1. Master’s welcome

    The Guild Master, Viv Nobbs, supported by Christine Hill, Vice-Master, Mo Routh, Hon. Gen. Secretary, Mike Bubb, Hon. General Treasurer, and Tony Smith, Minute Secretary, opened the meeting at 3.48 p.m. The Master welcomed all present and thanked the Andover District members for hosting the event and for the tea that would follow the meeting, the incumbents and tower captains for the use of their bells, Rev. Nicky Judd for taking the service and the organist. She said a short prayer to open the meeting.

  2. Striking Competition results

    Peter Niblett thanked Brian Woodruffe for judging the Inter-District 8-bell Striking Competition at Hurstbourne Priors that morning and the bands for taking part. Brian had left a sealed envelope containing comments on the ringing and the following results.

    Place District Method Faults Drawn
    1stChristchurch & SouthamptonGrandsire Triples245th
    2ndPortsmouthGrandsire Triples261st
    3rdWinchesterCambridge Surprise Major272nd
    4thAlton & PetersfieldGrandsire Triples543rd
    5thChannel IslandsGrandsire Triples634th

    The Master presented the trophy and certificates to the team captains.

  3. The following 59 members signed the attendance book: Alex Pugh (Abbotts Ann), Lizzie Hough (Alverstoke), Alec Grey and Barbara Townsend (Andover), Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke), Ros Brandwood (Burghclere), Graham Nobbs (Carisbrooke), Marie Boniface, and Rachel & Andrew Byford (Catherington), Rosalind Martin (Christchurch), Gill & Robin Wilson (Hinton Admiral), Christine & Katie Hill, and Tony Smith (Hursley), Simon Lipscombe (Ecchinswell), Christine Knights-Whittome (Goodworth Clatford), Gill Gardiner, Maggie Hiller and Senna Smith (Kingsclere), Mary Sterry (Lyndhurst), Andy Ingram (Milford-on-Sea), Polly Osborne (Minstead), Keith Gillings (Monk Sherborne), Madeline King and Robin Winckworth (Petersfield), Ian Carey, Sarah Hutchinson and David Mattingley (Portsmouth Cathedral), Malcolm Powell (St. Agatha, Portsmouth), Elizabeth & John Davey (Ringwood), Jennifer Herriott (Romsey), Paul Miller, Viv Nobbs and Jill Taylor (Ryde), Stephen Rossiter (St. Anne, Alderney), Justin Read (St. John, Jersey), Peter Routier (St. Mark, Jersey), Brian Oakes (St. Mary Bourne), Jane le Conte and Tim Wainwright (St. Peter Port, Guernsey), Mary Tester (Shorwell), Colin Butler, Barry Fry, Daniel Graham and Kristian Scudamore (Southampton), Maureen & Hugh Routh (Steep), Charlotte & Edd Colliss (Swanmore), Michael Bubb (Vale), Peter Niblett (Whitchurch), Simon King (Wickham), John Colliss and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral) and Joyce & John Croft (unattached).

    Apologies for absence had been received from Judy & Andy Sparling (St. Lawrence, Alton), Toby & Kathy Arkless (Bramshott), Jenny Brudenell (Brighstone), Valerie Williams (East Meon), Ruth & Derek Jackson (Eling), Charlotte Lloyd (Froxfield), Faith Webster (Hordle), Rosemary Oakeshott and John Palk (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Susan Clutterbuck (Mottisfont), Elizabeth & Andrew Johnson (New Alresford), Nigel Herriott (Romsey), Liz Thornton and Chris Caryer (St. Mary Bourne), Michael Church (Upton Grey) and Clare Griffiths (compounding). Further apologies were received from Graham Wright (Bishopstoke), Peter Willis (Ellisfield), the Headbourne Worthy band, Helen Piper (Kingsclere), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), the King’s Worthy band, Eve Lind-Smith, Chris Smith, and Helen & Roger Thomas (St. Mary Bourne), Hugh Hill (Winchester College), Gerry Cornick (Wonston) and the Vectis Youths (taking part in the Ringing World National Youth Contest at Worcester).

  4. Loss of Members from death since the 2013 AGM

    The meeting stood to remember: Paul Arditti (St. Anne, Alderney), Pam Bridger (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Rex Corke (LM) (Lymington), Stephen Haynes (Ryde), Leonard Perrins (LM) (Ringwood), David Strong (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Anne Tripp (Abbotts Ann), Ann Wheeler (St. Anne, Alderney), Jack Worrall (LM) (St. Mark, Jersey). Barry Fry said a prayer.

  5. Minutes of the 2013 AGM

    The minutes of the 2013 AGM at St. John, Jersey, were adopted on the proposition of the Minute Secretary, seconded by John Davey, and signed by the Master as a true record.

  6. Matters arising

    There were no matters arising.

  7. Election of BRF Trustee to represent the Portsmouth Diocese

    The Master thanked Malcolm Powell, who had resigned as BRF Trustee for the Portsmouth Diocese, for his work over the past two years. David Mattingley was proposed by Malcolm Powell and seconded by Charlotte Colliss, and Andrew Ramsey was proposed by Simon King and seconded by Mo Routh. David Mattingley was elected on a show of hands.

  8. Confirmation of elections by the Executive Committee to the offices of Public Relations Officer and Central Council Representative

    At its meetings in November and March the Executive Committee had elected Rosalind Martin to temporarily fill vacancies as Public Relations Officer and Central Council Representative respectively. The Master proposed these elections should be confirmed. There were no other nominations.

  9. Life Membership

    Colin Butler of Southampton and Faith Webster of Hordle had completed fifty years’ ringing membership of the Guild. The Master presented Colin with his Life Membership certificate and Faith’s certificate was taken by John Davey.

  10. Officers’ and Committee Reports for 2013

    The Hon. Gen. Treasurer tabled corrected accounts. There were no comments on the reports which were adopted en bloc.

  11. Report of 2014 Central Council Meeting

    Rosalind Martin drew attention to the 27 June 2014 issue of The Ringing World which contained the Editor’s overview of the Central Council weekend in Bearsted, near Maidstone (the minutes of the Central Council meeting would be published in due course) and gave impressions of her first meeting.

  12. Bell Restoration Fund

    1. Trustees’ Report and Accounts for 2013

      The Hon. Gen. Treasurer tabled corrected accounts. There were no comments on the Report and Accounts.

    2. Grant proposals

      The Hon. Gen. Treasurer reported that the Trustees had met three times since the last AGM. At the meeting in November there was an outstanding grant to Northington of £1,000 towards a total cost of £10,565 and a new grant application from Tichborne for work on the frame and fittings, to improve the ease of ringing, which had been completed at a total cost of £9,416. The Trustees recommended a grant of £1,000 to the Executive Committee which was approved unanimously.

      No applications were received at the March meeting.

      At the meeting earlier today they received a grant application from Monk Sherborne for work including removing cast-in crown staples, replacing elm headstocks, frame work, new fittings and retuning four of the bells to better match the ancient third bell, at a total cost of £28,711. The fund-raising was close to achieving its target and the Trustees recommended a grant of up to £3,000 to cover the balance. This was proposed by the Hon. Gen. Treasurer, seconded by John Davey and confirmed. Keith Gillings thanked the Guild and said that they would only call on the grant as necessary.

      The Hon. Gen. Treasurer advised there was an application in the pipeline from All Saints, Basingstoke, for their augmentation from 9 to 10.

  13. Future plans for the Guild

    The Master read a paper (see Appendix).

    Phil Watts asked whether the Diocese of Winchester Mission Action Plans for parishes had been considered.

  14. Financial review interim report

    The Hon. Gen. Treasurer said at the March Executive Committee meeting he had been asked by the Master to review the Guild finances and Graham Nobbs was co-opted to help him. Both he and Graham are Chartered Accountants. A meeting of himself, the Master and five of the District Treasurers was held at St. Barnabas Church, Southampton, on 31 May 2014. Most of the Districts didn’t think funds were a problem. The major problem was the availability of volunteers to take on the various tasks. Central Fund expenditure was also considered including the possibility reducing the costs of Public Liability Insurance and the Annual Report. This was a fact-finding meeting and the next step will be to find out from members what they require from the Guild. In due course a final report will be presented to the Executive Committee and the AGM.

    Christine Knights-Whittome said the Education Committee did not budget to make a profit on their course fees but the charge for ITTS courses typically included £7 Guild expenses plus £10 for ART making £17. Since April ART had been asking for £15 and this could rise in the future. Could the Guild consider subsidising the fees for ITTS courses? John Davey asked why we were paying money to ART and Andy Ingram explained it was to cover ART expenses and described the benefits that were received by attendees.

  15. Proposed change to rule 8 Subscriptions

    Tony Smith proposed and the Hon. Gen. Treasurer seconded on behalf of the Executive Committee that rule 8 Subscriptions should be sub-divided and 8.b and 8.e amended by deleting the words struck through and inserting the words underlined.

    1. Subscriptions fall due upon election and subsequently upon 1st January each year. A member who fails to pay his subscription for the current year by 30th June shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the Guild.

    2. A proportion of each subscription shall be allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund one or more ringing-related charities. The amount of the subscription and proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund each ringing-related charity for each class of membership shall be determined from time to time at the Annual General Meeting of the Guild, or at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose, and published in the Guild’s annual report.

    3. 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. Life members are not required to pay a subscription. The subscription paid by a probationary member will form part of their subscription as a ringing member if elected as such during the same calendar year.

    4. A member, other than a probationary member, leaving the two diocese may transfer to compounding membership without further payment on application to their District Secretary.

    5. Any increase in subscription or alteration in the proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund each ringing-related charity shall take effect immediately following the meeting at which it was made.

    Tony Smith said that ringers had been very successful in raising money for restoring bells and now also needed to raise money for recruiting and training ringers. This was an enabling motion that by itself would not change anything but would allow a future AGM to allocate a proportion of the subscription to a ringing-related charity such as the Ringing Foundation or the Association of Ringing Teachers. In answer to a question from Barbara Townsend, Tony said that it would be for the AGM to decide on any future reallocation of subscriptions. The motion was passed by a large majority.

  16. Proposed change to the proportion of subscriptions to ringing related charities

    The Master said that following discussion, the senior officers thought it would be in the Guild’s best interests for the motion, that instead of £4.00 of each subscription, other than from Probationary Members, being allocated to the BRF, £3.00 should be allocated to the BRF and £1.00 to the Ringing Foundation, be withdrawn at this time to allow further consideration of the best ways of supporting the future development of ringing. There were no objections and the meeting agreed.

  17. Future Guild Events

    4 October 2014 District Officers’ Forum Littleton Memorial Hall
    15 November 2014Executive Committee MeetingSt. Barnabas’ Church Hall, Southampton
    May 2016Central Council meetingPortsmouth
  18. Date and place of 2015 AGM

    This would be held on Saturday 4 July 2015 in the Portsmouth District and likely to be at Curdridge. A proposal to change the date to 20 June 2015 to avoid clashing with the Ringing World National Youth Contest was no longer necessary as the RWNYC would now be held on 11 July 2015.

  19. Any other business

    1. Phil Watts said following the serious fire at St. Peter’s Church, Ropley, on 19 June 2014 the church was under the jurisdiction of Ecclesiastical Insurance and the bells would not be inspected until the loss adjusters had completed their work.

    2. Jenny Brudenell had resigned as Social Committee convenor.

    3. Nigel Herriott had resigned from the Striking Competition Committee. Peter Niblett thanked Nigel for all his work and asked for volunteers to be co-opted to the committee. [Post-meeting note. Daniel Graham and Simon Lipscombe were co-opted.]

    4. The Master invited Dan Graham to speak about the proposed Guild Young Ringers’ Striking Competition. Dan said the idea was a possibly annual event with a difference, designed to appeal to young ringers. The Southampton University Guild has volunteered to organise the first event towards the end of the year.

    5. Mike Bubb said that the Bishop of Dover had been given episcopal oversight of the Channel Islands, which remain annexed to the Diocese of Winchester by virtue of the Laws of The Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, and that the Archbishop of Canterbury had set up a commission to look at the relationship between the Anglican Church in the Channel Islands and the Diocese of Winchester.

    6. The Hon. Gen. Secretary said that Mark Esbester would be attending the November Executive Committee meeting to make a draw for the W&P 200 Club but wanted to give up its organisation and would like to hear from anyone interested in taking over.

    7. In answer to a question from Jenny Herriott, Andy Ingram said there were several ITTS teachers being trained in the Guild.

    8. The Master said the next Mid-Monthly Meeting would be on 16 July 2014 in the Andover area.

    9. John Davey invited anyone interested in seeing the photographs from which would be chosen those for The Ringing World Calendar 2016 to see him afterwards.

    10. Andy Ingram appealed for more helpers for the “Raising and Lowering in Peal” course on 11 October 2014 at Lockerley.

    11. Rosalind Martin said that the quarter peal rung on 22 June 2014 at Winchester Cathedral before the Hampshire County Service to mark the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War had been good for public relations.

There being no further business, the Master closed the meeting at 5.07 p.m.


Future Plans.

After considering a good deal of feedback from a variety of sources, including our own reviews - initially in the areas of Finances, Communications and Education - we have it in mind to focus on offering assistance where it is most likely to be needed, at local level. Many towers are well advanced in a number of areas of work but others are reporting that help is needed and sought. Some church incumbents are registering interest for ringing related assistance, such as local ringing courses and more effective communication from their own band.

Areas where the Guild might well be able to offer support:

We see that to help support all of these initiatives, we will need a strong communication network. The Communications committee, with the Principal Officers, is actively reviewing particularly the Guild’s website and membership communications.

So, all of these thoughts and ideas are up for discussion - we will be actively seeking specific ideas and requests from members. We would like you to include details of what you’d expect of the Guild’s website and how you’d like to see it presented and so on.

Please contact us via the various Guild communication channels. Please discuss at towers and Districts with a view to giving specific requests to your Executive Committee representatives for the November meeting.