3rd March 2016

Library Committee Reports

Annual Reports

Reports for the years 2007 to 2010


In 2008, John Eisel gave three years’ notice of his wish to retire as Library Steward and we are grateful to Alan Glover for agreeing to stand for election as the new Steward with effect from the Hereford Central Council meeting. We will miss John hugely after 19 years, as Steward, and on the Committee, but he assures us he will available should we need his help. We must remember that he took over following the death of W (Bill) Cook and all the complexities that entailed. This time we will have the luxury of a planned handover and moving the Library a shorter distance from Hereford to Worthen on the Shropshire border.

The success of Paul Johnson’s work to produce the new DVD of the early Ringing Worlds 1911-1940 is shown in the large number we have sold. Our thanks go to Chris Ridley for his review inThe Ringing World. A positive spin-off from the advertising has been more sales of the Bell News DVD, the Two Ringing Periodicals CD, Trollope Manuscript CD and Library Catalogues, thus keeping the ringing fraternity alert to the work of the Library.

As a result of Cyril Wratten’s many years spent compiling his research into 18C newspaper extracts, the Exercise can now benefit from a new publication: Order & Disorder in the Eighteenth Century: Newspaper Extracts about Church Bells and Bell Ringing. This has taken John Eisel five years to complete, edit and prepare for publication (with illustrations). We thank Chris Pickford for his review in The Ringing World. The publication was sold out by Christmas – another success! The Obituary Index from 1881-2000 is now accessible on the Library website via www.cccbr.org.uk and will be updated to 2007, in due course. Subsequent years are available via a link to The Ringing World website at www.ringingworld.co.uk.

A lively “Book Day for Ringing Booklovers ” was held on 27 February 2010 at Thatcham Memorial Hall and attracted 33 people,including seven Guild/Association/Society librarians. Whilst ‘the book’ will not be totally superseded by technology, there’s no doubt ‘change’ is much in evidence. Thank you to: John Eisel, Chris Ridley (ASCY Librarian), Roger Barnes (Church Green Books), Malcolm Loveday (Guildford Guild Librarian Committee), John Harrison (Biographies Committee) and Ian Self for their presentations and John Baldwin (Sharpe Trust), David Gay, Alan Glover, Alison Hodge (W&DCR), Chris McKay (Author of ‘Big Ben’) and Paul Johnson for running sales tables etc.

We plan to hold another outreach event in 2013. We were pleased to welcome Alison Hodge (Worcs & Districts Librarian) onto the Committee at the May Council meeting, following her attendance at the Book Day. The committee met in February and October and will be looking for a new member in May. The terms of reference were reviewed and agreed without amendment.

John Eisel has written over 60 articles for The Ringing World in the last 11 years and the plan is to publish them in a single volume when he retires as Steward. John is already working on the enormous task of keying-in Cyril Wratten’s 19C newspaper extracts covering the thirty year period 1800-1829. We recognise the need to convert 78s, LPs, audio and video cassettes to DVD in the near future. We are pleased with the response to our plea for help made in The Ringing World, but if anyone else could assist, please let us know. Plans to sell the duplicate set of Ringing Worlds have been put ‘on hold’, as we consider the possibility of producing a second DVD of the next thirty years 1941-1970. We also intend to liaise more with Guild/Association/ Society librarians.

We are grateful for the accessions received during the year. As well as being an archive, annual reports are a very valuable source of information and are used as much as any other section of the library. The library stock is in very good condition, and the programme of binding annual reports is as up to date as it can be.

Twenty-nine loans were made in 2010. Technology enables queries to be answered easily, as often material can be scanned into the computer and sent as an attachment.

The Library Steward’s annual Essay (No.18 in the series) on “Publications of the Central Council, prior to the First World War” accompanied the 2011 Newsletter to the Friends of the Library.

We record our thanks to the Friends for their continuing support, as without them the Library could not tackle the projects mentioned above. Ian Self is the Friends’ co-ordinator and Hon Treasurer for the Library and welcomes subscriptions from new Friends and renewals.

JOHN EISEL (Library Steward)


Sadly, we begin this report with the loss of Jean Sanderson. John Eisel wrote a tribute to Jean that appeared in The Ringing World on 11 December 2009 in which he painted a picture of a strong personality, who gave a huge amount of her life to ringing and books. Jean joined the committee in 1981 and, at a critical time when Bill Cook died suddenly, she became chairman 1992-1999. Latterly, she was responsible for maintaining the list of Friends of the Library. Ian Self has taken over the co-ordination of “The Friends”, to whom we are forever grateful, in order to fund projects that keep the Library very much alive.

We should like to thank Mike Davies for his four years as chairman of the committee and Stella Bianco was appointed to take his place at the May 2009 Council Meeting, when we also welcomed Alan Glover to the committee. In 2008, John Eisel gave three years’ notice of his intention to retire, as Library Steward, and we are grateful to Alan Glover for allowing his name to go forward as a successor at the Council Meeting in 2011.

Paul Johnson has made considerable progress towards producing a DVD of the early Ringing Worlds (1911-1940), which will be advertised for sale via The Ringing World and www.cccbr.org.uk, including a special price for Friends. An index will be included, albeit not as comprehensive as that supplied with the Bell News DVD, but all files will be searchable. Alan Ellis, who supplied the Index from which Paul has extracted the relevant years, has assisted this project.

The Obituary Index from 1881-2000 is now accessible on the Library website via www.cccbr.org.uk and will be updated to 2007, in due course. Subsequent years are available via a link toThe Ringing World website www.ringingworld.co.uk. This project has been greatly assisted by Alan Ellis supplying 1998-2007 data.

It was decided, with permission from Marjorie Wratten and the Trustees that we could dispose of the duplicate set of The Ringing World. This will be publicised and take place in 2010.

The last time the Library Committee held a seminar was in 1997 entitled “1668 and all that”, so it is hoped that the format planned for the “Book Day” on 27 February 2010 appeals to Guild/Association Librarians, Friends and ringing book lovers.

The Library Steward reports that loans (26) have decreased again from the previous year (31), but this in no way reflects a reduction in activity, rather a shift in usage. In many cases, the information required to answer a query can be quickly scanned into the computer and emailed to the enquirer. This avoids packing books to be posted and risk to the stock.

Information has been provided for the Biographies Committee and, on behalf of the Peal Records Committee, Alan Baldock has taken on the mammoth task of checking the earlier Felstead peal records and trying to sort out any difficulties about dates etc. He has made considerable progress with this and it has been a pleasure to be able to help.

We are grateful for the accessions received during the year and to Alan Ellis for giving the library copies of the facsimile reprints of early texts, which he has published. Also, Fraser Clift has kindly donated a bound volume of the Bath & Wells DA reports for 1890-1901. As well as being an archive, annual reports are a very valuable source of information and are used as much as any other section of the library. Indeed, a number of the queries raised by Alan Baldock have been answered by using them.

The library stock is in very good condition, and the programme of binding annual reports is as up to date as it can be. The library received a donation of Ely DA reports from Jean Sanderson’s effects, so a volume from 1921-51 has been bound in her memory.

The Library Steward’s annual Essay (No 16 in the series) on “Change Ringers’ Guides” (Dove’s Guide and its predecessors) accompanied the 2009 Newsletter to the Friends of the Library.

John Eisel has spent a number of years preparing Cyril Wratten’s considerable collection of eighteenth century newspaper extracts for publication. Illustrations have been added and it is hoped to publish it, as a limited edition, in 2010. The committee has earmarked funds for publication, so whilst there is a healthy balance in reserve, this will change with the publication of this book and the RW DVD.

JOHN EISEL (Library Steward)
JEAN SANDERSON (died October 2009)


Those who were present at the Council Meeting in 2008 will know that at the end of the meeting Dr John Eisel reported that he was giving three years notice that he would be retiring from his position as Steward of the Library. While this came as a considerable shock, the fact that John gave such a long notice should give the Committee plenty of time to find a new Steward. Discussions within and out with the Committee have not yet identified a possible successor for John. The Library is of great importance for the world of bell ringing, in that it sets out to preserve the ringing past and by doing so enhances the ringing present. If anyone reading this is interested in taking over from John and has a love of books and the space to house them, then please contact John Eisel.

Although it has been inevitable that over the last year the Committee has been somewhat engrossed in the subject of a successor for the Library, nevertheless, its work continues. The Committee benefited this year from the election of two new members: Stella Bianco and Ian Self. Both of these have turned out to be worthy successors of Chris Ridley and Michael Williams. Chris, a long-time member of the Committee was particularly missed, though Ian Self was a worthy successor as the treasurer.

Following two successful advertisements in The Ringing World at the end of 2008, the Bell News DVD, which contains reproductions of all the pages of Bell News (a forerunner of The Ringing World), was offered for sale. 132 discs had been sold up to March 2009, each containing a fascinating glimpse of bell ringing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Ringing Roadshow in September 2008 proved to be a valuable venue for the sale of both the DVD and recruitment of new Friends of the Library. Work on the Obituary Index continues and we can report thai the project has been given something of a boost by the very welcome assistance of Alan Ellis who has provided 1998 to 2007 data. The data for the year 1998 were compared with information in that year’s Ringing World allowing place names to be associated with the deceased. A similar search of all Ringing World issues for 1999 to 2007 will now be carried out.

Routine maintenance of the Library never ceases and neither does the receipt of bell ringing literature, nor do less interesting features of library maintenance, such as binding volumes of magazines, e.g. The Ringing World. Also, this year a duplicate set of bound Bell News was transferred to the Truro Diocesan Guild on a long-term loan.

The annual newsletter for the Friends of the Central Council Library was issued as usual, together with the Library Steward’s annual Essay on a bibliographic topic, that for 2008 being the fifteenth in the series. He also helps to support The Ringing World by publishing regular articles, using material from the library as well as his own researches. To mark John’s retirement from the post of Library Steward, the Committee is considering publishing a collection of these articles, possibly including the Essays, and it is worth noting that in the last 10 years he has supplied at least 55 articles to The Ringing World on a wide variety of topics. The Committee is also actively pursuing the possibility of issuing the first thirty years of The Ringing World on CD or DVD, and much preliminary work has been already carried out by Paul Johnson.

MIKE DAVIES (Chairman)


Achievements in the past year
The Library Committee has for some years had a rolling programme of projects. Over the last several years the Committee has been working together on one of these as a team, led most recently by Paul Johnson viz. the project of providing every single page, including advertisements, of all the issues of Bell News, which was published between 1881 and 1915, on a single DVD. This project has dominated the work of the Committee for a number of years and finally, towards the end of 2007, it was completed and the discs were put on sale. At the time of writing a hundred DVD’s have been sold and more sales are expected throughout 2008 at the Central Council meeting and the Ringing Roadshow. Each member of the Committee was asked to test one of the DVD’s before they were released for sale to see if they could find any problems in their use. All agreed that the disc was fit for purpose and it was then put on general sale. It is important to emphasise that the Bell News disc has been deliberately engineered to be used solely as a disc and is designed not to be copied to the computer’s hard disc. Much time was spent on quality assurance and it was concluded that, since the images were inevitably obtained from bound volumes, it was not possible to avoid blackening of the images at the bound edge.

Meanwhile, over the last twelve months, John Eisel’s work of typing up Cyril Wratten’s extracts of ringing news from 18th century newspapers continued. These are eventually to be published with illustrations and an index.

A piece about the Revd W C Lukis notebook recently purchased for the library resulted in an article by the Library Steward being published in The Ringing World.

The Library is striving to collect copies of all the Society annual reports and at the next Council Meeting it is intended that Societies which have stopped sending them to the Library should be reminded.

The Newsletter for the Friends of the Central Council Library is published with the usual letter from the Chairman of the Library Committee, and an article by the Library Steward entitled Collectors of Ringing Books giving background on collectors and donors of ringing books over the years.

Problems encountered and steps to overcome them
The Central Council Library computer had seen sterling service over many years and was showing its age. The Committee has agreed the purchase of an up-to-date machine with a broadband facility.

Plans for next year
A rolling programme of projects has been identified which will be continued and added to. Work on the 18th Century newspaper abstracts is, as mentioned above, being continued apace. Other projects for the next triennium are Trollope, obituary index and badge catalogue.

Committee meetings
Two Committee meetings have taken place since the 2007 CCCBR meeting as well as telephone and e-mail contact.

Have any Terms of Reference reviews taken place and any recommendations?
The Committee has operated the existing terms of reference since 2002 and is agreed at this stage that the existing terms of reference for the work of the Committee are appropriate to the work of the Library.

Any consideration of disbanding/ merging the Committee?
The Committee believes that it is essential that a library has a group of appropriate persons to support, advise and work with the Library Steward in his/her management of the Library, as happens in most libraries. The Committee consists of 5 members and the Steward, who is ex officio and each member of the Committee carries out designated tasks.

MIKE DAVIES (Chairman)


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