1989 CENTRAL COUNCIL MEETING:
OFFICIAL REPORT

The Central Council’s 92nd annual meeting took place in the Grand Hotel, Colmore Row, Birmingham, on May 29 and was opened promptly at 10 o’clock with prayer lead by the President, the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA).

After the Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Life Member), had drawn attention to some minor typing errors in the agenda for the meeting, the latter went on to report that 69 societies were currently affiliated to the Council, of which only one - the S. Derbyshire and N. Leicestershire Association - had insufficient members for it to be represented at the meeting. The remaining 68 societies had, between them, 184 representatives on the Council. There were in addition 9 Life and 22 Honorary members of the Council, giving a total membership of 215 at the start of the meeting.

He reported that all subscriptions had now been paid.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary said that apologies had been received from Mr. F.E. Collins (Life Member), Mrs. O.D. Barnett (Honorary), and Messrs. A.N. Brock, W.T. Cook, S.J. Flockton, Canon Hart, Messrs. D. Hird, A. Howes, P.T. Hurcombe, M.J. Lodwick, J.L. Millhouse, Canon Orland, and Messrs. D.F. Riley, D.D. Smith, D.W. Bleby and W.H. Jackson (representative members). He added that the two latter represented overseas societies (ANZAB and the North American Guild respectively) and, as was now allowed under the Council’s Rules, were being replaced at the meeting by alternate representatives of their societies.

Affiliation of societies

Two societies had applied to affiliate to the Council - the Guild of Medical Ringers, and the South African Guild.

Before the first was proposed, Mr. J.F. Mulvey (Lichfield) questioned the Secretary’s inclusion of a supporting paper on behalf of the Guild among the papers sent to representatives before the meeting. He feared it might have prejudiced the discussion, since there was no opportunity for those who might oppose the application to circulate their views in the same way; and wondered whether it might have set a precedent for the future.

The Secretary said that he had accepted a request from the Guild’s secretary, Dr. Frances Cranfield, to include a summary of the Guild’s history and activities since it was purely factual and he considered it could help members to reach an informed decision. The summary had been provided at no cost to the Council, he added.

Mr. R.K. Williams of the Worcester and Districts Association then proposed the Guild’s affiliation. He said that the Council’s rules were not explicit about the type of society that might be affiliated, but a precedent had been set when the National Police Guild joined forty years ago, and this had been reinforced when the Railwaymen’s Guild had affiliated in 1967. The Medical Guild was of the same kind, and its representative would be able to contribute to the same degree. He believed an injustice had been done to the Guild when its application was rejected last year, and there was now an opportunity to remedy this.

The motion was formally seconded by the Hon. Secretary.

Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby) commented that he had to admire any society that refused to take no for an answer; although he noted that it must be in the nature of a medical Guild always to seek a second opinion (laughter). He had been grateful for the handout, but wondered what the Council could offer the Guild other than status; or what the Guild could offer the Council. The emphasis of the Council’s work was moving away from technical matters to such things as training and bell restoration, and he wondered whether any society that met only twice a year could contribute much on such matters. If the Medical Guild were accepted, what other societies might seek affiliation on the same terms, he wondered. Equally, if the Guild application was rejected, ought the Police and Railwaymen’s Guilds to continue to be affiliated? He concluded by emphasising that any lack of support should not be taken as a condemnation of the Guild or what it did for ringing - it merely indicated lack of support for its being affiliated to the Council.

After the President had reminded members that the motion would require 133 votes to succeed, he asked those in favour to indicate accordingly. He then announced that, since only 55 members had voted in favour, the application had been unsuccessful. Only some fifteen members voted against the application, the majority of those present abstaining.

The South African Guild was proposed by Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish), who reminded members that, following the affiliation of the Transvaal and Zimbabwe societies in 1988, the southern tip of Africa was the only area of the world where change-ringing was practised that was not affiliated to the Council. The South African Guild had been formed last year from members of three bands (in Grahamstown, Durban, and Capetown) each some hundreds of miles from the other, but who met regularly for practice and striking competitions. He urged the Council to welcome the new society.

He was seconded by Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx), who said that the society enjoyed the support of the church authorities. In accepting the application, the Council would also be supporting those ringers from Britain who had emigrated to South Africa and were there carrying on the traditions set out in the Council’s Objectives.

Prof. R.J. Johnston (Yorkshire) expressed concern at an apparent proliferation of small societies in southern Africa and the lack of any central, umbrella, organisation which might represent all African ringers. Following this theme, both Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford) and Mr. P.M.J. Gray (ANZAB) enquired what the relationship was between the South African, Transvaal, and Zimbabwe societies. Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) pointed out that, under the Council’s rules, each society was considered to be non-territorial; and in any case, Zimbabwe was a separate State.

Mr. R. Bailey (Middx) noted the difficult political situation in South Africa, commented that any ringing society should promote the fellowship of all ringers, and wondered whether the South African Guild was racially integrated; if not, he feared the Council would be supporting apartheid if it accepted the application. Mr. L. Reynolds said that the South African towers were open to all, and it was essential for the Council to support the work of Christians in that country. Mr. Dukes said that there were, of course, dealings between the three societies in Africa, as there were between societies in this country; and that the South African Guild was a Christian body open to all, regardless of colour.

The motion was then put to the meeting, and was carried by a comfortable margin.

New members

The Secretary read the names of eleven new members - Messrs. A.S. Hudson (Irish), R. Bailey (Middx CA & London DG), J.A. Harrison (Oxford DG), A. Howes (Salisbury - absent from the meeting), P.P. Belgeonne (S. Africa), D. Gilmore (Surrey), Mrs. A. Davies (Transvaal), Sig. P Avesani and A. Consolaro (Verona), the Revd. G. Galley (Yorkshire), and Mrs. V. Grossmith (Zimbabwe); as well as that of the alternate member of the North American Guild, Mr. D.J. Trumpler.

Welcoming them, Dr. Baldwin said he hoped they would enjoy their membership of the Council and would be able to contribute to its work.

Mr. Belgeonne thanked the Council most warmly for accepting his society’s application, and said that the decision would provide a tremendous boost to the morale of ringers in South Africa.

Losses through death

Members stood in silence as the Secretary read the names of members of the Council who had died since its last meeting: Revd. D. Burnett (Truro, 1954-68); J.A. Hoare (Swansea & Brecon, 1946-7, 1973-81; St. David’s, 1947-9, 1951-7); H. Chant (Barnsley & District, 1946-51; Honorary since 1975); A.V. Davies (Winchester & Portsmouth, 1960-75); F. Ainsley, (Durham & Newcastle, 1948-60); Mrs Rita Dukes (Irish, 1962-6); and J.W. Bramley (Salisbury, since 1987).

The Very Revd. Gilbert Thurlow, a former President of the Council, then led the meeting in prayer.

Nomination for Life membership

Mr. F.E. Dukes of the Irish Association had been proposed for Life membership of the Council by Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life), a former Hon. Secretary and also a past President of the Council. Mr. Barnett spoke of Mr. Dukes’ long record of service to the Council since joining it in 1945, including lengthy periods of active participation in the work of a succession of committees. In recent years he had been best known for his work as the Council’s liaison officer with overseas ringers. He also spoke of the welcome and assistance Mr. Dukes freely gave to any ringers visiting Ireland, including the Council itself when it met there in 1958.

Seconding, Mr. A.F. Bogan (Irish) spoke of Mr. Dukes’ contribution to the Irish Association since joining it in 1929 and to ringing in Ireland. He had been the Association’s Secretary for 44 years, its Treasurer for 41 years, and had run the Irish Bell News virtually single-handedly from 1951 to 1987.

On being put to the vote, the motion was carried unanimously and amidst applause.

Mr. Dukes thanked his proposer and seconder and the Council for the honour it had done him. He said that he likened the representative members to the elected members of the House of Commons, and Life Members to members of the House of Lords; it might consequently seem appropriate for Dukes to move to the Upper House (laughter). He went on to speak in particular of his overseas liaison work, and his delight that all overseas societies were now affiliated to the Council. He would now have to think up something else to push for the benefit of ringers overseas, he said (applause).

Election of Honorary Members

Six of the present Honorary Members completed their elected period at the end of this meeting, while the death of Harold Chant and the resignation of David House had left two vacancies. There were thus eight places available to be filled.

The President said that two of those retiring - Mrs. O.D. Barnett and Mr. J.R. Mayne - did not seek re-election; and confirmed, in response to a question, that all eight vacancies did not have to be filled.

Six names were then separately nominated for election. They were Mr. R.J. Cooles, whom his proposer (Preb. Scott) described as having a rare combination of talent, expertise, and hard work in his work for the Rescue Fund and on the Committee for Redundant Bells, and who was seconded by Mr. H.W. Egglestone; Mr. S.J. Coleman, proposed by Mr. E.G. Godfrey (Surrey) and seconded by Mr. C.J. Groome (Peterborough) so that he might continue his work on the Education and Administrative Committees and on the survey of ringing; Preb. J.G.M. Scott, a past President of the Council and a very active member of the Towers and Belfries Committee, proposed by Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) and seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor (Glos & Bristol); Mr. C.K. Lewis, proposed and seconded by Dr. P.L.H. Brooke (Cambridge Univ) and Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middx CA & London DG) as a most experienced contributor to the work of the Methods Committee; Mrs. Stella Bianco, proposed by Mr. Groome and seconded by Prof. Johnston, in recognition of her administrative work in support of the ringing survey; and Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan, treasurer of the Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells, who was proposed by Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY) and seconded by Mrs. Jane Wilkinson (Honorary).

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

Minutes of the last meeting

Adoption of the Minutes of the 1988 meeting at Whitehaven, which had appeared in The Ringing World of March 17th, was proposed by the Secretary and seconded by Mr. Groome. They were adopted without comment.

Secretary and Treasurer’s report

Mr. Wratten moved the adoption of the following report, and was seconded by Mr. Groome.

Since the Council’s meeting last year in Whitehaven one Honorary member, Harold Chant, has died; and a second Honorary member (David House) and two representative members have for various reasons resigned. I thank them, on behalf of the Council, for their services, and welcome those elected in their stead. At this meeting also the Zimbabwe Guild will be formally represented for the first time, following its affiliation last year.

An invitation has been received during the year from the Shropshire Association for the Council to hold the 1996 meeting in Shrewsbury. Those planning ahead may wish to note that invitations have now been received for all years up to the end of the century except 1994, 1995 and 1998.

Overall the Council’s assets increased by some £4,500 in 1988, in spite of a drop in investment income as the result of lower interest rates during the year. The accounts also show two significant items of non-recurring expenditure - a donation of £1,000 to the PCC of Wolverley, in Worcestershire, towards the cost of restoring the bells of the parish church, and the first tranche of costs for the Survey of Ringing.

The former resulted from the terms of the will of the late Mrs Margaret Thackray, who left some £5,500 to the Council on her death in 1977 “towards the promotion of its objects” but with a request that the Council should “see fit to include the Parish Church of Wolverley near Kidderminster as one of its objects.” At the time the PCC had no immediate plans to restore its bells, but more recently the situation has changed. The Officers consequently agreed to make a donation from Mrs. Thackray’s bequest in keeping with her wishes. The restored bells were re-dedicated in April last year.

Also during the year £2,500 was loaned to the Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells towards the Cost of acquiring Kirkheaton bells; and as usual the Capital Reserve allocation has been increased by the rate of inflation over the twelve months to 31 December (6.8%).

The report was adopted without comment.

1988 Accounts

Mr. Wratten introduced the accounts by explaining the main differences from the previous year, noting in particular that the final cost of the survey of ringing was likely to amount to between £4,000 and £5,000. He added that the loan to the Rescue Fund towards the purchase of Kirkheaton bells had now been repaid.

No questions were raised, but acceptance of the accounts was deferred until members had had an opportunity to discuss in detail the Library and Publications Committees’ reports and their associated funds.

Accounts for 1988
General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1988
1987Income£££
885Affiliation fees920.00
1007Sundries-

1892920.00
Less: Administrative costs
648Council meeting405.54
50Secretary’s expenses50.00
62Stationery, post and telephone73.47
95Printing and photocopying4.10
217Sundries21.66

1072554.77

820365.23
Investment Income
9779Dividends and interest9,007.00
(1065)Less: Transfer to Capital Reserve2,029.00

87146,978.00
Less: Committee costs, grants, etc.
2941Committee expenses (net)1,909.92
-Committee expenses, 198722.50
222Library231.75
600The Ringing World Ltd.650.00
-Code of Practice WP246.38
-Survey of Ringing2,407.99
-Wolverley P.C.C.1,000.00
626Sundries-

43896,468.54

4325509.46


5145Excess of income over expenditure874.69
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1988
1987Assets£££
Investments:
70000NS Income Bonds70,000.00
22614NS Investment Account22,918.58
258Bank Deposit Account445.35

9287293,363.93
558Cash and Bank balances1,146.41
-Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells2,500.00
1387Sundry debtor1,349.15

9481798,359.49
Liabilities
55Affiliation fees in advance90.00
643Sundry creditors967.88

6981,057.88

94119Net Assets£97,301.61
58452Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198863,597.14
5145Excess of income over expenditure874.69

6359764,471.83
880Add: Donations for bell restoration
and interest thereon to 1 Jan. 1988
681.80
302Donations and interest, 1988278.98

1182960.78
500Less: Grants paid-

682960.78
28775Add: Capital Reserve29,840.00
1065Allocated from income, 19882,029.00

2984031,869.00


94119£97,301.61
Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1988
1987Income££
244Subscriptions217.00
20Donations49.20
140Transfer from General Fund150.00
10Interest12.53

414428.73
Expenditure
171Books606.40
20Stationery and post32.55
11Photocopying9.66
48Sundries2.33

250650.94
(164)Excess of expenditure over income222.21

414428.73
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1988
1987Assets££
10Library10.00
429Bank Deposit Account241.67
380Cash and Bank balances345.27

819596.94
Liabilities
10Sundry creditor9.64

809Net Assets£587.30
645Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1988809.51
(164)Excess of expenditure over income222.21

809£587.30

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 1988
1987Income££
13071Sales6,870.28
403Interest357.06

134747,227.34
Expenditure
5463Publications sold2,758.66
3842Stock written off387.54
803Advertising645.98
1326Stationery and post471.32
441Administration664.00
-Insurance57.50
-Insurance, 198757.50
168Publications Committee expenses158.62
234Ringing History Project307.59
-Sundries1.50

122775,510.21
1197Excess of income over expenditure1,717.13

13474£7,227.34
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1988
1987Assets££
11277Stock, at lower of cost or net realisable value10,150.85
7951Bank Deposit Account8,307.78
1254Cash and Bank balances3,355.80
-Payments in advance597.50
57Sundries-

2053922,411.93
Liabilities
4Sundry creditors159.39

20535Net Assets£22,252.54
19338Accumulated Fund; 1 January 198820,535.41
1197Excess of income over expenditure1,717.13

20535£22,252.54
Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1988
1987Assets££
10Library10.00
11277Stock of publications10,150.85
101251Investments101,913.38
2193Cash and Bank balances4,847.48
-Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells2,500.00
1444Sundry debtors1,946.65

116175121,368.36
Liabilities
55Amounts received in advance90.00
656Sundry creditors1,136.91

7111,226.91

115464Net Assets£120,141.45
Capital Accounts
94119General Fund97,301.61
20535Publications Fund22,252.54
810Friends of the CCCBR Library587.30

115464£120,141.45

REPORT OF THE HONORARY AUDITORS TO THE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL COUNCIL OF CHURCH BELL RINGERS

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, 1988.

MICHAEL J. CHURCH, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
ERIC G.H. GODFREY, F.C.A.)
April, 1989

Motions

The first of the motions on the agenda, proposed by Mr. P.F. Warren of the St David’s Guild and seconded by Dr. D.R. Marshall of the North Wales Association, sought to reduce from 75 to 50 the number of members a society must have to entitle it to a representative on the Council.

Mr. Warren said that his Guild’s area encompassed at least a quarter of Wales, and that towers were often far apart. Membership inevitably fluctuated - three years ago it had been 60, but at present it was 110 - and when a small society such as his went through a bad patch it was a particularly demoralising blow to lose its right to a representative on the Council if membership dropped below 75; this was just when it needed all the support it could get. He therefore hoped members would support the motion.

Dr. Marshall reminded his listeners that the motion that had been passed in Birmingham just a hundred years ago had advocated representation from every ringers’ society. It was not a question of multiple representation, about which the Council was evidently concerned, but of ensuring that all areas of Britain in which ringing took place continued to be represented. It was not a panic measure, but showed forethought for the future.

The proposal encountered a mixed response. Mr. F.C. Pearson (Derby) said that it was important to encourage small societies and see that they did not fall by the wayside, but Mr. D. Trumpler (N. America) felt that the requirement to have 75 members provided a welcome stimulus. He was not however supported by his fellow NAG representative, Mrs. M. Winter, who said that a society really needed the Council behind it when the going got tough.

After the President had emphasised that the proposed change to the Rules did not alter the membership requirements for affiliation, only those for the representation of societies already affiliated, Mr. P.J. Sanderson (London Univ) questioned whether the proposed change offered a complete solution: he proposed rather that the Administrative Committee examine the Rules relating to the representation of territorial societies at the Council’s meetings - a suggestion that was seconded by Mr. O’Callaghan.

Mr. D.A. Frith (Lincoln) thought this proposal was too significant to be treated as an amendment, but the President rejected this argument. He also rejected a proposal from Mr. Blagrove that the original motion be put to the vote, on the grounds that an amendment had now been formally proposed and, seconded. Mr. R.J. Perry (Truro) expressed concern about the implications of the amendment for most affiliated societies, and urged that it be treated warily. It would be preferable, he considered, to deal with the original, very specific, motion. Mr. Halls however was equally wary about setting a precedent by reducing the number of members needed to qualify for a representative.

After Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex) had urged that, if the Administrative Committee did consider the matter, it should report back to the Council before taking any action, Mr. Blagrove pointed out that the Rules did not define which ringing members of a society should count towards the requisite membership. The Secretary said that he had always interpreted this part of the relevant Rule (5.i.a) as meaning resident members; he believed that this was its intention, but accepted that the wording might be interpreted otherwise.

Mr. P. Border enquired whether the discussion was now about affiliation or representation, and when told by the President that it was the latter, suggested that it was illogical to de-couple the two.

The President then put the amendment “that the motion be remitted to the Administrative Committee for consideration, and to report back at next year’s meeting on the matter of the minimum qualification for representation at meetings of the Council” to the meeting. The amendment was carried by a clear majority, and was similarly endorsed when proposed as a substantive motion.

The second motion concerned the extension of methods and, as its proposer (Mr. A.P. Smith, speaking on behalf of the Methods Committee) explained, sought to do two things - to incorporate the rules on extension among the Council’s formal Decisions, and to propose the wording of the new Decision. The latter was based on the original Report on Extension that had been adopted by the Council in 1953 and amendments adopted in 1972 and 1988, and sought to provide a coherent, unambiguous and clear set of rules in a format suitable for a Decision; it did not introduce any significant changes, nor would its adoption affect names already accepted by the Council.

He was formally seconded by Dr. Brooke.

Mr. Warren enquired whether any attempt had been made to provide a formal specification for the rules and to test them rigorously and mathematically to preclude any ambiguity. Mr. Border said that the proposal dealt only with methods, and wondered whether the committee had also considered the extension of principles. Mr. G. Dodds (Hertford) noted that the original, 1953, report had been translated into a computer program, which had subsequently produced some rather unexpected extensions; had anything similar been done with the proposed rules, he asked, and had anything been done on methods with “irregular” leadends?

Mr. A.J. Cox (Bristol Univ) said that the Committee had last year agreed to examine the wording of certain parts of the rules that were then passed, but these were now repeated unchanged. He went on to say that the formula was satisfactory as far as it went, in that it reduced method extension to a set of pseudo-mathematical formulae. Its weakness was that it treated all methods as sequences of four-change blocks (the cross-sections), whereas not all methods were constructed in this way: Bristol, for example, consisted of a mixture of six-change and two-change blocks, and its extension followed a quite different logic. He felt that alternative possibilities should be considered before attempting to formalise the existing rules.

Mrs. M. Winter agreed that there were many ways of extending methods, and it was not always possible to define a right way; but Dr. Marshall said that somebody had to make a decision - the committee had put forward a clear and workable proposal.

Mr. R. Bailey thought the requirement for methods with Plain Bob leads to extend to methods with similar leads, with a parallel requirement for those with non-Plain Bob leads, to be too constrictive, and proposed deletion of that part of the draft Decision. He was seconded by Mr. R. Baldwin (Hertford). Mr. P.J. Tremain confessed to not understanding the bulk of the proposal, but said he was in principle prepared to accept the advice of the committee established to deal with such matters. Nevertheless he found himself worried about accepting anything that implied that Plain Bob Doubles and Minor, or St. Simons Doubles and St. Clements Minor, were different methods, as this seemed to do.

Replying to the debate, Mr. Smith thanked members for their comments. The formula had not been checked with mathematical rigour, but had worked well over a number of years. The committee had considered principles, but felt it would be too much to include them in the present motion; it had also considered at length the question of non-Plain Bob leadends but had been unable to discover a satisfactory codification and had therefore limited itself to preserving the traditional distinction between the two types, while relaxing the previous rules. On Mr. Tremain’s point, he said that the bulk of the draft dealt with extension by two bells at a time, and therefore did not affect extension from Doubles to Minor, or Minor to Triples.

Mr. A.J. Cox then proposed that, in order to avoid ambiguity, section B.1.(a) of the proposal be amended to read “There shall be two coursing hunt bells in the extension which hunt to one position further from the lead than the hunt bell does in the parent.” He was seconded by Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood (Honorary), but Mr. Smith said that his committee would accept the proposal as a clarification to its draft.

After Mr. Bailey’s amendment had been defeated in a vote, the original motion (modified as suggested by Mr. Cox) was passed by a large majority.

The third motion was similarly proposed on behalf of the Methods Committee by Mr. Smith and seconded by Dr. Brooke. Mr. Smith said during 1987 his Committee had received a number of letters questioning, among other things, the value of recognising more than one variation in an extent of Doubles. Doubles variations had first been recognised by the Council in 1968, and the current Decisions said how they might be included in an extent or round block. The proposal would restrict Doubles variations to being used in extents or round blocks by themselves, and not with any other variation or method as at present. This would both make the Decision easier to understand and apply, and help to distinguish between the really meritorious peals of Doubles, such as those rung last year by the Hereford and Suffolk Guilds (in 80 and 101 methods respectively), and those which combined a few methods with a few calls to produce a dazzling number of variations.

He recognised that the motion might be controversial, and urged members to consider carefully before voting. Only if they considered there was a problem, or that any problem that might exist could not be satisfactorily dealt with by careful scrutiny before any peal was included in the Council’s Analysis, should they support this radical solution, which he suggested would bring long-term benefits to Doubles ringing.

Dr. Brooke said that the motion would not affect what was rung, only how it was reported. If for example St Simon’s and St Martin’s were rung together in an extent, whether with standard or non-standard calls, it would be reported as comprising these two methods; if St. Simon’s were rung on its own, with standard or non-standard calls, then either the method or variation name could be used in reporting the performance.

Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth) said that Doubles variations filled a gap between basic and more advanced methods. Doubles were rung by many, and the use of variations encouraged their development by extending the repertoire. In his own area many bands aimed at being able to ring 44 methods/variations in a quarter-peal, using for example the four St. Martin’s group methods with a Winchendon Place bob to ring four variations in a 120. If the motion were passed, this would no longer be acceptable. He proposed that it be amended to read “Up to four Doubles variations only may be included in an extent or round block”.

Mr. B. Peachey (Police) pointed out that 120 Bob Doubles could be rung with up to three different singles: how could this be one variation?

At this point it was announced that lunch was ready, and the President adjourned the meeting, having noted that there were others who wished to speak on the motion.

When the meeting re-opened, Mr. D.A. Frith (Lincoln) said that Doubles ringers had been “mucked about” by the Council for the past twenty years. Doubles variations were a very useful learning aid, and he seconded Mr. Jackson’s amendment.

Mr. G.A. Dawson (Southwell) thought both motion and amendment equally preposterous, since any single variation could be defined in a mere 20 changes; and Mr. Smith added that he did not think the amendment would be an effective or satisfactory piece of legislation.

The amendment was then overwhelmingly defeated on a show of hands; and so in its turn was the original motion.

The final motion for discussion proposed the establishment of a small committee to make plans for some project to mark the Council’s centenary in 1991 by advancing the cause of ringing during the next decades, to report to the Council next year, and if its plans were approved to work with the host society and the Council’s other committees to ensure the project was given suitable emphasis at the 1991 meeting.

Its proposer, Mr. J.S. Barnes (SRCY), said that the media interest which he hoped would be evoked by the Council’s centenary in 1991 would provide an opportunity to promote and advance ringing and to raise its public profile. It was an opportunity that should not be missed, and something should be done which would enable every ringer and guild to benefit from the work of the Council. The results of the recent survey of ringing indicated areas where work was needed, and would need to be taken into account.

The idea had been discussed with the Council’s officers, the Administrative Committee, and with his own committee, and a number of suggestions had been made as the result of the letter he and his seconder (Mr. J. Freeman - Life member) had sent to The Ringing World. These ranged from the establishment of a permanent home for the Library, through the establishment of a national bell restoration fund, to the provision of active support to guilds in the promotion of training and education. Whatever was finally decided upon, it would need to enthuse the Exercise.

Seconding, Mr. Freeman said that the number of Council Committees had doubled since he first joined the Council, the new ones having been set up in reaction to changing circumstances. The proposal offered a chance for the Council to take the initiative for once. The Council’s membership had also changed, he said, and he thought it now more professional in its work. He also believed the Council now had members with the imagination to formulate a worthwhile project and to see it through.

The present meeting would be remembered for its outstanding organisation, he felt sure. He hoped it would also be remembered as the start of something which would make as much impact as Arthur Heywood’s motion a hundred years ago.

After the motion had been approved by a large majority, the President invited nominations for the new committee’s five members. Following a series of exchanges: Messrs. Barnes, Groome, J.W. Hughes (North Wales) and F.C. Pearson, and Mrs. Bianco were elected, with Mr. Barnes to serve as convenor.

Central Council Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

The report that was proposed by Mr. Cooles read as follows:

The two schemes noted as potential in last year’s report became real in 1988.

The Fund acquired the six bells from Kirkheaton in Yorkshire on that parish disposing of them and obtaining the ring of eight bells that lay for many years in store, having been cast for a church in Leigh-on-Sea and then never acquired. The bells have been moved to Sandwich as there is a scheme promoted jointly through the good offices of the Canterbury DAC, the Kent County Association, and the parish concerned to instal the bells at St. Clement’s, Sandwich. This has been a good example of cooperation by various authorities, but this has brought its own difficulties in that it is not always easy to impress on parties concerned the need for someone to be carrying ultimate responsibility for carrying the scheme through and for safeguarding the bells in the meantime.

The second project was the agreement at the very end of the year to acquire eight bells from Christ Church, Todmorden. That church has been declared redundant. The other church in the parish, St. Mary’s, cannot take a ring of this weight, and so the heavy eight have to be disposed of. Very commendably the parish has worked to ensure that the bells may be preserved and that steps are taken to enable the sale proceeds to be used to acquire a new ring of six for St. Mary’s. It is anticipated that the heavy eight will go to Towcester to form the basis of a new ring of 12 for St. Lawrence’s church.

This has meant that for the first time supporters of the Fund who have promised loans will have to be asked to make those loans to the full extent of the promise, and we are very grateful for their support. New loans are always sought and appreciated.

RESCUE FUND FOR REDUNDANT BELLS
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1988
1987Income££
158Interest159.71
Expenditure
--

158Excess of income over expenditure159.71
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1988
1987Assets££
720Loan to PCC of St Pierre du Bois720.00
-Cost of bells from St John the Baptist, Kirkheaton8,500.00
6008Bank balances168.17

67289,388.17
Liabilities
720Sundry Creditors720.00
-Central Council General Fund2,500.00

7203,220.00

6008Net Assets£6,168.17
5850Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19886,008.46
158Excess of income over expenditure159.71

6008£6,168.17
R.J. Cooles
Secretary
M.H.D. O’Callaghan
Treasurer

REPORT OF THE HONORARY AUDITORS TO THE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL COUNCIL OF CHURCH BELL RINGERS

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 1988.

MICHAEL J. CHURCH, F.C.A.)Hon. Auditors
ERIC G.H. GODFREY, F.C.A.)
April, 1989

Trustees’ reports

In the absence of the Trustee of the Council’s Rolls of Honour, Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY), his report was proposed by Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY):

The two books of Illuminated Manuscript lists of the names of ringers killed in the two World Wars, and the display cases containing them, remain in good condition in their present location in the approach to the ringing room of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Trustee turns a page regularly once a month. The books have been admired by the many visitors to St. Paul’s ringing room.

The report was seconded by Mr. Groome and agreed without discussion.

The report of the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine was proposed by Mr. Bagworth:

Two demonstrations have been given during the year to groups of ringers visiting London.

On July 2nd Little Bob Maximus, Stedman Cinques and Plain Bob Maximus were rung for the visit of ringers from the Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association.

On September 3rd the demonstration to a party from Stamford in Lincolnshire was interrupted by a failure of the power supplies to the boardroom of the Science Museum. The machine was moved to a nearby workshop where Plain Bob Maximus was rung.

Arrangements are now nearing completion for the machine to be displayed at the Birmingham Science Museum between May 19th and May 31st and for a demonstration on May 29th during the Central Council visit.

Mr. Bagworth thanked those who had helped to arrange what had proved to be a very successful visit of the machine to Birmingham, where there had now been a request from the museum authorities that it be allowed to remain on display for a further month. This was now being arranged. He added that Duffield Maximus and two versions of Carter’s Cinques had been rung during the public display the previous day.

After he had been seconded by Mr. W.H. Dobbie (Honorary), Mr. Peachey suggested that Birmingham might provide a more appropriate home for the machine than London, while Mr. R. Bailey commented that the machine was no longer on public display in the Science Museum and enquired whether arrangements could be made to make it more accessible. Mr. Tremain said that he had seen the machine the previous day for the first time and had been fascinated by it; he suggested that a small handout should be produced, explaining its history and workings.

Mr. Bagworth confirmed that the machine had not been on public view for some 20 years, the Science Museum preferring to have a succession of displays of more modern items. He acknowledged Mr. Tremain’s point, and said that the trustees would see what could be done about preparing a handout.

Committee reports

Administrative Committee

Adoption of this, the first of the committees’ reports, was proposed by Mr. Wratten and seconded by Mr. M.J. Church (Honorary):

As usual, the Committee has met twice since the last Council meeting, in London in October last year and again in March. At the first of these meetings we were pleased to welcome the Secretary of the St. Martin’s Guild, John Anderson, and with his help to agree the outline of this year’s meeting.

Apart from the arrangements for the meeting in Birmingham and routine committee matters, the main topics for discussion have been the Council for the Care of Churches’ Bells sub-committee’s revision of its Code of Practice for the preservation of bells and bellframes; the legal position of members of the Towers and Belfries Committee when giving advice; and last autumn’s Survey of Ringing, where the Committee has been kept informed of progress.

I reported last year that two working parties had been set up, under the chairmanship of Mr. Freeman and Mr. Oram respectively, to look into the former two subjects; and both have continued their labours, with results that are referred to in the report of the Towers and Belfries Committee.

In summary however, on the first the Council has now been invited to send representatives to a joint meeting on 13 April to discuss the way ahead with members of the CCC’S Bells sub-committee and other interested parties (including the bell-founders and English Heritage). This was an invitation which the working party had been seeking, and which the Administrative Committee was pleased to accept. The Council was represented by the President, Vice-President, members of the working party, Mrs. Wilkinson, and Mr. Corby. At the time of writing this meeting had not yet taken place.

On the second, the Committee accepted the advice it was given that it would be neither feasible nor advisable to take out special insurance against the danger of Towers and Belfries Committee members being sued for negligence; has recommended some changes in committee procedures; and has agreed that nominations for membership of the committee would in future need to be very carefully considered by the Council. It did however decide not to propose any change of Rule about elections to the committee.

Two elected members of the Committee, David House and Steven Coleman, resigned their membership of the Council during the year, leaving two vacancies.

Updating the report’s reference to work on the various Codes of Practice, Mr, J. Freeman (Life) said that as a result of the April meeting mentioned by the Secretary a joint committee had been established to progress matters. The Council’s representatives would be the Secretary and himself, and there would be two representatives of the Council for the Care of Churches and one each of the bellfounders and English Heritage. No date had yet been set for the committee’s first meeting. In preparation for that meeting he would however welcome the Council’s endorsement of the working group’s draft, which had appeared in The Ringing World.

A show of hands confirmed members’ approval of the draft, and the report was then accepted without further discussion.

Towers and Belfries Committee

In proposing his committee’s report, Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol) made three points: the 1989 seminar, which was being arranged by Frank Mack and would be very practical, would be held on October 7th in Warwickshire or Berkshire; Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) would be succeeding him as chairman of the committee as from the end of the meeting; and he expressed his gratitude to all those - Council officers, the other Council committees, and above all the members of the Towers and Belfries Committee - who had helped during his term of office

Mr. Frost seconded, and in turn thanked Mr. Taylor for his inspiring leadership over the past three years. He added that the committee would be looking for new blood in future.

The committee’s report was then adopted without comment:

The Committee held its two formal meetings in April and September. A seminar on “DIY Projects” was organised in Selston in October. Accounts of all three events were published in The Ringing World. The next T&BC seminar will take place in the Autumn of 1989. The subject will be “How to do an Inspection”, and the day will have a strong practical emphasis.

The working party set up by the Administrative Committee to consider the separate questions of liability of the Council, its committees and their members, took Counsel’s opinion in May and then reported back. The result was a set of instructions from the Administrative Committee to the T&BC on procedures to be used in conducting inspections and preparing reports, which all members now observe. The number of cases of inspections and advice given was 83 in 1988. with the count based on those done under T&BC auspices alone.

Two members have continued to take part in the series of meetings of the Administrative Committee’s working party on a new draft Code of Practice on the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes. At the request of the Council for the Care of Churches all members have given their comments in writing on the fourth draft of the CCC’s new Code of Practice. In addition all members have given their comments in writing on the removal of cast-in crown staples in response to an invitation from the CCC. The Chairman has written to the Central Council’s Officers, the Code of Practice working party, the Public Relations Committee, and the Bell Restoration Funds Committee about the increased pressure on incumbents to instal electronic bells.

There has been some progress on the final copy, working with the Publications Committee, for the new edition of the Towers and Bells Handbook and the new Schedule of Regular Maintenance. The Publications Committee is producing the two new Guideline documents, the first on Organising DIY Projects and the second on Appointment of Bell Advisers and their Working Procedures, as photocopied hand-out sheets.

The Committee wishes to alert the Council to the health and safety risk associated with heavy rope-spiders, which in many instances can be lowered below head height in free-fall. It is usually a simple matter to provide a stopper knot in the hoist cord so that it jams in the pulley with the spider at least 2m above the ringing room floor.

The Chairman offers thanks to the members, who have given hard work, days from their annual holiday ration and, above all, enthusiastic support during the past three years.

Bell Restoration Funds Committee

The Committee had reported as follows:

During the year the Committee met on three occasions, once in York and twice in London.

A steady flow of requests for help has come from parishes contemplating a bell restoration project or in the early stages of organising one. In each case the Guild concerned has been informed so that it may follow up our response. In the past it has often been disappointing that, after an initial contact with a parish, nothing more has been heard. We are attempting to rectify this by following up every larger project with a request for a summary of fund raising activities. We hope that the information obtained may be of use to other schemes.

Over the years a number of appeal brochures have been received from parishes. These are a valuable resource for parishes about to plan a brochure and have been welcomed by them.

In February 1987 a mailing was made to PCCs of parishes with unringable bells. Whilst we are aware of some positive results, we wrote to Guilds in March 1988 to enquire whether they had received any approaches from those parishes or were aware of any restoration projects which had started. From the responses it seems clear that there is a “hard core” of unringable bells, perhaps some four hundred towers, where mailings and Guild publicity have little impact. Many of these towers must await the arrival in the parish of someone with the leadership and determination to get the bells ringing. The mailing created awareness and showed the interest of the Exercise in the towers concerned. It would be helpful if Guilds could take every opportunity to maintain contact.

Two meetings have been held with Mr. I.H. Walrond, a trustee of the Barron Bell Trust. In February the Chairman visited him for a discussion, and in November we welcomed him to our Committee meeting, prior to which he was shown the restoration work at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Both meetings were positive and helpful and, as confirmed by a letter in The Ringing World, the Trust is again functioning.

Work has continued throughout the year in assisting The Manifold Trust with the administration of its annual grant for bell restoration work. A total of 65 applications were received and offers of grants totalling £22,250 were made to eleven parishes; 34 schemes were refused as not meeting the Trust’s conditions, whilst 20 other schemes were only in their very early stages. To December 1988 a total of £94,750 has been offered since the Trust first expressed interest in 1981.

Preparations were made for two surveys, of Guild bell restoration funds and of unringable bells. The former was mailed to Guilds in October.

We were approached by an incumbent to assist in persuading his PCC and parish to support a scheme to restore their unringable bells for full circle ringing. As a result a paper was produced which put forward the main points about ringing.

We have prepared articles on V.A.T. in large-scale fund raising (see RW 4 March 1988, p. 219), on Corporation Tax, and on Investment of Bell Restoration Fund money with particular reference to Building Society Investments. A watching brief was also kept on the possible loss of V.A.T. zero rating on bell restoration work.

We are considering producing a short video film which would promote church bell restoration work and illustrate the help and support available from all sources. It would be targetted particularly at incumbents and PCCs.

Mr. Barnes said that, as far as he was aware, the Barron Bell Trust had not yet made any grants, but he would welcome any information to the contrary. He thanked those who had taken part in the two surveys mentioned; said that he would welcome copies of any appeal brochures or leaflets that might be produced by parishes; and said that he could provide on request copies of a brief statement prepared by the committee on the case for restoring bells for full-circle ringing. He moved the report’s adoption.

Seconding, Mr. E. Billings (Peterborough) noted that a preliminary report on the results of the Bell Restoration Funds survey had been given to members at the start of the meeting, and said that replies to the questionnaire were still awaited from the North Wales, Shropshire, and Worcester & Districts associations.

Several members questioned the preliminary report’s comment that societies should be more willing to consider making grants from capital, and Mr. Groome said that the Peterborough Guild had been told by the Charity Commissioners that its bell restoration fund was a Capital Fund, and that the Guild could therefore only make grants from the interest it received.

Mr. Billings said that the report was still only a preliminary one, and that the answers so far received had not yet been fully analysed. It was therefore not possible to comment in detail. But income to restoration funds generally continued to be, as it had for many years, roughly double the level of grants being made.

The report was then adopted.

Committee for Redundant Bells

The committee’s report, which was proposed without amplifying comment by Mrs. Jane Wilkinson (Honorary) and seconded by Mr. P.A. Corby (Life), was accepted without discussion.

Now that 1989 has arrived, it looks, happily, as if the Church Commissioners’ prediction of fourteen hundred churches declared redundant by the end of 1989 will not be reached. 51 churches were declared redundant in 1988, making a total of 1,253 since the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into effect. 43 churches were declared redundant in 1987; so on the surface of it a rise to 51 is disappointing. The figures are, however, a little misleading, for they include not only declarations of redundancy for parts of churches, leaving most of the building unaffected, but this year several redundancies where a new church is immediately to be built on the site of the demolished one.

Of the 1,215 churches redundant since the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into effect whose fates have been decided, 248 have been vested in the Redundant Churches Fund, 289 have been demolished, 663 have found alternative uses, four are being preserved by the Department of the Environment, six are vested in their Diocesan Board of Finance, and five have been restored to parochial use.

The Committee has been involved this year with some 42 cases, including eight new enquiries, some very tentative, for rings of bells, and seventeen for bells for augmentations, replacements, or for use as singles. These figures, of course, are not a measure of all the work being done by the local associations. Generally they indicate where there are problems in finding bells, or homes for bells; or when enquirers are not familiar with the way in which ringing is organised in Britain. Among the enquiries for bells, four for rings and five for single bells came from overseas. One request for a single bell came from an hotel. The mediaeval bell from Mundon, Essex, stored by the Committee since 1974, returned to its home this year.

Last year we looked forward with foreboding to the prospect of homeless heavy rings. The ring whose future most concerned us, Christ Church, Todmorden, is now temporarily in the care of the Rescue Fund, and at present we are not aware of any heavy rings likely to be immediately at risk.

It is now a few years since we mentioned the occasional appearance of churches wanting to sell their bells to pay for repairs or even new work, and there are some slight indications that such sales are on the increase again. Clearly this can sometimes be a counsel of desperation, and as such deserves sympathy - though one trusts that the Mappa Mundi does not suggest a carte blanche - but we hope that local societies will do all they can to discourage unnecessary sales of bells.

The Committee was among those invited to comment on the draft revised Code of Practice on the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes which had been prepared by the Bells sub-Committee of the Council for the Care of Churches. We hope that wide discussion with bell ringers, bell founders, and other interested parties will lead to a final draft which is both concise and carries general acceptance.

We are again grateful to the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their interest and help. Mr. Ranald Clouston has continued his kindness in sending us copies of his notes on the bells of churches referred to the Council for the Care of Churches. It is very much appreciated.

Peals Analysis Committee

Introducing the report, Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford) first corrected some of the figures in the version that had been sent to members before the meeting. He then referred to the letter about peals of Doubles rung during 1988 that had appeared in The Ringing World of May 12th, saying that the Committee proposed to recognise those which had simply been incorrectly reported, but that he would be moving a motion concerning the remainder.

Introduction

We have recorded a total of 5,039 peals rung in 1988, of which 4,591 were on tower bells and 448 on handbells. The overall total is the highest ever and this is the first time that it has exceeded 5,000. It is 147 more than the previous record (in 1986) and 441 more than in 1987 (tower bells +442, handbells -1). The principal increases on tower bells compared with 1987 are in peals of Major (+194), Minor (+183), Doubles (+53), and Maximus (+41). The significant increase in 5- and 6-bell peals marks the reversal of a downward trend on these numbers in recent years, and the total is the highest since 1977.

The Oxford Diocesan Guild’s total of 377 peals is the highest ever by one society in a year, beating by 21 the previous record which was set by the Leicester Guild in 1972. The peal ringing activity by both residents and tourists associated with the Australian Bicentennial is reflected in a total of 108 peals by ANZAB (probably the highest ever by an overseas society) and the inclusion for the first time of an Australian tower in the list of leading peal towers (St George’s Cathedral, Perth, with 11).

Several other societies also recorded their highest ever number of peals in a year, including the Guild of Devonshire Ringers (117), Guildford DG (116), Hereford DG (169), London CA (106) and Suffolk Guild (211).

The Committee met once during the year, to finalise records for 1988, and to agree the format of the report. 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 1987

TowerHandbells
1987198819871988
Fourteen2+ 2
Sextuples1-1
Maximus216257+ 412947+18
Cinques128123- 5612+ 6
Royal439423- 169480-14
Royal/Caters32- 1
Caters168160- 82620- 6
Major18882082+194216226+10
Major/Triples1+ 1
Triples295300+ 546+ 2
Minor789972+1836848-20
Minor/Doubles43- 1
Doubles205258+ 5367+ 1
Doubles/Minimus11
Minimus129- 3






41494591+442449448- 1

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

TowerHandTotal
Oxford Diocesan Guild33443377
Yorkshire Association25417271
Lancashire Association2303233
Leicester Diocn. Guild21512227
Suffolk Guild2065211
Ely Diocesan Assoc.16028188
Hereford Diocsn. Guild12544169
Chester Diocesan Guild11751168
Essex Association157259
Gloucester & Bristol DA153153

The list is back to its 1986 length, the Essex Association having rejoined and the Hereford DG having joined it for the first time. Altogether, 23 societies rang 100 or more peals in 1988 (17 in 1987).

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 502 first pealers in 1988 (498 in 1987) and 59 firsts as conductor (49 in 1987).

Towers

Peals were rung in 1,838 towers (1,718 in 1987). The following 54 towers had ten or more peals, totalling 936 peals altogether (20% of the tower bell total for the year):

Meldreth58
Loughborough Foundry45
Shoreditch43
Thatcham41
Belper34
Leicester, St Mary/C27
Rotherham25
Edenham25
Heywood24
Birmingham Cath.24
Hungerford22
Barrow Gurney21
Maidstone, All Ss21
Boston, Advent20
Ipswich, St Mary/T20
Spitalfields19
Cattistock18
South Wigston18
Newcastle/Tyne, St John16
Nottingham, St Peter16
Windsor, St John16
Midsomer Norton15
Bedford, St Paul14
Isleworth14
Bristol Cathedral14
Birstall, Yorks13
Birmingham, St Martin13
West Ham13
12-*Broughton in Furness, Edgbaston, Leckhampton, Stockton on Tees, Stourbridge (St. Thomas), *Terling
11-*Aberdeen, Accrington, *Amersham, Bishopstoke, Brentwood, Burton Latimer, Bushey, East Farleigh, Farnworth, *Great Barton, Grundisburgh, Leicester Cathedral, London (St Mary-le-Bow), *Perth (Australia), Trumpington
10-Bathwick, Daventry, High Wycombe, London (St Sepulchre), *Tolleshunt d’Arcy

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

During the year Shoreditch had its 700th peal and Bushey its 600th.

Methods

Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1987 appear in brackets.

“Single S.” means the total rung in single Surprise methods other than those listed separately.

TowerHand
Maximus
Single S.68( 53)15( 8)
Cambridge S.64( 58)9( 9)
Bristol S.38( 30)11( 0)
Yorkshire S.33( 31)4( 1)
Spliced S.31( 28)1( 1)
Cinques
Stedman104(104)8( 6)
Grandsire17( 21)4( 0)
Royal
Single S.112(136)15(14)
Cambridge S.79( 75)12(19)
Yorkshire S.63( 49)4( 6)
London S.51( 56)12(12)
Spliced S.52( 44)8( 6)
Bristol S.26( 33)14(10)
Plain Bob21( 29)5( 8)
Kent/Oxford T.B.1( 5)8(18)
Caters
Grandsire79( 74)12(14)
Stedman76( 90)8(12)
Major
Single S.432(425)20(14)
Spliced S.401(326)35(13)
Yorkshire S.221(160)18(19)
Plain Bob161(168)38(65)
Cambridge S.149(145)17(12)
Bristol S.144(133)14(13)
Rutland S.117( 96)7( 5)
London S.93( 80)14( 9)
Lincolnshire S.74( 89)10( 7)
Superlative64( 53)7( 7)
Double Norwich54( 44)2( 4)
Pudsey S.48( 38)4( 3)
Kent/Oxford T.B.21( 25)29(38)
Glasgow S.32( 32)3( 2)
Single Delight24( 19)0( 0)
Belfast S.20( 21)0(1)
Triples
Stedman139(121)4( 0)
Grandsire108(120)2( 4)
Plain Bob42( 40)0( 0)
Minor
7 methods291(226)8(10)
2-6 methods248(202)14(14)
8+ methods188(128)8( 8)
Plain Bob139(124)12(23)
Cambridge S.69( 66)5( 5)
Single S.28( 26)0(6)
Doubles
2+ methods200(150)3( 5)
Stedman29( 18)0( 0)
Grandsire20( 16)1( 0)
Plain Bob6(19)2( 1)

Peals of Note

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

“Peal” not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

White Waltham - 9 January, 5280 Little Bob Minor. Decision (D) B.1 states that “Peals of Minimus, Doubles, Minor and Triples shall … consist of at least 5040 changes, rung in any combination of the following, each starting from rounds: (a) True and complete extents, (b) Round blocks …”. The peal consisted of eleven 480s, each starting from rounds. In a letter to the Committee, the band expressed the view that, due to the path of the treble, an ‘extent’ of Little Bob Minor consists of 480 changes, and that the peal therefore complies with this Decision. We consider that they have misinterpreted the Decision, and that for Minor an extent consists of 720 changes in all cases. This view is shared by the Methods Committee, who considered the matter in March 1988. We are also aware that it is possible to obtain 720s of Little Bob Minor by the use of variable hunt bells, and that such a peal of seven 720s was rung in 1980. We recommend that the peal be not accepted.

Corrections to the 1987 Analysis

The only changes to the 1987 peal totals arise from the transfer of the following from North American Guild to Non-Association:

1988 PEALS ANALYSIS

T O W E RH A N DTOTALS
SOCIETY1211109876549/07/85/64/51412111098765TowerHand
A Soc College Youths101693831        7 2 12 501262
Australian & NZ A528464862 1       1511 1008108
Bath & Wells DA112116404209 1        1   1041105
Bedfordshire A 12315217           1 1 40242
Beverley & Dist Soc  11816               17 17
Cambridge Univ G12129453              27 27
Carlisle DG   141                6 6
Chester DG2174634333        16 29 6 11751168
Coventry DG113322412           4   46450
S R Cumberland Yths834 13 1           9   29938
Derby DA2 16674281      3 9 9   10921130
G Devonshire Rs  515313441              117 117
Durham & Newcastle DA8 112732132            1 1111112
E Derbys/W Notts A    3162              12 12
E Grinstead & Dist G    1                 1 1
Ely DA42548743618     11413 8 1 16028188
Essex A617188 513          2   1572159
Glos & Bristol DA751688213184              153 153
Guildford DG 56749162541         3   1133116
Hereford DG  3127845373  1  4111220 5112544169
Hertford CA719334529       1 8113   8823111
Irish A 34551 1              19 19
Kent CA43174526353          1   1241125
Ladies G     1                1 1
Lancashire A11 2071012155122  1      1  22303233
Leeds Univ S    4                 4 4
Leicester DG10517713222175      5 4 2 1 21512227
Lichfield Archd S2354272273          1 2 73376
Lincoln DG431813813541            11051106
Liverpool Univ S1      1              2 2
Llandaff & Monmouth2162167104              48 48
London CA34154603134              106 106
Middlesex CA2111141451  1     6 33 2 6741108
Midland Cs G   111 1              4 4
National Police G   1                  1 1
N American G  1326133        411637 373168
N Staffords A1 3414334            2 32234
N Wales A  1 5                 6 6
Norwich DA434 163347   1  22 10111 721789
Oxford DG202463160167611     112110118   33443377
Oxford Soc1                     1 1
Oxford Univ S2   4 1               7 7
Peterborough DG2154647103615              135 135
Railwaymen’s G    1                 1 1
St David’s DG    2 1               3 3
St Martin’s G34104213922              76 76
Salisbury DG   3148128          1 1 45247
Scottish A  3 12431              23 23
Shropshire A    2                 2 2
Soc Sherwood Yths  1                   1 1
Southwell DG6210232 1681       4     77481
Suffolk G132454829833    1       5 2065211
Surrey A1 128142              19 19
Sussex CA1 32318182          1   65166
Swansea & Brecon DA    5111              8 8
Transvaal S    214               7 7
Truro DG   4241364              51 51
Univ of Bristol S121 2                 6 6
Univ of London S1   22          1     516
Winch & Portsm DG531735092418          2   1292131
Worcs & Dists A328231512               63 63
Yorkshire A254195142341861         4 10325417271
Central Council  1                   1 1
Non-affiliated socs2153010713174      6 3221   16132193
Non-Association58257243101        1 20   8321104
T O T A L S25712342316020823009722589213124712802022664874,5914485,039

Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) said that he had been asked by the conductor of the White Waltham performance to give the band’s view. In addition to what was said in the committee’s report, when the Council had liberalised the rules concerning peal ringing at Reigate in 1986, it had agreed to change the original wording of “true and complete 720s” to “true and complete extents”; and this change, the band believed, had been intended to cater for methods such as Little Bob.

He was supported by Dr. Marshall, who pointed out that the Ringing World Diary said of Little Bob Minor that “480 changes is the extent in this method”; by Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG), who said that the peal had been rung in good faith; and by Mr. R. Bailey, who asserted that ringers should ring what they liked, and that the Council should recognise what they rang (applause).

Mr. J. Harrison (Oxford DG) felt the Diary reference was very significant, and urged that the peal be accepted and that the definition of “extent” be carefully considered.

Mr. Peachey, however, was worried that acceptance of 480 changes as the extent of Little Bob Minor would set a precedent for ringing peals of such methods as Bastow Little Court Minor. Mr. A.P. Smith said that the meaning of “extent” depended on the context in which it was used: the Decision mentioned was talking of the extent of changes possible on a given number of bells, as opposed to the “extent” of some other characteristic - for example, “the extent with the 6 in 6ths”.

Mr. Rogers noted what had been said, but believed that the band had been deliberately trying to exploit the ambiguity in the wording of the Decision - a suggestion strongly denied by Mr. Blagrove - and said that to accept the peal would be contrary to an earlier Council vote not to recognise a previous “peal” Consisting of 480s of Little Bob Minor.

His motion “That the ‘peal’ of Little Bob Minor by the Oxford D.G. at White Waltham on 9 January 1988 be not accepted” was approved by 79 votes to 64.

Mr. Rogers then proposed, and Mr. J.D. Cheesman (Surrey) seconded

“That the report of the Peals Analysis Committee, as amended, be adopted, subject to the submission by the Committee to the 1990 meeting of the Council of a report on the acceptability of the following peals of Doubles:

DateSocietyTower
20 FebHereford DGGoodrich
29 FebMidland Counties GChurch Gresley
15 MaySuffolk GWhepstead
2 JulyGloucester & B DAPebworth
3 JulyYorkshire ADarfield
31 DecEly DARampton”

Mr. P.W. Gay (N. Staffs) questioned whether Mr. T.F. Collins, a non-member of the Council, could be a co-opted member of the committee, as shown on its printed report; and Mr. Wilby regretted that the committee had omitted from its list of notable performances the peal of Doubles that had been rung by members of the St. Martin’s Guild on the back five bells at St. Martin’s, Birmingham - the heaviest peal of Doubles yet rung.

Mr. Rogers explained that Mr. Collins had been a member of the committee during his time on the Council, and had offered to continue working for it after leaving the Council; he accepted that “co-opted” was technically incorrect. On Mr. Wilby’s point, the list was, he said, a very subjective one and not intended to be comprehensive.

The report was then adopted.

Records Committee

Mr. Sibson proposed the report after having made a number of corrections to the version that had been sent to members. Two peals rung on 10 December by members of the Middlesex CA & London DG (of Amnesty Surprise Major and Offspring Surprise Major) had had to be omitted, he said, as it had not been possible to discover what had been rung, while the original name of the peal rung by the Dronoldore Society on 5 June (Rotherham) was having to be changed.

He was seconded by Mr. J.R. Mayne (Honorary).

A. First peals on tower bells
January
95056Lomax Surprise MajorLancashire A
95040Xinia Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
125152Milverton Surprise MajorEly DA
135152Americium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
165056Marland Surprise MajorLancashire A
165040Ashby Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
215056Torridon Delight MajorOxford DG
225000Quakers Friars Surprise RoyalGloucs. & Bristol DA
235184Kingsteignton Surprise MajorG of Devonshire R’rs
235152Radmore Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
305024Beaurepaire Surprise MajorDerby DA Yorkshire A
305040Rutherglen Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
February
35152Kurchatovium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
65120Houston Surprise MajorN American G
65056Sulgrave Surprise MajorEly DA
85152Concorde Surprise MajorWinchest’r-P’m’th DG
135024Cantium Surprise MajorYorkshire A
135040Valentine Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
175184Californium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
185152Soarmills Surprise MajorLeicester DG
195152Cumbria Surprise MajorEly DA
205024Ilchester Surprise MajorEly DA
215200Bicentenary Alliance MaximusSt. James’ G
255152Glaramara Delight MajorOxford DG
255040Amazon Delight RoyalLondon CA
295152Bachelors’ Surprise MajorYorkshire A
295042Queenscliff Surprise MaximusLeicester DG
March
25152Heptonstall Surprise MajorLancashire A
35040Brahmaputra Delight RoyalNon-Association
45120Guilsborough Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
55088Dunum Surprise MajorYorkshire A
55040Daneholme Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
95088Hahnium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
115040Carmyle Surprise RoyalPeterborough DG
125056Falinge Surprise MajorLancashire A
125040Buckby Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
175068Highclere Alliance MajorOxford DG
195088Moina Surprise MajorYorkshire A
195040Colorado Delight RoyalNon-Association
195002Flore Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
205040Axminster Surprise RoyalSoc R Cumberl’d Y’ths
255152Gaultney Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
265152Grampian Surprise MajorScottish A
265056Naden Surprise MajorLancashire A
April
55040Worcester Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberl’d Y’ths
105056Owd Betts Surprise MajorLancashire A
125120Rushton Surprise MajorLeicester DG
175040Hollesley Little Delight MajorSuffolk G
205152Curium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
205040Superlatyve Surprise RoyalLincoln DG
215152Fairfield Delight MajorOxford DG
May
25040Stafford Surprise RoyalN. Staffs A
45056Lawrencium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
75088Vernalis Surprise MajorYorkshire A
75040Wakerley Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
145120Guildford Little Surprise Max.Soc R Cumberl’d Y’ths
185056Potassium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
185088New Southgate Surprise Max.Oxford DG
195002Faraday Surprise RoyalOxford DG
195040Syon Gipsy (hybrid) RoyalLondon CA
215088St. Dunstan’s Surprise MajorHertford CA
215024Tamium Surprise MajorYorkshire A
285056Pilsworth Surprise MajorLancashire A
285042Merseyside Surprise MaximusOxford DG
305040Cumbria Surprise RoyalCentral Council
June
15024Mercury Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
45120Hatton Surprise MajorMiddx CA - Lond. DG
55280Treble Bob MaximusDronoldore S
105152Foxglove Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
115040Botolfston Surprise RoyalOxford DG
155040Monument Surprise MaximusOxford DG
165056Queen’s Park Surprise MajorLancashire A
225088St. Leonard’s Tower Surp. Maj.G of Devonshire R’rs
275120Beckenham Junction Surp. Maj.London CA
July
25056Petworth Festival Delight Maj.Sussex CA
35088Roch Surprise MajorLancashire A
65152Tungsten Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
75184Xyster Surprise MajorLeicester DG
95096Contraflow Alliance MajorYorkshire A
95040Montbretia Surprise RoyalSouthwell DG
235088Daedalus Surprise MajorLancashire A
245056Gravelines Surprise MajorLancashire A
265056Wraxall Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
315024Advent Surprise MajorN. American G
August
35152Antimony Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
45088Siddal Moor Surprise MajorLancashire A
115040Bicentennial Alliance MajorSt. James’ G
115088Turn Surprise MajorLancashire A
135024Deacon Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
155088’88 Alliance MaximusSt. James’ G
185088Medbourne Surprise MajorLeicester DG
255120Quendale Surprise MajorSouthwell DG
285024Perth Surprise MajorANZAB
285002Ticknall Surprise RoyalYorkshire A
315042River Glen Surprise MaximusOxford DG
September
35184Chadstone Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
35056Nicholas Matthew Surprise Maj.Gloucs. & Bristol DA
35040R. Glen Surprise RoyalOxford DG
75152Aurum Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
105024Oborne Surprise MajorOxford DG
105088Venta Icenorum Surprise MajorYorkshire A
145152Iddesleigh Delight MajorU. Bristol Soc
175056Anniversary Delight MajorBath & Wells DA
175040Lindrick Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
225088Ferriby Delight MajorSouthwell DG
225088Unsworth Surprise MajorLancashire A
245040Wentworth Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
285152Iron Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
295088Vale Surprise MajorLancashire A
295088Clydeside Surprise MaximusSt. Martin’s G
305152Tin Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
October
15184Bisley Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
85184Botis Surprise MajorYorkshire A
105152Bouchavesnes Surprise MajorSt James’ G
105024Tooting Surprise MajorEly DA
125184Nielsbohrium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
155152XC Surprise MajorOxford DG
185088Selkirk Surprise MajorEly DA
195088Botany Bay Surprise MajorLancashire A
225040Ryhill Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
225184Snow Hill Alliance MaximusAS College Youths
265040Embankment Surprise MaximusOxford DG
295088Muirfield Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
295024Thorncombe Surprise MajorDorset CA
295040Mather Delight RoyalWinchest. - P’m’th DG
305152Hawksmoor Delight MajorLondon CA
November
25040Cairngorm Surprise RoyalLincoln DG
45088Wham Bar Surprise MajorLancashire A
55088Ocrinum Surprise MajorYorkshire A
95152Rutherfordium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
125184Silina Surprise MajorYorkshire A
125024Thingdon Surprise MajorOxford DG
125600November Surprise RoyalWinchest. - P’m’th DG
125280Beodericsworth Surprise Max.Suffolk G
175088Xian Surprise MajorLancashire A
175152Yoke Delight MajorOxford DG
195040Glanfield Little Surprise MajorG of Devonshire R’rs
195088Tavus Surprise MajorYorkshire A
195040Abergavenny Surprise RoyalLlandaff & Mon. DG
225056Harrow & Wealdstone Surp. Maj.St James’ G
235184Sefton Surprise MajorLancashire A
235056Sodium Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
265024Tamarus Delight MajorYorkshire A
265088Upton Cheyne Surprise MajorOxford DG
265056Welshpool Surprise MajorGloucs. & Bristol DA
275088Yew Surprise MajorLancashire A
295024Balham Surprise MajorEly DA
December
25040Derwent Delight RoyalOxford DG
25088Zion Surprise MajorLancashire A
85088Luppitt Delight MajorG of Devonshire R’rs
95056Montsaye Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
105040Whernside Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
115152Theo Delight MajorGuildford DG
175088Luentium Luentinum Surprise MajorYorkshire A
175002Peagee Surprise RoyalWinchest. - P’m’th DG
185280Ashover Surprise MaximusGloucs. & Bristol DA
205088Venezuela Surprise MajorLeicester DG
225152Moorside Surprise MajorLancashire A
245024Christmas Delight MajorOxford DG
315024Bremia Surprise MajorYorkshire A
315040Twistle Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
December
26515223-Spliced Delight Major (atw)Hertford CA
B. First peals on handbells
January
35088Crewkerne Surprise MajorHereford DG
105024Willesden Surprise MajorSoc R Cumberl’d Y’ths
175056Sonning Surprise MajorSoc R Cumberl’d Y’ths
315152Aquarius Surprise MajorHereford DG
February
145120Yeading Surprise MajorHereford DG
March
65024Pisces Surprise MajorHereford DG
175184Leatherhead Surprise MajorHereford DG
205088Rotherwas Surprise MajorHereford DG
245088Aries Surprise MajorHereford DG
May
15056Taurus Surprise MajorHereford DG
July
145024Malmesbury Surprise MajorMiddx CA - Lond. DG
September
185152Sedburgh Sedbergh Surprise MajorHereford DG
November
315088Jersey Surprise MajorMiddx CA - Lond. DG
January
75040Spliced Surprise Royal (34 m)Derby DA
May
195040Spliced Surprise Royal (36 m)Derby DA
June
165040Spliced Surprise Royal (38 m)Southwell DG
July
75040Spliced Surprise Royal (42 m)Derby DA
September
85600Spliced Surprise Major (25m atw)Middx CA - Lond. DG
C. Record peals on tower bells
December
1710080Plain Bob TriplesLancashire A

Mr. A.P. Smith deplored the use of names that sounded alike for methods that were only approximate extensions of one another, and proposed that the band who rang the peal of Superlatyve on 20 April be asked to find an alternative name for their method. He was seconded by Dr. Pett, and the proposal was approved by 62 votes to 40. Mr. Sibson commented that Queenscliff Surprise Maximus, rung on 29 February, bore no relation to Queenscliffe Surprise Major, but the point was not pursued.

Mr. Peachey wondered whether the peals of Amnesty and Offspring ought to have been omitted from the Peals Analysis, and Mr. Blagrove added the Master of the Middlesex Association would be as interested as the Committee to know what had been rung that day. The conductor of both peals (Mr. R. Bailey) was present, but did not comment.

The amended report was then adopted.

Methods Committee

The Committee’s report was accepted without comment after having been proposed by Mr. A.P. Smith and seconded by Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary):

The Committee met on three occasions during the year, in Winchester on 13 March (RW p. 477), in Cockermouth during the Council meeting on 30 May (p. 671) and in Cambridge on 16 October.

Corrections and amendments to our publications up to the end of 1988 appeared in The Ringing World of 13 January 1989 (p. 32). The service of free leaflets containing all corrections and amendments was maintained.

The Collection of Plain Methods was published and has sold well despite fairly low-key marketing. The Collection of Plain Minor Methods was completed and camera-ready copy passed to the Publications Committee for printing at the beginning of November.

Work continued on the Collection of Principles and several missing compositions obtained. In this respect we are grateful to Mrs. Rowena Brown and Messrs. W.T. Cook, N.A. Johnson and P.A.B. Saddleton. We were also helped with our enquiries by Canon K.W.H. Felstead and Messrs. M.J. Claridge, R.E.J. Dennis, F.E. Dukes, M.D. Fellows, C.W. Galbraith and R.L. Jones.

Two items of work have produced motions for the Council meeting in Birmingham. One introduces a new Decision, (G), to replace the report on Extension and subsequent amendments. This work was mooted some years ago and the intention is to make the formula more accessible rather than to make changes.

The other motion concerns Doubles variations and was mentioned in our report last year. We are grateful to those ringers who took the trouble to write to us with their views. The proposed amendment would not restrict what could be rung in peals of Doubles, although we hope it would encourage ambitious bands to pay more attention to the number of methods they ring rather than the number of names.

As usual we have also provided advice to other Council committees and responded to queries about methods and method names.

Education Committee

The report’s adoption was proposed by Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth), who said that Education Committee members had also assisted at a “management” day in Cannock and a handbell day in Swansea. This year’s School would be held at Pershore on 1-3 September, and in 1990 and 1991 would be in Northamptonshire. He repeated his thanks to the Worcester Association, and also thanked two ringers who were no longer on the committee - Ron Thorne and Steve Coleman - for their work.

Three meetings of the Committee were held in 1988, that in November covering two days.

1988 has been a year of continuing preparatory work on a variety of publications covering a wide range of areas in the Exercise. Bells in Your Care, distributed to students at theological and N.S.M. colleges in 1987, is being widened for clergy in post and churchwardens (JMT). Other titles in preparation at the end of the year were: A Collection of Quarter Peals (RAT), Looking after the Money (SJC) (handed to the Bell Restoration Funds Committee in 1989 for publication), a Recruiting Package (SJC) (preparation ceased in 1989, primarily due to the high cost of publication), Will you call a Touch, please, Bob? (PTH), Hymns and Prayers for Ringers (JMT), Conducting Stedman (DEP), and an Education Officer’s Handbook (HJC). A revision of the Beginners Handbook entitled Belfry Steps is under way (JMT).

The ninth Annual Ringing School (arranged by RC/NRM and attended by seven of the committee) was held at Pershore in July, with the very generous support of the Worcestershire and Districts Association. Over seventy students attended, and once again the main tuition was concerned with “Teaching and Management in Ringing”. Other groups of students learned and rang methods ranging from Surprise Maximus to Bob Minor.

The Committee’s thanks are due to all those who came as resident helpers, and especially to the officers and members of the Worcestershire and Districts Association, who made towers available and stood in at the practical sessions. Without the willing assistance of helpers, the Ringing School is simply not viable.

A small School was held at Napton on the Hill, Warwickshire, in December (RC/JMT), with the cooperation of the Coventry DG, for a group of students not able to gain a place at Pershore, which was again heavily over-subscribed.

Assistance was also given on a Tower Leadership day in Bedford (HJC) and on a teaching day in Sussex (PTH).

The third national Seminar on the Teaching of Ringing, planned for north Oxfordshire in October, fell victim to the postal strike and had to be postponed. It will take place on 8 July 1989 at Bodicote, near Banbury (organisers NRM/RAT).

A trifold leaflet advertising the Committee’s activities was prepared (SJC/HJC) and distributed to CC Representatives at the Whitehaven meeting. Further copies have been distributed to all Guilds/Associations by the CC Secretary. The leaflet offers the Committee’s services to all Guilds/Associations and to other groups of ringers, in the organisation of any type of ringing or training activity.

The Committee provided many questions for the CC sub-committee arranging the National Survey, so as to obtain information on education in the country, and to assist with planning the Committee’s activities for forthcoming triennia. One Committee member (SJC) joined the sub-committee.

The Committee considered in depth the production of videos at its last meeting, and viewed further ones produced by others at its previous meetings. Derek Carr was invited to become the Committee’s adviser on video production because of his professional knowledge. It was agreed to produce a video on bell handling (under PTH’s stewardship) and planning the video script commenced.

A bell simulator was ordered from Peter Cummins of Camelford, and will be mounted initially in the tower at Wymondham (Norfolk) for evaluation.

Seconding, Mr. M.J. Tyler (Honorary) said that copies of Bells in Your Care would be sent to incumbents and churchwardens within the next few months. After Mr. Church had said that he would be interested to know what the leaflet said and that its text should perhaps be published in The Ringing World, he said that it would be an amended version of that already given to ordinands, copies of which had been given to all members last year. He nevertheless accepted the point about giving it wider circulation through The Ringing World.

Mr. D.R. McLean (Norwich) asked for more information on why work on the Recruiting Package had stopped. The Survey was showing that more ringers needed to be recruited, and the Council should be prepared to spend money on this, he said. Mr. D.J. Roberts (Devon G) added there was a need for advice on how to streamline progress from handling a bell to ringing a quarter-peal.

In reply Mr. Cater said that the Recruiting Package, which had been with the committee since 1980, had been estimated as costing something like £6.50 a copy, and the Publications Committee had assessed that it would consequently not be a viable product. Since recruiting was in some senses a public relations matter, perhaps the Public Relations Committee might like to consider what should now be done? He ended by saying that the most productive area for education work was at grass roots level; the Committee could not hope to work at this level throughout the country, and it was therefore trying to encourage and assist Guilds to do even more for themselves.

The report was then adopted.

Peal Compositions Committee

This year has been a difficult one for the Committee. Personal commitments of Committee members have adversely affected some of our activities, and in particular delays are again beginning to occur in our most public function - the publication of compositions in The Ringing World. Steps are being taken to contain and improve the situation as quickly as resources permit.

The Committee lost its most senior member when Harold Chant died in October. Harold’s qualities were many, and have been acknowledged in The Ringing World. His main contribution to the Committee’s work was the Collection of Spliced Minor Compositions, which he completed from material first assembled by Bob Hardy. Harold’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, this area of ringing resulted in a first-class publication which will commemorate him for many years.

The first draft of a collection of general-purpose Major compositions has been produced by Tony Cox. We hope that this will be published during 1989. Progress is also being made on a collection of Spliced compositions.

Council committees are voluntary organisations, and most members have only limited time to give to committee affairs. In common with many others, this Committee has a high workload, much of it under unremitting pressure of time. We will need to look again at our organisation and size to see whether changes are required to cope with this workload and time pressure.

Mr. R.C. Kippin (ASCY) said that the committee was hoping to produce the Ringing World Compositions for 1988 referred to in the report of the Publications Committee, and also to run a half-day symposium in the Midlands later in the year at which composers would be invited to present papers on developments in composition; details would be sent to The Ringing World in due course. He proposed the adoption of the committee’s report, and was seconded by Mr. A.J. Cox.

Mr. Butler asked whether, in view of Mr. Kippin’s first remark, there had been a change of policy about Council publications: hitherto they had all been handled by the Publications Committee. Mr. Kippin replied that the Publications Committee had not thought the booklet a viable proposition in view of the limited number of sales of Ringing World Compositions for earlier years. His committee was consequently experimenting to see whether a viable product could be produced.

The report was adopted by the Council without further comment.

Computer Coordination Committee

No questions arose from the next report, which was formally proposed by the committee’s chairman, Mr P. Church (Beverley), and seconded by Mr. G. Dodd (Hertford).

The third “micro-meet” was held in March at St Albans and proved to be very valuable in maintaining contacts amongst computer ringers, and in generating some new interest in the application of computers to ringing problems. It was interesting to note that there were no radically new departures on show at the micro-meet. This seems to be symptomatic of the general stability that has been evident during the last few years.

The creation of a system for marking striking competitions has progressed, but not to a full conclusion. The problem of replicating the ability of the human ear in distinguishing strike notes amongst bells has not yet been solved, the analysis of wave-forms proving exceedingly complex. However some valuable progress has been made with regard to algorithms for analysing strike-note patterns for striking quality and drift.

The register of computer ringers has been maintained throughout the year. This is a simple word processing file on a BBC Master 128. Paper copies are available from Peter Church by submission of an A4 self-addressed, 19p stamped envelope. Diskette copies are available on 5.25" diskette by sending a stamped self-addressed Data Mailer containing a diskette formatted for writing by View V3.0, and clearly labelled 40 or 80 track.

New entries for the register are always welcome, and should be made by letter to the chairman of this committee. We would be particularly interested to hear of anyone now applying 16 bit equipment (Atari ST/Commodore Amiga) or more advanced equipment to ringing problems.

Biographies Committee

In proposing the following report, Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx CA & London DG) said that the committee was seeking a successor for Mrs. Joyce Dodds, who had written up past members’ biographical details for a number of years but was now looking to hand over to someone else. He was initially seconded by Mr. A.T. Collins (Winchester & Portsmouth), but after Mr. Butler had questioned whether it was in order for him to, effectively, second his own co-option to the Committee, Mr. Groome seconded the report’s adoption in his stead.

The following member and past members of the Council died during the year 1988:

Frank Ivie Hairs was a member of the Central Council’s Standing Committee 1954-68, and Ringing World Committee 1951-66.

Harold Chant was a member of the Central Council’s Peal Compositions Committee 1984-88.

The reconstituted Biographies Committee has been subject to disruption by the resignation of two of its newly-elected members, R.A. Grant and R.J. Johnston, both finding the pressure of other work too demanding. To fill these places. A.T. Collins (Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild) and M.J. Lodwick (Kent County Association) have kindly agreed to be co-opted.

The work on the production of the Biographies of Famous Ringers/Anecdotes book is painstakingly proceeding, and thanks are accorded to those who have helped by submitting their useful contributions. Whilst a further few names have been added to the eighty-five listed in the Appendix to the last Committee report, the drafting of thirty-two biographies has been achieved. The work will soon be in its last stages, before presenting a copy to the Publications Committee, so any further contributions must be received at an early date.

Thanks are due to Mrs. J. Dodds, of St Albans, for acting in an honorary capacity in writing up the Biographical Records of past members, a service she has generously given over a number of years.

The Revd. M.C.C Melville (Universities) asked what the current position was about microfilming the committee’s biography sheets, and Mr. Groome enquired what the timetable was for production of the Biographies of Famous Ringers that was mentioned in the report.

Mr. Lock said that no steps were currently being taken to arrange microfilming; the cost had at one time been estimated at about £300. He had been in touch with the Publications Committee over the Biographies and was looking to that committee to provide a timescale. The main author was Dr. J.C. Eisel (Honorary).

In spite of a question from the President, Mr. Melville declined to make a formal proposal about microfilming the biography sheets, and the report was then adopted.

Library Committee

The Library’s report was proposed in Mr. Cook’s absence by Miss Jean Sanderson, and seconded by Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough). It was adopted without debate.

The Committee held one meeting during the year, at which David House reported that the compilation of the new Catalogue of printed books and other printed materials was nearing completion, and showed specimens of the camera-ready copy of the main text. These were agreed to be excellent. David’s promotion in his job has regrettably led to his resignation as an Honorary member of the Central Council, and therefore of the Library Committee. He has assured me that he is still working on the completion of the text of the Catalogue, so it is very much hoped that the new edition will shortly be ready for printing. It is not expected to be a “best seller”, and is being produced more as a service to the Exercise, so the Library Committee expects to meet a proportion of its eventual cost from the funds of the Friends of the CCCBR Library. We tender to David our grateful thanks for his work on our Committee, especially for his work on the Catalogue.

The Library funds, as will be seen from the accounts, show an excess of expenditure over income of over £220, largely due to the purchase of some books which were obviously of more use in our Library than elsewhere. The most important of these were a bound collection (probably made by the Revd. J. Fowler of Durham) of various 19th century pamphlets on bells and bellringing, a copy of Moulton Church Bells by S. Madge (1895), and two MS volumes of peal books of the late Stephen Wood. We have continued to buy copies of all new books advertised in The Ringing World, and we have received many donations of books and other materials - indeed, of the 55 new acquisitions this year, 38 were by donation. There were also the welcome donations of 23 Guild/Association Reports for 1987, and further copies of local Newsletters, which form such a valuable archive. It is not always possible for the Librarian to acknowledge the gift of these Reports and Newsletters individually as they arrive, so it is hoped that the representatives of the various Guilds and Associations will accept this part of our report as our grateful thanks. Please keep them coming! Perhaps Representatives could bring such items to the Council Meeting, so as to save postage.

We are pleased to report that, as a result of our enquiry last year, several possible bookbinders have been suggested. A suitable source of rebinding of books in need of attention has been decided on; they should be able to do the work to a high standard.

The Library has continued to be used during the year, with over forty borrowings of books, and fairly frequent enquiries on various topics.

Publications Committee

At the end of 1988 the Publications Fund was in a healthy state and during the year the general level of sales was maintained, although this is not obvious when using 1987 figures for comparison because of distortions caused by production and sale of Volume I of the Ringing History.

New publications were The Beginner’s Guide to Change Ringing on Handbells, Raising and Lowering in Peal, Collection of Plain Methods, Ringing World compositions for 1987, Rung Surprise etc. and Information Cards and DIY Guideline pamphlets for the Towers and Belfries Committee.

The Committee became involved with prepublication work associated with the revised Towers and Belfries Handbook and the Belfry Maintenance Schedule during the year. By the end of the year the material for both books was still incomplete, but it is hoped that publication will be possible during 1989. A pamphlet entitled The Bell Adviser was in the final stages of preparation. Proofs of the Collection of Plain Minor Methods were received and passed to the printer at the end of the year, and publication was expected very early in 1989.

It has been decided that Rung Surprise etc. will be published in full at around five-yearly intervals, and that updating supplements only will be available annually. Because of very low sales of previous collections the Peal Compositions Committee and the Publications Committee have agreed that Ringing World Compositions for 1988 will not be published in the usual form, although the material will be available.

We continue to be grateful for the excellent camera-ready copy produced by some of the committees. It is not possible for all authors to provide camera-ready copy, and we are happy to receive material for publication in any presentable form. However, it is worth pointing out that timescales and costs can be very much reduced if camera-ready copy is used.

Because of a reorgnisation of Seven Corners Press in June we were obliged to move the stock of publications, and for a while we feared that a new home would have to be found for it. However, in the end space was made available in the building, although we are now charged for its use. At the end of the year a thorough stock check was carried out and further surplus stock was written off.

From time to time during the year new forms of advertisement were used in The Ringing World. The effect on sales is so far unclear, but we shall continue to experiment during 1989.

When he proposed the report, Mr. W.J. Couperthwaite, Chairman of the committee, said that two Education Committee publications were nearly ready for sale. In reply to a question from Mr. A.P. Smith, he said that he had that day received copies of the Rung Surprise supplement mentioned in the report. He also accepted a suggestion from Mr. Jackson that the committee should consider publishing a pamphlet on the current insurance situation, covering such things as public, liability and personal accident cover, but wondered who would write it. He was seconded by Mr. D.J. Jones.

Mr. Tremain enquired what had happened about the Ringers’ Atlas that had been mentioned in the committee’s previous report, and Prof. Johnston replied that it was now in the press and should be available about mid-November. It was now a private venture, and he was trying to arrange for copies to be made available to readers of The Ringing World at a special pre-publication price.

After Mr. P.M.J. Gray had commented on the erratic pattern of sales when one year’s figures were compared with the next, Mr. Couperthwaite said that there was always a surge of demand for new publications when they first appeared, and that others sometimes went temporarily out of print during the course of a year.

There being no further questions on the committee’s work or its report, the latter was then adopted by the Council.

The President then invited questions on the Library and Publications Funds. Mr. H.C. Charles (Norwich) wondered what constituted the Administrative costs shown in the latter, and Mr. Butler enquired what the explanation was for the marked drop in sales income since the previous year. Replying, Mr. Wratten said that storage charges now had to be paid for the stock of Council publications, and that the Council also paid towards the costs incurred by the Ringing World office in preparing orders for despatch. As for the drop in sales income, the previous year’s exceptionally high figure had been almost entirely due to the appearance of the first part of the Ringing History.

The Council’s accounts as a whole were then adopted, this having been proposed by Mr. Wratten and seconded by Mr. Groome.

Public Relations Committee

This was the last of the fourteen committee reports considered by the Council in what was proving a lengthy day’s business. Its adoption was proposed by Mr. Wilby and seconded by Dr. A. Newing (Honorary):

  1. Central Council: Foundry Focus has continued to be published. David House unfortunately has had to resign from the Council through pressure of work, and in consequence Focus articles are now published as submitted by the foundries. A new member of the Committee needs to be appointed to work on this function, particularly to take advantage of the big PR opportunity for the Council which will present itself in 1991 during Centenary year.

  2. Media Liaison: Discussions have taken place with the Revd. John Newbury, Head of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC, regarding the overall possibilities for broadcasting ringing and the specific problems of the Sunday morning Bells slot on Radio 4 at 6.50 a.m. One possible explanation for the current lack of recordings being sent to the BBC is of course a reduced interest in the programme by ringers due to its timing being an hour earlier than before. The connection between ringers’ interest and their likely wakening times on Sunday morning was not appreciated by the BBC; however the audience ratings claimed for 6.50 a.m. are double those for Church Bells on Sunday at 7.50 a.m., and so the case for reverting to the old schedules so far as the BBC is concerned is non-existent. A considerable amount of goodwill does however exist towards ringing at the BBC, and individual towers should be encouraged to submit recordings to sustain this programme. Future discussions will explore further new opportunities.

  3. Community Liaison: The “contact” data files have been maintained, and a number of requests for assistance dealt with. The major activity has been participation in the preparation of the Council’s Code of Practice and conduct of the relationship with the Council for the Care of Churches. After the initial burst of Press interest in the Central Council Survey results, the Committee are now involved in assisting with the presentation of the Survey’s findings.

  4. Exhibitions: A large number of exhibitions have again been mounted up and down the country at local level, and a considerable amount of advice and materials have again been supplied.

  5. Association Liaison: The distribution of cards and certificates, all bearing the Council’s logo, has continued and the contact list for Guild PROs maintained. David Potter has asked to be allowed to resign because of the pressure of his other considerable ringing commitments, and a replacement for him is urgently needed.

  6. Press cuttings service: The Ringing World office has continued to provide the service of collating press cuttings for current attention and eventual storage in the CC Library.

  7. Overseas Liaison: This function has received considerable additional impetus through the many additional contacts made by tourists visiting Australia during Bicentennial year. Three members of the Committee toured the continent and made contacts to reinforce the Overseas Liaison Officer’s tireless work during the year. We learnt of the value and importance that this work on behalf of the Council has for ringers in the more remote ringing centres of the world. The Overseas Liaison report has again been published separately in The Ringing World.

  8. Publications: Work progresses on the text for a Guild PRO’s Handbook intended for publication later this year.

Members of the Committee have continued to give advice and assistance on PR and related matters by request to all levels of ringing during the year. It is also appropriate to record with thanks the contributions made to this Committee’s work by David House and David Potter, who have unfortunately had to retire before the end of the triennium. It is now vital that the Committee is revitalised with fresh blood to replace those resigning and those intending to retire at the end of next year, so that the work may continue apace.

Dr. Newing formally proposed that Mrs. Bianco and Mr. Coleman, both of whom had been elected Honorary members of the Council earlier in the meeting, should be elected members of the Committee. Mr. Wilby seconded, and this was agreed. The report was then formally adopted.

The President concluded this part of the Council’s business by thanking all committee members, on behalf of the Council, for their work during the past year (applause).

Future meetings

The Secretary summarised the invitations that had already been accepted or noted by the Council, and reminded members that an invitation had been received during the year from the Shropshire Association for the 1996 meeting.

Mr. Dukes, speaking on behalf of the Irish Association, then invited the Council to hold its 1998 meeting in Ireland, when the Association would be celebrating its centenary. The invitation was greeted with applause, and formally noted.

It was also agreed to accept the invitation for 1993 from the Llandaff and Monmouth DA.

Mrs. C.A. Bedding (Bath & Wells) said that her society was looking forward to the Council’s visit in 1990, when it would be marking its own centenary. The meeting would be in Wells, where the Association would be holding its centenary service in the Cathedral on the Sunday, and the reception would be in Glastonbury. It would not be possible to provide a headquarters hotel such as they had enjoyed in Birmingham, but accommodation details would be provided as soon as possible. (Applause)

Any other Business

Preb. Scott praised the excellent organisation of the weekend and the chairman’s conduct of the meeting; but pleaded for the seating to be arranged in a semicircle in future so that speakers from the floor could be better seen and heard.

The Secretary said that during the meeting the Council’s membership had increased by one society and one representative. 56 of the 69 affiliated societies eligible to send representatives had been fully represented at the meeting, 10 had been partly represented, and only three were not represented. In total 170 representative, 21 Honorary, and eight Life members had been present, the resulting attendance of 199 being the highest in the Council’s history. The total compared with 77 when the Council last met in Birmingham, in 1945, and with 45 at its 1892 meeting in the city.

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; the staff of the Grand Hotel, and those of Birmingham Cathedral where corporate Communion had been celebrated that morning; the St. Martin’s Guild and in particular its organising committee for their work and welcome; and the Secretary and Vice-President for their assistance. He also thanked those who had reached the end of their period of membership of the Council for their contributions to its work and to ringing. (Applause).

After Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life) had thanked the President for his conduct of the meeting, he declared the meeting closed.

It was then nearly 5.30.

THE RINGING WORLD LIMITED

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Although the accounts show a loss of some £4,000 on the year’s working, this is accounted for by the Board’s deliberate decision to use some of the Company’s accumulated profits from previous years in three particular areas of benefit to the paper and its readers.

Firstly, and most importantly, the Board authorised an increase in pages in order to clear the growing backlog of quarter peal reports (for which donations had already been received and credited in the 1987 accounts). It is pleasing to report that we have succeeded in making the quarter peal backlog a thing of the past, so that the paper is significantly more up-to-date and newsworthy. We record our thanks to our team of out-workers in setting quarters for their hard work and prompt attention to the work passed to them.

Secondly, the Board has invested in the future of the paper by promotional activities such as the publication of a free Belfry Planner to all our readers, and the insertion of a Ringing World subscription form in every Diary sold.

The third item of extraordinary cost arose from the Board’s decision to participate in Australia’s Bicentennial celebrations by sending the Editor to the ANZAB Annual Meeting and Festival in April. He was able to report back to our readers his first-hand impressions of ringing in Australia. We are extremely grateful to Anne Carpenter for the excellent job she made of deputising for the Editor during his month away from the office.

Although sales of the Diary were marginally lower than our inaugural production the previous year, this was expected, and The Ringing World Diary made a useful contribution to our overall income.

Despite having had to increase the price of the paper in order to meet rising costs and provide additional pages to print the increasing number of peal and quarter peal reports, our readers clearly support the policy as sales have been maintained and are showing signs of beginning to rise. We are extremely encouraged by this support and would thank all those who contribute to this continuing success of the paper by either buying the paper, making donations, or, most importantly, contributing copy to the Editor. In addition, members of the Company can promote the paper at every opportunity.

H. W. EGGLESTONE

The Ringing World, July 7, 1989, pages 619 to 629, corrections July 28, 1989, page 696

Report on Overseas Liaison for 1988

The Overseas Liaison report for the year 1988 is based on the relevant items which appeared in The Ringing World. Ringing Towers, The Clapper, S.A. Ringing Circle and Look-to as well as those which were taken from letters, newspaper and magazine cuttings received from overseas friends. Some good people who went overseas and joined the ringing in the various countries were helpful too, with reports following these visits. The writer therefore acknowledges the use of the material concerned and expresses his gratitude to the respective Editors and correspondents. Apologies are offered to those who might feel aggrieved about the omission of any item they consider worthy of mention but not included because it may not have come to our notice, or was inadvertently omitted.

Central Council Meeting, Whitehaven: It was a red-letter day for the Verona, Italy Society, the Transvaal Guild and the Zimbabwe Guild, when all three became affiliated to the Council. The Italians were strongly represented in Whitehaven as were the A.N.Z.A.B and N.A.G. societies. The Transvaal Guild apologised for the non-attendance of their representative and the Zimbabwe Guild awaited the outcome of the voting before deciding to appoint a representative, however, it was a great pleasure to see the Hyde family all the way from Harare there as observers.

The overseas display appeared on the day of the Council meeting and it covered all areas, but particular attention was given to “Italy”, “Transvaal” and “Zimbabwe” on account of their applications for affiliation to the Council membership. The press cuttings from Victoria, B.C. and Durban, S.A., attracted close interest, as did the Hobart dedication material. Copies of the S.A. Ringing Circle, Look-to, and the service of the christening of the bells in St. Paul’s, Maryborough, Queensland were exhibited for perusal.

Communications: Communications with all areas of ringing overseas continued to occupy the Overseas Liaison during the year, who is grateful to all concerned and appreciates the receipt of very helpful information and good advice from abroad, as well as from U.K. ringers who travelled to overseas ringing areas. Visits by “home” ringers are shown in the various reports to be very welcome in maintaining the close bonds of friendship which now exist. In turn, overseas ringers coming to the British Isles are made very welcome wherever they go. Mutual benefit must, of course, be the result of such contacts.

Of particular importance in 1988, was the Australian Bi-centennial Year celebrations, which caused three officially organised tours composing of ringers and friends from these islands, and some from overseas to go to Australia to join in the celebrations. Independent of these tours a few specialised tours also took part. New Zealand, too, was welcome to some of the participants who extended their “bicentennial” visit.

Australian Bi-Centennial Year 1988: The principal overseas event of the year was the Australian Bi-centennial Year celebrations. Various projects were organised by A.N.Z.A.B. in collaboration with the state bodies. These included additional rings of bells, augmentations, major restorations of existing rings, welcoming facilities for visiting ringers and the organised tours from the U.K. Although it was mainly an Australian event, New Zealand also benefited from the touring parties, because some of the participants went there to ring at the individual towers.

The benefit to the Exercise, of course, was enormous. What with new methods being rung to peals, the new friendships formed and the additional bells provided, we must extend our gratitude to the A.N.Z.A.B. committees and to the organisers of the tours for their foresight and planning and the ultimate completion of the venture. Congratulations to all concerned. The Ringing World graciously gave plenty of space to the reporting on the events throughout the year and therefore it is not intended to repeat them in this report.

The year was opened with the ringing of bells in Australia at dawn on the 1st January. Would we be correct in saying that it was St. Paul’s, Maryborough, QLD. who first saw the rays of the rising sun? The honour for the first bells to ring in 1988 must go to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne who commenced a successful peal of Plain Bob Major at 00.35 hours on 1st January! Then on the last day of the year, the new ring of bells at Christ Church, Claremont, W.A. finally drew the curtain at dusk on a most eventful and successful year in the history of Australian bell-ringing.

Additional Rings of Bells, Augmentations and Restorations: One of the themes of the Australian Bi-centennial Year was to provide additional rings of bells, to augment some of the existing rings and to execute major restoration work on some of the older rings which had become difficult to handle. New rings were installed and dedicated at St. John’s Cathedral, Brisbane; St. Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulbourn; St. Andrew’s, Brisbane and Christ Church, Claremont. There is also some speculation about possible additional rings and in fact, bells are available awaiting their installation in the respective places, perhaps in our next report, we can throw some light on this subject.

Major restoration works were carried out at St. Mary’s, Darling Point; St. Clement’s, Yass and St. Patrick’s R.C. Cathedral, Melbourne.

In the U.S.A., the new ring of bells for Trinity Cathedral, Little Rock were dedicated and have already been “pealed”. Further, there is to be a three towers festival there from 7th to 9th April 1989. The bells of the Nancy Hanks Centre (O.P.Q.) Washington, were out of action for some weeks whilst some major repairs were carried out by Taylor’s of Loughborough.

The D.I.Y. works at Durban, South Africa, towers continued and it is pleasing to note that these installations are now in good health, thanks to the devotion to the task by Eric Webster, Jane Grant and others. St. George’s Cathedral, Grahamstown required some attention to the tower and work on the bells. In fact, it is understood that there are proposals being considered to have a major job put in hand in the not-too-distant future. It is interesting to learn, that the Very Rev. Paddy Glover, formerly of St. George’s, Parktown, now Dean of Bloemfontein, is so keen on having a ring of bells in his cathedral, that a fundraising fete was held. Hopefully, the Dean’s dreams will turn into reality.

Peals and Quarter-Peals: The appended table of peals and quarter-peals rung in the various countries has been complied from those published in The Ringing World (up to and including 16/2/89) The Clapper; Ringing Towers and S.A. Ringing Circle. Undoubtedly, in some areas, the figures included will not agree with the final totals prepared by the local officers concerned. The table is intended to reveal to readers the extent of change-ringing practised overseas and it is very encouraging to note the advantages being made particularly in the N.A.G. and A.N.Z.A.B. areas. The major changes compared with last year, are of course, in Australia and New Zealand, where large increases in peals and quarters were seen in 1988.

The U.S.A. shows a small reduction in successful attempts, whilst Canada and Zimbabwe had no tower bell peals recorded, but there was one handbell peal rung in Quebec.

South Africa, mainly through Transvaal, increased its quota of peals and quarter peals.

The “Others” peals were all in Hong Kong with a first of Yorkshire Surprise Major in Asia. The quarters were in Hong Kong and two in the Solomon Islands both being of Minimus in hand.

The Zimbabwe quarters were all rung at Harare Cathedral.

Methods In Australia, the peals covered a total of 69 methods, variations and splicings from Doubles to Maximus and included plain methods up to Alliance and Surprise. Perth headed the peal list with a total of twelve to their credit, and they were followed closely by St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney with ten attempts. New methods rung for the first time were “88 Alliance Maximus”, “Perth S. Major”, and “Bi-centennial Alliance Major”, and in the quarter-peal range “Queen’s Head Doubles” and “Claremont S. Minor” were firsts in Australia.

New Zealand’s 32 methods, variations and splicings ranged from Plain to Surprise and included Doubles to Maximus. Hamilton was the only tower there not to record a peal. At Christchurch Cathedral five peals were scored and it included the first of Cambridge Surprise Royal in the country. The first peal on the eight bells of Papanui Church was one of Plain Bob Major. Auckland topped the quarter-peal list with 55 rung during the year in a wide variety of methods.

All of the peals in Africa were rung at St. George’s, Parktown and included the first of Lincolnshire S. Major in Africa. In all five methods from Minor to Major were used in. the attempts.

Sixty-seven methods, variations and splicings from Doubles to Royal were used in the U.S.A. The 100th peal on the bells of Advent Church, Boston gave it the honour of the first church outside the British Isles to have reached that milestone. First peals in Advent S. Major and Houston S. Major were scored, as well as one of 8888 of Plain Major in 2 methods at Houston and one of 9968 of Little Bob Major in hand. Advent also headed the tower league with 27 peals.

PealsQuarter-Peals
TowerIn handTowerIn hand
Australia90(24)8( 4)246( 96)25(20)
Canada-( 6)1( -)4( 4)7( 6)
New Zealand19( 3)-( -)118( 48)-( -)
South Africa9( 6)-( -)6( 15)-( -)
U.S.A.44(47)35(43)110(110)51(72)
Zimbabwe-( 2)-( -)9( 3)-( -)
Others-( -)8( 2)-( -)14( 8)
The figures in brackets are those taken from the 1987 report (RW 13/5/1988)

Ringing Courses. Education: Ringing Courses were reported as having been held in Kalamazoo, U.S.A.; Melbourne and Sydney, Australia and at Quebec in Canada. Doubtless these commendable projects brought some success and encouragement to the respective organisers.

A Ringing Course organised by Chestnut Hill College, resulted in five out of six beginners being recruited for ringing at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia. The President of the N.A.G., John King is keen on Educating ringers and urged the Guild to “take affirmative responsibility to spread its talent around to nurture ringing in places in which help would be welcome”. During the month of January, the two weeks intensive ringing course for beginners at Washington D.C. brought some rewards even if only three of the participants survived the course.

The Houston and Texarkana Societies, and the good “old reliable” Marie Cross gave unstinted assistance in training ringers for the new ring at Little Rock Cathedral.

Many other courses have probably been held. So to all those known and unknown teachers and instructors who gave of their time to these events we owe our deepest gratitude and encouragement in the very important job of teaching beginners, helping ringers to advance in change-ringing and producing conductors.

Public Relations: The annual open-day at Washington Cathedral was a popular success. Nearly 100 visitors learned about campanology and the names of potential ringers were recorded. A two-week intensive beginners course was arranged for late in October.

The Durban Branch of the South African Historical Society visited the tower of St. Mary’s Church, Durban and were rewarded with a talk by Jane Gant on the facts of campanology. Then later on the Natal Society for Gifted Children paid a visit on a similar exercise, and as they were “gifted”, three recruits to ringing resulted.

Grahamstown held its open-day on 5th March when members of the public visited the Cathedral tower. Demonstrations of the ringing and an exhibition of bells and ringing were part of the event. Almost 300 people came along - the oldest was an octogenarian and the youngest was but six months old. There was also some coverage about Grahamstown ringing in the local press and on the radio during the National Arts Festival.

Publicity: The dawn ringing on 1st January in Australia for the opening of the bi-centennial year received a lot of publicity in both the press and on the air, via T.V. and radio. The band which rang a peal at Geelong were interviewed by the local press and photos taken immediately the attempt concluded. Not far away in Melbourne and following a peal of Grandsire Caters at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Age photographed the band and featured them on the next morning. The same paper also showed the bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne being removed for transhipment to the U.K. for retuning and new fittings.

An article on the sound control arrangements at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, in the Sydney Morning Herald seems to have backfired, because subsequent complaints about noise pollution from the bells of at least two other towers followed this publicity.

The local press in New Zealand’s Christchurch gave prominence to the 70 years as a ringer of Nelson Sloan with an account of his ringing career. Also in Christchurch, Ashley Smith, who was disabled, took part in a quarter-peal and his photograph appeared on the front page of The Press, along with a write-up about him and the quarter.

The memorial weekend (27th May) in Quebec received some advance publicity, including a printed notice on the bulletin board at the Bibliotheque. Also the Editor of the Quebec newspaper roused the P.R.O.-to-be of the N.A.G. for an interview and an article did appear. In Boston, the Advent Church bells were heard during Independence Day performance of the Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture in each year and sometimes they come over on T.V.

The Journal of the Institution of Highways and Transportation published a report on the visit to Italy by the Malvern ringers under the title “Bellringing in North Italy”.

St. George’s tower, Parktown, Johannesburg was invaded by a film crew from S.A.B.C. They filmed members of the team and ringing and the final production appeared in Sundown.

Tedelex Talk, a South African business magazine, included some notes about Eric Webster - staff member - and the Durban ringers. A coloured photograph of the team at the ropes accompanied the notes. The Natal Mercury wrote about the appeal for funds to repair St. Mary’s Church, Durban bells. A photograph showed one of the bells, under which were Jane Gant and two other ringers. The Sunday Tribune - To-Day supplement gave a full page to the ringers of St. Mary’s, Durban and it included three coloured photographs of the ringers, the church and the bells.

Publications: Ringing Towers, the official journal of A.N.Z.A.B. increased its circulation from four issues a year to six issues. The standard of production was not diminished as a result, but it seems to have been a “wee bit” too much for the Editor, Susan Tonkin in her already busy life. She maintained a very high standard right up to the last and eventually handed over Editorship to Peter W. Whitehead from Christchurch, N.Z. to whom we send our good wishes for the future. Thank you, Susan for your good work and for including periodically, extracts from the Overseas newsletters.

The N.A.G. journal, The Clapper, also had a change of Editorship, Richard Anderson resigned in 1987 but remained as a member of an editorial committee. Now, however, a new Editor-in-chief in the person of Jessie Ravage from Philadelphia has been appointed and has already shown what can be done in continuing the standards set by predecessors. The paper has published Overseas Newsletters in full since the editorship of Elizabeth Davies and for this attempt to keep in touch with the ordinary ringer we say a sincere thank you, and also for an interesting, friendly and newsy publication. Best wishes go to Jessie on her assumption of the mantle of Editor.

In South Africa, the S.A. Ringing Circle continues to make its appearance quarterly. Great credit is due to the four areas who in turn produce the issues. It too, is a very friendly magazine and conveys much news about the African ringers, keeping them closer together. Keep up the good work.

One issue of Look-to from Zimbabwe came to hand and again it contains much detailed information about the individual members of the Guild, including a query about a proposal to set up a Branch of the Guild in the U.K.! It is a delightful newsletter and we eagerly look forward to “look-to”.

Three issues of Overseas Newsletters were distributed to all bell-ringing areas abroad during the year. The Clapper reproduced each one in full and Ringing Towers included extracts from them because of space limitation. In this way the individual ringers were communicated with and the writer is grateful for this ready cooperation in our efforts to get at the “grassroots” ringers with world-wide news.

Miscellaneous: Australia - St. Paul’s tower in Maryborough, Queensland celebrated its centenary in 1988 and on Easter Sunday a special service of the baptism of the nine bells took place, when each bell was given a name. The 4th bell was named “Ted” in honour of the present captain, Ted Klupp, who commenced ringing on the 22nd January 1928. He has been the mainstay of the tower for over 60 years. Five of the other bells were named after previous tower captains. Congratulations to Ted and gratitude is expressed to him for the care of, and attention to the ringing of, the bells in Maryborough.

We must pay a tribute to Jack Cummins of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney who was so closely involved with a major sound control system following complaints about the noise levels from the bells. The exercise he was engaged in was most instructive and the technicalities of the project were so successful that the tower was able to rank second in Australia for the number of peals rung in 1988 - ten in all.

Canada - We learn that Michael Batten, immediate past-President of N.A.G. has moved to Vancouver and is now in training for the ministry of the church. We wish him well.

Lahore - The six bells in Lahore Cathedral hang in two levels and have not been rung full-circle within living memory. At present they are chimed by Ellacombe apparatus. Notice has been given of a proposed visit by ringers to Lahore with a desire to rehabilitate the ringing and if possible to have a ring on the bells. It is however understood that they do not ring because of tower sway. Hopefully, if such a visit should materialise the nucleus of a resident band will be left behind for regular ringing, if safe to do so, in the future.

Italy - Thanks are extended to George Morris for his help in the preparation of the Italian ringing note. His report is reproduced in full and it relates the activities of the Associazione Suonatori Di Campane A Sistema Veronese which reads:

The first highlight of the past twelve months was the affiliation of the A.S.C.S.V. to the Council at the last meeting. However there has been no slackening off in activity in Italy - in fact just the opposite. There have been many visits to Italy by individuals and groups. The second leg of the youth exchange programme was a huge success and was enjoyed by all. What a week that was. A number of augmentations have taken place. Two that I know of are the monastery at Frassino from six to ten and St. Felice a Fortunato in Vicenza from five to nine. A great deal of teaching of new bands has taken place in previously silent towers. In Lonigo there is a new ring of bells with a new band of ringers. Probably the most important activity however is the negotiation between the various ringing systems with the aim of settling up an all embracing association. This last project is very thrilling as it gives much food for thought. This short report shows that there is a huge enthusiasm from all parts of the exercise in Italy.

Kenya - The condition of the bells in St. Thomas’s Church, Kilifi is such that some major repairs will be necessary to enable the bells to be rung again by teams of ringers. We have no information on the present situation there as regards any progress towards repairs being put in hand.

New Zealand - The G.O.M. of Christchurch, Nelson Sloan, celebrated his 83rd birthday and was rewarded with the publication of his photograph in The Ringing World. The occasion also marked his 70 years as a ringer. Although he has not been very well for some time, he did manage to take part in a quarter-peal recently. Congratulations to Nelson and long may he continue with his great interest in Christchurch and its bells.

South Africa - We learned with the regret of the death at the age of 75 years, of Arthur W. Payne of St. George’s, Parktown, Johannesburg. He was a greatly respected founder member of the Transvaal Guild and came to S. Africa from Devon where he learned to ring. It is good to know that G.O.M. Cyril Chambers has recovered sufficiently from his illness to be able to handle a bell again.

U.S.A. - Dr. Arthur T. White, Professor of Mathematics at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, was named to receive the University’s Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award and whom we congratulate on this achievement. In his busy life he does manage to practise ringing whenever possible. His mathematical genius has been brought to bear on the exercise in connection with method compositions.

Zimbabwe - Since the departure of the indefatigable Margaret Gendall from Kwe Kwe her successor as tower captain is Stanley Dube, who is concentrating on raising the standard of ringing with call-changes. A number of new members have been recruited. It is hoped that this remote outpost of ringing will continue to make progress. In Harare Cathedral much attention is given to Doubles methods, Stedman Triples, Cambridge S. Major, D. N. Court Bob, as well as the more common Plain methods. All are practised regularly.

Thanks: Once again a genuine thank you to the officers in the various ringing societies overseas and to the individual ringers, who through their hard work and enthusiasm ensure that the bells are kept ringing and progress is maintained in change-ringing.

To the Editors of the Overseas journals and newsletters gratitude is expressed for the hard work they put into their respective publications, which means so much in communicating with the bellringers in their respective areas.

David Thorne, Editor of The Ringing World, deserves the highest praise for both taking part in the bi-centennial tour of Australia and New Zealand and for the inclusion of so much Overseas news. Almost every issue had something from abroad.

Again, the letter writers were most helpful in keeping the Overseas Liaison up-to-date about many aspects of their respective domains and it was a real pleasure to hear from each and every one.

On behalf of the Central Council in general, and the Public Relations Committee in particular, a sincere thank you to you all.

FRED E. DUKES

The Ringing World, April 7, 1989, pages 319 to 321

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