RE: Re: [Bell Historians] Great Malvern Priory

Mark Regan markregan at
Fri Mar 13 08:47:42 GMT 2009

This is a reason to hold another gathering. 

I was dismayed by the attitude of some ringers over this. One person who was invited and paid for didn't attend the sessions. They told me that they'd heard it all before. An interesting view as every contribution contained new ideas views. A couple of others just 'tutted' all day. The CCCBR and many local ringing associations are invariably toothless. Lots of noise and little effective advocacy. Malvern P's ringers have been let down by the wider ringing community.

The case to support the removal of Malvern P's frame was badly put. Ringers need to work better together before we can effectively lobby EH and the CBC. I don't find EH and CBC a problem on the whole. If you work with them, I think things can be worked out. Only if the case is well put. The Chancellor did what he's trained and paid to do with the evidence. 

I think it's time for another conference. 

I'll get on with it.


>----- ------- Original Message ------- -----
>From: "Chris Pickford"
><c.j.pickford.t21 at>
>To: <bellhistorians at>
>Sent: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 08:22:38
>Having been out all day yesterday - looking at a
>bellframe that the ringers hope to remove! - I've
>only just picked up on yesterday's postings, but
>would like to echo David Cawley's analysis of the
>outcome and his observations on the need for calm
>and considered responses (especially in public)
>The noose has undoubtedly tightened with regard to
>alterations to churches and their fittings, but
>what makes matters worse is that standpoints have
>become so polarised. In truth, the "all must be
>kept" approach has no more validity than the "all
>must be new" standpoint. There is a need for a due
>regard for the heritage, but equally there should
>be scope for both necessary renewals (as, surely,
>ought to be possible at Great Malvern) and for
>well-considered improvements. The Great Malvern
>judgment is a prime example of what happens when
>opposing sides dig in and refuse to budge - more as
>a matter of principle than anything to do with
>practical realities.
>I tried to cover this in my paper at the
>Perspectives conference at Worcester in 2007, and
>it might be timely to suggest that people revisit
>it in the light of current developments (RW
>supplement 25 January 2008 pp.105-28) which
>contains several useful contributions other than my
>own. My paper is quite tightly argued in places and
>needs to be read carefully for the subtlety (and
>balance) of some of the key points. I have also
>written a more general paper about the balances in
>conservation in churches - "Our Parish Churches:
>some reflections on the passage of time" - in
>Ecclesiology Today no.40 (June 2008) pp.60-66
>Perspectives was arranged to address these issues
>and it did so with some success. But maybe we need
>to make more use of the published papers in order
>to maintain the momentum. In hindsight,
>Perspectives may have brought people together but
>it hasn't had the effect - yet - of encouraging the
>dialogue between opposing parties that is so badly
>needed. Give and take on both sides is required,
>and some suggestions on this are to be found in my
>Perspectives paper. 
>We need to remember that the cause of ringing is
>not well served - because it merely raises hackles
>and sets alarm bells ringing - by the "only new
>will do" standpoint that fails to recognise or
>accommodate conservation possibilities.
>Conservationists react to it just as we ringers
>respond to dogged persistence to preserve in cases
>of limited historical interest and demonstrable
>need for renewal

Mark Regan
22 Sebright Avenue
01905 354339
07971 573688


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