Henry Johnson Commemoration Dinners



Henry Johnson (1809-1890) was an admired leader of ringing in Victorian Birmingham. He became widely known through his ability in composition, his achievements as a conductor, and his life-long dedication to the art.

His 80th birthday was the focus of a grand dinner at which A. P. Heywood launched the idea of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. This grand event in 1889, the last year of Johnson’s life, has been counted as the first of the unbroken series of annual dinners held to celebrate the Birmingham tradition and its links with the wider ringing community.

The latest dinner at which someone present had known Henry Johnson – or had at least seen him – was, remarkably, 1955.


The following table provides details of Henry Johnson Commemoration Dinners held since 1889. A separate menu includes links to reports and photographs of dinners held since 2002.

No.DateChairmanVenue
132nd29.02.2020Gillian M PostillBirmingham Council House
131st23.02.2019Alan Regin MBEBirmingham Council House
130th24.02.2018Richard L JonesOrange Studio, Birmingham
129th25.02.2017Pip PenneyBirmingham Council House
128th27.02.2016Donald T FinnemoreBirmingham Council House
127th28.02.2015Christine MillsBirmingham Council House
126th22.02.2014Maurice F EdwardsBirmingham Council House
125th23.02.2013Clare McArdleBirmingham Council House
124th25.02.2012Philip R J BarnesBirmingham Council House
123rd26.02.2011Jonathan P HealyBirmingham Council House
122nd27.02.2010John P LovelessBirmingham Council House
121st28.02.2009Richard J CannBirmingham Council House
120th23.02.2008Stephen W BartonBurlington Hotel, Birmingham
119th24.02.2007David J PipeBotanical Gardens, Birmingham
118th25.02.2006Stephanie J WarboysBirmingham Council House
117th26.02.2005Richard B GrimmettBirmingham Council House
116th28.02.2004Simon J L LinfordBirmingham Council House
115th22.02.2003Stephen R ShipleyBirmingham Council House
114th02.03.2002John A AndersonBirmingham Council House
113th03.03.2001Paul L CarlessBirmingham Council House
112th26.02.2000John H FieldenBirmingham Council House
111th27.02.1999Brian E DownieBirmingham Council House
110th28.02.1998P Quentin ArmitageBirmingham Council House
109th01.03.1997Frances DoddsBirmingham Council House
108th02.03.1996David G HullBirmingham Council House
107th25.02.1995The Very Rev. Peter BerryThe Grand Hotel, Birmingham
106th26.02.1994Dr Martin C FaulkesThe Midland Hotel, Birmingham
105th27.02.1993Rev. Canon John WessonThe Midland Hotel, Birmingham
104th29.02.1992David ThorneThe Midland Hotel, Birmingham
103rd02.03.1991Christopher J PickfordThe Midland Hotel, Birmingham
102nd03.03.1990A Muriel ReayThe Midland Hotel, Birmingham
101st25.02.1989Andrew W R WilbyThe Midland Hotel, Birmingham
100th27.02.1988Roderick W PipeThe Midland Hotel, Birmingham
99th28.02.1987The Rt. Rev. Hugh MontefioreThe Grand Hotel, Birmingham
98th01.03.1986John McDonaldThe Grand Hotel, Birmingham
97th02.03.1985George W PipeSolihull Conference and Banqueting Centre
96th03.03.1984Vernon GreenSolihull Conference and Banqueting Centre
95th05.03.1983A Harold FitterRoyal Angus Hotel, Birmingham
94th06.03.1982Andrew N StubbsRoyal Angus Hotel, Birmingham
93rd28.02.1981Rev. Brian HarrisRoyal Angus Hotel, Birmingham
92nd08.03.1980John A AndersonSt John's Hotel, Solihull
91st10.03.1979Richard J W TibbettsSt John's Hotel, Solihull
90th04.03.1978Peter BorderSt John's Hotel, Solihull
89th05.03.1977Peter StaniforthSt John's Hotel, Solihull
88th28.02.1976James G A PriorWarwickshire Masonic Temple, Birmingham
87th01.03.1975J Alan AinsworthThe Imperial Centre Hotel, Birmingham
86th02.03.1974Frank E HaynesThe Imperial Centre Hotel, Birmingham
85th03.03.1973Thomas J WarnerRoyal Angus Hotel, Birmingham
84th04.03.1972Dennis BeresfordRoyal Angus Hotel, Birmingham
83rd27.02.1971John S MasonThe Civic Hall, Solihull
82nd07.03.1970Rt. Rev. George SinkerThe Civic Hall, Solihull
81st01.03.1969Edgar C ShepherdThe Civic Hall, Solihull
80th02.03.1968Rev. Canon Harry HartleyThe Old Royal, Birmingham
79th04.03.1967Rev. Canon Gilbert ThurlowThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
78th05.03.1966John E ChilcottThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
77th06.03.1965Frank E HaynesThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
76th07.03.1964Rt. Rev. George SinkerThe White Horse Hotel, Birmingham
75th16.02.1963Rev. Canon F F Guy WarmanThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
74th24.02.1962Edgar C ShepherdThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
73rd04.03.1961Frank W PerrensThe White Horse Hotel, Birmingham
72nd27.02.1960Rodney B MeadowsThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
71st07.03.1959Rev. Canon F F Guy WarmanThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
70th01.03.1958J Frank SmallwoodThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
69th02.03.1957John S MasonThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
68th25.02.1956A Paddon SmithThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
67th05.03.1955Frank E HaynesThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
66th06.03.1954Sir Theodore PritchettThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
65th07.03.1953Edgar C ShepherdThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
64th15.03.1952A Paddon SmithThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
63rd03.03.1951A Paddon SmithThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
62nd04.03.1950The Ven. S Harvie ClarkThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
61st05.03.1949Thomas H ReevesThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
60th06.03.1948Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
59th01.03.1947Albert WalkerThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
58th02.03.1946Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
57th03.03.1945Thomas H ReevesThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
56th04.03.1944Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
55th06.03.1943Frank B YatesThe Market Hotel, Birmingham
54th07.03.1942Albert WalkerThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
53rd01.03.1941A Paddon SmithThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
52nd02.03.1940A Paddon SmithThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
51st25.02.1939Rev. Canon Stuart BlofeldThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
50th05.03.1938J S PritchettThe White Horse Restaurant, Birmingham
49th27.02.1937Rev H McGowanThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
48th29.02.1936Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
47th02.03.1935Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
46th03.03.1934Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
45th25.02.1933Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
44th27.02.1932Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
43rd28.02.1931Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
42nd01.03.1930J S PritchettThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
41st02.03.1929Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
40th25.02.1928Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
39th19.02.1927Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
38th06.03.1926Canon T Guy RogersThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
37th28.02.1925J S PritchettThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
36th01.03.1924J S PritchettThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
35th24.02.1923Canon E Grose HodgeThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
34th25.02.1922Canon E Grose HodgeThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
33rd26.02.1921Canon E Grose HodgeThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
32nd27.03.1920Canon E Grose HodgeThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
31st08.03.1919Canon J W WillinkYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
30th16.03.1918Canon J W WillinkThe Imperial Hotel, Birmingham
29th24.02.1917Canon J W WillinkYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
28th04.03.1916Canon J W WillinkYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
27th27.02.1915Canon J W WillinkYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
26th28.02.1914Canon J W WillinkYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
25th01.03.1913Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
24th24.02.1912Francis Edward DaweYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
23rd04.03.1911J S PritchettYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
22nd05.03.1910John W TaylorYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
21st20.02.1909Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
20th29.02.1908Charles Henry HattersleyYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
19th02.03.1907Arthur T KingYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
18th03.03.1906Richard Robert Cherry PC, QCYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
17th04.03.1905C E D BoutflowerYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
16th27.02.1904R A DaniellYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
15th28.02.1903Mr Evans [Churchwarden, St Martin's]Ye Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
14th01.03.1902Richard Robert Cherry PC, QCSt Martin's Hotel, Birmingham
13th02.03.1901Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
12th03.03.1900S SpittleYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
11th04.03.1899J S PritchettYe Olde Royal Hotel, Birmingham
10th05.03.1898J S PritchettThe Woodman, Easy Row
9th27.02.1897Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodThe Market Hotel, Station Street
8th29.02.1896J S PritchettThe Market Hotel, Station Street
7th02.03.1895Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodThe Market Hotel, Station Street
6th03.03.1894J S PritchettThe Tamworth Arms, Moor Street
5th04.03.1893William SnowdonThe Tamworth Arms, Moor Street
4th27.02.1892Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodThe Tamworth Arms, Moor Street
3rd28.02.1891Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodThe Tamworth Arms, Moor Street
2nd01.03.1890Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodThe Woolpack Hotel, Moor Street
1st28.02.1889Sir Arthur Percival HeywoodThe Colonnade Hotel, New Street