The History

The Bell News

Ringing publications before The Ringing World

In the 18th Century local and regional newspapers, such as Berrow's Worcester Journal, began to publish reports of ringing performances in their locality. Some still do today. Later on, the more notable performances were reported in sporting newspapers, such as Bell's Life in London, which had a much wider circulation.

From 1871 Church Bells, a general church newspaper, contained a regular column devoted to bells and bell ringing, edited by the Revd H T Ellacombe. This column included reports of restorations and augmentations, peals and other ringing performances, instructional material and historical articles. Ellacombe was a strong advocate of belfry reform and the abolition of “prize ringing” and he made good use of his column for this.

On 1 February 1881 The Bell News and Ringers' Record (The Bell News) was launched as a monthly publication, edited by Harvey Reeves and supported by Jasper Snowdon. A year later it became a weekly paper with a high level of vitality. It was compulsive reading for ringers all over the country.

CampanologyBy 1895, however, the vitality of The Bell News was diminishing, and on 16 September 1896 William Bedwell, of Lewisham, launched Campanology in an attempt to introduce a brighter and more cheerful ringing magazine. Campanology was published weekly but only lasted until 10 March 1897.

The Bell News continued to be published, but on 5 January 1907 another rival, The Bellringer, was launched with William C Hunt as Editor. It did not last long: five weekly editions were followed by four monthly editions, before it folded in June 1907.

By 1910 Harvey Reeves (the Editor of The Bell News) was in failing health and he died on 28 March 1911, just four days after the publication of the first edition of The Ringing World. The Bell News however carried on for another four years and its final edition was published on 25 December 1915.

Ringing World first edition Bellringer Bell News

The Ringing World

24 March 1911: The Ringing World launched - Editor and proprietor John S Goldsmith of Guildford
1930: 1000th edition published
1942: Death of John S Goldsmith. J Armiger Trollope acts as Editor during the remaining war years to keep the Journal going
1945: CCCBR Meeting in Birmingham. First meeting after outbreak of WWII determines to form a Ringing World Committee to manage publication of the paper. E.H. Lewis becomes the first RW Committee Convenor.
1946: Thomas White becomes Editor in response to call to "assist for the next few editions". Serves as Editor for 23 years.
1949: 2000th edition of The Ringing World
1968: First significant update in appearance of paper: Yellow paper cover introduced, Regular cover picture - usually of a Church/Tower introduced
1968: 3000th edition of The Ringing World
1969: Charles Denyer succeeds Tom White as Editor
1970: Cover appearance changes: Masthead replaced by green block lettering "The Ringing World"
1973: World Oil crisis - costs rise rapidly, economies introduced - return to white paper and black ink throughout
1st January 1983: Ringing World Ltd established: A Company Limited by Guarantee having no share capital (a membership Company). Registered Charity. Ringing World Committee reconstituted as Board of Trustees and Directors.
1981: David Thorne appointed Editor on Charles Denyer's retirement
1987: 4000th edition of The Ringing World
1997: Tina Stoecklin appointed Editor on David Thorne's retirement
1999: Regular full colour print introduced to body of paper
2000: Robert Lewis succeeds Tina Stoecklin as Editor
2007: 5000th edition of The Ringing World
2011: Centenary of The Ringing World
2012: The Ringing World launches BellBoard

Founder of The Ringing World

Sole Proprietor and Editor until his Death
John S (Jack) Goldsmith 1911 – 1942

Committee Convenors/Chairmans of Board:

Convenor:
E H Lewis 1945 – 1951
J Frank Smallwood 1951 – 1964
R S Anderson 1964 – 1969
Wilfrid G Wilson 1969 – 1978
R F B (Dick) Speed 1978 – 1982
Howard W Egglestone 1982 – 1983
Chairman of Trustees and of the Board of Directors:
Howard W Egglestone 1983 – 1997
Michael J Church 1997 – 1998
Andrew N Stubbs 1998 – 2002
George Doughty 2002 – 2005
Jackie Roberts 2005 – 2011
Nigel Herriott 2012 – 2014
Nigel Orchard 2014 – present

Editors:

John S (Jack) Goldsmith 1911 – 1942
J Armiger Trollope 1942 – 1946
Thomas W White 1946 – 1969
Charles W Denyer 1969 – 1981
David G Thorne 1981 – 1997
Tina R Stoecklin 1997 – 2000
Robert A Lewis 2000 – present

General Managers:

Paul C Trend 2000 – 2006
Christopher P Darvill 2006 – 2012
BB BellBoard
CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers