The annual general meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild was held at Dumper's Restaurant, Winchester, on August 21st, at 3.15 p.m., the executive having met earlier.
The Master, Mr. George Williams, presided, and members were present from Alresford, Alton, Bishopstoke, Blackmoor, Bournemouth (St. Peter's and St. John's), Basingstoke, Christchurch, Fareham, Deane, King's Somborne, Micheldever, Newport (Isle of Wight), Portsmouth, North Stoneham, Southampton, Twyford, Wonston and Winchester.
Apologies were received from Canon Goodman, the Rev. N. C. Woods, Major Stilwell and Messrs. F. W. Rogers, F. S. Bayley, R. A. Reed, G. Smith and J. W. Faithfull.
Mr. Williams welcomed those present and said he was pleased to see so many.
Several letters had passed between the Dean of Winchester and the general secretary regarding the refusal to allow the members to ring the Cathedral bells that day. The committee recommended that no good purpose would be served by pursuing the matter.
The report and balance sheets for the year were presented, and, after several questions had been answered, were passed on the proposition of Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Stone.
The committee recommended that district secretaries should be left to do their best in their own districts. The Guild, as a whole, would do what it could to assist, but much depended on local circumstances.
Now that the ban has been lifted and some districts are able to hold meetings, the point arose as to whether the pre-war percentage payments from districts to general fund should be resumed. As the position varied considerably, it would probably be found that some districts might have a deficit balance. It was, therefore, considered by the committee best to carry on as at present until the next annual meeting, when the whole matter can be reviewed.
On the proposition of Mr. G. Preston seconded, by Mr. R. Brown, all the officers except the Recorder of Peals were re-elected. Mr. R. A. Reed wrote tendering his resignation as Recorder of Peals. Owing to military duties he was uncertain of his position in the future. Mr. Reed's resignation was accepted with regret, and the general hon. secretary was instructed to write and thank him for his services.
Mr. A. V. Davis was elected Recorder of Peals on the proposition of Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Reed.
On the proposition of Mr. G. Pullinger, seconded by Mr. Warner, it was decided to hold the next annual meeting at Winchester on the first Saturday in July, 1944, subject to the Cathedral bells being available for ringing. If not the meeting to be at Basingstoke.
Mr. A. W. Bishop and Miss E. Bishop, of Newport, Isle of Wight, were elected members.
The thanks of the meeting were voted to the Rev. - Watson for allowing the use of St. Maurice's bells. Some good Minor and Doubles were rung there during the afternoon and evening. Stedman Triples, Grandsire Caters and Grandsire Doubles were rung on handbells after tea. The joint report of the Master, Secretary and Treasurer contained the following items: "As will be seen from the balance sheet, the total income for the year has been £42 10s., made up as follows: 48 hon. members and 214 ordinary, £33 8s.; whilst donations, collection and interests brought in £9 2s., deducting working expenses as detailed in balance sheet of £26 18s. This sum includes £10 to 'The Ringing World' Fund (by auditor's authority), leaving us a credit balance of £15 12s. on the year's working.
"During the year we have lost several members by death, viz., Mr. J. S. Goldsmith, the talented Editor of 'The Ringing World'; Mr. F. Harding, sen., who was a district secretary from 1914 to 1924, previously he had acted for several years as assistant to Mr. J. W. Whiting. We have also to report the deaths of Mr. G. H. Coombes, of Ryde, Isle of Wight, and Mr. E. Clapshaw, of Farnham, Surrey, two oldest members of our Guild, Mr. Coombes having reached within three weeks of his hundredth birthday, and Mr. Clapshaw at the age of 98 years and five months. Both of these aged members had been loyal Sunday service ringers through the whole of their long ringing careers."
Thirteen peals were rung for the Guild in 1942, consisting of Grandsire Doubles 6, Grandsire Triples 6, and Plain Bob Minor 1.
The Ringing World No. 1693, September 3rd, 1943, page 391