The 93rd annual meeting of the Central Council, which took place in the Blue School in Wells on May 29, was the first of a new triennium. As a result members were faced by a very long agenda: all the officers, committees and trustees were to be elected for the next three years, and there were in addition a number of motions down for debate and a range of suggestions from an ad hoc Centenary committee to be discussed.

The meeting was opened promptly at 10 o’clock by the President, the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin (Llandaff & Monmouth DA), who welcomed the large number present before leading them in a short prayer.

The Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Life Member), reported that 70 societies were affiliated to the new Council. One - the S. Derbyshire and N. Leicestershire Association - continued to have insufficient members to be represented at the meeting, but the remaining 69 societies had between them elected 186 representatives. There were in addition 9 Life and 21 Honorary members, giving the Council a total membership of 216.

His report that all subscriptions had now been paid provoked a brief burst of laughter, since barely ten minutes earlier the screen by the officers’ table had been displaying a notice that one society’s subscription was then still outstanding.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary said that he had received apologies from two Life members - Messrs. W.B. Cartwright and F.E. Collins; from two Honorary members, Messrs. A.E. Bagworth and B.D. Threlfall; and from Messrs. D. Bleby (and subsequently from Mr. L. Reynolds, the alternate member who had been planning to represent ANZAB in Mr. Bleby’s stead), P. Dyson, N.A. Johnson, M. Quimby, C.C. Roberts, A.R. Smith and Mrs. V. Grossmith, all of them Representative members. (In the case of Mrs. Grossmith, the Zimbabwe Guild was being represented by an alternate member). Apologies were also relayed from Messrs. J. Ellams and D.R. Riley.

New members

As the Secretary read the list of new members of the Council, those named stood briefly.

There were in all thirty-six - Messrs. A.R. Kench (College Youths), M. Stone (ANZAB), M.J. de C. Henshaw (Beverley), P.J. Agg (Cambridge University), A.J. Illingworth (Coventry), B.N. Trowbridge (Derby), D. Walker (Durham & Newcastle), P.S. Seaman (Ely), F.J.P. Bone (Essex), Dr. Angela Newing (formerly an Honorary member but now representing the Gloucester & Bristol DA), A.W. Gordon (Guildford), J. Ellams (Hereford - not present), J.R. Mayne (another former Honorary member) and Miss D.M. Robotham (Hertford), M.J. Pomeroy and P.M. Talbot (Irish), F.W. Lewis and Mrs. D. Wraight (Kent), Mrs. F. Willgress (Ladies’), A.D.H. Bird (Lincoln), the Revd. J.M. Hughes (Llandaff & Monmouth), E.G. Mould (London CA), D.F. Morrison (N. American), Miss D.A. Jones (N. Wales), J.B. Morley and N.M. Thomas (Norwich), Miss J.M. Corby and J. Weaver (Peterborough), J.W. Lewis (St. Davids), Miss S.P.E. Legge (Salisbury), I.J.D. Whitear (Suffolk), N.J. Goodship and K.J. Matthews (Surrey), C.M. Foster (Bristol University), Dr. Alison Hodge (Verona), and R.F.B. Speed (Worcester); in addition Miss A. Phillips was present as an alternate member in place of Mrs. Grossmith (Zimbabwe).

Welcoming them on behalf of the remainder of the Council, Dr. Baldwin thanked them for their willingness to serve and hoped they would enjoy their membership of the Council. (Applause).

Losses through death

The Secretary read the names of members of the Council who had died since its last meeting: John Freeman (Lincoln, 1948-70, and subsequently a Life member); Walter Allman (Chester, 1957-60); Denis R. Carlisle (Derby, 1951-54 and 1966-72); and Mrs. Dorothy E. Beamish (Warwickshire, 1939-46; Coventry, 1946-72).

Members then stood in silence as the Very Revd. Gilbert Thurlow, a former President of the Council, lead the meeting in prayer.

Election of Officers

Mr. C.J. Groome, a representative of the Peterborough DG and Vice-President of the Council since 1987, had been proposed for the Presidency of the new Council in succession to Dr. Baldwin. In declaring him elected, Dr. Baldwin congratulated him on his appointment and trusted that he would enjoy the job as much as he had done. (Applause)

Thanking him, Mr. Groome said that he was very proud to be elected; the Exercise had meant a great deal to him ever since starting to ring in Oxford in 1961. He in turn thanked Dr. Baldwin for his work while in office (hear, hear). Not only had he conducted the Council’s meetings with gusto and style, he had played a major part in trying to discover from ringers and the Church what they wanted of the Council. The task now facing the Council was to turn the results of that work into action, he said. (Applause)

The new President then turned to the election of Vice-President. He reminded members that three names had been formally proposed and seconded - Professor R.J. Johnston (of the Yorkshire Association), Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (of the College Youths), and Mrs. M.J. Wilkinson (an Honorary member). Pen portraits of each had recently been published in The Ringing World, and the proposers had agreed that it was not necessary to speak further to their nominations. Unless anybody proposed otherwise, he intended the election to be on a straightforward “first past the post” basis.

Nobody objected to this suggestion, and a paper ballot was then held, with members of the Bath & Wells Association acting as tellers.

The result of the voting was announced by Mr. Groome a little later in the meeting. Professor Johnston had, he said, received 82 votes, Mr. Wilby 63, and Mrs. Wilkinson 52, and Mr. Johnston was therefore elected (applause).

Mr. C.A. Wratten was the only nominee for the post of Secretary and Treasurer. Declaring him elected, Mr. Groome thanked him most sincerely for all that he did for the Council, adding that Mrs. Wratten’s contribution should not be forgotten (applause).

Replying, Mr. Wratten said that he was most grateful to those who had yet again re-elected him. He added that it seemed that this was one job where one did not get remission for good conduct (laughter), but noted that this was the seventh time he had been re-elected. By the end of the present triennium he would have been the Council’s Secretary for some 23 years, and he therefore felt it right that he should give notice that he would not be seeking re-election in 1993.

The final post was that of Librarian. Again there was only one nominee, Mr. W.T. Cook (College Youths), and Mr. Groome declared him elected, amidst further applause.

Election of Honorary Members

Ten of the present Honorary Members completed their elected period at the end of this meeting, of whom one (Mr. B.D. Threlfall) did not seek re-election. There were already two vacancies, and since Dr. Newing was now a Representative member this meant that thirteen places were available.

In all ten names were separately nominated for election. They were Messrs. M.C.W. Sherwood, who was doing sterling work on the Methods Committee; M.J. Church, for his financial expertise (his proposer pointed out that he was one of the Council’s auditors, as well as de facto Financial Director of Ringing World Ltd); E.J. Billings, who had been responsible for all the Bell Restoration Fund’s seminars to date; Dr. D.W. Beard, in order to continue his work on collections of methods and on the Peal Compositions Committee; Miss Jean Sanderson, who provided a professional librarian’s expertise to the Publications Committee; Mrs. Wratten (her proposer suggesting that it was “important to have a wife to help the Secretary out on the job!”); Mr. A.J. Frost, the current chairman of the Towers and Belfries Committee; Mr. M.J. Tyler, a long-serving and valued member of the Education Committee; Dr. J.C. Eisel, in order to continue his work on both the Biographies Committee and the Ringing History project; and Mr. R.B. Smith, who was doing valuable work for the Exercise.

As required by the Council’s Rules, the election was by ballot. After the votes had been counted the President was able to announce that all those nominated had been elected. (Applause)


The retiring auditors, Messrs. M.J. Church and E.G.H. Godfrey were in turn proposed for re-election, the former by Mr. Cooles and Mr. A.W. Gordon, the latter by Messrs. I.H. Oram (Cumberland Youths) and C.H. Rogers (Guildford). There were no other nominations, and the President therefore declared them elected, adding the Council’s thanks for their work in the past (applause).

Minutes of the last meeting

Adoption of the Minutes of the 1989 meeting in Birmingham, which had appeared in The Ringing World of March 2nd and were subsequently corrected, was proposed by the Secretary and seconded by Prof. Johnston. They were accepted without comment.

The Secretary said that, as a result of the Council’s decision that “Superlatyve” Surprise Royal should be renamed, he had written to the peal’s conductor, Mr. Robin Rogers. He quoted from the latter’s reply, which regretted that the Council had not considered the method’s line before voting: the method was, Mr. Rogers asserted, the best “look alike” to Superlative Major yet rung, and previous similar names - such as Premier Major/Premiere Maximus - had been accepted without query by the Council. In order to retain some link with Superlative, the band wished to rename the method Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Surprise Royal (laughter).

Secretary and Treasurer’s report

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

This year is the first of the triennium in which the Council will see the centenary of its foundation. The 34th Council is, appropriately, the largest yet, with nearly 220 representative, honorary and life members.

Although I continue, at the time of writing, to await returns from a number of affiliated societies, it seems likely that approximately one in eight of the elected representatives will be new members - a rather lower proportion than has been usual. I would like, on behalf of the Council, to welcome them and also to take this opportunity of thanking those they replace for their contributions to the work of the Council, whether as members of committees, by their contributions to debate, or simply by representing the view of the ordinary, non-technical and sometimes over-looked Sunday Service ringer when deciding how to cast their vote.

The same incompleteness of information prevents me from quoting reliably the number of ringers belonging to the Council’s affiliated territorial societies, as I usually do at the start of a triennium. My impression from the figures to hand, however, is that it probably continues to reflect the small but discernable increase that has been a feature of the past decade or so and which belies the too frequently quoted fears of a decline in the number of ringers.

The Council’s finances continue to be satisfactory. While inflation has inevitably lead to increasing costs during 1989, it has had a silver lining in the form of higher interest rates paid on investments. The consolidated balance sheet shows a balance of some £131,000, a sum which has increased during the year roughly in line with inflation.

Most of this money is in the General Fund. It should however be borne in mind that a third of that fund constitutes a Capital Reserve, retained for contingency use; and also that the General Fund is a primary source of interest-free loans to the Rescue Fund, of which increasing use has been made in the past two or three years. Available liquid assets, which of course contribute significantly to the investment income which pays for much of the Council’s committee work, amount to about £30,000.

He said that late returns showed that in fact about one in six of the Council’s members were new, which was about the average at the start of a triennium; and he corrected the final figure to £50,000. The report was then adopted without further comment.

1989 Accounts

Mr. Wratten made a number of corrections to the accounts that had been sent to members, and commented that there had been little significant change during the year. Overall the Council’s financial worth had increased roughly in line with inflation.

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

Accounts for 1989
General Fund
Income and expenditure Account for the Year 1989
920Affiliation fees925.00

Less: Administrative costs
406Council meeting841.38
50Secretary’s expenses50.00
73Stationery, post and telephone98.93
4Printing and photocopying24.17


Investment and Committee Income
9007Dividends and interest10,359.91
2029less: Transfer to Capital Reserve2,454.00

5520Education Committee: courses etc6,213.78

Less: Committee costs, grants, etc.
1910Committee expenses1,691.33
-Centenary committee151.77
5518Education Committee courses5,910.24
23Committee expenses, 198819.30
650The Ringing World Ltd.700.00
246Code of Practice WP279.59
2408Survey of Ringing1,338.63
less: RW Ltd contribution1,000.00




876Excess of income over expenditure4,726.34
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1989
70000NS Income Bonds90,00000
22919NSB Investment Account8,086.14
1901Bank Deposit accounts2,123.33

1147Cash and Bank balances278.42
2500Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells4,500.00
-Payments in advance96.45
1349Sundry debtors2,347.05

90Affiliation fees in advance280.00
968Sundry creditors896.80


98758Net Assets106,254.59
65052Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198965,928.18
876Excess of income over expenditure4,726.34

682Add: Donations for bell restoration
and interest thereon to 1 Jan. 1989
279Donations and interest, 1989316.29

29840Add: Capital Reserve31,869.00
2029Allocated from income, 19892,454.00


Publications Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1989

2759Publications sold2,515.74
387Stock written off125.59
471Stationery and post442.10
159Publications Committee expenses196.25
308Ringing History project258.65

1717Excess of income over expenditure1,790.32

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1989
10151Stock, at lower of cost or net realisable value10,350.20
8308Bank Deposit Account11,908.61
3356Cash and Bank balances2,235.92
597Payments in advance977.64

159Sundry creditors1,429.51

22253Net Assets£24,042.86
20536Accumulated Fund, 1 January 198922,252.54
1717Excess of income over expenditure1,790.32

Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1989
150Transfer from General Fund150.00

33Stationery and post27.83

222Excess of expenditure over income69.68

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1989
242Bank Deposit Account255.94
345Cash and Bank balances346.68

10Sundry creditor95.00

587Net Assets£517.62
809Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1989587.30
222less: excess of expenditure over income69.68


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

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1989
10151Stock of publications10,350.20
4847Cash and Bank balances2,861.02
2500Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells4,500.00
598Payments in advance1,074.09
1349Sundry debtors2,347.05

90Amounts received in advance280.00
1137Sundry creditors2,421.31


121597Net Assets£130,815.07
Capital Accounts
98758General Fund106,254.59
22252Publications Fund24,042.86
587Friends of the CCCBR Library517.62



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, 1989.

) Hon. Auditors
April, 1990

Committee reports

All thirteen committee reports had been circulated in advance. Few provoked major comment or debate, and it was evident that they had been comprehensively written and that members had read and studied them before the meeting. As a result this part of the agenda was covered with expedition, a process helped by firm direction from the new President.

Computer Coordination Committee

Presenting the report, Mr. P. Church (the Committee’s former chairman) thanked those on the old committee for their work. He remarked that, although computers were now being used in ringing in new ways - for example to aid administration and record-keeping - little use was apparently yet being made of the greater power now available. He was seconded by J.D. Cheesman (Surrey).

The register of computer ringers has been maintained throughout the year, and has provided a valuable reference source for a number of ringers who have acquired or who were considering the acquisition of computer equipment. Over 55 computer ringers have registered but we believe that there are many more computer users in ringing who have yet to register. We would encourage all who have yet to register to do so; registration forms are available from the chairman. Copies of the register are also available on submission of an A4 stamped and self-addressed envelope to the chairman.

The use of computers for ringing tasks is now entering a third age, the first two ages being:

  1. use of borrowed equipment for special tasks;

  2. use of home micros for on-screen ringing.

The third age will be characterised by significantly more powerful processing and data storage capabilities than have hitherto been available. However, we have yet to see any registration of personal equipment more powerful than the Atari ST series and equivalents.

Pressures of work and time have reduced our ability to commit as much time to committee work as we would desire, and we feel that the committee membership would benefit from the presence of an active computer ringing developer.

Five members were nominated for the new committee, and all were declared elected. They were Messrs. F.J.P. Bone (Essex), A.W. Gordon (Guildford), A. Hudson (Irish), M. Thomson (Chester) and B.N. Trowbridge (Derby). The chairman will be Mr. Gordon. The President repeated Mr. Church’s thanks to the out-going committee, mentioning particularly Mr. Church and G. Dodds, both of whom were no longer on the Council.

Peal Compositions Committee

The committee’s report was accepted without comment, having been proposed by P. Border (Coventry) and seconded by Dr. Beard:

1989 has been a year of mixed fortune for the Committee.

During the year 52 compositions were published in The Ringing World under the auspices of the Committee. This compares with 174 in 1986, 97 in 1987 and 129 in 1988. The 1986 total included 44 in the “months” series of Surprise Major, and the 1988 total was inflated by several series of Spliced compositions whose peals have been counted individually. Nevertheless, the 1989 total remains one of the lowest for some years.

There appear to be two main reasons for this reduction. Firstly there have been fewer compositions sent to us for publication. Secondly, bottlenecks have again occurred in processing some of the compositions that have been received. It is not clear to what extent the latter has influenced the former. We can only apologise where delays have occurred, and trust that both readers and composers will understand some of the problems of maintaining a speedy and error-free service.

We have also made less progress on the three collections of compositions that are currently in the pipeline. The text of the “general purpose” Major collection consisting of some 160 compositions, was committed to magnetic medium in the early part of the year. Since then the copy has undergone some updating and correction. It is hoped that this will now be published during 1990. Some 200-odd compositions of Spliced Surprise have also been amassed and edited, and these also will have to be put on disk in the near future. The Stedman Triples collection appears to be dormant at the moment.

In November a seminar on composition was held at Long Eaton where four papers were presented to a small but enthusiastic audience. It is difficult to assess the success of such a venture, but the participants felt that the occasion was worthwhile, and it is hoped that the formula may be repeated.

Towards the end of the year we co-opted Roger Bailey (Middlesex Association) on to the Committee to fill the gap left by the death of Harold Chant. Roger’s enthusiasm and knowledge, particularly in the Minor field, will be very valuable.

The Committee has dealt with a steady flow of queries and requests for compositions during the year, some of them at very short notice.

There are likely to be changes in the make-up of the Committee for the next triennium. It is hoped that a further influx of new blood, which combines the right degree of technical skill and capacity for hard work, will enable the Committee to regain the initiative which it seems to have lost in the last year or two.

Since seven names were proposed for the five available committee places, election was by ballot. Messrs. P.Q. Armitage (Oxford University), R. Bailey (Middlesex), D.W. Beard, P. Border and P. Sanderson (London University) were successful, and M.J.de C. Henshaw (Beverley) and S.D. Pettman (Suffolk) not. The new committee will be chaired by Mr. Sanderson.

Records Committee

In proposing the report Mr. Sibson made some amendments to the version that had been circulated (these have been incorporated below), and noted that two ostensibly new methods - Joule Surprise Major, rung for the Middx CA & London DG on 7 July, and Bastille Surprise Major, rung by a non-association band on 14 July - had not been included since the conductor had not divulged the notations.

He was seconded by Mr. J.R. Mayne (Hertford), and the report was adopted without further comment.

A. first peals on tower bells
Jan25088Wickenhurst Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
145088Ewden Surprise MajorYorkshire A
145024Sapperton Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
145040Rievaulx Surprise RoyalOxford DG
145002Centenary Alliance MaximusSt. Martin’s G
175024Rotherhithe Surprise MajorEly DA
195120Lindisfarne Delight RoyalOxford DG
215088Ambergate Surprise MajorYorkshire A
285024Abissum Delight MajorYorkshire A
Feb45088Alinoe Surprise MajorYorkshire A
45040Ganton Delight RoyalS. Northants Soc
85056Copper Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
185024Ad Pontem Surprise MajorYorkshire A
185056Callington Surprise MajorTruro DG
215024Greenhithe Surprise MajorEly DA
225152Lead Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
Mar35152Isherwood Surprise MajorLancashire A
45056Antum Surprise MajorYorkshire A
45152Underwood Delight MajorSouthwell DG
65152Aldermaston Surprise MajorOxford DG
115024Porton Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
115056Wildebeest Surprise MajorNon-Association
115040Oakdale Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
125040Bromsgrove Surprise RoyalSoc R Cumberland Youths
145152Fenham Surprise MajorLeicester DG
155088Norden Surprise MajorLancashire A
165088Clare’s Delight MajorOxford DG
175056Archdeacon Delight MajorN. Staffs A
175152Herefordshire Surprise MajorEly DA
185040Eardly Surprise RoyalChester DG
235002Royal Maundy Alliance MaximusSt. Martin’s G
275024Anicetis Surprise MajorYorkshire A
Apr15000Okeover Surprise RoyalChester DG
45040Chester Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
55056Unnilpentium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
85088Tivoli Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
155024Anana Surprise MajorYorkshire A
155040Kirkton Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
225280Wolverhampton Surprise MaximusGloucester & Bristol DA
275088Belfast Lough Delight MajorSouthwell DG
285088Fremantle Surprise MajorOxford DG
295088Armis Surprise MajorYorkshire A
295042Shardeloes Delight MaximusOxford DG
305056Crendon Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
May15024Helston Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
35088Sudden Surprise MajorLancashire A
75040Filwood Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
135024Captain’s Delight MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
165120Zedbury Surprise MajorLeicester DG
185124Newbury Alliance MajorOxford DG
195056Plumstead Surprise MajorEly DA
205040Gosport Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
265040Xylem Delight RoyalOxford DG
295040East Riding Surprise RoyalOxford DG
June25184West Sussex Delight MajorSussex CA
25148Londin Alliance MaximusOxford DG
65152Aldershot Surprise MajorGuildford DG
65080Sutherland Surprise RoyalSoc R Cumberland Youths
95184Braunton Surprise MajorOrder of Masons
145056Yell Surprise MajorLancashire A
175088Montpellier Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
245152Hartspring Delight MajorHertford CA
285056Quabbs Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
July15088Musbury Surprise MajorLancashire A
15088Oving Surprise MajorSussex CA
75152Richmondshire Surprise MajorEly DA
85056Williamscot Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
115056Shrivenham Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
155040Heytesbury Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
165376Frensham Surprise MajorGuildford DG
185184Whitechapel Surprise MajorEly DA
195184Youlgreave Treble Bob MajorDronoldore Soc
205120Trevithick Surprise RoyalOxford DG
215184Delaford Surprise MajorEly DA
215040Vaudey Surprise RoyalSouthwell DG
225152Lyddington Delight MajorBedfordshire A
255056Ohio Surprise MajorLancashire A
265184Unnilquadium Surprise MajorGloucester& Bristol DA
285088Thamesmead Surprise MajorEly DA
Aug15152Spitalfields Surprise MajorEly DA
35088Mississipi Surprise MajorLancashire A
125088Axium Surprise MajorYorkshire A
125184Buersil Surprise MajorLancashire A
165040Diggle Surprise RoyalA Soc College Youths
235056Illinium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
235088Pasadena Delight MajorOxford DG
265120Whitemoor Surprise MajorYorkshire A
285000Fenland Surprise RoyalYorkshire A
285042Bellingdon Surprise MaximusOxford DG
Sep15088Coventry Surprise MajorEly DA
65088Louise Surprise MajorLancashire A
65184Tritium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
65040Benson Delight RoyalOxford DG
95152Boycott Surprise MajorEly DA
155056Wootton Surprise MajorEly DA
165056Birthday Delight MajorSurrey A
165152Emscote Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
165152Wethersfield Surprise MajorEssex A
235040Welton Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
295024108 Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
305152Dijon Surprise MajorSalisbury G
305040Ladybank Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
Oct35136Cumbria Surprise MaximusSoc R Cumberland Youths
105184Gentian Treble Bob MajorYorkshire A
135040Inverary Surprise RoyalOxford DG
185040Ben Macdui Surprise RoyalLincoln DG
205184Ilfracombe Surprise MajorEly DA
215040Timsbury Surprise RoyalGloucester & Bristol DA
286024King Edward I Little Delight MajorHertford CA
285152Kilmington Surprise MajorWinchester & P’mouth DG
285040North Riding Surprise RoyalOxford DG
285040Queenside Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
295056Empingham Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
Nov15088Masurium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
35024Castleton Surprise MajorLancashire A
35184Fordingbridge Surprise MajorEly DA
45024Bargate Surprise MajorYorkshire A
45152Elswick Surprise MajorLincoln DG
45040Bellingham Surprise RoyalOxford DG
45002Strand Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
75000Coventry Surprise RoyalSoc R Cumberland Youths
105024Chard Surprise MajorEly DA
115152Wallingford Delight MajorOxford DG
115040Berlin Surprise RoyalNon-Association
145056Blagdon Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
155024Columbium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
175040Feering Surprise RoyalOxford DG
185056Spotland Surprise MajorLancashire A
185040Juno Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
185088November Surprise MaximusWinchester & P’mouth DG
185042Southdown Delight MaximusOxford DG
225184Thornham Surprise MajorLancashire A
235056Barker Surprise MajorOxford DG
255088Aventius Surprise MajorYorkshire A
295152109 Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
305184Pringle Delight MajorLeicester DG
Dec15024Ashburton Surprise MajorEly DA
25040West Riding Surprise RoyalOxford DG
55040Stepney Surprise RoyalSoc R Cumberland Youths
85120Romsey Surprise MajorWinchester & P’mouth DG
95088Ancalites Surprise MajorYorkshire A
95042Glencraig Surprise RoyalS. Northants Soc
135152Sproxton Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
155152Porchester Delight MajorOxford DG
165056Darnhill Surprise MajorLancashire A
165184Xichang Surprise MajorLancashire A
195088Calne Surprise MajorEly DA
205024Heap Surprise MajorLancashire A
215042Centurion Surprise MaximusOxford DG
225088Glendon Surprise MajorPeterborough DG
225042Christmas Delight MaximusOxford DG
235088East Molesey Surprise MajorGuildford DG
235056Sherburn-in-Elmet Surprise MajorYorkshire A
255184Christmastide Surprise MajorSouthwell DG
275152Glucinium Surprise MajorGloucester & Bristol DA
285120Jerusalem Delight MajorSouthwell DG
305184Lincomb Surprise MajorS. Northants Soc
305040Christmas Delight RoyalOxford DG
B. First peals on handbells
Jan125088Llareggub Surprise MajorHereford DG
Feb95040Damgate Surprise MaximusEly DA
225280Eldon Surprise MaximusEly DA
April55280Belvoir Surprise MaximusOxford DG
125042Merseyside Surprise MaximusOxford DG
May185040Hundred House Surprise RoyalHereford DG
185280West Hartlepool Surprise MaximusEly DA
215040Welland Surprise RoyalHereford DG
235184Lindum Surprise MajorChester DG
255040Golden Valley Surprise RoyalHereford DG
June45040Five Bridges Surprise RoyalHereford DG
145280Tattersalls Surprise MaximusEly DA
July25152Bishops Frome Surprise MajorHereford DG
65040Feltham Surprise RoyalDerby DA
125280Kingshurst Surprise MaximusEly DA
Aug95152Papworth Everard Surprise MajorHereford DG
Sep75040Banbury Surprise RoyalDerby DA
125152Cray Surprise MajorChester DG
Nov165280Overcote Surprise MaximusEly DA
Dec75042Vercellis Surprise MaximusEly DA
C. Record peals on handbells
June815120Yorkshire Surprise RoyalLeicester DG
Oct2915047Grandsire CatersNorwich DA

Since there were only five nominations, the President declared Messrs. P.J. Agg (Cambridge University), D.J. Buckley (Bath & Wells), J.R. Mayne, D.E. Sibson and C.A. Wratten elected to the new committee.

Methods Committee

The following report was formally proposed by Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth), equally formally seconded by Mr. Sherwood, and adopted without comment.

The Committee met on three occasions during the year, in Winchester on March 12 (RW p. 339), in Birmingham during the Council meeting on 29 May (p. 907) and in Chichester on 15 October.

Corrections and amendments to our publications up to the end of 1989 appeared in The Ringing World of 9 February 1990 (p. 167). The service of free leaflets containing all corrections and amendments was maintained.

The Collection of Plain Minor Methods was published and favourably reviewed by Mr. C.A. Wratten (RW p. 157). The Collection of Plain Methods has sold out and was reprinted.

The Collection of Principles reached final draft and we are grateful to Messrs. E.A. Barnett, P.J. Bird and N. Thomson for their help with our enquiries. We hope this will be published during 1990.

Our motion to Council to add a new Decision on Method Extension, bringing together the original Report on Extension and subsequent amendments, was passed without significant amendment. Members of Council had received a handout with their agendas to help them understand the formula and this was reprinted in The Ringing World (p. 563).

A second motion provided Council with an opportunity to consider whether Doubles variations should only be claimed in extents by themselves and not with other variations or methods as at present. Council, however, decided not to reduce the number of names that could be reported. A great deal of the Committee’s time has been spent scrutinising peals of Doubles and discussing Doubles variations and there has been extensive personal correspondence in addition to that appearing in The Ringing World.

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

The meeting agreed that the new committee should have a membership of six, and as only six names were proposed, they were elected without more ado. They were Messrs. R. Bailey, F.T. Blagrove (Middlesex), C.K. Lewis (Honorary), P.D. Niblett (Oxford University), M.C.W. Sherwood and A.P. Smith. The latter will continue to chair the committee.

Peals Analysis Committee

The committee’s lengthy and detailed report read as follows, following verbal amendment by its proposer, Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford):


After a record number of peals in 1988, it is not too surprising to find a reduction of over 300 in the total for 1989, despite the efforts of the Oxford Diocesan Guild. We have recorded 4,730 peals rung in 1989, of which 4,262 were on tower bells and 468 on handbells. On tower bells there was a decrease on all numbers except Minimus, with the largest percentage drop in Minor and Doubles. Handbell peals were 19 up on 1988, continuing an upward trend which started in 1984. The 54 peals of Maximus on handbells were the most ever in that category.

In 1988 the Oxford Diocesan Guild’s total of 377 was the highest ever by one society in a year. In 1989 the ODG beat its own record by no fewer than 120 peals, to 497. This represents over 10% of all peals rung in 1989, and includes 15.5% of all tower bell peals of Minor.

The Committee met once during the year, to finalise records for 1989 and to agree the format of the report. We are again grateful to Canon K.W.H. Felstead for supplying the section on Towers. We also wish to acknowledge the assistance received from the Chairman of the Methods Committee with regard to peals of Doubles.

Peals not strictly complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing have been included in the Analysis and in the revised totals for 1988 where their acceptance by the Council is recommended.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells and comparison with 1988

Sixteen2+ 2
Maximus259253- 64754+ 7
Cinques123118- 5125- 7
Royal424386- 388094+14
Royal/Caters2- 2
Caters160135- 252112- 9
Major20842021- 63226202-24
Major/Triples1- 1
Triples300281- 1966
Minor/Doubles31- 2
Doubles258196- 6276- 1
Doubles/Minimus1- 1
Minimus911+ 2

45984262-336449468+ 19

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

Oxford Diocesan Guild43265497
Leicester Diocesan Guild24115256
Yorkshire Association22913242
Lancashire Association2154219
Derby Diocesan Association13846184
Peterborough Diocesan Guild158158
Suffolk Guild14315158
Ely Diocesan Association12433157
Chester Diocesan Guild10249151

The list is one shorter than the equivalent list for 1988, the Essex Association, the Gloucester and Bristol DA and the Hereford DG having dropped out and the Derby DA and the Peterborough DG having rejoined (the latter for the first time since 1971). Altogether, 16 societies rang 100 or more peals in 1989 (23 in 1988).

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 431 first pealers in 1989 (502 in 1988) and 55 firsts as conductor (59 in 1988).


Peals were rung in 1,824 towers (1,838 in 1988). The following 50 towers had ten or more peals, totalling 913 peals altogether (21% of the tower bell total for the year):

Loughboro’ Foundry56
Birmingham Cath.32
Bedford, St Paul27
Cambridge, St Andw27
Leicester, St My/C26
South Wigston23
Maidstone, All Ss22
Barrow Gurney20
Kingsbury, Warks20
Burton Latimer19
*East Ilsley18
West Ham15
Worcester, All Ss15
Birmingham, St Martin14
Bristol Cathedral14
13-Accrington, Birstall (Yorks), Bishopstoke, Daventry, Derby Cathedral, East Farleigh, *Leighton Buzzard, Spitalfields
12-Ipswich (St Mary/Tower), Windsor (St John), London (St Sepulchre)
11-Bathwick, *Brampford Speke, *Croydon (St Peter), Fallowfield, Farnworth, *Harpenden, Terling, Sydney (St Andrew’s Cath.)
10-Evesham, Jesmond, Leicester Cath, London (St Mary le Bow), *Reading (St Laurence), *Sproxton, *Blaenavon

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

During the year Meldreth became the third tower to reach 800 peals, and Willesden had its 600th peal.


Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1988 appear in brackets. “Single S.” means the total rung in single Surprise methods other than those listed separately.

Single S.68(69)31(15)
Cambridge S.53(64)12( 9)
Bristol S.42(38)1( 4)
Spliced S.25(31)0( 1)
Stedman97(104)4( 8)
Grandsire16( 17)1( 4)
Single S.122(112)23(15)
Cambridge S.64( 79)16(12)
Yorkshire S.58( 64)8( 4)
London S.45( 51)6(12)
Spliced S.36( 52)11( 8)
Bristol S.21( 26)13(14)
Plain Bob20( 21)5( 5)
Kent/Oxford T.B.( 1)10( 8)
Stedman67( 76)5( 9)
Grandsire64( 79)7(12)
Single S.490(432)17(20)
Spliced S.411(401)19(35)
Yorkshire S.176(221)19(18)
Plain Bob137(161)46(38)
Bristol S.154(145)15(14)
Cambridge S.126(150)7(17)
Rutland S.87(117)7( 7)
Lincolnshire S.81( 74)7(10)
London S.78( 93)8(14)
Superlative S.72( 64)9( 7)
Double Norwich44( 54)5( 2)
Kent/Oxford T.B.15( 21)29(29)
Single Delight43( 24)0( 0)
Pudsey S.35( 48)6( 0)
Glasgow S.25( 32)3( 3)
Belfast S.19( 20)0( 0)
Grandsire119(108)4( 2)
Stedman118(139)2( 4)
Plain Bob34( 42)0( 0)
7 methods306(293)15( 8)
2-6 methods176(248)20(14)
8+ methods181(188)12( 8)
Plain Bob109(139)30(12)
Cambridge S.56( 69)1( 5)
Single S.22( 28)0( 0)
2+ methods145(199)2( 3)
Stedman22( 29)0( 0)
Grandsire15( 21)0( 1)
Plain Bob11( 6)4( 2)

Peals of Note

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

Peals not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

The Council at its 1989 meeting instructed us to report back to the 1990 meeting on the acceptability of six peals of Doubles rung in 1988. We are satisfied that two of the those peals, at Goodrich on 20 Feb. (Hereford DG) and at Pebworth on 2 July (Gloucester and Bristol DA), comply with the Decisions on Peal Ringing. The remaining four peals and four peals of Doubles rung in 1989 do not comply with the Decisions. The Council is accordingly asked to consider them under Decision (D) E, having regard to the merit of the performances in respect of local circumstances and/or their technical implications. A further peal of Doubles, rung at Darfield on 24.3.89 (Yorkshire A), has not been included in the Analysis because we have been advised that it contained extents which are false.

The peal at Darfield on 3.7.88 (Yorkshire A) was reported as containing 5220 changes - 43 extents and 60 changes. Decision (D) B.1 states that peals of Doubles shall consist of true and complete extents or round blocks of two or more extents. We understand from correspondence from the conductor that the extra 60 changes were rung at the end to fill in time prior to the start of a service and that there was no deliberate intention to contravene the Decision. We recommend that it be accepted as a peal of 5160 changes.

The six peals listed below contain extents which do not comply with Decision (D) C.3:

DatePlaceSocietyNos. of m/v
29. 2.88Church GresleyMidland Counties G64v
15. 5.88WhepsteadSuffolk G21m/160v
31.12.88RamptonEly DA22m/137v
18. 2.89HeydonEly DA23m/166v
8. 4.89WinwickEly DA25m/211v
19. 5.89KentchurchHereford DG76m/109v

Decision (D) C.3 states: “Doubles variations may be included in an extent or round block provided that either all the variations and methods have the same call or calls, and there is at least one plain lead of each, or all the variations and methods have the same plain course, with no call common to any two or more, and all the distinctive calls are made for each variation and method.”

We have received no communication regarding the peal at Whepstead, and there are no technical implications for the Council to consider. Accordingly we recommend that the peal be not accepted.

In respect of the other five peals, we have given careful consideration to correspondence between the conductors of these peals and the Chairman of the Methods Committee, letters from the conductors and others to our Chairman and letters which have appeared in The Ringing World.

In all cases we accept that the peals were rung in good faith and that there was no deliberate intention to contravene the Decisions. The extents in question were all true and met all the other requirements of the Decisions. The problem seems to lie in their definition and how they are reported. It would appear that there is some confusion over the interpretation of Decision (D) C.3 and that in the minds of many it is not entirely clear. We feel that there may well be a case for redefining Doubles methods and variations so that extents such as those in question can be accepted and be reported in a way which might reduce the number of different names required to show what was rung.

In addition, there is a strong feeling in the correspondence which we have seen that the Council should be seen to be encouraging the efforts of Doubles ringers, many of whom have little experience of or opportunity to ring peals on higher numbers, rather than restricting them. The peals at Church Gresley and Kentchurch both had some local significance, the former being rung half-muffled as an “in memoriam” peal.

Accordingly we recommend that these five peals be accepted and that the Methods Committee be asked to consider the redefinition of Doubles methods and variations as suggested above.

Many of the above considerations also apply to a peal of Doubles in 42 variations rung at Burton-on-Trent on 14.8.89 (Midland Counties G). None of the variations used comply with Decision (E) A.3, which states: “In the case of Doubles only, a variation is defined as the use in a plain method of calls other than the standard calls for that method. A lead containing a call must not constitute a plain lead of another method rung from treble’s lead to treble’s lead …”

In these variations the calls were made when the treble was in fifth’s place and they would have complied if the last words of the Decision had read “from treble’s lie to treble’s lie”. In other words, they were the reverse of variations which are acceptable. This peal was also rung half-muffled as an “in memoriam” peal. We recommend that this peal be accepted and that the Methods Committee be asked to reconsider the wording of Decision (E) A.3 to allow recognition of variations such as these.

Finally, 33 peals of Doubles rung in 1989 did not comply with Decision (D) C.4, which requires peal reports to state “the number and names of all methods and all variations separately.” These peals were reported as of, for example, “20 m/v”, instead of “8m/12v”. This reporting failure was pointed out by the Chairman of the Methods Committee in a letter which appeared in The Ringing World of 12 May 1989. Since that time most peals have been correctly reported. In these circumstances, we recommend that the 33 incorrectly reported peals rung in 1989 be accepted.

Summary of recommendations:

Corrections to the 1988 Analysis

Changes to the 1988 peal totals arising from late publication of peals, etc, are summarised below. Except where stated, all refer to tower bell peals:

Chester DG - Minor +1; Essex A - Royal -1; Hertford CA - Major +1, Minor +1; North American G - Royal +1, Major +1, Caters (handbells) +1; Suffolk G - Doubles -1; Non-Association - Maximus +2, Royal +1, Doubles +1.

Revised totals for 1988: tower bells 4598; handbells 449; total 5047.

After Mr. Rogers had explained that the peals referred to in the report’s final recommendations had not been rung in accordance with the Council’s technical Decisions, and that the Council was therefore being asked to judge them either on their technical merit or on the local circumstances surrounding each, the President said that the recommendations would be taken separately.

Mr. W.F. Moreton (Life) said that the committee’s recommendation about the peal at Darfield was a sensible one. He nevertheless wished to propose that the peal be accepted as one of 5,220 changes, since it did not conflict with the spirit of the Decisions. He was seconded by Mr. N. Donovan (Yorkshire), but after Mr. Rogers had said that he had no comment, the motion was put to the vote - and lost.

Speaking of the Whepstead peal, Mr. S.D. Pettman (Suffolk) said that its conductor had in fact been in correspondence about it with the Methods Committee during 1988. It seemed that the peal was to be rejected only because he had made no similar case to the Peals Analysis Committee; and he proposed that the peal be accepted, and was seconded by another Suffolk Guild representative, Mr. Whitear.

Mr. Rogers commented that the peal, like those in the third recommendation, had not complied with Decision (D) C.3. If it was to be accepted it should be on the same terms - on the basis described in the Method Committee’s amendment. And it was in these terms that the peal was indeed accepted by the Council. There were no comments or questions about the remaining recommendations, nor indeed on the rest of the committee’s report, and all were accepted without further discussion.

Several members of the old committee, including Mr. Rogers, did not seek re-election, and Mr. Cheesman had asked for new members to be prepared to stand. The Administrative Committee’s recommendation that the new committee should have eight members having first been agreed, the eight following were then elected, there being no other nominations:

Messrs. J. Cheesman, C. Forster (Leeds University), D.H. Niblett (Kent), R.J. Perry (Truro), Dr. T.G. Pett (Oxford DG), the Revd. L. Pizzey (Suffolk), P.S. Seaman (Ely) and Dr. N.G. Sharp (N. Staffs). Dr. Niblett will be the new chairman.

Towers & Belfries Committee

By contrast, this committee’s report was accepted without comment. In proposing its adoption, Mr. Frost said that three of the publications referred to were now in print, while copies of the fourth, the Towers and Bells Handbook, had only to be bound. He took the opportunity of thanking those who did not seek re-election to the committee, mentioning particularly Brian Threlfall, who had served on the committee for 36 years but was no longer a member of the Council. The report read as follows:

After some 95 years of service to the Exercise (this committee being established with the formation of the Council in 1891) the need was recognised by the newly-elected chairman of the committee, James R. Taylor, to expand the services offered under the “Towers and Belfries” title. In three energetic years Jim did much to fulfil this aim until relinquishing the post in 1989. The new chairman - in fact rather an old hand - hopes to pursue this policy which has been summarised by one of our members as follows:

“There is increasing evidence of greater expertise among the advisory teams organised by some local associations, and it should be the primary role of the committee to support and guide all local associations to develop and extend their own arrangements for the care of the bell installations within their areas. This support and guidance should take the form of:

  1. Constantly updated literature on all relevant aspects.

  2. Training courses both to train new advisers and to improve the abilities of existing advisers.

  3. Regular and close liaison with diocesan advisory committees and their bell advisers and with the Council for the Care of Churches.”

It is in this context that I report the activities of the committee during 1989.

On the literature front, work has continued and meetings have been held with the Publications Committee to progress the four works currently in hand: the second edition of the Towers and Bells Handbook which has been extensively revised, and new guides to Regular Maintenance, Choosing a Bell Adviser and Organising D.I.Y. Projects, all of which it is intended should be available during 1990. The National Ringing Survey, published in 1989, concluded that only 16% of towers used the old Maintenance Handbook, a mere 6% had a copy of the Towers and Bells Handbook yet 37% of tower captains saw a need for courses on tower maintenance. Clearly there is a need and an opportunity for instruction both through publications and through courses and seminars.

Twin seminars were held in October 1989 in Warwickshire and Berkshire, on “how to do a bell inspection”. These were very well attended and in response to requests it is hoped to repeat them in Yorkshire and Somerset in 1990, and also to assist the Education Committee in a course on steeple-keeping and belfry maintenance.

During the year the Code of Practice working party, with two committee members taking part, completed their draft Code and the committee was asked to comment on draft 6 of the Council for the Care of Churches’ revised Code. At this stage we were greatly saddened by the death of a former member, John Freeman, who was leading the working party, but contact has been maintained by the immediate past chairman and other Central Council officers.

Three formal meetings of the committee were held during the year, in April, July and December, reports of which were published in The Ringing World. In response to a request from the Administrative Committee the possibility of this committee forming a limited company to undertake maintenance work in towers was considered. It was felt however that, apart from insurance problems, it was better for the committee and its members to retain independence to give impartial advice and to offer training for Associations and Guilds to form their own local maintenance teams.

As in past years members have, on request, given advice for some 80 towers. Cases have comprised 4 on sound control, 14 on structural problems, 30 minor and 29 major overhauls including 12 augmentations.

Correspondence in The Ringing World drew the chairman to express the hope that, with several members of the committee retiring in 1990, Guilds and Associations would consider electing Central Council representatives capable and willing to serve on this committee. In this way the Council can, at the approach of its centenary, continue to be outward-looking in its service to the Exercise.

Once more the Administrative Committee recommendation on size of committee (eleven members) was accepted; and once more precisely the right number of nominations were forthcoming. Those elected were consequently Messrs. R.G. Booth (London CA), G.A. Dawson (Southwell), A. Dempster (E. Derbys & W. Notts), A.J. Frost, P.L.R. Hayward (Sherwood Youths), F.D. Mack (Devonshire Guild), F. Reynolds (Lancashire), Preb. J.G.M. Scott (Honorary), B.J. Stone (Oxford Society), I.J.D. Whitear and H.M. Windsor (Coventry). Mr. Frost continues as chairman.

Education Committee

In proposing the report the chairman, Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth), drew particular attention to its fourth and fifth paragraphs; he said the committee would be only too pleased to help. The same point was made by Mr. S.J. Coleman (Honorary), who seconded: the Survey had, he said, clearly shown that ringers wanted their associations to run more courses, and he urged representatives present to encourage their societies to do so.

The Committee met for formal meetings three times in 1989, and at one of them we were pleased to welcome John Couperthwaite, Chairman of the Publications Committee. In addition most of the Committee met together (and lectured/tutored) at the Annual Ringing School at Pershore and at the Seminar at Bodicote in Oxfordshire.

This Committee is one where most of the work gets done by individual members working at home or by their assisting singly in educational events in various parts of the country. Although a part of the formal meetings is necessarily taken up with discussing the progress and content of the publications/activities in preparation and offering words of collective advice, the members do find time to discuss the scope of the service the Committee provides to the ringing Exercise and ways this can be improved or changed for the future.

Valuable assistance in such discussions is slowly emerging from the results of the National Survey and from a consultation exercise the Committee conducted with its customers at the Pershore Ringing School and from the ringing fraternity in general via a letter in The Ringing World. This letter invited ringers to suggest ways the Committee could provide a more effective service.

The Committee recognises that, like any central body, it has only limited resources. It therefore has a responsibility to ensure that its resources are deployed in the most effective way. It recognises that it can provide teaching aids for the Exercise (books, videos, etc) and can act as a catalyst in encouraging others via seminars and the like. It can provide direct tuition to only a limited few.

Over the past few years, therefore, the Committee has come to the view that the Guilds and Associations should ideally be providing the first line of tuition to the Exercise after the local tower. Much can be achieved if the fifty or so territorial Guilds and Associations with C.C. representatives adopt policies on teaching and education for their area and generate enthusiastic groups of people to carry them out. This view has been promoted in The Ringing World and privately in the letters the Chairman sends to the Secretaries of all Guilds and Associations at the start of each year. Indeed it is gratifying to note that many Guilds and Associations have now assumed such a responsibility. The Committee is most willing to advise on educational events these local groups could hold, and to assist with their running where requested.

Steven Coleman and Ron Thorne both left the Committee at the Central Council meeting at Birmingham, through moving to other parts of the country and no longer being C.C. representatives. The Committee’s thanks go to Ron for his support and work over his three years with the Committee. Steven was elected as an Honorary Member at Birmingham and the Committee members later invited him and Carol Franklin of the Leicester Diocesan Guild, who had both volunteered their support, to become co-opted members. Derek Carr continues as the Committee’s adviser on video production. (Both Steven Coleman and David Parsons have indicated they are not available for the Committee from the Wells meeting.)

The Committee held its Annual Ringing School for the second year at Pershore in early September (arranged RC, NM), with the very active and kind support of the officers and ringers of the Worcestershire and Districts Association. It was attended by seven of the Committee. As is usual, the main tuition was concerned with “Teaching and Management in Ringing” and this drew 15 students. A further 67 students studied and rang methods in ten groups, ranging from Bob Doubles to “12 bell methods”. 31 students were sponsored by their local Guild or Association. Various other supporting activities were held during the School, including the making of a video of ringing at some of the practical sessions, followed by collective discussion on the ringing styles shown. The Committee’s thanks go to the Worcestershire ringers for their help and to the 12 tutors and 40 ringers from all parts of the country who came full time to stand in at the 60 practical sessions. Without willing and gratuitously given services such as this, a Ringing School in this form is simply not possible.

Plans were laid for the 1990 and 1991 Schools at Moulton in Northamptonshire (RC, NM, CF) and an initial meeting was held with members of the Peterborough DG (RC, CF) who have volunteered to assist in running the events.

The third national Seminar on the Teaching of Ringing was held at Bodicote on 8 July (arrangements RT, NM). The Seminar was entitled “Teaching Bell Handling - an Exploration of Alternatives”. Nineteen students attended and participated in discussions following demonstration of the Tutors Handbook system of teaching bell handling and other activities.

Assistance was given (RC) with a half-day teaching and recruiting event in Cannock in the summer, jointly with the Lichfield Archdeaconry Society and the North Staffordshire Association. Likewise assistance was given (NM) with a hand-bell teaching day in South Wales.

Plans were laid (RC) for a teaching day in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in Spring 1990 with the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association and the Scottish Association and also for a similar day with the Sussex County Association (PH). Discussions took place (RC) with one of the C.C. representatives of the Veronese Association - and later with the Master - concerning a tuition event for young Italian ringers (in England!) in the summer of 1990.

Preparation continued on several publications. Conducting Stedman (DP) was completed and is on sale. Bells in your Care (MT assisted by SC) - intended for clergy in post and church-wardens - was completed and despatched to Diocesan offices for distribution by them. Following discussion at the Birmingham meeting, when it was reported that work on a Recruiting Package had ceased due to the Publication Committee’s fears that the cost of production would be too high, the format of the package was reduced (SC) to enable it to be produced economically. A mock-up of the final version was sent to the Publications Committee for its approval. An elementary conducting booklet Will you call a touch please, Bob? was completed (PH) and sent to the Publications Committee for publication.

Belfry Steps - an intended replacement for the Beginners Handbook - (MT) was in the final stages of writing. Work commenced on A Collection of Quarter Peals (NM), and continued on Prayers for Ringers (MT), Ways of Avoiding Mistakes in Surprise Major (PH) and an Education Officers Handbook (HC).

The production of a video illustrating the Tutors Handbook system of teaching bell handling progressed (PH initially, then RC). Filming commenced early in 1990.

In June the Committee took delivery of a ringing simulator built by Peter Cummins of Camelford, Cornwall. The machine allows a student to practise a wide variety of methods from rounds on six to Surprise Maximus. A tied bell equipped with a sensor, or a pair of suitably-modified handbells may be used. The simulator has already been on trial with the band at Wymondham, Norfolk, and also at the Pershore Ringing School. In 1990 a programme of demonstrations and evaluations has been arranged in the Guildford area, Sussex, the Sparsholt course, Gloucester and Bristol PA, and in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The Committee is grateful to Peter Cummins for the many hundreds of hours spent developing and producing this version of the simulator. In due course it may well stand alongside the Carter Ringing Machine as an example of the technology of our day; in the meantime it has much useful work to do.

One Committee member (SC) attended meetings in the autumn of the group considering a project to mark the Central Council centenary. He was also our representative on the National Survey sub-committee. The Chairman (RC) prepared a series of articles and letters for The Ringing World throughout the year discussing educational topics covered by the Committee, as well as answering a growing correspondence from individual ringers, several from overseas.

Most of the Committee members were involved in the year with privately preparing educational material for The Ringing World and with other educational events outside Committee ones. Two were involved with filming which was shown on TV (RC, SC).

(The initials used at the end of the report refer to various members of the committee - Mrs. Franklin (CF) and Messrs. Cater (RC), Charles (HC), Coleman (SC), Hurcombe (PH), Mattingley (NM) and Tyler (MT).)

It was agreed that the committee should continue to have eight members, and the following were consequently elected, being the only nominations: Messrs. R. Cater (who will continue as chairman), H.J. Charles (Norwich), Mrs. C.N.J. Franklin (Leicester), P.W. Gay (N. Staffs), N.J. Goodship (Surrey), P.T. Hurcombe (Sussex), N. Mattingley (Hereford) and M.J. Tyler (Honorary).

Publications Committee

The committee’s report, which was proposed by Mr. W.J. Couperthwaite (Guildford) and seconded by Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough), said that:

Sales of publications during 1989 were very much the same as in 1988 and the Publications Fund was in a healthy state at the end of the year.

New publications were Plain Minor Methods Collection, Rung Surprise Addendum, Conducting Stedman and, after rewriting in an expanded form, The Bell Adviser. Reprints of Towards Better Striking, Understanding Place Notation, Judging Striking Competitions, From Rounds to Bob Doubles, Collection of Plain Methods and Raising and Lowering in Peal were commissioned. In most cases, for both new publications and reprints, we now find it economical to make print runs of only a few hundred. This is advantageous in that less capital is tied up in stock, storage requirements are minimised and originators and authors have the opportunity to revise books reasonably frequently.

After a great deal of work by both the Towers and Belfries Committee and ourselves the new Towers and Bells Handbook is nearing completion. This will be a high quality hardback book, extensively illustrated and very much revised and updated. It will be an indispensible definitive work for both ringers and professional architects alike.

Other publications expected to be ready in 1990 are DIY Guidelines and a new beginners’ guide to conducting entitled Will You Call a Touch Please, Bob. We look forward to receiving material for the Library Catalogue and for the Belfry Maintenance Schedule, both of which have been promised for some time. For the longer term work on Volume 2 of the History is progressing well and a collection of Biographies of Famous Ringers is in preparation.

A number of new cover designs are planned and in future all new books or reprints will be allocated ISBN numbers. During the year we experimented with production from computer disk.

We are seriously concerned by the worsening conditions under which our books are stored at Penmark House. Although we rent space, stock is often moved without our knowledge or consent and access is often difficult. It is hard to keep track of stock and there is increasing risk of damage. We intend to make new arrangements in the coming year.

Our grateful thanks are offered to staff at The Ringing World for their work on our behalf. Lesley Boyle will leave the Council and the Committee in 1990 and we thank her for her hard work during the triennium.

Mr. Couperthwaite added that Mrs. Barbara Wheeler, one of the Durham & Newcastle DA’s representatives on the Council, would be taking over the storage and distribution of the publications in the near future; a notice would appear in The Ringing World in due course.

The offer of a reduced price for copies of the new Towers and Bells Handbook ordered and paid for at the Council meeting provoked a quick-fire exchange between Mr. Couperthwaite and the President - the latter initially commenting that the offer was like “something from Marks and Spencer’s”, Mr. Couperthwaite replying that “we learn from you, Mr. President” (Mr. Groome has published and marketed a number of ringing books), and the President expressing surprise that the committee should know anything about his underwear. Amidst growing laughter Mr. Couperthwaite was heard to gasp “Heaven forbid!”

Following this, it is perhaps not surprising that there were no questions about either the report itself or the Publications accounts. One suspects that not all members’ thoughts were yet back to the business of the meeting.

Seven nominations had already been received for the seven places which the meeting agreed the committee needed, and since no more were forthcoming from the floor, Mr. Groome declared Messrs. Couperthwaite, Jones, R.J. Johnston, J.R. Pratt (Guildford) and D.G. Thorne (Honorary), Miss Jean Sanderson (Honorary) and Mrs. Wheeler elected. Mr Couperthwaite continues to chair the committee.

Bell Restoration Funds Committee

Mr. J.S. Barnes succinctly proposed his committee’s report, adding only that the Barron Bell Trust had, he understood, made three grants in recent weeks, and that the committee had had a letter published in the non-ringing press, in This England. He was seconded by J.F. Mulvey (Lichfield), and the report was accepted without comment.

The Committee met on three occasions, twice in London and once in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

We have been pleased to receive a continuing number of requests for help from parishes, some of which have been from non-ringers who are unaware of the structure of ringing. Although in many cases the action required amounts to a single letter, there are instances when we are considerably more involved in giving on-going support and encouragement throughout the progress of an appeal. Committee members are available to attend meetings with project leaders or church councils, but during the past year we have been called upon only twice.

Applications for financial help from the Manifold Trust are analysed at each meeting and during the year the Trust offered a total of £26,000 to twelve parishes. In addition many applications are received which do not meet the Trust’s conditions, but these do give the opportunity of offering the Committee’s services.

Contact has been maintained with the Barron Bell Trust. We would appreciate being informed of grants which have been promised.

Analysis of the Survey of Guild Bell Restoration Funds has continued during the year. A great deal of information has been collected from this Survey and members of the Committee will be commenting on the information in a series of articles in The Ringing World. In particular the Survey identified the continued high level of fund raising by Guilds and, over the three years of the Survey, total income exceeded expenditure on grants by a ratio of two to one. Many Guilds could therefore adopt a bolder attitude to their level of grant without eroding their capital.

Early in the year a Survey of Unringable Bells was undertaken and we acknowledge the help we received from Guilds in completing it. We are particularly concerned that, in spite of the vast amount of preventive maintenance and restoration work undertaken by Guild members, a significant number of rings of bells have become unringable in the past ten years. We are aware also that there has been little impact on the “hard core” of unringable bells. We urge Guilds to maintain contact with all their towers, both ringable and unringable, by annual brochure or newsletter which could include details of help available from both the Guild and from the Central Council.

We commend to all Guilds the Seminar arranged by the Essex Association, in which we were involved in both planning and presentation, and at which representatives from unringable parishes learned of the help and support which is available. All those present were given a comprehensive information pack which included Central Council publications. We offer our help to other Guilds wishing to set up similar events.

We have completely revised and expanded our leaflet Bell Restoration: A Guide for Parishes. The leaflet complements our booklet Organising a Bell Restoration Project. Its sections include guidance on how to get a project started, preparation of an appeal leaflet, launching and running the appeal, and numerous ideas for fund raising. Copies are available free of charge from Committee members.

For some time we have been aware of the need for good quality visual material promoting bell restoration work and more particularly the support and advice available through Guilds and the Central Council. The wide availability of video equipment suggests this to be the ideal medium, and a pilot study has confirmed its suitability from both a technical and financial viewpoint. Careful consideration is being given to the content of the finished video which will be targetted at incumbents and PCCs of parishes whose bells are in need of restoration.

There were eight nominations for the new committee, against a recommended and agreed membership of seven, and the Bath & Wells Association’s tellers were once more brought into action.

The President was subsequently able to announce that, although Mrs. B. Winter (Coventry) had been unsuccessful in the poll, Messrs. Barnes, Billings, N.E. Booth (Scottish), N.A. Johnson, J.F. Mulvey, I.H. Oram (Cumberland Youths) and A.R. Smith had been elected. Mr. Barnes remains chairman.

Redundant Bells Committee

After Mrs. Wilkinson had proposed the following report, she was warmly thanked by her seconder, Mr P.A. Corby (Life), both for her work for, and her hospitality to, the committee during the previous year.

In 1980 the Church Commissioners predicted fourteen hundred redundant churches by the end of 1989. The reality is not quite as bad. The total is 1,282, with 29 churches declared redundant in 1989 compared with 51 in 1988.

But, though twenty years was the time span suggested when the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into effect, and though the first rush of pastoral reorganisation is clearly over, the Church Commissioners do not see an end to redundancies. Indeed, it is suggested that redundancies are likely to continue at much their present rate. This needs, of course, to be seen in the context of some 16,500 churches in use, with nearly four hundred churches built since the Pastoral Measure. As well, redundancies are frequently of ruins, or of parts only of active churches. Of the churches whose future has been decided, rather more than half have found alternative uses, around a quarter have been demolished, and a slightly smaller number vested in the Redundant Churches Fund.

The Committee has been involved this year with some 50 cases, which have included five new enquiries, three very tentative, for rings of bells, and seventeen for bells for replacements, augmentations, or for use as singles. One enquiry for a ring, and four for single bells, came from overseas. The first request ever received for tubular bells came this year. It coincided exactly with a set from Crewe becoming available: but sadly no match proved possible. It should be emphasised that most work with bells from redundant churches is done by the local associations, so that the Committee tends to be involved only when there are problems finding bells, or homes for bells, locally. The search for a bell that fits can be frustrating; and it was pleasing this year to lose one of the oldest inhabitants of the bells wanted list. Brigstock, in our list since 1975 for a treble to augment its five to six, finally in Athanasian fashion acquired not one bell but three bells.

A new development is causing us some slight concern. When churches find alternative uses, the Church Commissioners retain some control over what their new owners can do with them. As time passes, buildings change hands, and new occupants may have new ideas. It is also possible, though rare, for a church vested in the Redundant Churches Fund to leave the Fund for an alternative use. In either case bells remaining in the building could be at risk. A case in point is St. Thomas, Bristol. Vested in the Fund in 1988, it now looks set to become an orchestra rehearsal hall, with all that that could imply. Once again, these are problems which can be ameliorated by close relations between local societies and diocesan authorities, or those caring locally for Fund churches; and we do ask societies to continue to keep a close watch on redundant churches in their areas, particularly those with rings of bells. This looks like a problem that will increase.

Members of the Committee attended the consultation on the revision of the Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes called by the Council for the Care of Churches in April. A working party was set up to consider the preparation of a new Code; and there seems every reason to hope that this will prove a most constructive way forward.

Once more we thank the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their help and interest. Mr. Ranald Clouston has again this year sent us copies of his notes on the bells of churches referred to the Council for the Care of Churches. We are very grateful.

No body of which John Freeman was a member could feel other than forlorn at his departure. He has been long time guide, philosopher, and friend to the Committee; and we miss him greatly.

A ballot was again necessary to elect the new committee, thirteen nominations being received for the eleven places.

Those successful were Dr. Baldwin, E.A. Barnett (Life), R. Booth, R.J. Cooles, P.A. Corby, M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary), A.J. Frost, G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells), Preb. J.G.M. Scott, Dean Thurlow and Mrs. Wilkinson. Mrs. Wilkinson remains the committee’s chairman. The unsuccessful nominees were Mr. K.J. Matthews (Surrey) and the Revd. P. Newing (Durham University).

At this juncture the President evidently decided to dampen matters on the top table. Opening a bottle of unexpectedly lively carbonated water, he managed - to the quite unwarranted delight of a surprising number of those present - to spray the Hon. Secretary’s papers, and almost the Hon. Secretary himself. Mopping-up operations, in a very literal sense, quickly restored the situation, and the President had the sip of water he evidently needed.

Biographies Committee

The Committee reported that

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

John Freeman, C.Eng. MICE, served on the Standing/Administrative Committee 1954-89; Towers and Belfries Committee 1954-84; Redundant Bells Committee 1973-89; Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells 1979-89; was still chairing a working party, set up in 1987, to review the position on the Code of Practice drawn up by the Council for the Care of Churches. He did full terms in Office as Vice-President and President of this Council 1963-1969-1975.

Following the affiliation to the Council of overseas guilds we now have the pleasure of extending our committee work to every part of the world where it is known that Church bell ringing takes place, and we thus applaud the vision and wisdom of A.P. (later Sir Arthur) Heywood, with those who supported him, at the Birmingham National Ringers’ meeting in 1889. Truly, a century of achievement.

Consideration of microfilming the Biographical records of deceased members has been given, with the assistance of Alan J. Frost (Honorary member). It is recommended that this 35mm microfilming of some 550 Biographical Records estimated at a cost of £160 including VAT be put into effect, the process to be undertaken through Mr. Frost. The microfilms would be kept in the Council’s Library.

Biographies of Famous Ringers/Ringing Stories. Progress on this work is such that, with more than half the text written, a selection of sample biographies has been forwarded to the Publications Committee for plans, which at present are for ten chapters each on three or four ringers, to be made on the format and size of the book.

The search, so far, for a calligrapher to take on the work up to now done by Mrs. J. Dodds, has been unavailing, in which case we look forward to a new member of the Council next year to be willing to do this committee work.

Mr. T.J. Lock (Middlesex) proposed the report, adding that the biographies sheets were now being microfilmed, but no offer had yet been received to write up new sheets. He was seconded by Dr. Eisel.

Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG) enquired how many biography sheets there were - only 550 had been mentioned, and he had expected there to be more. Mr. H.J. Charles (Norwich) wondered whether a calligrapher was really necessary: would it not be more efficient to maintain the records on a computer?

Mr. Lock said that a further fifty or so sheets were waiting to be written up. The suggestion of using a computer would need to be considered, he added, but the committee did hold a number of relevant paper documents that were not readily amenable to computerisation.

A ballot for the committee’s five places determined that Messrs. G.A. Dawson, Dr. Eisel, T.J. Lock, D.J. Roberts (Devonshire G) and Dr. N.G. Sharp should be elected, and that Messrs. H.J. Charles and A.T. Collins (Salisbury) should be unsuccessful. It was noted that Dr. Sharp was both a calligrapher and a computer man (laughter), and that Mr. Roberts was also a calligrapher.

Mr. Lock continues as chairman.

Library Committee

The year 1989 has been a comparatively quiet one for the Library Committee and for the Library itself. New titles have continued to be added to the collection as opportunity has arisen (47 altogether), notably a copy of the 1710 edition of The School of Recreation by R. Howlett, purchased for £80. This edition, which has its title page, seems to indicate that the one already in the Library lacking a title page is a later edition. We are also grateful to Mr. F.E. Dukes for presenting to the Library the ringing papers of Gabriel Lindoff, mainly concerning composition. The copy of The School of Recreation and the bound collection of pamphlets mentioned in the last report have been skilfully rebound. We are also grateful for several other donations to the collection.

We acknowledge with thanks the donation of a number of newsletters (a few of which are sent to us regularly), and of Annual Reports of Associations and Guilds. We note, however, that while there are over 60 Societies affiliated to the Central Council, most of which publish annual reports, only 20 reports were received by the Library for the year 1989. Council members may have seen the letter from Chris Ridley which appeared in The Ringing World of September 1st 1989 (p. 792), and have noted what he says: “A complete collection (of Annual Reports) built up over the years would provide a wealth of information on ringing activity, greater in detail than that contained in the pages of The Ringing World.” This is, of course, even more true of the many Newsletters now produced by local areas and Districts, very few of which find their way into the Library. It should be obvious that it is very convenient for such information to be kept together in one place, i.e. the Library, to be readily available for research.

The accounts again show an excess of expenditure over income, and leave us wondering whether we may soon be finding ourselves unable to purchase potentially valuable additions to the collection through lack of funds. We are, of course, very grateful indeed to those ringers who subscribe to the Friends of the Library, and hope we can increase the number. At present, membership stands at 66, including 27 of the affiliated Societies. Besides purchasing new titles, we also need to continue our programme of rebinding of books which have become dilapidated, to the best possible standards.

The Library itself has been less used by ringers this year; there were only twelve borrowings of books, and fewer enquiries than usual.

After the Hon. Librarian, Mr. Cook, had proposed and Miss Sanderson had seconded adoption of the report, Mr. F.E. Dukes (Irish) remarked on the discrepancy in the accounts between the amount apparently paid out from the General Fund to the Library (£231) and that reported to have been received (£150) - Mr. Wratten said that the “missing” amount was the cost of insurance - and also enquired whether irreplaceable items in the Library had been copied or were held in facsimile.

Mr. Cook said that only the printed books were insured; to microfilm the 20% of manuscript material - much of which was of ephemeral value - would probably be prohibitively expensive. He did however accept a suggestion from the President that the new Library Committee should review the library’s insurance value and consider whether there was anything that ought to be copied.

Since the Hon. Librarian is an ex officio member of the committee only four further members needed to be elected. These were Messrs. A.F. Burley (Truro), W. Butler (Oxford DG), R.J. Johnston and Miss Sanderson, Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough) having declined nomination.

Public Relations Committee

Following suggestions from members, the committee’s chairman, Mr. A.W.R. Wilby, agreed to withdraw two rather provocative comments from the circulated report, the final version consequently reading as follows.

The Committee met in July to review and plan activities. Two new members, elected to the team last year, Steve Coleman and Stella Bianco, were able to make a valuable contribution. A sub-group under the chairmanship of Angela Newing was appointed to review the structure of the committee and the shape of its activities into the next triennium. This resulted in an article in The Ringing World - “Taking the Smooth with the Smooth” - by Steve Coleman. Messrs. Wilby and Corby have indicated their intention not to seek re-election after nine years on the Committee and there is therefore an opportunity for further new blood to bring fresh impetus to this work.

Reporting under the functional headings of the Committee:

Central Council: “Foundry Focus” remains the direct responsibility of the foundries to seek publication. A considerable amount of planning has been done in various forums for the 1991 Council Centenary PR opportunity. The main theme of the centenary Council meeting celebrations will present the event to the societies who constitute the Council and their members as the centenary of their Council. Constituent societies will be invited to be represented by their officers at a Centenary Thanksgiving service in St. Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday, May 25th. Other events are planned throughout the weekend with the intention of involving the various other strata of the ringing community. On Sunday the first ever international “World Championship” 8-bell ringing contest will be held at St. Lawrence Jewry. Already a number of the overseas societies have indicated their intention to participate, and it should be a “fun” as well as a “media” occasion.

Media Liaison: Further contact has taken place this year with the Head of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC. It is clear that the attitude of the present producer of the Radio 4 Sunday morning programme is unchangeable with regard to bells and one can only hope for his promotion. There seems to be an increasing amount of local radio activity concerning bells. It is not difficult to gain access to these programmes with a good bells story, and local enterprise in this area should be encouraged. The help of the Committee has been sought as usual by a number of journalists in the preparation of newspaper and magazine articles. On 10 August Steve Coleman was seen on BBC TV teaching Chris Searle to ring, in a programme watched by seven million people.

Community Liaison: The contact data files have been maintained and requests for help dealt with. Continuing assistance has been given with presentation of the Ringing Survey findings and the discussions with the Council for the Care of Churches to produce a new Code of Practice.

Exhibitions: Again a large number of exhibitions have been mounted up and down the country and advice and materials supplied. Plans are in hand for a Centenary Exhibition in 1991 and other developments.

Association Liaison: The distribution of C.C. generated cards and certificates has centred on the Ringing World office.

Press cuttings service: The Ringing World office continues to collate press cuttings for current attention and subsequent storage in the CC Library.

Overseas Liaison: The “Overseas report” is published separately in The Ringing World as usual. There is an increasing amount of overseas ringing nowadays and general contacts can never have been better.

One of the objectives set for the present Overseas Liaison Officer some nine years ago was to create the climate and interest to stimulate the installation of more rings of bells overseas. During his period in office the number of bells overseas has increased from 67 to 95! Whether or not Fred Dukes can claim direct credit for this, he can certainly claim the credit for not only bringing all parts of the overseas ringing fraternity into membership of the Council but also to have created a level of contact hitherto unknown. This is undoubtedly very important to the continued unity of the Exercise.

Publications: The production of a Guild PRO’s Handbook continues, with the intention to achieve publication in 1990.

General: 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. Nine years ago the Committee was reorientated from being a reactive and record-keeping body into a proactive unit in which each member had a function. Good PR and the promotion of ringing within the media remains a function best performed at local and Guild level. Over the last decade the Committee’s work has become more involved with general “Public Affairs”, with the relationship between ringers and other bodies within the Church and civic community. It is probable that this will move in the next decade. During a period of rapid decline in the Church of England’s membership and levels of activity, the Survey has shown the ringing Exercise to have held its own in a quite remarkable way. Ringing is probably the only church activity to have a strong national cohesiveness and therefore an overview of the national situation. It is through this that the Exercise becomes aware of the significance and dangers of such developments as the encroachment of English Heritage into the area of Faculty Jurisdiction. In the same way that ringers play their appropriate part within their local parish life, the status and standing of their art is enhanced, and when Guild administrations ensure close contact and participation in Diocesan affairs, this in turn enhances the status of ringing and ringers with the clergy and laity, perhaps the Council must consider how it can contribute to the affairs of the Church at a national level and thereby gain similar benefit for the Exercise. Perhaps a decade of being less introverted is needed. Certainly as the Church becomes a more beleaguered minority it will be less happy to play host to a secular oriented art. For many good reasons, but also for the future prosperity of the art of change-ringing, we should encourage the participation of ringers in all levels of Church life and government.

Mr. Wilby said that he was concerned by the encroachment of Government, through English Heritage, into the faculties procedures of the Church. The work of English Heritage was, he said, legitimised through the Town & Countryside Act and was concerned above all with preservation; but the Church was a living organisation, and its emphasis should be on renewal. He feared that ringers were generally unaware of the scale of the threat and did not appreciate that English Heritage was working on a national scale. The freedom of individual parishes to decide what to do with their churches was increasingly being restricted by their acceptance of grants from English Heritage - acceptance of a grant for the repair of, for example, the roof could effectively mean that nothing could in future be done to the bells or their fittings without English Heritage’s approval.

A number of speakers endorsed Mr. Wilby’s concerns, Preb. John Scott pointing out that for every £30 paid out by the Government in the form of an English Heritage grant £210 was recouped in VAT. Mr. Massey however commented that if the Church were indeed a living body it should have sufficient commitment to maintain its buildings - church people should pay their way, and not rely on the State to meet their bills. Nor were all English Heritage staff villains: most are experts in their own fields, and are receptive to others’ ideas. It is worth developing relationships with them and persuading them that many ringers are expects in their own field.

Dr. Baldwin was concerned that any intemperate reaction could damage the delicate relationship being built up with English Heritage members of the joint working party on the Code of Practice, where he and Mr. Taylor were working hard to educate them into the concerns of ringers. He urged tact.

After the President had remarked that the Committee had raised a very important question and said that he would be asking the Administrative Committee to ensure that the matter is debated further - perhaps at a future Open Meeting, Mr. Wilby answered various points that had been made.

He confirmed that English Heritage operated only in England; said that the Health & Safety at Work Act did not apply to churches; said that the now well-known coloured posters produced by the Committee continued to be available from the Ringing World office; and acknowledged Mr. Dukes’ disclaimer for responsibility for the many new rings overseas (Mr. Dukes had pointed out that the true credit belonged to the local societies concerned).

Attention then turned to the election of a new committee. It was accepted that this should continue to have nine members, and the following were nominated and duly elected: Mrs. S. Bianco (Honorary), Messrs. S.J. Coleman, F.E. Dukes, Dr. Alison Hodge (Verona), J. Illingworth (Coventry), R.G. Morris (Verona), Dr. Angela Newing (Gloucester & Bristol), H.W. Rogers (London CA), and D.G. Thorne. Dr. Newing becomes the committee’s chairman.

The President concluded this part of the agenda by thanking all committee members for the great amount of effort, and indeed money, that they freely gave for the benefit of the Council and the Exercise (applause).

Administrative Committee

This was the last of the committee reports, and it was adopted without comment after being proposed by the Hon. Secretary and seconded by Mr. M.J. Church.

As usual, the Committee has met twice in London during the past year, in October and March. At the first of these meetings we were pleased to welcome the Secretary of the Bath & Wells DA, Mrs Carol Bedding, and with her help to agree the outline of this year’s meeting.

Apart from the arrangements for the meeting in Wells and routine committee matters, the main topic for discussion has continued to be the Council for the Care of Churches’ Bells sub-committee’s Code of Practice for the preservation of bells and bellframes. A joint working party, in which the Council is represented by Dr. Baldwin and Mr J.R. Taylor and which also has representatives from the Bells Sub-committee, the bellfounders and English Heritage, met for the first time on 29 November and was due to meet again on 10 May. It is producing a new draft Code, and progress is reported to be encouraging.

At Birmingham the Council referred to the Committee a motion that had been proposed by the St. David’s Guild concerning the representation of affiliated societies. After discussion it was agreed that the Committee should support the original motion, which should re-appear on the agenda for this year’s meeting. The Committee also endorsed the Hon. Secretary’s interpretation of Rule 5(i)(a) as meaning resident honorary and ringing members.

The Committee endorsed a proposal by the Survey Committee to carry out a limited re-survey during the autumn of 1990. Preparations for this are well in hand. It also encouraged the committee to try if possible to produce the various reports of the national survey in a collated form, and this is now available from Central Council Publications at £6.00.

Proposals to be made to the Council by the Centenary Committee were discussed at both meetings, and a number of comments and suggestions made. A small working party was also set up, under the chairmanship of Mr P.M.J. Gray, to consider the desirability and practicality of establishing a national ringing centre. This was triggered by a suggestion from Mr Potter (Yorkshire Association), and has led to the inclusion of a motion for debate at Wells.

The acquisition of a computer for the Library was approved in principle, subject to the provision of an acceptable plan for implementation; and Mr. Lock was authorised to have his committee’s biography record sheets microfilmed, as he had proposed. The microfilm will be held in the Library. A suggestion from Mr F.E. Dukes that a certificate be produced for presentation to Life Members of the Council following their election was also discussed, but it was decided not to pursue the matter.

The Administrative Committee consists of the Officers of the Council and the chairmen of committees, together with twelve elected members. As it was by this time almost 12.30 the President decided to defer the election until after lunch, in order to give the newly elected committees time to appoint their chairmen for the next three years. However, before the meeting was adjourned, acceptance of the Council’s accounts for 1989 was formally proposed by the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mr. P. Sanderson, and agreed.

When the meeting reconvened twelve names were proposed and seconded: Dr. J Armstrong (Essex), Dr. J.C. Baldwin, M.J. Church, S.C. Coleman, R.J. Cooles, P.A. Corby, M.H.D. O’Callaghan, I.H. Oram, C.H. Rogers, Miss Stephanie Pattenden (Cumberland Youths), D.G. Thorne and A.W.R. Wilby. All were elected.

Centenary Committee report

At its meeting in Birmingham last year the Council accepted a proposal to set up a committee “to consider possibilities, and make plans, for a suitable project (to mark the Council’s centenary in 1991) with a view to reporting to the Council in 1990.” The proposer of that motion and chairman of the resulting committee, Mr. J.S. Barnes, had produced a wide-ranging report, the main recommendation of which was that a mobile exhibition centre, incorporating a light ring of bells, should be acquired by the Council. Readers will have seen a series of articles in The Ringing World on this idea, and at Mr. Barnes’ initiative it has been discussed by many associations.

The proposal prompted one of the longest debates - if not the longest - at a Council meeting for many years.

Proposing that the recommendation be adopted, Mr. Barnes said that it met the requirement for something tangible to mark the centenary; it would help to meet the needs brought out by the Survey of Ringing, attracting recruits, increasing public awareness of ringers and ringing and dispelling the common impression of remoteness and eccentricity; and it would help societies in their own efforts in these areas as well as promoting bell restoration work. Most importantly it would provide the opportunity to make contact with the public - at shows and exhibitions, whether in large cities or small rural parishes; it was not intended as a plaything on which ringers could indulge themselves.

The committee suggested that there would need to be a small management team, of perhaps eight people, to administer and maintain the centre. Quoted costs were, he assured members, realistic and contained some element for inflation. The bellfounders had offered to supply the bells free of charge (but not the frame), and he had that weekend been offered a flatbed trailer on which to mount the display. Income could be anticipated from sponsorship, sales, and hirings for private use such as peals or to ring for weddings at churches with no bells of their own. The committee was unanimous that there should be no charge to societies for the use of the centre, apart perhaps for a contribution to the insurance cost, but they would have to provide a towing vehicle to collect and return it.

He concluded by saying the proposal presented the Council with a great challenge: it would need to commit a large amount of capital, and members would need to commit themselves to be involved and to help the scheme to succeed.

His proposal that “the commemorative project for the Central Council centenary be the provision of a mobile exhibition centre incorporating a ring of bells” was seconded by Mrs. Stella Bianco.

Reaction from members was generally of the “enthusiastic - but” variety. Mr. D. Potter thought a 1 cwt. ring would be unacceptably light - they would be rung too fast, would not sound particularly attractive, and would give a misleading impression of what ringing was like; Mr. G. Morris (Verona) disagreed - the Veronese Association had found such rings an ideal advertisement for ringing. (Later in the discussion a motion from Mr. Potter, seconded by Mr. Lufkin, that the Centre should have “a ring of six bells with a tenor weighing not less than 3 cwt” was defeated after Mr. R.B. Smith (Honorary) had pointed out that that it would be quite impossible to install such a ring in the proposed vehicle.)

Speaking on behalf of the Kent County Association Mr. D.C. Manger said that their own experience of using a mobile exhibition had been disheartening: it attracted great interest but as far as they could tell absolutely no recruits; there were problems in manning it; costs constantly increased. In short the considerable cost could not be justified, and his Association had asked its representatives to vote against the proposal. Mr. Wilby also argued against the proposal, on PR, financial and political grounds. He said the case for the project was too generalised: what market was it aimed at? He believed the costs to be significantly underestimated - the maintenance costs would be heavy, and if the centre were to be used for PR purposes material (which would have to be paid for) should be given away, not sold. Associations who had replied in favour of the project had done so with no knowledge of the likely true cost to them. The Expo tower had been restored, and would be in use on Horse Guards Parade on the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday - its reappearance would make a Council ring superfluous. Finally, he read from a letter he had received from Mr. Alan Hughes of the Whitechapel Foundry, in which Mr. Hughes stressed that his company did not endorse the proposal, about whose technical feasibility it had considerable doubts. Council money should not be used for such a project, said Mr. Wilby.

Both Mr. B. Peachey (Police) and Mr. H.W. Rogers commended the idea, the latter commenting that the heavy use made of the Council’s exhibition material showed that a need existed. Mr. Coleman questioned Mr. Wilby’s figures, reiterating that the aim was that Associations should have to pay the Council nothing for their use of the centre. Constant supervision and direction would be provided by somebody from the Council, and the whole scheme would provide a visible sign of the Council helping the Exercise. Enthusiasm was the main thing, not money.

In spite of this statement discussion began to centre on the likely costs, several members saying that they would be prepared to support the idea were it not for their concern about the finances. Mr. A.P. Smith said he would worry less about this if he were satisfied that the scheme represented value for money: would not a single bell be adequate? Mr. D.J. Jones added his concern that the centre would not only be a gimmick but would not make the essential link between ringing and the Church; he considered the enthusiasm, commitment and money of which others had spoken would be better seains. The latter point was questioned by Mr. J.A. Harrison (Oxford DG), who reminded the Council that the Exercise needed also to recruit non-churchgoers.

Both Mr. P.W. Gay, who was responsible for most of the detailed design of the proposed centre, and Mr. Barnes replied to the various points that had been made. One bell would be inadequate, since the centre would be used to demonstrate change-ringing; a heavier ring would bring significant technical problems; the centre would need to be maintained in pristine condition, and the exhibition material changed to meet changing requirements; the benefits looked for were primarily goodwill and increased interest rather than new ringers.

The President summarised the position that had now been reached. He said that a number of issues would need to be clarified before the Officers, as trustees, could commit Council money: they would need to be sure that sponsorship was available and that a team existed to achieve and run the project. This prompted Mr. Corby ultimately to propose and Mr. Cooles to second an amendment “That this Council requests the principal officers, as trustees, to consider the possibility of providing, as a commemorative project, a mobile exhibition centre incorporating a ring of bells; and asks the Administrative Committee to appoint a subcommittee to evaluate the financial and engineering practicalities and to report to next year’s Council with specific recommendations.”

This amendment was passed on a show of hands, but on being put again to the meeting as the substantive motion was apparently defeated. To be sure that there had been no mistake, the President asked the Bath & Wells Association’s tellers to count a repeated vote, and this they did. After he had received their report, Mr. Groome announced that the motion had indeed been lost, by 92 votes to 85.

Turning to the remainder of the report, Mr. Barnes said that the committee had made a number of suggestions - regional meetings between the Council and affiliated societies, to discuss the Survey findings and to enable committee chairmen to describe the services they offered; the provision of more tower captains’ courses; a series of exhibitions on ringers and ringing by all societies, mounted with the help of the Public Relations Committee; a special Post Office cover or postmark; and increased public relations activity, such as a video to promote ringing and articles in the non-ringing press. He proposed the adoption of this part of the report, and was seconded by Mrs. Bianco.

Mr. Potter enquired how, if the report were adopted, its proposals would be funded. The President replied that they would have to be funded through the normal committee budgetting procedures. Mr. H.C. Charles expressed disappointment at the report’s content, and surprise that the Education Committee had not been consulted in advance: a committee of only eight would not be able to provide all the courses recommended. Ideas had not been thought through, he said.

Dr. Newing had similar concerns about the load the report’s adoption would bring to the Public Relations Committee. Mr. Frost said some things that had been suggested - for example, that the Towers & Belfries Committee should consider becoming a limited company - had already been dealt with, but this had been ignored. Mr. Cater said that leadership courses already existed. It was the Education Committee’s policy to encourage societies to run their own courses, but not to tell them what sorts of course to run. Many societies did not need assistance. As for regional meetings, his own experiences at Newcastle-on-Tyne had shown that they could be run much more cheaply than had been suggested.

In defence of the committee Mrs. Wilkinson pointed out that its main recommendation had been the exhibition centre, and it was therefore understandable that the other ideas had not been worked through. She asked whether there might be any hope of resurrecting the idea of a centre if sponsorship were forthcoming; the vote had been close, she said.

Mr. Church commented that everyone seemed to be trying desperately to find a project on which to hang the Centenary label. If that was so, a later agenda item (the Administrative Committee’s motion concerning the establishment of a ringing centre) was very relevant.

The President suggested that the most sensible step to take would be for the Council to receive the report and to refer its recommendations to the various committees for their consideration. Both proposer and seconder agreed, and this was then done.

Before the next item, Mr. H.W. Rogers intervened to thank Mr. Gay for the considerable time, money and expertise he had spent on working up the exhibition centre proposal. The point was acknowledged by loud applause.


The first of the four motions, proposed on behalf of the Administrative Committee by the Hon. Secretary and seconded by Mr. J.W. Lewis of the St. David’s Guild, dealt with affiliated societies’ right to representation at meetings of the Council.

Mr. Wratten reminded members that the same motion had last year been referred to the Administrative Committee for consideration. The Committee had done as requested, and had decided to support the motion. He pointed out that, under the present Rules, the membership of an affiliated non-territorial society might dwindle to one without it losing its right to be represented; but if a territorial society’s membership dropped below 75 it was disenfranchised.

He admitted that he had twice during his term of office turned a Nelsonian eye on the strict letter of this Rule (gasp!), and had had his action endorsed by the Administrative Committee. But if the Rule could justifiably be bent in such a way it was better to lower to crucial membership threshold from 75 to 50. This would not lead to any increase in Council membership, and instead of spurning any small affiliated society in difficulties would encourage it to rally its forces.

Seconding, Mr. Lewis said he spoke for such a small society. It had only twelve towers in an area the size of Somerset, and it sometimes had difficulty in maintaining a membership of 75. He hoped members would support the motion.

After the motion had been agreed by a verbal “aye”, Mr. Sibson questioned whether, since it entailed a change to the Rules, this was a valid procedure. On being put to a show of hands, three members abstained, and none voted against. The President accordingly declared the motion passed.

The second motion asked the Administrative Committee “to examine the Rules of the Council relating to the representation of societies, with the object of reducing multiple representation of resident ringing members and of clarifying the situation relating to the affiliation of new societies.”

Proposing it on behalf of the Coventry DG, Mr. P. Border said that two years ago he had proposed the affiliation of the Four Shires Guild; this had been rejected because it would have caused multi-representation. Two applications from the Medical Guild had been rejected on the same grounds. And yet multi-representation already existed, and the argument had therefore been quite illogical. If multi-representation was indeed undesirable the Rules would need to be reconsidered. To attempt to do so in public debate was impractical, and the motion therefore sought to refer the matter to the Administrative Committee, which should bring its recommendations to the 1991 meeting.

Mr. H.M. Windsor (Coventry) seconded him. As a member of the Council he found it increasingly difficult to know how to vote on applications to affiliate, he said; the Council’s Constitution had evolved, Topsy-like, and now needed sorting out.

Nobody spoke against the motion, although Preb. Scott said there shouldbeady affiliated. The Committee would need to bear in mind the Council’s first objective (“to promote and foster the ringing of bells for Christian worship”), and suggested that the main criterion for affiliation should be that the society in question included responsibility for ringing church bells on Sundays as part of its routine activities. Mr. Mulvey disagreed. He said the Council was inconsistent in the way it dealt with University societies, and the Committee should look at the present membership.

Mr. R.J. Perry (Truro) thought the Rules concerning territorial societies should also be reviewed, and Mr. Potter said that the position of the Veronese Association should be particularly considered. The Council was, he said, a body of English church bell fingers, and he believed it had been mistaken in accepting the Verona society into full membership.

The Police Guild’s representative, Mr. B. Peachey, agreed that something needed to be done. He accepted that it was anomalous for his Guild to be represented but not the Medical Guild. Referring to John Scott’s point, however, he pointed out that some non-territorial societies contained members who were not also members of territorial bodies - for example some shift-working ringers in the Police and Railway Guilds who had little opportunity for Sunday ringing.

The motion was then passed, only two members voting against.

The third motion was, like the first, initiated by the Administrative Committee. Moved by Mr. P.M.J. Gray (ANZAB), it proposed that the Council set up “a working party to investigate further the setting-up of a Ringing Centre with paid full- or part-time staff”; the working party was to keep the Administrative Committee informed of its progress and is to report at the 1991 meeting of the Council.

Mr. Gray said that the motion had been put on the agenda in order to let members see a paper that had been produced for the Administrative Committee, and to decide in principle whether it wished the ideas it contained for a ringing centre to be taken further. He felt it important that there should be real support for the idea, so that any further work done would not in the end prove nugatory; if there no support, the idea should be dropped forthwith.

He went on to say that the case for such a centre was in three stages. The basis was the state of ringing as shown by the Survey: at parochial level this seemed to have changed little in the past 20-30 years and to have reached a plateau. This lead to the question of what might be done that was not being done already. A highly technical service was at present being provided on a largely voluntary basis, and depended upon how far individuals were willing to commit their spare time. He suggested that ringing and the general condition of bells and their fittings might well benefit from back-up in the form of paid, professional, tuition. If this was so, effort should, he suggested, be concentrated in a single centre. The idea nevertheless needed much more development. The main points were that things should start in a small way and that money should be spent on people rather than on bricks and mortar.

Seconding the motion, Mr. Church said that such a centre would make courses and information much more readily available; would help to relieve Guilds and Associations from the pressure for ever more courses; would enable ringers to relate more closely to the Council; and would provide Council committees with a focal point and administrative support. Like the proposer, he looked for a clear statement of support from the Council in order to justify the further work that would be needed.

While in favour of the proposal, both Mr. Lufkin and Mr. Massey were doubtful about the parallel drawn in the accompanying paper between the Royal School of Church Music and the proposed centre. The former felt that, while the School had done much to raise standards in larger churches, the ringing associations had much closer links with individual parish bands than the RSCM had with small parish choirs; while the latter pointed out that the RSCM was heavily dependent upon affiliation fees from individuals and choirs - a situation unlikely to apply with a ringing centre. He felt the idea of such a centre should be considered by the associations before any commitment was made - certainly individual representatives could not commit their societies without first consulting them.

Mr. Lufkin had also expressed misgivings about the idea of professional instructors, but accepted that professional management and administration of the centre’s functions would be necessary. He suggested that a redundant church might provide a suitable base - an idea dismissed by Mr. Massey, who said that churches tended to become redundant not because they lacked a congregation but because the building needed a great deal of money to be spent on it.

Mr. Cater said he felt guilty about having reservations about such a commendable proposal, but pointed out that while the use of professional tuition was one possible solution, there were others.

In response to Mr. Wilby, who doubted whether the last speakers were talking about the motion before the meeting, Mr. Massey said that he was not unhappy about the wording of the motion, but considered that the outcome of the investigations should be referred to affiliated societies for discussion before any decision was made.

Mr. Charles proposed an amendment, that the working party should be appointed at the Council’s next meeting and should report in 1992 “and that in the meantime the Administrative Committee should publish in The Ringing World the documents presented to the Council in order to canvass reaction from the Exercise at large.” He was seconded by Mr. M.J. Tyler. Mr. Frost thought that the latter element would be a routine part of the proposed investigation; and Mr. R. Bailey (Middlesex) thereupon proposed that the amendment be put. He was appropriately seconded, and the amendment was heavily defeated.

Mr. Gay said he objected to the original motion, since he did not believe it would be cost-effective to pay people to teach others ringing. The Council was not even paying all the out-of-pocket expenses of its own committee members, he added.

At this point Mr. Bailey again moved that the motion be put, and was seconded by Mr. J.R. Taylor (Gloucester & Bristol). This was agreed, and on this occasion the motion was successful.

In reply to a general question from the President about the size of the new working party, Mr. Sanderson proposed that it should have six members, and was seconded by Mr. A.P. Smith. This was agreed and Messrs. Cater, Church, Cooles, Frost, Potter and a representative of the Public Relations Committee were elected, Messrs. Bailey, Couperthwaite, Gray and Groome having refused nomination.

The fourth and final motion was proposed on behalf of the Methods Committee by Mr. A.P. Smith and seconded by Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood. It proposed deletion of the existing restriction in the Council Decisions, whereby a lead of a Doubles variation containing a call may not constitute a plain lead of another method.

Mr. Smith said that the motion had been triggered by the peal at Burton-on-Trent that was referred to in the Peals Analysis Committee’s report. This peal had consisted of variations with bobs and singles made below the treble, and the leads containing singles had happened to produce plain leads of other methods. He said that it was very easy to fall foul of the existing restriction when using asymmetric calls or those affecting the work below the treble; but the restriction actually served no useful purpose.

Members had earlier decided to accept the Burton peal, and could now finish the job by endorsing the motion, he concluded.

Seconding, Mr. Sherwood said that acceptance of the proposal would not allow any increase in the number of names reported in a peal.

The motion was then passed without further discussion.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

Adoption of the Fund’s report and accounts was proposed by Mr. Cooles and seconded by Mr. O’Callaghan. In reply to a question from Mr. Oram, Mr. Cooles said that building problems that had arisen at Stoneycroft meant that the former Widnes bells had not been hung there. The Lancashire Association was now looking for an alternative home for the bells in the Liverpool area. Both report and accounts were then adopted.

It is pleasing to record that at the end of 1989 St. Clement Sandwich completed payment for the bells of Kirkheaton and St. Lawrence Towcester made the first of 12 quarterly payments for the bells from Christ Church Todmorden.

The Sandwich bells will be ringing by Easter 1990. The ring at Towcester augmented to 12 should be ringing by the summer of 1990.

Repayment of interest free loans is under way. We are grateful as ever for the support of those who made loans, in some cases when the loan could not easily be afforded. Although Associations are growing ever more efficient at Bell Restoration and wiser to the uncertainties of the ecclesiastical machinery it may still happen that emergencies arise and the fund will be called upon. We hope that more people will offer loans in case of need so that the call is more widely shared.

The Fund has been asked by local Association representatives to maintain a standby role in the cases of St. George Dublin (8), St. John the Evangelist Hanley (10), and St. Paul Stoneycroft (6).

Other cases have been mentioned but satisfactory arrangements for the bells have been made at an early stage.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1989


160Excess of income over expenditure22.51
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1989
720Loan to PCC of St Pierre du Bois-
8500Cost of bells from St John the Baptist, Kirkheaton-
-Cost of bells from Christ Church, Todmorden13,750.00
168Bank balances2,495.68

720Sundry Creditors-
-Interest free loans5,555.00
2500Central Council General Fund4,500.00


6168Net Assets£6,190.68
6008Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19896,168.17
160Excess of income over expenditure22.51

R.J. Cooles
M.H.D. O’Callaghan


We have audited the above financial statements. In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Fund’s affairs at 31st December 1989.

) Hon. Auditors
April, 1990

Trustees’ reports

The Trustee of the Council’s Rolls of Honour, Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY), proposed the adoption of the following report, and was seconded by Mr. C. Forster (Leeds University):

The two illuminated manuscript books containing the names of those killed in the two World Wars, and the display cases containing them, continue to be in good condition. They are on view in the passage below the ringing room of St. Paul’s Cathedral. A page of each book is turned once a month.

After the report had been accepted, without discussion, Mr. D. Potter (Yorkshire) proposed and Mr. B.G. Warwick (Leicester) seconded Mr. Cook’s re-election as Trustee. This too was agreed.

The report of the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine was proposed by Mr. W.H. Dobbie (Honorary), who said that the Birmingham Museum mentioned was in fact the Museum of Science and Industry, and added that one member of its staff was a ringer:

Following a request from the St. Martin’s Guild, arrangements were made for the machine to be displayed, during the 1989 Central Council meeting, in the foyer of the Birmingham Science Museum alongside a presentation from the St. Martin’s Guild for their Bell Appeal at the Bull Ring.

Two demonstrations were given; one on May 21st to the Birmingham ringers and the second, on May 29th, to Council members and visitors. Some minor adjustments were made to the machine on 29th May to rectify some maloperations which occurred during the first demonstration. The machine then performed well and two versions of John Carter’s Cinques and Duffield Maximus were among the methods rung.

It was reported at the Council meeting that the machine had not been on public display at the Science Museum in London for some time. Views were expressed that it would be appropriate, given that John Carter had long associations with Birmingham, for the machine to be permanently displayed at the Birmingham Science Museum.

Following a meeting, a proposal to this effect was made by the St. Martin’s Guild to the Secretary of the Central Council and this transfer has been agreed by the Council officers and the Trustees. A pamphlet on the machine is being prepared and a draft should be ready to show to the Publications Committee at the forthcoming Council meeting in May 1990.

He was seconded by Mr. E.A. Barnett (Life), and the report was adopted.

Mr. Barnett then proposed the election of Messrs. Dobbie and Bagworth as the Machine’s trustees for a further three years and, after the Revd. J.G.M. Scott (Honorary) had seconded the proposal, this was agreed.

The President concluded this part of the day’s business by thanking both lots of trustees for their work (applause).

Future meetings

The Secretary reminded members that invitations had been accepted from the College Youths, the Peterborough DG, and the Llandaff & Monmouth DA, for the next three meetings; that there were as yet no invitations for 1994 or 1995; and that invitations for 1996 (from the Shropshire A), 1997 (from both the Truro DG and the Ely DA), 1998 (Irish A) and 1999 (Lincoln DG) had been noted.

Mr. Wilby said that the 1991 meeting in London, marking the Council’s centenary, would be a four-day event. The officers and ringers of all affiliated societies would be invited to join Council members for a service in St. Paul’s Cathedral at 4 p.m. on the Saturday; the first-ever international eight-bell contest would be held at St. Lawrence Jewry on the Sunday, and would be followed by a centenary party in the evening; there would be a general ringing festival on the Monday, including a special contest at St. Mary-le-Bow for past winners of the 12-bell contest; and on the Tuesday, after a corporate Communion, the Council would meet in the City Livery Hall of the Guildhall.

Any other business

The Secretary announced that 61 of the 69 societies with representatives had been fully represented at the meeting and a further six had been partially represented. In addition seven Life and 19 Honorary members had been present, making a total attendance of 202. He said that this was not only a record attendance, but that it was the first time that two hundred members had attended a Council meeting (applause).

Commenting on the recent reports of irresponsible “grabbing” of unringable towers, Mr N.M. Thomas (Norwich) wondered what the legal position was in the event of wilful damage being caused in such a case, and whether there was anything the Council could do. The President said that the Administrative Committee would consider the question at its next meeting.

Dr. Baldwin then raised what he admitted was a rather embarrassing question. He stressed that it was in no way a reflection on the President’s handling of the day’s business, which had been excellent; but he suggested that the Administrative Committee might like to consider the timing in the meeting of the changeover between the out-going and new President. Judging from his own experience three years ago, be thought it might be advantageous if the handover were deferred until the end of the meeting. His remarks were endorsed by Mr. Corby, who also complimented Mr. Groome on his conduct of the meeting. Mr. Groome said the committee would indeed consider the point.

He then thanked, on behalf of the Council, all those who had contributed to a most successful and enjoyable weekend in Somerset, from the Bishops of Wells and Taunton to those in the parishes they had visited, the Association’s organising committee, and others too many to name (applause).

He declared the meeting closed at 6.20.

The Ringing World, July 13, 1990, pages 675 to 686

Report on Overseas Liaison for 1989

The Ringing World, Ringing Towers (ANZAB), The Clapper (NAGCR), S A Ringing Circle (S A Guild), Look-to (Zimbabwe Guild), were all perused for much of the material contained in this Report. Correspondence received from several areas, press and magazine notes provided material content, too. If any special items appear to have been omitted, sincere apologies are tendered to those parties concerned. The cause is due to information not being received, or through being inadvertently missed.

Due acknowledgement is made to the editors of the above-mentioned publications and to the several correspondents for the use of their material, with gratitude to them.

Council meeting at Birmingham

The most important event which took place at the Birmingham meeting as far as Overseas ringers was concerned was the election of the South African Guild as members of the Council, thus completing the association of bell-ringers in every tower throughout the world with the great family of ringers affiliated to the Central Council. It was praiseworthy that every Overseas society was represented at the Birmingham meeting. These representatives will, of course, have reported on the meeting itself to their respective guilds.

The Overseas display highlighted the South African ringing because of their application for affiliation which was included in the agenda of the meeting. It consisted of photographs of each tower and other material of a historical nature, kindly provided by the Guild’s indefatigable chairman, Mrs. Jane M. Webster.

The design of the University of W. Australia’s new tower to contain a ring of 16 bells, kindly supplied by Laith Reynolds, was also displayed, as were press cuttings relating to the installation of the bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, and the new ring in St. Bartholomew’s, Burnley.


It is encouraging to note that visitors from the U.K. were made so welcome in all Overseas areas, where it is hoped some mutual benefits were obtained by both visited and visitors. Again, we read of several Overseas ringers appearing in these islands, some of whom took part in quarter-peals and peals. Such personal contacts do much to bring closer ringers at home and abroad. Long may it continue.

“Newsletters” and personal letters to Overseas contacts by the Overseas Liaison continued unabated during the year, and the replies and letters received have been most graciously welcome. Many personal friendships have been formed and such means of communication hopefully ensure that Overseas ringers are not forgotten. It would be impossible for the Liaison officer to write to each ringer, so the editors of the Overseas Guilds newsletters and journals has been the means of ensuring that every ringer is kept in touch with “home”. The Clapper and S A Ringing Circle reproduce Overseas Newsletters in full, and Ringing Towers give appropriate abstracts. Look-to also will include extracts. May I say “thank you” to the respective editors for their kindness in ensuring that their readers know we think about them?

The Ringing World regularly includes accounts of Overseas ringers meeting and other events, along with accompanying photographs. Both the Transvaal and the South African guilds have expressed their appreciation and gratitude for this excellent coverage, which keeps us at “home” fully informed of what is going on abroad.

Additional rings of bells, augmentations and restorations

The one thing which bellringers have uppermost in their minds is the provision of more bells for ringing. It is therefore very encouraging to read of new installations being provided in places outside of the British Isles. We also read about restorations of existing rings. All of this adds up to keenness Overseas to extend the Art in the respective areas.

In Australia, a new ring was dedicated at St. Bartholomew’s, Burnley. It consists of an 8-bell chime with six hung for ringing. St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, finally received its 12th bell. A new installation is being provided at St. James’, Gardenville. The completion of the University of WA tower is awaited so that the 16 bells may be installed. We also learn of other possible rings and hopefully there will be something positive to report in 1990 about them.

Over in New Zealand, consideration was given to the possible restoration of unringable bells, but nothing positive seems possible in these cases. It is understood that the St. Paul’s Church, Papanui, as well as its tower, may have to be demolished, which means the likelihood of one ring less in those islands. Hopefully, the bells will soon be heard again in New Zealand in a new tower, should the demolition take place.

Linda Woodford of Boston was busy in September/October refurbishing the bells of Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver, which resulted in a “better go” of the installation.

Encouraging news comes from S. Africa. We understand that the Dean of Bloemfontein has commissioned a feasibility study for a prospective ring of bells in his Cathedral. The S A Guild have offered to train a team of ringers should the study bear fruit. Hopefully their encouragement will bear fruit. We also learn that the Guild’s officers have their “ears to the ground” and are watching possible developments in one or two other places where consideration is being given to the provision of rings of bells. They are deserving of our moral support in difficult situations.

Grahamstown Cathedral with the oldest ring in South Africa has sought estimates for a new steel bell-frame to replace the original timber one. Its condition is such that the ringing of all of the bells has been restricted. If the project goes ahead, an appeal for funds is proposed, and hopefully it will be supported to the extent that the restoration of the full ring will be realised in the near future. Local ringers, however, are in the process of executing major repairs to the bell fittings, including the installation of ball-bearings.

An inspection was carried out by Allen Nunley of the ring of six bells at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene, Texas, after some adjustments were made to the clappers. The survey showed that upon ringing the bells, all except No. 5 were still clappering, and No. 5 swung for some minutes without the clapper striking the bell at all! Some further modifications are necessary to the bell pits, stays and sliders and the rope pulleys, to make full-circle ringing possible with comfort. We hope that these bells will be able to be rung by teams of ringers soon, after the further modifications by the original suppliers have been satisfactorily completed.

It is learned that there is a possibility of an additional ring of bells being installed in the Royal Cathedral, Honolulu, Hawaii. Laith Reynolds’ efforts in this case will, we trust, bring some success. Each bell, it is proposed, will be dedicated to a monarch.

Public relations and publicity

Following a complaint about the ringing of the bells of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, control of the sound from the tower was effected. Consequently it was possible to ring peals on the bells without any effort being made from the public arena to stop them. A special tribute was paid to the Dean, Monsignor L. Johnson, by Jack Cummins, for his generosity in permitting the ringing of frequent peals on the bells.

The Sunday Mail Magazine (Brisbane) provided a two-page spread, and The Sun did a single-page coverage, of articles on bellringing complete with photographs. The results of this publicity has been requests being made to the ringers in Brisbane to give talks on bells and ringing. Some groups made enquiries about visiting the Cathedral tower. There is a standing invitation to members of the congregation to come up to the ringing room to see the bellringing, and quite a few have accepted the invitation.

Local press photographers were in attendance at the ANZAB Festival held in Hobart in June, and publicity was given to that event.

The Sun presented a photograph of workmen installing the bells in St. Bartholomew’s, Burnley. There was also a write-up about these bells which were cast in Australia.

An appeal brochure, “Ringing the Changes” came to our notice. It related to the bells and tower project at the University of Western Australia, Perth. It included photographs of the old bells of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, after removal from that church, and one of the restored bells. The architects aspects of the tower design, a bell tower appeal and a donation form were included in the brochure.

The Patent World published some notes about the invention of aluminium bells, one of which was on display at a World Fair held in Brisbane.

The Media Center, of Kalamazoo College, has produced a good video documentary about the bells in the Stetson tower, which is to be used for general public relations and recruiting purposes. The center has offered to lend the tape to anyone wishing to see it. This is a commendable exercise.

To-Day’s Chemist wrote an article profiling Geoffrey Davies of Boston, amongst other things, also as a bellringer.

Jeff del Papa had an article about bells with particular reference to change-ringing published in the Boston Early Music News.

The general public were forewarned of the ringing events arranged in connection with the annual meeting of the South African Guild held in Durban. Daily News and the Natal Mercury became involved and gave much publicity to the occasion. Included were photographs of Alan Regin’s peal band and of Eric Webster proudly displaying the striking competition trophy won by the Durban team. The South African Broadcasting Corporation recorded the bells of St. Paul’s Church and interviewed a number of the ringers in attendance, and it was later “sent over the air” in the radio programme “Sunday at Home”. Bellringers travelled from Zimbabwe, Capetown, Transvaal, U.K., Grahamstown and Hong Kong. Due to the advanced publicity, the South African Television Service and the local press all turned up at St. Mary’s, Greyville, prior to the first peal on the ten bells in S. Africa. There was a large gathering at the church too, when the Mayor of Durban welcomed all present and explained that the peal was being dedicated to the memory of the men from Greyville who gave their lives in the First World War. The peal was given extensive coverage in the main TV news, which was all to the good for ringing in Durban.

Jane Gant, as she was then, was interviewed by Monica Fairall for a feature in the Woman’s World.

Both The Berea Mail and the Daily News gave space to the quarter-peal at Greyville to honour Colonel Freddy Hodgson’s 95th birthday. He was photographed with the band and the picture was published. The former also showed the Colonel, along with the Mayor of Durban and the Archdeacon.

The Natal Mercury also presented a photograph of Eric Webster checking the bells to ensure that all was well for them to be rung in the peal at Greyville.

The house magazine of the C G Smith Sugar Ltd., where Jane Webster works, Smithlink, devoted a page to the marriage of Jane Gant to Eric Webster. It included a coloured picture of the bride and ’groom holding a bell-rope in the belfry, and covered each of their experiences in the ringing sphere.

Out of Durban came a video dedicated to bellringing in Durban. The bells of both St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s are to be seen and heard. Also there are interviews with Jane Webster, Jill Laken and Eric Webster. The Zimbabwe contingent which attended the Guild’s A.G.M. are included, too. Those interviewed explain what goes on up in the tower and during the ringing itself. It is a short visual aid, very good and “to the point”.

The Overseas public relations and publicity is praiseworthy and it is evident that the bell-ringers and Guilds in the several areas are very cognisant about keeping the non-ringing public fully informed of ringing events, recruitment and publicising the Art in general. There is proof that the public is interested in what ringers are about and they like to be kept informed; so much so that many will take the trouble to “come along” and see for themselves. The above references to the relations with the general public show what is being done to foster good relations with the listening non-ringers.

In the Ringing Towers two notes of good advice were contained from Jack Cummins of Sydney and from the President of ANZAB, Christopher O’Mahony. The liberty is being taken of reproducing extracts from the references concerned:

Jack Cummins, in his about “How to conduct a tour”, concludes with these words: “Tours encourage good relations with the public and if tower open days on weekends are feasible these are excellent vehicles for recruitment”. Chris O’Mahony, in his President’s Message, says: “We have a responsibility to ourselves, our fellow ringers, and to the community at large, to take due consideration of our unseen listeners. There are some handy hints that can perhaps make our ‘public relations’ effort more effective:

A thoughtful and responsible attitude to public relations can do much to promote ringing …”

Ringing Courses, Education

John Fielding of Durban, by using the “dumb” practice bells in St. Mary’s belfry to cause them to ring various methods of change-ringing, from a personal computer, constructed a model tower to house the “installation”. The aim of the exercise was firstly to benefit learners and hopefully to improve striking, and secondly, to take the equipment to hobby fairs and local shopping complexes for exhibition purposes and as an aid to raising funds for various purposes. Further, the software and electronic interface circuitry could be made available to owners of personal computers, so that they may have the benefit of John’s expertise.

In connection with the A.G.M. of the S African Guild in Durban, a lecture session was held under the tutorage of Alan Regin and Andrew Bolton. This was followed with a practical demonstration at St. Paul’s Church.

The Transvaal Guild was invited for the third time to present a talk about bellringing, which was supported by a practical session, to the Parktown Heritage body. There were about 100 persons present.

During the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, a special ringing session was arranged in the cathedral, and several visitors to the Festival went up to the ringing room to see the ringers in action.

Ringing courses were held in Melbourne, Australia, in January, at which every tower in Victoria was represented by a total of 48 delegates. It was a very successful occasion. Then in Wangaratta in April a further course took place and it enabled the local ringers to make notable progress. The main Advanced Ringing Course arranged by Philip Goodyer in Adelaide took place during the ANZAB weekend. The success of the weekend was three peals including one of 8-Spliced Surprise Major, and four quarter-peals in Surprise methods. Conductors were A. K. C. Brown, Esther Byers and W. Perrins.

Over in New Zealand a ringing weekend was held in Christ Church, which involved ringers from most of the towers. Advanced methods were practised and many present experienced their “first blows” in new Surprise methods. The weekend was graded as successful.

The Three Towers Festival was held at Trinity Cathedral, Little Rock, in April. The towers represented: Little Rock, Texarkana and Houston. During the weekend more experienced ringers were matched with less experienced ones in order to teach specific topics and skills, including the conducting area. This was the first such Festival in the area, and was a mixture of ringing, companionship, teaching and learning. There were at least two-dozen participants in the activities. The ringers from Raleigh gave a talk at Meredith College on handbell ringing as well as a demonstration of bellringing in the tower for the benefit of the students.

Prior to the Annual General Meeting of the N.A.G., the usual ringing course was held, during which a special training session was incorporated. There were several “firsts” celebrated even for some very experienced ringers.


Each affiliated society now presents its own journal or newsletter. Of course, the regulars from NAG and ANZAB, The Clapper and Ringing Towers respectively, continue to bring news and articles about ringing and change-ringing. Jessie Ravage, as editor of the American Journal, has produced most interesting items of historical interest, particularly about A. Nicholls and his Passion for Bells. Then Peter Whitehead, as editor of the Australian and New Zealand two-monthly production, has instituted a new format, and he too included interesting historical items. The standard of production of these publications is very high indeed. Zimbabwe for a number of years issues its newsletter, Look-to, and it contains much about the personal activities of its members. The South African Guild has no regular editor for its newsletter, S A Ringing Circle; instead each tower area, including Transvaal Guild, takes it in turn to produce the three-a-year issues. Here again we learn much about what is going on in South Africa, and there is a directory of towers included in each issue.

Notiziario is the periodical of the Associazione Suonatori di Campane a Sistema Veronese, in other words the “Ringing World” of Italian bellringers. It includes some interesting articles on Italian ringing, and in each issue there is at least one item of particular interest to the young bellringers. The Verona Guild, along with the Veneto, published pamphlets in Italian language under the title Mostra Storico - documentaria Arte Campanaria. They dealt with the Veronese demonstration of ringing held from 26th-29th August.

Where would we all be without The Ringing World, which unites all ringers, with news from at home and abroad. Photographs and reports of Overseas meetings appear regularly, and such appearances are appreciated by ringers everywhere.


A decision was made at the Annual Meeting of the Christ Church Society in New Zealand, held in March, not to proceed with the provision of an additional treble bell in the Cathedral tower.

Hobart was the venue for the annual ringing festival and general meeting of ANZAB in June. Whilst in Houston, U.S.A., the annual meeting of NAGCR was held in September. Advantage of its proximity to the Johnson Space Center was to organise a tour to it. At this meeting, Marie Cross, Hon. Life Member, was the recipient of the Guild’s appreciation for her accomplishments in advancing change-ringing, and teaching and training ringers in so many towers. A Quebec weekend took place in May, when ringing at both towers was held. The first live striking competition ever held in America materialised at Raleigh in May. There were five teams competing and the trophy was won by Philadelphia. Results - improved striking.

A weekend of quarter-peal attempts and general practice was held in Kalamazoo College in February. In two days seven quarters were successful in the methods Rutland S. Major, 3-Spliced S. Major, etc., with several “firsts” - a worthwhile exercise.

The Zimbabwe Guild held its annual meeting in February, and the half-yearly meeting took place in Kwe-Kwe in July. At the latter an intensive learner session was held on both tower- and handbells.

Durban, R.S.A., was the venue for the first Annual General Meeting of the South Africa Guild at the end of June. During the weekend the contest for the Belgotex Shield took place and it was won by the “home” team, amidst great rejoicing.

At the quarterly meeting of the Transvaal Guild in May, a meeting of the Parktown Heritage was also being held at the Cathedral for a guided tour. So Steve Barton conducted a guided tour and gave a talk about the art and science of bellringing, aided with handbells.

Peals and quarter-peals

In the league of quarter-peal ringers for the year 1989 which appeared in The Ringing World, it was pleasing to note that the names of four Overseas ringers were included, namely: Esther Byers (96), Don Morrison (79), Valerie Stone (75) and Michael Stone (64). Congratulations!

For 1988, it was officially recorded that 108 peals were successful in Australia, being 10 more than we included in the table appended to last year’s Overseas Report. In fact, it was after that report was typed that the deficient peals appeared in print. This number was the largest ever recorded by an Overseas society in any year and, of course, it was related to the bi-centennial year celebrations.

During the year a peal of Doubles was rung on the back five of Adelaide Cathedral and it was claimed to be the “heaviest” peal yet rung on five bells. Also at the same tower, an all-ladies’ band scored the first by the “fair” sex of a quarter-peal of Grandsire Triples on the bells. In Sydney, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, a peal of 25-Spliced Surprise Major was rung, thus regaining the ANZAB record for them. The first peal of Spliced Surprise Royal in 3 methods at Christ Church, St. Laurence, Sydney was successful for ANZAB and at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, the resident band scored a quarter-peal of Yorkshire Surprise Maximus, being the first as such by a resident band in Australia. Two towers scored more than 25 quarter peals, namely St. Mary’s Cathedral (30) and St. Andrew’s Cathedral (28), both in Sydney. Many of them were in Surprise methods.

Over in New Zealand, two towers exceeded 25 quarter-peals in 1989. They were Auckland with 38 and Hamilton 28. Those in Auckland included a number of Surprise Major; and although Hamilton did have some Surprise quarters, their efforts were mainly in Plain methods.

Top American tower was Boston, Advent Church, with 49 quarters, with a number of Surprise Major and multi-method Surprise Minor attempts.

The table shows the number of quarter-peals and peals, in both hand and tower, for each country, based on recorded information up to and including 16th March 1990.

TowerIn handTowerIn hand
New Zealand7-97-
South Africa5-15-

Miscellaneous Notes

Australia - A letter from Elizabeth Bleby in The Ringing World made very good sense. Its theme was “Quality rather than Quantity” in relation to the standard of ringing in peals and quarter-peals in particular, and ordinary ringing in general. Regret and tributes were paid to Ken Stacey, Captain of Turramurra for very many years, who died in May. He did much for bellringing in Australia and in his own tower in particular. Although the band at St. Andrew’s, Brisbane, had been in operation for eight months, the local ringers made such good progress that at the request of the Rector they rang a quarter-peal before the 21st annual service for Meals on Wheels Organisation.

Canada - An international band of ringers scored a peal of P.B. Royal at Victoria Cathedral to mark the 60th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral. This tower is in a healthy state with more ringers than bells. Learners are given every encouragement to advance in change-ringing.

Italy - As ever, the Italian scene has been one of great activity. There were many local meetings and competitions for all grades of ringing, including those for young bands, as well as for more experienced ringers. All representatives attended the Council meeting in Birmingham and were accompanied by a number of “observers”. The raduno at Castelnovo ne’ Monte was a huge success with six ringing systems being demonstrated, as well as the Veronese mobile tower which was manned by three English and three Italian ringers. Tune-ringing on handbells by the Italian team appeared at the raduno for the first time. Another important event at which bells of the mobile tower were rung was the visit of the Premier, Sig. Andreotti, to Bozzolo in Mantova. In conjunction with the Education Committee, a bi-annual exchange of courses is being considered for the not-too-distant future. At the end of the year Giancarlo Tommasi with relatives and friends came to England, and although outside the scope of this report, he rang the tenor for a quarter-peal of Doubles, being the first Italian ringer to do so. This took place on 3rd January 1990.

Kilifi - No indication that any progress has been made to put bells into ringable condition.

Lahore - It seems that there is nothing doing here, in spite of efforts to organise a visit by a touring band of ringers.

New Zealand - A party of ringers from Christ Church and Auckland went on a coach tour to Dunedin and there they rang four quarter-peals, which included some of the local ringers, during the weekend of 30th September. Auckland and Hamilton societies organised a North Island quarter-peal day in Hamilton and succeeded in ringing three quarters of Major, in Cambridge, D.N.C.B. and Spliced P. and L. Bob.

South Africa - We are very fortunate to have such a genius with computers as John Fielding, who has produced simulation of bell-ringing. During the year, Mike Palmer, a great stalwart of Woodstock tower, died, to the great regret of his many friends in Capetown, and elsewhere. John Hill of Parktown scored his 531st peal at his home tower on the 40th anniversary of his first peal, being P.B. Major. Congratulations! The 95th birthday of Col. Freddy Hodgson of Durban was marked with a quarter-peal at St. Mary’s, Greyville. He was photographed with the band. It was a red-letter day on 19th August in Durban, when two prominent ringers were married. To Eric and Jane (Gant) Webster, best wishes for future happiness. The annual dinner of the Transvaal Guild was held in October, when visitors joined them from the U.K. and Zimbabwe. Six teams competed in the striking contest in Durban for the Belgotex Shield, which was won by a visiting Overseas team, who sportingly waived their rights, in favour of the Durban team who were only 3 points behind them. At a ringers’ service held in St. George’s, Parktown, peal boards and a new set of 27 handbells were dedicated.

U.S.A. - Some of the Boston ringers attended Groton College, at the request of the college, so that they would ring the Groton bells at the end of term. The opportunity was taken to assist local ringers with Plain Hunting. A party of eight ringers crossed the Atlantic, to be centred in Preston, Lancs. In 11 days, 60 towers were visited. They received a welcome from the Chairman of the Lancashire Tourism Committee and were interviewed for the press and radio.

Zimbabwe - Apart from the half-yearly meeting, visits were made on a number of occasions to Kwe-Kwe to assist and encourage the local ringers. Change-ringing makes great strides with several firsts in methods - Stedman, P. Bob, Cambridge S. and Kent T.B., as well as with multi-methods. Three of our members drove to Durban for the A.G.M. of the S. African Guild, and with some assistance entered for the striking contest and did not finish “last”. The A.G. Meeting was held in February and the half-yearly meeting was in July. At the latter intensive learner sessions took place.

THANKS: To the individual ringers Overseas, a sincere thank you for keeping the bells ringing. Also to the officers of the bellringing Guilds for their enthusiasm in organising events and bringing together ringers for meetings and practices in order to teach and advance in change-ringing, we express our gratitude.

Much time and energy is put into seeing that the various Journals and Newsletters are issued regularly. The editors concerned deserve our thoughts and support in their onerous tasks, for the benefit of their readers in particular and for Overseas ringing in general. Take away these publications and the cohesion would disintegrate: much depends on these willing workers on your behalf, so they deserve more than our thanks.

The prime binding force for news from Overseas is, of course, The Ringing World, whose editor is ever willing to include reports and photographs sent from abroad for our interest at home. During 1989 there were at least 98 references to Overseas ringing, apart from all the quarter-peals and peals reported. Thanks, David!

Personal letters to and from officers and individual ringers continue to flow; they always have something of interest about the respective places and such friendly correspondence is much appreciated.

That great friend of Italian ringing and ringers, George Morris of Malvern Link, is ever ready to keep the writer informed about that area. It is upon his reports that the references to Italian affairs included in this Report are based. I now acknowledge with gratitude that debt to George.

A sincere thank you is expressed to each and every one concerned with ringing Overseas from the Central Council in general, and from the Public Relations Committee in particular.

Overseas Liaison

Meadow Cottage,
Whitecross, Drogheda,
Co. Louth, Ireland

The Ringing World, May 11, 1990, pages 459 to 462



Very few major changes have occurred in 1989 and the year is perhaps best described as one of consolidation. A satisfactory financial position is recorded with a very close correlation to the year’s budget.

The setting of quarter peals by our team of outworkers continues and has now been extended inasmuch as some pages of peals are being set in this manner. Our thanks go to Frank Price for his work in getting this system under way. A remark made in my verbal report at last year’s AGM led to a mutually successful co-production of the 1990 calendar between the Bath and Wells Association and The Ringing World. At the time of writing this report discussions are taking place with other Guilds regarding a similar venture in 1991.

The numbers of peals and quarter peals submitted for publication continue to rise. This entails a considerable effort on the part of our staff to keep the paper up to date and our thanks and appreciation are due to David and Anne for their hard work throughout the year.

In its third year the Ringing World Diary has now settled down as a regular feature. Sales have levelled out at just under 7000 copies and whilst no dramatic changes are envisaged we continue to review the features within the Diary arid update and change as required.

Towards the end of the year there were indications that a harsher economic climate was beginning to affect some of our readers and that a potential saving was their subscription to the paper. We are extremely conscious of our need to keep costs to a minimum. We remain convinced that a weekly, 24 page, specialist journal with little recourse to profitable advertising copy is still, by the standard ringer’s yardstick of well under the cost of a pint of beer, remarkably good value. Our request to you, the members of the company, is to get this message over to our potential readership and actively encourage support for The Ringing World.

H.W. Egglestone


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