1988 Central Council Meeting
Official Report

The Central Council’s 91st annual meeting, held on May 31, took place in the Solway Hall of Whitehaven Civic Centre and proved to have a near-record attendance. It was opened with prayer lead by the President, the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA).

The Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Life Member), reported that 66 societies were affiliated to the Council, of which only one - the S. Derbyshire and N. Leicestershire Association - did not have enough resident members to entitle it to representation at the meeting. The remaining 65 societies had 178 representatives on the Council, an increase of one from last year (from the St. David’s Diocesan Guild). There were 8 Life and 24 Honorary members, so giving a total membership at the start of the meeting of 210.

All subscriptions had, he said, been paid.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary reported that apologies had been received from Messrs. W.B. Cartwright and F.E. Collins (Life Members), Dr. J.C. Eisel, D.E. House, B.D. Threlfall and M.J. Tyler (Honorary), R. Baldwin, P.S. Bennett, D.W. Bleby, A.F. Bogan, R.G. Fanthorpe, E.G.H. Godfrey, G.W. Massey, H.W. Rogers, and L.G. Townsend (representative members).

Affiliation of societies

The agenda listed five societies that had applied during the past year to affiliate to the Council, of which three were from overseas. The first, the Associazione Suonatori di Campane a Sistema Veronese, was proposed by the Council’s Vice-President, Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough DG). He said that the Verona Association had 1,300 members, that its aims and objects very closely corresponded to those of the Council, and that, having rung with a party of its young members while they were in England last year, he had been very impressed by their enthusiasm and high standard of bell control. More importantly, he said, the application presented an historic opportunity for the Council to show that bell-ringing was not just a feature of English-speaking communities but a truly international movement.

He was seconded by Mr. R.J. Clements (Worcester & Districts A), who spoke of the rapid progress that had been made by visiting Italian ringers in learning the English style of ringing. After the President had reminded members that for an application to affiliate to succeed it required the approval of two thirds of those present, the question was put to the vote and received virtually unanimous approval.

Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) then proposed the affiliation of the Transvaal Society under the provisions of the new Rule 4(iv) agreed by the Council at Coventry last year, which enables overseas Societies with less than 75, but more than 25, members to join the Council. The application was seconded by Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish), the Council’s Overseas Liaison officer, who said that the society was one of the most advanced in Africa.

After Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby) had urged that this application and that of the Zimbabwe Guild which was to follow should be treated in the same way, and the President had refused his suggestion that both should therefore be voted on together, the Council voted virtually unanimously in favour of accepting the Society’s application.

The Zimbabwe Guild’s application, made under the same Rule, was proposed by Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx CA & London DG). Although the Guild had only two towers, a ring of 10 in Harare and a 6 at Que Que, it had over 30 members, he said, and in spite of the political difficulties that made it necessary to consider the Guild separately they maintained practical links with the ringers in South Africa. He was confident it had a long-term and bright future.

This proposal was formally seconded by Mr. Dukes, and was similarly approved overwhelmingly.

The remaining two applications were from English societies - the Guild of Medical Ringers, and the Four Shires Guild. The former was proposed by Mr. A.S. Baker (London CA), who said that it had been formed soon after the last war and was for those professionally linked with the medical profession. It now had over a hundred members, and had recently scored its first peal of Surprise Major. He was seconded by Mrs. Anne Martin (Kent), who described the society as one of the most active of the “Trade Guilds”.

The Vice-President having been satisfactorily assured that the society accepted among its members those practising “alternative” medicine, the vote was taken. As there was some doubt as to whether the requisite two-thirds majority had been achieved, tellers were brought into use; and they reported that 114 had voted in favour. As 124 votes were required, the President declared the application unsuccessful.

Prof. R.J. Johnston (Yorkshire) commented with regret that the application had been rejected without any member having spoken against it.

It soon became clear that a number of members had reservations about accepting the final application, from the Four Shires Guild, which was proposed by Mr. P. Border (Coventry) and seconded by Dr. Angela Newing (Honorary). The former explained that the Guild operated in a very rural area where the Coventry, Gloucester & Bristol, Worcester and Oxford Guilds met, and was doing excellent work in often difficult circumstances. Dr. Newing said that it had over a hundred members, held weekly practices, striking competitions and an excellent annual dinner, and actively supported bell restoration work.

The reservations that were expressed centred on the relationship between the Guild and its four territorial neighbours. Did the latter hold functions in the area covered by the Four Shires Guild, asked Dr. J. Armstrong (Essex); did many members hold dual membership of the overlapping societies, asked Mr. J.F. Mulvey (Lichfield); what was the feeling of the other four Societies, asked Prof. Johnston. Both Mr. Halls and Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth) said they would have felt happier were the Guild to have sought affiliation as a territorial, rather than as a non-territorial, society, the former commenting that the main stream of the Council’s work should be conducted through the territorial associations.

Although it transpired that at least three of the other societies hold meetings in the area covered by the Guild, the application was supported by representatives of both the Coventry DG and the Worcestershire & Districts Association. It was also strongly supported by Mr. S.J. Coleman (Surrey) and Dr. D.R. Marshall (North Wales), who both stressed the importance of supporting any society working to good effect in a rural area such as this. Mr. Wilby commented that if territorial societies were unable to satisfy the evident requirements of ringers in the area concerned, they should not seek to maintain territorial rights over it.

On being put to the vote, the application however received only 99 votes in favour, and consequently failed.

New members

The Secretary read the names of eleven new members - Drs. D.W. Beard, J.C. Eisel* and Angela Newing (Honorary Members), Mrs C. Bedding (Bath & Wells), D.W. Friend (Chester), P. Warren (St. Davids), Mrs. Ann Davies* (Transvaal), and P. Avesani*, A. Consolaro*, G. Tommasi and G.E. Morris (Verona), of whom those marked with an * were not present. He also noted that Mrs. Linda Hyde was present as an observer from the Zimbabwe Guild.

Welcoming them, Dr. Baldwin said he hoped they would feel it an honour to represent their societies on the Council, and that they would enjoy their membership.

Losses through death

Members stood in silence as the Secretary read the names of those former members of the Council who had died since its last meeting: S.E. Armstrong (Sussex, 1937-39); G.T. Cousins (Hereford, 1962-69); H. Edwards (Essex, 1939-44); F.I. Hairs (Sussex, 1939-50; Honorary, 1951-67); J.D. Johnson (Worcs & Districts, 1930-51); W.F. Oatway (Surrey, 1954-63); and H.N. Pitstow OBE (Surrey, 1954-57; Guildford, 1957-63; Honorary, 1963-81).

Prebendary John Scott, a former President of the Council, then lead the meeting in prayer.

Election of Life Member

The election of Mr. Wilfred Moreton as a Life Member of the Council was proposed by Dr. Baldwin, who said that Mr. Moreton had been a member of the Council since 1947. For almost the whole of that period of service to the Council, he had been an outstandingly active contributor to the work of what was now known as the Education Committee. His work on courses, his writings, his involvement in the preparation of teaching aids - recordings, filmstrips, video tapes - had had implications for great numbers of ringers, instructors as much as learners. On the Council his contributions to debate had always proved pertinent, and he had been one of the ten ringers chosen to represent the Exercise when Washington Cathedral bells had been opened.

Dr. Baldwin was seconded by Mr. P.A. Corby, his predecessor as President and himself a Life Member of the Council, who spoke of Mr. Moreton’s kindness, generosity and warmth of feeling, adding that he had also been very closely involved in the running of the very successful Hereford Ringing Course for the past thirty years. It was, he said, a great honour, to be able to second the nomination.

There was a unanimous vote in favour of Mr. Moreton’s election, followed by a prolonged and standing ovation when the result was announced by the President.

Replying, Mr. Moreton admitted to being at a loss for words. He thanked the proposer and seconder for what they had said, and the Council for the great honour it had done him. As for the Hereford course, it had always been a great joy to him; but it was a team operation, and most of the thanks were due to the other members of that team. He thanked everyone, and was very proud. (Applause)

Election of Honorary Members

Five of the present Honorary Members completed their elected period at the end of this meeting, but each was separately nominated for re-election. They were the Chairman of the Committee for Redundant Bells, whom Mr. J. Freeman (Life) described as its “driving force”, Mrs. Jane Wilkinson, who was proposed by Mr. Freeman and seconded by Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY); the Editor of The Ringing World, Mr. D.G. Thorne, who was also a member of the Publications Committee and the Council’s “ambassador-at-large”, proposed by Mr. H.W. Egglestone (Oxford DG) and seconded by Mr. C. Forster (Leeds University); the two trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine, Messrs. A.E. Bagworth and W.H. Dobbie, proposed and seconded by Mr. Lock and Mr. D.A. Frith (Lincoln), and Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life) and Mr. A.P.S. Berry (Honorary) respectively; and Mr. Berry, the General Manager of Taylors Bell-Foundry, who was proposed by Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire) - who spoke of the importance of maintaining the links between the foundries and ringers - and seconded by Miss Jean Sanderson (Honorary).

As required by the Council’s Rules, the election was by means of a ballot. The votes were counted by tellers from the Carlisle DG, and later in the meeting the President was able to announce that all five had been elected. (Applause)

Minutes of the last meeting

After correcting two small spelling mistakes, the Hon. Secretary proposed the adoption of the Minutes of the 1987 meeting at Coventry, which had appeared in The Ringing World of February 19th. He was seconded by Mr. Groome, and the Minutes were adopted without comment.

Secretary and Treasurer’s report

Mr. Wratten moved the adoption of his report to the Council, and was seconded by Mr. Dukes, who expressed the Council’s gratitude to the Secretary for all his work - and asked that this year the Minutes should record those thanks (laughter).

The Council’s representative strength this year increases by one, with the welcome reappearance of a representative of the St. David’s Diocesan Guild. Because the Guild’s resident membership has since 1977 been below the 75 specified in Rule 5(i) (a) it has not for the past ten years been entitled to a representative; but its strength has once again passed the crucial number. The only other society to have been in this position, the South Derbyshire & North Leicestershire Association, continues to have less than 75 members.

Invitations were received during the year from the Peterborough Diocesan Guild for the Council to hold the 1992 meeting in its area, and from the Ely Diocesan Association for 1997. The Ancient Society of College Youths has begun to make arrangements for the Council’s centenary (1991) meeting, which will be in London.

During the year a donation of £1,000 was received from the Manifold Trust in recognition of the Council’s assistance to the Trust in administering its annual allocation for bell restoration work. Since the work had in fact been done by members of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee, it seemed only right that the Officers should place this sum at the disposal of the committee. In addition some £300 has been received for use in bell restoration work, and £500 has been donated towards the restoration of the bells at Todenham, Glos. A donation of £600 has also been made to the Australian & New Zealand Association as an ex gratia contribution towards the cost of the 1987 lecture tour by invited English ringers.

Overall the Council’s monetary worth has increased by some £7,300, the main increase being in the General Fund. Since the Council no longer has any money invested in the Stock Market, the value of its assets was not affected by the autumn slump in share prices. The Capital Reserve has been increased by just over £1,000 in line with inflation (3.69%) during 1987. Profits on Publications sales have been partially offset by writing down the value of a number of slow-moving stock items.

The President noted particularly the donation from the Manifold Trust; and Mr. Halls asked for the background to the donation that had been made to Todenham. He wondered whether this might set a precedent for grants from the Council. Replying to this point, Mr. I.H. Oram (SRCY) said that the money had come from donations to the Council for bell restoration, resulting from the open meeting at Bow a few years ago, and had in this case been used to augment a grant to the parish from the Manifold Trust. After the President had endorsed Mr. Dukes’ thanks to the Secretary, the report was adopted without further comment.

1987 Accounts

Mr. Wratten introduced the accounts by explaining the main differences in the General and Publications Funds and in the consolidated balance sheet from the previous year. Obtaining Counsel’s Opinion on the implications for the Council of the Data Protection Act and subsequent registration had cost some £180 during the year, while £600 had been donated to The Ringing World Ltd as a contribution to the cost of producing and distributing the Official Report of last year’s Council meeting. An interest-free loan of £1,000 to the Rescue Fund had now been repaid. The main point of interest in the Publications Fund was that some £3,800-worth of old stock had been written off at the end of the year.

Adoption of the accounts was deferred until members of the Council had had an opportunity to consider the Publications and Friends of the Library accounts in more detail later in the day, when the relevant committee reports were to be considered and debated.

Accounts for 1987
General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1987
880Affiliation fees885.00

Less: Administrative costs
559Council meeting647.79
50Secretary’s expenses50.00
86Stationery, post and telephone62.03
-Printing and photocopying94.94


Investment Income
9226Dividends and interest9,779.32
917Late interest-.-
(1025)less: Transfer to Capital Reserve1,065.00

Less: Committee costs, grants, etc.
2214Committee expenses (net)2,940.81
30Committee expenses, 1986-.-
500The Ringing World Ltd.600.00



6345Excess of income over expenditure5,144.83
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1987
23Stock of ties-.-
70000NS Income Bonds70,000.00
16362NS Investment Account22,613.65
150Bank Deposit Account257.89

508Cash and Bank balances558.55
1000Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells-.-
1347Sundry debtor1387.05

150Affiliation fees in advance55.00
1133Sundry creditors643.20

88107Net Assets£94,118.94

General Fund
52107Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198758,452.31
6345Excess of income over expenditure5,144.83

543Add: Donations for bell restoration
and interest thereon to 1 Jan.1987
48Late interest-.-
289Donations and interest, 1987301.81

-Less: Grants paid500.00

27750Add: Capital Reserve28,775.00
1025Allocated from income, 19871,065.00


Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1987
130Transfer from General Fund140.00

37Stationery and post20.33

229Excess of income over expenditure164.17

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1987
196Bank Deposit Account429.14
439Cash and Bank balances380.01

-Sundry creditor9.64

645Net Assets£809.51
416Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1987645.34
229Excess of income over expenditure164.17


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 1987

8266Stock, 1 January 198712,054.18

12054Less: Stock, 31 Dec.198711,276.96

644Stationery and post1,326.14
149Publications Committee expenses168.48
287Ringing History project233.88

2060Excess of income over expenditure1,196.75

Publications Fund
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1987
12054Stock, at lower of cost or net realisable value11,276.96
8348Bank Deposit Account7,950.72
926Cash and Bank balances1,254.49
10The Ringing World Ltd56.74

1999Sundry creditors3.50

19339Net Assets£20,535.41
17279Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198719,338.66
2060Excess of income over expenditure1,196.75

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1987
23Stock of ties-.-
12054Stock of publications11,276.96
1873Cash and Bank balances2,193.05
2357Sundry debtors1,443.79

150Amounts received in advance55.00
3132Sundry creditors656.34


108091Net Assets£115,463.86
Capital Accounts
88107General Fund94,118.94
19339Publications Fund20,535.41
645Friends of the CCCBR Library809.51



We have audited the financial statements on pages 2 to 5 (above). In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Council’s affairs at 31st December, 1987.

MICHAEL J. CHURCH, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
April, 1988


The first of the two motions that appeared on the agenda provided for certain amendments to be made to the Council’s Rules in order to cater for “Alternate Members”. As the Secretary explained when he proposed the motion, the changes arose from a motion passed last year at Coventry which instructed the Administrative Committee to work in conjunction with Mr. D.A. Bleby of ANZAB to develop appropriate wording for consideration by the Council.

One of the first considerations, said Mr. Wratten, had been to decide which societies should be able to avail themselves of such a facility. At Coventry the debate had concentrated on the benefits to overseas societies; and no society in the British Isles had ever publicly sought to appoint alternate members. It had consequently been agreed, by both the Administrative Committee and Mr. Bleby, that the Rule should specify that it applied only to “Societies not situated within the British Isles”, using the same form of words as that agreed last year when it was agreed that certain overseas societies might be specially treated when they sought affiliation to the Council.

Following the principle that alternate membership should apply only for the duration of the Council’s annual business meeting, it had also been agreed that an alternate member might neither fill an office nor be elected to a committee of the Council, be a member of The Ringing World Limited, or give notice of a motion for consideration at that meeting. Finally a bureaucratic requirement for notice to be given “forthwith” to the Hon. Secretary if it were intended to send an alternate member had been written in to the proposed new Rule, as had a couple of consequential minor amendments to existing Rules.

Finally Mr. Wratten stressed that he was proposing the changes as Secretary of the Council, and not on behalf of the Administrative Committee. Several members of the latter were unhappy about the principle of alternate membership, and the committee was consequently making no recommendations for acceptance or otherwise of the motion.

The motion was seconded by Mr. P.M.J. Gray (ANZAB), who reminded members that the idea of alternate membership had originated within ANZAB. Most of those present took it for granted, he said, that representatives on the Council lived and rang within the area of the societies they represented. This was not so easy for overseas societies, who not only wanted to play a full part in the Council’s deliberations but would like active ringers from within their own areas to be able to do so. Three new overseas societies had become affiliated earlier in the morning: ringing was becoming truly international, and the Council needed to be in close touch with ringers wherever they practised. He urged those listening to support the motion, which, as it meant a change to the Council’s Rules, required support from two-thirds of those present for it to be accepted.

The President suggested that it would be simplest if any wording changes that might be needed could be discussed before any debate - if one were necessary - on the principle of alternate membership. Mr. Wilby questioned whether, in the light of what had been decided last year, the latter would be in order; but the President said that the Council must always have the right to change its mind if it wished.

Mr. A.R. Smith (Suffolk) wondered whether a society which had an overseas membership, such as the College Youths, might be construed as being “situated outside the British Isles” (laughter), but was assured that it could not. But no changes were suggested to the wording of the motion.

However, Mr. J. Freeman (Life) spoke strongly against the principle of alternate membership. Adequate notice had not been given of last year’s motion, and as a result it not been possible for members to give it the calm consideration it needed. Problems over travel - which were not unique to overseas societies - were insufficient reason to meddle with the constitution of the Council; and travel was in any case becoming simpler, faster and cheaper. If the motion were rejected, overseas societies would lose nothing; if it were accepted, it would be to the detriment of the Council.

Both Mrs. M. Winter (North American) and Prof. Johnston disagreed with Mr. Freeman. The former said that, after living for ten years in Britain, she no longer felt in close touch with the feelings of North American ringers. The growing number of those who rang overseas would like to be heard more frequently in the Council. Prof. Johnston confirmed the first point from his own experience as an ANZAB representative following his return from New Zealand, and added that alternate membership would enable the Council to hear from active members of all its affiliated societies.

Mr. Corby felt the subject was being approached in a very sentimental and emotional way; more regard needed to be paid to the constitution and nature of the Council. In the past it had always resisted attempts by non-members to address it, and this principle should continue to be observed. The Council was a corporate body with corporate responsibilities, and all its members should both be able to play a full part in its work and take joint responsibility for their actions.

Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) said the argument for alternate membership was based on practicalities, not emotion. The great distances between towers in ANZAB, for example, made it quite impracticable to call a general meeting in order to elect a replacement for a representative unable to attend a Council meeting, as had at one time been suggested. He was supported by Mr. R.B. Smith (Honorary), who stressed that members were representatives of their societies, not delegates, and that representatives needed to be in the closest possible touch with those whom they represented.

Mr. Gray replied to the debate, making two points - that only a small minority of societies would be concerned, and therefore the effect on the Council would be minimal, whereas the benefit for overseas societies would be considerable; and that those elected to work for the Council throughout the year would know that, should they be unable to attend an annual meeting, their voice could still be heard.

The President then put the Motion to the meeting, when it was passed by a majority of 149 votes to 24. Dr. Baldwin then announced that, in the hope that the Motion would be successful and would take immediate effect - as indeed it would - ANZAB had appointed Mr. Laith Reynolds as its Alternate Member for Mr. Bleby; he welcomed Mr. Reynolds and invited him to take a seat in the meeting. (Applause)

The meeting was then adjourned for lunch.

The remaining motion, proposing an addition to the Method Committee’s 1953 report on Extension, was the first item of business after the break, and was proposed on behalf of the committee by Mr. A.P. Smith. He explained that the aim of the addition was to codify the practice, established by 1816, whereby the method produced by adding a second hunt bell to a plain method was given the name of its “parent”. This practice had been encouraged by the Council in its published collections of methods, beginning with the Collection of Legitimate Methods in 1907, and to date there were some 130 pairs of methods that had been named in this way. Since Decision (E)D.4 laid down that methods at different stages should bear the same name only if they conformed to the rules laid down in the Report on Extension, it was important that that Report should reflect the practice he had described. At present it did not, and the motion was intended to remedy that shortcoming. It introduced nothing new, but would legitimise the names of the 130 methods already rung, and would regularise the position for the future.

He concluded by pointing out that the proposed addition specifically excluded any renaming of Grandsire or Plain Bob.

After Mr. P.D. Niblett (Oxford University) had formally seconded, Mr. S.S. Meyer (Ely) suggested that the proposed wording of A.(a) implied the hunt bell had to start in second’s place; and Mr. A.J. Cox (Bristol University) suggested an alternative wording. The latter also pointed out that the proposal referred at one point to the “half-lead” of an extension, but that “half-lead” had never been formally defined by the Council. Mr. D.J. Kelly (Bath & Wells) asked the Methods Committee to confirm that there was no intention of changing the names of Plain Bob and Grandsire. Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford) wondered whether the proposed wording catered for New Grandsire, where the second hunt bell hunted below, rather than above, the treble.

Replying to these points, Mr. Smith said that he considered A.(a) sufficiently clear; that there was no intention to change the names of Grandsire or Plain Bob; and that New Grandsire was technically the same as Grandsire but starting a change earlier and using a different call. He accepted Mr. Cox’s point about the lack of an accepted definition of “half-lead”, but said that the committee’s aim was to provide something that was generally useful for ringers: in a twin-hunt method the half-lead occurred when the two hunts crossed, and in a single-hunt method it was the pivot position.

The vote was then taken, and the motion was passed by a very large majority, only two members voting against its acceptance

Trustees’ reports

As Trustee of the Council’s Rolls of Honour, which are housed in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY) reported that

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

His proposal that the report be accepted having been seconded by Mr. Groome, this was agreed without discussion.

The slightly longer report of the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine was proposed by Mr. Bagworth, who added that two demonstrations had now been arranged for 1988.

There were no requests for demonstrations of the machine in 1987.

In January 1988 a request was received from Victor Sheppard to inspect and photograph the machine. Arrangements were made with the new Head of the Department of Physical Sciences at the Science Museum, Dr. Derek Robinson, for a maintenance session on 5th March 1988 which Victor Sheppard attended.

The machine was oiled and adjustments made to correct mechanical faults which had developed at the end of the demonstration on the Ringing World Open Day in September 1986. Courses and a touch of Stedman Cinques were rung.

A request was received from the Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association and arrangements have now been made for a demonstration in July 1988.

He was seconded by Mr. Dobbie, and the report was adopted without debate.

Committee reports

Administrative Committee

Adoption of the Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. Wratten and seconded by Mr. M.J. Church (Honorary):

The Committee met in London in November and again in March to pick up matters arising from the last Council meeting, and to prepare for this year’s meeting in Whitehaven. The two working groups set up at the end of 1986 - one dealing with the Council for the Care of Churches’ Bells Sub-committee and its Code of Practice, and the other preparing a survey of ringing - continued their work, and were joined by a third, set up in November following the appearance in The Ringing World of an article by Mr. Peachey, to investigate the legal liabilities of members of the Towers and Belfries Committee.

The first of these has commented on a revised Code of Practice prepared by the CCC’s Bells Sub-committee, and, following a meeting in January with representatives of the bellfounders, is now preparing its own draft Code of Practice for submission in due course to the Council for the Care of Churches. Following discussion by the Administrative Committee this autumn, the principles embodied in this draft will be publicised through The Ringing World and comments invited, and the final draft will be presented to the Council for approval next year. The Secretary of the Council for the Care of Churches has been notified of this timetable.

A trial run of the planned survey of ringing was conducted during March, and the full survey, incorporating lessons learned from the trial, will be carried out later this year. The results should be available during the first half of 1989.

The “legal liabilities” working group, which is chaired by Mr. Oram, presented a provisional report to the Committee in March. Since however Counsel’s Opinion on certain matters was still awaited, it was not possible to decide on what steps (if any) will need to be taken to protect both members of the Towers and Belfries Committee and the Council itself.

The Secretary’s draft Rule changes, making possible the use in certain circumstances of “alternate” members on the Council, and prepared in consultation with the other Officers and with Mr. Bleby of ANZAB as agreed by the Council last year, were discussed by the Committee in March. Should the Council decide to endorse the principle of alternate membership, the Committee felt that the proposed form of words would satisfactorily codify the new position.

Mr. Wratten said that many of the items covered in the report had already been dealt with by the Council; his only update was to report that a draft of the new code of practice was now being considered by the members of the working group, preparatory to involving the bellfounders. The report was then adopted.

Library Committee

The following report was proposed by Mr. Cook, the Council’s Honorary Librarian and chairman of the Library Committee:

The Library has continued to grow during the past year, and extra shelving has been acquired to accommodate it, with room for further expansion for a few years to come. During 1987 70 new titles were added, 32 by purchase, the rest by donation. Among these acquisitions special mention should be made of bound photo-copies of the Peal and Minute Books, and the Annual Reports, of the old North Notts. Association. These had been kindly prepared for the Council Library by Raymond Fanthorpe. Another interesting item was the illuminated address and peal record presented to the Rev. H.A. Cockey when he resigned from the Secretaryship of the Essex Association in 1886, which was donated, together with other papers concerning the Rev. H.A. Cockey, by Roy Rice. Our collection of Central Council publications now needs only the 1962 and 1964 editions of the Beginner’s Handbook to make it complete. As in previous years, copies of all new publications advertised during the year in The Ringing World have been purchased or donated.

Other contributions to the Library have included 21 Annual Reports for 1986 kindly supplied by Guilds/ Associations (perhaps fewer than usual), the copies of earlier Annual Reports sent to us by a number of individuals (who have been personally thanked), and copies of local Newsletters. In particular, we are grateful for the regular receipt of copies of the following:

Regrettably, the bookbinder who has done such excellent work for us over recent years has now retired, so we are looking for someone else who can do a good job for us at a reasonable price. Any suggestions or contacts will be most welcome, as there are still many items in the collection which are in need of restoration.

The Accounts of the Friends of the CCCBR Library show that once again the income was healthily in excess of the expenditure. By the time of the next Council meeting the Committee will have met to consider how best to use at least part of this reserve. At the time of writing this report, no expense has been incurred over the production of the new Library Catalogue Part I, whose delay in appearance is regretted; we hope that Council members will appreciate that it is being prepared voluntarily by members of the Committee, who have only a limited time to spare for getting it ready for printing.

Membership of the Friends now stands at 72, one fewer than last year - there were no new members during 1987. However the income from “Friends” was almost the same. New members are, of course, always welcome.

During the year 52 items were borrowed from the Library, and the Hon. Librarian dealt with over thirty requests for information on various topics, including three valuations of other “bell libraries”.

Mr. Cook said that, in the absence of Mr. House, he was unable to tell members the current status of work on the new Library catalogue. Although funds seemed satisfactory in the accounts, production of the catalogue would be costly, £300 had been spent this year on acquiring a unique bound set of nineteenth century pamphlets, and there was a continuing requirement for books to be rebound. Additional Friends of the Library would therefore be all the more welcome.

He added that, since he became Librarian in 1976, the collection had grown from some 700 items to over 2,000. He was grateful for all donations of books (his mention in this context of a recent History of the Society of College Youths caused a burst of laughter) and of society reports; they were very welcome, as were copies of any local newsletters.

Last year, he said, the committee had been asked to consider finding a long-term home for the collection. The committee had however noted that the insurers were at present satisfied with the security that was available in its present home; and there were great advantages in having it readily to the Hon. Librarian’s hand. The present situation was consequently considered to be satisfactory, but in the longer term it might be necessary to consider renting suitable accommodation, perhaps in company with the Publications Committee.

The committee had also been asked to encourage the development of society libraries, and this it was indeed trying to do. They needed to be securely housed; and the practice of listing the contents of any collection in a society’s annual report was, he said, to be commended.

The report was seconded by Miss Jean Sanderson, and after Mr. Corby had enquired solicitously about Mr. Cook’s health - the Council could not afford to lose him or the accommodation he provided, he said (laughter) - the report was adopted.

Public Relations Committee

The Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) and seconded by Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire):

The Committee met in August at Oxford to plan and coordinate its various activities for this Council session, 1987-90. The outline plans for each activity were agreed as follows:

  1. Central Council:

    • to promote the work of each individual Council committee with a series of articles in The Ringing World, spread throughout the 3-year period;

    • to continue the reinforcement of bell restoration activity by publishing “Foundry Focus” periodically.

  2. Media Liaison:

    • to maintain present contacts with the BBC;

    • to seek a regular and structured meeting with the BBC authorities to review broadcast ringing and seek new opportunities;

    • to encourage local association initiatives with local radio.

  3. Community Liaison:

    • to continue to maintain contact data about people within the church or other circles who have an interest and influence in bell-related matters;

    • to further the Council’s objectives in seeking to ensure that the views and vital interests of change-ringing are well represented with regard to the Council for the Care of Churches’ policies on bells.

  4. Exhibitions:

    • to continue the present strategy of making exhibition material available, or mounting exhibitions directly when requested;

    • to develop three sets of general-interest display material to meet demand;

    • to seek new ideas as to how ringing may otherwise be exhibited.

  5. Association Liaison:

    • to update and re-circulate Guild PROs list;

    • to encourage Guild PROs to promote bells on local radio at Christmas time, as a reaction to diminished coverage on national radio;

    • to plan a media event on an “Educational” theme with schools, in July 1989;

    • to organise a Guild PROs’ conference to coincide with the publication of the PROs’ Handbook in 1989.

  6. Press cuttings service:

    • to continue to gather and collate press cuttings;

    • to publish suitable items of interest in The Ringing World;

    • to display the collections at exhibitions and meetings, and pass to the Library as archive material.

  7. Overseas Liaison:

    • to continue to foster frequent communication and close relationships between the Council and ringers overseas;

    • to encourage the practice of ringing PR by ringers overseas;

    • to encourage the development and growth of ringing overseas.

  8. Publications:

    • to produce a “Guild PRO’s Handbook”, for publication by autumn 1989;

    • to keep all Council PR handout literature under review, re-publishing and developing as necessary.

During the past year the Committee’s activities have involved the publication of Foundry Focus, a variety of contacts with the BBC, continuing involvement via the Administrative Committee’s working group with the Council’s approach to the Council for the Care of Churches, numerous exhibitions in various parts of the country, further distribution of porch cards and achievement certificates as promotional material on behalf of the Council, considerable continuing activity in overseas liaison (as reported in The Ringing World), and participation in the Bell Restoration Funds Committee’s seminar in Northampton in April. In addition members of the Committee continue to be consulted and to give advice and assistance on a wide range of PR-related subjects at all levels of ringing.

Mr. Wilby said that, as requested last year, the committee had investigated the implications of acquiring an Expo-like ring of bells for publicity purposes, and he acknowledged the help given by a number of people. A notional quotation had been obtained of £15,000 for a ring of eight bells and their fittings; to this would need to be added some £5-10,000 for a tower structure, plus a further £3,000 or more if it were to be housed in a vehicle, and there would be an annual bill of about £1,000 for insurance, maintenance, storage, and transport costs. The committee had concluded that costs of this order could not be justified on public relations grounds, and unless a sponsor were to come forward, no further action was proposed.

He concluded by saying that up to five members of the present committee were unlikely to seek re-election in 1990, and encouraged anyone interested in public relations work to contact him so that they might have an opportunity to learn what was involved in the committee’s work.

Mr. Potter drew members’ attention to the various free notice forms and certificates that were available, prompting Mr. Halls to say how much the committee’s enterprise was appreciated at grass-roots level. The latter added that, as 1991 would be the Council’s centenary year, some special public relations effort would be appropriate: what about getting the Post Office to issue a special set of stamps?

In reply to a question from Mr. K. Lewin (Bedfordshire), Mr. Potter said that July had been suggested for the educational event as by then the schools’ examinations would be over. The idea was still under consideration, but one idea was to arrange a national “open towers week” for school children.

There being no further questions or comments on the committee’s report, it was then adopted by the Council.

Education Committee

The Committee met three times during 1987 and also had a meeting jointly with the Publications Committee to discuss matters of mutual concern.

At the C.C. meeting in May, Bill Butler and George Morris retired from the Committee and were replaced by Peter Hurcombe and Ron Thorne. Our thanks are due to Bill and George for their long service to the Committee and for the invaluable work they both have done.

Bells in Your Care, a publication for students at theological and N.S.M. colleges, was completed during the year and distributed. Likewise a book Change Ringing on Handbells was completed and passed to the Publications Committee. This book covers in depth the elementary stages of handbell change ringing.

Nine other titles (primarily mentioned in the 1986 Report) are in preparation, with a Recruiting Package of Promotional Literature almost complete.

The Committee plans to modify Bells in Your Care for clergy “in post” and churchwardens, and to distribute it via Guilds and Associations.

An important new publication entitled (at this stage) The Education Officer’s Handbook is planned and preliminary work collecting ideas is under way.

The eighth annual Ringing School was held at Hadlow in late July, with the very kind and active support of the Kent County Association. Around 70 students attended, and the main tuition once again was entitled “Teaching and Leadership in Ringing”. The Committee’s thanks are due to the enthusiasm and hard work of numerous Kent ringers who have assisted with the last two Ringing Schools, whether as helpers at the practical sessions or making towers available, etc. Special thanks are due to the Kent officers who joined the sub-committee which arranged the events.

Later in 1987 a sub-committee including members of the Worcestershire and Districts Association discussed arrangements for the 1988 School, to be held at Pershore between 29 and 31 July.

On October 17 a second “National Seminar on the Teaching of Ringing” entitled “Introducing Change Ringing” was held at Northampton. We were well-served by our guest speakers. Philip Gay demonstrated the Cummins synthesiser at Duston, explaining the technique of using it to introduce change ringing. Wilfred Moreton accompanied his talk on “Teaching from Rounds to Bob Doubles” with an interesting video made specially for the occasion by him and Neil Donovan. Malcolm Tyler spoke on “The Struggling Band - Starting from Scratch”.

A third seminar is planned for 8 October 1988 in north Oxfordshire, when the title will be “Teaching Bell Handling - an Exploration of Alternatives”.

In the 1986 Report the Committee asked C.C. representatives to bring the Committee’s willingness to come and give talks, demonstrations, etc., to their Guilds and Associations. It also asked for representatives’ views on the future style of the Beginners’ Handbook and on what they considered was needed in the educational field. There has been some response and the Committee has discussed the findings. Thanks to all those representatives who responded.

The 1986 Report discussed the future promotion of education in other ways to the written word. The Committee has discussed in some detail the value of computers in teaching and is evaluating suggestions.

A number of amateur videos on various aspects of teaching bell-ringing have been examined, and whilst these have admirably served the purposes for which they were produced, none was suitable for general distribution as it stood. An investigation highlighting the problems of utilising video productions in education has shown that director and producer expertise is essential. Quality of reproduction is necessary for inducing the desired psychological response from the viewer as well as for marketing requirements. This results in a very high cost of production, which is unlikely to be recouped given the limited market within the Ringing fraternity.

The Committee intends, with professional help, to examine the means of reducing costs to a minimum, but the Council is advised that substantial expenditure will be inevitable if such a product is to be developed.

In proposing the report’s adoption, the committee’s chairman, Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth), said that a leaflet advertising the committee’s services had been produced and was being distributed. A measure of their success was that the Pershore course had been heavily over-subscribed. It seemed likely that the committee would next year be running a course at the same time as the Hereford one, the plan being that the two should, be complementary but in different parts of the country. Finally he said that it was hoped to publish something on the production of a video on ringing in The Ringing World; the main question was the degree of professional involvement necessary. He was seconded by Mr. P.T. Hurcombe (Sussex), who had undertaken the research into video production.

Mr. Moreton noted that professional involvement could well be expensive, and commented favourably on a video on bell-handling that had been produced by Mr. P.W. Gay (North Staffs) which had, for example, used a split screen technique to demonstrate the effects of a ringer’s actions.

The report was then adopted.

Publications Committee

Moving his committee’s report, Mr. W.J. Couperthwaite (Guildford) said that it now seemed likely that a storage charge of some £300 p.a. would in future have to be paid for housing the Council’s stock of publications; and he thanked David Thorne and his staff for their work in meeting orders.

The Publications Fund remained in a healthy state during 1987. It was encouraging to see the success of the newer publications, in particular Rounds to Bob Doubles, Triples and Major for Beginners, and Volume I of the Ringing History. Sale of the History at a discount on a pre-paid subscription basis proved to be very successful.

During the year reprints of Easily Remembered Service Touches and the Council Rules were produced, and new publications were Volume I of the Ringing History, Rounds to Bob Doubles, Ringing World Compositions for 1986, Rung Surprise etc., and publicity material for the Bell Restoration Funds Committee.

Of the 14 projects listed in the report for 1986 as being in preparation only the Ringing World Compositions for 1986 and the Collection of Plain Methods were sent to us for publication. In addition proofs of A Beginner’s Guide to Change Ringing on Handbells, Raising and Lowering in Peal, and information cards for the Towers and Belfries Committee were received. All of these will be published early in 1988, as will the Collection of Plain Methods. We were sorry to have to abandon the children’s book Louise and James go Ringing as a project and offer our apologies to the author. Detailed investigations of costs and marketing clearly showed that the investment needed was too large and that the necessary marketing arrangements were beyond our scope.

Work in preparation at year end and which we hope to receive for publication during 1988 included the Ringers’ Atlas, Rope Splicing, Collection of Principles, Ringing World Compositions for 1987, Belfry Maintenance Schedule, the revised Towers and Bells Handbook, Looking After the Money, Conducting Stedman, a second block of method sheets, a Recruiting Package, and Rung Surprise etc.

Many publications are now produced from camera-ready copy supplied to us. The quality of this varies enormously, and on more than one occasion we have had to pay the printer to carry out extra work to remedy defects. Authors are asked to ensure that camera-ready copy is of the highest possible quality.

A thorough investigation of the economics of different size print runs has been undertaken. The use of modern technology and methods make small-quantity production more viable than in the past. In past years large print runs have often been produced and in many cases large numbers of books are in stock which will never be sold and which, although previously listed as assets, are actually worthless. Many of these have now been written off.

Publication of the full price list in The Ringing World at regular intervals will continue. In addition a range of rather more informative advertisements for particular publications or sets of publications will be used since it is felt that this will help potential purchasers.

Jeremy Pratt was co-opted to the Committee in November to work on a number of financial and economic matters. We were sorry to lose the services of Steve Coleman, who resigned from the Committee at the end of the year.

After Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough) had seconded, Mr. O’Callaghan congratulated the committee on the significant increase in sales, but enquired what had been the cause - was there a special reason, or was there a general increase in demand? He also suggested that any written off stock should be separately shown in the Publication Fund accounts.

Mr. Wratten, who had drawn up the detailed accounts, acknowledged the latter point; at present the reduction was reflected only indirectly, in the stock figure as at the end of December 1987. He added that the major cause of the increased sales was the appearance of Part I of the Ringing History - a book which he commended to ringers. The report was then adopted without further comment.

At this point, with the reports of both the Library and Publications committees having been considered, the Secretary moved the formal adoption of the Council’s accounts. He was seconded by the Vice-President, and this was agreed.

Computer Coordination Committee

Mr. P. Church (Beverley) proposed the following report, and was seconded by Mr. G. Dodds (Hertford). Mr. Church commented that the committee was still considering the comments it had received on the draft of his seconder’s book.

The current level of interest in computer-related aspects of ringing was demonstrated by the significant response to the RW article published on August 4th, 1987. Some of the response was through The Ringing World, but the bulk was in private correspondence.

Particular interest was shown in the concept of a system for marking striking competitions. There are seen to be technical difficulties with the development of such a system, and the Committee elected to protect some private research being undertaken on this subject.

The register of Computer Ringing developers has been maintained throughout the year, the above-mentioned article generating several new entries. Copies of the register can be obtained from Peter Church. Send either a stamped (18p) A4 self-addressed envelope, or a 5¼“ diskette in a stamped self-addressed Data Mailer and formatted for reading under View (Version 3.0) on BBC B or BBC Master 128.

The index of Ringing World computer articles is complete up to the end of 1987. It will shortly be available in ASCII file format on 5¼” diskette for IBM PC and compatibles.

The Council is now registered under the Data Protection Act 1984.

It is clear that the application of computers to ringing is changing. The application to composition proof and method generation is well-established, as is their use as a basic training aid.

However, Guilds and Associations are now looking to employ equipment in the more mundane aspects of administrative work, for example in accounting and the production of annual reports. This Committee would be delighted to offer assistance and advice in support of societies contemplating this step, and would be grateful for information concerning the experiences of any societies that have invested in computing or reprographic equipment. Equally we would be interested to hear of any individual or group that is using any equipment for any ringing purpose.

The report was adopted without discussion, leading the President to comment that the speed with which the Council was able to deal with a report should in no way be construed as denigrating the hard work undertaken throughout the year by committee members.

Biographies Committee

Mr. Lock proposed the following report:

The following member and past members of the Council died during the year 1987:

Frank Wilkins Perrens’ connection with the Central Council lasted for almost 60 years, and he enjoyed Life Membership for 28 years. He served on the Council’s Standing Committee 1948-69, and Nomination Committee 1955-56. In May 1924 he took part in ringing two courses of Stedman Cinques at St. Martin’s, Birmingham, this being the first time actual ringing of church bells had been transmitted by wireless.

Harold Nathan Pitstow served the Central Council on three committees - Standing 1959-72, Broadcasting and Television 1960-72, and Public Relations 1972-81. For over twenty years he was the Council’s Honorary Auditor, and for over thirty years he liaised with the B.B.C. in building up the “Christmas Bells” radio programmes. During the period of 36 years when he was secretary of the Westminster Abbey band, he received the award of O.B.E. for his services to bell-ringing. These three appointments terminated in 1979.

The work of the Committee has concentrated on the production of the Biographies of Famous Ringers book for the Central Council’s centenary year, but research is still going on, and the precise set-up has not yet been established. For the guidance of Council members an appendix to this report gives the list of those hopefully to be included in the book. We appreciate there are names of notable ringers not appearing, and should any member of the Council wish to submit acceptable biographical information, such would be considered by the Committee for inclusion in the published work.

Mr. Lock said that he was concerned about the proposed book of biographies: the work had been allocated among the committee’s members, but so far there had been little drafting. Nor had it been possible to hold a meeting of the committee during the past year. Because of pressure of work, one member had found it necessary to resign, and the committee would consequently welcome any volunteer to fill the gap by being co-opted.

After thanking those who had provided biographical details from, for example, association reports, Mr. Lock noted that, although the question of microfilming the committee’s biographical records had been raised a year or so ago, the format used was not readily amenable to filming. As the records were unique, and were at present irreplaceable, something needed to be done.

Seconding, Mr. R.A. Grant (Surrey) regretted that he had had to resign so soon after joining the committee. Mr. G.A. Dawson (Southwell), another member of the committee, said that he would welcome any reminiscences those present might have of past Council members; he was anxious that such oral information should not be lost.

The report was then adopted, the President commenting that the Council looked to the committee for a recommendation as to what should be done about its records.

Methods Committee

The committee’s report was formally moved by Mr. A.P. Smith, equally formally seconded by Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood (Honorary), and adopted without comment.

The Committee met on three occasions during the year, in Chichester on 29 March, in Coventry during the Council meeting on 25 May and in Winchester on 18 October (RW p. 1055).

Corrections and amendments to our publications up to the end of 1987 appeared in The Ringing World of 22 January 1988 (p. 95). The service of free leaflets containing all corrections and amendments was maintained.

The Collection of Plain Methods was completed and camera-ready copy passed to the Publications Committee for printing at the beginning of December. We are grateful for the assistance of Messrs. E.A. Barnett, G. Dodds, W.F. Moreton and A.R. Peake in commenting on the draft or helping us with the names of methods.

Progress on the Collection of Plain Minor Methods was limited to the incorporation of the names of methods rung for the first time. However, as only minor questions relating to the introduction and presentation remain for resolution, we hope to see completion during 1988.

Work continued on the Collection of Principles and several missing compositions obtained. In this respect we are grateful to Messrs. K.I. Lucas, J. Pladdys, and R.W. Smith.

Consideration of the question of Method Extension produced a motion to formalise the traditional relationship between single and twin-hunt plain methods and currently the most significant problem is finding a satisfactory requirement for the relationship between the lead-heads of an extension and those of the parent. Our objective remains to introduce a new Decision (G) to replace the Report on Extension and subsequent amendments.

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

Following suggestions that the Decisions relating to Doubles variations are too permissive, the Committee will be reviewing the relevant decisions during 1988, particularly questioning the merit of recognising extents or round blocks including more than one variation.

Peals Analysis Committee

Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford) proposed the following report, noting that while it included recommendations on two performances that had not complied with the Council’s Decisions on peal ringing, it did not do so for a third, at Landbeach. He understood however that the Methods Committee would be making a recommendation to the Council about the acceptance or otherwise of this performance.


We have recorded a total of 4,598 peals rung in 1987, of which 4,149 were on tower bells and 449 on hand-bells. The overall total is 294 less than in 1986, comprising 311 fewer on tower bells and 17 more on handbells. The principal decreases on tower bells are in peals of Major (-246) and Minor (-72).

The Oxford Diocesan Guild leads the list of leading societies with a total of 321, which is a record for that Guild and the third highest total ever by one society in a year. The Yorkshire Association comes second with 225 peals, followed by the Lancashire Association with 216 and the Leicester DG with 212. This is the third year running in which these four societies have held the top four places.

The Ancient Society of College Youths celebrated its 350th Anniversary Year with 128 peals, which is by far its highest total in a year. Congratulations also to the East Derbyshire and West Notts Association, which rang 16 peals to mark its centenary - a sizeable increase on its usual small quota.

The Committee met immediately after the 1987 Council meeting, and again in February to finalise records for 1987. We have co-opted a former member of the Committee, Timothy F. Collins, to assist with the work, and we are again grateful to Canon K.W.H. Felstead for supplying the section on Towers.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells and comparison with 1986

Fourteen1- 1
Sextuples1+ 1
Maximus219216- 32329+ 6
Cinques117128+ 1186- 2
Royal420439+ 197794+ 17
Royal/Caters13+ 2
Caters178168- 102526+ 1
Major21341888-246237216- 21
Triples305295- 1054- 1
Minor861789- 725168+ 17
Minor/Doubles74- 3
Doubles210205- 556+ 1
Doubles/Minimus1+ 1
Minimus812+ 4

44604149-311432449+ 17

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

Oxford Diocesan Guild27051321
Yorkshire Association20520225
Lancashire Association2106216
Leicester Diocesan Guild19913212
Chester Diocesan Guild13752189
Ely Diocesan Association16313176
Suffolk Guild168168
Gloucester & Bristol DA158158

The list is two shorter than the equivalent list for 1986, the Essex Association and the Lincoln DG having dropped out. Altogether, 17 societies rang 100 or more peals in 1987 (21 in 1986).

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 498 first pealers in 1987 (603 in 1986) and 49 firsts as conductor (66 in 1986).


Peals were rung in 1,718 towers (1,755 in 1986), in 37 of which it was the first peal on the bells (possibly a record for one year). The following 46 towers had ten or more peals, totalling 824 peals altogether:

Loughboro’ Foundry55
Maidstone, All Ss28
Birmingham Cath.26
South Wigston23
Barrow Gurney19
Windsor, St John17
Bedford, St Paul16
East Farleigh16
Leicester, St Mary de C16
*Newcastle/Tyne St John16
West Ham16
Burton Latimer15
Midsomer Norton15
Bristol Cathedral13
12-*Blaydon on Tyne, Evesham, Ipswich (St Mary-le-Tower), Nottingham (St. Peter)
11-Farnworth, *London (St Sepulchre), High Wycombe, Moulton (Northants)
10-Accrington, Boston (Advent), Daventry, *Jesmond, Leckhampton, Leicester Cathedral, *London (St Mary-le-Bow), Melbourne (Derbys), *Portsmouth Cathedral, *Sheffield Cathedral, Stourbridge (St Thomas)

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

During the year Loughborough Bell Foundry had its 2,500th peal, Meldreth its 700th, South Wigston its 500th, and Bristol (St Stephen) its 400th.


Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1986 appear in brackets. “Single S.” means the total rung in single Surprise methods other than those listed separately.

Cambridge S.58(68)9(10)
Single S.53(43)8( 2)
Yorkshire S.31(34)1( 1)
Bristol S.30(37)0( 1)
Spliced S.28(15)1( 0)
Stedman104( 95)6( 7)
Grandsire21( 17)0( 1)
Single S.136(116)14( 6)
Cambridge S.75( 74)19(13)
London S.56( 59)12(12)
Yorkshire S.49( 75)6( 4)
Spliced S.44( 31)6( 9)
Bristol S.33( 33)10( 3)
Plain Bob29( 23)8(11)
Kent/Oxford T.B.5( 2)18(14)
Stedman90( 90)12(10)
Grandsire74( 78)14(15)
Single S.425(552)14(28)
Spliced S.326(410)13(26)
Plain Bob168(185)65(64)
Yorkshire S.160(203)19(17)
Cambridge S.145(132)12( 9)
Bristol S.133(113)13(10)
Rutland S.96( 87)5( 6)
Lincolnshire S.89( 84)7( 8)
London S.80( 86)9( 8)
Kent/Oxford T.B25( 15)38(39)
Superlative S.53( 59)7( 2)
Double Norwich44( 70)4( 3)
Pudsey S.38( 45)3( 2)
Glasgow S.32( 24)2( 2)
Belfast S.21( 16)1( 1)
Single Delight19( 17)0( 0)
Grandsire120(116)4( 5)
Stedman121(113)0( 0)
Plain Bob40( 58)0( 0)
7 methods226(239)10( 5)
2-6 methods202(217)14( 9)
Plain Bob124(115)23(20)
8+ methods128(151)8( 5)
Cambridge S.66( 65)5( 4)
Single S.26( 29)6( 1)
2+ methods150(157)5( 2)
Plain Bob19( 14)1( 2)
Stedman18( 22)0( 0)
Grandsire16( 14)0( 1)

Peals of Note

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

“Peals” not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

  1. Basingstoke, All Saints - 21 November, Spliced Stedman Triples and Caters, rung on nine bells with the treble leading and the tenor covering during the Triples. The Decisions do not provide for peals of Triples and Caters (nor for any other non-adjacent pair) and Decision (D)B.1 provides that peals of Triples shall be rung either on 7 bells or on 8 bells with the tenor as cover. We accept the conductor’s word that the “peal” was not rung as a gimmick or stunt, but as an interesting and worthwhile innovation. The Committee were divided as to whether or not to make a recommendation to the Council as to its acceptance under Decision (D)E, but by a majority vote we recommend that it be not accepted.

  2. Stowlangtoft, Suffolk - 8 March, Oxford Treble Bob Minimus. Decision (E)A.1, which applies to peals by virtue of Decision (D)A.11, requires methods to be true in the plain course. Oxford T.B. Minimus does not so qualify as the plain course contains 48 changes. Having taken note of the points made by the conductor in a letter to the Committee, we do not regard the performance as having any special merit. We recommend that it be not accepted.

  3. Landbeach, Cambs. - 13 March, Minimus in 18 methods. The “peal” as rung and reported does not comply with Decision (E)A.1, which in defining a method requires all working bells to do the same work in the plain course and there to be more working bells than hunt bells. St. Alphege and Reverse St. Alphege do not comply in this respect. The conductor has informed the Committee that the band would be willing to redefine the extents rung in these two “methods” in such a way that they would comply with the Decisions. The Methods Committee, having considered this matter at their meeting on 13 March, have advised that the peal should not be accepted because of the precedent which such a redefinition after the event would set. As we have not had an opportunity to reconsider the matter as a Committee in the light of this advice, we are unable to make a recommendation in this case.

Corrections to the 1986 Analysis

The following additions are made to the 1986 peal totals (tower bells) arising from the late publication of peals, giving a revised overall total for the year of 4982:

Derby DA - 1 Major; Ely DA - 1 Minor; Leicester DG - 1 Royal; Worcestershire and Districts A - 1 Major, 1 Minor.

C.H. Rogers (Chairman)
1, Cunningham Avenue,
Boxgrove Park,
J.D. Cheesman
D.A. Frith
D.H. Niblett
T.F. Collins (Co-opted)
T.G. Pett
L.R. Pizzey
O.C.R. Webster


A Soc College Youths 17171423331031     6 22   11810128
Australian & NZ A 1132187        112   32436
Bath & Wells DA 659536121610        1   991100
Bedfordshire A 315110520             45 45
Beverley & Dist Soc   1 9261            19 19
Cambridge Univ G 131114 6             26 26
Carlisle DG   2163              12 12
Chester DG 53152527457  1 1 13 28 10 13752189
Coventry DG 212 2223        2    32234
S R Cumberland Yths 14 7 13 1       1 4   35540
Derby DA 31177671010       613   11510125
G Devonshire Rs  212359261            76 76
Durham & Newc DA 5210272527 1 1     4 311258133
E Derbys/W Notts A   1 6171            16 16
E Grinstead & Dist G     2               2 2
Ely DA 7211290427164   5 1 6 1 16313176
Essex A 316 39 262 1    1 5 7 781391
Glos & Bristol DA 8101757812226            158 158
Guildford DG 2345306173        2   70272
Hereford DG   1 972212  1 4 6120 4 523587
Hertford CA 247435326       22110   8133114
Irish A  1 14 1           1 718
Kent CA 63223685116            124 124
Lancashire A 43146109184762 1       152106216
Leicester DG1531851309225 1  2 5 6   19913212
Lichfield Archd S 14152372231       311 67572
Lincoln DG 63161485295        3   1133116
Liverpool Univ S 1   1               2 2
Llandaff & Monmouth  143133106            40 40
London CA  32163229             73 73
Manchester Univ G                 1    11
Middlesex CA 2 4243321    1 3 18 1 572380
Midland Cs G   212141            11 11
N American G  22629441       325 13 484189
N Staffords A  25517331          3 36339
N Wales A     1               1 1
Norwich DA  11 202238      213143  553287
Oxford DG 13349312316576    12 16 19 4 27051321
Oxford Soc  14 211             9 9
Oxford Univ S     521             8 8
Peterborough DG 66494592913            121 121
Railwaymen’s G       1             1 1
St David’s DG     2               2 2
St Martin’s G 225331671         3 1 57461
Salisbury DG   53177136   1    1 2 52355
Scottish A   218 1         4   12416
Shropshire A     1               1 1
Southwell DG 511222632571     5 2   82789
Suffolk G 4246391065371           168 168
Surrey A  3 41831          1 20121
Sussex CA 1 4242584 1          67 67
Swansea & Brecon DG     321         1   617
Truro DG   111312101            38 38
Univ of Bristol S  2   1              3 3
Univ of London S 112 8 2         3   14317
Winch & Portsm DG 10 171461225131       8 3 12511136
Worcs & Dists A 477357961            94 94
Yorkshire A 13517512713178      1 8 11 20520225
Central Council   1                 1 1
Non-affiliated socs 15646156292331   4 1017 1 18023203
Non-Association 18417429232      113   79584
T O T A L S1216128439168188829578920512341296942621646864,1494494,598

After Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford) had seconded, Canon E.G. Orland (Peterborough) regretted the omission of the peal of Stedman Cinques from the list of performances of note, on two grounds: firstly, that twelve clergymen had found sufficient time to ring such a peal, and secondly, that they should have managed to ring it without the assistance of either the President of the Council or himself (laughter).

Dr. Baldwin then invited comment on the three non-conformist performances. There was no comment on that at Basingstoke, but Mr. S.D. Pettman (Suffolk) asked on behalf of the conductor that the second, at Stowlangtoft, be accepted. It had, he said, been rung half-muffled in memory of a parishioner who had left £1,000 for the bells; it had been called and rung in good faith, the band not realising that it contravened the Council’s Decisions; and the Peals Analysis Committee had not informed the conductor or the Suffolk Guild of its objection within the time specified.

Mr. A.P. Smith said there was no time limit on objecting to a false peal, Mr. B. Peachey (Police) adding that peals of Minimus containing Oxford Treble Bob had been rejected in the past. Mr. Pettman’s proposal was unable to find a seconder.

Mr. R.G.W. Robertson (Salisbury) urged members to accept the Landbeach peal, in which he declared a private interest - it had been conducted by his son. The methods objected to had an excellent provenance, having been produced by the late Edgar Shepherd, and produced true and complete extents. There had been no intention to tweak the Council’s tail; but even if the peal were rejected, the Methods Committee might like to consider relaxing its rules about peals of Minimus. Minimus ringers were at present limited by these rules to 11 methods and five principles, and this was very restrictive. Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge University) proposed that the peal be recognised, and was seconded by Dr. Pett, who pointed out that the Council had not shrunk in the past from redefining what had been rung in order to ensure its acceptance: he cited the 500 (at first, then 250, and then 500) method peal of Major at Ely as a example.

Mr. Smith said that the Methods Committee recommended rejection, on the grounds that the methods concerned clearly contravened Decision (E)A.1. He added that Minimus ringers already had a number of concessions about what they might acceptably ring, and he personally did not see a need to extend them further. Mr. Peachey added that if the performance were accepted, it would set a precedent for the description of any round block of 24 changes to be redefined until it became acceptable.

A vote on Mr. Walters’ proposal elicited only twelve members in favour, and the committee’s report was then accepted without the inclusion of the Landbeach performance.

Records Committee

Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY) made a number of amendments to the report that had been circulated to members, before proposing its adoption in the following amended form:

A. First peals on tower bells
65040Devon Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
105040Fairlea Little Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
105086Stannum Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
175040Attenborough Surprise RoyalChester DG
185088Sydney Surprise MajorAustralia & New Zealand A
245184Woodchurch Surprise MajorChester DG
295120Mortimer Delight MajorOxford DG
315040Foxley Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
35184Parkway Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
45042Worcestershire Surprise MaximusWorcestershire & Dists A
145088Westerfield Surprise MajorSuffolk G
145152Zermatt Surprise MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
185152Actinium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
185080Upton Park Surprise RoyalNon-Association
215088Jennifer Delight MajorOxford DG
215056Market Weighton Surprise MajorBeverley & Dist. Soc
215024Quarley Surprise MajorYorkshire A
215040Shalstone Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
235056Ashworth Surprise MajorLancashire A
285056Draycott Surprise MajorChester DG
285040Pimlico Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
55280Luigi Delight MajorG of Devonshire Ringers
65024Yanworth Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
75040Muckhart Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
115056Bamford Surprise MajorLancashire A
145040Semilong Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
165024Bromley Surprise MajorEly DA
185152Barium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
215056Londinium Delight MajorYorkshire A
215040Prestwick Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
235017Titanic CinquesLeicester DG
255152Plumbum Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
265000Arran Delight RoyalOxford DG
285000Xenos Surprise RoyalSouthwell DG
295040Violet Treble Bob RoyalYorkshire A
305024Deptford Surprise MajorEly DA
35088Pavenhill Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
85152Roker Surprise MajorLincoln DG
105024Vigo Surprise MajorOxford DG
105056Newbury Treble Bob MajorOxford DG
115000Fittleton Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
115120Tyseley Little Surprise RoyalSouthwell DG
185120Luffield Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
195088Pascha Surprise MajorSt. James’ G
205056Epiacum Surprise MajorYorkshire A
215024Berkhamsted Surprise MajorEly DA
225152Bromine Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
255024Trisantona Surprise MajorYorkshire A
265040Edenham Delight RoyalLincoln DG
305056Crimble Surprise MajorLancashire A
65152Calcium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
105056Deeply Vale Surprise MajorLancashire A
115152Otterburn Surprise MajorOxford DG
135120New South Wales Surprise MajorANZAB
135200Port Jackson Delight RoyalWinchester & Portsmouth DG
165040Troon Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
165040Camdone Surprise RoyalChester DG
195088LeMarechal Delight MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
205152Chlorine Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
215056Lammermuir Delight MajorOxford DG
235040Kingussie Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
235042River Witham Surprise MaximusOxford DG
275056Elbut Surprise MajorLancashire A
275088Surfleet Surprise MaximusLincoln DG
15040Emjay Delight RoyalWinchester & Portsmouth DG
65152Bampton Delight MajorOxford DG
135056Canonbury Surprise MajorMiddx CA & London DG
155248Xertigny Surprise MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
195040Redmoor Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
205056Redbridge Surprise MajorLondon CA
245056Furbarn Surprise MajorLancashire A
275040Idlicote Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
285016Harborne Alliance MajorSt. Martin’s G
305024Woolacombe Surprise MajorEly DA
35040Zambesi Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
115040Underhill Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
125056Gooden Surprise MajorLancashire A
165024Hackpen Delight MajorOxford DG
175040Iddesleigh Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
185120Armitage-is-the-Name College Bob MajorLancashire A
185042Chorleywood Surprise MaximusOxford DG
225000Roanoke Delight RoyalWinchester & Portsmouth DG
255040Marston Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
255088Sowerby Delight MaximusDronoldore Soc
295136Zanussi Alliance MajorSt. Martin’s G
315000Edenfield Surprise RoyalOxford DG
65024Coritanorum Surprise MajorLeicester DG
85056Balderstone Surprise MajorLancashire A
95184Arklow Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
115280Wark Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
145000X-church Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
155040Arbury Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
156805Trafalgar Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
265152Sulphur Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
15024Findon Surprise MajorEly DA
55120Snorscombe Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
65088Ringstead Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
95184Phosphorus Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
105056Hopwood Surprise MajorLancashire A
135040Ubley Surprise RoyalBath & Wells DA
155088Quethiock Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
235152Doublebois Surprise MajorOxford DG
295024Babbacombe Surprise MajorEly DA
35040Hampton Surprise RoyalMiddx CA & London DG
35040Hemmingwell Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
75056Irwell Surprise MajorLancashire A
85024Carbon Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
95040Neville Surprise RoyalOxford DG
105088Burnham Surprise MajorOxford DG
215152Silicon Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
245152Bletchingley Surprise MajorLondon CA
315040Renfrew Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
55024Quirigua Surprise MajorLancashire A
145184Ewbank Surprise MajorSt. James’ G
145184Hanwell Surprise MajorMiddx CA & London DG
145040November Delight RoyalWinchester & Portsmouth DG
145040Oxhouse Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
185120Boron Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
195000Kepler Surprise RoyalOxford DG
195088The Hundred Surprise MaximusSt. Martin’s G
215056Jowkin Surprise MajorLancashire A
275040Newbury Delight RoyalOxford DG
285000Wensum Surprise RoyalHertford CA
25152Benwell Surprise MajorNon-Association
55040Roker Park Surprise RoyalDurham & Newcastle DA
125056Kenworthy Surprise MajorLancashire A
125040Dalmahoy Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
175024Quarter Surprise MajorLeicester DG
195024Romsey Abbey Surprise MajorWinchester & Portsmouth DG
195056Worlingworth Surprise MajorSuffolk G
195040Worthington Surprise MaximusPeterborough DG
215056Yucatan Surprise MajorLancashire A
265120Benefield Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
285088Stowehill Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
285120Twywell Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
295056Chittlehampton Surprise MajorEly DA
295120Whitley Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
305024Plutonium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
298000Spliced Surprise Royal (204m)Soc R Cumberland Youths
B. First peals on handbells
85088Greybury Surprise MajorHereford DG
155280Violet Treble Bob MaximusDronoldore Soc
305152Zirconium Surprise MajorHereford DG
35088Dewi Sant Surprise MajorHereford DG
175152Vanadium Surprise MajorHereford DG
185136Sowerby Delight MaximusMiddx CA & London DG
105042Swindon Surprise MaximusOxford DG
215152Thundred Surprise MajorHereford DG
215152Buckfastleigh Surprise MajorSoc R Cumberland Yths
65040Bourne Surprise RoyalMiddx CA & London DG
235088Xanthium Surprise MajorHereford DG
105056Winchester Surprise MajorHereford DG
275152Illey Surprise MajorHereford DG
15152Quack Surprise MajorHereford DG
45184Little Russian Little Surprise MajorMiddx CA & London DG
215040Spliced Surprise Royal (26m)Southwell DG
115040Spliced Surprise Royal (28m)Derby DA
95040Spliced Surprise Royal (30m)Southwell DG
125040Spliced Surprise Royal (32m)Southwell DG
C. Record peals on tower bells
1414,784Double Dublin Surprise MajorN American G
310,080Lyme Surprise MajorSalisbury DG
1720,064Bristol Surprise MaximusNon-Association
D. Record peal on handbells
2011,880Superlative Surprise Royal (No.2)Leicester DG

Note: the peal of Hucknall Delight Major rung on 28 Feb. 1985 and included in the Committee’s 1986 Report has been found to have been false.

Mr. Sibson said that an updated Collection of Rung Surprise, Treble Bob etc. had been produced this year, but in view of its increasing size and cost, a complete new edition would in future be produced only once in five years. In the intervening years a cumulative addendum would instead be available. In this context he thanked Dr. David Beard for his work in producing these collections. After Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middx CA & London DG) had seconded, Mr. R.C. Kippin (ASCY) suggested that, in view of the growth in size, the Collection might be made available on, for example, floppy disk. Dr. Beard said that this would be possible, but noted that the Publications Committee relied on sales of the book to help offset the selling prices of some of their other publications.

Following a delphic comment from Mr. Blagrove that, in accepting the name of Camdone for the Surprise Royal method first rung on May 16, the committee was “at least being consistent in its inconsistency”, Mr. D.J. Kelly (Bath & Wells) asked whether it might not be advisable for conductors of potentially new methods to check with the committee before naming them. Mr. Sibson said that facility was always available, but the main problems arose with extensions. It might be better to consult the Methods Committee, he suggested, and Mr. Smith confirmed that he did indeed receive enquiries of this sort.

The report was then adopted.

Peal Compositions Committee

Mr. Kippin caused first surprise and then laughter by proposing the adoption of his committee’s report in rhyming verse.

At the end of the last triennium we lost two long-standing members of the Committee, Rod Pipe, our former Chairman, who did not stand for the Council, and Marcus Sherwood who did not seek re-election to the Committee. Both had served with distinction, and the current Committee owes much to their foresight and planning. In their places we welcomed Tony Cox and Peter Sanderson, who were elected to fill the vacancies, and John McDonald whom we co-opted as an extra member.

With the changes in personnel we have introduced some alterations in responsibilities. Compositions submitted for publication in The Ringing World are set up on our computer database by Peter Border, and then divided amongst the remaining members for proof, review and submission. This has eliminated the bottleneck of the Chairman coordinating all proving, and has improved publication time significantly. Individual members are able to give more consideration to the quality of material submitted, and more compositions are now being reviewed rather than just published. The line between publishing everything submitted and being over-zealous in criticism is necessarily a fine one, and no two ringers interested in composition appear to agree where it should lie! We hope that our current policy is getting that line somewhere near the right place.

Three major collections of compositions are currently being compiled - general purpose Major, Stedman Triples, and Spliced Surprise. It is hoped that at least one of these will be with the Publications Committee by the end of 1988. Once again the text will be prepared on our computer, thus showing a substantial saving on the cost of traditional typesetting. On a rough calculation this equipment has already paid for itself with the collections so far published.

Our database continues to expand with the addition of new compositions submitted for publication. In addition we have had generous offers of help in adding older data, and we are concentrating at the moment on adding previous years’ Ringing World compositions.

There are many other things that we could also be doing, but lack of members’ time prevents us from embarking on anything else significant at present.

Mr. Kippin was seconded, rather more prosaically, by Mr. P. Border (Coventry), and the report was adopted without discussion.

Towers and Belfries Committee

The number of cases of inspections and advice given rose from 67 in 1986 to 120 in 1987. The Committee’s meeting in September had 100% attendance and was reported upon in The Ringing World. Two members have taken part in a series of meetings of the Administrative Committee’s working party on the Code of Practice, chaired by Mr. John Freeman, including a most useful meeting with the bell founders. Mr. Harry Windsor was welcomed as a new member at Coventry.

Suggestions from a Council member about heating and lighting in towers and about odd-struckness have been discussed. Work is largely complete on the new edition of the Towers and Bells Handbook, for which copy is intended to be in the hands of the Publications Committee by Easter. Work on the new Schedule of Regular Maintenance is expected to be finished after Easter.

During 1987 the Committee gave a seminar in Coventry for Bells Advisers, both of DACs and ringing societies, and a member of the Committee made a presentation at the Northampton seminar on Organising a Restoration Project. In response to suggestions from Council members, the Committee’s plans for 1988 include the production of a pamphlet and a seminar on Organising a DIY Project. The point made by Council members about the need for care by ringing societies when appointing advisers should be given due weight. In particular it may be difficult for an adviser who has multiple roles to avoid situations where one interest may be thought to impinge on another.

The Administrative Committee was approached in October because Towers and Belfries Committee members were concerned about an article in The Ringing World on liability for professional negligence in connection with advice given. A working party chaired by Mr. Ian Oram was set up by the Administrative Committee to consider the separate questions of the liability of the Council, its committees and, in turn, their members. The scope of the Council’s personal accident insurance for advisers was questioned by the Towers and Belfries Committee and investigation was started by the Administrative Committee.

There have been frequent enquiries about sound control during the year. The Council was reminded by Mr. Frank Lufkin at Coventry that bells are intended to be clearly heard, without causing offence, both by ringers inside the tower and by those living and working in the neighbourhood. The Committee wishes to encourage ringers to strive for this objective. There are known examples of towers where quality of ringing is limited by poor acoustics, or where bell chambers have been enclosed to reduce local annoyance by peal ringing with the result that the medium and long range audibility of the bells has been lost altogether.

Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol) proposed the report, making two additions. The seminar mentioned in the third paragraph would, he said, be held at Loughborough University on October 29th, for which there would be a charge of £5 or £6 per head; and the committee was preparing new guidance for belfry advisers, which they hoped to hand over to the Publications Committee by the end of June.

He was seconded by Prebendary J.G.M. Scott (Honorary), who commented that there had been more work undertaken by the committee in the past year, and a greater level of achievement, than he had ever known - much of it, he added; due to the efforts of the chairman. (Applause). The report was adopted without discussion.

Bell Restoration Funds Committee

In moving the report’s adoption, Mr. J.S. Barnes (SRCY) drew attention to the mailing to parishes and to the Northampton seminar. He thanked those who had assisted with either, but said that he had been disappointed by the level of support from societies for the latter event. He had written to society secretaries during the past ten days to discover whether they had received any approaches as a result of the seminar, and to offer to help if it were needed. Since writing the report he had also had a meeting with the son of the Managing Trustee of the Barron Bell Trust; the outcome of this would be reported in next year’s report to the Council.

The Committee met on three occasions, each in London, and The Ringing World has published accounts of these meetings.

In February we wrote to the P.C.C. Secretaries of over five hundred parishes whose bells were unringable. The purpose of the mailing was to promote the possibility of bell restoration projects by sending a copy of our new booklet Organising a Bell Restoration Project and to invite attendance at our seminar concerning bell restoration. The exercise was undertaken in close cooperation with Guilds and we are grateful to Guild officers and members for their help. During 1988 we shall be considering with Guilds what follow-up action is appropriate.

The Seminar, entitled “Bell Restoration - Making it Happen”, was held in Northampton in April and was attended by about eighty representatives from Guilds and parishes. We appreciated the willing help from various sources and particularly that of the Public Relations and Tower & Belfries Committees. The contributions from both platform and floor made it a very worthwhile day.

Whilst one ring of bells is already being restored as a result of the mailing, restoration projects are often very slow to get started. Thus, the effects of both the mailing and the seminar will tend to be long term and difficult to assess directly.

We were pleased to accept an invitation to participate in the seminar which the Towers & Belfries Committee held at Coventry.

The Committee again helped the trustees of the Manifold Trust with the administrative work involved in making their annual grant towards bell restoration. The total grant offered was £21,000. With £23,500 available in 1988 it is hoped that Guild officers will do all they can to ensure that a good number of worthwhile applications re received for the Trust’s consideration.

A donation of £200 was received from the Homelands Trust for bell restoration work, and contact has been made with a Trustee of the Barron Bell Trust with whom it is hoped to arrange a meeting.

The year saw a large increase in correspondence from parishes requesting help with fund raising. Whilst we are pleased to be able to help, we are concerned that the approach to us appears to be independent of the appropriate Guild. In the knowledge that contact at local level is bound to be beneficial to parishes, we now inform Guilds of correspondence with their towers.

At the last Council meeting we welcomed two new members to the Committee. We are taking the opportunity to review our workload and are considering ways of improving our communications with Guilds and ringers.

The report was seconded by Mr. Oram, and adopted.

Committee for Redundant Bells

This, the last of the committee reports, was proposed by Mrs. Jane Wilkinson (Honorary) and seconded by Mr. Corby. It was adopted without discussion.

In 1987 43 churches were declared redundant, a drop from the 51 of 1986. However, since numbers had fallen each year from 73 in 1980 to 30 in 1985, 43 for 1987 was still a little disappointing. With just over twelve hundred churches now declared redundant, it looks as if the forecast of fourteen hundred redundant churches by the end of 1989 may yet prove unduly pessimistic, particularly since fewer churches seem now to be being considered for redundancy. There also seems to be a growing tendency to declare only a part of a church redundant, often simply so that building work, perhaps of a church hall, can take place. This may cause some confusion, since it is not always made clear that the whole building is not to be redundant.

Of the 1,163 churches redundant since the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into effect whose fates have been decided, 236 have been vested in the Redundant Churches Fund, 280 have been demolished, 643 have found alternative uses, and four are being preserved by the Department of the Environment.

The Committee has been involved this year with 46 cases, including ten new enquiries, some very tentative, for rings of bells, and fifteen for bells for augmentations, replacements, or for use as singles. It should, however, be emphasised that the Committee is only likely to be involved when bells move from their original dioceses, or where there is a problem in finding either a bell or a home. These figures cannot be an accurate measure of all the work that is being done in re-housing bells, most of which is done at local level, and by the local association.

Although, as we reported last year, the ambitious plan for bells in east London centred on the ring from St. Stephen, Ealing, unfortunately came to nothing, the Ealing bells did, happily, find a new home in Aberdeen.

Clearly the primary concern of the Committee is with bells from redundant churches; but we feel that the spirit of its terms of reference can also be served by acting as a go-between when bells needed to be moved from churches that are not redundant, as happened this year at St Martin in the Fields.

It is a pleasure, though probably a fleeting one, to report that this year there have been no heavy rings of bells immediately at risk. The coming year, however, looks likely to prove otherwise; and it should be remembered that a heavy ring can be a fourteen hundredweight six - as well as a twenty hundredweight eight. Redundant rings of six or eight with six hundredweight tenors, which are much more easily re-housed, are infrequent.

It is always pleasant to say thank you: and we do so again to the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their help and interest. Mr. Ranald Clouston has again provided us with copies of his notes on bells in potentially redundant churches; they area tremendous help, and we are most grateful to him.

The President thanked all committee chairmen and members for the very considerable amount of work they had done during the past year on behalf of the Council (applause); and repeated that his efforts to keep the day’s business moving ahead should not be taken amiss or as a reflection on the value of that work.

Central Council Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

This Fund is separately registered with the Charity Commissioners, and its report is consequently considered separately from those of the Council’s other committees. Both the report and its accompanying accounts were proposed by Mr. R.J. Cooles and seconded by Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan (both Honorary), Mr. Cooles commenting that the Brisbane Cathedral reference in the third paragraph was to St. Andrew’s, South Brisbane.

The Fund was constituted in 1979 to rescue rings of bells from sudden disposal by diocesan authorities otherwise than as a ringing peal of bells. Since then conservation has become a watch-word and authorities are more careful. Loss still occurs. Lichfield Diocese has confirmed the intended sale of the six at St Julian, Shrewsbury, to the proprietor of the Arts Centre at the church for static display without apparently considering their transfer to another church. In the main though there are now only isolated risks of destruction.

In this year the Fund has been mainly involved in the sale of the Ealing bells (purchased in 1986) to Aberdeen Cathedral where their installation has been a considerable success. Those concerned in the scheme in Scotland merit hearty congratulations. The Fund has been fully and promptly paid for the bells.

The Fund has also been incidentally involved in the rescue of chimes which can be used as rings of bells - a six from Dundee is going to Brisbane Cathedral, and six from a chime of nine at Acton, London, to Melbourne, Australia.

It may be now that the Fund’s main aim is to act as a funding agency to enable restoration schemes involving transfers of bells to go ahead smoothly and to provide bridging finance. Two such cases were noted as potential schemes at the close of 1987.

Our thanks to those who remain ready to provide loans to the Fund in case of need and for the general support the Fund receives.

Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1987

152Excess of income over expenditure158.29
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1987
720Loan to PCC of St Pierre du Bois720.00
120Loan to PCC of St Paul, Stoneycroft-.-
5748Cost of bells from St Stephen’s, Ealing-.-
1027Bank balances6,008.46

765Sundry Creditors720.00
1000Central Council General Fund-.-


5850Net Assets£6,008.46
5698Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19875,850.17
152Excess of income over expenditure158.29

R.J. Cooles
M.H.D. O’Callaghan


We have audited the above financial statements. In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Fund’s affairs at 31st December 1987.

MICHAEL J. CHURCH, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
April, 1988

Future meetings

The Secretary reminded the meeting that invitations had already been accepted for 1989 and 1990, from the St. Martin’s Guild and the Bath & Wells DA respectively; and that invitations had been noted but not yet formally accepted, from the ASCY (for the Council’s centenary meeting in 1991), the Llandaff & Monmouth DA (for 1993), the Truro DG (1997) and the Lincoln DG (1999). In addition he had now received invitations from the Peterborough DG, for 1992, and the Ely DA, for 1997; there was of course another invitation for the latter year from the Truro DG.

It was agreed to accept the invitations for both 1991 and 1992, so that the Societies concerned could go ahead with their planning; and to note the remaining invitations.

Mr. J.A. Anderson (St. Martin’s) briefly explained the background to his society’s invitation for next year, reminding the Council that the idea of forming such a body had first been mooted by Arthur Heywood at a dinner held in Birmingham in 1889 to mark the 80th birthday of Henry Johnson. The Guild was consequently wondering whether it might arrange a dinner, rather than the more usual buffet, for the reception on the eve of the meeting, although this would inevitably be more expensive for those attending. A show of hands indicated that a majority of those present would support such an event.

Any other Business

The Secretary reported that, as a result of the votes earlier in the day, 69 societies were now affiliated to the Council, with 68 of them eligible to send, between them, 184 representative members to the meeting. 53 of these societies had been fully represented during the day, and only three were not represented. In total 166 representative, 19 Honorary, and six Life members had been present, the resulting attendance of 191 being the second highest in the Council’s history.

Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth), speaking as a representative of the only society with towers on off-shore islands (laughter), drew attention to a Guernsey publicity brochure, copies of which he had distributed and which included bell-ringing as one of the island’s tourist attractions.

Concluding the meeting, the President warmly thanked, on behalf of the Council, all those who had contributed to the undoubted success and enjoyment of the weekend - the incumbents and tower captains of the churches where members had rung, Copeland District Council, the Vicar of Whitehaven, and above all the members of the Carlisle Diocesan Guild and in particular the members of the Guild’s organising committee that had master-minded all the arrangements. (Prolonged applause).

He then declared the meeting closed - only to be told by Mr. Corby that he done so prematurely: he wished to thank the President “and his rather doubtful colleagues on the top table” (laughter) for the efficient way in which the meeting had been conducted (applause).

The Ringing World, July 1, 1988, pages 623 to 633

Public Relations Committee
Overseas Liaison Report for 1987

Acknowledgement is made to the several bell ringing publications and to the letters from friends overseas and at home, from which the contents of this report were extracted. The publications concerned were The Ringing World, The Clapper, Ringing Towers, S A Ringing Circle and Look To. The writer is grateful to the Editors, the contributors and the letter writers concerned. As usual, there may be some important points which were worthy of mention, but do not appear and the reason is because such items did not come to the attention of the author or were inadvertently missed. Apologies are offered to anybody or area, which considers they were left out.

Central Council Meeting, Coventry: The most important event of the Spring holiday weekend in the UK when the Council meeting was held in Coventry, was the amendment to the Council’s rules, which would allow Overseas areas unable to provide a membership of 75 to qualify for affiliation, but could muster at least 25 to enable them to apply for Overseas Non-territorial class of membership. Almost immediately, the South African, Transvaal and Zimbabwe societies went into action to organise themselves with a view to applying for affiliation under the amended Rules. It is hoped that when any applications are presented, they will be received and accepted with the same enthusiasm that prevails in the other Overseas areas.

It was a great pleasure to see David Bleby, who travelled all the way from Adelaide to be in attendance as the ANZAB representative along with the other two ANZAB reps who so regularly put in an appearance at Council meetings. As President of ANZAB, he more or less had the plane waiting for him, to return him to the Southern Hemisphere, in order to preside at the ANZAB meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand. What devotion to duty and what enthusiasm!

The usual display of Overseas “wares” was seen but this year additional panels were to highlight the Australian bi-centennial arrangements. The coloured photograph of the Durban ringers - all named, attracted much attention, as did the map of the world with all overseas towers pin-pointed. Houston and Victoria too, were given publicity in the form of press references.

We were delighted to welcome as observers at the meeting, the secretary of the Italian Bell-ringing Association Sig. Avessani, and his wife. There were in all five Italians present during the weekend.

Communications: The Overseas Liaison of the Public Relations Committee has formed close relationships with many overseas ringers in all areas of bell-ringing. Letters and information pass to and fro, and the writer of this report appreciates very much the time and trouble taken by the overseas correspondents, to forward so many interesting items about their activities and make one feel “one of them”. It is evident from the large file of letters, that our overseas friends are grateful for the close links with us “at home”.

The friendship bond between “home” and “overseas” is made even closer, by the visits of so many ringers from all over the world. The news items appearing in the bell ringing journals mentioned in the Introduction to this report all emphasise the mutual benefit and friendships formed by such visits. A number of the UK visitors have been very helpful to the writer with news of places they visited. In particular, Kilifi in Kenya was one which was highlighted.

One group of ringers who performed an outstanding service to bell-ringing must be identified. This group is of course the Great Adventure III party in the personages of Rev Dr John and Beryl Baldwin, George and Diana Pipe and Robert and Ruth Smith, who in January were involved in an intensive and strenuous Educational tour to all areas of Australia. Suffice it to say, that these ambassadors left their mark on Australia and came back with genuine gratitude from all towers visited.

Public Relations: Mrs Jane Gant of Durban was interviewed for Radio Port Natal’s “Hot Spot” in connection with the publicity about a Peal at St Paul’s, Durban. The local Daily News showed Jane Gant along with the Rector, Rev. Jimmy Draper in a photograph and not to be outdone the Natal Mercury published a picture of the band. Before the Peal itself, film crews arrived to “shoot” the ringers and the bells. As a result of all this publicity, many people came along to hear the bells and some of them expressed interest in the ringing. Later that day, the TV news on both the English and Afrikaan channels, and the Zulu news, sequences of the events were presented before, during and after the Peal. The peal itself was significant by being the first in Durban by a band of resident South African ringers. (RW p. 472). Brian Blackshaw of Durban was seen admiring the town hall bell, in a Ladysmith paper.

The Transvaal Society has for years demonstrated bell-ringing during the annual Parktown Heritage weekend. This year, it included lectures and demonstrations in the tower (SARC).

Trevor Letcher of Grahamstown with the aid of handbells, went to Port Albert to speak to the local Rotary Club on bell-ringing. He even put the Rotarians through their paces with the aid of the handbells. A lengthy report appeared in Grocott’s Mail (SARC).

A public lecture was given in the College of Music in Capetown University on the subject of “Music and Numbers”. The introductory talk was by Jimmy Riadore who dealt with the subject of “Bells”. This was followed by Jo Baldock’s junior group playing tunes on handbells and a demonstration of change-ringing by Cathedral ringers. The Argus newspaper photographed and interviewed the Capetown Cathedral ringers during a practice session, and it appeared in print a few days later (SARC).

At St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, N.S.W. members of the Australian Acoustic Society visited the tower and inspected the bells. A talk was given to them on change-ringing and about the problems associated with sound control. (RT).

The Adelaide S.A. press published an article on bell-ringing which coincided with the January Educational course. There was also a photograph of the ringers at the ropes.

The Church News, The Tasmanian Mail, and Mercury all gave excellent reports about the restoration work at Holy Trinity, Hobart, Tasmania. There were photographs of the various aspects of the work. This followed the very good coverage given in 1986 when the bells were being removed from the tower en route to London.

From New Zealand, we note that the ringers of St Matthew’s, Auckland were filmed by a NZ TV crew for a “Weird Hobbies” series of programmes. Mike Clayton of Christchurch has to be complimented on producing a very good video tape about bell-ringing. It includes change-ringing on handbells, an excellent presentation about the exercise by Bob Bennett with the aid of Christchurch Cathedral bells, and Pleasance Purser is “met” with the ringers of Wellington Cathedral. This tape was made with the uninitiated in mind and it is certainly a good PR job.

The Houston Post produced a lengthy and interesting article complete with photographs about the bell-ringers of Houston. Insight magazine followed with a short mention and the American Broadcasting Corporation prepared a video to “air” in a weekend programme (C.).

In New Castle, USA, an open house in the tower was part of the annual candlelight tours of New Castle. Over 100 people visited the tower and were given a brief introduction to change-ringing (C).

The Los Angeles Times sought advice from NAG about writing articles on change-ringing (C).

Martin Meier, PRO for NAG in his report mentions the fact that a steady flow of phone calls are received from across the USA seeking information about where the callers can ring, or to see change-ringing in action. He has sent out brochures of information prepared by NAG and intends to investigate suitable advertising in bell related journals. Advice is sought on the writing of articles about the Art.

The bell ringers of Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver, BC, were immortalised in the B C Catholic, under the heading “Cathedral bells are ringing out the glory of the Lord”. Photographs showed the bells and the ringers at the ropes.

The visit to Quebec by members of the N A Guild was “disturbed” by the media, but they did not mind because of the resulting publicity engendered. (C).

Broadcasting: In a letter in the Ringing World, Stephen Oliver said he had commissioned some recordings of bells from overseas for inclusion in the Bells on Sunday spot after Morning has Broken programme. During the year we were delighted to hear the bells of Christ Church, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, included in that programme. On Christmas Morning, we heard the bell recording of Washington Cathedral which was made when the bells were “opened” by the ten English experts.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation recorded the bells of Grahamstown Cathedral, so that they could be relayed prior to religious services broadcast from SABC. Durban, too, has been featured on SABC TV and Radio.

There were a number of appearances on the Australian Broadcasting network of the members of the Great Adventure team, both on TV and radio.

Elsewhere will be found other references to the broadcasting particularly in the previous section.

Publications: The S A Ringing Circle is the newsletter being produced by the four centres of ringing in South Africa in turn. The first issue was followed by two more during the year. It contained a directory of towers, ringing times and contacts. Altogether it is a very creditable publication and we must congratulate those who took part in this venture. How lucky South Africa is to have people in each tower who are so capable of acting as Editors, mention must be made of the three concerned with the issues already published - Jane Gant, Durban; Felicity Christison, Transvaal and Mike Berning, Grahamstown. We thank them for their efforts and look forward to receiving Cape Town’s effort and to all future issues. We must endorse the words of Jane Gant from the first issue when she said “Length of contribution is not important. What is important is the fact that we are keeping in touch”.

Look-to from Zimbabwe appeared once again and it contained much detailed information on the activities and movements of their ringers.

Elizabeth Bleby of Adelaide is the prime mover in the proposed History of Australian Ringing and she has asked for items of historical interest from anybody with such information to assist her in her enormous task.

Mike Berning of Grahamstown, RSA, had published through the Cory Library of the University of Grahamstown his literary effort being An Outline History of the Tower, Clock and Bells of Grahamstown Cathedral.

Bill Wakeland of Ball State University USA has been given leave in order to write a history of the North American Guild and of the towers in America. He anticipates having completed the work in 1988.

In addition to the above publications, one must not overlook the great regular publications. We refer of course to The Clapper and Ringing Towers, whose Editors are respectively, Richard Anderson and Susan Tonkin. They are doing a really good job in conveying news items, etc, about bellringing and ringers in their respective spheres. Few will envy them in their tasks, and they are certainly due the gratitude of all in their mammoth tasks. Each appears regularly every three months, but because of Ringing Towers being unable to include everything sent in for publication, it is in future to appear six times a year. More hard work for “poor Susan”!

Ringing courses: The highlight of the year, must he the huge task undertaken by the Great Adventure III “six”, when they engaged in intensive educational and training sessions in Australia in preparation for the bicentennial year celebrations. New Year’s Day 1987 saw this party leave the UK for Perth, WA. The round trip was to cover 25,000 miles, and in between they gave 109 talks to 250 ringers and non-ringers in 24 towers. There were appearances on TV, in Universities, as well as calling on 11 towers expected to instal rings of bells. All of these activities, plus many sideshows were accomplished by the 31st January 1987. Truly a very Great Adventure. The visit was not in the main a peal ringing one, nor was it a tower grab, but purposely a teaching tour. Having read reports from the various towers associated with the course, there is no doubt, that Australian ringing benefited greatly from the six experts. Expressions of amazement at their energy, and of the knowledge dissipated, and the sympathetic manner in which “faults” were corrected, etc., abound. There were expressions of appreciation and gratitude for what was learned. Advantage was taken whilst the tourists were in Australia to ring some peals and quarter-peals and it is to their credit that in every peal local ringers scored a “first”. The Exercise is indeed proud to have experts who are prepared to travel overseas and to devote their time mainly to teaching. (See R.W., 17/4/1987.)

In connection with the annual general meeting of the North American Guild, a ringing course took place in Kalamazoo College, which commenced on the Wednesday previous to the meeting itself. Here “raw” recruits, up to ringers of Plain Bob standard were put through their paces in an intensive course. Several quarter-peals were rung during the event, such was the effectiveness of so many ringers getting together and enabling the less-experienced to join them.

Augmentations and restorations: There was great activity in Australia with restorations and the provision of new bells, either as augmentations or new rings. Hobart, Holy Trinity bells were returned from Whitechapel and were re-dedicated on the 27th December, following a major overhaul largely contributed in the cost area by bellringers of the British Isles as a bicentennial gift. The bells of St Mark, Darling Point were sent to Whitechapel for retuning and new fittings and were expected back before the end of the year. The new ring of bells at Wangaratta Cathedral, were officially opened. There are no experienced ringers there and great credit is due to Jim Jefferies of Wodonga who travelled each week to Wangaratta to teach local recruits how to ring their bells. Other projects are in hand for completion in 1988.

A light Taylor ring of five bells was inaugurated at Christ Church, Raleigh in Carolina and a ring of eight bells for Trinity Cathedral, Little Rock, Arkansas was ordered from the Whitechapel Foundry. David Graves of Houston USA has been very active advising church bodies on the installation of potential rings of bells. We hope that his efforts will meet with success. Washington Cathedral society has also advised St Mark’s Cathedral in Minneapolis, who showed interest in procuring a set of bells. In order that they may make a decision in the matter, the committee concerned will visit Washington to observe the practical side of ringing, which hopefully will influence them to swing in favour of a ring of bells.

In Durban, RSA some major repairs were executed by ringers there with the assistance of Natal University. The prime mover and “chief engineer” of the work was Eric Webster who devotes many hours among the bells ensuring that they are maintained in good ringing condition both at St Paul’s and St Mary’s. Grahamstown Cathedral were hoping for a complete restoration job to be undertaken, But have had to be content with major repair work on repairing wheels, fitting roller bearings, etc. in order to improve the “heavy” going of the bells. John English and Trevor Letcher worked hard in this area. St Mary’s, Woodstock has been undergoing some major repairs to the bells executed by local ringers under the eagle eye of Jimmy Riadore. Roller bearings are being fitted to the bells - one at a time when necessary finance is available.

Meetings: The annual general meeting of ANZAB in Christchurch, NZ coincided with the silver jubilee of the founding of the Association. Amongst the items dealt with was the mention of a NE branch and the proposed history of ringing in Australia and New Zealand. Because so many ringers were unable to make the journey to NZ, a “mini” meeting took place in Bendigo during the first weekend in June. The 40 ringers who attended enjoyed the socialising, the ringing and the quarter-peal of Grandsire Triples.

The annual dinner of the Transvaal Society caused a photograph of the gathering to appear in The Ringing World. It was held in June and the usual award of the wooden spoon took place. It goes to the ringer who has done the most “stirring” negative or positive within the Society during the previous year.

The Zimbabwe Guild held its annual meeting-cum-dinner in the Chapman Golf Club and it proved to be a most successful event. For its half-yearly meeting, three carloads of ringers converged on Kwe Kwe, when the opportunity was taken to give ringing lessons to the new local recruits and to give support to Margaret Gendall in the trojan work she did to maintain a team of ringers in that remote place.

Sadly, Margaret’s husband has been transferred to another parish and we must pay a sincere tribute to her for what she did for ringing in Kwe Kwe and we thank her for her services there. However, the best thanks she can receive is to ensure that her trainees maintain bellringing in Kwe Kwe and that they in turn will teach others, ably supported by those from Harare.

The combined Ringing Course and AGM of NAG took place in Kalamazoo College on the 7th September. Amongst the decisions made was the election of a third member to serve on the Central Council. John King of Washington was nominated as the next President in place of Michael Batten whose term of office was drawing to a close. Michael in spite of residing in Victoria and being so remote from the densest area of ringing in America, kept things moving and was on top of the job.

Peals and Quarter-peals: The appended Table includes the-recorded Peals and Quarter-peals rung overseas in the various countries. Comparison with the 1986 table (RW 3/7/1987) show much reduced overall performances in all areas for quarter-peals. There was an increase in the numbers of Peals scored in Australia, Canada and South Africa. The most notable performance during the year was the record length of 14,784 Double Dublin Surprise Major at Kalamazoo USA and the band concerned deserve our congratulations, especially as it followed the Erin Caters record established in 1986. New methods rung to Peals were Sydney S. Major; Wonderful T B Major; Chicago S Minor; New South Wales S Major. Congratulations must go to the Durban Guild who scored the first Peal by a resident team of ringers. It is interesting to record that the USA rang the greatest variety of methods outside of the standard eight. Australia was also high in the Surprise league for methods rung. Canada ventured as far as Cambridge S Royal, and Yorkshire S Royal.

New Zealand3-483
South Africa6115-
NOTES:*Includes 3 peals for G & B D A.
Includes 3 Peals for G & B D A and 2 for SRCY.
All “Others”, except one in Italy, come from Hong Kong.

South Africa and Zimbabwe were content to remain with Plain Bob, Grandsire and Stedman, although Zimbabwe went into the realms of practising D.N.C.B. Major. P.B. Maximus was achieved in New Zealand and Cambridge S. Major was noted in quarter-peals.

Boston was the leading tower in USA for Peals, with Kalamazoo College at the top of the quarter-peal league. Auckland, NZ and St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney were in excess of ten quarters each. Parktown rang five Peals and Durban eight quarters.

Overseas Directory: Gratitude is expressed to the NA Guild, ANZAB, Zimbabwe, and the South African towers who so kindly forwarded information about ringers, towers and ringing times in their respective areas to enable the card-index to be updated. There are continual changes taking place which makes it essential that the latest details and correct information is to hand. Both Ringing Towers and S A Ringing Circle, published a directory of towers, ringing times and contacts. The Clapper regularly amends individual tower details included in the annual report of NAG. The card-index has proved its usefulness when a number of ringers going abroad sought ringing information in the areas being visited.

Miscellaneous notes: In this section some items of general interest are recorded:

America Marie Cross did some trojan work with the ringers at Texarkana during a two months stay there, the result of her efforts enabled the local band to reach a milestone with some assistance from Marie and conductor David Graves and ring some quarter-peals of P. Bob Doubles. A party of ringers from UK from the Gloucester & Bristol Association visited the USA and rang some peals in both USA and Canada. The Bicentennial of the USA Constitution Commission got in touch with NAG regarding a project called “Bells across America”. The idea was to have every tower ringing at an appointed time on September 17.

Australia Congratulations to ANZAB on celebrating its 25th birthday, having been established in 1962. Great Adventure III by six expert ringers from UK in January was the highlight of the year, particularly as it was in the nature of an Educational tour.

Canada A party of 29 ringers and friends converged on Quebec for the NAG Memorial weekend. They rang at both towers and were agreeably surprised at the appearance of a peal board written in French to record the peal scored on St Matthew’s bells in June 1985. Except for these visitors, the bells of Quebec Cathedral do not ring for the remainder of the year.

Italy Through the courtesy of George Morris who has done so much as liaison with the Italian ringing circles a report on the close relations between the Italian ringers and those in the UK is being included in this Report. Paolo Avesani, the Secretary of the Associazione Suonatori di Campane a Sistema Veronese (Verona Association) and his wife Rosalia were guests of the Central Council at the Coventry reception. Paolo, together with Giuseppe De Facci from Vicenza, were also present as observers for part of the Council meeting itself on the 26th May. Sig De Facci was visiting the UK with five of his ringers from Vicenza.

Arthur and Janet Baker along with George and Ruth Morris accepted invitations from the President of the Verona Association, Sig Giancarlo Tommasi, to visit them and to be guests at their great Raduno or rally in and around Verona. What a superb time they had meeting ringers who use a very different system to English method of ringing yet they were all fired with the same enthusiasm.

In August Sig Tommasi and Annamaria his wife, brought a party of eighteen mostly young ringers to the UK where they were entertained by ringers from London, the St Martin’s Guild, the Gloucester and Bristol Association, the Hereford Guild, and, of course, the St Matthias ringers, Malvern, and friends from Worcester and Malvern areas were the main hosts. The party was dined and wined in many places and greeted on behalf of the Central Council by Chris Groome, Vice-president. The visitors had the opportunity of ringing our bells in the English style as well as in the way they know best, that is the Italian style of Concerti. Twenty young ringers from the UK have been invited to make a return visit to Italy.

Lahore A report on the condition of the ring of bells in Lahore Cathedral was given in the Ringing World, p.805. The reason they were not rung was said to be because of tower movement. The six bells are placed high up in the SW tower.

Kenya Bernard and Josie Sadler of Prittlewell visited Kilifi and they were very helpful to the writer in supplying up-to-date information about the conditions in Kenya and other local information. The seamen and officers of HMS Andromeda called to see the Kilifi bells and as a result of their visit a recommendation as to necessary repairs which must be effected before the bells can ring again was formulated. Particular attention is required to remedy rotten frame members and general attention to other fittings.

New Zealand Pleased to welcome the ANZAB annual meeting to Christchurch.

South Africa The South African towers have a new found unity following our efforts to enable them to become affiliated to the Central Council. There was joy all round when it became known that the Council had amended the Rules to enable non-affiliated societies to be regarded as Non-territorial Overseas Societies.

In January a striking competition was inaugurated when five teams from Durban and Parktown competed. Parktown on their own bells filled the first three places.

It was a case of those used to ringing “small” bells scoring over those used to heavier bells endeavouring to master the lighter bells! A high level of sportsmanship prevailed and they all look forward to next contest when the lighter bellringers try their skills on the heavier bells of Durban. Perhaps more towers will compete then. It is reported that even as a result of practicing for the contest there was much improvement in striking.

Cyril Chambers, ex Kidderminster, the GOM of Durban ringing suffered a heart attack and has been forced to leave Durban and is now living in Johannesburg. His experience and regular attendance on ringing occasions will be sadly missed and we wish him a speedy recovery and an early return to ringing.

Zimbabwe Membership has increased and a few of the older members have emigrated. Margaret Gendall of Kwe Kwe has departed with her husband to a “new” Parish and will be very much missed in that outpost.

Thanks: The writer on behalf of the Central Council in general and the Public Relations Committee in particular expresses thanks to the officers in the various Associations, and those in the several towers for their unstinted efforts in maintaining bell ringing in the respective areas. Most of the work goes un-noticed and maybe unappreciated by many ringers, nevertheless we do appreciate any effort no matter how small in the interests of fostering our Art. Our gratitude is also accorded to the Editors of the bell ringing journals and newsletters for keeping others informed of activities within their respective spheres. Then of course, we must not forget the Editor of The Ringing World for not taking the writer to task for extracting so much information from his much looked forward to paper week in and week out. Thank you David. Last but not least the many friends overseas who by their interesting letters are of great assistance to the Overseas Liaison in fulfilling his obligations to the PR Committee and Council are due sincere thanks. To all ringers overseas best wishes for the future and do keep up the good work, because your efforts are appreciated with deep interest.

Overseas Liaison,
CC Public Relations Committee

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

The Ringing World, May 13, 1988, pages 454 to 456



The highlight of the year was undoubtedly the production of the first Ringing World Diary following the purchase of the Ringers’ Diary from Bill Viggers and Hazel Hodgson. Whilst the launch was not without its difficulties, mainly due to delays at the binding stage, the new venture proved to be very successful, with all 8,000 copies sold. We appreciate the generally favourable reaction to the new diary, and would thank the many people who cooperated in its production, particularly Andrew Stubbs who was responsible for the re-design of the content of the diary, and Anne Carpenter who, under considerable pressure at times, made an excellent job of the distribution of the diary.

Yet again the increased activity among the quarter peal ringers produced a major headache for the Editor and a large backlog of unpublished quarters. However with the help of a small band of ringer/word processor operators and a computerised type-setting system we are beginning to reduce the problem. It should be pointed out that this extra type-setting demands extra pages to be published and the Board must be constantly aware of the balance between costs and income when taking the decisions to publish extra pages.

Joy Eldridge retired from full time administrative work in our office in June and whilst expressing our sincere thanks to her for her work in the past we were also pleased, and relieved, to welcome her back on a part-time basis.

For the continued health and prosperity of the paper there are three ways in which ringers can support us: by contribution, by donation, and by subscription. Our sincere thanks to the many who have supported us in these aspects in 1987.

H.W. Egglestone


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