Chapter 7 - CC Visits and the Centenary
Central Council Visits and The Centenary
The first visit of the CCCBR to Cardiff, and indeed to Wales, was made in 1962. However the first invitation to Cardiff was issued in 1939 for a visit at Whitsun in 1940 but, because of the War, that meeting was unfortunately cancelled. A "Welcome to Wales" for the Council appeared in the Ringing World for 8th June 1962 written by Rev Ivor Richards, who was Treasurer, together with the first version of this history, written by Jack Pryor.
That first meeting was clearly a success and the report which appeared on the front page of the Ringing World on 22nd June had this to say : "To most of the representatives it was a new experience and they returned to their homes with a new conception of the capital of Wales., the friendliness of its people, the beauty of its bells and to some the singing of a Welsh choir amid its own surroundings. There was also Welsh hospitality to be remembered. The Llandaff & Monmouth Association were delightful hosts and the City Council of Cardiff and the Bishop of Llandaff were equally co-operative. How ‘Newport’ Jones [a reference to the late J W Jones] would have rejoiced to have seen this day!"
Some representatives had questioned the wisdom of coming to Cardiff due to an outbreak of smallpox at the beginning of the year and the Secretary of the Council, E A Barnett, wrote to the Medical Officer for Health for the City for reassurance. This he received and the text of the reply was published in the Ringing World for May 18th.
With the Centenary on the horizon it was decided to issue a second invitation to the Council for the Centenary year, which was done in 1987. At least two years of detailed discussions took place to make the arrangements for this meeting, which was held at Caerleon in May 1993, and many people were involved.
It was generally considered to be a great success, and a model for such meetings. Insert material from the 1993 RW?
Over a similar period arrangements were being made for the other Centenary events. Plans for the making of the tape recording go back over two years, and involved a lot of arrangements by the General Secretary and the Centenary committee. The Centenary AGM at Llandaff and the Centenary Dinner at the Copthorne Hotel followed the pattern of similar non-Centenary events, but had to be arranged and in both cases had to be a little more significant than usual. A highlight of the AGM was the conferment of Honorary Life Membership on Nevil James, in recognition of many years of hard and devoted work for the Association: as Treasurer, when he put us onto a proper modern footing, but perhaps more significantly as artist and co-editor of the Annual Report. Centenary sweatshirts etc, tankards and pens have been produced; the tea towel design was updated to allow for augmentations etc; many members have rung peals.
For the first time ever 100 peals were rung for the Association in a year, some of them utilising special compositions. The Officers' reports and the members' views will say whether the Centenary was adequately celebrated, but there was certainly plenty going on. UPDATE. Not least was the Seminar, open to all members, to discuss the future of the Association in all its activities.