The Master Rev. Barry Fry, supported by the Honorary General Secretary Robert Cater, the Honorary General Treasurer Michael Bubb and the Minute Secretary Francis Mitchell, opened the meeting at 3.17p.m. with a short prayer. He welcomed everybody to The Paul Woodhouse Suite.
52 members signed the attendance book.
Apologies were presented from: Marie Boniface, Peter & Wendy Claridge, Peter Clark, Andrew Ingram, Roy LeMarechal, Helen Piper, Barbara Townsend, Liz Watts, Faith & Tony Webster, Mavis Whitehead, Margaret Winterbourne and the Southampton City band.
The meeting stood in silence to remember: Cynthia Attoe (Newton Valence), Jim Bunch (Yateley), Bill Cope (LM) (Gloucestershire), Arthur Harding (New Alresford), J. Jeffery Hill (All Saints Basingstoke), Bryan Mackrell (St Lawrence Alton), Jonathon Moon (Kings Somborne), Jack Wallace (St Lawrence Alton), Jack Wimlett (LM) (St Mary Andover), Simon Wood (St Mary Liss).
Minutes of the 1999 AGM held at Soberton had been circulated to all Towers. They were accepted by the meeting unchanged and signed by the Master as a true record.
Thanks were expressed to all involved in organising this year’s extremely successful Open Day which raised £1,070 for the BRF.
Between September 1997 and January 2000, 640 new or returned ringers had been recruited in the Guild area.
No members were proposed for Life Membership.
Tony Smith handed out copies of the Public Relations Officer’s Report as an Addendum to the 1999 Guild Report. This was also to be available via District Secretaries. The reports were adopted by the meeting.
There were no comments on the Accounts, adoption of which was proposed by Mike Winterbourne seconded by Mark Esbester and carried unopposed.
There was no comment on the BRF Report & Accounts, adoption of which was proposed by Phil Watts, seconded by John Davey and carried unopposed.
Mike Winterbourne reported on the meeting, which was attended by all five of the Guild’s Central Council Reps, who sit on a total of seven committees.
A full report will appear in The Ringing World. Some of the highlights were:
Harold Rogers was elected Life Member of The Central Council;
The present Secretary is resigning due to pressure of work. An Acting Secretary will be found, who will also become The Ringing World company secretary.
The committee reports were passed with little or no comment, although the Methods committee were asked to look at Short Course Methods, specifically for towers with 16 bells.
Grants have been given to a further 5 Ringing Centres, including Bishopstoke.
The Ringing World AGM was disappointingly quiet, given the recent abrupt change of Editor and change of Administrator. The impending review of Ringing World work and practice was believed to have saved the Board from a very heated debate following a prepared statement from Tina Stoeklin (previous Editor) seeking an apology for a letter from Andrew Wilby (Director) printed in The Ringing World of 25 May. There were no questions from the meeting.
Mark Esbester gave details of applications for grants received from six churches:
All Saints, Basingstoke
Various works are to be undertaken here to renew some fittings, overhaul others and retune all nine bells. The total cost will be just over £17,000. The application was withdrawn shortly before the AGM as a local source of funding had been found to cover the whole sum.
All Saints, Botley
This ambitious project to augment the existing ring of three to six with completely new fixtures and fittings was awarded a grant of £4,750 at a previous AGM. However, since then costs have risen, mainly due to revised builders estimates following the architect’s detailed specification. The total cost is now just over £70,000 and the trustees recommend an additional grant of £1,750.
All Saints, Catherington
The plan here is to augment the existing ring of six to eight by the addition of two trebles. The existing frame and fittings will be re-used and additional timber frame added to allow for the extra bells. The frame will need to be moved to one side to accommodate the new frameside and new lifting beams built in above the frame, work which will be done by a local builder. The present estimates come to a total of £35,000 and the trustees are recommending a grant of £3,500. It was pointed out to the meeting that in the event of the builder’s estimate being less than currently thought, the trustees have the power to reduce the grant accordingly.
St Mary’s, Eling
The tower roof at Eling is no longer weatherproof, resulting in water dripping into the bell chamber during rain, affecting the fittings of 5 & 6. Although the work is not to the bell installation itself, the BRF rules do allow for grants to be made in situations where the bells may be affected. The trustees recommend a grant of £500.
SS Peter & Paul, Kings Somborne
Two estimates for various works to the fixtures and fittings at Kings Somborne have been received. However, the trustees were concerned that there were significant differences between the two, and it was unclear which scheme of work was to be undertaken, or if any such decision had been reached. The application had only been received shortly before the deadline for consideration and the Belfry Stewardship Committee had not had time to assess the situation. The trustees felt that they would value the views of the BSC and indeed the PCC and local ringers might well find their help valuable in deciding the extent of work required; a further estimate from a third firm of bellhangers might also be of value, in view of the discrepancies in the first two. Whilst the trustees encourage the Kings Somborne ringers in their efforts to improve the “go” of their bells, until the scheme of work is finalised and costs known, they did not feel that it was appropriate to recommend a grant at present. The trustees hope that a new application for consideration in the future will be received when plans are more certain.
St Peter, Petersfield
The gudgeons of the third need replacing, together with work on the clappers of the treble, four and five. The cost is £2656 and the trustees recommend a grant of £250.
Discussion and comment on these proposals revealed that the Winchester DAC Bell Adviser, Graham Grant and the Belfry Stewardship Committee had been active on behalf of Kings Somborne, who were assured of support from the Guild in general and the BSC in particular.
The proposal was accepted without dissent.
The Master thanked Judy Bishop for her efforts as Guild Minutes Secretary and explained that Francis Mitchell had stood in for her at the March Executive meeting and was willing to take over as Guild Minutes Secretary. This was proposed by Mike Winterbourne, seconded by Judy Bishop and carried unopposed.
Mike Winterbourne, Tony Buttle, Ruth Cooper, Robert Forster, Graham Hedges, Michael Lynds, Barry Pointer, Rachael Seamons, Margaret Winterbourne and Ben Waterson were proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson and elected unopposed.
John Colliss (Convenor), Michael J Church and Stuart Heath indicated they did not wish to stand again. They were thanked by the Master for their efforts.
Andrew Byford was proposed by Mark Esbester, seconded by John Colliss and elected unopposed. As no further committee members were forthcoming, he was advised to co-opt as appropriate.
Phil Watts, John David, Graham Petrie, R Hugh Routh, Chris Sheath and Graham Wright were proposed by Mike Winterbourne, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson. They were all elected unopposed.
Phil Watts appealed for someone willing to join the committee from the northern part of Hampshire.
The existing committee of: June Mitchell, Peter and Wendy Claridge were proposed for election by Bob Cater, seconded by Mike Winterbourne and elected unopposed.
John Davey (Convenor) was not seeking re-election, he was thanked for his efforts. Following the early resolution of Agenda Item 16vi, Bob Cater was willing to stand again but not be Convenor. He was proposed by Phil Watts, seconded by John Davey and elected unopposed as a committee member empowered to co-opt others, including a convenor.
[Margaret Wolverson later volunteered to be Social Committee Convenor]
The Master explained changes to the Ecclesiastical structure in the two Diocese which necessitated matching rule changes. He proposed that Rule 2 be changed to replace Patrons: “The Very Rev The Dean of Winchester, The Very Rev The Provost of Portsmouth”
by Patrons: “The Very Rev The Dean of Winchester, The Very Rev The Dean of Portsmouth”
Replace: Vice-Presidents: “The Venerable the Archdeacons of Winchester, Portsmouth, Basingstoke and The Isle of Wight”
by Vice-Presidents: “The Venerable the Archdeacons of Winchester, Portsdown, Bournemouth, The Meon and The Isle of Wight”.
The change was carried nem con.
The Hon Gen Sec explained the need for rule changes to reflect that students these days often receive full-time education after the age of 16 and to give such members full voting rights and a reduced subscription. Districts had already been asked to discuss this. There had also been a request to allow the increased number of older Associate Members of the Guild to pay a reduced subscription, as do older Ringing Members.
The Master proposed that Rules 6 and 8 be changed as follows:
Rule 6a: Delete second sentence “Junior members (ringing members under the age of 16) shall have no vote on matters of finance”.
Rule 8: Replace fifth sentence “Junior members and ringing members over the age of 60 may pay a reduced subscription as determined at the meeting”
by “Ringing members in full-time education or over the age of 60 and associate members over the age of 60 may pay a reduced subscription as determined at the meeting”.
This proposal was carried nem con.
Following the decision to change Rules 6 and 8, the Guild Treasurer proposed changes to subscription rates. To come into effect with the rule changes on 1 January 2001.
Ringing Members in full-time education not less than £3.00
Associate Members over 60 not less than £4.00.
This proposal was seconded by Bob Cater and carried nem con.
Mike Winterbourne had circulated a list of the Education dates for 2001 to all towers. He advised that the third date should be read as Saturday 20 October, not September, and requested everyone to try and avoid organising other ringing events on these dates. He thanked all those who had helped with the very successful Education events so far this year, or were going to help with the remaining ones on 30 September and 11 November 2000.
June Mitchell appealed for all members to support the Raffle to raise funds for the BRF, tickets for which had been sent to all towers. If any tickets were not sold, could the books please be returned intact.
Gilian Davis reported that invitations had been sent to District Secretaries for passing on to all Life and Senior members. Replies are needed by 1 September. Arrangements were complete except for arranging ringing at one more tower. The evening, as well as the dinner, would include invited reminiscences and handbell ringing. Life Members certificates were hoped to be ready for presentation on the day.
The retiring committee had arranged the 10 bell Inter District competition at Bishopstoke on 9 September stating at 10.00.
This will be in the Portsmouth District on a date to be announced.
[Subsequently confirmed as Easter Monday 16 April 2001]
Prior to the election of the Social Committee, Bob Cater asked the meeting if he should confirm a provisional booking at Winchester Cathedral Refectory for Saturday 21 April 2001. The meeting agreed with no-one against.
This is being organised by the Christchurch & Southampton District on 7 July 2001.
June Mitchell was, by popular request, preparing another sweatshirt order to be sent off at the end of July. Sweatshirts were available in the same sizes and colours as before for £16 each. She displayed a high quality wine glass engraved with the Guild logo. These would be available for purchase before Christmas. Information would be sent to towers in due course.
John Davey asked what should be done about Probationary Members who saw little point in transferring to Ringing Membership. The reasons for Probationary Membership were restated, with the expectation that this was a temporary state until a satisfactory level of bell handling was achieved and such members had joined the Sunday Service band, when they would be expected to be elected as Ringing Members. No actual time limit was set in the Guild Rules. A watching brief would be kept for possible future action by the Executive Committee.
Peter Hill was organising a band for the Essex Shield Striking Competition in September.
Tony Smith requested all District Officials who had not already done so to complete a form giving or withholding permission to print their personal details in the Guild Report in order to enable the Guild to comply with the latest Data Protection Act.
There being no further business, the Master thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting with The Grace at 4.15 p.m.
A draw for the W&P 200 club took place after the meeting.