[Bell Historians] Perspectives

David Bryant davidbryant at h6rGYQiflZlk1UyQOAYWTBQNO7-CQXXcFhQs8mGxwa11yFPOAnuWdWdrFfAS8OlrO7oCKWMarNl_wyockuZz2gYTqw.yahoo.invalid
Mon Sep 17 16:58:56 BST 2007

I wondered how long before a discussion started!
Firstly, I think we should congratulate Mark, Jennie and the others involved in organising and running the conference for all their work.
As regards the conference itself, I thought that most of the speakers were very good, but that when the opportunities for discussion came nothing much materialised. A number of questions were posed and left unanswered because another question was immediately posed. If there is another such conference, perhaps it would be a good idea to have someone leading discussion rather than a question-and-answer session.
I was particularly disappointed that my question to David Knights about accountability and appointment procedure for advisers wasn't really answered. He pointed out that the CCC cannot impose rules on individual dioceses, which I accept (although the CCC could of course give advice which dioceses could choose to accept, or not), but did not give any explanation of the CCC's own appointment procedure, or how they evaluated the performance of members of their Bells and Clocks Committee. I know I was certainly not the only person to be surprised at their most recent round of appointments - several extremely well-respected bell historians were not re-appointed, and the new appointments were mostly people I had never heard of - and from talking to others it seems that neither had most other bell historians. I would be interested to know exactly what the CCC were looking for in making these appointments, and how these people met these requirements. This is not a criticism of them - indeed, I know nothing about them - but I think the CCC should be clear about what they look for in those they appoint, and be open about this and about the appointment procedure itself - I am sure I am not alone in thinking that the posts should be advertised and people invited to apply for them.
I may be wrong here, but I do not believe that many of the CCC's Bells Committee were present at the conference, and this in itself is a matter of some concern. Given that several of them are unknown in bell history circles, this presented an obvious opportunity to meet many of those interested in the subject and, perhaps, allay fears which some people may have about their suitability for the post.

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