Minutes of the Third Session of the fifteenth Council (43rd annual meeting), held in the Council Chamber, Shrewsbury Castle, Shrewsbury, on Whitsun Tuesday, 11th June, 1935, at 11 o’clock.

The Lord Bishop of Lichfield extended a cordial welcome on behalf of the Church and also on behalf of the Mayor, who was prevented from being present.

The President, in his reply, congratulated the Lord Bishop of Lichfield on the completion of 25 years as Bishop of the Diocese.

Apologies from the Mayor and the Lord Bishop of Hereford were read by the President.

The Lord Bishop of Lichfield opened the meeting with prayer and the President took the chair.


Ancient Society of College Youths: Mr. A. B. Peck.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association: Mr. H. W. Brown, Mr. J. T. Dyke and Mr. J. Hunt.
Bedfordshire Association: Mr. A. King and Mr. A. E. Sharman.
Cambridge University Guild: Mr. E. M. Atkins and Mr. E. H. Lewis.
Chester Diocesan Guild: Mr. J. Norbury and Mr. T. Wilde.
Devon Guild: The Rev. E. S. Powell, Mr. T. Laver, Mr. E. W. Marsh and Mr. G. C. Woodley.
Dudley and District Guild: Mr. F. Colclough.
East Derbyshire and Notts Association: Mr. T. Clarke.
Ely Diocesan Association: The Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake and Miss K. Willers.
Essex Association: Mr. E. J. Butler and Mr. G. R. Pye.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association: Mr. J. Austin and Mr. W. Rose.
Guildford Diocesan Guild: Mr. G. L. Grover, Mr. A. C. Hazelden and Mr. A. H. Pulling.
Hertford County Association: Mr. W. Ayre.
Irish Association: Mr. G. Lindoff.
Kent County Association: Mr. T. Groombridge, Mr. F. M. Mitchell and Mr. T. E. Sone.
Ladies’ Guild: Mrs. E. K. Fletcher and Mrs. R. Richardson.
Lancashire Association: Rev. Canon H. J. Elsee, Mr. G. R. Newton, Mr. W. H. Shuker and Mr. A. Tomlinson.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild: Ven. Archdeacon Parry, Mr. G. Chester and Mr. R. Richardson.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association: Mr. J. W. Jones.
London County Association: Mr. A. D. Barker and Mr. F. E. Dawe.
Middlesex County Association: Mr. C. T. Coles, Mr. G. W. Fletcher and Mr. W. H. Hollier.
Midland Counties Association: Mr. E. C. Gobey, Mr. J. H. Swinfield, Mr. E. Denison Taylor and Mr. W. E. White.
Norwich Diocesan Association: Mr. A. L. Coleman.
Oxford Diocesan Guild: Rev. Canon G. F. Coleridge, Mr. W. Evetts, jun., and Mr. A. E. Lock.
Oxford Society: Mr. W. Collett.
Oxford University Society: The Rev. C. E. Wigg.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Mr. T. Tebbutt and Mr. F. Wilford.
St. Martin’s Guild: Mr. A. Paddon Smith.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild: The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. S. Hillier, Mr. C. H. Jennings and Mr. F. W. Romaine.
Shropshire Association: Mr. W. Saunders.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: Mr. G. H. Cross and Mr. J. Parker.
Stafford Archdeaconry Guild: Mr. T. J. Elton and Mr. H. Knight.
Suffolk Guild: The Rev. H. Drake.
Surrey Association: Mr. D. Cooper and Mr. C. H. Kippin.
Truro Diocesan Guild: The Rev. W. H. R. Trewhella.
Warwickshire Guild: Mr. J. H. W. White.
Winchester and Portsmouth Guild: Mr. H. Barton, Mr. G. Pullinger and Mr. G. Williams.
Worcester and Districts Association: Mr. R. G. Knowles.
Yorkshire Association: Rev. Canon C. C. Marshall, Mr. J. Hardcastle, Mr. P. J. Johnson and Mr. S. F. Palmer.
Honorary members: Mr. W. A. Cave, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, Major J. H. B. Hesse, Mr. A. A. Hughes, the Rev. H. S. T. Richardson, Mr. J. A. Trollope, Mr. E. C. S. Turner, Mr. A. Walker, Mr. S. H. Wood and Mr. E. Alex. Young.


On the President’s motion the following telegram was despatched to H.M. the King:-

‘The Central Council of Church Bellringers, assembled for its annual meeting in Shrewsbury Castle, respectfully offers its congratulations on the attainment of your Majesty’s Silver Jubilee, in the happy celebration of which the ringers of Great Britain and Ireland have taken their part, and on their behalf the Council expresses the earnest hope that for many years to come your Majesty’s reign over a loyal and united people may be prolonged.- Edwin H. Lewis, President.’

Later in the day the following reply was received:-

‘ The message of good wishes contained on your telegram was much appreciated by the King, whose sincere thanks I am commanded to convey to you and all who joined in these congratulations.- Private Secretary.’


The Hon. Secretary reported that no subscription had been received from the Cleveland and North Yorks Association, and the North Staffs and District Association. Including these societies the membership was:-

Affiliated Societies, 51, represented by 128 members.
Honorary Members, 15.

(Note.- The North Staffs and District Association subscription was received on August 2nd.)


On the President’s motion, the retiring members, Messrs. W. A. Cave and A. Walker, were re-elected.


In accordance with Rule 11, the following were presented: The Rev. C. E. Wigg (Oxford University), Messrs. W. Saunders (Shropshire), G. H. Cross (Royal Cumberland Youths), J. Hardcastle (Yorkshire) and E. C. S. Turner (Honorary).


Apologies were received from Alderman J. S. Pritchett, the Rev. R. F. Wilkinson, Messrs. H. Baxter, H. G. Bird, R. G. Black, C. E. Borrett, J. H. Cheesman, J. Clark, D. G. Clift, W. T. Cockerill, A. Coppock, W. J. Davidson, F. Nolan Golden, E. Guise, R. T. Hibbert, J. D. Johnson, Gwyn Lewis, W. J. Nevard, J. W. Parker, F. W. Perrens, J. Phillips, W. Pickworth, S. H. Symonds, T. H. Taffender, and Honorary Members, Messrs. C. Dean, J. Griffin, C. F. Johnston, C. W. Roberts.


The death of the following members and past members was reported and the members stood in silence as a tribute to their memory. Mr. E. Bishop (1922-28, 1932-34), Mr. J. Cotterell (1918-1934), Mr. E. P. Debenham (1894-1902), Mr. G. R. Fardon (1906-1911), Mr. F. F. Linley (1891-1897), Mr. W. Pye (1912-1923).


On the motion of Canon G. F. Coleridge, seconded by Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, the minutes published in ‘The Ringing World’ on April 12th, 1935, were approved and taken as read.

Arising out of the minutes, Mr. J. S. Goldsmith reported that the letter of greetings, illuminated on vellum by Miss Kathleen Hughes, was duly presented to the St. Paul’s Cathedral Society, Melbourne. The presentation was made by Mrs. R. Richardson (Ladies’ Guild), and the Australian tourists were asked to convey to the Council the grateful thanks of the society.

Mr. Goldsmith also reported that the stock of publications was distributed among the various towers visited.

In answer to a question by Mr. E. M. Atkins, the hon. secretary stated that no steps had yet been taken to prepare a census of ringers.


The following reports, etc., were circulated to all members and associations and have been published in ‘The Ringing World.’ They are preserved in the Council’s records and are available for inspection.


The report by the Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake, hon. librarian, was published in ‘The Ringing World’ on June 21st, 1935, page 398.

The report was adopted on the motion of the Rev. B. H. Tyrwhitt-Drake, seconded by Canon Elsee.

The Standing Committee recommended: ‘That the booklet, “Law Affecting Church Bells,” be reprinted after reference to Alderman Pritchett with regard to revision, and with particular reference to the question of insurance of ringers who are purely voluntary.’

‘That the “Collection of Doubles and Minor” be reprinted after revision by the Methods Committee.’

‘That a copy of the Library Catalogue, when ready, be sent to all members of the Council and all secretaries of associations.’

On the President’s motion, the recommendations were adopted, and it was also agreed to ask Alderman Pritchett to agree to the inclusion of the Rev. H. Drake’s pamphlet on ‘Faculties’ in the reprinted ‘Laws Affecting Church Bells.’


The hon. treasurer presented the annual accounts (see ‘The Ringing World,’ June 21st, 1935, page 398), which had been audited by Messrs. C. T. Coles and A. A. Hughes.

On the motion of Mr. A. A. Hughes, seconded by Mr. W. A. Cave, the accounts were adopted.


Mr. E. A. Young reported for the trustees (see ‘The Ringing World,’ June 21st, 1935), and referred to the death of Mr. G. B. Fardon (demonstrator).

The Standing Committee recommended that a fee of 10s. 6d. be paid to Mr. Sharman, and that the trustees endeavour to find a suitable successor to Mr. Fardon.

The report and recommendations were adopted on the motion of Mr. E. A. Young, seconded by Mr. A. A. Hughes.


Canon Elsee reported that Mr. Woodhouse would not be able to give the proposed demonstration of his ringing machine, owing to an accident which occurred when leaving home for Shrewsbury, and, on the president’s suggestion, it was agreed that Canon Elsee be asked to convey the Council’s great regret and sympathy.


(The formal report was published in ‘The Ringing World’ on June 21st, 1935, page 398.)

The committee recommended that the ‘Pamphlet on Variations’ by Mr. Trollope which had now been received be printed and the price be fixed at 1s. per copy.

On the President’s motion, the report and recommendations were adopted.


The report (see ‘The Ringing World,’ 21st June, 1935, page 398) was presented by Mr. G. Lindoff.

The Standing Committee recommended that in the Collection of Peals now being prepared the committee be given power to increase the number of compositions in any one method, but endeavour to keep within the limit proposed by the committee in their 1934 report.

On the motion of Mr. G. Lindoff, seconded by Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, the report and recommendation were adopted.


The hon. secretary reported that a letter, dated May 21st, 1935, had been received from the Rev. E. S. Powell tendering his resignation from the committee.

The report (see ‘The Ringing World,’ 7th June, 1935) was presented by Mr. J. A. Trollope, who moved the adoption. Mr. S. H. Wood seconded.

An amendment, proposed by the Rev. H. Drake, seconded by Mr. P. J. Johnson and accepted by the committee, that the report be received, but not adopted, was carried.

Mr. J. A. Trollope stated that the result of the committee’s investigation of Surprise methods had been included in two volumes of a book, and these he now presented to the Council Library.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner proposed and Mr. S. H. Wood seconded on behalf of the committee that the Methods Committee be authorised to prepare a book on the Surprise Major methods and to hand the same to the hon. secretary, and that the hon. secretary be authorised to take the necessary steps for publishing the same.

An amendment was proposed by the Rev. E. S. Powell and seconded by Mr. G. Lindoff: ‘That it be an instruction to the Methods Committee to prepare a MS. collection of 500-800 Surprise Major methods, which shall include an adequate proportion of methods representing the most recent research, and that this collection be made available to members of the Council through the library for their suggestions and criticism, with a view to the ultimate publication of a book containing 100-200 representative Surprise Major methods.’

The amendment was lost and the committee’s recommendation was adopted.


The report (see ‘The Ringing World,’ May 17th, 1935, page 319) was adopted on the motion of Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. G. R. Pye.


The report published in ‘The Ringing World’ on July 5th, page 431, was presented by the president, who moved the adoption.

The committee, on the suggestion of the Rev. H. Drake, agreed to consider the question of silencers in connection with sound modification.


The committee’s report (see ‘The Ringing World,’ July 12th, 1935, page 445) was presented by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, who also moved the adoption.

The committee, in their report, recommended that a letter be written to the British Broadcasting Corporation congratulating them on the broadcasts given at Christmas and at royal functions, and on the interval signal, but expressing regret at the omission of bells at Easter and at the discontinuance of the transmissions from the Midlands and chiefly from Birmingham.

The motion was seconded by Mr. A. Paddon Smith and carried.


On the President’s motion, a vote of thanks was passed to members of all committees for their work during the year.


Prior to the luncheon adjournment, the business of the Council was adjourned to receive the members of the party which had recently visited Australia and New Zealand. The President congratulated them on the success of the tour, and a short account of the visit was given by Mr. W. H. Fussell. The tourists were afterwards the guests of the Council at lunch.


It was proposed by the President (Mr. E. H. Lewis), seconded by Mr. G. W. Fletcher, that the following alteration be made in the rules:-

To amend Section 2 of Rule 2 by deleting the word ‘fifteen’ and substituting the word ‘twenty.’

The rule to read ‘Of honorary members not exceeding twenty in number elected by the Council.’

The motion was carried nem con.


It was proposed by the Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, and seconded by Mr. C. H. Jennings:-

‘That an address be presented by the Council to the Diocesan Bishops, requesting them to take measures to ensure that the designs prepared for churches to serve new centres of population shall include due provision for the ultimate erection of substantial towers to accommodate peals of bells properly hung for ringing, at such points as to place every group of houses within hearing of a peal of bells; at the same time directing their lordships’ attention to the fact that all cause of annoyance from the sound of bells can be effectually eliminated, if architects’ designs conform to the recommendations of the Towers and Belfries Committee.’

On the understanding that the wording of the actual address be modified, the resolution was carried.

It was proposed by Mr. C. T. Coles, and seconded by Mr. E. C. S. Turner:-

‘That in view of the extension of the practice of splicing methods this Council resolves that the term “Spliced” shall be applied only to those peals in which there are at least as many changes of method as there are courses in the peal, subject to the following stipulations:

‘(a) In peals in even-bell methods in which singles are used, the number of changes of method before a single shall be at least equal to the number of courses preceding the single, and, similarly, after a single, equal to the number of courses which follow it.

‘(b) In peals in odd-bell methods, the number of changes of method shall be at least equal to the number of changes of the bell in the hunt, or of the courses in the peal. Subject only, in peals in which less than six methods of Triples are rung, to any reduction of the number necessitated by two or more hunt bells, relating to the same method, being consecutively called into the hunt.

‘(c) The conditions relating to even-bell methods shall apply in peals of Minor to each 720 individually, and for the purposes of this rule each 720 with a Treble Bob hunt shall he considered to have six courses, and each 720 with a Plain hunt or with an Alliance and Little hunt, twelve courses.

‘(d) Peals of Doubles shall be deemed to comply with this rule if there is at least one change of method within a 120 and not more than half a six-score is rung without changing into a different method.

‘Peals which contain more than one method, but which do not conform to the foregoing, shall be called “Combined” peals.

‘That as splicing involves changes of methods at plained, bobbed and singled leads alike, it is further resolved that peals in which the change of method is not made at the lead-end, such as certain peals of Kent and Oxford Treble Bob, shall not be termed “spliced peals.”

‘These decisions shall apply to peals on all number of bells.’

Note.- The above motion is given in its amended form, permission having been given to amend paragraph 2, and an amendment proposed by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, seconded by Mr. G. L. Grover, in respect of paragraph 1 having been accepted by the proposer and seconder of the motion.

The following amendment was proposed by Mr. J. Hunt, seconded by Mr. J. Parker:-

‘That a spliced or laminated peal shall contain a full course of each method rung.’

On the suggestion of Mr. S. H. Wood, it was agreed that the discussion on the motion be postponed until the next meeting, and the following amendment, proposed by Mr. S. H. Wood, seconded by Mr. T. Clarke, was carried:-

‘That all peals which contain more than one method shall be called “Spliced Peals.” That reports of all Spliced Peals shall include a reference to the number of methods rung and the number of changes from one method to another during the peal.’

It was proposed by Mr. W. H. Hollier, seconded by Mr. C. T. Coles, and carried:-

‘That in the opinion of the Council it is desirable that a record should be made of old and valuable peal boards, and that a committee be appointed to prepare this record.’

The Standing Committee recommended that the committee consist of Mr. W. H. Hollier, the Rev. C. E. Wigg and Mr. W. Ayre, and that all members of the Council be asked to co-operate. On the motion of Mr. Hollier, seconded by Mr. A. D. Barker, the recommendation was adopted.

It was proposed by Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, seconded by Mr. A. C. Hazelden, and carried:-

‘That to ensure the accuracy of the Council’s Peals Analysis and as a matter of general interest, those responsible for sending the reports of peals for publication in the ringing Press be urged to denote all “first peals” and “first peals in the method” both by any of the ringers and “as conductor.”’

It was proposed by Mrs. E. K. Fletcher, seconded by Mr. G. R. Pye, and carried:-

‘That a record be prepared of past members of the Council, giving a short account of their work, and where possible a photograph, and that a committee be appointed to undertake this work.’

The Standing Committee recommended that the committee be Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, Mr. W. A. Cave and Mrs. Fletcher, and that these consult with Canon Coleridge in the case of earlier members.

On the President’s motion, the recommendation was adopted.


The President formally stated that the next meeting was, by rule, to be held in London, when the new rules would be operative and all affiliated societies must pay affiliation fees based upon the number of members to which they were entitled.


As to New Rules.- The Rev. W. H. Trewhella stated that the membership of the Truro Diocesan Guild was not individual, but by towers, and out of 800 members of towers, only 55 were change ringers. If, for the purposes of the new rules, their membership was taken as 800, financial difficulties might render it impossible for his Guild to remain affiliated.

The President asked Mr. Trewhella, to report to the Council if these difficulties arose, in order that these special circumstances could be considered.

As to proposed memorial to Mr. W. Pye.- On the President’s motion, the Council endorsed the scheme which was being launched by the Middlesex County Association, supported by the Essex Association.

As to reports of Affiliated Societies.- The President invited all societies to send copies of their annual reports to the hon. secretary.

As to ‘The Ringing World.’- In reply to an inquiry by Mr. C. H. Kippin, it was stated by the President that the committee appointed to consider the question of advancing the circulation was still giving its attention to this matter.


On the President’s motion, the thanks of the Council were accorded to the Mayor and Corporation for the use of the Council Chamber, the Bishop of Lichfield for his presence, the Shropshire Association for their hospitality, and Major Trevor Corbett, Mr. R. R. Pole and committee for the excellent arrangements, the incumbents of the various churches for the use of the bells and to all towerkeepers.

A vote of thanks to the president was carried with acclamation, on the motion of Canon Coleridge.

On the motion of Mr. W. Ayre, a special vote of thanks was given to the Methods Committee for the enormous amount of time spent in the interest of the Council.

On the motion of Mr. W. H. Shuker, thanks were accorded to the hon. secretary and Mrs. Fletcher for secretarial work.

The meeting concluded at about 6 o’clock, after which members and friends were entertained to tea by the Shropshire Association.

The Ringing World, April 10th, 1936, pages 242 to 244

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