A representative gathering assembled on June 18th to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Guild (the former Winchester Diocesan Guild), which took place at Basingstoke on June 26th, 1879. During the day bells in and around the district were available and made good use of.

The Guild service was held in St. Michael’s Church and was conducted by the Archdeacon of Basingstoke (the Ven. A. W. Chute), an hon. member of the Guild. In the course of his address he extended a hearty welcome and spoke of his great pleasure in the Guild returning to its birthplace on that occasion. He stressed the great part that the diocesan Guilds contributed to the service of the Church and referred to the Guild as a “handmaid of the Church.” He wished them Godspeed and a very happy anniversary.

An excellent tea was partaken of in Church House, after which special references were made to the early history of the Guild through such early pioneers as Henry White (Basingstoke), John W. Whiting (Fareham), J. Hewett (Gosport) and the late Master (Mr. G. Williams), by the general secretary (Mr. F. W. Rogers) and Mr. G. Pullinger.

Mr. W. Andrews (Winchester) paid special tribute to the valuable work put in by Mr. Pullinger, who was general secretary at the time of the division of the Guild (when Portsmouth and Guildford became separate dioceses), and who showed the utmost tact and perseverance in handling the Guild’s affairs.

Mr. Tucker (North Stoneham) said he first came to Basingstoke over 50 years ago. At that time there was no ringing at Southampton, his nearest towers for change ringing being either Winchester, Romsey or Basingstoke. Mr. R. Brown (Southampton) also paid a tribute to the late Mr. George Williams.

At the conclusion of the speeches a hearty vote of thanks was accorded the Archdeacon of Basingstoke, the incumbents at the various towers, and Mr. J. Chesterman for making all arrangements for the programme of the day. Ringing followed until a late hour. Members were present from many of the towers in the Guild with visitors from Epsom, Byfield (Northants), Reading, Oxford and Stanwell (Middlesex).

The Ringing World No. 1995, July 1st, 1949, page 308