Central Council of Church Bellringers

Annual Report for 1996

N.B. This Annual Report has been produced in accordance with the requirements of the Statement of Recommended Practice “Accounting by Charities”, with which the Council as a registered charity has to comply. The first year for which a report in this form is required is 1997. This report for 1996 has been produced as a trial run.

  1. The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (“the Council”) was founded in 1891 and is a registered charity, no. 270036. Its address is that of its Honorary Secretary for the time being, namely 50 Cramhurst Lane, Witley, Godalming, Surrey GU8 5QZ. The constitution and conduct of the Council is governed by its Rules.

  2. The Council’s Trustees during 1996 were as follows:

    OfficeUntil 27 MayFrom May 27
    PresidentProf R. J. JohnstonMrs P. M. Wilkinson
    Vice-PresidentMrs P. M. WilkinsonMr J. A. Anderson
    Hon SecretaryMr C. H. RogersMr C. H. Rogers
    Hon TreasurerMr C. H. RogersMr M. H. D. O’Callaghan

    The Trustees are appointed by the Council at its Annual General Meeting for a three-year term. Mr M. H. D. O’Callaghan resigned at Hon. Treasurer on 19th February 1997. The Revd Dr J. C. Baldwin was appointed Acting Treasurer until the 1997 Council meeting.

  3. The Council’s bankers are Lloyds Bank, Westminster House Branch, Dean Stanley Street, London, SWIP 3HU. Its auditors are Mr E. G. H. Godfrey, FCA, and Mr A. G. Smith, CPFA.

  4. At the close of the Annual General Meeting on 27th May 1996 the Council’s membership comprised nine Life Members, 24 Honorary Members and 201 Representative Members representing 68 affiliated societies. Since that time one Life Member, Mr F. B. Lufkin, has died; one Honorary Member, Professor R. J. Johnston, has signified his intention to resign prior to the 1997 Council Meeting, and there have the following changes in Representative Members:

    Guild of Devonshire Ringers: Mr C. Ledgerwood-Barr has been replaced by Mr G. E. Mudge
    North Wales Association: Mr E. M. Jones has been replaced by Dr D. R. Marshall
    Peterborough Diocesan Guild: Mr J. Weaver has resigned and has not been replaced.

    Subject to any further changes, at the start of the 1997 Council meeting there will be eight Life Members, 23 Honorary Members and 200 Representative Members.

  5. The Aims and Objects of the Council are as follows:

    (i) To promote and foster the ringing of the bells for Christian worship and on other appropriate occasions;

    (ii) To represent all ringers to national bodies and the world at large;

    (iii) To make available advice, assistance and information to ringers and ringing societies on all matters concerned with bells and bell ringing;

    (iv) To bring together ringers to discuss matters of common interest;

    (v) To recommend standards in change ringing and maintain such records as may be necessary to uphold these standards;

    (vi) To assist in the provision, maintenance and transfer of church bells.

  6. The work of the Council in pursuing the foregoing aims and objects is for the most part carried out by its 15 committees and working groups appointed by them. Summaries of their activities during 1996 are given in the committee reports, which appear elsewhere on the Council’s agenda and have been published in the April 1997 issues of The Ringing World, the Council’s weekly newspaper. Particular attention is drawn to the Council’s preparations for the millennium - the submission of an application to the Millennium Commission for funding for over 100 bell restoration projects and the administration of the Commission’s grant; and plans for recruiting and training a large number of new ringers to enable the bells of all churches to be rung on 1st January 2000.

  7. The Accounts for 1996 show total funds at the year end of £172,412, of which £81,098 is in restricted funds. The funds increased by a total of £2,880 during the year. The income for the year totalled £27,338, compared with £29,892 in 1995. The Trustees have the power to invest money and adopt such measures as seem to them necessary in the interest of the Council. They do not have any power to borrow money.

  8. It is confirmed that the Council’s assets, together with the expected income for 1997, are available and are likely to be adequate to fulfil the objects of the Council in that year.

Honorary Secretary.


Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 31 December 1996

General FundCapital ReserveBell Restoration FundPublications FundFriends of LibraryTotal Funds 1996Total Funds 1995
Income and Expenditure
Incoming resources:
Affiliation fees2,0302,0301,146
Dividends and interest8,139114229278,5098,735
Education Committee courses4,4064,4065,700
Publication sales11,18311,18313,024
Library Friends Subscriptions966966689
Sundry income323211
Total incoming resources14,700012911,4121,09727,33829,892
Resources expended:
Direct charitable expenditure
Council meeting1,4571,4571,463
Education Committee courses4,4324,4325,641
Seminars and working parties064
Committee expenses4,8365165,3525,022
Stationery, post, telephone394230624264
Secretary’s honorarium505050
Rolls of Honour075
Cost of publications sold (inc p&p)6,5076,5077,615
Admin and storage1,2501,2501,200
Ringing History project2929220
Stock written off350350487
Purchase & repair of books335335594
Sundry expenses44549313
Total charitable expenditure11,46602,25010,18256524,46327,007
Other expenditure
Auditors’ expenses121224
Bank charges3232-84
Total other expenditure44000044-60
Total resources expended11,51002,25010,18256524,50726,947
Net I/c resources before transfers3,1900-2,1211,2305322,8312,945
Transfers between funds-1,3301,0800025000
Net incoming resources1,8601,080-2,1211,2307822,8312,945
Balances at 1/1/199689,41043,3624,80929,8782,073169,532166,587
Balances at 31/12/199691,27044,4422,68831,1082,855172,363169,532


Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1996

General FundCapital ReserveBell Restn FundPublic- ations FundFriends of LibraryTotal Funds 1996Total Funds 1995
Fixed Assets101010
Tangible assets
Current Assets
Cash on short term deposit and at bank1,9999,7922,85014,64114,208
Total current assets93,14944,4422,68831,7742,850174,903172,991
Amounts due within one year1,87966652,5503,469
Net current assets91,27044,4422,68831,1082,845172,353169,522
Total assets less current liabilities91,27044,4422,68831,1082,855172,363169,532
Income Funds
Total Funds91,27044,4422,68831,1082,855172,363169,532

CCCBR Committee Expenditure19961995
Bell Restoration Funds9161,007
Computer Co-ordination80130
Peals Analysis018
Public Relations1,272624
Redundant Bells00
Ringing Centres024
Towers & Belfries447159
Ring in 2000/ Ringing in the Millennium1,234432
Insurance premiums253354

Notes to the Accounts for the year ended 31 December 1996

Accounting Policies

  1. The accounts have been drawn up in accordance with the “Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting by Charities”, known as the Charities SORP, issued by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales, dated October 1995.

Fundamental Accounting Concepts

  1. The accounts have been drawn up in accordance with the going concern, accruals, consistency, and prudence concepts as stated in Appendix 2 of the SORP.

  2. Interest receivable arises from investments in National Savings Bonds, National Savings Investment Account, Central Board of Finance of the Church of England Deposit Fund account, and bank deposit accounts.

  3. The General Fund is unrestricted All other funds have been set up and maintained for restricted purposes.

Tangible Assets

  1. The major tangible asset of the Council is the Library, which is valued for insurance purposes at £40,000. It is included in the Balance Sheet at a nominal £10. It has been the Council’s policy to treat other tangible assets as fully depreciated in the year of purchase.

Emolument of Employees

  1. The Council had no employees during the year.

Audit Fees

  1. No audit fees were payable during the year.

Charitable Commitments

  1. There were no unfulfilled charitable commitments at 31 December 1996.

Acting Treasurer.

25 April 1997.

The Ringing World, May 16, 1997, pages 514 to 516

Bell Restoration Funds Committee

The Committee met three times during 1996, in February in London, in May at Shrewsbury and in September at Coventry.


At our May meeting we said our farewells to Eric Billings who was standing down from the Council and thanked him for his considerable service to us over the years particularly in connection with the Bell Restoration Funds surveys and organising seminars. At our October meeting we welcomed Ken Davenport, Carol Hardwick and Kate Flavell as new members and co-opted Jackie Roberts particularly to operate the Funder Finder service.


We continue to provide administrative support to the Manifold Trust, which in 1996 gave 16 grants totalling £48,750. The average grant of £3,047 continues to represent significant assistance to the parishes concerned. A number of applicants in 1996 were also applying to the Millennium Scheme for funding and recommendations were made to the Manifold Trust on the basis of these applications being successful or unsuccessful. We continue to monitor progress with uncompleted schemes which have received offers of assistance from the fund held by the Council.


Further work has been done on the survey of three and four bell towers, and there are now some 2,400 towers on the listing. The “5-12 Unringable Bells Survey” forms were sent to Society Secretaries together with the lists of three and four bell towers which were sent for verification with about a 50% response rate by the end of 1996. It is hoped to complete the analysis of the returns in time for the 1997 Council meeting.

The Millennium Fund Grants

We, in common with a number of committees, have continued to be consulted on and updated on progress with the successful application to the Millennium Fund. We also dealt with enquiries from parishes concerning the grant. Some 470 applications were received by the deadline of 31st December 1996.

Central Council Bell Restoration Fund

A proposal, submitted by Kate Flavell, for a Central Council Bell Restoration fund was considered and submitted to the Administrative Committee. Fears were expressed at Administrative Committee that such an initiative might be seen to be in competition with Society funds. The aim of the fund would be to provide a further form of support for parishes undertaking bell restoration projects. The fund would not be in competition with society funds, but would be seen as a complementary facility. A show of hands at the 1996 Council indicated that members felt it worthwhile continuing to explore this idea. A letter has been sent to Guild Secretaries and consideration will be given in 1997 to the feedback from Guilds and, if appropriate, a motion to Council.

Funder Finder

We continue to respond to enquiries for information about charities which might be approached. This information is provided from the Funder Finder database, to which the Council subscribes. We were pleased to hear during 1996 that parishes are receiving substantial grants from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Dissemination of Information

During 1996 advice and information was provided to a large number of parishes in response to some 250 general enquiries. Various articles and reports have appeared in The Ringing World.

The 4th April issue of The Church Times contained an article which highlighted the support of the Manifold Trust for bell restoration. Many requests for support were received by the Chairman, whose telephone number was given as the contact number. A number of one-bell, two-bell and three-bell parishes were amongst the enquiries. In most cases a fund-raising pack was sent, and each parish was referred to their appropriate Society.

A few weeks later media publicity associated with the award of the Millennium Fund grant and with the “Ring in 2000” project caused many further parishes to seek help. Between 1st April and 31st December 1996 support was given to 221 parishes.

Some dioceses have reprinted The Church Times article in their newsletters and some have filed the contact telephone number so that enquiries are still being received.

The booklet “Organising a Bell Restoration Project” which contained some out of date information has been updated and reprinted by the Publications Committee. We have also revised and updated “Fund Raising: A Guide for Parishes” and our Committee brochure. Consideration is being given to producing a fuller information pack for parishes. Copies of the committee’s Video continue to be available.

Future Work

Work will continue on the Central Council Bell Restoration Fund proposal and a fuller information pack for parishes. The Committee will also continue to carry out its routine, but essential, work in supplying information to parishes and other interested parties and providing administrative support to the Manifold Trust. We shall be following up all those parishes which contacted us in 1996.

JOHN BARNES (Chairman)

Public Relations Advisory Group

Complaints Working Group

The Group was established in 1995 to provide guidance to those having to deal with complaints about bells. It comprises 19 specialist advisers providing advice in all areas of Great Britain. Advisers are supported by four professional consultants and the group is coordinated by John Anderson. Serious cases are recorded and case notes exchanged. During the year advice was given in 11 such cases, many of which involved investigation by Environmental Health Officers, but abatement notices were avoided.

Guidelines on “Ensuring the Acceptability of the Sound of Church Bell Ringing” are being produced by Roger Tompsett, the group’s noise consultant. The first draft has been reviewed by the Administrative Committee. The second will be offered for comment in The Ringing World at an appropriate time in the consultation process.

Several thousand cards giving advice on how to avoid complaints and how to deal with them have been distributed to churches throughout Britain and abroad.

The group is scheduled to meet in March in Birmingham to exchange notes and update on issues affecting the service.

Millennium Projects

Following the directive at last year’s Council meeting the two millennium projects are now managed by working groups appointed by the officers of the Council and are reported in the Administrative Committee’s report. However, PRAG members continue to be represented on the “Ringing in the Millennium” group with Stella Bianco and Lin Forbes acting as joint project coordinators and John Anderson as a member. Wendy Daw and John Anderson also work for the “Ring in 2000” group.


As has become customary Fred Dukes’ detailed report on international liaison will be the subject of a separate report in The Ringing World.

Substantial international press coverage resulted from an Associated Press visit to Isleworth. Articles appeared in Australia, where there was also radio interest, and across the USA. There have been many requests from non ringers abroad wanting to join in the UK millennium celebrations by ringing bells and some plan to visit the UK to learn to ring.

The international liaison report also highlights the unprecedented number of additional rings of bells being planned and installed abroad, particularly in Australia and America.

PR Displays

Displays have been provided throughout the year and used in many locations and a variety of buildings. Harold Rogers, who provides this service, reports that on one occasion the Salvation Army borrowed a display and gave it pride of place in Dudley Town Hall! Although the number of displays is continually being increased particularly with an eye on likely millennium demands, it is still necessary to provide adequate notice of requirements to avoid disappointment.

Sharing Good Practice

This seminar, held at Southwark Cathedral in October, attracted nearly 60 delegates. It provided a forum for societies to exchange ideas, experiences and practice in five key aspects of ringing. Presentations were made by society representatives, discussed in small groups and ideas brought back to the main group. The model was thought to have worked well and will be used if future seminars of a similar nature are required.

Ringing World Roadshow

Plans were made for this event (sponsored by The Ringing World) to be held on 12th April at Knowle. The aim is to combine a ringers fair with a wide range of exhibits and attractions. It will offer an opportunity for ringers to meet well known ringing personalities and exchange information and ideas. Derek Watson and John Anderson were tasked to organise the 1997 Roadshow and if successful it is intended to repeat the event in a variety of locations.

Media contact

ARD, a German national TV company, produced a short documentary on English bell ringing which was transmitted on German TV in January. Filming took place at Whitechapel, Cowfold and Westminster Abbey. The tape was given to PRAG for PR use.

Support has been given to a British freelance TV producer who wants to make a series about bell ringing. If he manages to sell the idea further substantial effort will be required from Emma St John Smith, Adrian Udal and John Anderson during filming.

There was considerable media attention when Madge Mather cut the ropes at Compton Bassett and again when a complainant at Maidstone took his case to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Adrian Udal is advising the producer of Bells on Sunday of churches celebrating special events so that their bells can be broadcast at the appropriate time. There is also a plan to transmit bells benefiting from Millennium Commission grants as work is completed.

“Ringing in the Millennium” and “Ring in 2000” have both generated a huge amount of international, national, regional and local attention, most of which has been handled by Lin Forbes, Stella Bianco and John Anderson.


George Morris drafted a pamphlet for ordinands giving information about ringing. Chris Taylor is preparing this for publication.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s office was kept informed by Emma St John Smith and Stella Bianco on progress with the application for millennium funding. Discussions have also been held with the Council for the Care of Churches in relation to the Ringing in the Millennium project.

When the Archbishop of Canterbury was faced with a complaint about ringing at Maidstone, information on how ringers are advised to deal with complaints was passed to him via the Hon Secretary.


Wendy Daw monitors the Internet for ringing material and adds information where appropriate. Wendy also acts as secretary to the group.


In joint collaboration with the Council for the Protection of Rural England ringers were asked to help celebrate CPRE’s 70th birthday by ringing a new surprise method called “Endangered Spaces” for Harvest Festival. In return Steven Coleman is to write an article in the CPRE magazine. Unfortunately the request clashed with a similar one from the Church of England Children’s Society which resulted in a rather poor take up of the CPRE request.


John Anderson will vacate the Chair of this group after the next Council meeting. David Thorne is the popular replacement and he received unanimous support from the rest of the group.

J. A. ANDERSON (Chairman)
C. TAYLOR (Consultant)
D. G. THORNE (in attendance)

Towers and Belfries Committee

During 1996, members have dealt with 80 cases, ranging from minor queries dealt with by letter to major queries dealt with by carrying out on-site inspections and preparing full reports. Although the majority of requests for advice have come from the mainland, queries have also been received from the United States, Holland and Northern Ireland.

The Committee has met formally on three occasions in the winter, summer and autumn, when lively discussion has been held on a number of topics, the most popular being ropes and bearings.

Concern about the variability of ropes supplied by different manufacturers led to the Committee entrusting Jim Taylor with the task of circulating rope makers and bell hangers for their comments. This generated some constructive dialogue and it is hoped that the Committee can arrange for this topic to be included in a future seminar.

Chris Povey’s experience with failed ball bearings at Evesham has been discussed on more than one occasion. He brought to a meeting one of the offending bearings for the members of the Committee to inspect. Chris has been asked to carry out more research into the instances of bearing trouble so that constructive advice can be formulated for towers which may be affected.

Following a number of queries with regard to lightning protection, the Committee has purchased a copy of BS.6651 “The Protection of Structures Against Lightning”, again so that constructive advice can be given to enquirers.

Work on the Committee’s publications has continued throughout the year. Alan Frost has revised the D.I.Y. guidelines to bring them up to date with current practice. Roger Booth’s efforts with the production of the model specification continue and, with the help of other members, it is hoped to have copy ready for the printers during 1997. Jim Taylor is drafting a new booklet titled “Sound Management” ready for publication in early 1997. Although strictly not for publication, Harry Windsor has copied a number of photographs onto slides. Members now have at their disposal those slides of towers, bell frames and fittings for use in talks, seminars, etc.

As usual, members have assisted with various courses. Tutors were provided for the two courses on Tower Captaincy arranged by the Education Committee and also for the course for belfry inspectors arranged by the Salisbury D.G. Members are always available to assist with such courses and any Associations requiring assistance are invited to contact the Chairman to discuss their requirements.

Interest in and enthusiasm for the “Ringing in the Millennium” project has gathered momentum during the year with the prospect of a £3m grant from the Millennium Commission to assist with belfry refurbishments and augmentations. Two of our Committee, Alan Frost and Adrian Dempster, are members of the Central Council working party set up to assist the Millennium Commission to choose suitable individual projects and administer the grant money. The next three years promise to be very busy and we look forward to the challenge.

A. DEMPSTER (Chairman)

The John Carter Ringing Machine

Maintenance work to improve the reliability of the machine has continued. A set of 12 posts for the bellplate contacts has been made by Barry Ward in the Birmingham Science Museum workshops. This will permit the replacement of the original hardwood posts some of which have cracked and become loose.

The machine is currently located in the mechanical music section of the museum. To improve the display a short video is being prepared to show the operation of the machine to visitors. It is hoped to use the experience gained from this initial project to prepare a more comprehensive video for bellringers.

Arrangements are in hand for the machine to be demonstrated at The Ringing World Roadshow at Knowle on 12th April.

The machine will also form part of a new exhibition at the museum during the summer months and has been selected for demonstration at the opening ceremony.

We wish to record our thanks to Walter Dobbie, and to Sheila his wife and able assistant, who retired last year as a Steward of the Ringing Machine. He first became involved with the machine in 1965 using his practical skills to make models to assist in demonstrating the operation of the machine, gauges for the setting of methods and spare parts for critical components. He compiled an extensive record of the performance of the machine and rang many different methods both plain and surprise on 8, 10 as 12 bells. In 1968 he called a peal of three spliced Surprise Major and Sheila called one of Bristol Maximus.

J. A. ANDERSON (Steward)
A. E. M. BAGWORTH (Steward)

The Ringing World, April 4, 1997, pages 347 to 348

Ringing Centres Committee

The Committee met four times during 1996. Two of these meetings were of the old Committee, three of whom did not continue in post after the Council meeting. Christopher Groome, Bob Cater and Eric Billings all made a substantial contribution to the Committee during its first triennium. Andrew Wilby and Emma St John Smith (elected) and Roger Booth (co-opted) joined the remaining members of the old Committee.

The Training Directory has again been produced in conjunction with the Education Committee. The Committee discussed, the desirability of encouraging all teaching centres to follow a structured programme of instruction, and is looking at the possibility of offering a package of benefits to recognised centres. So far we have negotiated preferential terms for the supply and maintenance of Bagley simulators and decided to endorse the Pam Copson Bell Club scheme, which will be made available free to all recognised ringing centres.

The Committee has continued to work steadily on ongoing projects and also taken on some new ones. A significant part of our work is concerned with advising potential ringing centres, and progress here reinforces our view that most ringing centres are likely to be fairly modest establishments. A scheme to establish a ringing centre as part of the Northumbrian Cross Heritage Centre did not get over the final funding hurdle with the Millennium Commission, although a modified project may yet be successful. A number of Millennium Bells projects incorporate plans for ringing centres, and one of our tasks has been to look at our information provision and approval procedures to make them as helpful as possible. It is very pleasing that some of the Millennium projects are for centres which include a public relations or museum component.

The Ring in 2000 project has been conspicuously on our agenda, since ringing centres can make a significant contribution to the teaching programme. We produced a paper for the Ring in 2000 Working Party, of which Phil Gay is a member, which explored the possibilities for setting up training schemes using paid instructors.

The Committee is still evolving, and has begun to look at possible changes in its structure which might more explicitly bring together the various aspects of what we do.

P. W. GAY (Chairman)

Education Committee

Four committee meetings have been held during the year, two in Keele and one each in Sharnford and Presteigne. There were some changes to the committee personnel following the triennium meeting and we express our thanks to Carol Franklin, Paul Seaman and Garry Barr for their contributions to the committee’s work and welcome Michael Mulvey, Gail Cater and David Salter to the team.

Central Council Course

After a good deal of planning during 1995 the first two Tower Captaincy courses were run during 1996; the first in February at Cirencester, where we had nearly 100% take up of places, and the second at Sheffield in November, where the take up of places was about 70%. The feedback from students both during the course and after they had returned to put into practice in their towers the skills they had developed has been extremely positive. Whilst we continue to look for improvements, we feel confident that the weekend course is very effective and has genuinely helped students to raise the standards of management, teaching and maintenance in their towers. The main difficulty we face is effective advertisement of the course to those who would benefit from it, and our future efforts will be aimed at increasing the involvement of Guild Education Officers in getting the message across. We are very grateful to Peter Holden (Cirencester) and Neil Donovan (Sheffield) for their local organisation of the course, to the Towers and Belfries Committee for running the Maintenance module, and to the local helpers who made an excellent contribution to its success.

Fearful that the title “Tower Captaincy” might be putting some potential applicants off, we have renamed the course “Management, Teaching and Maintenance”, which really explains what it is all about.

Education Officers Conferences

After the strong support we received at the national conference in 1995, we were a little disappointed at the comparatively low numbers at the regional conferences during 1996. The conference arranged for the South-East had to be cancelled through lack of support, but those in the North and South-West proved to be very enjoyable, and useful days. Talks on “teaching the teachers” were given by Phil Gay and John Turney, and “running effective ringing courses” by Roger Booth and Linda Banks. These all provoked some very good discussion of the issues, as reported in the proceedings. Kate Flavell gave a very informative question and answer presentation on insurance issues related to ringing.

The 1997 conference will be a national event, to be held in Leicester on 5th July - a slightly earlier date has been chosen to fit in with the “Ring in 2000” initiative.


The video on teaching bell handling has become an important strand in the “Ring in 2000” initiative, and professional cameraman services have been arranged. We have received promises of sponsorship from the Whitechapel Bellfoundry and Eayre and Smith Bellhangers, for which we are very grateful. The committee is indebted to Colin Wyld for his time and effort towards bringing this project to completion.


The major activity this year has been focused on the “Tower Handbook”; this publication, which aims to say something on just about every aspect of ringing, is conceived as a reference book for every tower, and is written mostly in a question and answer style which encourages browsing. It is the sort of book ringers will be able to delve into during those spare minutes on practice night, and is well referenced so that topics which capture the imagination can be investigated in more detail. Several members of the committee have been involved with the project, but John Harrison deserves special mention for undertaking the massive editing task. The book has many illustrations, mostly drawn by Yvonne Hall (regular RW cartoonist).

A book, “Starting a New Band”, written by Wilfrid Moreton, is being produced under the auspices of the Education Committee. This book comes at a particularly appropriate time and is being linked with the “Ring in 2000” initiative. It is suitable for non-ringers as well as ringers, in that it gives a clear account of the challenges, and ultimate satisfaction, in training a band from scratch so that a silent tower can once more come alive.

The “Training Directory”, produced jointly with the Ringing Centres Committee by Phil Gay, is supplied free of charge to Education Officers, Guild and Branch Secretaries, and on request to anyone. This year the directory was expanded to cover Education Officers’ contact addresses, and information on Central Council seminars.

Early in the year “Ringing Jargon Made Easy” came on sale, a pamphlet explaining terms that are often taken for granted by more experienced ringers, but may be mystifying to novices. This was written by John Harrison, who also produced a follow-up cassette to the tape for listening practice. The latest is called “Listening to Ringing - Live”, and has proved as successful as the first.

Other publications in hand are a new edition of “Service Touches”, “Another 8”, “Organising an Outing” and “Learning Methods”.

Seminars and courses

We have been pleased to deliver several seminars from our portfolio; these have been at Drayton (Somerset), Taunton, Minehead, Crewkerne, Sandy, Gloucester, Tiverton, Leeds (Kent), and Uckfield. The portfolio includes “Listening Skills”, “Using Simulators”, “Tower Management”, “Teaching Bell Handling” and “Teaching Method Ringing”. The seminars are adaptable and the committee is pleased to consider new subjects to meet guild, or local, needs. There are several books for 1997, including one being developed on rhythm skills.


The Council’s three simulators have been used more or less continuously throughout the year by individual bands, and at training events by guilds and the committee.

Information and advice

The committee has responded to more than 40 enquiries during the year on all sorts of subjects, such as insurance, developing a new band, recruitment, benefits of simulators, and dealing with the PCC! We have advised the Guide movement regarding the testing of badges (although we don’t know yet whether they have taken our advice), and investigated the possibility of developing NVQ assessment for bell ringing management activities.

Ring in 2000

The committee has become involved in some aspects of this initiative, and is seeking to develop new and effective ways of assisting associations with the massive training programmes that are being developed.

RON WARFORD (Secretary)

The Ringing World, April 4, 1997, page 349

Methods Committee

The Committee held two meetings during the year, in Whitchurch on 3 March and in Winchester on 13 October (RW p.1239). Following the elections at the Council meeting in Shrewsbury we were pleased to welcome Julian Morgan as a member of the Committee after two guest appearances at our meetings.

The second edition of Treble Dodging Minor Methods would have been available at the Council meeting had not the printer printed the tables upside down! It was eventually published in July and a review by Steve Coleman appeared in The Ringing World (p.1025).

Despite doubts being raised about the commercial viability of an A0 size wall chart Four-way table of Minor methods showing all the methods in TDMM, we will be investigating whether the costs would be sustainable if we produced a high quality master which could be photocopied as required.

The Committee’s work was dominated by consideration of “variable cover” peals as a result of a motion passed at the Council meeting and this is the subject of a separate report to Council. The work on “variable cover” meant that we had little opportunity to consider new work items but existing services were maintained.

The machine-readable method collections are kept up-to-date on a weekly basis and made available on the Ringers’ Bulletin Board and the World Wide Web, usually within a couple of days. These up-to-date collections are also used to produce the versions of the collections on diskette and the lists of Corrections and Amendments. The availability of these lists was advertised in a letter to The Ringing World of 14 February 1997 (p.183).

We collaborated with the Records Committee on the Collections of Rung Surprise, Delight, Treble Bob and Alliance methods to end of 1995 and following David Beard’s well earned retirement will be taking responsibility for this publication in the future. It is our intention to continue with the pattern of complete Collections every three years with annual Supplements in the intervening years and we will be preparing a Supplement covering the methods rung during 1996. We would be grateful if all conductors would check that the place notations of new methods are printed correctly in The Ringing World and, if necessary, publish corrections for the benefit of present and future record keepers.

As usual we have answered a wide variety of queries on methods and method names from ringers at home and abroad by letter, telephone and electronic mail.

Lastly, there will doubtless be many tributes to David Thorne on his retirement as Editor of The Ringing World and we would like to acknowledge with thanks the help he has given this Committee with its work.

A. P. SMITH (Chairman)

Library Committee

The Library Committee was re-elected with the addition of Mr C. Ridley. Mr F. Bone is still working on the Library Catalogue, and final decisions should be made about the microfilm to microfiche conversion during 1997.

Usage of the Library has been maintained and a total of 43 items were lent out, slightly down on the previous year. These covered the usual wide range of topics, with the greatest demand for history and technical works on towers and bell hanging. Postal and telephone enquiries were about the same.

The length of time taken to answer these varies considerably; perhaps half an hour, often much longer. To save extra correspondence the cost of photocopying is invoiced and the Copyright Declaration form is sent at the time of supplying the photocopies. We are very grateful to those appreciative enquirers who add a donation when they pay these costs. Unfortunately the trust implicit in this has been abused recently as we have had three enquirers who have not met the costs of their invoices. These were for quite small amounts but they leave a very bad impression.

Binding and repairs have continued to safeguard the stock and more stationery was bought while discounts were available. Many kind donors have given books, newsletters and reports to the Library: we thank you most warmly. Only 29 current Reports were received (35 last year) and we remind everyone that sending your annual Report to The Ringing World is not the same as depositing it in the Library. However, through the kindness of Friends and others we continue to fill gaps in the collection. We are also grateful to The Ringing World for support in other ways.

Dr Eisel has drafted a new leaflet which doubles as a guide for visitors and encouragement for new members of the Friends. Mr W. Butler’s letters to eminent members of the Exercise and Guilds/Associations have been very successful:


The Friends received the 16th Newsletter and the third Essays for the Friends. The latter, on the various editions of Hubbard’s Campanalogia, stirred a lot of interest, and we hope that No. 4 in 1997, on Troyte’s Change Ringing will be equally welcome.

Mr Ridley has taken responsibility for enhancing the archive of membership badges and certificates and has written to nearly 140 societies for examples. He would like to compare notes with anyone who already has a significant collection of either to identify gaps in the Library’s collections.

We are always glad to help with book queries and other relevant problems, and we plan to be at The Ringing World Roadshow and also to organise a seminar on 27th September at Thatcham: “1668 And All That” for Reluctant Librarians and enthusiastic Bell-Book People.

J. C. EISEL (Steward/Librarian)

Committee for Redundant Bells

Another 24 churches were declared redundant in 1996. In 1995 there were 43, bringing the total under the Pastoral Measures 1968 and 1983 to 1,510: it now stands at 1,534. The Church Commissioners see no particular trend in this - numbers have varied quite widely over the years, sometimes with discernible reasons, sometimes without - though there is some feeling that the prospect of National Lottery funding may perhaps be helping to avert some redundancies.

When a church is considered for possible redundancy, a number of agencies are involved. As well as the diocesan bodies, the Council for the Care of Churches and the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches advise the Church Commissioners on the merits of the church or the case. Sometimes help is also sought from the Churches Conservation Trust - formerly the Redundant Churches Fund - when a church is of enough merit to be preserved in its entirety for the nation. Clearly the carefully guarded independence of the advice available adds greatly to its value. There is some concern that the far reaching proposals in the Turnbull Report for change in the Church of England’s administration might put that independence in jeopardy.

Last year the Committee was involved with some 25 cases. These included one new enquiry for a ring of bells, five for bells for augmentation, and 15 for bells for use as singles or replacements. Eight enquiries were for churches overseas; Africa, America, Australia, and Spain. Unusually, one enquiry came from a firm dealing in church furnishing. As well as direct approaches to the Committee, the computer lists produced by David Kelly have proved their worth in making information available to those concerned with bells.

Several outside factors look set to impinge upon the redundant bells scene in the near future. As well as any Turnbull effect, the Pastoral (Amendment) Measure 1994 has meant that the Church Commissioners are preparing a new Pastoral Measure Code of Practice, which is likely to be issued in 1997. The Churches Conservation Trust, now custodian of more than 300 churches, some 15% with five or more bells, has been considering the possibility, rare though it would be, of divesting or leasing churches. As well, some local authorities, treating bells as part of the fabric, are requiring Listed Building consent for their removal from redundant churches sold, for example, for residential use. There is need for awareness of this development, and for readiness to appeal against such refusals of permission.

And finally, as the Church Commissioners recognised, Lottery funding and, as well, the coming Millennium celebrations are likely to affect the picture. There are indications that the advent of the Millennium of itself, as well as the welcome Millennium Commission funding for bells, will lead to a fair degree of bell movement in the immediate future. We are hopeful that, since the Associations are likely to be involved with most Millennium schemes, no bells will be lost, but we should all be aware of the possibility. Indeed, it seems likely that we are about to embark on a busy year or two for those involved with housing and rehousing bells.

We thank as usual the Church Commissioners and the Council for the Care of Churches for their help. Mr Ranald Clouston has faithfully continued to supply us with copies of his notes on the bells of churches potentially redundant, we are extremely grateful to him. On the Committee front, we welcome back Alan Frost as a co-opted member.

G. W. MASSEY (Chairman)
A. J. FROST [part year]

The Ringing World, April 4, 1997, page 350

Peals Analysis Committee


We have recorded a total of 5,241 peals rung in 1996, of which 4,802 were on tower bells and 439 on handbells. This is again the second highest number of peals rung in a year, being 99 less than the total for 1994, and 10 more than the revised total for 1995, which was previously second highest. The change from 1995 is mainly caused by an increase for Royal, Caters and Doubles, with decreases for Maximus and Minor. Full details are included in the methods table which has been revised to include all year on year changes. The Oxford Diocesan Guild (395) and the Lancashire Association (233) were again the first and second leading societies, with the Yorkshire Association (232) just behind.

The new Committee for the triennium met once during the year, to finalise records for 1996 and to agree the format of the report. We are grateful for the help of Andrew Craddock in collating the current peal data extracted from The Ringing World input system. We also thank David Dearnley for details of the leading towers, and William Hall for his independent analysis.

In view of recent criticism, we have decided to discontinue the section relating to peals worthy of note. The selection criteria were open to question, and we were always in danger of offending those whose peals were excluded. All record peals which were often on the list are included in the Records Committee report.

Every year, there are numerous peals which are incorrectly or incompletely reported, and in previous years some have been mentioned in the “Peals not complying” section. In particular, the Chairman of the Methods Committee sends details of misreported Doubles in a letter to The Ringing World. There are also instances of incomplete method lists on other numbers of bells, missing conductors, incorrect dates and many other errors. We have included all misreported peals without further comment, but would remind conductor that correct reporting in the first submission of the peal helps our analysis and reduces the number of corrections, which seem to be taking up more and more space every year.

Peals not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

  1. A peal of Bristol Surprise Major rung by the Essex Association at Terling on 1st September does not comply with decision (D) A.7, which requires that “no assistance of any kind shall be given to any ringers by any person not ringing in the peal.” This peal, which Frank Lufkin conducted from the sidelines, was accompanied by an article on page 1007 of the 1996 Ringing World. Having regard to the local circumstances as allowed under decision (D) E, the committee recommends that the peal be accepted.

  2. A peal of doubles in 19 methods and 87 variations, rung at Armeley on 18th May for the Hereford Diocesan Guild, does not comply with Decision (D) C.3 with respect to the calls used in four of the extents. Following precedent, e.g. Corley in 1994, we recommend that extents 1-2 be recorded as Huntspill, New Bob, Blaisdon and St. Vedast, and 7-8 as Bampton, Twineham, St. Ouen and Fifield, and that the peal be accepted as 19 methods and 75 variations.

Until agreed by The Council, we have not included either peal in the analysis.

Methods and change on year

The accompanying table incorporates a summary of the more popular methods with an analysis of the year on year change in the numbers of peals rung on each number of bells.

“Single Surprise” means the total rung in single Surprise methods other than those listed specifically. An “Other” category is included for completeness.


The following 68 towers had 10 or more peals in 1996:

79Loughborough Foundry
35Belper, Leeds (R.C.Cath)
33South Croydon, Marston Bigot Campanile
31Oxford (St. Thomas)
26London (St. Mary le Bow)
25Bishopstoke, Burnley, Maidstone (All Saints), Melbourne
23Burton Latimer
22East Ilsley, Spitalfields
21Oxford (St. Mary Magdalene)
19Barrow Gurney, Birmingham (St. Martin), Ryton
18Moulton, Whitley Bay
17Birmingham Cath., Farnworth and Kearsley, Leeds (Burley), London (St. Sepulchre)
16Terling, Newcastle upon Tyne (St. John), Ticknall, Grundisburgh
15Trumpington, Withycombe Raleigh, Isleworth, Nottingham (St. Peter)
14Leicester (St. Mary), Maidstone (St. Michael), Radlett, Reading (St. Laurence), Worsley, Bushey
13Heywood, Rotherham (All Saints), Windsor (St. John)
12Accrington, Edgbaston, Bristol (St. Stephen), Middleton
11Sydney (St. Mary), Blackburn Cath., Blankney, Bristol Cath., Honiley, Hughenden, Sproxton, Stratton St. Margaret, Willesden
10Aldeburgh, Amersham, Countesthorpe, East Farleigh, Edenham, Harpenden, Jesmond

All of the towers in the top 10 last year are still in the top 20. Three towers which had no peals in 1995 appear in the list in 1996, being Marston Bigot, Knottingley and Honiley.

The leading societies

The following societies rang more than 150 peals:

Oxford Diocesan Guild34550395
Lancashire Association2321233
Yorkshire Association2302232
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths2068214
Southwell Diocesan Guild2021203
Leicester Diocesan Guild18714201
Bath & Wells Diocesan Association13853191
Hertford County Association13548183
Kent County Association16715182
Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association1560156

Bath & Wells and Gloucester & Bristol have joined the list this year, replacing Ely, Norwich, Derby and Suffolk. The Chester Diocesan Guild retains its position as the leading society for handbell peals, with 66. A total of 19 societies rang more than 100 peals in 1996 (22 in 1995).

First pealers and firsts as conductor

There were 308 first pealers in 1996 (328 in 1995) and 46 first as conductor (40 in 1995). We congratulate all those who have contributed to these statistics, particularly where several firsts were included in one peal.

Corrections to the 1995 Analysis

There are many alterations to the 1995 analysis as detailed below. Part of this is due to the computerisation of data which is increasing our eventual accuracy, but most is caused by late submission. To meet our deadlines, we have to report on the data as published by the end of February. Any changes notified later will be included in the following year.

All corrections relate to tower bells except as stated.

Ancient Society of College YouthsCinques -1
Australia & New Zealand AssociationMajor +1,Caters +1, Maximus +1, Minor +1
Cambridge University GuildMajor +1
Chester Diocesan GuildMinor +2, Major +3, Royal +2
Society of Royal Cumberland YouthsMajor +1
Durham and Newcastle D.A.Minor +2, Royal +1
Lancashire AssociationMinor +1, Major +1
Middlesex C.A. & London D.G.Major +1
North American GuildMajor +1 (hbells)
Peterborough Diocesan GuildTriples +1
Yorkshire AssociationMajor -1
Non AssociationMinor -2, Major -1, Royal -2

Revised totals for 1995 are: tower bells 4,797; handbells 434; total 5,231.

Details of the adjustments are available from the Chairman.

The Felstead Project (joint with the Computer Coordination Committee)

Much work has been going on behind the scenes during the year on the project to computerise Canon Felstead’s data. More detail is in the Computer Coordination Committee report.

John Martin of the Peals Analysis Committee is controlling the process of data entry. An appeal for volunteers has been published in The Ringing World (page 215), and an update on progress will be given at the Council Meeting in Cambridge.

J. D. CHEESMAN (Chairman)

ASCY    26916832841   104 9 22  114118
ANZAB    6 222557    47     11 249
Bath & Wells    2 13 5575011   138  7 29116 53191
Bedfordshire      13113212   41        041
Beverley & Dist.    11412131811  51        051
CUG    2 531836 1  38  1 2 1 442
Carlisle       3511    10        010
Chester    513334316    654 25 27 10 66131
Coventry    2 32223115   48  112 2 654
SRCY    281335127111    206    3 5 8214
Derby    6227771671  1128  6 5   11139
Devonshire     12411243253  192        092
Dorset    1 2 6122   14        014
Durham & Newc.    10 16166 4    97  1 2   3100
Durham Univ        1      1        01
E Grinstead        1      1        01
Ely     172892284   13312412 1 11144
Essex    51923143221  87        087
Gloucs & Bristol    138164959101   156        0156
Guildford    32552955    54        054
Hereford        8398   28    1   129
Hertford    23112527553   135  4 13 31 48183
Kent    3 2568054152  167  31812 15182
Lancs    433951489176  1232      1 1233
Leicester    164581678276   1872 6 6   14201
Lichfield      34468443   108    8 1 9117
Lincoln     381361591   109    2 114113
Liverpool Univ     1  1 1    3        03
Llandaff & Mon    3316226145   60  3 11   1474
LCA    11121816221   53        053
MUG        1      1        01
Middx       1207     281 1 18   2048
Nat.Police       1       1        01
N. American      1 1043    18  1 3 1 523
N. Staffs       2418    15        015
N. Wales        2 1    3        03
Norwich     1 21222661  50 3216 15 2777
Oxford1   20136115413100181  3454 13229 2 50395
Oxford Soc.    23832144    45        045
OUS      1 5      6   11   28
Peterborough    358467627151  136        0136
St.Martins 3211156337611   76 1 1    278
Salisbury     14111332   25        025
Scottish    1 1131517    38        038
Shropshire          31   4        04
Southwell    1213458185281  202    1   1203
Suffolk    624447550171  136        0136
Surrey    3 11714122   40        040
Sussex    3 13661163   93        093
Swansea & Brecon       14234   14        014
Truro      1191083   32        032
Universities Ass’n               0      1 11
Univ Bristol    211 6      10        010
Univ London    723 11 31   27  1 12 2 1542
Winch & Ports    4 2985011288   138        0138
Worcs & D    2113797 1   94        094
Yorkshire    2212561239367 1 230      112232
Cent.Council        1 1    2        02
Non Affiliated    397401110682251  2391 1 13 4 19258
Non Assoc.  1 23325154425213 1 161  1 3 5211172

Analysis of Peals by method and change on year

Single Surprise787949
Cambridge Surprise585516
Bristol Surprise555421
Yorkshire Surprise505024
Spliced Surprise231500

Maximus Total299304-51330-17


Cinques Total7994-151578

Single Surprise2071681520
Spliced Surprise8886311
London No 3 Surprise795167
Cambridge Surprise688789
Yorkshire Surprise607387
Bristol Surprise413454
Plain Bob19242315
Lincolnshire Surprise162934

Royal Total593573208187-6


Caters Total190171191013-3

Single Surprise767744207
Spliced Surprise3803662022
Yorkshire Surprise1651992215
Bristol Surprise172157129
Plain Bob91965146
Cambridge Surprise104122104
London Surprise96101108
Rutland Surprise878544
Lincolnshire Surprise728656
Superlative Surprise646254
Double Norwich604723
Single Delight524500
Pudsey Surprise363664
Glasgow Surprise323310
Belfast Surprise201911

Major Total22392242-320919514

Plain Bob303200

Triples Total2602600330

7 methods3903311213
8+ methods2322703130
2-6 methods1661721629
Plain Bob64892416
Cambridge Surprise607131
Single Surprise2124132

Minor Total942963-21103949

2+ methods13212740
Plain Bob13701

Doubles Total1761688514

GRAND TOTAL5241523110

The Ringing World, April 11, 1997, pages 373 to 375

Administrative Committee

Since the 1996 Council meeting the Committee has met twice in London, in October and March. The arrangements for the 1997 Council meeting were discussed and agreed, and the following other matters were considered:

(1) The format and audit of charity accounts - The working party appointed to advise the Council on the implications of the Charities Commission’s new requirements for its own accounts and to provide general advice on the matter for affiliated societies reported to the October 1996 meeting of the Committee. As a result the Committee decided (i) that the Council’s accounts should continue to be prepared on an accruals basis; (ii) that the Council should opt for independent examination of its accounts by two of its members, rather than audit by registered auditors; (iii) that an annual report, giving the information now required, should be presented to the Council by the Officers; (iv) that, to allow for a trial run, the accounts for 1996 should be presented in the new format and that an annual report for 1996 in the specified form should be submitted, one year earlier than required by the Charities Commission. The annual report and a motion proposing the necessary rule changes appear on the Council agenda; and a paper summarising the new requirements for the benefit of ringing associations has been published in The Ringing World and circulated to affiliated societies.

(2) VAT on bells and bellframes - The Committee reported last year on the action which had been taken to challenge the interpretation by Customs and Excise of new VAT regulations to the effect that zero-rating should no longer apply to new bells and new bell-frames. The revised guidelines on the application of VAT to work on church bells which were eventually received from Customs and Excise and came into effect on 1st October 1996 amounted to considerably less change in VAT liability than had seemed likely. Much of the work that had previously been zero-rated continues to be zero-rated and only a fairly small proportion of that work is now standard rated. The guidelines were published in full in The Ringing World of 4th October 1996. The Committee has recorded its appreciation of the leading role taken by Mr Alan Hughes of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in the correspondence and discussions with Customs and Excise on this matter.

(3) Ringing in the Millennium - Since the last Council meeting the Millennium Commission’s grant of £3 million to the Millennium Bells project has been announced. By the closing date some 500 initial applications had been received (although some were subsequently withdrawn) and by the end of March, 60 detailed applications had arrived from all parts of the country. However, although a project manager has been chosen, because of long delays in concluding the necessary legal agreements with the Millennium Commission, he has not yet been formally appointed and the Millennium Working Party has not begun to consider the allocation of the grant. To meet the Commission’s requirements it has been necessary to form a company limited by guarantee called Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (Millennium Grants) Ltd for the purpose of receiving grant money from the Commission and dispatching it to applicants. The Committee wish to record their appreciation to Lin Forbes and Stella Bianco, the project coordinators, and to Bob Cooles, as legal adviser, for their continuing hard work on this project and their success so far.

(4) Ring in 2000 - Work proceeds on this project in conjunction with the Education and Ringing Centres Committees and the Open Churches Trust. The immediate target is to enable the bells of every church to be rung for a service at 12 noon on 1st January 2000; the longer term objective is to use the millennium focus to train and establish a large number of new ringers. Letters have been sent to all affiliated societies inviting their participation and asking them to state their needs, and offers of assistance have been made in the training of teachers of ringing. The project is to be officially launched in September 1997.

(5) Central Council elections - A working group was appointed at our October meeting to consider all aspects of Council elections, including nominations for committees and the election of Administrative Committee members. In a preliminary report back, the working group have said that for the election of officers and other single-winner contests, where there are three or more candidates, they favour the alternate vote system. It is widely used, and is felt to be fair and relatively simple to operate. For multi-winner contests, such as the election of committees and, honorary members, ideally the single transferable vote system should be used, but there are practical difficulties in voting and in counting the votes under this system. Means of overcoming these are being investigated.

There appears to be no satisfactory alternative to taking nominations for committees and honorary members at Council meetings. A mixture of nominations in advance and on the day has not proved to be satisfactory, and reliance on nominations in advance alone would inevitably leave places on committees unfilled. However, the time taken to elect committees at triennial meetings would be reduced if one-third of the members of each committee were elected each year. This would also overcome the lack of continuity which occurs whenever there is a big turnover of committee members. A more detailed report on these proposals and any other points emerging from the working group’s review, and any necessary motions to Council, will be submitted to the 1998 Council meeting.

(6) Child protection - A Home Office code of practice on the welfare of children in voluntary organisations, issued in 1993, recommended such organisations, among other things, to adopt policies on safeguarding the welfare of children. Following on from this, the House of Bishops of the General Synod has issued a policy statement on child abuse, and many dioceses are drawing up guidelines on child protection for the use of parishes. Bell ringers are not exempt and a few associations have begun to prepare guidelines for ringers and their work with children. Recognising that this is an area where the Council should be taking a lead, the Committee is considering drafting some model guidelines on this subject for the use of ringing societies and local bands as required.

(7) Proposal for a CC Bell Restoration Fund - The Committee has continued to assist the Bell Restoration Funds Committee to formulate its proposal for a Central Council Bell Restoration Fund. In essence the proposal is to give more publicity to the Council’s existing bell fund, rather than to set up a new fund, and its purpose is principally to attract money which would not otherwise be available for bell restoration. As well as making grants direct, an important function of the fund, when it has grown sufficiently, would be to provide loans or guarantees to association bell restoration funds where trustees wished to make offers of future grants in excess of the money currently in their funds.

(8) Training video - The Committee has been kept informed of progress in the production of the training video and it is hoped that it will be ready for distribution before the Council meeting. The Committee has agreed that the Council should underwrite the video up to a total of £6,000, but three possible sponsors have been found who between them may well cover the cost of production.

Ex officio
J. A. ANDERSON (Vice-President)
C. H. ROGERS (Secretary)
Elected members

Computer Coordination Committee

The Committee held one meeting in 1996 to agree objectives for the coming year. Much of the work of the Committee is done by individuals collaborating with each other by means of electronic mail.

David Wallis resigned from the Committee because of pressure from other commitments.

The Committee depends enormously on its team of advisers and helpers. In particular, we would like to thank Simon Feather, David Forder, William Hall, Ian McCallion, Frank Price and Philip Saddleton for the time that they have spent on Committee work.

Felstead Database

This project, which is a collaboration with the Peals Analysis Committee, aims to computerise the late Canon Felstead’s records of every tower bell peal that has been rung.

Take on of the data began in late 1996 as part of the software testing program. An appeal for volunteers was published in The Ringing World (Issue 4479). So far the response has been encouraging with currently over 60 volunteers keying in data from photocopies of the cards. The success of this project depends on the number, effort and accuracy of the volunteers. More volunteers are needed to take part in this truly collaborative venture.

The second phase of the project to enter data for those peals rung subsequent to Canon Felstead’s death has begun. All reports of peals rung since 1st January 1994 have been captured by The Ringing World on computer disk but there remains a gap of a year or two where the details will need to be keyed in from The Ringing World.

We hope that the take on of the Felstead data will be completed in early 1998. The third phase of the project is the publication of the data on diskette, CD-ROM, Ringers Bulletin Board and the World Wide Web. If all goes well you will have the opportunity to acquire your own copy of the Felstead database by the 1998 Central Council Meeting.

Meetings have been held with David Dearnley, who maintains the existing Felstead record cards, to keep him informed on progress of capturing the existing cards, and to work with him on how the new system will operate.

Peals Database

This is a more ambitious project than Felstead. Its objective is the creation of a peals database which includes full details of every peal (tower and hand). When completed this database will have significant implications for peal ringers everywhere. Some discussions have taken place with the Data Protection Registrar’s office to clarify the Data Protection Act implications. The Peals database will build on the Felstead database when that has been completed.

Peals Analysis

The Committee has worked closely with the Peals Analysis Committee to cross check peals statistics for 1996. Our goal is to enable the Peals Analysis Committee to automate the production of their analysis by processing peal information obtained from The Ringing World. As in 1995, a parallel run showed that not all the peal reports were being electronically captured and that manual additions are still necessary. Both Committees are indebted to William Hall for his additional check of the information. We are also grateful to Anne Carpenter, Simon Feather, Frank Price and David Thorne of The Ringing World for supplying the original peal report data.

The Ringing World

The preparation of the so called Leading Peal Ringers list is a spin off of the electronic capture of peal reports. Whilst some ringers may doubt the value of such a list, it does provide a useful additional cross check on the accuracy of the peal information that is on the database. Thanks are due to those ringers who supplied their peal totals to enabled the data to be validated. As last year, we have been able to identify some peals that had been rung but not apparently submitted to The Ringing World for publication.

DTP Survey

The Committee is hoping to produce some guidelines in the use of Desk Top Publishing. As part of the preparation of these guidelines we will be conducting a survey of affiliated societies in their use of DTP.

Data Protection Act

Several queries have been received from ringers about the implications of the Data Protection Act to societies. Anyone holding personal data on computer (including WWW pages) must be aware of the Act. Most societies can probably avoid the need for registration by complying with the rules for exemption. The Data Protection Registrar’s Office are very helpful and can supply free Guidelines which explain in clear English what needs to be done.

Software Catalogue

The Software Catalogue continues to be a useful mechanism for informing the Exercise about what software is available for a variety of different types of computer. The Catalogue consists of a 12 page A5 leaflet and can be obtained from the Committee Chairman (address in The Ringing World Diary) upon receipt of an A5 stamped addressed envelope.

Ringers Bulletin Board

2,667 calls to the Ringers Bulletin Board were made during 1996 from 151 ringers. 624 files were uploaded and 2,057 file downloads were performed. About 500 messages were sent through the system. This level of activity is down on 1995 which may reflect the increased popularity of the Internet.

The Bulletin Board is used by ringers as a low cost means of communicating and transferring data among themselves. Various ringing software packages and method libraries can be downloaded from the Bulletin Board.

The Central Council pays for the electricity costs of the Bulletin Board’s 24 hour/365 days a year operation. However, special thanks must be given to Ian McCallion who is the “Sysop” and handles the day to day running of the system. The Ringers Bulletin Board can be accessed on 01794 514754. Use 8 bit, no parity, 1 stop bit at speeds up to 14.4K.

A. G. CRADDOCK (Chairman)

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells

In the continuing story of the saving of the old twelve from St Martin’s, Birmingham and their re-hanging at Escrick Parish Church, it is good to report that the bells were duly hung in the tower at Escrick during 1996 and, contrary to the warnings of some, proved to be a success. The Rescue Fund Committee members were delighted that this should be so and congratulate Dr Robert Richards and the people at Escrick for their determination and resilience in seeing the project through to such a successful conclusion. It is heartening to know that the Birmingham ringers themselves were warm in their praise of the installation. The Fund is also grateful to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry for its investment of time and advice throughout. It is also pleasing to report that the trustees of the Bell Fund have continued to be able to make payments to the Rescue Fund. Although the hoped for total repayment of the Fund’s loan has not been achieved in this year because of extra expenses associated with the project, it is nevertheless confidently hoped that full repayment is not far away.

Partial repayment from Escrick and additional assistance from the Council itself enabled the Fund to decide in September to assist the Scottish Association in acquiring the chime of eight bells at Dunecht House, which were cast to ringing weights and would serve as a peal of eight, to enable them to be used to provide a new ring of bells in Scotland. The matter was very urgent as the owner of the house was disposing of the bells more or less immediately.

Members of the Scottish Association were able to collect the bells and arrange for their safe storage. There are real prospects of them being installed as a ringing peal in a church of considerable significance both in the history of Scotland and in present church life in Scotland. If this comes to fruition it will have been a very considerable achievement for the Scottish Association and one which the Rescue Fund and its financial supporters will have been very pleased to have been associated with.

As always the Fund committee are grateful to those who continue to support the Fund with loans. We are very anxious to obtain additional lenders in case of need and individuals should please not hesitate to contact the Secretary or the Treasurer - only a name and address is needed!

J. G. M. SCOTT (Chairman)
R. J. COOLES (Secretary)
M. H. D. O’CALLAGHAN (Treasurer)

Publications Committee

Nine new publications were produced during the year. They were Belfry Offices, a collection of prayers, One Way to Teach Ringing (Handling), CC Decisions (1995), Rung Surprise (to end 1995), Method Construction, Compositions of Spliced Surprise, a comprehensive collection in hardback, Treble Dodging Minor Methods, Jargon Leaflet, and Listen to Ringing Live 2, a tape cassette. Further stocks of the latter two publications were ordered before the end of the year.

Six publications were reprinted: Belfry Warning Notice in a new format, DIY Guidelines, Standard Eight Surprise Major, Simulators and Teaching, Listen to Ringing 1, a tape cassette, and Church Towers and Bells, an engineering treatise.

With the publication of the complete Rung Surprise (to end 1995) the previous edition and its supplements were withdrawn from sale. The collection on disk is updated at frequent intervals by the Methods Committee and orders are met with the latest available version. We currently offer 53 titles for sale.

The work of the Committee was reported in detail to the CC Administrative Committee at its March meeting and an article describing our work was published in The Ringing World in May.

Nearly all our publications are stored at, and distributed from, Barbara Wheeler’s house in Morpeth. This has now almost reached saturation point. New paperbacks, which are printed in small numbers, can be accommodated but additional suitable space will have to be found before any further hardbacks can be commissioned.

Income from sales, at £11,183 was about 15% less than in 1995, returning to the 1994 level. Numbers of sales of almost all titles, apart from the nine new ones, were less than in 1995. The gross profit margin and the excess of income over expenditure also fell to 1994 levels. However, the disposable cash balance rose from about £7,200 to about £9,100. Expenses were broadly in line with those for previous years.

The stock value at 31st December remained high at about £22,000, reflecting the fact that five major hardbacks are offered.


Beginners’ Handbook3991175
Doubles and Minor for Beginners2091674
Triples and Major for Beginners1041749
Tutor’s Handbook209349
Tower Captain’s Handbook4599
Beginner’s Guide to Changeringing on Handbells61133
Changeringing on Handbells33795
Towards Better Striking59184
Maintenance Handbook14373
Belfry Warning Notices (5)18182
The Bell Adviser4586
Change Ringing History, Vol.130674
Handbell Cassette64
Schedule of Regular Maintenance80317
D I Y Guidelines22272
Will you call a touch please, Bob107248
*Towers and Bells Handbook60370
An Index to Compositions in the RW (1941-1992)13176
Collection of Plain Methods on Disk (3.5"or 5.25")100
*Change Ringing History, Vol.238363
Organising a Bell Restoration Project472
Principles (2nd Edition)1766
Handbook of Composition30208
Rung Surprise, etc. (to end 1992)8182
Collection of Minor Methods19403
Doubles Collection25279
Teaching from Rounds to Bob Doubles57217
Judging Striking Competitions1728
Service Touches00
Raising and Lowering135359
Standard Eight Surprise Major72248
Collection of Plain Minor Methods (1991)1054
Understanding Place Notation32261
Conducting Stedman42214
Major Compositions1573
Recruiting Posters, 16" x 12" (10)20170
Recruiting Leaflets (100)2016
Recruiting Package36194
*Centenary History of the Central Council11311
Simulators and Teaching22187
Ringing Skills9977
Striking the Right Note - P.R. Guide2268
Rung Surprise Supplement (to end 1993)131
Rung Surprise on Disk170
*Change Ringing History, Vol.361626
Listen to Ringing Cassette581
Church Towers and Bells49120
Collection of Plain Methods 2nd Edition16152
Method Splicing83165
Rung Surprise Supplement (to end 1994)1547
Belfry Offices14065
One Way to Teach Ringing201110
CC Decisions (1995)971
Rung Surprise, etc. (to end 1995)3960
Jargon Leaflets3248
Method Construction79268
Listen to Ringing Cassette Live 2887
*Compositions of Spliced Surprise7921
Treble Dodging Minor Methods43258

The Ringing World Limited
Chairman’s report

Having held the price of The Ringing World for three years the Board was forced to address the reality of increasing production and distribution costs by increasing the price of the paper by 5% at the end of the year. However we are continuing to publish more pages than ever before and our belief that the paper remains very good value appears to be supported by our readers as we have not experienced any significant drop in subscription numbers following the price rise.

The Ringing World continues to exploit new technology as appropriate and as well as a steady growth in the reception of submissions by E-mail we now have our own web site on the Internet. Our thanks go to Simon Feather and Anne Carpenter for their work in setting this up.

Chris Groome retired from the Board at the 1996 Annual General Meeting. Despite his many commitments, both inside and outside of ringing, Chris made a tremendous contribution to the management of the paper since his election in 1982. His sound business experience and professional approach have been of immense value to the Board and I am sure that all members of the company will join me in thanking Chris for his invaluable work and in wishing him well for the future.

Our Editor, David Thorne, has indicated his intention of retiring during 1997 and in October the board were delighted to appoint Miss Tina Stoecklin as editor with effect from 1st April 1997. There will be ample opportunity for the Exercise to mark David’s retirement and to express our thanks in appreciation of his outstanding contribution to The Ringing World. However, in this report I would wish to thank him particularly for his efforts this year. 1996 has not been easy, particularly during the latter part of the year when Anne the Admin was laid low with illness. During our busiest period David coped magnificently and we are indebted to him for his calm and unruffled handling of an extremely difficult time. Our thanks also go to Anne who, despite not being fully fit, still worked from home dealing with Diary orders etc. … Both David and I are pleased and relieved to confirm that Anne has now fully recovered and the office has returned to normality.


Report of Biographies Committee

The following members and past members of the Council have died since the 1996 meeting:

The first year of the new triennium has been a very busy one for the Committee with 48 new members joining the Council and radical changes to the composition of the 15 committees of the Council.

Biography sheets handed to new members at the Shrewsbury meeting were completed and returned to the chairman by 29 members and a further six have been sent by post during the year, leaving 13 still to be handed in. Efforts to complete the set of Biography sheets for new members of the 1993 Council have met with some success, but 15 of these are still outstanding.

Personal records of past and present members of the Council are being continually up-dated and Pat Halls is proving a worthy successor to George Dawson in sending relevant R.W. cuttings to the chairman which then have to be painstakingly added to the records. It seems that 1000 pealers are becoming more prevalent and that 2000 pealers among Council members are not unheard of!

In contrast it has been a quiet year for obituaries in that only three present and, former members of the Council have died. The Council is saddened at the loss of Frank Lufkin a legend in his own lifetime, Peter Cummins of bell simulator fame and Canon Arthur Roberts at the age of 90, still remembered for his welcome at the Penzance meeting in 1979.

The deaths and obituaries of all ringers appearing in the RW are now carefully recorded and their number exceeds 130 since the last meeting. The Committee is now able to provide information from the current Biography Index in a format which has been well defined for name, title, place, year and RW reference, together with appendices on the restriction of information and abbreviations used for titles. This is now an ongoing project which could be widened to include information from Guild Annual reports and other sources.

Work is proceeding on the preparation of formal obituaries kept on Central Council members and the scribe has intimated that he would like to write these up in batches of not less than 20 at a time to preserve consistency of style.

It was decided at the meeting at Charlton Kings on 22nd September 1996 to put all the information contained in the Central Council Record of Attendance Book onto computer disc. The early entries in copper plate writing have faded considerably so that transcription has had to be done manually, but a good start has been made to this project.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for Saturday 12th April to coincide with The Ringing World Road Show at Knowle.

D. J. ROBERTS (Chairman)

The Rolls of Honour

The Rolls are held in the bell tower of St. Paul’s Cathedral and can be seen on Tuesday practice nights, Sundays or at any other time by arrangement.


The Ringing World, April 18, 1997, pages 403 to 406

Records Committee

A. First peal on Tower bells.
Jan15088Whitsundale S.Maj.Yorkshire A
15314Yorkshire S.SixteenOxford DG
25208York L.S.Maj.Southwell DG
35088Tiger’s-eye S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
55056Turneffe S.Maj.Ely DA
65024Yellow Brick Road S.Maj.Ely DA
65040Lightning S.Roy.S.Northants S
65042Epiphany S.Max.Oxford DG
85088Abbeydore S.Maj.Sussex CA
85040Naxxar S.Roy.Leicester DG
105040Evingtonbrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
125120Utilia S.Maj.Ely DA
135152Erica S.Maj.Non-Association
135184Gunnerside S.Maj.Yorkshire A
135088Peel S.Maj.Sussex CA
155040Femes S.Roy.Leicester DG
175040Eissedra S.Roy.Leicester DG
195024Ferendone S.Maj.Peterboro DG
195120Zapotillos S.Maj.Ely DA
205024Gayle D.Maj.Yorkshire A
205042Wandering Wye A.Roy.Lancashire A
235056Lount S.Maj.Leicester DG
255040Belgrave Hall S.Roy.Southwell DG
285024Carolina S.Maj.SRCY
305040Lyme Regis S.Roy.Kent CA
315152Fluorspar S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
315040Emmem S.Roy.Leicester DG
315056Friendly D.Maj.Whitechapel FS
Feb35088Aire S.Maj.Yorkshire A
35040Guyhirn S.Roy.Ely DA
35042Juquila S.Max.Southwell DG
55040Ghanjsielem S.Roy.Leicester DG
65120Bollington S.Roy.Kent CA
75040Saltersfordbrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
95056Barbareta S.Maj.Ely DA
125040Kings Newton S.Roy.Leicester DG
135056Merrylees S.Maj.Leicester DG
145152Cornelian S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
155088Kiribati S.Maj.Southwell DG
165040Stand S.Roy.Oxford DG
175040Dane O’Coy’s S.Roy.Essex A
175040Kings Newnham S.Roy.Coventry DG
195040Xaghra S.Roy.Leicester DG
205152Berwick-upon-Tweed S.Maj.Lichfield Arch
215056Wichingestone D.Maj.Leicester DG
235024Santanilla S.Maj.Ely DA
235056Seagrave D.Maj.Leicester DG
235160Solent A.Maj.Win & Ports DG
245152Poyntz on the front S.Maj.Guildford DG
255088Hoof Stones Height D.Maj.Lancashire A
275056Apethorpe S.Maj.Peterboro DG
285152Verdite S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
295056Yes S.Maj.Yorkshire A
Mar15120Roatan S.Maj.Ely DA
25088Upperby S.Max.S Northants S
25152Bushy Leaze D.Maj.Guildford DG
25024Wharfe D.Maj.Yorkshire A
45120Little Coggeshall S.Maj.Sussex CA
55088Hathern S.Maj.Leicester DG
75088Himalia S.Maj.SRCY
85120Providencia S.Maj.Ely DA
95120Brownlow S.Maj.Lancashire A
125056Bagworth S.Maj.Leicester DG
135120Iceland Spar S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
135040Nogewam S.Roy.Leicester DG
145152Knowle Spring S.Maj.Lancashire A
155056Yuca S.Maj.Ely DA
155040Zebedee S.Roy.Oxford DG
155040Zed Alley S.Roy.Glos & Bris DA
165088Bishopdale S.Maj.Yorkshire A
165152Northfield D.Maj.St. Martin’s G
175056Goulburn S.Maj.ANZAB
185152Blanchland S.Maj.Sussex CA
185040Ghasri S.Roy.Leicester DG
195040St. Nicholas B.CatersWin & Ports DG
235056Dearne S.Maj.Yorkshire A
255120Kingstanding S.Maj.Hertford CA
255040Worthkil S.Roy.Leicester DG
265088Oodnadatta S.Maj.Peterboro DG
275152Bath & NorthEast Somerset S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
275120Doune S.Maj.Lancashire A
275088Bowyer S.Max.St. Martin’s G
295056Aspley Park D.Maj.Leicester DG
305088Montgomeryshire S.Maj.Hereford DG
305120Newnham-on-Severn S.Maj.Oxford DG
305056Ure S.Maj.Yorkshire A
305040St.Denys S.Roy.Win & Ports DG
315120Hallfold S.Maj.Lancashire A
Apr15056Osferdebie D.Maj.Leicester DG
35040Feedingbrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
45056Wicestan D.Maj.Leicester DG
65056Nidd D.Maj.Yorkshire A
75000Cambridge L.S.Max.Bristol S
85040Howden A.Maj.Beverley & DS
105088Duddeston S.Maj.Hertford CA
115056Iffley S.Maj.Hertford CA
115088Pocklington S.Maj.Southwell DG
125056Montego S.Maj.Ely DA
135088Cotterdale S.Maj.Yorkshire A
145152Zante S.Maj.Lancashire A
155120Melrose Abbey S.Maj.Sussex CA
195056Loddington S.Maj.Peterboro DG
195056New Haven S.Maj.Ely DA
195024Jenny D.Maj.Lancashire A
205152North Mymms S.Maj.SRCY
205056Barton Seagrave D.Maj.Peterboro DG
215056Dunfermline S.Maj.Essex A
215040St. Merwenna B.TriplesWin & Ports DG
235184Zakynthos S.Maj.Hertford CA
245088North Somerset S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
245040Dwejra S.Roy.Leicester DG
265056Up Avon S.Maj.Bristol S
265056Wilbertestone S.Maj.Peterboro DG
275088Cragvale S.Maj.Yorkshire A
285056Ardleigh S.Maj.Essex A
May25152Xenocrates S.Maj.Hertford CA
25040Stanford Hall S.Roy.Southwell DG
35056Fowlmere D.Maj.Ely DA
45152Margam S.Maj.Sussex CA
45120Tisbury S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
55360Lothian S.Roy.St. James’ G
65024Cranbrook S.Maj.SRCY
105120Castries S.Maj.Ely DA
115152Kynnard S.Maj.Yorkshire A
125152Irlams o’th’Height S.Maj.Lancashire A
135040Lilypool S.Roy.Leicester DG
135152Exeenda D.Maj.Oxford DG
145184Yardley Hastings S.Maj.Peterboro DG
145152Stratfield Mortimer D.Maj.Oxford DG
175024Stoke Albany S.Maj.Peterboro DG
175120Vieux Fort S.Maj.Ely DA
185040Jawcraig S.Roy.Glos & Bris DA
185056Nutter D.Maj.Leicester DG
195030Castle Farm S.Maj.Suffolk G
205040Mellieha S.Roy.Leicester DG
205042Filbert S.Max.Leicester DG
215040Biryani S.Roy.Kent CA
215040Inchcape S.Roy.Southwell DG
225040Wellpick S.Roy.Leicester DG
245056Union Island S.Maj.Ely DA
265040Concorde D.Roy.ASCY
275152Carrickfergus S.Maj.East meets West PT
295040Pachintone S.Roy.Leicester DG
305120Spitalfields Festival S.Maj.SRCY
315056Ghent S.Maj.Ely DA
Jun15088Ravenfield D.Maj.Yorkshire A
35056Tinajo D.Maj.Leicester DG
75056Abaco S.Maj.Ely DA
105056Tiagua D.Maj.Leicester DG
135040Donnington Hall S.Roy.Southwell DG
165040Jenner D.Roy.Glos & Bris DA
165184Ashurst A.Maj.Win & Ports DG
185040Owlerton S.Roy.Kent CA
195040Fishpoolbrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
215056Soufriere S.Maj.Ely DA
215152Timson S.Maj.Peterboro DG
225040Thorner A.Maj.Non-Association
245000Knottingley S.Roy.Yorkshire A
255024Ellistown S.Maj.Leicester DG
255080Revesby S.Roy.Southwell DG
265040Guatisea S.Roy.Leicester DG
285152January D.Maj.Oxford DG
Jul15280Hammersmith T.B.Maj.St. James’ G
25040Hardinge D.Roy.Kent CA
35040Vierzig S.Roy.Leicester DG
55120Micoud S.Maj.Ely DA
55040Bottesford S.Roy.Oxford DG
75088Sturt’s Desert Pea S.Maj.ANZAB
85152Yapton S.Maj.Sussex CA
85056Tahiche D.Maj.Leicester DG
125056Oranjestad S.Maj.Ely DA
125040East Dean S.Roy.Oxford DG
135088How Stean S.Maj.Yorkshire A
135024Ivel S.Maj.Ely DA
145152Alwalton S.Maj.Southwell DG
155120Uruguay S.Maj.Coventry DG
155056Zurrieg D.Maj.Leicester DG
195064Annable’s London L.S.Maj.Peterboro DG
195056Caurejo S.Maj.Ely DA
195040Florenza S.Roy.Oxford DG
205106Manchester A.Max.Oxford DG
215024Eves S.Maj.Essex A
255152Newtown Linford S.Maj.Southwell DG
265088Mermaids Hole S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
275088Ickwell Green S.Maj.Hertford CA
275152Virgins Spring S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
Aug25120Dennery S.Maj.Ely DA
35376Lo-Vel S.Maj.Lundy Is. Soc
35000Knottingley D.Roy.Yorkshire A
45096Glamis A.Maj.SRCY
55056Leiston D.Maj.Sussex CA
65152Xebec S.Maj.Southwell DG
105088Cartimandua S.Maj.Yorkshire A
125040Deresford S.Roy.Leicester DG
145040Lebensjahre S.Roy.Leicester DG
205024Newbold Glory S.Maj.Leicester DG
205024Ordley S.Maj.Yorkshire A
225040Dingley Hall S.Roy.Southwell DG
235024HM & HG S.Maj.St. James’ G
235024Raydale S.Maj.Yorkshire A
245088Marset D.Maj.Yorkshire A
255040Cherwell Hall S.Roy.Southwell
275040Sunderland L.S.Maj.Lichfield Arch S
285040Hundert S.Roy.Leicester DG
295152Hook Norton Manor S.Maj.Southwell DG
305056Barton Seagrave S.Maj.Ely DA
315088Woodmancote S.Maj.Sussex CA
Sep65120Choiseul S.Maj.Ely DA
65040Yoxall S.Roy.Derby DA
75120Fonthill S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
95056Kilbesham D.Maj.Leicester DG
165056Canterbury S.Maj.Sussex CA
165040Swarkestone S.Roy.Leicester DG
175088Lucayan S.Maj.Ely DA
195088Hendersonville S.Maj.St. James’ G
195040Wolseley Hall S.Roy.Southwell DG
205088Ardastra S.Maj.Ely DA
225080Clarkson S.Roy.Ely DA
245056Desford S.Maj.Leicester DG
255040Maguez S.Roy.Leicester DG
275120Varadero S.Maj.Ely DA
275040Dougal S.Roy.Oxford DG
285184Coverdale S.Maj.Yorkshire A
305040Zabbar S.Roy.Leicester DG
Oct15080Stockwood S.Roy.SRCY
25056Moulding S.Maj.Lancashire A
25040Thwaites S.Roy.Lancashire A
45056Fincastle S.Maj.Ely DA
55184Erix S.Maj.Peterboro DG
85088Qomolangma Feng S.Maj.Peterboro DG
95040Atnax S.Roy.Leicester DG
125000Fereneze S.Roy.S. Northants S
125040Otterbourne S.Roy.SRCY
135120Endangered Spaces S.Maj.Oxford DG
135088Burnley T.B.Maj.Lancashire A
155040Oldborough D.Roy.Kent CA
165040Lafford S.Roy.Leicester DG
185152Sibbertoft S.Maj.Peterboro DG
195088Jumbles S.Maj.Yorkshire A
195040Ayres End S.Roy.Oxford DG
255040Whetstonebrook S.Roy.Leicester DG
245088Seer Green S.Maj.Oxford DG
265152Coleraine S.Maj.SRCY
265184Hazeland S.Maj.Peterboro DG
285040Exeenda D.Roy.St Thomas S
285148Knottingley A.Roy.Yorkshire A
Nov15088Brafield S.Maj.Oxford DG
15088Deheubarth S.Maj.Ely DA
15056Kellaways S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
35088Hatfield Peverel S.Maj.Essex A
55040Northfield A.Maj.St. Martin’s G
65152Novembre D.Maj.Oxford DG
75120Lysithea S.Maj.SRCY
85088Ewarton S.Maj.Ely DA
95024Briestfield S.Maj.Yorkshire A
95080North Brink S.Roy.SRCY
95042Belshazzar D.Max.ASCY
95042Shrewsbury D.Max.Oxford DG
105120Crowan S.Maj.Ely DA
115056Umtata D.Maj.Leicester DG
125056Chelveston S.Maj.Peterboro DG
125040Montgomery L.B.Maj.Leicester DG
125040Dysaght S.Roy.Leicester DG
155056Moneague S.Maj.Ely DA
185040Ingleby S.Roy.Leicester DG
195120Goombay S.Maj.Ely DA
205088Maxey S.Maj.Dur & New DA
205040Nacauhitoet S.Roy.Leicester DG
215040Vezelay S.Roy.Win & Ports DG
255024Sammloclam D.Maj.Leicester DG
265040Utterby S.Roy.Southwell DG
275040Teseguite S.Roy.Leicester DG
305040North Croydon S.Roy.SRCY
305088Redland S.Max.Chester DG
305280The Borough D.Max.Oxford DG
Dec45042Overie S.Max.Leicester DG
65056Kingstown S.Maj.Ely DA
75088Merevale S.Maj.Sussex CA
75056Dunecht D.Maj.Scottish A
95152Netherfield S.Maj.Sussex CA
115040Nazaret S.Roy.Leicester DG
135056Rolletown S.Maj.Ely DA
145088Burghwallis S.Maj.Yorkshire A
145088Bewnans Meryasyk D.Maj.Truro DG
145040Dore P.Maj.Dronoldore S
155120Moorhouses D.Maj.Lancashire A
195040Dubbo S.Max.Oxford DG
205056Oracabessa S.Maj.Ely DA
205024Yewood S.Maj.Lancashire A
215088Clappersgate S.Maj.Yorkshire A
215152Jennie S.Maj.Glos & Bris DA
215024Jolesfield S.Maj.Sussex CA
235092Rustat S.Maj.Ely DA
235040Tinguaton S.Roy.Leicester DG
235120Eaves Wood D.Maj.Lancashire A
245088Cottesbrooke S.Maj.Peterboro DG
245056Hornchurch S.Maj.Essex A
275120Warley S.Maj.Lancashire A
275024Wicquinghem S.Maj.Win & Ports DG
285152Audrey S.Maj.Bath & Wells DA
285152Tregear D.Maj.Truro DG
315184Corley S.Maj.Ely DA
B. First peals on handbells.
Jan75088Cheshire S.Maj.Hereford DG
315040Zummerzet S.Roy.Oxford DG
Feb55040Melton S.Roy.Leicester DG
155040London No.2 S.Roy.Ely DA
225040Thorley S.Roy.Derby DA
Apr85120Kenninghall S.Maj.Leicester DG
105024Tunstall S.Maj.ULSCR
May65152Maldon S.Maj.Leicester DG
Jun175152Queens Tower S.Maj.ULSCR
Jul15040Hemington S.Roy.Leicester DG
105152Franz Berwald S.Maj.Middx CA & Lon DG
215152Paris S.Maj.Middx CA & Lon DG
245040Hillingdon S.Roy.Hertford CA
Aug55056Premier S.Maj.Leicester DG
75184Cardiff S.Maj.Middx CA & Lon DG
Sep45024Chalkwell S.Maj.ULSCR
235152Xenobios S.Maj.Kent CA
Oct75040Upton S.Roy.Leicester DG
145040Horsleydown S.Max.Leicester DG
175040Maoile Lunndaidh S.Roy.Ely DA
235040Nideggen S.Roy.Oxford DG
315040Sgurr A’Chaorachain S.Roy.Ely DA
Nov135042Tantun S.Max.Oxford DG
275152Itchy Park S.Maj.Kent CA
Dec95024Vladivostok S.Maj.Middx CA & Lon DG
95000Essex S.Roy.Leicester DG
175024Martin T.B.Maj.N. American G
C. Record peals on tower bells.
Mar3014784London S.Maj.Cambridge UG
Apr2710800Superlative No.2 S.Roy.Win & Ports DG
May1830240Surprise Min. (41 methods)St. James’ G
Oct1910304Edmundsbury S.Maj.Win & Ports DG

D. E. SIBSON (Chairman)

Peal Compositions Committee

Our major activity continues to be the processing of peal compositions submitted for publication in The Ringing World. During the 12 months to April, we have proved, reviewed (where appropriate) and set 202 of these in camera-ready form. 167 (7 Minor, 61 Major, 14 Caters, 54 Royal, 3 Cinques, 25 Maximus and 2 Fourteen) have so far appeared in print. The great majority (142) were of Surprise and almost one third (51) were of Spliced. The number published represents a 50% increase over the same period last year and considerably exceeds the number of new compositions received during the year. If the target of half a page of compositions a week offered at last year’s Council meeting can be achieved in practice, there is a real possibility that the infamous “Composition Black Hole” may one day be history. We thank David House, Glenn Taylor and Tony Smith for their assistance with this work during the year and wait with trepidation to see the effect of Committee alumnus David Beard’s “do-it-yourself” composing software on the quantity and quality of future submissions.

The draft version of Spliced Surprise mentioned in our last report had already become the first edition by the Council meeting and in spite of being the most expensive Council publication has sold over 125 copies. Many thanks are due to Roddy Horton for the huge task of compiling and producing this magnum opus. We plan to eventually extend it to contain all published compositions of spliced Surprise (thanks to Bill Perrins for providing The Ringing World references) and to make the material available in machine-readable form. Tony Smith has produced a supplement to his admirable Composition Index with assistance from the Committee, bringing this work up to date to the end of 1996. Of work in progress, General-Purpose Surprise Major moves asymptotically towards completion under the firm hand of Julian Morgan, whilst Philip Saddleton has kindly agreed to produce the camera-ready copy for Stedman Triples, thus freeing the Chairman to write even longer letters to The Ringing World. Following our appeal last year David Hull and Rod Pipe have volunteered to edit a new edition of Ten and Twelve Bell Compositions and work is well advanced. We have also identified a volunteer to edit a new edition of Compositions in the Popular Major Methods and hope that work will begin on this soon.

R BAILEY (Chairman)
S D PETTMAN (co-opted)

The Ringing World, April 25, 1997, pages 432 to 433, correction July 4, 1997, page 685

International Liaison Report for 1996

By Fred E. Dukes
Part 1 of 4


This Report of the activities in the International scene has been prepared from references in The Ringing World, The Clapper, Ringing Towers, S. A. Ringing Circle, and from the several letters received and events reported in the media.

As far as Europe is concerned, George Morris writing on behalf of the Veronese Guild has this to say: “During the past twelve months a great deal of bell work has taken place in the region of Italy covered by the A.S.C.S.V. Those aware of such things will realise for the few words its takes to say or write ‘an augmentation took place’ there has been a mountain of work behind the scenes. The same can be said for the courses and even straightforward meetings. Many ringers know the problems that can arise when organising a ringing outing, what then of an international exchange? Also a magazine such as Notiziario must require considerable effort and skill”.

These words summarise what can be said for the International scene in general. Tributes must be paid to all the enthusiasts, worldwide, who are so dedicated to the cause of bell-ringing, the Editors of the local association magazines, those who are so helpful both with advice and actual work in connection with the bells themselves, the experts who teach and instruct learners and existing ringers to advance in method ringing, and to the very many others both “seen and unseen” who do so much to encourage and maintain bell-ringing.

The subsequent sections of this report, provide an insight to the amount of work involved by bell ringers throughout the world.

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers meeting - Shrewsbury

1966 was the triennial election year meeting of the Council which took place in the Radbrook Hotel on the outskirts of the town. In it there was sufficient space to erect the international display in the main reception area. Thanks to those who kindly sent forward publicity material from their area. Thanks to those who kindly sent forward publicity material from their areas a good representation of all areas was on display and which brought favourable comments from viewers.

Congratulations to each affiliated society from outside of the British Isles, who were all fully represented at the meeting, either by the duly elected member, or by the alternative person where the elected member was unavoidably absent. The Societies fully represented were from ANZAB, NAGCR, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Italy and Transvaal. It was a real pleasure for the writer to meet these representatives for friendly chats.

The meeting itself was to the advantage of the two North American Guild members, because Don Morrison was elected to serve on the Peal Analysis Committee, and Peter Trotman joined the Computer Co-ordination Committee. Congratulations to them and very best wishes for a productive triennium. George Morris, Italian representative, European Liaison, and the writer as International Liaison were both re-elected to serve for another term on the Public Relations Advisory Group.


Three international “newsletters” were dispatched during the year to about 40 locations worldwide, including Kenya. Kit Almy, Editor of The Clapper reproduces them in full in the next issues after receipt, in the North American Guild journal, whilst Esther Perrins, Editor of Ringing Towers either includes them in full, or some extracts, depending on space available in the Australia and New Zealand magazine. By so doing, each member of the respective societies has an opportunity of reading them.

The Ringing World is becoming more popular for the inclusion of news from abroad, thanks to David Thorne, the Editor. By the time this report appears, David will probably have handed over the reins of office to his successor. Best wishes are extended to David on his retirement, and gratitude is expressed to him for his interest and support of international affairs during his tenure of office.

Either, personal letters or notes are sent with the “newsletters” to ringing friends. As annual meetings of societies become due, letters of good wishes and gratitude to them for what they are doing for ringing, are sent to the Hon. Secretaries concerned. Some close friendships have been established through the pleasant letters received from Editors, Secretaries, PROs and others, all of which are looked forward to and very much appreciated.

George Morris, European Liaison, also enjoys very good relationships with the Verona Guild. But for him, we might not have had such a pleasant relationship with our friends from Italy.

Ringing courses

In conjunction with the Annual General Meeting of the Zimbabwe Guild, theoretical and practical ringing sessions were held. Methods theorised were London Surprise, Union Bob and Oxford Bob. The practical sessions took place on the day following the theory sessions. Sunday ringing included Annable’s London, Grandsire Caters and Cambridge Surprise.

Harare Cathedral ringers now have “Think Tanks” which were initiated by James and Frankie Milford. They have become both interesting and informative about aspects of ringing, including learning to ring methods, and to improve the standard of striking.

In preparation for the Annual Festival of the North American Guild, Bruce and Eileen Butler visited Miami to help in teaching the local band. Subsequently there was an open invitation and welcome for any ringer to visit Miami who would be in a position to further assist the local band. At the annual general meeting itself, the usual ringing courses took place before the business meeting date over three days. The course was divided into three parts: learning how to handle a bell; Plain Hunting; and for more advanced methods of change-ringing.

The four annual ringers course took place in Hingham, through the Hingham Centre for Adult Education - six participated and spent ten weeks learning bell-handling and rounds-ringing.

In Sydney, Australia, the ringing school was held in January and at the Annual General Meeting in Perth in October of the Australia and New Zealand Association, it was announced that a few fund had been established for educational purposes. It was decided to purchase a simulator for each state/region in both Australia and in New Zealand. In addition, the fund would be used to sponsor ANZAB members attending courses in both countries. The amounts of grants to be based on the distances travelled from home to the course concerned. During the AGM weekend, ringing sessions took place at each of the five towers in Western Australia.

St Mary’s Basilica, Sydney bells and ringers have a close relationship with the City Council. So much so, that when the ringers approached the Council about a potential project in the training area, the Council agreed to contribute to the project based at St Mary’s. The aim of the project is to enhance the standard of bell-ringing over a seven week period having a programme of training, quarter-peals, and peals. The project includes bringing two change-ringing experts from the UK to Sydney to lead the programme. The chosen pair are George and Diana Pipe, who are well-known to Australian ringing, they having spent much time in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s, when they had a strong influence on local ringing and were instrumental in the formation of ANZAB in 1963.

There was a joint English/Italian two stage course for advanced change-ringing and for the Veronese style of ringing. The first stage took place in London with the second stage taking place in Verona. The Veronese Association itself, ran a special course of ten lessons for training student conductors.

In a letter from David Shaha, Tower Captain of Kilifi Church of St Thomas, he says they would welcome five good ringers to Kilifi, who would assist the local ringers to put into practice on the bells what they have been studying “on paper”. If there are any prospective tours to Africa, they might take cognisance to this request and include Kilifi in their plans.


A press release on behalf of Christ Church Cathedral, New Zealand, threatened silence of the Cathedral bells unless recruits were found to ring them. It proved to be a great success, because about 20 persons responded to the appeal. However, only nine of the recruits remained to be committed members of the Cathedral band. All were soon able to ring Plain Hunt, whilst a few had mastered ringing the Treble to Plain Bob Doubles. The twelve bells are ringing regularly with the support of the newcomers.

When Sue Leeman, of Associated Press, interviewed Harold Rogers, she learned that recruitment was on the high priority list in connection with the “Ring in 2000” project. The article which she wrote as a result of the interview, was circulated worldwide, and it had the response that a number of readers on learning of the shortage of ringers, were in contact with Harold Rogers and even offered to travel to England for training as bellringers.

In an article in The Clapper written by Don Morrison, he asks “Where are our ringers to come from?” He pin-pointed particular cases, such as Smith College Northampton, Mass, which had a very active band of ringers in the 1970s and 1980s but since 1985 have had no local ringers and the bell installation is deteriorating. Quebec Cathedral had an active band in the 1970s, and the then St Matthew’s Church also had a number of ringers. Although there are a few ringers now in Quebec there is no regular ringing of the Cathedral bells. He advocates recruitment and training campaigns, and adds that there should in every tower always be a few learners who would eventually become competent ringers and be able to take the place of those ringers no longer able to engage in bell ringing. Such campaigns he advocates should be undertaken both nationally and locally. Such wise observations apply not only to America, but to everywhere where there is a shortage of bellringers. It is however, encouraging to note from observations throughout the past year, that recruitment is being taken seriously in a number of areas, as indicated in the following paragraphs.

The Lake Country Reporter had advertisements for recruits to be trained to ring the Pewaukee bells when they are finally installed in the Town Tower. About 40 persons answered the advertisement and wished to know more about ringing and about change-ringing. As a result of the response, monthly sessions have been held for 15 enthusiastic trainee-ringers and about 20 learners travel once a week to Mitchell Tower, in Chicago for instruction.

At the new tower of Marietta, a tied practice is held on every Saturday for recruits and the latest situation is that 16 adults are capable of ringing in “rounds”.

As a result of the training sessions by Bruce and Eileen Butler, and the ringing courses held in Miami during the NAG Festival and Annual General Meeting, the local tower benefitted by gaining many recruits. This was largely as a result of a Channel 10 weatherman being taught to ring when he provided good publicity about the Festival over the Channel airwaves.

Reports from Australia indicate that there are more recruits learning to ring in Adelaide than they ever had previously, and this is attributed to the acquisition of the new ring of twelve bells at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral there. Philip Goodyer, captain of the new tower masterminded an Open Day for all Adelaide towers when teachers and learners joined together to ring at each other’s towers. The event concluded with a happy atmosphere at Chez Bleby. Walkerville and Prospect towers both assisted with the training of ringers for St Francis Xavier’s tower.

West Heidelberg, Victoria taught students from Grades 4 and 5, on a three level system. Level 1: basic handling and handbell ringing; Level 2: leading and covering, rounds and call-changes; and Level 3: ringing bells up and down. Plain Hunting.

Hobart are on the “up” with several recruits in training.

When the six handbell ringers from Warrigal visited West Heidelberg, they received instruction in bell handling. They will form the nucleus of a team of ringers at their own church, when they get their bells installed.

There was great activity since St Hilda’s School Chapel, Musmah Park, Perth, bell installation was completed. Sixty-eight girls signed up to become ringers. Fifty plus turned up for training on a regular basis. There are six teaching sessions per week with groups of six to ten pupils for ringing before school starts daily and during lunch hours. There are five instructors involved. It is intended to extend the training to members of the teaching staff and for neighbours. Mary Townsend, Hon Secretary of ANZAB a member of the staff and a former pupil is the prime mover of the training sessions.

How many prospective ringers would engage in five hour journeys each way in order to learn how to ring bells? This is what the learners from Armidale did on a number of occasions, by travelling to Turramurra and back. Such keenness resulted in most of the learners ringing in “rounds” on the opening day of the new ring at St Peter’s Cathedral, Armidale. Handbell practices were held to teach rhythm and the basics of change-ringing.

In South Africa, Rhodes University, Grahamstown has introduced a Certificate of Proficiency in change-ringing. It requires a minimum standard of both theory and practical work. The South African Guild has introduced a practical examination in change-ringing. Successful students are awarded a Certificate of Proficiency provided they can ring at least the Treble to the Extent of Doubles or Cover for a quarter-peal.

Parktown, St George’s Church, has been teaching a number of recruits, some of whom reached the stage of ringing call-changes and even Grandsire Triples.


South Africa - St George’s, Parktown, have moved “lock, stock and barrel” from Transvaal to Geuteng and are now in the north-east metropolitan sub-structure.

Since Grahamstown Cathedral bells were rehung in 1993, at least ten local ringers have rung in their first quarter-peals.

Steve, Joyce and Andrew Barton, have now left Johannesburg and taken up residence in Haslemere, Surrey. Stuart however remains in Africa since he is studying in Cape Town university.

Kenya - Converts in Kenya tell the story about a small group of Christians who procured a bell and as a result of its continual ringing it drove away the spirits. Those who hold to the old magic beliefs said that the spirits they worshipped could not stand the sound of a Christian bell ringing.

The Ringing World, April 25, 1997, pages 439 to 440

International Liaison Report for 1996

by Fred E. Dukes
Part 2 of 4

Publicity and Public Relations

When the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths party visited Pewaukee in the USA, to hold an “open house” to recruit ringers, to form the team to ring the new ring of bells in the Town tower when the installation has been completed, they were provided with much publicity by the local Press.

During the S.R.C.Y. party’s visit to Charleston and to Sullivan’s Island nearby to ring Peals, the one at Charleston had media attention from two TV stations. There was also a “Joyful Noise” letter about the Peal in the Charleston Post and Courier. The visit of the party was the cause of them and their ringing being filmed for the Channel 5 TV News. The local ringers distributed information about the Peal attempt to all homes within the range of the bells prior to the attempt. They also attended at the St. Michael’s Church during the Peal to answer questions about the ringing and to discuss points from the closed circuit TV, which was monitored in the church to show the ringers in action during the attempt.

St. Michael’s, Charleston ringers were heard ringing the bells in the TV movie “Deadly Pursuit” which had been filmed locally. They were also publicised in Charleston Post and Courier with an article titled “Bells ring in Spoleto Festival”. This was the third time the ringers were invited to ring for the opening of this International Arts Festival.

The Three Towers Festival held in Texarkana was the reason for a representative of the local Press to be in attendance to photograph the ringing and interview ringers for publication in the Sunday newspaper.

In Marietta, the local ringers were repeatedly invited to give the change-ringing demonstrations and talks during the period leading up to the actual installation of the bells in St. James’s Church. The Rector and his Associate mounted a Public Relations campaign, during which every neighbour within a two block radius, or about a quarter of a mile was visited, briefed and given an information package about the bells and bell-ringing.

The dedication of the new ring of bells in St. James’s Church, Marietta was the opportunity for a prominently located article about the Revd. May and the bells to appear in the Atlantic Constitution. In order to cater for the numbers attending the service of dedication, closed circuit TV monitors were strategically placed about the building and surrounding area, so that those unable to get into the service would otherwise be able to join in. The C.C.T.V. was also used to view the ringing of the Peal after the service. A number of the worshippers visited the tower to ascertain what ringing was about, and some of them “took to the ropes”.

The bellringers of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia participated in the Philadelphia Ministries Fair. A large number of people stopped at their booth to listen to the C.D. and watch a ringing video. Later, they ascended the tower to see the bells.

For the annual meeting of the North American Guild in Miami, the Miami Daily Herald and the El Neuvo (Spanish local paper), both presented excellent articles with photographs about the weekend’s event. The papers ran a story about the centenary of the cathedral. As a result of a Channel 10 TV weatherman being taught to ring a bell during the Ringing Course prior to the meeting, there was a great story about bellringers and ringing on the TV Channel 10. Channel 4 news also had a spot about the event.

The Washington Post included a well written article under the heading “By whom the Bells Toll”. It included a full page of photographs, mainly of the Girls School ringers, notes about the bells and about the ringing of them. The “post” also had a later piece about the ringing of the Cathedral bells.

About 900 persons visited the tower of Washington Cathedral during the “Open Day” and the “Annual Tower Tour Day” which were organised by the local ringers. The visitors posed many questions which were answered by those “manning” the tower.

On 7th September, a feature about change ringing was broadcast on the National Public Radio programme “Weekend Edition”. The seven minute piece was produced by an N.P.R. field crew that visited Washington National Cathedral on a Tuesday practice night. N.P.R. is a federally-funded programme service that serves non-commercial radio stations throughout the United States.

In Grahamstown. South Africa, St George’s Cathedral had visits from a number of camera crews with “Christian Network T.V.” when the ringing of the bells was filmed. It is reported that one crew member took up a precarious position for one particular shot! “Peeling for a President” was the caption of a photograph in Grocotts Mail taken during the visit of President Mandella to Grahamstown to receive the Freedom of the City. The City Council had made a request for the Cathedral bells to be rung as the procession passed down High Street to Church Square. Photographers invaded the tower to better obtain photographs of the proceedings at ground level. As a reward for the “invasion” the ringing of the bells was photographed and the picture appeared in the Mail along with references to the ringing of the bells. In the evening news about the event on South African T.V. the ringing of the bells provided a pleasant background to the report on the President’s visit.

The Cathedral magazine The Spire included one and a half pages about the bells and ringers under the Belfry Gossip column. It mentioned the facts of letters having been received from people delighted to hear the Cathedral bells, and that the Mayor of Grahamstown had visited the belfry to welcome touring bands from the U.K.

A reporter from the Daily News, Durban wrote a feature article about the visit of Alan Regin’s party Durban, which appeared along with a photograph of the party members.

An excellent hand-out in the form of an A4 red card was produced by Mrs. Joyce Barton, especially for a weekend of parishioners demonstrating their talents in St. George’s Church, Parktown, Johannesburg, Geuteng. It was double-sided, with notes about the bells including a photograph of the church and two of its bells. There was a brief history of the church and some campanological notes.

There was a news release in the Toronto Star, under. the title “Toronto to hear unique 19th century bells”. It related to the ring of 12 bells being installed in St. James’s Cathedral, Toronto. In the notes the Dean, V. Rev. Douglas Stoute, looks forward to the bells ringing in the Millennium and to ringing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Cathedral.

During the annual Quebec weekend, the ringers were accosted by a freelance lady reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The purpose of her visit to meet the ringers at Quebec Cathedral, was to learn about bellringing to help her in the preparation of a presentation for a Radio programme in the future.

The Celebration of Bells, at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC was well publicised through the literary skills of Bernard Crook. The Victoria Times Colonist gave readers a full page about the Cathedral bells under the heading “Diamond Rings”. In the Cathedral narthex there was a display of photographs and newspaper clippings about the bells throughout the course of their history. Michael Simpson’s pamphlet about bell ringing in Victoria in bygone days from his series “Life before N.A.G.”, was also included in the display. During the course of the event there were plenty of visitors to the tower to see the bells and to be entertained to handbell ringing.

The Times Colonist made an announcement, in its reference to the attempted Peal of Grandsire Triples, that Pioneer Square would be the best spot for the public to assemble to listen to the ringing.

On Australia TV, the Bellringers Songs of Praise 1991, was again shown. Another “Irish Felon” was how Jack Cummins of Adelaide explained to TV camera crewmen, why the Murphy Bell (cast in Dublin) was locked in a cage at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral! He said that it was intended to erect the bell above the new ring being installed in the Cathedral tower.

In Australia, there were interviews with Triple J and Radio National and on Christmas Day T.V. Two very similar segments on Nine Network’s “Time Out” and seconds later on ABC’s “Compass” appeared. The programme was mainly filmed at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, when Chris O’Mahony, James Smith, Enid Roberts and some others were interviewed, and heard and seen.

The bellringing at St. David’s Cathedral, Hobart was heard over the air before the Christmas Service. While the bells of St. Benedict’s Church, Broadway were ringing, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Technology arrived to open the new University beside the church. It so happened that there was a visiting band ringing the bells. Some members of the External Relations Unit of the University called to the belfry to ask if they might take photographs of the visiting ringers. It has now been proposed that a future visit be made with a view to advertising ringing on the Campus, with the possible formation of a ringing Group at the University.

During the annual meeting weekend of A.N.Z.A.B. in Perth, press reporters visited both York and St. Hilda’s College Chapel to interview the ringers, there was also a photographer at St. Hilda’s and the resultant picture was quite good, but the written word left something to be desired. Bernard Quigley from the U.K. who was at the Perth meeting, was also interviewed and the local Perth newspaper did bellringing a good service as a result of the interview.

There was a great demand for “Open Days” in Western Australia, and particularly at Claremont to where parents brought their “offspring” to see and hear the bells. Even six-year olds had to have a go at hand and back strokes, under heavy supervision.

Each Sunday morning at 8.00am the local Zimbabwe TV programme - Gospel Hour, begins with brief pictures of Harare Cathedral including the ringing of the Cathedral bells and pin-points Anne Phillips ringing her bell. The sound of the bells ringing lasts longer than the pictorial aspect.

St. Matthew’s Church, Auckland bells and bellringers were filmed for a TV episode of “Town and Country”. The Auckland Institute of Technology students made a Video about the music of St. Matthew’s which included the bells and ringers. Denis Green of Auckland was interviewed by the local Radio Station. Their interest in the bells of St. Matthew’s, resulted from a recent release of the Disney movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

A Video was made by Chris Parkin of the tower, bells and ringing of St. Paul’s Church, Papanui. It created enough interest at a local Fair to have a number of people asking questions long after it had been shown. It was said that this single visual presentation had more impact than years of talking.

Chris Oldham of Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand, was interviewed for National T.V. which was shown on Good Friday. A successful Press release was sent to the local newspapers about the shortage of ringers at Christchurch Cathedral. It said that unless recruits came forward the Cathedral bells eventually would be silent. Both the T.V. and the Press took up the challenge and published the appeal for recruits with good results.

A representative of Associated Press, Sue Leeman, made her way to Isleworth, Middlesex, to spend some time with Harold Rogers. She interviewed him and took photographs of Harold teaching a 10 year old how to control a bell. The result of the interview was a well-written article with the title “British Wringing hands about a Ringing Welcome”. It was distributed about the World and was given coverage in Australia, the United States of America, Canada, etc. It highlighted the need for recruits to enable every ring of bells worldwide to be rung by its own ringers for the proposed service at noon on 1st January 2000. Already several enquiries from abroad have been received and even some of those responding wish to come to the U.K. for training.


America - Matthew Sorrell appeared at the Philadelphia Equinox dinner with an electric bow tie displaying the blue-line of Adelaide Surprise Major.

At the Three Towers festival, tee-shirts were worn with the blue-line of Cambridge Surprise Major on them, together with captions: “I know the method. I just can’t ring it”!

Five young ringers from Marietta and five from Dallas were all awarded Blue badges by the Sherborne Teaching Aids Bell Club.

The bell-chimers at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, having been encouraged following instruction from Linda Woodford, have been practicing Plain Bob method on handbells, including Bob work. Their efforts attracted the attention of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, so much so, that it was suggested that a special work be composed in relation to bellringing. Eventually “Turn Again Whittington” was born. At the premier performances, the Cathedral chiming band were invited to attend as guests of the Orchestra. Further, they were asked to ring handbells for half-an-hour before each performance. They rang touches of Plain Bob Minor, and got themselves into leading the review presented in the next day’s Indianapolis Star.

New Zealand Chris Oldham of Christchurch Cathedral, wrote an “alarming” letter to The Ringing World about the excitement the local ringers experienced during the installation of the Fire Control requirements in the Cathedral tower, following the fire in 1993.

The Ringing World, May 2, 1997, pages 465 to 466

International Liaison Report for 1996

By Fred E. Dukes
Part 3 of 4


A founder member of the Zimbabwe Guild, Stan Hanscombe, passed away. He was in his mid-50s, was a loyal member of the Guild and started ringing in 1961. He was very supportive of those learning to ring and gave them much encouragement.

New Zealand, lost two stalwarts of ringing, by the deaths of George Armitage, the 90 year old keen ringer at Christchurch Cathedral and at Papanui, and Bill Lack of Auckland after a short illness. Bill did much good work in having the bells of St. Matthew, Auckland restored, the light ring of five of Old St. Paul’s, Wellington and the new ring of 12 in Wellington Cathedral, all installed. He was also closely involved in the establishment of the North American Guild of which he was a Founder Member.

At St. George’s Church, Mount Torrens, South Australia, a memorial window was erected to the memory of Sylvia Bedford, who lost her life so tragically in 1994. She was mainly concerned with the organisation of handbell choirs worldwide as well as being a very keen ringer in Adelaide. A photograph of the window appeared in Reverberations.

At the Annual meeting of St. Paul’s Society of Change Ringers, Maryborough, Queensland, Norman Taylor, died suddenly from a massive heart attack. He was one of the mainstays of the local band and will be sadly missed.

James and Val Clatworthy who were stationed in Singapore have moved to North Vancouver in British Columbia, where they should be an asset to Canadian ringing.

Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC. was honoured during the “Celebration of Bells” by the presence of Nonie Gothrie, who rang 50 years ago, and is the grand-daughter of the well known ringer, Charles A. W. Troyte.

Marie Cross, from Oxford, who did so much good work to help ringing in America, was the recipient of the M.B.E. in H.M. the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

In spite of pressures on Esther and Bill Perrins, particularly in producing Ringing Towers always up to standard and on time, they also produced a son in April.

Don Antonio Peruzzi for 43 years Rector of Mistrorighi in Italy, died in August. He was an enthusiastic supporter of bellringing and the bells of his church were readily available to visiting Italian and foreign teams of ringers. A quarter-peal of Doubles was rung in Italy by the London University Society who happened to be on a ringing tour, to his memory.


The annual memorial weekend was held in Quebec during the weekend of 25th to 27th May, and it attracted 24 ringers from USA, BC, and the UK. There was a handling practice and during the weekend several methods up to Cambridge Surprise Major were rung. A welcome visitor to the Cathedral tower was the Dean who was initiated into bellringing.

On Easter Monday, the West Australia branch of ANZAB held its annual general meeting in York whilst the remainder of the day was devoted to ringing, and included a quarter peal.

The Annual Meeting and Festival of ANZAB was held in October in Perth, during which the new ring at Rockingham was commissioned and naturally, the bells were put to good use by those attending the meeting events.

In June a country ringers “Open Day” was held in Sydney when ten towers were available for general ringing.

The South African Guild met in Durban and great credit is due to those members who travelled up to 3500km in order to be in attendance. The meeting and associated activities covered the weekend 19th to 21st July. The six bell ringing contest was won by the Johannesburg team.

A meeting of Ringing Masters of the Veronese Association was held in February. The Association has been very active with over a dozen “get-togethers” which included a Raduno or Gala, at which ringers of all systems of ringing, including the English Style, gathered to ring on the various mobile towers now operational in Verona, Italy.

The Zimbabwe Guild held its annual general meeting during the weekend of 16th/17th February. It was attended by a number of visitors from towers in South Africa and elsewhere. The usual pre-meeting course of instruction took place.

Philadelphia again hosted the Vernal Equinox weekend in March, when many ringers from other towers in North America attended to enjoy both the ringing side and the social aspects of the event. There was a special ringers service on the Sunday at which the local ringers were commissioned as bell ringers at St. Martin’s Church.

The Three Towers Festival this year was held in Texarkana in April.

The quarter-peal weekend usually held in January in Philadelphia, had to be postponed on account of the blizzard conditions, until May. There were 16 quarter-peal attempts of which eight were successful. One ringer who shall remain nameless, was in only five attempts all of which failed!

The Annual General Meeting of the North American Guild took place in Miami during the weekend of 23rd-25th August. At the meeting itself, the President highlighted the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Guild to be held in 1997 and invited ideas to celebrate the event.


In Australia, there were internal tours which included the Adelaide ringers ringing at all towers in South Australia. In October the Adelaide ringers went further afield, and were joined by ringers from Geelong to ring at all towers in Melbourne. This tour was organised especially for learners from St. Francis Xavier’s tower and St. Paul’s, Geelong to give them some experience on “strange” bells.

From outside of Australia, Bob Cater’s touring party from the UK visited the Country and rang at places between Maryborough, Sydney and Melbourne, scoring some quarter peals on the way. A few peals were successful too. The members of the party returned to home base by various routes, including Honolulu and New Zealand.

Pat Bird took a party to Canada and the USA, where they scored nine peals.

The Ancient Society of College Youths flew “high” to visit Washington. They left the UK by Concorde, but “humbled” themselves by returning home by normal flights. During their four days in the Capitol City they succeeded in ringing two peals and a quarter peal.

The Charleston Youth Ringers Guild went to Washington and had the opportunity of ringing at both towers, where they were assisted to ring Plain Bob Doubles and Stedman.

Bob and Ruth Smith took a party of 14 English and Welsh ringers to America. They started in Chicago and rang at most towers to finish up in Washington. Their peals and quarter peal included a number of local ringers.

The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths under the leadership of Alan Regin, again visited the USA. During their stay of two weeks they rang ten peals and six quarter peals.

St. James’s Guild were also in America ringing peals, the total of which came to 12.

Paul Harden organised a party of Scottish ringers to make a Peal ringing tour of Africa, which included Zimbabwe and South Africa. In all eight peals were scored.

Bruce and Eileen Butler of Philadelphia, once again organised a ringing tour to the UK. This year the ringing was concentrated on Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire and North Wales. The travelling party was augmented by ex-American ringers in UK and by some friends of the North American Guild.

Peals and Quarter Peals

The appended table gives details of the numbers of peals and quarter peals rung in 1996, as recorded in The Ringing World, and both The Clapper and Ringing Towers up to the end of February 1997. The figures for 1995 in brackets were amended to take account of late publications for 1995.

It will be noted that Australia and Canada rang one more peal each in 1996 than they did in 1995, with New Zealand and South Africa “down”. The USA nearly doubled their total in 1996. In the quarter peal area, both Australia and Canada recorded increases in 1996 over 1995. New Zealand was considerably “down” and the USA had fewer during the year.

The totals overall were:

123 on tower bells and 11 on handbellstotal - 134
Quarter peals:
434 on tower bells and 36 in handtotal - 470

The leading towers in each country are included in the table and it is worthy to note, that the new tower of Stella Maris, Sullivan’s Island, topped the peals league for the USA.

A number of quarter peal events were held in the following locations - Auckland and Hamilton in New Zealand; Philadelphia and Miami in the USA, the latter was in connection with the annual general meeting of the North American Guild; Charleston was the venue for Alan Regin’s party, who spent some time there and enabled four of the local ringers to score their first quarters. This resulted in St. Michael’s local band scoring a quarter of Plain Bob Doubles without external assistance.

Summary of the Total of Recorded Peals and Quarter-peals Rung in 1996
(as recorded up to 28th February 1997)
TowerHandTotalLeading towerTowerHandTotalLeading tower
(Sydney, St Mary 19)
Sydney, St Mary 11
(Perth 55)
Perth 63
(Quebec 2)
Quebec 2
(Vancouver 7)
Vancouver 9
New Zealand(5)
(Auckland 3)
(Auckland 32)
Auckland 23
South Africa(13)
(Woodstock and Parktown 3)(8)
(Parktown and Grahamstown 4)
Parktown and Grahamstown 4
(Boston 6)
Stella Maris 8
(Washington 25)
Washington 28
(Harare 2)
Harare 3
Grand totals(106)
Nett result
1996 v 1995

Note: The figures in brackets are the corrected recorded totals for 1995

A number of new methods were rung to peals or quarter peals for the first time ever such as:

In addition, quite a number of peals and quarters, both on tower bells and in hand, included several Surprise methods from Minor to Maximus.

With the accession of the new ring of 12 in Adelaide at the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, the local ringers now have facilities for ringing methods of Caters to Maximus previously denied to them, unless they travelled to Eastern Australia. So far, two peals of Royal have been accomplished, as well as quarter peals of Caters and Cinques being successful.

First peals were rung on the new rings at Marietta, USA and St. Francis Xavier, Adelaide. First quarter peals were successful on the new rings at St. Hilda’s Girls School Chapel, Perth; Rockingham Town Centre tower; St. James’s Cathedral, Armidale; St. Francis Xavier, Adelaide; and Marietta.

There were four all-ladies peals and quarter peals, mainly to celebrate the centenary of the first all ladies peal in 1896. They were at Claremont; St. Mary’s, Sydney; and Kalamazoo, and the quarter at Gardenvale, Victoria, Australia.

On the “12” at St. Mary’s Basilica, Sydney, a peal of Spliced Surprise Maximus in four methods and composed by Bill Perrins was rung, and for 11 of the band it was a first. The peal was repeated next day at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

A quarter peal of Doubles was rung by a London University band at the Church of S. Carlo Savena in memory of Don Antonio Peruzzi, who was 43 years Rector of Mistrorighi in Northern Italy, a loved pastor and an enthusiastic supporter of bell-ringing.

The 600th quarter peal was rung on the bells of Washington Cathedral, and Perth marked its 500th quarter at St. George’s Cathedral, with one of Plain Bob Triples on 16th June.

Laura Ivey scored her 400th quarter at St. George’s Cathedral, Perth.

At St. George’s Church, Parktown, Geutung, a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles was rung by a team consisting of three generations of the Roberts family.

In the quarter peal leagues table for 1995 which was published in The Ringing World four Australian ringers were included in the 50 plus list for 1995, Congratulations to Mary Townsend 57 (28 conducted); David Knewstub 55; Laura Ivey 52 (3 conducted) and Davina Haggis 50. As far as 1996 is concerned Mary Townsend has at least 61 quarters and six peals to her credit.

It is encouraging to note that there were 35 ringers who rang their first quarter peal and 16 their first peal. There were also four new conductors for quarters and two for peals. David Oliver of Victoria B.C. conducted his own first quarter, one of Grandsire Triples.

Eleanor Chadderson aged 14 was the youngest American ringer to ring in a peal - one of seven Minor Methods at Kalamazoo. In the same peal by an all ladies band, Margaret Miller scored a first as conductor.


Australia - After ringing in the New Year, the ringers joined the congregation of Christ Church, Claremont, WA, after the Watchnight Service on the church lawn for Champagne.

When the package of fittings was being opened when St. Hilda’s bells were being installed, no ropes could be found in the consignment. After several panic telephone calls to the U.K., without any success, the tenor bell was removed from its pallet, “lo and behold” out came a package stuck up inside the bell, which revealed the missing bell ropes!

Three quarter peals were rung to celebrate Stella Luxon’s 100th birthday. Stella is the aunt of Jack Roper since he was four years of age - 77 years ago!

Zimbabwe - Mrs. Val Grossmith nicely timed her visit to Harare to coincide with the Guild’s Annual General meeting, at which she was accorded the honour of being the Guest Speaker.

The Ringing World, May 9, 1997, pages 493 to 495

International Liaison Report for 1996

by Fred E. Dukes
Part 4 of 4


In addition to the three stalwarts - “The Ringing World”, “Ringing Towers” and “The Clapper”, the following publications appeared during the year:

“Campane Nella Valle”, a professional cassette providing superb ringing by the Altissimo band at Tezze, Arzignano and Altissimo, Italy.

The quarterly Journal of the Associazione Suonatori Di Campane A Sistema Veronese “Notiziario” came to hand. They are all written in Italian, but thanks to John Gallimore the more interesting items therein, are translated into English.

In the “Clapper” there was a query about the Veronese system of ringing. In the next issue an explanation was provided for the information of readers.

Only one copy of the “S.A. Ringing Circle” came to light earlier in the year.

“Look-to” the newsletter of the Western Australian district of ANZAB gave some interesting news of ringing activities in the Perth area, both as regards all active towers, as well as projected schemes.

Noise pollution

The Complaints Working Group of the Council prepared two cards in relation to complaints. One dealt with “Advice on dealing with a complaint about your bells” and the other on “Tips on how to avoid a complaint about your bells”. Sets of these cards were sent to each tower beyond the shores of the British Isles.

The installation of the bells at St. Hilda’s College, Mosman Park, Perth, was delayed until a code of practice for ringing times was decided by the Mosman Park Local Council. The bells were eventually erected and are subject to certain restrictions on ringing times. The restrictions did not please the local ringers and a meeting with the Council who assured the deputation they received, that the restrictions applied to St. Hilda’s tower only, and did not affect other towers in the area, or in the Commonwealth. However, when an Architect had the bells rung to ascertain the sound emission levels, a complaint was made that the bells were ringing before 8 a.m. The complaint was satisfactorily sorted out by Mary Townsend negotiating with the local Council.

John Townsend has spent a lot of time in the tower improving the noise control arrangements and also the transmission of the sounds of the bells themselves in the tower.

In the Report of the Management Committee of ANZAB, a section on Sound Control was included and it gave some advice on the legal position to ringers in all States.

Over in America, it was considered remarkable that there were only three complaints after about the nine hours per week of ringing the bells of Stella Maris, Sullivan’s Island.

As a result of the campaign organised by the Rector and his Associate of St. James’s Church, Marietta, following the installation of the new ring of bells in the church, no complaints were received about the ringing in Marietta.

Whenever ringing weekends or peal attempts are planned in Zimbabwe, the neighbours are given due notice of these events, which has resulted in very few noise complaints.

When the bells of Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC were rung to celebrate the diamond jubilee of their installation, there were numerous complaints from the listening public, that the sound baffles were closed for the Festival evening session and demanded that they should have been opened!

New rings, augmentations and restorations

1996, was a year in which a record number of new installations, augmentations and projected rings of bells were brought to light. In Australia, a total of 14 projects were named, America had seven, South Africa three plus a restoration and Canada named four projects. That is a total of 28. In fact, a number of new rings did materialise, with four appearing in Australia and two in America. In addition orders were placed for new bells in two Australian towers and one in South Africa. It is very encouraging to note that so many projects have materialised and others are in the pipeline. Great credit is due to the enthusiasts in all countries for their efforts, both by encouraging and advising the respective authorities, regarding installations of bells, their voluntary work with installations both practically and with the teaching of learners to ring them. The details of all of the projects are outlined in the following paragraphs.

Australia - In January the installation of the ring of eight bells in St. Hilda’s College Chapel, Mosman Park, Perth, was completed by Ron Shepherd. The work had been delayed pending a decision by the Mosman Park Town Council as regards the conditions they were imposing on the ringing of the bells.

The construction of the tower of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Adelaide, and the installation of the ring of 12 bells, plus additional bells for ringing and chiming were completed in time for the dedication ceremony on 29th June. The front seven of the old ring in St. Mary’s Basilica, Sydney formed the basis for the new ring. The entire cost of the additional bells and of the work to complete the installation was met by Miss Lena Lewis, in memory of her late father.

During the ANZAB annual festival in Perth in October, the new ring of eight bells in the Civic Centre, Rockingham was commissioned and advantage was taken to make full use of the bells whilst so many visitors as well as the locals were in the area for the Festival weekend.

The fourth new ring, was installed in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Armidale, NSW. The bells were all cast in Whitechapel Foundry, London, whilst the bell frame was constructed locally by Messrs. Waite, Steel Fabricators. The installation of the bells and fittings was undertaken by voluntary labour under the supervision of Ron Shepherd. The dedication took place on 26th October in the presence of an overflow congregation.

Griffith Cathedral had three bells of a ring of six installed in 1995, and in 1996 the remaining three bells were ordered, and they will hopefully be installed early in 1997.

Bathurst Cathedral of All Saints has been bequeathed a considerable sum of money to build a new tower to house the existing six bells.

Wagga Wagga, are having two more bells cast at Whitechapel to provide a ring of six.

Four bells for a ring of eight for St. Paul’s Church, Manula, have been donated.

It has been hinted that St. Paul’s Church, Warrigal hope to have their own tower with a ring of bells soon. There is already an ex-Melbourne ringer domiciled in the area.

Some progress is in hand for the projected ring of bells for Mandurra, where a fund raising campaign has been launched.

The long awaited installation of St. Martin’s bells on the campus of the University of Western Australia, indicates that a temporary tower may be erected to accommodate eight of the 12 bells, pending the completion of the permanent tower on the University site, which is scheduled for completion before the end of 1999. The good news is that both the Premier of W. Australia, and the Lord Mayor of Perth have agreed to serve on the project steering committee.

There is an indication that a ring of bells to be installed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta is a probability for the rebuilt tower of the Cathedral, following a disastrous fire which burnt out the structure.

It is understood that proposals are likely to be put in hand to provide a new ringing chamber much lower in the tower of St. John’s, Brisbane. The work is being included in the five to ten year plan of construction work at the Cathedral, when hopefully that all ten bells will be suitably accommodated.

Canada - Good progress is the report regarding the tuning of the Bermondsey ten bells and the casting of two additional trebles at Whitechapel for St. James’s Cathedral, Toronto. It is hoped the installation will be completed in the early half of 1997.

It is indicated that it is possible additional rings of bells may be installed in Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Montreal, and we await confirmation of when any or all of the projects become “probable”. Prince Rupert already has a frame for bells and is searching for six suitable redundant bells.

South Africa - It is anticipated that the two new trebles with fittings for St. George’s Cathedral, Grahamstown would have been dispatched from Whitechapel, London before the end of 1996. The completion of the ring of ten bells should therefore be completed early in 1997.

We learn with pleasure that the Bloemfontein Cathedral’s proposed ring of six bells has been revitalised, also that a proposed ring of six bells to be cast in South Africa, is projected for installation in Christ Church, Grahamstown, The tenor bell has been cast locally and if it is a success, the other five will follow from the same foundry in Port Elizabeth. If this project materialises it will be a first for South Africa.

At the Annual General Meeting of the South African Guild held in Durban, it was decided to form a Technical Committee to encourage and advise on new bell projects.

America - The new ring of eight bells in St. James’s Church, Marietta was consecrated on 3rd March.

The ring of eight bells cast for Pewaukee, await their erection in a Town Bell Tower which has been delayed by several months. It was hoped that the installation would have been completed towards the end of 1996. However, it is hoped that the design stage of the tower has now been satisfactorily completed and that the bells will be ringing ere long.

Major repair work is being carried out to strengthen the frame in St. Mary’s Church, Burlington.

A new ring of three bells was provided at Dallas, Texas in a six bell frame, it is hoped to shortly augment the installation to a five or six bell ring.

It was reported at the Annual General Meeting of the North American Guild, that it is possible additional projects might materialise in San Francisco, Pasadena, Portland, and Hawaii. Certainly, all good news.

Italy - Seven churches had augmentations - Castello de Arzignano (5 to 6), Arbizzano di Negrar (5 to 6); Romagnano di Grizzani (5 to 6); S Giorgii in Salici (6 to 10); Cantivo de Altissimio (3 to 5); Lonigo (semitone) and S. Gemano dei Berice (5 to 6).


Canada - At Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC. the 60th anniversary of the installation of the ring of bells was celebrated with a get-together of past and present ringers, of which more than 50 took part. At the Diamond Jubilee dinner, Mary Barlow, Vice-captain, in her dinner speech pointed out that Margaret Twinning (nee Izard) who was present was the first woman to learn to ring a bell in Canada and Mary herself was the second. Alan Ellis from Vancouver in congratulating the Society on its Diamond Jubilee said it was the only tower in Canada to have rung its bells continuously for 60 years.

At the service held on 14th July the Very Rev. Brian Whitlow welcomed the bell ringers who came to help with the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. In his sermon he said, “One notable feature of bell ringing differentiates it from other kinds of church work. Bells are designed to be heard outside church buildings. They are directed away from the church itself towards the city and surrounding neighbourhood. They are part of the outreach of the Church into the community beyond. As they sound out, they remind those who hear them of the presence of God in their midst”.

Another 60th anniversary was celebrated at Mission when a band of ringers from Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver went there to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Profession of Vows of Father Chrysostom.

Italy - When the Italian representatives and their families were in Shrewsbury for the Council meeting, they stayed on for the following week in Malvern and prepared a special Italian meal for the ringers and parishioners of St. Matthew’s Church.


No Report of this nature would be properly complete, without a word of thanks to all concerned with bell-ringing in the International sphere.

The Editors of the various ringing periodicals - David Thorne of “The Ringing World”, Kit Almy of “Clapper”, Esther and Bill Perrins of “The Ringing Towers”, Dick Holmes of “S.A. Ringing Circle”. La Redazione of “Notiziaro” - they are all deserving of sincere gratitude for their marvellous work in spreading the same news about what goes on in their respective areas.

The letter writers internationally send much news about local activities and items personal, all of which are much appreciated and to all who write “Thank you”.

Then, of course, the bell ringers themselves, without whom there would be no ringing as we practise it outside of the British Isles. They, from Presidents of Guilds down to the latest recruit, fully deserve our gratitude for what they are doing to keep the bells ringing and ensuring more rings are installed, as evidenced in this Report.

Gratitude is also expressed to George Morris for his work in “Europe” and his assistance in the preparation of this Report.

The Ringing World, May 16, 1997, pages 522 to 523

Central Council Bell Fund

Report by the Bell Restoration Funds Committee


1.1 That the Central Council should be more active in raising money for bell restoration in order to encourage new money to become available for this work, supplementing funds raised locally. This report provides necessary background information for the motion which appears at Item 12(d) on the Council Agenda.

2.0 Background

2.1 The Council is currently leading a major project to assist individual parishes to receive money from the Millennium Commission - the first such project to be undertaken by the Central Council. This has raised the question of whether the Council should be doing more to assist parishes and affiliated societies to raise money for bell restoration purposes. At the 1996 Council meeting in Shrewsbury an informal show of hands suggested members felt this idea was worthy of further consideration and the Bell Restoration Funds Committee (BRFC) was asked to bring forward some proposals.

3.0 Discussion

3.1 The BRFC has contacted all affiliated societies to see whether the idea would be supported. A letter was explained that the Council has for some time held small amounts of money for bell restoration purposes, mainly derived from legacies and donations from ringers who preferred to leave money to a central fund rather than or in addition to local funds. It has been used to make a series of small grants (generally under £1000) in parishes for bell restoration work.

3.2 The proposal was merely that the Council’s bell fund should be made more widely known, both to attract money from non-ringers which might not otherwise be available for bell restoration and to provide a suitable home for donations and legacies from ringers. It was stressed that we would particularly like to encourage ringers and non-ringers to leave money in their wills to local bell restoration funds and/or the Council’s fund for bell restoration work. Compared with the sums many charities receive in legacies, relatively little is currently received in this way.

3.3 It was explained that people would be made more aware of the fund initially by occasional articles in the Ringing World, small advertisements in the Church Times and quality magazines and in correspondence with non-ringing organisations with whom the Council is in contact. No attempts would be made to divert into the Council fund any money which might otherwise be available for local association funds, and advertisements would make mention of the existence of local funds.

4.0 Use of funds

4.1 We envisaged the use to be made of a Central Council fund would be twofold:

5.0 Responses from Societies and Criteria for Grants

5.1 Thirty seven societies had replied by the end of March. A summary of the replies received is attached. (Replies have not been received from the societies not listed.) Nearly all were in favour of the proposals to a greater or lesser degree. The least favourable reply was that, if you gave the idea detailed thought, a lot of problems became obvious, mostly concerning the allocation of grants. Some societies were very enthusiastic, particularly in connection with the possibility of the fund being used for loans to local BRFs who could then lend money to parishes so that work could go ahead before guaranteed donations were made such foundations are often given on the basis that money will follow when work is complete, but parishes cannot go ahead without the money. Several societies stressed that the fund should not run the risk of competing for funds with local societies, and many mentioned that there should be clear terms for making grants so that all projects could be considered for grants without any risk of favouritism, although obviously all schemes would be reviewed on their merits. The BRFC has therefore given this point further consideration.

5.2 It is proposed that the fund should consider making grants for schemes costing over £5000 in total where the money will be used to help keep bells ringing that are in danger of becoming silent and where there is an active band. Social factors will be taken into account. It is not proposed that money should be made available for new rings of bells. An annual report will be made to the Central Council which will include any recommended changes to these criteria for the following year, depending on experience and the state of the finances.

5.3 We are proposing these criteria because we feel that small projects should be able to raise the money locally. If £5000 cannot be raised it is unlikely that normal maintenance will be carried out and the bells may stop ringing anyway. By “social factors” we mean that we will try to maintain a balance between city and country churches. We suggest projects that involve keeping bells ringing, as silent churches are substantially catered for by the Manifold Trust, and we believe Central Council money should go where there are ringers. These criteria are proposed as a starting point; they will be reviewed annually and can be widened if desired if and when more substantial sums of money become available.

5.4 It has been suggested that a different committee should take over the role of administering the fund to avoid the risk of bias or conflict of interest within the BRFC. There has never been any suggestion of such bias in the administering of the fund to date, and no complaints were received about the way the Tom Lock legacy was distributed. While we can never be complacent, we believe the risk of conflict is extremely remote, and the annual report to, and oversight by, the Central Council should serve as adequate protection.

6.0 Conclusion

6.1 There appears to be considerable support for this idea. It is therefore recommended that the BRFC proceed to raise the profile of the fund and encourage donations.

The Ringing World, May 16, 1997, page 516

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