Officers’ Reports

GUILD ANNUAL REPORT

The Annual Report gives data about the towers, contacts, rules, peals rung, etc. Only the full details of those contacts that have consented to their telephone number and/or email address to be made available via the website are present on the individual tower pages. Their address will be present for written requests to ring. The report also includes the reports of officers, accounts, etc.

For a printed copy of the Guild Annual Report, please contact the Guild Secretary:-

Mrs Annie Hall
12 The Courtyard
Bridge End Warwick
CV34 6PD

Tel: 01926 400192

Email

The current cost of a report is a donation to our BRF of £5.00.


Trustees’ Report 2019

This annual report has a threefold purpose. Firstly, it summarises and highlights, for the listed membership, what took place in the year. This aspect is covered more fully and in a timely manner in the Guild Newsletters published quarterly. Secondly, it acts as a repository for all the useful information needed about the Guild and as such serves as its handbook. Finally but not of least importance, it satisfies the obligations placed on the trustees of a registered charity to make public our operation.

The four trustees are the elected officers of President, General Secretary, Treasurer and Ringing Master and form the Executive Committee of the Guild. They also serve as the trustees of the separate Bell Repair Fund (BRF) charity. The inevitably close relationship between these two charities means that this one report covers the work of both and that separate meetings of each charity are not held. The trustees meet reasonably regularly on an as required basis, and usually before other Guild meetings so that we can have a consensus view of items that will arise. The same meeting is used to consider applications for grants to the BRF.

In line with modern communications methods there are frequent email threads between us as well as phone calls and even face-to-face conversations when we actually met during our normal course of diverse ringing activities. Items very specific to their elected post appear as necessary elsewhere in this report. This is complimented by the reports of other elected Guild officials who are not on the executive. These later people are invited from time-to-time to exec meetings to assist the trustees when their specialisms will help develop Guild views and policies on the diverse range of matters for which the trustees are responsible.

Somewhat unusually for recent times, there has been no national event in 2019 requesting the involvement of ringing which has provided an additional focus for Guild activities. Our regular calendar has been maintained and reports on these are below. Much of the Guild’s important work occurs through the three districts (well one district, one archdeaconry and one deanery!) and their reports are within the handbook section of this report.

The Central Council, following the latest Church of England recommendations, updated their guidance on Safeguarding and included other related general safe working practices. In recognition of the importance of this within all our ringing activities, the Executive, along with our Safeguarding officer, have produced a new booklet and guidance on Safeguarding. This has been issued to all towers within the Guild and you are urged to ensure it is read, put on display or made readily available to all involved in the ringing at your tower.

The Guild has continued to offer their members and local churches a number of services. Following the introduction of the Maintenance Report Initiative, 71 towers have been offered the opportunity to have their bells serviced and inspected by a professional bell hanger. Many have taken up this offer and have subsequently applied for further grants towards the repairs to their bells. The rope store continues to operate and now the Guild can offer stays at cost price, again saving many churches great sums of money. Thanks to Graham Nabb and Ian Wilson for running these initiatives. Members of the Tower and belfry committee also offer their time and labour to help keep the cost of repair and restoration down.

The two striking competitions were very well attended. The 6 bell striking competition was held at Radford Semele with 12 teams competing, more than for many years. The 8 bell competition, linked to the 6 monthly meeting at Allesley was also well represented with all Districts entering two teams.

The Coventry Spires youth team entered teams in both Guild competitions as well as entering the Ringing World National Youth Competition held in Liverpool. This event becomes more popular each year and we are grateful for the support we receive from family and friends to accompany the team to this annual event. In addition to the practices for the striking competition, outings are held for the youth team along with a monthly Sunday afternoon practice arranged by Alec Chaplin.

Monthly training mornings are run by the officers of the Guild supported by willing volunteers. These sessions allow learners to have the opportunity to ring with proficient bands and have plenty of rope time. For the first time a First Aid course was run by a Guild member attended by 17 others.

The Carol Service, held at Brinklow, continues to be the best attended event of the year. Again nearly 100 members and friends attended with the Guild choir adding much to enhance the atmosphere of the event.

The Guild was asked to ring the Central Council memorial peal for Robert Kilby. This was successfully scored at Warwick in December.

Ringing was arranged in support of Notre Dame after the devastating fire on 15th April. By request of the Government, this took place on Maundy Thursday breaking with tradition of not ringing in Holy Week.

Two Central Council members resigned this year. Congratulations to Chris Mew for completing over 50 years as a member of the council. His guidance and support have been greatly appreciated by the Guild. The Guild now only has 2 representatives and because of the size of the membership is entitled to 4.

REMEMBERING MEMBERS WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY DURING 2019

Robin Guy from Clifton upon Dunsmore

Kate Moir from Warwick

Angela Elliott from Southam

Frank Spiers from Bidford on Avon

Jill Roberts from Sutton under Brailes

Susan Marshall from Kineton Stewart

Smith from Rugby

Dorothy Ogle from Willoughby

MAY THEY REST IN PEACE AND RISE IN GLORY

Andrew Alldrick, Annie Hall, Simon Rogers, Mark Sayers


Treasurer’s Report 2019

Membership subscriptions are the major contributor to financing the Guild’s activities. Those paying subscriptions during the year, increased slightly in 2019. The total paying their subscriptions last year was 511, against a revised 2018 figure of 489, the increase in numbers being fairly well spread throughout the Guild. At the time of preparing the accounts the Guild’s paying membership in 2019 was split thus:-

District Senior Junior Total Towers
Coventry District 122 10 132 20
Rugby Deanery 103 5 108 12
Warwick Archdeaconry 250 9 259 38
Unattached 12 12
Totals 487 24 511 70

There are also 5 active Life Members resident within the Guild taking the resident membership to 516. Our grateful thanks go again to George Wrycroft, Gerald Trevor and Sally Idle for their invaluable help in the collecting and recording of your subscriptions over the last 12 months. If you have not paid your subscription for 2020 by the time you read this (adults £10; juniors £2) we would urge you to send the money to one of these three as soon as possible to the Treasurer.

This year the General Fund, despite increased expenditure on the youth team ended up with a surplus of £438. The Guild has reserves of £12,260 which is roughly equivalent to 3 years income which the Trustees regard as acceptable. This amount covers for any unexpected falls to income or years in which expenditure is above the norm.

The Bell Repair Fund (BRF) brought in over £25,000 during the year, an increase of some £16,000, entirely due to the income which we will continue to get from the Philip Faulks Memorial Bell Fund, hence the offer last year, continuing into this year, of the BRF paying for maintenance reports on most of the Guild’s towers. We would also encourage any towers thinking about work on their bells and fittings to apply to the BRF for a donation as with more cash available the donation could be a lot larger than those from the previous years. Five donations were made last year, totalling £3700, mainly for frame painting, re-bushing clappers and making the 3 bells at Stockton ringable; as well as £2,400 for maintenance inspections at 17 churches. If your bells have not been inspected yet – please let us know.

The Bell Repair Fund has reserves of £56,584. Of this £25,000 has been committed to Snitterfield, £4,500 to Radway and £2,000 to Kineton; as well as nearly £2,000 to 3 other churches. The very nature of the Fund means that the donations it makes to churches vary from year to year according to repairs, maintenance issues, and enhancements that occur and qualify for support. The donations made from the Fund vary from a few hundred pounds to several thousand according to the work needed. In simple terms with over 100 towers with bells in the Guild the Fund is equivalent to just over £500 per tower. The Trustees regard the current level of reserves as adequate. They are being proactive in using the money effectively by donating to churches having bell maintenance reports whilst still being receptive to funding any maintenance needed on bells/fittings; and augmentations to existing rings.

The balance sheets for both funds are later in this report. Thanks must go to David Leafe for examining this year’s accounts, and indeed for his advice and guidance to the Guild trustees over the last 9 years. He has decided to step down from this role and a replacement is needed as soon as possible.

The trustees are grateful to all those who take on responsibilities at various levels to help in the functioning of the Guild. The continuing health and activities of the Guild are only possible through people willing to give additional time to their ringing activities away from being “on the end of a rope”. As noted above there are known vacancies for Central Council representatives and an independent examiner. Next year the term of office of the president expires. The treasurer would be pleased to hand on the responsibilities if anyone else is interested in looking after the Guild’s finances. After being in post for over 40 years he really feels it is time that someone else took over! Planning for our successors is always on the agenda of the trustees. Without volunteers coming forward who knows what lies for the future well-being of the Guild and the continuation of what the membership cherishes as traditions?

Although the Guild and its Bell Repair Fund are comparatively small charities they are covered by the same regulations as any of the national household names. With the much-welcomed substantial increase in BRF income and thus its ability to give an increased number of and financially significant grants, a minor change to its formal reporting to the Charity commission has occurred. The four Trustees are given six main duties to discharge on behalf of the membership.

  1. Ensuring we are carrying out its purposes to the public benefit. This we achieve by the majority of our activities being those that enable us to fulfil our role of bellringers with Coventry Diocesan Guild Report 2019 9 the Diocese of Coventry particularly provision of ringing for Sundays and other significant occasions. The Bell Repair Fund meets this by the giving of its grants.
  2. Compliance with the governance document and the law. This we achieve by operating within the rules set out elsewhere in the report. Three major areas of the law which affect our operation are Safeguarding, Health and Safety and General Data Protection Regulations. These all have persons responsible for them including advising us and ensuring we maintain best practice in line with other nationally generated bell ringing related specific guidance.
  3. Acting in the Guild’s best interest. The decisions taken are by a majority of the members attending meetings throughout the year. The operation and activities of the Guild are kept under review to ensure continuing relevance.
  4. Managing the Guild’s resources responsibly. The finances and other assets are reported at each meeting, summarised annually and subject to audit. In the modern era this also includes strict management of the Guild’s social media presence and website content. Unfortunately, there is little we can do about any reputational issues that arise from social media over which we have no control.
  5. Act with reasonable care and skill. The trustees bring a diverse range of non-ringing skills to the Guild. We ensure that specialist advice is sought as necessary either from within the membership or other qualified professionals. The Trustees meet as and when necessary to form a considered view on items that have come to our attention.
  6. Ensure we are accountable. The trustees are accountable to the membership through general meeting or direct contact. All members are entitled, upon request, to a copy of this report. The minutes of meetings are published and available to all. The annual return to the Charity commission is made on time.

Simon Rogers – Hon Treasurer

General Fund Accounts
BRF Accounts

Public Relations Report 2019

Over the last few years, the Guild has produced 4 newsletters each year. Distribution corresponds with Guild events in January, April, July and October. All members are invited to submit articles they think will be of interest to members.

The Guild has a set of three pull-up stand-alone banners which have photographs of ringers in action. They are about 7 feet tall (2.15m) and 2 feet 10″ (0.85m) wide, but roll up into a very small space and are kept in bags. These can be collected from me by arrangement.

Three churches have used them during the past year. They could be used at church events – Christmas /Summer Fairs, or, as at Kenilworth, at the same time as when the church is open in the summer for afternoon teas. Heritage weekend is another time when we should publicise bellringing with posters and leaflets which are available at a small cost from the Central Council, http://ccbr.org,uk It is even better if ringing can be taking place at the same time and visitors can be invited to see the ringing in action.

The ringing website http://www.coventrydg.co.uk/is a useful place to advertise events and district ringing activities. Leaflets on many aspects of ringing can be downloaded.

Rosemary Spencer, Public Relations Officer


Peal Secretary’s Report – 2019

There was a total of 64 peals rung for the Guild in 2019, 4 less than in 2018. All but one was rung on tower bells. This takes us to 4,368 peals since the Guild’s formation. The peals in 2019 were rung thus:-

Warwick Archdeaconry  – 18 (11 towers)
Coventry District – Tower Bell  – 6 (4 towers + 1 house)
Rugby Deanery  – 33 (4 towers + 1 garage)
Outside the Guild  – 6 (4 towers)

Leading tower for 2019 was Church Lawford Plantagenet Ring with 26, followed by Warwick St Nicholas with 7, and Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Stoke and Claybrooke with 3 each.

Methods were split thus:-

Doubles  – 1
Minor  – 16
Triples  – 0
Major  – 45
Caters  – 1
Royal  – 1

In 2019 29 methods were rung for the first time for the Guild – all Major methods, one of these being rung for the first time. Twelve of these were rung by the band that rings monthly Monday night peal attempts and fourteen by the band that meets regularly at The Plantagenet Ring.

Altogether 76 people (two less than last year) rang in Guild peals during the year with just 6 different conductors. Leading ringers were:-

51 – Ray Sheasby
48 – Simon Rogers (cond 47)
35 – Mike Dew
29 – Mark Sayers
28 – Chris Stokes (cond 9)
25 – Mike Chester (cond 10)
23 – Ruth Stokes
21 – Andrew Alldrick, Peter Fleckney
17 – Philip Wild
14 – Geoff Randall
13 – Alison Williams
11 – Julie Tarling

Just one Guild member rang their first peal during the year

Meanwhile for the Guild Mike Chester rang his 1150th, Simon Rogers his 950th, Ray Sheasby his 650th and Chris Stokes his 100th. At a more personal level Andrew Alldrick and Simon Rogers both rang their 1250th peal, Ray Sheasby his 850th and Mike Dew his 1000th – a peal of M Delight Major at his own ring.

Five peals were rung this year in memory of Guild members – two (at Clifton-on-Dunsmore and Warwick St Nicholas) in memory of Robin Guy, who rang 138 peals for the Guild and contributed enormously to ringing at Clifton and in the Rugby area; and three in memory of Sue Marshall (at Church Lawford Plantagenet Ring, Claybrooke and Stretton-onDunsmore), an extremely talented ringer who rang 72 peals for the Guild and contributed greatly to ringing in the Kineton area. One peal was rung to mark the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Day – the first on the bells at Pillerton Hersey.

In celebration several peals were rung to mark birthdays including one of Sixtieth for Jane Rogers’ significant birthday. Peals were also rung to mark the weddings of Isobel Dew (Mike and Janet’s daughter) and Sebastian King; and of Emma Swallow (Rod’s daughter) and Robert Pennington; and also to welcome two new grandchildren (within a week of each other) for Simon and Jane Rogers. A peal at Tysoe was rung to mark the 300th anniversary of the casting and installation of the bells in the tower. The Guild was approached by the Central Council and duly rang the Robert Kilby memorial peal – Stedman Caters at Warwick St Mary – Robert Kilby having been a ringer in the Leicester area.

Well done to all those who rang firsts during the year and good luck to those who try something new in peal ringing in 2020.

Simon Rogers – Peal Secretary


Towers and Belfries Committee Report 2019

The Towers and Belfries continues its work with the body of people who give up their time and make their skills available to undertake maintenance and other minor work on bells within the Guild. This extends into providing the semi-skilled labour to help the founders when major schemes are undertaken. This enables a significant financial saving for the PCC and in effect can be seen as a further sum given by the Guild as part of any grant from the BRF

Many towers offered funding that has become available for inspection/minor maintenance of bells by the specialist bell hanging companies through the large legacy that now contributes to the BRF income, have had such work undertaken. This has shown that in many places no maintenance takes place. Also, where other more costly work that requires the founders/bell hangers’ special knowledge and skill has been identified, then often it transpires that PCCs are either in such a perilously financial state or have zero interest on the bells that it will not go ahead due to no hope of funding.

Time has been spent interpreting the maintenance visit reports for PCCs and local ringers to enable them to prioritise work. In the course of this a lot has been learnt about what frame painting entails and anyone who needs to know more about what a “proper” job necessitates, with an associated high cost, should contact the committee. We have a list of criteria that will be looked at by the BRF trustees when grant applications for such work are made.

Towers continue to benefit from the regular minor maintenance of their bells by members of the committee who are local to the area. This is especially valuable where it ensures places with no regular band to be made easily available for other Guild activities. As part of the services the committee can offer, is ash for stays being made available to purchase. This will be about the correct size but still require final work to get the right fit. One, far too often debated subject with which we can only offer sympathies, is that of purchasing and repairing bell ropes. We have to face the fact that this is a very niche market and that tails ends are about the only use for the traditional natural material of hemp (hence quality issues).

Having said that, less maintenance takes place then this is fully understandable when Health and Safety and other regulations has to be the prime concern whenever working on or among bells and their fittings. I do, however, get some enquiries about becoming more involved in this very necessary “ringing” activity. Please, please follow up your maintenance interests!

Regular liaison continues with Keith Chambers who is the Diocesan Bell Advisor. He does much to ensure that faculty applications for major work when they reach that stage, have already addressed the issues with which the DAC is concerned, considerably smoothing the path through this process

Andrew Alldrick
Tower and Belfry Committee Chair


Guild Archives and Library Report

GUILD ARCHIVES

Guild records are held in the Warwickshire County Records Office, Cape Road, Warwick and can be examined during opening hours, which are 9.00 am – 5.30 pm Tuesday to Thursday, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm Friday and 9.00 am – 12.30 pm Saturday. Main records comprising minute books, membership records and annual reports 1910 to present day will be found under reference DR1289. Peal books from 1950 to 2003 are under reference DR1301. More recently have been added the bell maintenance inspection, restoration and augmentation papers of the late Harry Windsor together with documents, press cuttings and audio CD relating to the Guild Centenary year 2007. All of these are under reference DR1382.

GUILD LIBRARY

This is held in the belfry at St Mary’s Warwick and most items may be borrowed. The collection currently totals 205 titles including a number of early text books. Books issued by the Central Council include all currently available publications, CDs and DVDs. Contact Chris Mew (01926 402273) for details. If members have any books etc. that they are willing to donate again please contact Chris Mew. Full up to date details of all books and papers held in the Guild Library can found below

Chris Mew.

ITEMS MARKED * CANNOT BE BORROWED

Books and Records

1. Church Bells of Warwickshire- Tilley and Walters 1910*
2. Bells old and new- Cyril Johnston 1929
3. Campanology- paper given by Albert Walker to Assoc of Mechanical Engineers1927
4. St Martin’s Youths- E C Shepherd 1953
5. Bell Tones- Alex Young 1926
6. Ancient Society of college Youths History 1928
7. Ancient Society of College Youths Rules 1911
8. Coventry Bells and how they were lost. Record of events prior to removal of old bells- Alexander Young 1926*
9. The Steeple, Bells and Ringers of Coventry Cathedral- C Pickford 1987
10. Coventry Bells and how they were regained- H Windsor and R Winter 2003*
11. Change Ringing- Troyte 1880*
12. Tintinnalogia- Stedman 1668 reprinted 1895*
13. Guild Newsletters No. 1 (1977) to 1988 (boxed)
14. Church Bells- Mears and Stainbankc1910 (lists Whitechapel castings)
15. Tower Deflection at Coventry Cathedral- H Windsor 1985

Text Books and Booklets

101. Handbook on Grandsire Caters- E C Shepherd 1964
102/ 102A. On Conducting- W G Wilson 1954 and reprint 1964
103/ 103A. Standard Diagrams- Snowden 2 copies
104. Standard Methods Text- Snowden 1908
105. Ropesight- Snowden 1880
106. Treatise on Treble Bob- Snowden 1902
107. Stedman- J Armiger Trollope 1938
108. Stedman- Rev C D P Davies 1903
109/ 109A. Duffield- Sir A P Heywood 2 copies
110. Lancashire Assoc Rules and Diagrams for Beginners- 1911
111. Collection of Peal compositions Part 1 Grandsire- 1903,
112. ditto Part 2 Plain Bob- 1904.
113. ditto Part 3 Double Norwich- 1908,
114. ditto Treble Bob- 1904
115. ditto Major Methods- 1950,
116. ditto Major Methods 1966
117. ditto Stedman Caters and Cinques 1961
120. Collection of Plain Methods- 1926
121. Central Council Handbook- 1956
122. Handbook on Bell Maintenance and Restoration- 1954
123 – 125. Collection of Doubles and Minor Methods- 1931, 1939, 1961
126 – 128. Change Ringing Theory- Elementary- 2004, Intermediate- 2004, Advanced- 2004
129. Coventry Guild Centenary History- 2007
130. Beginners Handbook 5 copies
131. Towards Better Striking
132. Raising and Lowering
133. Ringing Jargon Made Easy
134. Beginner’s Grandsire
135. Beginner’s Plain Bob
136. Doubles and Minor for Beginners
137. Triples and Major for Beginners
138. Ringing Circles
139. Ringing Skills
140. The Learning Curve 1 1999 – 2001
141. The Learning Curve 2 2002 – 2003
142. The Learning Curve 3 2004 – 2005
143. The Learning Curve 4 2006 – 2007
144. Beginner’s Guide to Change Ringing on Handbells
146. Change Ringing on Handbells
147. The Tower Handbook
148. Learning Methods
149. Method Slicing
150. Understanding Place Notation
151. Will You Call a Touch Please, Bob
152. Service Touches
153. Conducting Stedman
154. A Tutor’s Handbook
155. Tower Captain’s Handbook
156. One Way to Teach Handling
157. Teaching Beyond Bell Handling
158. From Rounds to Bob Doubles
159. Kaleidoscope Ringing
160. Simulators and Teaching
161. Starting a New Band
162. Towers and Bells Handbook
163. The Bell Advisor
164. Schedule of Regular Maintenance
165. DIY Guidelines
166. Organising a Bell Restoration Project .
167. Sound Management
168. Splicing Bell Ropes
169. Change Ringing History Vol. 1
170. Change Ringing History Vol.3
171. Centenary History of the Central Council
172. Giants of the Exercise
173. Giants of the Exercise Vol. 2
174. An Unassuming Genius- The Life and Times of A J Pitman
175. Dove’s Guide
176. Belfry Offices
177. Organising an Outing
178. Church Towers and Bells
179. Getting It Right
180. Collection of Minor Methods
181. Treble Dodging Minor Methods
182. Collection of Principles
183. Plain Methods 2nd Edition
184. Rung Surprise to end of 2005
185. Rung Surprise. Supplement to end of 2005
186. Rung Surprise. Supplement to end of 2006
187. Handbook of composition
188. Spliced Minor collection
189. Collection of Grandsire Compositions
190. Collection of 10 Bell Compositions
191. Collection of 12+ Bell Compositions
192. Collection of Universal Compositions (Treble Dodging Major Methods)
193. CD- Listening to Ringing Live
194. CD- Listening to Ringing
195A/B. DVD- Bellhandling. Video – Bellhandling
196A – C. The Ringer’s Handbook- E S Powell 1944 (3 copies)
197A/B. Handbells- Trevor Jennings (Shire Publications 1989) 2 copies
198. Change Ringing- Troyte (4th Edition 1880)
199. Special Bound Volume of Snowden. Incorporates Ropesight 1883, Standard Methods- Text 1892, Diagrams 1892
200. DVD- The Craft of Bellringing- George Perrin 2007 (48 minutes)
201. Ringing Basics for Beginners- John Couperthwaite CC 2008
202. Teaching Unravelled- Pip Penney CC 2008
203. Tower Deflection at Coventry Cathedral (with ref. to Brailes and Warwick) H Windsor 1985
204A/B. Video- Church Bell Restoration. 2
205. Video – Anyone Can Be a Ringer