Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Annual Report for 2015

  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 11 Bullfields, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 9DB. The constitution and conduct of the Council is governed by its Rules.

  2. The Council’s Trustees during 2015 were as follows:

    PresidentMr C F Mew
    Vice-PresidentMr C D O’Mahony
    Hon SecretaryMrs M Bone
    Hon Assistant SecretaryMrs C N J Franklin
    Hon TreasurerMr A C Taylor
  3. The Council’s bankers are Lloyds Bank plc, Westminster House Branch, Dean Stanley Street, London, SW1P 3HU. Its Independent Examiners are Mr J D Cheesman and Mrs W E Godden.

  4. At the close of the Annual General Meeting on 25 May 2015 the Council’s membership comprised 6 Life Members, 10 Additional Members, 7 Ex-officio Members and 195 Representative Members representing 67 affiliated societies. Since then two Additional Members have retired, were re-elected at that meeting and took office; two further Additional Members have resigned; two Representative Members have died and one of these vacancies has been filled; six Representative Members have resigned and their vacancies have been filled and one further Representative Member has resigned. One society ceased to be affiliated as its subscription remained unpaid at 31 December 2015. During that annual meeting the Terms of Reference of one committee were amended and a Public Relations Officer was appointed. Subject to any further changes, at the start of the 2016 Council meeting there will be 6 Life Members, 8 Additional Members, 7 Ex-officio Members and 192 Representative Members representing 66 affiliated societies. There are 9 other vacancies.

  5. The Object of the Council is to promote and foster the ringing of bells for Christian prayer, worship and celebration and in furtherance thereof:

    (i) To promote awareness of and educate the general public in the ringing of church bells and the art of change ringing;

    (ii) To make available advice, assistance and information to church authorities, ringers and ringing societies and to promote good practice on all matters concerned with bells and bell ringing;

    (iii) To encourage development of the art of ringing through innovation;

    (iv) To bring together ringers to discuss matters of common interest and to represent ringers both nationally and internationally;

    (v) To encourage high standards of performance in ringing;

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

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

  6. The work of the Council in pursuing this object is for the most part carried out by its sixteen committees and by working groups appointed by them. Summaries of their activities during 2015 are given in the committee reports, which appear elsewhere on the Council’s agenda and are being published in the 29th April 6th May 2016 issue of The Ringing World.

  7. The public benefits from the following areas of activity of the Council:

    (i) the promotion of public worship by the ringing of church bells;

    (ii) the preservation of the tradition and heritage of change ringing;

    (iii) the encouragement and promotion of high standards of ringing;

    (iv) the provision of financial and specialist knowledge in the support of belfry repairs and maintenance;

    (v) the provision of guidance and specialist knowledge with regard to health and safety, safeguarding, noise control, data protection, fire risk assessment and insurance matters, as they relate to ringers and ringing;

    (vi) the preparation and publication of educational and training materials.

  8. The accounts for 2015 show total funds at the year-end of £439,726 of which £276,045 is in restricted funds. The income for the year totalled £36,108 compared with £119,432 in 2014. The 2015 figures include further donations for the Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand, bells restoration and the Kilifi project. The 2014 figures included the Roadshow and a bequest to the Bell Restoration Fund. The increase in expenditure includes the Ringing World Supplement which in previous years has been covered by The Ringing World Ltd. Also, the costs of the Council meeting were higher than expected as the hotel is the only major conference centre in Hull (with everything under one roof) and we therefore had to pay the full day rate for the whole weekend; the Ringing Foundation meeting was cancelled too late for us to avoid the room charge and we also absorbed the cost of the Ringing World meeting. 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.

  9. It is confirmed that the Council’s assets, together with the expected income for 2016, are available and are likely to be adequate to fulfil the objects of the Council in that year.

  10. Reserves policy:

    (i) General Fund - the balance on the General Fund is invested to produce income which, together with member societies affiliation fees, provides sufficient funds to support the work and activities of the Council. The balance also facilitates cash flow and enables the development of new projects and initiatives.

    (ii) Education Courses - the balance provides cash flow to enable the Education Committee to run various training courses; in general the costs are recouped from attendees.

    (iii) Bell Restoration Fund - the balance is fully allocated to bell restoration projects and paid on satisfactory completion of the work. Grants are made in proportion to the types of applications received and in accordance with priorities agreed by the Council and reviewed annually.

    (iv) F Dukes International Bell Fund - Grants from the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund are made in accordance with the terms of Mr Dukes’ legacy. Grants are awarded from the interest on the legacy and reviewed annually.

    (v) Publications Fund - the balance represents the stock of publications held and a cash balance to facilitate the production of new titles and the reprinting of existing publications.

    (vi) Library Fund - the balance represents the value of the library, which is maintained for use by council members and affiliated societies.

  11. Funds are invested in low risk investments and bank accounts. The need for regular income from investments is considered important to support the work of the Council.

  12. No significant fund-raising activity has been carried out during the year.

  13. The Council had no employees during the year. All of its work is carried out on a voluntary basis.

Honorary Secretary

April 2016

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Notes to the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2015

1. Basis of accounting

The accounts have been prepared under the historic cost convention and in accordance with applicable accounting standards and the Statement of Recommended Practice on Accounting by Charities.

2. Accounting policies

The accounts have been drawn up in accordance with the going concern, accruals, consistency and prudence concepts.

2.1 Incoming resources

Interest is accounted for when receivable. Donations, grants and legacies are accounted for as soon as the Council is notified of the legal entitlement and the amount due.

2.2 Resources expended

Expenditure is included on an accruals basis. Grants are accounted for when paid over.

3. Consistency

The accounts are prepared on a consistent basis with the previous year and in accordance with the accounting policies.

4. Funds

The General Fund is unrestricted and includes designated funds raised and held for a particular purpose.

The Education Courses Fund and Publications Fund are unrestricted designated funds.

The Bell Restoration Fund, the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund and the Library Fund are maintained for restricted purposes.

5. Transfers between funds

No amounts have been transferred between funds.

6. Tangible assets and intangible assets

The major tangible assets of the Council are the investments in National Savings Income Bonds and the Library Collection. At 31 December 2014 the Library Collection was valued at a replacement cost of £95,000 by Roger Barnes of Church Green Books. The policy is to revalue the collection every five years. It is being depreciated for accounting purposes at 2% on the reducing balance per annum. An asset register is maintained for other tangible assets. The policy is to treat assets of an individual cost up to £1,000 as fully depreciated in the year of purchase.

The major intangible asset of the Council is the copyright of Dove’s Guide.

7. Interest receivable

The interest was received from:

National Savings Investment Bonds3,1442,322
Central Board of Finance of theChurch of England Deposit233175
Lloyds Bank term deposits-751
Other banks11


8. Donations and grants received

8.1 Christchurch, New Zealand

Donations received in respect of Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand, bells restoration following the damage caused by the earthquake to the City of Christchurch are included in the Bell Restoration Fund as a restricted item and, together with the related gift aid, amount to £294. The total amount of the donations received to date is £15,219. A grant payment of £10,000 was made in 2013.

8.2 Kilifi, Kenya

Donations have been received in respect of Kilifi, Kenya, for ropes and a training project. These are included in the Bell Restoration Fund as a restricted item and, together with the related gift aid, amount to £2,280. The total amount of the donations received to date is £4,530. Expenditure to date on airfares and visas is £2,476 leaving a balance available of £2,054.

9. Committee expenses (2014 excluding Ringing Roadshow)

These were as follows:

Bell Restoration374195
Information and Communications316316
Peal records--
Public Relations20731
Redundant Bells117189
Ringing Centres4035
Ringing Trends14184
Towers and Belfries407616
Tower Stewardship--
Carter Ringing Machine Steward9887
Roll of Honour Steward--
Dove Steward--


10. Grants paid

During the year, the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund awarded one grant totalling £2,500. No grants were paid.

Year awardedUnpaid brought forwardAwarded in 2015Paid in 2015Withdrawn in 2015Unpaid carried forward


During the year, the Bell Restoration Fund awarded 29 grants totaling £36,400. Two grants were paid.

Year awardedUnpaid brought forwardAwarded in 2015Paid in 2015Withdrawn in 2015Unpaid carried forward


11. Charitable commitments

There were unfulfilled charitable commitments at 31st December 2015 in respect of three grants totalling £4,700 awarded but not yet paid by the Fred Dukes International Bell Fund, and 27 grants of £35,800 awarded but not yet paid by the Bell Restoration Fund. There is also a charitable commitment to Christchurch Cathedral New Zealand bells restoration in respect of the balance of donations received but not yet paid amounting to £5,219.

12. Publications fund

Storage and distribution costs of £2,400 were paid to a Council member.

13. Payments to trustees

There were no payments to Trustees.

14. Emoluments of employees

The Council had no employees during the year.


Registered Charity Number 270036


NoteGeneral FundEducation CoursesBell Restoration FundF Dukes Internat’l Bell FundPublications FundLibrary FundTotal Funds 2015Total Funds 2014
Income and Expenditure
Incoming Resources
Affiliation fees6,030-----6,0306,060
Ringing Roadshow-------25,387
Subscriptions from friends of Library-----1,5821,5822,222
Interest receivable71,478-81299346493,3783,249
Sales of publications, books and CDs----8,57310,37718,95019,939
Sales of jigsaw puzzles and prints--2,675---2,6752,726
Sales of training video/dvd42-----4235
Courses and seminars280-----280-
Stock written back----319-3191,442
Donations to Christchurch Cathedral, NZ8--265---2653,853
Donations to Kilifi, Kenya8--1,989---1,9892,070
Gift Aid6-304--2525621,124
Lloyds - compensation-------200
Other donations-----363651,125

Resources expended
Council meeting4,059-----4,0592,528
Ringing World supplement1,627-----1,627-
Committee expenses92,490---2333783,1014,951
Ringing Roadshow-------19,016
The Future of Ringing - regional seminars-------668
Regional Development Project-------130
Council and other committee costs----35-35369
Courses and seminars407-----407-
Recruitment leaflets659-----659-
Cost of publications sold----5,2966,26911,56511,532
Cost of jigsaws--1,950---1,9501,892
Kilifi - cost of project8--2,476---2,476-
Library maintenance-----975975871
Grants for bell restoration10--600---6004,300
Storage and distribution12----2,400-2,4002,400
Stationery, postage and telephone25---969961,1171,432
Stock written off and disposed of----20-20990
Roll of Honour68-----6892
Revaluation cost-----200200-
Depreciation - Library Collection-----1,9001,9001,882
Depreciation - shelving-----106106106
PayPal charges----87-8756
Sundry expenses----288429238

Net incoming resources before transfers(3,694)-1,019993(2,371)979(3,074)60,527
Revaluation of Library Collection-------1,780
Transfers between funds--------

Net movement in funds(3,694)-1,019993(2,371)979(3,074)62,307
Balances at 31 December 2014141,9702,16966,53979,97425,607126,541442,800380,493

Balances at 31 December 2015138,2762,16967,55880,96723,236127,520439,726442,800

The Notes to the Accounts appear on page 470


Registered Charity Number 270036


General FundEducation CoursesBell Restoration FundF Dukes Internat’l Bell FundPublicat- ions FundLibrary FundTotal Funds 2015Total Funds 2014
Fixed assets
Tangible assets
Investments at cost107,200-65,50079,300--252,000252,000
Library Collection-----93,10093,10095,000
Library shelving-----848848954

Total fixed assets107,200-65,50079,300-93,948345,948347,954
Current assets
Debtors and prepayments2,442-386731672503,3184,365
Cash on short term deposit and at bank33,0652,1691,9761,59415,42626,47080,70084,034

Total current assets35,5072,1692,3621,66723,44133,87399,01997,171
Current liabilities
Creditors - amounts due within one year(4,431)-(304)-(205)(301)(5,241)(2,325)

Net current assets31,0762,1692,0581,66723,23633,57293,77894,846
Total assets less current liabilities138,2762,16967,55880,96723,236127,520439,726442,800
Unrestricted - designated-2,169--23,236-25,40527,823

Total funds138,2762,16967,55880,96723,236127,520439,726442,800

Administrative Committee

Since the 2015 Council meeting the Committee has met twice in London in October and March. A number of new committee chairmen were elected during the year and joined the Committee; sadly two resignations since autumn 2015 mean that two committees (Ringing Trends and Ringing Centres) are currently without chairmen. Ringing Centres was represented at the March meeting by Leslie Boyce, who also gave members an update on the recent conference and plans of the Association of Ringing Teachers. The Ringing Foundation kept members informed of progress implementing the decision of its 2015 annual meeting to dissolve the company and cease registration as a charity. The Chairman of the Ringing World Ltd has continued to report on the future of the journal. The Methods Committee review of the relevant Decisions was discussed at both meetings. The Public Relations Officer has prepared summary accounts of the meetings for publication in The Ringing World. In March Committee chairmen advised which members would be retiring under the provisions of rule 15 (i) and the committee sizes needed for next year. The arrangements for the 2016 Council meeting were discussed and agreed. Papers for the meeting will again be circulated electronically to those Council members with email.

Change Ringing for the Future: There was a worthwhile exchange of views amongst societies during the regional break-out meetings held at Hull and there have been some initiatives to foster activities across society boundaries. Although the Council’s own survey of ringers has been delayed, useful information has been gathered in the Ringing World Ltd’s survey and this has been offered to the Council. Plans are at an early stage for a further series of regional meetings involving local society officers. The Vice-President has organised the Open Meeting on Sunday 29 May with a “Question Time” format and this meeting will be “streamed” to make it more widely available. The Committee intends to hold a further “Away Day” in summer 2016.

Reform of the Council and of the Administrative Committee: A motion for a revised and less time-consuming process for committee elections has been prepared and appears on the agenda, following the strong expression of support for this by members at the Hull meeting. The Administrative Committee also considered arrangements for future meetings and resolved that the Committee itself will take the lead in organising the 2018 annual meeting weekend. The Vice-President will report. Committee annual reports received prior to the March meeting were circulated to the elected members of the Administrative Committee for comment and review before publication.

Other matters considered by the Committee included:

Council Finances: The General Fund for the current year (2015) and next year (2016) was reviewed at both meetings, considering income levels and planned expenditure. Committees have been asked to prepare detailed forward programmes of activity and expenditure plans for several years to enable the Council to plan appropriately. The revised guidelines on committee expenses were approved in October (see appendix). The March meeting decided not to propose an increase in the affiliation fee for 2017 but to re-visit proposals for changing the basis of the fee in a way which would be fairer to small societies.

Church Buildings Council (formerly Council for the Care of Churches) & Historic England: A meeting was held on 14 July with the main topics for discussion being bells in closed and closing churches and faculty simplification. CCCBR has since supplied details of cases where the new owners of closed churches had failed to honour agreements for access. Links to the A and B lists of minor works on bells were included in the report of the meeting in The Ringing World; further guidance on the new faculty procedures is being published by the relevant Council committees. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 19 July 2016. The 2016 DAC bell advisers’ conference will be based in Warwick on Friday 8 July; this conference is also open to society bell advisers.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG): A meeting with EIG to discuss matters of mutual interest was held on 17 June, with the Council represented by the Tower Stewardship Committee. The notes of the meeting were published in The Ringing World. The next meeting will be held on 11 April 2016.

Central Council 125th Anniversary: The Council and Derby Diocesan Association have worked together on a programme of events for the weekend of 23-24 April 2016.

Ex officio:
CHRIS MEW (President)
MARY BONE (Secretary)
CAROL FRANKLIN (Assistant Secretary)
ERNIE DE LEGH-RUNCIMAN (Tower Stewardship)
KATE FLAVELL (Public Relations)
PAUL FLAVELL (Compositions)
JOHN HARRISON (Biographies)
DAVID KIRKCALDY (Towers and Belfries)
BRIAN MEADS (The Ringing Foundation)
NIGEL ORCHARD (The Ringing World)
DAVID RICHARDS (Information and Communications Technology)
PETER WILKINSON (Bell Restoration)
ROBERT WOOD (Redundant Bells)
Elected Members:

Guidance on Committee expenses

Notwithstanding the great commitment that we, as church bell ringers, demonstrate by keeping our church bells ringing regularly Sunday by Sunday, bell ringing is a hobby. In exchange for our contribution to the life of the Church we are able to enjoy ringing at other times, for instance practices, meetings, quarter peals and peals, usually for no more than a small donation to tower funds.

Many ringers also contribute to the organisation of ringing, by accepting office at tower, district (or branch), and society (or association or guild) level. We do this, usually with no more than possible reimbursement for secretarial expenses such as postage or phone calls, for our love of the Exercise.

Indeed, as in other voluntary organisations, most societies would quickly become insolvent if their officials sought to recover in full the expenses they incur in the performance of their duties.

The same is true of Council committees. If all members of committees routinely claimed the expenses of attending committee meetings, then either the dues collected from affiliated societies would have to rise substantially or the activities of the Council would have to be curtailed.

However the Council would not want its committees to be deprived of the expertise of a member who could not afford to attend committee meetings. Accordingly the Hon. Treasurer will meet claims for travelling expenses to committee meetings from those members, subject to the following criteria:

  1. The committee should include the amount expected to be claimed on travel expenses in their estimate of committee expenditure for the following year provided to the Hon. Treasurer in September. The total forecast expenditure will then be reviewed by the Administrative Committee at the October meeting.

  2. Members travelling by train may claim standard class travel and should take full advantage of the various economies available by travelling off-peak and booking in advance.

  3. Members travelling by car may claim 20 pence per mile and should share transport whenever possible.

  4. An itemised claim (with any vouchers) for expenses should be submitted to the appropriate committee chairman, who will authorise the expenditure and forward to the Hon. Treasurer for payment. Claims relating to the Administrative Committee can be forwarded directly to the Hon. Treasurer. Expense claims and authorisation by email are acceptable.

  5. All claims for expenses must be submitted to the Hon. Treasurer within two months of the end of the accounting period to which they relate. Claims submitted after this date may be refused.

Only in exceptional circumstances should taxi fares need to be claimed and expenses for accommodation or meals may not be claimed.

Please note that this guidance is not an invitation to members of committees to claim expenses that they are not claiming at present, but simply to ensure that when expenses are paid they are at consistent rates and accounted for in a timely manner.

The Council Officers
(Reviewed May 2015)

Peals Records Committee

The Peals Analysis

We have recorded a total of 4894 peals rung in 2015 and published in The Ringing World up to February 26th, of which 4079 were on tower bells and 815 on handbells. The revised total for 2014 is 4784, an increase of 46 over the total published in the last year’s report. Full details are included in the methods table that accompanies this report. All the 2015 totals above show a modest increase over the revised ones for 2014 (4012 t/b, 772 h/b, total 4784) of roughly 2.2% in the overall total, with tower bell peals up 1.6% and handbells roughly the same - down just 3. However, all three 2015 totals are lower than those in 2013.

The Yorkshire Association is again the leading society with 363 peals, 92 more than the second place Oxford D.G. with 271, the gap having widened again as the Yorkshire Assn. rang 39 more while the Oxford D.G. only rang 2 more than in 2014. The leading society for handbell peals in 2015 was the Oxford D.G. with 122, a gain of 19 on 2014 while second place Chester D.G. rang 103, the same as the previous year. Seventeen affiliated societies rang 100 or more peals in 2015, two more than in 2014. Please see separate tables for details of peals rung for each society and by method / method type.

There are a number of peals known to have been rung but not yet published in The Ringing World including some from the first half of the year. We would encourage the organisers and conductors of peals to submit their peals for publication promptly, and then ensure that they are printed as expected.

Record peals

There were three record peals rung in 2015, all on tower bells. The record peals are detailed in the Records table below.

Peals not complying with the Decisions on Peal Ringing

All the peals rung in 2015 which were published in The Ringing World up to 26th February, 2016 complied with the Central Council Decisions on Peal Ringing. This includes the peal rung at Throwley, Kent, on 28th November which was reported as 5100. As the additional 60 change block was rung at the end of the peal, this has been counted as a 5040 in 42 extents.

Leading Towers

The following 79 towers had 10 or more peals in 2015: (70 in 2014):-

49Leeds, W Yorks (St. Anne), Portsmouth (St Agatha)
48Dordrecht (’t Klockhuys)
33Ipswich (Old Stoke, The Wolery)
30City of London (St James, Garlickhythe)
29Marston Bigot (Pig le Tower),
26East Huntspill (Little Orchard Tower), Sproxton
25Rotherham (All Saints)
24Sheffield (Dore)
23Lundy Island
21Burnley, City of London (St. Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street)
19Birmingham (Cathedral), Blankney, Keele (Woodlands), Maidstone (All Saints)
17Bristol (St John), City of London (St Dunstan in the West, Fleet Street), Shepton Beauchamp
16Wedmore (The Bakery Tower)
15Awbridge (Clock House Bells), Barton Seagrave, Bishopsteignton (Bishops Ting Tong), City of London (St. Mary le Bow, Cheapside), Knottingley, Leicester (St Mary de Castro), Meldreth, Oxford (St Thomas), Worcester (All Saints)
14Church Lawford (The Plantagenet Ring), Longcot, Loughborough (Bell Foundry), Marston Bigot (St Leonard), Saltby
13Amersham, Cambridge (Great St Mary), Edenham, Pershore (Parish Centre), Rothwell (N’hants), Worcester (Cathedral)
12Bradford Peverell, Burghill, Campton, City of London (St Michael Cornhill), Middleton (Gtr Man), Thatcham, York (St Lawrence)
11Farnworth and Kearsley, Harrogate (St Wilfrid), Kirby Hill, New York, Sheffield (Cathedral), South Croydon, Terling, Warnham (Bell Meadow Peal), West Bridgford
10Barrow Gurney, Basingstoke (All Saints), Birstwith, Bishopstoke, Daresbury, East Ilsley, Elsham, High Week, Inworth, Maidstone (St Michael), North Wootton (Great Orchard Campanile), Stoke Poges, Willoughby on the Wolds, Worcester (Barbourne), Worcester (St. Martin in the Cornmarket), Yarkhill.

There were also 26 handbell venues where 10 or more peals were rung in 2015.

First pealers and firsts as conductor

Thanks to FirstPeal2015, the steady year by year decline in the number of first pealers has been reversed. FirstPeal2015 set a modest, but realistic, target of 300 first pealers and this was easily met with a final tally of 375. (This varies from the 387 first pealers quoted in RW no 5465, due to 7 peals, containing 12 first pealers, not yet being printed in the RW. These 12 first pealers are not included in this formal analysis, which is a great pity.) It will be difficult to achieve another 300 first pealers in 2016, but let us hope the number does not quickly drop to the levels of 2014, when only 139 ringers achieved their first peal. 38 ringers conducted a peal for the first time in 2015, which is above the last 5 year average of 29. However, it is well below 125, which is the number of ringers the Central Central has challenged to conduct their first peal in 2016.

Corrections to the 2014 Analysis

There are a number of alterations to the 2014 Analysis owing to late submission and therefore late publication which are detailed below. Corrections relate to tower bells except where specified.

ANZABMajor +1
Bath & WellsMinor +1, Major +2, Royal +2, Maximus +1
Cambridge UniversityCinques +1
ChesterDoubles +1
DerbyCaters +1
DevonshireRoyal +1
DorsetMajor +1
Durham & NewcastleMinor +1, Major +1
Durham UniversityMajor +1
Hertford CountyMajor +1
LancashireMinor +3
Lichfield & WalsallCaters +1
LincolnMajor +2 (handbells), Royal -1 (handbells)
Middlesex & LondonRoyal +1 (handbells)
Oxford DioceseDoubles +1
ScottishRoyal +1
ShropshireDoubles +1
Southwell & NottinghamMajor +1
St David’sMajor +1
St Martin’sTriples +1
SuffolkDoubles +1, Minor +1
SussexMajor +1
Winchester & PortsmouthMinor +1, Triples +1, Major +7, Maximus +1
Non-AssociationMajor +1, Maximus +1
Non-AffiliatedMajor +2, Royal +1 (handbells)

The amended methods analysis for 2014 is shown in the 2015 methods table, which forms part of this report. Revised totals for 2014 are: tower bells 4012, handbells 772, total 4784.

The Felstead Project

During the year the work of maintaining the accuracy of the Felstead database has continued. Some 85 previously unrecorded peals have been added and corrections made to a number of others due to John Eisel continuing to search a number of eighteenth and nineteenth century newspapers as they become available on line. There are almost certainly others still to be discovered by searching through local newspapers not available on line. Details supplied by other ringers have resulted in a further ten peals being added and corrections being made to some 110 others. Alan Glover has once again been very helpful in answering a number of queries by reference to materials in the library; this has enabled a number of corrections to be made and the Committee is grateful to all who have in any way contributed to the accuracy of the database. Jointly with Andrew Craddock a start has been made in correcting the dates of post-1949 peals where the original Ringing World publication gave a date which did not match up with the day of the week - almost 100 have so far been corrected.

Andrew Craddock also continues to be responsible for all the data for post-1989 peals and downloads the data regularly from The Ringing World, BellBoard and Campanophile websites; the Committee wishes to thank him for doing this important work.

First peals in methods rung on Tower Bells.
65096Rushcliffe A MajorS&N DG
85040Coalville D RoyalLeicester DG
115120Pristina D MajorBath & Wells DA
145152Leigh Woods S MajorYorks A
155040Bynack More S RoyalDevonshire G
155100Rowlands Gill A MajorLincoln DG
165024Thurncourt S MajorS&N DG
175124Fox A MajorCoventry DG
215040Dotterel Bob TriplesSuffolk G
225026Criccieth Castle S MajorDorset CA
235152Cheddar Valley D MajorUBSCR
245184Hennock S MajorS Blaise S
265056Earl of Powis S MajorDevonshire G
275112Zealandia A RoyalS&N DG
285120Lucas S MajorYorks A
285024Morning Dew S MajorCoventry DG
285040Gateshead A MajorLincoln DG
295043Earl of Mount Edgcumbe S MajorDorset CA
35056Kingsteignton D MajorDevonshire G
35088Woolavington D MajorBath & Wells DA
35096Charlestown A MajorS&N DG
45152Walter’s Ash S MajorAmersham G
65056Baltic Wharf S MajorG&B DA
75088Frampton D MajorLincoln DG
85056Tirana D MajorBath & Wells DA
125040Carn a’ Mhaim S RoyalDevonshire G
125120Greyfriars D RoyalLeicester DG
125040Ringmaster A MajorLancs A
135040Cold Ashby D MinorPeterboro DG
145096Lindum Colonia A MajorLincoln DG
195056Samuel D MajorYorks A
215040Cullompton D RoyalG&B DA
255152Pinner Green S MajorYorks A
255100Rogmau A MajorLincoln DG
285152Megan D MajorCumb & NW A
285152Cotswold Way D MajorG&B DA
285056Headcorn TP MajorKent CA
15040Dewi Sant D RoyalDevonshire G
45056Wheatley D MajorAmersham G
55044Earl of Dunraven S MajorDorset CA
55184Kernow D MajorEly DA
65080Edgcote D RoyalPeterboro DG
75040Clavis Lodge S RoyalAFAME
85152Sarajevo D MajorBath & Wells DA
115056Gerrards Cross D MajorAmersham G
125059Earl St Aldwyn S MajorDorset CA
125040Beinn A’ Chaorainn S RoyalDevonshire G
125120Chew Magna D MajorBath & Wells DA
195066Sir Felix Pole S MajorDorset CA
215024Heckington D MajorLincoln DG
255184Old Rydon S MajorDevonshire G
255028Llantilio Castle S MajorDorset CA
255040Tynemouth A MajorLincoln DG
265040Beinn Bhreac D RoyalDevonshire G
265000King Richard III D RoyalLeicester DG
315040Armstrong S MinorTruro DG
315040Xaintes S MinorW&P DG
25037Monmouth Castle S MajorDorset CA
35040Kirby Muxloe Bob DoublesPeterboro DG
85088Alrewas D MajorLincoln DG
95152Horsley D MajorG&B DA
115152Mitchell and Mills S MajorLancs A
125088Minsk D MajorBath & Wells DA
155152Hallam D MajorYorks A
185056Cottingham D MajorLincoln DG
195088Roding Valley S MajorEssex A
205152Hill 60 D MajorSt James G
205088Willey TB MajorCoventry DG
225012Catton A MajorLincoln DG
285024Boulogne Eastern S MajorSRCY
305040Dinlow S MinorBarrow & D S
305061Earl of Birkenhead S MajorDorset CA
305012Cleatham A MajorLincoln DG
25184Isle of Man D MajorYorks A
65060Cherry Blossom S MajorYorks A
135024Hanthorpe S MajorLincoln DG
135152Zeebrugge D MajorAmersham G
165152Hillcrest S MajorCoventry DG
175152Kiev D MajorBath & Wells DA
185088XXXXXXXX TB MajorCoventry DG
205056Uplands D MajorAmersham G
205152Bluebell D MajorYorks A
215040Uckinghall S MinorScottish A
215152Tanfield D MajorPeterboro DG
225060Earl of Berkeley S MajorDorset CA
285091Cleeve Abbey S MajorDorset CA
295096Old Cleeve A MajorLancs A
305152Dong Ding D MajorChester DG
305056Bower Ashton D MajorBath & Wells DA
25152Speedball S MajorW&P DG
25152Ingleton S MajorYorks A
35152Hawthorn D MajorYorks A
45097Sarum Castle S MajorDorset CA
105100Witham A MajorLincoln DG
115063Earl Baldwin S MajorDorset CA
115040Cruach Ardrain S RoyalDevonshire G
115152Bishops Cannings D MajorBristol S
125040Magna Carta A MajorLincoln DG
145040Runnymede S MaximusGuildford DG
145120Bucharest D MajorBath & Wells DA
145148Marshal A RoyalL Crendon Soc
155088Yasminoli TB MajorCoventry DG
165120Oakie S MajorDevonshire G
165152Quantock Hills S MajorBath & Wells DA
175760Magna Carta TP MinorLincoln DG
175152Ruskin D MajorYorks A
185040Waterloo S MinorD&N
185056Duke of Wellington S MajorBath & Wells DA
225056Wellesley D MajorDevonshire G
225088Waterloo D MajorSt James G
235024Regil S MajorG&B DA
235040Evedon A RoyalS&N DG
245056Kingsey D MajorAmersham G
245096Burnopfield A MajorLincoln DG
265012Waterloo A MajorEly DA
285088Patching D MajorS Blaise S
15068Lancastria A MajorLancs A
35040Golden Wedding D RoyalPeterboro DG
45088Toyne D MajorYorks A
85058Earl of Clancarty S MajorDorset CA
85024Sutterton D MajorLincoln DG
95095Barbury Castle S MajorDorset CA
95040Beinn Alligin S RoyalDevonshire G
95120Bathwick A RoyalBath & Wells DA
135056Humber Ferry S MajorBarrow & D S
135152Harrow D MajorSt James G
165004El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula A MajorDorset CA
215000Yeo Yeo A MajorDevonshire G
235148Netherexe A RoyalDevonshire G
285082Queenhill D RoyalS&N DG
295152Nunburnholme S MajorLincoln DG
305056Baltimore S MajorSRCY
15024Barnard D MajorCoventry DG
35184Wobbly Bobs S MajorDorset CA
75040Luddington S RoyalPeterboro DG
95056Budapest S MajorBath & Wells DA
105024Cheshunt D MajorSt James G
125120Root D MajorYorks A
125040Bilston A MajorLincoln DG
135000Galashiels S RoyalLeicester DG
175152The Canaries D MajorNorwich DA
185012Zion A MajorSRCY
195025Curbar Edge S MajorYorks A
225040Henry Tudor S RoyalLeicester DG
245184Keeebab S MajorW&P DG
255004Aubourn A RoyalS&N DG
275040Sparkling S RoyalDevonshire G
305152Great A’Tuin D MajorW&P DG
15024Zywocice S MajorYorks A
25152Monsal Head S MajorYorks A
35088Tales from the Crypt S MajorSRCY
35062Earl of Shaftesbury S MajorDorset CA
55136Plester A MajorCoventry DG
65040Wyck Rissington Hybrid MinimusF Shires G
65088Llantilio Crossenny S MajorYorks A
95088High Spen A MajorLincoln DG
105040Creag Meagaidh D RoyalDevonshire G
115080Regnum Diutissime D RoyalPeterboro DG
195088Hairy Snake’s D MajorASCY
215088Zatisall TB MajorCoventry DG
225040Woodhall A RoyalS&N DG
235032Usk Castle S MajorDorset CA
235024Equinox D MajorYorks A
235056Gateshead D MajorLincoln DG
245045Earl of Dudley S MajorDorset CA
265088Thomas D MajorG&B DA
265056Fawcett Inn D MajorW&P DG
275088Stokes Bay S MajorW&P DG
305088Mosse D MajorNon
305096Fluorspar A MajorLincoln DG
15000Hardwick A MajorS&N DG
25040Minier Merritt TP MinorSussex CA
35024Octoginta S MajorAmersham G
65040Quatre-Vingts S RoyalKent CA
65088Rainbow Hill D MajorV Evesham S
65040Princetown A MajorS&N DG
75024Thornbridge S MajorYorks A
85048Earl of Devon S MajorDorset CA
85024Clevedon D MajorBath & Wells DA
105040Reverse Byley Bob MajorCoventry DG
115040Ashley Bob DoublesPeterboro DG
125152Swardeston S MajorSt James G
155046Earl Cawdor S MajorDorset CA
185120Imbri S MajorG&B DA
185152Istanbul D MajorBath & Wells DA
185040Dollywaggon Pike A RoyalLancs A
195184Queen’s Nympton S MajorDevonshire G
195152Desborough A MajorLincoln DG
205088Creber S MajorBath & Wells DA
205088Agincourt 600 D MajorSt James G
255088St Crispin’s Day S MajorChester DG
275088Mosse A MajorSt James G
285152Chantrey S MajorYorks A
285086Aswarby D MajorLincoln DG
305056Gray D MajorAmersham G
315120Gallifrey D RoyalG&B DA
15040Brion D RoyalDerby DA
35096Ferrytown A MajorS&N DG
45056King Ecgbert D MajorYorks A
65088Spitalfields Crypt Trust S MajorSRCY
95152Ardeley S MajorSt James G
105088Quoyloo S MajorYorks A
115054Earl of Ducie S MajorDorset CA
155120Red Pike A RoyalLancs A
165040Elford A MajorLincoln DG
185024Barney S MajorYorks A
195089Westminster Abbey S MajorDorset CA
195040Beinn Eighe S RoyalDevonshire G
215068Paragon A MajorLincoln DG
225152Aardvark S MajorSRCY
225152Winlaton D MajorSRCY
255152Burnham Beeches D MajorAmersham G
285088Ripon S MaximusYorks A
305040Wickersley S MaximusYorks A
15152Vaynor S MajorYorks A
25152Cyningesburh S MajorYorks A
25096Blanchland A MajorLincoln DG
45080Polebrook S RoyalPeterboro DG
105053Earl Cairns S MajorDorset CA
125120Anna’s Star D MajorBath & Wells DA
145068Highfield A MajorLincoln DG
185152Cromer S MajorNon
225080Venford S RoyalS&N DG
245085No. 5085 Evesham Abbey S MajorDorset CA
245120Wrotham D MajorKent CA
305056Farmers Blonde S MajorYorks A
Note there are believed to be three additional methods that have not yet been published.
First peals in methods on Handbells
45040Xylophone S MaximusOxford DG
255040Counter’s Creek D MaximusOxford DG
185088Glastol S MaximusOxford DG
235088Azura D MaximusG St Cuileáin
255088Backnang S MaximusOxford DG
135184York Little S RoyalLeicester DG
85088Palatino S MaximusG St Cuileáin
155000Quakers Friars S RoyalOxford DG
285000Phobia S RoyalG St Cuileáin
35040Cawdle Fen S MaximusG St Cuileáin
105088Tritone D MaximusG St Cuileáin
35040Thousandth S MinorS Stowmarket Y
55184Strawberry S MaximusG St Cuileáin
145040Knotty Ash D RoyalOxford DG
45040Damgate S RoyalOxford DG
145056Kimmeridge S MajorOxford DG
Record Peals on Towerbells
610082Avon D MaximusSt Martins G
1721216Cambridge S MaximusBath & Wells DA
2810800Cambridge S MinorW&P DG
New Methods rung in 2014 published after the 2014 report was produced
275034Corfe Castle S MajorDorset CA
145088Skopje D MajorBath & Wells DA
315040New Year’s Eve Little S MajorD&N

Analysis of Peals by method and change on year

TOTAL ON 13+ BELLS24-232+156-1
Spliced S2229-71311+23540-5
Spliced Treble Dodging1124-1351+41625-9
Other Spliced1925-641+32326-3
Bristol Surprise5966-77706673-7
Cambridge Surprise524755505752+5
Yorkshire Surprise3642-657-24149-8
Other Single Surprise3036-61912+74948+1
TOTAL MAXIMUS237274-376651+15303325-22
TOTAL CINQUES9586+9104+610590+15
Spliced Surprise4341+21431-175772-15
Other Spliced124+863+3187+11
Kent Treble Bob Royal20+22517+82717+10
Cambridge Surprise6979-101722-586101-15
Yorkshire Surprise7065+5199+108974+15
Bristol Surprise5957+2131307270+2
London No.3 Surprise4338+547-34745+2
Lincolnshire Surprise1719-21319-63038-8
Swindon Surprise1922-341+323230
Other Surprise9997+21123-12110120-10
Single Delight2324-142+22726+1
TOTAL ROYAL481466+15135158-23616624-8
TOTAL CATERS113120-7106+4123126-3
Spliced Surprise304340-369866+32402406-4
Other Spliced139+41314-12623+3
Bristol Surprise205215-102834-6233249-16
Yorkshire Surprise162168-65346+7215214+1
Cambridge Surprise119105+142725+2146130+16
London Surprise4956-7415-115371-18
Lincolnshire Surprise3044-141816+24860-12
Superlative Surprise4641+51611+56252+10
Lessness Surprise5045+525-35250+2
Rutland Surprise3734+3511-64245-3
Glasgow Surprise1724-710+11824-6
Uxbridge Surprise917-813-21020-10
Pudsey Surprise1216-44401620-4
Cornwall Surprise2413+1110+12513+12
Dereham Surprise1211+10001211+1
Other Surprise440452-12715-8447467-20
Single Delight176135+4109-9176144+32
Plain Bob5236+167466+8126102+24
Double Norwich Court Bob3434033037370
Kent Treble Bob42+23033-33435-1
TOTAL MAJOR18841879+5396384+1222802263+17
Plain Bob4611+3531+24912+37
TOTAL TRIPLES174166+82317+6197183+14
8+ Methods
    Spliced surprise150131+1916160166147+19
    Spliced other1325-1214-31429-15
7 Methods
2-6 Methods
Plain Bob Minor5330+231611+56941+28
Cambridge Surprise5550+545-15955+4
TOTAL MINOR877861+16155138+171032999+33
2+ Methods14093+471410+4154103+51
TOTAL DOUBLES181128+531511+4196139+57

Analysis of Peals by Society

2015TOWERTower totalHANDHand totalSociety total
Ancient Society of College Youths050790625138143470119200522320585151243
Australia & New Zealand Association1201409001000001810101000000321
Barrow & District Society19011004101003003000000000000030
Bath & Wells Diocesan Association18041201020024201200192000020000002194
Bedfordshire Association02014306200000002700100000000128
Beverley & District Society0005106001000001300000000000013
Birmingham University Society00000020000000021020000000035
Bristol University Society0107004000002001400000001000115
Cambridge University Guild00000020000020040000100000015
Carlisle Diocesan Guild000130410000000900002000000211
Central Council00000020010000030000000000003
Chester Diocesan Guild020154032004001005800260490025030103161
Coventry Diocesan Guild020171042200100006500001000000166
Derby Diocesan Association100910143062010037000060050001148
Devonshire Guild0405240921040001400207001010020004211
Dorset County Association010311039001000007300000000000073
Durham & Newcastle Diocesan Association020101126203101004700000000000047
Durham University Society00001020001010050000000000005
East Grinstead & District Guild00001000000000010000000000001
Ely Diocesan Association05022203800110000690030150000101988
Essex Association040304020401002006500100000000166
Four Shires Guild10000010000000020000000000002
Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association0140173070401210200123001030010005128
Guildford Diocesan Guild00003023211160400500010132010001767
Hereford Diocesan Guild016122602420200000730000220020002497
Hertford County Association0302030230041010055002401600500045100
Irish Association0106102002000001200000000000012
Kent County Association060286042801700100108000000000000108
Ladies’ Guild00010000000000010000000000001
Lancashire Association030214082002500200137001000000001138
Leeds University Society00001000000000010000000000001
Leicester Diocesan Guild010300111016001003300130700130103467
Lichfield & Walsall Archdeaconries Society01091011101002002600003000000329
Lincoln Diocesan Guild0705040595031000012900711610410030159
Liverpool Universities Society00000000010000010000000000001
Llandaff & Monmouth Diocesan Association042420103022000029001050020201039
London University Society00000021000020050000200100038
Middlesex County Association & London Diocesan Guild0127601940320100450000400020014388
National Guild of Police Ringers00000010000000010000000000001
North American Guild00233017212100003100113000000536
North Staffordshire Association01010003101000001600000000000016
North Wales Association00020010000000030000000000003
Norwich Diocesan Association00016709001200003500010000000136
Oxford Diocesan Guild08034906650201060014900104200430351122271
Oxford Society0002303002201001300000000000013
Oxford University Society00020000010000030010000000014
Peterborough Diocesan Guild060320161010001003900000000000039
Salisbury Diocesan Guild040204013000102004400000000000044
Scottish Association0001020110040020029002090000001140
Shropshire Association0103105000000001000000000000010
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths0201110904022401300147001010000002149
Southwell & Nottingham Diocesan Guild020372040001500400100000000000000100
St Martin’s Guild for the Diocese of Birmingham0000603302601100310101504000002051
Suffolk Guild0120296043001002009300100000000194
Surrey Association0203116002201001800000000000018
Sussex County Association0404601720400000370010120070002057
Swansea & Brecon Diocesan Guild00030020000000050000000000005
Truro Diocesan Guild1404909301101003300101000000235
Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild190244085201720500149002603900304072221
Worcestershire & Districts Association0204007202000001700001000000118
Yorkshire Association02066701689052701310325001002600200038363
Sub-total - Affiliated716377511552150286338064316411328921133203629012495137144003
Non Association0203814070161372495600267002000000002269

Public Relations Committee

Our work mainly involves proactively promoting ringing nationally and responding to national issues, as well as providing material for societies and ringers to promote ringing locally and promoting the Council to the ringing community.

This year we were pleased to welcome Jacqui Brown, Nick Elks and Alan Marchbank as new members of the Committee. We express our grateful thanks to retiring member Barrie Dove and were very disappointed at the end of 2015 to receive the resignation of Matthew Sorell due to the pressure of work. Matthew had made a great contribution to the work of the Committee and we miss him.

The Committee has met at Wellesbourne twice during the year and once in Hull and will meet again in Portsmouth over the Council meeting weekend in May. We have handled our usual collection of ongoing and regular work as well as some specific time-limited projects.

It did not prove possible to find someone to be our new Public Relations Officer. Kate Flavell agreed to be nominated and was elected at the Council meeting in 2015. It will not necessarily be the case that the Committee Chairman will always be the PRO and Kate has indicated that the combined rôle creates excessive work and she is unlikely to wish to stand again as PRO in 2017. The search for the right person continues.

Specific Projects

The Committee decided that we should normally limit the number of special events for which we seek a lot of publicity to two each year. Ringers will not always respond to a large range of “special” events and certainly the media has limited tolerance for ringing stories. For 2015 we therefore decided to focus on the 300th anniversary of the first recorded peal and the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. These plans were somewhat overturned by media pressure applied to the Government just before the 2015 general election to have bells ringing everywhere to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day while there were still some alive who remembered it. There was little similar pressure regarding the same anniversary of VJ Day and the actual end of the Second World War, marked in August after the election was long forgotten.



2015 was the 300th anniversary of what is believed to be the first recorded true peal (though there may have been earlier ones). We felt this was worthy of wide celebration by the whole ringing community - ringing around the date of the tercentenary and getting 300 ringers through their first peal (as opposed to around 160 normally). We planned significant publicity as part of this project. We liaised closely with the Mancroft ringers to ensure that our publicity complemented theirs. We created a logo and First Peal certificates with this logo that can be downloaded from the website. The Ringing World front page of 22 January gave the final figures and we were thrilled to see our target exceeded by a very wide margin - 387 first pealers! This was something that really caught the imagination of ringers everywhere and we hope that a large proportion of those ringing their first peal in 2015 will go on to ring many more and encourage others to achieve this gold standard of ringing.

The actual anniversary of the first recorded peal received some publicity, especially that generated by the Mancroft ringers in Norwich of course as well as our own commissioned article in the Church Times. Local media gave good coverage to individual local achievements, with much explanation of what a peal is and how hard it is to complete, particularly for the first time. Mainstream national media is hard to engage in ringing stories unless they involve some element of controversy or argument. Local media are nearly always interested in how local people are joining in with national events or celebrations.

Magna Carta

We made a big push for ringing to take place at 3 pm on the Grand Ringing Day to mark Magna Carta 800 (Sunday 14 June 2015). This linked well with the Parliament-sponsored LiberTeas, an encouragement to the whole country to hold a tea party to celebrate, debate and reflect on our freedoms and rights. Again this created good local publicity, particularly for those churches with close Magna Carta connections and those in the Runnymede area.

VE Day 70

There was much ringing in response to letters from a Cabinet Minister to all dioceses to ensure all their bells rang. There were radio broadcasts on a wide range of local BBC stations among others, some linking in with other broadcasts in connection with the 300th anniversary of the first recorded peal. This was unexpected publicity for us, led by Government and bishops.

Branding for ringing

There is still a strong feeling among ringers that ringing needs better branding and brand recognition. We have not been able to progress this issue this year with the absence of sufficient or appropriate committee members. If anyone would like to join us to help with this work we would welcome you with open arms.

More general projects

Completed and ongoing work:

The future

The two key events we are focusing on during 2016 are the Queen’s 90th birthday and Heritage Open Days.

Queen’s 90th birthday

Her Majesty the Queen will be 90 on 21 April, and there will no doubt be much celebratory ringing on that day and over the following few days to include the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, which is also receiving considerable public attention. The Palace has announced that the main celebrations will be held over the weekend of 10-12 June, to coincide with the Queen’s annual Official Birthday. On Friday 10 June there will be a special service at St Paul’s Cathedral. On Saturday 11 June there will be the Trooping the Colour ceremony and on Sunday 12 June there is to be “The Patron’s Lunch” along the Mall, celebrating Her Majesty’s patronage of over 600 organisations in the UK and around the Commonwealth since 1952. It is hoped that there will also be many other street parties in the UK and elsewhere at the same time. Ringing is likely to be very appropriate at almost any time everywhere over that weekend, especially if it fits in with any local celebrations planned. But the Palace has agreed that special ringing should take place at lunchtime on the Sunday, to coincide with “The Patron’s Lunch”, particularly as this would be an unusual time for ringing in many towers. Ringers are therefore encouraged to arrange special ringing at some point between 12 noon and 2 pm that day and to let local media and residents know why you are ringing. The Committee will be working to raise media awareness nationally.

We have been permitted to use the Patron’s Lunch logo in any publicity. It’s already incorporated in the event posters available to download and complete with local details. Sadly permission to use our adapted version of this logo was withdrawn after it had been in use for around eight months. Compositions of 1290 and 5090 of appropriate methods are also available.

Heritage Open Days


During 2015 we made contact with those organising Heritage Open Days and have secured agreement to ringing being a key element of those days in appropriate open churches. For 2016 this will take place over the weekend of 8-11 September. Again a logo is agreed and available for use by ringers in their publicity. We hope this will open up the world of ringing to many people, some of whom may well become recruits.

We will also be continuing with our general projects listed above.

LYNNE HUGHES (Secretary)
MATTHEW SORELL (to January 2016)

International Reports

North American Guild of Change Ringers

One of my favorite pieces hung on the wall of the ringing room at Trinity Wall Street, is an invoice from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, dated 1714, for the casting and delivery of 8 bells. It is a reminder that in pre-revolutionary America bells and ringing were an unremarkable extension of a familiar habit from the home country.

Two towers in North America can proudly hang similar invoices this year - albeit for somewhat larger amounts. Virginia Seminary, in Alexandria, Virginia, actually received their 8 bells in late 2014, but we will include them in this report, because this is the year when ringing began to get under way in that location. Rochester, NY received their set of 10 this past Fall (Autumn for those unaccustomed to the North American nomenclature). Both towers have histories of response to trying circumstances, and have rings of roughly comparable size. In Alexandria, the impetus came from a tragic chapel fire. The decision to rebuild was accompanied by a decision to include change-ringing bells in the new chapel. In Rochester, the trying circumstances were the absence of any bells, but a dedicated band of ringers (who would travel great distances in order to practice their art). They now have their own bells - following a search for a suitable place to house them - in the Church of the Ascension.

VTS (Virginia Theological Seminary) will be able to benefit greatly from the propinquity of the Washington Ringing Society, which is already leading weekly practice and training sessions. Rochester is still some way from the closest towers (Toronto - 2½ hours away, and Trinity Wall Street - 6 hours away). However, they are rolling up their metaphorical sleeves and getting on with the task that face them.

These two towers exemplify the state of ringing in North America - growing steadily, but facing challenges of distance that must seem strange to ringers in the UK, and of the same three perennial problems that face bands in England and North America alike.

There are three predictable crises facing ringers in both places:

Despite the low number of towers in North America, the provision of bells is actually the easiest to deal with. Given the prevailing “can do” attitude of North Americans in general, it is only a matter of degree to design and fund the capital project that a bell installation represents. Of course, it is not trivial, but these two towers have shown that it is entirely doable!

Availability of ringers is a crisis that all towers are facing nowadays. Fortunately, the importance of good teaching training is being more widely recognized in the Exercise, and North America has already begun offering both Module I and Module II of the ITTS training program. Recruitment and retention are often considered to be a part of the provision of new ringers. They are, of course, not really a part of this program. Training is a technical activity. Recruitment and retention require leadership.

This is the third crisis facing the exercise, and is, I believe, the most important one, and most likely to lead to towers falling silent. However, it is not necessarily a gloomy picture. Research has shown that leaders are, in fact, made not born, and leadership training programs are beginning to be offered. More significant is the aging of the ringing population, and the increasing demands being placed upon potential ringers.

One solution is to share the technical leadership (running practices, conducting touches and the like) and to leave the organizational side to those who have more time for such “during the day” type activities. What we need to do is to experiment with different styles and manners of developing leadership - both technical and organizational, and to share the results as widely as possible.

NAGCR Public Relations Officer

South African Guild

There isn’t actually anything significant to report from South Africa this year. Bob and Gail Cater’s party toured the country in January/February 2015, and a full report of their experiences was published in The Ringing World. All of our towers receive visitors from time to time and, I trust, they are made very welcome, but it is not often that we receive such a large party.


Australia and New Zealand

ANZAB’s membership continued its recent pattern of slow but steady growth in 2015, as did the number of towers: Bowral and Camden rang out for the first time during the year, with the newly-trained local band at Camden ringing for service for the first time on Christmas Eve. More new towers are at the planning stage or are under construction, including Katoomba, Bangalow and Lindfield. Bendigo, which has been silent since the cathedral was closed after structural problems were discovered, started ringing again, and the year ended with an encouraging statement from the Bishop of Christchurch suggesting that at least some of the problems to do with rebuilding the cathedral have been resolved.

Our 2015 festival was held at Adelaide in June, and included Module 1 and 2 ART courses; further Module 1 and 2 courses were held at the Bell Tower in Perth in November. All these were well attended and attracted very positive feedback. Our 2016 festival will be in the Central West region of New South Wales (Bathurst, Lithgow and Orange) in March; do come along. Check out our website www.anzab.org.au for how to register, and for news of ringing events in this part of the world.

President ANZAB

Central European Association

The Central European Association enjoyed another successful year in 2015. We now have over 30 resident members living in various countries across Europe and we have also been very pleased to welcome several new members during the year - some of whom have made a return to ringing after several years’ absence.

In addition to regular peal weekends during the year the CEA organised two main events for its resident members. The AGM weekend was held in May at ’t Klockhuys in Dordrecht and was very well attended. 4 peals and 2 quarter peals were rung together with general ringing for all levels of ringers. Peter Richards rang his first quarter peal on tower bells shortly followed by his first quarter peal inside. A handbell peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major was also rung during the weekend being a first of Surprise in hand for Nicola Bright and a first of Surprise on an inside pair for Harm Jan de Kok. Secondly, an Autumn meeting was held in November where peals followed by the customary drinking of port and wine in ’t Klockhuys made for a very enjoyable weekend! Peals of Bristol and Glasgow Surprise Major were rung and also a peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major on handbells at The Postillion Hotel in Dordrecht.

A total of 60 peals were rung for the Association in 2015 of which 17 were on handbells. One particular peal of note was rung by a CEA residents band - a peal of Cambridge Surprise Major at Modautal-Brandau (Die Glöckli), Germany on 3 October to mark the 25th Anniversary of German Reunification. 24 quarter peals were also rung at various locations in The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Of particular note was a quarter peal of 4 Spliced Surprise Major rung at ’t Klockhuys and being a first quarter of spliced for Thirza de Kok.

It is a pleasure to report that our two youngest and “home grown” members of the Association, Harm Jan and Thirza de Kok, continue to make tremendous progress with their ringing. Harm Jan has conducted several peals of Surprise Major during the year and has recently rung a peal of Bristol Surprise Maximus in the UK. Thirza can now confidently ring the standard 8 Surprise Major methods and has rung several Surprise Major quarter peals. A great achievement for both.

The CEA continues to welcome many visiting bands from the UK and we are also most grateful for their help and support throughout the year. Ringing at ’t Klockhuys is by way of appointment only. For enquiries please contact Paul de Kok by email - p.m.dekok@hetnet.nl Further details can also be found by visiting our web page www.change-ringers.eu/


Zimbabwe Guild

The good news is that the Zimbabwe Guild is still a viable entity and there are ringers at both towers.

The bad news is that ringing in Zimbabwe is not in a strong position with neither tower ringing regularly twice a week to a high standard.

At the Guild AGM held on Saturday 6 February 2016 we agreed that this would be our aim for the future, but in doing this we should consider the question “Why do we ring?” and that the enjoyment of being part of a team was critical to the future of ringing and should be regularly considered.

It was unfortunate that due to health problems of 5 of the Harare ringers no visit was made to Kwekwe for the second year in a row, however we were delighted that again many of the Kwekwe ringers managed to get to Harare for the ringing at the AGM.

Training also took a back seat in 2015, however a successful service in December in which the ringers read the lessons and talked about ringing has produced 3 new learners who, although they cannot yet ring up and down unaided and ring in rounds (the qualifications for membership of the Guild), are progressing well and are very supportive of the efforts made by the rest of the band.

Communication within the band is now largely through the medium of cell phone messages - largely WhatsApp. However work is in progress on updating the information available for visiting bands. This was last done in 1993 when the exchange rate was £1:Z$9.6 and communication was still by mail and no information was available through the internet. Now much of what people want to know is on the internet so it is high time the Zimbabwe Guild was there and there is work in progress on this aspect of our communication.

During the year our Guild Master, Felecitas Pswarayi, left to take up further studies in Canada, and we are delighted that Tendai Dzuda from Kwekwe is now in this rôle.

The attendance trophy was this year awarded to Mark Kabwemba who is here seen receiving it from the Harare Tower Captain, his father Teddy Kabwemba, whom he beat by 1 attendance.

two people

For anyone planning to be in Zimbabwe in September, the date for the half yearly meeting in Kwekwe is 10 September 2016 and Harare is planning a social visit to Kwekwe on 9 April 2016.

Finally, we really appreciate the email contact maintained with the Central Council through Anne Phillips who forwards these emails to those of us with email addresses.


Publications Committee

No new titles were sent to us for publication during the year. We commissioned one new book on which work is in progress. Ten titles were reprinted: The New Ringer’s Book, Towards Better Striking, Raising and Lowering, Ringing Jargon Made Easy, Doubles and Minor for Beginners, Ringing Circles, Listen to Ringing CD 1, Listen to Ringing CD 2, Standard Eight Surprise Major, and Judging Striking Competitions.

The following nineteen titles are currently available for download free of charge: Triples and Major for Beginners, Learning Methods, Method Splicing - Practical Hints, Understanding Place Notation, Conducting Stedman, Tower Captain’s Handbook, One way to Teach Bell Handling, Teaching Beyond Bell Handling, Getting it Right - Guidance for Officers of Ringing Societies, CC Rules and Decisions (2013), Giants of the Exercise Vol 2, A J Pitman Biography, Collection of Plain Minor Methods, Treble Dodging Minor Methods, Handbook of Composition, Collection of Stedman Compositions, Collection of Grandsire Compositions, Collection of Ten Bell Compositions, and Collection of Twelve Bell Compositions.

Our usual best sellers The New Ringer’s Book, Ringing Circles and Teaching Tips continued to be popular, but numbers sold of all three were significantly lower than in 2014. Sales of Dove’s Guide 10th Edition also dropped to 91 from 250. Drops in sales of publications which have been available for several years are to be expected and reduced sales of these titles account for a large part of the drop in income from sales reported below. After three years with no significant additions to the list new titles are clearly needed.

As the next stage of our modernisation process we are beginning to investigate the viability of charging for some downloads (not, of course, for those which are currently free or which will become free in future), and of selling some titles by “print on demand”. Three Committee meetings were held during the year, and the usual large number of telephone and e-mail conversations took place. Bulk discounts were offered in March and advertisements were again placed in a number of association reports.

The income from sales dropped to £8,570 from £14,800 in 2014, when £3,000 worth of sales at the Roadshow boosted income. Expenditure exceeded income by £2,370, in large part due to reprinting The New Ringer’s Book, which also largely accounted for the increase in the value of stock held to £7,850 from £5,600. At year end the total cash available was £15,400 and the fund remains at a level sufficient to finance known future work. As expected the popularity of PayPal transactions increased. By year end they accounted for about 33% of income from sales (17% in 2014) as did BACS transfers (also 33% in 2014) and cash sales (down from 50% in 2014). The PayPal facility continues to be trouble free.

We were greatly saddened by the death of our friend Peter Mackie. He had been on the Committee for only a short time but had made many significant contributions to our work. Derek Jones was again closely involved in a consultative capacity, and we thank him for his contributions.


Stocklist at December 31st 2015

TitleSales to
31 Dec 2015
Stock at
31 Dec 2015
New Ringers Book378929
Beginners Handbook138113
Towards Better Striking2045
Raising and Lowering44180
Ringing Jargon Made Easy52
Beginners Grandsire5738
Beginners Plain Bob6466
Doubles and Minor for Beginners2390
Triples and Major for Beginners527
Ringing Circles316527
Ringing Basics for Beginners3295
The Learning Curve Vol 11611
The Learning Curve Vol 213148
The Learning Curve Vol 313139
The Learning Curve Vol 411170
Listen to Ringing CD 1/CD229/3021/28
Beginners Guide to Change Ringing on Handbells17106
Change Ringing on Handbells883
Standard Eight Surprise Major2845
Method Splicing311
Will You Call a Touch Please, Bob?37104
Service Touches35187
Conducting Stedman1244
A Tutors Handbook12134
One Way to Teach Handling824
Teaching Beyond Bell Handling4150
Teaching from Rounds to Bob Doubles767
Kaleidoscope Ringing4042
Teaching Unravelled1580
Starting a New Band842
Teaching Tips236268
Towers and Bells Handbook5110
Schedule of Regular Maintenance63195
Organising a Bell Restoration Project274
Sound Management561
Splicing Bellropes4426
Change Ringing History Vol 1/Vol37/2136/156
Centenary History of the Central Council171
Giants of the Exercise Vol1/Vol22/2154/31
A J Pitman Biography2115
Dove’s Guide 1091204
Belfry Offices539
Organising an Outing517
Belfry Warning Notices430
Church Towers and Bells423
CC Rules and Decisions 2013026
Getting it Right3110
Judging Striking Competitions2997
Stedman Compositions28
The following titles are available for download free of charge: Triples and Major for Beginners, Learning Methods, Method Splicing - Practical Hints, Understanding Place Notation, Conducting Stedman, Tower Captain’s Handbook, One way to Teach Bell Handling, Teaching Beyond Bell Handling, Getting it Right - Guidance for Officers of Ringing Societies, CC Rules and Decisions (2013), Giants of the Exercise Vol 2, A J Pitman Biography, Collection of Plain Minor Methods, Treble Dodging Minor Methods, Handbook of Composition, Collection of Stedman Compositions, Collection of Grandsire Compositions, Collection of Ten Bell Compositions, Collection of Twelve Bell Compositions.

Committee for Redundant Bells

Unfortunately there has been no significant progress this year in improving the redundancy process; however, the recent report from the Church of England’s Church Buildings Review Group highlighted the problems with the current process. The Committee, through the Council’s officers, strongly supported the Group’s recommendation that the process be improved.

The report highlights a number of serious issues with churches, especially in rural areas, and considers various options such as the much discussed “Festival Churches”. The Committee will be watching this area and subsequent discussions very closely; however, it seems that there is a significant risk of many more churches becoming redundant in the next few years.

The Committee’s focus during the year has been on reviewing the Council’s policy on bells in redundant buildings and a new policy document has been approved by the Administrative Committee; this is available on the website. The new policy focuses more on saving larger rings of bells and particularly those of good quality or historic interest. It has also led to a review of the Terms of Reference.

The Committee is now working on defining its rôle more specifically and preparing a strategy aimed at saving good quality rings of bells and for maintaining access for ringing of bells in redundant buildings.

The current case list comprises 33 open cases. Some of these are long-standing cases where progress towards a new use is very slow. In some redundant churches ringing continues to be possible, even if limited, in others ringing is much more difficult or impossible. Opportunities to improve access for ringing are being explored.

The Committee continues to work closely with the Keltek Trust and is grateful to David Kelly for his support and attendance at meetings. There have been no calls on the Bells Rescue Fund during the year.

ROBERT WOOD (Chairman)

Ringing Centres Committee

The Committee has sustained its key functions of maintaining a database of ringing centres, conducting an annual survey of centres, providing a forum for the exchange of news, questions and views through Facebook and publishing a ringing centres newsletter, Training Times. The Committee met in Hull in May 2015 and has conducted a dialogue by e-mail since that time.

There are currently 40 Council-recognised ringing centres in the U.K. and abroad. Several new centres have been recognised in recent years, although no new centre has sought recognition this year. The Committee tries to gather intelligence about possible new centres and to approach local contacts to offer assistance. Response rates to the annual survey vary from year to year with normally at least half the centres replying in any one year and most responding at least every two years. We attempt to follow up centres with whom we have had no contact for over two years with a view to reviewing their recognition. Centres vary widely in their organization and level of activity; inevitably some wax and some wane over time.

The “Bell Ringing Centres” Facebook group established in 2014, after a slow start, now seems to be gaining traction, has 176 members and is better used than the previous email groups. There are often several posts per month and some prompt useful discussion while others give valuable pieces of news. A further edition of Training Times will be published in time for the May meeting of the Central Council. The Committee also responds to requests for help and this year has offered advice to Bradpole on its organization.

There were several resignations from the Committee during the year and this has prompted some discussion about the future of the Committee both within the Committee and with Central Council officers. At the conclusion of those discussions any proposals for change will be made to the Council.

LESLIE BOYCE (Committee Contact)

Ringing Trends Committee

The early part of 2015 was an active time for the Committee as they finalised details of the “State of the Bell-ringing Nation” survey, designed to provide a robust and accurate picture of the ringers of the world by using a “random sample” methodology. This was followed by a successful pilot and further revisions. Analysis of the pilot results clearly highlighted how important it was to survey a complete set of known ringers with a protocol to maximise completions: the “eager responders” who initially completed had a very different profile (in experience and frequency of ringing) to the later-responders who received chasing emails. This strengthened the Committee’s conviction that any survey would be of little value in terms of forming a complete picture unless it was carefully structured to minimise “self-selection” bias.

The survey was ready for full roll out when Steve Coleman, through a letter to The Ringing World, gave his opinion that the survey would breach data protection regulations. The opinion of the Committee, experts consulted by them and other Ringing World correspondents was that this was not the case and that there was a legitimate way of delivering a survey with a robust methodology as already designed. Alternative approaches were seen to compromise the representativeness of the sampling process proposed, which would damage the accuracy of any potential findings. Prompted by the printing of this letter by The Ringing World together with the President’s response, the Committee chair, Elva Ainsworth, resigned from her Central Council membership. She had concluded that these actions were indicative of current thinking and that there was insufficient authority at Council level combined with a lack of willingness to participate in a centrally-led modernisation by the local member associations to justify her membership on Council as leading a change process. The survey has not progressed further as the Committee remains without a chair. The Committee still feel that it is vitally important to collect the data that a robust survey would provide, and the survey remains ready for centrally-administered roll out provided there is strong support from Council leadership and the ringing fraternity to proceed.

All members of the Committee contributed to the development of the survey but special thanks are due to Elva Ainsworth for her leadership and project management, to Mark Ainsworth for the technical aspects of setting it up in QuestionPro and to Deborah Thorley for running a very successful pilot in the Yorkshire Association area.

ELVA AINSWORTH (Chairman to Oct 2015)
JENNY HOLDEN (consultant)

Towers & Belfries Committee

Two meetings were held during 2015, both at Evesham. Our thanks go to Chris Povey for the local arrangements. At the 2015 Central Council meeting George Dawson, Chris Povey and David Roskelly retired by rotation and were re-elected. There was one vacancy.

It is with regret that we have to record the passing of Frank Lewis who was a member of this Committee from 1993 to 1999. His work for the Central Council was extensive and will be sadly missed.

The year has been made difficult with several members suffering bouts of ill health that regrettably led to the cancellation of a planned meeting. Early in January 2016, following further health issues, Tim Collins resigned from the Committee. The Committee places on record its thanks for his work and wishes him a speedy recovery. His position as Chairman was filled by David Kirkcaldy who was elected at our meeting in February.

During the year the Committee was able for the first time to arrange and man a display of bellhanging items at the Ringing World National Youth Contest held in Oxford, and the Committee wishes to thank Whites of Appleton for their assistance. The venture proved most useful by creating a talking point and hope was expressed that a similar event could take place at future contests.

We gave advice or guidance to a number of towers during the year, either by correspondence or following a site visit. The subjects covered included tower stability, internal and external sound control, electrical safety, lighting levels in ringing rooms, seized clappers, correcting odd-struckness, augmentation and rehanging.

Our consultant, Gordon Breeze, has been working on developing theoretical and experimental methods that can predict bell tower movement when bells are being rung. Six monographs have been prepared for the T&B Committee which describe i) how the forces generated by bells can be estimated; ii) how bell towers can be tested; and iii) how the results can be used to predict bell tower motion.

The T&B Committee organised a visit to Leamington Spa, whose square-plan brick tower is well-known for exhibiting large movements when bells are rung. During ringing, the tower motion was measured using an analogue instrument (“The Wobblemeter”) that has been donated to the T&B Committee. The recorded motion levels exceeded threshold levels that are generally accepted as being compatible with good ringing. The tower motion was also measured using a mobile phone; in the future this new approach is likely to enable the motion of bell towers to be investigated without recourse to expensive instrumentation. During the visit the practical difficulties of ringing in this tower were evident, even to the experienced ringers of the Committee.

Our new Maintenance Handbook is still proving to be a major undertaking and work is still very much in progress. We are also working on additional information sheets for various subjects: staircase handrails; ringing room lighting, power and heating; bell and clock chamber lighting and power; and contract management. Following the transfer of Health & Safety aspects to the Tower Stewardship Committee our guidance notes have been withdrawn and a link to the TSC guidance note put in place. Changes in telecommunications technology mean that our early guidance notes regarding the installation of transmission masts in towers have been superseded and as a consequence those notes have been withdrawn pending a possible update.

The T&B Committee is one of the oldest of the Council sub-committees and, from its inception, has always had a practical or technical bias. Historically the Committee membership has always been based on practical knowledge. Over the years the work of the Committee expanded to meet demand until it offered advice on all aspects of work on bells, bell towers, internal and external sound control, health and safety, lighting, access, telecoms installations … the list seems almost endless. Some less technical items have now been taken over by other committees. We are always keen to recruit suitably qualified new members who have personal experience of bellhanging and maintenance, or with engineering or architectural qualifications and experience. However with changing technology altering our sphere of operation we need to broaden our expertise and we therefore have a greater need for members with skills in alternative forms of technology.

At the 2016 Council meeting Roland Backhurst, Alan Frost and Bernard Stone retire by rotation and we have a total of 5 vacancies. With this in mind we draw Council members’ attention to the Committee’s wish to recruit members from the north of England. At present we have none from anywhere north of Nottingham.

TIM COLLINS (Resigned Jan 2016)
GORDON BREEZE (Consultant)

Tower Stewardship Committee

This year has been a busy year for the Tower Stewardship Committee. Updates to our Health and Safety, Insurance and Safeguarding Guidance Notes have been published on the Council’s website.

In the light of updated safeguarding policies by the Church of England, the CCCBR has issued a document (Safeguarding Children in Bell Towers). This document, compiled by our President, Chris Mew, reflects the current practices and policies of the Church of England, and is intended to act as a guide for incumbents and safeguarding officers in the management of such policies in relation to bell towers. While compiled by the CCCBR, it has been published by the Church of England to diocesan safeguarding officers.

During the year, the Committee has received a number of enquiries regarding safeguarding, health and safety, insurance and noise complaints. All these enquiries have been successfully responded to. The complaints helpline, ably run by Alan Chantler, is working successfully. Five enquiries have been received this year, and all but one has been resolved by a simple exchange of emails.

The Committee manages the CCCBR liaison with Ecclesiastical Insurance. We have a very good working relationship with Ecclesiastical, who are in general very happy with the bell ringing exercise, especially in health and safety matters. For example, Ecclesiastical will review and advise on our Health & Safety guidance notes every time they are updated.

The Tower Stewardship Committee has identified a number of areas for future work:

A key aspect of the Committee’s remit is the production and review of a set of Guidance Notes. These are reviewed annually, and are available via the Central Council website, as follows:


The Committee is well served by the wide range of skills, qualifications and experience brought by members. The Tower Stewardship Committee is very open to suggestions and recommendations from all areas of the Central Council regarding our remit, our communication methods and any other component of our work. Finally, we finish with a request to all members of Council. As well as representing your association to the Council, you also represent the Council to your association. As mentioned, there have been a number of updates and changes to our information and documentation. We ask that all Council members familiarise themselves with this information and ensure that your association has been updated with such changes, and the information has been passed out to the grass root towers.


Bell Restoration Committee


The Bell Restoration Committee is one of the most pro-active committees with excellent public interface. All members have clearly defined areas of responsibility and these are reviewed on a rolling basis.


The Committee met three times in 2015: in February, June and October. All meetings were held at St Andrew’s Church, Short Street, London.

Activities in 2015

A seminar on bell restoration was held in Somerset on 6th September and a full report was included in The Ringing World of 15th January 2016.

Matthew Higby addressing the delegates at the Bell Restoration Seminar
group of people

An updated version of the booklet Organising a Bell Restoration Project (OABRP) has been drawn up and will be published during 2016.

Guidance Notes have been regularly updated and posted on the Central Council website.

An article was prepared reviewing the new Faculty rules. This was published in The Ringing World of 5th February 2016.


The following grants were allocated in 2015:

Basingstoke All Saints - £700, Bath Christ Church - £300, Biggleswade - £900, Brading - £1,600, Brant Broughton - £900, Combe Raleigh - £2,000, Drayton Bassett - £1,000, Great Catworth - £1,700, Great Malvern - £400, Harlow - £1,300, Hereford All Saints - £400, Hollingbourne - £1,800, Ipstones - £2,000, Kelham - £800, Liddington - £2,000, Lindfield - £2,000, Marden, Herefordshire - £2,000, Meldreth - £1,200, Michaelchurch Escley - £1,100, North Creake - £1,000; Norwood Green - £600, Rochdale Christ Church - £600, Taunton St Mary Magdalene - £2,000, Templecombe - £1,500, Tollesbury - £300, Westminster St Stephen - £1,700, Whitestaunton - £1,800, Woolhope - £1,100, Wortley - £1,700.

At the time of writing this report work at Bath Christ Church, Great Malvern, Kelham, Meldreth, North Creake, Templecombe and Tollesbury has been completed.

Templecombe bells at their blessing service
group of people

Fred Dukes Fund

A grant of £2,500 was agreed for Bangalow, NSW. Progress on the projects at Bunbury, WA (2010) and Queenstown, South Africa (2011) are both awaiting reports on the tower.

For some time certain aspects of the Guidance for Applicants have been giving concern. Following discussion, and with the agreement of the Managing Trustees, two of the clauses in the Guidance have been changed. The first change enables a project to use any UK contractor, rather than restricting applications to work by “a major UK bellfounder”. The other change relates to repayment of the grant in the event that a project is never completed, in cases where a UK contractor has been paid from the Fund in order that the bells and/or fittings can be shipped to the overseas parish.

Advice to parishes

The Ffoenix software is very out of date and cannot be updated so other methods of searching for funds are being investigated. All towers receiving a grant are encouraged to complete a feedback form showing sources of grants, which will help towards compiling a bell restoration specific data base. John Barnes has again been very active providing fund raising assistance and ideas to parishes.


Peter Wilkinson, Ian Oram and Jay Bunyan will stand down at the 2016 meeting and will be available for re-election. The Committee still has one vacancy.

Ongoing tasks include:

Future work

JAY BUNYAN (Secretary)

Biographies Committee

The committee met at Hull in May and at Wellesbourne in September. Margaret Oram stood down and Anne Bray was elected a new member. Bill Butler remains a consultant. The Council approved our broadened terms of reference - to go beyond creating and recording information and proactively bring it to the notice of ringers and historians.

At the end of 2015 there were 904 biographic records on the website and a further 18 delivered for inclusion. A similar number will be delivered early in 2016. Stuart Piper of the ICT committee supports us by managing our pages on the website. No records were printed during the year but it is intended that all records available on the web will in due course also have an archival paper copy. We have made little progress with our aspiration to expand some very cursory records produced in former years. This is not a priority and will be done as and when any new information becomes available.

We have been extending the time span of the record collection much earlier than the formation of the Council. We have so far produced seventeen records based on material in John Eisel’s Giants of the Exercise and we have reached a similar agreement with David Ingram and Richard Jones to use material from The recollections of John Day.

Bill Butler’s articles on Prolific Peal Ringers in The Ringing World reached number 37 by the year end (omitting a few who are still alive). The first 20 are also on the Council website.

We continue to hold basic information, photos, press items, etc on current and former Council members, on paper or digitally.

Our work on ringing societies has progressed. We have a prototype web page listing 170+ current and former societies, with basic information, dates, and evolutionary links between them. In due course this will appear on the Council website, and in the long term we hope to add lists of members who represented each society with links to their individual biographic records, which will provide an alternative way to access the records. We have also started work on the history of Council committees that will eventually be linked to the biographic records via lists of members.

We considered the possibility of permanent exhibition material for use at various events but decided not to invest in a pop-up display in the short term. Bill Butler and Bobbie May developed a series of vignettes of notable ringers with interesting snippets about each that are intended to “bring ringing biography to life” for those who might not previously have taken an interest. We envisage them as a set of laminated A4 posters that can be displayed in any suitable space in a venue.

We made some progress developing advice for ringers wishing to undertake biographical / historical research but it is not yet complete.

We worked with the Library Committee on a joint outreach event in 2016. By linking ringing history to the concerns facing ringing in the future we aimed to reach a wider audience than for previous events. We obtained the support of the ICT Committee to make a webcast of the event available to ringers who could not physically be present.

Future plans and aspirations include:

We are grateful to all those who have helped us by providing information and we look forward to working with other people who are interested in ringing history, or researching the history of their societies or local ringers.

Members and former members of the Council who died in 2015 are:


Compositions Committee

The Compositions Committee hold regular conference calls and are in contact by email.

The Ringing World Diary compositions were updated in conjunction with the Methods Committee and further reviews will be made as required for the 2017 diary.

The key work of the Committee is to maintain and update the web collection of peal and quarter peal compositions and to encourage new submissions from a wide range of contributors. Many thanks to all our contributors for their wide variety of compositions. There are touches for example of 800 for Magna Carta and 1290 and 5090 for the Queen’s birthday and date touches.

The readily accessible websites are a very valuable resource for conductors. The compositions range from relatively easy to highly complex on all numbers of bells, so there are compositions for all requirements. Over 2,000 peal compositions and over 200 quarter peals were uploaded to the website in the last twelve months, so we process an average of over 40 compositions per week.

Our particular thanks go to Richard Allton and Don Morrison for their work, as compositions are submitted in a number of formats from spreadsheets to written paper and these have to be carefully collated and checked for accuracy and truth. The web collection is backed up on the CCCBR web services account on a daily basis.

The easy access of on line compositions means there now appears to be little demand for printed books. It is difficult to justify the work required to produce and publish new books of compositions. It is possible to produce pdfs of existing composition books, for example Touches of Triples by Edgar Shepherd and these are being added to the web collection.

The Committee has answered a number of technical and historical queries on composition, including for example the first peal of Plain Bob Triples for people wishing to repeat the peal for the 300th anniversary of the first known tower bell peal, and a request for a quarter peal of Stedman Caters to practice an opening course for a peal.

Stephen Beckingham has updated his best 1,280 website with expansion with bobs and singles to 1,312 and 1,344 lengths in tenors together compositions to generate the maximum number of runs on four or more bells. bex280.x10.mx/namedparameters2.php. This is a popular site for composers looking to get the best music out of methods for quarter peals.

There seems to be little scope for simpler compositions of standard methods these days as most of the obvious combinations have already been discovered or generated. Breakthroughs in composition tend to be discussed on ringing theory chat lists, reducing the necessity for detailed reviews in The Ringing World, although we are perfectly happy to review compositions as required.

Roger Bailey’s handbell collection is being maintained and updated by Peter Blight and can be found at www.ringing.info/handbell-collection/.

The Committee would like to welcome Fergus Stracey to the Committee. Finally, to reiterate, we very much welcome submissions of new peal, quarter peal and special length compositions and these should be sent to compositions@cccbr.org.uk.


Education Committee

During 2015 the Committee met 5 times, being twice face to face and three times by telephone conference. Overall, the Committee concluded that the Face to Face meetings were significantly more productive, but much more of a commitment and cost, so the key thing is to try to maintain the right balance looking forward.

This year we welcomed new members Veronica Downing (Suffolk), Chris Fletcher (Lancashire) and Anne Sladen (Southwell and Nottingham). Retiring this year, we thank Brian Sanders, who served for a number of years as the Committee’s treasurer. Following his retirement, the Committee has put in place a new bank account.

In line with its recently refreshed Terms of Reference, the Committee continues to co-ordinate closely with other organisations involved in ringing education, including the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART), the Whiting Society, Ringing Centres Committee, Ringing Trends Committee, The Ringing Foundation (part year), and members also follow a wide variety of social media feeds, to look for ideas and trends.

In particular, this co-operation has led this year to the development of the Ringing Leadership course, together with ART and Elva Ainsworth. A version of this course was given at the ART AGM recently, plus a version is also available for download from the Committee’s web pages, for use by local associations and other groups.

The development of the new Listening Course has continued, with two pilot courses given jointly with local associations, to further develop the material. The final version of this course is now ready and will be available on the Committee’s web pages in time for the AGM. This package is intended to be used by local associations and other groups, with help from the Committee as needed. Along similar lines, the Central Council booklet “Listening Skills” is now available in electronic form on the Committee’s website.

The Conduct 5040 scheme continues with a modest number of participants. Partnership is in place with ART, who have started delivering a basic conducting course, which it is hoped will bring forward more candidates for this mentoring scheme.

The coming year will be one of transition for the Committee, as we are in the process of replacing the retiring Chairperson Duncan Walker, after 3 years at the helm.

Looking forward, the Committee is considering two possible publications, following earlier series of articles published in The Ringing World, under the titles What Helps What Hinders and Learning Together. It also has plans to put together a new teaching manual in book form, plus further work on new ringing videos (liaising with a North America initiative).

SUSAN WELCH (Treasurer)

Information and Communications Technology Committee

Work this year has focussed on development of a new website which is run by a content management system. Due mainly to the extraordinary contribution of Doug Davis, a draft version of the site was made available at the March Administrative Committee meeting and the aim is to make it publicly available at or around the time of this year’s Central Council meeting. Thanks also go to Jacqui Brown, Elva Ainsworth and Christopher O’Mahony for their support developing the site over this year.

Thanks go to Peter Trotman, Andrew Hall and Aidan Hopkins for keeping the current site in good shape during this year. It is anticipated that the current site will run alongside the new site until we are happy that all the relevant material has been brought across to the new system. The expectation is that this will be complete by the 2017 Central Council meeting.

The usage of Github has continued, and an application for recognition of the Central Council’s charitable status was accepted meaning that we can offer version control for free to around 6 software projects. This links into last year’s stated aim to offer protection to digital resources (to ensure that projects aren’t lost or become unavailable if their authors are unable to continue development). No progress has been made on the drafting of an escrow agreement under which projects would be brought into the system, however, the underlying message is that the ICT Committee is technically ready to accept projects.

This year saw the first webcast event organised by the ICT Committee. The Central Council event “Ringing History and Future Trends” was watched by around 70 people on the day and has been watched by a further 400 since. The ICT Committee is happy to provide practical support to anyone (inside or outside of the Council) wishing to webcast a ringing event - e-mail chairman@ictc.cccbr.org.uk to discuss your project.


Library Committee

The Ringing World DVD 1971-2000: This is the third DVD in the series and was launched at the 2015 Central Council Meeting. Thanks go to Paul Johnson for this achievement. Sales are going well. Earlier DVDs are advertised on the Library Publications page of the Council website www.cccbr.org.uk/library/pubs/

dvd cover

Order and Disorder publications: We are indebted to John Eisel for completion of the third volume in this series 1830-1839 in time for Christmas. It is selling well, and the previous volumes are still available www.cccbr.org.uk/library/pubs/

book cover

John Eisel has continued his research into digitised newspapers, and abstracted many hundreds of reports relating to ringers and change ringing. With the increasing number of reports being published as the century progressed, this has produced a great deal of material. For the period 1840-49 there is more material than for the whole of the eighteenth century! Consideration is being given as to how to bring this into the public domain, to supplement the printed volumes. Meanwhile, if anyone has a query about published newspaper material for a particular tower, John will be happy to attempt to answer the query. Email: jceisel@btinternet.com

Paul Johnson and Alan Glover have now made several publications available online:

One Committee meeting was held in the year in October and we met briefly at our sales table at the Hull Central Council Meeting on 25 May.

Sue Marsden is investigating a possible database containing all ringing books, not just those in the Central Council Library. Linda Foddering assists with the Friends Newsletter and maintaining the list of Society librarians. Jenny Lawrence runs the packing and despatch department for Order and Disorder publications and adds library matters on the Central Council Facebook page.

2015 saw steady use of the Library with seven items being borrowed and sixty-four queries dealt with by sending scans or written replies. The publication of the Ringing World DVDs by the Library Committee has made it easier for many ringers to carry out their own research.

A certain amount of work has been done on transferring items to more modern media. An offer of help from Malcolm Merritt was enthusiastically accepted and almost all the VHS tapes in the Library are now available on DVD. We also found a firm able to transfer (and “clean-up”) some of our 78 rpm records to CD. They have done an excellent job at a very reasonable cost.

We are very grateful to all those individuals and organisations who donated material to the Library during the year. Several correspondents gave help with the preparation of the badge catalogue, and we are grateful to them all.

We are pleased to report that most of the library catalogue is now available on-line at www.cccbr.org.uk/library/catalogue/ in the form of a series of searchable pdfs. The remaining sections will be added as time permits.

The librarian was approached by a senior editor at the Oxford English Dictionary with a request for help in revising items relating to bells. So far “Grandsire” has been tackled with some success, largely due to help from John Eisel. John’s help and that of Carl Zimmerman has been enlisted as we wrestle with “yoke” in the (largely) American sense of headstock.

The list of reports required to complete runs is largely unchanged from last year, but is included here as tower cupboards are always being turned out and tidied (eventually).

Librarian’s wish list

Bath and Wells D A1927 and 1928
Bedfordshire A1928 and 1930
Cumberland & N Westmorland S1951-56 and 1960
Derby D A1946-1949 & 1951
Devonshire G1929, 1930, 1934, 1937-42, 1944, 1953
Durham and Newcastle D A1957/58, 1962/63, 1969/70
EDWNA2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
Ely D G1908-1911
Essex A1912, 1914, 1917, 1930
Hertford C A1921/22
Middlesex C A1897-1898, 1899/1900
Midland Counties A1923, 1924
Midland Counties G1947-9, 1951, 1953 and 1959
North Wales A1993-1995, 2000, 2001
Peterborough D G1925
Salisbury D G1911, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1918
Shropshire AAny pre 1938
Surrey A1911, 1914-1922, 1925-1927
Truro D G1960, 1962-1964

After years of receiving an annual bound copy of The Ringing World, the financial situation of the weekly publication means that we have now had to take out a subscription to the printed version and then reimburse the cost of binding at the end of the year.

We continue to receive excellent service from “The Binding Place” on the outskirts of Worcester. As well as binding and minor repairs to the stock, Les Stallard has made additional individual clam-shell boxes for some of the more valuable and vulnerable books.

Collaboration with other committees: we are working with the Biographies Committee on a joint Outreach Day on 27 February 2016 at Wellesbourne. We liaise with Alan Baldock re the Felstead Database.

We are grateful to the Friends of the Library for their subscriptions, which support the work the Library Committee undertakes. Also, twenty-three people overall have taken up the offer of Life Membership. Ian Self is the Friends co-ordinator, assisted by Linda.

The accounts are submitted to the Central Council Hon Treasurer and, following checking by the independent examiners, appear in summary in the Council’s accounts. They are also published in the annual Newsletter for the Friends of the Library, whose subscriptions fund projects such as printed publications and DVDs. The annual grant received from the Council towards maintenance of the Library has been waived for 2015 and will be shown in the 2016 accounts. Copies of the accounts are available on request from Ian Self.

William Willans has kindly written an interesting Essay (No 23 in the series) entitled The Remarks and Collections of Thomas Hearne to accompany the newsletter sent to the Friends.

Two members of the Committee will be retiring at the Portsmouth Central Council Meeting.

Future Work Plan:

ALAN GLOVER (Library Steward)

Methods Committee

The Methods Committee’s main focus this year has been on the review of the Central Council Decisions concerning Peal Ringing and Methods and Calls. Following our report last year, we held an open meeting at Southwark Cathedral in October, and an independent report on this written by Richard Smith appeared in the October 16th edition of The Ringing World. Following the review and the open meeting, we feel that changes are required, and are proposing to do this in two stages, as shown by the motions at the 2016 meeting.

In addition the Committee has worked with the Compositions Committee on updates to pages in The Ringing World Diary, and it has also restarted work on a new book of Doubles Methods. This will contain blue lines for plain Doubles methods, as well as a chapter on splicing.

Throughout the year we have continued to answer enquiries about method names, extensions, CC Decisions and other matters received on the Committee’s email address: methods@cccbr.org.uk.

Once again, we would like to record our thanks to Tony Smith for maintaining up to date method collections at methods.org.uk. These online collections are an important service that the Council provides to the wider ringing community and we are very grateful to Tony for updating them each week.


Report of the Stewards of the Carter Ringing Machine Collection

The Carter Ringing Machine was on display on three occasions during 2015. The first was at the Annual General Meeting in Hull where it performed briefly between sessions and was visited by many of the Council members.

Later in the year it was invited to Liverpool Cathedral for one of their special evenings where visitors are allowed up the tower and can visit the ringing chamber to see the bells being rung. Many of the local ringers participating in this event had never seen the machine so it was of great interest to them, in addition to visitors, some of whom were intrigued by the machine in operation.

The final event was during the Heritage Weekend in September when it was back in Liverpool again, this time at St John the Baptist, Tuebrook, where it again received attention from interested visitors as well as local church members.

During the year the bell cabinet was modified to allow one of the Cummins electronic simulators to be able to ring the bells. This had been partly done prior to the Hull meeting and we were able to demonstrate both machines in operation, though not simultaneously! The electromechanical relays that had been installed in the cabinet when it was made in the 1960s were replaced by modern electronic switching, which eliminated the noise made by the relays. We felt this change to be justifiable as the bell cabinet was not part of the original machine.

One further item of interest - we have received donations of other Cummins machines during the year, and one has been installed at the Taylor Museum for demonstration purposes. This one was donated by George Mudge and has sampled bell sounds and a reasonably smart appearance. The program within the machine has been modified somewhat to make it easier for museum staff to demonstrate to visitors.

We are currently evaluating the other additional machines as to whether they should be added to the collection, possibly replacing existing ones, or simply used as spare parts.


Report of the Steward of the Rolls of Honour

The original Great War Memorial Book and World War II Memorial Book are usually kept in their display case at St Paul’s Cathedral along with the new Great War Roll of Honour, although they have been out on view for several months of this past year. They are in good condition and when in their display case the pages are regularly turned. The original Great War Book records the names of 1207 fallen ringers. In this period of WWI centenary commemorations every effort is being made to discover the names and details of our fellow ringers who were not listed in the original Great War Roll of Honour, so that their names may be added to the new volume. The new Great War Book records 152 names; this includes 17 added in June 2015 and 14 added in January 2016; I currently have two additional names that will be added when the new Roll of Honour is next updated. The WWII Book records 300 names.

During the last year the Great War books have been on view at the Longworth Festival of Bells in Oxfordshire which was the launch event of the bell restoration appeal; one ringer from there, Private W H Rivers, the last Tower Foreman at Longworth, is recorded in the original Great War Roll. Both Great War books were also on display at the exhibition of the South London Lettering Association at the St. Brides Foundation in London, at the request of Timothy Noad who is the illuminator / calligrapher for the new Roll. This event was advertised on Bell- Board.

I have been following up the practicalities of extending the existing display case to enable all three books to be displayed satisfactorily. I have contacted a cabinet maker who will inspect the case shortly and will then advise on the best course of action. The aim is to create a case that allows the Rolls of Honour to be safely displayed together at other venues, thus giving more opportunity to ringers and others to view them first hand.

Further “Rolls of Honour” have been published monthly in The Ringing World, thanks to the help of the Editor, Robert Lewis, and compositor, Chris Caryer. A huge amount of work on the detail contained in these is undertaken by Yvonne Cairns, and I am most grateful for this assistance. These give details of the ringers who fell in the following month a century ago. All articles included a number of photographs of individuals, graves and memorials and were published as follows:

These will continue over the coming months, where readers will see numbers increase considerably. In addition, where possible, I have contacted local ringers encouraging commemorative ringing, and I am pleased to be able to report that many have been commemorated on or close to the centenary of their death. Ringers may have seen these reported in The Ringing World and I am most grateful to all those ringers who have taken part. Some guilds and associations have co-ordinated efforts to assist with these commemorations. I would particularly like to thank Ellen Crabtree who is undertaking this for those who were Durham & Newcastle DA members, Ruth Curtis for those in the Lincoln Diocesan Guild, Steve Jakeman for those in the Middlesex County Association, Robert Wellen for those in the Salisbury Diocesan Guild and to Christine Parsons, Peter McCoy and Robert Wood who are doing the same for Yorkshire Association members. I hope ringers will continue these commemorations. I am keeping a record of commemorative ringing that has been done which has ranged from tolling a single bell to quarter peals and peals.

A number of other articles, by other authors, have appeared in The Ringing World giving more details on individuals who fell.

In addition an article appeared in The Ringing World of 6th November 2015 which gave details of the three ringers commemorated in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, which is close to the town centre of Ypres (now Ieper) in Belgium. This article introduced the possibility of the installation of a ring of eight change ringing bells in the tower of St. George’s Memorial Church, Ypres, as a memorial to the Fallen of the Great War.

Peter Trotman, Central Council Webmaster, has been adding photographs of the new Great War Roll pages as well as undertaking a complete overhaul of the way in which the page photos are accessed and undertaking corrections and additions to the information held. His willing assistance is greatly appreciated. The website generates a number of contacts and is clearly a very good way of making sure that information is available both to ringers and the wider public.

As always I am grateful to ringers and others for supplying information, particularly Robert Wellen from the Salisbury Guild who has done considerable research to identify more names from his area, Alan Seymour who continues to research those from Sussex and to David Underdown for his continued work researching those who came from the Surrey Association area.


Report of the Stewards of the Dove Database

2015 has been another busy year for the Dove Stewards. We have made 871 updates to the information that we show against a “Dove entry”, and 888 updates to the information held in the prototype-National Bell Register (pNBR).

The number of Dove entries, and the changes that occurred during this period, are summarised as follows.

We have listed 8 new rings during 2015 but no longer list 4 others. We have been notified of 12 augmentations, 10 rings that are no longer unringable, but 17 rings that are now unringable.


We thank those who have notified us of changes that they believe we should know about. This year we wish in particular to thank Mike Chester, Philip Denton, and David Sloman. Mike seems to possess an uncanny knack of instantly spotting any Dove-related change on just about any ringing-related website. He has also provided us with frame information for many rings where previously we held no, or perhaps only limited, information. Philip has been an assiduous contributor for many years and his suggestions for updates are always well-researched before being offered to us for inclusion. David seems to have a superb ability to spot various data items which have been missing from the pNBR but which have previously appeared in printed county works or their corrigenda. Each of these three has now sent us in excess of 1000 emails and this represents real commitment on their part to getting the pNBR as comprehensive and accurate as possible.

John’s son (Sid) has released a third version of his excellent Dove’s Guide mobile app for iOS, this version also providing record-keeping capability for recording visits, quarter peals, and peals.We are pleased to report that a small amount of progress has been made in sourcing a replacement solution for the Dove database using up-to-date technology. We look forward to significant progress being made during 2016. As yet we have had no success in identifying any individuals who might be interested in becoming our successors in the rôle of Dove Steward.


As at 1 JanAs at 31 DecChangeAs at 1 JanAs at 31 DecChange

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells


The charity is not incorporated. The constitution derives from rules adopted on the 29th May 1979 (amended on the 26th May 2008) and registered with the Charity Commission on the 22nd October 1979. The Charity’s registration number is 278816.

The principal address of the Charity is that of the secretary namely:- 8 LEBANON GARDENS, LONDON SW18 1RG.

The principal object of the Fund is to advance the Christian religion by the rescue of redundant bells for the purpose of their being rehoused elsewhere for ringing in churches.

The Trustees of the Fund are the members of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Committee for Redundant Bells namely:-

R. J. Cooles
T. Jackson
J. Newman
Miss Helen Webb
D. Westerman
R. Wood

The Honorary Secretary is: R. J. Cooles

The Honorary Treasurer is: Helen Webb

Annual report: 2015

There have been no calls on the Fund this year and no further loans have been made to the Keltek Trust Rescue Fund. There is therefore no change from the position as reported last year.

The Trustees remain grateful to those who have promised loans to the Fund in case of need.

R. J. COOLES (Honorary Secretary)
HELEN WEBB (Honorary Treasurer)

Rescue Fund for Redundant Bells
Registered Charity No 278816
Statement of Financial Activities
for the year ended 31 December 2015
2015 2014
Incoming resources
Interest receivable25.4820.67
Every Click (= donations from ringers)41.1819.82
Resources expended

Net incoming resources66.661040.49
Balances at 1 January14,761.4913,721.00
Balances at 31 December14,828.1514,761.49
Balance Sheet as at 31 December
Current assets
Loan to Keltek Trust Rescue Fund8,500.008,500.00
Cash in bank and on deposit6,328.156,261.49

Total current assets14,828.1514,761.49
Current liabilities0.000.00

Net current assets14,828.1514,761.49

14 FEBRUARY 2016

The Ringing World, May 6, 2016, pages 469 to 488

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