Central Council of Church Bellringers

Annual Report for 1999

  1. The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (the Council) was founded in 1891 and is a registered charity, no. 270036. Its address is that of its Honorary Secretary for the time being, namely 50 Cramhurst Lane, Witley, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 5QZ. The constitution and conduct of the Council is governed by its Rules.

  2. The Council’s Trustees during 1999 were as follows:

    Until 31 MayFrom 31 May
    PresidentMrs P. M. WilkinsonMr J. A. Anderson
    Vice-PresidentMr J. A. AndersonDr M. J. de C. Henshaw
    Hon. SecretaryMr C. H. RogersMr C. H. Rogers
    Hon. TreasurerMr E. G. H. GodfreyMr E. G. H. Godfrey
  3. The Council’s bankers are Lloyds Bank, Westminster House Branch, Dean Stanley Street, London, SW1P 3HU. Its independent examiners are Mr S. J. Coleman and Mr A. G. Smith.

  4. At the close of the Annual General Meeting on 31 May 1999 the Council’s membership comprised 9 Life Members, 18 Honorary Members and 204 Representative Members representing 67 affiliated societies. Since then there have been the following changes in Representative Members:

    Beverley and District Society: Following the death of Mr D. H. Watson, Mr P. S. Andrews has been elected.
    Ely Diocesan Association: Mr P. R. Meyer has been replaced by Mr P. J. Waterfield.
    Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Mr A. E. Chantler has been elected to fill a vacancy.
    St Martin’s Guild: Mr P. Needham has been replaced by Mrs S. J. Warboys.

    Subject to any further changes, at the start of the 2000 Council meeting there will be 9 Life Members, 18 Honorary Members and 205 Representative Members.

  5. The Aims and Objects of the Council are as follows:

    (i) To promote and foster the ringing of bells for Christian worship and on other appropriate occasions;

    (ii) To represent all ringers to national bodies and the world at large;

    (iii) To make available advice, assistance and information to ringers and ringing societies on all matters concerned with bells and bell ringing;

    (iv) To bring together ringers to discuss matters of common interest;

    (v) To recommend standards in change ringing and maintain such records as may be necessary to uphold these standards;

    (vi) To assist in the provision, maintenance and transfer of church bells.

  6. The work of the Council in pursuing these aims and objects is for the most part carried out by its fifteen committees and by working groups appointed by them. Summaries of their activities during 1999 are given in the committee reports, which appear elsewhere on the Council’s agenda and are being published in the April 2000 issues of The Ringing World. The campaign to recruit and train new ringers for the millennium celebration was highly successful. Several thousand new ringers took part in ringing on New Year’s Day, when almost every bell in the UK was rung. The “Ringing in the Millennium” project to restore and augment 150 rings of bells with the help of Millennium Commission funding is almost complete.

  7. The Accounts for 1999 show total funds at the year end of £314,842, of which £170,601 is in restricted funds. The funds increased by a total of £85,246 during the year, largely due to the receipt of the bequests from the late Mr F. E. Dukes. The income for the year totalled £40,861, compared with £32,360 in 1998. The Trustees have the power to invest money and adopt such measures as seem to them necessary in the interest of the Council. They do not have any power to borrow money.

  8. It is confirmed that the Council’s assets, together with the expected income for 2000, are available and are likely to be adequate to fulfil the objects of the Council in that year.

Honorary Secretary

April 2000

The Ringing World, April 21, 2000, page 398


Registered Charity Number 270036

Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 31st December 1999

General FundEducation CoursesBell Rest- oration FundF Dukes Internat’al Bell FundPublic- ations FundFriends of LibraryCapital FundTotal Funds 1999Total Funds 1998
Income and Expenditure
Incoming resources:
Affiliation fees205020502000
Interest receivable77222950419464175885910840
Sales of Ring in 2000 badges etc358735870
Sales of video293293862
Courses and seminars15405952135665
Fred Dukes legacy835783570
Sundry income373732
Total incoming resources15202624175419138201062104086132360
Resources expended:
Direct charitable expenditure
Council meeting232923291502
Committee expenses443528747223388
Courses and seminars14105341944412
Cost of publications sold7735773511150
Cost of Ring in 2000 badges etc358735870
Purchase and repair of books01555
Library projects435943590
National Bell Register1041040
Administration and storage140014001300
Stationery, postage & telephone4092165576502
Secretary’s honorarium505050
Web site2932930
Stock written off373373-192
Depreciation of Library Collection1081108141
Sundry expenses252861114121
Total charitable expenditure129946110011483566603075421684
Other expenditure
Independent Examiners’ expenses343430
Bank charges686820
Total other expenditure1020000010250
Total resources expended130966110011483566603085621734
Net I/c resources before transfers2106131754192337495501000510626
Transfers between funds-105625080600
Net incoming resources105013175419233752058061000510626
Fred E Dukes International Bell Fund75241752410
Revaluation of Library Collection053990
Net Movement in Funds10501317575660233752058068524664616
Balances at 1st January 19999496326928710266705697847422229596164980
Balances at 31st December 1999960132705104675660290076218348228314842229596


Registered Charity Number 270036

Balance Sheet as at 31st December 1999

General FundEducation CoursesBell Rest- oration FundF Dukes Internat’al Bell FundPublic- ations FundFriends of LibraryCapital FundTotal Funds 1999Total Funds 1998
Fixed Assets
Tangible assets
Investments at cost41772756604822816566090000
Library Collection529805298053959
Total fixed assets41772007566005298048228218640143959
Current Assets
Cash on short term deposit and at bank584312705104622245135199794677783
Total current assets594492705104602960013601010640190039
Current Liabilities
Amounts due within one year52085934398101994402
Net current assets5424127051046029007920309620285637
Total assets less current liabilities960132705104675660290076218348228314842229596
Total Funds960132705104675660290076218348228314842229596

Eric Godfrey
Hon Treasurer March 2000

Notes to the Accounts for the year ended 31st December 1999

  1. Accounting Policies

    The accounts have been drawn up in accordance with the “Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting for Charities” known as the Charities SORP, issued by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales, dated October 1995.

  2. Fundamental Accounting Concepts

    The accounts have been drawn up in accordance with the going concern, accruals, consistency and prudence concepts as stated in Appendix 2 of the SORP.

  3. Interest Receivable arises from investments in National Savings Income Bonds, Central Board of Finance of the Church of England Deposit Fund, CAF Charity Services Gold Account and bank deposit and current accounts.

  4. Funds

    The General Fund is unrestricted. The Capital Fund is a designated fund. All other funds have been set up and maintained for restricted purposes.

  5. Transfers between Funds

    1. £250 has been transferred as a grant from the General Fund to the Friends of the Library.

    2. £806 has been transferred from the General Fund to the Capital Reserve in line with inflation.

  6. Tangible Assets

    The major tangible assets of the Council are the Investments in National Savings Income Bonds, The Fred Dukes International Bell Fund, which is invested in a CAF Gold account and the Library Collection. The Library is valued at replacement cost of £52,980. The revaluation was undertaken by J. M. Farringdon in December 1998 when the value was £54,000. To this sum has been added purchases less disposals of £102 in 1999. The library collection is being depreciated for accounting purposes at 2% per annum. The depreciation charge for 1999 is £1081, giving depreciation to date of £1,122. The policy is to revalue the collection every five years. The Council also owns two Ringing Simulators, two Microfiche readers and a 486 Personal Computer with printer. It has been the Council’s policy to treat these other tangible assets as fully depreciated in the year of purchase.

  7. Emoluments of Employees

    The Council had no employees during the year.

  8. Charitable Commitments

    There were no unfulfilled charitable commitment at 31st December 1999.

  9. General Fund Committee Expenses

    These were as follows:19991998
    Bell Restoration Fund961683
    Computer Co-ordination0176
    Peals Analysis1315
    Public Relations724734
    Redundant Bells490
    Ringing Centres2760
    Towers & Belfries463287
    Ring in 200052125
  10. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (Millennium Grants) Limited was formed in January 1997 to receive and distribute grants to bell projects from the Millennium Commission. The company is run by the officers of the Council in their capacity as trustees. Copies of the Annual Report are available from the Secretary.

The Ringing World, May 5, 2000, pages 456 to 457

Bell Restoration Funds Committee

The Committee met five times during the year, in February at New Malden, twice in May in Lincoln and in June and November in London. In May we were pleased to welcome two new members to the Committee and express our appreciation of the work done by Alan Smith and Norman Johnson, who are no longer members.

Provision of Information and Advice. This is the one of the main areas of work of the Committee and it has continued steadily. Many towers have embarked on restoration projects, or are continuing despite not qualifying for Millennium Commission grants. We are able to give advice by telephone, mail and e-mail, including offering the services of Funder Finder, which can help identify possible sources of charitable grants. Enquiries to Funder Finder continue at a slightly slower rate this year. We have begun contacting some of those whose applications for Millennium Commission funding were unsuccessful, to see if we can be of assistance.

Altogether we have been contacted for advice by some 60 parishes during the year. We were invited to attend dedication services in several locations, including Carleton Rode, Norfolk, which had been without bells for 240 years, Orford, Suffolk, whose tower fell down in 1830 and Haddington, East Lothian, whose bells were allegedly stolen by England’s Cromwellian army 450 years ago. We have valued enormously both the opportunity to share with these communities their sense of achievement at the end of their projects and the gratitude expressed by those we have been able to help.

Our stand at The Ringing World Roadshow attracted considerable attention, with the bright panels and photograph kindly lent by David and Kate Cameron, but the talks on bell restoration projects were not so well supported.

The Ringing World of 22 January was a special fund raising edition, bringing together many fund raising ideas and success stories in one place. There was considerable input from all committee members and by other ringers involved in raising money for specific projects or for their society’s funds, with the lead story being the results of the most recent triennial survey of bell restoration funds.

We have begun a monthly column on fund raising matters in The Ringing World and we have attended seminars in Swindon and Crediton at the invitation of local societies to take part in discussions about fund raising for specific projects and about running local bell restoration funds. We are keen to participate in more of these seminars, for which we can provide a little funding if needed and look forward to receiving invitations from interested societies.

Grants. Another key area of our work is in provision of administrative support to the Manifold Trust, who gave 17 grants totalling £37,250 during the year, with an average grant of nearly £2,200. The Trust is particularly interested in supporting restoration projects for rings of bells that have been silent for many years and the Trust likes to be able to offer a grant that can represent a significant boost to the morale of the project. The contribution by the Trust to the restoration of church bells for full-circle change ringing since 1981 has been tremendous: 223 grants have been made or promised up to the end of 1999, totalling nearly £440,000.

The CC Bell Restoration Fund. This fund stood at £1,046 at the end of December 1999. No grants or loans have yet been made. It has never been the intention for the fund to grow rapidly, but to be available as a repository for legacies or other windfalls ringers and others wish to share among the wider ringing fraternity. We are grateful for the support given by a few ringers in making regular covenanted donations. As agreed at the Central Council meetings in 1997 and 1998 the criteria for allocating grants and loans are attached to this report. There are no recommendations for changes.

Fred Dukes’ Legacy. We were delighted to learn of Fred Dukes’ legacy to the Central Council to form a capital fund providing a small income to be used to support overseas restoration projects, subject to certain conditions. We are working with the Council’s trustees to develop an application form and criteria to use to assess applications. We very much hope that the existence of this fund and the Council’s main bell restoration fund might encourage other ringers to leave legacies to the Council.

Future Work. Our future work will include:

JOHN BARNES (Chairman)
KATE FLAVELL (Secretary)

Computer Co-ordination Committee

The Committee welcomed three new members at its meeting immediately following the 1999 Council meeting, Peter Trotman agreeing to continue as Chairman at least for the coming year. A second meeting took place in November, but most of the Committee’s business has been transacted over the Internet using a private mailing list set up by Don Morrison. This has been very effective in reducing the need for members to travel, and has enabled Don Morrison to participate from the USA.

The Software Catalogue continues to grow, partly stimulated by the upgrading of a number of programs to exploit the latest operating systems, and in a few cases to provide Y2K compliance. Relatively few hard copies are requested now that the catalogue is available on the Committee’s Web site. Reviews of four new or upgraded programs have been produced and published in The Ringing World.

Members of the Committee have continued to support the Felstead Project, including the ongoing maintenance of The Ringing World’s database of post 1993 peals. We again wish to recognise the work done by William Hall in cross-checking data and resolving errors in peal reports. A Windows version of the Felstead database has been developed for use by various people working on the project

Support for the work of the Officers and other committees has included setting up several mailing lists for the Education Committee; assisting the Biographies Committee in establishing a database; and contributing to the interpretation of the UK’s 1998 Data Protection Act. The Committee has taken over responsibility for maintaining and developing the Council’s Web site from John Baldwin, except for the Dove’s Guide section, which John continues to handle.

Future plans include the implementation of a Directory of Ringers and contact list of Council members on the Web site, and supporting the Officers and other Committees in the further exploitation of electronic communication.


Education Committee

1999 has been a busy year for the Education Committee, with the completion of a number of projects, and delivery of nine courses. There were four formal meetings of the committee, all held at Sharnford, and several meetings of subgroups as noted below.

With the end of the triennium we said good bye to two members who have made considerable contributions during their time on the committee. Phil Gay had served three terms, during which he has contributed through publications, courses and promotion of simulators as teaching aids. Phil was a major player in the development of the MTM course. Also John Turney, who has served five years on the committee, has been involved in several projects, including development of courses and participation in the video. We are grateful to both for their contributions. In their places we welcome Catherine Lewis and Ralph Moreton, who both bring much experience to the work of the committee.

Courses. The MTM course was delivered in the Guild of Devonshire Ringers (twice), Salisbury DG, Beverley & District Society, Sussex and Yorkshire Associations. The listening course was delivered three times in the Salisbury DG, North Staffordshire and Yorkshire Associations. Nearly all these had high attendance and seemed well received.

Publications. Two new publications were completed: “Organising an Outing” by Ron Warford, and an update to David Parsons’ “Easily Remembered Service Touches”. There are a number of other publications currently being worked on and these were progressed during the year.

The “Training Directory” was produced again in collaboration with the Ringing Centres Committee, and this is supplied free of charge to branch secretaries and education officers, and is made available to all via the Publications Committee and the committee website.

A new venture for the committee is the regular “learning curve” feature in the Ringing World, this is produced by a subgroup of the committee who write some articles and are inviting contributions for others.

The committee website has proved very useful and our use of this medium continues to expand.

Instructors’ Guild. The committee has continued work on the development of an Instructors’ Guild; a working group formed during 1998 continued to meet in the early part of the year and the ideas developed by this group formed the basis for discussions at a very well attended open meeting in Lincoln. A series of articles was published in The Ringing World prior to the Central Council meeting that opened up the topic for debate. We were delighted by the high turnout for the meeting and the very useful debate that took place. This has helped to clarify the manner in which the committee will take this forward.

Ringing Centres. Adoption by Council of a proposal to increase the number of members of the Ringing Centres committee, and include one appointed from the Education Committee, has maintained a useful link between these two committees. Gail Cater has been appointed and liaises between the committees. The main overlap has so far been in connection with the training course for managers of ringing centres.

Roadshow. The committee manned a fairly substantial stall at the Ringing World Roadshow, and was delighted to meet many people interested in the work we do. We were able to sell quite a lot of training material during the day and received some useful feedback on various projects in hand.

Simulators. The committee has lent the simulators a few times during the year, but the requests for this continue to decline, as more become available through private and tower purchase. A new case for transportation has been purchased, but no further upgrade of the equipment is planned. The simulators may be borrowed by contacting Michael Mulvey.

Future Plans. The committee’s on-going programme of work includes:

The committee intends to conduct much more of its business electronically. This should allow faster development of ideas between meetings.

The first meeting of 2000 is planned to include a review of the committee’s strategy and to identify new areas the committee should be addressing. We will report on this at the Council meeting.

We would like to record our thanks to Carol Franklin for her hospitality in hosting the committee meetings at Sharnford, and to the people from outside the committee who joined the Instructors’ Guild working group.

JOHN HARRISON (Chairman 2000)
MICHAEL HENSHAW (Chairman 1999)
RON WARFORD (Secretary)

Methods Committee

The Committee held two meetings during the year, in Chilworth on 7 March (RW p.495) and in Winchester on 10 October. We welcomed the unsuccessful candidate for election to the Committee at the Council meeting in Lincoln, Andrew Alldrick, as our guest at the Autumn meeting and are pleased to report that he was promptly co-opted to the Committee!

We had an excellent site for our stand at The Ringing World Roadshow in Tewkesbury and had many visitors during the day. We used the event to launch our latest web-enabled method collection, which we hope will particularly appeal to all the new web-surfers and will also complement the existing e-collections.

At the Council meeting our proposal for the recognition of Differentials was passed with little debate (RW pp.574 and 682) and a new Collection of Differentials was quickly added to the definitive method collections. These collections continue to be updated on a weekly basis and are also used by most independent ringing software publishers to maintain their own derivative method collections. We welcome this use of the Council collections so long as the Council’s copyright is respected. During the Summer the Committee’s website moved to a more memorable location, http://www.methods.clara.net/, where all the e-collections will be found.

Users of our printed collections were not neglected and two new publications appeared during the year. We are especially pleased that the difficulties described in last year’s report were overcome and a new edition of Rung Surprise, Delight, Treble Bob and Alliance methods containing methods rung to the end of 1998 was published. Also published was a new edition of the Collection of Plain Minor Methods in the same style as the second edition of Treble Dodging Minor Methods. These were both reviewed in The Ringing World on pages 772 and 867 respectively.

Work on possible revisions to the Decision on Method Extension was begun and may produce proposals for consideration at next year’s Council meeting. We would welcome any ideas for improvements to this Decision.

Although e-mail is now established as the principal medium for enquiries on all and any method-related matters we are still pleased to receive communications by post or telephone.

TONY SMITH (Chairman)

Peal Compositions Committee

The committee currently holds no face to face meetings, but is in electronic contact via email several times each month. In addition to the committee members, much of the work of the committee is done by advisors, most of whom are not Council members, and to whom we wish to offer our deep thanks. These advisors include Alan Ainsworth, Richard Allton, David Beard, Jeff Brannan, Paul Flavell, Britt Hartenberger, Roddy Horton, David House, David Hull, Rod Pipe, Philip Saddleton, Mike Schulte, and Glenn Taylor. Tony Smith, chairman of the Methods Committee, also offers invaluable service to this committee, both in advising on matters pertaining to methods, and especially for his work in maintaining the Index to Compositions published in The Ringing World.

The most visible work of the committee is publication of compositions in The Ringing World. We are especially grateful to the Ringing World Editor, Tina Stoecklin, for having made available a regular, monthly page devoted to peal compositions. This practice, in place for the past twenty months, has contributed immeasurably to the orderly publication of compositions. In the twelve months preceding the writing of this report 180 were published, and this is similar to the number published in the first twelve months this practice was in place. Before this practice went into place there had been considerable variation of the numbers published each year, but a very consistent average of just over 100 published per year if computed over a span of years. In particular, this former average was virtually unchanged if computed over the preceding 10, 20, 30, or 40 years. We are very pleased that, with Tina’s help, we seem to have significantly improved this publication rate, and we look forward to similarly working with Robert Lewis to continue this valuable practice.

The monthly peal page has allowed us to better strike a balance between reducing the time to publication for worthy recent submissions, and making a noticeable dent in the backlog of compositions awaiting publication. Some of the compositions published most months have been awaiting publication for over half a decade. We have also attempted to broaden the variety of reviewers whose comments are printed along with the compositions.

A major goal during 1999 has been continuing to improve our processes around construction and delivery of compositions to The Ringing World, which efforts had begun the previous year. This year’s efforts added a particular emphasis on eliminating errors. We are now able to deliver the page electronically over the internet to The Ringing World offices, constructed in the software used by it for page layout, both reducing the possibilities for error and increasing efficiency. We have now also introduced an improved proof reading scheme, which hinges on rapid dissemination of the page via email to several readers each month, who typically return their comments and corrections within 24 hours. We are pleased to report that since putting this scheme into place in the second half of 1999 there have so far been no material errors reported in any of the compositions printed. The Chairman is personally embarrassed that he cannot say the same about all of the reviews!

We have now started to make compositions published by the committee also available in electronic form on the World Wide Web. We have in electronic form most of the compositions published by the committee over the past decade, and are in the process of adding them to this collection, which we hope will rapidly become an extensive and valuable resource.

For some years we have published on the web an electronic version of the Index to Compositions published in The Ringing World, the print version of which is so admirably maintained for the committee by Tony Smith. Our electronic version was somewhat primitive and awkward to use, and was updated only infrequently. We have given it a facelift, made it searchable and easier to use, and are now adding compositions to it within a few weeks of their publication. We are pleased to report that it appears to be a valued resource to the ringing community, and has been accessed every day since being made available, and by ringers from across the world.

Both the composition collection and the index to published compositions can be accessed from the committee’s web site at http://www.ringing.org/pcc

Progress on printed collections has been slower than hoped, but two collections are in the draft stage, and we hope that they will be in print soon: the long awaited universal treble dodging major collection and the new popular major collection. There is also work continuing on a new ten and twelve bell collection, albeit more slowly.


Public Relations Advisory Group

Millennium Projects. The two millennium projects continued to attract widespread favourable publicity throughout the year and culminated in a highly successful united ring on 1 January 2000. Great credit for this goes to Jane Wilkinson and John Anderson who master-minded “Ring in 2000” and to Stella Bianco and Lin Forbes for “Ringing in the Millennium”. Members of PRAG helped promote the projects and particular thanks are due to Wendy Daw who undertook the considerable amount of secretarial work involved. Local coordinators and ringers throughout the country and indeed overseas are thanked for giving these initiatives such great support and Stella Bianco’s award of an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List is a recognition of the tremendous commitment given by so many people associated with “Ringing in the Millennium”. It was a pity that Professor Lin Forbes’ nationality precluded her from receiving a similar award. In December this year we can look forward to seeing Bells featured on one of the Royal Mail’s commemorative postage stamps in the series of 48 featuring Millennium funded projects.

PR Displays. The system of displays has now “come of age” since it began as a private venture before absorption into the PR Committee. A record of its development has been documented and placed in the PRAG files. As communication systems become more sophisticated it is probably time to consider future developments and suggestions for improvements would be welcomed from the many users and potential users. Janet Edwards was co-opted on to the Group during the year and her initial remit is to assist Harold Rogers in developing new display material.

The past year was a little less demanding than previously. A new user was Westminster Abbey which held successful open evenings for explanation and discussion on bells and ringing. Philip Lucas has been active in distributing a set of display material to parishes in the Wiltshire area and also had a set at the West Wilts Show.

Organisers who wish to make use of the displays should book early with Harold Rogers (020 8560 3921) or Janet Edwards (01621 816496).

Complaints Working Group. Coordination of the Complaints Working Group has been taken over by Nick Davies who reports that there appears to have been no serious problems during the year and no apparent backlash from new millennium commissionings. The complaints advice directory has been updated and rewritten and includes E-mail addresses where available and the pamphlet Guidelines on Ensuring the Acceptability of the Sound of Church Bell Ringing is expected to be available very soon.

Ringing World Roadshow. The second Roadshow (sponsored by The Ringing World) was held at Tewkesbury School on 17 April 1999 and attracted around 4000 ringers (almost twice the number who came to Knowle in 1997). The large numbers posed some problems (particularly for the catering staff) but the general consensus was that the day was an outstanding success and the great efforts of the organiser in chief, George Morris, and the magnificent cooperation of the local ringers were much appreciated. The event was reported in full in The Ringing World. Plans are now well under way for the next Roadshow which will be held on Saturday 31st March 2001 at the University of Keele, Staffordshire, a venue which will provide more roomy accommodation and better facilities. In 1999 there was an unfortunate clash of date with a major rally organised by the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain - in 2001 there is no such clash and it is hoped that HRGB will be able to play a major part in this Roadshow.

Media contact. As ever The Ringing World has proved to be the first contact with the media and this can often be a time-consuming experience, even more so with all the interest in “Ring in 2000” and “Ringing in the Millennium”. Thanks are due to the Editor and her assistants for acting as this important link, dealing with requests or directing enquiries to the appropriate recipient.

Young ringers. Clare Rodliffe has continued to try to find ways of contacting young ringers to seek their views on current methods of teaching and organisation in towers. She met many at the Roadshow and is currently involved in the preparation of a Web Page for Young Ringers.

JANET EDWARDS (co-opted)

Committee for Redundant Bells

The number of churches becoming redundant now seems to have settled at a steady twenty to thirty each year. Twenty were declared redundant in 1999, bringing the total to 1605 since the Pastoral Measures 1968 and 1983 first came into effect. While it seems certain that there will always be a need for churches to be declared redundant, as needs change, or costs become prohibitive, we are unlikely to see again the dramatic and wholesale redundancies of earlier days.

When redundant churches find - as about 56% of them do - alternative uses, legal covenants to control what can happen to them are frequently imposed. Covenants can give a false sense of security: increasingly as time goes by they are forgotten, or become impossible to enforce. Bells - out of sight and out of mind - are potentially at risk: a review is under way. Associations aware of which of their redundant churches still contain bells can minimise that risk. The other side of the coin, of course, may be bells available for re-use.

Among hopeful signs are the establishment of the Church Heritage Forum as a meeting point for conservation bodies, and the scheme for Heritage Lottery Fund grants for churches. Both of these could help, directly or indirectly, in understanding and maintaining bells in towers: not all affected bells, of course, are in Church of England churches. The Ringing in the Millennium scheme, too, helping a hundred and fifty towers, has meant heightened awareness, among ringers and public, of the feasibility of reusing bells.

The number of churches - some twelve this year, including one seeking a ring of bells, six singles, and four enquiries from overseas - which approach the Committee seeking or offering bells has, understandably, diminished, with the considerable activity of the Keltek Trust in bell redistribution. It is good that the Trust is so successfully matching bells to homes; and the more so that it is run by a member of the Committee. The Committee, though, continues to maintain a bells available and wanted list, to work with the Associations, in the spirit of the Pastoral Measure, to encourage the rehousing of bells as near to their original homes as possible. The goal, though, for all of us, is to make sure that no reusable bell is wasted; it is clearly a goal that is increasingly being reached.

The Committee was represented at the May meeting about a possible national bell register. We warmly welcome the idea; and look forward to contributing information if it becomes a reality.

We thank the Church Commissioners, the Council for the Care of Churches, and the Advisory Board for their continued help and interest. In particular, the Council for the Care of Churches, despite the loss of Mr. Donald Findlay last year, has continued to provide us with a list of churches, and, too, the bell details where they are available. The long anticipated new Pastoral Measure Code of Practice, hoped for in 1997, has now been published. During the year we welcomed Philip Watts to the Committee, and co-opted Michael O’Callaghan.


Ringing Centres Committee

The function of the Committee is “to promote, set minimum standards for, and provide information on ringing centres; to evaluate proposals for the formation of centres against the standards agreed by the Council, and where appropriate recognise centres on behalf of the Council; to administer funds provided by the Council for setting up centres.” In the past the Committee has been active in the pursuit of all but the final section in the foregoing list of activities, and it is very pleasing to be able to report that we are at last able to address that deficiency.

1999 was a busy year for the Committee, and the level of work was reflected in the enlargement of the committee at the Council meeting. In addition to the outgoing committee, Louise Bland was elected in accordance with the Committee’s request that the number of elected members be increased to six. We also requested that the Education Committee should nominate one of its members to the Committee, and we were pleased to welcome Gail Cater to our first meeting of the new triennium. The outgoing Committee also decided to recommend the co-option of Eric Godfrey to enable appropriate financial control procedures to be set up in connection with the Founders’ benefaction. The old Committee met twice in 1999, at Keele in January and briefly at Lincoln in May. The new Committee met on July 4th and October 17th at Towcester.

One of the Committee’s prescribed functions is the recognition of ringing centres which are considered to satisfy the criteria agreed by the Council, and we were pleased at our October meeting to confer recognition on the ringing centre at South Petherton. This was particularly pleasing as the establishment of a ringing centre was a condition imposed when the bell restoration and augmentation was funded under the Millennium Bells scheme.

During 1998 the Committee initiated a programme of developing equipment for use in ringing centres, and good progress was made with this in 1999. Simulator sensors and associated junction boxes are now available through David Bagley. The dumb bell developed by Roger Booth was demonstrated at the Roadshow in April. The design is available from the Docklands Ringing Centre Web site, and the supply of fabricated metal parts has been arranged through Hayward Mills. At our meeting in January, we were joined by Chris Hughes, who demonstrated the work-in-progress on the new version of Abel, which went on the market in the autumn and has already proved extremely popular. It seems likely that most of the newly established ringing centres will be obtaining simulator facilities by using Abel. The Committee has therefore been instrumental in guaranteeing the easy availability of a range of essential equipment for use in ringing centres.

The Committee had a fairly high profile at the Roadshow in April. We had a constantly attended stand where visitors were able to pick up literature and advice relating to ringing centres, adjacent to which was a dumb bell and simulator. We also organised a seminar with presentations from three people who have successfully started ringing centres.

The Committee has an ongoing commitment to the provision of useful information relating to ringing centres. The Training Directory, a joint venture with the Education Committee, was again produced by Gail Cater and contains a wider range of information than ever. We are conscious of the growing importance of the Internet as an information source, and work has begun on developing a committee web site. This has been the responsibility of Andrew Wilby with much appreciated help from Michael Wilby.

The most important development of the year was undoubtedly the benefaction from the Worshipful Company of Founders. The Company approached the Council early in the year with a suggestion that as part of their Millennium commemoration it would be appropriate to fund a project involving the training of ringers. Phil Gay was consulted by the Council’s officers, and produced an outline of a possible scheme for funding equipment provision and leader training for new ringing centres. This was discussed at meetings with the Company, at which the Council was represented by the officers and Phil Gay, and approved in time to be announced at the Council meeting in May. Much of the Committee’s time since then has been spent working out the detailed implementation of the scheme, which is now overseen by a Steering Group consisting of Eric Godfrey, Phil Gay and two representatives of the Founders Company, with day-to-day management handled by the Committee. The benefaction of £50,000 will become available over two years, and the intention is to fund the establishment of 24 ringing centres in four batches. The first allocation of funds was advertised in October, and four centres were approved for funding: Coggeshall, Colwall, Houghton-le-Spring and Shinfield. The administration of the applications has been handled by Louise Bland, and Eric Godfrey is responsible for financial control. Work is also under way on planning the first weekend course for ringing centre leaders, which will be jointly delivered by this Committee and the Education Committee over the weekend July 7th-9th. Roger Booth and Gail Cater are responsible for this part of the project.

The Founders’ benefaction also includes an annual prize to be awarded to the ringing centre which makes the most significant contribution to training during the year. The Committee invited entries from all ringing centres which have already received Central Council recognition, as a result of which the prize for 2000 will be awarded to the Keele Ringing Centre. The Founders Company has generously offered to host a meeting for ringing centres at Founders Hall in September, at which the prize will be presented.

Phil Gay continued to represent the Committee on the Ring in 2000 working party. It is pleasing to note that a number of associations based their training of Ring in 2000 recruits on embryonic ringing centres, and it is hoped that this experience will encourage them to continue to organise training in this way.

Looking to the future, the Committee feels that 24 new ringing centres plus those already in existence will not provide a sufficiently dense national network to achieve the objective of every band being with easy reach of a ringing centre. If this objective is to be achieved, follow-on funding will be necessary to enable the momentum generated by the Founders’ benefaction to be maintained, and it is our intention to seek such funding in the near future as well as continuing the work in progress on promoting, equipping and staffing of ringing centres.

PHIL GAY (Chairman)

Towers and Belfries Committee

At the start of the Council’s new triennium in May, the composition of the Committee changed. Our thanks go to Frank Lewis, who has decided to stand down after a number of years’ service, and we welcome two new members, Tony Evans and Phil Watts.

As usual, members have been busy, not only carrying out inspections and preparing reports, but also preparing and editing publications and answering various items of correspondence.

The Committee met formally on three occasions during the year. The meetings provide a forum where members can raise topics for discussion, often as a result of problems experienced when carrying out inspections at individual towers. In addition to this, the Committee receives correspondence from clergy, churchwardens, tower captains and individual ringers raising concerns or queries about their bell installations.

This year, health and safety has been much to the fore. In the early part of the year, the Committee produced some health and safety guidelines for towers and bell installations on behalf of the Administrative Committee. Topics discussed at meetings included the effects of mobile phone antennae which, have been installed on and in towers, acceptable noise levels in ringing chambers and access around bell frames for maintenance. This latter topic was raised as a result of more towers being required to retain old timber frames in situ but concern was also expressed about access around two tier and standard H frames.

A number of technical issues were also discussed, amongst which were ropes, plain and ball bearings and the practice of twisting clappers. Of greatest concern to the Committee, however, has been the circulation of a paper by a structural engineer in the Midlands suggesting that the rigid building in of steel girders supporting bell frames is somehow harmful to masonry towers. Whilst members feel that these is no evidence to support this theory, it must be taken seriously. Each point raised in the paper has been commented upon with counter arguments where appropriate and some practical monitoring of the temperatures of bell frames and tower walls is being carried out at the moment.

On the publications front the revised version of The Bell Advisor and a new book, Sound Management, are now available, as are advice notes on plain and ball bearings. Guidelines for Bellhanging Projects and the new Maintenance Handbook are in the course of preparation.

Members of the Committee have given assistance to other committees and Council projects, notably at the Education Committee’s MTM course at Calverley, by producing guidelines on chiming for “Ring in 2000” and participating in the working party for “Ringing in the Millennium”. The committee had a stall at the Ringing World Roadshow where, again, a great deal of interest was shown in its work. The committee was also represented at Leicester University in May, when the possibility of setting up a national bell register was discussed by interested parties.

The Casting and Tuning Seminar, aimed primarily at diocesan bell advisors, was held in Loughborough in May. This was a great success and was well attended. Our thanks go to Andrew Higson of John Taylor and Company, who gave us a practical demonstration of tuning, and also to Alan Hughes of Whitechapel Bell Foundry and David Marshall of Eayre and Smith who both contributed with very informative presentations.


The Ringing World, April 7, 2000, pages 358 to 361

Rolls of Honour

The Rolls of Honour, situated in the tower of St Paul’s Cathedral, are available for viewing during Sunday and practice ringing and at other times by arrangement.

The books and the case in which they are housed are all in excellent condition. Pages are regularly turned, for which I am grateful to Jim Phillips, Secretary of the St Paul’s Cathedral Guild of Ringers and past Steward of the Rolls, for his assistance.


John Carter Ringing Machine

The Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry remains closed to the public. However, access to the machine has been readily granted for the two maintenance sessions arranged to improve the reliability of the machine and the evenness of striking prior to the display at the Road Show at Tewkesbury. A further maintenance session has been carried out since.

The machine attracted much interest at the Show. It was operating for almost six hours which is a very long time for equipment that is approaching its centenary. A small component fractured during the day which limited the machine to ringing up to ten bells only. This component has now been replaced by Barry Ward, a member of the museum’s staff. We are most grateful to him for his help at the Show and for the repairs he has carried out in the museum workshop.

The City Corporation has begun construction of a new museum complex. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2001 and the present site in Newhall Street will ultimately be sold. The selection of items for display in the new complex has not been finalised. However, with the current emphasis on high tech and interactive displays, it is possible that the Stewards may be looking for a new home for the machine in 2001 when the current loan agreement expires.


Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

  1. The full name of the Charity is: The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

  2. The Charity is not incorporated. The constitution derives from Rules adopted on the 29th May 1979 and registered with the Charity Commission on the 22nd October 1979. The Charity’s registration number is 278816.

  3. The principal address of the Charity is that of the Secretary namely: 8 Lebanon Gardens London SW18 1RG

  4. The principal object of the Fund is to advance for the Christian Religion by the rescue of redundant bells for the purpose of their being rehoused elsewhere for ringing in Churches.

  5. The Managing Trustees of the Fund are the members of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Redundant Bells Committee namely:

    The Revd. Dr. John Baldwin
    Roger Booth
    Michael O’Callaghan
    Robert Cooles
    David Kelly
    Jeffrey Kershaw
    George Massey
    The Revd Preb. John Scott
    Philip Watts

    The Chairman of the Fund is: The Revd Preb. John Scott

    The Honorary Secretary is: Robert Cooles

    The Honorary Treasurer is: The Revd. Dr. John Baldwin

  6. The Custodian Trustees of the fund are the President, the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and the Chairman of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Bell Restoration Funds Committee, namely John Anderson, Christopher Rogers, Eric Godfrey and John Barnes.

  7. The Committee’s report on the Fund’s activities for the year is as follows:

    There were no new calls on the Fund this year. The expertise of the Council’s member guilds and associations in ensuring the re-use of redundant bells coupled with the active promotion by the Keltek Trust of bell transfers has meant that emergency assistance has not been required.

    1999 saw the repayment of the Fund’s loan for the purchase of Dunecht House chime shortly before the dedication of the bells as a ringing peal of eight at Haddington - a scheme promoted with spectacular success by the Scottish Association whose officers and members deserve every congratulation.

    All loans have been repaid. New promises of loans in case of need will be welcomed.

    The accounts for 1999 are set out separately.

Hon Secretary

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

Registered Charity Number 278816

Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 31st December 1999
Income and Expenditure19991998
Incoming Resources:
Interest receivable3963
Total Incoming Resources3963
Resources Expended:
Direct charitable expenditure--
Total charitable expenditure--
Total resources expended--
Net incoming resources3963
Balance at 1st January 19994,2684,205
Balance at 31st December 19994,3074,268
Balance Sheet as at 31st December 1999
Current Assets
Debtors - Escrick-1,389
Debtors - Dunecht-7,000
Cash at Bank4,3072,879
Total current assets4,30711,268
Current Liabilities-7,000
Interest free loan
Net current assets4,3074,268
Total Funds4,3074,268


The Ringing World, April 14, 2000, page 373

Administrative Committee

Since the 1999 Council meeting the Committee has met twice in London, in October and March. The arrangements for the 2000 Council meeting were discussed and agreed, and the following were among the other matters considered:

(1) Ring in 2000 - The campaign to recruit and train new ringers for the millennium celebrations can only be described as a great success. As a direct result, several thousand new ringers have been recruited; associations have undertaken training programmes; the Education Committee has done much to help in the training of trainers; and many previously silent towers now have local bands.

It is estimated that over 95% of bells in the UK were rung on New Year’s Day, mostly for the 12 o’clock service. The media coverage was extensive and positive. Congratulations are due to all who took part, and particularly to those who assisted with the recruitment and training programmes and to the Ring in 2000 working group who coordinated the whole exercise.

(2) Ringing in the Millennium - During 1999 the allocation of the Millennium Commission’s grant of £3 million was completed and it is pleasing that, through careful management, a total of 150 bell restoration and augmentation schemes have benefited from it. By the end of December 138 of these schemes had been completed and it is expected that the remainder will be complete by the end of June. The project has continued to receive much favourable publicity and we were delighted that Stella Bianco’s enormous contribution to the project was recognised by the award of an MBE in the New Year’s honours.

The Bell Restoration Funds Committee is attempting to keep in touch with those projects whose applications for grant had to be turned down and those who submitted a first stage application without following it up at stage two.

(3) National Bells Register - Following the conference held in Leicester on 20 May 1999 to explore the possibility of creating a National Bells Register, it was clear that, while the proposal had a great deal of merit, a better specification was needed before embarking on such a major project. Since then a small working group, comprising Jane Wilkinson, John Baldwin and Chris Pickford, have been considering the aims of the register and the information which might be collected.

They have concluded that the register should start simply with relatively few headings, and that it should aim to record what exists now rather than what has been there in the past. Much information about bells is available in one form or another and, if those who hold such information are willing to share it, the Council would seem to be ideally placed to coordinate and make it accessible. It is proposed to proceed with a pilot scheme, which should give a good indication of the ease with which information can be obtained, the practicalities of recording it and the likely interest in and value of a register.

(4) Data Protection Act 1998 - This Act applies new controls to the processing of personal data held on computer and in manual filing systems, such as membership and mailing lists. All organisations have to comply with the Act, although it is now clear that voluntary bodies like the Council and ringing societies do not have to “notify” under the Act. The Council’s role in this matter is twofold: to comply with the Act itself and to advise affiliated societies and ringers generally on it.

The Committee is grateful to Louise Bland and Peter Trotman for the advice which they have provided on the Act and particularly to Louise for her reports which have been published in The Ringing World and circulated to affiliated societies. The work necessary to ensure that the Council and its committees fully comply with the Act is in hand.

(5) Insurance for ringers - Arising from a review of the Council’s insurance needs and policies, affiliated societies were asked by means of a questionnaire for information about their public liability insurance cover, if any, and whether they would wish to take part if the Council were to take out a global policy on their behalf. The object of the latter would be to reduce the per capita premium. About half the societies which replied already had public liability insurance, but most were interested in participating in a Council scheme. Action is accordingly in hand to take out a public liability insurance policy, which will provide cover for the Council and those societies that wish to take part (and contribute their share of the premium).

To meet a growing demand for more information about the various types of insurance cover which could be relevant to ringing, the Committee has approved the publication of guidelines kindly prepared by Kate Flavell and entitled “Insurance and Bell Ringing in the UK”.

(6) Consultations on the Council’s role and procedures - Arising from debate at the last Council meeting and subsequent correspondence, the Officers decided to undertake a review of what the Council does and how it does it. The views of affiliated societies, Council members, committee chairmen and readers of The Ringing World were sought. Some 75 responses were received, analysed and categorised, and a summary was presented to the Committee in March. Working groups were appointed to address the issues raised and to come forward with proposals later this year. One of the proposals received, which would give the Council a legal existence in its own right, appears as a motion on the Council agenda.

(7) Meetings with English Heritage - Two further meetings were held on 24 March and 30 September 1999 and another meeting was due to be held on 22 March 2000. Discussion focussed on the reopening in April 1999 of the Joint Churches Grant Scheme (which regrettably provided little scope for help with bell restoration schemes) and some specific cases where there had been difficulties with English Heritage.

On the latter, readers of The Ringing World had been invited in advance of the meetings to inform the Council Secretary or the Chairman of the Towers and Belfries Committee of difficulties they were experiencing at local level. The Council Officers were rather disappointed that most of the letters received came from diocesan or association bell advisers rather than those involved locally. Nevertheless, these cases gave rise to some interesting points of principle on which it was useful to be able to put over the ringers’ point of view. A helpful article by English Heritage on grant aid and faculty application and approval procedures appeared in The Ringing World of 14 May 1999.

(8) Guidelines and advice issued by the Council - From time to time the Council has issued guidelines and advice on matters of general interest to ringers and these have been published in The Ringing World. In order to make them more readily available, the Committee decided that they should be placed on the Council’s website (https://cccbr.org.uk) and in due course be made available in paper form through the Publications Committee.

Through the good offices of the Chairman of the Computer Coordination Committee five of these guidelines now appear on the website: Charity Accounts (issued in 1995); the Insurance Implications of Leaving Bells “Up” (1994); Health and Safety in Bell Towers (1998); the Data Protection Act (1999); and Insurance and Bell Ringing in the UK (see above). Others will follow soon. In addition, guidelines on Child Protection and Bell Ringing and advice on dealing with Complaints about Bells appear in The Ringing World Diary and a summary of the Health and Safety guidelines is to be produced in card or poster form for distribution to towers.

Ex officio
MICHAEL HENSHAW (Vice-President)
CHRIS ROGERS (Secretary)
ERIC GODFREY (Treasurer)
JOHN BARNES (Bell Restoration Funds)
JEREMY CHEESMAN (Peals Analysis)
ADRIAN DEMPSTER (Towers and Belfries)
PHIL GAY (Ringing Centres)
DON MORRISON (Peal Compositions)
ANDREW STUBBS (The Ringing World)
DAVID THORNE (Public Relations)
PETER TROTMAN (Computer Coordination)
JANE WILKINSON (Redundant Bells)
Elected members

The Ringing World, April 14, 2000, page 374

Records Committee

A. First peals on tower bells.
15184Horpit S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
15184Y Bont-faen S.Maj.Llan & Mon DA
15040Braintree D.Roy.Essex A
15040Plain B.FourteenWin & Ports DG
25088Chewton Mendip S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
35040Little Linstead L.S.Maj.Suffolk G
55152Bywell S.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
55124Peterborough A.Maj.Peterboro DG
65040Belvoirbrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
95040Snow Tiger D.Max.Suffolk G
115184Blackburn D.Maj.St. James’s G
125184Ziel S.Maj.Peterboro DG
135040Neufundsechzig S.Roy.Leicester DG
165088Clapham Common D.Maj.Non-Association
175040Ecumenical S.Roy.Glos & Bris DA
185040Sgurr A’Chaorachain S.Roy.Derby DA
185184Amberley Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
215088Smeeton Westerby S.Maj.Southwell DG
225152Little Rock S.Maj.SRCY
235056Johnson S.Maj.Yorkshire A
235152Wylam S.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
235040Zyladecore S.Max.SRCY
265124Petriburg A.Maj.Peterboro DG
275040Santamana S.Roy.Leicester DG
295088Sullivans Island S.Maj.SRCY
305040Little Welnetham L.S.Maj.Suffolk G
15152Raleigh S.Maj.SRCY
15040Tregarthen S.Roy.Leicester DG
15152Arundel Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
25040Martin’s TriplesSt. Martin’s G
55184Alderbury S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
55056Wothorpe S.Maj.Peterboro DG
65152Kirdford S.Maj.Sussex CA
65040Folly D.Roy.Oxford Univ S
75184Bolivia S.Maj.Lancashire A
95080Cherry Orchard S.Roy.Freehold S
135280Astbury S.Max.Non-Association
165152Newton Hall S.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
185120Battlemented D.Roy.Non-Association
205152Brocket Hall T.P.Maj.Hertford CA
215040NUSCR S.Roy.Southwell DG
245184Lulsgate Bottom S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
245042Frisebie S.Max.Leicester DG
275184New Surfleet S.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
275184Little Finborough L.S.Maj.Suffolk G
15184Bax Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
35040Triplebrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
45120Stonton Wyville S.Maj.Southwell DG
65056Erophobia S.Maj.Kent CA
65088Its D. Peacock’s S.Maj.Ely DA
65184Middlewich A.Roy.Non-Association
155120Carlisle D.Maj.St. James’s G
155056Rye Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
175040Neunundsechzig S.Roy.Leicester DG
195088Eckland S.Maj.Peterboro DG
195088Llanbedr Gwynllwg S.Maj.Llan & Mon DA
215112Walkden L.D.Maj.Lancashire A
275152Eliminator S.Maj.Non-Association
275040Little Bricett L.S.Maj.Suffolk G
285152Clitheroe S.Maj.Lancashire A
295056Pelistry D.Maj.Leicester DG
35058Snotingeham A.Max.Non-Association
55200Westgate S.Roy.Suffolk G
75040Steval S.Roy.Leicester DG
105248Hortons Four S.Maj.Lancashire A
125040Bulwarks Lane S.Roy.Oxford S
125040Woolpack S.Roy.Leicester DG
125088Durham D.Maj.St. James’s G
135184Xeromero S.Maj.Peterboro DG
135216Harcourt Arms D.Maj.Oxford S
145042Jezebel S.Max.Leicester DG
175088Gomersal S.Maj.Yorkshire A
1810080Ulm S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
215152Vulcanite S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
235056Botswanaland S.Maj.Dur & New DA
245120Goring S.Maj.Sussex CA
245152Premiership S.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
245152The Judge’s D.Maj.Kent CA
265152Merseyside County S.Maj.Chester DG
265056Tornado D.Maj.Leicester DG
275080Usselby S.Roy.Southwell DG
25024Exeter D.Maj.Hertford CA
45024Liverpool D.Maj.St. James’s G
85040Barbury S.Roy.Hertford CA
85088Freezywater D.Maj.St. James’s G
85040Banstead B.TriplesGuildford DG
105040Melledgan S.Roy.Leicester DG
115088Evans S.Maj.Peterboro DG
115152Walsall D.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
135088Enigma D.Maj.Hertford CA
155088Goring-on-Thames S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
195152Niccolite S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
195042Kintore S.Max.Leicester DG
215152Towneley S.Maj.Lancashire A
215124Cross Keys A.Maj.Peterboro DG
225056Lammas D.Maj.Leicester DG
225040Dunham Massey D.Roy.Lancashire A
245040Triton D.Roy.Yorkshire A
255152Mavesyn Victory D.Maj.Lich &Wal Arch S
265040Innisvouls S.Roy.Leicester DG
265042Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru S.Max.Llan & Mon DA
265184Prince Edward D.Maj.Lancashire A
305056Old Trafford S.Maj.Non-Association
25040Penagie S.Roy.Leicester DG
35088Spitalfields Festival L.S.Maj.SRCY
55040Twickenham D.Roy.St. James’s G
75088Camber Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
85056Xylem S.Maj.Southwell DG
95040Inisvrank S.Roy.Leicester DG
125120Kingsditch S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
165040Silly S.Roy.Leicester DG
175088Slawston S.Maj.Southwell DG
185152Langton S.Maj.Peterboro DG
195184Beady Eye S.Maj.St. James’s G
195088Toothill S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
195040St Mary Abbots D.Roy.Non-Association
205088Upton St Leonards S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
215088Bodiam Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
215088Manchester D.Maj.St. James’s G
225056Piglet S.Maj.Win & Ports DG
225000Jungfrau S.Roy.Southwell DG
285120Windley S.Maj.Hertford CA
295056Queenbeyan S.Maj.Peterboro DG
305024Worle D.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
45216Janet S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
55040Grymaritha S.Roy.Leicester DG
55056Herstmonceux Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
65152Double Lincolnshire D.Maj.Freehold S
75040Polreath S.Roy.Leicester DG
95040Swansong S.Roy.Oxford DG
105088Hawley S.Maj.Guildford DG
105088Zagorsk S.Maj.Oxford DG
135088Esperance S.Maj.Peterboro DG
135088Niarbyl S.Maj.Freehold S
145152Oolite S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
155088Phoenix D.Maj.Lancashire A
165120Verbena S.Maj.Peterboro DG
175024Cranage S.Maj.Non-Association
175000Maoile Lunndaidh S.Roy.Southwell DG
195088Allington Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
205088Ziwa S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
215088Rakops S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
215040Gweal S.Roy.Leicester DG
245040Ranneys S.Roy.Leicester DG
245040Yesnaby S.Roy.SRCY
245184Petworth Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
275080Quarrybank S.Roy.Southwell DG
275184Burton Latimer D.Maj.Peterboro DG
275088Opava D.Maj.Lancashire A
285056Dolomite S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
285184LDG100 S.Maj.Lincoln DG
25088Ripon D.Maj.St. James’s G
35042Young Man’s Fen S.Max.SRCY
105088Jaybank S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
105120Learmonth S.Maj.Peterboro DG
115040Totaleclipse S.Roy.Leicester DG
165184Bramber Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
175088Rodney Stoke S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
235088West Croydon S.Maj.St. James’s G
245056Townsville S.Maj.Peterboro DG
245088Causey Arch D.Maj.Oxford S
275040Barton Hall D.Roy.Oxford S
305152Droué S.Maj.Peterboro DG
315088Millhouse S.Maj.Freehold S
35088Filkins S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
45040Biggal S.Roy.Leicester DG
65040Kamenka S.Roy.Leicester DG
85042Zeitun S.Max.Leicester DG
155040Lethegus S.Roy.Leicester DG
155086Wedding D.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
175152Ordelinberg S.Maj.Peterboro DG
205056Crowhurst Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
215040Whaplode S.Roy.Oxford DG
215088Newcastle D.Maj.St. James’s G
225040Carnmorvel S.Roy.Leicester DG
235056Riddlesdown D.Maj.St. James’s G
235024Trumpington D.Maj.Ely DA
255040Mannington S.Roy.Glos & Bris DA
255024Harthill D.Maj.Yorkshire A
265024Tiptree S.Maj.Essex A
275088Ben Lomond S.Maj.SRCY
285120Michaelmas D.Maj.Oxford DG
295040Raedho S.Roy.Leicester DG
45040Wras S.Roy.Leicester DG
45088Rats Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
95056Rocyn-Jones S.Maj.Oxford DG
95088Upminster S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
105056Moose S.Maj.Peterboro DG
115040East Riding D.Roy.Oxford S
125088Nornvis S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
125184Sheffield D.Maj.St. James’s G
135000LDG100 S.Roy.Lincoln DG
135040Swansong S.Roy.Leicester DG
155152Beaune S.Maj.Lancashire A
165088Wanborough S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
165040Ladbrookegrove S.Roy.Leicester DG
205040Hernia S.Roy.Leicester DG
215024Badshot Lea S.Maj.St. James’s G
245088Panama S.Maj.Lancashire A
245184Rondo S.Maj.SRCY
255070Spitalfields A.Maj.St. James’s G
265152Peakirk S.Maj.Peterboro DG
265088Chapel Hill D.Maj.SRCY
315152Old Demdike S.Maj.Lancashire A
15184Morrisville S.Maj.SRCY
15040Minalto S.Roy.Leicester DG
25040Joist Fen S.Max.SRCY
35042Neutone S.Max.Leicester DG
55056Gwynedd S.Maj.Ely DA
55040Halloween S.Roy.Oxford DG
65102Idstone S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
135152Barton Under Needwood S.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
155184Brambletye Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
175040Bushbybrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
185184Yarlington S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
195120Keilmerse S.Maj.Peterboro DG
235120Zerzura S.Roy.Southwell DG
275056Newton Bromswold S.Maj.Peterboro DG
275088Steepholme S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
275184True S.Maj.Guildford DG
275040Redmile S.Roy.Non-Association
275088Lockskinners D.Maj.Kent CA
275088Ramsden D.Maj.Oxford DG
295152Knepp Castle D.Maj.Sussex CA
15056Erythrite S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
45088Galveston S.Maj.St. James’s G
45004Beeston A.Roy.Southwell DG
75152Toby’s S.Maj.Peterboro DG
75184Navarre S.Max.SRCY
75184Arkadelphia D.Maj.St. James’s G
85040Castinicks S.Roy.Leicester DG
115152Fort Sumter S.Maj.St. James’s G
115152Wadenhoe S.Maj.Oxford DG
115184Cranage A.Roy.Non-Association
125152Burnley D.Maj.Lancashire A
155184Tanzanite S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
155056Gladiator D.Maj.Leicester DG
175088Flint Cross S.Maj.Ely DA
175088Ilex S.Maj.Peterboro DG
175040Hobgoblin S.Roy.Oxford DG
185040Portswood S.Roy.Win & Ports DG
285152Bamburgh S.Maj.Lich & Wal Arch S
285088Yes S.Maj.Oxford DG
315152Janus S.Maj.Middx CA & Lon DG
B. First performances on handbells.
45152Whitminster S.Maj.Leicester DG
205096Lincolnshire S.FourteenOxford DG
105040Keswick S.Roy.Hertford CA
165000Enniskillen S.Roy.Chester DG
245088Mirror B.Maj.N American G
125040Noseley S.Roy.Leicester DG
285040Ukraine S.Roy.Oxford DG
285072Grandsire Maj.Cambridge Univ. G
45040Cornish S.Roy.Chester DG
95033Erin SeptuplesCambridge Univ. G
15040Ipswich D.Roy.Chester DG
75040Ravenstone S.Roy.Leicester DG
145040Ayres End S.Roy.Leicester DG
115152Farleigh S.Maj.Leicester DG
145184Holme Lacy S.Maj.Hereford DG
265024Gormless T.B.Maj.N American G
295040Triton D.Roy.Oxford DG
C. Record peals on tower bells.
1810080Ulm S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
111224017 methods D.Min.Bath & Wells DA
1210400Kemsing S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
D. Record peal on handbells.
810800Oxford T.B.Min.Bath & Wells DA
E. The following methods were rung in peals of spliced.
Jan16Larkins S.Maj.
Mar21Lufkin S.Max.
Apr19Widegate S.Maj.
26Reverse Lynx L.A.Max
May17Newell S.Maj.
Jul4Eves S.Max.
4Ponders End S.Max.
25St Chad’s L.A.Max.
Aug21Priory A.Max.
21Slinky L.A.Max.
Oct9Armitage S.Roy.
9Shanks S.Roy.
Nov14Coney Street S.Maj.
14Stonebow S.Maj.
14Little Shambles L.S.Max.
21Phobos S.Max.
21Deimos A.Max.

Biographies Committee

The following six past and present members of the Council have died since the last meeting:

Also, not previously reported:

During the year, the Committee has embarked on an ambitious programme of computerising its records, moderated by the requirement to comply with the latest provisions of the Data Protection Act. We have met three times so far, and plan to meet again when we are all at Bury St Edmunds. An exhibition of our aims and the material currently in our possession is planned: this will be on display over the Council meeting, and all members are encouraged to look at it and to comment. Much work has been done on a definitive database of members, from the Council’s first meeting in 1891 to date, and this should shortly be complete.

With their Council papers, members will find a new biography form: all members are asked to complete this with up-to-date details and hand it in before leaving. Too often, all we have when a former member dies is a sheet completed when he or she first joined the Council and, if we are lucky, a passport-sized picture. Members of this Committee will have cameras with them, and are anxious to photograph members. We realise that we still have a great deal to do over the next two years, but we have made a good start.


The Ringing World, April 28, 2000, pages 422 to 423

Peals Analysis Committee

We have recorded a total of 4876 peals rung in 1999; of which 4349 were on tower bells and 527 on handbells. Apart from last year this is the lowest total since 1990 when 4870 were rung. There was an increase of 69 compared with the revised total for 1998. The change is caused by increases at almost all stages on tower bells, except for Minor and Triples which both declined considerably, but with decreases at most handbell stages apart from a further increase of 43 for Minor (+35 last year). Full details are included in the methods table which accompanies this report. The Oxford Diocesan Guild have retained their customary position as the leading society with 415 peals. The Cumberlands swapped places with Lancashire Association leaving Bath & Wells Diocesan Guild in third place between them. See separate table for details.

The Committee met once during the year to finalise records for 1999 and to agree the format of the report. We are grateful for the continuing work done by Andrew Craddock collating, editing and correcting the current peal data extracted from the Ringing World input system, which is being used to check our figures. Andrew has also provided the leading tower list from this data. We also thank William Hall, working as a technical advisor to the Computer Co-ordination Committee, for his work in checking peal data and those other peal secretaries who have compared figures.

As requested by The Council we have taken note of peals rung during 1999 which would not have been accepted by The Council previous to recent rule changes. There was one peal of Minor and Stedman Variable Cover Doubles rung at St. Mary Cray on 6th March by the Kent County Association. This would now appear to be an academic exercise.

Peals not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

There are no particular peals which the Committee wish to bring to the notice of Council this year, but the number of peals which are incorrectly or incompletely reported continues to give cause for concern and the Committee would like to remind conductors of their responsibilities. In addition to the errors which contravene Council Decisions, there continue to be many errors relating to the names of ringers, which cause endless corrections taking up valuable Ringing World space. There were also 22 peals which appeared twice and 15 peals originally submitted as NON Association, subsequently attributed to an affiliated society.

Methods and change on year

The accompanying table incorporates a summary of the more popular methods with an analysis of the year on year change in the numbers of peals rung on each number of bells. “Single Surprise” means the total rung in single Surprise methods other than those listed specifically. There are no methods in this category rung more than 20 times. An “Other” category is included for completeness. An additional category this year is Other Spliced Maximus, reflecting the increasing number of such peals including non surprise methods.


The following 63 towers had 10 or more peals in 1999:

89Marston Bigot (Pig-le-tower)
63Newmarket (Mindinho-le-Tower)
58Loughborough Foundry
34Oxford (St. Thomas)
33South Croydon
30Leeds (R.C.Cath)
28East Ilsley, Thorverton
27Burton Latimer
26London (Spitalfields)
21Escrick, Maidstone (All Saints)
20Birmingham Cathedral, Blackburn Cathedral
18Oxford (St Mary Magdalen)
17Reading (St Laurence)
16Amersham, Leicester (St Mary de Castro), Trumpington, Walkden
15Barrow Gurney, Beeston, London (St Sepulchre), Newcastle (St. John), Nottingham (St Peter)
14Bushey, Grundisburgh, Limehouse
13Maidstone (St Michael), Northallerton, Pershore (Parish Centre), Ticknall
12Accrington, Hughenden, London (St Mary le Bow), Newcastle Cathedral, Stratton St. Margaret, West Bridgford, Whitley Bay
11Harpenden, Melbourne (Derbys.), Salford, Windsor (St. John)
10Countesthorpe, Downham, Easton Neston, Exeter (St Mark), Farnworth, Lockington, Middleton, Moulton, Terling, Willesden, Withycombe Raleigh

The top 20 towers (more than 19 peals last year) are still in the top 20 except for Blackburn Cathedral and Leicester (St Mary de Castro), with London (Spitalfields) and Escrick the replacements.

The leading societies

The following societies rang 150 or more peals:

Oxford Diocesan Guild36154415
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths2754279
Bath & Wells D.A.19753250
Lancashire Association2441245
Hertford C.A.82106188
Yorkshire Association1842186
Southwell D.G.1542156
Peterborough D.G.1500150

Chester and Leicester drop off the list being replaced by the Yorkshire Association, which returns after an absence of only one year, and the Hertford County Association which also becomes the leading society for handbell peals, being responsible for most of the increase of Minor rung in hand. These eight societies rang 38% of the tower bell peals, and 42% of the handbell peals, a closer ratio than the 30:59 from last year. A total of 19 societies rang more than 100 peals in 1999 (16 in 1998).

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 239 first pealers in 1998 (253 in 1998) and 24 first as conductor (28 in 1998). We congratulate all those who have contributed to these statistics, particularly where several firsts were included in one peal. The decline reported last year continues.

Corrections to the 1998 Analysis

There are several alterations to the 1998 analysis as detailed below, primarily caused by late submission. To meet our deadlines, we have to report on the data as received by The Ringing World at the end of February. Any changes notified later are included in the following year.

All corrections relate to tower bells.

Bath & Wells D.A.Minor +1
Cambridge Univ GuildCaters +1
Society of Royal Cumberland YouthsMaximus -1, Royal -1
Derby D.A.Minor +1, Royal +1
Essex AssociationMajor +1
Hertford C.A.Major +1
Lancashire AssociationMajor +2
London C.A.Minor +1
Oxford Diocesan GuildRoyal -1, Caters -2, Major +1
Suffolk GuildMinor +1
Surrey AssociationMajor +1
Non AffiliatedMajor +1, Minor +1
Non AssociationMaximus +1, Caters +2, Major -1, Minor -1

Revised totals for 1998 are: tower bells 4256, handbells 551, total 4807.

Details of the adjustments are available from the Chairman.

The Felstead Project (joint with the Computer Co-ordination Committee)

Progress on the Felstead project continues at a fairly slow but steady rate. Canon Felstead kept his records of pre Bell News peals separate from the later records. Data entry for these early peals is progressing well and will be completed this year.

A considerable number of corrections have been notified and a process for incorporating these into the database has been agreed and will shortly be put into practice. A number of clarifications have also been obtained from David Dearnley to fill in gaps where the photocopies proved unreadable.

The Felstead Web site has been revamped and given a new home at



Analysis of Peals by method and change on year

Bristol Surprise665256
Cambridge Surprise464625
Single Surprise475604
Yorkshire Surprise433900
Spliced Surprise242111
Other Spliced111560

Maximus Total25325122021-1


Cinques Total948681618-2

Single Surprise1641632118
Spliced Surprise7173710
Yorkshire Surprise696842
London No 3 Surprise6453910
Cambridge Surprise597935
Bristol Surprise513422
Lincolnshire Surprise231721
Plain Bob17779

Royal Total545510357388-15


Caters Total176162141012-2

Single Surprise643651612
Spliced Surprise3633383434
Yorkshire Surprise1771671312
Bristol Surprise146163127
Plain Bob90905572
Cambridge Surprise114110118
Rutland Surprise1066511
Single Delight1056300
London Surprise887135
Lincolnshire Surprise555634
Superlative Surprise565722
Double Norwich405003
Glasgow Surprise374012
Pudsey Surprise373103
Belfast Surprise191310

Major Total21071993114195240-45

Plain Bob162100

Triples Total209250-41770

7 methods3293131517
8+ methods1872017232
2-6 methods1431583742
Plain Bob69682816
Cambridge Surprise537081
Single Surprise13262034

Minor Total803853-5020416143

2+ methods11210700
Plain Bob31100

Doubles Total14813711000

GRAND TOTAL4876480769

Ancient Society of College Youths 11612151423643     94  611 21  20114
A.N.Z.A.B.   12172       13        3316
Bath & Wells  511341097526     197     12812353250
Bedfordshire     3529      19         019
Beverley & District    32916      21         021
Cambridge University  122211311     231 124 81 1740
Carlisle     11        2         02
Chester  1 21262151     48    21 39 3797145
Coventry    61223101     43     12  346
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths  2064311782241     275      1 34279
Derby  721646025      96  1   7 19105
Devonshire   1117284231     75         075
Dorset   113413      13         013
Durham & Newcastle  81535524      78  1 1 3  583
Durham University      3  1     4         04
East Derbyshire and West Notts.      1        1         01
Ely    21631302     99      2 24103
Essex  5 12231181     51        4455
Gloucester & Bristol  113969151221    140      4  4144
Guildford  41452924      49    1    150
Hereford    3 96214     34    3 1  438
Hertford  2 8229932      82    6 8 92106188
Irish    124 11     9         09
Kent  21165587335    1128    119 112140
Ladies         1     1         01
Lancashire  3 5371385316    1244        11245
Leicester  14 462266213     118  1 6 6 619137
Lichfield & Walsall   293814182     119      7 512131
Lincoln  416 302575     105      1  1106
Liverpool University    1 1 3      5         05
Llandaff & Monmouth  561518495     53        1154
London County   2791643      41         041
Manchester University      2        2    1 1 135
Middlesex & London    222153    1 34    5124 13165
National Police      11       2         02
North American     11263      22    2 5 41133
North Staffordshire    1 4 3      8         08
North Wales      2        2         02
Norwich    128 3211     54  1 12  1559
Oxford Diocesan  265656164166118     361 172171222254415
Oxford Society  351452114 2     64         064
Oxford University    315        9         09
Peterborough  41747214516     150         0150
St.Martin’s 1223  233       52  1 11131860
Salisbury   1  5121     10        1111
Scottish    3 921      15        1116
Sherwood Youths    1          1         01
Shropshire  111 3 1      7         07
Southwell  8224787 242     154        22156
Suffolk  789453351121    148         0148
Surrey    6611322     30         030
Sussex  2 63408182     79         079
Swansea & Brecon    11941111     37         037
Truro    1362163     40      1  141
University of Bristol  12 34 2     113         013
University of London      3 1      4      3  37
Winchester & Portsmouth1 321942542931    91      7 1017108
Worcestershire & Districts   13163321     74         074
Yorkshire  22228590234   1  184      1 12186
Central Council    1 2        3         03
Non Affiliated  1914221114711281 11  255  112 3  7262
Non Association1 2744111578141     164    1    1165
               4349         5274876

Publications Committee

Five new publications were produced during the year. They were Sound Management, Organising an Outing, Collection of Plain Minor Methods (1999), Rung Surprise (to end 1998) and A Collection of Compositions of Stedman Triples and Erin Triples. New editions of Service Touches and The Bell Advisor were published.

Eleven publications were reprinted: Beginners Handbook, Raising and Lowering, Ringing Jargon Made Easy, Listen to Ringing Cassette 1, Listen to Ringing Cassette 2, A Tutors Handbook, One Way to Teach Handling, Teaching Beyond Bell Handling, Teaching from Rounds to Bob Doubles, Schedule of Regular Maintenance and Giants of the Exercise.

Special discounts were offered in March and at Christmas. We continued to facilitate sales of the CC Video and, following a request from the Towers and Belfries Committee, purchased, advertised and sold the Council For the Care of Churches booklet Conservation and Repair of Bells and Bellframes. In the absence of a major project, and with sales, of The Tower Handbook in particular, maintained, the disposable cash balance rose to such a level that we intend to undertake a comprehensive review of pricing policy. It has been suggested to us that total sales might rise if commercial outlets were used and we intend to investigate this.

Income from sales fell back to £13,000 but gross profit remained at about £6000. With a small stock write-off expenses remained steady at about £3,700. Stock value at 31 December had fallen to £7,500 and the disposable cash balance again rose sharply, to £22,000.


Beginners’ Handbook7191073
Towards Better Striking12260
Raising and Lowering172211
Jargon Leaflets3736
Doubles and Minor for Beginners277893
Triples and Major for Beginners138235
Ringing Skills9861
Listen to Ringing Cassette5528
Listen to Ringing Cassette Live 25631
Beginners’ Guide to Changeringing on Handbells47149
Changeringing on Handbells23674
*The Tower Handbook19035
Standard Eight Surprise Major51104
Method Splicing2380
Method Construction42123
Understanding Place Notation49119
Will you call a touch please, Bob91202
Service Touches49361
Conducting Stedman7289
A Tutor’s Handbook110333
Tower Captain’s Handbook60183
One Way to Teach Handling90264
Teaching Beyond Bell Handling158265
Teaching from Rounds to Bob Doubles53280
Simulators and Teaching3052
Starting a New Band4137
Recruiting Posters, 16" x 12" (10)12103
Recruiting Leaflets (50)1834
Recruiting Package2179
Maintenance Handbook313
*Towers and Bells Handbook36204
The Bell Adviser37267
Schedule of Regular Maintenance122263
DIY Guidelines29302
Organising a Bell Restoration Project31148
Sound Management178118
Change Ringing History, Vol 134561
*Change Ringing History, Vol 235289
*Change Ringing History, Vol 341529
*Centenary History of the Central Council24245
Giants of the Exercise103203
Belfry Offices30173
Organising and Outing31378
Belfry Warning Notices (5)11123
Striking the Right Note - P.R. Guide924
Church Towers and Bells4532
CC Decisions (1998)1232
Doubles Collection27158
Collection of Minor Methods10348
Collection of Plain Minor Methods (1999)73135
Treble Dodging Minor Methods26162
Principles (2nd Edition)205
Collection of Plain Methods 2nd Edition8112
Collection of Plain Methods on Disk (3.5" or 5.25")70
Rung Surprise etc. (to end 1998)500
Rung Surprise on Disk70
A Handbook of Composition14156
Major Compositions648
Peal Compositions of Stedman and Erin Triples8517
An Index to Compositions in the RW (1941-1992)5148
An Index to Compositions in the RW (1993-1996)8123

The Ringing World, May 5, 2000, pages 458 to 460

The Ringing World Limited
Chairman’s Report

At last year’s Annual General Meeting many of us were still recovering from the excitement of the Ringing World RoadShow. Truly a great occasion and congratulations are due to David Thorne and other members of the Public Relations Committee, in particular George Morris, and to all who contributed to the Show’s success. We are delighted to be sponsoring the next RoadShow on 31 March 2001 at Keele.

We were also getting used to a new look to The Ringing World. By now colour pages are regarded as a regular feature and we are pleased with the way in which they have enabled us to publish some very high quality and eye-catching photographs. As part of our re-organisation to enable us to afford colour, all but about three pages of each issue are now typeset in-house rather than by our printers, and we are grateful to our typesetters for the high quality of their work and their commitment to the paper. We have also taken on the weekly printing of wrappers for the paper, producing a useful cost saving but, of course, increasing the workload in the office.

It was, perhaps, inevitable that the year could not continue on such a high note and we were sad to learn of Anne Carpenter’s illness in early September which led to her early retirement at the end of January 2000 without her having returned to work. “Anne the Admin” had been a loyal and very committed employee of the Company for many years and we all miss her contribution to the running of the paper as well as her company and good humour. We wish her well in her retirement.

Anne’s departure put a great strain on all of us and we were most fortunate in finding help from local ringers who quickly came to the rescue and weighed in to help keep the office running. One of those, Pam Giddins, is now on our permanent staff as a part-time Administration Assistant. We welcome Pam to the team and thank her for her hard work thus far. Thanks also to all who have been helping out.

The next problem to beset us was the sudden and unexpected inability of our printers to continue to wrap the paper due to a legal problem resulting from a change of ownership. For one issue we did the wrapping ourselves with, again, assistance from local ringers. But never again and we soon found a firm able to undertake the task. I must apologise to readers for the “unconventional” way in which some issues of the paper have been wrapped and the length of time it took to resolve this particular problem. Hopefully our requirements have at last got through to the new firm and the results are being properly monitored.

It is said that problems come in threes and this was proved just before Christmas when Tina telephoned to tender her resignation as she was to be moving at the end of March to Glasgow where her husband Simon Gay had been offered a new job.

It is at this point that this report should finish as its purpose is to detail events occurring in 1999, but it seems wrong on this occasion not to follow the story through. So I will continue …

The Board met in emergency session over the first week-end in January to plan the way forward. Advertisements for the post of Editor appeared in The Ringing World and the The Press Gazette the following week, resulting in 23 applications. A short list was drawn up and four candidates interviewed in Guildford on 1 March. The outcome you already know, as Robert Lewis joined us the next Monday and has already made his mark on the paper. We welcome Robert most warmly and I hope that he will soon have the opportunity to meet Company members and other readers of the paper. It is a great relief to have a new Editor in place in what seemed to be an impossibly short period of time.

Tina left on 24 March 2000. It is a matter of great regret to me personally and to all concerned that her last few weeks were clouded by events which I will not detail here as they have been fully reported in The Ringing World. I was disappointed to see the extent and nature of the coverage in other media of what was a very personal matter. The uncontrolled and uninformed comment was very distressing both to the Board and, more importantly, to Tina, but despite this the difficulties were resolved.

Tina’s period of editorship was shorter than either she or the Board had expected. Nevertheless, she succeeded in a number of achievements during her time with us. I would like to mention just a few:

On behalf of the Board, the Company and readers of the paper I thank Tina for all her work and wish her and Simon all the best in their new life in Scotland.

A major decision taken at our meeting in January this year was to redefine the way work is split between the staff we employ. Traditionally, the Editor has been in charge of the total operation at Guildford, assisted by such administrative staff as deemed necessary. In future, the Editor will concentrate on editorial matters and we are working towards recruiting a Business Manager who will be responsible for managing the operational side of our business.

We have been most fortunate to have had the services of Liz Thornton since January this year. We engaged Liz to undertake a threefold assignment - to sort out an accumulation of work which had inevitably slipped behind since Anne Carpenter’s retirement, to keep the office running smoothly and to help us shape the new job of Business Manager. Liz has made great progress on all three fronts.

I would like to thank David Thorne for taking over the editorial chair at short notice on several occasions both during the year and, more recently, in March.

Turning now to other matters normally covered by this report, I can confirm a satisfactory financial result for 1999. The profit for the year, although modest, was very much in accordance with expectations. Circulation of the paper at the end of 1999 stood at just under 4,400 copies, up 250 on the previous year. Whilst much of this increase is due to a special half-price first year offer to new subscribers, it is nevertheless a welcome trend and we look forward to seeing how many of our special offer subscribers renew at full price during 2000.

Writing this report brings home to me just how many people contribute to the publication of The Ringing World, some of whom I have referred to earlier. On behalf of the Board I warmly thank all those who work for us and whose efforts ensure that the paper goes out week upon week.


Library Committee

During 1999 the Committee met on three occasions, at Ullingswick, Thatcham and Malden. Another meeting was scheduled to be held after the Council meeting at Lincoln but was abandoned due to lack of time.

Fred Bone retired from the Committee in order to devote more time to his other committee work and the Council elected Laith Reynolds to replace him. Despite living in Hawaii (and Australia … and America) Laith always seems to find himself in England when we are due to hold a meeting! Cyril Wratten retired from the Committee earlier in the triennium due to ill-health and we agreed to make him a life member of the Friends in recognition of his valuable work for the Committee and the Exercise. Jean Sanderson has taken a rest from being Chairman; her place has been taken by Bill Butler. The Committee thank her for her careful work and dedication over the past years and are pleased she continues to look after the Friends.

Fred Dukes was a great supporter of the Library and its work, and in his will he left us a substantial sum which has been earmarked for maintenance. In view of this boost to our resources and the current strains on the Council’s income, we elected not to take our usual £250 grant this year. We have diverted the subscriptions of the Friends towards a number of special projects and look to their continuing support to see these ventures through to a successful conclusion.

One of these was completed by the end of 1999. This was the issuing of a CD on the Trollope Manuscripts. A few copies were sold before Christmas but we are hoping for many more to be sold this year. We hope all members of the Council will purchase one! Another project under scrutiny at this time includes a joint venture with the Ringing World Board to record back numbers of The Ringing World on a CD. Many more details will need to be settled before a feasibility study can be undertaken.

We are also considering producing bound facsimile copies of Campanology and The Bellringer. These were two short-lived competitors to The Bell News. The market is being investigated and a decision will be made later this year. The conversion of the soon up-dated Library Catalogue to an electronic format will proceed this year and should be completed before our next report.

Our collection of badges and certificates from ringing associations continues to grow, partly as a result of some societies marking the Millennium in this way. Our aim is to produce a catalogue of all the known metallic badges for reference purposes.

Another project has been examining the acquisition of archaeological reports on bells, frames and fittings produced as part of the Millennium funded schemes. For space reasons we cannot hold all the correspondence and other material generated from these restoration schemes.

We are still adding to our collection of Guild reports and during the latter part of the year were able to bind sets from the Salisbury Diocesan Guild and the Peterborough Diocesan Guild. We should like to fill the gaps in our collections from some of the larger associations and get these bound as well.

Finally, during the forthcoming year we shall need to replace some of the library equipment. Our photocopier is now obsolete and parts cannot be obtained and our second-hand microfiche readers have reached the end of their useful life. The library PC is unable to cope with modern programs and has no CD drive. Advice is being sought from appropriate Council personnel before purchase.

BILL BUTLER (Chairman)

The Ringing World, May 5, 2000, page 461

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional