Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Minutes of the First Session of the 33rd Council (90th Annual Meeting) held in the Godiva Hotel, Coventry, on Tuesday 26 May 1987


Life Members: E.A. Barnett, W.B. Cartwright, Miss D.E. Colgate, F.E. Collins, P.A. Corby, J. Freeman, Very Revd. A.G.G. Thurlow and C.A. Wratten
Honorary Members: A.E.M. Bagworth, Mrs O.D. Barnett, A.P.S. Berry, H. Chant, M.J. Church, R.J. Cooles, W.H. Dobbie, A.J. Frost, D.E. House, C.K. Lewis, J.R. Mayne, M.H.D. O’Callaghan, Miss J. Sanderson, Preb. J.G.M. Scott, M.C.W. Sherwood, R.B. Smith, R.F.B. Speed, D.G. Thorne, B.D. Threlfall, J.M. Tyler, W.H. Viggers, Mrs M.J. Wilkinson, and Mrs M.A. Wratten.
Ancient Society of College Youths: W.T. Cook, R.C. Kippin, A.N. Stubbs, A.W.R. Wilby
Australia & New Zealand Assn: *D.J. Bleby, P.M.J. Gray
Bath & Wells Dio. Assn: D.J. Buckley, *Mrs P. Ebsworth, *D.J. Kelly, G.W. Massey
Bedfordshire Assn: P.J.S. Albon, K. Lewin, A.H. Smith
Beverley & Dist. Society: P. Church
Cambridge Univ. Guild: P.L.H. Brooke, S.C. Walters
Carlisle Dio. Guild: D.T. Sim
Chester Dio. Guild: P. Dyson, B. Harris, C.C. Roberts, M. Thomson
Coventry Dio. Guild: P. Border, H.M. Windsor, Mrs B. Winter
Derby Dio. Assn: G.A. Halls, Mrs J.E. Orchard, *F.C. Pearson
Devonshire Guild: F.D. Mack, M.E.C. Mears, D.J. Roberts, Revd. L. Yeo
Durham & Newcastle Dio. Assn: D. Hird, N.A. Johnson, *C.M. Richardson, Mrs B.M. Wheeler
Durham Univ. Society: Revd. P. Newing
E. Derbyshire & W. Notts. Assn: A. Dempster
E. Grinstead & Dist. Guild: A.N. Brock
Ely Dio. Assn: G.E. Bonham, Miss L.H.M. Boyle, *Dr M.B. Davies
Essex Assn: J. Armstrong, F.B. Lufkin, D. Sloman, O.C.R. Webster
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Assn: P.H. Allen, B. Bladon, *J.M. Pearse, J.R. Taylor
Guildford Dio. Guild: W.J. Couperthwaite, D.E. Parsons, J.R. Pratt, C.H. Rogers
Hereford Dio. Guild: *J.E. Harrold, N.R. Mattingley, M.V. Powell, R.G. Powell
Hertford County Assn: A.F. Alldrick, R. Baldwin, G. Dodds, B.C. Watson
Irish Assn: A.F. Bogan, F.E. Dukes, W.A. Patterson
Kent County Assn: M.J. Lodwick, D.C. Manger, *Mrs A.L. Martin, D.H. Niblett
Ladies’ Guild: Miss F. Cannon, Mrs C. Higby, Mrs P. Watson
Lancashire Assn: *Canon M.S. Hart, D.R. Jones, J. Kershaw, F. Reynolds
Leeds Univ. Society: C. Forster
Leicester Dio. Guild: A. Cattell, *Mrs C.N.J. Franklin, J.M. Jelley, B.G. Warwick
Lichfield Archd. Society: J.F. Mulvey, S.G. Pick, C.M. Smith
Lincoln Dio. Guild: D.A. Frith, *A.R. Heppenstall, J.L. Millhouse, L.G. Townsend
Liverpool Univ. Society: *S.J. Flockton
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio. Assn: Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin, P.S. Bennett, D.C. Brookes
London County Assn: *A.S. Baker, R. Booth, H.W. Rogers, *Dr M.T. Sprackling
Manchester Univ. Guild: D.R. Pettifor
Middlesex County Assn. & London Dio. Guild: T.J. Lock, *R.K. Russ
Midland Counties Guild: M. Quimby
National Police Guild: B.F. Peachey
N. American Guild: W.H. Jackson, Mrs M.B. Winter
N. Staffordshire Assn: *P.W. Gay, N.G. Sharp
N. Wales Assn: *J.W. Hughes, *Dr D.R. Marshall
Norwich Dio. Assn: F.C.J. Arnold, H.J. Charles, *D.R. McLean
Oxford Dio. Guild: W. Butler, H.W. Egglestone, Dr T.G. Pett, *R.A. Thorne
Oxford Society: B.J. Stone
Oxford University Soc: *P.Q. Armitage, P.D. Niblett
Peterborough Dio. Guild: E. Billings, C.J. Groome, D.J. Jones, Canon E.G. Orland
Railwaymen’s Guild: T. Skilton
Soc. of Royal Cumberland Youths: J.S. Barnes, I.H. Oram, *Miss S.J. Pattenden, D.E. Sibson
St. Martin’s Guild: J.A. Anderson, *J. McDonald
Salisbury Dio. Guild: *J.W. Bramley, *G.J.N. Colborne, E.J. Hitchins, R.G.W. Robertson
Scottish Assn: N.E. Booth
Shropshire Assn: F.M. Mitchell
Southwell Dio. Guild: G.A. Dawson, R.G. Fanthorpe, R.B. Mills, B.A. Richards
Suffolk Guild: T.N.J. Bailey, S.D. Pettman, Revd. L.R. Pizzey, A.R. Smith
Surrey Assn: J.D. Cheesman, S.J. Coleman, E.G.H. Godfrey, R.A. Grant
Sussex County Assn: *R.M. Cox, P.T. Hurcombe
Truro Dio. Guild: W.C. Boucher, *A.F. Burley, R.J. Perry, P.J. Tremain
Universities Assn: Revd. M.C.C. Melville
Univ. of Bristol Society: *A.J. Cox
Univ. of London Society: P.J. Sanderson
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio. Guild: R. Cater, *A.T. Collins, D.C. Jackson, A.P. Smith
Worcestershire & Dists. Assn: *R.J. Clements, A.D. Evans, *A. Roberts, R.K. Williams
Yorkshire Assn: *N. Donovan, R.J. Johnston, W.F. Moreton, D.E. Potter

The Devon Association, Society of Sherwood Youths, and Swansea & Brecon Diocesan Guild were not represented.

Report as to membership:

The Hon. Secretary (Mr. C.A. Wratten) reported that 66 societies were affiliated, with 177 representative members on the Council, an increase of two since 1986 (representing the Australia & New Zealand and the North Staffordshire Associations). There were eight Life and 24 Honorary Members.

All subscriptions had been paid.

Apologies for absence:

Apologies for absence had been received from Messrs. D. Hughes (Honorary) and A.R. Baldock, F.T. Blagrove, N. Brock, P.L. Hayward, D.F. Riley and D.D. Smith (representative members).

Welcome to new members:

The President (Mr. P.A. Corby) welcomed the new members present (indicated by a * in the list of those attending), together with Messrs. R. Booth and B.G. Warwick who had rejoined the Council after a break, and Mr. D. Hird who now represented a different society.

Loss of members through death:

Members stood in silence as the President read the names of those who had died since the previous meeting: G.W. Cecil (ASCY, 1948-57), A.W. Davis (Hereford, 1930-36 and 1945-47), F. Dunkerley OBE (Lancashire, 1951-63), Revd. R. Keeley (Salisbury, 1966-72), D. Martin (Durham & Newcastle, 1975-86), F.W. Perrens (Warwicks, 1927-35 and 1937-46; Coventry, 1946-58; Life since 1959), S. Richardson (Carlisle, 1977-84), E.C. Shepherd (Honorary, 1952-69; Life since 1969), C.G.J. Watts (ASCY, 1960-69), W. Williams (Glos. & Bristol, 1948-51; ASCY, 1957-75), and A.T. Wingate (Hereford, since 1960).

Election of Officers:

President: the Revd. Dr. J.C. Baldwin was elected on the proposition of W.F. Moreton, seconded by E.A. Barnett.

Vice-President: C.J. Groome was elected on the proposition of J. Freeman, seconded by D.E. Sibson.

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer: C.A. Wratten was re-elected on the proposition of F.E. Dukes, seconded by A.F. Bogan.

Hon. Librarian: W.T. Cook was re-elected on the proposition of Miss J. Sanderson, seconded by A.N. Stubbs.

Dr. Baldwin thanked Mr. Corby for his work while President of the Council.

Election of Honorary Members:

Dr D.W. Beard, M.J. Church, Dr J.C. Eisel, A.J. Frost, Dr A. Newing, Miss J. Sanderson, M.C.W. Sherwood, R.B. Smith, B.D. Threlfall, J.M. Tyler and Mrs M.A. Wratten were individually elected Honorary members.

Election of Honorary Auditors:

M.J. Church, FCA, and E.G.H. Godfrey, FCA, were elected Hon. Auditors.

Minutes of the previous meeting:

The Minutes of the 1986 meeting, as published in The Ringing World of 23 January 1987 but amended by the insertion of “Pettman, Revd L.R. Pizzey, A.R. Smith; Surrey Assn: J.D. Cheesman, S.J.” between “S.D.” and “Coleman” in the list on p.92 of Suffolk Guild representatives present, was adopted on the proposition of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by W.A. Patterson.

The Hon. Secretary thanked Mr. W.H. Viggers for a hand-made Minute Book which he had presented to the Council for use when the present one was full; the gift was received with acclaim.

Report of the Hon. Secretary and Treasurer:
(RW 19 June 1987)

Adopted on the proposition of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by F.E. Dukes.

Balance Sheet and Accounts:
(RW 19 June 1987)

Adopted on the proposition of C.A. Wratten, seconded by C.J. Groome.


(a) On behalf of the Leicester Diocesan Guild, A. Cattell proposed, and J.M. Jelley seconded,

“That when the future of a bell or bells of a proposed redundant church is the subject of discussion or negotiation by the Central Council, the Guild or Association within which such bells are situated be advised in writing, and such Association’s views and suggestions be invited, as a matter of courtesy.”

After the defeat of a proposal by J.D. Cheesman, seconded by P.M.J. Gray, that the vote be not put, the proposer and seconder agreed to withdraw the motion.

(b) A.W.R. Wilby proposed, and F.E. Dukes seconded,

“The following be added to Rule 4:

(iv) A Society not situated within the British Isles numbering fewer than 75 but not fewer than 25 members may upon application and subject to the agreement of two-thirds of the members present be affiliated to the Council as a non-territorial society and shall subscribe to an undertaking loyally to abide by the rules and decision of the Council.”

The motion was passed, following the defeat of an amendment, proposed by C.H. Rogers and seconded by F.C. Pearson, that the words “but shall not be represented on the Council so long as its membership remains less than 75” should be added.

The Council accepted a proposal by D.J. Bleby, seconded by P.M.J. Gray, that a motion from the Australia & New Zealand Association, which had been received by the Hon. Secretary too late for inclusion in the Agenda but which had been published in The Ringing World of 1 May 1987, should be considered under Any Other Business.

Report of the Trustee of the Rolls of Honour:
(RW 19 June 1987)

Adopted on the proposition of W.T. Cook, seconded by E.A. Barnett. Mr. Cook was re-elected Trustee.

Report of the Trustees of the Carter Ringing Machine:
(RW 19 June 1987)

Adopted on the proposition of A.E. Bagworth, seconded by W.H. Dobbie. Messrs. Bagworth and Dobbie were re-elected Trustees.

Committee reports

(All Committee reports were published in The Ringing World on 19 June 1987)

Towers and Belfries

Adopted on the proposition of J.R. Taylor, seconded by F. Reynolds.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of 11, A. Dempster, A.J. Frost, F.D. Mack, G.W. Massey, F. Reynolds, J.G.M. Scott, B.J. Stone, J.R. Taylor, B.D. Threlfall, S.C. Walters and H.M. Windsor were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.

Bell Restoration Funds

Adopted on the proposition of J.S. Barnes, seconded by I.H. Oram.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of seven, J.S. Barnes, E. Billings, N. Booth, N.A. Johnson, J.F. Mulvey, I.H. Oram and A.R. Smith were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.

Redundant Bells

Adopted on the proposition of Mrs J. Wilkinson, seconded by G.W. Massey.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of 11, E.A. Barnett, R.J. Cooles, P.A. Corby, J. Freeman, A.J. Frost, G.A. Halls, G.W. Massey, M.H.D. O’Callaghan, J.G.M. Scott, A.G.G. Thurlow and Mrs M.J. Wilkinson were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.


Adopted on the proposition of T.J. Lock, seconded by G.A. Dawson.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of six, G.A. Dawson, J.C. Eisel, R.A. Grant, Mrs C. Higby, R.J. Johnston and T.J. Lock were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.


Adopted on the proposition of the Hon. Librarian, W.T. Cook, seconded by D.E. House.

A.F. Burley, D.E. House, D.J. Jones, and Miss J. Sanderson were elected to form, with the Hon. Librarian, the committee for 1987-90.


Adopted on the proposition of C.J. Groome, seconded by J.R. Taylor.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of seven, Miss L.H.M. Boyle, S.J. Coleman, W.J. Couperthwaite, R.J. Johnston, D.J. Jones, Miss J. Sanderson and D.G. Thorne were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.

Public Relations

Adopted on the proposition of A.W.R. Wilby, seconded by H.W. Rogers.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of nine, P.A. Corby, F.E. Dukes, D.E. House, Mrs A. Newing, H.W. Rogers, D.E. Potter, D.G. Thorne, A.W.R. Wilby and L. Yeo were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.


Adopted on the proposition of R. Cater, seconded by H.J. Charles.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of eight, R. Cater, H.J. Charles, S.J. Coleman, P.T. Hurcombe, N.R. Mattingley, D.E. Parsons, R.A. Thorne and J.M. Tyler were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.

Peal Compositions

Adopted on the proposition of R.C. Kippin, seconded by P. Border.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of six, D.W. Beard, P. Border, H. Chant, A.J. Cox, R.C. Kippin and P.J. Sanderson were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.

Computer Co-ordination

Adopted on the proposition of Dr T.G. Pett, seconded by M. Thomson.

J. Cheesman, P. Church, G. Dodds, M. Thomson and T.G. Pett were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.

Peals Analysis

Adopted on the proposition of C.H. Rogers, seconded by D.A. Frith, after the former had pointed out that 21 peals had not in fact been rung at St. Margaret’s, Leicester, as stated.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of seven, J. Cheesman, D.A. Frith, D.H. Niblett, T.G. Pett, L.R. Pizzey, C.H. Rogers and O.C.R. Webster were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.


Adopted on the proposition of D.E. Sibson, seconded by D.E. House.

F.T. Blagrove, D.J. Buckley, J.R. Mayne, D.E. Sibson and C.A. Wratten were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.


Adopted on the proposition of A.P. Smith, seconded by C.K. Lewis.

After the Council had agreed a committee membership of six, F.T. Blagrove, P.L.H. Brooke, C.K. Lewis, P.D. Niblett, M.C.W. Sherwood and A.P. Smith were elected to form the committee for 1987-90.


Adopted on the proposition of the Hon. Secretary, seconded by Mrs O.D. Barnett.

J. Armstrong, D.W. Beard, W.B. Cartwright, M.J. Church, R.J. Cooles, S.J. Coleman, J. Freeman, P.M.J. Gray, D.E. House, I.H. Oram, T.G. Pett and S.C. Walters were elected to the committee, the other (ex officio) members being the Council’s Officers and the chairmen of committees - T.J. Lock (Biographies), J.S. Barnes (Bell Restoration Funds), P. Church (Computer Coordination), R. Cater (Education), A.P. Smith (Methods), R.C. Kippin (Peal Compositions), C.H. Rogers (Peals Analysis), W.J. Couperthwaite (Publications), A.W.R. Wilby (Public Relations), D.E. Sibson (Records), Mrs M.J. Wilkinson (Redundant Bells) and J.R. Taylor (Towers & Belfries).

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
(RW 19 June 1987)

Adopted on the proposition of R.J. Cooles, seconded by M.H.D. O’Callaghan.

Any Other Business:

On behalf of the Australia & New Zealand Association, D.J. Bleby proposed, and P.M.J. Gray seconded,

“That this Council agrees in principle that certain affiliated societies should have the ability to appoint alternate members of the Council who may attend meetings of the Council in the absence of elected representative members and who may exercise all the powers of a representative member for the duration of such meetings subject to the following conditions:

(1) The Council shall decide which affiliated societies be allowed to appoint alternate members;

(2) No more than one alternate member for any society may attend a particular meeting of the Council; and

(3) An alternate member may not be appointed to a permanent committee of the Council

and requests the Administrative Committee in consultation with the mover of this motion to prepare suitable amendments to the rules for consideration at a later meeting to give effect to this proposal.”

After a lengthy debate, which referred only to the effect on overseas societies of such a change, the motion was passed.

Votes of thanks:

On behalf of the Council the President thanked the officers and members of the Coventry Diocesan Guild, Mr. C.J. Pickford and the speakers at the Open Meeting, the Provost and Chapter of Coventry Cathedral and the incumbents and churchwardens of churches where members had been allowed to ring, and the staff of the Godiva Hotel, for their contributions to the success of the meeting. He also thanked the Hon. Secretary and committee members for their work.

Preb. J.G.M. Scott thanked the President for his conduct of the meeting.

Wholly represented56154-
Partly represented5127
Not represented3-4

Life members8-
Honorary members231


The Ringing World, February 19, 1988, pages 190 to 191

(Archivist’s note: also absent were R. F. Eccles (Australia & New Zealand Assn.), J. Hine and R. O. Wright (Devon Assn.), S. S. Meyer (Ely Dio. Assn.) and A. R. Lewis (Swansea & Brecon Dio. Guild))

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