IN spite of rather overcast weather in the morning, over 100 ringers gathered together at Ryde, Isle of Wight, on the occasion of the annual general meeting of the above Guild on July 7th.
The bells of Ryde itself were available, together with other churches on the island, and several ringers, equipped with their own means of transport, took the opportunity of making a tour of the island's towers.
The service was held at All Saints' Church, conducted by the Rev. R. H. Bassett, with the address by the Rural Dean of the Isle of Wight (Canon A. Cory). During tea a pleasant ceremony took place. The Archdeacon rose to say he had been pressed into service to make a presentation on behalf of the Guild to Mr. F. W. Rogers in appreciation of his (Mr. Rogers') 25 years' service as general secretary (1930-1955). The presentation took the form of a model bell, suitably inscribed, and mounted in a small frame. With this, the Rural Dean also presented Mr. Rogers with a pen and pencil set and a cheque for £7. Mr. Rogers was taken completely by surprise, but thanked the members for their gesture and said they "shouldn't have done it."
Shortly afterwards, the business part of the meeting commenced, with the Master (Mr. F. W. Rogers) in the chair, supported by the hon. general secretary (Mr. J. A. C. King) and the hon. general treasurer (Mr. R. A. Reed). A letter of apology for non-attendance was read out from Mr. G. Pullinger, vice-president, due to his wife's illness. He mentioned that this was only the second time he had missed a meeting since 1918.
The treasurer gave a broad outline of the accounts and balance sheets. He said the receipts from the Districts were a bit up. There was an increase in the year's working of £12 whilst the trading account showed a profit of £5 16s.
Mr. C. H. Kippin, one of the Guild's Central Council representatives, gave a brief and amusing account of the recent Central Council meeting.
All the officers were re-elected.
A recommendation by the Executive Committee that an addition to rule be made instructing the general treasurer to close his accounts on February 28th was accepted by the meeting. Another recommendation by the Executive Committee, that 20 per cent. of the surplus on a year's working be put into the Special Purposes Fund, was also accepted. It was also decided to accept, after modification, a proposition from the Andover District that all members who had given 50 years' membership to the Guild should automatically become life members without further payment.
Four appeals for financial assistance towards the cost of bell restorations were heard by the meeting. They came from Swanmore, Cheriton and North Stoneham - each of which was granted five guineas - and from Bow Bells, to which a token grant of one guinea was made.
It was decided to hold the 1957 annual meeting at Bournemouth on the first Saturday in July.
Mr. York-Bramble gave a brief description of a "College of Campanology" which, he said, had been founded at Portsmouth. A number of eminent ringers had been approached seeking their support, and anyone interested either as students or instructors were invited to communicate with the Registrar of Portsmouth University.
The Master then rose to propose a vote of thanks to Mr. Bailey and Mrs. Guy, who had helped in the local arrangements, to Canon A. Cory and the Vicar (Rev. R. H. Bassett) and other incumbents who had granted the use of their bells, to the Friends of St. John, for the catering arrangements, and to the organist; after which he declared the meeting closed.
The Ringing World No. 2364, July 20, 1956, page 457