The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Minutes of the Third Session of the 41st Council (116th Annual Meeting), held in the United Reformed Church, Portsmouth Road, Guildford, on Monday 27th May 2013, at 9.30 am.


Life Members: John Baldwin, William Butler, Andrew Stubbs, David Thorne.
Additional Members: Elva Ainsworth, Stella Bianco, Roger Booth, Robert Cooles, Alan Frost, Robert Lewis, Peter Trotman, Jane Wilkinson, David Willis.
Ex-officio: Mary Bone, Nigel Herriott, Tim Jackson, Alan Regin, Robin Walker.
Ancient Society of College Youths: Richard Allton, Philip Saddleton, Andrew Wilby.
Australian & New Zealand Assn: Christopher O’Mahony, James Smith, Matthew Sorell*.
Barrow & District Society: Barry Peachey#.
Bath & Wells Dio. Assn: Roland Backhurst, Jay Bunyan, Michael Hansford, Matthew Higby, Richard Newman.
Bedfordshire Assn: Patrick Albon, Richard Horne.
Beverley & District Society: James Blackburn.
Cambridge Univ. Guild: David Richards*, Robin Shipp.
Carlisle Dio. Guild: Wendy Graham, Duncan Walker.
Chester Dio. Guild: Pam Thomson, Peter Wilkinson, Stefan Zientek.
Coventry Dio. Guild: Michael Chester, Mike Dew, Christopher Idle, Christopher Mew.
Derby Dio. Assn: Mike Banks, Patricia Halls, Gill Hughes, Emma Humphrey.
Devon Assn: Robert Brown.
Devonshire Guild: Leslie Boyce, James Clarke, Lynne Hughes, Ian Smith.
Dorset County Assn: Timothy Collins.
Durham & Newcastle Dio. Assn: Howard Smith, Barbara Wheeler.
Durham Univ. Society: Michael Williams.
East Grinstead & District Guild: Kate Desbottes.
Ely Dio. Assn: Philip Bailey, George Bonham, Brian Hullah, Paul Seaman.
Essex Assn: John Armstrong, Fred Bone, Wendy Godden, Brian Meads, Stephen Nash.
Four Shires Guild: Keith Murphy, Christopher Povey.
Gloucester & Bristol Dio. Assn: Derek Harbottle, Patrick Hickey, Angela Newing, John Nicholls.
Guildford Dio. Guild: John Couperthwaite, Beryl Norris, Christopher Rogers.
Hereford Dio. Guild: John Croxton, Jenny Lawrence, Jane Mason.
Hertford County Assn: Geoff Horritt, Margaret Horritt, Guy Morton, Sue Morton.
Irish Assn: Colin Holliday, June Kelly, Julia Lysaght.
Kent County Assn: Phillip Barnes, Peter Dale, Richard Edwards, Philip Larter, Catherine Lewis.
Ladies Guild: Carolyn Dawson, Helen Webb, Jan Wyatt.
Lancashire Assn: Ernie de Legh-Runciman, Beth Ingham.
Leeds University Society: Adam Crocker.
Leicester Dio. Guild: Carol Franklin, Andrew Preston, John Thompson, Winifred Warwick.
Lichfield & Walsall Archd. Society: Stuart Hutchieson, John Mulvey, Clive Smith.
Lincoln Dio. Guild: Sue Faull, Philip Green, Robin Heppenstall, Judith Rogers.
Liverpool Univ. Society: Richard Andrew.
Llandaff & Monmouth Dio. Assn: Peter Bennett, Nicholas Jones, Pip Penney.
Middlesex County Assn. & London Dio. Guild: Frank Blagrove, Linda Foddering*, Peter Kemp, Helen Udal.
National Police Guild: William Dowse.
North American Guild: Bruce Butler, Beverly Faber, Anthony Furnivall, George Williams.
North Staffordshire Assn: Frank Beech, Jennifer Beech.
North Wales Assn: Antony Diserens, Gregory Morris.
Norwich Dio. Assn: Peter Adcock, Jenny Brunger*, Michael Clements, Michael Hodgkinson.
Oxford Dio. Guild: Ken Davenport, John Harrison, Lucy Hopkins Till*, Timothy Pett.
Oxford Society: Bernard Stone.
Oxford Univ. Society: Mark Bell.
Peterborough Dio. Guild: Hilary Aslett, Alan Chantler, Jane Sibson, David Westerman.
St Martin’s Guild: Stephen Jones.
Salisbury Dio. Guild: Andrew Howes, Anthony Lovell-Wood, Julian Newman, Andrew Nicholson, Robert Purnell.
Scottish Assn: Stephen Elwell-Sutton, Michael Neale.
Shropshire Assn: Sue Buckingham, Alan Glover.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths: John Barnes, Ben Duke, Ian Oram, Derek Sibson.
Society of Sherwood Youths: Peter Hawcock.
South African Guild: Derek Carr.
Southwell and Nottingham Dio. Guild: George Dawson, Andrew Mills, Mary Stephens, Robin Woolley.
Suffolk Guild: Veronica Downing, Alan McBurnie, Stephen Pettman, David Salter.
Surrey Assn: Jeremy Cheesman, Kate Flavell, Paul Flavell, Richard Wallis.
Sussex County Assn: Alan Baldock, Andrew Barnsdale, Diana Day, David Kirkcaldy, Margaret Oram.
Swansea & Brecon Dio. Guild: Paul Johnson.
Truro Dio. Guild: Norman Mattingley, Robert Perry, Ian Self.
Univ. Bristol Society: Chris Darvill, Robert Wood.
Veronese Assn: David Roskelly.
Winchester & Portsmouth Dio. Guild: Michael Church, Michael Hopkins Till, Peter Niblett, Anthony Smith.
Worcestershire & Districts Assn: Alison Hodge, Stewart Holbeche, Stuart Piper, Alan Roberts.
Yorkshire Assn: Barrie Dove, Peter Kirby, Deborah Thorley, Susan Welch.

Birmingham University Society, the East Derbys and West Notts Association, the St David’s Diocesan Guild and the University of London Society were not represented.

The Chair was taken by the President, Kate Flavell.

1. Opening Prayer

The Revd Phillip Jones welcomed the Council to the United Reformed Church and led members in prayer.

2. Report as to membership and subscriptions

The Hon Secretary, Mary Bone, reported that 65 societies were affiliated to the Council with 197 representatives; there were three vacancies. There were 4 Life Members, 10 Additional Members and 7 ex-officio Members. One subscription was outstanding from Birmingham University Society.

3. Application to affiliate

The Hon Secretary reported that documentation had been received from the Barrow & District Society, confirming that the Guild met the requirements of Rule 4 (ii). The application was reviewed by the Administrative Committee, which recommended affiliation. Fred Bone proposed, seconded by Helen Webb, that a paper ballot be held; the motion was put to the meeting and lost. Andrew Mills queried the number of members as many were not locally active; the President responded that it was not for the Council to regulate the membership rules of individual societies. The application was then approved by majority and the President declared the Society affiliated. Barry Peachey took his seat as a representative member.

4. Welcome to new members

The President gave a warm welcome to new and returning members (indicated by * and # respectively in the list of those present). She additionally noted that 2013 was the 50th anniversary of Derek Sibson joining the Council and that this was his 50th meeting (applause).

5. Apologies for absence

Apologies had been received from Bill Purvis (ex-officio), Adrian Semken (Additional Member), Sue Silver (Bedfordshire Assn), John Atkinson (Beverley & District Society), Louis Suggett (Birmingham University Society), Michael Orme (Chester DG), Yvonne Cairns (Durham & Newcastle DA), Anne Anthony (Guildford DG), David Burgess and Alison Holliday (Lancashire Assn), Alan Bentley and Bobbie May (Oxford DG), Claire Bell (Oxford Society), Rupert Littlewood (University of London Society), Eles Belfontali (Veronese Assn), Mike Winterbourne (Winchester & Portsmouth DG) and Brian Sanders (Yorkshire Assn). Further apologies were presented from Alan Berry (ex-officio), Colin Aked (East Derbys and West Notts Assn), Laith Reynolds (Australian and New Zealand Assn), William Nash (Gloucester & Bristol DA) and Mary Jones (Truro DG).

6. Loss of members through death

Members stood in silence as the Hon Secretary read the names of the following members and former members who had died since the last meeting: Vanora Hereward (Dorset CA 2008-2011); Anthony Davidson (Truro DG 1963-1975); Doris Colgate (Ladies Guild 1953-1983, Life member 1983-2012); Eric Brunger (Norwich DA 2011-2012); Jean Kelly (Ladies Guild 1999-2002, Lancashire Assn 2004-2008); Roger Bailey (Middlesex CA and London DG 1989-2013); Arthur (Bill) Berry (Worcestershire & Districts Assn 1972-1984); Howard Egglestone (Suffolk Guild 1966-1978, Hon member 1978-1984, Oxford DG 1984-1993, Life member 1993-2013); J Barry Pickup (Norwich DA 1978-1984); Betty Robbins (née Spice) (Oxford University Society 1948-1950); Dr Jean Weddell (London CA 1974-1981); Ronald Warford (Durham & Newcastle DA 1993-2013); Roger Green (Leeds University Society 1973-1974 and 2009-2011); Tudor Edwards (University of Bristol Society 1960-1975). Robert Perry led members in prayer.

7. Minutes of the 2012 Annual Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 4th June 2012 had been published in The Ringing World of 31 August 2012. The President noted a correction to item 14 (o), line 2, which should refer to the ICT Committee.

After this correction was made, the Minutes were approved and signed by the President.

The President drew attention to the Appendix to the Report of the Administrative Committee and reminded members to declare any interest in the bell-related trade to the Hon Secretary and to declare any relevant interest before speaking at the meeting or proposing a candidate for election. She asked members to notify matters of any other business to the Hon Secretary during the lunch break. The President also asked members to remember that all members are volunteers and should be treated with respect and courtesy.

8. Matters arising from the Minutes not covered elsewhere on the agenda

No member wished to raise any matter.

9. Annual Report of the Council
(RW 26th April 2013, p431)

The Hon Secretary noted that, since the preparation of the report, one member had died, one member had resigned and two vacancies had been filled. The figures in paragraph 4 remained the same.

Adoption of the report was then proposed by the Hon Secretary, seconded by the Vice-President, Chris Mew, and agreed. The President thanked Richard Wallis for his service to the Council as one of its independent examiners since 2002.

10. Accounts for 2011
(RW 26th April 2013, pp431-434)

In presenting the Accounts, the Hon Treasurer, Derek Harbottle, stated that the Education Fund accounts had been examined after the meeting papers were prepared and a replacement report had now been issued by the Independent Examiners. The net movement of funds for 2012 was a positive figure of £9,480. The General Fund ended with a small surplus of £815. This resulted from receipt of a further grant from the PRS Foundation re the New Music 20x12 project. Other than this, expenditure was slightly greater than income for the year. The income benefited from the increase of the affiliation subscription to £25 per representative approved in 2011 and interest was increased by placing some funds on fixed term bank deposits. However, committee expenses increased by £500 to £4,200, though the cost of the Council Meeting was held at just over £2,100. The Education Courses Fund showed a small surplus of £461 which mainly related to further income from the Wellesbourne conference in November 2011. The Bell Restoration Fund showed an inflow of funds of £1,275. Five of the grants awarded in 2010 were paid for a total of £6,000, leaving only three unpaid. The total of the donations held for the Christchurch Cathedral NZ restoration appeal is £10,112. Two grants were awarded from the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund: £300 to Adelaide and £1,000 to Naremburn; three grants were paid. The Publications Fund showed a surplus of £9,411 resulting from sales of the new 10th edition of Dove’s Guide and further sales of The New Ringer’s Book. The fund now stood at nearly £34,000. The Library Fund showed a small outflow of funds of £499. Subscriptions from Friends of the Library were just over £2,000 but sales were less than the previous year at £1,746. Maintenance of the library included binding of £1,340 and books purchased of £274.

Turning to 2013, the Hon Treasurer informed members that deposits would continue to be reviewed to gain additional interest. However, funds would be needed for the 2014 RoadShow and to pay grants awarded. Affiliation subscriptions remained at £25 per member and, in line with the discussions at the Hereford council meeting, the Administrative Committee reviewed the level of the subscription at its meeting in March 2013 and proposed an increase for 2014. Derek concluded by announcing that, having served for nine years, he would not seek re-election at the 2014 annual meeting.

The Hon Treasurer formally proposed the adoption of the Accounts; the Hon Secretary seconded.

Michael Church pointed out that the Independent Examiners’ report referred to the 1993 Charities Act which had now been replaced by the 2011 Act. The Hon Treasurer agreed that the officers would examine this urgently with a view to producing a correct report. Frank Beech queried if committee expenses could be donated back to the Council using Gift Aid. The President stated that this was included in the Guidance on committee expenses and the Hon Treasurer confirmed that payments do have to be made in order to qualify for Gift Aid. Angela Newing thanked Derek for his work as Treasurer.

Adoption of the accounts was agreed.

11. Election of Additional Members

Three Additional Members would complete their three-year term at the end of the meeting. The following advance nominations, duly proposed and seconded, had been received: Stella Bianco, Roger Booth and Robert Cooles. After a ballot these candidates were declared elected. Eight vacancies remained unfilled.

12. Motions

(A) Increase in Subscription

The Hon Treasurer proposed on behalf of the Administrative Committee:

The Hon Treasurer referred to the explanatory note included on the Agenda, noting that the costs of the annual meeting and of conducting Council business had continued to rise since the last increase in the subscription in 2012. The Hon Secretary seconded.

Chris Rogers accepted the need for an increase in the affiliation fee but asked the Council and officers to consider a fee based on the number of members in each affiliated society rather than the number of representatives. Derek Harbottle replied that the Administrative Committee had established a small working group to examine both this issue and Council finances in general.

The motion was put to the vote and carried by majority.

(B) Terms of Reference of the Ringing Trends Committee

Alison Hodge proposed on behalf of the Ringing Trends Committee:

Alison explained the slight difference from the current Terms of Reference which would give the Committee a broader remit. Elva Ainsworth seconded.

The motion was put to the vote and carried nem con.

(C) Terms of Reference of the Compositions Committee

On behalf of the Compositions Committee, Paul Flavell proposed:

Paul informed members that these Terms of Reference would focus the Committee’s work on encouraging the art of composition, new composers and innovative ideas. Richard Allton seconded.

The motion was put to the vote and carried nem con.

(D) Terms of Reference of the Ringing Centres Committee

Roger Booth proposed on behalf of the Ringing Centres Committee:

Roger referred to the background paper circulated with the meeting papers and explained that the revised Terms of Reference would enable the Committee to be more flexible in its work, particularly in providing support and advice to young ringers. Norman Mattingley seconded the proposal.

Chris Rogers, John Harrison and others urged the Committee to examine its rôle vis à vis that of the Education Committee and explore the possibility of a merger of the committees. Roger and Norman responded that, although the work and membership of the committees overlapped, each committee currently had a different focus; a merger remained a possibility in future. Alan Frost reminded members that part of the original remit of the Committee had been to promote ringing to the public and this should not be forgotten.

The motion was put to the vote and carried by majority.

(E) Amendment of Decision (D) D

On behalf of the Methods Committee, Peter Niblett proposed:

Peter referred to the background to this motion: the record handbell performances of Cambridge S Major and Cambridge S Minor rung on 15 June 2012, reported in The Ringing World of 13 July, and his own subsequent letter published in the issue of 27 July (p766). This part of the Decision had last been revised in 1969 and it was no longer appropriate for the Decisions to attempt to suppress publication or dictate The Ringing World’s editorial policy. The effect of the change would merely mean that future such performances could be reported normally as peals in The Ringing World. Richard Allton seconded. Andrew Mills queried if the change would mean that simulator peals or peals on 1, 2 or 3 bells would now be published? Nigel Herriott, supported by David Thorne, endorsed the rôle of the editor in deciding whether to publish or not. In response to a question from David Willis, Peter Niblett affirmed that peals are merely recorded as compliant or not with the Decisions; there is no question of acceptance or not. This statement was supported by Tony Smith, who emphasised the rôle of The Ringing World as the journal of record of the Exercise. After further questions on the publication of peals, Phillip Barnes, seconded by Robin Walker, moved that the motion be put to the vote. This proposal was carried. The motion was then put to the vote and carried nem con.

13. Change Ringing for the Future

The President reminded members that the report of the recruitment and training forum had been circulated with further papers available on the website and invited the Vice-President to speak. Chris Mew noted that the forum was originally established after the Wellesbourne conference to co-ordinate work on recruitment and training. The forum had conducted wide-ranging debates and the diverse views expressed were in the report, as well as in the results of the questionnaire sent to all ringing societies in autumn 2012. Improvements to the work of the Council had been included in the debates. Chris listed the key issues for the future as engagement, communication and finance. He elaborated on the need to engage ringers at a local level, to listen to their concerns and expectations, to inform them of the services already available, to remove misunderstandings about the Integrated Teacher Training Scheme and the Ringing Foundation and to change the grassroots culture of ringers, particularly on financial matters. The report proposed a series of regional meetings to be held in different venues across the country to address these issues. Elva Ainsworth spoke on the need for a new communications strategy encompassing internal communications within the Council as well as external communications with and between ringers, potential learners and the wider public. It was important to use modern means such as texts and webinars when engaging with younger ringers. The strategy should enable ringers to control their image. Chris Mew referred to the debate on finance at the Ringing Foundation meeting, mentioning in particular the Sussex County Association’s pledge of £8k to promote ringing centres and the use of simulators. He queried if other guilds were in a position to make such provision for future training, given the prevalent low subscription rates. Ringers would be willing to fund central activities if these showed local benefit. Activities such as public relations, branding and marketing needed to be properly costed and engagement was central to a change of culture and a long-term programme of work. Chris spoke further on communications within the Council, overlap amongst the work of the various committees and the need to re-visit previous proposals for administrative reform. Chris trusted that local societies would work together and with the Council to organise and host the proposed regional meetings; the initial suggested venues were Manchester, Birmingham, London, Cardiff, Nottingham, Newcastle, Norwich and Exeter.

A number of comments were made in response: that the results of any initiatives should be formally measured; that many societies did not have contact details for their members and that a census of individual ringers, both within the UK and internationally, might prove useful; that the proposed venues were still too remote for some guilds to attend easily; that call change ringers should not feel excluded; that Facebook and Twitter should be used instead of email; that the regional meetings could be webcast to increase outreach; that most ringers lived in the south of England and meeting venues should reflect this; and that all Council members should already be working to improve and promote ringing. Andrew Wilby commented on the image of ringing and of the Council among ringers. There was a case for substantial change to reshape the Council and produce a new brand to target appropriate audiences. John Harrison added that a public relations advice leaflet was already available on the Council’s website and should be used.

Elva and Chris thanked members for their comments and welcomed further offers of assistance. The President thanked Chris Mew and all members of the forum for their work (applause).

14. Committee Reports

(The reports were published in The Ringing World Supplement of 26th April 2013. The relevant page numbers are shown against each report.)

The President reminded members of the revised layout of the ballot paper introduced last year and that papers would not necessarily be collected after each vote. The Council expected elections to committees and she asked those making nominations to explain the talents and abilities of the nominee clearly and succinctly. The President encouraged debate and discussion on committees’ past and future work.

(a) Administrative (p435)

Adoption of the report was proposed by the Hon Secretary, who thanked Robert Lewis and The Ringing World staff for their assistance in producing an excellent Supplement on time, despite the late submission of some information (applause). She apologised for an error: the reference in the first paragraph should be to rule 15 (i). She drew attention to the forthcoming meeting with English Heritage and the Church Buildings Council and noted the savings in administrative costs made by only circulating printed sets of meeting papers in advance to those members without email. Chris Mew seconded. Robert Perry suggested that an independent examiner appointed in mid-term for the remainder of the triennium should stand for election at the next annual meeting following their appointment; the President agreed that the current rule would be re-examined. The report was then adopted.

Michael Church, Alan Frost, Angela Newing and Derek Sibson retired. The following 4 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee: Michael Church, Angela Newing, Derek Sibson and Helen Udal. Alan Frost withdrew his nomination.

(b) Information and Communications Technology (pp435-436)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Mike Chester. Peter Trotman seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

Stephen Nash retired. Leigh Simpson was no longer a member of Council. The following 2 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee: Stephen Nash and David Richards.

(c) Library (p436)

Proposing adoption of the report, Stella Bianco regretted that the second volume of the Ringing World DVD for 1941-1970 was not yet available. Both the DVD and the next volume of newspaper extracts Order and Disorder in the early Nineteenth Century. 1800-1829 should be published this year. Alan Glover seconded and adoption of the report was then agreed.

Stella Bianco and Gregory Morris retired. Three candidates were proposed and seconded to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee. After a ballot the following were declared elected: Stella Bianco and Linda Foddering. The unsuccessful candidate was Gregory Morris.

(d) Methods (p436)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Peter Niblett and seconded by Philip Saddleton. Mark Bell asked the Committee to review the non-compliant peal rung in Cambridge on 22 November. Peter Niblett replied that this was already being considered; however, one of the methods rung was false in the plain course. Tony Smith urged the Committee to be cautious in proposing changes to the Decisions while Phillip Barnes suggested that the Decisions should allow innovation. This view was supported by John Harrison. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

Peter Niblett and Robin Woolley retired. There were 2 vacancies on the Committee: the following 2 members were proposed, seconded and elected: Peter Niblett and Robin Woolley.

(e) Peal Records (pp437-441)

Proposing adoption of the report, Richard Allton stated that the Committee’s report was based on the current Decisions, it included those peals published in The Ringing World, and the analysis comprised the entire report of both narrative text and tables. Mark Bell seconded. Responding to questions, Richard said that the Committee would consider including non-compliant peals in the totals, that the 2 handbell peals rung in Cambridge on 15 June would be listed on the website as performances, and that next year’s report would update the 2012 totals to include any late peals. Adoption of the report was agreed.

Alan Baldock, Mark Bell and Derek Sibson retired. Richard Allton explained that the Committee wished to undertake further research on historic record peals and thus needed to expand. The following 4 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 5 vacancies on the Committee: Alan Baldock, Andrew Barnsdale, Mark Bell and Derek Sibson. One vacancy was unfilled.

(f) Public Relations (pp441-442)

Barrie Dove proposed adoption of the report and apologised for the omission of Emma Humphrey’s name from the list of committee members. He noted the co-option of Jackie Roberts as Roadshow Manager and publication of the promotional leaflet on the Council. Barrie gave members a comprehensive update on planning for the Roadshow on 6 September 2014. Helen Udal seconded. Tony Smith pointed out that Jackie Roberts, as a non-member of Council, had in fact been appointed as a consultant. Elva Ainsworth queried the decision to produce the Council leaflet in black and white. The President replied that she had received requests for such a leaflet when urging members to return to their associations and promote the work of the Council; it had been decided to produce it at a low cost. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

Bruce Butler, Barrie Dove and William Dowse retired. Rupert Littlewood had resigned. There were 4 vacancies on the Committee: the following members were proposed, seconded and elected: Bruce Butler, Ernie de Legh-Runciman, Barrie Dove and Matthew Sorell.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12.26 p.m. and resumed, after the Annual Meeting of The Ringing World Limited, at 2.42 p.m.

(g) Publications (pp442-443)

John Couperthwaite proposed adoption of the report and said that the Committee was actively discussing the question of online only publications; they expected most titles to be published in this format in future. Beryl Norris seconded. John Harrison pointed out that Ringing Skills had been listed as out of print in the online bibliography since 2011 although the stocklist showed that 4 copies were available and one had been sold in 2012. He added that certain publications would always be useful in printed editions. Matthew Sorell welcomed the move to more online publications and the use of PayPal to facilitate payments from abroad. John Couperthwaite noted these comments and stated that the Committee regularly reviewed the question of reprinting titles. Adoption of the report was agreed.

John Couperthwaite and Beryl Norris retired. These 2 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee.

(h) Redundant Bells (pp443-444)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Bob Cooles, who declared an interest as Company Secretary of John Taylor & Co. Bob referred to the President’s foreword (p422) and said that work continued on a revised code of practice for bells in closed or closing churches. David Westerman seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

Robert Cooles and Robert Lewis retired. Three candidates were proposed and seconded to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee. After a ballot the following were declared elected: Robert Cooles and Robert Wood. The unsuccessful candidate was Robert Lewis.

(i) Ringing Centres (p444)

Adoption of the report was proposed by Norman Mattingley, seconded by Philip Bailey and agreed.

Peter Dale and Pip Penney retired. Michael Clements had resigned. The following 3 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 3 vacancies on the Committee: Robert Brown, Richard Newman and Pip Penney.

(j) Ringing Trends (pp444-445)

In proposing adoption of the report, Alison Hodge highlighted the Committee’s work on particular groups of ringers, such as university students, and the proposed database of ringers. Elva Ainsworth, seconding, gave a brief overview of interviews with young learners on their views of ringing. Adoption of the report was agreed.

Alison Hodge, Keith Murphy and Tim Pett retired. There were 3 vacancies. The following members were proposed, seconded and elected: Sue Morton and Tim Pett. One vacancy was unfilled. Alison Hodge, retiring chairman, was thanked for all her work for the Committee.

(k) Towers and Belfries (pp445-446)

Adoption of the report was proposed by James Clarke, seconded by Chris Povey and agreed.

Roland Backhurst, James Clarke, Alan Frost, Andrew Preston and Bernard Stone (co-opted) retired. Roland Backhurst, James Clarke, Alan Frost and Bernard Stone were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee.

(l) Tower Stewardship (p446)

Christopher O’Mahony, in proposing adoption of the report, referred to the substantial reviews of Guidance Notes 1 and 2 during the year. He noted that the Committee had assumed responsibility for the Council’s membership of ARCH (Alliance to Reduce Crime Against Heritage) and had prepared guidance on the use of social media. Steve Coleman was actively pursuing the question of tax on ringers’ wedding fees. Chris Mew gave an update on recent changes to child protection legislation, including new guidelines on the disclosure of juvenile or non-custodial convictions and moves towards portability of certificates with a new online update service [RW, 14 June 2013, p620]. James Smith seconded. Adoption of the report was agreed. Christopher O’Mahony proposed a vote of thanks to Chris Mew, retiring from the Committee, for all his work over many years on child protection issues (applause).

Chris Mew, Christopher O’Mahony and David Salter retired. The following members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 2 vacancies on the Committee: Peter Kemp and Christopher O’Mahony.

(m) Bell Restoration (pp446-447)

Proposing adoption of the report, Robin Shipp declared an interest as a family member worked for Avon Ropes. The Committee’s future work would focus on revising out-of-date web pages and producing guidance notes. Robin encouraged those seeking information on grant-giving bodies to contact Jay Bunyan. Peter Wilkinson, seconding, urged Council members to publicise the work of the Committee to parishes in their local areas. He added that over £300 had been raised from the sale of jigsaws and prints that day for the Council’s Bell Restoration Fund. Adoption of the report was then agreed.

Jay Bunyan, William Nash, Ian Oram and Peter Wilkinson retired. There were 3 vacancies on the Committee: these three members were proposed, seconded and elected: Jay Bunyan, Ian Oram and Peter Wilkinson.

(n) Biographies (pp448-449)

John Harrison, proposing adoption of the report, noted a correction to the year of death of Walter Rose; he died in 1978. Richard Andrew seconded and the report was adopted.

Pat Halls (co-opted), Richard Andrew, Hilary Aslett, Bill Butler and Brian Hullah retired. The following 4 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee: Richard Andrew, Bill Butler, Wendy Graham and Pat Halls.

(o) Compositions (p449)

Paul Flavell proposed adoption of the report. He paid tribute to Roger Bailey’s work for the Committee and thanked Paul Seaman and John Thompson, who were not standing for re-election, for their work. Richard Allton, seconding, added that it was hoped to publish Roger Bailey’s the collection of handbell compositions which Roger Bailey had been collating. The report was adopted.

Paul Flavell, Paul Seaman and John Thompson retired. Paul Flavell was proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 1 vacancy on the Committee.

(p) Education (p449-450)

Peter Dale proposed adoption of the report and noted that Simon Linford’s Judging Striking Competitions was now on sale. He thanked Sue Faull, who was not standing for re-election, for her work on the Committee. Geoff Horritt seconded and the report was agreed.

Peter Dale, Sue Faull, Gill Hughes and Pip Penney retired. The following 4 members were proposed, seconded and elected to fill the 4 vacancies on the Committee: Peter Dale, Gill Hughes, Pip Penney and David Roskelly.

Goeff Geoff Horritt proposed a vote of thanks to Peter Dale, who would be standing down as chairman and leaving Council at the end of the triennium (applause).

The President thanked all committee members for their work for the Council, especially those who had not stood for re-election.

14. 15. Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine Collection (RW 26th April 2013, p450)

In the absence of the stewards, adoption of the report was proposed by Andrew Wilby. Andrew drew attention to the last paragraph of the report and stated that James Blackburn, shown in the photograph immediately above, had expressed interest in becoming a steward. Andrew Mills seconded. Frank Beech reiterated his offer of assistance to the stewards. The report was adopted.

15. 16. Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour (RW 26th April 2013, p450)

In proposing the report for adoption, Alan Regin said that the new volume of the Great War Roll was on display that day. There were currently over 100 names to be recorded in the book. Alan asked members to pass him information on ringing chamber memorials to fallen ringers so that more names could be added. Derek Sibson seconded. Andrew Stubbs congratulated Alan on his work and production of the new volume (applause). Adoption of the report was then agreed.

16. 17. Report of the Stewards of the Dove Database (RW 26th April 2013, pp450-451)

Adoption of the report was proposed by John Baldwin, who expressed his thanks to all those who supply information to the Dove database. John stated that he would could well not seek re-election in 2014. He added that the stewards expected to work more closely with the ICT Committee in future and thanked Tim Jackson for all his work. Tim Jackson seconded and adoption of the report was agreed.

17. 18. Central Council Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells (Registered Charity no. 278816)
Report and Accounts

(RW 26th April 2013, p451)

In proposing adoption of the report and accounts, Bob Cooles said that the trustees expected to offer a further loan to the Keltek Trust. Bob asked any member interested in offering a loan to the Rescue Fund to contact him. Helen Webb seconded. Adoption of the report and accounts was agreed.

The President thanked all the stewards and the trustees of the Rescue Fund for their work for the Council.

18. 19. Future meetings

The President reminded members that invitations had been accepted for future years as follows:

An invitation had been received from the Scottish Association for 2017; the meeting agreed that this should be accepted.

Philip Larter outlined plans for the visit of the Council to Kent in 2014.

The President reminded Council members that meetings were hosted by societies in turn and asked those societies which had not hosted a meeting for over 30 years to consider doing so in the near future.


The Hon Secretary reported on attendance at the meeting as set out in the table below and thanked Stephen Franklin for compiling the attendance records.

19. 20. Other Business

(a) Guy Morton asked for a show of hands of members without smartphones or tablet computers, with a view to establishing if electronic voting, using these devices, would be possible in future. It was clear that there was insufficient support for any such move.

(b) Matthew Sorell updated members on the situation at Christchurch, New Zealand, with information supplied by tower captain Peter Whitehead:

“Progress with our various issues is slow, but on the whole we are gradually moving forward. Work on assessing the condition of the bells is close to complete and it has been verified that only one of them, the fifth, is actually cracked. An insurance claim for the bells has been lodged against the contents insurance policy of the cathedral and has been accepted by the assessor.

Things are starting to move along with regards to the rebuilding of the cathedral in the square. The cathedral authorities have released three alternatives for public discussion. The final choice on which approach to adopt is set to be made next month; if the modern design is chosen it will be far and away the cheapest and the quickest to build (estimated eight years). The architect has given assurances that the tower will hold all 13 bells. Just to cloud the issue further, a well-financed local pressure group are doing all they can to force the retention and repair of the present building, including litigation.

The Transitional cathedral is due to be completed at the end of May. The possibility of housing the light eight there is still alive, but moving along very slowly. Due to post-earthquake constrictions, cost estimates for building a tower around the frame in New Zealand proved too costly. Should it fail to materialize, then we will probably attempt to do something similar ‘off our own bat’ so it would be safe to say that there are hopes that some temporary arrangement for ringing at the Transitional cathedral can be made.”

Matthew added that the tower of the Christchurch suburb Papanui is currently unavailable while work continues to restore the church. ANZAB is providing what encouragement and financial support it can to the ringers of the South Island of New Zealand to work together at Dunedin, which is a solid 3 hour drive south of Christchurch. He urged ringers to keep the ringing community of Christchurch in their hearts and thoughts and to be prepared to provide further financial support.

(c) Hilary Aslett suggested that a formal letter of appreciation be sent to Tim Noad, the illuminator of the new volume of the Rolls of Honour. The meeting agreed that this should be done.

(d) The Hon Secretary reminded members to return badges or badge holders.

(e) The President sought agreement for the ballot papers to be destroyed and this was given.

Votes of Thanks

The President thanked all members, and particularly those retiring at the end of this triennium, for their support during this meeting and throughout the year. She reminded members that the current triennium would end only with the opening of the Ringing Foundation annual meeting on Sunday 25 May 2014.

The President moved a comprehensive vote of thanks to all those involved in the Council’s visit to Guildford: to the organising committee of the Guildford Diocesan Guild: Anne Anthony, Mike Bale, John Couperthwaite, Judy Couperthwaite, Stephen Darvill, Beryl Norris, Chris Rogers and Roger Tompsett; and to all the members of the Guild who had willingly given assistance on the Help Desk at that day’s meeting and throughout the weekend, provided stewards for the tours and acted as tellers and microphone operatives that day; to the Master of the Guild, Mike Bale, for his welcome and for his speech at the Sunday evening Reception and Dinner; to all those involved in the organisation of the Sunday evening Reception and Dinner and especially to the Bishop of Dorking, the Right Reverend Ian Brackley, for his welcome and the Worshipful the Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Mrs Diana Lockyer-Nibbs, for her welcome; to the Acting Dean of Guildford, the Revd Canon Nicholas Thistlethwaite, for taking the Songs of Praise service on Sunday afternoon at the Cathedral; to Robin Walker, organist at the service; to the Revd Rod Pierce for the service of Holy Communion that morning; to the Minister of Guildford United Reformed Church, the Revd Phillip Jones, for leading the Opening Prayers, and the Minister and congregation for the use of their church for the Sunday and Monday meetings and especially to the Caretaker, Mr Phil Groves, who had been of great assistance throughout the planning of the day; and to the incumbents and ringers of the churches who had made their bells available to Council members (applause).

Tony Smith thanked the President for her efficient and courteous chairing of the meeting.

The President declared the meeting closed at 4.20 p.m.

Summary of Attendance
Fully represented42125-
Partly represented204821
Not represented4-4

Life Members4-
Additional Members91


The Ringing World, August 30, 2013, pages 875 to 876, 886 to 888, and 890, correction September 6, 2013, page 904

(Archivist’s note: also absent were Henry Coggill (Ancient Society of College Youths), Mervyn Way (Devon Assn), Ashley Fortey (Hereford Dio. Guild), Alison Brittliff (Lancashire Assn), Aiden Butcher (St David’s Dio. Guild) and James Forster (St Martin’s Guild))

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