Guild Annual Reports
Scanned images of the Guild Annual Reports are being produced. Currently copies of the reports for the World War years (1910 – 1920 & 1936 – 1950) are available as pdf files here. The Guild Annual Reports are the first place to look for many enquiries, particularly those concerning individual ringers or peals. This resource has been made available in the first instance to assist researchers wishing to check for ringers in rolls of honour and on war memorials.
The Guild is planning to digitise its manuscript records over the coming years.
The First Peal Book is now available to view and an Index to the Peal Book has been compiled to make its use easier. We are grateful to Richard Johnston for getting the peal book files into a form which makes them easy to read like the original and to Mike Mears for collating the information from which the index has been produced.
An increasing number of the publications of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers are becoming available for free download. These are usually titles which are no longer in print or available to buy as hard copy. To access these visit the Shop facility on the Council's website.
A collection of about 50 older ringing books has been scanned and made available by The Whiting Society on their website. These include William Bannister's Art and Science of Change Ringing, H.T. Ellacombe's Church bells of Devon and Charles Troyte's Change Ringing.
The ringing newspapers and journals are an essential source of information for the history of bells and ringing from the second half of the 19th century. The earlier years of these have been made available on-line by the Central Council Library:
Key files available are:
* Church Bells 1870 - 1906
* Bell News 1881 – 1915
* The Ringing World 1911 – 1970
The Guild's own newsletter Ringing Round Devon is also available to download from 1997.
Local newspapers are an invaluable source of historical information about ringing and ringers in many locations around Devon. The Central Council Library publishes collections of local newspaper extracts - Order and Disorder for the 18th and earlier 19th centuries. These printed volumes are in the Guild Library, but a consolidated index to the Devon placename references has been compiled by the Librarian.
Biographies of Ringers
The ringing journals are key source of information about ringers and their biographies. Often this is in the form of obituaries published after their death. An Index of the older obituaries are available here. Modern obituaries in The Ringing World from 2008 are indexed here.
The Central Council biographical records have been made available on-line. While most are records of past members of the Council now deceased, the remit of the Biographies Committee was broadened in recent years to cover the recording of lives of all notable ringers.
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