More than ordinary interest was attached to the annual meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild at Bournemouth on July 6th, when the Basingstoke "peal" figured prominently on the agenda. The Guild decide to record it as a "miscellaneous performance," but to press for an amendment of Central Council rules.
The meeting was held in St. Peter's Hall, presided over by the Master (Mr. G. Williams), supported by the hon. general secretary (Mr. F. W. Rogers), hon. treasurer (Mr. W. Linter) and the Vicar of St. Peter's. Apologies were received for non-attendance from several members,
In presenting the accounts, the treasurer thanked the various districts for their support during the year, but made comment on the fact that Rule 13 should he amended in the light of present-day conditions to allow district secretaries to make their full quota to the central fund. It was unanimously decided to instruct a sub-committee to enquire into the form of amendment to be proposed.
The Guild officers were re-elected en bloc, viz.: Master, Mr. G. Williams; hon secretary, Mr. F. W Rogers; hon. treasurer, Mr. W. Winter; peals recorder, Mr. A. V. Davis; hon. auditor, Mr. W. Smith.
An addition to Rule 6, paragraph 3, specifically defining the position of non-resident ringers attached to affiliated towers, was proposed by Mr. A. V. Davis, and after some discussion was agreed upon by 21 votes to three.
It was agreed, on the recommendation of the two districts concerned, to transfer the tower of Buriton from the Portsmouth District to the Alton and Petersfield District.
Mr. G. Pullinger gave a report on the meeting of the Central Council at Norwich and touched on the points which concerned members. Arising from this report was the question of how the "peal" of Caters rung on nine bells at Basingstoke was to be dealt with, seeing that the Council had rejected it as a peal. Mr. Pullinger moved that the "peal" be printed in the next annual report as a "miscellaneous performance" with a footnote explaining the position.
Mr. C. Kippin (conductor of the "peal") agreed that as the Council would not recognise it the Guild could not do so, because they would be breaking their own rule. The motion was carried unanimously.
A resolution concerning rules of the Central Council, sent by post to the general secretary from the Rev. K. W. H. Felstead (a member of the Council), found no seconder, because members felt that it cut across the well-established principles of the Exercise.
Mr. C. H. Kippin proposed that "The Guild, having pledged itself to abide by the rules and decisions of the Council, has no option but to recognise the decision of the Council in refusing to admit the Basingstoke 'peal.' It feels, however, that to recognise peals on five and seven bells without a cover, even to the extent of recognising a five-bell peal in a 12-bell tower, yet not to admit a nine-bell peal in a nine-bell tower, is unjust and inequitable. The Guild feels that if the Council expects to command respect of its rulings, the rules should be recognised, or none at all."
Mr. J. Hill (Andover) seconded and considerable discussion took place. The Master pointed out that this resolution raised big issues and there was not time that day to go into the question thoroughly.
Mr. W. Cheater (Ringwood) moved an amendment "That this matter be left to the Executive Committee to go into the question to draw up proposed alterations to rules of Central Council, and to instruct their representatives to bring this before the next meeting of the Council." This was seconded by Mr. R. Reed (Bishopstoke).
Mr. Kippin withdrew his motion and the amendment was carried nem con.
It was decided to hold the next annual meeting at Newport, Isle of Wight, on Saturday, July 5th, 1947.
A grant of 5 guineas was approved to the scheme for the restoration of Tichborne bells.
A scheme for a proposed annual dinner at Bournemouth in the autumn was placed before the meeting by Mr. A. V. Davis. He said that he had been approached on the matter, and provided the Guild would give the project its approval, he would go ahead with the arrangements. The committee of the Salisbury Guild were in favour and no financial responsibility would fall on either Guild, because the dinner ticket would cover all expenses. A local committee would be formed, with representatives from both Guilds. It was unanimously agreed that the Guild would support Mr. Davis in the venture.
Votes of thanks were accorded the incumbents for the use of the various peals of bells during the day and to all concerned who had assisted, particularly to Mr. Davis.
The Guild service was held in St. Peter's Church, after which tea was served in St. Peter's Hall. The bells of St. Peter's and St. John's as well as the ring of twelve at Christchurch were available, and many took advantage of the opportunity to have a pull on these excellent bells.
The Ringing World No. 1844, July 26th, 1946, page 348