George Feirn, who had represented the Lincoln DG since 1945 and had not missed a meeting (applause).

He went on to thank all those who had contributed to the success and enjoyment of this year’s meeting, and in particular the officers and members of the Surrey Association; the Archdeacon, the Rector, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Reigate; the authorities of the school where the meeting had been held; and the incumbents and tower captains who had done so much to make it such an enjoyable occasion (applause).

After Mr. H.W. Rogers had thanked the President for his skilful and genial handling of the meeting, and the other officers on the platform for their contributions, the President declared the meeting closed at 4.30.

The Ringing World, June 27, 1986, supplement

Overseas Liaison Officer’s Report 1985

It is with pleasure that I forward this year’s report for publication. Not only does it make interesting and encouraging reading but it also demonstrates so clearly the enthusiasm and energy that Fred puts into this task on behalf of the Public Relations Committee. May I express the thanks of all, both home and abroad, to Fred for another year’s hard work.

Chairman, P.R. Committee
Central Council

This Report is based upon extracts taken from The Ringing World, The Clapper, Ringing Towers and from the several letters from overseas contacts. Our thanks are again extended to the contributors for their assistance in the compilation of this report.


To all areas overseas, “newsletters” continued to find their way. We have had a number of appreciative comments from the recipients who find them to be of interest and help them to learn about what is happening in other parts of the world. Both towers in Capetown were communicated with where Hilary Moekli is PRO and keeps us informed of what goes on in ringing circles there. Unfortunately, efforts to ascertain what the position is in Grahamstown has proved to be fruitless. It is understood that ringing has had to cease there due to the condition of the tower.

It is with regret that we report the death of one of our most regular correspondents, T. John Maeder. His passing was a great shock to the writer and in particular to the Durban ringers. Only a month before his death he wrote his last letter which as usual contained much local news. Mrs. Jane Gant has taken his place as PRO and is maintaining the high standards set by John. She has been most helpful since she took over the task. Our best thanks go to Jane and the many other correspondents in North America, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Transvaal, Australia and New Zealand. Sadly, since we made contact with both Kenya and Pakistan, we have not heard from them during the year.

Public Relations

In Durban, several complaints were made by members of the general public about the noise of the bells when ringing took place. Soundproofing was installed thanks to the generosity of G. C. Smith and Co., whose founder donated the ten bells to St. Mary’s church, Greyville. Smithlink the company magazine, produced a two-page article with photographs about the bells and the bellringers, whilst the Natal Mercury wrote about the soundproofing project. On the 28th December, a half-muffled quarter peal was rung in memory of those killed in the bomb blast at Amanzimtoh just before Christmas. The South African Broadcasting Corporation in Durban was informed of the attempt and they, to their credit, broadcast the information on both national and local news bulletins. As a result quite a crowd of the public came along to the church to listen to the ringing. This is a good example of a public relations exercise and is one which might be noted for action in other places where “delicate” situations exist. Also in Durban, an Expo Exhibition was organised at the old railway station site next to St. Paul’s church and in connection with it, the bells of St. Paul’s church were rung at specified times, especially at weekends to give the tower and bellringing some publicity. These are just examples of public relations and of course many other examples overseas could be quoted, but details did not reach us.

In America the NAG is very fortunate to have w a very active PRO, in the person of Martin Meier who set out his own job specification and is one which could well be adopted as a standard for all of us to follow. It is a pleasure to note that Victoria B.C. has created the office of PRO, amongst its officers, with a view to boosting recruitment and making the parish and community more knowledgeable about change ringing. Martin Meier’s aim is to have a PRO in every tower in America, as well as interesting the National media in change ringing.

In Australia The Age reporter and photographer went to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne and eventually produced an article, including photographs about bellringing. There was a response from the public who wanted to know more about the practical side of ringing.

To all Public Relations Officers we send our best thanks for the good work each and every one of them are doing to improve the image of the exercise and to keep the public informed of what we are about, especially, that we ring to the Glory of God.


“Church Bells on Sunday” from BBC Radio 4, on Sunday mornings at 7.45 a.m. gave us the bells of Kalamazoo College, during which we listened to Bill Theobald. Then, during the Zimbabwe Silver Jubilee celebrations, we also had the pleasure of hearing the bells of Harare Cathedral which came over good and clear. In both cases the standard of ringing was very high and indicates the devotion to good striking, in these areas. We have yet to hear a tower from Australia oh this programme and we hope. that ere long we shall have that pleasure. The bells of St. George’s Cathedral, Parktown, Transvaal were heard live on the SABC English Radio Service prior to the broadcast of a Harvest Festival service. During their tour of Australia, the Prince and Princess of Wales attended St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, from where the bells could be heard as they arrived at the Cathedral, over TV networks, including the BBC London. The bells of St. Matthew’s Auckland, were recorded for a promotional film.


The Annual Meeting of the North American Guild was held in Boston, Mass. and it was a very successful event with plenty of ringing during the weekend. Melbourne, was the venue of the ANZAB annual meeting which was well attended. At both of these meetings the elections of officers took place and reports of various activities which took place during the respective years were presented. A striking competition judged by Joan Gray was held at Ballarat. The results were announced at the Annual Dinner held at Sovereign Hill. At the Boston meeting it was announced that a tower guide and location map was being prepared and an attempt to reduce dues was defeated in favour of maintaining the status-quo, to publicize change-ringing with the funds surplus to requirements. Both of these Guilds are in a strong position which is also evident by the progress in change ringing.

From the Zimbabwe’s Guild report of its A.G.M. it is noted that the Guild is, too strong. Both towers, Harare Cathedral and Kwe-Kwe with teams, the latter in the care of Stephen Dendall, who has to contend with a large turn over of learners. The Guild is able to provide a high percentage of conductors for quarter peals.

A national meeting was held in Christchurch, New Zealand in May, when a representative gathering of ringers from towers in both islands enjoyed the hospitality, ringing and enjoyment over two days. The annual meeting of the Durban society, referred to the fact that they then had only 12 ringers for 18 bells, (this situation has since improved) nevertheless, ringing at both churches was being maintained. On Christmas Day, there were full teams at both churches in the city, with a course of P.B. Major being rung for the first time for many years at St. Paul’s for service. The ten at St. Mary’s resounded to magnificent call changes. The Transvaal Dinner attracted visitors from Zimbabwe and Natal and was a very pleasant occasion and there was some good ringing at the Cathedral in Parktown. The tenth anniversary of the installation of the ring at Dunedin, New Zealand, was celebrated in style with a peal and a happy weekend with visitors from various towers in New Zealand and from the U.K.

Ringing Courses

The usual ringing course in conjunction with the A.G.M. of NAG took place in Boston. It was divided into three divisions - handling and rounds; plain hunting; and change ringing in hand. It was well-supported and some progress was made. ANZAB held a successful ringing course in Sydney in January. It was attended by 15 ringers from most parts of Australia.


Two landmarks were reached during the year. The tenth anniversary of the installation of Dunedin bells was celebrated as reported in the Meetings paragraph. The other event was the 25th anniversary celebrations held in Harare, of the Zimbabwe Guild, in December, when visitors from Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa and Transvaal had a most enjoyable and happy weekend in Harare to appreciate the local hospitality. A peal attempt was unfortunately lost, but two were scored for them in the UK. All was not lost because the visitors rang a good quarter peal of Kent T.B. Royal, a first for the Guild. A visit was made to Kwe Kwe on the Sunday. The highlight of the weekend, was the dinner on Saturday, when 77 persons sat down to a magnificent meal and listened to some fine speeches. Congratulations too both of these societies on reaching their respective landmarks.

Overseas Directory

As information comes to hand, the card index of overseas ringers and ringing details is brought up-to-date. Ringing Towers had in its August issue, an inset giving details of ringing times and contacts for the towers within the ambit of ANZAB. Amendments appeared in subsequent issues to correct the details where appropriate. The North American Guild has had for a number of years similar information, which is usually included in the Guild’s Annual Report. In the case of Africa, similar information is available for most of the towers concerned.

A number of enquiries about overseas ringing were received by the writer and in some cases, the recipients wrote on their return from overseas, giving a report of their trips and also updated information about the towers visited. We are grateful to them for their kind thoughts and the helpful information.

Augmentations and Restorations

The eight bells of Holy Trinity, York in Western Australia were installed and dedicated during the year. The Perth ringers travel weekly to York a round trip of some 120 miles, to train the locals to ring these bells. Laith Reynolds, who paid half the cost of the installation is one of the most regular visitors and his services to York are very much appreciated.

In the 1984 report, the impression was given that there were two rings of eight in Houston, Texas. Mr. David Graves, kindly drew our attention to this error and the matter is now rectified with apologies to David and Houston ringers. There is only one ring there at St. Thomas’s church. The bells were installed some years ago, but were not dedicated until 1984. Whilst on the subject of Houston, a tribute was paid to the rector, Reverend Robert Ingram on his retirement. He vowed to have a ring of bells in his church and he took a deep interest in the ringing. A peal and two quarter peals were rung in his honour. We wish him well in his retirement and thank him for being responsible for the provision of a ring of bells in America and for the flourishing state of ringing in Houston thanks to David Graves and his ringers. Unfortunately, there is little good to report about the bells at Abilene, Texas, where periodic visits are made by Houston ringers in the hopes of having the bells made fit for ringing in the traditional style. Some modifications were made by the founders, but much has yet to be done before they can be rung properly.

The programme for the Australian Bicentennial Year 1988 was launched and it includes proposals for a number of new rings and some major restorations, amongst which is the work necessary at Holy Trinity, Hobart, which is being sponsored by the ringers of the British Isles. We are pleased to note that St. Mary’s, RC Cathedral, Sydney is to have a ring of 12 bells plus two semitones, which have already been cast at Whitechapel. It is hoped that they will be ready to ring in their new home by the autumn 1986. The ring at Christ Church St. Laurence, Sydney was augmented to ten with the provision of two trebles.

It is noted that the six bells from Widnes have been purchased for a church in Australia. Previously a chime, they are to be hung for ringing.

Peals and Quarter Peals

In the appended table a summary of the peals and quarter peals rung during the year is given. The statistics are based on recorded details in the various publications. Many more have probably been rung in the quarter peal area, which were not recorded in any of the publications.

It is praiseworthy to note that Kalamazoo College, Michigan, USA, which was the recipient of a new ring of bells in the previous year, was the leading tower for quarter peals scored in 1985 with a total of 41. They were followed by Boston (Advent) with 31 quarters. In Australia the first peal on the new bells at York, was scored, being one of P.B. Major, the band consisted of seven Perth ringers and the invited conductor, Philip Gray.

The peals and quarter peals included many Surprise methods, amongst which were Sydney, Glasgow, Superlative, Belfast, Johannesburg, London, Lincolnshire, Bristol, Cambridge, Pudsey, Yorkshire and Spliced (5,7 and 8m) Standard methods in Plain and Treble Bob methods up to Royal and Cinques were also included in the performances, including the first in USA of Stedman Cinques in hand. It is very encouraging to note the advances in change ringing being made by bell ringers overseas.

The peal in Canada, was the first on the bells of the former St. Matthew’s church, Quebec, now a library, it was rung by a team from the USA and the method was Cambridge S. Major. The same team went on to ring a quarter peal at Quebec Cathedral. Wellington Cathedral, New Zealand, scored their first peal, in honour of their Dean who did so much to bring about the provision of the grand ring of 12 bells in the Cathedral. The method was P.B. Major and it was the first peal by the band except the conductor.

PealsQuarter Peals1984
TowerIn HandTowerIn HandTowerIn Hand
New Zealand4-56-11-
South Africa4-17-3-
Zimbabwe1+2 in UK-16---

The columns under 1984 heading refer to quarter peals, the details of which came to hand after the completion of the 1984 report. They are additional to the Table in that report.

Central Council Meeting

The “Open” meeting at the Brighton session of the Council had as its subject “Overseas Ringing”. The members and friends were enlightened about activities in ANZAB area by Philip Gray, NAG area by Marjorie Winter and the writer was invited to tell about the African scene. George Morris held the audience “spell bound” with his illustrated talk on Italian ringing. Several questions were put to the speakers from the members of the audience. At both the “Open” meeting and at the Council itself, the overseas display, highlighted the Zimbabwe 25th anniversary celebrations.


I trust that this report will give a small insight into the excellent work which is being engaged in by our brothers and sisters overseas. There is great enthusiasm and keenness in all areas and the results of their efforts as summarised in the Table in the previous paragraph must put some of us at home to shame. What they can do, so should we be able to do likewise. It is agreed that, of course, the majority of “home” ringers have made big strides, but it is well-known that very many towers are idle for want of ringers. Virtually, every tower with a ring of bells overseas, has a team to ring them. What more can we say? Except, to express our sincere thanks to all those societies, their officers, and of course the “grassroots” ringers, for their continued efforts for the good of the Exercise. Our best wishes for the progress in the future is extended to each and everyone overseas.

Overseas Liaison Officer,
CC. Public Relations Committee

Meadow Cottage,
Drogheda, Ireland

The Ringing World, May 30, 1986, pages 468 to 470



During the year there has been a major change at Guildford inasmuch as our previous arrangements with Seven Corners Press regarding the handling of many items of routine administration have been taken back “in house”. This has proved to have been most beneficial, resulting in more immediate and efficient control over our day-to-day administration and accounting systems. It has proved possible only because of the complete cooperation of David Thorne and joy Eldridge. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work in seeing the changeover through and to David in particular for accepting considerably more responsibility in managing the office than the title of Editor might suggest.

During the year the elected Auditors vacated their office on ceasing to be members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and the Directors were required to fill the casual vacancy until the next Annual General Meeting. We are particularly grateful to Mr. Nigel Bolt, partner in Messrs. Brewers, Chartered Accountants of Guildford, for his help over a difficult period and in producing the year end accounts to schedule.

Significant changes to the structure of our advertising and notice charges have, we feel, had only limited success, almost certainly due to the imposition of VAT from 1 May. Whilst the balance between copy and advertising matter has improved, our efforts to attract more use of the Notices section by Guilds and Associations have not yet received the response for which we were aiming. We continue to hope that more use will be made of such an important communications medium for the benefit of the Exercise generally.

We are pleased to have been able to reintroduce an excellent Index and Mrs. Rowena Gay is to be congratulated on a most efficient and prompt piece of work.

The Board has met four times during the year and other less official meetings have been held to discuss arrangements for the paper’s 75th anniversary in 1936.

Whilst we are able to report a satisfactory financial position the circulation of the paper is still of concern. Our policy of encouraging readers to take The Ringing World through the post rather than via newsagents is meeting with success in that there were over 250 new postal subscribers during 1985. However total circulation dropped by nearly 100 as a result of a reduction of 350 in newsagents’ sales. The total circulation at the end of the year was 4,700, comprising 2,600 postal subscribers and 2,100 newsagent sales.

We are, as always, extremely grateful to the many volunteer helpers who have assisted us during the year. They are numerous but in particular we would wish to thank Pip Sadler and Peter Joyce for their help to the Editor during the year.

H.W. Egglestone


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