Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Annual Report for 2008

  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 The Cottage, School Hill, Warnham, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 3QN. The constitution and conduct of the Council is governed by its Rules.

  2. The Council’s Trustees during 2008 were as follows:

    Until 26th May
    PresidentMr D E Sibson
    Vice-PresidentMr A P Smith
    Hon SecretaryMr I H Oram
    Hon TreasurerMr D Harbottle
    From 26th May
    PresidentMr A P Smith
    Vice-PresidentMrs K Flavell
    Hon SecretaryMr I H Oram
    Hon TreasurerMr D Harbottle
  3. The Council’s bankers are Lloyds TSB, Westminster House Branch, Dean Stanley Street, London, SW1P 3HU. Its Independent Examiners are Mr J D Cheesman and Mr R J Wallis.

  4. At the close of the Annual General Meeting on 26th May 2008 the Council’s membership comprised 6 Life Members, 18 Honorary Members and 197 Representative Members representing 65 affiliated societies. Since then 1 Representative Member has died and his vacancy has been filled; two other Representative Members resigned and their vacancies have not been filled; 6 Honorary Members retired and 11 who had been elected at that meeting took office; two vacancies in Representative Members have been filled and there has been one other change in representation. Subject to any further changes, at the start of the 2009 Council meeting there will be 6 Life Members, 23 Honorary Members and 197 Representative Members. There is one other vacancy.

  5. The Object of the Council is to promote and foster the ringing of bells for Christian prayer, worship and celebration and in furtherance thereof:

    (i) To promote awareness of and educate the general public in the ringing of church bells and the art of change ringing;

    (ii) To make available advice, assistance and information to church authorities, ringers and ringing societies and to promote good practice on all matters concerned with bells and bell ringing;

    (iii) To encourage development of the art of ringing through innovation;

    (iv) To bring together ringers to discuss matters of common interest and to represent ringers both nationally and internationally;

    (v) To encourage high standards of performance in ringing;

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

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

  6. The work of the Council in pursuing this object is for the most part carried out by its sixteen committees and by working groups appointed by them. Summaries of their activities during 2008 are given in the committee reports, which appear elsewhere on the Council’s agenda and are being published in the 24th April 2009 issue of The Ringing World.

  7. The public benefits from the following areas of activity of the Council: the promotion of public worship by the ringing of church bells, the preservation of the tradition and heritage of change ringing, the encouragement and promotion of high standards of ringing and providing financial and specialist knowledge in the support of belfry repairs and maintenance.

  8. The Accounts for 2008 show Total Funds at the year-end of £355,921 of which £181,426 is in Restricted Funds. The income for the year totalled £76,675, compared with £43,702 in 2007. This increase reflects the income from the Ringing Roadshow held in September 2008, the net cost of this event was £3,793 see note 8 to the accounts. 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.

  9. It is confirmed that the Council’s assets, together with the expected income for 2009, are available and are likely to be adequate to fulfil the object of the Council in that year.

  10. Reserves policy:

    (i) General Fund - the balance on the General Fund is invested to produce income which, together with member societies affiliation fees, provides sufficient funds to support the work and activities of the Council. The balance also facilitates cash flow and enables the development of new projects and initiatives.

    (ii) Education Courses - the balance provides cash flow to enable the Education Committee to run various training courses, in general the costs are recouped from attendees.

    (iii) Bell Restoration Fund - the balance is fully allocated to bell restoration projects and paid on satisfactory completion of the work. Grants are made in proportion to the types of applications received and in accordance with priorities agreed by the Council and reviewed annually.

    (iv) F Dukes International Bell Fund - Grants from the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund are made in accordance with the terms of Mr Dukes’ legacy. Grants are awarded from the interest on the legacy and reviewed annually.

    (v) Publications Fund - the balance represents the stock of publications held and a cash balance to facilitate the production of new titles and the reprinting of existing publications.

    (vi) Library Fund - the balance represents the value of the library which is maintained for use by council members and affiliated societies.

  11. Funds are invested in low risk investments and bank accounts. The need for regular income from investments is considered important to support the work of the Council.

  12. No significant fund-raising activity has been carried out during the year.

  13. The Council had no employees during the year. All of its work is carried out on a voluntary basis.

Honorary Secretary

April 2009


Registered Charity Number 270036

Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 31st December 2008

General FundEducation CoursesBell Rest- oration FundF Dukes Internat’al Bell FundPublic- ations FundLibrary FundTotal Funds 2008Total Funds 2007
Income and Expenditure
Incoming resources:
Affiliation fees4,0004,0004,040
Subscriptions from Friends of Library1,6431,6431,619
Interest receivable77,014467753,72775661812,93613,754
Sales of publications, books and CDs75219213,3562,16716,46717,508
Sales of jigsaw puzzles8598591,216
Sales of training video/dvd202202154
Ringing Roadshow at Stoneleigh833,66933,6690
Courses and seminars2002002,711
Stock written back1,9191,9191,201
Total incoming resources46,4644385,4923,72716,0314,52376,67543,702
Resources expended:
Council meeting2,0102,0102,007
Committee expenses95,8666946,5605,178
Council and other committee costs225225229
Courses and seminars1601603,058
Cost of publications sold8,0698,0697,992
PR Posters/Leaflets1,29821,300890
Library projects004,284
Library maintenance1,6771,677347
Ringing Roadshow at Stoneleigh837,46237,4620
The Ringing Foundation - initial costs0500
Storage and distribution2,0002,0001,900
Stationery, postage & telephone24013328581582
President’s badge6096090
Stock written off and disposed of6386381,124
Depreciation of Library Collection1,2821,2821,307
Depreciation of shelving106106106
Sundry expenses151575
Total resources expended48,8641625,500014,6303,39372,54950,484
Net I/c resources before transfers-2,400276-83,7271,4011,1304,126-6,782
Transfers between funds000
Net movement in funds-2,400276-83,7271,4011,1304,126-6,782
Balances at 1st January 2008147,4422,35414,57781,80025,42280,200351,795358,577
Balances at 31st December 2008145,0422,63014,56985,52726,82381,330355,921351,795


Registered Charity Number 270036

Balance Sheet as at 31st December 2008

General FundEducation CoursesBell Rest- oration FundF Dukes Internat’al Bell FundPublic- ations FundFriends of LibraryTotal Funds 2008Total Funds 2007
Fixed Assets££££££££
Tangible assets
Investments at cost90,00078,968168,968169,050
Library Collection63,52263,52264,805
Library shelving1,5901,5901,696
Total fixed assets90,0000078,968065,112234,080235,551
Current Assets
Debtors and prepayments3,323194843,8268,752
Cash on short term deposit and at bank54,8732,63014,5696,55917,28015,405111,316102,042
Total current assets58,1962,63014,5696,55927,88516,243126,082120,899
Current Liabilities
Amounts due within one year3,1541,062254,2414,655
Net current assets55,0422,63014,5696,55926,82316,218121,841116,244
Total assets less current liabilities145,0422,63014,56985,52726,82381,330355,921351,795
Total Funds145,0422,63014,56985,52726,82381,330355,921351,795

Derek Harbottle
Hon Treasurer April 2009

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Notes to the Accounts for the year ended 31st December 2008

1 Basis of accounting

The accounts have been prepared under the historic cost convention and in accordance with applicable accounting standards and the Statement of Recommended Practice on Accounting by Charities.

2 Accounting Policies

The accounts have been drawn up in accordance with the going concern, accruals, consistency and prudence concepts.

2.1 Incoming resources

Interest is accounted for when receivable.

Donations, grants and legacies are accounted for as soon as the Council is notified of the legal entitlement and the amount due.

2.2 Resources expended

Expenditure is included on an accruals basis.

Grants are accounted for when paid over.

3 Consistency

The accounts are prepared on a consistent basis with the exception of the valuation of the Library Collection.

A revaluation was due in 2008 but this has only recently been undertaken, these figures will be included in the accounts for 2009.

4 Funds

The General Fund is unrestricted. The Education Courses Fund and Publications Fund are designated funds.

The Bell Restoration Fund, the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund and the Library Fund are maintained for restricted purposes.

5 Transfers between Funds

There were no transfers between funds in the current year.

6 Tangible Assets and Intangible 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 Bank Limited Gold Account and the Library Collection. The Library Collection is valued at a replacement cost of £63,522. The revaluation was undertaken by J M Farringdon as at December 2003 when the value was £67,600. The policy is to revalue the collection every five years. It is being depreciated for accounting purposes at 2% per annum. An asset register is maintained for other tangible assets. The policy is to treat assets of an individual cost up to £1,000 as fully depreciated in the year of purchase.

The major intangible asset of the Council is the copyright of Dove’s Guide.

7 Interest Receivable

The interest was received from

National Savings Investment Bonds4,2864,620
Central Board of Finance of the Church of England Deposit4,8775,272
CAF Bank Limited Gold Account3,7273,809
Other banks4653

8 Ringing Roadshow at Stoneleigh - September 2008

IncomeTicket sales19,050
Other income2,86333,669
ExpenditureStoneleigh venue hire19,802
Stoneleigh other services & equipment9,237
Advertising & postage1,694
Tickets, wristbands & printing3,500
CCCBR committee costs619
Other expenditure2,61037,462
Net cost3,793

9 Committee Expenses - General Fund

These were as follows

Bell Restoration376283
Information and Communications397446
Public Relations446746
Redundant Bells420
Ringing Centres664401
Ringing Centres conference0240
Ringing Trends140153
Towers & Belfries472293
Tower Stewardship622536
Roll of Honour Steward3000
Dove Steward1990

10 Grants

The Fred Dukes International Bell Fund awarded two grants totalling £3,809. There were no grants paid during the year.

Unpaid 1/1/2008Awarded in 2008Paid in 2008Unpaid 31/12/2008

The Bell Restoration Fund did not award any grants in 2008. A total of six grants were paid in the year.

Unpaid 1/1/2008Awarded in 2008Paid in 2008Unpaid 31/12/2008

11 Charitable Commitments

There were unfulfilled charitable commitments at 31st December 2008 in respect of three grants of £6,559 awarded but not yet paid by the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund, three grants totalling £3,600 awarded but not yet paid by the Bell Restoration Fund and one grant of £1,000 awarded but not yet paid from the General Fund.

12 Publications Fund

Storage and distribution cost of £2,000 was paid to Council members.

13 Payments to Trustees

There were no payments to Trustees.

14 Emoluments of Employees

The Council had no employees during the year.

15 Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (Millennium Grants) Limited

The company was formed in January 1997 to receive and distribute grants to bell projects from the Millennium Commission. Copies of the Annual Report are available from the Secretary.

The Ringing World, April 24, 2009, pages 430 to 433

Administrative Committee

Since the 2008 Council meeting the Committee has met twice in London, in October and March. The arrangements for the 2009 Council meeting were discussed and agreed; the Committee has continued its practice of reviewing the work of Council Committees and received presentations from the Committee for Redundant Bells and the Ringing Trends Committee.

From time to time the Committee is involved in matters specific to other Committees: in the past year this has included:

Child Protection - the Tower Stewardship Committee explained that the Child Protection issue would be critical in 2009 and would affect every ringer from October. Unlike the current situation where the Church and the Central Council had produced guidelines, from October legislation would be in force: the whole exercise must be made aware. Rather than being the subject of an Open Meeting, when the attendance might be low, and in view of the importance of the subject, it was agreed that the issue be considered within the Council meeting.

A draft paper was presented to the March meeting, when numerous queries were raised; various amendments to the paper were suggested and these, together with recent further Ministerial Statements, will be incorporated in a final version to be published in The Ringing World and circulated to all members.

Ringing Roadshow - in view of the substantial financial commitment of the Council to the staging of Roadshows, the Public Relations Committee gave a detailed report on the 2008 Roadshow and made recommendations for a future event: comments were made on these and the PR Committee will consider the matter further.

Library - at the Newcastle meeting the present Library Steward announced his intention to stand down at the end of the triennium. Attention turned, therefore, to finding a new location for the Library: ideally it should be near a centre of population, in the care of someone interested in bellringing literature. Some approaches had been made but further suggestions would be welcome; an article would appear in The Ringing World highlighting the problem.

The Committee considered the following items from the 2008 Council meeting:

Nominations for Secretary and Assistant Secretary - it will be seen from the meeting agenda that there are 2 nominations for the position of Secretary. No nominations for Assistant Secretary have been sought at this time, rather to allow the new Secretary to decide how the workload should be organised first.

Committee elections - at the March Committee meeting chairmen announced which members would be retiring under the new rule and proposed sizes of committees; a comment had been made that at Newcastle many committees were increased in size to agree with the number of nominations; it was agreed that in future there should not be any change to the size at the Council meeting, unless there was a formal proposal to do so.

There had been some concern about the position of co-opted members, as it had not been mentioned in the rule change; the existing rule allowed up to two co-options. There is a Motion on the meeting agenda.

Recruitment of young ringers - several members had touched on this subject during the Newcastle meeting. The Council’s role should be to gather information on best practice and promote that effectively. The Ringing Trends Committee had investigated other organisations and found that they had similar problems recruiting young people. Following discussion it was acknowledged that local initiatives seemed to be the most effective.

Other matters reported on included:

Register of members’ interests - there was a perception of conflicts of interest for members who were members of, or had an interest in, the bell-trade. It was proposed to give guidance similar to the parliamentary model, in which an interest was declared but that was not a bar to contributing to any discussion. It was noted that the proposal was for guidance only and no rule change was contemplated; the meeting chairman would remind members at the start of the meeting. The guidance is included as an Appendix to this report.

Council Finances - although the deficit in the 2008 Accounts was mainly attributable to the Roadshow, the forecast for 2009 also anticipated a deficit, mainly due to the substantial reduction in interest rates currently available. The matter was given careful consideration and the Hon Treasurer will speak on this, after presenting the 2008 Accounts.

Church Buildings Council (formerly Council for the Care of Churches) - only one meeting had been held, awaiting the appointment of Janet Gough, the new Director of the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops’ Council. It was noted that, arising from the new criteria for listing bells, the Churchcare website had been updated for 22 dioceses and work continued. The Heritage Protection Bill had been withdrawn but the Ecclesiastical Exemption remains, although subject to review. There would be another meeting for DAC Bell Advisers on 17th June, based on 2 churches in London where bell schemes were in progress.

English Heritage - one meeting has been held on 13th October. Four years after the CCCBR first raised the matter of recording bellframes, EH had now produced a draft specification: comments were being invited from the Towers and Belfries Committee and the CBC Bells Committee. There was some discussion of the methods of measuring tower sway; and it was noted that if there were to be on-site meetings to discuss specific problems, it was best for all interested parties to be present at the same time. At last a Consistory Court had been held to resolve the Great Malvern issue: the result has been widely reported. The next meeting was due to be held on 3rd April.

Ex officio:
TONY SMITH (President)
KATE FLAVELL (Vice-President)
IAN ORAM (Secretary)
MIKE CHESTER (Information and Communications Technology)
JAMES CLARKE (Towers and Belfries)
BOB COOLES (Redundant Bells)
NEIL DONOVAN (Public Relations)
PAUL FLAVELL (Peal Compositions)
PAT HALLS (Biographies)
CAROL HARDWICK (Bell Restoration)
BERYL NORRIS (Ringing Trends)
BARRY PEACHEY (Ringing Centres)
JACKIE ROBERTS (The Ringing World)
ERNIE RUNCIMAN (Tower Stewardship).
Elected members:


Guidance for Central Council members in managing actual, potential or perceptions of conflicts of interest

Within the Council conflicts of interest could arise, or be perceived to exist, where members have a financial or other business interest in an organisation that operates commercially within the arena of bell ringing, hanging, manufacturing, restoration or maintenance, as well as others areas such as publishing or IT, referred to here as bell-related trades.

Having a business interest of this sort does not preclude Council members from being active in Council affairs. However, for the avoidance of any possible misunderstanding, members are asked to follow this guidance.

  1. All Council members shall advise the Hon Secretary of any financial or other business interest they have in any organisation that operates commercially within bell-related trades. In the event of uncertainty as to whether disclosure is needed, disclosure shall be made.

  2. The Hon Secretary shall circulate the list of declared interests to the Council Officers. The Hon Secretary shall also advise relevant committee chairmen of disclosed interests of any members of their committees.

  3. At any time during discussion of Council business, such as (but not limited to) the Council’s annual meeting or committee meetings, members with such interests shall notify or remind others present of their interest before they make their first contribution to any discussion on that occasion.

  4. At any time a committee chairman has a concern over a conflict of interest within the committee, this shall be referred to the Council President for assistance as to how to proceed. Similar referral shall be made to the President by any Council member with any concern about conflicts of interest of any Council member or officer.

Tower Stewardship Committee

The Committee has met four times this year.

The main work of the Committee has been towards greater understanding of the implications of the new Safeguarding Venerable Groups legislation, which for England and Wales, will become law this coming October. This legislation, which in some senses making the understanding of who does and does not need CRB checking easier, now lays down very specific legal responsibilities for groups and organisations (including churches and ringing societies) who work with vulnerable groups (for example children). The Committee has made contact with the responsible department within the UK government, to establish a dialogue. We have also had contact with various church authorities to discuss the subject. As such, we believe we now have a good understanding of how the implementation of this Act will impinge on the activities of bell ringers. The Committee will be making a presentation on this subject at the Worcester Council meeting in May, and further publicity related efforts will follow later in the year.

We have a brief to keep a watching eye on any legislation that may affect the management of church bell towers. Apart from the SVG Act above, there has been little new of changed legislation recently to affect ringers. We have revised and re-issued our guidance notes that cover a number of subjects. Because of the possible fluid nature of the subjects these notes cover, it was decided some years ago not to issue them in paper form, but to use the power of the internet to deliver up-to-date information. However, we still felt the need to get a paper copy of our summary leaflet into every tower in the country. Here we asked territorial societies to distribute this leaflet for us, and most societies were very receptive and keen to help the Council in this important work.

The Committee has offered advice to a number of towers on such subjects as child protection, noise abatement regulations, dealing with complaints and how to complete risk assessments.

The Committee was represented at the Ringing Roadshow, hard copies of the summary leaflet and guidance notes were handed out and many questions answered.

The Committee is always willing to share information on these various subjects, and is willing to attend society meetings, etc. to give presentations on them.


Biographies Committee

The remit of this Committee is to obtain information about the ringing careers of past and present Central Council members. This forms a significant part of the history of the Council; it would be sad if ringers could not look back and find interesting details of some of the illustrious ringers who have shaped the way in which ringing has developed through the years and put in a lot of work to help that development. So the Committee has two tasks: one is to obtain the information in the first place and the second is to record the salient points of each member’s ringing career on a page in one of a series of books. It is much easier - not to mention less embarrassing - to acquire the information while the ringer concerned is still alive and well. However, that is not as simple as it sounds: first one has to make contact with the person concerned. Some Society secretaries could not be more helpful in this respect; others do not have the information or state that the Data Protection Act prevents them from passing on any means of contact to a third party. Once we have contact details, it is easy to write or email - and some ringers are wonderful! They reply fairly soon and give plenty of useful information. Others don’t …

To give some idea of where the Committee is up to at the end of January 2009: we have forms completed this century from 169 current members, old forms from 27 members and no forms at all from 33 members. As far as former members are concerned we have up to date forms from 208 people, old forms from 164 and no forms at all from 83. Some of the old forms are very old - 1950s and 1960s! So it is easy to appreciate that writing biographical records from such out of date information is no straightforward task!

There is quite a backlog of biographical records to write up and several Committee members have been making inroads into this work during the course of this year. One Committee member has been collecting information from The Ringing World each week and another member has been compiling a booklet of all the Council members since the formation of the Council.

I would like to end this report by thanking all those people who have responded to our requests for biographical information and by pleading with those who have not yet done so to fill in their forms and return them to me as soon as possible.

The following former members died in earlier years but their deaths have not been previously notified to the Council:

The deaths of the following former members have already been reported to the Council:

The following member and former members have died since the last meeting:

PAT HALLS (Chairman)

Education Committee

The Committee met three times at Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. After the 2008 meeting the Committee had thirteen members, but sadly David Strong has had to resign. Many thanks to him for his contribution. The remaining six new members of the Committee elected at Newcastle are settling in well. Under the new voting arrangements the four longest serving members will be retiring, and most of them will be available for re-election.

Courses - The Committee continues to deliver courses for local societies - the new Listening Course is the most popular. The e-mail mentoring scheme for conductors to develop their skills is maintaining its level of support and proving to be very worthwhile.

Publications and Resources - Pip Penney’s book Teaching Unravelled was published in a very short time frame by the Publications Committee to enable it to be on sale at the Roadshow. It is proving to be very popular. The New Ringers Handbook has been slightly delayed due to revisions and the need to repeat some of the photographs, however we are hoping it will be on sale later this year. The Ringing Practice Toolkit, which is normally offered on-line from our pages on the CC website, was available on disc at the Roadshow, and proved so popular that we had to have a further 200 discs made up overnight. Simon Linford’s series of articles on conducting published in The Ringing World is attracting much positive feedback.

Simulator - Loan of the Bagley simulator continues but at a low level. It may be borrowed for evaluation, or for training courses, by contacting the Secretary, Geoff Horritt.

Network for Ringing Training (NRT) - Membership remains at about 500, with a goodly percentage using this discussion list. A more practical conference is envisaged in the future.

Belfry Forums - The new “Belfry Forums” launched at the Roadshow have taken off well with about 150 members using the many topics on this site to their advantage.

Roadshow - We had a prominent stand which we ran in conjunction with the Ringing Centres Committee. This “PDZ” (Personal Development Zone) proved to be very popular. Particularly pleasing was the visitors’ enthusiasm for the “Wombel”, which had been kindly lent by David Horrocks, and the popularity of the one-to-one training sessions both at local towers and on the mini ring.

New training DVD - We have an outline for a new DVD on teaching bell handling. There will be considerable development costs and so we are hoping to receive funding from the Ringing Foundation.

CATHERINE LEWIS (Chairman 2009)
BARRIE DOVE (Chairman 2008)

Information and Communications Technology Committee

We remain indebted to Aidan Hopkins for his work on our move to the latest web services provider and coping with a number of availability problems in the first quarter of 2008. He has also put in a lot of effort to resolve various kinds of email problems.

During the summer Aidan was instrumental in helping Heather Peachey implement the Belfry Forums bulletin board system which was launched at the Roadshow in September. At times his responsiveness has been inhibited due to lack of available time and we are exploring the possibility of providing him with backup in his all-important role of server administrator. We will have two vacancies on the Committee at the AGM and would welcome expressions of interest in joining the Committee from those with the necessary website management skills. We would also welcome offers of assistance from ringers that are not members of Council, but who would be willing to offer their services as a consultant to this Committee.

Significant progress has been made with the addition of the Rolls of Honour to the website based on the continuing research and photography by Alan Regin, the Steward. Alan demonstrated the Great War 1914-1918 section live and online at the Ringing Roadshow in September. The number of photographs continues to grow with more to follow. The initial publication of the WW2 section is likely by the time this report is published.

Andrew Craddock continued to provide technical support for the Felstead database during 2008 and to add recently published peals. An enhancement has been to show invalid peals, i.e. false, hoax and other non acceptable peals in a different list for each tower. A major task for 2009 is to ensure that all method names on the Felstead database are valid and to provide Tim Pett with the facility to amend data on the website.

Mike Till continues to be a link person between this Committee and the Felstead database, with the aim of assisting in the upgrading of the data it holds.

Alan Chantler has required four serious operations during this year and this has obviously curtailed his involvement to a degree. We hope that he continues to make steady progress in the coming months.

We are grateful for continued technical support and advice from Tina Stoecklin and Don Morrison when available.

We are grateful for Frank Lewis’s contributions to the maintenance and expansion of the Education Committee’s section of the website for several years. Following his retirement from the Council last year this role has been taken over by Claire Bell whose initial project is the provision of support from the Council website for the Conductor Mentoring programme.

Geoff Emerson joined the Committee at the AGM. Sadly, he is unable to continue working with us due to increased work commitments. We thank him for the tasks he was able to help us with during the year.


Library Committee

Those who were present at the Council Meeting in 2008 will know that at the end of the meeting Dr John Eisel reported that he was giving three years’ notice that he would be retiring from his position as Steward of the Library. While this came as a considerable shock, the fact that John gave such a long notice should give the Committee plenty of time to find a new Steward. Discussions within and out with the Committee have not yet identified a possible successor for John. The Library is of great importance for the world of bell ringing, in that it sets out to preserve the ringing past and by doing so enhances the ringing present. If anyone reading this is interested in taking over from John and has a love of books and the space to house them, then please contact John Eisel.

Although it has been inevitable that over the last year the Committee has been somewhat engrossed in the subject of a successor for the Library, nevertheless, its work continues. The Committee benefited this year from the election of two new members: Stella Bianco and Ian Self. Both of these have turned out to be worthy successors of Chris Ridley and Michael Williams. Chris, a long-time member of the Committee was particularly missed, though Ian Self was a worthy successor as the treasurer.

Following two successful advertisements in The Ringing World at the end of 2008, The Bell News DVD, which contains reproductions of all the pages of The Bell News (a forerunner of The Ringing World), was offered for sale. 132 discs had been sold up to March 2009, each containing a fascinating glimpse of bell ringing in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The Ringing Roadshow in September 2008 proved to be a valuable venue for the sale of both the DVD and recruitment of new Friends of the Library. Work on the Obituary index continues and we can report that the project has been given something of a boost by the very welcome assistance of Alan Ellis who has provided 1998 to 2007 data. The data for the year 1998 were compared with information in that year’s Ringing World allowing place names to be associated with the deceased. A similar search of all Ringing World issues for 1999 to 2007 will now be carried out.

Routine maintenance of the Library never ceases and neither does the receipt of bell ringing literature, nor do less interesting features of library maintenance, such as binding volumes of magazines, e.g. The Ringing World. Also, this year a duplicate set of bound Bell News was transferred to the Truro Diocesan Guild on a long-term loan.

The annual newsletter for the Friends of the Central Council Library was issued as usual, together with the Library Steward’s annual Essay on a bibliographic topic, that for 2008 being the fifteenth in the series. He also helps to support The Ringing World by publishing regular articles, using material from the library as well as his own researches. To mark John’s retirement from the post of Library Steward, the Committee is considering publishing a collection of these articles, possibly including the Essays, and it is worth noting that in the last 10 years he has supplied at least 55 articles to The Ringing World on a wide variety of topics. The Committee is also actively pursuing the possibility of issuing the first thirty years of The Ringing World on CD or DVD, and much preliminary work has been already carried out by Paul Johnson.

MIKE DAVIES (Chairman)

The Ringing World, April 24, 2009, pages 434 to 436

Methods Committee

The Methods Committee held two meetings during the year, in Winchester 2 March (RW p.658) and in Whitchurch Hants on 8 November.

New editions of three Method Collection publications were made available during the year. They were the 3rd edition of Plain Minor Methods, the 3rd edition of Treble Dodging Minor Methods and Rung Surprise, Delight, Treble Bob and Alliance Methods containing methods rung to the end of 2007. The XML Method format specification was finalised and work continued on preparing a new edition of the Collection of Doubles Methods.

The Committee continued to update the method pages for the Ringing World Diary, concentrating on improvements to the legibility of the method diagrams. We are grateful to Martin Bright for allowing us to use his method printing software, and for extending it to draw the shaded vertical shading guides that feature in the 2009 Diary.

The Committee ran a stand at the 2008 Ringing Roadshow at Stoneleigh, demonstrating method collections and answering questions on method naming and construction. We were a bit disappointed that the stand seemed to attract fewer visitors than we had had at the previous roadshow in Newbury. In part this could have been due to its location, but we have also considered ways in which we could make the stand more attractive in the future.

We have continuted to answer enquiries about methods, method names and method extension and the new email address methods@cccbr.org.uk is seeing increasing use.

Tony Smith and Philip Earis left the Committee at the Council meeting. We would like to thank them for their contributions to the Committee and welcome Leigh Simpson who was elected in their place. In particular we would like to thank Tony for his 27 years’ work for the Committee and we are grateful to him for continuing to update the on-line method collections at methods.org.uk on a weekly basis.


Peal Compositions Committee

The Committee held its first face to face meeting for some time at the Stoneleigh Ringing Roadshow and agreed a program of work for the following year.

The online collection http://ringing.org/main/pages/peals continues to be updated regularly with the latest innovative compositions, and now contains over 10,000 compositions on all numbers from 5 to 16 bells. It is a valuable resource for conductors looking for a composition to suit their needs.

Composition pages appear regularly in The Ringing World. More pages are in the process of being set for publication, and we are also working on columns of quarter peals and special compositions e.g. date lengths. The Stedman compositions collection has been drafted and will be ready for publication in 2009. This includes compositions from Caters to Sextuples.

The Committee members are happy to answer technical questions on composition raised by ringers and also advise on the generation, proof and authenticity of compositions. The Ringing Roadshow stand proved to be a good interface with composers interested in discussing and publishing compositions and a number of useful contacts were established.

A motion will be put forward to rename The Peal Compositions Committee as The Compositions Committee so that the Committee remit can include touches and quarter peals.

Current projects in the pipeline include the following


Peals Records Committee

This is our first report following the amalgamation of the former Peals Analysis and Records Committees at the last Council meeting. Following the meeting we co-opted Tim Pett to ensure continuity of the work on the Felstead peals database. We have met on three occasions since the Committee was formed in order to plan our work, and to ensure continuity. We continue to produce an analysis of peals published in The Ringing World, a record of all first peals in methods and a list of record length peals. In addition we are responsible for the maintenance and updating of the Felstead database. All of these aspects of our work have been maintained, and we have made progress on improving the timeliness of dealing with corrections to the Felstead database. Alan Baldock has led this work. We are hoping next year to make progress on collecting the compositions for first peals in methods. This is one of the parts of our joint remit that has fallen into abeyance in recent years.

The Peals Analysis

We have recorded a total of 4898 peals rung in 2008 and published in The Ringing World, of which 4210 were on tower bells and 688 on handbells. The revised total for 2007 was 5107 - making a net reduction of 209. The reduction was largely due to a reduction in tower bell peals of both Minor and Major compared to 2007. Full details are included in the methods table that accompanies this report. The Oxford Diocesan Guild remains the leading society with 359 peals (26 less than in 2007), followed by the Yorkshire Association with 317. Seventeen societies rang 100 or more peals in 2008 compared with 20 in 2007. Please see the separate table for details of peals rung for individual societies.

Record Peals

Although there were a number of peals of over 10,000 changes in 2008, there was only one record peal, of 10640 Double Bob Major for the Yorkshire Association.

Peals not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

We have identified no peals published in The Ringing World as peals that do not comply with Decision D (Parts A-D) relating to peal ringing. A letter from the President of the Central Council appears elsewhere (RW p.326) commenting on corrections necessary for peals of Doubles to conform to reporting rules. All have been included in the Analysis.

A single peal was rung with a variable cover during the year, of Doubles and Minor in 7 methods. We doubt the benefit of continuing to identify these peals specifically (moreover we believe some peals of variable cover have been rung and not identified as such in peal reports, rendering the requirement futile) and shall not continue to do so unless the Council wishes us to.

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. All individual methods where 15 or more peals were rung in 2008 are included. Followers of fashion will note that Ealing S Major joins, and Cornwall and Uxbridge S Major leave the table as does Alliance Major as a separate category. An “Other” category is included for completeness.

A total of 249 methods were rung to peals for the first time in 2008 (3 of these were rung in hand). A further 18 methods that had been rung previously on tower bells were rung in hand for the first time - including Scientific Triples, a significant achievement. One interesting statistic is that 1 in 20 of all peals was the first in its method.

A number of whole peals in single Doubles variations have been published in recent years, and noted to be “first in the variation”. While this may be true in each case we do not keep records of peals in Doubles variations since they are not the first in their parent method.

A list of the new methods and when they were rung is included alongside our report.


The following 76 towers had 10 or more peals in 2008: (78 in 2007)

41Leeds (RC Cath)
39Oxford (St Thomas)
36Burnley (St Peter)
36Loughborough (Bell Foundry)
33Bishopstoke (St Mary)
30Marston Bigot (Pig le Tower)
28Rotherham (All Saints)
26Ipswich (Old Stoke), Milton (Oxon), Oxford (St Mary Magd)
25Belper (St Peter)
24Amersham, East Ilsley
23Keele (Woodlands)
20Maidstone (All Saints)
19Birmingham Cathedral, Birmingham (St Paul), Maidstone (St Michael), Sproxton
18York (St Lawrence)
17Leicester (St Mary-de-Castro), Westminster (St Clement Danes)
16Burghill, New York, Spitalfields, Windsor (St John)
15Blackburn Cathedral, Hanbury (Worcs), Isleworth, Sheffield (Dore)
14Bishopsteignton (Bishops Ting Tong), Campton, Lundy Island, Saltby, Walworth
13Burton Latimer, Withycombe Raleigh, Halifax (St John), Liverpool (Garston), Newcastle Cathedral, Terling, Walkden
12Bristol Cathedral, Exeter (Pinhoe), Harrogate (St Wilfrid), Middleton (Gtr Man), South Petherton, Stratton St Margaret
11Bishopstoke (Campanile), Bristol (St Stephen), Bushey, South Croydon, Grundisburgh, Handsworth, London (Cripplegate), Newcastle upon Tyne (St John), Southampton (Bitterne Park), Towcester, Whitley Bay, Willingham (Millcroft Campanile)
10Aldeburgh, Barton Seagrave, Birmingham (Harborne), Edinburgh (St Cuthbert), Elstow, Heywood, Hughenden, Northallerton, Rothwell (N’hants), Swindon (St Mark), Warwick (St Nicholas), West Bridgford

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 178 first pealers in 2008 (154 in 2007) and 29 firsts as conductor (32 in 2007). We congratulate all those involved in these performances, particularly where several firsts were included in one peal. We are pleased to note that the number of first pealers has shown a modest increase after several years of decline. We hope this new trend will continue.

Corrections to the 2007 Analysis

There are a number of alterations to the 2007 Analysis due to late publication as detailed below. Corrections relate to tower bells except where specified.

ASCYMajor +1, Major (h’bells) +1
Bath & WellsMajor +1, Royal +1, Cinques +1, Maximus +1
SRCYCaters +1
LincolnMinor +1
Oxford SocietyMinor +1, Major +2, Caters +1, Royal +1
Winchester & PortsmouthMinimus +1, Major +3, Caters +1
Non-AffiliatedMinor -1, Caters +1, Royal +1

The amended methods analysis for 2007 is shown in the 2008 methods table, which forms part of this report. Revised totals for 2007 are: tower bells 4446, handbells 661, total 5107. Details of the adjustments are available from the Chairman.

The Felstead Project

The committee continues to receive 2-3 corrections per week for the Felstead database and there is no sign of this work on correcting and updating the data reducing. There are concerns that the systems for processing these data are not as slick and secure as they might be. We are therefore working with Andrew Craddock, who hosts the Felstead database on the Council’s behalf, to streamline these processes.

We need to ensure that the processes are robust before we proceed to the next step of a comprehensive peals database. We are, however, also exploring the requirements for such a database - concentrating on how to adequately track corrections and how to cope with the uncertainty inherent when dealing with very old peal records. This will allow the design of a database appropriate to the task that ringers and historians expect of it.

TIMOTHY PETT (co-opted)

First peals in methods rung on Tower Bells
15088Vale of Evesham S MajorWorcs & District A
25152Quandary S MajorLincoln DG
45024High Neb S MajorYorkshire A
75088Sourpuss S MajorSt James’ G
105040Fisher D RoyalLancashire A
125184St John the Baptist S MajorBath & Wells DA
145184Cold Fish S MajorSt James’ G
155088Stourhead S MajorSt James’ G
175042Highclere Church S MaximusOxford DG
175024Overtown S MajorGlos & Bris DA
195040Huntspill B TriplesBath & Wells DA
195040Stranton D RoyalG Devonshire Ringers
215024Winchmore Hill S MajorSt James’ G
225120Danethorpe D RoyalS’well & Nottm DG
265088Quatermass S MajorOxford DG
265088X-ray S MajorOxford DG
275040Burgh S MinorSuffolk G
275040Eskimo Nebula D RoyalLancashire A
285056Scunthorpe S MajorSt James’ G
285024Henlow D MajorBeds Assoc
25088Oare S MajorGlos & Bris DA
25080Hebden Bridge S RoyalLancashire A
25088Albert Road S MajorSRCY
35088Yaffle S MajorOxford DG
65024Flowers of Manchester S MajorYorkshire A
65152Kakapo S MajorLincoln DG
75000German Bight D RoyalLancashire A
105056Kornwall S MajorYorkshire A
115088Jellied Eel S MajorSt James’ G
115088High Willhays S MajorG Devonshire Ringers
145152The Warrant D MajorS’well & Nottm DG
155088Kunzite S MajorGlos & Bris DA
215040Wadworth 6X S RoyalOxford DG
215088Savernake Forest S MajorGlos & Bris DA
235040Crowder S RoyalChester DG
235056Burderop S MajorGlos & Bris DA
235376St Crewenna S MajorTruro DG
295184Intercalary S MajorGlos & Bris DA
295152Toppesfield S MajorEssex A
15024Terrible Towel TB MajorNAG
55088Orsett D MajorYorkshire A
85088Piddinghoe S MajorSussex CA
95024Eton College B MajorMiddx CA & Lon DG
95056Woodhouse S MajorYorkshire A
105024The Bench S MajorSt James’ G
135088Shefford S MajorSRCY
135056Hackpen S MajorGlos & Bris DA
135184Humber Little D RoyalLancashire A
155088Old Moore’s S MajorOxford DG
165056Quintessential S MajorGlos & Bris DA
165088Quicklime S MajorOxford DG
175040Plain B SeptuplesWin & Ports DG
225088Chafy Crescent S MajorKent CA
235040St Thomas’s B TriplesBristol Soc
245120Danelaw S RoyalWin & Ports DG
245080Eanam Wharf D RoyalYorkshire A
255152Bon Jovi D MajorYorkshire A
255040Youlthorpe D RoyalS’well & Nottm DG
285040Newark Pl DoublesBarrow & District Soc
295088Stretton S MajorLeicester DG
315088Swallow S MajorSt James’ G
15088Hainton D MajorS’well & Nottm DG
25056Brownie Dyke S MajorYorkshire A
75088Muppet Show S MajorSt James’ G
75056Grantley Hall S MajorYorkshire A
85088Swervin’ Mervyn’s D MajorG Devonshire Ringers
115040Pythagorean B TriplesEly DA
125040Rams Head S RoyalLeicester DG
125056JB D MajorBath & Wells DA
135024Oslo S MajorBath & Wells DA
145040Toccata B TriplesEly DA
145056Freshbrook S MajorGlos & Bris DA
155056Chippinghurst S MajorOxford DG
155088Quodlibet S MajorYorkshire A
175040Old Bill D RoyalG Devonshire Ringers
175056Lockeridge S MajorGlos & Bris DA
175120Thames D RoyalLancashire A
175088Marley’s Ghost S MajorOxford DG
195088Celebration S MajorSt James’ G
215088Leavesden S MajorSt James’ G
215088Pit Bull S MajorSt James’ G
245056Garsden S MajorGlos & Bris DA
255152Zauner D MajorD&N DA
255088Eastcott S MajorGlos & Bris DA
265056Barleycroft TB MajorHertford CA
25040Stapleton S RoyalLancashire A
25040Rondo B TriplesEly DA
35040Maryland D MinorNAG
95152Bolonium S MajorGlos & Bris DA
105040Nordfeld D RoyalSt Martin’s G
105184Turners Hill S MajorSussex CA
125088Ramsbottom No S MajorASCY
145024Asti D MajorLancashire A
155088Theobald’s Green S MajorGlos & Bris DA
165024Billy Mill S MajorD&N DA
175152Gibside D MajorLich & Dist S
185040Flaming Star Nebula S RoyalLancashire A
215040Bakerloo B TriplesEly DA
225056Dover Little D RoyalLancashire A
235056Old Codgers S MajorEssex A
245040Little Orchard B TriplesBath & Wells DA
245056Holdcroft S MajorGlos & Bris DA
265040Wordsley S RoyalASCY
275120Vale of Belvoir D RoyalS’well & Nottm DG
305040Piccadilly B TriplesEly DA
305024East Crompton S MajorLancashire A
305184Chatto Chesnaie S MajorG Devonshire Ringers
315040Subfusc D RoyalOxford Soc
15152Octarine S MajorSRCY
65120Inmarsh S MajorGlos & Bris DA
85024Helsinki S MajorBath & Wells DA
95040Spin Dryer Little A MajorNon-Association
125088Rider D MajorSRCY
145056Manton S MajorGlos & Bris DA
155040Little B SixteenWin & Ports DG
195088Trowse D MajorSRCY
195088Courage Directors S MajorOxford DG
245088Ashmere S MajorHertford CA
255120Dodd Fell D MajorYorkshire A
265088Xagar S MajorOxford DG
265040Wight D RoyalLancashire A
35152Hollinside D MajorS’well & Nottm DG
45152New Bridge D MajorYorkshire A
55056Dewdrop S MajorYorkshire A
65376København S MajorBath & Wells DA
75088Christ Church Primary School 300 D MajorSRCY
135056Jaundiced TB MajorNAG
175056Beckhampton S MajorGlos & Bris DA
185024Jasonville S MajorEly DA
185152Sulby S MajorPeterboro DG
225040Harlesthorpe D RoyalS’well & Nottm DG
235040Yeory D RoyalBath & Wells DA
255024Cherry S MajorLancashire A
315024Stilton S MajorAround Ringers
315040Pilton D RoyalG Devonshire Ringers
25088Roundway S MajorGlos & Bris DA
45024Knoxville S MajorEly DA
45088Effingham S MaximusYorkshire A
85056Ladyville S MajorEly DA
95088Cranborne Chase S MajorWin & Ports DG
105088Vienna S MajorBath & Wells DA
165000Khyber Pass S RoyalYorkshire A
185096Bushey and Oxhey A MajorSt James’ G
185088Tonelessness S MajorLancashire A
185080Effingham S RoyalYorkshire A
215088Nomansland S MajorGlos & Bris DA
215024Freeschool S MajorS’well & Nottm DG
245152Cameron D MajorANZAB
265160Brooksby S RoyalS’well & Nottm DG
265000Riverside S RoyalASCY
295024Monksville S MajorEly DA
305056Westrop S MajorGlos & Bris DA
315115Woolly Jumper H MajorNon-Association
35024Mrs Trellis of North Wales S MajorYorkshire A
75152Warsaw S MajorBath & Wells DA
75024Once Brewed D MajorYorkshire A
95040Beult D RoyalKent CA
115184Walford S MajorS’well & Nottm DG
115040Portland D RoyalLancashire A
115040Ecclefechan D RoyalG Devonshire Ringers
135056Hillingdon Green D MajorG Devonshire Ringers
135120Old Kea S MajorTruro DG
155184Sammy D MajorSussex CA
175088Barbaresco D MajorLancashire A
185040Varsity S RoyalOxford DG
185088Easterton S MajorGlos & Bris DA
195056Moonville S MajorEly DA
215024Hackthorn S MajorOxford DG
215550Waynflete A RoyalOxford Soc
245152Rising Sun S MajorD&N DA
245024Windy Gyle D MajorYorkshire A
255088Northgates S MajorS’well & Nottm DG
265112Diamond A RoyalD&N DA
265056Nashville S MajorEly DA
275040Golden A RoyalAmersham Guild
275040Golden A MajorAmersham Guild
275000Madison D RoyalASCY
275152Starshine D MajorASCY
15184Stroxton S MajorLincoln DG
15056Kirkby-in-Ashfield S MajorYorkshire A
45056Knighton S MajorGlos & Bris DA
105024Oakville S MajorEly DA
115026Arthur Phillip S MajorANZAB
115152Ragged Staff D MajorSRCY
165042Pride of Romsey S MaximusOxford DG
175024Perryville S MajorEly DA
185152Marlborough D MajorSalisbury DG
185088Muriel D MajorLancashire A
205040Thrybergh S MaximusYorkshire A
205088Alnwick Castle S MajorSt James’ G
235040Old Light S RoyalLancashire A
245024Quarryville S MajorEly DA
255040Bishop Stamer D RoyalNorth Staffs A
285080Xanthe D RoyalS’well & Nottm DG
315152Winford S MajorGlos & Bris DA
15120Coterie S MajorSt James’ G
15024Bleaklow D MajorYorkshire A
15040Darlaston Little B MajorNon-Association
15040Coventry A MajorCoventry DG
25058Humber Bridge S MajorBev & Dist Soc
75024Rainsville S MajorEly DA
75152Half-Century S MajorSRCY
95088Stockholm S MajorBath & Wells DA
95024Remember Me S MajorNarnia Yths
115040Eleventh Hour D RoyalKent CA
135056Armagh S MajorS’well & Nottm DG
145088Stoneville S MajorEly DA
155040Cytringan S RoyalSRCY
175088St Nicholas’ Warwick S MajorCoventry DG
195024Nether Hornpot Lane D MajorYorkshire A
205088Xerograph S MajorGlos & Bris DA
205088Adnams Broadside D MajorOxford DG
215088Titusville S MajorEly DA
245024Round Bush S MajorSt James’ G
255056Steventon S MajorOxford DG
275096Hyperion A MajorS’well & Nottm DG
295184Folly Hall S MajorYorkshire A
35056Middlethorpe Hall D MajorYorkshire A
35152Mullins Court S MajorSRCY
45088Wales S MajorLlandaff & Mon D A
55056Bedale D MajorYorkshire A
55088Cymru S MajorLlandaff & Mon D A
65056Old Dilton S MajorGlos & Bris DA
85088Radcliffeborough S MajorSRCY
85040Luffburra D RoyalFreehold S
115152Peckleton S MajorS’well & Nottm DG
115064Gadolinium A MajorSRCY
115040Plymouth D RoyalLancashire A
125056Crystal Palace S MajorNon-Association
135088Frithelstock S MajorOxford DG
145056Turnon D MajorSussex CA
145088Martin TB MajorSuffolk G
155044Trojan A MaximusSt Martin’s G
185152Highclere Red House S MajorOxford DG
185056Du Migit Little S RoyalG Devonshire Ringers
195024Unionville S MajorEly DA
205088Clenchwarton S MajorEly DA
215088Isenfluh S MajorOxford DG
235040Pointon S RoyalS’well & Nottm DG
265024Oxfordshire D MajorOxford DG
275040Ridiculous D RoyalYorkshire A
295040Chipping Campden A MajorCoventry DG
305024Firbeck S MajorYorkshire A
305042Quartzite S MaximusS’well & Nottm DG
315152Superlambanana S MajorASCY
First peals in methods rung on Hand Bells
95042Prittlewell S MaximusOxford DG
145040Lincolnshire D RoyalLeicester DG
285040Quedgeley S RoyalOxford DG
45040*Zodiac D RoyalLeicester DG
115040Mather D RoyalLeicester DG
135040Evesham S RoyalOxford DG
95040Phobos S MaximusOxford DG
285040Norburg S RoyalOxford DG
75040Eardleigh S RoyalOxford DG
195040Teotihuacan S RoyalOxford DG
95040Anniversary D RoyalLeicester DG
35120*Devenish S MajorMiddx CA & Lon DG
115040Julian S RoyalOxford DG
125040Berwyn TB MinorHertford CA
85040*Kakadu D RoyalLeicester DG
295040Vendune S RoyalOxford DG
35040Durandestorp S RoyalOxford DG
125040Scientific TriplesSt Martin’s G
265042Evesham S MaximusOxford DG
15040Fennel S RoyalOxford DG
105042Delaware S MaximusOxford DG
Methods marked * were also the first peal in the method.
Record peal on Tower Bells
910640Double B MajorYorkshire A

Ancient Society of College Youths010189091152531914400000025306133330019272
A N Z A B000220610110000000013000000000013
Bath & Wells0101241107931171090000001560007010008164
Beverley & District120010700300000000014000000000014
Birmingham University0001100000000000000211100000035
Cambridge University0001104100101000000900000000009
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths0001610108604060160000001930105010007200
Devon Assn0000000000000000000000000000000
G of Devonshire Ringers000513010070172013000000193000100200012205
Durham & Newcastle02061045301300200000072000201000375
Durham University0000004002101000000801000000019
East Derbyshire & West Notts.0001000000000000000100000000001
East Grinstead & District0001000000000000000100000000001
Gloucester & Bristol140126091109205000000131070171400029160
Leeds University0000002000002000000400000000004
Lichfield & Walsall02018101110000000000033000400000437
Liverpool Universities0000103000000000000400000000004
Llandaff & Monmouth080840153032020000004503018010002267
Middlesex & London000140198040000000003605034140304783
National Police0000000100000000000100000000001
North American001440164023000000003404013040002155
North Staffordshire0101710920100000000031000000000031
North Wales0001004000000000000500000000005
Oxford Diocesan06052801605029001200000027201223035224087359
Oxford Society01025015702640100000061010000000162
Oxford University00000040030010000008000200000210
St David’s0000001000000000000100000000001
St Martin’s0107230166110721500001291001900000019110
Sherwood Youths0000000000000000000000000000000
South African0000000000000000000000000000000
Southwell & Nottingham00029104220260050000001050000000000105
Swansea & Brecon0104100100000000000700000000007
University of Bristol000300410200100000011000000000011
University of London00001020010010000005000500000510
Winchester & Portsmouth03022203610033101200010212217050805026148
Worcestershire & Districts0002203300300100000041010000000142
Central Council0000001001001000000300000000003
Non Affiliated2200349019190671202400000036805060205018386
Non Association0015912312115901400000090020200000494

Analysis of Peals by method and change on year

Spliced Surprise151444
Other spliced181451
Bristol Surprise435042
Cambridge Surprise536587
Lincolnshire Surprise21840
Yorkshire Surprise5159910
Other single Surprise363489

Maximus Total246252-648399



Cinques Total9399-61426-12

Spliced Surprise4251205
Bristol Surprise889144
Cambridge Surprise901052426
Lincolnshire Surprise261597
London No 3 Surprise656344
Swindon Surprise152600
Yorkshire Surprise78981411
Other single Surprise1271252420
Single Delight473974
Kent/Oxford TB211727
Plain Bob591213

Royal Total593629-3613812315



Caters Total176173318135

Spliced Surprise3423255347
Bristol Surprise2092362416
Cambridge Surprise1101111715
Ealing Surprise16601
Glasgow Surprise192120
Lessness Surprise464020
Lincolnshire Surprise70761212
London Surprise415795
Pudsey Surprise182678
Rutland Surprise535979
Superlative Surprise515596
Yorkshire Surprise1701954433
Other single Surprise62566257
Single Delight869700
Kent/Oxford TB9125854
Double Norwich CB393142
Plain Bob64536560

Major Total20062103-9732628838


Plain Bob251700

Triples Total225223227234

8+ methods1691564452
7 methods3464201822
2-6 methods1001182433
Cambridge Surprise535646
Other single Surprise101401
Plain Bob41472225

Minor Total722813-91113143-30


2+ methods9310310

Doubles Total120126-634-1


GRAND TOTAL48985107-209

Public Relations Committee

The Committee has met three times in the last year and communicates by email regularly between meetings.

Ringing Roadshow. The main focus of activity for 2008 was the Ringing Roadshow, held at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th September. With by far the largest attendance ever, in spite of the torrential rain, there were overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic observations from attendees and exhibitors alike. Attendance on Saturday was higher than that on Friday, as anticipated, but exhibitors were reportedly happy to have had the opportunity to meet visitors over the two day period. Organisation of the event was undertaken, on behalf of the Committee, by John Anderson, Eleanor Linford, Derek Smart and Stephanie Warboys. Consultants to the organisers were Steve Coleman (Concerts, seminars and much more) and Robin Walker (Mini-rings). To these people and all those who gave of their time to help, both at and before the event, we offer our grateful thanks.

Consideration is currently being given to a recommendation to the Council about a date for a future Ringing Roadshow. Consultations are underway with major stakeholders.

Liaison. Links are maintained with a working group from ringing organisations in the London area which aims to have ringing represented at the 2012 London Olympics. It is anticipated that Committee members will take the lead in promoting ringing activity in other areas of the country where Olympic events will take place. Also, members continue links with other Committees via their dual membership.

The Committee continues to collate up-to-date information on university societies for www.cccbr.org.uk. There is also a database of contact details for society and district secretaries.

The Complaints Helpline has offered advice in six cases. Three were full complaints, one was a request for advice, one an enquiry about sound control and the final one an enquiry from a society about how a clergyman might manage conflict with a ringer.

Publications. The supply of Recruitment leaflets continues, the total despatched since July 2008 being well in excess of 8000 and 120,000 since 2003. The design of the leaflet is under review.

Publicity posters continue to be available via the Publications Committee.

Initiatives. The Learn to Ring service receives on average ten enquiries per month. We are taking steps to improve the system.

Contact has been made with the producers of the BBC programme “Bells on Sunday”. Following up an initial contact, Michael Orme was invited to visit the BBC Manchester studios to review the stock of church bell recordings and offer advice on the quality of material available. These visits have resulted in details of each broadcast being published in The Ringing World. It is believed that this contact will lead to further developments in recording of bells in collaboration with the BBC.

Requests for information from outside organisations are frequent. Recent examples are a request for information from Lichfield Diocese, for a press release announcing the move of the Gillett & Johnston ring of ten bells from Hanley to Stone and the editor of the “London Almanac 2010” seeking contact details for ringing in London. An unexpected piece of publicity occurred on Saturday 21st February, when the Churches Conservation Trust launched a 40th birthday appeal titled “Bells Ring Across England”. This produced several televised news items featuring ringing. The CCT have now added us to their circulation list, so there may be early notification of any future events.

There have been changes to the Committee membership since the last Council meeting with Neil Donovan being co-opted and Peter Burgess standing down from the committee. We place on record our thanks to Peter for steering the Committee through a busy period during the lead up to the last Roadshow and the months beyond.

NEIL DONOVAN (Co-opted) (Chairman from January 2009)
PETER BURGESS (Chairman May 2008 - January 2009)

The Ringing World, April 24, 2009, pages 437 to 442

Publications Committee

Seven new publications were produced during the year. They were: Learning Curve 4, Ringing Basics for Beginners, Teaching Unravelled, CC Rules and Decisions (2007), and Rung Surprise (to end 2007), together with new editions of Plain Minor Methods and Treble Dodging Minor Methods. The first three of these sold particularly well.

Nine titles were reprinted: Beginners Handbook, Ringing Jargon Made Easy, Ringing Circles, Learning Curve 2, Learning Curve 3, Listen to Ringing CDs 1 and 2, An Unassuming Genius - The Life and Times of A J Pitman, and the DVD. It was pleasing to note the continuing great success of Ringing Circles and the need to reprint the A J Pitman book after only one year.

Bulk discounts were offered in March as usual, and advertisements were again placed in a number of Society reports. Our stall was busy on both days of the Ringing Roadshow. We took £3,800, slightly more than at the previous Roadshow. Our overall impression was that total sales did not, in themselves, justify a two day event, although a presence for the duration was advantageous for other reasons. We would like to record our thanks to Philip Green who very generously donated a splendid display banner, which greatly enhanced our stall and which will be in use for many years.

Income from sales of £13,300 remained at the 2007 level and the value of stock held rose by £1,000 to £10,600. The excess of income over expenditure rose to £1,200 from £210 and the total cash available remained steady at around £16,000. About £200 worth of slow selling stock was written off. The fund remains in a healthy state and should be adequate to support forthcoming projects.


Stocklist at December 31st 2008

TitleSales to
31 Dec 2008
Stock at
31 Dec 2008
Beginners Handbook296368
Towards Better Striking7847
Raising and Lowering8328
Ringing Jargon Made Easy239
Beginners Grandsire222211
Beginners Plain Bob2708
Doubles and Minor for Beginners100113
Triples and Major for Beginners37191
Ringing Circles712289
Ringing Skills5787
The Learning Curve Vol 1105176
The Learning Curve Vol 287282
The Learning Curve Vol 392282
The Learning Curve Vol 4213334
Listen to Ringing CD 1/CD237/3739/60
Ringing Basics for Beginners161178
Beginners Guide to Change Ringing on Handbells93127
Change Ringing on Handbells50249
The Tower Handbook57122
Learning Methods79194
Method Splicing1655
Understanding Place Notation5032
Will You Call a Touch Please, Bob?8141
Service Touches87183
Conducting Stedman5079
A Tutors Handbook39248
Tower Captains Handbook339
One Way to Teach Handling35174
Teaching Beyond Bell Handling22244
Teaching from Rounds to Bob Doubles47140
Simulators and Teaching1450
Kaleidoscope Ringing10956
Teaching Unravelled25168
Starting a New Band1192
Towers and Bells Handbook35225
The Bell Adviser7175
Schedule of Regular Maintenance95244
D-I-Y Guidelines8177
Organising a Bell Restoration Project24151
Sound Management15123
Splicing Bellropes60142
Change Ringing History Vol 123223
Change Ringing History Vol 320218
Centenary History of the Central Council388
Giants of the Exercise231
Giants of the Exercise Vol 23193
A J Pitman Biography57170
Dove’s Guide273998
Belfry Offices1077
Organising an Outing1870
Belfry Warning Notices732
Church Towers and Bells1357
CC Rules and Decisions 2007446
Getting it Right12143
Collection of Minor Methods7215
Plain Minor Methods41134
Treble Dodging Minor Methods38142
Collection of Principles763
Rung Surprise etc to end 20072626
Rung Surprise etc supplement to end 2006690
Handbook of Composition62
Spliced Minor Collection95
Grandsire Compositions811
10 Bell Compositions878
12+ Bell Compositions7100
Collection of Universal Compositions (for T D Major Methods)831

The Ringing World, April 24, 2009, page 443

Committee for Redundant Bells

The Committee has a dual and equal role of monitoring the developments within the Church of England and in other jurisdictions concerning redundant churches and redundant bells and administering the Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells. The work of the Committee as Trustees of the Rescue Fund is reported separately and is not therefore referred to in this Report.

The Committee keeps in touch with the central bodies of the Church of England involved in redundant churches: The Church Commissioners and the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division (formerly the Council for the Care of Churches). Many changes of personnel in the organisations have interrupted that communication but this is now restored and the Committee hopes will be enhanced during the coming year. It is certainly hoped that further discussions with the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division will enable this Committee to be able to involve the societies affiliated to the Central Council concerning the future of bells in potentially redundant churches much more effectively than has been possible previously.

Communication has also been established with the Churches Conservation Trust to enable the Committee to be more directly involved in the care and use of bells in the churches in the care of the Trust.

The Committee also hopes to be able to publish in The Ringing World (editor’s discretion permitting) material to keep interested ringers up to date with changes that are coming in to effect under the terms of the Dioceses Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007. This measure not only changes the procedures for dealing with redundant churches and their fittings but also raises the prospect of not only redundant parishes and their churches but also the concept of a redundant diocese!

At the end of 2008 the number of churches declared redundant under the Pastoral Measure since its introduction 40 years ago is 1,764. Of these churches 386 have been demolished; 341 have been transferred to what is now the Churches Conservation Trust, and the remainder have been converted to new uses.

The number of new cases has continued to slow. In 2008 there were 31 new cases but it is anticipated that there will only be 24 in 2009. The new measure, coming into effect later this year, will further reduce numbers as the legislation will enable churches in use to be adapted for mixed use without having to go through the redundancy procedures.

The Committee through John Baldwin continues informally to sponsor the development of a National Bell Register.

The Committee has dealt with individual enquiries concerning redundancy of churches, questions as to the future of affected bells and with individuals or churches enquiring as to either the disposal of or the acquisition of redundant bells.

The Committee has kept a watching brief on the future of the ring of ten at St Peters Brighton as the church has been the subject of controversial redundancy proposals. It appears the future of the church building is assured with the bells remaining in situ and as the church is now likely to continue in use within the Church of England there is a need for the bells to be rung as before.

All of the foregoing is related to England and the Central Council is of course international. Wales has been kept under review through the eyes of John Baldwin and the Committee had an active involvement when there was a prospect of the bells at Denbigh being disposed of. It is good news that those bells are now subject to an active restoration proposal.

Formal arrangements with the Church institutions in Scotland have so far been elusive. The Scottish Association will hold the key to involvement in any redundancy issues that arise.

The year saw the first case of a Church with a ring of bells becoming redundant outside of the United Kingdom - Holy Trinity Hobart in Australia - especially sad recalling the successful support by ringers in England for the bells to be restored. Happily ANZAB and the local ringers have been able to ensure the future of the bells as a ringing peal.

The recession has brought rapidly declining metal prices from the very high levels seen in 2008 and which prompted the Committee to write to DAC secretaries advising them of the value of redundant bells - the need for security to avoid them being stolen and to express the hope that despite the steadily increasing value of the bells as metal that the DACs would still encourage the preservation and re-use of existing castings.

The Committee is ever grateful to the Trustees of the Keltek Trust for ready cooperation and the availability of David Kelly as a consultant to the committee.


Ringing Centres Committee

The Ringing Centres Committee met twice during the year in the Ringing Chamber of St Martin-in-the Bullring, Birmingham. The primary pre-occupation of the Committee this year has been the Ringing Roadshow 2008 at Stoneleigh Park, and the very large amount of organisational effort that the Committee put into that event. In a joint enterprise between the Education Committee and the Ringing Centres Committee, the Personal Development Zone was created with a staff of nearly forty people. The main event was the launch of the Belfry Forums, a new Education Committee on-line Bulletin Board. The Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry was used for ringing training on site, whilst ringers were also taken out to local towers for Workshop sessions. In the PDZ we mounted a range of displays and were kept very busy throughout the event. The general consensus was that the initiative had worked very well.

It has continued to be a matter of concern to the Committee that apart from the welcome establishment of a new Ringing Centre at Kineton by Graham Nabb and his team, there have been no other potential centres coming forward. This situation which has persisted for a couple of years now needs to be addressed, and the Committee has been engaged in a major review of the whole Ringing Centres movement with a view to deciding the best way forward. A survey is being carried out seeking the views of ringers involved in current Ringing Centres, and an agreed discussion document is being circulated which carries various proposals which may be of interest and may be a way forward. This document includes a proposal that a new Ringing Schools Association be formed of current Ringing Centres, plus established regular ringing schools and other parties engaged in the teaching of ringing. What has been encouraging is that Ringing Centres continue to be beacons of excellence and encouragement around the country.

The Founders Prize for the Ringing Centre which has made the greatest contribution to the teaching of ringing in 2008 was awarded to the Prittlewell Ringing Centre and the Chairman had the pleasure of attending one of their training sessions at Prittlewell where the presentation from the Master of the Founders Company was specially organised, followed by a buffet lunch. The competition for the Founders Prize for the Encouragement of Young People was won by the West Lindsey Branch of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, and they received their award at the Roadshow.

As part of the major review in which the Committee is engaged and due to the low level of applications for the Founders Prizes in recent years, the Committee has been in discussion with the officers of the Founders Company. It has been agreed that for the time being the Founders Prizes will be suspended pending the outcome of the review process. The Founders have said that they are willing to support any revision of the scheme which the Committee may decide upon. At the time of writing the intention is that the money generously provided by the Founders will in future be used as a Grant Fund to which ringing schools can apply for small grants for equipment and bursaries for courses. We will be in a better position to progress when the survey work is completed.


The Ringing World, April 24, 2009, page 444

Ringing Trends Committee

The Committee met once last year in February 2008 with contact being maintained electronically for the remainder of the year. At the Council meeting in May four members were elected to the Committee. Frank Lewis, one of the co-opted members, who was no longer a member of Council, decided to stand down, although he has continued to assist the Committee with work on updating the website. In addition, invaluable assistance continues to be provided to the Committee by Jennifer Holden, who is not a member of Council.

Survey Results

Phase 1 of the programme was completed during the year with responses from all areas contacted except one, although this was due to circumstances beyond their control. Some of the information available from Phase 1 was presented in a leaflet at the Ringing Roadshow and is available on the Ringing Trends website.

As reported last year, Phase 2 of the project was considerably delayed and, in the event, it was late 2008 before this second phase was underway. The response to the Phase 2 questionnaires has been excellent and results are already available from the Carlisle Diocesan Guild and the Bath and Wells Diocesan Association. Phase 2 includes counties covered by some of the largest Societies with data still expected from the Oxford Diocesan Guild, Yorkshire Association, Sussex County Association, Essex Association and Leicester Diocesan Guild. We are very grateful to all of the Societies involved in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 for their considerable help in assisting with data collection and inputting information into spreadsheets.

All of the results obtained so far have been transferred into the database from the spreadsheets and the resulting datasets used to prepare the various charts. Although the data has not yet been statistically analysed the responses that we are getting are totally consistent. At this stage the Ringing Trends Committee wishes to apologise to members of Council for a graph showing the age of learners shown at the Council meeting in Newcastle last year. This graph caused much consternation and it was subsequently found that the data was erroneous because, in one of the spreadsheets, several of the columns covering the ages of learners had been transposed. All of the information in the database has now been rechecked and verified.

To date responses have been received from 1019 towers and nearly 7000 ringers and a number of graphs are presented using this information. The age range of ringers is shown at Fig 1. All of the recently obtained data from the various areas throughout the country is consistent with earlier data in showing a trend towards a much older ringing population. Compare this with a 2008 Office of National Statistics study, which calculated the average age of the general UK population as 39. There are many reasons for this trend but it is clear that many people do not learn to ring until they are over 40 (Fig 2). In the 1988 survey just 17% of ringers were over 40 when they learnt to ring and 58% were less than 20 years old. Those figures today are 35% and 42% respectively, which emphasises the trend towards older learners. Of the ringers that have responded so far nearly a quarter of them have been ringing for less than 5 years (Fig 3).

Figure 1: Ringers responding to the survey by age and gender (Number surveyed = 6957)
Ringers by age range bar graph

Figure 2: Age at which ringers started ringing
Ringers by age started ringing bar graph

Figure 3: Length of time ringers have been ringing
Ringers by years ringing bar graph

One of the questions asked in the survey is how many towers had a regular band and it is clear from Fig 4 that the greater the number of bells in the tower the more likelihood there is that there will be a regular band. Fig 5 shows the age range of tower captains and, not unexpectedly, 80% of them are over the age of 50. The state of ringing in the towers surveyed is at Fig 6, which indicates that 68% of bands are steady or prospering. Towers were also asked which methods they rang on practice nights and the results are at Fig 7.

Figure 4: Towers with regular bands by number of bells in the tower
(yes = regular band, no = no band)
Towers by numbers of bells bar graph

Figure 5: Age of tower captains (in years)
Age of tower captains pie chart

Figure 6: Reported state of bands in towers
State of bands pie chart

Figure 7: Methods rung on practice night by number of bells in the tower
Methods rung bar graph

One question frequently asked and not easy to answer is “how many ringers are there”.

In the sample survey carried out over 20 years ago, it was calculated that there were “probably” about 41,000 ringers in the British Isles. Our findings are that this number has probably reduced. Using the records kept by the Secretary to the Council, there were 35,612 ringers that were members of Societies in the UK in 2008. Within this number it is highly likely that there is duplication, with many members belonging to more than one society (eg. SRCY, ASCY etc), which could bring this figure down by up to 2,000 ringers. Of the ringers that have responded to the survey so far, 87% say that they belong to a society and the assumption is made that the remainder do not belong to a society. If this is applied to the CC figures the total number of ringers could be 39,000. Fig 8 shows the average number of ringers per bell by county. Here, as in all of the survey answers, where a tower gave no answer or did not respond, they were excluded from the summary. Where they gave a zero answer (110 towers), this was included in calculating the average.

Figure 8: Number of ringers per bell by county
Ringers per bell by county bar graph

University Ringing

University ringing societies are being used as an indicator for ringing amongst university students and a questionnaire survey of university societies in the United Kingdom is in progress. This involves questions similar to those of the main ringing trends questionnaire together with other questions particular to university societies. The specific questions include issues of student union affiliation and support and participation by non-students. At the end of February 36% of university societies had returned the questionnaire.

Initial results show that some university societies have sole practices, others share practices with local bands and some less active societies just act as contacts. The average percentage of student ringers attending university society practices is 58%. A high number (74%) of students involved in university ringing are studying sciences or engineering. The longer established societies have former students as officers to assist the student officers and also provide a source of assistance and continuity. Universities are teaching people to ring at all of the active societies who have responded so far and play an important part in the training of young people providing opportunities to progress in ringing terms and take on positions of responsibility. The ringing societies also ring for Sunday services.

Alongside the questionnaire an analysis of trends in university society peal ringing, using data from peals.co.uk has taken place. This shows that between 2004 and 2008, 519 peals were rung attributed to eighteen different university societies. There has been a decline in the number of peals rung by university societies from 2004 to 2008. However, the number of university societies ringing at least one peal in the year has risen from 13 to 15. Trends in quarter peal ringing have also been researched.

Other Voluntary Organisations

The Ringing Trends Committee has contacted other voluntary organisations to enquire about the state of their membership, recruitment, training and other issues similar to those being considered by our ringing surveys. We are particularly grateful to the Croquet Association and The Scout Association for their comprehensive responses. Other responses were from Bridge and Real Tennis players. The information obtained, together with other reference material, data from the Cabinet Office National Survey on volunteering, and EU reports, has been used towards an article for The Ringing World.

In addition, there have been recent separate reports in the media that other activities such as golf, morris dancing, other traditional dancing, folk singing, and cathedral choirs are all suffering a decline in interest especially amongst younger people, while a variety of university student clubs and societies are also seeing dramatic reductions in participation. Conversely, we have heard that ballroom dancing is undergoing a revival, perhaps as a direct result of high profile and extensive time on TV.

From all of the information gathered it is very clear that it is not only ringing that is reporting a decline in membership and participation, particularly amongst younger people. However, other organisations noted that focussed publicity and marketing campaigns can improve the situation. These other organisations suggest that the focus for the future must come from identifying the lifestyle and interests that attract individuals to participate and what the activity offers them. Word of mouth still seems to be a key way in which people are introduced to activities. However, the image of the activity can remain a problem and activities have to adapt as society changes.


During the year information from the survey has been provided to the Ringing Foundation and to individuals who have requested information. In addition, following our earlier reported findings, one Society is considering a change in their rules regarding older members.

The Ringing Trends Committee has decided that, because of the consistency of the information obtained so far, that it is not necessary to proceed with Phases 3 & 4 of the planned programme at present and intend to start preparing a final report once all of the information from Phase 2 of the survey has been analysed. In order to do this we need to test the statistical significance of the database and the Ringing Trends Committee would welcome the assistance of a statistician with this work.

For the future, the Committee plans to undertake some sample surveys of individual ringers and possibly undertake wider surveys to get a view of what encourages ringers to “stick” with ringing. In addition, a fuller picture of city centre ringing is considered essential.

The Ringing Trends Committee feel that the significance of the information obtained from this survey so far is of interest to the Ringing Foundation, CC Committees and ringing societies in general and will be reflecting on these issues in the next phases of their work.


The Ringing World, April 24, 2009, pages 445 to 447

Towers and Belfries Committee

Three meetings were held during the year, two at Evesham and the other at Christ Church, Oxford. James Clarke has taken over the chair from Chris Povey, who was thanked for his work during his chairmanship; he continues to serve on the Committee.

Mike Banks from Derbyshire and David Kirkcaldy from Sussex were welcomed as new members and they have already been put to work. Our thanks go to outgoing member Hugh Routh for his support during his three years with the Committee. We have no members residing north of Derbys./Notts., but transport links in this area are good and allow us to serve most areas north of there, without too much difficulty.

Our stock-in-trade of advice to “The Exercise” continues, with the chairman taking emails and ’phone calls from ringers, priests, PCC members and even one from a noise complainant. The principal subject on which we are questioned these days is sound control, together with internal and external acoustics. This fact was born out at the Ringing Roadshow, where our guests regularly questioned us on various scenarios. In each case we offered an inspection but only a few have so far materialised into requests for a report.

Following this increase in interest, the Committee has decided to respond by organising a one day seminar on the subject. Our new member Mike Banks, having done a lot of work on the subject for the Derby Diocesan Association, is leading our team with this effort and we hope to set a day up in Derbyshire during late September or early October 2009. If it proves successful and there is sufficient demand, we intend to repeat the exercise in 2010, a little further south.

Only one tower movement survey has been completed during the last year, at St Saviour’s, Eastbourne. There are still two outstanding requests for surveys, and arrangements are currently being made to complete these. Our only difficulty with these surveys now, is that all three of the members who are able to carry out the work, are busy professionals who have to arrange mutually convenient dates with the parishes concerned; hence the occasional delay.

The Committee has been represented at several meetings during the year, between EH and the CCCBR, and the CBC and the CCCBR. For those interested in the subject matter discussed, the Secretary always publishes an account in The Ringing World.

Following last year’s report, and several recent high profile cases of difficulty with movement in newly installed bell frames, the Committee is continuing to attempt to bring the issue to the notice of those professionals and conservation bodies involved in like projects elsewhere, and to offer some advice on how they might avoid problems of this nature in the future.

Maintenance courses were arranged by the Bath & Wells Diocesan Association and the Truro Diocesan Guild, and instruction given by the chairman. Unfortunately due to difficulties in agreeing a mutually convenient date, one other Society was unable to complete arrangements for a similar course. The Committee feels that this work is important and if Societies are unable to arrange speakers/ instructors for their own courses, we will try to make a member available.

The Committee’s website continues to be monitored, and we are content with the advice that it offers at this time.

The bell rope supply situation seems to be giving less difficulty these days, though with only one major supplier now in business, the situation is somewhat precarious. Ellis & Pritchard’s are however keen to oblige and urge anyone with a problem to get in touch.


Bell Restoration Committee

The Committee met three times in 2008; in London in February, in Newcastle in May during the Council weekend, and in London in October.


There have been changes to the membership and composition of the Committee during the year. Kate Flavell resigned as Chairman after the May meeting but remains on the Committee. Carol Hardwick has now taken over as Chairman and her place as Secretary has been taken by Robin Shipp, who was elected an Honorary Member of Council at the Newcastle meeting. Peter Wilkinson also joined the Committee.

Laith Reynolds, John Barnes and Ken Davenport will stand down at the 2009 Council but make themselves available for re-election. This leaves four vacancies on the Committee as we wish to have a committee of ten. Jackie Roberts advised that she proposes to stand down at the 2010 Council.

Provision of Information and Advice

We continue to maintain contact with parishes and individuals across the United Kingdom, and occasionally from overseas. Mostly, these are requests for general fundraising advice but we are also pleased to receive news of ongoing projects. We had more than 40 contacts over an eight-month period last year and these included 27 initial contacts. While the printed word is good communication, people are more likely to take in ideas during a face-to-face discussion and we are happy from time to time to visit a parish to help get a fund raising plan under way. One such visit was made in 2008 to a Hampshire parish. We still provide a service for searches of grant making trusts using the FunderFinder system: we received 21 enquiries in 2008 and completed 9 searches.

Advice to Charities (such as bell restoration funds) was given in a letter to The Ringing World. It was pointed out that Charities preparing accruals accounts should have been using the new Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP 2005) when preparing their trustees’ annual reports and accounts for accounting periods beginning on or after 1st April 2005. It seems that many Treasurers and Independent Examiners are still unaware of this requirement and the Charity Commission is known to be requiring corrections to be made in arrears. Reference was made to the Charity Commission website for further details.

We are working on updating the Appendices to “Organising a Bell Restoration Project” with a view to considering publishing these separately on the website, as the information in the Appendices goes out of date more quickly than the booklet itself. However, we need to be confident that we have the resources to keep them up to date.

2008 Roadshow

The BRC stand at the Roadshow was generally thought to be successful. Around 70 leaflets were distributed and there were several valuable opportunities to meet existing and potential parish contacts face to face. The Central Council Bell Fund benefited from the sales of jigsaws with a bellringing theme (£1,860 at £20 each), a quiz (£158 at £1 per entry) and an anonymous donation of £200. We thank all those who generously offered prizes for the quiz.

We have recorded our comments (which are intended to be constructive) on the organisation of the event to help us plan our contribution to the next Roadshow.

Administration of Funds

As reported previously, no further grants will be made from the Manifold Trust. A few outstanding grants remain to be paid on completion of the work. A new bell was cast for Stanion, Northamptonshire, in June in memory of Sir John Smith and Lady Smith attended the casting. The project at Stanion is complete and the six bells were tried out in October.

The level of the Central Council Bell Fund stands at less than half that for which it would be worthwhile inviting applications. Work is still needed, however, to follow up the progress of projects already offered grants and where the work in some cases has been delayed. We have an arrangement with The Ringing World to repeat a small advertisement inviting legacies and the encouraging success of the sale of jigsaws at the Roadshow has already been mentioned.

In accordance with the terms of the Fund, the Fred E Dukes International Bell Fund offered the following grants: Christchurch Anglican Church, Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia: £3,022 and All Saints, Fourways Gardens, Johannesburg, South Africa: £787. Further applications for grants have been invited.

Future Work

Noting that Ray Ayres’ article, published on the back page of The Ringing World on 25th April 2008, had provided valuable information on choosing a contractor, we are working on a check list to assist parishes to ensure that they are comparing like with like when considering estimates.

The Committee has access to a considerable amount of material in paper form which would be useful to fund raisers - for example, ideas for posters. Work has started to make this available for download from the website in order to support information in the booklet “Organising a Bell Restoration Project”.

ROBIN SHIPP (Secretary)

Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine Collection

In the past year the Carter Ringing Machine was demonstrated at the Bellfoundry Museum on April 5th. As is usual a tour of the Bellfoundry followed the demonstration.

Attendance at the Roadshow demonstrated the Machine for the most part but taking the machine to pieces to illustrate further the working parts and their functions (although complicated) interested many of the visitors. The Stewards much appreciated the time given by Alan Bagworth (a former Steward) for his full time attendance at the show to assist in the demonstrating.

A revised and expanded inventory of the Collection belonging to the Council has been prepared. Renewal of the loan agreement between the Council and The John Taylor Bellfoundry Museum of Taylors, Eayre and Smith is under consideration.

An additional “Cummins” Electronic Machine, formerly the property of Walter Dobbie, and now the property of the Kent County Association of Change Ringers, has been lodged with the Bellfoundry Museum.

It is anticipated that the Carter Ringing Machine will be demonstrated at the Bellfoundry Museum in the late Spring and early Autumn of 2009.


Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour

The two Memorial Books were returned to their display case at St Paul’s Cathedral after being shown at the 2008 Ringing Roadshow, the first time they have been displayed at such an event. The books and display case are in good condition and their pages are regularly turned.

Peter Trotman has undertaken a great deal of work on the electronic version of the Great War Roll, enabling records to be searched by Name as well as Cemetery / Memorial, Regiment / Service, Rank, Guild / Society / Association. In addition there are now, through various visits to Belgium, France, Turkey and various parts of the UK, photographs of 927 ringers’ Graves or Memorials. These will all be added to the website as soon as possible.

After the recent addition of 77 names to the Great War Roll that book now contains 1208 names, all but 50 have links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, research is ongoing to try and find these “missing” names. Recent research has confirmed some 30 more names which will be added to the Great War Roll in the future. It is important to inform Council Members that the Great War Roll book is now effectively full and more pages will be needed in the future; I feel that, based on research to date, there is likely to be a significant number of names to be added.

During the year an electronic version of the Roll of the Second World War has been added to the Council’s website, work is in hand to provide the same links and functionality that the Great War Roll currently has. The Second World War Roll contains 300 names.

Articles have been published in The Ringing World on ringing Servicemen commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial and one on the Second World War Roll being made available on line. More articles are planned to raise awareness as we approach the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War and the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

Many thanks to Peter Trotman on the enormous amount of work he has undertaken to make the records more widely available.


Report of the Stewards of the Dove Database

The work of the Stewards takes place almost every day of the year without exception, and the amount and extent of that work is plainly evident for all to see: simply go to the Dove pages within the Council’s website and there on the Home page are listed the entries which have been changed in some respect, and precisely when.

During 2008 we made over 1,500 changes to one aspect or another of the Dove data. Notification of these normally arrives via e-mail, with each one being individually acknowledged. In addition we received, processed, and replied to over 1,100 submissions of data adding to, or correcting that already showing, in the proto-National Bell Register (pNBR) within Dove. The “record number” of pNBR submissions received and processed in any one day was 28. Almost all of these communications will involve some modification of the data within the underlying database and it is that database from which reports are generated to “drive” the Dove search facility and which form the associated lists and webpages. A new version of each of these is uploaded typically every day, usually late in the evening. The task of ensuring that no inconsistencies arise as a result of changes is a not insignificant one in itself (for example, ensuring that a tower newly becoming unringable no longer also shows a practice night) and that aspect is carefully scrutinised by Tim Jackson for being as error-free as we can manage.

Some of these many changes were triggered as a result of our Home webpage reaction to a letter in the RW (2008/p158). That letter suggested that there were many discrepancies between Dove and the web-based information of the relevant society, and so we made a conscious effort to improve what we were showing. That issue itself introduces the question of whether the inclusion of practice night information within a future printed Dove might actually be more misleading than it is helpful bearing in mind the frequency of change.

Towards the end of the year, and after due notice on the website and in the RW, we made a small change to the county names used, particularly (but not confined) to Wales and Scotland, and after comments and guidance from ringers with local knowledge. We do not anticipate that any further changes will be made in the foreseeable future to this aspect of the compilation. One side effect of that exercise was to render the previous tabulation of unringable towers (as provided annually to the Towers & Belfries Committee) slightly incompatible with what would be available in the future, and so we have chosen to make that table now a part of the 3-monthly county lists, updated versions of which are produced at the end of each March, June, September, and December. This is another part of our work undertaken by Tim Jackson.

Other new Dove features which made their appearance during the year include the possibility for all data (including those shown in the pNBR details) to be shown in metric units; the presence of a simulator in a tower; (for UK towers) the tower’s postcode; and a slight revamp in the presentation of search results which makes it more obvious how to open a webpage showing more of the tower’s details and the table of bells therein. We continue to be grateful for the professional IT expertise freely offered to the Council and Dove by Sid Baldwin, and to Ron Johnston, our co-opted adviser.

Also we have started work on the implementation of a new underlying database to hold the Dove data (on a product called Ffenics - pronounced “phoenix”) and to report from it. Bringing that up to the state of the present application (something which has been developed over a period of almost 20 years) will not be a quick process and it is anticipated that there will be a prolonged period of parallel running until we can be thoroughly confident that all the present and foreseen features are working satisfactorily and that all the data can be transferred across satisfactorily.

The existence and continued updating of the pNBR data within Dove seems to have been well-received and we would suggest to Council that - now it has been demonstrated as a viable concept - it is appropriate to endorse this now as an official Council project. No additional expense is envisaged as a result of making that decision, and the Committee for Redundant Bells (the original source of the idea for incorporating this within Dove) supports this recommendation to Council. In so doing, we do urge members of Council to ask those who have accurate data but which is not yet shown on the webpages to make it available via the facility provided. It is pleasing to learn that some societies (in consultation with us) have felt it appropriate to “drive” the tower section of their web site by making a link across to the appropriate Dove webpage.

We envisage that the task of preparing for a 10th printed edition will soon begin and in close collaboration with the Publications Committee.

RON JOHNSTON (co-opted)

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells


The charity is not incorporated. The constitution derives from rules adopted on the 29th May 1979 and amended on the 26th May 2008 and registered with the Charity Commission on the 22nd October 1979. The Charity’s registration number is 278816.

The principal address of the Charity is that of the secretary namely:- 8 LEBANON GARDENS, LONDON SW18 1RG.

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

The Trustees of the Fund are the members of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Committee for Redundant Bells namely:-

J. C. Baldwin
R. J. Cooles
A. J. Frost
I. Hastilow
J. Newman
J. Wilkinson
The Honorary Secretary is: R. J. Cooles
The Honorary Treasurer is: J. C. Baldwin.

The Trustees’ report of the Fund’s activities for the year ended 31st December 2008 is as follows:-

The Trustees have been preoccupied during the year endeavouring to see through to fulfilment the schemes where loans, still outstanding at the end of 2007, have been provided to parishes. They are: the use of the bells from the church at Cradley Heath Birmingham in a new ring of bells at St Mary Moseley; the use of three bells from Highfield Liverpool to help provide a new ring of bells at St Alban Wickersley (near Rotherham); and the search for a suitable home for the ring of eight bells from All Saints Northampton displaced by the new ring of ten installed at that church.

In none of the cases was there progress by the year end and the Trustees were of a mind that matters could not be left to wait indefinitely; those who have provided loans to the Fund were entitled to see steps being taken to effect a repayment of the loans.

In the case of Wickersley or Moseley, a failure of the arrangements with the Fund would mean that the bells were returned to the Keltek Trust to see if an alternative scheme could be put together. In the case of Northampton the bells would have to be released for re-use as metal rather as cast bells for other projects.

With loan facilities fully committed on these three projects the Rescue Fund has not especially been looking for new projects but the Fund is, of course, intended to offer “demand led” solutions. The future of the ten bells at St John the Evangelist Hanley came into question again during the year - this having been a long running concern. The Fund stood by to assist in the raising of funds necessary to secure their safe removal from the church and subsequent storage but in the event it proved possible for the future of the bells to be secured without the Rescue Fund having to provide cash. Congratulations are in order to those within the Diocese of Lichfield who were able to achieve this.

We have continued in close touch with the Keltek Trust to endeavour to ensure that resources of the Trust and its own Rescue Fund are complemented by the resources that our Fund can provide in case of need.

The Trustees are immensely grateful for the very loyal support of those ringers who have undertaken to provide loans for the Fund - who are universally quick to provide a generous response and immensely patient in awaiting a return for their generosity. As always new promises of loans are welcome and the Trustees hope that Council members will consider offering a loan.

The Accounts for 2008 are set out separately.

Honorary Secretary

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

Registered Charity No 278816

Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 31 December 2008
Incoming resources2008 2007
Interest receivable1264
Loans from ringers00
Loan repayment (part) from parishes010,000

Resources expended
Loans to parishes020,000
Part repayments of ringers’ loans09,920

Net incoming resources1219,856
Balances at 1 January 200825620,112
Balances at 31 December 2008268256
Balance Sheet as at 31 December 2008
Current assets
Debtors: loans to parishes (see Note 1)18,02018,020
Cash in hand and on deposit268256
Total current assets18,28818,276
Current liabilities
Interest free loans (by ringers: see Note 2)5,0805,080

Net current assets13,20813,196
Total Funds13,20813,196

Note 1:
Three loans to parishes are currently outstanding, viz £10,000, £4020, £4000

Note 2:
Final repayments of ringers’ loans will be made when loans to parishes are repaid

J C Baldwin
9 March 2009

The Ringing World, April 24, 2009, pages 448 to 451

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