Minutes of the Second Session of the Fourteenth Council (39th annual meeting), held at the Town Hall, Liverpool, on Whitsun Tuesday, May 26th, 1931, at 11 o’clock.

Prior to the meeting, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool (Alderman Edwin Thompson), in the chair, supported by the Lord Bishop of Liverpool (Dr. David), welcomed the Council to Liverpool, and the Lord Bishop, on behalf of all church people, expressed his gratitude for the work undertaken by the Council.

The President returned thanks, and on the invitation of the Lord Mayor, took the chair. Prayers were offered by the Lord Bishop.


Ancient Society of College Youths: Mr. T. Faulkner.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: Messrs. A. E. Sharman and A. King.
Cambridge University Guild: Messrs. E. H. Lewis and E. M. Atkins.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Rev. C. A. Clements, Messrs. G. A. Taylor and H. S. Brocklebank.
Devon Guild: Rev. E. S. Powell.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. S. J. Hughes.
Ely Diocesan Association: Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt Drake and Mr. T. R. Dennis.
Essex County Association: Messrs. G. R. Pye and E. J. Butler.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Messrs. A. C. Hazelden, G. Grover and A. H. Pulling.
Hertford County Association: Mr. W. Ayre.
Kent County Association: Mr. T. Groombridge, E. Barnett, sen., and F. M. Mitchell.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher.
Lancashire Association: Canon H. J. Elsee, Messrs. W. H. Shuker, G. R. Newton and A. Tomlinson.
Lincolnshire Diocesan Guild: Rev. H. Law James, Rev. H. T. Parry, Messrs. G. Chester and R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Messrs. J. W. Jones and J. Phillips.
London County Association: Messrs. F. E. Dawe and A. D. Barker.
Middlesex County Association: Messrs. C. T. Coles, W. H. Hollier, W. Pickworth and G. W. Fletcher.
Midland Counties Association: Rev. R. P. Farrow, Messrs. E. Denison Taylor, J. H. Swinfield and W. Willson.
Norwich Diocesan Association: Mr. A. L. Coleman.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Canon G. F. Coleridge, Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, Messrs. F. Hopgood and J. Evans.
Oxford Society: Mr. W. G. E. Collett.
Oxford University Society: Mr. H. Miles.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Messrs. T. Law, T. Tebbutt and F. Wilford.
St. Clement’s Youths: Mr. G. H. Cross.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: Rev. F. Ll. Edwards and Mr. C. H. Jennings.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society: Messrs. H. Knight and T. J. Elton.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Mr. J. Parker.
Suffolk Guild: Rev. H. Drake and Mr. C. Mee.
Surrey Association: Messrs. C. Dean and C. H. Kippin.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Association: Mr. A. J. Pitman.
Warwickshire Guild: Messrs. F. W. Perrens and H. Argyle.
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild: Mr. G. Williams.
Worcestershire and Districts Association: Mr. R. G. Knowles.
Yorkshire Association: Rev. C. C. Marshall and Mr. P. J. Johnson.
Hon. members.- Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Alderman J. S. Pritchett, Messrs. C. F. Johnston, H. W. Wilde, W. A. Cave, J. A. Trollope, E. W. Elwell, J. S. Goldsmith, A. A. Hughes and E. A. Young (hon. secretary).

Thus thirty-six associations were represented by 71 members, and ten hon. members were present, making a total attendance of 81.


Apologies for absence were received from Major J. H. B. Hesse, Rev. W. P. Wright, Messrs. T. Metcalfe, R. G. Black, W. J. Nevard, C. H. Howard, H. G. Bird, W. Story, W. T. Cockerill, J. Clark, J. D. Matthews, H. Barton, C. E. Borrett, N. Golden, S. F. Palmer and S. Hillier.


The President referred to the death of the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, Canon W. W. C. Baker and Mr. T. Hervey Beams, and as a mark of respect the members stood in silence.

New members presented to the president were Mr. A. King (Bedfordshire Association) and Mr. Taylor (Chester Association).


Mr. Young, who was persuaded to remain in office last year, intimated that he wished to retire. The president tendered thanks for the efficient way he had served the Council and the work he had done. Mr. Young responded, and offered his assistance to his successor in office.


The only nomination received was that of Mr. G. W. Fletcher (Middlesex Association), and on the president’s motion, his election was agreed to. The secretary tendered thanks and invited the cooperation of the members.


It was proposed by Mr. C. T. Coles, seconded by Mr. W. H. Hollier and carried, that the minutes as published be taken as read, and approved.


The secretary reported the withdrawal of the Doncaster and District Society.

The receipts for the year included £14 3s. 6d, contributed by honorary members towards cost of the book on the preservation of bells, and £2 8s. 1d. from sale of publications. Total receipt £55 1s. 7d.

Expenditure, including £52 10s. for printing and £2 14s. 6d. for repairs to Carter ringing machine, was £61 15s. 9d. Balance in hand £47 14s. 9d.

The expenditure on the Carter machine was authorised on the proposal of Mr. J. Hunt, seconded by Mr. F. E. Dawe.

The accounts were adopted on the motion of the president.


The hon. librarian acknowledged receipt of historical records relating to the College Youths, 1756-1788, prepared by Mr. J. A. Trollope, and put into typewritten form by Mr. W. G. Wilson.

New stock consisted of a revised book on the preservation of bells, the cost of printing being defrayed by the honorary members - the report on the law affecting church bells, prepared by the Legal Committee and printed through the generosity of the Rev. H. Drake - and method sheets in large type.

The method sheets of Grandsire, Stedman and Cambridge had been sold, and, with the permission of the president, more had been printed.

The Guildford Diocesan Guild had purchased certain books for resale to its members.

Application had been made for method sheets on Double Norwich, and as two methods could be printed at practically the same cost as one, the Standing Committee recommended the inclusion of Cambridge Court.

The Council had been asked to advertise in the rule book of the London County Association.

Sales were the best since 1926-27 and showed a profit of £2 8s. 1d.

To encourage associations to make purchases of books, it was proposed by Mr. Goldsmith, seconded by Mr. Cave and carried, that a discount of one penny in the shilling be allowed to associations on the purchase at one time of not less than one dozen copies of the Council’s publications.

The action, of the president in authorising the printing of method sheets was confirmed.

It was decided not to advertise in affiliated societies’ rule books and reports, as it was thought that societies should advertise the Council’s publications free of cost.

Instructions were given to print method sheets of Double Norwich and Cambridge Court.

On the president’s motion, the hon. librarian’s report was adopted.

Permission was given to the Rev. H. Drake to print certain notes regarding the liability of church authorities to obtain faculties for the moving of bells, and the hon. librarian agreed to insert a copy in each book on the law affecting church bells.

Thanks were accorded to Mr. Drake.


Members retiring according to rule were the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and Mr. J. W. Parker.

One vacancy occurred through the death of the Rev. C. D. P. Davies, and the Rev. E. W. Carpenter had tendered his resignation. Mr. J. W. Parker did not seek re-election.

The Standing Committee recommended the re-election of the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson and the election of Messrs. E. W. Elwell, A. A. Hughes and S. H. Wood.

On the proposal of Canon Elsee, seconded by Mr. A. E. Sharman, this was carried.

The Rev. E. W. Carpenter’s resignation was not accepted.


Standing Committee.- The hon. secretary (Mr. Young) reported that in accordance with the authority given at the last meeting, the committee had considered the revision of the rules.

No success had attended the efforts to obtain cheaper travelling facilities for members of the Council.

The committee recommended that as a mark of appreciation the Council recognise by some small gift the work of Mr. Fardon and Mr. Sharman, who had overhauled the Carter ringing machine, and suggested they be appointed as demonstrators and allowed to charge a fee of 10s. 6d. for demonstrating the machine.

On the president’s motion it was agreed to present to Mr. Fardon and Mr. Sharman a copy each of Mr. Morris’ ‘History and Art of Change Ringing,’ or a book of similar value, and to appoint them officially as demonstrators of the machine.

The committee recommended the appointment of Mr. A. A. Hughes as trustee of the Carter ringing machine in the place of the Rev. C. D. P. Davies.

On the President’s motion this was agreed.

Alteration of Rules.- On behalf of the committee it was proposed by Mr. Young, seconded by the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, that the following be substituted, for Rules 1 and 2:-

1. That the Council be known as the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

1a. That any recognised society, association or guild (hereinafter referred to under the general term societies) numbering not less than seventy-five members should be eligible for affiliation to the Council.

2. That the Council consist of representative members from all affiliated societies. The representation to be in the following proportion (as set out in the original rule).

Amendments were proposed by Mr. W. W. Willson and Alderman Pritchett.

Alternative proposals were made by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, seconded by Mr. G. Grover, supported by Mr. W. A. Cave.

Mr. E. W. Elwell proposed and the Rev. C. A. Clements seconded that the Council proceed to the next business, as the propositions now brought before them were not in accordance with the rules because notice had not been given. This was carried.

The Standing Committee’s report omitting the proposed alterations of rules was adopted on the proposal of the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, seconded by Mr. W. A. Cave.

Later it was decided on the President’s motion, seconded by the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn, that the following special committee be appointed to consider the revision of the rules and give due notice in time for next year’s meeting. Committee: Messrs. J. S. Goldsmith, W. A. Cave, C. T. Coles, E. W. Elwell and G. W. Fletcher.

Peal Collection Committee.- The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson reported that peal of Major with the tenors parted had been dealt with, and these would be typed as soon as the peals of Royal and Maximus had been completed.

On President’s motion the report was adopted.

Literature and Press.- The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards reported that the outstanding literary event of the year was Mr. E. Morris’ book, ‘The History and Art of Change Ringing,’ which had been extensively reviewed in a large number of journals.

Another book was the work of Mr. H. C. Andrews, of the East Herts Archæological Society, on John Briant, the celebrated Hertfordshire bell founder.

Mr. Morris and Mr. J. R. Nicholls had also contributed numerous articles to religious and secular press, including trade journals.

Favourable reports of bells and bellringing had appeared in several periodicals, whilst complaints against bells in the ‘Daily Mirror’ had been answered.

A report of the Central Council for the Care of Churches had been issued advising the employment of a skilled architect in the first instance in all cases of alterations to bells, etc., before any bellfounder was asked to visit the church.

Agitation to discontinue the tolling of a bell on the death of a parishioner in a Surrey village had, with the advice of the committee, been satisfactorily settled.

The attention of the B.B.C. had been called to the omission of broadcasts of bells in their Christmas programmes, and a favourable reply had been received.

The president, in proposing the acceptance of the report, voiced a suggestion that had been, made to prepare a short bibliography of ringing books to assist towers which contemplated starting a library, and invited the committee to undertake this work.

The proposal was seconded by Alderman Pritchett with the suggestion that the bibliography should relate only to ringing books and only include books on bells that would be used for the purpose of ringing.

The president’s suggestion was accepted and the report adopted.

Peals Analysis Committee.- Mrs. G. W. Fletcher proposed and Mr. C. T. Coles seconded the adoption of the committee’s report which had been published, subject to two small alterations in the details concerning the Middlesex Association.

After considerable discussion regarding the deletion of a peal rung at Isham, it was agreed that there was no rule of the Council which justified the committee leaving it out of the records.

Mr. Barnett drew attention to another small error regarding the ‘Edwin’ peal of Bob Major, which was stated as Grandsire. He also objected to a peal included as Double Little Bob, which was the same as a method rung previously and named Erith Little Bob. The Rev. H. Law James and Messrs. G. Cross and P. Johnson also spoke as to this objection, but no action was taken.

The report was adopted with five members dissenting.

Methods Committee.- The Rev. H. Law James proposed the adoption of the Methods Committee’s report, which had been published.

He referred to the Minor Method Collection, which had been left over pending a decision concerning the title page, and, in response to an enquiry by Mr. Hunt, said an amicable settlement had been reached between his committee and the Standing Committee.

He asked for directions as to whether the committee should next proceed with the Triples section, and after that a book on Surprise methods or plain methods of Royal, Cinques and Maximus.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed and Mr. C. T. Coles seconded that the Minor Methods Collection be printed and that the names of the Council and its officers, together with the names of the committee, be printed on the cover and title page. Agreement had been reached on this matter.

Mr. J. A. Trollope disagreed with the proposal, which was a departure from the practice of the last 35 years. The committee should be given full recognition for its work, and no other names should appear. Mr. W. W. Willson and Mr. C. T. Coles supported Mr. Trollope.

An amendment to leave out officers’ names was proposed by Mr. E. M. Atkins, seconded by Mr. W. W. Willson, but was not carried.

Mr. E. A. Young referred to the need of advertising the Council, and Mr. Paddon Smith voiced the opinion that all publications should, bear the names of the Council and its officers.

The motion was then put and declared carried nem con.

On the proposal of the Rev. H. Drake, seconded by Mr. W. Ayre, it was agreed to proceed with the Triples methods section, Mr. J. A. Trollope explaining what the book would contain.

A discussion was then initiated by the president as to whether the committee should undertake a collection of Surprise methods or a collection of plain Royal, Cinques and Maximus methods.

Mr. J. A. Trollope was of opinion that a book on Major Surprise methods was wanted, but some time must elapse before it could be produced. The time was not ripe for a book on plain Royal, Cinques and Maximus.

Mr. J. S. Goldsmith suggested a selection of Treble Bob methods as being of more practical use.

The Rev. H. Law James wished to finish the plain methods by publishing a small collection of plain Royal, Cinques and Maximus.

The discussion closed on the President suggesting that Mr. J. A. Trollope and the Rev. H. Law James each undertook the work suggested by them.

Mr. J. A. Trollope reported that nothing had yet been done regarding the revision of the report on regular methods, which was referred to the committee last year. After the Rev. E. S. Powell had explained the difficulty created by the multiplication of methods in one peal, it was decided to leave the matter over to next year.

Tower and Belfries Committee.- The Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn reported on the work in his diocese, and the hon. secretary read the report of Major J. H. B. Hesse, which referred to work at Solihull, Haslemere and Wrington. Mr. E. A. Young reported giving advice respecting the tower at Howden Church, which had been damaged by fire.

The President reported on the proposed restoration of the bells at St. Benedict’s Church, Cambridge, and referred to the inspection made by him with Mr. Powys, secretary to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and Mr. Goldsmith.

Particulars of the scheme to commemorate the Tercentenary of Fabian Stedman by restoring these bells had already been published.

With the full approval of the instigator of the scheme, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, the Standing Committee thought it desirable that the Council should give sanction for the appeal to the ringers of the country. A committee should be appointed to co-operate with the Parochial Church Council and a grant of £10 10s. be made to the Commemoration Fund.

The president proposed and the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards seconded that the verbal reports of the members of the committee be adopted, including the recommendations that the Council make a grant of £10 10s. towards the Stedman Commemoration Fund, and that the committee be appointed by the Tower and Belfries Committee. The motion was carried.

Mr. A. Paddon Smith proposed and Mr. E. A. Young seconded the appointment of the Rev. C. W. O. Jenkyn as treasurer of the fund. Agreed.

Records Committee.- No report was submitted by this committee as the papers had been mislaid.

Mr. G. L. Grover offered to prepare a report covering two years, and the hon. secretary was instructed to search for the missing papers.


Muffled Ringing.- It was proposed by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, seconded by Mr. W. A. Cave and carried, that when any peal, practice or ringers’ meeting previously arranged happens through unforeseen circumstances to coincide with an occasion of public mourning, whether national or local, it should be the normal procedure to make emergency arrangements with the proper authorities for the muffling of bells before use, care being taken, unless otherwise directed, to have the muffles removed at the conclusion of the ringing.

Register of Compositions.- Mr. G. R. Newton proposed and Mr. A. E. Sharman seconded that in the interests of the Exercise this Council takes such steps as they deem necessary for the registration of compositions.

The Rev. H. Law James reminded the Council that a collection of Plain Major and Treble Bob Major peals had been compiled, and suggested that a collection of Surprise compositions be prepared.

Mr. J. A. Trollope was of opinion that it was impossible to get a register of compositions to decide what should be called original. The Rev. E. S. Powell agreed with this view.

The Rev. H. S. T. Richardson suggested the preparation of a pamphlet on variations, and after various opinions had been expressed, it was agreed to form a small committee for the purpose of considering the question of a register and preparing the suggested pamphlet, consisting of the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Mr. H. W. Wilde and Mrs. Fletcher, with power to add to their number. The committee to give itself its own name and appoint its own convener. Mr. Newton agreed to this action.

Covering Bells.- Mr. J. S. Goldsmith proposed and Mr. A. H. Pulling seconded that this Council deprecates the ringing of peals of Minor with a covering bell or bells, and peals of Doubles with, more than one covering bell, and recommends guilds and associations to discourage the practice. The motion was carried.

Use of Terms.- The Rev. H. Drake proposed and Mr. C. Mee seconded that (a) the words Reverse, Double, Little or Bob be not used as names of methods, and (b) that the terms ‘shunt’ or ‘hunting backwards’ are not approved. The motion was lost.


The Standing Committee recommended that the next meeting be held at Wells.

Other proposals were:-

The voting was: Plymouth 36, Bath 31, Bournemouth 6.


Mr. T. Faulkner proposed and Mr. C. H. Kippin seconded that a notice of meeting, together with a copy of the agenda, be sent to all members at least ten days before such meeting.

The motion was lost.


The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards reminded the Council that the Literature Committee was charged with the defence of ringers’ rights, and urged that the help of the committee should be invited when rights were threatened.


The thanks of the Council, proposed by the president, were accorded to:-

Canon Elsee responded.

A vote of thanks to the president, proposed by Canon Elsee, concluded the meeting at about 5 o’clock.

The Ringing World, March 18th, 1932, pages 186 to 188

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