The Central Council’s 95th annual meeting, held in the Key Theatre in Peterborough, began promptly at 10 o’clock on 26th April. It followed a corporate service of Holy Communion in Peterborough Cathedral, attended by nearly a hundred Council members and friends, which had been conducted by a former Peterborough DG representative on the Council, Canon Ernest Orland.

After the President, Christopher J. Groome, himself a Peterborough DG representative, had welcomed all those present, the meeting was led in prayer by the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin, a former President of the Council and a representative of the Llandaff & Monmouth DA.

The Secretary, Mr. C.A. Wratten (Life Member), reported that there had been no change since the last meeting in the number of societies affiliated to the Council or in their nominal representation. Two societies - the Lancashire Association and the College Youths - had however not elected replacements for representatives who had died very recently, while the S. Derbyshire and N. Leicestershire Association continued to have insufficient members to be represented. As a result the 69 societies that were represented now had a total of 184 representatives. There continued to be eight Life members and there were now 23 Honorary members (two more than at the 1991 meeting), giving the Council a total current membership of 215.

As is fast becoming traditional, his report that all subscriptions had been paid caused a burst of laughter, for immediately before the meeting had begun he had made a series of public appeals for outstanding fees to be paid and a number of embarrassed representatives had been seen handing money over.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary said that apologies had been received from two Life members - Messrs. E.A. Barnett (who was recovering from a hip operation) and W.B. Cartwright; from Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood, an Honorary member; and from several representatives - Messrs. D.J. Bleby and his nominated “Alternate” L. Reynolds, R.G. Fanthorpe, D. Hird, A.R. Lewis, J.W. Lewis, M.V. Powell, R.G. Powell, D.D. Smith and B.N. Trowbridge.

New members

The President welcomed a number of new members to the Council, saying that he hoped they would find their time profitably spent. As he read out each name, the member stood and was greeted with applause. Those joining since the last meeting were R.H. Dove (the name of the second new Honorary member, Emma St John Smith, had unfortunately been omitted by the Secretary), P.R.J. Barnes, J.T. Parsons and R.L Walker; and to them were added two further members who had joined earlier in the session but had not previously been formally welcomed - Messrs. J.J.P. Ellams and A.J. Martin.

Losses through death

Members stood in silence as the Secretary read the names of members of the Council who had died since its last meeting: C.W. Woolley (Hertford CA, 1936-57); C.J. Champion (Sussex CA, 1973-81); F.N. Golden, MBE (Norwich DA, 1930-69 and 1973-78; Honorary 1969-72); F.E. Haynes (St Martin’s G, 1950-66); J.H. Edwards (Bedfordshire A, 1963-84); G. Tembey (Cumberland & N Westmorland A, 1966-69); L.W.G. Morris (Yorkshire A, 1939-62); F. Reynolds (Lancashire A since 1966); W.T. Cook (ASCY since 1963), and A. Ballard (Midland CA 1945, Leicester DG, 1946-53).

The Revd. Giles Galley (Yorkshire A) said a brief prayer.

Election of Honorary Members

Six of the Council’s Honorary Members were due to complete their term at the end of the meeting, and there was also one vacancy among the 24 seats provided for in the Rules. Seven places were consequently available to be filled.

In the event eight people were individually nominated for election, their proposers giving reasons for each nomination. They were Preb. J.G.M. Scott, a former President of the Council and a valued member of the Towers and Belfries Committee; S.J. Coleman, “well known to all”; J. Gallimore, a ringer who had now for a number of years acted as interpreter in dealings with the Verona Association; E.G.H. Godfrey, one of the Council’s auditors whose last year as an elected representative of the Surrey Association this was; Mrs Stella Bianco, the “permanent secretary” and an invaluable member of the Public Relations Committee; R.J. Cooles, who was a member of a number of committees and of the Board of The Ringing World; C.K. Lewis, of the Methods Committee; and M.H.D. O’Callaghan whose work on the Redundant Bells committee was well known to Council members.

Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) questioned the validity of Mr. Godfrey’s nomination, asserting that as a sitting representative of the Surrey A. he was ineligible under the Council’s Rules. His argument was supported by several other members, but just as a debate seemed likely to be developing on the precise interpretation of various Rules, and whether the problem might be resolved by Mr. Godfrey resigning his Surrey A. seat forthwith, Mr. Cooles announced that, in order to avoid any embarrassment, Mr. Godfrey had agreed that his nomination should be withdrawn.

As required by the Council’s Rules, the ensuing election was conducted by ballot. Later, after the votes had been counted by tellers from the Peterborough DG, the President was able to announce that, with the exception of Mr. Gallimore, all those nominated had received the necessary number of votes and had therefore been elected Honorary members. (Applause)

Minutes of the last meeting

Adoption of the Minutes of the 1991 meeting in London (which appeared in The Ringing World of March 20th) was proposed by the Secretary, subject to the addition of the names of M. Quimby (Midland Counties G) and A.R. Smith (Suffolk G) among the list of those who had been present. After he had been seconded by Mr. A.R. Smith, the Minutes were accepted without comment and signed by the President.

Secretary and Treasurer’s report

Mr. Wratten moved the adoption of his report, suggesting that any discussion of its financial elements be deferred until the next item. He was seconded by Dr. Angela Newing (Gloucester & Bristol DA), and the report was accepted without discussion:

Since the Council last met three members have for various reasons resigned and one, Frank Reynolds of the Lancashire Association, has died. The resignation of A.W. Gordon as a representative of the Guildford Diocesan Guild has meant that the Computer Coordination Committee has perforce had to nominate a new chairman, and F.J.P. Bone of the Essex Association has taken on this responsibility since the beginning of the year.

Overall the Council’s financial worth grew from some £138,000 at the beginning of 1991 to nearly £145,500 at its end. This represents a percentage increase of 5.4%, compared with an inflation rate during the year of 4.5%. The principal cause of the increase, which has occurred almost entirely in the General Fund, was the unexpectedly high interest rates prevalent for the greater part of the year.

The Library Account shows a small excess of income over expenditure, but the Publications Fund has for the second year in succession shown a loss on its working. More details of both these accounts and comments on the figures may be found in the relevant Committee reports.

In spite of this generally satisfactory situation, the routine costs of the Council’s annual meeting continue to exceed the income from affiliation fees. The shortfall is not normally large (last year’s Centenary meeting gave rise to a number of unusual and exceptional bills), but it cannot be ignored. A motion on this year’s Agenda consequently seeks approval for the fee to be increased from £5.00 per representative to £6.00 as from January 1st next year. If agreed, this will be the first increase since 1982.

1991 Accounts

Mr. Wratten explained a number of the General Fund items, noting that the main reason for the increased cost of last year’s meeting had been the costs of the Centenary Service in St. Paul’s Cathedral and of hiring the Livery Hall of the Guildhall for the meeting itself. The collection at the Centenary Service had however raised almost £800 for bell restoration, and this too was reflected in the General Fund Account. The Council’s contribution towards the running costs of the Library had been increased from £150 per year to £200 (he later explained to Mr. O’Callaghan that the cost of insuring the Library was also met from the General Fund); and he said that the main reason for the increase in Committee expenses had been the purchase of a new set of computer equipment for the Peal Compositions Committee.

After the President had assured Dr. Armstrong that there would be an opportunity later to seek more information on the details of the Publications Fund, Mr. Wratten proposed that the Accounts be adopted as a true record, and was seconded by Dr. J.C. Baldwin. This was agreed without dissent.

Accounts for 1991
General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1991
General income
940Affiliation fees930.00

Less: Administrative costs
868Council meeting1469.05
50Secretary’s honorarium50.00
101Stationery, post and telephone105.56
24Printing and photocopying30.11
34Bank charges27.02


Investment and Committee Income
13084Dividends and interest13723.21
3192less transferred to Capital Reserve1688.00

7635Education Committee: courses etc6648.17

less: Committee costs, grants, etc.
2947Committee expenses3614.08
7650Education Committee courses6535.37
50Survey of Ringing327.17
297Code of Practice Working Party77.89
-Ringing Centre Working Party48.00
600The Ringing World Ltd.800.00



5308Excess of income over expenditure6247.38
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1991
90000NS Income Bonds90000.00
-CBF Deposit Fund22516.16
16844NS Investment Account7285.42
3017Bank Deposit accounts2627.70

911Cash and Bank balances798.63
2600Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells185.00
87Payments in advance-
1851Sundry debtors630.03

85Affiliation fees in advance60.00
519Sundry creditors382.37


114706Net Assets123600.57
70654Accumulated Fund, 1 January 199175962.34
5308Excess of income over expenditure6247.38

1277Add: donations for bell restoration and
interest thereon to 1 Jan. 1991
352Donations and interest, 1991959.22

400less grants paid-
34323Add: Capital Reserve, 1 January 199137515.00
3192Allocated from income, 19911688.00


Publications Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1991

4936Publications sold3246.09
2975Stock written off583.71
776Stationery and postage724.88
889Administration and storage1229.05
-Removal expenses321.27
42Publications Committee expenses71.80
230Ringing History project251.02
-CC Committee leaflets135.08
210Bank charges181.48


1554Excess of expenditure over income1346.42
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1991
11307Stock, at lower of Cost or net realisable value9742.13
10896Bank Deposit Account11177.99
570Cash and Bank balances1455.86
121Payments in advance90.00

405Sundry creditors1323.16

22489Net Assets£21142.82
24043Accumulated Fund, 1 January 199122489.24
1554Excess of expenditure over income1346.42

Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1991
150Transfer from General Fund200.00

272Books etc362.50
47Stationery, post & photocopying68.29
7Bank charges3.72


103Excess of income over expenditure93.45
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1991
170Bank Deposit Account175.01
441Cash and Bank balances529.14

-Sundry creditors-

621Net Assets£714.15
518Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1991620.70
103Excess of income over expenditure93.45


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 1991
11307Stock of publications9,742.13
9221Cash and Bank balances2,783.63
2600Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells-
208Payments in advance275.00
1851Sundry debtors630.03

85Amounts received in advance60.00
924Sundry creditors1,705.53


137816Net Assets£145,457.54
Capital Accounts
114706General Fund123,600.57
22489Publications Fund21,142.82
621Friends of the CCCBR Library714.15



We have audited the financial statements on pages 1 to 5. In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Council’s affairs at 31st December, 1991, and of its income and expenditure for the year then ended.

) Hon. Auditors
April 1992

Ringing Centre working party

Reporting on behalf of the working party, Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) said that it had considered a range of possibilities and was now in a position to present some practical proposals which he hoped the Council would feel able to adopt.

As background, he said that they felt that the aims of any Centre should be to raise public awareness of change ringing as an organised and pleasurable pursuit in support of the Church; to help potential and actual ringers to advance their interest and proficiency; and to enable ringers in general to become aware that the Council existed for their benefit and not simply as an end in itself. With this in mind, the Working Party had moved away from the original concept of a single, national, centre and had concluded that it would be better to promote a number of centres throughout the country.

Since any centre would be heavily dependent upon local initiative and support, but could nevertheless be encouraged and given confidence by support at national level - that is to say, from the Council - they felt that such Centres should be locally initiated and that the Central Council should set targets. The Council should not itself acquire or lease any property for this purpose, nor should it seek to set up a Centre and then find someone to run it.

Such local Centres should be able to provide an authoritative source of information on bellringing matters, provide teaching facilities, be a sales point for Central Council and other ringing literature, and be a source of information, on both the local association and the Central Council and its committees. They might well have extra facilities - a library or museum, perhaps, or have a cafe or coffee shop to help meet their running costs.

The Working Party was aware of actual or potential centres of this sort in London, Exeter, York and Inveraray, and saw advantages if they (and others meeting the general objectives) were given official recognition by the Council. The Council might support or sponsor them by allocating specific resources to assist them to become established or to develop (subject of course to the provision of an acceptable business plan), by providing publicity material or discounted publications for sale, and by offering help in setting up courses and technical seminars.

Mr. Frost said the Working Party as a result now recommended that the Council should:

After Mr. Cooles had seconded the report, Mr. P.M.J. Gray (ANZAB) congratulated the Working Party on its work. But while he supported the idea of a multiplicity of centres, he was disappointed that no mention had been made of employing professional instructors, whether to teach people to ring or to teach how rings of bells might be kept in better order. The original Working Party, of which he had been a member, had seen this as essential if ringing was to escape from the plateau on which it had now been stuck for many years.

Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex) had some doubts about the need for professionals, but accepted that those running the Centres might need to be paid. He also felt it important that a home be found for the Council’s Library (the President said this would be discussed later in the meeting) and that a museum be established. Mr. H.W. Rogers (London CA) added that the Public Relations Committee would be happy to provide display material when the first Centres are recognised, as was being done at Inveraray.

After Mr. Frost had said that he envisaged business plans including some provision for paid employees, the Working Party’s recommendations were accepted.


Proposing the first of three motions on the Agenda, seeking approval for an increase in the annual affiliation fee from £5 to £6 per representative, Mr. Wratten said that during the last few years the cost of the annual meeting had begun regularly to exceed the income from affiliation fees. With the exception of last year’s meeting, where there had been special circumstances, the shortfall had varied between £120 and £180. An increase of £1 for each of the 180-plus representative members would, he estimated, enable this shortfall to be made good for the immediate future and yet would cost no society more than £4 per year - although he accepted that the figure would need to be kept under review while prices continued to rise. However the present subscription had been held unchanged since 1982.

After the Vice-President (Mr. R.J. Johnston, Yorkshire A) had formally seconded the motion on behalf of the Administrative Committee, Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby) commented that there had been 71% inflation since 1982. If £5 had been the correct figure in 1982, then surely the new fee should be something like £8.50 per representative; and how had the Council managed to cope so far? The Hon. Treasurer’s reply (“Good housekeeping!”) caused a ripple of laughter; and the motion was then passed without further debate.

The second motion had been put forward by the Public Relations Committee, and proposed that the committee should have new terms of reference. Moving that these should in future read

To establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding of church bell ringing between the Central Council (i.e. its officers, committees and representatives) and its publics (i.e. bell ringers, associations/guilds/societies in the British Isles and overseas, church authorities, the media and non-ringers)

Mrs Stella Bianco (Honorary) said that the committee’s present terms of reference made no mention of it acting on behalf of the Council as a body, and this the proposal sought to remedy. Nothing should be read into the fact that it no longer contained any explicit reference to an Overseas Liaison Officer; Mr. Dukes’ excellent work would still be covered.

She was seconded by the Committee’s chairman, Mr. S.J. Coleman (Honorary), who said that he would like the Council to have a much more professional image in the eyes of the media and the civil and ecclesiastic authorities.

A number of members suggested that the proposed wording was in need of improvement. Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge Univ) asked that “the general public” be substituted for “non-ringers”, a term he felt unnecessarily condescending; Dr. Baldwin pointed out that the Council was made up of more than representatives, and asked that “representatives” be replaced by “members”; while Mr. C.K. Lewis (Honorary) felt that the whole thing would be clearer if the two sets of i.e.s and their accompanying brackets were removed, together with the phrase “its publics”.

All of these points were readily accepted by the proposer and seconder. Mr. P.J. Tremain (Truro) however then commented that the Committee was apparently now seeking to represent only the Council and not the Exercise at large. He was assured by Mrs. Bianco that this was not so - the aim was, she said, to widen the committee’s mandate, not to restrict it; but his point was taken up by several others. Possible wording changes intended to remove any ambiguity were suggested by Preb. J.G.M. Scott and Dr. Alison Hodge (Verona), causing Mr. H.W. Rogers to comment that the Council was in danger, of inventing a camel when it really needed a horse and to suggest that the committee should reconsider the wording of its proposal.

At this point Mr. J.D. Cheesman (Surrey) cut the tightening Gordian knot by suggesting the deletion of the word “and” from the latest version, which would result in the terms of reference becoming

To establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding of church bell ringing between the Central Council, its officers, committees and members, bell ringers, associations/guilds/societies in the British Isles and overseas, church authorities, the media, and the general public.

With the agreement of the proposer and seconder the motion was put to the vote in this form, and was accepted.

The final motion proposed a number of changes to the Council’s Decisions on extension; details of its precise wording may be found in the Agenda for the meeting that was published on page 440 of The Ringing World for 1 May.

Moving the motion on behalf of the Council’s Methods Committee, Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth) reminded members of the development of the Decision on extension and of the advance notice of the proposed changes that had appeared in The Ringing World. As an example of the effect of the first of the changes, which sought to give an extension that covered an indefinite number of stages precedence over one that covered only a limited number, he said that the extensions of Turramurra Surprise and Liverpool Bob from eight to twelve to sixteen bells (etc) were clearly preferable from the ringers’ point of view to the technically-correct but less immediately acceptable ones that covered every number of bells.

The second and third changes that were proposed were intended to block loopholes in the current Decision. In the first case, the Beverley Surprise Major that had been rung was a technically correct extension of the Minor method but caused a bell to lie still for three blows at one point. The proposed change would prevent this happening in future extensions. In the case of the second, Plain Bob Minor was not at present a technically-acceptable extension of Plain Bob Minimus, which was patently nonsense; the change in wording would remedy this.

The fourth and final amendment was intended to permit static extensions above the treble. Mr. Smith said that its acceptance would not lead to the rejection of any extensions already rung, but would increase the scope of the Decision.

Concluding, he admitted that the whole topic of extension was complex and sometimes difficult to understand. Members of the Committee would however always be pleased to help anyone on the technical intricacies. He was then formally seconded by Mr. R. Bailey (Middlesex CA & London DG).

Opening the debate, Mr. S.J. Coleman (Honorary) proposed that the matter be referred back to the Committee and that it be asked to consider scrapping all the rules about extension. The argument was, he said, not about what people rang, but about what, they called what they rang. While the original intention of clarifying the situation may have been laudable, the rules hadn’t worked and forty years had been spent in trying to improve them. But they still didn’t help the practical ringer. What was more, their complexity brought the Council into disrepute, since the average ringer couldn’t make head or tail of them.

When the comments on the proposals that had appeared in The Ringing World had all been against them, he added, the Committee had set its paramilitary wing onto the correspondents (laughter). In any case the rules didn’t cover all change ringing, for they made no provision for Principles. The Council already had the power to change names of which it disapproved; all these rules simply hindered progress by preventing people from ringing natural extensions - ringers in the eighteenth century hadn’t needed rules to tell them how, to extend Plain Bob or Kent. The Committee should start again.

He was supported by Mr. P.J. Tremain (Truro) and Mr. R.J. Perry (Truro), who felt sure that it was not only Cornish ringers who could not understand the motion. They were however followed by a considerable number of members who spoke strongly against the matter being referred back.

Mr. J.R. Mayne (Hertfordshire) said that the rules had been beneficial to the Exercise, putting a stop to long debates on contentious extensions. To say that they were not understood was irrelevant, as was the reference to Plain Bob and Kent. Mr. Coleman’s argument was, he thought, very clever but unreasoned. Mr. D. Jones (Peterborough) pointed out that ringing was mathematically based and that the increasing use of computers meant that consistency was essential. Mr. B. Peachey (Police) feared the Exercise was in danger of becoming over-legislated, but did not want to see the baby thrown out with the bath water; what was really needed was something less technical, he felt. Dr D.R. Marshall (N. Wales) said that simple rules might cover a majority of cases, but others were needed to cover the more difficult and esoteric ones.

Mr. D.J. Roberts (Devon) drew an analogy with atomic theory, which was constantly developing but which nobody thought ought therefore to be scrapped. Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY) accused Mr. Coleman of advocating ringing anarchy: it was essential that technical issues should be properly handled so that the work of the other committees was not overshadowed by unproductive technical debate.

Replying on behalf of the Committee to Mr. Coleman’s proposal, Mr. Smith said it was simply not true that the Decision did not work. The Committee was however trying to make it both better and more readily accessible, and if individuals could not understand it, he hoped they “would know a man who did” (laughter).

After Mr. Coleman had repeated that it no longer mattered what a method was called, his proposal that the matter be referred back was put to the vote and overwhelmingly defeated.

Returning to the original motion, Mr. F.J.P. Bone (Essex) pointed out that the Decision would, if passed, allow six extensions below the treble but only five above, and wondered why this was so. In reply Mr. Smith said that to achieve symmetry the place made at the lead head would also need to be included in the formula, and the possibility of doing this was still under consideration by the Committee. Replying to an earlier question from Mr. Gray, he added that Turramurra Maximus had all the characteristics of the Major method but not the undesirable extra dodges that appeared in Emily Surprise Royal. The first of the suggested changes would allow the former to be recognised.

The motion was then carried by a very large majority.

Committee reports

The great bulk of the Council’s day-to-day work is carried out by members of its elected committees, the reports of which are circulated to members in advance of the meeting. The first of these to be considered at Peterborough was that of the Administrative Committee. This was introduced by Mr. Wratten, who said that he felt there would be little point in discussing the revised proposals about representation until affiliated societies had had an opportunity to make their views known.

Administrative Committee

The Committee has met twice in London, as usual, during the past year, devoting much of its time to discussion of the way forward on the Council for the Care of Churches’ revised Code of Practice for dealing with bells and their fittings, and with the proposals that were brought before the Council last year for revising the criteria for the representation of societies.

An article on p. 1105 of The Ringing World of 22 November reported progress on both topics up to that time. It also included a copy of a letter that had been sent to the CCC, warning that the Committee felt unable to recommend the so-called final draft to the Council and its affiliated societies, and deploring the way in which it had been produced and subsequently handled. As far as we have been able to discover the CCC’s Bells (now Clocks and Bells) Sub-committee has not gone ahead with its plan to publish the draft as the new Code. More information should become available at the Open Meeting on May 25th, to which Dr. Thomas Cocke of the Council for the Care of Churches and a representative each of the bell-founders and English Heritage have been invited.

Some forty affiliated societies have commented in writing on the Representation of Societies consultative paper, as have a rather smaller number of individual ringers. From these replies two main themes have become very apparent: that multiple representation is not generally seen as a cause for concern, and that something needed to be done to clarify the present rules relating to representation. Unfortunately there were few practical ideas, and certainly no common view, of what that something should be.

At its March meeting the Committee consequently discussed a rather different approach that had been suggested by its working party and agreed that, since this differed significantly from its predecessor, societies should again be given the opportunity to comment. The Committee’s strong feeling continues to be that it is more important to get the right answer, and one that has the widest possible support, than to rush into introducing changes. Copies of the revised proposals were therefore sent to affiliated societies during April, and arrangements were made for the report to appear in The Ringing World.

In addition to other, more routine, work, the Committee also sponsored the first of what may prove to be a series of regional seminars designed to publicise and follow up lessons learned from the recent National Surveys of ringing. One, entitled Agenda for the 90s and aimed at societies in the Midlands, was held at Harbury on 11 May; and a second, entitled Guilds and Associations in the 90s and targetted at the Home Counties societies, was held at Southwark on 28 March.

Finally, at its March meeting the Committee formally endorsed the Treasurer’s recommendation that the Council be asked to approve an increase as from 1 January 1993 in the annual affiliation fee.

After Mr. M.J. Church (Honorary) had seconded the report, Mr. A.R. Smith enquired whether, in view of the impending retirement of the Hon. Secretary, the Committee had considered separating the posts of Secretary and Treasurer. The President said the Committee had indeed considered, and rejected, the possibility, but the question of Council Officers would be coming up again later in the day. Replying to a further questioner, who pointed out that PCC auditors were specifically excluded from PCC membership and therefore questioned whether the Hon. Auditors should be members of the Council, he said the point would be considered by the Committee at its next meeting.

After the Revd. L. Yeo (Devon) had expressed the Council’s disappointment that English Heritage had not felt able to attend the previous day’s Open meeting, the report was accepted.

Education Committee

Adoption of the committee’s report was proposed by Mr. R. Cater (Winchester & Portsmouth) and seconded by Mrs. C.N.J. Franklin (Leicester). Mr. Cater repeated the report’s thanks to those in the Peterborough and Coventry Guilds who had helped with the Daventry course, and added that although not all the replies to the survey of educational work had yet been received, there were already signs of an encouraging spread.

The Committee met three times in 1991, at Winchester, Cambridge and at Sharnford in Leicestershire. Seven members were present at the annual Ringing School.

The 12th School was held over three days in late July at a hotel in Daventry in Northamptonshire (Committee organisers RC, CF, NM). 61 students attended, including three who joined a group on Belfry Maintenance organised by the Towers and Belfries Committee. Six students joined the Teaching and Management in Ringing group, and twelve were sponsored to attend the School by their local Guild or Association.

The Committee’s thanks are due to the Officers and members of the Peterborough DG and the Coventry DG for their part in the organisation of the School, and to the incumbents of the 35 churches used for practicals for making their bells available. Especial thanks are due to the tutors and to some 25 full-time “helpers” at the practical sessions, who were joined by numerous other ringers on a part-time basis.

A meeting was held in November (RC, CF) with those members of the Yorkshire Association who are helping to arrange the Ringing School in July at Bretton Hall near Wakefield.

In response to a request made initially to the Council’s secretary, the Committee participated in an educational and cultural exchange between young British ringers and those from the Veronese Association in Northern Italy. Eight young people, together with an interpreter and appropriate supervision (CF), attended a week’s tuition in the Italian style of ringing and shared an Italian life-style with host families during August. The balanced programme consisted of intensive tuition at a mobile tower used for teaching, interspersed with ringing at local churches around the picturesque Veronese countryside. The arrangements were well made by Mr. Giancarlo Tommasi, the President (and a CC representative) of the Veronese Association.

The fifth educational and cultural exchange will take place in Leicestershire in mid-August this year.

A member (RC) participated in discussions with the Working Group evaluating proposals for a Ringing Centre, and, on behalf of the Administrative Committee, assisted the Council’s President to arrange a seminar in May in Warwickshire, entitled Agenda for the 90s, for Midlands societies.

Since becoming available for borrowing in March 1991, the Cummins simulator has been more or less constantly on loan (PG), moving from borrower to borrower without coming back to base. Most of the borrowers have been individuals, but the equipment has also been used at two ringing courses and at least one Association event.

One of the functions of the Council’s ownership of simulator equipment is to enable potential purchasers to carry out a fairly lengthy trial before committing themselves, and to extend this facility we have acquired two further sets of equipment. A kit made by David Bagley to convert a BBC Computer into a simulator was in use for the latter part of the year, and an order was placed with him for a self-contained simulator similar to the Cummins machine. This was delivered early in 1992, and as a result the Council now owns examples of all the equipment currently available for purchase.

The new Bagley machine also provides additional facilities, since it can be installed in a tower to produce substitute sound for up to eight bells, which will enable organisers of courses and training days to make intensive use of towers which might not otherwise be available. The Committee believes that this is likely to become an increasingly important use of simulators, and one which could be taken into account when considering the establishment of ringing centres.

Plans were laid (PG) for a seminar on simulators at Knowle, near Birmingham, in February.

Very regretfully, the filming done in late 1990 for a video to illustrate the Tutors’ Handbook system of teaching bell handling had to be scrapped for technical reasons. Plans were laid for fresh filming (NG), and a script written by Gail Cater.

Plans were prepared (CF, RC) for a seminar in Oxfordshire in September entitled Education and Training - What Can Guilds Do?, which unfortunately had to be cancelled owing to insufficient people requesting attendance by the closing date.

A newsletter telling of some of the Committee’s activities was prepared (RC) for sending to all societies early in 1992. It also encouraged societies to provide educational services for their members if they were not doing so already. It has been heartening to note from articles regularly appearing in The Ringing World over the year that several societies have joined the many others now providing this kind of service.

A questionnaire on this topic was prepared (NG) to send to all societies in 1992, to obtain a measure of society-led education and to help the Committee to plan further services for societies in the future.

During the year two members of the Committee (NM, PG) participated in a teaching event in the Worcestershire & Districts Association, one (HC) in an event in the Sussex Association, and one (PG) in an event in the Swansea and Brecon Guild.

A Recruiting Package was completed (RC) and passed to the Publications Committee for sale. Text was finished on Belfry Steps (JMT) - a possible replacement for the Beginners Handbook. Progress continued on the preparation of the following publications: Elementary Method Splicing (being done by Roger Bailey), A Collection of Quarter Peals (NM), Raising and Lowering (PG), Belfry Offices (NMT), An Education Officer’s Handbook (HC), a revision of the Standard Eight (PH), and Another 8 Surprise Major (NM). The Committee decided to seek reissue of The Rhythm of the Bells in tape form.

The report was, like several of those that had preceded it, adopted without discussion.

Library Committee

Following the recent and sudden death of the Council’s Hon. Librarian, Mr. W.T. Cook (ASCY), the adoption of the report which he had prepared was moved by Miss Jean Sanderson who, the, President said, had the previous day been elected to the chair of the residual committee. She was formally seconded by Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG).

The Committee held no meetings in 1991, as there were no matters requiring discussion. This report, therefore, is mainly about the Library’s progress during the year.

In 1991 67 new titles were added to the collection, of which 27 were by purchase, the rest being kindly donated. Of the purchases, the most interesting were first and second editions of Troyte’s book on change ringing (1869 and 1872); some of the donations were photocopies of rare articles on bells which originally appeared in archaeological journals. In addition we received numerous newsletters, some of them being back numbers to help complete our files. The same applied to annual reports, of which 28 for 1990 were received. To all donors of new titles, annual reports and newsletters we extend our most grateful thanks.

It will be seen from the Accounts that the amount spent on purchases was some £90 more than in 1990. No rebinding was found to be necessary, but it is probable that some will have to be done during the current year. The Accounts show an excess of income over expenditure of £93.45, but with the current prices being asked, particularly for second-hand books, our reserves can very quickly become depleted. We are therefore very grateful to all who have subscribed during the year to the Friends of the Library, all of whom have been individually thanked; their subscriptions covered most of the cost of purchase of new titles. We continue to hope that more ringers, perhaps particularly Council members, will feel it worthwhile to subscribe a few pounds annually to help us increase and maintain the collection.

That it is worth having such a Library is shown by the facts that, during the year, twenty books were borrowed, a few ringers visited the Library to carry out their own researches, and the Librarian was able to answer a number of requests for information, amounting perhaps to an average of one a week.

The computer for the Library and the necessary ancillary equipment has been purchased from the Council’s General Fund, but at the time of writing, due to the Librarian’s temporary health problems, it has not yet been put to use to start the production of a new catalogue.

A revaluation of the Library’s contents was carried out during the year, and the Library is now insured for the more realistic value of £40,000.

Miss Sanderson explained that the computer equipment referred to in the report had, with the help of Dr. Baldwin, been disposed of elsewhere at no cost to the Council. In reply to a question from the President as to whether the committee wished to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Cook’s death, she proposed the name of Dr. J.C. Eisel (Honorary), who she said was willing to hold the library pro tem and to act as librarian while the Council considered its longer-term future. She was seconded by the Vice-President, Professor R.J. Johnston (Yorkshire), and Dr. Eisel was duly elected to the committee.

Professor Johnston said that the Library Committee had met the previous afternoon, and had decided to propose that the Council’s Officers be asked to establish a small working group to consider the Library’s future and to report back. This proposal was seconded by Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex).

Mr. W.F. Moreton (Life) said that he had been concerned about where the Library should be held, ever since it was being shunted between various Hon. Librarians a number of years ago. Although he had written to the committee following Mr. Cook’s death to suggest that it should be held in a public library, he had subsequently had second thoughts. He felt that it would be very vulnerable if it were to be kept in a Ringing Centre, as had been suggested, and he was consequently pleased to hear the committee’s new proposals.

Mr. Corby said that he had made some informal enquiries about keeping the books in a library, but thought it inappropriate to discuss these in advance of the proposed working party’s deliberations. He wished the party every success.

After Mr. Wilby had suggested that the working party would need to bear in mind how the Library was used - it was not like a public library, he said, but was a library that provided an answering service for enquirers - the Vice-President’s proposal was accepted.

At this point the President adjourned the meeting for lunch. When the meeting resumed at 2.30, he announced that the working party would consist of Mr. D.J. Jones (chairman), Miss Jean Sanderson and Messrs. W. Butler and J.C. Eisel, and that Mr. P.M. Wilkinson would be co-opted to act as a professional advisor. Its terms of reference would be “to consider the long-term future of the Library, including its future location, and make recommendations.”

Before the Council moved on to the next business, Miss Sanderson thanked a number of people for their considerable assistance following Mr. Cook’s death - Mr. Cook’s brother, James; Christopher Rogers, John Baldwin, and Chris Pickford.

The President added that the Council would need to consider the future position of the Hon. Librarian. At one time the Library had been the sole responsibility of one person, the Librarian, and he had consequently been one of the Council’s Officers. More recently the responsibility had been shared among an elected committee, and it was felt in some quarters that the Library Committee should be treated on the par with the Council’s other committees and have simply a chairman. The Officers had discussed the situation and agreed that there was no need to elect an Honorary Librarian at this meeting. The, would however like the question to be discussed at the next meeting of the Administrative Committee with the aim of making any proposal for change when the Council met in 1993.

Dr. Hodge asked whether, if a change to the Rules was proposed, the 1993 election would be under the existing Rules or the new ones? The President said, the present Rules, since it would be wrong to anticipate a change. After Dr. Baldwin had suggested that it would not in fact be necessary to appoint to every post listed in the current Rules, the President’s proposal was accepted by the meeting.

Methods Committee

Adoption of the Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth), and seconded by Mr. F.T. Blagrove (Middlesex CA & London DG). It read as follows, and was adopted without discussion:

The Committee met formally on two occasions during the year, in Chichester on 10 March and Whitchurch on 13 October (RW p. 1055), and informally in London during the Council weekend.

Corrections and amendments to our publications up to the end of 1991 appeared in The Ringing World of 13 March 1992 (p. 268). The service of free leaflets containing all corrections and amendments was maintained.

A revised edition of the Collection of Plain Minor Methods was published. The Collection of Doubles methods Part 2 sold out and, since it is anticipated that Part 1 (Plain Doubles Methods and Variations) will sell out before long, plans are in hand for a new edition incorporating material from both parts in a single volume. A computer-readable version of the Collection of Plain Methods is in preparation.

To help us monitor the names of new methods, we prepared lists of Plain Doubles and Treble Dodging Minor methods, outside the scope of published collections, so that we can detect reuse of the names for unrelated methods in the same class at higher stages.

We considered a request from Julian Morgan in The Ringing World of 23 November 1990 (p. 1140) for standardisation of the symbols used for bells thirteen to sixteen, and recommend the letters A to D. This notation is readily extendible (missing out E and T, of course) to cope with up to 36-in. Moreover it is not case-sensitive, which we think is important, particularly in view of the ever-increasing use of computers.

At the Council meeting representatives of the Australia and New Zealand Association advocated that the Decision on Method Extension should be modified to include the relationship which Emily Surprise Royal bears to Turramurra Surprise Major. Subsequently we received letters from Australia supporting this view, including one from a member of the band that rang the peal in the Royal method, and these were most helpful in the deliberations at our October meeting. After careful consideration, however, we decided that such a modification could have undesirable consequences, particularly in that the parent would be significantly different from all the extensions in having no occurrences of the replicated sections, and this would also be manifest in the blue line. We responded in writing to the points made by our correspondents, and received a courteous acknowledgement from New South Wales.

A number of possible amendments to the Decision on Method Extension were considered, and we decided to write an article for The Ringing World presenting them for wider discussion (the article appeared in the issue of 21 February 1992 on pp. 198-9). By this means we hope to produce a motion for the meeting in Peterborough which represents a consensus for change and so needs little or no debate in open session. We also hope that this may prove an effective approach to highly technical issues.

We have continued to scrutinise peals of Doubles and it is gratifying that most are now reported in accordance with Decision (D)C.4, with very few bands still making exaggerated claims for their peals. Following our suggestion, The Ringing World Diary 1992 showed singles as well as bobs for the Doubles methods, which increases the choice of compositions without resort to “variations”.

As usual we have provided advice to other Council committees and responded to written and telephone enquiries about methods and method names from home and abroad. We are always happy to provide this service.

Peal Compositions Committee

Proposed by Mr. P. Sanderson (London University) and seconded by Mr. M.J. de C. Henshaw (Beverley & Dist), the committee’s report evoked no comment and was adopted without debate.

1991 was a routine year for the committee, with effort being concentrated on projects already underway rather than on any new initiatives.

A total of 54 peal compositions were published in The Ringing World during 1991, an increase of one on 1990, which itself was an increase of one on 1989. A substantial proportion of these (21) appeared as part of Julian Morgan’s “Which method?” articles, and we are grateful to him for his significant contribution to the committee’s work.

Progress on future collections of compositions continued, albeit at a slow pace. General Purpose Major, Spliced Surprise, Stedman Triples and yearly Ringing World collections are all at various stages of development, and at least two of these should come to fruition during the forthcoming year.

An index of all Ringing World compositions (including touches and quarter peals) published since 1940 has been compiled by Tony Smith. During the past year the committee has undertaken the checking of a substantial part of the index, with considerable help from other members of the Exercise to whom we are indebted. The index should be at draft stage by March 1992.

General enquiries asking for help in finding suitable compositions for particular methods have continued to arrive at a steady rate. These are answered as quickly as possible, although one particular request had to be sent to The Ringing World in the form of a Christmas puzzle. Against all the odds, a valid solution was received.

In October the Council’s Officers generously approved our request to purchase more up-to-date computer equipment. We now have an IBM-compatible machine, laser printer, and improved word-processing and database facilities. These will be of great assistance in improving the quality and quantity of the committee’s output.

After many years of service to the committee Peter Border resigned due to family commitments: Mike Henshaw kindly agreed to be co-opted, and has taken over the job of maintaining the committee’s database.

Public Relations Committee

Adoption of the Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. Coleman and seconded by Miss St John Smith. Although it was then adopted without comment, Mr. Gray congratulated the committee later in the meeting on the great advances it had achieved on the PR front, and in particular on the two television programmes about ringers and ringing (applause).

1991 was an outstandingly successful year for the Public Relations Committee. In addition to maintaining a high quality coverage in all areas of the Committee’s activities, several major productions were arranged for national television and radio. In more detail:


Harold Rogers continued his work of maintaining and continually updating the Committee’s exhibition material. The displays are well prepared and eye catching and are mounted on top quality stands. During the year they were used in over thirty locations, with a special exhibition at St. Mary le Bow during the Centenary Central Council meeting. This was recommended by The Daily Telegraph as an outing not to be missed during the Bank Holiday weekend. In addition to preparing and servicing the displays - and the time-consuming work of arranging for their issue and return - Harold advised and liaised with ringers preparing exhibitions throughout the UK. Requests for material should be sent to him at 53 The Grove, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 4JT.

Church and Community

Alison Hodge concentrated on increasing awareness of ringing in the Church as a whole, and on ensuring that lines of contact for obtaining ringing help are more widely known. She drafted and placed an advert in the Church of England Year Book, and prepared an article that she is arranging to appear in the Diocesan inserts of all parish magazines. In addition she updated the list of the ringing Public Relations Officers of all Guilds and Associations, and she put in substantial work on a new publication to assist them. Together with George Morris, Alison prepared a ringing leaflet for the general public which can now be obtained through the Publications Committee.

Press Liaison

David Thorne in his capacity of The Ringing World editor, and Emma St John Smith in her capacity as Westminster Abbey Press Officer, dealt with many journalists seeking information about ringing. They also maintained a liaison function by directing the media to those ringers best able to deal with specialist enquiries.


John Illingworth with the assistance of Emma organised a first-rate Public Relations Seminar in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey. The content, quality and setting for the seminar were all superb, and included practical experience of being interviewed as well as a session with a BBC radio producer. The day ended with evensong in reserved seats in the Abbey quire. Although a commercial seminar of this quality would have cost at least £400 per head, the charge to those attending was only £6.50.

Central Council

Following suggestions from the BRF Committee, Stella Bianco drew up ideas for the improvement of the Central Council’s image amongst other ringers and for the better publicising of the services that the Central Council provides. She also drew up proposals for a corporate image for the Central Council. Subject to the Council approving the extension of the Committee’s role into this area, George Morris will undertake the work.

In addition to the above, Stella acted as Committee Secretary and dealt with the considerable paperwork which the Committee creates.


Fred Dukes continued his demanding role of maintaining contact with overseas ringers through his newsletters and personal correspondence. His sustained work over many years was highlighted by the International Striking Contest on the Sunday before the Central Council meeting. The warm atmosphere of cooperation and friendship between all the teams and spectators fully reflected the modern era in international ringing relations. Fred’s detailed international report has already been published in The Ringing World.

George Morris continued his European liaison, visiting and writing to ringers in Spain and France as well as the five main ringing areas in Italy. He also promoted the young ringers cultural exchange, and wrote about Italian ringing in The Ringing World.


On Easter Sunday the hour-long programme, Ring Out Steeple Bells, written and recorded by Steve Coleman, was broadcast on both Radio 2 and Radio 5. The programme was extensively trailed beforehand and was recommended as Today’s Choice by The Daily Telegraph. It also received the rare distinction of being specially featured - together with pictures - in both The Radio Times and TV Times, and it received a glowing appreciation from the Sunday Telegraph radio critic. Part of the programme was then repeated on a Radio 5 compilation and a further section was broadcast on a Derek Jameson programme.

In the latter part of the year Steve spent considerable time assisting with, and appearing on, a half-hour ringing programme for the BBC World Service. This was broadcast to a word-wide audience of 25 million as well as to late-night listeners to Radio 4. It was repeated in full on Radio 5 two weeks later, and an extract was included in Radio 4’s Pick of the Week.

John Illingworth, George Morris and Steve Coleman also did pieces for local radio. John has cemented particularly good local radio relations in the Midlands, and George has successfully negotiated a series of weekly ringing programmes on Radio Hereford and Worcester.


In May Steve Coleman appeared and advised on the Sunday prime time TVS programme, The Help Squad. The programme revolved around his teaching a new local band at St Buryan in Cornwall and featured Mrs. Norma Major, the Prime Minister’s wife. Shown throughout the UK to nearly 7 million viewers, it received substantial advance publicity, both on television and in the Press, and most of the national dailies published pictures of Mrs. Major ringing. Even the Sun carried the headline “Norma’s doin’ her own ding.” A snippet from the programme is still being regularly shown behind the titles of the new series.

In the summer David Thorne took part in a half-hour ringing programme being made by an independent production company for Channel 4. In addition, Steve Coleman provided consultancy services. The date of transmission is not yet known.

In the second half of the year Emma St John Smith performed a spectacular media coup in persuading the BBC to have a ringers’ Songs of Praise. She then masterminded all of the arrangements, spending the great bulk of her annual leave in assisting and advising the BBC at all stages. The resulting programme - in which Steve Coleman and John Illingworth were also involved - was absolutely outstanding reaching over 7 million viewers and portraying ringers and ringing in the best possible light. As one viewer said, “It made me feel proud to be a ringer,” and this reflected the general acclaim which the programme received.


In July Angela Newing stood down from the Committee, having been a member for over ten years and latterly its chairman. We warmly thank her for her hard work over so long a period.

Referring to the report.

The report was then adopted.

Peals Analysis Committee


We have recorded a total of 5,003 peals rung in 1991, of which 4,525 were on tower bells and 478 on handbells. This is an increase of 133 over the revised total for 1990, and is only the second time that a total of 5,000 has been reached, the previous occasion being the record 5,047 in 1988. There were substantial increases for Major (+109), Royal (+91, a 19% increase) and Minor (+26), but decreases for Maximus (-25), Caters (-25) and Triples (-23).

The Oxford Diocesan Guild rang more than twice as many as any other society; its total of 420 was the second highest for a society but was well behind its record 497 in 1989. Loughborough Bell Foundry’s total of 105 peals was the first time that over 100 peals have been rung at a tower in a year.

The Committee met once during the year, to finalise records for 1991 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 thank the Chairman of the Methods Committee for information concerning peals of Doubles.

We request that conductors submit peal reports for publication promptly, particularly at the end of the year; and that for peals in more than one method careful attention is paid to the requirements of Decision (D)C.4.

Peals not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

Some 28 peals of Doubles do not comply with Decision (D)C.4 in that the reports did not correctly state the number and names of all methods and variations separately. We recommend that all these peals be accepted, subject to, correction of the numbers of methods and variations where appropriate. These peals have been included in this analysis.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells and comparison with 1990

Tower bellsHandbells
Sixteen21- 1
Fourteen52- 3
Sextuples1+ 1
Maximus278262- 164233- 9
Maximus/Cinques2- 2
Cinques9089- 11011+ 1
Royal404470+ 667499+ 25
Royal/Caters221+ 1
Caters170149- 21139- 4
Major20602133+ 73201237+ 36
Major/Triples1+ 1
Triples280261- 1962- 4
Minor922966+ 449779- 18
Minor/Doubles2- 21- 1
Doubles186187+ 1133- 10
Doubles/Minimus1- 1
Minimus95- 4
44054525+120465478+ 13

Corrections to the 1990 Analysis

Changes to the 1990 peal totals arising from late publication of peals and rejection of peals are listed below. They all refer to tower bell peals:

Revised totals for 1990 are: tower bells 4405; handbells 465; total 4870.

Peals of Note

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

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 437 first pealers in 1991 (416 in 1990), and 58 firsts as conductor (68 in 1989).


Peals were rung in 1,826 towers (1,735 in 1990); this is the second highest number (1,838 in 1988). The following 62 towers had ten or more peals:

105Loughboro’ Foundry
29East Farleigh
27Maidstone, All Ss
24Barrow Gurney
23Birmingham Cath
21Reading, St Law
20London, St Mary-le-Bow
19Boston, Advent
19*Oxford, St Mary Mag
17Croydon, St Peter
17Leicester, St Mary/C
16Bedford, St Paul
15Sydney, St Mary
15Burton Latimer
14Cambridge, St Andrew
13-Bishopstoke, Derby Cathedral, Grundisburgh, Nottingham (St Peter)
12-Bathwick, Bristol Cathedral, Daventry, Harpenden, Ipswich (St Mary-le-Tower), Kingsbury, Leckhampton, *London (St Olave), Newcastle (St John), Reading (St Mary), Sproxton, Sydney (St Philip)
11-Bishopwearmouth, Cadoxton, Cattistock, Leicester Cathedral, Leighton Buzzard, Melbourne (Derbys), Midsomer Norton, *Nottingham (St Mary), Portsmouth Cathedral, Windsor (St John)
10-Birstall (Yorks), Bushey, Countesthorpe. Derby (St Peter), East Ilsley, East Tytherley, Greasley, Radlett, *Towcester

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

Loughborough Bell Foundry became the first tower to achieve over 100 peals in a year, and also passed the 2,800 peal mark. During the year Meldreth had its 900th peal, Shoreditch its 800th, and Grundisburgh its 500th.


Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below.

Figures for 1990 appear in brackets. “Single S.” means the total rung in single Surprise methods other than those listed separately.

Single S.78(95)7(18)
Cambridge S.64(52)11(8)
Bristol S.35(47)2(7)
Yorkshire S.33(34)2(1)
Spliced S.21(15)1(0)
Single S.159(141)24(26)
Yorkshire S.76(65)10(7)
Cambridge S.72(76)13(12)
Spliced S.57(21)7(8)
London S.38(38)6(3)
Plain Bob28(25)10(4)
Bristol S.25(22)13(6)
Kent/Oxford TB2(6)14(8)
Single S.571(526)35(15)
Spliced S.400(368)24(35)
Yorkshire S.196(184)25(19)
Plain Bob130(142)51(41)
Bristol S.143(150)10(5)
Cambridge S.133(145)10(12)
Rutland S.92(83)3(6)
London S.88(81)6(6)
Lincolnshire S.85(74)6(6)
Kent/Oxford TB15(12)50(32)
Double Norwich57(57)4(2)
Superlative S.58(60)1(4)
Pudsey S.43(48)5(8)
Single Delight46(62)2(3)
Glasgow S.33(28)0(2)
Belfast S.18(12)0(0)
Plain Bob36(25)0(0)
7 methods326(291)6(15)
8+ methods193(193)12(16)
2-6 methods173(199)22(22)
Plain Bob107(116)27(32)
Single S.86(64)1(1)
Cambridge S.69(51)1(7)
2+ methods143(139)2(4)
Plain Bob8(9)0(6)

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang over 150 peals:

Oxford Dio. Guild36951420
Leicester Dio. Guild19811209
Yorkshire Assn.2045209
Lancashire Assn.195195
Kent County Assn.191191
Derby Dio. Assn.14542187
Southwell Dio. Guild16618184
Chester Dio. Guild10273175
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Assn.171171
Hertford County Assn.15416170
Bath & Wells Dio. Assn.1573160
Lincoln Dio. Guild13220152

The list is the same length as the corresponding list for 1990. However three societies (Ely DA, Suffolk G, and Winchester & Portsmouth DG) have dropped out and been replaced by the Bath & Wells DA, the Lincoln DG, and the Southwell DG. Altogether 19 societies rang 100 or more peals in 1991 - the same number as in 1990.

Moving the adoption of this report, Mr. D.H. Niblett (Kent) said that a further four tower-bell peals rung during 1990 had beets reported in The Ringing World since it had been compiled; bringing the total number of peals known to have been rung that year to 5,007; details would be included in next year’s Committee report. He was seconded by Mr. J. Cheesman.

After Mr. Corby had commented that Mr. Niblett had been doing a wonderful job on peals analysis for the Kent CA for a number of years, and congratulated him and his committee for the report it had produced, the report was adopted.

Records Committee

After making a number of minor alterations to the report that had been sent to members, including correcting the spelling of Quaratingueta Surprise, Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY) moved the adoption of the report in its corrected form and was seconded by Mr. Mayne.

A. First peals on tower bells
Jan15184Dauntsey S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
15040Dorking S. MaxSRCY
35056Thurcaston D. MajLeics DG
55152Zillertal S. MajWinchester & P’mouth DG
85088Palermo D. MajLeics DG
95120Millett S. MajLancashire A
95040Dishley S. RoyLeics DG
115184Cottingham S. MajPeterboro DG
125088Essendon S. MajHertford CA
155040Volcano S. RoyKent CA
175234Bellatrix S. MaxNon-Assn
185056Frodsham Bob MajChester DG
185120Newport S. MajPeterboro DG
185088Sooty S. MajDurham & Newc DA
195024Sitomagus S. MajYorkshire A
235040Pickwell S. RoyLeics DG
265184Argistillum S. MajYorkshire A
265040Kilspindie S. RoyS Northants Soc
275152K522 S. MajMiddx CA & London DG
295160Newtondale S. RoyKent CA
305040Quiriac S. RoyLeics DG
Feb15120Clare College S. MajEly DA
25040Avon Bob TriplesSalisbury DG
25024Alobergium S. MajYorkshire A
25040Lundin S. RoyS Northants Soc
55088Aspiro D. MajLeics DG
55040Thornige S. MaxSRCY
65040Osbaston S. RoyLeics DG
105024Kakadu S. MajANZAB
135088Aplinskiy D. MajLeics DG
165152Warborough D. MajOxford DG
165024Cavendo Tvtvs S. MajYorkshire A
165040Kinross S. RoyS Northants Soc
175184Beijing S. MajSt James’ G
195056Spitsbergen D. MajLeics DG
205040Sheepy S. RoyLeics DG
245024Sari S. MajYorkshire A
275040Garendon S. RoyLeics DG
Mar25184Caelis S. MajYorkshire A
25184Coalpit Heath S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
65152Tovil S. MajKent CA
65040Mowsley S. RoyLeics DG
85184Cransley S. MajPeterboro DG
85088Selwyn College S. MajEly DA
85040Oakland S. RoyGlos & Bristol DA
95056Willoughby D. MajLeics DG
95024Aemodae S. MajYorkshire A
95040Goodrich Castle S. RoyGlos & Bristol DA
95040Reay S. RoyS Northants Soc
115056Quaratingueta D. MajLeics DG
155152Broughton S. MajN Staffs A
165040Gairloch S. RoyS Northants Soc
165040Nunney Castle S. RoyOxford DG
175232Downpatrick S. MaxNon-Assn
185080Rosedale S. RoyKent CA
195184Hanbury D. MajWorcs & Dist A
235024Veteranorum S. MajYorkshire A
235040Strathpeffer S. RoyS Northants Soc
265056Quito D. MajLeics DG
275040Aloysius S. RoyLeics DG
285056Pindamonhangaba D. MajLeics DG
Apr65056Gresley S. MajPeterboro DG
105152Willey D. MajLeics DG
135024Britonum S. MajYorkshire A
185024Rest Dodd D. MajOxford DG
195056Jesus College S. MajEly DA
205040Routenburn S. RoyS Northants Soc
215040Differential Treble Place TriplesGuildford DG
235120Munsley S. MajPeterboro DG
255088Silver Fern S. MajANZAB
275042Grandisson S. MaxOxford DG
285042Ivanhoe S. MaxGlos & Bristol DA
May35152Aldbourne S. MajSalisbury DG
35024Emmanuel College S. MajEly D
45088Xi S. MajYorkshire A
45040Burntisland S. RoyS Northants Soc
55040Aldbourne Bob TriplesSalisbury DG
95056Valparaiso D. MajLeics DG
105056Magdalene College S. MajEly DA
115040Storefield S. RoyPeterboro DG
115040Turvey S. RoyWinchester & P’mouth DG
125184Easton S. MaxGlos & Bristol DA
135056Foston D. MajLeics DG
145120Chesterton S. MajEly DA
155152Unniltrium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
165018Hampshire A. MajOxford DG
175184Paddington D. MajG Devonshire R
225040Wrothlich S. RoyLeics DG
245088Tytherley S. MajWinchester & P’mouth DG
315152Spitalfields Festival D. MajSRCY
June15024Atina S. MajYorkshire A
15040Edzell S. RoyS Northants Soc
65152Gonville and Caius College S. MajEly DA
85088Omicron S. MajYorkshire A
105056Hamer D. MajLeics DG
185024Framley S. MajEly DA
195040Gerontius S. RoyLeics DG
215152Wilbarston S. MajPeterboro DG
225040Dentdale S. RoyS Northants Soc
285088Homerton College S. MajEly DA
285056The Trout S. MajDerby DA
295088Aquae Calidae S. MajYorkshire A
295040New Durham S. RoyGlos & Bristol DA
305040Nemesis D. MaxSt James’ G
July35024Mais D. MajLeics DG
35024Bailey S. MajLancashire A
45000Wootton Rivers S. RoySt James’ G
55024Newnham College S. MajEly DA
65152Pitminster S. MajBath & Wells DA
65040Askernish S. RoyS Northants Soc
105056Chile S. MajGlos & Bristol DG
125056Zenith S. MajEly DA
135088Alone S. MajYorkshire A
175040Notpu S. RoyLeics DG
195040Romsey Bob TriplesWinchester & P’mouth DG
205002Peterhead S. RoyS Northants Soc
205184Original MaxCoventry DG
255152Outerside D. MajOxford DG
265024King’s College S. MajEly DA
275129Murwillumbah S. MajANZAB
295000Fermanagh S. RoySRCY
Aug15024Norwegian Forest S. MajNon-Assn
25152Kilkenny D. MajSRCY
25024Flowery Field S. MajLancashire A
65152Enipla D. MajLeics DG
95120Corpus Christi College S. MajEly DA
105088Atecotti S. MajYorkshire A
135056Xat D. MajLeics DG
175184Fanum S. MajYorkshire A
175184Jimway S. MajS Northants Soc
205184Maypole A. RoyKent CA
215088Harptree S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
245152Little Baddow S. MajEssex A
245024Nicaragua S. MajOxford DG
Sep15088Boresti S. MajYorkshire A
45152Decadium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
55056Wymeswold S. MajSouthwell DG
55088Ariel S. MaxSt Martin’s G
65120Girton College S. MajEly DA
75056Sheepcote S. MajS Northants Soc
75040Baltic D. MaxYorkshire A
95056Valerian D. MajLeics DG
115040Oldmans S. RoyLeics DG
135056Highworth S. MajEly DA
165376Toton D. MajSouthwell DG
185040Nainabla S. RoyLeics DG
195184Withycombe Raleigh S. MajG Devonshire R
195082Thursday A. MaxSt Martin’s G
225120Cheesden S. MajLancashire A
225280Geelong S. MajANZAB
285088Zucchetta S. MajYorkshire A
285016Liverpool Bob MaxHertford CA
Oct25040Hirst D. RoyLancashire A
25040Oroya S. RoyLeics DG
35040Bushey A. MajHertford CA
35088Saddington S. MajYorkshire A
95040Donswin S. RoyLeics DG
125024Merton S. MajEly DA
145120Beeston S. MajSouthwell DG
155040Southern Cross S. RoyANZAB
165120Golden D. MajGlos & Bristol DA
175090Andromeda S. MaxSt Martin’s G
195088Garsdale S. MajS Northants Soc
195056Hackington S. MajKent CA
245120Ostend S. MajSouthwell DG
265056Puffin S. MajOxford DG
265088Vacomaus S. MajYorkshire A
305088Positronium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
Nov25040Machrihanish S. RoyS Northants Soc
35040Dreadnought S. MaxOxford DG
45152Tercheswin D. MajLeics DG
75184Croft S. MajSouthwell DG
75152Herkomer D. MajHertford CA
85022Jasmine S. MajPeterboro DG
85040Antrim S. RoyOxford DG
95088Dicaledones S. MajYorkshire A
95088Ditcheat Manor S. MajOxford DG
95040Musselburgh S. RoyS Northants Soc
135152Muonium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
155000Yeovil S. RoyOxford DG
165040Turnhouse S. RoyS Northants Soc
165040Vincula S. RoyN Staffs A
225056Bulwell S. MajSouthwell DG
235152Axford Bob MajWinchester & P’mouth DG
235184Ebudae S. MajYorkshire A
235152Bishops Frome S. MajANZAB
235000Morayshire S. RoySouthwell DG
235042Churchfields D. MaxOxford DG
255152Millmoor S. MajYorkshire A
255040Dysart S. MaxLeics DG
265088Carisbrooke S. MajPeterboro DG
275040Goadby S. RoyLeics DG
295152Norfolk Punch Bob MajLincoln DG
305184Beverley S. MajBeverley & Dist Soc
305088Eitis S. MajYorkshire A
Dec55152Amadeus D. MajHertford CA
75152K626 S. MajSt Olave’s Soc
75040Brora S. RoyS Northants Soc
75040Ditcheat Manor S. RoyOxford DG
75042Tailor Paul S. MaxOxford DG
105152Australis S. MajANZAB
135024Snowy S. MajDurham & Newc DA
145024Anniversary S. MajLancashire A
175024Kings Cliffe S. MajLeics DG
175056Manaos D. MajLeics DG
205000Offerton S. RoyOxford DG
215088Branogentum S. MajYorkshire A
215152Mallerstang S. MajS Northants Soc
265024Seaton S. MajPeterboro DG
275152Bendigo S. MajANZAB
275088St John’s S. MajLancashire A
285040Daventry D. RoyS Northants Soc
295024Big S. MajDurham & Newc DA
295096Boston A. MajN American G
305056Bleep S. MajDurham & Newc DA
315088Byfield S. MajPeterboro DG
B. First peals on handbells
Jan145490Yorkshire S. 14Derby DA
Mar35152Bells S. MajHereford DG
245056Warwick S. MajHereford DG
Apr125312Lincolnshire S. 16Ely DA
145152Penwood D. MajSRCY
215152Warwickshire S. MajHereford DG
May25122Xerxes S. MajHereford DG
195152Harford D. MajSRCY
195152Oxfordshire S. MajHereford DG
June235152Staffordshire S. MajOxford DG
275152Berkshire S. MajHereford DG
July65184Norfolk S. MajHereford DG
145184Orion S. MaxASCY
Aug125088Worcestershire S. MajHereford DG
185040Kilpeck S. RoyHereford DG
Sep185040Zelah S. RoyHereford DG
295056Northamptonshire S. MajHereford DG
305120Derby S. MajOxford DG
Oct225152Somerset S. MajHereford DG
275088Gloucestershire S. MajHereford DG
Nov185024Finedon S. MajOxford DG
Dec155088Kent S. MajHereford DG
305024Guiseley S. MajOxford DG
C. Record peals on tower bells
Mar2320160Grandsire TriplesLancashire A
Oct518720S. Minor (26m)Bath & Wells DA
Nov2312432Orion S. MaxSt James G
D. Record peal on hand bells
Sep1113680Pudsey S. RoyLeics DG

The report was adopted without comment after the Revd. M.C.C. Melville (Universities) had commented that Quaratingueta was the name of a place in South America.

Committee for Redundant Bells

Both this and the following report were accepted without comment or discussion. The Redundant Bells report was proposed by Mrs. Jane Wilkinson (Honorary) and seconded by Mr. Corby, and that on Bell Restoration Funds which follows was proposed by Mr. J.S. Barnes (SRCY) and seconded by Mr. E. Billings (Honorary).

Twenty churches were declared redundant under the Pastoral Measure in 1991, bringing to 1334 the total since the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into operation. Thirty churches were declared redundant in 1990, and twenty nine in 1989, so the figures seem to be stabilising.

The Church Commissioners however see no likelihood of an end to churches becoming redundant. There will always be churches, or parts of churches, that are unsuitable, beyond repair, or in the wrong place; and the Pastoral Measure has provided an effective means of dealing with that situation. We have, too, heard much this year about the Church Commissioners’ cash crisis and the general financial plight of the Church of England. Several dioceses have, with much trumpeting, announced that they will have to cut clergy jobs. But this year, for the first time in twenty years - indeed, since the Pastoral Measure came into operation - more churches were opened than closed. It is an unusual situation: more churches are opening than are closing, yet the number of paid clergy is to be reduced. Time alone can reveal all the implications; but uncharted and possibly choppy waters seem likely to lie ahead. Yet again the importance for ringers - and for bells - of continual close liaison with the church authorities is underlined. If associations can make sure that they are involved at the planning stage, perhaps by contact with diocesan Pastoral and Advisory Committees, whenever a church opens or a church closes, they will be well placed to make the best of this situation.

The Committee has been involved this year with some forty cases, including four new enquiries for rings of bells, and twenty-four for bells for replacements, augmentations, and for use as singles. One enquiry for a ring and seven for single bells (none, perhaps predictably, for use in augmentation) came from overseas. Last year we had a request for a bell from an opera company; this year a marching band sought one - of not more than a hundredweight. In our last report, we noted that some churches which were not redundant were seeking to sell their bells. None has approached us this year; and indeed one of last year’s churches has now decided to keep its bells.

The Committee considered that Appendix 5 of the draft Code of Practice for the Conservation, Installation, and Repair of Bells and Bellframes dealt adequately with bells in redundant churches; but found it frustrating that the draft Code, which would carry much influence if it also carried wide acceptance, seemed likely to be imposed with little discussion rather than to receive the careful consideration and modification which so important a subject deserves.

Once again we thank the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their help and interest this year. Mr. Ranald Clouston, too, has continued his kindness in providing us copies of his notes on potentially redundant churches which he provides for the Council for the Care of Churches. We are very grateful.

This report would be incomplete without a record of our sadness that Gilbert Thurlow is no longer of our company. He had been a member of the Committee since its beginning. His wisdom and encyclopaedic knowledge of matters ecclesiastical were invaluable; and his unique perspective made our meetings fun.

Bell Restoration Funds Committee

This year has been a very busy one, reflecting an increasing amount of bell restoration and augmentation. We have been pleased to assist no fewer than 58 parishes, 41 of them between June and December. Of the total, 44 were new enquiries. In some cases parishes are happy to receive general information on fund raising and we have no further contact. Other parishes keep in contact with us and receive support (in some cases by visits) throughout the whole period of their project. Often we act as a source of information and are able to point enquirers to specialist help.

The Manifold Trust

1991 saw a slightly smaller number of applications for assistance from the Manifold Trust; nevertheless 13 parishes were offered grants totalling £22,500. At one of these the grant was to aid the installation of a ring of six bells where previously there was only a clock chime. The Trust is keen to support schemes where the bells have been unringable for many years and such support will be the greater where there is the possibility that a grant will give the scheme the necessary boost to ensure that it goes forward.


The questionnaires for the triennial survey (1988-90) of Bell Restoration Funds of affiliated societies were mailed to society secretaries in August, with a request for their return by the end of December. By that time replies had been received from 64% of societies. The information required was broadly similar to that requested in the previous survey.

During the last few years The Ringing World has featured an increasing number of restorations and augmentations of rings of three and four bells. In order that a complete picture may be gained from our Survey of Unringable Bells we decided to widen its scope to include three- and four-bell towers. Work on this project was started during the year, with a view to completion by December 1992.


During the year our booklet Organising a Bell Restoration Project was revised and reprinted and is available from Central Council Publications. We send copies free of charge to those parishes whose awareness of ringing is minimal and where projects are at the very early stages of development. We also revised and reprinted our Committee brochure, copies of which have been supplied in bulk to the bell founders and bell hangers for distribution with quotations.

There has been a steady demand for our publications Church Bells and Good Practice in Bell Funds and for information sheets on covenanting and Gift Aid.


A seminar was organised by the Peterborough Diocesan Guild with our assistance for representatives of parishes in the Diocese whose bells were unringable. The purpose of the day was to advise and encourage churches contemplating major restoration work and to demonstrate what help, both financial and practical, can be made available. The success criteria will be achieved if one of the churches commits itself to restore its bells. A total of 36 people attended, representing nine churches. The seminar was also used as a demonstration for neighbouring societies, and it was a pleasure to welcome ten ringers from five societies.

A committee member was involved with the Council’s Agenda for the 90s seminar at Harbury, Warwickshire, in leading a discussion group on the subject “Fund Raising for Bell Restoration”.

National Fund

Investigative work was undertaken on the possibility of setting up a national bell fund. However, it was felt that such a fund would command greater support if it embraced ringing in the widest possible context - recruitment, training, bell restoration, and provision of new rings of bells. Members of some other committees are also involved in this project which, if considered viable, is likely to have a time scale of four or five years.

Other work

We have been pleased to assist North American Guild members in their consideration of the possibility of a big expansion of provision of rings of bells and of full-circle ringing throughout that continent.

In May a useful meeting was held with the Public Relations Committee on the subject of joint marketing of Central Council services. Our suggestions, which arose from a study of the Survey of Ringing, are currently being studied by the Public Relations Committee.

We acknowledge with thanks the work of Mrs. Jackie Roberts of the Guildford Diocesan Guild in extracting information from The Directory of Grant Making Trusts on bodies which may be of assistance to the Exercise. Information about sympathetic trusts is provided to parishes on request, but we seldom receive feedback; it would be helpful to know when such trusts have made grants.

Towers and Belfries Committee

Proposing the report, Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) commented that he had been pleased to hear at the Open Meeting that the revised Code of Practice seemed likely after all to be published in The Ringing World.

The Committee has had another busy year, members performing various duties as in recent years, with formal meetings in February and July as reported in The Ringing World.

Following publication of the Handbook and the Bell Adviser in 1990, the Committee completed two further works during the year, and both have been widely distributed. The first was the Schedule of Regular Maintenance which should be especially useful for steeplekeepers, and the other was the updated free pamphlet setting out the history and functions of the Committee. Within this triennium the Committee hopes to complete two more productions: Procedural Guidelines and exemplar clauses for a Bellhanging Specification to assist in obtaining comparable quotations for major bell restoration projects.

Three seminars were planned for the year, this time on belfry maintenance. One in May had to be cancelled because of lack of support, but successful days were held in Sunderland and Stanwell in November with good attendances. The Committee provided lecturers again for the Education Committee’s Summer School at Daventry; only a few students opted for the bell and belfry maintenance course, but those who did gained useful “hands on” experience at several towers and tackled the intricacies of long and short rope splices.

The Committee chairman took part in the first of the Council’s Agenda for the 90s seminars, at Harbury, where the Council’s functions - through its committees - were introduced to local Association members. He also continued on the joint Working Party revising the Council for the Care of Churches’ Code of Practice, and was disappointed that the CCC effectively stifled reasonable presentation and discussion of the nearly-completed draft.

Individual committee members have continued to give advice, to some 83 towers during the year, including 20 major overhauls, 13 bellframes (often retaining historical features), 12 general maintenance, 10 tower structures, five augmentations, five minor overhauls, four sound control, and three cracked bells.

The aim of the Committee is to help keep our bells ringing, and members are pleased to help train steeplekeepers upon receiving requests from any Guild or Association.

Mr. Frost’s proposition was seconded by Preb. J.G.M. Scott, who remarked that the comments on the Code in the fourth paragraph came from the Mr. Frost, and not from the Committee.

The report was then accepted, again without discussion.

Computer Coordination Committee

Proposing the report, the Committee’s new chairman, Mr. F.J.P. Bone regretted that he had to date had insufficient time to be able to make real progress, but said that he hoped to be in a position to do so before long. He was seconded by Mr. M. Thomson (Chester), and the report was accepted.

Anthony Gordon, who was elected Chairman of this committee in 1990, has resigned as a Central Council representative for personal reasons, and in consequence Fred Bone took over this role at the beginning of 1992.

At about the time of the 1991 Council meeting our Chairman wrote to the Chairmen of the other committees to enquire whether we could be of service to them. From the replies it seems that the other committees divide into two camps: those that are quite satisfied with their present use of computers, and those that are happy to avoid using them at all. There was one exception, and as a result we prepared a brief recommendation for the Library Committee.

At the same time the Chairman wrote to all the Associations and Guilds to enquire into their current use of computers (with a view to collating useful information) and to solicit enquiries from those that were thinking of starting to use computers (and might be interested in the collated information). The results were disappointing: one request for information, and no information supplied.

There have been a few general enquiries. Not all of these have been dealt with as well as we would wish, mainly because we have few up-to-date details on file relating to currently-available applications. A major task for 1992 will be to bring up to date the Register of users and applications which was created some years ago by an earlier incarnation of this committee.

At the time of writing this report the Committee has not had an opportunity of deciding whether to recommend the election of a replacement for Tony Gordon. However the possibility should perhaps be borne in mind by Council members.

Biographies Committee

The report’s adoption was proposed by Mr. T.J. Lock (Middx CA & London DG) and seconded by Dr. J.C. Eisel (Honorary):

The following member and past members of the Council died during 1991:

The Very Revd. A.G.G. Thurlow had been a member of the following committees: Standing/Administrative, 1948-78; Broadcasting and Television, 1954-72; Sunday Service Ringing and Education, 1958-63; Public Relations, 1972-75; Redundant Bells, 1973-90; Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells, 1979-81; and was President of the Council, 1963-69.

C.W. Woolley was a member of the Peals Collection Committee, 1948-60; and F.E. Haynes had been a Trustee of the John Carter Ringing Machine.

In respect of updating records, the Committee has consistently informed meetings of the availability of fresh biography sheets for members themselves to provide additional and suitable material.

The Chairman states that all committee papers and records are stored and safeguarded in lockable standard metal office filing cabinets and Twinlock Personal files.

The report was accepted after Mr. H.J. Charles (Norwich) had asked the committee to note that F.N. Golden had been a member of the Methods Committee, and Mrs Wilkinson had pointed out that Gilbert Thurlow had been serving on both the Committee, and Rescue Fund, for Redundant Bells at the time of his death.

Publications Committee

Mr. J. Couperthwaite (Guildford), proposing the following report, said that the Collection of Plain Methods was now available on computer disc, and that Dr. D.W. Beard (Honorary) hoped soon to be able to provide the collection of Methods rung to the end of 1991 in the same medium; as it was, the printed collection was now on sale. Mr. Couperthwaite added his committee’s thanks to Dr. Beard for his work in preparing that collection for many years (hear, hear). He added that the Recruiting Package was now also on sale, and that orders for Volume 2 of the Ringing History at a special pre-publication price of £12.50 should be sent to Mrs. Wheeler by 10 July. He was seconded by Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough).

At the end of 1991 the Publications Fund showed an excess of expenditure over income similar to that of 1990, but for very different reasons. The 1990 result was dominated by the production costs of a major new book and by large write-offs. In 1991 income was depressed because of a slowing of sales during the period of relocation to Morpeth and because it was not possible to run a bookstall at the Central Council meeting. At the same time administration and storage costs rose and removal costs were incurred.

The only new book published during the year was A Schedule of Regular Maintenance. This proved to be deservedly popular and reprinting will be necessary in 1992. In addition new Recruiting posters and leaflets were produced, and reprints of Plain Minor Methods (1991) and From Rounds to Bob Doubles were commissioned. A new edition of Organising a Bell Restoration Project was published.

At the end of the year camera-ready copy of the Recruiting Package was received from the Education Committee, and publication is expected early in 1992. The draft of a History of the Central Council has been received and camera-ready copy will be produced in the first half of 1992. A Handbook of Composition is in the final stages of preparation.

Progress on the next two volumes of Change Ringing History has been encouraging. It is estimated that Volume 2 will be on sale in the third quarter of 1992, and that Volume 3 will be completed before the 1993 Central Council meeting.

The distribution business is now operating very successfully from Morpeth, and Barbara Wheeler is thanked for her work. The Committee also wishes to thank Jackie Roberts for her help in the production of camera-ready copy.

Referring to the Publication Fund accounts, Mr. M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary) noted that expenditure had again exceeded income, and asked when they were likely to achieve a balance. He also asked for some explanation of the small amount of interest shown as being received from the bank when compared with the large credit balance; perhaps the latter had been significantly lower for part of the year? Another member asked for some explanation of the large amount of stock still being written off.

Mr. D.C. Jackson (Winchester & Portsmouth) was more concerned with what he called “the terrible wastage” when encouraging learners to progress. He suggested that the Council ought perhaps to establish a “national curriculum” for ringing - an idea that seemed to cause some misgivings - but in the meantime he strongly advised instructors to buy From Rounds to Bob Doubles, which seemed not to be selling particularly well. (When the Council reconvened after lunch, he commented approvingly that every copy on the bookstall in the foyer had now been sold!)

Replying, Mr. Couperthwaite said that the reasons for the excess expenditure were explained in his committee’s report, and that he hoped the Fund would soon be in a position to break even. He added that the move of the publications to Morpeth had enabled a detailed stock-taking to be completed and caused some stock to be written off. But slow-moving stock would continue to be written down in the Accounts, although not necessarily destroyed. Mr. D.G. Thorne (Honorary), replying to the question about bank interest, said that a demarche he and Mr. J.R. Pratt (Guildford) had made to the bank at Guildford had gained some extra interest and a reduction in bank charges; but that the account was now being transferred to a more sympathetic branch.

After the President had commented that there was a feeling that the Committee’s pricing strategy needed reviewing, and that it should aim, not just to break even, but to ensure a healthy income in order to meet the costs of producing new material as it had when he was its chairman, the report was adopted.

Trustees reports

Carter Ringing Machine

Updating his report, Mr. A.E. Bagworth (Honorary) said that Barry Ward, of the Science Museum, and Dr. Philip Barnes (St Martin’s G) had been introduced to the inner workings of the machine at a demonstration earlier in the year but would need further instruction in operating it. Another demonstration was being arranged by the St. Martin’s Guild, when it was hoped that other ringing machines would also be present. He was seconded by the other Trustee, Mr. W.H. Dobbie (Honorary), and the report was adopted.

One maintenance session combined with a public display was held at the Birmingham Science Museum on April 27; ten visitors attended. A similar display is being arranged for April 25, when we are expecting to start showing others how to operate the machine. A further display is now being discussed for July or August as part of the Birmingham Festival.

Rolls of Honour

The Rolls’ Trustee had been Mr. Cook up to the time of his death, and his report was proposed by a fellow ASCY representative and ringer at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mr. A.N. Stubbs.

He said he spoke with very mixed feelings - sadness that Bill Cook was no longer present, a realisation that this was another of the things that Bill used to do for the Exercise, and pleasure that he was able to confirm the contents of his report. Since Mr. Cook’s death the rolls were being looked after, and their pages turned weekly, by the Secretary of the St. Paul’s Guild, James Phillips, who was content to continue the task pro tem if that would help the Council.

He was seconded by Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford).

The two books recording the names of ringers who gave their lives during the two World Wars, and the display case containing them, remain in good condition, and were seen by many Council members when they visited St. Paul’s Cathedral during the 1991 London meeting. A framed MS account of these books, beautifully written by Thomas Fox and paid for by the St. Paul’s Cathedral Guild, has been affixed above them.

Mr. Peachey enquired whether thought might be given to finding a more accessible permanent home for the Rolls; and the President enquired whether the Council wished to appoint a new Trustee to be responsible for them. Mr. Wilby proposed Mr. A.R. Kench (ASCY) who was, he said, a member of the St. Paul’s Guild and willing to do the job; and he was seconded by Mr. Barnes (SRCY). This was agreed by those present.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

Mr. R.J. Cooles (Honorary) thanked the President for his donation of £100 to the Fund, being his receipts from the sale of autographed Centenary First Day Covers; and also all those who had between them loaned some £25,000 to enable the old ring of St. Martin’s, Birmingham, to be rescued.

Although the report referred to the possibility of the bells going to Auckland Cathedral, the authorities there had decided at the end of April not to proceed with acquiring the ring in view of their decision to build a nave for the Cathedral before starting on a tower. The Fund would therefore be seeking an alternative home during the course of the next year, and at present two possible options were under consideration.

He proposed adoption of the Fund’s report and of the accompanying Accounts, and was seconded by Mr. O’Callaghan. This was agreed.

The report for 1990 hinted at a declining role for the Fund in the future, yet 1991 provided the most dramatic use of the Fund yet.

The Committee had no intention of being involved in the financing of the 16-bell project at St. Martin’s, Birmingham, relying on the parish’s commitment to ensure that the existing ring of 13 was preserved. The Committee particularly had in mind criticism that the Fund should not be used to facilitate bell restoration schemes.

However the old ring was sold by the parish to Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and it was clear that the bells were to be broken up immediately on arrival at the foundry. This caused great concern to several ringers who, aware of what was happening, pressed the Fund to take action.

The York Bell Fund was hopeful that the bells could be hung at St. Mary Bishophill Junior, York, if they could be provided with time to raise funds.

Thanks to the very ready cooperation of Whitechapel and John Taylor & Co. the bells went into store at Loughborough against a deposit of the acquisition price, the Fund Committee having the right to direct disposal. If no disposal is arranged by August 1993, the funds will be returned and Whitechapel will dispose of the bells as it wishes. The deposit will be returned to the Fund. The Fund has to meet storage and insurance charges.

The York scheme was defeated by the prospective cost of a Consistory Court hearing to consider objections. Other plans have come to nothing, save through the good offices of Ranald Clouston it appeared that Auckland Cathedral, New Zealand, might acquire the bells. Terms were to be negotiated in April 1992.

The money to save the bells (close on £25,000) was raised by the Fund through ringers’ loans within eight weeks - a remarkable tribute to ringers’ commitment to conservation. The Fund Committee is indeed very grateful and appreciative. It is anxious to ensure as speedy a return of the money to lenders as possible.

Towcester completed their repayment in 1991, earlier than promised. In the light of events at Birmingham this was doubly appreciated.

The Fund has been asked if it might assist in several cases, but fortunately the expertise of local Associations and the goodwill of the founders and bell hangers has ensured the future of the bells concerned.

The Committee is as ever grateful to Associations and individuals for their loyal support. New promises of loans to help ease the load are nevertheless always very gladly received.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1991


172Excess of income over expenditure267.75
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1991
3750Balance of loan to PCC of St Lawrence, Towcester-
-Deposits with Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd
re bells of St Martin, Birmingham
5263Bank balances3045.68

50Interest free loans21215.00
2600Central Council General Fund-


6363Net Assets6630.68
6191Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19916362.93
172Excess of income over expenditure267.75

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 1991, and of its income and expenditure for the year then ended.

) Hon. Auditors
April 1992

Future meetings

At the President’s invitation Mr. P. Bennett (Llandaff & Monmouth) said that his Guild was looking forward to the Council’s visit in 1993, when the Guild would be marking its centenary. The last meeting in the area had been held in Cardiff more than 25 years ago; in 1993 the meeting would be at Caerleon, near Newport, and the reception (and Open Meeting if there was one) in Cardiff. The Headquarters hotel, in Caerleon, was smaller than that at Peterborough, and early booking would be essential. However the Guild was hoping to offer accommodation for Council members in ringers’ homes, and was organising a full programme of events for both ringers and non-ringers (applause).

Mr. E. Hitchings then formally proposed that the Salisbury DG’s invitation for the Council to hold its 1995 meeting in Salisbury be accepted. He was seconded by Mr. R.G.W. Robertson, who reminded members that the Council’s last visit to the Guild had been in 1923. The motion was approved, with applause.

The President reminded the Council of the remaining invitations that had been received, covering each year up to 1999, and added that during the year the Secretary had received an invitation for the Council to hold its meeting in 2004 as guests of the Essex Association (laughter and applause).

Any other business

The Secretary reported that 56 societies had been fully represented at the meeting, ten partially represented, and three not represented; in all 169 of the 184 elected representatives had been present. There had also been five of the eight Life members, and 22 of the 23 Honorary members, giving a total attendance during the day of 196, with only nineteen absentees.

Mr. R.B. Smith (Honorary) then initiated a discussion of the role of English Heritage, quoting a case at Melbourne (Derbyshire) where, following acceptance of a small EH grant a number of years ago, EH was demanding to see the specifications of any further work in the church in order to decide whether to allow it to proceed. He said he would like the Council to make representations to the appropriate Government Minister about the legality of English Heritage acting in this way.

Mr. Peachey said that English Heritage was a statutory body, and its decisions were liable to judicial review. He said that somebody needed to call EH’s bluff: an application for leave to proceed to judicial review might well give EH pause. After Mr. Smith had said, in reply to a question from Prebendary Scott, that the PCC at Melbourne had not yet consulted the Archdeacon but was prepared to make this a test case, Mr. Scott said that a number of Archdeacons were willing to challenge EH’s authority.

Mr. Wilby and Mr. Cooles both saw dangers looming in EH’s involvement in ecclesiastical matters. Mr. Wilby feared they were trying to interfere in existing faculty arrangements, while Mr. Cooles foresaw them developing procedures that paralleled existing faculty procedures but being able to exercise greater de facto power than the diocesan Chancellors. Both said it was essential to alert parishes to the implications of accepting a grant, however small, from English Heritage.

A series of speakers spoke of various unsatisfactory aspects of English Heritage’s work - poor quality inspections, very slow responses, and in at least one case frustrating an Association’s attempt to make a derelict ring of five once more ringable. Only Mr. A.R. Smith reported having had no problems in his dealings, at Coddenham, with English Heritage. Mr. Potter said that at York the PCC at St Mary Bishophill Junior had in effect been forced to withdraw its application for a faculty for a ring of bells when English Heritage objected and it learned of the likely legal costs of a Consistory Court hearing. In this case the ringers’ costs alone amounted to £2,000 in spite of receiving free legal advice from Mr. Cooles.

After Mr. Coleman had urged that the matter be raised direct with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Mr. Bennett said he hoped that, if this were done, English Heritage’s parallel bodies in Wales and Scotland would also be borne in mind.

Summarising the discussion, the President said that a number of things evidently needed to be done. The first was to open up communications with the Council for the Care of Churches over the implications of accepting grants from English Heritage; he asked the Secretary to write on behalf of the Council to Dr. Cocke, the CCC Secretary, to see what might be done. Secondly, the Secretary should be notified of any problems with English Heritage as soon as they occurred, so that advice could be brought in quickly. Thirdly, it would be in the Council and the Exercise’s interest for the Council to be involved in any test case where a PCC was both obviously in the right and prepared to fight. This had unfortunately not been the case at York, he said.

Finally there was the question of how to approach English Heritage - through local cooperation, or by protesting to the Secretary of State. He personally believed the first contact should be at operating level. But a compendium of problems or particularly outrageous decisions should at the same time be built up, ready for presentation if necessary at the highest level.

He thanked Mr. Smith for raising the topic, and said that it would be discussed by the Administrative Committee when it met in October.

Mr. D.A. Frith (Lincoln) said he had heard that auditors were now required to be Chartered Accountants, and wondered whether this was true; if it was, it had implications for many societies. Mr. Church reassured him, saying that recent legislation required only that Registered Auditors be Chartered Accountants.

There was then a short exchange about noise pollution cases, initiated by a comment from Mr. Frost that Health and Safety authorities were beginning to take an interest in the means of access to towers, and asking that the Towers & Belfries Committee be notified of any such cases. Replying to Mr. Walters, who said that here had been complaints about the noise of ringing at St. Mary’s, Nottingham, the Secretary said that he heard of about one potential case under the Control of Pollution Act a year, but all seemed to be settled without coming to court. Mr. Frost said that, provided everyone was reasonable, there was no generally intractable problem; but Mr. Wilby asked that, in his annual mailing, the Secretary remind societies of the Council’s readiness to help in such cases.

The President then concluded the meeting by proposing a comprehensive vote of thanks - to the Officers and organising committee of the Peterborough Guild, for making all the administrative and social arrangements for a most successful and enjoyable weekend, and to those who had acted as stewards and tellers; to the Mayor and Council of Peterborough for the civic reception the previous evening, and to the Bishop of Brixworth and the Master of the Peterborough DG for their welcome; to the Dean and Chapter of Peterborough Cathedral for allowing the Council to hold its corporate Communion service there and to Canon Orland for taking it; to the management of the Key Theatre; to those involved in the pantomime; to Dr. Baldwin for his work on the Code of Practice and his contribution to the Open meeting; to the clergy and churchwardens of the many churches who had made their bells available to members of the Council and other ringers over the weekend (he added that 11 peals had been rung, including one at the Cathedral by a band of Council members in memory of Bill Cook); to the many others, ringers and non-ringers, who had contributed in any way to the success of the meeting; and to the Clerk of the Weather. (Applause)

He declared the meeting closed at 3.46.

The Ringing World, July 10, 1992, pages 663 to 675

Public Relations Committee
International Liaison Report for 1991 - Part I

(by Fred E. Dukes)

Introduction: This report is based on the contents of letters received from all areas beyond the shores of the British Isles, and from references appearing in The Ringing World, Ringing Towers, The Clapper and the S. A. Ringing Circle. Whilst no specific references are shown against the extracts used, it is trusted that the editors will not then object to the use of their respective publications in generalising the contents included in this report. Gratitude is therefore extended to them, and due acknowledgement is accorded for the use of the material extracted.

Every area has produced much activity in bellringing, and further advances were made in some places in change-ringing, proposed additional ringers of bells and in the general attitude and enthusiasm towards the Exercise. Long may it continue.

Council Meeting, London: The meeting in London in May was to mark the centenary of the founding of the Central Council. There was a full attendance of the representatives of every Guild and Association affiliated from abroad, which was very creditable. Many ringing visitors representing some of the countries came to London, mainly for the International Ringing Contest and also to take part in the several activities connected with the centenary as well as to ring our bells.

The International Display during this year consisted of two maps of the world; one which had the rings of bells known to exist in 1891 marked on it, and the second map showed the 1991 position. It was interesting to note the enormous increase in the number of rings provided during the past 100 years. Also on display was some material highlighting the Grahamstown Bells Restoration Appeal, and the marvellous project undertaken in Kilifi by Paul Smith, Deborah Blagden and Michael O’Callaghan during their holidays. The display attracted much attention, and several of the visitors took away Grahamstown Appeal brochures which were available at the display panels.

Communications: Three “Newsletters” were sent to two-dozen locations overseas, and they were reproduced in full by The Clapper and S. A. Ringing Circle. Extracts were used in the Ringing Towers. Thanks are recorded to Jessie Ravage, Peter Whitehead and to the rotational South African editors for kindly enabling their readers to be aware that they are remembered by the Central Council in general and also by the Public Relations Committee in particular.

In addition to the “Newsletters” as a means of communication, several letters passed to and fro; all of those coming in were full of interest.

There were visits to various countries by teams of ringers from the U.K. and there was also a number of counter-flows. Such visits were beneficial to visitor and visited alike, and such interchanges are to be welcomed as a practical means of communication.

At the Council Meeting in London, I was delighted to meet so many to whom I had been writing but had never met in person, and it was a great thrill to speak to so many who travelled to London.

State of Ringing: Continued progress is reported from Australia and New Zealand, particularly in change-ringing. Several new methods were rung to peals and quarter-peals, and a number of first-timers rang in them.

Enthusiasm continued in America, where all major events were well supported by visiting ringers. The peal and quarter-peal records for tower bells don’t show any adverse trend: indications everywhere with teams of ringers are that the bells are rung regularly.

The Italian scene continues to make progress, with additional teams here and there. Ringing by the English style is progressing, thanks to visits from U.K.

In Africa, the ringing in general is holding its own. In some cases the tower is like “a bath full of water, with the plug out and the tap fully turned on”. Zimbabwe is maintaining its quota of ringers, and Kwe-Kwe is doing its best to at least keep the bells ringing. Harare supports their efforts with regular visits, when concentrated instruction is the order of the day. Kenya has a band of native Kenyan ringers who are doing their best to keep the bells ringing.

Meetings: The annual general meeting of the Zimbabwe Guild took place in Harare on 8th February. All officers were re-elected, with the exception of Val Grossmith who resigned as the secretary because of her impending return to England. Val is one of those persons any Guild cannot do without. She has to her great credit represented her Guild at every Council meeting except one, since the Guild became affiliated. The meeting itself and the ancillary events were spread over three days. Full advantage was taken of the visitors present to indulge in practical ringing in methods to help the less-experienced, including the ringers from Kwe-Kwe. It was such a busy weekend that few were inclined to return to their own abodes, such was the progress made on that occasion.

The Transvaal Society held its A.G.M. on 23rd March, and this was followed by a successful peal of Cambridge S. Major. No change in office-holders was reported. Visitors included D. Paul Smith, a founder member, and Deborah Blagden.

Still in Africa, the South African Guild met in Durban for its annual meeting and striking contest during the weekend of 12-14 July. The events included a peal rung at St. Mary’s to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Delville Wood. It was the first peal of Royal on the bells. Bob Woodhead became the Guild Secretary, and during the meeting it was decided to hold a competition for the best design for a Guild badge, and it was announced that the Haggi Rand Company had donated a hoist to the Guild for use in bell towers as required.

The Australian and New Zealand Association met in Goulburn and Yass for their weekend of ringing courses and annual meeting. A tour was arranged to Canberra to view the carillon. April 27 was the date of the A.G.M. and it was a well-organised occasion and managed in an efficient manner by the President, Chris O’Mahoney. Also in April, the new Western Australia Branch was inaugurated at a meeting in Claremont, when branch officers were elected.

In America there was a mid-Atlantic area of N.A.G. meeting in Washington, when the opportunity was availed of to ring on both of the tens there. It was decided to hold regular meetings on the second Saturday of each month in rotation at Washington, Newcastle and Philadelphia. A well-attended, enjoyable dinner took place in Philadelphia during the vernal equinox weekend. Nine towers were represented and there was even U.K. representation. Quarter-peals were rung, and on Sunday handbells rang during church services in two of the city churches.

The “big event” meeting was the Guild annual meeting in Little Rock during the weekend of 31st August, and was spread over four days, and this year the prime attraction was the presence of the Central Council President, Christopher Groome, and he received a great welcome. He stood in two of the five quarter-peals (conducting one of them). All officers were re-elected, except the P.R.O.; Tina stood down in favour of Bruce Butler, since she would still be residing for most of the year in the U.K.

The annual Memorial Day visit to Quebec attracted 20 ringers. Linda Woodford arrived earlier than the remainder to execute some necessary maintenance work, including the replacement of the cracked bearing on No. 6 at the Cathedral. The annual Three Towers Festival took place on April 5 in Houston this year. The ringers from the three towers, Little Rock, Texarkana and Houston, were joined by others from outside the area. Much benefit was obtained by the more recent recruits to bellringing, and three of Marie Cross’s pupils scored their first quarter-peal of Plain Bob Doubles.


Australia - In spite of the Albury Church fire, the bells are rung for weddings, practices and Sunday services in the nearby Hall.

Congratulations to Laith Reynolds on being admitted as a Freeman of the City of London.

Brisbane ringers made the 270 km journey to Maryborough to join the locals for some instructive ringing. They also rang a quarter-peal there.

Zimbabwe - The twinning of Harare with Farnham, Surrey, took place on 19th May, when a quarter-peal of Plain Bob Major was successful in marking the event. There were four ringers from each tower and it included Crispin Nyatsuro, a native Zimbabwean, who scored his first quarter of Major.

The Ringing World, April 17, 1992, page 376

Public Relations Committee
International Liaison Report for 1991 - Part II

(by Fred E. Dukes)

Publicity and Public Relations: The release of Terry Waite was celebrated by the ringing of the bells of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Honolulu, Hawaii. The event was very well publicised, resulting in radio, press and three TV crews invading the Cathedral ringing room to record the ringing and to interview the ringers, which included Bishop Donald Hart who rang No. 6 bell. The bells were heard ringing during two news broadcasts later. Some good public relations work was done at the Ithaca Festival, U.S.A., when a change- ringing demonstration on handbells was organised. At the North American Guild’s A.G.M. in Little Rock, all the publicity beforehand paid off, since the press and television crews were present to record and film the ringing at the Cathedral. It was reported at the meeting itself that the Guild has a video-cassette of “The Bells of Whitechapel”, it being a National Geographic film. It is a good promotional presentation to display to interested persons who may be considering the installation of a ring of bells. The peal of Plain Bob Royal in Chicago was well publicised in the local press and on TV thanks to the P.R. work by Mark Rizzo, which resulted in an invasion of the ringing room after the peal came to a successful conclusion by newspapermen and TV personnel. The interviews were reported in the local papers and on TV programmes. Subsequently the congregation arriving for services at St. Paul’s, Riverside, were able to recognise some of the ringers shown on TV!

The ringers of St. Matthew’s, Auckland, were given a whole page article with pictures in the New Zealand Herald. This was a very well-written article as a result of strong representations by Valerie Stone, who refused to be associated with a proposed gimmick event by the interviewers. They did agree to be authentic about ringing and Valerie did a very good job for the Exercise, due to the resultant good publicity. This followed on shortly after the “hoax” article about the dangers to ringers in the belfry.

The Parktown ringers of St. George’s Church, Johannesburg, Transvaal, had a visit from a newspaper reporter, which resulted in a very welcome article in “Lifestyle” section of The Star, a local daily. There were coloured pictures of all the ringers including Cyril Chambers (82) and Claire Roberts (10), who came in for special mention. Very good P.R. stuff!

Durban, South Africa, too, did a good job in having the ringing televised on Ascension Day to help publicise Bibliathon ’91. The Town Clerk of Grahamstown requested that the Cathedral bells should be rung on the last day of the National Arts Festival. There was also an Open Tower Day on the first Saturday of the Festival, when a large number of visitors made their ways up the tower to be shown the bells and to learn how they are rung. The bells were included in the broadcast service of Eucharist during the Festival. The Sunday Tribune (Durban) provided a well-written article based on the restoration project for Grahamstown Cathedral and made particular reference in it to the “men of Durban”, particularly Eric Webster, who were closely involved in the construction of the new steel bell-frame. In Grahamstown itself Grocotts Mail wrote about the restoration work on the Cathedral bells and the association of the Rhodes University with the Cathedral project, under the title “Rhodes achieves ‘first’ in offering bell-ringing course”. The course is being included in the Music Department’s calendar. A photograph was included which showed Eric Webster standing in the middle of the new bell-frame. The East London Daily Dispatch published a similar article on the Rhodes association with the Bells Appeal.

In Australia a request was made by the Perth City Council for the bells of St. George’s Cathedral to be rung as much as possible, in the hopes of luring people to the city centre during the Christmas shopping period. The local ringers responded by ringing the bells during lunchtime on shopping days. There were whole page coloured advertisements featuring the bells in the local papers. Over in Hobart, the Cathedral Fair - which coincided with the Hobart City Pageant - in November, involved the ringing of the Cathedral bells, and the belfry was really crowded with interested visitors during the event. Geelong Advertiser gave publicity to the peal at St. Paul’s Church on 22nd September, when David Heyes was interviewed. He explained how method ringing is performed to the reporter. The method rung in the peal was Geelong Surprise Major, being the first in the method.

In The Ringing World No. 4173, some sound advice was given on “Relations with the Media”. Every P.R.O. person and tower correspondent is recommended to read that article if they have not already done so. It should assist them in their future actions.

In connection with the restoration of the ring at Verona Cathedral, a pamphlet “Il Campanile della Cattedrale di Verona” was published, and it contains an interesting account of the Cathedral bells.

Ringing Courses: It is very encouraging to note that ringing courses were organised in most centres of ringing. They were devoted to the teaching of ringers, change-ringing, rope maintenance and splicing and also method splicing.

The Zimbabwe Guild provided a talk on Oxford and Kent Treble Bob, followed with a discussion. What was learned was then put into practice on the Cathedral bells to both Minor and Major, which it is reported went very well.

In Dunedin, N.Z., there was an Adult Education Course which also included bell handling, lectures, demonstrations and exercises in various aspects of rinsing. There was a follow-up course later in the year, when four quarter-peal attempts were successful.

The Sydney, N.S.W., Ringing Course in January brought together about 30 ringers. This year it was a one-day event at Christ Church, St. Laurence, when experienced ringers gave of the time freely to stand behind the less-experienced to urge them on in the various methods practised. Altogether it was a progressive and wonderful event. The A.G.M. of the Western Australia Branch of ANZAB, at Claremont, held an organised course for the first time. The subjects included belfry maintenance and advanced method ringing.

The annual exchange of young ringers was in Italy this year, when the English visitors took part in a course for Italian style ringing.

The annual Ringing Course arranged in conjunction with the A.G.M. of the North American Guild concentrated this year on striking and rhythm. Progress was reported and a number of learners “sailed” through Plain Hunt by the time the course ended. There was also a rope-splicing session as part of the course. The annual Memorial Day visit to Quebec attracted 20 ringers, who assisted in the training of the nucleus of a local band to ring the Cathedral bells. Consequent on this progress, some of the visitors agreed to go back to Quebec periodically to encourage the new team at the Cathedral.


Canada - A touring party from Essex went on a ringing tour in Canada and rang at all ringable towers. They scored one peal on the bells of Victoria Cathedral in the method of Yorkshire Surprise Royal.

U.S.A. - Abilene had an intensive teaching session from some of the ringers travelling to the Annual General Meeting of N.A.G. in Little Rock. It is good to know that there is a local band in training, especially after the improvement in the control of the bells after some extensive work on them. There was a truly international set of ringers in Honolulu on Easter Sunday for the dedication of the new ring in the Cathedral. Honolulu is ideally suited as a stopping point between Australia and America. The Vernal Equinox was as usual celebrated in Philadelphia when the spring dinner attracted a number of well- known ringers from other parts of the continent and they took part in the successful quarter-peal (R.W. 4176).

The Ringing World, April 24, 1992, page 402

Public Relations Committee
International Liaison Report for 1991 - Part III

(by Fred E. Dukes)

Additional Rings, Restorations and Augmentations: In Australia, the new ring in St. Matthew’s Church, Albury was dedicated on 3rd February. The bells were installed in the tower during the last weeks of 1990 and were rung for the first time on Christmas Day (1990). There was then no floor between the ringers and the bells, which was remedied later. There was a disastrous fire which destroyed the church itself, but the tower suffered little damage and no damage was caused to the bells.

Not mentioned in the 1990 report was the dedication of the new ring in St. James’s Church, Gardenvale which were blessed and dedicated in December of that year.

More rings are contemplated particularly in the Western Australia area. In fact, a ring of eight has been donated for St. Hilda’s Anglican School, in Mosman Park, and four new bells are to be provided to join the two from St. Paul’s, Canonbury to provide a six bell ring at St. Mary’s Anglican Girls School, Karrinyup. A ring of six bells is also proposed for St. Mary’s Church, Busselton.

Good news comes from All Saints Cathedral, Bathurst. The Dean and Chapter have decided to hang the bells in a new tower to be built, and as a first step, to arrange for the bells to be retuned, have their canons removed and be provided with modern fittings. The bell frame for Beechworth has been constructed and steps are being taken to launch an appeal to buy the bells.

The most remote ring of bells in the world must be the new ring installed in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Honolulu which were dedicated on Easter Sunday. This event brought together representative ringers from all parts of the ringing world (see RW 4175 and Clapper V 18. No. 3).

EXPO bells were eventually settled at St. Paul’s Church, Riverside, Chicago and were dedicated in January. Although the ringers have to endure all classes of weather they nevertheless ensure that the bells ring for church services.

Some very good work was put in hand by a team led by Linda Woodford in an endeavour to restore the ring of bells at St. Mary’s Church, Burlington, NJ. It is hoped to have these bells ringable in the not too distant future. An inspection was carried out on the bell installation in St. Michael’s Church, Charleston with a view to having them restored to proper ringing order. Rumour has it that Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is contemplating a tower bells project. Hopefully this will materialise in a further ring in America.

The project at St. James’s Cathedral, Toronto to provide a ring of 12 bells is progressing satisfactorily. Two new bells are to be cast in July next and the installation should be completed by the autumn. Already there is the nucleus of a team of ringers in the area.

In Italy, a major restoration of the bells of Verona Cathedral was effected. The tenor is the heaviest ringing bell in the world and weighs 88 cwts. The restored bells were dedicated at a special ceremony in the Cathedral in November.

Grahamstown Cathedral, South Africa restoration is in hand and the new frame has been constructed. The bells have been lowered to ground level to enable the old frame to be removed and attention is to be given to the bells themselves.

Some more useful work was executed in the tower of St. Thomas’s Church, Kilifi to protect the bells installation from the inclement weather conditions. Concrete screen blocks were installed in the tower openings for this purpose.

International Ringing Contest: Perhaps the most significant ringing event of the year was the International Ringing Contest held at St. Lawrence Jewry, London on 26th May to coincide with the centenary celebrations of the Central Council. The event was organised locally by the London Meeting organising committee and it drew teams from eight countries - Australia cum New Zealand; America; Italy; Zimbabwe; the four home countries, and a team from South Africa consisting of ringers who had rung in Africa but were not qualified according to the Rules to officially compete, and showed “the flag” by ringing as a team even though they knew they were not being judged as competitors. The contest was deservedly won by the Australia/New Zealand team and they took both the world championship and overseas championship trophies back to Australia. The contest was a very sporting and pleasant occasion. The applause which greeted the Italian team after they competed was spontaneous and very much appreciated. They are not used to the English style of ringing and great credit is due to them for their performance. Likewise; the reception given to Crispin Nyatsura, the young native black African, when he received the commemorative certificate on behalf of his team, was something which will be remembered for a long time to come. He received prolonged applause as he walked back to his place after receiving the certificate. These two incidents indicate the genuine sportsmanship and mutual feelings for ringers throughout the world, also to acknowledge with gratitude the trouble international ringers took to be in London for this great contest. This committee considered the observations made regarding the event and decided to institute enquiries from all concerned as to the future, accordingly questionnaires were sent to each competing country in August and the replies will be considered at the next meeting after the replies have all come to hand.

Tours: Quite a number of tours by parties of ringers were organised during the year. A party of Australians came to the UK mainly to take part in the Central Council centenary celebrations in London. They extended their stay and were able to ring at over 50 towers throughout the country, but mainly in the London area, Oxford and Derby. The party was augmented by a number of local ringers who did everything possible to make the visitors feel most welcome and of course, many new friendships were established.

Some tours consisted of UK ringers visiting the American centres of ringing. These tours were led respectively by Colin Turner, Chris Kippin, Bob Cater and the Scottish party. There was also an invasion of the UK by some American ringers also to celebrate the Council’s centenary and to do some ringing while over here. Colin Turner’s party planned to ring at each ringable tower in the USA within two weeks, and they succeeded with the co-operation of the American ringing fraternity. The Scottish party scored eight peals, including one at Quebec Cathedral (RW 4216).

The Hapless Society in Australia organised an internal tour of Victoria and Tasmania at the end of the year. A total of 12 peals were successful - eight in 1991, and methods included and rung for the first time were Bendigo Surprise Major and Blue Gum Surprise Major (1992).

The Italians came to London for the centenary event and took every advantage of ringing according to the English style in as many towers as practical. This year the annual exchange was from UK to Italy and was led by Carol Franklin. The young ringers (and not so young) attended the school for Italian style ringing during their week’s stay in Italy. Places visited included Venice, Gardaland and the wine producing regions.

A party of 14 led by Andrew Wilby left London on St. Stephen’s Day and arrived in New Zealand for a peal ringing tour, and just in time to ring three peals before the close of the year. The tour extended into 1992 - so you will be kept in suspense until the 1992 report, as to whether or not they ever returned to the UK - unless of course, you will have read The Ringing World (4220)!

Publications: As well as The Ringing World, which reported so many of the ringing events which took place abroad, we had the regular issues of The Clapper, Ringing Towers and SA Ringing Circle. To the Editors of these publications must go our gratitude for the coverage of the many events in bell-ringing throughout the world. A change of Editorship has taken place with Ringing Towers, Peter Whitehead, who did a marvellous job during his sojourn as Editor, had to stand down and his successors, Esther Perrins and Andrew Goodyer, have made a good start with the first issue of 1992. Thank you, Peter, and best wishes to Esther and Andrew.

In America, Carl Zimmerman, the CGNA Statistical Keeper, pursued American ringers with questions about little known tower bell installations, for the second edition of an Encyclopedia of bell towers, which is due for publication early in 1992.

Campane nei Secoli (Bells Through the Centuries) is the title of a new publication written by Giancarlo Tomassi and Andrea Consolaro, in Italian. It is a well written publication and contains much of historical interest and even the Central Council comes in for mention. It is a fascinating publication and if it were written in English it would surely find a place on many a UK bookshelf. Ringers are recommended to attend John Gallimore’s classes for learning Italian! This book was launched at a special function in the museum set up in a disused church near Verona Cathedral, which houses a large amount of ringing material.

Miscellaneous: Italy - It is interesting to learn that when augmentations are effected to rings of bells in Italy, the original bells carry the numbers in sequence after the augmentation that they bore before the additional bells were provided. For a six-bell ring the original bells are coded 1 to 6, but if two trebles are added, the new bells would be numbered 7 and 8, thus in rounds the bells would ring as 7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6! If they went up to ten bells the sequence in rounds would be 9,10,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6.

South Africa - The 70th anniversary of the installation of the ring of ten bells in St. Mary’s, Greyville, Durban was marked by an attempted quarter peal before the Morning Eucharist on Palm Sunday, the bells were a memorial to the 524 men of Greyville who died during the 1914-1918 World War.

The Transvaal Guild held its third “Ringing Days” get together during the weekend of July 6. Four planned quarter peals were successful and some intense practice was put in, on Grandsire, Stedman and London Surprise.

The Ringing World, May 1, 1992, pages 426 to 427

Public Relations Committee
International Liaison Report for 1991 - Part IV

(by Fred E. Dukes)

Peals & Quarter-peals: The appended table gives for each of the countries indicated the details of the totals of peals and quarter-peals successfully rung during the year. The figures are those accumulated and based on published performances in The Ringing World, and local Guild journals, up to the middle of March 1992. There may be more items which have not yet been published, and any missing links will have to be added to the 1991 totals in the next report.

The figures in brackets are the corrected totals for 1990, due to late appearances in ringing journals. Late entries were recorded and added to the 1990 figures.

The peals and quarter-peals for Australia are much the same as previously for tower bells, but there was a considerable drop in the number of handbell peals and “quarters” as against 1990.

Canada had three peals- rung at Quebec (2) and Victoria, and six quarter-peals, against none for 1990.

The performances for New Zealand show increases for tower-bell peals, and for those “in hand” - no change. There was a slight increase in the number of quarter-peals.

South Africa gained in both peals and “quarters” and it included the first peal of Royal rung in Durban, St. Mary’s.

Increased numbers of peals and quarter-peals have been recorded for the U.S.A. on tower bells and on handbells. The number of tower-bell quarters increased and the handbell efforts were almost halved.

Zimbabwe recorded no peals, but had two more quarter-peals than in 1990.

Under the “Others” category, peals were rung in China, Gibraltar, Hong Kong and Switzerland.

In addition to the statistics given in the table, there were peals rung in the U.K. for ANZAB and NAG, and also a quarter-peal to mark the twinning of Farnham, Surrey, with Harare, Zimbabwe. A total of 16 tower-bell and 5 handbell peals were involved.

There was a great variety of methods rung for the peals, on all numbers of bells from 5 to 12, in all areas, particularly in Australia, where progress in the ringing of new methods appears to be unstoppable, including Geelong Surprise, Bendigo Surprise, Blue Gum and Sturts Desert Pea Surprise methods, and Southern Cross Surprise Royal.

In America the momentum of ringing advanced methods was maintained, and it is noted the Surprise methods for each month of the year were rung to peals on both tower and “in-hand” peals.

It is praiseworthy to note that a number of ringers from Australia and America appeared in the “league” table for quarter-peals rung in 1990, with James Smith heading the list with 180 and Don Morrison of Boston with 108 heading the American contingent. Two very young ringers were included at the lower end of the league table, viz.: Rachel Spratt (15) 32 and Angus Foster (18) with 25. Notable events for 1991 worthy of highlighting are:

Congratulations to all concerned with these performances.

TowerHandTotalLeading TowerTowerHandTotalLeading Tower
76884Sydney: St. Mary 15131711328Sydney: St. Mary 67
3-3Quebec: Cathedral 28-8Victoria: 5
New Zealand(9)(3)(68)(9)
13316Auckland: 574175Auckland: 34
South Africa(5)(-)(13)(-)
8-8Parktown: 518-18Durban & Parktown:
7 each
612889Boston: Advent 20
Cambridge: 22 hand
21143254Raleigh: 40
---11-11Harare: 10
Figures in brackets are those relative totals for 1990.
The whole figures are those for 1991 and are based on recorded details.


Kenya - Thanks to Deborah Blagden and Doreen Creighton (Kenya) and also a copy of a letter from a Kilifi native ringer, there is news that the bells of St. Thomas’s Church are in ringing condition. Some protection has been provided in the tower openings at bells level to protect them from adverse weather conditions - including monsoons. The native ringers practise regularly and also ring for Sunday services. The Kilifi ringers would welcome visits from experienced ringers who may be considering a visit to Kenya.

New Zealand - Mike and Valerie Stone left Auckland, where they did a Trojan job for bellringing, and returned to the U.K. On their way home, they took the opportunity to ring in Australia, Africa and America. Their departure from Auckland has not dampened their old tower’s spirits, and it is good to learn of continued achievements there. No doubt the “Stones” will be pleased that their good work was not in vain.

Thanks: Sincere thanks are accorded to all concerned with the ringing of bells throughout the world. Especially, those serving in remote places deserve our gratitude for what they are doing for the Exercise. The officers of the associations and guilds are doing much to bring together ringers for meetings and practices, the training of recruits and teaching method ringing.

The editors of the bellringing journals, including of course The Ringing World, are deserving of appreciation, gratitude and support in the work of telling ringers the “news” of what neighbouring and other towers are accomplishing in the world of ringing. The high standards reached by the editors is very much appreciated, and they are all deserving of our heartfelt thanks for their onerous tasks and for ensuring that their publications always appear by the due dates.

George Morris of Malvern Link, that great friend of the Italian ringers and whose responsibilities cover Europe in general, has been most helpful in providing the reports about the Italian friends and ringing. Thanks, George, for your dedication to the Italian cause, and for your assistance in reports, some of which were fully covered in The Ringing World.

The writer is grateful to the many friends who correspond about international affairs, including those representatives residing in the U.K.

“That’s All - Stand.”


International Liaison,
Meadow Cottage, Whitecross,
Drogheda, Co. Louth,

The Ringing World, May 8, 1992, page 452


Chairman’s Report

1991 has been a year of deep recession in the UK and many small businesses have struggled to survive. Against such a harsh economic climate it is of some satisfaction to report that The Ringing World Limited remains in good financial heart, and that 1991 has been a successful year for both The Ringing World and the Ringing World Diary.

As Chairman I may be permitted to apportion some of the credit for this situation to my fellow Board members, whose financial policies, planning and management have helped maintain the buoyancy of the Company during this difficult period. I am also very conscious that the continuing success of The Ringing World is dependent on the goodwill and active support of a great many people, and I would take the opportunity of expressing my thanks to these supporters.

Despite the recession the readership of The Ringing World has remained extremely loyal, and whilst we have seen a marginal drop in sales it appears that in general its purchase remains a priority with many ringers. We are grateful also to the many contributors who continue to submit the material which keeps the paper newsworthy and readable. In these difficult times it is also appropriate to thank our advertisers for their continued support.

The general level of ringing activity has meant even more demand for space this year. (The Editor continues to have this nightmare in which he imagines that Terry Waite was released to coincide with the Queen Mother’s birthday and the Central Council centenary.) However our “production team” has coped magnificently and our thanks go to all of those involved in the setting of peals and quarter-peals.

Finally, the success or failure of The Ringing World is totally dependent on the enthusiasm and commitment of our two employees. The job title of Deputy Editor does little to describe the many duties so cheerfully and efficiently carried out by Anne Carpenter, and we are grateful for her hard work throughout the year. David Thorne’s contribution to the quality and success of the paper is acknowledged throughout the Exercise, and I am sure that all readers of this report would join me in congratulating him on achieving, at the end of 1991, the tenth anniversary of his appointment as Editor.

H.W. Egglestone



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