The first meeting of the new Council - the 95th since its foundation - was held in the College of Higher Education in Caerleon on Tuesday, June 1st. It followed a corporate service of Holy Communion in Caerleon Church that had been attended by a large number of Council members and friends.

The meeting was opened promptly at 10 o’clock by the President, Christopher J. Groome of the Peterborough DG, who welcomed those present and invited the Revd. Dr. John Baldwin, a representative of the host Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association and himself a former President of the Council, to open the meeting with prayer.

In his report on the Council’s present membership that followed, the Secretary said that there had been a decrease of one in the number of affiliated societies following the dissolution of the Railwaymen’s Guild. The remaining 68 societies had between them elected 186 representatives (and there was for the present one further vacancy), and there were one ex officio, seven Life and 22 Honorary members, giving a total membership of 216 - one more than at Peterborough last year. All subscriptions had, he said, been paid.

Apologies for absence

The Secretary said that he had received apologies from one Life member, Mr. W.B. Cartwright; from two Honorary members, Mr. M.J. Tyler and Miss Emma St John Smith; and from several representative members - Miss A. Phillips and Messrs. A. Hudson, W.H. Jackson, R.G.T. Morris, D. Morrison, M.J. Pomeroy, P.S. Seaman, A.R. Smith, and D.G. Walker. He added that, in the absence of their elected members, both the North American and the Zimbabwe Guilds were being represented on this occasion by “alternates” in the persons of Mr. G. White and Mrs. V. Grossmith.

Further apologies for absence were given for Messrs. F.E. Collins (Life) and S.C.W. Hutchieson, A.J. Martin, M. Quimby, and P.A. Thompson.

New members

The President welcomed forty of the 45 new members on the Council (the remaining five were not present), saying that he hoped they would enjoy their service and find the work of the Council fruitful and rewarding. They were Miss T. Crowder, Miss R.M. Rodway, Mrs. W. Daw, Mrs. G. Hodgkinson, Mrs. E.S. Riley, Mrs. J.A. Robertson, the Revds. D.C. Brookes* and D.L. Cawley, and Messrs. P.S. Andrews, D.P. Bagley, G. Barr, P.L. Bill, B.J. Bull, A.G. Craddock*, P.A. Cummins, G.E.J.A. Doughty, B. Gross, J.E. Hawes, M. Herbert, E.M. Jones, A.C.D. Lovell-Wood, D.R. McLean*, J.R. Martin, A.B. Mills, A.P. Nicholson, G.R. Parker, R.J. Parker, A.J. Phillips, M. Pidd, C. Ridley, P. Shipton, A.J. Sinden, I.V.J. Smith*, D.A. Strong, N. Thomson, J.F.I. Turney*, R.D. Warford, M. Way, G. White (alternate) and R.E.H. Woolley. (Those marked with an asterisk had served on the Council at some time in the past.)

As the Secretary read out each name, the member stood briefly; and at the end of what was an unusually lengthy list they were collectively welcomed with applause.

Similar applause greeted a “welcome back” from Mr. W.F. Moreton (Life) to Mr. E.A. Barnett, a former Secretary of the Council, who last year, following a hip operation, had been absent from his first Council meeting since 1945.

Losses through death

Members stood in silence as the Secretary read the names of Council members who had died since the last meeting: T.J. Lock (Middx CA, 1946-48 and from 1951 until his death); P.A. Corby (London CA, 1939-45; Kent CA, 1951-54 and 1960-81; Leicester DG, 1954-60; and a Life member from 1981 until his death); G.W. Simmonds (Devonshire G, 1976-77); and W.A. Theobald (North American G, 1973-80).

Prebendary John Scott (Honorary) said a brief prayer.

Election of Life Members

Two ringers had been proposed for Life membership of the Council - Howard W. Egglestone and C. Kenneth Lewis.

Proposing the former, Mr. M.J. Church (Honorary) spoke of his service over many years to the Exercise and the Council, and in particular of his contribution, as Chairman of Ringing World Limited, to the present stability and success of The Ringing World. The latter point was taken up by his seconder, Mr. C.A. Wratten, who after briefly describing Mr Egglestone’s contribution to ringing wherever he had lived, praised his work in transmuting a one-time Council committee into an effective Company Board of individualists.

The election was unanimous - indeed, the Llandaff and Monmouth DA’s tellers reported an estimated 230 hands raised in favour. Since the President had earlier said that those present totalled about 194, this caused a roar of laughter.

Thanking his sponsors and the Council for the honour, Mr. Egglestone said he hoped the 45 new Council members would enjoy their time on the Council as much as he had, before going on to pay credit to the work of his colleagues on the Ringing World Board and to the paper’s Editor. (Applause)

Mr. Lewis’s election was proposed by Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) and seconded by Mr. E.A. Barnett. Mr. Smith said that Mr. Lewis would be eighty later in the year, and that for sixty years his ringing had been rooted in his native Cheshire. He described his services to the Chester DG, his work on composition, particularly of Spliced Minor, his practical ability as a ringer, his work for the Council - which was noted for his application of sheer common sense - and his work on the teaching of ringers.

After Mr. Barnett had described Mr. Lewis’ contribution to the first Central Council Handbook, published in 1956, Mr. Lewis, too, was elected nem con.

Mr. Lewis said that he had not missed a meeting since joining the Council in 1948, and throughout he had found that good sense prevailed: however technical some of the debates had been - and some had been very technical (laughter) - the Council had reached a sensible conclusion. He thanked members for the honour paid to him. (Applause).

Election of Honorary Members

Of the ten Honorary members who would complete their three-year term at the end of the meeting, Mrs. M.A. Wratten was not seeking re-election and Mr. M.C.W. Sherwood had become a representative member of the Council. Since there were already several vacancies among the 24 Honorary seats allowed for under the Council’s Rules, a total of thirteen places were available to be filled.

In the event only nine names were individually proposed and seconded: Messrs. D.W. Beard, who has been responsible for the production of the Collection of Rung Surprise (etc.) Methods; E. Billings, who is heavily involved in major fund-raising efforts for ringing centres; M.J. Church, the finance director of Ringing World Limited; J.C. Eisel, the Council’s Librarian pro tem; A.J. Frost, Chairman of the Towers and Belfries Committee and mastermind behind the work on ringing centres; J. Gallimore, the “linguistic link” with the Verona ringers; E.G.H. Godfrey, one of the Council’s Auditors; D.J. Roberts, Chairman of the Biographies Committee; and Miss Jean Sanderson, Chairman of the Library Committee.

Since the Rules require it, the first of what proved to be a number of ballots ensued. Following a quick clarification of the number of votes necessary for election, all nine were subsequently declared elected.

Rule change

On behalf of the Administrative Committee the Secretary then moved the first of a number of Rule changes that would be discussed during the course of the day.

This one, he explained, arose from the report of the Library Working Group, one of whose recommendations had been that the Honorary Librarian should cease to be one of the four principal Officers of the Council. The recommendation had been accepted by the Administrative Committee, which had agreed that the present situation had become anomalous following the formation of a Library Committee in 1976; and it had been endorsed by both the current Library Committee chairman and the ad hoc Librarian. It was consequently proposed that all references to the Honorary Librarian should be deleted from the Rule regarding the election of Officers.

A related change entailed the insertion of a new Rule. This would formally require the triennial election of Stewards for the Carter Ringing Machine, the Rolls of Honour, and the Library. (The word “steward” had been chosen, Mr Wratten explained, in place of the traditional “trustee” because the new Charities Act gave the latter a specific meaning in the case of registered charities such as the Council.) Although trustees had in fact been appointed in the past for the Ringing Machine and the Rolls of Honour, there had been no specific requirement to do so; and it was felt right that the Council should decide who should look after its most valuable single asset - the Library - rather than leave it to any one of an elected Library Committee.

After the Vice-President, Professor R.J. Johnston, had formally seconded the motion, it was carried without debate.

The Secretary then proposed, and the Vice-President similarly seconded, that the new Rules take immediate effect and, since it would obviously not be possible to obtain nominations for stewards “not less than two calendar months previous to the meeting” as required in the new Rule, that on this occasion they be accepted from the floor of the meeting.

This too was agreed.

Election of Officers

Professor R.J. Johnston, Chancellor of Essex University and Vice-President of the Council, had been nominated for the post of President by Mr. W.F. Moreton, who spoke of his work for ringing while in Yorkshire and of his service over the years for the Council. After Mr. N. Donovan (Yorkshire A) had formally seconded the nomination, the outgoing President declared him elected, there being no other nominee (applause).

Professor Johnston thanked Christopher Groome for his leadership over the past triennium, noting particularly his good sense, good humour, and good ideas. In commenting that the last year had been particularly busy for him, he having married, become Mayor of Kettering, and “negotiated a career change at the initiative of Norman Lamont” (laughter), he concluded by wishing him and Ruth all the best for the future.

Mr. Groome thanked Council members and their societies for making his term of office so happy. At the outset he had aimed to make the business meetings brisk; to “sort out” the Code of Practice; and to resolve the question of the representation of societies on the Council - and on the latter he trusted members would in due course vote “the right way” (laughter). His one disappointment had been that the Cathedral band at Peterborough had decided not to allow a board to be erected to record the peal rung there last year by Council members in memory of the late W.T. Cook.

Professor Johnston then took the chair, and invited Dr. Baldwin to propose the first of the two candidates for Vice-President, Mrs. Jane Wilkinson (Honorary). This he did, using a vufoil to summarise her career as a ringer, her work for the Council (which included establishing the Committee for Redundant Bells), on the Deanery Synod and as a school governor; and he was seconded by Mr. Barnett.

Mr. M.J. Church (Honorary) then proposed Mr. A.W.R. Wilby (ASCY), speaking of his contributions to the Council since 1978 and for Ringing World Limited, his work as a member of the Peterborough DG and his practical abilities as a ringer, and his enthusiasm for advancing the work of the Council. Seconding the nomination, Mr. S.C. Walters (Cambridge UG) emphasised Mr. Wilby’s close involvement in work at local level.

The election was by ballot, and there was an inevitable delay while the votes were counted. The result finally reported by the tellers and announced by the President was: Mr. Wilby, 83 votes, and Mrs. Wilkinson, 111, with three spoilt papers. To applause the President then welcomed Mrs. Wilkinson to the platform. She in turn thanked members for electing her, adding that she understand the primary function of a new Vice-President was to shut up and sit down, which she promptly did, to laughter and more applause.

There was only one nomination for the post of Honorary Secretary and Treasurer in succession to Mr. Wratten - Mr. C.H. Rogers (Guildford DG), he having been proposed and seconded by Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) and Mr. D.G. Thorne (Honorary) respectively. After the President had declared him elected (applause), he briefly thanked the Council for its support.

The Agenda had made provision for the election of an Honorary Librarian, but the earlier decision to replace the post by that of Library Steward meant some slight readjustment. Mr. S.C. Walters proposed, and Dr. Baldwin seconded, that the Library have a single steward, and after this had been agreed, Dr. J.C. Eisel was declared elected on the formal proposition of Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG), seconded by Mr. W.F. Moreton (applause). Congratulating him, the President added his thanks to both him and Miss Sanderson for their work in settling the Library into its new home.

Election of Auditors

Having completed twenty years as one of the Council’s honorary auditors, Mr. M.J. Church did not seek re-election. He did however propose Mr. J.T. Parsons (Lancashire A) as his successor, giving details of his experience and qualifications in this field of work, and was seconded by Mr. J. Kershaw (Lancashire A).

Mr. E.G.H. Godfrey’s election earlier as an Honorary Member of the Council had made him eligible for re-election as the other Auditor, and he was proposed and seconded by Mr. R.J. Cooles and Mr. S.C. Coleman (both Honorary) respectively.

After the Secretary had assured a questioner that the Administrative Committee had concluded that the new Charities Act did not prevent the Council from electing auditors from amongst its membership, both were declared elected.

Minutes of the last meeting

Mr. Wratten proposed the adoption of the Minutes (published on pp. 210-2 of The Ringing World of 26 February 1993), subject to the correction of “infinite” to “indefinite” in the third line of Motion c, and was seconded by Dr. A. Newing (Gloucester & Bristol DG). This was agreed without further discussion.

Secretary and Treasurer’s report

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

At the start of a new triennium the Council’s size remains substantially unchanged. Not all affiliated societies have yet (at the end of March) let me have their formal returns, but from those that have the occasional increase in representation seems to be offset by a reduction elsewhere.

For the same reason that I cannot yet be sure of the precise size of he Council, the total resident membership of the affiliated societies is still not entirely clear. It cannot be less than 27,000, but I hope to have a more reliable figure at Caerleon.

For the first time for a number of years, however, there has been a decrease in the number of affiliated societies. At its AGM last October members of the British Railways Staff Association Guild of Change Ringers - a body perhaps better known to the Exercise as the Railwaymen’s Guild - voted to wind up the society, and it ceased to exist at the end of the year. The Guild had been formed in 1956, and became affiliated to the Council eleven years later.

At least 39 of the representatives on the 35th Council are newly elected. This amounts to more than a fifth of the representative membership and marks a significant increase on the turnover I reported three years ago. I nevertheless find it immensely encouraging that so much new blood is coming to the Council, bringing with it fresh ideas, new experiences, and a rejuvenating outlook to the service of the Exercise. In welcoming them most sincerely and wishing them well, I would at the same time thank those they have succeeded for their contributions to the work of the Council - whether as committee members, in debate, or by representing the view of the parochial ringer as they have cast their votes. And although it is unusual to mention past members by name in this report, I should also pay tribute to two major figures in the Council’s recent history who have died since the Peterborough meeting - Tom Lock and Phil Corby. Their distinguished services to the Council over many years are summarised, together with those of Bill Cook, in the Biographies Committee’s report.

Financially, 1992 was not a typical year. On the expenditure side the cost of moving the Library from Kent to Herefordshire following the death of the Librarian proved not to be negligible (nor indeed did the physical effort required of those involved), and added a thousand pounds to General Fund expenses. On the other side of the balance sheet, however, the Council received a most generous donation of some £10,500 from the estate of the late Tom Lock, to be used to support bell restoration. A similar sum went to the Middlesex County Association for the same purpose. It needs to be recorded that both donations were made in an uncompleted will; and it was the decision of Mr. Lock’s sons that their father’s instructions should nevertheless be honoured. We are indeed grateful to the Lock family for this wonderful gesture.

Further donations were received during the year from the Radcliffe Trust (£500 to the Bell Restoration Funds Committee towards the cost of producing a video film), from the brother of the late W. T. Cook (£250 to the Library), and even from the European Community (a Youth for Europe grant to the Education Committee towards the cost of the Anglo-Italian exchange in the summer). Publications sales more than doubled during the year, and although this inevitably increased some costs, the net loss on publications reported over the past two years was converted in 1992 to a net income to the Council of more than £3,300.

However the rapid drop in interest rates at the end of the year means that the large amounts of investment income that have been a feature of recent years are unlikely to persist. The effect is already discernable in the General Fund, but it has been disguised in the Publications Fund accounts by that committee’s successful recovery of a significant amount of underpaid interest. Overall, the Council’s worth (excluding the Lock donation) has nevertheless increased by some 6%, well above the rate of inflation at the year end.

This is my final report to the Council as its Secretary and Treasurer, and I cannot end it without thanking the Council most sincerely for its forebearance, its help, and above all for its friendship over the past twenty and more years. I know you will accord the same to my successor.

Replying to a question from Mr. R.J. Perry (Truro DG), Mr. Wratten said that he had still not received a membership return from some societies, and was consequently unable to update the figure he had given in the second paragraph of his report.

The report was then adopted.

1992 Accounts

Mr. Wratten explained a number of the General Fund items and the reasons for differences between the 1991 and 1992 figures, reiterating several of the points made in his report. Mr. N.E. Booth (Scottish) commented that, in addition to the Radcliffe Trust donation, the Administrative Committee had agreed that an earlier donation of £1,000 from the Manifold Trust could be used towards the cost of the bell restoration video.

After Dr. Hodge (Verona A) had asked what plans existed for using the bequest from the late Tom Lock, Mr. J.S. Barnes (SRCY) said that the Bell Restoration Funds Committee had the previous day considered unsuccessful applications for Manifold Trust grants and had decided to offer grants totalling some £7,000 to a number of such parishes.

Mr. W. Butler (Oxford DG) said that he could see no entry in the General Fund accounts for the insurance of the library, but was assured by Mr. Wratten that the cost was included in the general figure for expenditure on the library. Mr. S.S. Meyer (Ely DG) suggested that the accounts should perhaps show a more realistic value for the library than the traditional, but entirely nominal, £10.

Accounts for 1992
General Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1992
General income
930Affiliation fees935.00
-1991 affiliation fee5.00

Less: Administration costs
1469Council meeting (net)935.59
50Secretary’s honorarium50.00
106Stationery, post and telephone127.50
30Printing and photocopying22.50
27Bank charges38.30


Investment and Committee Income
13723Dividends and interest11373.49
1688less transferred to Capital Reserve1020.00

6648Education Committee: courses etc.7301.15

Less: Committee costs, grants, etc.
3614Committee expenses4718.15
-Committee expenses, 1991200.60
6535Education Committee courses7669.51
-Library Working Group79.00
-Regional seminars42.79
78Code of Practice working party7.77
800The Ringing World Ltd.800.00
375Sundries- . -



6247Excess of income over expenditure3180.57
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1992
90000NS Income Bonds90000.00
22516CBF Deposit Account42494.48
7285NS Investment Account1500.86
2628Bank Deposit accounts2119.61

799Cash and Bank balances367.81
-Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells3500.00
185Payments in advance244.00
630Sundry debtors245.59

60Affiliation fees in advance189.00
382Sundry creditors1522.51


123601Net Assets138760.84
75962Accumulated Fund, 1 January 199282209.72
6248Excess of income over expenditure3180.57

1229Add: donations for bell restoration and
interest thereon to 1 Jan. 1992
959Donations and interest 199211359.70

-less grant paid (to Uffington)400.00

37515Add: Capital Reserve, January 199239203.00
1688Allocated from income, 19901020.00


Publications Fund
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1992

3246Publications sold6523.79
584Stock written off519.69
725Stationery and postage1103.82
1229Administration and storage1050.00
72Publications Committee expenses108.35
251Ringing History project461.50
181Bank charges137.86


(1347)Excess of income over expenditure3332.54
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1992
9742Stock, at lower of cost or net realisable value11238.76
11178Bank Deposit Account13897.96
1456Cash and Bank balances110.37
90Sundry debtors76.50

1323Sundry creditors848.23

21143Net Assets24475.36
22489Accumulated Fund, 1 January 199221142.82
(1790)Cr Excess of income over expenditure3332.54

Friends of the CCCBR Library
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1992
200Transfer from General Fund200.00

363Books etc.103.50
68Stationery, post & photocopying69.57
4Bank charges3.00


93Excess of income over expenditure488.56
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1992
175Bank Deposit Account628.77
529Cash and Bank balances563.94

-Sundry creditors- . -

714Net Assets1202.71
621Accumulated Fund, 1 January 1992714.15
93Excess of income over expenditure488.56


The market value of the Council’s Library is not reflected in these accounts. During 1992 it was insured for £40,000.

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1992
9742Stock of publications11238.76
2784Cash and Bank balances1042.12
-Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells3500.00
275Payments in advance244.00
630Sundry debtors322.09

60Amounts received in advance189.00
1705Sundry creditors2370.74


145458Net Assets£164438.91
Capital Accounts
123601General Fund138760.84
21143Publications Fund24475.36
714Friends of the CCCBR Library1202.71



We have audited the financial statements on pages 2 to 6. In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Council’s affairs at 31st December, 1992, and of its income and expenditure for the year then ended.

) Hon. Auditors
May 1993

After Mr. Wratten had suggested that questions on the Publications and Library Funds might best be taken with the reports of the relevant committees, the meeting moved to the next item on the agenda.

Ringing Centres working party

On behalf of the working party, Mr. A.J. Frost (Honorary) went through its report in some detail:

1. Introduction

The Working Party was appointed in 1990 to investigate the possibility of a Ringing Centre as a way of lifting the Exercise off a “plateau” of ringing advancement. Initially the Working Party’s attention was, directed towards a single “National Ringing Centre”, but after examining a range of options it was drawn to the conclusion that promotion of a number of Centres throughout the country represented the best way forward.

2. Objectives

The objectives of a Centre should be the same as that of the Council itself, namely to promote the Art and Science of Campanology in its widest sense, by

3. Initiation of a Centre

Things happen when people are inspired by an idea and have the resources to act upon it. Any Centre will be what its local sponsors make of it. The Central Council should not, therefore, acquire property or set up a Centre and then find someone to run it, but should set standards and help local initiative.

4. Key Functions

It is proposed that the following Conditions and Functions should be essential components in any Ringing Centre that might be Recognised by the Central Council:

4.1 Support: the Centre should be supported by one or more local Ringing Guilds or Associations that are affiliated to the Central Council. This is seen as important because the Council could not recognise a Centre that did not receive the support of one of its affiliated members. A Centre should help a local Association with its activities. Local Associations might participate in the running of Centres, but the degree of their support would not be governed by the Council.

4.2 Constitution: there should be a commitment for the Centre to continue through a Trust or similar organisation. This Trust should appoint a Ringing Centre Director who would be responsible for running the Centre.

4.3 Teaching: every Centre should have a commitment to teaching bell ringers on the premises. It should be an AREA RESOURCE (i.e. the teaching should not be solely for the benefit of one tower).

4.4 Information: the Centre should have displays, which could be provided by the PR Committee, illustrating the many facets of bell ringing. There should be PUBLIC ACCESS to this information at times which should be advertised. The Ringing Centre Director, or an assistant, should act as a PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER to give information to the media and to whom the media could refer for newsworthy material.

4.5 Sales: the Centre should stock and sell, or distribute, Central Council and other publications on bell ringing.

4.6 Equipment: the Centre should possess a ring of bells and a simulator; video equipment would be desirable.

4.7 Facilities: a teaching room separate from the ringing room is essential, as are elementary catering (tea, coffee, biscuits) and access to lavatories.

5. Add-on activities and facilities

These are not listed but, for example, they might include “attractions” or fund-raising activities such as coffee shops, other sales areas, tourist facilities, library (e.g. Guild secretarial) facilities, and perhaps even provision for residential courses.

6. Central Council recognition and support

6.1 Business Plan: in order to become Recognised and supported by the Central Council a potential Centre should submit a Business Plan which should include:

6.2 Recognition of Centres: the Council should appoint a small Ringing Centres’ Committee to check the validity of Business Plans submitted. This Committee might also help potential Centres to organise themselves, but it is strongly felt that the initiative for setting up a Centre should be local. If the Committee considered that an actual or potential Centre met the criteria set out in paragraphs 4 and 6.1, it could offer that Centre Recognition on behalf of the Central Council. This would qualify a Centre to be supported by the Council as indicated in paragraph 6.4, and for such financial aid as might be available, as outlined in paragraph 6.3.

6.3 Central Council Resources: it is hoped that Recognised Ringing Centres will be seen by the Council as valuable in the promotion of the ringing Exercise, justifying the allocation to them of a share in the Council’s annual budget. It is understood from the Treasurer that it might be possible to make available something in the order of £2,000 per year, and from this budget the Ringing Centres’ Committee would be able to make grants for setting-up costs and eventually, possibly, for any special upgrading or updating costs. The grant that could be offered for any one centre would depend on its requirements and on the number of Centres recognised each year. The Council should not contribute directly towards the running costs of a centre, but would need to be assured by its Business Plan that these could be met.

6.4 Central Council support: in addition to any financial support for setting-up costs, every committee of the Council would be expected to support Ringing Centres by the provision of free hand-outs describing the committee’s work, by the advertisement where appropriate of the committee’s activities, by the continued provision of PR material, and by the supply of Central Council publications at discounted prices for resale by the Centres.

He then proposed its adoption, and was seconded by Mr. R. Cater.

A number of speakers commented on various aspects of the report: Mr. G.E.J.A. Doughty (Middx CA) felt it strange that yet another committee should be set up, while the work could well become the responsibility of the existing Education Committee; Mr. F.B. Lufkin (Essex A) believed its aims should be supported as a long-term policy, noting that such a Centre might well house a bell museum; and Mr P.M.J. Gray (ANZAB), who had undertaken much of the initial work on the idea of ringing centres, supported the proposal, commenting that the Council might be witnessing a momentous occasion. He said that although “leisure” ringing had made great advances over the past fifty years, “parish” ringing had remained largely unchanged. More ringers were needed, and more rings needed to be restored. He wasn’t entirely sure that it was possible to rise from the plateau that had been mentioned, and was concerned that an attempt to support too many things simultaneously might prove unhelpful; but the Council should, he said, provide impetus and support for initiatives such as this.

After Mr. I.H. Oram (SRCY) had deplored the lack of any reference in the report to the Church, Mr. B. Peachey (Police G) asserted that ringing lacked “academic credibility” and suggested the need for a Royal Institute or College of Church Bell Ringers - an idea taken up by Dr. M.B. Davies (Ely DG), who suggested that it might be possible to develop modules in (e.g.) Open University music degrees. Mr. J.R. Mayne (Hertford CA) expressed his concern at any move in such a direction: the aim should be to get as many new ringers as possible, he said, and since ringing called essentially for practical rather than intellectual skills, such a move could be counter-productive.

Mr. J.S. Barnes felt that a special committee would be essential - there would be too much to be done for the Education Committee to handle in addition to its existing responsibilities; and Mr. J.A. Harrison (Oxford DG) stressed that the committee would need to be proactive. Mr. P.W. Gay (N Staffs A) was however anxious that the report should not be the exclusive basis for any future work - for example, it referred to Centres “possessing” bells, whereas they needed only to have ready access to a ring. In addition the work of Centres would also need to be monitored after they had been formally recognised by the Council.

Replying, Mr. Frost accepted a number of the points that had been made - the need to be proactive, and specifically to encourage church bell ringing, for example - but the idea of a College of Campanology was both beyond the working party’s remit and marginal to the main issue.

The report was then adopted, after which Mr. Frost formally proposed the formation of a Ringing Centres’ Committee with terms of reference as set out in the agenda (RW 21 May, p. 502). Seconding him, Mr. R. Cater stressed that the key words in the latter would be the first two - “To promote (Ringing Centres).”

Mr. P.J. Tremain (Truro DG) was concerned that the terms of reference might prove restrictive, in that they referred to “standards set out in the Ringing Centres’ report”. Although Mr, Frost pointed out that the Committee would have to start from some basis, Mr. D.J. Jones (Peterborough DG) proposed, and Mr. Tremain seconded, that the words “to evaluate proposals for the formation of Centres against the standards set out in the Ringing Centres’ report” be deleted. An amendment to this, suggested by Mr. G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells DA) and replacing “against the standards set out in the Ringing Centres’ report” with “against standards agreed by the Council”, was however agreed first by Messrs. Jones and Tremain, and then by Messrs. Frost and Cater; and in this modified form the motion was put to the meeting and agreed.

The President said that the new committee, whose existence would need to be formalised by a Rule change next year, should have the standard membership of five and invited nominations.

Nine names were individually proposed and seconded: Miss S. Pattenden (SRCY) and Messrs. Billings, R. Booth, Cater, Frost, Gay, Groome, O’Callaghan, and H.W. Rogers, necessitating a ballot. Later in the meeting the President announced that Miss Pattenden and Messrs. Cater, Frost, Gay and Groome had headed the poll, and declared them elected.

Committee reports

The Council’s day-to-day work is carried out by members of its elected committees, the reports of which are circulated in advance of the meeting.

Peal Compositions

The first to be considered this year was that of the Peal Compositions Committee, the adoption of which was proposed by Mr. R. Bailey (Middx CA & London DG) in place of the former Chairman, Mr. P. Sanderson, who is no longer a member of the Council, and seconded by Mr. M.J.deC. Henshaw (Beverley & District S).

During 1992 the Committee has concentrated on bringing current projects to a successful conclusion, rather than embarking on any new initiatives. It is pleasing to report that this has been generally successful and it should therefore be possible to hand over a reasonably tidy state of affairs to the new committee.

Most of the compositions which had been in “the system” for an embarrassingly long period have now been published in The Ringing World. This shifting of the backlog, together with the productivity gains associated with the new computer purchased in late 1991, has resulted in a total of 109 peal compositions appearing in The Ringing World during 1992. This is more than double the 1991 total, and is the highest number achieved since 1986. The total includes 24 compositions rung to new methods, and we are again grateful to Julian Morgan for handling the bulk of the processing associated with these.

It is disappointing to report that a small number of compositions submitted to the Committee during 1990 for publication in The Ringing World appear to have been lost. We apologise to those composers concerned, and invite them to resubmit their work if they so wish.

The General Purpose Major collection is now at an advanced stage of preparation, requiring only the introduction to be written and final page formatting to be completed before handing over to the Publications Committee. We are optimistic that this will be achieved by the end of March 1993, hopefully enabling the product to be on sale for the Council meeting.

The Committee has continued to assist Tony Smith in proof-reading the index of Ringing World compositions. This now covers the years 1940-1992 inclusive, and again should be on sale by the Council meeting.

The Spliced Surprise collection is now being compiled by Roddy Horton on behalf of the Committee. This is a mammoth task and is at a less advanced stage, but steady progress is being made. Completion some time during 1994 would seem to be a realistic target.

The Stedman Triples collection has also been “contracted out” to an acknowledged expert in the field. Philip Saddleton has made an excellent job of compiling an interesting and fully representative collection, at the same time extending the scope to include compositions of Erin. Some problems are currently being encountered getting the material into camera-ready form, but hopefully these will be overcome in the near future, again allowing publication by the end of May 1993.

In the past the Committee has published yearly compilations of Ringing World compositions for 1980, 1986 and 1987. It had been this Committee’s intention to produce compilations for the missing years, but we are still some way off completion and realistically do not expect to have anything on sale by the end of this triennium. We remain of the view that such publications are worthwhile, especially as companions to the new index mentioned above, and recommend that the new committee adopts the project. Following the acquisition of our new computer in 1991 we had a considerable number of BBC disks to convert to IBM format. At the time of writing this task is still outstanding, mainly because of the logistical problems of getting the BBC machine, an IBM compatible, a suitable cable for connecting the two, and someone with the necessary technical expertise all in the same place at the same time. Once the conversion has been completed (and it is certainly this Committee’s intention to complete it if at all possible) the BBC machine and associated peripherals will be available for use by another committee.

Finally we have continued to provide a speedy response to members of the Exercise seeking advice on matters compositional.

After Mr. Bailey had said that work was continuing on the various collections referred to, the report was adopted; and the President then invited nominations for membership of the new committee.

Following a ballot, he was subsequently able to announce that Messrs. Bailey, P.R.J. Barnes (St Martin’s G), D.W. Beard (Honorary), Henshaw and M. Pidd (Leeds US) had been elected, S.D. Pettman (Suffolk G) being the unsuccessful candidate.


Mr. D.E. Sibson (SRCY) proposed the adoption of the following report, taking the opportunity to update the version that had been circulated to members, and he was seconded by Mr. J.R. Mayne:

A. First peals on tower bells
Jan15152Blue Gum S. MajANZAB
15088Morgantium S. MajYorks A
25040Vademecum S. RoyLeics DG
35024Forty S. MajLancs A
35040Wishbone S. RoyLeics DG
65152Or Del. MajLeics DG
85040Yewtree S. RoyLeics
115152Smardale S. MajS. Northants S
135088Jellicoe Del. MajLeics DG
165056Beaumanor S. MajSouthwell DG
185024Bocrandium S. MajYorks A
185040Warkworth S. RoyS Northants S
205056Iguassu Del. MajLeics DG
225152Jellium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
285024Taplow S. MajPeterboro DG
295040Kestrel S. RoyLeics DG
Feb15056Titicaca Del. MajLeics DG
35056Zephyr Del. MajLeics DG
55088Plumpton Wood S. MajLancs A
85024Chiswell Green S. MajSRCY
85024Clindum S. MajYorks A
85088Hidden Valley S. MajLancs A
85024Holloway Road S. MajMx CA & London DG
85080Redmarley All. MaxChester DG
155024Daruveda S. MajYorks A
155088Ormside S. MajS. Northants S
155082Avoncliffe S. RoyASCY
165088Amberley S. MajPeterboro DG
205024Great Dodd Del. MajOxford DG
215184Isham S. MajEly DA
225184Corsula S. MajYorks A
245056Botcheston Del. MajLeics DG
265024Jenny’s Cove S. MajBath & Wells DA
265040Malta G.C. S. RoyLeics DG
285024Mickleton S. MajEly DA
295088Silver Del. MajLeics DG
295024Exosades S. MajYorks A
295040Paean Del. RoyS. Northants Soc
295040Heronsgate S. RoyHertford CA
Mar25056Nictheroy Del. MajLeics DG
35000Foxhill S. RoySRCY
45152Leyspa Del. MajLeics DG
55184Orion MaxSt Martin’s G
135024Trinity Hall S. MajEly DA
145088Glanum S. MajYorks A
145024Watermoor S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
145000Chandos Del. RoyS. Northants S
185040Ugglebarnby S. RoyLeics DG
195024Folville S. MajSouthwell DG
215024Parisi S. MajYorks A
215000Lochranza S. RoyS. Northants S
255040Dovedale S. RoyLeics DG
275024Mangotsfield S. MajEly DA
275040Jasmine Del. RoyOxford DG
285152Barnet Del. MajHertford CA
285088Gigantic S. MajUniv Bristol S
285088Regni S. MajYorks A
285042Delaware S. MaxOxford DG
305152Woolley Del. MajHertford CA
305056Uckinghall Del. MajLeics DG
Apr45120Laxo S. MajYorks A
115152Stokesay Castle S. MajOxford DG
155040Zanthi S. RoyLeics DG
185088Grundisburgh S. MaxSuffolk G
205040Rickmansworth Del. RoyHertford CA
225056Emma Louise S. MajBath & Wells DA
225040Fargo S. RoyLeics DG
235088Quinquagenarian S. MajPeterboro DG
235056Queenway All. MaxSt Martin’s G
255024Sena S. MajYorks A
285056Salwarpe Del. MajWorcs & Dist A
285056Coleford S. MajPeterboro DG
295152Omrelap Del. MajLeics DG
May25056Katenian D. MajGlos & Bristol DA
25120Counus S. MajYorks A
45184Iberran S. MajYorks A
45160Deira Del. RoyYorks A
65040Geminae S. RoyLeics DG
85120Excalibur S. MajYorks A
95040St. Botolph S. RoyOxford DG
35040Hecate S. RoyLeics DG
155088Thundred S. MajEly DA
165056Jefford Del. MajG Devon Rs
165120Cermium S. MajYorks A
185056Cobden Del. MajLeics DG
205152Anedasap Del. MajLeics DG
205056Vado Maer S. MajBath & Wells DA
215088Zeals Knoll Del. MajOxford DG
215120Peine S. MajLancs A
235024Leuca S. MajYorks A
255024Hemsworth S. MajYorks A
275056Diatribe S. MajBath & Wells DA
285056Ascension Del. MajLeics DG
295040Grandthorpe Del. RoyOxford DG
305120Cumwhinton S. MajS. Northants S
June35040Iliad S. RoyLeics DG
45088Umbriel S. MaxSt Martin’s G
115088Miranda Del. MaxSouthwell DG
125040Vernier S. RoyOxford DG
155120Fortaleza Del. MajLeics DG
175056Barrow Court S. MajBath & Wells DA
205120Yarcombe S. MajEly DA
205040Wrington S. RoyGlos & Bristol DA
215186Finsbury Little S. RoyYorks A
245184Little Rock Del. MajSt James G
265024Argentina S. MajEly DA
275040Yffenni S. RoySouthwell DG
285152St. Nicholas S. MajHereford DG
July15088Canada Del. MajSt James Soc
35040Hingham Del. RoySt James Soc
45088Bisley Del. MajGlos & Bristol DA
45024Ituna S. MajYorks A
65040Allexton S. RoyLeics DG
85184Jupitium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
85040Matusadona S. RoyLeics DG
135184Hollowgate S. MajYorks A
155056Xaintrey S. MajSalisbury DG
165152Volcanello Del. MajOxford DG
175120Fitzwilliam College S. MajEly D
175152Pride of Spitalfields S. MajNon-Assoc
185040Kilpeck S. RoyLancs A
185040Watford Springs S. MaxOxford DG
195088Bold S. MajLancs A
195000Worsley S. RoySRCY
225088Saturnium S. MajBath & Wells DA
255040Downton Bob TriplesSalisbury DG
255024Camulosessa S. MajYorks A
255056Mudgley S. MajSalisbury DG
265088Zeehan S. MajLancs A
285120Tyringham S. MajPeterboro DG
295040Popocatepetl S. RoyLeics DG
315056Darwin College S. MajEly DA
Aug15056Lammas S. MajLancs A
35056Hwange Del. MajLeics DG
75120Oddington S. MajEly DA
85152Lazonby S. MajS. Northants S
105152Landersund Del. MajLeics DG
115056Elmesthorpe Del. MajLeics DG
125024Butterworth S. MajLancs A
125040Mutare S. RoyLeics DG
145056Canon Clayton Del. MajLeics DG
145088Spanner S. MajSt Martin’s G
155024Steeple Aston S. MajOxford DG
155184Tampium S. MajYorks A
165024Fournier S. MajSRCY
175184Regium S. MajBath & Wells DA
195040Bulawayo S. RoyLeics DG
215040Ramsdell S. RoyOxford DG
225184Calunio Del. MajYorks A
225152Benedict S. MajBath & Wells DA
295000Lahinch Del. RoyS. Northants S
Sept15024Pampisford S. MajEly DA
45120Egremont S. MajHertford CA
45040Cold Ash S. RoyOxford DG
55152Cotehill S. MajS. Northants S
55000Aachen S. RoyYorks DG
65056Ashway Del. MajLancs DG
85040Soar S. RoyLeics DG
125280Epacris Impressa S. MajANZAB
125024Vedra Del. MajYorks A
135088Wellgate S. MajYorks A
145056Barrington S. MajEly DA
155056Fulbourn S. MajEly DA
175042Overcote S. MaxOxford DG
185088Shelford S. MajEly DA
185040Devizes S. RoyOxford DG
195088Tuesis S. MajYorks A
215056Fishponds Del. MajLeics DG
235040Wreake S. RoyLeics DG
255088Swavesey S. MajEly DA
265040Popesgrove S. RoyMx CA & London DG
295024Kimbolton S. MajEly DA
305040Tangol S. RoyLeics DG
Oct25088Simonstone S. MajEly DA
35040Much Hadham Little Del. MajHertford CA
35088Vebrumaris S. MajYorks A
35042Radstock S. MaxGlos & Bristol DA
45152Aldenham Del. MajHertford CA
45184Double Portsmouth Little S. RoyW & P DG
75022Scudamore Del. MajGlos & Bristol DA
95024Beauvale S. MajEly DA
95152Woodfield S. MajPeterboro DG
105024Longus Del. MajYorks A
135056Copdock S. MajEly DA
155152Corbridge S. MajSouthwell DG
155184Double Birmingham European Summit Bob MaxSt Martin’s G
165184Tholomas Drove S. MajEly DA
175040Balcomie S. RoyS. Northants S
195088Saxmundham S. MajEly DA
205056Brindley Del. MajG Devon Rs
245040Carey Del. RoyS Northants S
265056Alamein Del. MajLeics DG
275088Wicksteed S. MajPeterboro DG
275024Witnesham S. MajEly DA
285088Heywood Little Del. MajLancs A
285152Earthium S. MajBath & Wells DA
285040Mlibize S. RoyLeics DG
305120Filgrave S. MajEly DA
315152Halloween S. MajKent CA
315152Hedon S. MajYorks A
315024Masona S. MajYorks A
315024Peckham S. MajMx CA & London DG
315040Beangram S. RoyLeics DG
Nov25024Fire S. MajUniv London S
35024Dennington S. MajEly DA
45040Kariba S. RoyLeics DG
65056Swinton Del. MajLancs A
65040Sunderland S. RoyOxford DG
75024Bolsterstone Del. MajYorks A
75024Okanagan Del. MajW & PDG
75000Gifford S. RoyS Northants S
85040Queen S. MajEly D
95152Earth S. MajSt Olave’s S
105024Kelsale S. MajEly DA
115088Windium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
115040Sence S. RoyLeics DG
125062Langley Green All. MaxSt Martin’s G
135056Red Lumb S. MajLancs A
135040Ogbourne S. RoyOxford DG
145024Allesley S. MajCoventry DG
145088Lugodunum S. MajYorks A
155280Hamwic S. RoyW & P DG
165056Howden S. MajEly DA
165056Via Gellia S. MajYorks A
175056Sproxton Del. MajLeics DG
175040Givendale S. RoyKent CA
185040Xochimilco S. RoyLeics DG
195216Ullscarf Del. MajOxford DG
205120Harston S. MajEly DA
215152Watford Del. MajSRCY
215088Lewisham District S. MajSRCY
255040St Peter’s Bob TriplesLincoln DG
255088Kenyon S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
255040Vigintiduo S. RoyLeics DG
255120Waterium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
275040Faerie Del. RoyOxford DG
Dec15056Linden Del. MajLeics DG
15024Hintlesham S. MajEly DA
15376Redchurch S. MajSRCY
25040Thepuv S. RoyLeics DG
35120Hera S. MajOxford DG
55024Pilais Del. MajYorks A
55024Dane End S. MajHertford CA
95024Fireium S. MajGlos & Bristol DA
115088Downing College S. MajEly DA
125024Leucovia Del. MajYorks A
125024Amb S. MajEssex A
125040Chepstow Bob RoyHertford CA
125040Haddington S. RoyS Northants S
135000Ewyas Harold S. RoyLancs A
155056Clopton S. MajEly DA
165152Oggshole S. MajBristol S
165040Teotihuacan S. RoyLeics DG
175088Herbert S. MajOxford DG
185016Heywood All. MajLancs A
195088Battlefield S. MajYorks A
195056Coccuveda S. MajYorks A
225040Paricutin S. RoyLeics DG
235040Burley S. RoyLeics DG
235040Myluv S. RoyalLeics DG
265088Denford S. MajPeterboro DG
275088Helmdon S. MajPeterboro DG
285184Pullet S. MajANZAB
285024Tannington S. MajEly DA
285088Weldon S. MajPeterboro DG
285038Heywood Little All. MajLancs A
295056Yaxley S. MajEly DA
305088Bill S. MajG Devon Rs
315152Cooktown Orchid Del. MajANZAB
315056Banwell S. MajEly DA
B. First peals on handbells
Jan125160Quenchwell S. RoyHereford DG
205088Harlow S. MajOxford DG
Feb25088Adventurers’ Fen S. MaxNorwich DA
65088Bedfordshire S. MajHereford DG
205040Widmer End S. RoyOxford DG
Mar15040Idridgehay S. RoyHereford DG
195082Ewyas Harold S. RoyHereford DG
195088Burwell Fen S. MaxEly DA
225040Diseworth S. RoyHereford DG
Jun145152Watford D. MajSRCY
185280Chatteris Fen S. MaxEly DA
July15280Digby Fen S. MaxEly DA
275152Nonesuch S. MajOxford DG
Sept95040Ewerby S. RoyOxford DG
215120Oundle S. MajOxford DG
Oct205136Euximoor Fen S. MaxEly DA
265024Quinton S. MajOxford DG
Nov115040Dodford S. RoyOxford DG
165088Tonbridge S. MajOxford DG
265040Upwood S. RoyHereford DG
275090Feltwell Fen S. MaxEly DA
Dec65088Lessness S. MajHereford DG
95040Goldsborough S. RoyOxford DG
295080Windsor TB RoyN American G
C. Record peal on tower bells
Mar110080Minimus (11m)Cumbrian A
D. Record peal on hand bells
Aug1213680Rutland S. RoyLeics DG

After Mr. R. Bailey had commented that he thought the two peals at the beginning of July reported as having been rung by the St James’s Society should have been credited to the St James’s Guild, Mr. B.G. Warwick asked for an update on the names of methods in the Council’s Treble Dodging Minor methods collection. He was referred to the Methods Committee; and the report was then adopted.

Again more nominations were proposed and seconded than there were places on the new committee, and a ballot followed. On this occasion those successful were Messrs. F.T. Blagrove (Middx CA & London DG), D.J. Buckley (Bath & Wells DA), Mayne, Sibson and Wratten, Mrs J.E. Orchard (Derby DA) being unsuccessful in spite of a claim from her proposer that her presence would significantly lower the average age of the committee!


Adoption of the Methods Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. A.P. Smith (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) and seconded by Mr. C.K. Lewis. The latter made particular reference to the report’s fifth paragraph, saying that the committee would prefer to make the minimum number of changes to an historic document, but would welcome any comments on their proposed approach.

The Committee met on three occasions during the year - in Winchester on 8 March (RW, p. 324), in Peterborough during the Council meeting on 25 May, and in Winchester on 18 October (RW 1993, p. 67).

Corrections and amendments to our publications up to the end of 1992 appeared in The Ringing World of February 5, 1993 (p. 138). As usual, we maintained the service of free leaflets containing all corrections and amendments.

The Committee achieved a landmark in May when the diskette version of the Collection of Plain Methods was published, the first Central Council publication in computer-readable form. Following the Council meeting, camera-ready copy of an up-to-date edition of The Council’s Decisions was passed to the Publications Committee and this became available in August. Unfortunately neither publication was featured in the regular advertisements, and this no doubt affected sales. Towards the end of the year the Collection of Principles went out of print and we decided to prepare a new edition incorporating newly rung principles and using a more attractive typeface.

The new edition of the Collection of Doubles Methods mentioned in last year’s report has been deferred, as further copies of Part 1 of the present edition (Plain Doubles Methods and Variations) have come to light.

On speculation, a revised text of John P. Fidler’s classic work Method Splicing: practical hints was prepared. This book, published in 1925, explains how to build up to a peal of Spliced Minor in 35 Treble Dodging methods, the author being one of the band who rang the first such peal at Norbury in 1923. Many ringers have learned the rudiments of Spliced Minor from this work, and we would welcome opinions as to whether there would be a demand for a new edition, with the names and notation brought up to date.

In addition to the correspondence in The Ringing World, we were grateful for letters from Roddy Horton, Peter Windley and Julian Morgan commenting constructively on the various possible amendments to the Decision on Method Extension described in our RW article (pp. 198-9). These were helpful in selecting which Propositions should form our motion to the Council, the substance of which, as we had hoped, provoked little debate. Although the negative view that the Decision should be scrapped provoked some discussion (RW pp. 663-4), we were gratified by Council’s overwhelming vote of confidence.

Philip Saddleton investigated the effects of the various Propositions on the extension of the 41 “regular” Surprise Minor methods to Major and kindly made the results available to the Committee. This was most interesting and will repay further study.

Tony Peake kindly provided copies of his lists of progressive numbers of methods in various classes rung in peals from Minor upwards. This was to assist us in answering a specific enquiry, but the lists will also be of future use.

Our attention was drawn to the statement in the “Explanatory Notes” in Treble Dodging Minor Methods that 4ths place methods which are bob leads of the corresponding 2nds and/or 6ths place methods are not recognised by the Council. While it is probably the case that many ringers of Minor methods, including some members of the Council, do not consider such methods acceptable, there is no Decision of the Council which supports this premise. Moreover the introduction of such a restriction would have unfortunate consequences. It would conflict with the tenet that “a call is not part of a Method” (Decision (E)A.2) and would disallow Single Dunkirk Bob and Keighton Bob, two of the 99 Plain methods with no more than two consecutive blows in the same position, which are bob leads of PMM 1197 and 1476 respectively. Methods at higher stages may only have the same name as such a 4ths place method where they are related as in the Decision on Method Extension.

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

Replying to Mr. Lewis’s question, Mr. P. Dyson (Chester DG) said that he supported the idea of a reprint of Fidler’s book incorporating the current method names. Mr. J.D. Cheesman (Surrey A) remarked that the Decisions on method extension did not cater for principles, and asked what the committee was planning to do to fill the gap; and Mr. Warwick repeated his earlier question about Minor names.

After Mr. Smith had said that the committee would be happy to produce an updated version of the TDMM collection, incorporating names given since its original publication in 1979, and that it would consider the extension of principles, the report was adopted.

The President said that the Administrative Committee had agreed that the Methods Committee should have six members, and invited nominations. Since only six names were proposed and seconded - Messrs. Bailey, Blagrove, C.K. Lewis, P.D. Niblett (Oxford US), M.C.W. Sherwood (Sussex CA) and A.P. Smith - he declared them all elected.

Peals Analysis

Moving the following report’s adoption, Dr. D.H. Niblett (Kent CA) said that one late peal of Major needed to be added to the total in its first paragraph, and that one peal of Minor recorded as Non-Association should have been credited to the Derby DA. He was seconded by Mr. J.D. Cheesman.


We have recorded a total of 5,109 peals rung in 1992, of which 4,620 were on tower bells and 489 on handbells. The overall total is the highest ever: it is 62 more than the previous record (set in 1988) and is an increase of 103 over the revised total for 1991. The principal increases compared with 1991 are in peals of Major (+100), Royal (+20) and Cinques (+14), the only significant decrease being for Minor (-54).

The Oxford Diocesan Guild was again the leading society, exceeding 400 peals for the third time in the past four years. A new record was achieved at Loughborough Bell Foundry, with 108 peals in 1992 following 105 in 1991.

The Committee met once during the year, to finalise records for 1992 and to agree the format of the report. We are again grateful to Canon K. W.H. Felstead for supplying the section on Towers, and to the Chairman of the Methods Committee for information concerning peals of Doubles.

Peals not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

  1. A Non-Association peal of Plain Bob Minimus, rung on handbells at Shelford on 7 February, does not comply with Decision (D)B.5 which requires that peals of Minimus shall be rung on tower bells only. We recommend that it be not accepted, and have not included it in the analysis.

  2. A peal of Bristol and Miquiand Minimus, rung at Stoughton on 4 April for the Leicester Diocesan Guild, does not comply with Decision (D)A.11: neither method meets the requirements of Decision (E)A.1 as each is false in its plain course. We recommend that it be not accepted, and have not included it in this analysis.

  3. A peal of Doubles in 11 methods and 69 variations, rung at Heveningham on 26 April for the Suffolk Guild, does not comply with Decision (D)C.3 in that five of the extents each contain three variations with the same plain course, different singles but the same bob, whereas they must not have any calls in common. We recommend that these extents be regarded as single-method extents and the peal be accepted as a peal in 11 methods and 54 variations.

Some 38 other 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.

Corrections to the 1991 Analysis

Changes to the 1991 peal totals arising from late publication of peals or withdrawal of peals are listed below. Except where stated, all refer to tower bell peals:

Revised totals for 1991 are: tower bells 4,527; handbells 479; total 5,006.

Breakdown of peals by number of bells and comparison with 1991

Tower bellsHandbells
Fourteen21- 1
Sextuples1- 1
Maximus262257- 53349+ 16
Maximus/Cinques4+ 4
Cinques89101+ 121113+ 2
Royal470476+ 699113+ 14
Royal/Caters21- 111
Caters151142- 9915+ 6
Major21312265+ 134238204- 34
Major/Triples13+ 2
Triples261271+ 1025+ 3
Minor967908- 597984+ 5
Doubles188186- 233
Totals45274620+ 93479489+ 10

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 362 first pealers in 1992 (439 in 1991), and 60 firsts as conductor (59 in 1991).


Peals were rung in 1,809 towers (1,826 in 1991); this is the second highest number (1,838 in 1988). The following 60 towers had ten or more peals:

108Loughboro’ Foundry
28Birmingham Cath
26Reading, St Law
21Barrow Gurney
21Burton Latimer
21Croydon, St Peter
20London, St Sepulchre
19East Ilsley
18Leeds, R.C. Cath
18Oxford, St Mary Magd
18Sydney, St Peter
17East Farleigh
16Bedford, St Paul
15Derby Cath
14-Bishopstoke, Farnworth, *Monewdon, Radlett, Reading (St Mary), Windsor (St John)
13-Newcastle (St John), Whitley Bay
12-South Wigston
11-Birstall (Yorks), Claybrooke, Leicester Cathedral, Leighton Buzzard, London (St Mary-le-Bow), London (St Martin-in-the-Fields)
10-Aldeburgh, Amersham, Bishopwearmouth (St Michael), Bristol Cathedral, Cambridge (St Andrew), Grundisburgh, Inveraray, London (St Olave), Melbourne (Derbys), Middleton, Pontypridd, *Raleigh *Sunningwell, Willesden, *Withycombe Raleigh

* Towers which appear in this list for the first time

Loughborough Bell Foundry’s total of 108 was a new record, and this tower also passed the 2,900 peal mark. During the year both Barrow Gurney and Thatcham had their 400th peal. 15 towers had their first peal, leaving 306 towers which have not yet had a peal.


Numbers of peals rung in the more popular methods are set out below. Figures for 1991 appear in brackets. “Single S.” means the total rung in single Surprise methods other than those listed separately.

Single S.70(78)16( 7)
Cambridge S.50(64)5(11)
Yorkshire S.39(33)3( 2)
Bristol S.32(35)3( 2)
Spliced S.27(21)7( 1)
Grandsire11(18)0( 0)
Single S.168(146)17(13)
Yorkshire S.76(76)16(10)
Cambridge S.53(72)20(13)
Spliced S.47(57)12( 7)
London S.47(38)7( 6)
Plain Bob19(28)15(10)
Lincolnshire S.25(13)4(11)
Bristol S.23(25)5(13)
Kent/Oxford TB2( 2)14(14)
Stedman75(76)12( 4)
Grandsire60(69)2( 4)
Single S.665(568)15(35)
Spliced S.393(401)18(24)
Yorkshire S.203(196)19(26)
Plain Bob145(130)62(51)
Bristol S.160(143)8(10)
Cambridge S.118(133)7(10)
Rutland S.100(92)5( 3)
London S.83(88)3( 6)
Lincolnshire S.69(85)7( 6)
Superlative S.67(58)4( 1)
Single Delight66(45)2( 2)
Double Norwich59(57)1( 4)
Kent/Oxford TB10(15)46(50)
Glasgow S.47(33)0( 0)
Pudsey S.39(44)4( 5)
Belfast S.18(18)0( 0)
Grandsire120(90)2( 0)
Stedman111(117)3( 2)
Plain Bob24(36)0( 0)
7 methods317(326)5( 6)
8+ methods210(193)10(12)
2-6 methods150(173)28(22)
Plain Bob89(107)31(27)
Cambridge S.66(69)5( 1)
Single S.41(87)2( 1)
2+ methods141(144)2( 2)
Stedman20(14)1( 1)
Grandsire15(15)0( 0)
Plain Bob9( 8)0( 0)

The Leading Societies

The following societies rang 150 or more peals:

Oxford Dio. Guild36251413
Yorkshire Assn.2281229
Lancashire Assn.2201221
Leicester Dio. Guild20311214
Kent County Assn.1893192
Derby Dio. Assn.14942191
Hertford County Assn.14829177
Chester Dio. Guild8195176
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Assn.176176
Ely Dio. Assn.15518173
Bath & Wells Dio. Assn.1682170
Southwell Dio. Guild1559164
Peterborough Dio. Guild1491150

The Ely DA and the Peterborough DG have returned to the list after dropping out in 1991 and 1990 respectively. Altogether 18 societies rang 100 or more peals in 1992 (19 in 1991).


A Soc College Yth23776171022      15 31    741084
Australia & NZ A7333448121        1 434  811293
Bath & Wells DA1051318093416            2  1682170
Bedfordshire A212 75131 1             32 32
Beverley & Dist S 13210 131               30 30
Cambridge Univ G 33211 7       1 1 4    26632
Carlisle DG  1 5 1                7 7
Chester DG3143354292        24544 22  8195176
Coventry DG1 4 28295          2    49251
S R Cumberland Ys7318268 81          1 5  1076113
Derby DA21282967112    118 15 15 2  14942191
G Devonshire R 172576302               105 105
Durham & Newc DA6112259 10           4    90494
E Derby/ W Notts A     11                2 2
E Grinstead & Dist G    1                  1 1
Ely DA116 1156242      11 1 1 41 15518173
Essex A9131363312               86 86
Glos & Bristol DA1561351076204               176 176
Guildford DG2 74451171        1      77178
Hereford DG    6279      6711 61 1 243256
Hertford CA4282628548        84818  14829177
Irish A 1                     1 1
Kent CA 127610044441  2      2 1  1893192
Ladies G     11                2 2
Lancashire A9320713311343            1  2201221
Leeds Univ S    1 1                2 2
Leicester DG6 4621046335 1    5 411    20311214
Lichfield Arch S114 383267          6 1  80787
Lincoln DG34534542921         6    966102
Liverpool Univ S2                      2 2
Llandaff & Mon DA2135393114        2 4 1  68775
London CA1214142345   1            64 64
Manchester Univ G     2                 2 2
Middlesex CA 14 4435       2 7 19 2  573087
Midland Cs G    1 2                3 3
N American G  1110237      113 10 4  241943
N Staffords A  14924                20 20
N Wales A    3 1                4 4
Norwich DA211 212412      1   3 9 1701484
Oxford DG13650 156159824      4 18124 4  36251413
Oxford Soc  3 12 43               22 22
Oxford Univ S1 2 10 1                14 14
Peterborough DG55777183214          1    1491150
Railway G     1                 1 1
St. Martin’s G203111671  2    3 915 1  511970
Salisbury DG  32183118               45 45
Scottish A  4215 1                22 22
Soc Sherwood Yth    1 1                2 2
Shropshire A    211                4 4
Southwell DG941877210278      2 1 6    1559164
Suffolk G65333815612          1 4  1245129
Surrey A11436231               21 21
Sussex CA 14 366147               68 68
Swansea & Brecon    13 1               5 5
Transvaal S    12                 3 3
Truro DG  2251131               24 24
Univ of Bristol S1321211                11 11
Univ of London S 1218 31          3    16319
Winch & Portsm DG611584412134      1 2 16    10319122
Worcs & Dists A 22229941            1  49150
Yorkshire A15727812713273   1         1 2281229
Zimbabwe G   1  1                2 2
Central Council1   1 1                3 3
Non-affiliated s26338985143132     1 4 5 2  21112223
Non-Association35721649171122     2 1 2 6  15011161

Mr. B. Peachey drew members’ attention to the committee’s list of performances it considered of special merit, remarking that it had included a long length of Surprise Royal on handbells but had ignored a long length of Minimus on tower bells. He proposed that the report be amended by inserting in this section “Cumbrian A - 10,080 Minimus in 11 methods”, and was seconded by Mr. G.A. Dawson (Southwell DG). On being put to the vote, his proposal was passed by 80 votes to 79.

The amended report was then put to the meeting and accepted.

Nominations having been invited for a new committee of eight members, nine names were put forward. In the ensuing ballot Mr. P.S. Seaman (Ely DG) was unsuccessful, and Messrs. P.R.J. Barnes, Cheesman, D.H. Niblett, J.R. Martin (Oxford DG), Perry, T.G. Pett (Oxford DG) and D.R. Pettifor (Lancashire A), together with the Revd. L.R. Pizzey (Suffolk G) were elected.

Towers and Belfries

The committee’s report was proposed by Mr. A.J. Frost and seconded by Prebendary J.G.M. Scott (Honorary). Mr. Frost thanked committee members for their hard work during 1992, and added that he now had a draft of the bellhanging specification clauses mentioned at the end of the report.

The Committee’s work has continued apace during 1992, either despite or because of the recession. Where more time than money is available, this can be an incentive for ringers to use their own skills in bell installation and restoration, and members have been pleased to help in a number of cases. Altogether some 68 towers have been helped during the year. These have been as wide ranging as the advice sought, with enquiries from Australia - resulting in a visit and report from Frank Mack - Canada, the USA, and Lundy Island.

The Committee was saddened by the death in March of Frank Reynolds, who had been a valued member of this committee for a number of years. The Chairman represented the committee at his funeral at Prestwich, where a packed church heard of his service to the community beyond bellringing. George Dawson’s resignation from the committee was received with regret, but the Committee was pleased to welcome Frank Lewis as a co-opted member at the end of the year.

Belfry maintenance has been covered extensively by the Committee in recent years, and only a small group attended the Education Committee’s course on this subject at Bretton Hall, where Towers and Belfries Committee members John Scott and the Chairman assisted. Ian Whitear represented the Committee at the “Associations and Guilds in the 90s” meeting at Bristol in October, where a member of the “maintenance group”, Leslie Boyce, produced a very useful paper on maintenance as seen by the group.

During the year the Chairman has continued to be involved with the new CCC Code of Practice following the Open Meeting at Peterborough and presentation on the Code by the Revd. Dr. John C. Baldwin. The Chairman has also been one of the Towers and Belfries Committee members on the Ringing Centres Working Party, where Roger Booth has also been giving valuable advice on Ringing Centres in the London area.

Other topics dealt with by the Committee during the year included advice on the retention in use of a 15th century bellframe; a difficult problem of sound control where the PCC was anxious not to quieten the bells; and detailed advice on the effect of the Health and Safety at Work Act requirements in relation to bell towers.

Roger Booth attended the SPAB day course on bellframes at Pakenham in June, and it is hoped that the Committee will be able to arrange a series of seminars on bellframe repair during the next Council triennium. Much work needs to be carried out on the historical classification and structural assessment of old bellframes, and the Chairman has been in correspondence with Christopher Pickford over this.

Work by Roger Booth has progressed on the production of bellhanging specification clauses. Harry Windsor has produced a draft of a detailed technical paper analysing the interaction between bells and towers which will assist in the prediction of tower oscillation. The Chairman is updating procedural guidelines for work in towers in the light of diocesan procedures operating from 1st March 1993.

For 1993 the Committee looks forward to another busy and constructive year.

Mr. G.A. Halls (Derby DA) said that he had intended raising the question of the Code on the preservation of bells and their fittings when discussing the Administrative Committee’s report later in the meeting; but since the present report referred to it, he would do so now.

Personally, he wished that the Code could have been strangled at birth (laughter). But he accepted that the Administrative Committee had had little choice but to cooperate in producing a new draft - otherwise it would have been far worse that it had turned out to be. In the event a bad job had been well done, and since the Committee had now endorsed the final version the Council now had to look to the future. He urged that any advice given be the best technically and with value for money in mind, regardless of any conservationist considerations; and he said that the Council now needed positively to monitor the effects of the new Code. He concluded by citing the example of Staunton Harold in Leicestershire, where conservationist influence on the bells’ rehanging meant that after all the expense they were still very difficult to ring.

Mr. G.A. Dawson said that this was an unfortunate example to quote, since it had been preservationists, rather than conservationists, on the National Trust who had had the final say. Mr. A.W.R. Wilby agreed that it was important to differentiate between preservationists and conservationists, and endorsed Mr Hall’s point that it was now important to follow through John Baldwin’s sterling work on the Code by discussing the Code with those using it, and by being prepared to argue test cases where necessary.

Speaking on behalf of the bell-founders, R.B. Smith (Honorary) said that Alan Hughes, of the Whitechapel Foundry, had represented the trade in discussions on the Code. A great improvement had been obtained, but conservationists, supported as they were by English Heritage money, were, he asserted, still very much in the driving seat. The main concern amongst the founders was however the increasing influence of diocesan bell advisers, not all of whom were particularly well experienced or qualified.

Speaking in support, Mr. A.P.S. Berry (Honorary) said that he realised that the Council was not responsible for the appointment of diocesan advisers on bells; but there was a need to influence those appointments. The Code was of course only advisory, not mandatory, he added, and as far as he knew it had not yet been formally accepted by English Heritage. Dr. Baldwin said that he understood English Heritage had in fact agreed it, albeit with some reluctance, in much the same way as the Administrative Committee had done.

Replying to the points that had been made, Mr. Frost said that the Towers and Belfries Committee had never found any difficulty in working with the Code, and that its members would continue to give their advice from the ringers’ point of view.

The President said that the Administrative Committee would note the various points that had been made by speakers; and went on to express the Council’s gratitude to John Baldwin for the tremendous amount of work he had put into achieving an acceptable draft (applause).

The report was adopted, and nominations invited for a new committee of eleven members. In the event only eight names were proposed and seconded, and the President declared all eight elected. They were Messrs. R. Booth, A. Dempster (East Derbyshire & West Notts A), A.J. Frost, F.W. Lewis (Kent CA), F.D. Mack (Devonshire G), B.J. Stone (Oxford Soc), H.M. Windsor (Coventry DG), and Preb. J.G.M. Scott.


Moving the adoption of his committee’s report, Mr. N.R. Mattingley (Hereford DG) added that a seminar on “Teaching Listening Skills” would be held at Christchurch at the end of September; that, subject to the agreement of the new committee, the 1994 ringing school would be at Wisbech; and that neither Malcolm Tyler nor Nigel Goodship would be seeking re-election to the committee.

The Committee met three times in 1992: at Northampton in February, Winchester in June, and Hereford in November.

The 13th Ringing Course was held over three days in late July at Bretton Hall, Yorkshire, in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It was attended by 48 students, with 14 students taking part in the “Teaching and Management in Ringing” group. Twenty were sponsored to attend the course by their local Guild or Association. Seven members of the Committee acted as tutors. The Committee very much thanks members of the Yorkshire Association who ably assisted with the course and the incumbents of the 42 churches used for practical sessions. Thanks are also due to the numerous helpers, full-time and part-time, without whose help the course could not take place.

Arrangements were made for the 1993 course to be held at the same venue, and tentative arrangements were made for a 1994 course in the Ely Diocesan Guild area.

Leicestershire was the venue for the 5th Anglo-Italian exchange, which took place in August. Fifteen Italian ringers were hosted by local families in order to experience the English way of life. By the end of the week all the visitors were able to handle a bell “English style” and were ringing rounds and call changes. Some were able to try plain hunt. Outings were arranged both to local places of interest, including the bell foundry and brewery, and places further afield such as London and Alton Towers. Because of the mix of education and culture in the programme the exchange attracted a Youth for Europe grant, funded by the EC. Many of the 1992 hosts are planning to visit Italy in 1993.

In order that young people may continue to benefit and share experiences, a group of people willing to host in 1994 and possibly travel to Italy in 1995 is needed. This will enable our visitors to see different aspects of the UK.

The Council’s three sets of simulator equipment were in almost constant use throughout the year. Borrowers were about equally split between individual towers and organised courses. At least one course made use of the facility on the newly-acquired Bagley machine to use the simulator as a silent practice device producing simulated sound for all the bells in the tower, thus enabling one set of bells to be used continuously throughout the course. This facility will also be available on the Cummins machine early in 1993. A booklet containing advice on how simulators can be integrated into a teaching programme was in draft by the end of the year, and will be made available to borrowers of the equipment and others when the text has been finalised. A successful seminar on the use of simulators was held at Knowle in February. Thirty people attended, a number of whom have subsequently bought simulators.

The video to illustrate the Tutors Handbook was refilmed in August 1992 with satisfactory results. It had been anticipated that by the end of the year editing and voice over would have been completed, to enable the video to be available for sale. Regretfully this was not possible. The Committee is very concerned to get the video available for sale at an early date, but it is equally concerned that it must he of good quality.

Members of the Committee attended a teaching day in Hereford on 31 October 1992, and enquiries have been received from other Guilds and Associations about the possibility of arranging similar teaching days in other parts of the country. These days appear to be successful and appreciated by the “host” association, and the Committee would like to arrange more such days in 1993 at the invitation of Guilds and Associations.

The Training Survey questionnaire was distributed in 1992 and a response of just over 60% was achieved. Some preliminary analysis of the results has been presented to the Committee, but further analysis is awaited. Copies of the survey’s results will be made available to Guilds and Associations.

Of the various publications which have been prepared by members of the Committee, Belfry Steps, Belfry Offices, and a revision of The Standard Eight were completed save for some small items. All these should be with the Publications Committee in camera-ready form early in 1993. The proposed publications relating to Calling Quarter Peals, Raising and Lowering, A Collection of Other Surprise Major Methods, together with the booklet on the use of simulators, have progressed to the extent that these should also be available to the Publications Committee in 1993.

A Newsletter was distributed to Guilds and Associations in the early part of 1992. Besides advising them of the work which is being undertaken by the Committee it is hoped the Newsletter will enable Guilds and Associations to approach the Committee more easily on matters of common interest.

Following correspondence received by the Education Committee consideration was given to a course leading to a more formal qualification for tower captains, over and above that covered by the annual Ringing Course. Following a letter from a member of the Committee to The Ringing World some interest was shown, but insufficient for the Committee to pursue the matter further on a formal basis. The Committee felt that a series of locally-based training days may well be appropriate as a way of stimulating further interest, but no such courses have so far been arranged.

The Committee has during the year made great steps in completing much of the work which has been in hand. Much time is spent by members on work which is not strictly “educational”. All items are produced in what is known as “camera-ready copy” before they are sent to the Publications Committee. This involves the use of members’ own computers and software, some of which had to be bought for the purpose and learned how to apply. This accounts for the considerable time spent in production. The Committee has become more conscious of the problems relating to the preparation of publications, and careful consideration will be needed before it commences a series of new publications. It sees a need to maintain the existing range of publications and update them as necessary; but it also wishes to spend more time with the Guilds and Associations in establishing locally-based courses to improve teaching standards, and to pursue any areas of new technology which can be used for educational purposes.

Three members of the Committee have indicated that they will not be seeking re-election at the next meeting. Robert Cater has served as Chairman of the Committee for nearly seven years and resigned as such during the year. He does not wish to continue, having served as a Committee member for fifteen years. The Committee wishes to place on record its appreciation of his leadership during this period. Hayden Charles and Peter Hurcombe have served for eight and six years respectively, and both have played very active roles during that time. All three have indicated that they will be happy to assist the new Committee or any Guild or Association whenever possible in the future.

After Mrs. C.N.J. Franklin (Leicester DG) had seconded the report’s adoption, Mr. G. Barr (London US) commented that the number of students at the committee’s ringing courses had dropped and wondered what could be done to encourage more support. Mr. Mattingley said that the committee was aware of the problem, but not sure of its cause. It was intended to follow up requests for application forms that were not followed by bookings in the hope that this would throw some light on the question. The report was adopted without further discussion.

The President thanked those on the retiring committee for their work over the past three years, making special mention of the contribution of its former chairman, Bob Cater. When he went on to ask for nominations for a committee of eight members, Mr. S.J. Coleman (Honorary) said that the report showed that the old committee had been hard-pressed, and proposed that the new committee have an enlarged membership of twelve. He was seconded by Mr. R.B. Smith, and this was agreed.

Sixteen names were proposed. After the ballot had been counted, Mrs. Franklin and Messrs. G. Barr, F.J.P. Bone (Essex A), N. Donovan (Yorkshire A), G.E.J.A. Doughty, P.W. Gay, J.A. Harrison (Oxford DG), M.J. deC. Henshaw, N.R. Mattingley, M.C.W. Sherwood (Sussex CA), J.F.I. Turney (Hereford DG) and R.R. Warford (Durham & Newcastle DA) were declared elected. The unsuccessful nominees were Messrs. A.F. Alldrick (Hertford CA), P.A. Cummins (Truro DG), A.B. Mills (Southwell DG), and R.K. Williams (Worcester & Districts A).


The report was proposed by Mr. W.J. Couperthwaite (Guildford DG), who said that the committee’s pricing policy had been challenged last year, but that it had not been changed. “Last year the figures looked bad; this year they look good; we have not changed our policy”, he said, causing the President to remark that he “sounded just like the Chancellor” (laughter). He was seconded by Mr. J.R. Pratt (Guildford DG), who took the opportunity to explain the details of the Publications Fund accounts, commenting that some £500 of the interest shown as having been received during the year was in fact interest overdue from 1991.

Three new publications were produced during the years They were Change Ringing Vol. 2, Rung Surprise to end 1991, and the Recruiting Package. All sold well. More than 250 copies of C R History Vol. 2 were sold before publication at a special pre-publication price, and sales of C R History Vol. 1 were stimulated by the appearance of Vol. 2. Because of a delay in the final production of Vol. 2 all pre-publication subscribers were offered a discount on Vol. 3 when it appears.

The following books were reprinted: A Schedule of Regular Maintenance, Raising and Lowering, Towards Better Striking, Conducting Stedman, Call a Touch Please Bob, and CC Decisions. The Plain Methods Collection was offered for sale on disc. Updated versions of Organising a Bell Restoration Project and the Collection of Principles will be available early in 1993, and Rounds to Bob Doubles is soon to be reprinted.

New publications expected before the 1993 Council meeting are the Handbook of Composition and an Index of RW Compositions. The Administrative Committee has decided that the History of the Central Council will be produced as a prestige publication, and work is in progress. Financially 1992 was a very successful year, with an excess of income over expenditure of £3,333. Sales were substantially higher than in 1991, due to two major new publications, to the smooth running of the new distribution arrangements which were set up part way through 1991, and to a successful retail operation at the Peterborough Council meeting. Interest received was also significantly above 1991 levels. This reflects the successful conclusion to the negotiations with the Bank that were referred to at the last Council meeting. These negotiations also resulted in a refund of charges and an ex-gratia payment, both of which are included in Sundry Income.

Expenses were below the 1991 level, since the latter included the cost of the move of the distribution centre from Guildford to Morpeth. The stock write-off is slightly lower than in 1991, and was mainly the cost of books destined for the Council meeting stall being stolen (together with the vehicle carrying them). As the car was unattended, the insurance recovery was limited to £100, which is included in Sundry Income. The Committee wishes to thank Norman Johnson for his help in minimising the effects of this unfortunate loss.

David Thorne resigned from the Committee in July after many years’ service. He made many very valuable contributions to our work, including running the distribution operation until recently and we offer him our grateful thanks.

Mr. R. Cater enquired why the policy on discounts for sales at courses had been changed. He said that by the time postage costs had been paid there was no longer any advantage to be gained from the small discount allowed. Mr. Pratt replied that in practice such discounts had to be subsidised by other sales: to increase them would therefore mean raising cover prices, and he did not think this would be generally acceptable.

After Mr. G.A. Dawson had alleged that a large amount of private research was being included, but not acknowledged, in the History of Change Ringing series - an assertion that was not pursued - the report was adopted.

A new committee of six members - Miss J. Sanderson, Mrs. B.M. Wheeler (Durham & Newcastle DA) and Messrs. Couperthwaite, A.G. Craddock (Winchester & Portsmouth DG), D.J. Jones and J.R. Pratt - was then elected by ballot, two further nominees, P.T. Hurcombe (Sussex CA) and B.N. Trowbridge (Derby DA), failing to receive sufficient votes.

Bell Restoration Funds

The report read as follows:

Three meetings were held during the year, two in London and one in Peterborough. A member of the committee also led a discussion group on Fund Raising at the Council’s regional Guilds and Associations in the 90s seminars held in March and October. Work on a national ringing fund has not progressed during the year, mainly because of an apparent lack of enthusiasm from others who were invited to help with the ground work.

Over 160 requests for information have been processed during the year, including 65 from parishes contacting us for the first time. The initial contact is often very general and may be from non-ringers, in which case they are put in touch with their local society. This is frequently followed by more detailed enquiries which sometimes entail a visit and presentation, and ultimately can result in a full restoration project.

The Committee brochure and the Bell Restoration - A Guide for Parishes leaflet have been updated and reprinted. These and other information sheets are distributed by ourselves and the bellfounders and bellhangers in response to enquiries.

Following several requests for videos about ringing in general and bell restoration in particular, the detailed planning of a bell restoration promotional video was competed during the year, and filming started in August. We are grateful to the various Societies and individuals who have generously assisted with this project.

We have continued to provide administrative support to The Manifold Trust, dealing with 45 applications which resulted in seventeen schemes being offered grants totalling £33,000. This makes a cumulative total of almost £200,000 offered to 117 parishes since 1981. The Trust has agreed to continue making funds available for qualifying projects for the next two years.

The survey of affiliated societies’ Bell Restoration Funds for the three year period 1988-90 was completed and presented to the Council at its Peterborough meeting. Disappointingly, and despite several requests, five societies (including three for the second survey running) did not reply to the request for information. The results of the survey were published in The Ringing World on 19th June, followed by a detailed review of investments the next week. In October societies were provided with feedback information on the key data, together with the comparative data for their own society.

Partly in response to a request from the President to consider taking on additional areas of work, we are reviewing our terms of reference and the services we offer.

It was proposed by Mr. J.S. Barnes, who said it had been decided in January not to proceed with work on a national ringing fund in view of the general lack of support for the idea. He added that the video referred to in the report was now available; it was a first-class production, he said, and a copy was being provided free to all affiliated territorial societies and to those non-territorial ones who were involved in bell restoration work. On general sale its price would be £8. He thanked Mr. Booth for the two years of hard work that he had put into the project (applause).

Norman Johnson had, he said, sent societies a letter on the implications of the new Charities Act, together with a copy of the Sussex CA’s bell restoration brochure which is sent every year to each church in that society’s area. He concluded by saying that Mr. J.F. Mulvey (Lichfield AS) was not seeking re-election to the committee.

After he had been seconded by Mr. E. Billings, Prebendary Scott expressed is personal appreciation for the enthusiasm shown by John Barnes. He said that the latter had written to him to ask if he could do anything for bell restoration while on holiday in Devon, and two meetings that he had attended as a result had each led directly to plans being made for the restoration of a long-unused ring.

Mr. G.A. Halls said that he was sorry to hear that work had been suspended on a national bell restoration fund, and pointed out the tax advantages to be gained from bequests made in wills. Might ringers be encouraged to leave such bequests for bell restoration, he wondered, and he suggested that the new committee might like to co-opt a solicitor with the necessary experience to look into this possibility. Mr. Barnes said that the newsletter which had been sent to societies had in fact included a page on wills and bequests, and that for the present the committee preferred to work through the societies.

After the report had been accepted, a committee of seven was elected - in this case without the formality of a ballot. It consisted of Mrs. B.A. Winter (Coventry DG) and Messrs. Barnes, Billings, N. Booth (Scottish A), N.A. Johnson, I.H. Oram (SRCY) and A.R. Smith (Suffolk G).

Redundant Bells

Moving the report’s adoption, Mrs. Wilkinson said that, in view of his involvement in the work on Ringing Centres, Alan Frost would not be seeking re-election to this committee. She was seconded by Dr. Baldwin.

In 1992 seventeen churches were declared redundant under the Pastoral Measure. This compares with twenty churches declared redundant in 1991; and brings the total to 1,397 since the Pastoral Measure came into operation in 1969. To put these two figures in context, there are now about 16,400 churches in use, of which four hundred have been opened since 1969.

Candidates for redundancy come from all varieties of church: ancient and modern, large parish churches and small cemetery chapels, well preserved and ruinous - some indeed with new churches built to replace them centuries ago. Sometimes only part of a building is involved. All go through the same process, which it may perhaps be useful to summarise.

Generally, when a church becomes redundant the process starts with proposals from the diocese to the Church Commissioners who, after consultation with various bodies and interested parties, prepare a Pastoral Scheme. After a time for representations to be considered, the scheme is confirmed by an Order in Council, and the church is declared redundant. Normally it then passes into the care of the diocesan board of finance for a Waiting Period of not less than six months while its future is decided. In 55% of cases this means an alternative use; in 22% preservation, usually by the Redundant Churches Fund; or, as a last resort, demolition. After an opportunity for representations to be heard, the Redundancy Scheme is confirmed by Order in Council, and comes into effect.

Though compared with the early days of the Pastoral Measure the numbers being declared redundant have been relatively small, there is apparently no suggestion that churches will cease to become redundant in the foreseeable future. Indeed, the Church Commissioners suggest that the number being demolished may well increase.

When churches are sold for alternative uses, restrictive covenants are often imposed, to govern for example the care and maintenance of fittings remaining in the building. As time goes by, changes of ownership make enforcement of covenants, or even knowledge that they have been broken, increasingly difficult. We are glad to know that the statutory bodies concerned are now taking the situation seriously; but for bells, as so often, vigilance by local ringers may well be the best remedy. Bells often remain in such cases; and when the church is redundant, even when it is in the care of the Redundant Churches Fund, the faculty jurisdiction with its attendant safeguards no longer applies.

This year the Committee has been involved with some 57 cases, including six new enquiries for rings of bells, and 31 for bells for replacements, augmentations, or for use as singles. One enquiry for a ring, and ten for singles - only two for augmentations - came from overseas. One enquiry sought tubular bells. Inevitably the search for a new home for the St Martin, Birmingham, bells has been a major preoccupation this year, involving as it does both the Committee and the Rescue Fund. Because demand, particularly for single bells, always (reasonably enough) exceeds supply, the Committee is planning a circular to the Associations in case there are bells known to be lying idle which instead of waiting or being used for scrap for recasting could find a home further afield. The cost of casting new bells far exceeds their metal value: it is always worth trying to re-house a sound bell.

We were glad to learn that further discussion of the draft Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes will after all be possible. Appendix 5, dealing with bells in redundant churches, has been little altered.

We are again grateful to the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their interest and help; and to Mr. Ranald Clouston for all the trouble he takes in providing us with copies of his notes for the Council for the Care of Churches on the bells of churches being considered for redundancy.

We are all sorry that Philip Corby is no longer with us. We miss his wise counsel, his humour, and his sometimes astringent but always thought-provoking comments.

The report was adopted without debate, and the new committee of ten elected by ballot. Messrs. A.J. Howes (Salisbury DG) and K.J. Matthews (Surrey A) were nominated without success, those elected being Mrs. Wilkinson, Prebendary Scott, Dr. Baldwin and Messrs. E.A. Barnett, R. Booth, R.J. Cooles (Honorary), D.J. Kelly (Bath & Wells DA), J. Kershaw, G.W. Massey (Bath & Wells DA) and M.H.D. O’Callaghan (Honorary).


The Biographies Committee’s report was proposed by Mr. G.A. Dawson, who said that three names had been inadvertently omitted - those of F. Reynolds, who had represented the Lancashire A from 1966 until his death on 3 March; L.W.G. Morris, who had died on 5 March, having represented the Yorkshire A from 1939 to 1962; and A. Ballard, who had represented the Midland Counties A in 1945 and the Leicester DG from 1946 to 1953, and had died on 13 May. He was seconded by Dr. Eisel.

The following member and past members of the Council died during 1992:

William Thomas Cook, MA, became a member of the Central Council’s Library Committee in 1974 and was its Honorary Librarian from 1976 until his death. He held the post of Trustee of the Rolls of Honour and was a member of the Administrative Committee for the same period, 1976-92.

Thomas Joseph Lock, ARICS, AIAS, was a member of the Council’s Standing Committee from 1957 to 1972 and remained a member of the Administrative Committee from 1972 until his death. He joined the Biographies Committee in 1963 and became its Chairman in 1978 - a post he filled with distinction until his death.

Philip Anthony Corby, FCIOB, ACIArb, served on the Council’s Standing Committee, 1957-72, and on the Administrative Committee from 1972 until his death. He was a member of the Public Relations Committee, 1981-90, Vice-President of the Council, 1981-84, and its President, 1984-87.

William Alfred Theobald was a member of the Public Relations Committee from 1978 to 1981.

With the sudden passing of Tom Lock, Chairman of the Biographies Committee for the past 14 years, the Council has lost an outstanding biographer and dear friend. Examination of the vast quantity of biographic material held by the committee reveals that the records are manifestly etched with his most inimitable hand. The Exercise owes him a great debt for the way he personally up-dated members’ records so fully and so painstakingly.

The Biographies Committee agreed that D.J. Roberts (Guild of Devonshire Ringers) should act as Chairman of the committee until the new committee is formed in 1993. By the very kind assistance of Ruth Foreman all the Council’s biographical material held by Tom Lock at his death was transferred to the acting Chairman on 28 July 1992.

In addition to recording the deaths of Council members the Committee has begun a ledger noting the passing of all other ringers whose deaths have been recorded in The Ringing World or otherwise intimated to committee members. At the time of this report some ninety names have been recorded since the last meeting, and as this figure may represent less than half the ringers lost to the Exercise through death, such information should serve as an incentive to continue recruiting new ringers to replace those who have died.

As Chairman I have been surprised to receive only two enquiries for biographical detail since the last meeting. That has however allowed me time to acquaint myself not only with the material held, but how it is held and recorded. The new committee should find ways of simplifying the records.

The report was adopted without discussion, and a new committee of four members - Messrs. Dawson, Eisel, C. Ridley (Surrey A) and D.J. Roberts elected.


The Library Committee’s report, proposed by Miss Sanderson and seconded by Dr. Eisel, was adopted after the President had thanked the proposer and seconder for their hard work over the past year (applause). It read as follows:

At the beginning of 1992 there were few hints of changes for the Library. The Librarian was not well, but had enjoyed a ringing holiday and was dealing with the usual enquiries, loans and subscriptions. He was looking forward to collecting a computer and beginning the Library catalogue in machine-readable format. Sadly, these plans were thwarted by his sudden death. This deprives us of his incredible knowledge of the Library and also of the history of ringing, especially in London. It is a tribute to him that the stocktaking after the move of the Library showed that nothing was missing, which is remarkable in a working library.

Jean Sanderson was asked to take responsibility for the Library, which is now substantial and needs a lot of space. Various options were considered, one of which was that the computer bought for the Library should not be imposed upon a new librarian; and with the help of the Revd. Dr. John Baldwin it was found a better home. The insurance company was not satisfied with the valuation made of the Library last year, but a professional valuation arrived at the same amount (£40,000) and the company is now happier.

Dr. John Eisel is very interested in the history of ringing and knowledgeable about books; he also had room and was willing to act as librarian. However, he was reluctant to become an Officer of the Council, especially as the whole matter was under review. Jean Sanderson became the Committee’s chairman; he offered hospitality to the collection and acted as librarian; and they divided the many tasks between them.

The move of 45 cwt. of books and manuscript material from Sidcup to Ullingswick early in July has been well chronicled in the pages of The Ringing World. Although the collection was shelved within a week of arrival, stocktaking and rearrangement took a further two months. As part of the stocktaking the five Guild/Association libraries who hold books on indefinite loan from the Central Council’s Library were contacted to confirm that these were still in their possession.

Despite the Library being unavailable for several months a total of thirty-nine items have been out on loan during the course of the year, over twice as many as in 1991. There have been a number of enquiries both by telephone and by post - rather more than one a week. The time taken in answering these varied from a few minutes to several hours. One or two could not be answered from material in the Library, but John Eisel was able to help from his own researches.

The Library has continued to increase, and thirty-five catalogue items have been added to the collection - nine by purchase, and the others by gift. We are very grateful to those who support the Library in this way. We are also grateful to the 23 societies who have sent a copy of their Report for 1991, and appreciate the many newsletters that we receive on a regular basis. We acknowledge several donations of past reports and newsletters which have helped to fill some of the gaps in our archives, particularly from the estate of Tom Lock and also from Mrs. M. Woolley. If anyone has any old reports that they do not want we would be grateful if they could offer them to the Library to see whether they fill any of our gaps. The list of reports in the Library has now been stored on disc, and an up-to-date print-out can be sent on request. We have several donations of duplicate reports to be sold in aid of the work of the Library, and we are very grateful to those who support it in this way.

Because of the unfortunate circumstances the programme of conservation was interrupted during the year, and consequently no books were rebound. As funds permit this work will be resumed, and as part of this it has been decided gradually to bind up sets of Guild/Association reports. These are in need of conservation as most are stapled, and over the years the staples rust. Hence the urgency in filling as many gaps as possible in our archive.

The Library is now able to function as a service to the Exercise, and we thank John Eisel for rising to the challenge and Mrs. Margaret Eisel, who not only helped in shelving the collection but has since acted as an unpaid secretary.

At the last Council meeting a Library Working Party was set up, and before it met Mr. Derek J. Jones asked Friends of the Library for their opinions. There was a splendid response which was most encouraging, even though there was no way all the views could be reconciled. The recommendations are to the Administrative Committee, and thus to the Council, but some actions have already been taken or are in progress.

The most controversial is no. 6 - “The Library is not a lending library except in rare circumstances”. This is because the books have suffered; many people have qualms about the postal service; and if books are damaged or lost it will be difficult to replace them. It took until the middle of October to recover all the books which were out on loan at the time of Bill Cook’s death, with many letters and telephone calls being necessary. This is unacceptable.

Many of the objections will be met by no. 8 - “A photocopier should be obtained to enable rare documents to be copied for security, and to make easier access available to researchers.” Although it was February 1993 before it was delivered, the Library now has a second-hand but good Rank-Xerox 1025 with a maintenance agreement. No. 9 reads: “A fire proof box and smoke detectors be obtained.” The smoke detectors have been fitted and are working, and Jean Sanderson and Peter Wilkinson are cooperating to find a suitable fire-proof box. No. 10 advises: “Publicity to be given to the Exercise and new Friends recruited.” Current Friends have received a newsletter; The Ringing World has kindly published much information and news snippets about the Library; and we hope for additional help from the Public Relations Committee.

No. 7 - “Cataloguing on a data base to include reference to other collections is a priority” - is accepted; but the means to accomplish this need to be considered with care; William Butler is working on this, and will report to the Committee. Greater cooperation between libraries may be possible. For example, although they are not included in the earlier figures, several enquiries were answered from Jean Sanderson’s collection while the Library was out of action.

We are grateful to the Working Party and to the Officers and Administrative Committee for the help which has allowed us to progress so far. After a long period of negligible costs the Library has needed some large sums of money, and will need more, but the long-term benefits should be worth the cost. Mr and Mrs R. James Cook made a very generous donation to the Library, and the Committee is hoping to make wise use of it.

Because of the change-over caused by Bill Cook’s death Michael O’Callaghan has kindly helped the Chairman with the Friends’ accounts.

After the President had reminded members that, as Library Steward, Dr. Eisel was an ex officio member of the Library Committee, five names were proposed and seconded for the remaining four places. These were Miss Sanderson and Messrs. F.J.P. Bone, W. Butler, J.F.I. Turney and C.A. Wratten. The ensuing ballot resulted in all except Mr. Turney being elected.

Public Relations

Proposing adoption of the report, Mr. Coleman said that the current issue of The Field contained a well-illustrated article on ringing; that a TV programme called “Activate”, to be broadcast at 5.10 pm on 29 June would contain some particularly interesting film of ringing, including shots filmed from a camera fixed to the bell-rope and from another fixed to the stay - only time had, he said, prevented the crew from fitting one to the clapper (laughter); and that in spite of being invited, TV Wales had declined to visit the day’s meeting since no Welsh speakers were expected to be present. He was seconded by Mr. A.J. Illingworth (Coventry DG).

1992 was another outstandingly successful year for the Public Relations Committee. We continued our policy of providing high quality advice and assistance to local public relations activities throughout the country, whilst at the same time securing and organising major national publicity. In detail:

Association liaison

John Illingworth with the assistance of Emma St John-Smith organised the second Public Relations seminar in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey. The content, quality and setting of the seminar were again 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 £10. Having held two seminars in London, John is now exploring alternative venues for future seminars. He welcomes invitations to assist Associations with their own public relations seminars.

Alison Hodge completed her draft of a handbook to assist all those involved in ringing public relations in any way. The handbook, entitled Striking the Right Note, is designed to help tower captains and other ringers who put on displays and give talks, as well as Association Public Relations Officers.

Steve Coleman dealt with a substantial number of requests for public relations guidance. These came from Associations, branches, and local towers. It is clear that the public relations activities being undertaken at local level are now better organised and more extensive than ever. Committee members are always pleased to provide advice and guidance both by telephone and in writing.


As part of the Committee’s role in assisting at local level, Harold Rogers continued his work of maintaining and updating the Committee’s exhibition material. The displays are well-prepared and eye catching, and are mounted on top quality stands. With the five sets being used in over thirty locations during the year, the work involved with repairing the ravages of use and transportation is considerable. In addition Harold prepared a whole new set for permanent display at Inveraray. Since it is estimated that 20,000 people will be visiting this exhibition annually, it will be of major importance. The public relations work of the Inveraray ringers in opening the tower to so many visitors is of enormous value to the whole of the Exercise.

Harold also represented the Committee on the Ringing Centres working group, and advised and liaised with ringers preparing exhibitions throughout the UK. Requests for exhibition material, and for advice on exhibitions generally, should be sent to Harold at 53 The Grove, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 4JT, telephone 081-560-3921.

Alison Hodge, in conjunction with the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine and the Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry, worked on updating the written and visual material used to display the Carter Ringing Machine.

John Illingworth and Steve Coleman did preparatory work on a five-minute ringing video to be shown on continuous tape at exhibitions. When the video is completed copies will be available on free loan or for sale.

Church and Community

Alison Hodge completed her ringing insert for all Diocesan Newsletters, and placed an advert in the Church of England Year Book setting out the services offered by the Central Council. Emma St John-Smith corresponded with the Bishop of Wakefield, Chairman of the Decade of Evangelism Steering Group, offering the assistance of the Committee in an initiative to encourage PCCs with ringable bells but no ringers, to get their bells ringing again. The response was lukewarm, and it is not yet clear what will come of this.

George Morris organised a pilot one-day’s ringing appreciation course in conjunction with a local authority. Despite an excellent programme and considerable publicity, the course attracted only four students. George is attempting an alternative format for 1993.

George, John Illingworth, Harold Rogers and Steve Coleman all gave local talks on bellringing during the year.

Press Liaison

David Thorne, in his capacity as 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. Alison Hodge arranged for a bell diagram to appear in The Ringing World Dairy to assist ringers in giving explanations about bellringing to non-ringing friends. She also arranged for details of Public Relations Officers to appear in The Ringing World Diary.

Steve Coleman provided background information to a reporter from The Times who was preparing a special feature on ringing at Jesmond in Newcastle. The article appeared in 1993, and full details will be included in next year’s report. Harold Rogers wrote an article on the use of computers in bellringing for publication in the journal of the Association of Scientific and Technical Communicators, and most members of the Committee gave assistance to local and regional newspapers.


Fred Dukes continued his extremely demanding role of maintaining contact with overseas ringers through his newsletters and his personal correspondence. He also did the preparatory work for the next international Striking Contest in the year 2000. Fred’s detailed international report has already been published in The Ringing World.

Sunday Service competition

John Illingworth drew up provisional proposals for a National Sunday Service Band competition to be held triennially. Judges would listen, unannounced, to normal Sunday service ringing and then award further marks in respect of the health of the band, the condition of the ringing room, etc. There would be regional and area winners as well as national winners, to create maximum local, as well as national, publicity. A prize of £500 to go to the local association’s BRF, together with a trophy, is envisaged. The six top bands would all take part in a major prize-giving ceremony at which they would each demonstrate their normal Sunday ringing style. This is a complex and far-reaching idea which will require considerable planning and effort to reach fruition. The Committee will greatly welcome all views and suggestions.

Central Council

Following the change in the Committee’s terms of reference in May, Stella Bianco, Emma St John-Smith and Steve Coleman drew up plans to improve the Council’s image. Their proposals for improving the visual effect of the Annual meeting to meet the standards required for press photocalls and television news are being implemented by Stella and Emma from 1993. Their proposals, though, for a more appropriate logo and standardised stationery were rejected by the Administrative Committee.

George Morris started work on an occasional series of articles about the work of Council committees.

Stella Bianco commenced liaison with the Library Committee on some of the PR aspects of their work. She also acted as Committee secretary and controlled the very substantial volume of paperwork which the Committee generates.


The BBC World Service programme Omnibus - Bells which Steve Coleman assisted with and appeared on in 1991, was repeated in January on Radio 5 with a further extract on Radio 4. In February, with the help of thirty ringers from the Oxford DG, ten ringers from the Gloucester & Bristol DA, and five ringers from the University of London Society, Steve recorded material for a prime time Japanese radio programme.

In June Steve enrolled the York Minster band as the Exercise’s contribution to National Music Day. David Potter and the York Minster band are experts at this kind of publicity, and their quarter peal of Stedman Caters - referred to as A Celebration of English Change Ringing - was broadcast on Radio 2 as well as local radio. In addition, at 6.00 p.m. it was the leading item on Radio 4 national news.

Steve was also in correspondence with the producers of Morning Has Broken in an effort to clear up their problems with mistakes in the ringing information. The BBC are being very positive about this, and the Committee hopes that the current improvement will continue.

As previously, many members of the Committee were involved in local radio.


The ringers’ Songs of Praise arranged by Emma St John-Smith and detailed fully in last year’s report, was broadcast twice at the beginning of the year. Excerpts were then shown on two editions of Praise Be during the summer. Excerpts from The Help Squad showing the Prime Minister’s wife ringing, were also shown on six Occasions. At the end of the year Steve Coleman provided background information to BBC Pebble Mill for a five-minute early morning programme on ringing, in addition he did advance work for a children’s television programme to be broadcast in 1993.

Mr. D. Bleby (ANZAB) thanked Mr. Dukes (Irish A) on behalf of all overseas ringers for his international liaison work, before apologising for not having with him the copies of We Sing in a Strange Land that had been promised in a recent Ringing World advertisement.

Turning to the question of the next International Striking Competition - which, with the ANZAB band winning, had he said had a most satisfactory outcome in London in 1991! - he suggested that the next one should be in the year 2001, rather than 2000 as had been proposed, since 2001 would be the 100th anniversary of the Federation of Australia. It would moreover be most appropriate, he thought, for the “return match” to be held on the home ground of the present holders (laughter).

The report was adopted without further discussion and a committee of ten elected in yet another ballot. Those elected were Miss St John Smith, Mrs. S. Bianco (Honorary), Dr. A. Hodge (Verona A) and Messrs. J.A. Anderson (St Martin’s G), S.J. Coleman, F.E. Dukes, A.J. Illingworth, R.G.T. Morris (Verona A), H.W. Rogers and D.G. Thorne (Honorary). The unsuccessful nominee was Mr. R. Walker (Guildford DG).

Computer Coordination

In proposing the report, Mr. F.J.P. Bone (Essex A) said that the committee had been set up when “computers” meant mainframe machines; today most computers were PCs, and these were generally used by people who tended to reject any effort to coordinate what they were doing. Hence the report’s final paragraph. He was formally seconded by Mr. B.N. Trowbridge (Derby DA).

Work has continued on updating the Register of Computer Ringers. Requests for information (mostly on possible sources of software for specific machines) come in at a rate of one a month on average - though the flow is showing signs of drying up. Many of these are enquiries for software for the Commodore C64 and C128, and unfortunately there does not seem to be any.

Work has started on a survey of the use of computers in producing Annual Reports (of Guilds and Associations), from which we hope to compile some useful advice for anyone planning to make changes in this area.

The Chairman attended the Simulators seminar run by the Education Committee in February, and was “persuaded” to write a report for The Ringing World.

Much of the Committee’s time has been spent in evaluating our terms of reference. This Committee was established to monitor the introduction of computers into the Exercise - and we take the view that the introductory phase is past. We are to “assist other Council Committees as required”: but assistance never is required. After a great deal of discussion we have concluded that our only significant activity with a continuing role is the Register (and we are doubtful about even this), and in consequence we recommend that this Committee be wound up.

Mr. Perry asked what would happen to the work described in the second paragraph if the committee lapsed: would it continue? Mr. Bone said that the seconder was dealing with this subject, and would doubtless make his conclusions available whatever became of the committee.

Mr. Craddock was unhappy about the idea of disbanding the committee. He said that computer technology was proving of increasing use in ringing, even though the technology itself had changed over the years; it was unfortunate that consecutive committees had not updated their terms of reference to reflect these changes. A computer coordination committee could for example develop standards for ringing software - something he considered highly desirable. He therefore proposed the deletion of the final paragraph of the report, and was seconded in this by Mr. G.A. Halls. The latter commented that he was of the generation that was very wary of computers, and wondered whether it might be possible to have a “hands on” display of ringing programmes at next year’s Council meeting, perhaps in lieu of an Open Meeting, “so that we old ’uns can all make fools of ourselves together” (laughter).

The amendment was carried by a large majority, and the truncated report was duly approved.

Five names were then in turn proposed for the new committee - Messrs. P.Q. Armitage (Oxford US), D.P. Bagley (Worcester & Districts A), F.J.P. Bone, A.G. Craddock and B.N. Trowbridge - and the President declared them elected.


This, the last of the committee reports, was proposed by the Hon. Secretary, who said that it unwittingly omitted any reference to the very successful Regional Seminars that had been run, under the Committee’s auspices, in various areas during the year. He was seconded by Dr. Baldwin.

Since the Peterborough meeting the Committee has met twice in London, in October and again in March. The arrangements for the 1993 Council meeting were discussed and agreed, and, as requested by the Council last year, consideration was given to the propriety of the Council’s Auditors being members of the Council. It was concluded that, provided they were not involved in any way in the allocation or disbursement of the Council’s funds - for example by being on a “spending” committee - there was nothing improper or unprofessional in their being appointed from among the elected members of the Council.

The Secretary also reported on his correspondence with the Secretary of the Council for the Care of Churches about the influence of English Heritage in matters ecclesiastical. He had received an encouraging and sympathetic reply from Dr. Cocke, and this had in turn led to an invitation from Dr. Halsey, Chairman of English Heritage’s Churches Committee, for the Council to send a representative to a tri-partite discussion between our three bodies. The President undertook to follow this up. In the meantime the Secretary has received no reports of any problems being encountered with English Heritage in the context of bells or their fittings.

Apart from these relatively routine matters, the main business of the Committee during the past year has concerned the draft Code of Practice for the Conservation of Bells and Bellframes, proposals for redefining the basis for representation on the Council, and changes to the Rules affecting the election of Officers.

Progress on the draft Code has been well publicised in The Ringing World and the issue of March 12 1993 carried a copy of the paper that was put to the Committee by Dr. John Baldwin a week later. His recommendation that the Committee act on the authority that had been vested in it by the Council at Peterborough, and endorse the draft, was accepted unanimously; and the Secretary subsequently notified the Council for the Care of Churches that the draft had been formally accepted. It will now be necessary to monitor how its provisions are implemented.

The outcome of work on the representation of societies and on the election of Officers is reflected in motions on the Agenda for this year’s meeting. The former has entailed lengthy consultations with affiliated societies, and doubtless equally lengthy discussions within them; and the results are summarised in the Working Party paper that has gone to all Council members. In the hope of simplifying voting on so complex a matter, the Committee agreed that the resulting motion for a change in the Rules should be divided into three separate proposals, each of which is virtually free-standing.

The sad death of the Council’s Librarian, Mr. W. T. Cook, early last year provided a spur for the Committee to review the number and function of the Council’s Officers, and indeed of the Administrative Committee itself. This review is continuing, and the Motion appearing as item 8 on the Agenda reflects no more than the outcome of its first stage. With the agreement of the present Librarian and the Chairman of the Library Committee, it is designed to remove the old-established link between the Honorary Librarian and the executive Officers and between the former and the chairmanship of the Library Committee. At the same time it aims to regularise the election of named “stewards” (a re-naming of the traditional “trustees”) to look after the Council’s property. Meanwhile the wider review continues.

The recommendation affecting the post of Librarian surfaced initially in a report presented to the Committee by the Library Working Party that was elected by the Council last year. Other recommendations from their study are referred to in more detail, with a summary of the action that has been taken as a result, in the Library Committee’s report.

Noting the reference to a need to monitor the effects of the new Code of Practice, Mr. Halls enquired who would be responsible for this. After the President had assured him that the Administrative Committee would make sure it happened, the report was adopted.

In order to allow time for the newly-elected committees to decide on their chairmen, the President at this point announced a twenty-minute adjournment. The Llandaff and Monmouth Association had kindly arranged for tea to be available, and the gathering rapidly broke into those anxious for a cup and a minority seemingly equally anxious for some fresh air. Closer inspection however showed the latter to consist almost entirely of frustrated smokers.

When the meeting re-convened the President read out the list of those chosen: Biographies - D.J. Roberts; Bell Restoration Funds - J.S. Barnes; Ringing Centres - Miss S.J. Pattenden; Computer Coordination - A.G. Craddock; Education - N.R. Mattingley; Library - Miss J. Sanderson; Methods - A.P. Smith; Peal Compositions - R. Bailey; Peals Analysis - D.H. Niblett; Publications - W.J. Couperthwaite; Public Relations - S.J. Coleman; Records - D.E. Sibson; Redundant Bells - G.W. Massey; and Towers and Belfries - A.J. Frost.

He reminded members that the committee chairmen were all ex officio members of the Administrative Committee, as were the Chairman of Ringing World Limited (Mr. H.W. Egglestone) and the President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Council. He invited nominations for the further twelve elected seats on the committee.

Only ten names were in fact proposed and seconded, Mr. Wratten declining nomination “on this occasion” as he felt it important that his successor should have a clear run to start. The following were consequently declared elected: Messrs. Armstrong, Baldwin, Cater, Church, Cooles, Gray, Groome, O’Callaghan, Oram and Wilby; and two places were left vacant pro tem.


Mr. C.H. Rogers introduced a series of three motions that proposed a range of changes to the Council’s Rules concerning the way societies were affiliated to, and represented on, the Council. (The precise wording appeared on p. 503 of the RW of 21 May.) The first dealt with affiliation, the second with the number of representatives to which affiliated societies would be entitled, and the third sought to introduce a new category of “Associated Society”.

Mr. Rogers described the history of the review which had culminated in the proposals, from its inception following a motion passed by the Council in 1990. The aim of the changes had throughout been to provide Rules which are easily workable and are seen to be fair, and to provide straightforward criteria against which to judge future applications for affiliation. There had been extensive consultations with affiliated societies, during the course of which the original proposals had been extensively modified. The present ones had now achieved a broad measure of support from those societies.

Supporting him, Mrs. Wilkinson explained in some detail the proposed arrangements for those societies that do not, collect annual subscriptions. There were five of them, she said - the College Youths, the Cumberland Youths, the London County Association, the Oxford Society and the Sherwood Youths. The numbers of new members provided a measure of such a society’s activity, and the working party had calculated that by counting those joining over a 20-year period their present level of representation would be maintained.

Mr. Rogers then proposed, and Mrs. Wilkinson formally seconded, the first motion, defining the proposed criteria for affiliation.

Mr. S.C. Walters said that, while the Cambridge University Guild had little difficulty in accepting the motion - which he was pleased to see had incorporated some of the points put forward earlier by the Guild - there was concern that the definition of eligible “events” did not include service ringing. He proposed that the words “service ringing” be inserted and that a final “etc.” be added, and this was seconded by Mr. J.R. Pratt. Mr. C.M. Foster (Bristol US) questioned this approach, saying that service ringing was normally carried out by individual bands rather than by societies. Mr. Pratt then suggested that the addition of “and other organised gatherings of members” might better meet the case. Mr. Walters agreed, and in this form the amendment was carried.

Mr. Halls professed not to understand the complexities of the proposed rule - if territorial societies could provide lists of their members, why could not others? Mr. Bailey said that he tended to agree - could not a single rule be devised to cater for all eventualities? Mr. H.W. Rogers, on the other hand, thought that the change would give societies such as the College Youths and the Cumberlands an undeserved advantage; and Mr. J.S. Barnes thought the proposed Rule 4.(iv) a “bureaucratic nonsense” which would be extremely difficult to administer - a view with which Mr. Wilby disagreed. Mr. Tremain made a well-received point that the changes might well not be perfect, but they offered a considerable improvement on the present situation.

On being put to the vote by the President the motion received strong support. Mr. A.P. Smith however asked that, since the motion proposed a change to the Council’s Rules and therefore required a clear two-thirds majority, the votes be counted by the tellers. This was done, the resulting figures being declared as 139 in favour and 19 against, with 39 abstentions.

Mr. Rogers then proposed the second motion, ,which would increase the number of representatives to which societies with over a thousand resident members would be entitled and would, he said, add eight to the Council. After Mrs. Wilkinson had seconded, this was carried by a large majority.

The last of the three motions was similarly proposed and seconded; but after Mr. Groome had said that he found the idea of “a twilight half-existence” for some societies very unsatisfactory - a society should either be a member of the Council, or not, he said - it was defeated.

The President concluded this part of the meeting by thanking the members of the working party - Mrs. Wilkinson and Messrs. Rogers and Wratten - for their hard work on this topic over the past three years (applause).

Mr. J.S. Barnes then proposed a change to the terms of reference of the Bell Restoration Funds Committee. He said that the third and last part of its existing ToRs - “to give advice in setting up bell restoration funds and in establishing existing funds as charities” - had now been largely achieved; and those now proposed were intended to streamline and refocus those remaining.

Mr. Oram formally seconded, and the motion was passed without debate.

The final motion, asking the Administrative Committee to “consider all aspects of the timing of meetings of the Council”, was proposed by Mr. P.W. Gay. He said that the present arrangements, with three days of social events and only one for business, were not best geared for the efficient conduct of the Council’s affairs; but the motion was not seeking any particular change, merely that all aspects of the meeting’s timing be reviewed.

Seconding, Mr. A.J. Illingworth referred to the cost, both financial and in terms of annual leave, borne by members and the administrative difficulties, and said that the present arrangements did much to give a misleading impression of the Council being little more than a “holiday club”. His suggestion that an out-of-term meeting at a University would be much cheaper was however met with cries of dissent.

A procedural motion proposed by Mr. P.M.J. Gray, that the Administrative Committee note the motion and that the Council move to the next business, was seconded by Mr. O’Callaghan, but lost. And on being put to the meeting by the President, Mr. Gay’s motion was carried by a large majority.

Trustees’ reports

The report of the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine was proposed by Mr. A.E. Bagworth and seconded by Mr. W.H. Dobbie, and accepted without comment:

Two demonstrations took place during 1992.

The first was held at the Birmingham Science Museum on 25th April, when it was displayed in the afternoon following a maintenance session in the morning.

The second, which was arranged by the St. Martin’s Guild, was held on 15th August, when the machine was taken to St. Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham, and operated as part of a ringing display for the Birmingham Festival of Music. On this occasion Dr. Philip Barnes and Barry Ward from the Science Museum each set up the machine to ring different methods. We wish to thank Andrew Stubbs and Barry Ward for their assistance in arranging this display at the Cathedral.

After it had been agreed that there should be two Carter Ringing Machine stewards, Messrs. Bagworth and Dobbie were re-elected for a further term. Thanking members, Mr. Dobbie said that he was now aged 74 and consequently would be 77 at the end of the triennium. He would therefore not be seeking further re-election in 1996, and suggested that a successor be sought in readiness.

The report of the Trustee of the Rolls of Honour was proposed by Mr. A.R. Kench (ASCY), seconded by Mr. A.N. Stubbs (ASCY), and also adopted without discussion:

The books recording the names of ringers who gave their lives in the two World Wars remain on display, with their pages regularly turned, in the passage to the ringing, room at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where they may be seen by any visitors at ringing times.

Mr. A.J. Phillips (ASCY) was nominated by Mr. Kench for the single steward post that was agreed by the meeting, and the proposal was seconded by Mr. Stubbs. This too was agreed.

Rescue Fund

Acceptance of the report of the Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells and its accounts was proposed by Mr. R.J. Cooles and seconded by Mr. O’Callaghan:

The year has been dominated by concern for the future of the ring of bells from St. Martin’s, Birmingham, which have been preserved by the Fund for a period to August 1993 by courtesy of Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Every opportunity for housing the bells in England or elsewhere has been followed up, but the overall cost of hanging a ring of 13 bells where no bells existed, before has daunted all the parties interested.

At the beginning of the. year it seemed definite that Auckland Cathedral would be acquiring the bells, but by April other building requirements had taken priority and the Cathedral had to postpone the idea indefinitely.

Alternatives in England, America and South Africa were considered, and there has been some interest from ANZAB. None of these negotiations has made substantial progress. At the close of the year there was a real hope from Newquay in Cornwall. The tower there had been built after the war with the idea of housing a substantial ring of bells, and such an installation would coincide with the Truro Diocesan Guild’s forthcoming centenary celebrations. The Fund Committee recognised though that if the Newquay project did not go ahead with dispatch then consideration would have to be given to disposing of the bells individually or in groups. If the ring as a whole could not be sold for use elsewhere by August 1993 then it would be better to at least achieve reuse of as many bells from the ring as possible, even though the essential character of the ring of twelve would be lost.

A brighter note and a relief to the Committee to achieve something was the acquisition of a 14 cwt. ring of six from All Saints’, Hamer, in the Diocese of Manchester. A Faculty had been obtained for the disposal of the bells to Taylors for scrap. Thanks to the Foundry’s good offices the bells were acquired by the Fund at very short notice through negotiation with the architects acting for the Church, and a sale was negotiated to St. Mary’s, Caterham, Surrey. Funding for the acquisition was assured by the Surrey Association, who held an emergency Committee meeting to enable the arrangements to be made within the time limits required.

As ever we remain grateful to the patient ringers and Associations who provide the cash for these rescues, and we hope that it may yet be possible to achieve a placing for the Birmingham bells.

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
Income and Expenditure Account for the Year 1992
100Donations- . -

-Insurance and storage relating to the bells
of St. Martin, Birmingham

268Excess of expenditure over income(658.82)
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1992
-Bells, frame and fittings of All Saints, Hamer, at cost6000.00
24800Deposits with Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd
re bells of St Martin, Birmingham
3046Bank balances280.62

21215Interest free loans21608.76
-Central Council General Fund3500.00


6631Net Assets5971.86
6363Accumulated Fund, 1 January 19926630.68
268Excess of expenditure over income(658.82)

Mr. Cooles reported that the money for Hamer bells had now been repaid to the Fund, and would in turn be repaid to those who had provided it. The Fund’s main concern however were the Birmingham bells. Newquay remained a possibility (but was by no means a probability, he added), while Adelaide and Brecon Cathedral were also possibilities. All of these would be followed up energetically.

After Mr. J.S. Barnes had commented that he hoped the August deadline would not be rigidly imposed, the report was adopted

Future meetings

The President reminded members that invitations for future meetings had already been accepted from the North Staffordshire Association (for 1994), the Salisbury Diocesan Guild (1995), the Shropshire Association (1996), and the Ely Diocesan Guild (1997).

Similar invitations for years further in the future had already been noted from the Irish Association (for 1998), the Lincoln Diocesan Guild (1999), and the Essex Association (2004), and during the year the Secretary had received an invitation from the Norwich Diocesan Association for the year 2002.

At the President’s invitation, Mr. Gay (N Staffs A) thanked those who had returned his society’s questionnaire on their intentions for next year’s meeting, which he said would be held in Stafford and would follow the traditional programme of events.

In the absence of any Irish Association representatives, the Secretary then proposed that that society’s invitation for 1998 be formally accepted, and this was agreed.

Any other business

The President said that, in view of the number of Rule changes that had been agreed during the course of the meeting, the booklet of Council Rules would be updated during the course of the ensuing year, and copies would be sent to all members before the next meeting.

Mr. Harrison drew attention to recent advice from the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office that bells should not be left up, since were an intruder to be injured as a result the PCC might be liable to damages. He asked that the Council should establish a clear position and publicise the outcome. The President said the Administrative Committee would consider the matter.

Mr. R.F.B. Speed reminded members of three recent letters in The Ringing World about the need to preserve old peal boards, and asked that the Administrative Committee consider what might be done. He also drew attention to a significant discrepancy between the number of peal boards said in 1960 to have been recorded by the then Peal Boards Collection Committee and the number said by Dr. Eisel now to be held in the Council’s Library: could Dr. Eisel try to trace those apparently missing?

The Secretary reported that 55 societies had been fully represented at the meeting, ten partially represented, and three not represented; in all 171 of the 186 elected representatives had been present. There had also been five of the seven Life members, twenty of 22 Honorary members, and one ex officio member, giving a total attendance during the day of 197, or one more than at Peterborough last year.

At the President’s invitation Mr. Groome then rejoined the platform to thank Mr. Wratten for his work during the past 22 years. Mr. Wratten had, he said, three major responsibilities: to be the Council’s Honorary Secretary, to be its Treasurer, and to be the Company Secretary of Ringing World Limited. In spite of the calls these must have made upon his time, he had not become a “ringing bureaucrat”: he was one of the authors of the current series of books on the history of ringing, and was very much a practising ringer - he had the previous day rung his 1,000th peal (applause).

Mr. Groome said that he had earlier in the year invited contributions from Council members and affiliated societies for a presentation to Mr. Wratten and to Margery, who had throughout assisted him in his work. Although contributions were still arriving - and would in due course be passed on to Mr. Wratten - he had three items to present.

The first was a print of Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe Guild, which because of stringent currency controls in that country had been unable to make a monetary contribution. To applause, Mr. Wratten thanked the Guild for its kind gesture.

The second was a Coalport porcelain figure which Mrs. Wratten came on to the platform to receive. And the final gift was a large mounted replica of the Liberty Bell whose inscription Mr. Groome read out: “Presented to Cyril Wratten, Honorary Secretary 1971-1993, in appreciation of outstanding service.” (Applause)

After assuring Mr. Groome that his eulogy had been “too big-a da honk for so small-a da donkey”, Mr. Wratten thanked members on behalf of his wife and himself for their great generosity. He had, he said, thoroughly enjoyed his period of office, but the time had come for a change. He was confident that, in electing Christopher Rogers to succeed him, the Council would benefit from a fresh and invigorating approach, and he wished him as much enjoyment in the post as he had had. The prolonged applause and standing ovation that ensued was finally terminated when Mr. Wratten struck the bell with which he had been presented.

The President then moved a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those involved in the Council’s visit to Wales - to the officers and members of the Llandaff and Monmouth Association, and particularly those who had acted as tellers for the meeting (applause); to all those involved in Monday’s reception, and in particular the Lord Lieutenant, the Archdeacon of Llandaff, and the Chairman and Master of the Association; to the Vicar of Caerleon for taking that morning’s Communion service; to the incumbents, churchwardens and ringers who had welcomed members of the Council to their churches during the weekend; to the authorities at the College of Higher Education for the use of their hall for the meeting; and to the many others, ringers and non-ringers alike, who had contributed in so many ways to the success of the meeting (applause).

In return Mr. H.W. Rogers thanked those on the platform for their conduct of the meeting.

The President declared the meeting closed just before seven o’clock.

The Ringing World, August 6, 1993, pages 771 to 786

International Liaison Report for 1992

Part 1 of 4


The opportunity has again been taken of summarising references to bellringing events in the international field, which appeared in The Ringing World, The Clapper, Ringing Towers, S.A. Ringing Circle and Look-to, as well as from interesting contents of letters received from ringers world-wide.

Due acknowledgement is accorded to the editors of the above-mentioned journals, who have been most co-operative in spreading the “good news” about bellringing in their respective circulation areas.

The 1991 Report was presented in The Ringing World over four consecutive weeks, and it has been decided to adopt the same procedure for the current report, since no adverse comments were received regarding the 1991 presentation.

Central Council Meeting, Peterborough

It was very creditable to see every affiliated overseas society fully represented at the Peterborough meeting on May 26.

The usual international display took place in the Butterfly Hotel, and it consisted of the Map of the World updated to show the new towers which obtained new rings in 1991. Toronto, Honolulu and Grahamstown projects were highlighted, as well as the developments in Kilifi.


It was with a deep sense of shock to learn that three stalwarts of bellringing in the international domain died suddenly during the year. Tom Lock who, although not a member of this committee, travelled to help overseas ringers in his humble and efficient way to overcome their difficulties in method ringing. Many tributes were paid to Tom.

Phil Corby was a former member of this committee, and he had responsibility for radio and television liaison. He too travelled from time to time, far and wide.

Bill Theobald was my predecessor as Overseas Liaison and could be designated as the Council’s Ambassador to America, in particular. There he did much more than install bells, but helped learners and taught change-ringing.

We also noted the deaths of three G.O.M., who did so much in their respective towers. David Sloan was for over 60 years a dedicated ringer at Christchurch Cathedral. Cyril Chambers, having learned to ring in Kidderminster, went abroad and spent a number of years as the mainstay of Durban ringing, before health removed him to Johannesburg, where he died. Rt. Rev. Allen Goodings, former Bishop of Quebec, died from a heart-attack just before Christmas. He was a very good friend of bellringers. As Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral he learned to ring a bell and gave every encouragement to the local band. It was through his keen interest and enthusiasm that the two rings in Quebec were brought back to “life”.


It is good to see so many world-wide notices about bellringing activities appearing in The Ringing World. In almost every issue there was something from the international scene. David Thorne, the Editor, is certainly deserving of our gratitude for his dissemination of these items.

Jessie Ravage continues as Editor of The Clapper which appears “on the dot” four times a year. She includes the Liaison “Newsletters” in full and we are grateful to her for this service and the marvellous job she does in general.

“Down under” the new editors of Ringing Towers, Esther Perrins and Andrew Goodyer, are doing a good job in spreading the news with interesting items from Australia and New Zealand, along with snippets from our “newsletters” and world-wide items. Woe-betide anybody who does not meet the “deadline” date, because they have to wait until the next two-monthly issue is published to be included, when the items concerned could be “stale”.

The South African Guild rotates the responsibility for producing and distributing the S.A. Ringing Circle. In it our newsletters appear in full and a tower timetable is a regular item.

Look-to from Zimbabwe Guild comes out about once a year, and it contains much entertaining and personal news about its members.

To all editors, congratulations on jobs well done, and gratitude for devoted dedication to their duties and responsibilities.

Apart from the regulars, there were some published works of note. From Italy came a 253-page book with the title Campana Nei Secoli (Bells Through the Centuries). Its historical content deals with bells, their uses, and casting of bells. It is written in Italian, but its illustrations bridge any language. It has sold quite well in the U.K., and Switzerland obtained a copy.

Perhaps the most outstanding book was the long-awaited Volume 2 of The History of Change Ringing which made its appearance. Jean Sanderson is again the General Editor, and she was strongly supported by Cyril Wratten and John Eisel who wrote the chapters. It is a Central Council publication and makes interesting reading from a U.K. historical point of view.

The Ringing World Calendar was a joint effort, sponsored by the North American Guild through its P.R.O. Bruce Butler, in that each month had a picture of an American tower, complete with accompanying notes. Congratulations to those concerned with the production of this international masterpiece.

The North American Guild has advertised a total of 62 publications - mostly of Central Council origin, in The Clapper, the remaining items being N.A.G. pamphlets and videotapes for renting. Their Change Ringing four-fold pamphlet is an excellent illustrated publication which lists all of the towers with rings of bells in America, including Canada.


Kenya. The St. Thomas’s Society, Kilifi, were pleased to welcome back D. Paul Smith, Deborah Blagden, Michael O’Callaghan, who did so much in recent years to bring the ring of bells back to ringing condition and trained a local band to ring them. They were able to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Society, and were joined by Jeff Lawrence and Rod and Mary Pipe. Jeff rang for a Swahili service, and during the service itself he was called to the altar to explain about bellringers and ringing. His address was translated into Swahili. There was a repeat performance during the later English service.

An appeal was launched to raise funds to send six of the Kilifi ringers to the U.K. in 1994 for an intensive ringing course and to experience the bells in Britain.

Zimbabwe. Their change-ringing repertoire has extended to Plain Bob Caters, and a quarter-peal in the method was successful. The usual half-yearly meeting was held in Kwe-Kwe, when some useful work was undertaken in helping the locals to advance in ringing, and the journey was considered to be well worthwhile.

Central Council Public Relations Committee

The Ringing World, April 16, 1993, page 370

International Liaison Report for 1992

Part 2 of 4

Public Relations and Publicity

“Over the Air”: During the Pakistan v. England cricket match in Adelaide, South Australia, the bells of St. Peter’s Cathedral were heard ringing for evening service.

In the “Bells on Sunday” programme at 6.50 a.m. on each Sunday, after the “Morning has broken” session of hymns, bells from various places are included, on BBC4 radio stations. It was a very great pleasure to hear the bells of St. Luke’s Church, Kwe-Kwe, Zimbabwe, provide us with perfect striking. Likewise, the bells of Melrose School, New York, delighted us, too, with a high standard of ringing.

There were two TV slots given to the Grahamstown Restoration project, in one of which Mike Berning of Grahamstown, South Africa, appeared on the GMSA TV, in connection with the restoration of the Cathedral, when the bells scheme was highlighted.

The Whitechapel Handbell Ringers, of Transvaal, were recorded for inclusion in a programme on SABC TV channel, with the bells of St. George’s Church, Parktown, providing background sound for the same programme.

Alan Regin was interviewed by CBC during the St. James’ Guild visit to the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver. A video-recording was made of the interview and the bells ringing.

Victoria Cathedral, B.C., held a Tower Open Day and managed to organise a radio interview to publicise the event. From the resultant large number of people who attended the Open Day a few of them became recruits to ringing.

St. Martin’s Guild of Change Ringers, Philadelphia, USA, made a foray with handbells into the world of radio, when they appeared in Kathy O’Connell’s “Kids Corner” on the WXPN station. The success of the appearance brought a request from the programme producer for a repeat performance.

Amongst the visitors to see the augmented ring of eight in Christ Church, Raleigh, USA, were many non-ringers who appeared as a result of hearing the bells broadcast in a report given by the local NPR affiliate WUNC radio station, or who read about them in the half- page article in the local newspaper, which included photographs.

“In the Press”: The New Zealand Geographic produced an excellent article, by H. M. Young, about bells and bellringing. A total of 15 A4 pages were given to the essay, with several coloured photographs of bells ringing and the ringers. It was very good stuff, and although it was mainly based on St. Matthew’s, Auckland, it took in the other towers in both islands. Congratulations to all concerned with the “Masterpiece”.

When the “Wilby” tour went to Dunedin, New Zealand, the local press publicised the “World Renowned College Youths from Britain” testing their skills at bellringing.

Grocotts Mail, Grahamstown, S. Africa, had two notices regarding the restoration of the bells of the Cathedral of SS. Michael and George. They dealt mainly with the installation of the new bell-frame and made reference to the R50,000 required to complete the project. A further reference in the same paper had a front page photograph of David Webster and December Dicks beside the newly-erected frame, whilst on an inside page a brief explanation of the project was outlined.

Although not strictly related to overseas rings of bells, it was interesting to learn that as a result of a letter published in the New York Times regarding the Pontesbury, Shropshire, Bell Restoration Appeal, and a sequential visit by an American ABC Television reporter, money poured in from interested Americans.

When the Burlington, Philadelphia, bells rang out on All Saints’ Day, the Philadelphia Enquirer and the Burlington County Times featured bellringing and published some photographs with front page coverage of the event.

In British Columbia, the Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, ringers gained some publicity about bells and bellringing following a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. This gave rise to some journalists writing acceptable articles on the subject, together with photographs of the ringers “at the ropes”. The ringers of Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver, were featured in the local press, which included a photograph of Jane Douglas, a learner.

During the annual general meeting of ANZAB in Ballarat, a press reporter from the Ballarat Bugle presented a report on the activities of bellringers, together with photographs taken in the ringing room.

“On the spot”: The ringers of Old North Church, Boston, USA, gave their annual overview of the Art to incoming students of MIT, which resulted in some of the newcomers arriving at Advent Church. Open houses were also organised which were successful in introducing bellringing to parishioners.

The N.E. Branch of ANZAB was contacted by the Sydney City Council authorities, to investigate the possibility of rendering assistance in celebrating the sesquicentenary of the city on 20th July. ANZAB supported the event with peals on 19th July and quarter-peals on the following day. Sydney Surprise Major was, of course, the predominant method rung.

During the St. Paul’s, Durban, fete in August, tours of the bell-tower were arranged at half-hourly intervals for small parties to be taken up to the ringing room, where they were given a demonstration of, and an explanation on, bellringing. The bells of the same tower rang to start the Comrades Marathon at 6a.m.

The Grahamstown Handbell Group played at lunch-hour in the Cathedral on the three days during the “Experience the Cathedral” event, which coincided with the Handbell Ringers’ Festival, during which about 200 people learned about bellringing and the restoration of the tower bells.

Further north, in Transvaal, Richard Roberts gave a lecture on change-ringing and bellringing to the Alberton Group of the National Women’s Register.


More and more ringers worldwide are moving around other countries and taking part in ringing where bells are available at places they visit. From reports in the various periodicals, it is evident that such contacts are welcomed and are of benefit to the visited and the visitor. Such contacts are all to the good of the Exercise.

Letters between the writer and the societies worldwide continued during the year, and those arriving generally contained news items about local ringing, which in general was very encouraging. Of course, there were some setbacks, but hopefully they are of short-term duration.

The International “Newsletters” were sent to all areas in March, June and November. Again they were reproduced in full in The Clapper, thanks to Jessie Ravage, its editor; the S.A. Ringing Circle, thanks to the rotating editors; and Ringing Towers included extracts through the generosity of Esther Perrins and Andrew Goodyer, the editors. The object of these newsletters is to let bellringers outside of the British Isles know that they are remembered by this Committee, and to encourage them in their efforts to keep their bells ringing. It is good to know that such communications make ringers “feel an important part of the world ringing community”. With the newsletters, personal letters are included to the addresses who have been bound to the writer with friendship. Their replies are much appreciated and always contain interesting news. The writer enjoys communicating internationally and looks forward to the news from abroad.


The annual general meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Association was held in Bendigo on 7th June, during the Festival weekend which included Ballarat as the other venue. Chris O’Mahony, President, proposed as his successor Gordon Connon, whilst other officers were re-elected. Chris during his term of office was a dedicated President, and his messages to ANZAB members were well worth reading and contained plenty of sound advice and commonsense. Gordon as he takes over carries with him the good wishes of all ringers in ANZAB domain. During the meeting it was advocated that an inventory of bells and towers be established, and this action was agreed.

Brewster and Kent were the joint venues for the North American Guild’s annual Festival in August, which included their annual general Meeting. Here again, a new President was nominated and subsequently elected in the person of Alan F. Ellis of Vancouver, B. C. He replaces the retiring occupant, John Wells King, who did a good job during his tenure. His co-operation and correspondence with the writer, as was the case with his predecessors, were the basis of a close personal friendship, and such service is duly acknowledged with appreciation and gratitude. Best wishes are extended to the new President as he enters upon his onerous duties.

The Three Towers Festival took place at Little Rock in May, when the usual enjoyable weekend of ringing, instruction and socialising was the norm.

Philadelphia held its annual Vernal Equinox Dinner, and it was of course a very good excuse for holding a ringing festival, which was well supported by many visiting ringers. The same location was the venue for the Striking Contest which this year catered for three groups - “rounds and call-changes”, 6-bell teams ringing “method”, and 8-bell teams likewise.

In May, 30 or so ringers from the USA, Canada and the UK converged on Quebec for the now annual get-together, to assist the local ringers with good advice and instruction. Ringing sessions took place at both towers of the Bibliotheque and Cathedral, after some repairs were effected by an advance party. These visits become more popular as the years go by, and from what we learn are worthy of support.

The South African Guild held its annual general meeting in Johannesburg, Transvaal, in July, when the annual striking contest also took place at St. George’s, Parktown. This contest was won by Parktown “X” team. It was the first occasion that the chairman, Jane Webster, was not in attendance, which was due to the sudden illness of her husband, Eric. Jane has been meticulous in the manner she executed her duties, and Eric worked wonders in regard to the Grahamstown project in a very practical way. They were both missed on this occasion.

The annual general meeting of the Transvaal Guild took place in March, when a complete change of officers was effected, as a result of the outgoing officers having to relinquish their respective offices because of business and travel commitments. Their annual dinner was held in September, when the guest of honour was the former incumbent, now Dean of Bloemfontein, Very Rev. Paddy Glover.

In February the Zimbabwe Guild held its general meeting in Harare, and the half-yearly meeting was in Kwe-Kwe, and it incorporated a session of instruction for the benefit of the local ringers.

Advantage was taken of a visit by a UK touring band, to hold a meeting in Kilifi. This Society has made excellent progress with enough local ringers to “man” the six bells every Sunday, and it has adopted some ringing targets - to maintain and increase on the standards already achieved; to ring for every Sunday service, etc. Being so remote - 4,000 miles from the UK, and its nearest tower 1,000 miles distant - great credit is due to the native ringers for their progress and dedication. They are deserving of full support and encouragement.


Italy: A presentation on ringing was given to a meeting of the Maidenhead Women’s Group of European Friendship. The activities of the Verona Guild were highlighted. A series about Italian bellringing appeared in The Ringing World (4218-4222) which provided an insight into full-circle ringing Italian style, casting of bells, foundries and bell-frames. There were 21 ringing meetings throughout the Verona Guild’s area during the year, all of which were well supported.

U.S.A.: Houston have problems getting enough ringers attending practices and services. Hopefully this is only a temporary setback. They set up a stall and sold Ringing World calendars after a couple of church services, hoping to generate some interest in the bells by the congregation.

When Rt. Rev. Jane Dixon was installed as Suffragan Bishop of Washington, an all-ladies band of the Washington Cathedral Society rang a touch of Plain Bob Caters, conducted by Quilla Roth. It was the first in the method for the entire band. Amongst the visitors to Washington Cathedral were H.R.H. the Princess Alexandra and her husband, Sir Angus Ogilvy, who specifically requested the visit to meet the ringers. Whilst in the tower Sir Angus had his first ringing lesson.

A Roll of Honour was established to recognise the contribution of ringers and non-ringers to the development of change-ringing in North America.

Diana Wraight, in her “Hawaiian Extension” notes in The Ringing World, paid tribute to the efforts of the Honolulu ringers to progress in change-ringing, especially as they are all part of an all-learner band. Nevertheless, much progress has been made with Plain Hunting up to eight bells. The next objective is to practise Grandsire Doubles.

Central Council Public Relations Committee

The Ringing World, April 23, 1993, pages 396 to 397

International Liaison Report for 1992

Part 3 of 4

Ringing Courses

In Australia, it was reported that there was a slight decrease in the number of formal training sessions. The annual Melbourne Ringing School did not take place in 1992. The Sydney Ringing Course took place as usual in January, which included tuition and special practices, seminar, and question and answer sessions. There were also useful training sessions in the Perth, Claremont and York areas.

Kent was the venue for the North American Guild’s Ringing Course held in conjunction with the annual general meeting. A number of groups catered for various stages of method ringing from “rounds” to Cambridge Surprise. There were also sessions for rope-splicing and handbell ringing, with the climax session dealing with ringing simulators.

The Three Towers Festival at Little Rock managed to squeeze in some instruction, and in Philadelphia the educational and instructional sides were not neglected.

N.A.G. used the popular Quebec visit to concentrate on an intensive training session for the local ringers, which included a number of “firsts” in methods and quarter peal attempts.

The half-yearly meeting in Kwe Kwe, Zimbabwe is arranged mainly as a course of intense instruction to help the resident band and this year was no exception.

In South Africa, we learn that the Royal College of Church Music held its annual Summer School in Grahamstown, during which Mike Berning and other members of the local society demonstrated handbell ringing, for both change-ringing and playing tunes as one of the School courses.

Touring parties and individual ringers from the U.K. as well as from other countries, were able to give some of their time to helping ringers in the towers they visited where appropriate, especially in remote areas.

There were a number of sessions for instruction to help the less-experienced to make advances which took place during local or district meeting. The efforts of all concerned, whether National or local is to be highly commended. The voluntary and unselfish efforts of those who serve in helping others to make progress is worthy of the praise they deserve, to ensure that bell-ringing standards and changeringing continue to make advances.


In Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Wilby’s party continued with their tour and rang a number of peals. They returned via Honolulu where they rang the first peal on the Cathedral bells, being one of 8-Spliced Surprise Major.

A truly “Great Adventure” was the description of a tour in Australia and New Zealand, organised by Chris Kippin, during which they rang 26 peals and some quarter peals in the 38 towers they visited.

The Italian exchange visit by young ringers to the UK enabled them to ring at many towers and after some instruction they were able to ring in rounds unaided. A few even managed to ring Plain Bob Minor and to lower the bells “in peal”. They in turn demonstrated “concerto” ringing and some of the host ringers learned how to join in. Great credit is due to George and Ruth Morris in helping to organise these exchanges year after year to the mutual benefit of both Italian and English ringers. Not only did the young ringers in the UK learn a lot about Italian ringing, some of them swapped with great glee many English and Italian phrases and ringing terms, not yet catered for in language directories.

Colin Turner organised a five-day tour in the USA when four peals were scored. They were followed by the St. James’s Guild in June and July and led by Alan Regin This was the most intensive tour in North America, when 25 peals were successful in 21 towers and they rang in 23 of the ringable towers both in USA and Canada.

In April, eight ringers from the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver spent a week in Honolulu. During the relaxing holiday, they spent some time assisting the ringers at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in their efforts to become competent changeringers. They were accompanied by the Cathedral Incumbent who managed to have a “pull” on the Cathedral bells.

Bruce and Eileen Butler’s party left the USA for a tour of Devon and Cornwall in the UK and there they managed to “grab” 91 towers, in this their second successful and enjoyable visit to the Cornish area of England.

What has become known as the Hapless Peal Tour continued its 1991/1992 tour in Tasmania, where they rang four peals and a few quarter peals. The 1992/1993 tour commenced in Sydney and went up to Queensland and clocked up nine peals and two quarters in 1992. The Hapless ringers consist of mainly Australian bellringers.

It was with great pleasure that the party led by Deborah Blagden and Paul Smith, to Kilifi, found that so much progress had been made by the native ringers, both in the standard of ringing and the maintenance of the bell installation. The UK party was joined by Jeff Lawrence from South Africa and continued its African tour by visiting Zimbabwe, to ring at both towers that is, Harare and Kwe Kwe. They took the opportunity of rendering advice and instruction where appropriate.

Augmentations and Restorations

The good news as far as America was concerned, was the completion of the augmentation of the ring of five in Christ Church, Raleigh to a ring of eight, by the addition of two heavier bells and a treble bell. The dedication took place on the 13th December, when general satisfaction was expressed with the sound and “go” of the octave.

Philadelphia ringers were very active in restoring the bells of St. Mary’s Church, Burlington to ringing condition. In February they raised and rang these bells for the first time in 125 years. They went “public” on All Saints Day for the 290th anniversary of the parish, when six Philadelphia ringers rang the front six prior to the special service. They demonstrated change-ringing to about 100 interested people. They are now about to embark on a project to strengthen the bellframe.

St. Michael’s Parish, Charleston, S.C. signed a contract with Whitechapel Foundry, for the recasting of the Lester & Pack “eight” of 1764 vintage, into a ring of eight new bells, which are to be installed in a timber frame.

Parishioners of Princess Anne, Maryland attended two of the Newcastle Mid-Atlantic meetings. Subsequently a project was inaugurated to provide a ring of six bells.

In Italy, the main event was the reopening of the Verona Cathedral bells, after tower renovations. These Cavadini bells are the heaviest ringing bells in the world, having a tenor weighing 84 cwts, and they sound majestic, too. Another event of significance was the augmentation of the six in Sommacompagna to nine bells.

There is now better news regarding the proposed ring of 12 bells in St. James’s Cathedral, Toronto. The Cathedral authorities and the parishioners are showing some enthusiasm in having the installation completed prior to the Cathedral centenary celebrations scheduled for 1996/1997. The establishment of a fund raising scheme is now under active consideration.

A plan is under way, with the intention of having a ring of bells installed in Holy Trinity Church, Edmonton, Alberta.

The bells of the Bibliotheque, Quebec were taken out of commission for a period, to enable some essential maintenance to be effected.

The good news from Australia includes a number of projects. Albury Church six is being augmented to a ring of eight and an order has been placed for the new bells. The bells of Bathurst were sent to the UK for tuning and the provision of new fittings. A new bell-frame for a ring of six bells has been installed in Beechworth Church, Victoria.

Four new bells were cast to join the four redundant bells from Huddersfield to give a ring of eight in the new tower of St. Hilda’s School, Mosman Park, W.A.

The other project in W.A. at Busselton is proceeding very slowly due to funding problems. The bells for this scheme are in storage in the UK.

The proposed new campanile for St. Mary’s School, Karrinyah reached the drawing board stage, then the school decided not to proceed with the project. The bells, a ring of six, have now been diverted to Bunbury Grammar School to hang in a proposed free standing steel tower as a temporary measure. St. Boniface’s Cathedral, Bunbury is the intended home for the front eight ex-St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, London. This project and appeal for funds has the Chapter approval.

As regards the University of W.A. which has been in “limbo” for some time, it is now hoped to re-start the scheme shortly.

Discussions have taken place with the Dean of St. George’s Cathedral, Perth about the condition of the bells and the present tower. Laith Reynolds favours a campanile in the Cathedral Square with a majestic ring of 12 bells befitting of the Capital city.

The possibility of a ring of bells being installed in St. Alban’s Cathedral, Griffith, NSW is actively under consideration. Funds are being raised and a redundant bell to form part of the ring has been purchased.

The authorities of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Adelaide have placed an order for the retuning of the front seven ex-St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney and fund raising is in progress for the completion of the tower and the installation of the bells.

Proposals are on foot for the building of a new tower and the installation of a ring of bells in Bloemfontein Cathedral, where the incumbent is the Very Rev. Paddy Glover, Dean. The project is reported to be well in hand and hopefully will materialise ere long.

Progress at Grahamstown Cathedral is hampered by the lack of sufficient funds. Nevertheless, the new bell frame has been installed, orders have been placed for new bell fittings, and a gift of some wheels are positive aspects of the work accomplished.

ANZAB has decided to establish a register of towers and bells, both religious and secular, in Australia and New Zealand, to include existing towers containing rings of bells, which could potentially be used for ringing. The information will be used for historical purposes, assist with augmentations and find suitable towers for redundant bells. Ron Shepherd has been involved in getting some projects for additional rings of bells in Australia. One of the worries in some target areas, is “Who is going to ring them?” His comment might be adopted internationally, that is “in ringing it is the case that the egg must come before the chicken - no bells, no ringers! Let’s change the negative catchcry into more positive action”.


Canada: Victoria, B.C. are proud of the fact that they ring for all regular and special occasions, mustering ten bells for both Sunday morning services.

Quebec Cathedral was fortunate in having Jeff White from Vancouver, for a few days to assist with the teaching of learners.

There was an interesting article by Alan Ellis in The Ringing World about the lost ring of Holy Trinity Cathedral, New Hampshire, Westminster, B.C.

South Africa: Joyce and Steve Barton of Transvaal celebrated their Silver Wedding, in festive style among friends in the UK.

St. Mary’s, Woodstock has had a “boost” since Jimmy Riadore took the lead to motivate the local band. Practices have been resumed with the object of having Sunday service ringing from 8.00 to 9.00 a.m.

It was with great sadness that Cyril Chambers passed away in December. He had been the mainstay of Durban ringing for many years. After he moved to Johannesburg, he walked to Parktown from his residence to support the St. George’s band. His presence in ringing circles will be sorely missed.

Central Council Public Relations Committee

The Ringing World, May 7, 1993, pages 443 to 444

International Liaison Report for 1992

Part 4 of 4


The Australia and New Zealand Association, being an Incorporated Society, has been included in the Commonwealth of Australia Register of Cultural Organisations. Donations of $2 or more given to the Society unconditionally are tax deductible and such donations must be paid to the Donations Fund of ANZAB. Grants from the fund can be made for Bell restorations and installations, and for Educational purposes.

The Italian Exchange visit to the UK was partly funded by the Youth for Europe Scheme.

An appeal for £5,000 to bring six Kilifi ringers to Britain in 1994 was launched. Donations to this worthy object are gratefully received by D. Paul Smith, 3 Rag Hill Lane, Tatsfield, Westerham, Kent.

The Grahamstown Appeal remains open and sterling donations would be welcomed by Philip Belgeonne, 57 Hursley Village, SO21 2JX.

Peals and quarter peals

Since the 1991 Annual Report was completed in mid-March 1992, an additional two peals and 20 quarter peals, rung in 1991, were recorded. These figures have been added to the 1991 figures in the Table and appear in the current Table in brackets.

The 1992 figures relate to all performances recorded up to the 12th March 1993, for 1992.

An analysis of the figures for each country, reveals that for 1992:

Some new methods were rung for the first time ever, and they included: Pullet Surprise Major (Parramatta 28/12); Cooktown Orchid Surprise Major (Maryborough 31/12); Claremont Surprise Minor (Claremont 1/6); Epacris Impressa Surprise Major (Melbourne 12/9); Windsor Treble Bob Royal (Cambridge, MA 29/12); Hingham Delight Royal (Hingham 3/7); Little Rock Delight Major (Little Rock 21/6); Canada Delight Major (Vancouver 1/7).

Other methods, previously rung, appeared as “first timers” in Australia, New Zealand and America.

Amongst the notable performances the following items are given:

In the list of leading quarter peal ringers for 1992, the following names appeared in The Ringing World: Eric White (66), Suzanne Biddles (59), David Knewstub (57), and Laura Ivey (52) all of Perth, Mary Townsend (52) from Claremont.

To all concerned - congratulations.

The following table provides a summary of the totals of the peals and quarter peals which were recorded in the various bell-ringing publications for 1992:

TowerHandTotalsLeading towerTowerHandTotalsLeading tower
Australia(76)(8)(84)(Sydney, St Mary)(322)(11)(333)(Sydney, St Mary)
1077114Sydney, St Mary 2435616372Perth 51
Canada(3)(3)(Quebec Cathedral)(8)(8)(Victoria)
331 in each of 3 towers617Vancouver 5
Kenya11Kilifi, St Thomas
New Zealand(13)(3)(16)(Auckland)(79)(1)(80)(Auckland)
1212Christchurch 42929Papanui 10
South Africa(8)(8)(Parktown)(19)(19)Durban & Parktown
33Parktown 32424Parktown 9
U.S.A.(63)(28)(91)(Boston Adv. T)
(Cambridge H)
541973Cambridge 14 H
Raleigh 10 T
18134215Cambridge 12 H
Washington 37 T
221 in each tower22Harare 2
---44France 2

Figures in brackets relate to amended totals for 1991.

Unbracketted figures are the 1992 recorded totals, up to and including 12/3/1993.



Six ringers toured the Flinders area and brought handbells with them. Four of the party climbed Dick Nob and rang a handbell peal of Minor. Two “quarters” were also rung at “ground” level.

Gary Exell rang 50 peals in Australia prior to returning to the UK early in the year. The Sydney ringers gave him and Alison Webber a great send-off.

Ted Klupp writes to express his delight with the party of ringers who rang a peal on Maryborough bells, with a mixed set of ropes, “his” and “theirs”. There were 11 ringers in the party from Philadelphia, Tasmania, South Australia and Perth. Before departing from Maryborough, they were in time to “ring out” the Old Year.

New Zealand

Auckland ringers made a trip to Wellington and since their return home, they had increased their repertoire of methods of change-ringing considerably.

A link with the past was severed with the passing of the loyal member of Christchurch Cathedral band, David Sloan. He had been a dedicated ringer there for over 60 years. He is mourned as a good friend and a Christian gentleman.

A letter from Peter Parry in The Ringing World was about a non-slipping substance on the hands when ringing brought some old ideas from a UK ringer, which included the application of the minimum amount of glycerine before starting to ring.


The writer thanks his many friends in the international field, including representatives residing in the UK, who correspond with him about the activities in their respective domains. There is always something of great interest in each letter which shows that there is keenness in all areas.

The European “ambassador” on this committee, George Morris, is always most helpful and co-operative, and to him for his assistance with the Italian aspect of this Report, many thanks are expressed. George is the mainstay and contact for Italian ringers. He has also been investigating about rings of bells in France, Greece and Spain, but so far nothing practical has emerged.

The officers, especially the PROs, of the worldwide Societies are deserving of our gratitude for their dedication to seeing that the local organisations are kept “well oiled”. To them and their members, as well as non-association ringers, best thanks for keeping the “wheels” of the Exercise turning.

Then, of course, we have the Editors of the ringing journals, who report news about ringing activities. They have been mentioned by name in the Publications Section of Part 1 of this Report, and it is just a matter to repeat our thanks and gratitude here.

Thank you to the individual ringers who maintain bell installations, and those who ensure that the message of the bells is heard far and wide.

Central Council Public Relations Committee.

The Ringing World, May 21, 1993, page 492



The members of the Board are very conscious of the effects of the economic recession on our readers. It is therefore with genuine gratitude to our loyal supporters that I am able to report on a satisfactory set of accounts and, contrary to the experiences of many businesses in 1992, to be able to confirm that the paper remains in good financial health.

The Editor has continued to produce a well balanced and interesting journal despite the increasing demand for space from peal and quarter peal ringers. Whilst it may appear something of a cliché for me to thank the staff for their efforts in this annual report I would, this year, like to add my personal thanks to David and Anne for the manner in which they have coped with my sudden move some 150 miles further away from Guildford.

The Ringing World Diary has continued to make a useful contribution to the income of the paper, and it remains a popular and well received publication. Again I would wish to express my own and the rest of the Directors’ thanks to Andrew Stubbs for his invaluable work in the production of the Diary.

Towards the end of the year falling interest rates began to make significant reductions in our income. Reluctantly, after holding the price of the paper for two years, we were forced to apply a price increase in order to protect the viability of the paper. Your Directors will endeavour to continue to manage the paper with the objective of retaining the financial stability of the business.

1992 has been a difficult year for many people. Being able to report the relative success of the business against such a background gives me great confidence for the future. It is apparent that The Ringing World remains an important part in the lives of many ringers.


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