1. Master’s welcome

    The Guild Master, David Strong, supported by Mike Bubb, Hon. General Treasurer, and Tony Smith, Acting Minute Secretary, opened the meeting at 2.34 p.m. The Master welcomed all present and thanked the Channel Islands District members and friends for hosting the event and for arranging a full programme of ringing, the informal dinner the previous evening, and the tea that would follow the meeting, especially mentioning the District Chairman, Anne Fraser and the District Secretary, Jane le Conte. He also thanked the incumbents and tower captains for the use of their bells. The Master explained that the Hon. General Secretary, Clare Griffiths, and the Minute Secretary, Pam Thompson, were unable to attend and thanked Tony Smith for taking the minutes. He expressed his gratitude for all the good wishes he had received over past months and said a short prayer to open the meeting.

  2. Striking Competition results

    Peter Niblett had judged the Inter-District 8-bell Striking Competition at St. John’s Church that morning. All the bands rang Grandsire Triples. The results were:

    Place Faults Time Drawn
    1stPortsmouth District188m44th
    2ndChannel Islands District247m583rd
    3rdIsle of Wight District608m322nd
    Scratch band408m171st

    The Master presented the new trophy and certificates to the team captains and thanked Peter Niblett who was flying to Beijing later in the day.

  3. The following 43 members and one guest signed the attendance book: Jenny Brudenell and Graham Nobbs (Carisbrooke), Rachel & Andrew Byford, Mark Esbester, and Elizabeth & Jeremy Mather (Catherington), Andrew Banks (Hawkley), Tessa & Tony Smith (Hursley), Jen Churchill and David Strong (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Elizabeth Johnson (New Alresford), Chris Boyce, Richard Harvey, Vivien Nobbs, and Jill & Peter Taylor (Ryde), Helen McGregor, Peter Bevis and Stephen Rossiter (St. Anne, Alderney), Anne Fraser, Justin Read and Jo Routier (St. John, Jersey), Richard Harris, Louise Read and Peter Routier (St. Mark, Jersey), Jane le Conte (St. Peter Port, Guernsey), Andrew & Richard Case (Shedfield), Mary & Sven (guest) Tester (Shorwell), Mo & Hugh Routh (Steep), Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore), Michael Church (Upton Grey), Mike Bubb, and Nicky & John David (Vale), Peter Niblett (Whitchurch) and John Colliss, Lucy & Mike Hopkins Till, and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral).

    Apologies for absence had been received from Clare Griffiths (Bishopstoke), Ruth and Derek Jackson (Eling), Christine & Peter Hill, and Pam Thompson (Hursley), Rosemary Oakeshott (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Polly Osborne (Minstead), Malcolm Powell (St. Agatha, Portsmouth), Nigel Herriott (Romsey), Liz Thornton and Chris Caryer (St. Mary Bourne) and Barry Fry (St. Barnabas, Southampton). Further apologies were received from Anne Strong (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Robin Winckworth (Petersfield), Stephen Haynes (Ryde) and Jack Worrall (St. Mark, Jersey) who had recently suffered a stroke while in France but was now back in the Jersey General Hospital.

  4. Loss of Members from death since the 2012 AGM

    The meeting stood to remember: Ray Aldington (Winchester Cathedral), Doris Barber (Hawkley), Jean Blacklaws (The Clatfords), Sue Buchanan (Candover Valley), Sidney Bull (Romsey Abbey), Barbara (Burble) Carey (Vale), George Eastwood (Sherfield English), Jim Jones (Christchurch), Rev Norman Smith (Buriton), Prisca Tremeer (LM) (New Alresford and St. John, Jersey).

  5. Minutes of the 2012 AGM

    The minutes of the 2012 AGM at East Meon were adopted on the proposition of Mike Hopkins Till, seconded by Charlotte Colliss, and signed by the Master as a true record.

  6. Matters arising

    There were no matters arising.

  7. Life Membership

    Leonard T Perrins of Ringwood had completed fifty years’ ringing membership of the Guild and had already been presented with his Life Membership certificate in the Christchurch and Southampton District.

  8. Officers’ and Committee Reports for 2012

    There were no comments on the reports. The Master thanked the Officers and Committees for their work throughout the year especially mentioning those not standing for re-election.

  9. Report of 2013 Central Council Meeting

    Tony Smith reported that the Guild was represented at the meeting in Guildford by Peter Niblett, who is Chairman of the Methods Committee and an ex officio member of the Administrative Committee, Mike Hopkins Till, who is a member of the Compositions Committee, and Michael Church and himself, who are both elected members of the Administrative Committee.

    The previous week’s issue of The Ringing World contained the Editor’s impressions of the weekend and the detailed minutes would be published soon. He highlighted a few points which he thought might be of interest to the meeting.

    The AGM of the Ringing Foundation was on the Sunday afternoon and, he thought, showed significant progress. The Foundation had doubled their expenditure mostly in support of the Integrated Teacher Training Scheme and the new Association of Ringing Teachers. They are stepping up their fund-raising and he encouraged members to consider supporting their work.

    The organ at the Songs of Praise service in Guildford Cathedral was beautifully played by Robin Walker who was a ringer in the Basingstoke District before moving to Worcester.

    At the Council meeting on the Monday the Barrow & District Society was affiliated and its representative was Barry Peachey, a Hampshire ex-pat well-known to many in the Guild.

    A motion to increase the affiliation fee to £30 per representative was approved. The fees are intended to cover the cost of conducting the Council’s business and, with the possibility of increased funding requirements in the future, a group, including Peter Niblett, had been set up to consider a financial plan for several years and possible alternatives to the current per representative basis of the fee.

    There was a useful discussion of Change Ringing for the Future and a series of regional meetings are proposed to listen to what ringers expect from the Council, the Ringing Foundation and their local society, to explain what is being done and the rationale behind the new training schemes and the need for more money.

    The Methods Committee accepted a challenging work item which seeks to reconcile the views of those who think that true methods are the basis of all scientific change ringing and those who think that the peal is the thing and it doesn’t matter if the methods are false.

    The Master thanked the Representatives for their contribution to the work of Central Council.

  10. Bell Restoration Fund

    1. Trustees’ Report and Accounts for 2012

      There were no comments on the Report and Accounts. Mike Bubb asked members to remind applicants that an application form was on the Guild website ( and to ensure their applications met the BRF Rules.

    2. Mike Bubb reported that the Trustees had met twice since the last AGM. At the meeting in November they received three applications for grants: Buriton for a general maintenance project costing £3,620 plus VAT; Hinton Admiral for a major restoration project costing £25,048; Minstead for augmentation to six by the addition of treble. The Trustees recommended grants of £400 to Buriton, £1,500 to Hinton Admiral and £2,000 to Minstead to the Executive Committee which were approved unanimously.

      At the meeting in March they received one application. This was from Northington for a repair and restoration project on the 3 historic bells. The Trustees had a preliminary discussion on the project and asked for further information. A provisional grant of £1,000 was recommended to the Executive Committee and approved.

      They received a late application from Tichborne which will be discussed in November. The quote they have seen is in two parts: £1,970 plus VAT for work on the bells and £5,993 plus VAT for work on the chiming apparatus. Any grant would only be given for the bell work and the Trustees were obtaining more information on the project.

      The Master reminded members that there was £64,000 available in the BRF for suitable restoration projects.

  11. Report on District Officers’ Forum held 23 March 2013

    The Master said that the forums were intended to give two delegates from each District an opportunity to meet together and with the Guild Officers. There were no minutes but a list of the topics discussed was available to anyone interested. Topics discussed could prompt proposals to the Executive Committee.

    Chris Boyce said there was a perception that the forums were just “talking shops” and there was no reason to attend. The Master replied that they were intended to enable the Districts to share ideas.

  12. Election of Officers for the next three years

    1. Guild Master

      There were two candidates: Michael Hopkins Till proposed by Mike Bubb and seconded by John Colliss, and Vivien Nobbs proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Mike Winterbourne. After nomination speeches by the proposers and a secret ballot, the Master declared that Viv Nobbs was elected and invested her with the Master’s Badge.

    2. Guild Vice-Master

      Christine Hill proposed by David Strong and seconded by Tony Smith.

    3. Honorary General Secretary

      Maureen Routh proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Clare Griffiths.

    4. Honorary General Treasurer

      Mike Bubb proposed by Barry Fry and seconded by Clare Griffiths.

    5. Minute Secretary

      Tony Smith proposed by Maureen Routh and seconded by Mike Bubb.

    6. Honorary Librarian and Archivist

      Bruce Purvis proposed by Mike Hopkins Till and seconded by Jen Churchill.

    7. Honorary Peal Recorder

      Edd Colliss proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Mark Esbester.

    8. Honorary Report Editor

      John Palk proposed by Mike Bubb and seconded by Anne Fraser.

    9. Child Protection Officer

      John Davey proposed by Mark Esbester and seconded by Michael Church.

    10. Public Relations Officer

      There were no nominations.

    11. BRF Trustees

      Malcolm Powell proposed as the Portsmouth Diocese Trustee by Barry Fry and seconded by Clare Griffiths.

      Barry Fry proposed as the Winchester Diocese Trustee by Clare Griffiths and seconded by Mike Bubb.

    12. Central Council Representatives (for the triennium commencing on 26 May 2014)

      Michael Church proposed by Mark Esbester seconded by Mike Bubb, Peter Niblett proposed by John Colliss seconded by Mark Esbester, Viv Nobbs proposed by Charlotte Colliss seconded by Maureen Routh, Tony Smith proposed by Andrew Case seconded by Charlotte Colliss. There was one vacancy.

    13. Independent Examiner

      Peter Clarke proposed by Mike Bubb and seconded by Anne Fraser.

  13. Election of Committees for the next two years

    1. There were no nominations for the BRF Fund Raising Committee

    2. Jenny Brudenell was proposed for the Social Committee by Viv Nobbs and seconded by Mary Tester

  14. Striking Competitions 2014

    1. Peter Niblett advised the dates of the 2014 Striking Competitions:

      Inter-Tower 6 & 8-Bell Competitions on Saturday 17 May 2014;
      Inter-District 8-Bell Competition on Saturday 5 July 2014 in the Andover District.

    2. Graham Grant had designed and constructed a wooden plaque as the new 8-Bell Inter-District Striking Competition Trophy, the only expense to the Guild being £136 for brass-work and engraving.

      The new Hon. General Secretary would write a letter of thanks to Graham.

  15. Central Council Meeting 2016

    1. Tony Smith reminded the meeting that three years ago the Central Council accepted an invitation from the Guild to hold the 2016 annual meeting in the Guild’s area. The initial arrangements had been made by a small group consisting of Mike and Lucy Hopkins Till, Charlotte Colliss, Mo Routh, and Tessa & Tony Smith. The Council had previously met in Winchester, Bournemouth and Southampton and they thought that Portsmouth would make an excellent centre with three distinctive rings of bells, plenty of accommodation, lots of visitor attractions and good transport links to the Isle of Wight for a possible tower tour with a difference. It was surprisingly difficult to find a suitable headquarters hotel as not many could accommodate 250 people at a meeting and 200 guests at a dinner. However the Royal Beach Hotel at Southsea met all the requirements and had been booked. Although the meeting was still nearly three years away, and many of the arrangements for a Council meeting are made in the preceding two years, they would soon be meeting with Ian Carey, the Portsmouth Cathedral Tower Captain, to discuss events to be held in the Cathedral and get them in the Cathedral diary. They would also be approaching a few more people to form a core organising team and would need to recruit many other volunteers as the meeting approaches. They would use a variety of electronic media to keep the Guild informed.

    2. To coincide with the Central Council visit The Ringing World Calendar 2016 will feature Guild towers. John Davey, Roy LeMarechal and Rosalind Martin have all expressed interest in taking photographs for the calendar.

  16. Guild Bell Badges

    The retiring Hon. General Secretary had purchased a new batch of 500 badges at £2 each. District Secretaries will be able to obtain stocks from the new Hon. General Secretary.

  17. Future Guild Events

    Inter-District 10-bell Striking Competition on 7 September 2013 at East Meon;
    Executive Committee Meeting on 16 November 2013 at St. Barnabas’ Church Hall, Southampton.

  18. Date and place of 2014 AGM

    This would be held on Saturday 5 July 2014 at Goodworth Clatford in the Andover District.

  19. Any other business

    1. Bruce Purvis offered copies of the Church Bells of the Channel Islands for sale at the special price of £5 each or five for £20. He sold eight copies and handed the remaining two copies in his possession to John David to serve as trade samples.

    2. Viv Nobbs thanked David Strong for all his work as Guild Master and David received a standing ovation.

There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting at 4 p.m.