CCC, DACs, etc.

Susan Dalton at v...
Sat Nov 15 12:50:49 GMT 2003

I have read all the contributions about the recent CCC seminar and allied 
matters with interest and a certain amount of amusement. I might add that I
wasn't invited to the seminar and couldn't have gone even if I had been;
but our excellent Hereford DAC Bells Consultant was able to go and did.

Can we be clear on one thing? Bells (and other) Consultants to DACs are
appointed by the DAC in question itself, and not by the Bishop or anybody
else. The recent article in RW over Paula Griffiths's signature (but I
suspect not actually written by her) got this and certain other things
wrong. Paula is doing her best, I am sure, but she hasn't been at CCC very
long (unsurprisingly, perhaps, she was previously at EH). Incidentally,
with DACs it is the Diocesan Bishop who appoints the chairman; the Bishop's
Council appoints the other members. Well, that's what happens in Erryferd,

May I defend the CCC Lists of Bells (and Bellframes) for Preservation? They
are a "labour of love" on the part of George Dawson who took over from the
late Ranald Clouston. If compiled carefully (as I have every reason to
believe they are), they are surely helpful to DACs, parishes, the trade and
everybody else for guidance (I emphasise the word 'guidance'). And I
absolutely agree that in Graeme Knowles the CCC has a first-rate chairman,
combining a quick and ready wit with great perspicacity and fairness.

Appointment of members of the CCC Bells and Clocks Committee, as with DACs,
is of course done very largely on what one used to call the Old Boy Network.
I am not trying to defend this to Martin Fellows and others, but it is hard
to see how, realistically, it could be done otherwise. Personally I believe
that the CCC committee has some excellent people on it. It needs bearing in
mind that while some people just love being on committees, not everybody
cares for them or for serving on them. My main quibble, as with so many
other organisations, is when chairmen stay on for too long and when they or
other members are members of too many other committees, to the extent that
they sometimes forget which hat they are supposed to be wearing. This is
perhaps an especial problem with bells-related organisations because there
is only a relatively small pool of people who are interested in any aspect
of what goes on above the end of the bellrope. But I am delighted to see it
getting steadily bigger.

Which brings me to the suggestion that there should be a formal body devoted
to bell history, perhaps based on subscribers to this List, and no doubt
with a constitution, agenda, meetings, minutes, annual subscriptions, a
non-CCCBR-Library- run journal (!) and all the other usual paraphernalia.
Do we really want this, rather than trying to work constructively with all
the organisations which already exist? I honestly don't know; but I would
observe that there are some distinguished bell historians who do not (so far
as I am aware) belong to this list - John Scott, George Massey and Paul
Cattermole to name but three.


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