CHESTER Diocesan Guild left no stone unturned to make the 26th Council (54th annual meeting) of the Central Council memorable. The Refectory Hall, within the precincts of the Cathedral, with its priceless ceiling, a wonderful example of the craftsmanship of the present age, made an appropriate meeting place for the members of the Council on Whitsun Tuesday.

Mr. Edwin H. Lewis, the president of the Council, presided, supported by the hon. secretary and treasurer (Mr. G. W. Fletcher), the hon. librarian (Mr. W. H. J. Hooton) and Mrs. Fletcher received the Bishop of Chester (the Right Rev. D. H. Crick) and the Dean (Bishop Norman Tubbs), who was accompanied by the Master of the Chester Diocesan Guild (Mr. J. W. Clarke) and the clerical secretary (the Rev. J. Kingdon).

The Bishop of Chester, in welcoming the conference to Chester, said that their presence there was the result of the Festival of Britain because they would have been meeting in London but for the tremendous pressure on accommodation caused by the Festival.

As they knew, the Central Council had considerable ties in Chester. Their founder, Sir Arthur Percival Haywood, had a son, young Percival Haywood, who was a friend of his from his boyhood days. When he died, last year, it was a tremendous loss to the public life of Staffordshire and not least to its educational work because he was for years the efficient chairman of the County Education Committee. He had two sons, one of whom was Rector of Tarporley.

Personally, he knew very little about change ringing but he had read Dorothy Sayers’ classical thriller, ‘The Nine Tailors,’ and here they had another link with the Chester Diocese; one of his priests was leaving to become Rector of March in the Diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich and this was the old church mentioned by Dorothy Sayers in her novel.

The Dean added his welcome and said he was enormously impressed by the attendance at the Holy Communion service in the Cathedral that morning attended by 76 of their members. There was an old tradition that bellringers never attended a service but that was all out of date now. They would never let the community down if they held together in that way.

Thanking the Bishop for his welcome, the president said it was a very great privilege for him, personally, to come back to the ancient city of Chester, because for eight years he was a resident in the diocese and he had rung more peals for the Chester Diocesan Guild than any other Guild. Archdeacon Barber was then Master and Mr. Beeston the secretary.

The Bishop had mentioned ‘The Nine Tailors.’ Some years ago Miss Dorothy Sayers wrote to him and asked if he would explain something about change ringing to a Swedish lady who was to translate her work into Swedish. He took her to St. Paul’s and to the tower at Brasted. The first Christmas of the war he received a copy of ‘The Nine Tailors’ in Swedish. He thanked the Dean for his hospitality in placing the hall at their disposal.

The Bishop, in thanking Mr. Lewis, said it was now 26 years since the Council visited Chester, and the beautiful ceiling of the Refectory was not then in being. The Bishop then opened the Council meeting with prayer.


The Secretary reported that the number of Associations affiliated to the Council was now 53, being one less than last year, due to the Barnsley and District Society resigning. The membership of the Council was as follows:-

53Associations with a membership of148

The Surrey Association had elected three representatives in place of two and there were 17 life and honorary members, giving a total membership of 163. All affiliation fees had been paid.


Application had been received from the Sheffield and District Society for membership. This Society was established in the year 1890 and operates within a radius of twenty miles of Sheffield and covers some of the territory of the Yorkshire Association. The Standing Committee recommended that the Sheffield and District Society be affiliated as a non-territorial Association.

The proposition was moved by the hon. secretary and seconded by Mr. Leslie Morris, and carried.


Ancient Society of College Youths.- Mr. G. W. Cecil, Mr. A. B. Peck, Mr. J. F. Smallwood.
Bath and Wells Diocesan Association.- Mr. J. T. Dyke, Mr. H. J. Sanger, Miss N. G. Williams.
Bedfordshire Association.- Mr. H. Harding.
Cambridge University Guild.- Mr. E. M. Atkins, Mr. S. E. Darmon.
Chester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. W. Clarke, Rev. J. Kingdon, Mr. D. Smith, Mr. J. Worth.
Coventry Diocesan Guild.- Mrs. D. E. Beamish, Mr. F. W. Perrens.
Derbyshire Association.- Mr. D. Carlisle, Mr. A. Mould.
Devon Guild.- Mr. A. L. Bennett, Mr. E. W. Biffin.
Dudley and District Guild.- Mr. F. Colclough.
Durham and Newcastle Association.- Mr. F. Ainsley, Mr. W. N. Park.
East Grinstead and District Guild.- Mr. C. A. Bassett.
Ely Diocesan Guild.- Mr. F. W. Lack, Mr. E. H. Mastin.
Essex Association.- Mr. F. V. Gant, Mr. F. B. Lufkin, Mr. H. J. Mansfield.
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association.- Mr. P. Baker, Miss D. M. Drew, Mr. W. B. Kynaston, Mr. F. Skidmore.
Guildford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. C. Hazelden, Mr. A. H. Pulling.
Hereford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. J. Lewis, Mr. W. F. Moreton, Mr. G. E. Oliver.
Hertford County Association.- Mr. W. Ayre, Mr. R. G. Bell, Mr. C. W. Woolley.
Irish Association.- Mr. F. E. Dukes, Mr. J. T. Dunwoody.
Kent County Association.- Mr. P. A. Corby, Mr. T. E. Sone, Mr. G. H. Spice, Mr. J. Willis.
Ladies’ Guild.- Mrs. G. W. Fletcher, Mrs. A. Richardson, Mrs. P. J. Staniforth.
Lancashire Association.- Mr. F. Dunkerley, Mr. J. Ridyard, Mr. C. Sharples, Mr. L. J. Williams.
Leicester Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. Ballard, Mr. H. J. Poole, Mr. A. E. Rowley, Mr. E. C. Turner.
Lincoln Diocesan Guild.- Mr. J. Bray, Mr. G. E. Feirn, Mr. J. Freeman, Mr. J. A. Freeman.
Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association.- Mr. J. W. Jones, Mr. T. M. Roderick.
London County Association.- Mr. H. W. Rogers, Mrs. H. W. Rogers.
Middlesex County Association.- Mr. F. W. Goodfellow, Mr. T. J. Lock, Mr. C. W. Roberts, Mr. E. C. S. Turner.
Midland Counties Guild.- Mr. J. W. Cotton.
National Police Guild.- Mr. T. R. Butler.
North Staffordshire Association.- Mr. R. F. Anderson.
North Wales Association.- Mr. A. J. Hughes.
Norwich Diocesan Association.- Mr. W. C. Duffield, Mr. F. N. Golden, Rev. A. G. Thurlow.
Oxford Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. D. Barker, Mrs. A. D. Barker, Mr. F. D. Boreham, Mr. A. E. Lock.
Oxford University Society.- Mr. R. B. Meadows.
Peterborough Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. W. Jeffs, Mr. B. P. Morris, Mr. R. C. Noon, Mr. W. Rose.
St. David’s Diocesan Guild.- Mr. A. Hoare.
St. Martin’s Guild, Birmingham.- Mr. F. E. Haynes.
Salisbury Diocesan Guild.- Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. G. Harding, Mr. W. C. West.
Sheffield and District Association.- Mr. N. Chaddock.
Shropshire Association.- Mr. G. L. Hewitt.
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths.- Mr. P. N. Bond, Mr. T. H. Francis, Mr. F. E. Hawthorne.
Stafford Archdeaconry Society.- Mr. H. Knight, Mr. C. Wallater.
Suffolk Guild.- Mr. C. W. Pipe.
Surrey Association.- Mr. A. P. Cannon, Mr. D. D. Cooper, Mr. F. E. Collins.
Sussex County Association.- Mr. F. Bennett, Mr. R. G. Blackman, Mr. F. Dallaway, Mr. L. Stilwell.
Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild.- Mr. G. I. Lewis.
Truro Diocesan Guild.- Mr. H. Miles.
Universities Association.- Miss M. R. Cross.
Winchester and Portsmouth Guild.- Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, Mr. C. H. Kippin, Mr. G. Pullinger, Mr. F. W. Rogers.
Worcestershire and Districts Association.- Mr. B. C. Ashford, Mr. W. B. Cartwright.
Yorkshire Association.- Mr. W. E. Critchley, Mr. P. J. Johnson, Mr. L. W. G. Morris, Mr. S. F. Palmer
Life members.- Mr. E. H. Lewis, Mr. G. W. Fletcher, Mr. W. H. J. Hooton, Mr. E. A. Young.
Honorary members.- Mr. E. A. Barnett, Mr. F. I. Hairs, Mr. A. A. Hughes Mr. C. K. Lewis, Mrs. L. K. Marshall, Mr. W. Osborn, Mr. F. Sharpe, Mr. W. Viggers, Mr. A. Walker.


Apologies for absence were received from Messrs. E. G. Penn, S. G. Coles, A. C. Sinfield, J. E. Lilley, T. G. Myers, G. L. Grover, A. Harman, J. J. Webb, H. G. Cashmore, B. C. Key, W. F. Judge, F. Precey, G. H. Cross, J. W. Raithby, H. T. Rooke, F. A. Salter, C. J. Sedgley, G. E. Symonds, F. Beardsall, G. E. Debenham, T. H. Taffender, Rev. and Mrs. A. S. Roberts, Rev. W. H. R. Trewhella and the Rev. C. E. Wigg.


The following new members were introduced to the President:- Messrs. S. E. Darmon (Cambridge University), D. Smith and J. Worth (Chester Diocesan Guild), D. Carlisle and A. Mould (Derbyshire Association), C. A. Bassett (East Grinstead), F. W. Lack (Ely Diocesan Association), P. E. Baker and Miss D. M. Drew (Gloucester and Bristol Association).

Messrs. P. A. Corby and J. Willis (Kent County Association), Mrs. P. J. Staniforth (Ladies’ Guild), Messrs. F. Dunkerley, J. Ridyard, C. Sharples and L. J. Williams (Lancashire Association), E. C. Turner (Leicester Diocesan Guild), T. M. Roderick (Llandaff and Monmouth Association), T. J. Lock (Middlesex County Association), R. B. Meadows (Oxford University), B. P. Morris and R. C. Noon (Peterborough Diocesan Guild), A. Hoare (St. David’s Diocesan Guild), N. Chaddock (Sheffield and District Society), F. Bennett and L. Stilwell (Sussex County Association), A. P. Cannon (Surrey Association), G. I. Lewis (Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Guild), W. B. Cartwright (Worcestershire and Districts Association), W. E. Critchley (Yorkshire Association).



The hon. secretary moved on behalf of the Standing Committee that Mr. E. H. Lewis be elected president for the triennial period 1951-1954.

The resolution was carried with acclamation. Returning thanks, Mr. Lewis said he felt in many ways in the last few years he had rather let the side down. He had not been able to do all the work he should have done or ought to have done owing to pressure of business. In six weeks’ time he would have at least between 50 and 60 hours per week more leisure.


The President: You will see on the agenda that Mr. Fletcher retires and does not seek re-election. That statement was a great shock to us all, though perhaps not altogether unexpected, in view of the great pressure of business that has come to Mr. Fletcher in the last few years. Many of us gave a good deal of thought to the problem of a possible successor and it is not easy to think of one. This was discussed at length by the Standing Committee and Mr. Fletcher made a generous offer that he would carry on for another 12 months on two conditions. One was that the extra work in connection with ‘The Ringing World’ be divorced from the duties of secretary and that during the next 12 months members of the Council and the Standing Committee think very hard as to what is to happen in the future.

The position of secretary is not easy to fill: we require somebody who is not too old and not too young to be irresponsible. We want somebody in the happy medium and, unfortunately, people of that age are rather scarce owing to the great loss in the 1914-18 War, and of course, we as ringers are affected by that war because during that time there were very few recruits coming forward. That is something to think over. I hope the meeting will accept with real gratitude the generous offer of Mr. Fletcher to carry on for 12 months to give us time to think.

I propose that we re-elect Mr. Fletcher as our hon. secretary and treasurer bearing in mind his desire on those two points. In doing that I cannot fail to pay tribute to our unofficial assistant secretary, Mrs. Fletcher, and when we do our thinking during the next twelve months we have to consider whether in future the job be made permanently double-handed.

There were cries of ‘All’ when the president asked for a seconder and the resolution was carried with acclamation.

Mr. Fletcher: I should like to express my appreciation for the way in which you have received this particular appointment. It is perfectly true that I need a rest, more particularly to-day because of business activities. As I have told the Standing, Committee, my average business day is from nine to eight at night.

The Secretary: The Standing Committee recommend that a small committee be appointed to consist of the present officers of the Council, with power to co-opt, to consider the recommendation to the Standing Committee of a secretary.


Mr. Harold Poole proposed the re-election of Mr. W. H. J. Hooton, seconded by Mr. A Walker.

Mr. Hooton, in reply, said he would try to carry on and do what he could. He hoped the Council would realise that libraries did not get any less in weight or numbers with the increase in publications. This might make it necessary to duplicate the office of librarian and appoint someone to assist him. He thought they might divide the actual library from the publications for sale.


The Secretary: Under a new rule the president, secretary, librarian and past secretary become life members. They were previously honorary members. Mr. C. Dean was now deceased and Mr. Smallwood was now the representative of the Ancient Society of College Youths.

The Standing Committee recommended that the Earl of Shaftesbury, Mrs. L. K. Marshall, Messrs. E. A. Barnett, G. E. Debenham, T. Groombridge, A. A. Hughes, F. Sharpe, W. H. Viggers and A. Walker, retiring members, be re-elected and Mr. E. Shepherd, Mr. M. Howard, Mr. P. L. Taylor, Dr. Hatcher, Mr. D. Hughes, Mr. B. Price and Mr. G. R. Newton be elected members. That would leave four vacancies which should be left for emergencies.

The secretary moved and Mr. P. J. Johnson seconded.

Mr. C. H. Kippin moved and Mr. G. Pullinger seconded, that Mr. J. P. Fidler be elected an honorary member.

The meeting elected as hon. members the names submitted by the Standing Committee with the addition of Mr. Fidler.


The secretary, on behalf of the Standing Committee gave notice of a motion for next year’s meeting that Mrs. Fletcher be elected a life member. (Applause.)


The secretary said that Mr. A. A. Hughes, the present auditor, was eligible for re-election and they wanted a second auditor. The Standing Committee recommended the re-election of Mr. Hughes and that Mr. F. Perrens be elected a second auditor.

This was proposed by the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead and seconded by Mr. H. Miles and carried unanimously.


The members stood while the president read out the list of the following members of the Council who had died during the past year:

Messrs. W. H. Barber (Durham and Newcastle) 1924-1950; W. Pickworth (Middlesex County) 1909-1911, 1930-1935; H. R. Newton (Ancient Society of College Youths) 1891-1893, 1897-1899, 1924-1950; W. Short (Worcestershire and Districts) 1915-1926; Rev. R. F. R. Routh (Hertford County) 1936-1939; Messrs. C. Tyler (Sussex County) 1891-1893; W. H. Shuker (Lancashire Association) 1927-1950; J. George (honorary member) 1918-1932; O. Sippetts (Sussex County) 1939-1951; C. Dean (Surrey Association, honorary member) 1897-1932, 1933-1950; W. Claydon (Surrey Association) 1936-1939; J. G. Wall (Hereford Diocesan Guild) 1891-1897; Rev. G. D. Scott (Irish Association) 1920-1929.

Tributes to the memory of Mr. Barber were paid by Mr. R. S. Anderson (who was taught ringing by the deceased) and by Mr. Albert Walker, who mentioned that on June 9th a party of College Youths were coming from London to Birmingham to hold a meeting and they were making a special pilgrimage to Mr. Barber’s grave.

Mr. F. Dunkerley spoke of the great loss to the Lancashire Association by the death of Mr. W. Shuker, who was for 40 years the secretary of the Association.

Mr. A. C. Hazelden called attention to the death a few years ago of Mr. J. G. Wall, a member from 1891-97, who died on April 28th, 1941. His passing had only just reached the Biographies Committee.

Mr. F. E. Dukes mentioned the passing of Canon G. D. Scott, for 50 years a member of the Irish Association and a practical ringer.


The secretary reported that the minutes of the last meeting were published on pages 252 and 253 of ‘The Ringing World.’ The Standing Committee recommended that they be taken as read and approved. This was proposed by Mr. F. Hairs and seconded by Mr. Leslie Morris.



The report of the hon. librarian stated that in October last the new book of Major Compositions was ready and a steady stream of orders began. The demand for the ‘Doubles and Minor Collection’ continued while ‘Hints’ and the Handbell book remain popular. For the last-named book demand is very steady and a reprint should be considered. Other publications now available are the revised ‘Card of Instructions on the Care of Bells’ and the new edition of ‘Model Rules.’ Recently an approach was made to the Council by Mr. J. B. Howes and Miss Howes with regard to the disposal of the stock, blocks and copyright of ‘Village Bells,’ a popular instruction book. It was decided to purchase this.

During the year there have been several loans from the library and some enquiries for information from the older ringing papers have been answered. He regretted that he had not been able to make much progress with the distribution of duplicate volumes of the books bequeathed by the late J. H. Shepherd.

He hoped that the Council approved the decision to send out such books on permanent loan. They would thus remain the property of the Council and, in the event of accident to a library book, the duplicate could be reclaimed. Each book thus sent out would contain a Council book plate.

The following presentations were gratefully acknowledged:- ‘Church Bells of Renfrewshire and Dumbartonshire’ (R. W. M. Clouston) by the author; Papers belonging to William Taylor, of Penwortham, by A. Tomlinson; ‘Church Bells of Ayrshire’ (R. W. M. Clouston), by the author; ‘The Tower and Bells of Solihull Church’ (Shepherd), by E. H. Lewis: ‘Ringers’ Guide to the Church Bells of Devon’ (Charles Pearson), by G. Edwards; ‘Church Bells of Oxfordshire,’ Vol. II. (Sharpe), by the author; ‘Ringers’ Guide to the Church Bells of Britain’ (Dove) (two copies, one a finely-bound presentation copy), by W. Viggers and the author.

The following books have been purchased ‘Art and Science of Handbell Ringing’ (Turner); ‘The Reliquary’ (19 parts) containing articles on the bells of Cornwall, Derbyshire and Notts (Dunkin and Jewitt).

The accounts of the library showed that 1,752 books or pamphlets had been sold during the year for £109 14s. 2d.

Mr. Hooton, in moving the adoption of the report called attention to the purchase, of the stock of ‘Village Bells,’ about 600 copies.

Mr. F. E. Dukes seconded and the report was adopted.


The Income and Expenditure Account of the General Funds of the Council for the year ending December 31st, showed income: Affiliation fees for 1950, £37 5s.; subscriptions, honorary members, 5s.; balances (profits): ‘Ringing World,’ £1 12s. 11d.; publications, £9 8s. 5d. On the expenditure side items were: Insurance of library, 8s. 9d.; expenses Biography Committee, £10 16s. 6d.; stationery and printing, £13 0s. 6d.; telephone, £6 6s. 3d.; postage, £4 10s. 1d.: wreaths, £4 4s.; gratuities, annual meeting, £4 0s. 6d.; binding ‘Ringing Worlds,’ £1 0s. 6d.; additions to library written off, £2 5s. 6d.; diocesan map, 1s. 3d.; excess of income over expenditure for the year, £1 17s. 6d.

The balance sheet showed the following assets:- Goodwill and blocks, ‘The Ringing World,’ £200; library, £10; stock of publications £186 8s. 2d.; stock of stationery, £1 10s.; debtors, £814 8s. 4d.; insurance in advance, 8s. 9d.; cash at bank and in hand, £1,511 3s. 5d.

Liabilities: Creditors, £379 15s. 2d.; payments in advance, £406 16s. 9d.; bequest, J. H. Shepherd, £10 17s. 3d.; general funds balance, £1,926 9s. 6d.

‘The Ringing World’ account was as follows:-

Income:- Rolls Publishing Company, £1,686 0s. 2d.; postal subscribers, £1,259 0s. 1d.; advertisements, £208 9s. 8d.; notices, £342 10s. 9d.; sale of ‘History of College Youths,’ £6 6s. 4d.

Expenditure:- Printing and blocks, £2,575 9s. 10d.; editorial office: rent, £13; editor’s fees and expenses, £288 9s. 11d.; clerical assistance, £116 12s. 9d.; postage, £8 17s. 6d.; stationery and sundries, £1 1s. 8d. Postal subscribers: Despatch of copies, £107 2s. 9d.; postage and wrappers, £303 14s. 6d. Accounts Department: Clerical assistance, £52; postage and telephone, £21 17s. 8d.; stationery and sundries, £12 7s. 6d. Excess of income over expenditure for the year, £1 12s. 11d.

The hon. secretary and treasurer, in presenting the accounts, said under the new regulations of the Council which were adopted last year, the accounts were made up to December 31st, 1950, and in future they would be made up to December 31st in each year.

Commenting on ‘The Ringing World’ account, Mr. Fletcher said the excess of income over expenditure was very small, in fact if it had not been for the sale of the ‘History of the College Youths,’ there would have been a loss. To give the members some idea he had separated the expenditure under various headings and by doing that they got the items of the three departments.

Turning to the balance sheet, Mr. Fletcher said the item goodwill and blocks of the ‘Ringing World’ was placed at £200, and last year a member proposed that it should be written off. The Standing Committee suggested it be left there. He had put the library at £10, but he wanted to see if he could pick up any idea of what it cost. Debtors, included in that figure of £814 8s. 4d., was ‘The Ringing World’ account. They had to carry three months of the Rolls Publishing Account. They had some difficulty in persuading them to give them extra. Creditors of £379 15s. 2d. was made up of £387 in postal subscribers and £19 deposit in notices. There was an item, bequest J. H. Shepherd £10 17s. 3d., which was to ensure that his collection of ringing books did not go astray. The books had been received and were being sorted. The balance on the General Fund was £1,926 9s. 6d.

The Standing Committee recommended that the library’s value be placed at £10; that this value be retained during the year and additions during the year be written off; that the value of the goodwill and blocks of ‘The Ringing World’ remain at £200; that the bequest of J. H. Shepherd be placed in the General Fund.

There was, continued Mr. Fletcher, one other point that had been engaging them for some time and that was the question of income tax liability. It was a question of serious concern if it went against them. The Standing Committee recommended that the account be passed over to a professional firm and Mr. Hughes had kindly offered for his own particular firm to undertake this job.

Mr. A. A. Hughes seconded the adoption of the accounts. They were very involved and it was a further instance of what they owed to Mr. Fletcher for the vast amount of work on them. He did congratulate him on what he had done.

Mr. Anderson suggested that the Shepherd bequest should be used as some permanent record. The Biographies Committee were proposing to have a loose leaf cover as a memorial.

Mr. E. C. S. Turner seconded the proposition that the Shepherd bequest be used by the Biographies Committee for binding records. This was agreed to and the accounts were adopted.


Mr. A. A. Hughes (convener) stated that he had not submitted a written report. The machine was now in first-class order and it was hoped that, before it went back to South Kensington Museum, Mr. Albert Walker would test it by calling a peal of Stedman Cinques.

Mr. A. Walker, in seconding, brought to the attention of the Council the work on the machine by Mr. Douglas Hughes and Mr. Brian Price. The last time he saw it it functioned perfectly.

The hon. secretary said the 1950 report called attention to the necessity of providing a suitable electric motor for the machine. He had not had that account and when he mentioned the matter to Mr. Hughes he said there would be no account. They ought to place on record their grateful thanks to the person who had footed the bill. (Applause.)


The Methods Committee continued its work on the subjects mentioned in last year’s report. Although the new Plain Major book was then said to be nearly finished, the settling of many final details proved a longer business than was expected and two actual meetings of the Committee had to be arranged to finish the work. However, we are pleased to report that the book is now complete and we hope the revision will be found useful by the Exercise.

As instructed by last year’s Council, we examined the manuscript of the Surprise Methods Book prepared by the last Committee and in our opinion, although it is a monumental work which, as it were, crowned the efforts of that Committee, we fear we cannot recommend its publication at present for the following reasons:-

(a) The cost of printing would be enormous to-day (we agreed it was a great pity that it wasn’t published when first produced).

(b) Much of its contents have been given to the Exercise in publications since it was written.

We therefore recommend that it be placed in the library, for even though it remains unpublished, it will always be a reminder of the genius of the late Mr. J. A. Trollope to those who come after.

We have commenced our investigations of Doubles Methods and we are agreed in the first place that methods with one hunt should have a four lead course even though the Plain Bob lead head rule is relaxed. Secondly, we recommend that the type of Bob be fixed for these methods and, thirdly, that no ‘mixing’ of methods be entertained (e.g., in the past, methods could have identical leads but were named differently as distinct methods simply because they used different kinds of bobs and singles). So far we find that there are about 20 methods possible, observing the above rules and also having either two or four blows at the back or at the lead when the treble is leading or lying behind respectively. There are also about a dozen methods having either two hunts or based on a principle (like Stedman). We are now engaged on working out a further sufficient number of methods to complete 42 different ones to enable peals to be rung. As was said last year, the Council can rest assured that any departures from the usual practice of ringing on higher numbers of bells will be kept to the minimum but it is obvious that some relaxations will have to be made if 42 different methods are to be produced.

We have concluded our investigation of the principles of Method Extension and a separate note is submitted for the Council’s consideration to complete the work of which the first part was accepted last time. It seems important to stress most emphatically that we have submitted a report on what we consider desirable in extension and not what is possible. We have interpreted this as meaning that we should think of the practical ringer - not so much the mathematician. Further work is proceeding on how the recommendations affect methods which have been put forward as extensions of the Major in Mr. Corrigan’s book - that was the reason for the note of warning in ‘The Ringing World.’


In the report which we presented to the Council last year we dealt with all the points except lead-ends. Lead-ends are themselves dependent on the pivot bells, a given sequence of pivots from Minor to Maximus producing two alternative sequences of lead-ends, one produced by a 2nds place and the other by an ultimate place. Investigation has shown that any sequence of pivot bells, from Minor to Maximus (3,465 in all), is theoretically correct. This means that a parent method having its lead-ends in a given order may correctly extend to a method having its lead-ends in any order, e.g., a method extended from Minor to Maximus may have its first lead-ends as follows:-


Although this sequence seems absurd, it is, nevertheless, possible. This can be proved mathematically. But since our task has been to determine what is desirable and not what is possible we have formulated the following recommendation:-

‘That the pivot bell shall be the same treble or the same tenor throughout the series of extensions except when the pivot bell in the parent is equally a treble and a tenor when it may be treated as either.’

The trebles (ignoring the treble proper) are those bells nearest to the front in rounds and the tenors those nearest to the back. Thus in Minor (23456) the 2nd and 3rd are the first and second trebles and the 6th and 5th the first and second tenors respectively. The 4th is both the 3rd treble and the third tenor may be treated as either. Similarly the 5th in Major is both the fourth treble and the fourth tenor. The following table shows the sequences of pivots which would be permitted by the recommendation - the sequence to be read vertically downwards:-


Investigation has shown that these are the only sequences which do not produce absurdities.

If this recommendation, together with those presented last year, is adopted by the Council, no alleged extension so far published of London, Bristol or Superlative Major can be regarded as acceptable.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead moved and Mr. C. K. Lewis seconded the adoption of the report.

Mr. Harold Poole said with regard to method extension it occurred to him that it was something that they ought not to jump to a conclusion. It would have a far-reaching effect on many people on the Council and he was going to suggest that the method extension so far as it concerned lead-ends be published as suggested and finally ratified at the next meeting. ‘We are more concerned with what is true extension and not what is not.’

Mr. Felstead: The majority of the Committee are agreed to that course.

Mr. C. K. Lewis: We hope that people who object to the proposal will produce evidence to support their views.

Mr. Poole said one of the things that wanted clearing up was the extension of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

Mr. Felstead: Mr. Kippin has done a lot of work on extension and he came to the conclusion that there were 18 possible ways to extend from Major to Royal.

It was agreed that the note on extension be left for final discussion next year.

The members of the Methods Committee, the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead, Messrs. E. A. Barnett, H. G. Cashmore, C. K. Lewis and F. Nolan Golden, were re-elected and the Rev. Felstead elected convener.

The Ringing World, May 25, 1951, pages 329 to 331



THE hon. secretary said the Festival of Britain Sub-Committee’s report had been published and the Standing Committee recommended that the Sub-Committee be given powers to continue their actions.

The President: It would be better to leave it to Dr. Hatcher and Mr. Spice to act. The Korean war has cooled down the ardour of some of us but they have done some very good work. I propose the Standing Committee’s recommendations - that they should be asked to carry on.

Mr. Spice: Exactly what is required of this committee?

The President: In the first place when we discussed this we felt it desirable to clear up the mess at the Festival Church and the working out of a plan for handbells in the Festival Gardens.

Mr. Harold W. Rogers: May we know briefly what this committee has done? You mention handbell ringing in the Festival Gardens and arrangements are already made. May we know what information has been given to the Exercise at St. John’s, Waterloo Road, because we don’t believe what was published in ‘The Ringing World’ on April 27th has taken place. The person in charge of the ringing there has no knowledge of the information published and certainly no peal was envisaged on May 3rd as it was categorically stated. If that information is wrong, can it be withdrawn? And, finally, can we know why no London ringer has been invited to handle the ringing in London? Why is it being done from Maidstone?

Mr. F. I. Hairs: Can we leave all these questions to the Sub-Committee?

The President: I think I might clear up one point. I think it was in January that Dr. Hatcher and I met the Vicar of St. Johns, Waterloo Road, together with the Director of Religious Services and one of the officials of the Festival. We were told by the Vicar of St. John’s that there would be two peals - one by his own men on May 3rd and another possibly at the termination of the Festival. He also stated that it might be possible for ringers from the churches sending choirs to sing in the Festival Church to ring, but apparently the whole of that arrangement has broken down and that is the point we are trying to clear up. It will require very delicate handling and the least we say the better. With regard to handbell ringing, if they have been made we are very pleased.

The report was adopted.


Mr. H. Miles said two years ago he had the honour of being asked to compile the Roll of Honour of ringers who fell in the last war. The closing date was September 30th when the total was 221. Since then he had other names and the total was now 289. The Council had to decide whether the Roll should be incorporated with the previous one or bound up separately. He had taken advice both in London and Oxford. At London he consulted the librarian of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mr. Ball, and he advised against it being bound up with the present Roll of Honour of the 1914-18 war. He asked what the cost of writing and binding would be and was told that to write the names on vellum would be £75. He then consulted Mr. Clarke of the Oxford University Press. His estimate for printing on hand-made paper and binding in morocco was £60.

Upon the recommendation of the Standing Committee it was decided to accept the latter estimate.


The report stated: During 1950 a total of 2,724 peals has been recorded in ‘The Ringing World.’

These comprise 2,362 on tower bells and 362 on handbells. The tower peals are made up as follows:- Maximus- 31 in 11 methods with peals of Spliced Surprise in four, three and two methods; Cinques- 50; Royal- 86 in 18 methods; Caters- 89; Surprise Major- 490, with 52 different methods, and Spliced Surprise up to 22 methods; Other Major- 448; Triples- 298; Minor and Doubles- 870.

The outstanding performances were undoubtedly the 21,600 of Bristol Surprise, the 8,032 Spliced Surprise in eight methods (both by the Chester Guild) and the peal in 22 Spliced Surprise Major by the Oxford Guild.

On handbells, the Lincoln Guild have broken records with Spliced Major peals of 27 and 36 methods; the Leicester Guild have achieved the first peal of Yorkshire Surprise Royal to be rung on handbells; the Hertford County Association have accomplished the first peal of eight Spliced Surprise Major ‘in hand,’ and the Middlesex County Association nine Spliced Surprise Major methods.

To the conductors and bands concerned we offer our congratulations.

Will those who send up peal reports please ensure the facts are correct? If a non-Association peal, please say so; do not leave it to the Committee to guess what Association, if any, the peal was rung for. Would conductors of multi-method peals please say how many methods they rang - we are bad counters ! ! !

Mr. W. Ayre moved and Mr. P. Johnson seconded the adoption of the report.

The Committee - Messrs. W. Ayre, G. L. Grover and H. Miles - were re-elected and Mr. W. Ayre was appointed convener.


The Committee beg to report the following records, new methods and progressive lengths rung during the year ended December 31st, 1950.


Nov. 4, 21,600 Bristol S. Maj., Chester Dio. Guild. This is the record length in any method yet rung.


Jan. 21, 5,024 Banstead S. Maj., Guildford Dio.;
Feb. 4, 5,152 Somerset S. Maj., St. Martin’s;
Feb. 16, 5,056 Bolton S. Maj., Middlesex;
Feb. 18, 5,184 Lindum S. Maj., Oxford Dio.;
Mar. 23, 5,280 Solihull S. Max., St. Martin’s;
Mar. 27, 5,024 Wakefield S. Maj., Yorkshire;
Apr. 1, 5,040 Pontefract S. Roy., Yorkshire;
Apr. 11, 5,184 Trinity C.Bob Maj., Norwich Dio.;
Apr. 20, 5,020 Solihull S. Roy., St. Martin’s;
May 3, 5,152 Hallam S. Maj., St. Martin’s;
May 13, 5,040 Wembley S. Roy., Lincoln Dio.;
May 22. 5,280 Bristol S. Max., Leicester Dio.;
June 10, 5,120 Radlett S. Maj., Middlesex;
July 3, 5,280 Rutland S. Max., Leicester Dio.;
July 4, 5,280 Pontefract S. Max., St. Martin’s;
July 10, 5,152 Dorney S. Maj., St. Martin’s;
July 15, 5,184 Jersey S. Maj., St. Martin’s;
July 22, 5,120 Bradford S. Maj., Yorkshire;
July 22, 5,056 Stanmore S. Maj., Middlesex;
Sept. 16, 5,024 Derby S. Maj., Kent County;
Sept. 21, 5,058 Eastbourne S. Maj., Middlesex;
Oct. 14, 5,060 Plain Bob Cinques, Suffolk;
Oct. 27, 5,056 Truro C.Bob Maj., Norwich Dio.;
Dec. 30, 5,088 Maulden S. Maj., Bedfordshire.


Apr. 7, 12,740 Plain Bob Royal, Essex;
Nov. 4, 21,600 Bristol S. Mai., Chester Dio.;
Dec. 30, 8,032 Spliced S. Maj., Chester Dio.


Nov. 14, 5,040 Yorkshire S. Roy., Leicester Dio.;
Nov. 22, 5,120 Spliced S. Maj., 9 meth., Middsx;
March 11, 5,040 Spliced Major, 17 methods,
April 12, 5,040 Spliced Major, 21 methods,
Apr. 14, 5040 Spliced Major, 22 methods,
May 15, 5,004 Spliced Major, 26 methods,
July 7, 5,016 Spliced Major, 31 methods,
Nov. 11, 5,100 Spliced Major, 36 methods,
all Lincoln Diocesan Guild.

The report was proposed by Mrs. Fletcher and seconded by Mrs. Marshall. They were both re-elected to the Committee, with Mrs. Fletcher as convener.


The President reported that the Committee during the year had given advice in 40 cases, of which Mr. Sharpe had been responsible for the majority (25), Mr. Osborne 9 and he had dealt with six. There was nothing out of the ordinary except perhaps a specification for two bells to be rung in the English manner in New York. One of his cases was Handley, the best example of a tower vertically split from top to bottom in the east and west walls. The tower was going to be tied together with concrete and all the bells were to swing east and west,

Mr. F. Sharpe, who seconded, said his cases ranged from Cumberland to Hampshire and from Norfolk to Carmarthen. Most of them were ordinary cases of rehanging, two were acoustics, and another oscillation. In two cases old bells were preserved.

Mr. W. Osborn said some towers were overdoing louvre blocking. They made expensive bells and then complained if they made a noise.

The report was adopted and Messrs. E. H. Lewis, W. Osborn and F. Sharpe were re-elected as members.


The report of the Committee stated: The subject of bellringing has figured prominently in the press during the past 12 months. Parish magazines, which find their way into many thousands of homes all over the country, generally contain an inset supplied by one of the London firms of publishers. Of such insets two of the most widely used are ‘Home Words’ and ‘The Sign.’ In June and July each of these publications contained well-written articles on the art of ringing, with good illustrations. On May 31st, 1950, ‘Punch’ most unexpectedly blossomed out with a two-page article on ‘Tintinnabulation.’ Later in the year the casting of the Freedom Bell and other operations at the Croydon Foundry figured conspicuously in the ‘Illustrated London News’ as well as in ‘John Bull.’ Another journal drawing attention to the art of ringing is the ‘Children’s Newspaper,’ which produced a most interesting article.

The attempt at a record length at Debenham and the subsequent achievement of breaking all record with a peal of 21,600 changes at Over naturally received mention in ‘The Times’ and other national newspapers. It was only to be expected that in such instances journalists would be tempted to give free exercise to their imagination, but while effusions and comments of an amusing character did make their appearance, a number of journals gave the actual facts quite correctly.

For obvious reasons it is in the provincial press that the activities of ringers find the most frequent mention. The East Anglian journals devote considerable space to such activities at centres like Norwich, Ipswich, Lavenham and, more recently, Grundisburgh. The Midland newspapers have published many reports and articles of this nature. As Lord Mayor of Birmingham, a member of this committee has naturally attracted the close attention of local journalists and his associations with the belfry have brought the ringers’ art prominently before the public. The ‘Shropshire Magazine’ has been publishing a notable series of splendidly-illustrated articles on ‘Shropshire Bells and their Ringers.’ Last September the ‘Leicester Evening Mail’ allocated two columns to an article by Mr. Ernest Morris on ‘The Message of the Bells.’

The Irish press gives marked prominence to news connected with bells. ‘Church Bells of Dublin’ was the title of an article in the ‘Evening Mail.’ In one case a picture of handbell ringing featured in an advertisement. Further afield, a Vancouver magazine published an article of outstanding interest under the - to us - familiar title of ‘Ringing World.’ In Australia, ‘The Ringing Towers’ continues to stimulate interest throughout the Dominion. Its August number contains a spirited criticism of the authorities responsible for the carillon at Canberra. Mention may well be made here of a similar publication in England. ‘The Belfry’ makes its quarterly appearance with interesting news of the Maidstone District.

With regard to the B.B.C. there have been a fair number of broadcasts of ringing before Sunday services. In some cases well-struck changes have been duly brought into rounds, but there is a marked tendency to cut short even the one and a half minutes normally allowed for ringing. Bells from various towers were broadcast both at Christmas and Easter, but much of the ringing on Christmas Day was quite unworthy of its purpose. Really good ringing at Easter stood out in refreshing contrast. Those responsible for arranging such broadcasts need to take competent advice in order to ensure that the towers selected have capable band of ringers. On one Sunday the ‘Country Magazine’ broadcast included a very interesting account both of ringing and bellfounding. Handbells have at times been introduced in Children’s Hour and elsewhere; a delightful rendering of ‘Linden Lea’ on handbells came over from Puddletown in Dorset. Television has brought the public into close contact with the operations of the Whitechapel Foundry, where lucid and practical demonstrations were given of the tuning, sound and motion of bells.

Just as this report is being completed, there comes to hand a copy of Mr. Ernest Morris’ new book ‘Bells of All Nations,’ a veritable microcosm of bell lore, with fine illustrations. Ringers the world over will find it a work of absorbing interest.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, in moving the adoption of the report, said just before the meeting there was put into his hand an interesting paper from Sweden giving an account in Swedish of the ringing of Chichester Cathedral bells with photographs of the ringers.

In regard to broadcasting just after the report had been completed the B.B.C. gave a splendid broadcast of Oxford bells and there was also a recording of the bells of St. Thomas’, Salisbury. In the Western Region a series of seven programmes had been initiated at about fortnightly intervals regarding ringing from various towers. The voices of two well-known Members of the Council had already been heard in the series. They cordially congratulated Mr. Morris on his great contribution to ringing literature and thanked the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, who during the past 12 months had made good use of opportunities to give publicity to their art.

Mr. J. Frank Smallwood seconded and the report was adopted.

The Rev. F. Ll. Edwards, Mr. A. Walker and Alderman A. Paddon Smith were re-elected with the Rev. Edwards as convener.


A verbal report of the Peal Boards Committee was presented by Mr. Walter Ayre, who said that approximately 160 records had been typed and filed and there remained another 150 to be dealt with. This would take some time. They felt sure that there were many old peal boards which had not been recorded. He appealed to local and district secretaries to forward any they came across giving the exact wording and the condition of the boards. He expressed thanks to Mr. W. G. Wilson for typing out and sorting the particulars.

Mr. Harold Poole asked if the Council could be told the date of an old board.

Mr. Walter Ayre: Up to and including 1825. I can think of ten that have not been sent in.

The committee elected was Mr. J. W. Clarke, Mr. W. Ayre and Mr. J. P. Fidler with Mr. Clarke as convener.


The report stated: The work of the Biographies Committee during this year has gone steadily forward. In previous reports we have explained that for a very good reason we give particular attention to the collection of biographic information concerning those who were members of the first two or three Councils, many of whom have long since passed to their rest. There are some successes but there are still eleven names of members of the first (1891) Council of whom we know nothing.

We have now 130 complete records of past members and the stage has been reached when we consider that our results should be presented to the Council in tangible form. Last year we showed the Council a layout for a loose-leaf biography sheet and permission was granted to print a supply. This has been done and we have written out three specimen sheets for your inspection.

Your Committee thought that while the sheets might be purchased by the Council, a suitable loose-leaf cover could serve as a memorial to some prominent ringer. The cost would be about £25 for a really good leather cover suitably gold blocked, which could form a fitting and lasting memorial. If any Guild or Association would like more details we will be glad to furnish them.

Mr. A. Hazelden, in moving the adoption of the report, said there were eleven names of the 1891 Council of whom the Committee knew nothing. They were F. E. Paul, J. C. Buchanan, A. H. Cox (author of ‘The Bells of Buckingham’), T. W. Pressy, B. T. Copley (Bolton), the Rev. Pitt Aidken, the Rev. C. W. H. Griffin, E. A. Nunn (Kent County), H. Reeves (possibly Editor of ‘The Bell News ’), Canon Latham, and N. E. Snow (who began his career in Lincolnshire and was ringing a good deal at Newark).

Mr. W. H. Viggers seconded and the report was adopted.

The new committee consists of Messrs. A. C. Hazelden, W. H. Viggers and E. A. Barnett, with Mr. Hazelden as convener.


The President: ‘The Ringing World’ Committee’s report really consists of the accounts you have already adopted. You will see, if you look at those accounts, that we did not quite break even on the year as costs were rising during the year. It means that there must have been a profit in the first half of the year and a loss at the end of the year. There is to be an increase quite shortly in the price of paper and production. The postage rate is going up from 1d. to 1½d. and we feel very strongly we have not come to the top of the spiral. The retiring Committee feel that the new Committee should go very seriously into prices and in discussion last night the Standing Committee recommended the election of a committee of two members who have practical experience of the printing business and journalism. The names we suggest are Messrs. J. F. Smallwood, F. I. Hairs, J. T. Dyke and Harold Poole, with the idea that they should go into the question of this increase of cost and give them powers to act in any necessary increase in price to cover our rising costs. I put that recommendation forward.

Mr. H. Miles seconded.

Mr. P. A. Corby: Does that mean that all the existing officers are resigning from the Committee?

The President: Yes.

Mr. Corby: I don’t know how you are placed and if you could continue.

The President: I feel I will not be of much use as for a long time I shall not be accessible. In my house in Scotland I am nine miles from the telephone, 60 from the railway station and 21 from the nearest steamer, so it would be much better if we turned it over to a new committee.

Mr. Fletcher: The other members of the Committee are not seeking election. My wife and I ask to be excused. That does not mean we have lost interest. We shall place our experience at the disposal of the Committee and give them every possible help we can.

The report was adopted.

Mr. Harold Poole: Before you go any further, I am not so sure it is a very enviable job you have given us. You have heard we have got to put up the price.

The President: Two of the members have experience in printing and they may be able to put forward suggestions, and two, have broad shoulders to take some of the raps when they come.

Mr. F. E. Haines: Is the Committee limited to four? Mr. Edgar Shepherd, of Solihull, is interested in ‘The Ringing World’ and he would be quite pleased to take an interest in it. He is an accomplished writer and if there is room I should like to nominate him.

The President: This new committee have power to co-opt.

Mr. W. Ayre: Before we go any further I should like to propose a very hearty vote of thanks to the Committee for negotiating ‘The Ringing World’ so successfully through its very difficult birth stages.

Mr. A. D. Barker seconded and the report was adopted. Mr. J. F. Smallwood was elected convener for the Committee.


The President announced that the officers and conveners of committees were ex officio members of the Standing Committee. The retiring members were Messrs. G. E. Debenham, J. T. Dyke, F. I. Hairs, P. J. Johnson, H. W. Poole, A. H. Pulling, A. Paddon Smith, the Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow and Mr. A. Walker, with three vacancies.

Mr. Fletcher moved that these nine members be elected members of the Committee.

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead seconded and this was agreed to.

For the three vacancies the following were nominated: Messrs. J. Bray, R. S. Anderson, John Freeman, John Worth, E. C. S. Turner, Nolan Golden, C. H. Kippin and C. K. Lewis. A ballot was taken which resulted in the election of Messrs. E. C. S. Turner, C. K. Lewis and R. S. Anderson.

The Ringing World, June 1, 1951, pages 345 to 346



A progress report on the preparation of a Central Council handbook was submitted by Dr. E. S. J. Hatcher. The price of the 1927 edition was 1s. 3d., so allowing for a rather larger book, a present-day price of 5s. would not be excessive.

Proposals for the handbook were:-

  1. Title: Handbook of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, 1951. Naming present officers on title page (possibly with frontispiece photograph of Canon G. F. Coleridge).

  2. Preface. If Mr. E. Alexander Young were invited to contribute a short preface, this would provide continuity with the 1927 edition. It would be countersigned by the present president and secretary.

  3. The Council - its history, aims and procedure. This section to be re-written, and could be divided into sub-sections dealing with the three main aspects mentioned. This account should include mention of the more important actions of the Council in the past.

  4. Rules of the Council - as adopted 1950.

  5. Decisions of the Council - as to be adopted 1951.

  6. Members of the 21st Council (1951-1954).

    (i) Honorary and life members - alphabetical order.

    (ii) Representative - classified under affiliated associations and guilds.

    It would be a great asset if addresses could be given. Old and new members should be signified.

  7. Active committees of the Council. Each member to be described, with names of convener and other members.

  8. Publications of the Council. This should include guiding notes where appropriate.

  9. The Council’s Library. The Librarian to be invited to prepare an account.

  10. The Council’s Journal. A concise history. with details appertaining to the policy and production of ‘The Ringing World.’

The above would form the main body of the handbook and following this would be a group of factual appendices.


(a) Annual meetings of the Council since its foundation.

(b) Past and present officers of the Council.

(c) List of members of the Council, 1891-1950.

This would be an alphabetical list covering Council 1-20 but excluding the current Council. Having been compiled, this list need not further be revised (except to indicate subsequent deaths) but a new list should be commenced covering Councils 21 onwards which would first appear in the next edition.

Each name in the list would occupy one line of print only, giving the following details:-

Name, initials and title, year of birth (and death, where applicable), period(s) of membership of the Council, symbol or abbreviation to indicate guild or society represented or if honorary, finally an indication of continuing service in the 21st Council.

The total number of names would possibly be of the order of 750, which, at 50 to a page, would require 15 pages of text, not unduly heavy in demand on available space, and a most worthy record.

The Biographies Committee would doubtless have this information readily available.


At the beginning of each new Council, i.e., every three years. a supplement would be published giving the names and addresses of members of the new Council, and any alterations in work or constitution of the committees.

The secretary reported that the Standing Committee recommended that the Committee be authorised to go ahead with the production of a handbook on the lines suggested.

This was agreed to.


Will readers please substitute the following report for that which appeared on page 345 under this heading.

Mr. H. Miles said two years ago he had the honour of being asked to compile the Roll of Honour of ringers who fell in the last war. The closing date was September 30th when the total number of names was 221. Since then he had had other names and the total was now 289. The Council had to decide whether the Roll should be incorporated in the previous one or bound up separately. He had taken advice both in London and Oxford. At London he consulted the librarian at St. Paul’s Cathedral (Mr. Gerald W. Henderson) and he advised against it being bound up with the present Roll of Honour of the 1914-18 war. He put him in touch with Mr. Ball, and his estimate for writing 280 odd names on vellum, and binding was £75. He then consulted Mr. Charles Batey, printer to the University Press at Oxford, and his estimate for printing the Roll on hand-made paper, and binding in morocco was £60.

The secretary reported that the Standing Committee considered this question and the estimates given by Mr. Ball and the Oxford University Press and certain advice given by Mr. J. W. Clarke (Master of the Chester Diocesan Guild) and they recommended that Mr. Clarke be co-opted to this committee with a view to making further enquiries and in obtaining estimates in other directions.

Mr. P. J. Johnson moved this recommendation which was accepted by the Council.


The secretary announced that the Council had been invited to visit Lincoln next year and an invitation to Newcastle had been received for the following year. The Standing Committee recommended that the invitation to Lincoln be accepted. This was agreed to.

Mr. J. A. Freeman, Master of the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, said: ‘It is 29 years since the Council were last in Lincoln and we are very pleased to hear that they have voted in our favour. We shall do our best to give you a hearty welcome.’


Mr. C. W. Pipe said at the annual meeting of the Suffolk Guild he was instructed to seek information concerning the Barron Bell Trust. He should like to know how an application was made and whether it was likely to be successful

Mr. Clarke: I have had occasion to write to the Barron Bell Trust three or four times and each time there has been no answer.

Mr. W. Pullinger: That is the position. The present trustee is Mr. Hopkins, whose last address was at Christchurch. A number of applications have been made and the letters are unanswered. I wonder if the proper thing is not to take the matter up with the Charity Commissioners so as to ascertain the position. I believe the Charity must be registered.

Mr. G. Harding said a tower in the Swindon branch recently had a very substantial grant. Another tower made an application but had no reply. He had a word with the person from the successful church and it appeared that Mr. Hopkins took no notice of any correspondence or circulars from begging bellringers but if the person in search of the grant met Mr. Hopkins personally he might be successful. It was no use writing.

Mr. J. W. Jones: I know of several cases of persons writing and receiving no reply.

The President: I think the answer is that for any one to be successful he should go to Christchurch and meet Mr. Hopkins. If Mr. Hopkins did not like the church or the vicar’s face then there was no grant.


The President: There is a question I want to raise concerning a ringing competition in connection with Butlin’s Camps. Mr. Pugh, who is head chaplain of Butlin’s Camps, got into touch with me and, with Mr. Hughes, I interviewed Mr. Pugh. Mr. Pugh had already communicated with the Diocesan Bishops and told me that Mr. Butlin was willing to give a prize to be rung for in a national competition with finals at Skegness. He (Mr. Butlin) understood that ringing was a dying art and he wished to do something to revive it. Mr. Pugh is a very energetic man who has done a good deal to improve the religious life in the camps. Except in very few districts we cannot say that ringing is a dying art or there is a lack of young ringers.

With one or two exceptions, the Bishops seemed to be in favour of the national competition. For that reason we could not turn the thing down stone cold although that was my first inclination. I asked Mr. Fletcher to circulate a letter to the Standing Committee and about a dozen members replied and in practically every case they were against the competition.

After all the Associations have done in the last 70 years to get rid of prize-ringing we thought it was a very retrograde step. I propose to write within the next day or two to Mr. Pugh pointing out that we very much appreciate Mr. Butlin’s generous offer but the whole idea is based on a false conception of the fact that we do not consider that there is a dearth of young ringers or that ringing is a dying art and that the idea of a competition is repugnant to all the Societies affiliated to the Central Council. At the same time there are certain ways Mr. Butlin can help ringers going to camps. One is that a set of handbells be provided in each camp and a notice displayed inviting ringers to get in touch with the chaplain who would try and get facilities for ringing. I am also suggesting that the chaplain get in touch with the Diocesan or County Association and meet the local secretary and ascertain times of Sunday ringing in the locality and practice nights, so that any stray ringer should get some ringing.

Another thing, which is more important. We should send a copy to all Diocesan Bishops pointing out the reasons for turning it down because I feel it is a good opportunity to educate the Bishops. I feel certain they do not realise the feeling of ringers with regard to prize-ringing.

Mr. A. A. Hughes: I propose we ask our president to write that letter.

Mr. H. Miles seconded.

The action was approved.


The Rev. A. G. G. Thurlow said he had been in correspondence with the Guildford Guild during the last few weeks about the production of a new service book. They wanted to print a new service book and had rather shelved the idea because they wanted a better selection of ringing hymns and an intelligent service. Norwich was interested and he was wondering how much further they could induce the Central Council to let this book be a nation-wide service book for ringers. He hesitated to suggest that it should be the service book to be used all over the country as Elizabeth Tudor found to her cost. At any rate it might be convenient to a considerable number of Guilds. They had duplicated advance copies which were available for anyone interested. It might be that the Central Council could persuade the S.P.C.K. to produce a new manual for ringers.


Mr. T. Butler submitted a plea that the ‘Ringing World’ should publish all true extents of 5,000 with two or three cover bells, to be given under the heading of miscellaneous or unauthorised performances.

Mr. C. Kenneth Lewis sympathised with Mr. Butler and thought that such performances should be published.

Mr. C. Kippin: I am going to support that. A peal of Doubles with a cover was put in ‘The Ringing World’ under the heading ‘A New Band’s Encouraging Start.’ I thought it was the title of a cynic!

The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead: I recommend the Committee of ‘The Ringing World’ should consider this point in their deliberations

Mr. T. Butler: Does it mean that you will lose 12 months?

The President promised that the Committee would take note of the point.

Mr. Atkins said a peal of Doubles was rung in Essex with covers and the band did not know any better. It upset all their members that it was not published. He suggested that such performances be published.


The Secretary reported that 33 associations were fully represented at the meeting, 17 associations partly represented and four not represented. There were 118 representative members, four life members and nine honorary members present, making a total of 131 with 35 absent. This was a record attendance.


The President: It is usual for me to propose an omnibus vote of thanks. I want to include the Bishop of Chester for giving us the welcome he has; the Dean for all arrangements in connection with the Cathedral and for arranging the service this morning; the Chester Diocesan Guild, particularly mentioning the master and the secretary, who had done a great deal of work; Mr. Edwards for arranging peals; and the incumbents for the use of the bells.

Mr. A. D. Barker seconded and the resolution was carried.

Mr. F. E. Dukes proposed a vote of thanks to the president, to Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher for the way they had carried out the business of secretary, to Mr. Hooton and Mr. Hughes and also to Mr. White, editor of ‘The Ringing World.’

The vote was carried with acclamation.

A report of the revision of the decisions of the Council will be published when the various amendments have been checked by the convener of the Sub-Committee.

The representatives were most hospitably entertained to tea by the Chester Diocesan Guild. The thanks of the company were expressed by the president and acknowledged by Mr. J. W. Clarke, the Master of the Guild.

A social evening followed at the Blossoms Hotel, when some very good handbell ringing was demonstrated by bands from Lincolnshire and Leicester.

The Ringing World, June 8, 1951, pages 361 to 362

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