Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
Notes of a meeting between CCCBR, EH and CBC representatives

A meeting took place on 9th October 2009 at Church House, Westminster, between representatives of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and officers of the Church Buildings Council and English Heritage.

CBC: Janet Gough, David Knight
EH: Diana Evans, Graham Pledger
CCCBR: Tony Smith, Kate Flavell, James Clarke, Mary Bone

This was the first combined meeting of the three organisations (see RW p.656).

1. Matters arising from previous meeting notes (RW p.507 and p.656):
a) CCCBR reports: James Clarke will repeat his request to members of his committee for a list of those towers where tower movement measurements have taken place, to pass on to EH. CBC were interested in any post-restoration measurements at Gt St Mary’s Cambridge.
b) DAC Bell Advisers Conference: CBC reported that the next conference will be held on Wednesday, 16th June 2010 at St George’s Southwark (Borough); EH will be invited to attend. CCCBR comments on the difficulty DAC advisers have in attending London events were noted, CCCBR reminded CBC that they had previously undertaken to review this practice. They undertook to review again. Graham Pledger asked if the presentation at the 2009 conference on bells in closed or closing churches could be circulated.
Building-in steel beam ends: James Clarke’s article had been published in the summer issue of the EASA Journal. CBC requested an electronic copy to be sent out to DACs.

2. Bell frame recording guidance:
CBC circulated a draft document on recording significant or historic frames. It was intended to guide parishes considering restoration work in preparing their Statement of Significance and ensure that frame recording was included in the initial planning stage. A revised draft will be presented to the CBC Bells Committee before further consultation with DAC bell advisers later this year. A glossary, specification and model document were suggested.

3. English Heritage Consultation guidelines:
a) These guidelines were now publicly available on the EH website at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/bells_and_bell_frames_guidelines_for_consultation.pdf.
CCCBR explained the reaction among ringers, not only in The Ringing World but also on the bell historians email discussion list. CBC added that an additional link to the guidelines from the Churchcare website would also be useful.
b) CCCBR expressed concern that EH field officers do not always appear to follow guidelines in a consistent manner. EH commented that the public availability of the guidelines should aid consistency.
Both CBC and EH restated the position that parishes should always consult on the specific elements of a project and should ensure that the correct bodies were consulted.

4. Heritage Protection reform:
Consultation on PPS15 remains open to the end of October; the document is available via the Communities & Local Government website and the accompanying guidance is on the EH site. CCCBR commented that activities such as bell ringing were also part of the national heritage; heritage assets should not refer only to the physical infrastructure. CBC believed that the principle of activities being in themselves heritage was already recognised in the document and added that there is an assumption that heritage assets will remain in use.

5. Cases of difficulty:
a) Gt Malvern: EH confirmed that consultations continue with the parish with a further meeting planned for late October.
b) Sandiacre, Derbys: CCCBR said that there was concern amongst the parish’s advisors about the external sound level of the bells with the new bell frame low in the tower and the old frame still in position above this; they had been informed that the position of the new frame and retention of the old frame were EH requirements. EH considered that this was the result of a misunderstanding; both EH and CCCBR undertook to investigate and clarify the situation.

6. Taylors, Eayre & Smith in administration:
CCCBR reported on the views of ringers. The future of Taylors archives had been raised as an issue of particular concern. EH stated that the building was the only such surviving purpose-built foundry in the UK and the East Midlands region had been active in visiting the site and writing to the administrators.

Members agreed that this joint meeting had been valuable and that such meetings should continue. It was further agreed that the CCCBR Redundant Bells Committee should be invited to submit their reports and, possibly, attend for that part of the agenda.

The next meeting will be held on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at Church House.

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers