[Bell Historians] Perspectives
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Tue Sep 18 20:47:09 BST 2007
My real job has got in the way of replying sooner.
First, thank you for the positive feedback about the Conference. It was
a high risk venture, however, I thought an event outside the remit
CCCBR, CCC, EH etc may bring out some of the many concerns which are
rarely spoken about openly. That was my objective for the day. Now such
matters as the appointing DAC and CCC advisors, training them and
reviewing their performance, are now acknowledged by many as being
necessary, we can lobby appropriately. Advisors help Chancellors make
decisions in law. That we let this happen by amateur volunteers is
alarming. Some advisors are good some arent. Its no good being well
theyre doing their best etc about it. We have to be brave and do
something positive. In any other arena this practice would have been
reviewed and changed ages ago.
The difference between opinion and advice to me is:
Advice is objective and puts the PCC/ringers (the customer) first. The
advisors own interests/views/opinions/prejudices are not part of the
agenda. As Richard Offen pointed out once all the experts leave the
PCC is left with the consequences.
Opinion is subjective and the advisor puts their personal take on the
issue before the interests of the PCC and/or ringers. I have often seen
this happen. Thats why open appointments, training and performance
review need to take place. Examples: Why bother augmenting a three
whos going to ring them? Say that to Charles Raynham! Or Let these
bells rot. How will this help ringings future?
Here are some examples:
I was asked to advise on a scheme which I personally thought was crazy.
Others too said you must stop it. Whatever my personal views were, I
was not the customer. I just advised on what I was asked to advise on.
After the fire at Leighton Buzzard in 1985 I had to liaise with Alan
Frost as DAC advisor on the new bells. Alan had rung at LB for years and
had a close association with the church. Whatever his personal views
might have been, he only ever commented on what the PCC and ringers
wanted. We also knew each other well. The boundaries were professionally
and correctly observed.
Another bell project is being undermined by a DAC advisor who puts his
own agenda before the wishes of the church. To me thats selfish. This
behaviour makes a farce of the DAC function. It also tarnishes the
advice and competence of good DAC advisors.
The question of indemnity also came up. Whilst I have many friends on
the CCCBR T and B committee Im struggling to see what they really
contribute and what is their plan for the future?
Light blue touch paper
22 Sebright Avenue
From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
[mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Andrew Aspland
Sent: 17 September 2007 18:07
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [Bell Historians] Perspectives
I thought the event was well worthwhile and I would endorse the comments
about the excellent speakers and presentations. It was a pity that
there was not any lively debate but that was as much to do with the
nature of the presentations. If anyone was trying to be controversial
they did it in such a way that we were convinced of their reasoning
I think the role of DACs is changing and that did not really come
through. DACs seem to want to work much more closely with PCCs from the
outset of a project and this does involve informal advice, talking about
the technicalities and coming up with solutions. What is the point in
continually saying some proposal or other is not suitable if you don't
actually come up with something suitable?
"Members of the committee have a wide range of expertise and experience
between them and are always pleased to be able to help and advise
parishes with their plans, whether for a major reordering or a single
item." This seems to be a very positive quote from a diocesan handbook.
One phrase which cropped up during "networking" time was the difference
between opinion and advice. Anyone care to suggest a definition?
One question/response which I did not ask, though had considered, was to
the comment made about disappearing anticlockwise and irregular rope
circles. An anticlockwise circle is not a great detriment to ringing
but it does cause some difficulties to those unused to them. An
irregular rope circle does make for difficulties! Another disappearing
feature is peals of bells in strange musical modes - or even bells which
are simply the wrong note. I rang recently at a tower in Suffolk with
an irregular rope circle and wrong noted bells - they are soon to
undertake a restoration/conservation/reparation of their bells. I hope
no one seriously suggests that they keep either unusual feature. It is
no comfort to the villagers and ringers of such a church that down the
road is a good peal of six - ringers may travel to appreciate different
bells but villagers don't!
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