Central Council Meeting - Coventry - 26 May 1987

The meeting held at the Godiva Hotel, Coventry, on May 26th was the Council’s 90th. It was opened with prayer led by the Vice-President, the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA), after which the President, Mr. P.A. Corby (Life Member) welcomed the very large number present.

The Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Life Member), reported that 66 societies were affiliated to the Council, although unfortunately neither the St. David’s Guild nor the S. Derbyshire and N. Leicestershire Association had enough resident members to entitle them to a representative. On the other hand, because of increased membership two societies - the Australia & New Zealand Association, and the N. Staffordshire Association - each had one extra representative. There were consequently now 177 representatives on the Council, which with 8 Life and 24 Honorary members gave a total membership of 209.

All subscriptions had, he said, been paid.

Apologies for absence

Apologies had been received or were presented from Messrs. D. Hughes (Honorary), A.R. Baldock, F. Blagrove, N. Brock, P.L. Hayward, D.F. Riley and D.D. Smith (representative members).

New members

The Secretary read the names of 34 new members - D. Bleby (ANZAB), Mrs P. Ebsworth and D.J. Kelly (Bath & Wells), F.C. Pearson (Derby), C.M. Richardson (Durham & Newcastle), Dr. M.B. Davies (Ely), J.M. Pearse (Gloucester & Bristol), J.E. Harrold (Hereford), Mrs. A. Martin (Kent), Canon M.S. Hart (Lancashire), Mrs C.N.J. Franklin (Leicester), A.R. Heppenstall (Lincoln), S.J. Flockton (Leeds University), A.S. Baker and Dr. M.T. Sprackling (London County), R.K. Russ (Middlesex), P.W. Gay (North Staffs.), J.W. Hughes and Dr. D.R. Marshall (N. Wales), D.R. Maclean and D.F. Riley (Norwich), R.A. Thorne (Oxford DG), P.Q. Armitage (Oxford University), Miss S. Pattenden (Cumberland Youths), J. McDonald (St. Martin’s), J.W. Bramley and G.J.N. Colborne (Salisbury), R.M. Cox (Sussex), A.F. Burley (Truro), A.J. Cox (Bristol Univ.), A.T. Collins (Winchester & Portsmouth), R.J. Clements and A. Roberts (Worcester) and N. Donovan (Yorkshire). In addition, Mr. D. Hird, who had previously represented the Derby DA on the Council, now represented the Durham & Newcastle CA, and Messrs. B.G. Warwick (Leicester) and R. Booth (London County) had rejoined the Council after a break.

Mr. Corby said that it gave him great pleasure, as one of his last duties as President, to welcome them to the Council. He saw the inflow of new members as a sign of the health of the Exercise and hoped that they would both enjoy their membership of the Council and contribute to its work.

Losses through death

Members stood in silence as the President read the names of those former members of the Council who had died since its last meeting: G.W. Cecil (ASCY, 1948-57); A.W. Davis (Hereford, 1930-36 and 1945-47); F. Dunkerley OBE (Lancashire, 1951-63); the Revd. R. Keeley (Salisbury, 1966-72); D. Martin (Durham & Newcastle, 1975-86); F.W. Perrens (Warwicks., 1927-35 and 1937-46; Coventry, 1946-58; Life since 1959); S. Richardson (Carlisle, 1977-84); E.C. Shepherd (Honorary, 1952-69; Life since 1969); C.G.J. Watts (ASCY, 1960-69); W. Williams (Glos & Bristol, 1948-51; ASCY, 1957-75); and A.T. Wingate (Hereford, since 1960).

The Vice-President then led those present in prayer.

Election of Officers

There had been only one nomination for each of the Officers’ posts, and the President consequently declared the following elected for the new triennium:

Welcoming his successor, Mr. Corby said that Dr. Baldwin had given many years’ service to the Council, and thanked him for his support in the past - not least at the Council’s meeting in Brighton two years ago, the greater part, of which he had chaired. He wished him a very happy term of office (applause).

Replying, the new President said that he was assuming office at an exciting time. The work of the Council’s committees was now very wide, and much greater than when he had first joined the Council. He thanked Mr. Corby for his work as President and for the stature, wit, and friendship which he had brought to the office; and said how pleased members were to see him fit and well again (applause). Finally, after thanking his proposer and seconder, he said he would do his best to ensure that the Council did not run into the difficulties with which his employer (University College, Cardiff) was faced - which were not, he assured members, his fault (laughter).

He then extended a welcome to the new Vice-President, Mr. Groome, who he said was a very worthy nominee and a representative of the great activity within the Council which he had mentioned. He also welcomed Mr. Wratten back to the Secretary’s seat.

Mr. Corby then paid a warm tribute to ‘young Life Member’ Wratten’s work since becoming the Council’s Secretary, not least during the past three years; and went on to thank the chairmen and members of the Council’s committees for their contribution (applause).

Replying briefly, Mr. Wratten commented on how ageing his post evidently was: Mr. Corby had started by referring to him as a young Life Member, and had ended by calling him ‘dear old Cyril’ (laughter).

Finally, Mr. Cook was warmly thanked by the President for his work and contribution as Librarian (applause).

Election of Honorary Members

Eleven of the present Honorary Members completed their elected period at the end of this meeting, two of whom - Messrs. D. Hughes and R.F.B. Speed - did not seek re-election. There were 16 nominations for the eleven vacancies, the ensuing ballot giving the tellers from the Coventry DG a busy time. The result was finally announced just before the meeting was adjourned for lunch, with Miss J. Sanderson, Mrs M.A. Wratten, Drs. D.W. Beard and A. Newing, and Messrs. M.J. Church, J. Eisel, A. Frost, M.C.W. Sherwood, R.B. Smith, B.D. Threlfall and M.J. Tyler declared elected. Those unsuccessful in the ballot were Mrs O.L. Rogers, the Revd. B. Harris, and Messrs. T.F. Collins, G.E. Morris, and W.H. Viggers.

Election of Auditors

Since one of the retiring Auditors, Mr. M.J. Church, FCA, had been nominated for Honorary membership, this item was, with the meeting’s agreement, deferred until the result of that election was known. When it was dealt with, later in the afternoon, both of the retiring Hon. Auditors, Mr. E.G.H. Godfrey, FCA, and Mr. Church, were re-elected.

Minutes of the last meeting

The Hon. Secretary proposed the adoption of the Minutes of the 1986 meeting at Reigate, after pointing out that the version which had been published in The Ringing World of February 23rd had contained an error in the list of those attending which had subsequently been corrected. He was seconded by Mr. W.A. Patterson (Irish) and the Minutes were adopted without comment.

Mr. Wratten then held up a new, hand-made, Minute Book that Mr. Viggers was presenting to the Council for use when the present one was full. He expressed the Council’s gratitude to Mr. Viggers for his generous gift (applause); and was asked by the President to Minute that it had been received with acclaim.

Secretary and Treasurer’s report

“The 33rd Council has two more representative members than its predecessor, with the Australia and New Zealand Association and the North Staffordshire Association each having increased their representation. A further 35 society representatives have changed since the last meeting, some of the replacements rejoining the Council after an absence but the majority being new members. On behalf of the Council I welcome them all.

Of those no longer on the Council, three deserve particular mention. Frank Perrens, who died in March at the age of 95, was the doyen of the Council, having first joined as a representative of the old Warwickshire Guild 60 years ago in 1927, and apart from one year having had an unbroken membership until his death. Many will recall seeing him at the Reigate meeting last year. Mrs. Olive Rogers and George Feirn both joined the Council in 1945 and have represented the London County Association and the Lincoln Guild respectively ever since, Mrs. Rogers having missed only three meetings in 41 years, and Mr. Feirn none.

Certified membership of the Council’s 47 affiliated territorial societies is 27,785, compared with 27,332 when the last returns were made, in 1984, and 25,233 in 1981. None of these totals includes the members of the Devon Association, where membership is I understand by bands rather than by individuals; currently the Association has 110 affiliated towers.

Turning from members to money, the Council’s assets increased during 1986 from £98,000 to £108,000, each of the three funds - General, Publications, and Library - showing improved balances, the two latter mainly because of lower nett expenditure. The Capital Reserve was increased by 3.7%, in line with inflation during the year, and now stands at some £29,000. Donations from various charitable trusts towards bell restoration work, together with the interest on sums already in hand, amounted to nearly £300.”

After updating the membership figures in the report as sent to members, Mr. Wratten moved its adoption. He was seconded by Mr. F. Dukes (Irish). After Mr. H.W. Rogers (London County) had pointed out that Mrs. Rogers had in fact been elected to the Council in 1940 - although there had been no meetings between then and 1945 - the report was adopted.

1986 Accounts

Mr. Wratten introduced the accounts by explaining the main differences in the General Fund and the consolidated balance sheet from the previous year. In reply to a question from Mr. R.G.W. Robertson (Salisbury) about plans for using the accumulated capital now held, he said that the Administrative Committee had discussed this rather novel situation, and it had already made possible significant increases in committee expenditure on such things am public relations. Answering Mr. A.R. Smith (Suffolk), he said that a conscious decision had been made by the Officers not to ‘play the market’ when investing the Council’s money, which it held in trust for the Exercise, but that the investments were of course kept under constant review.

It was agreed that adoption of the accounts should be deferred until members had had an opportunity to consider the Publications and Library accounts when discussing the reports of those two committees, later in the agenda.

General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1986
870Affiliation fees880.00

Less: Administrative costs
350Council meeting559.50
50Secretary’s expenses50.00
35Stationery, post and telephone85.85


Investment Income
8522Dividends and interest9,226.49
-Late interest, 1985916.79

(1500)less: Transfer to Capital Reserve1,025.00

Less: Committee costs, grants, etc.
2598Committee expenses2,214.46
29Committee expenses, 198530.00
500The Ringing World Ltd.500.00



4154Excess of income over expenditure6,344.87
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1986
53Stock of ties23.58
50000NS Income Bonds70,000.00
29235NS Investment Account16,362.06
132Bank Deposit Account149.59

100Cash and Bank balances507.81
1347Sundry debtor2,347.05

110Affiliation fees in advance150.00
357Sundry creditors1,132.79


80400Net Assets£88,107.30
47953Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198652,107.44
4154Excess of income over expenditure6,344.87

1248Add: Donations for bell restoration
and interest thereon to 1 Jan. 1986
-Late interest, 198548.39
295Donations and interest, 1986288.79

1000Less: Grants paid-.-

26250Add: Capital Reserve27,750.00
1500Allocated from income, 19861,025.00


Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1986
75Transfer from General Fund130.00

147Books and microfilms101.87
25Stationery and post36.94
10Depreciation: Library fixtures-.-

116(Dr)Excess of income over expenditure229.45

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1986
184Bank Deposit Account196.47
222Cash and Bank balances438.87


416Net Assets£645.34
532Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1986415.89
116(Dr)Excess of income over expenditure229.45


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

Publications Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1986

9891Stock, 1 January 19868,266.22

8266Less: Stock, 31 Dec. 198612,054.18

736Stationery, post and typing643.73
110Publications Committee expenses149.48
318Ringing History project287.18

1758Excess of income over expenditure2,059.46

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1986
8266Stock, at cost12,054.18
6436Bank Deposit Account8,347.79
2711Cash and Bank balances926.19
10The Ringing World Ltd10.00
144Sundry creditors1,999.50

17279Net Assets£19,338.66
15521Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198617,279.20
1758Excess of income over expenditure2,059.46

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1986
53Stock of ties23.58
8266Stock of publications12,054.18
3033Cash and Bank balances1,872.87
1357Sundry debtors2,357.05

110Amounts received in advance150.00
501Sundry creditors3,132.29


98095Net Assets£108,091.30
Capital Accounts
80400General Fund88,107.30
17279Publications Fund19,338.66
416Friends of the CCCBR Library645.34



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, 1986.

MICHAEL J. CHURCH, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
March, 1987


Two motions appeared on the Agenda, but before opening discussion on them the President drew attention to a letter from Mr Bleby (ANZAB) that had appeared in The Ringing World of May 1st and which gave notice of a bid to introduce an extra motion. He suggested that, if the Council agreed, this might be considered under Any Other Business. Mr. Bleby explained that, thanks largely to the difficulties of rapid communication between Australia and England, the Council’s Secretary had not received a letter from the seconder (Mr. Gray) in time to include the motion in the formal agenda, and that it concerned a matter to which his Association attached great importance. He then proposed that it be considered as the President had suggested, and was seconded by Mr. Gray. This was agreed.

The first of the Agenda’s motions - that, whenever the Central Council was discussing or negotiating the future of bells from a proposed redundant church, it should inform the local Association in writing - was then proposed by Mr. A. Cattell on behalf of the Leicester DG. He said that his Guild had for some years had a committee charged with dealing with bells from redundant churches in its area. This had been able to do some good work, but recently there had been a case where, unbeknown to the Guild, the Central Council had been involved. This had lead to difficulties and some ill-feeling; and it was to avoid such circumstances recurring that he was moving the Motion.

Seconding, Mr. J.M. Jelley (Leicester) regretted that it had been felt necessary to put such a motion before the Council. The old-fashioned virtues of openness and courtesy seemed regrettably to be disappearing, he said.

After Mr. Peachey (Police) had asked to hear what those involved in the case in question had to say, Mr. R.J. Cooles (Honorary), speaking as the Secretary of the Council’s Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells, feared that the motion was a cloaked vote of censure on the Bell Restoration Funds Committee and on the Rescue Fund. He said that he could only support the motion: it had always been the Fund’s aim to do exactly what was being asked, and as far as he was aware, it had always done so. If there had been some misunderstanding, he deeply regretted it. The Fund had at one stage notified the Leicester DG in good faith that the bells of St. Saviour’s, Leicester, were safe, only to hear that they had been scrapped within a week; but the bells of St. Mark’s, with which it had also been involved, were to go to Australia.

Canon Orland (Peterborough, and a member of the Peterborough Cathedral Chapter) sought confirmation that the bells formerly at St. John’s, Leicester, were in no way involved, and was assured by Mr. Cattell that this was so. It was the St. John’s case that had caused the Guild to establish the committee he had mentioned.

Mr. J.D. Cheesman (Surrey) at this point proposed “that the Motion be not put”, and was seconded by Mr. Gray. On being put to the vote by the President, the proposal was narrowly defeated. Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby) however then asked whether, in view of the closeness of the vote and of Mr. Cooles’ virtual apology for whatever may inadvertently have occurred, the Leicester Guild would consider withdrawing its motion? After a brief consultation with his seconder, Mr. Cattell said that they would do so (applause).

The second motion, proposed by Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY), sought a change to the Council’s Rules in order to enable overseas ringing societies with less than 75 resident members to become affiliated. He explained that the intention was principally to enable societies in Africa to affiliate to the Council, without making any major change to the existing constitution. The present political situation there made impossible the idea of a federation of the existing societies in Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Africa in order to reach the present requirement for a membership of 75. If the motion were passed, he thought it possible that three societies - from Zimbabwe, Transvaal, and perhaps Durban/Capetown/Grahamstown - might ultimately join the Council. Looking towards the Council’s centenary in 1991, he suggested it would be a fine thing if it by then included within its fold all ringers, world-wide, following the English tradition.

In keeping with the international tone of the motion and his responsibilities as the Council’s overseas liaison officer, its seconder (Mr. Dukes) evoked laughter by beginning his speech in what is thought to have been Gaelic. He went on to describe the situation facing ringers overseas and in particular in Africa, and the enthusiasm there, highlighted by the Durban Guild’s recent peal. After suggesting that the change could even encourage the development of ringing in Kenya, and perhaps in Pakistan, he asked the Council to “provide the tools to enable others to finish the job.”

After the President had pointed out that, if the change were agreed, such societies would, once affiliated, be entitled to send a representative to the Council, Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford) moved the addition of “but shall not be represented on the Council so long as its membership remains less than 75” as an amendment to the motion. He noted that the St. David’s Guild, a very active society operating in difficult circumstances, could not be represented on the Council because it had less than 75 resident members; and felt that it should not be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis overseas societies. He was seconded by Mr. F.C. Pearson (Derby).

Mrs. M.B. Winter (N. American) said that the North American Guild had struggled for a long time to get 75 members in order to affiliate to the Council, and that it hurt to be left out. She could not endorse the amendment, and was supported by Mr. W.F. Moreton (Yorkshire), who felt that the St. David’s Guild should be represented on the Council.

On being put to the vote, the amendment was lost, and the original motion was then passed by a large majority. On behalf of the ringers of Africa, Mr. Dukes thanked the Council for its support.

Trustees’ reports:

Rolls of Honour

Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY) proposed the adoption of his report, noting that photocopies of the Rolls were on display for those who wished to see them:

“The books containing the Rolls of Honour and the display case remain in good condition.”

He was seconded by Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life), and the report was adopted without discussion. Mr. Cook was then re-elected Trustee on the proposition of Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary), seconded by the Revd. Preb. J.G.M. Scott (Honorary).

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) respectively:

“Two demonstrations were given during the year. Following a request from the Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers, arrangements were made for the machine to take part in the display of computers and ringing machines at the Central Council meeting at Reigate on Monday, 26 May. Touches of Little Bob Maximus were rung, together with courses of Stedman Cinques and a touch conducted by John Anderson and Walter Dobbie. Our thanks are due to Kate Flavell for arranging the insurance cover for the machine for its period of absence from the Science Museum.

The machine was again on display for the Ringing World day of ringing in London on 20 September. Like some of the City churches we were overwhelmed with visitors for part of the session; 75 names were recorded in the attendance book. Some mechanical problems were experienced with resetting the right hand rotor cage which were resolved. Stedman Cinques and Little Bob Maximus were again rung.”

This report, too, was adopted without comment, and the Trustees re-elected for a further three years, as proposed by Mr. H. Rogers and seconded by Mrs. O.D. Barnett (Honorary).

Committee reports

Towers and Belfries

The Committee’s report was proposed by its chairman, Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol), and it was seconded by Mr. F. Reynolds (Lancashire):

“There has been much activity during the year. Two full meetings were held, one at Reigate on the eve of the Council meeting, and the other at Backwell in October. It is the declared policy of the committee to publicise its work, by placing summaries of the business conducted at its meetings in The Ringing World, for example. This was done for both meetings, and also for an address on the Faculty Jurisdiction, given to the committee by Canon Graham Routledge Treasurer of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Chancellor to the Dioceses of Ely, Lichfield and Peterborough.

The revision of the Towers and Bells Handbook has moved ahead well, under the editorship of Alan Frost. A brand new venture has been the development of the Schedule of Regular Maintenance, nearing completion under the editorship of Bernard Stone. A fan-folded Information Card on the Towers and Belfries Committee has been produced. Copies will be included in the package of Central Council information to be distributed to all unringable towers. John Scott will be taking an active part in the presentations at the seminar on Bell Restoration at Northampton in April 1987. George Massey and Clarke Walters will be organising an informal social meeting and discussion with the Bells Advisers to the Diocesan Advisory Committees, in the Midlands in the later part of 1987, with the Bells Sub-committee of the Council for the Care of Churches also to be invited to attend. Alan Frost and Jim Taylor represent the Towers and Belfries Committee in the Working Party set up by the Administrative Committee to undertake study and recommendations relating to the present Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes published by the Bells Sub-committee of the Council for the Care of Churches.

The committee’s principal work, that of providing specialist advice, has continued. Over 67 cases have been handled this year. Tribute must be paid to the committee’s members, who donate their time generously in consultation, inspection, travel and, possibly the most demanding of all, writing reports and dealing with correspondence.”

Mr. Halls commented that at one time the committee’s members were dealing with far more cases each year and suggested that the subsequent drop may have resulted largely from the increasing amount of DIY work now being reported in, for example, The Ringing World. He wondered where those undertaking such work were getting their advice, and whether their sources were reliable. He felt that there were many people engaged in restoration work, full of energy and enthusiasm but perhaps with less technical expertise, and that more education on technical matters would be welcome. He invited the committee to help and make more use of such enthusiasm.

Stressing that he was not criticising the committee, whose work he held in high esteem, Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex) urged its members to pay more attention to sound control in towers. Too often it seemed to be a question simply of quietening the sound of the bells, with insufficient regard to their resulting clarity - particularly on the higher numbers.

Mr. Robertson, drawing a parallel with the earlier Leicester DG motion, asked that local Associations be informed of inspections that had taken place. Mr. Wilby commented that it would be wrong to send a copy of a report to anyone other than those who had commissioned it, but Mr. A.H. Smith (Bedford) drew a distinction between notifying an Association of an inspection and sending it a copy of a report.

After Mr. H.J. Charles (Norwich) had asked whether the committee could produce some guidelines on safe working practice for those engaged in DIY work, Mr. Taylor said that the various points made would doubtless be noted by the new committee. He added that two projects were in hand to help local belfry advisers - a booklet of information on their appointment and responsibilities, and a one-day meeting. The report was then adopted.

The election of the new committee had to be deferred until the new Honorary members were known; but later in the meeting a committee size of 11 was agreed. The Administrative Committee had recommended that it should remain at its former ten, but after eleven nominations had been made Mr. B.D. Threlfall (Honorary) proposed and Preb. Scott seconded the larger number, and this was agreed. Mr. Halls was subsequently nominated, but declined to stand.

The committee elected for 1987-90 was consequently made up of Messrs. A. Dempster (E. Derbys & W. Notts), A.J. Frost, F.D. Mack (Devonshire G), G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells DA), F. Reynolds, J.G.M. Scott, B.J. Stone (Oxford Soc), J.R. Taylor, B.D. Threlfall, S.C. Walters (Cambridge University) and H.M. Windsor (Coventry DG).

Bell Restoration Funds

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

“The Committee met three times in London and accounts of these meetings have appeared in The Ringing World. It has been another busy year, with publication of our new booklet ‘Organising a Bell restoration Project’, preparation for the April 1987 seminar, and preliminary work on a mailing to parishes whose bells are unringable.

The new booklet has been written to help those people, sometimes a group of ringers, who are concerned with the problems of carrying out a major restoration project. Aware that there are some five hundred rings of five or more bells in the British Isles which are unable to be rung full circle, the Publications Committee suggested that we consider sending copies of the booklet free of charge to the parishes concerned. The suggestion was discussed and approved by the Administrative Committee at its October meeting. The mailing will include our Committee brochure, a new handout from the Towers and Belfries Committee, and information from the Public Relations Committee. Guilds have been invited to let us have a letter or brochure for towers in their area. The mailing, in March 1987, is being made in close cooperation with Guilds, who have been asked to specify parishes to which they would prefer that no approach should be made at present. The exercise is a valuable public relations initiative by the Council.

The seminar entitled ‘Bell Restoration - Making it Happen’ will be of particular interest to people from parishes with unringable bells. We have therefore asked Guilds to help us invite the parishes concerned to send representatives. The programme is built around a hypothetical tower whose bells are unringable. Successive sessions will make the case for getting a restoration project under way, deal with the technical specification, investigate methods of saving costs and suggest sources of help which are available. The bell-founders will be participating, as will the Towers and Belfries Committee. It is hoped that other committees will also be represented at the event. We hope that the mailing and the Seminar will together constitute a drive by ringers to reduce significantly the number of rings of bells which are currently unringable.

The Committee again helped the Manifold Trust with the administrative work involved in making their annual grant toward bell restoration. The total sum available in 1986 was £16,000. In addition some £200 was made available by other trusts. We would remind Guilds that the Manifold Trust has made a commitment to bell restoration for 1987 and 1988. It is therefore important that Guilds make and maintain contact with those parishes whose bells are unringable so that a steady flow of worthwhile applications may be placed before the Trustees.

We continue to receive requests for help from parishes contemplating restoration projects, not all of whom are aware of their local bellringers’ Guild. Some Guilds communicate annually with all parishes in their area, irrespective of the number or condition of the bells. It is a valuable public relations exercise which can only do much to promote ringing.

Two further Guilds, the Essex Association and the Coventry Guild, report that they have registered their entire Guild as a Charity.

Michael Church and Gordon Halls have indicated that they are not seeking re-election to the Committee. Both have made major contributions to our work, and thus to bell restoration, and we thank them for the generous giving of their skill and expertise.”

Mr. Barnes said that the new booklet mentioned in the report was now available and had been sent in the mailing to parishes with unringable bells. There had been a disappointing response from Associations when approached about the latter, with only 19 replying out of the 50-plus approached. Responses were now arriving from the parishes and the committee would be in touch with Associations as a result. The seminar had been very successful, with about 100 present. As a result, one order had been placed with the founders, subject to the issue of a faculty. He went on to say that he would be proposing to the Administrative Committee the expenditure of roughly a thousand pounds per year on the promotion of ringing and bell restoration in addition to the usual committee expenditure; and finally he reported that he was trying to develop contact with one of the trustees of the Barron Bell Trust, about the operation of which there continued to be complaints.

Mr. A.H. Smith (Bedford), while pleased with the committee’s report, was concerned that there had been such a poor response to the request for comment on the mailing, and wondered whether there might have been some misunderstanding by recipients as to what the committee had wanted. He was assured by Mr. A.R. Smith (Suffolk) and by the Revd. D.C. Brookes (Llandaff and Monmouth) that the letter concerned had been extremely clear. Mr. Barnes felt the same, but wondered whether the letter, which had been sent out by the Council’s Secretary in his annual mailing to affiliated societies, might have been overlooked among the other material.

Mr. Rogers (London County) congratulated the committee on its very professional seminar at Northampton (applause), and was thanked by Mr. Barnes. The latter however felt himself unqualified to answer a question from Mr. D.J. Roberts (Devonshire G) as to whether it was a good investment to buy - rather than hire - tackle for restoration work, and suggested a member of the Towers and Belfries Committee might be able to advise. The report was then adopted.

The election of the new committee, which it was agreed should continue to have a strength of seven, took place after lunch. The following, as the only nominees, were declared elected: J.S. Barnes, E. Billings (Peterborough), N. Booth (Scottish), N.A. Johnson (Durham & Newcastle), J.F. Mulvey (Lichfield), I.H. Oram, and A.R. Smith.

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

Redundant Bells

“As anticipated in our last report, more churches did become redundant in 1986 than in 1985: 51, as against 30, and 36 in 1984. This, of course, reverses the downward trend which has been evident since 1980. It appears however to be the result of steady rationalisation, perhaps coupled with a general decline of the Church of England, rather than anything more drastic.

The total number of churches which have been declared redundant and whose eventual fates have been decided since the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into effect is 1115. Of this number, 216 have been vested in the Redundant Churches Fund, 276 have been demolished, 619 have found alternative uses, and four are being preserved by the Department of the Environment.

The Committee has this year been involved with some 44 cases, including 10 enquiries, some very tentative, for rings of bells, and fifteen for bells for augmentations, replacements, or for use as singles. Some three single bells and three rings are currently known to be at some stage of transfer.

A problem which has concerned us for some time has been the future of a number of heavy rings of bells. For the most immediate cases it seems now to have been solved. St. Thomas, Bristol, and St. Stephen, Low Elswick, are being transferred to the Redundant Churches Fund; St. Mark, Leicester, will be going abroad; and St. Stephen, Hampstead, for which a price much in excess of scrap value was ill advisedly sought, seems inevitably to be heading for scrap. It is some comfort at least that only one of these rings has met that fate.

When a church is taken over by the Redundant Churches Fund the Fund has a duty to preserve both it and its contents; this usually means that a certain amount of repair and maintenance work is done. This can - indeed should, though financial constraints may prevent it - include the bells; St. Peter, Sudbury, is an example of a Fund church with restored bells. Whether this means that there is a chance that the bells of St. Thomas, Bristol, will be restored remains, however, to be seen. Churches vested in the Fund are only occasionally used for services and other activities, but the Fund does welcome interest and involvement in its churches by people on the spot, and this can of course include ringers. Since the Fund now has nearly thirty churches with five or more bells local interest is well worthwhile.

The scheme for bells in East London which it was hoped would provide two newly ringable towers from the bells of St. Stephen, Ealing, moving to St. Mary, Rotherhithe, and the Rotherhithe bells going to St. Anne, Limehouse, sadly collapsed like a house-buying chain when Rotherhithe were unable to proceed. An alternative home however looks likely to materialise for the Ealing bells.

Overseas interest in acquiring bells has continued, though there have been no new enquiries this year from the Antipodes. Presumably once the Australian bi-centenary year is over there will be a pause. Other requests have included two from America, several from Scotland, and one from Sri Lanka - for a three ton bell.

We are again grateful to the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their help and interest. While the Church Commissioners are responsible for the legal processes by which churches become redundant, the Council for the Care of Churches advises at an early stage on the historic and aesthetic merits of both churches and their fittings. Contributing to this advice are Mr Ranald Clouston’s notes on the bells of each church. Mr. Clouston kindly makes these notes also available to the Committee, and we are very grateful to him for this.”

Mr. Cook queried the mathematical accuracy of the phrase ‘some three single bells’ in the reports third paragraph, and Mrs. Wilkinson explained that, since the actual work was done by Associations and not by Committee members, it was impossible to be absolutely precise.

The report was then adopted, and a committee of eleven members elected. The Revd. P. Newing (Durham University) was unsuccessful in the ensuing ballot, those elected being Mrs. Wilkinson, the Revds. Scott and Thurlow (Life), and Messrs. Barnett, Cooles, Corby, Freeman (Life), Frost, Halls, G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells), and M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary). Mrs. Wilkinson commented that it was traditional for the Council’s President to be an ex officio member of the Committee, and hoped that Dr. Baldwin would agree to do so; he said he would be willing.


Proposing the following report, Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx) encouraged Council members to let the Committee have any relevant biographical information that they encountered. He was seconded by Mr. G.A. Dawson (Southwell).

“The following member and past members of the Council died during 1986:

A.D. BarkerLondon County Association, 1924-36, 1966-69; Oxford Diocesan Guild, 1936-66. Died Feb. 20, 1986. Attended 40 meetings.
W. WilliamsGloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association, 1948-51; Ancient Society of College Youths, 1957-75. Died June 23, 1986. Attended 21 meetings.
A.W. DavisHereford Diocesan Guild, 1930-36, 1945-47. Died July 3, 1986. Attended 1 meeting.
C.G.J. WattsAncient Society of College Youths, 1960-69. Died July 17, 1986. Attended 3 meetings.
G.W. CecilAncient Society of College Youths, 1948-57. Died August 4, 1986. Attended 5 meetings.
E.C. ShepherdHonorary member, 1952-69; Life member, 1969-86. Died August 30, 1986. Attended 27 meetings.
S. RichardsonCarlisle Diocesan Guild, 1977-84. Died October 8, 1986. Attended 5 meetings.
A.T. WingateHereford Diocesan Guild, 1960-86. Died October 15, 1986. Attended 19 meetings.
D. MartinDurham & Newcastle Diocesan Assocn, 1975-86. Died December 6, 1986. Attended 10 meetings.

Arthur D. Barker was a representative member from 1924-69, a continuous period of 45 years. He served on the CC Nomenclature Committee, 1924-27. For 46 years he was Hon. Treasurer of a branch of the Oxford D.G., and for 38 years was the Guild’s Hon. Treasurer. He had been a Vice-President of the Guild since 1974; and was Hon Secretary of the London C.A. 1920-23. He took part in the first married couples’ peal of Stedman Cinques, at Leicester Cathedral in October, 1948.

Wilfred Williams was Master of the A.S.C.Y. in 1958, and was also a Trustee. A 1,000 pealer, he turned in at least 70 different tenors to a 12-bell peal, and was the first person to ring a peal of Surprise in each county in England and Wales. He was a member of the Great Adventure II party to Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.A. in 1965.

Edgar C. Shepherd served on the Council for 34 years, during which time he was elected to the Literature, Press and Broadcasting Committee, 1954-72; the Standing Committee, 1954-72; and the Publications Committee, 1971-81. He was both a church chorister and a bell-ringer for more than 70 years, Master of the St. Martin’s Guild 1959-62, and a Vice-President of the Salisbury D.G., 1971-86. He was renowned for his publications and peal compositions, particularly of Grandsire Caters.

Liaison work with the Publications Committee in respect of microfilming all the biography sheets, and also of preparing a book on famous ringers, for the Central Council’s centenary year, is proceeding.

There has been a poor response from the affiliated societies to the request for biographical notes of non-members of the Central Council.”

Commenting on the last paragraph, Mr. Cook said that, as Librarian of the College Youths, he had found it impossible to decide which of over a thousand members, past and present, of that society would be the most appropriate candidates.

The report was adopted, and a committee of six - Mrs. C. Higby (Ladies’) and Messrs. Dawson, Eisel (Honorary), R.A. Grant (Surrey), R.J. Johnston (Yorkshire) and Lock - elected. Mrs. Barnett (Honorary) was also proposed, but declined to stand, although she said she would be willing to help the committee.


Mr. W.T. Cook proposed the report, adding that work was progressing, albeit slowly, on Part I of the Catalogue, which would be a significant improvement on its predecessor; since that had been published the Library had virtually doubled in size. Extra shelving had now been provided to hold the stock.

“During the year, the preparation of the revised edition of Library Catalogue Part I has made good progress. The catalogue has been largely re-written, and in some sections reorganised, in the light of research since the 1979 edition was published. David House has kindly agreed to process this revised text so as to prepare it for publication.

Apart from this, it has been a comparatively quiet year for the Committee and for the Library. A pleasing feature has been the increased contact with Librarians of Associations and Guilds, several of whom we have been able to help with valuations of their libraries, and in other ways. It would appear that territorial associations are becoming increasingly aware of the value of having a library as a central repository for their books and archives, which can also provide a lending source for their members.

The finances of the Friends of the Library showed a healthy excess of income over expenditure. This year (1987) some of this money will be needed in connection with the new catalogue, and a further programme of rebinding is contemplated. In 1986, purchases of new titles for the library cost just over £100, and provided ten of the sixty new acquisitions during the year. As a result of last year’s report, the Library was given copies of the Central Council ‘Rung Surprise etc.’ collections for 1974, 75, 77 and 79, and of two other past Council publications, leaving only the 1962 and 1964 editions of the ‘Beginners Handbook’ and the 1978 ‘Rung Surprise etc.’ to complete this part of the collection. The Council archives were extended by the receipt of Education Committee correspondence etc. from 1972 to 1985. A valuable and welcome gift from Canon K.W.H. Felstead was a bound volume of the journals ‘Campanology’ (1896/7) and ‘The Bellringer’ (1907). To all donors of items for inclusion in the Library we are of course extremely grateful.

Once again, too, we have to thank all those who have contributed current and back numbers of local newsletters, and the 25 Associations who let us have copies of their annual reports, as well as those who gave us old reports to fill gaps in our collection.

The number of borrowings from the Library and requests for information remained about the same as in the previous year. There was again a small increase in the number of ‘Friends of the Library’, which at the end of the year stood at 73, including 27 Guilds/Associations with corporate membership.”

After Mr. D.E. House (Honorary) had seconded, Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire) urged the Committee to consider the question of a long-term home for the collection, which was unique and irreplaceable. It would need to bear in mind both security and accessibility, and could report back next year. Mr. Wilby suggested that the Committee might also encourage Associations to establish and build up their own collections; there was a great deal of valuable material about, much of it in danger of being lost.

Mr. Cook agreed that the location of the Library should be kept under review, but noted that the present arrangement provided optimum access for those wanting to make use of what was available. Replying to Mr. Wilby’s point, he said that this as indeed seen as an important aspect of the Committee’s work. Some approaches had already been made, and some 40 Association libraries of various kinds had been identified.

There being no comments on the Accounts of the Friends of the Library, the report was then adopted. The Hon. Librarian is ex officio chairman of the Library Committee, which was completed by the election of Miss J. Sanderson and Messrs. A.F. Burley (Truro), House, and D.J. Jones (Peterborough).


The report was proposed by Mr. C.J. Groome, and seconded by Mr. Taylor.

“1986 was the year in which the hard work of the Committee’s first two years began to come to fruition, although too late to be reflected in the sales and financial results, which were very similar to those of 1985. However the finances were further strengthened, putting the Committee in a very good position to fund the substantial reprint and new publication programme it undertook in the second half of the year.

Reprints during the year were: Doubles and Minor for Beginners, Change Ringing on Handbells, Teach Yourself Handbells cassette, Belfry Warning notices, and Place Notation. New publications were: Doubles Collection Part II, Organising Bell Restoration Projects, Triples and Major for Beginners, the Spliced Minor Collection, and information cards for the Bell Restoration Funds and Towers and Belfries committees. ‘Rung Surprise etc.’ was again published, but was unfortunately not available in time for the Council meeting.

At the end of the year work in hand included a reprint of Easily Remembered Service Touches, an updated version of the Council’s Rules, Rounds to Bob Doubles, and Volume I of the Ringing History Project, one of the Committee’s biggest undertakings to date.

The Committee embarked on a thorough review of the publication requirements of the Exercise. Apart from inviting other Council committees to take on new projects, it has encouraged outside authors to come forward with ideas and texts, in appropriate cases linked with outside commercial publishers. Work in preparation at the year end included: Ringers’ Atlas, Bellringer’s Bedside Companion, a children’s book ‘Louise and James go Ringing’, So You want to be a Bob Caller, Rope Splicing, Collection of Plain Methods, Collection of Principles, Ringing World Peal Compositions, Belfry Maintenance Schedule, BASIC Ringing Programs, a revised Towers and Bells Handbook, Treasurer’s Handbook, Conducting Stedman, and a tape to accompany Judging Striking Competitions. In addition the Committee has discussed with the Education Committee ways in which the Beginners Handbook could be changed and made more marketable in the face of stiff competition.

A disappointment was the lack of progress with Biographies of Famous Ringers/ Great Ringers of the Past. The information held by the Biographies Committee is limited in coverage and depth, and the existing members have not felt able to initiate the research needed to produce a worthwhile book. It is hoped that new blood will be found to put some life into this project.

Major factors in pricing the Council’s publications include the need to cover overheads such as advertising, storage and distribution, as well as printing and postage costs. Furthermore some publications are a service to the Exercise and will never recover their coats. Others must therefore carry a sufficient margin to compensate. However as a result of the fall in inflation and its strong financial position, the Committee was able to freeze prices for 1987, and has curtailed advertising costs by reducing the insertion of the full price list in The Ringing World to once a month (on the first Friday).

Following the failure of the distribution of £5 vouchers to nearly 200 Districts and Branches to produce a significant number of new bulk purchases (only half-a-dozen were redeemed), the Committee has made a limited period offer of a 50% discount on bulk purchases in a renewed effort to shake grass roots ringing organisations from the apathy which seems to grip too many of them. We hope to report better success this time at Coventry. The other promotional innovation is to sell the Ringing History Project at a discount on a prepaid subscription basis. The results of this will be reported at Coventry, when Volume I is due to be launched.

With so many good new publications on the market or in the pipeline, 1987 should be the best year ever for Central Council Publications. We thank all those who have helped to bring this triennium to such a successful conclusion.”

Mr. Groome said that many of the new publications promised in last year’s report had now appeared, although illness at the printers meant that he had available only an advance copy of Volume I of the new history of ringing. There had been 732 advance orders for the book, which was most encouraging and had made it necessary to increase the print order. He commented particularly on the difficulties mentioned in the report’s penultimate paragraph and in reply to Mr. Cheesman - who said that he had found no evidence of any vouchers being received within the Surrey Association - said that 180-plus had been sent from the Ringing World office to the secretaries listed in the Ringers Diary. This year’s special offer had been taken up by some 30 people, he added.

He finished by saying that neither he nor Mr. Taylor would be seeking re-election to the Committee, and thanked all those who had made Central Council Publications such a thriving concern in recent years.

Mr. D.T. Sim (Carlisle) asked whether the Committee would consider producing a code of practice for those installing anything in belfries, but was referred to the Towers & Belfries Committee. The report was then adopted without further comment.

A committee of seven was then elected by ballot, those elected being Miss L.H.M. Boyle (Ely), Miss J. Sanderson and Messrs S.J. Coleman (Surrey), W.J. Couperthwaite (Guildford), Johnston, D.J. Jones (Peterborough) and D.G. Thorne (Honorary). The unsuccessful nominee was Mr. J.R. Pratt (Guildford).


There being no questions on the Publications Fund accounts, the adoption of the Council’s Accounts was then proposed by the Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, seconded by Mr. Groome, and agreed.

Public Relations

The Committee’s report, proposed by Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) and seconded by Mr. H. Rogers, provoked lengthy discussion.

The former drew particular attention to the coming retirement of Joy Eldridge (mentioned in the third paragraph), drawing applause when he thanked her for her work, and said that the idea of acquiring a ring of mobile bells was effectively dead - in spite of a suggestion that a ring might be installed in a double-decker bus (laughter). Mr. Rogers said that he would be delighted to help any Association wanting to mount a display, but said that adequate notice was essential.

“The PROs Conference held in the crypt of St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, EC2, on Holy Saturday, March 29th 1986, was a success, bringing together many Association PROs to discuss Public Relations as can be practised at local level. By noting the criticism of holding such an event on such a day, it has not been possible to find a suitable date in the early part of 1987. The next conference will, therefore, have to take place later in the year.

The Committee, through Harold Rogers, organised or assisted with numerous exhibitions during the year and additional display equipment and material is being purchased to meet the demand.

The press cuttings activity continues, centred on the Ringing World office - cuttings passing to the C.C. Library via York. This office remains a most important contact and liaison point between the ringing Exercise and the general public. David Thorne and Joy Eldridge do a considerable amount of general liaison work to the benefit of PR and ringing generally which goes far beyond the call of RW duties, and they deserve our repeated thanks.

‘Foundry Focus’ has caused some lively comment during the year, and even cost David House a bottle from his extensive wine cellar! The articles are intended to encourage bell restoration by regularly reporting the amount of work being completed by the founders and not to replace another publication as has been suggested!

The usual volume of requests for advice and assistance with filming projects or with other assorted topics were dealt with during the year. David Potter has produced and distributed another selection of ‘give-aways’ - this time a range of first peal/quarter and long service certificates.

The lists of church officials are up to date and Angela Newing has been asked during the year to supply information on such items as faculties, Archdeacons’ certificates, the Bell Restoration Committee’s mailing for its Northampton seminar, and how to structure a public appeal for funds. Angela is also the Committee’s representative on the working party set up by the Administrative Committee to consider the Council’s position with regard to the Council for the Care of Churches and its Code of Practice.

‘Church Bells on Sunday’ has become a ‘hot’ item since its scheduled time has been advanced to 6.50 a.m. Philip Corby will be making representations to the BBC on behalf of the Committee.

The considerable energy put into the Overseas Liaison function by Fred Dukes is evidenced again this year in the Overseas Report which will as usual be published in ‘The Ringing World’. Contact with those overseas can never have been greater than it is under Fred’s stewardship.

The Committee has been invited to take part in the Bell Restoration Seminar in 1987 and the Chairman has been given the unenviable task of dealing with the awkward questions in the session on ‘Making it happen: getting PCC approval’

The Expo bells have been sold to Australia, the tower now being in unusable condition. Enquiries have been made into the possibility of designing a new portable tower to take a light ring of eight. A price in the region of £20,000 may be expected, so unless a donor is found or a proposal made for funding little further progress can be expected.

The PROs Handbook project has come to a halt. The document needs to be re-evaluated, having grown as a concept into a major publication, and a writer found to undertake a substantial part of the production. There is a need for the talents of a writer to undertake several other PR productions/information sheets, etc. and Council might bear this in mind when electing the new committee.”

Mr. D. Bleby (ANZAB) caused laughter by greeting members with a broad “G’dye”, but then went on to bring greetings to the Council from the ringers of Australia and New Zealand. After describing some of the difficulties faced by ringers there, he thanked English ringers for their support to the Hobart Bell Fund appeal. Some £6,000 had been donated, by a great number of ringers, and the bells will be dedicated early in 1988. He also thanked those involved in the recent very successful visit to Australia, the value of which would be long-lasting, and said that next year’s tours were keenly anticipated.

Mr. Barnes commented on the need for a skilled author. The restorations at Peterborough and Coventry - appreciation of which should he felt be minuted - had given a great impetus to PR, and he was aware of two large-circulation magazines (This England and Heritage) which would welcome articles on ringing and bell-restoration. A suitable author should if necessary be commissioned, he felt.

Canon Orland asked Mr. Corby if he would comment on his dealings with the BBC over Church Bells on Sunday. Mr. Corby was pessimistic about achieving any change; the Corporation was autonomous, and although relations with the Religious Affairs department were fostered as much as possible - he had been able to get the Christmas Bells programme restored to its original length - he doubted whether any formal Central Council resolution would have any effect. The BBC had already found that less tapes of ringing were being submitted for inclusion in the programme. Mr. D.J. Jones suggested it would be more productive to concentrate on local radio and TV companies.

Mr. W. Butler (Oxford) asked for more information on the displays mentioned, and enquired what had become of the ringing films held by the Committee. On the first point, Mr. H. Rogers said that 14 or 15 displays had been mounted in 1986, and 8 so far this year. The original material produced by the Education Committee had been expanded, using frames that had been donated. But it would be very useful to be have double sets of some material, and more importantly to have it all mounted on lightweight and standard metric sized frames. These were likely to cost about £1,000, and details were being investigated.

Mr. Potter said that the films were now both dated and had effectively reached the end of their usable life. While the BBC had no objection to a video copy being made of ‘This Ringing Isle’, it could not agree to such a copy being hired out; and it was too expensive to make film copies. The films were consequently no longer advertised, although they were available for hire on request.

The loss of the Expo bells was raised by Mr. Peachey, and Mr. Cooles said that he had been in touch with their owner. It seemed that they would not after all be going to Australia, but their ultimate fate remained undecided. Mr. H. Rogers said that the structure and fittings had been very badly worn and needed redesigning and replacing; and Mr. P.J. Tremain (Truro) wondered whether the Council might afford to buy its own ring. Mr Wilby asked whether Council members thought expenditure on a portable tower to be reasonable; if they did, the committee could investigate the possibilities, but to do so would entail considerable work. On a straw poll there was a balance in favour of the idea, and the President said that the Committee and the Officers would bear this in mind.

After the report had then been adopted, nine members were elected to the committee: the Revd. L. Yeo (Devonshire G), Dr. A. Newing, and Messrs. Corby, Dukes, House, H.W. Rogers, Potter, D.G. Thorne and Wilby.


“The Committee met three times in 1986.

The publications ‘Triples & Major for Beginners’ and ‘Teaching Rounds to Bob Doubles Inside’ were completed during the year, and the former was published by the Publications Committee. Preparation continued of ‘Conducting Stedman’, ‘So You Want to be a Bob-Caller?’, a recruiting package, a general interest film strip and a handout for theological college students entitled ‘Bells in Your Care’ (now completed). A collection of quarter-peals, an elementary publication on change ringing on handbells, ‘Hymns and Prayers for Ringers’, ‘Ringing Quizzes’, and a leaflet on the keeping of financial records are further titles in preparation.

The Committee recognises that the style of writing and presentation of educational publications is a vital factor in getting the message across - as evidenced by the great success of some private publications in recent years. The Committee hopes to revise the Beginners’ Handbook when it needs reprinting in two or three years and would welcome comments on its future style from C.C. representatives (for convenience, to the Chairman in writing, please).

The seventh annual Ringing School was held in July at Hadlow in Kent by kind invitation of the Kent County Association. Thanks are due to the many Kent ringers who assisted with the school’s organisation in many ways, and provided practical help at the tower sessions.

The main tuition as always was entitled ‘Teaching and Leadership in Ringing’, and various Guilds/Associations once again sponsored students to join this group. Other practical groups, ranging from Surprise Royal to Bob Doubles, were also available. About 70 students thoroughly enjoyed themselves in a learning environment. The 1987 School is again at Hadlow, from 24 to 26 July.

The Committee inaugurated a new venture in 1986, with the first ‘National Seminar on the Teaching of Ringing’, held at Northampton on 4 October. The seminar’s topic was the organisation and content of courses, either one-day or residential.

Nearly fifty people attended and enjoyed an intensive day’s structured discussion. The day was generally considered to have achieved its objectives, and a second one is arranged for the same venue on 17 October 1987, when the seminar will consider ‘Introducing Change Ringing’. A good deal of attention has been given in recent years to the teaching of bell control and handling, but the equally important area of the stages from rounds through call changes to Plain Hunt and Plain Bob have been comparatively neglected. The seminar will discuss teaching in this area.

Various members of the Committee gave talks to various groups during the year, and two assisted with a one-day course run by the Norwich Diocesan Association.

The national survey into the state of ringing in 1972 indicated to the Education Committee of the day the need for a number of basic educational books on ringing. The Committee set itself the task of preparing these, and over the following decade this has been essentially its main task.

The Committee widened its scope seven years ago by starting its residential Ringing School, which is now a regular feature of the annual courses’ calendar. In doing so the Committee recognised that directly educating potential tower captains and ringing masters how to carry out their teaching and leadership tasks effectively was an extremely valuable way of influencing ringers and ringing in the country. Effective teaching at the foundation level is more likely to lead to the achievement of greater heights later on, and to the longer retention of a ringer at the prime task in the Exercise - Sunday Service ringing.

As a continuation of widening its scope, the Committee is encouraging all Guilds/Associations to have their own education committees or officers.

The Committee would like to get out into the field more and promote teaching there. The members are offering their services to come and give talks or lead discussions or give demonstrations on (say) teaching bell handling to Guilds/Associations or to groups of ringers within them, e.g. at a special branch meeting, or on a training day.

C.C. representatives are asked please to bring these offers to the notice of their Guilds/Associations.

The Committee has also recognised for many years the need to promote education in other ways than the written word. Records, tapes and films have been produced in the past. Video is now becoming the main visual medium, and although the Committee is inexperienced in video preparation techniques at the moment, a video on bell handling is being planned as a first venture. New technology must be embraced to present educational ideas. The use of computers needs critical evaluation. C.C. representatives are asked to let the Committee have their views on what they consider is needed.

Early in the year Bill Butler resigned as Committee chairman after 11 years because of work pressures following a change of job. The other members, both past and present, are very grateful to him for his vision and leadership over the years and welcomed his remaining with them on the Committee.”

Before moving the report’s adoption, Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth) updated a number of points: ‘Rounds to Bob Doubles’ was now available; copies of Malcolm Tyler’s leaflet for theological colleges had been given to Council members; there were still vacancies on the teaching and leadership in ringing group on the October course at Hadlow; and the 1988 and 1989 courses would be held at Pershore College of Horticulture, with the assistance of the Worcester & District Association.

The Committee had been clearing its backlog of work, giving the new committee an opportunity to investigate, in particular, the use of video as a teaching aid. Finally, he thanked Bill Butler and George Morris, who were retiring from the committee, for their work (applause).

Seconding, Mr. Charles commented that there had so far been no reaction from Associations to the notification of the October course. Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth) asked that as much notice as possible be given to Associations of anything entailing expenditure; he was sure his own society was not the only one where financial decisions could be made only by the Executive Committee.

There were nine nominations for the eight places it was agreed should comprise the new committee. Mr. S.D. Pettman (Suffolk) was unsuccessful, those elected being Messrs. Cater, Charles, S.J. Coleman (Surrey), P.T. Hurcombe (Sussex), N.R. Mattingley (Hereford), D.E. Parsons (Guildford), R.A. Thorne (Oxford), and J.M. Tyler.

Peal Compositions

There were no comments on the report, whose adoption was proposed by Mr. R.C. Kippin (ASCY). Mr. Kippin said that the book of RW 1986 peal compositions was now on sale; and, contrary to the last paragraph of the report, no further committee meeting had in fact been held. He said that Mr. R.W. Pipe was no longer on the Council, and Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood did not seek re-election to the Committee. He was seconded by Mr. P. Border (Coventry).

“The third year of a triennium is inevitably one of consolidation rather than of initiation. Thus our energies have largely gone into projects started in the previous two years and, in one case, in a previous triennium.

The Spliced Minor collection finally reached its customers in March some nine months after the final text was passed to the Publications Committee. Whilst we are very pleased to see the collection completed, it is disappointing that it took so long to be printed, and eventually appeared without its preface. It is thus right that our thanks should be recorded here to Bob Hardy, no longer a member of the Council, Harold Chant, and David Beard, who were largely responsible for its compilation and production. It is worth mentioning that since the text will continue to be held on our micro, adding and editing material for a future version of the collection should prove much simpler than the compilation of this one.

Compositions have continued to appear regularly in The Ringing World, 168 having been published in 1986. The total includes 41 generated by the ‘month’ peal series. All compositions published are now prepared on the micro and independently computer proved. Our thanks are due to those who carry out this latter task, particularly those who are not Council members. The Publications Committee have agreed to publish the 1986 compositions as a booklet; it is hoped to have this on sale by the Council meeting. It is intended that this should become a regular feature.

We have made less progress than we would have liked on some other projects, the ‘general purpose’ compositions (a successor to Wratten’s Collection), the historical development of Spliced compositions, and also the system of indexing our data base. Work is being done but inevitably much will have to be handed over to the incoming Committee in the summer.

Preliminary discussions have been held with the Methods and Publications committees with a view to greater co-operation over future collections of methods and compositions. We are also assisting The Ringing World by providing and checking material for the Ringers’ Diary.

The Committee has met once since the last Council meeting and a further meeting is planned before the next Council.”

A new Committee of six - Dr. D.W. Beard and Messrs. Border, H. Chant (Honorary), A.J. Cox (Bristol University), Kippin, and P. Sanderson (London University) - was elected, Mr. J. McDonald (St. Martin’s) being unsuccessful in the ballot.

Computer Coordination

“The register of computer users has been circulated to everyone on it. Registration forms are being sent to other ringers known to be interested in computing.

A list of published articles on ringing and computers has been produced. It is hoped to publish this list in The Ringing World.

Geoff Dodd’s booklet on Basic Computer Ringing is being typed into a word processor, from which a camera ready copy will be produced.

The Committee was asked to computerise a list of record length peals so that this could be published from time to time. The Records Committee has been asked to provide the information.

We reconsidered the question of which home microcomputer to recommend for ringing purposes. Most ringing software is available for the BBC ‘B’ and Spectrum, but the former may be difficult to obtain now. The BBC Master 128 with spread-sheet and word processing packages is a good replacement and should be obtainable for around £400. The Amstrad PC is a good buy but has little ringing software available as yet.

We believe that the Central Council should purchase its own word processing system, for use by its officers and committees. A proposal along these lines will be submitted to the next Administrative Committee meeting.”

The report was adopted on the proposition of Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG), seconded by Mr. M. Thomson (Chester). Dr. Pett said that Mr. Dodd’s text was being proof-read before going to the Publications Committee, and that it seemed possible that a Council word-processor would, if purchased, be held at the Ringing World office. Mr. J.R. Taylor, who had been a member of the Committee for many years, and had for a long time been its chairman, was not seeking re-election, and he thanked him for his contribution (applause).

Mr. P.Q. Armitage (Oxford University) noted that there were now two versions available of the Amstrad PC, and recommended the allegedly IBM-compatible version, the PC 1512, as the better of the two. Dr. Pett agreed that computer hardware was developing very quickly, and the new committee would need to review the current situation. The report was then adopted.

There were only five nominations for the committee - Dr. Pett and Messrs. J. Cheesman (Surrey), P. Church (Beverley), G. Dodds (Hertford) and Thomson - and they were duly elected.

Peals Analysis

Moving the adoption of the report, Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford) said that it contained one mistake - 21 peals had not in fact been rung at St. Margaret’s, Leicester, as stated - and he was in touch with Canon Felstead to discover the correct figure. He thanked two past members of the Committee who were no longer on the Council, Messrs. T.F. Collins and D.C. Brown, for their work. (Mr. A.P. Smith later remarked that Rule 13(vi) allowed a committee to set up a panel of consultants, which would enable it to continue to make use of their services if it wished.)


We have recorded a total of 4,887 peals rung in 1986, of which 4,455 were on tower bells and 432 on handbells. The overall total is the highest ever, being 33 more than in 1977, the previous record year. Compared with 1985, tower bell peals have risen by 345, the principal increases being in peals of Major (+ 241) and Minor (+ 91). While the Minor increase merely redresses the balance of a particularly low total in 1985, the 2,132 peals of Major are over 200 more than ever before.

Handbell peals, 32 more than in 1985, continue to rise from their low point in 1984 (362), the main increases this year being in peals of Major and Maximus. The Minor total (51) is, however, the lowest for at least 20 years, whereas the Major total is only 9 fewer than the highest in that period.

After four years as leading society, the Yorkshire Association with 238 peals has fallen to third place. The Oxford DG leads with 261 peals and the Lancashire Association comes second with 243. Congratulations to the Hereford DG on ringing 128 peals in its centenary year, the first time that is total has exceeded 100.

While numbers of peals in the traditional ‘standard eight’ Surprise Major methods have remained much the same in recent years, there has been a notable increase in peals in single Surprise Major methods other than the standard 8, which at 591 are 200 more than two years ago. This year’s increase of 153 is of course partly due to the number of bands which took up the challenge of the ‘Month’ series.

We are pleased to record that all 1986 peals appear to comply with the Council’s Decisions relating to peal ringing.

We noted only one peal which would not have complied if it had been rung prior to the changes agreed at the 1986 Council meeting.

The Committee met once during the year - in February to finalise our records for 1986 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 1985

Fourteen21- 1
Sextuples1-- 1
Maximus227219- 81323+ 10
Cinques101117+ 16128- 4
Royal415419+ 47377+ 4
Royal/Caters21- 1
Caters1781782925- 4
Major18912132+241186237+ 51
Major/Triples1-- 1
Triples292305+ 1385- 3
Minor768859+ 916451- 13
Minor/Doubles27+ 5
Doubles225210- 15125- 7

41104455+345400432+ 32

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

Oxford Diocesan Guild21447261
Lancashire Association2358243
Yorkshire Association21919238
Leicester Diocn. Guild20514219
Gloucester & Bristol DA1843187
Essex Association15911170
Lincoln Diocesan Guild1616167
Chester Diocesan Guild11941160
Ely Diocesan Association1476153
Suffolk Guild1491150

Compared with 1985, three societies (Essex A, Chester DG, and Ely DA) enter this list, and one, the Derby DA, has dropped out. Eleven other societies, including the Derby DA, rang over 100 peals in 1986.

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 603 first pealers in 1986 (563 in 1985) and 66 firsts as conductor (63 in 1985).


Peals were rung in 1,755 towers (1,714 in 1985), in 13 of which it was the first peal on the bells. The following 51 towers had ten or more peals, totalling 955 peals altogether:

Loughboro’ Foundry53
Birmingham Cath.38
Maidstone, All Ss27
Leicester, St Mary de Castro21
Barrow Gurney20
Burton Latimer19
South Wigston18
East Farleigh17
Stourbridge, St Thos17
West Ham17
Worcester, All Ss15
14-Bedford (St. Paul), Bushey, Daventry, Leicester Cathedral, Moulton (Northants), Nottingham (St. Peter)
13-Boston (Advent), Burley, Evesham, *Ilford, Ipswich (St. Mary-le-Tower), Windsor (St. John)
12-Accrington, *Bilston, Bristol Cathedral, Staveley, Trumpington
10-*Brentwood, Cadoxton, Farnworth, Grundisburgh, Lincoln Cathedral, *Llanfeugan, *Melbourne (Derbys), *Pattingham, *Stockton-on-Tees, Bow (London)

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

During the year Meldreth and Shoreditch each had its 600th peal and Maidstone, All Saints, and Netherton each had its 400th.There are now 32 towers with more than 400 peals, and by contrast some 380 unpealed towers.


Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1985 appear in brackets. Single S. = single Surprise method other than those listed.
Cambridge S.68(49)10( 7)
Single S.43(54)2( 1)
Bristol S.37(38)1( 2)
Yorkshire S.34(41)1( 1)
Spliced S.15(28)0( 0)
Stedman95( 78)7(11)
Grandsire17( 18)1( 1)
Single S.116(115)6(10)
Yorkshire S.75( 77)4( 1)
Cambridge S.74( 72)13(12)
London S.59( 54)12( 5)
Spliced S.31( 33)9( 4)
Bristol S.33( 24)3( 6)
Plain Bob22( 31)11(12)
Kent/Oxford T.B.2( 2)14(11)
Stedman90( 81)10(15)
Grandsire78( 88)15(14)
Single S.591(448)31(16)
Spliced S.410(355)26(27)
Plain Bob185(148)64(46)
Yorkshire S.202(193)17(21)
Cambridge S.132(146)9( 5)
Bristol S.113(122)10( 5)
London S.86( 91)8( 8)
Rutland S.87( 85)6( 2)
Lincolnshire S.84( 73)8( 2)
Superlative S.59( 59)2( 3)
Double Norwich70( 55)3( 4)
Kent/Oxford T.B.15( 22)39(33)
Pudsey S.45( 34)2( 1)
Single Delight17( 19)0( 3)
Grandsire116(126)5( 6)
Stedman113(107)0( 2)
Plain Bob58( 46)0( 0)
2-6 methods217(199)9(17)
7 methods238(225)5( 6)
8+ methods151(121)5( 9)
Plain Bob114(131)20(21)
Cambridge S.65( 57)4( 8)
Single S.29( 21)1( 1)
2+ methods157(168)2( 9)
Stedman22( 29)0( 2)
Grandsire14( 20)1( 0)
Plain Bob14( 7)2( 1)

Peals of Note

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

Corrections to the 1985 Analysis

Changes to the 1985 peal totals arising from the late publication of and corrections to peals after the submission of our report for 1985 are summarised below. All are tower bell peals.

Lichfield Archdeaconry S - Major -1; St. Martins G - Triples +1; S Sherwood Youths - Major -1; Southwell DG - Triples +2; Non-Association - Major +1, Triples -2.

There is no change to the total number of peals rung in 1985.


A Soc College Yths111661220521     4121   73881
Australia & NZ A1 1 942        11   17219
Bath & Wells DA33945211229  1     1   1141115
Bedfordshire A4151243223            63 63
Beverley & Dist S    14 14             28 28
Cambridge Univ G 1 1712 1           13 13
Carlisle DG  111321             18 18
Chester DG945 643311  2 4 13 19 5 11941160
Coventry DG 2621739             39 39
S R Cumberland Yth927111 2         2   32234
Derby DA2 284718133      326   12911140
G Devonshire Rs 142539202            91 91
Durham & Newc DA4382378182          3 82385
Durham Univ S    1               1 1
E Derbys/W Notts A      1             1 1
E Grinstead & Dis G    1               1 1
Ely DA5 84927229    1 2 3   1476153
Essex A2 62932504        7 4 15911170
Glos & Bristol DA7827393112213        3   1843187
Guildford DG2135348212  1     1   77178
Hereford DG1  219835301   1 2128   9632128
Hertford CA1134372271      5119 1 7626102
Irish A1   1               2 2
Kent CA41252647245 1          133 133
Lancashire A82191014311356  1   1   342358243
Leeds Univ S  1 2 1             4 4
Leicester DG1067121392371    2 7 5   20514219
Lichfield Archd S1 31041924         12 5 8817105
Lincoln DG89223594497        5 1 1616167
Liverpool Univ S1     1             2 2
Llandaff & Mon DA1 45169103  1         49 49
London CA4422433661            80 80
Manchester Univ G  1                 1 1
Middlesex CA1 54436101      10 26 1 7037107
Midland Cs G   23 21          1 819
N American G  552277    1  4223 5 463581
N Staffs A 12325372          1 43144
N Wales A    2               2 2
Norwich DA  23188371  1  1 145511702797
Oxford DG11 25811220362    8 13122 3 21447261
Oxford Soc5121332             17 17
Oxford Univ S  1 12 4           1 17118
Peterborough DG221055034511            128 128
St David’s DG     11             2 2
St Martin’s G34128127531        3   91394
Salisbury DG  1217437            34 34
Scottish A  1 4111      1 1 1 8311
S Sherwood Yths    1               1 1
Shropshire A 1  2               3 3
Southwell DG821244733094     3 3   1196125
Suffolk G656232658322       1   1491150
Surrey A1 215385            25 25
Sussex CA 333306266          1 77178
Swansea & Brecon DG    212             5 5
Truro DG  13211364            48 48
Univ Bristol S13  2 2             8 8
Univ London S1 3 4 3       1     11112
Winch &' P’mth DG32725013297        3 5 1138121
Worcs & Dist A54212641072            106 106
Yorkshire A15629513191410      2 8 9 21919238
Central Council  1 1               2 2
Non-affiliated socs104401310211163    527122   19937236
Non-Association17620340572    212 7   10012112

After Mr. D. Frith (Lincoln) had seconded the reports adoption, the President commented approvingly on the number of first pealers referred to in the ‘Peals of Note’ section of the report, and congratulated those concerned. The report was then adopted.

A Committee of seven was then declared elected, there being only seven nominees: the Revd. L.R. Pizzey (Suffolk), Drs. D.H. Niblett (Kent) and Pett, and Messrs. Cheesman, Frith, C.H. Rogers, and O.C.R. Webster (Essex)


The Records Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY) and seconded by Mr. House:

“A. First peals on tower bells
Jan15056Jimwell Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
15184Tockenham Surprise MajorSalisbury DG
15088Wanstead Surprise MajorSt. James’ G
45152Bucklebury Delight MajorOxford DG
45024Yelverton Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
65184Zealous Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
105152Ugborough Surprise MajorEly DA
115056Ewen Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
115024Mashbury Surprise MajorEssex A
115040Stockwell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
135040Isis MajorOxford Univ. Soc
175152Torquay Surprise MajorEly DA
185040Brickwell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
235152Ingleborough Delight MajorOxford DG
255152Fressingfield Surprise MajorSuffolk G
285056Bournemouth Surprise MajorEly DA
Feb15040Butterwell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
55184Ferrum Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
65076Halley Alliance MaximusSt Martin’s G
75184Alvediston Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
75184Chilbrook Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
85056Ealing Little Surprise RoyalMiddx CA & London DG
85040Shutwell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
95040Sowerby Delight RoyalDronoldore Soc
155088Vertis Surprise MajorYorkshire A
155040Supewell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
185056Weymouth Surprise MajorEly DA
225056Haydon Wick Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
225088Westhorpe Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
225000Promethium Surprise RoyalSouthwell DG
Mar15152Eton Delight MajorMiddx CA & London DG
15024Mulbarton Surprise MajorChester DG
15088Tovius Surprise MajorYorkshire A
15040Middlewell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
45088Selworthy Surprise MajorEly DA
45040Horsleydown Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
75056Northumberland Surprise MajorEly DA
85184Zeus Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
125152Cuprum Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
145120Giotto Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
145152Oswestry Surprise MajorEly DA
185056Mexico Surprise MajorLancashire A
185056Tamerton Surprise MajorEly DA
215088Little Bectone Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
225024Mogador Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
265152Hydrargyrum Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
315024Goatacre Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
Apr15040Carlisle Surprise RoyalSoc R. Cumberland Youths
55152Gressenhall Surprise MajorEly DA
55056Xadier Surprise MajorGuild of Devonshire Ringers
55040Scarletwell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
65040Ipsfield Surprise RoyalYorkshire A
75280Ultraviolet Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
125088Finchingfield Surprise MajorEssex A
125184Offton Little Surprise MajorSuffolk G
125040Idmiston Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
125040Nethermoor Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
155056Cuba Surprise MajorLancashire A
175152Jupiter Treble Bob MajorOxford DG
195088Mixbury Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
195000Yarburgh Surprise RoyalSouthwell DG
225056Strontium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
285000Dumfries Surprise RoyalYorkshire A
295184Krokodilopolis Surprise MajorSouthwell DG
295152Yeovilton Surprise MajorEly DA
May25040East Haddon Surprise RoyalPeterborough DG
35000Old Sarum Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
55056Imber Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
95152Nuneaton Surprise MajorEly DA
105040New Coventry Surprise RoyalCoventry DG
115040Rotherham Treble Bob RoyalDronoldore Soc
215152Quarkonium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
245040Redditch Alliance MajorWorcs. & Districts A
265024Surrey Little Surprise RoyalCentral Council
275056Wisteria Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
285152Quatt Surprise MajorEly DA
315024Stepney Surprise MajorMiddx CA & London DG
315040Dropshort Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
June25088Egregious Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
35024Croydon Surprise MajorEly DA
45088Stibium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
185120Astatine Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
205056Ageratum Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
215088Weston Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
285040Quidhampton Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
295280Kidston Surprise MajorLancashire A
July25088Terbium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
55088Philip Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
115024Jupiter Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
145024Lynton Surprise MajorEly DA
175152Skiddaw Delight MajorOxford DG
195056Blaise Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
205280Ealdincburnan Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
225120Prince Andrew Delight MajorLancashire A
235184Eros Surprise MajorOxford DG
235088Sarah, Duchess of York, Delight MajorLancashire A
275088Sunday Surprise MajorSt. Martin’s G
285184Monday Surprise MajorSt. Martin’s G
305088Cerium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
305152Wednesday Surprise MajorSt. Martin’s G
315056Thursday Surprise MajorSt. Martin’s G
Aug15152Camborne Surprise MajorEly DA
15120Friday Surprise MajorSt. Martin’s G
25280Saturday Surprise MajorSt. Martin’s G
45120Foxton Surprise MajorEly DA
55024Tuesday Surprise MajorSt. Martin’s G
65120Forget-me-Not Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
125152Baldock Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
135152Gallium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
235152Cobblers Surprise MajorKent CA
265120Mesembryanthemum Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
305120Senomagus Surprise MajorYorkshire A
315152Sailly-Saillisel Surprise MajorSt. James’ G
Sep15088Holmes Delight MajorDronoldore Soc
25088Northumberland Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
35120Polonium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
55120Vibernum Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
65040Kilmeston Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
125024Carlisle Surprise MajorEly DA
265152Whittlesey Surprise MajorEly DA
275040Hoppersford Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
Oct35120Nemesia Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
45120Misbourne Delight MajorOxford DG
65088Xysys Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
115040Topwell Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
145120Abington Surprise MajorEly DA
185280Hallow Alliance MajorWorcestershire & Dists A
185088Blisworth Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
255088Biddlesden Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
255184Not Krokodilopolis Surprise MajorKent CA
255088Wallingford Surprise MajorOxford DG
275152Abney Park Surprise MajorNon-Association
285088Woolwich Surprise MajorEly DA
Nov15040Adstone Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
15040Avington Surprise RoyalOxford DG
45136Carlisle Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
55152Unnilhexium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
115024Quark Surprise MajorKent CA
135152Rothbury Surprise MajorLeicester DG
155024Fovant Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
175056Wandsworth Surprise MajorEly DA
185056Anglezarke Surprise MajorLancashire A
185152Arsenic Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
265056Newhey Surprise MajorLancashire A
295000Cornish Surprise RoyalWinchester & Portsmouth DG
Dec45152Highclere Delight MajorOxford DG
55088Netherstreet Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
55152Zephyranthes Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
65024Wimbledon Common Surprise MajorA. Soc of College Youths
65040Blakesley Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
75040Eastville Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
95024Oenothera Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
105184Vigornia Surprise MajorWorcs. & Dists A
115088Ratae Surprise MajorLeicester DG
135184Heanor Surprise MajorDerby DA
135090Elmodesham Surprise MaximusOxford DG
155088Shadwell Surprise MajorEly DA
175152Whitley Bay Surprise MajorLincoln DG
205024Almondsbury Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
205152Chesham Bois Surprise MajorOxford DG
205088Fulwell Surprise MajorSouth Northants Soc
275152Brading Surprise MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
275120Uffcott Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
275040Muscott Surprise RoyalSouth Northants Soc
305152Bismuth Surprise MajorBath & Wells DA
315152Radium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
B. First peals on handbells
Jan65184Rose of England Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
195024January Surprise MajorHereford DG
195280London Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
225152Amersham Surprise MajorOxford DG
Feb65040Lockington Surprise RoyalLeicester DG
165088February Surprise MajorHereford DG
165024Irwell Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
205088Danum Surprise MajorHereford DG
Mar235120March Surprise MajorHereford DG
Apr65184April Surprise MajorHereford DG
175088Nempnett Thrubwell Surprise MajorHereford DG
205040Sowerbine Treble Bob RoyalDronoldore Soc
225184Magormegakeggery Surprise MajorHereford DG
May45088May Surprise MajorHereford DG
June135152Elmodesham Surprise MajorSoc R Cumberland Youths
155088June Surprise MajorHereford DG
195088Kingswood Surprise MajorHereford DG
July135120July Surprise MajorHereford DG
205088Ewell Surprise MajorHereford DG
Aug105120August Surprise MajorHereford DG
125056Zelah Surprise MajorEssex A
Sep75120September Surprise MajorHereford DG
Oct235152October Surprise MajorHereford DG
Nov65088November Surprise MajorHereford DG
165184Queen Elizabeth Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
Dec45056December Surprise MajorHereford DG
C. Record peals on tower bells
Oct1114,784Bristol Surprise MaximusNon-Association
Nov811,418Erin CatersN. American G
D. Record peal on handbells
Nov2012,120Spliced Surprise Royal (4m)Leicester DG

At last year’s Council meeting the Records Committee was asked to prepare a report on the naming of new methods. There are two aspects to this, namely the amount of a method or principle required to be rung and the choice of the name.

It is not possible to define a method by less than a lead, and we would, therefore, suggest that this should be the minimum amount required to be rung in a peal to allow the band the right to name the method. This does not preclude the naming of methods rung for the first time in half-lead spliced peals, provided both halves of the lead are rung somewhere in the peal.

The choice of the name has given rise to much controversy over the years. We would ask bands naming new methods to give due consideration to the possible wishes of a local band to name a new method after its own tower, but as a Committee of five we have been quite unable to reach agreement on this point. The views range from one extreme of allowing anybody to object to a name, to the other extreme of not allowing any objections on the grounds that, for example, long enough has elapsed for local bands to name a method after their own tower. We cannot, therefore, make any recommendations on the choice of a name.”

Mr. Couperthwaite (Guildford) said that he had proposed the motion last year referred to at the end of the report. His Guild felt that the report did not adequately cover two aspects which had been of concern - leaving aside purely technical considerations, how much of a method should be rung before it could be named (was a mere 32 changes really sufficient?); and the time scale for reporting new methods. The names of the 500 method rung in the peal at Ely in 1983 had still not appeared in The Ringing World. The Guildford DG might wish to propose a motion on this at next year’s meeting.

Replying, Mr. Sibson said that the names of the Ely methods were included in the new Collection of Rung Surprise etc. that was on sale, and that it would be a waste of valuable space to list them all in The Ringing World.

Mr. Moreton asked whether Minor methods were included in the report, and when he was told that they were not, Prof. Johnston asked why. Mr. Sibson said that the committee had never been asked to do so (although Mr. Wratten maintained the necessary records on its behalf), and Mr. J.R. Mayne (Honorary) amplified this by saying that, historically, Minor names had always been based on that used in the first 720, not the first peal, rung in a method.

After the report had then been adopted, five members were proposed for membership of the new committee and elected. They were Messrs. F.T. Blagrove (Middx), D.J. Buckley (Bath & Wells), Mayne, Sibson, and Wratten.


“The Committee met twice during the year, at Winchester (RW p. 310) and at Reigate during the Council meeting.

Corrections and amendments to our publications up to the end of 1986 appeared in The Ringing World of 27 February 1987 (p. 188). A new service, inaugurated at the Council meeting, was the provision of regularly-updated leaflets containing all corrections and amendments, available from the Chairman on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope.

Our recommendations on the Decisions on peal ringing were proposed to the Council at Reigate and it was particularly gratifying that only a few members abstained from voting.

During the preparation of the ‘Collection of Plain Methods’, we became aware of some confusion in the naming of College type Royal and related twin-hunt Cinques methods. The notations of some methods had not been published, some methods had been rung with different names, and some methods had not been named in accordance with the ‘Report on Extension’. We are particularly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Ian North, Mr. Richard Parker, and Mr. Anthony Peake for their help in resolving these problems, and letters clarifying the position appeared in The Ringing World (1987, pp. 231 and 236). This work delayed the publication of the Collection but we are now hopeful that there are only minor points remaining.

The ‘Collection of Plain Minor Methods’ and the ‘Collection of Principles’ are now in draft and will be progressed after completion of the ‘Collection of Plain Methods’.

Other work has included providing advice to other Council committees and responding to queries about methods and method names.”

The report was proposed by Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth) - who said that corrections and amendments to the Doubles and Minor collections were now available - and seconded by Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary).

Mr. D.J. Jones pointed out that some Minor methods recently rung - Alliance methods, with the treble making places in 5-6 - had not been included; would they be in future? Mr. Smith said that, technically, such methods could be named only after having been rung in a peal, but the names already used would probably indeed be included for the record.

The report was adopted. A committee of six was then elected, the six nominees having been Messrs. Blagrove, P.L.H. Brooke (Cambridge University), P.D. Niblett (Oxford University), Sherwood, and A.P. Smith.


Mr. Wratten proposed, and Mrs. O.D. Barnett (Honorary) seconded, the committee’s report:

“The Committee has met twice since the Council meeting at Reigate to follow up actions arising from that meeting and in consultation with the President and Secretary of the Coventry DG, whom we were pleased to welcome in October, to agree arrangements for this year’s meeting in Coventry.

At its October meeting the committee commissioned three working groups. One, consisting of Mr. Freeman, two members of the Towers and Belfries, and one of the Public Relations, committees, with power to co-opt, was charged with maintaining contact with the Bells Sub-committee of the Council for the Care of Churches and to discuss with that body the interpretation of its Code of Practice.

The second consists of Messrs. J. Baldwin, Egglestone, Cater, Pett and a member of the Public Relations Committee, and is investigating the practicalities of conducting a survey of ringing within the British Isles. It was set up following an approach to the Committee from the Board of The Ringing World Ltd.

The work of both these groups, which is continuing, is mentioned in more detail in other committee reports.

A third group, lead by Ian Oram, has produced an updated report on insurance, a copy of which is attached and which is being published for a wider readership in The Ringing World. The Ringing World is also to carry a summary of Counsel’s Opinion on the implications for the Council and for individual ringing societies of the Data Protection Act. This was obtained for the Committee by Mr. Cartwright, and advises that individual societies do not need to register under the Act. The Council itself is however advised to do so, and this is in hand. Copies of the summary will be sent to affiliated societies.

The Committee also endorsed a proposal by the Publications and Bell Restoration Funds committees to circularise the PCCs of all churches in the U.K. with unringable peals, subject to prior consultation with appropriate affiliated societies. More information will be found in the reports of those committees.

In March, and following a number of exchanges with the officers of ANZAB and lengthy discussions, the Committee recommended to the Council’s Officers that the Council should make an ex gratia contribution towards the cost of the recent lecture tour of Australia by Dr. Baldwin and Messrs. R.B. Smith and G.W. Pipe that had been sponsored by ANZAB.”

Mr. Freeman pointed out that the working group mentioned in the report’s second paragraph had also been charged with preparing a draft Code of Practice. It needed the views of ringers for this work, and two letters asking for these had appeared in The Ringing World. There had so far been about a dozen very helpful replies, but he encouraged others to get in touch with him.

Referring to the report’s appendix on insurance (which had appeared in The Ringing World of April 24th), Mr. Halls said that he now understood that the disclaimer recommended for use on tower reports - that the advice was given in good faith, but no liability was accepted - had no legal validity. Preb. Scott said that he was not aware of this and would make enquiries. Mr. Peachey confirmed Mr. Hall’s understanding, saying that the point was generally covered by the Unfair Contracts Act, 1977, although each case stood on its own merits.

After Mr. Wratten had agreed, in response to a question from Mrs. Wilkinson, to include a list of the Committees members with future reports, the report was adopted.

Before going on to elect twelve members to the new committee, there was a break in proceedings in order to enable the other committees to elect their own chairmen, each of whom would be an ex officio member of the Administrative Committee.

At the end the Secretary reported that the following were the new chairmen:

BiographiesT.J. Lock
Bell Restoration FundsJ.S. Barnes
Computer CoordinationP. Church
EducationR. Cater
LibraryW.T. Cook
MethodsA.P. Smith
Peal CompositionsR.C. Kippin
Peals AnalysisC.H. Rogers
PublicationsW.J. Couperthwaite
Public RelationsA.W.R. Wilby
RecordsD.E. Sibson
Redundant BellsMrs M.J. Wilkinson
Towers & BelfriesJ.R. Taylor

A ballot was then necessary for the remaining places, there being 13 nominations. In this Mrs. Barnett was unsuccessful, those elected being Drs. Beard and Pett and Messrs. J. Armstrong (Essex), W.B. Cartwright (Life), Church, Cooles, Coleman, Freeman, Gray, House, Oram, and S.C. Walters (Cambridge University)

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

The Rescue Fund report and accounts were proposed by the Fund’s secretary, Mr. R.J. Cooles (Honorary) and seconded by its treasurer, Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary):

“1986 saw the completion of arrangements for the Fund to acquire the bells of St Stephen’s, Ealing, with the intention of rehanging them at Rotherhithe as part of a grander plan of bell transfers. In the end the respective churches’ time scales did not match, and by the end of the year negotiations were proceeding to sell the bells either to the English Church in The Hague or to St. Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen.

The Fund was also involved in the arrangements for safeguarding the bells of St Marks, Leicester, and their sale to Goulburn Cathedral, Canberra, Australia.

The future of the eights at Llanbradach and Hyde came into doubt and the Fund’s assistance was canvassed.

A last attempt was made without success to find any church or institution interested in acquiring the ten belonging to St. Stephen’s, Hampstead.

The Rescue Fund does play an important reserve role in safeguarding the future of rings at risk, and the Committee look for ringers’ continued support - especially for offers of loans in case of need.”

Mr. Cooles said that Ealing bells had now been sold by the Fund to Aberdeen, and should be ringing there by the end of the year. The Cathedral authorities would be paying the Fund for them within the next month or so. Previous reports, he added, had referred to a redundant chime from Canonbury. Six of these bells, which had been cast to ringing weights, were now to go to Claremont, in Australia.

The report was then adopted.

Any Other Business

The President invited Mr. Bleby to propose the motion which had been published in The Ringing World of May 1st. Mr. Bleby explained that he was proposing it on behalf of ANZAB, which would be celebrating its 25th anniversary next week, and that while the motion did not seek any immediate change it was intended to prepare for possible change in the future. After describing the growth of ANZAB since its formation, leading it now to have three representatives on the Council rather than the one it had at first had, he said the Association was now better informed and took a much greater interest in Council matters; and its members wanted to play a full part. However the combination of the distance between Australia and England and the need to elect a representative for three years meant that it was extremely difficult to elect a resident member of the Association to serve on the Council.

In order to make this increased commitment possible, the motion proposed that consideration be given to the creation of ‘alternate’ members for certain societies, who would represent an elected representative unable for any reason to attend. There should, he suggested, be various limitations on what such an alternate might do and how many might a society might send at a time; but at this stage he was only seeking the Council’s agreement in principle to the concept, so that the Administrative Committee could prepare appropriate changes to the Rules.

Summarising, he said that ringing was no longer limited to the British Isles. There was growing overseas involvement, and a growing urge to participate in the work of the Council. The changes being sought would have no significant effect on the Council’s work; and indeed to reject them might be seen as a rebuff.

Seconding, Mr. Gray said that 177 of the present Council’s 209 members were active representatives of their societies, and that this active involvement formed the basis of the Council. But providing such essential ‘grass roots’ contact was a major problem for the overseas societies. Modern communications had however made a new approach to the problem possible. He added that he had recently discussed the idea informally with the President of the North American Guild, and he had personally welcomed it.

On a point of order, Mr. Cartwright questioned the propriety of discussing under Any Other Business a motion concerning the constitution of the Council, but the President rules that the debate was in order.

Prof. Johnston, a former ANZAB representative on the Council, confirmed the difficulties caused by the present situation, and supported the motion. Mr. A.P. Smith was however concerned that the motion was asking the Administrative Committee to act against its own advice: the idea had been broached with the Committee, and it had advised ANZAB that it could achieve its aim by a change to its own arrangements.

Mrs. Wilkinson, while sympathetic to ANZAB’s problem, had misgivings about the concept of ‘alternate’ membership, which she feared could be abused. She pointed out that the Rule change that had been agreed earlier in the meeting could enable the ringers of Australia and New Zealand to send a number of representatives if they so wished.

Mr. R.B. Smith however, saying that he worked for a company with alternate directors, felt it a very sensible idea in the light of the distances and costs involved. Mr. Mayne also supported the proposition, urging members to give every encouragement to ringers overseas. He was sure that any technical problems and misgivings could be overcome, and felt that, were the motion to be defeated, the Administrative Committee might nevertheless like to consider what might be done.

In the course of replying to the various points that had been made, Mr. Bleby said that he had been grateful for the Administrative Committee’s advice, but ANZAB would not be able to reorganise as easily as had been implied; while the idea of a multiplicity of representatives could lead to the fragmentation of the Association.

On being put to the vote by the President, the motion was then carried by a large majority.

Before giving details of the attendance at the meeting, the Secretary said that he was sorry to report that a complaint had been made to the Coventry Guild about the behaviour of some Council members who had rung at Exhall on the previous Sunday evening. He intended to apologise to the local band for any discourtesy that may have occurred, and he hoped those involved might want to do the same.

He went on to say that the attendance at the meeting had set a new record, with 197 of the 209 members having signed the rolls. The previous record, of 191 members present, had been set at Lichfield in 1983. 166 society representatives had been present, as had all the Council’s Life members and all but one of its Honorary members. He felt that was an indication of the appreciation felt for all that the members of the Coventry DG had done to ensure that the meeting should been enjoyable and successful (applause).

The President then concluded a long but fruitful meeting by proposing a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those who had contributed to the arrangements for the weekend and the meeting - the incumbents and churchwardens of the churches were members had rung; the officers and members of the Coventry Guild and in particular its President, Mr. Harry Windsor; Mr. Pickford and the speakers at the Open Meeting, Mr. Windsor and Mr. Groome; the Provost and Chapter of Coventry Cathedral for allowing the Council to hold its corporate Communion there that morning; the staff of the Godiva Hotel; members for their kindness; and the Secretary for his hard work.

After the ensuing applause, Preb. Scott thanked Dr. Baldwin for his conduct of the meeting. As a past President, he said that he had often dreamed of a Peals Analysis Committee report that did not provoke lengthy argument (laughter), and felt that the new President was evidently a “very good beginner” (laughter and applause).

The President then declared the meeting closed.

The Ringing World, June 19, 1987, supplement, correction page 572

Overseas Liaison Report for 1986

The contents of this report are based on material extracted from The Ringing World, The Clapper and Ringing Towers. Also from letters received from the many friends in the overseas areas who regularly communicate with the writer. If any important item has been omitted it is because the information has not been brought to our attention, or we have inadvertently missed it. Apologies are offered in such cases.


Mention of The Ringing World calls for our appreciation and gratitude to the Editor and Board for their generosity in giving so much prominence to the activities and current situations in several of the overseas towers. No doubt readers “at home” obtained a better appreciation of what is taking place in the ringing world outside of the British Isles. Amongst the more prominent items mentioned were: Cyril Chambers (ex-Kidderminster), Durban, 78th birthday (p.43); news from Auckland, NZ (p.154); Zimbabwe Guild’s anniversary celebrations (p.175); Maryborough, Queensland quarter peal (p.484); Kalamazoo, USA local peal (p.529); and their quarter peals (p.559); Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC (p.583); ANZAB Festival, Adelaide (p.659); weekend trip to Quebec (p.677); St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, NSW (p.705); Transvaal Society, RSA (pp.793 & 887); Calgary Stampede (p.825); North American Guild AGM (p.847); Durban’s Bells, RSA (p.933); Holy Trinity, Hobart, Tasmania (p. 1061); Record Peal in Washington, DC (p.1040). In addition there were several notices about the Australian Bi-centennial 1988 event.

Three newsletters were circulated during the year to all areas overseas and it is gratifying to say that The Clapper reproduced them in full, and Ringing Towers included extracts. The Editors of these two journals readily agreed that, provided space was available, the newsletters could be included in their quarterly issues. By so doing the “grass roots” ringers would become aware of our concern for, and appreciation of; what they are doing for bell-ringing overseas, particularly in the more remote places.

Mrs. Jane Gant of Durban, RSA is endeavouring to organise the production of a newsletter for circulation amongst the African towers. We commend her for her enthusiasm in this sphere and also for what she is doing for ringing in general in Durban. We look forward to receiving the first issue of the African publication in course, and wish it every success.

Our thanks go to David Thorne, Editor of The Ringing World for so readily including news from Overseas and giving it so much prominence. To Sue Tonkin and Elizabeth Davies, Editors respectively of Ringing Towers and The Clapper for their help and interest in our efforts to let all ringers “under their wings” to know about us. To correspondents in Australia, Canada, Capetown, Durban, North America, New Zealand, Transvaal and Zimbabwe we say thank you for keeping us up-to-date in all ringing matters in their areas.

Public relations and publicity

The Daily News in Durban, RSA gave space to quarter peal attempts at both St. Mary’s, Greyville and St. Paul’s. Previously such news items created interest in the ringing. The same paper published, after the attempts, a photograph of the three ladies who rang in these quarter peal attempts, they were Jane Gant. Adrienne Fowlis and Wendy Watson. The response to this publicity from the general public was very favourable with few, if any, complaints about the ringing,

An enthusiastic response resulted from the wide publicity given in the Times Colonist to the peal attempt to mark the 50th anniversary of the installation of the bells at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC. Photographs of the bells themselves all set for ringing and of the ringers standing to at the ropes were included. The same paper publicised the Annual General Meeting of the North American Guild held in Victoria, while the Islander also gave the best part of a page to the event. It included an historical account of the bells and the national events for which they were rung. The enthusiasm of Edward Izard who established change-ringing in Victoria was given prominence, too.

There was great excitement in Hobart, Tasmania when the bells of Holy Trinity Church were being removed to start their long journey to England. The cameras were very busy and each stage of the removal was pictorially recorded.

The Age visited the belfry of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne and photographed the ringers at practice.

The Durban, RSA ringers designed a crest for “Tee” shirts and also a car sticker. A photograph in The Ringing World (p.933) shows the ringers wearing these “Tee” shirts. Great publicity has resulted from these practical ideas. Sound proofing was completed at St. Mary’s, Greyville, with resultant diminution of noise in the vicinity of the tower.

Open days took place at St. David’s Cathedral, Hobart, in April, and at the National Cathedral, Washington, DC in September, with a view to publicising bell-ringing and of obtaining recruits. Over 1,000 visitors took advantage of the occasion to ascend to the tower of Washington Cathedral, when lectures and demonstrations created some interest in the Art, and brought in some recruits.

The ringing room of Trinity Cathedral, Miami, USA has long clear windows on all four sides. This allows passers-by, as well as church members to view the ringers at work. For Saturday morning practices, visitors to Miami will congregate and watch the ringing in progress. They even set up cameras to take photographs of the Cathedral and the ringing.

The proprietress of a local hostelry in Newcastle, Delaware, USA was so taken with change-ringing after being introduced to it, that she wrote an article for the local paper and it appeared in the Newcastle Eagle.

The record length of 11,418 Erin Caters rung on the bells of the Nancy Hanks Centre, Washington, DC was well publicised in USA To-day, Washington Post, and the New York Times, which resulted in great interest amongst the general public in this creditable performance. In fact, press releases were sent to nearly one hundred newspapers, broadcasters and publishers before the event.

Holy Trinity, York, WA in a recruiting drive had an article published and a photograph in the local newspaper.

The above items are those which have been noted, but there are probably several other cases of publicity and good public relations which we have not heard about. So, to all Public Relations officers in particular, and ringers in general, who by their efforts bring the ringing exercise to the notice of the world at large and create good relations between ringers and non-ringers, we express our gratitude.


The South African Broadcasting Corporation made recordings of the bells of St. Paul’s, Durban for use twice on Sundays, before the church services relayed over the Radio network. The same body also recorded the Transvaal handbell team “The Whitechapel Ringers”, which was played at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. During this recording the ringers were interviewed and they explained how change-ringing operates. The bells and ringing from St. George’s, Parktown, Johannesburg, were recorded to and were eventually given four minutes of air space. Result: two recruits. A camera team filmed the Capetown ringers for a TV programme in Afrikaans on bell-ringing.

The BBC World Service provided two half- hour programmes about bells, titled “Every Bell in its Place” and “An Anthology of Prose and Verse” about the place of bells in the English countryside. Some well-known names explained the ins and outs of bell-ringing and its fascination to ringers and the bells of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London were heard in the programme. The programme was well received in British Columbia and Zimbabwe, but in South Africa there was some jamming of the wavelengths concerned and it could hardly be heard in Ireland.

In the “Church Bells on Sunday” five minutes from BBC4, we were given much pleasure when the bells of Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC and of St. Paul’s Church, Papanui, NZ came over with such excellent striking. Letters of congratulation were sent to each of these societies.

When HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip stopped off at Christchurch, NZ in February, we were delighted to hear the Cathedral bells on both BBC and ITV from London. From New Zealand, we learn that Wendy Nuzum of TV-NZ “Spot On” was taught the basics of bell-ringing for a programme which went out in July.

The bells of Quebec Cathedral were filmed during the visit of ringers from the USA by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the film is to be included in a documentary on the Anglican Church in Quebec.

A TV crew from Simon Townsend’s Wonder World attended a striking competition in Sydney, NSW and recorded a programme to be transmitted in January 1987. St. David’s, Hobart was also the focus of a TV crew to make recordings in connection with the 50th anniversary celebrations and their ringers were also featured on ABC Radio.

The writer is sure that there are other instances where bells, bell-ringers and bell-ringing have been heard and seen over the air. Because they are not mentioned in this report means we have not heard of such instances and does not mean that we don’t appreciate this form of publicity, particularly where bells are heard prior to broadcast services from places of worship with bells.


In June, Adelaide, SA was the venue for the annual ringing festival and meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers. The annual dinner took place, too, on this occasion. The election of officers saw Laith Reynolds, their energetic President, “stepping-down” to the newly created office of Vice-President and being replaced by David Bleby as President. A new Secretary, who has already justified her selection in the person of Mrs. Yvonne McDonald from Geelong was appointed. She replaced Mrs. Rei Ngatai from Wellington who had rendered service over a number of years in this important office.

Victoria, BC was the place for the North American Guild’s annual weekend. Ringing took place at all towers in British Columbia and there were quarter peal and peal attempts to take advantage of the influx of ringers from five continents. The visitors included Laith Reynolds from Perth, WA and their old friend Bill Theobald from London. During this meeting Elizabeth Davies stood down as Editor of The Clapper and she was unanimously elected as Hon. Life Member in recognition of her outstanding work over many years, Liz has been succeeded by Richard Anderson from Arlington. Faith Magwood the membership Secretary also stood down after a term of meticulous work and devotion to duty and she was replaced by Chris Haller. One aspect of the weekend was the advance information to the media and the number of non-ringers taking an interest in the activities of the NAG resulting therefrom. Good PR!

The Zimbabwe Guild holds two meetings a year and Kwe Kwe was the place for the summer meeting, mainly, to encourage learners there and to generally assist with the advancement of ringing in such a remote tower.

Ringing Courses

Prior to the NAG Festival weekend, the usual ringing course was held in Victoria, BC. Classroom theory sessions took place in the mornings and they covered call-changes, and the elements of Plain Bob and Grandsire. There was also time for a bell-handling course in the Cathedral tower, whilst the afternoons were devoted to putting theory into practice.

In Melbourne, VIC, the third ANZAB course was held in January. Lectures were given by well-known Australian experts and along with the practical work on tower bells it proved to be beneficial to the less-experienced ringers. Basic handbell ringing was also taught.

It would not seem to be unreasonable to mention the benefits conferred on some individual towers by visiting ringers, particularly Philip Gray, Tom Lock, Bob Dennis, Angela Newing to name a few, who during their overseas trips call to the towers in the vicinity to ring with the locals, and offer some good and wholesome advice and instruction. They assisted with quarter peals and peals. Very many other ringers have also in their travels “overseas”, enjoyed the hospitality, friendship and the ringing in the towers visited. It is also noted that a number of overseas ringers have been to these islands and to other overseas areas. Such contacts are all to the good of visitors and visited alike. Both parties appreciate the experiences of learning one from the other. Long may such contacts persist.

It was noted with delight, that HRH The Princess Alexandra and her husband the Hon. Angus Ogilvy made the ascent of the tower in the Nancy Hanks Centre, Washington, DC, during their official tour of the Centre. The British Embassy had previously asked that the bells be rung during the visit. The Princess met and spoke to the ringers and enquired after Bill Theobald, whom she had met in another place in Canada some years ago.

Readers of The Ringing World will have noted that six of our ringing experts embarked on a journey to Australia to give an intensive course in each of a number of centres in January 1987. More about this in the 1987 report.


St. David’s Cathedral, Tasmania celebrated the 50th anniversary of the installation of their bells. The bells were first rung on the 6th December 1936, the celebrations included a cocktail dinner and other Cathedral events over a period of four months.

Another 50th anniversary was celebrated at Victoria, BC. To mark the occasion a peal attempt took place on the bells of Christ Church Cathedral but regretfully failed after 4,000 or so changes were accomplished. These bells were also installed in 1936.

The centenary of the installation of the bells in St. Andrew’s Church, Walkerville, SA was celebrated with a successful peal.

Twenty-five years ago, the six bells of Kilifi, Kenya were erected in St. Thomas’s Church but also there were no celebrations, because recent reports indicate that some major repairs are necessary to make the bells safe for ringing. There are no ringers here either and dependence is made on visitors to see what can be done about restoring the bells and ringing.

We congratulate each of these societies on achieving their milestones and look forward to continued progress in the active towers concerned. Also to hope that a more favourable situation will be reported at Kilifi when its next anniversary is due.

Peals and quarter peals

The most outstanding peal of the year was the record length of 11,418 Erin Caters at the Old Post Office (Nancy Hanks Centre), Washington, DC on 8th November. Congratulations to the band of ringers concerned on this magnificent performance. In January, the President of the United States of America requested that a muffled quarter peal be rung in memory of the crew of the Challenger who lost their lives in such tragic circumstances. The attempt was successful and consisted of 1285 Erin Caters on the bells of the Old Post Office. Another peal of note is the Little Bob 14-in on handbells scored at Chevy Chase, USA in May.

The repertoire of methods included in peals and quarter peals by overseas ringers consisted of several Surprise methods, as well as Plain, Treble Bob and Delight. Firsts were Vancouver Surprise and Johanna Lynn Delight Major. Fifteen different Surprise methods were noted as having been rung in these performances.

The table gives the totals of peals and quarter peals rung in the various countries during 1986. The details were extracted from published information. The 1985 columns refer to performances which appeared after the 1985 Report was completed:

PealsQuarter peals1985 quarter peals
TowerIn handTowerIn handTowerIn hand
Australia15 (1)2 (1)1431485
New Zealand3-55-5-
South Africa3-15-1-
USA60 (4)34 (1)21798415
Notes:The figures in brackets under Peals refer to peals rung in 1985 but not included in the 1985 Report.
The USA total of 60 peals include 13 rung for the Leicester Diocesan Guild in the USA.
One peal in Johannesburg, RSA was rung by the ASCY.
The Australian peal total includes one for ANZAB rung at Petworth, W. Sussex of Pudsey S. Major and a quarter peal in London of 4 Doubles methods by Adelaide ringers is included in the quarter peal totals.

The inclusion of the table in the report is to give an indication of the great progress being made in all countries overseas in change-ringing performances. Comparing the figures with those in the 1985 report, greatly increased numbers are shown for Australia, Canada and the USA.

The leading peal towers were: Australia, St. Andrew, Sydney (3); South Africa, Parktown (3); USA, Boston (Advent) (13); Zimbabwe, Harare (2). In Canada and New Zealand, no tower shows more than one peal. The leading quarter peal towers were: Australia, Turramurra (37); Canada, Victoria (7); New Zealand, Auckland (19); South Africa, Parktown (7); USA, Boston (Advent) (32); Zimbabwe, Harare (13). Kalamazoo, USA scored a total of 47 quarters, 20 of which were on handbells, and Boston (Advent) rang one handbell quarter to give a total of tower and hand of 33.

Augmentations and restorations

The bells of Holy Trinity, Hobart were removed and sent to Whitechapel for restoration and new fittings. The 14 new bells for St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney were installed and are now in use. The eight bells of Brisbane Cathedral were taken down and are to be augmented into a ring often bells and the bells of St. Mary’s, Darling Point, Sydney went to Whitechapel for a major restoration job. At the time of writing, we have no definite information regarding the new rings having been completed for Wangaratta and Claremont in Australia, indications were that the work should have been completed. Several new rings and some restorations are projected in connection with the Australian Bi-centennial year 1988 celebrations and hopefully they will all materialise. St. George’s, Perth, WA has had a lot of problems with clappers, so much so, that a complete replacement of them was undertaken. The tenor head-stock has also required attention.

Some excellent DIY work has been undertaken in various areas. Durban, S. Africa under the expertise of Eric Webster, has had the clappers rebushed, stays minutely fitted and other essential maintenance and repair work undertaken, over a period of several months.

David Graves of Houston keeps his “eagle-eye” on Abilene, where the makers have carried out some alterations to the ring of bells there in the hopes of making it possible for the bells to be rung in the traditional manner, without experiencing the previous difficulties. Hopefully, David will be able to provide better news after he and his team have been able to assess the situation. We learn that an order has been placed for a light ring for Little Rock Cathedral, Arkansas, USA and we look forward to learning of their installation during 1987 also, of more new rings about which only rumours circulate at the moment.

The President of the Transvaal Society, the Rev. Paddy Glover departed to become Dean of Bloemfontain. He was a dedicated supporter of the ringing in Parktown, but he has no bells in his new sphere and hope that before long we may learn that his great interest in bells will result in a new ring in South Africa. If there are any ex-ringers living in the Orange Free State, perhaps they could make themselves known to the Dean, which may encourage the provision of a ring of bells there.

One cannot close this section, without paying a sincere tribute to Laith Reynolds for the extraordinary amount of work and effort he has put into the Bicentennial year 1988 projects. Several new rings and some restorations result from his determination, some of which have already materialised and much more is to come. How fortunate the ringing world is to have such a dedicated practical ringer, who has already done more than his share in the interests of bell-ringing in Australia. To Laith, whom a lot of people met at Reigate in May, we say a simple “Thank you”.

Overseas Directory

The North American Guild, ANZAB, as well as individual towers in Africa, have enabled the card-index to be up-dated. Ringing Towers again produced a tower directory, which gave details of the number of bells, their founders and year of installation. Tower contacts and ringing times were also included. The Directory was cleverly inserted in the centre of the issue concerned so that it could be removed without impairing the issue itself.

Central Council Meeting, Reigate

Holy Trinity, Hobart appeal was the highlight of the Overseas display at the Reigate meeting in May. Mrs. Joan Gray was on duty at both the “open” meeting and the Council meeting, complete with identification to show why she was there. She even caused Tom Lock and the writer to wear “Hobart” labels! The overseas display itself concentrated on the Australian Bicentenary with emphasis on the home efforts to raise funds to restore Holy Trinity’s bells, as well as keeping in mind the fact that bell-ringing does take place in America, South Africa, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.


At the Reigate meeting of the Central Council the matter of proposed affiliation of the African ringers to the Council was mentioned during the presentation of the Public Relations committee report. For some years, the question of how best to bring the isolated bell-ringing societies overseas into the fold has been under consideration. The Zimbabwe Guild and most of the South African towers are anxious to become associated with the exercise worldwide through the Central Council. At present possible numbers prevent full membership and a new class of Associate membership has been suggested to facilitate isolated overseas towers. It is hoped that the Council will sooner or later agree to the African bell-ringers being within the world-wide family of ringers through a recognised form of membership. Great credit is due to all African ringers who are doing so much to maintain and foster bell-ringing in some very difficult circumstances and where towers are so far apart. We should welcome their desire to join with us as affiliated members of the Council.


On behalf of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, I would like to express sincere thanks to all bell-ringers Overseas for their efforts in maintaining the ancient exercise of ringing, to the officers of the several societies for their unselfish efforts in the administration of bell-ringing affairs, the Editors of the ringing journals and newsletters who keep us all informed of what goes on in their respective areas, and last but not least, the dedicated ringers who by their endeavours encourage the provision of new or augmented rings of bells, and who give of their time to teach learners, also those who regularly see that the bells are rung for religious services and on other occasions. The writer, in particular, expresses his gratitude to the several correspondents who regularly write to him and keep him up-to-date about events in their areas. He has made many good, yet unseen, friends since becoming Overseas Liaison officer.

Very best wishes to all ringers overseas.

Overseas Liaison,
CC Public Relations Committee.

Meadow Cottage,
Drogheda, Co. Louth,
Telephone: Drogheda 29148.

The Ringing World, July 3, 1987, pages 600 to 602



1986 saw the 75th anniversary of The Ringing World and its celebration was the highlight of an active and successful year. In March a special anniversary issue of the paper was produced to mark the occasion, and in September we held a service in Southwark Cathedral followed by a birthday party. Both will long be remembered by the thousand ringers who attended. The day has been well described in The Ringing World and in this report I would simply express the sincere thanks of the Board to all those who came on the day, to the many who helped in any way at all, and finally to the large number of people who wrote after the event expressing their appreciation.

Another milestone in the history of the paper occurred at the end of the year when Douglas Hughes, OBE, retired after 22 years as Ringing World Treasurer. A tribute to Douglas has been published in the paper and the Exercise will join all those involved with The Ringing World in wishing Douglas a long and happy retirement.

Not all of our activities were connected with celebrating the past, as at the end of the year an important step was taken towards establishing the future shape of the business when negotiations with Bill Viggers and Hazel Hodgson for the purchase of the Ringers Diary were completed. The Board feels that the Diary fits very well into the existing business of the Company, and we look forward to maintaining and even increasing the position which the previous producers of the Diary have established with ringers over the past 40 years. The 1988 Diary will be the first produced by The Ringing World, and we look for the support of the Exercise in this venture.

Away from these major occurrences, the reporting of the routine, weekly, production of the paper seems almost mundane. The main concern has been to keep a balanced paper in the face of the demand for space from increasingly active peal and quarter-peal ringers. Whilst the number of 24-page issues needed to keep the backlog to a minimum is increasing, the circulation of the paper remains level. We have continued the successful promotion of new subscriptions through the offer of a £3 donation to a bell fund of the subscriber’s choice, and were pleased by the response to the raffle for a set of handbells at the Grand Ringers’ Day. A new marketing initiative is being prepared.

The financial results for the year were again very satisfactory. We would express our thanks to all those who helped by sending in donations during the year and by taking out new subscriptions.

It is usual to end this report by thanking all those volunteers and staff who have been involved in the production of the paper in any way. This we do most sincerely, but this year in particular David Thorne and Joy Eldridge have cheerfully and willingly coped with a great deal of extra work connected with the anniversary celebrations as well as continuing to produce the paper, and they are to be congratulated on a really special effort.

A memorable year; and with the support of ringers everywhere we are confident that The Ringing World can now start looking forward to celebrating its centenary!

H.W. Egglestone


Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional