Sunday 23rd February 2020
Central Council 2014 was hosted this year by the Kent Count Association in the Maidstone area. The meeting itself was held in the Marriott Hotel Maidstone and there was various other bits of ringing going on around the area over the weekend as well.
I attended the whole weekend from the Friday to the Monday firstly listening to a CC peal of Lessness Surprise Major at East Farleigh. Then myself and some of the band attended the practice night at Linton. These are a very nice 15cwt eight that go well and sound great.
The Saturday then started with tower grabbing where I managed to clock up a good number of new towers. We started with some very good Cambridge Surprise Minor but unfortunately the ringing did not continue to this high standard throughout the day and proceeded downhill from there. It was however very good to see some friends from across the boarder, Paul and Anne Bray from Essex, down for the tower grabbing. Before I knew it I was off to listen to another CC peal, this time at Canterbury Cathedral. These are a very good 1981 Whitechapel 12 that are most pleasing both indoors and outside. Alas the peal was not scored and after 3 courses was called round. These are well worth a visit and even though I only got to get a grab of rounds at the start it was well worth it. After the loss, a bite, and pint or two at a spoons nearby it was time to call it a day and head to the hotel.
The Sunday started off with going to ring at Rochester Cathedral and then going on to Rochester St Margaret. Rochester Cathedral are a good old sounding Gillett 10 that have a lot of guts to them. Also with the large ringing room and slightly loud tenor this gave them a very big feel. They are definitely worth a visit if you’re ever around that way! St Margaret are nice and would be a pleasant 8 in Suffolk so another tower worth a grab. Onto the welcome meeting for new members. Both myself and Peter Harper (also a new member for this year) attended this and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a superb idea I thought for new members as you could go around and learn a lot about each of the different committees and what they did. A very informative bit.
After this was the meeting of the Ringing Foundation that was also attended by myself , Peter and Veronica. It was very good to see that there are lots of people who want to ensure a positive outcome from ringing teaching and training. I think whilst the Ringing Foundation is a good idea for this and funding it I do feel as if it may be a little too big for what it’s actually doing. Personally I think something like this would be better off as another committee. After this I was off to ring in the ”President’s touch”. This is the service piece of ringing where the band is invited by the President of CC. Robert Lewis (RW editor) thinks that I may be the youngest person to have ever been asked into this but I’m sure you’ll all read that at some point in the RW if it is true. We rang a super touch of 8 spliced on the very good 8 of Headcorn. This was called by Paul Flavell and as much as I don’t rate them massively we had some super 7654’s in the last couple of leads. I was honoured to have been asked to ring in this and I hope I have done Suffolk proud.
Onto the evening. This was the night of the CC diner that was held at The Marriott hotel. This was a very good venue and personally I think it was excellently done. Lots of old and new faces around to talk to and meet, but above all I think it is superb that there was 3 of the 4 Suffolk Guild reps attending this. Also there was 2 other Suffolk Guild residence at the table! A great turn out for Suffolk. The meal was very much what you’d expect at a posh place. Portions weren’t great in size but the food was prepared very well and looked excellent. This was finished off by drinking and socialising at the bar. An excellent evening brought to an excellent end. The main speaker was the Bishop of Dover.
Monday was the day of the meeting so we were up bright and early ready to take it all in. After a quick pit stop at Greggs we arrived at The Marriott with about half an hour to prepare for the meeting. Lots of good interesting little books for sale as always and one that caught my eye called “Service Touches” which was as it says. A book filled with service length touches. Very useful if you don’t always have your RW diary with you!
The meeting started as usual with a prayer then onto the Honorary Secretarys report and the Affiliation of The Guild of St Agatha. This was voted for by almost everyone voting in favour and none against. We then had apologies for absence and loss of members through death. This part also told us how many meetings they had attended, some very inspiring figures here! Reports were given for most things as usual then we moved to the interesting motions. Motions A, B and C moved very quickly but then we came to the problem child, Motion D. This mainly consisted of a lot of people talking about what they thought which in a lot of cases is good however most people who were talking aren’t going to EVER be affected by these decisions. To sum up Motion D quickly I will say this: A method is a selection of changes following the standard rules for method structure. It is not allowed to duplicated changes and or be false in the plain course. Motion D if passed would allow this to happen. Now this does not mean we can now all ring false peals, a peal must still follow the standard rules (7 or more no duplicating changes, 6 must be constructed of 720’s till past 5040 etc…). This means that some of these “particle” peals by David Pipe where a method that is false in the plain course (Charm Differential Little Hybrid) can be used as they are not making the overall peal false because of the lead they use or the coursing order they are in when used.
What amazed me most about this was a young college youth who stood up and had rung in one of these peals but they still did not want these methods to be allowed. Anyway we took a vote and it was pretty close. A lot of abstentions and in the end there was 69 against and 90 for. Motion D was passed. Motion E refers to the number of hunt bells in a method and also the length allowed for a method. It was agreed rather quickly that a method can be called as what it is but must contain at least 2 leads and n-2 hunt bells are allowed at most.
The rest of the meeting thankfully wasn’t quite as heavy as this and shortly it was lunch time. After lunch it was the Ringing World meeting. Three Suffolk reps attended. Ironically the Ringing World lost £5040 in 2013. It was more or less the same form as last year with trying to target a younger audience and not getting much closer to it although they did have an increase in online subscribers.
After this we had some tea and biscuits before undertaking the second chunk of the meeting. This started with elections to the committees and committee reports. I was voted onto the Compositions Committee. Thanks for the proposal Adam Crocker! The Ringing Centres Committee mentioned something good about expanding the amount of ringing centres worldwide. I think this is a super idea and it would be ideal to have one in Suffolk at probably either Bury or Ipswich. It would help improve most (if not all) of us and also be a superb new way to teach people effectively.
The last of the reports were given and then we started to talk about the future meetings. Next year CC will be held by the Beverley & District Society and will be at Kingston upon Hull. I for one have enjoyed this year and am looking forward to the next one . Many thanks to dad for helping transport me around and also to some in the guild who have given me support with this new role, particularly Ronnie and Peter.
George M Salter