SOME 80 members and visitors attended the annual meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild, held at Whitchurch, on July 2nd. Ringing, commenced at 8.30 a.m. at East Woodhay, some of the long distance visitors having camped out in the locality during the previous night in order to get a good bag of the 19 towers made available during the day.
The general meeting was held at 2.30 p.m. in the Church Hall, Whitchurch, the Master, Mr. F. W. Rogers, taking the chair, supported by the general secretary (Mr. R. R. Savory) and the general treasurer (Mrs. T. Chapman). Following the Master's welcome, the meeting stood in silent tribute to two members lost by death: Messrs. G. Bunday and W. C. Lampard.
The minutes of the last general meeting were confirmed, and this was followed by the presentation and acceptance of the accounts and balance sheets.
The general secretary announced that during the last year two of the Guild's Central Council representatives had resigned their offices, and the Executive Committee had filled the vacancies with the election of Messrs. A. V. Davis and J. Hartless.
In the absence of the honorary peal recorder (Mr. D. T. Matkin) his report was read by the general secretary. During the year 10 members had rung their first peal. Although the peal total for the year was rather small, viz. 37 tower-bell and two handbell peals, there had been quite a variety of methods. Conducting had been shared between 17 conductors, and three "firsts for the Guild," viz. Winchester Bob Major, Oxford Treble Bob Royal and Spliced Plain and Kent Royal, had been scored, all conducted by the general secretary.
Mr. A. V. Davis gave a very thorough and lucid report of the Central Council meeting. The only comment arising from this report was from Mr. C. H. Kippin, who expressed the opinion that "the Central Council must be daft to recognise a 4-bell peal and not a 9-bell peal"! (Laughter.)
The Rev. K. W. H. Felstead presented the librarian's report, commenting that the library was not used as much as it could be. Members now had an up-to-date list of books contained in the library printed in the back of their triennial reports, and he hoped that more members would use the library in future.
A proposal was forwarded by Mr. G. K. Dodd for alteration of the Guild's rule regarding peal booking fees. Mr. Dodd expressed the opinion that this vexed question of non-resident members paying peal booking fees, which in fact went towards the printing of peals in the Guild's triennial report, could be relieved by making the fee optional. If ringers from outside the Guild did not want their peal printed in the Guild's report, Mr. Dodd felt that they should be allowed to forgo the payment of their "sixpence per rope."
Considerable discussion followed. Mr. A. V. Davis and Mr. C. H. Kippin speaking against the alteration of the Guild rules. Mr. Kippin stated that last year members had not been in favour of an annual subscription increase, and the 6d. peal fee was part of the solution to the ever growing problem of printing a Guild report. Members had decided then what they wanted in the way of a report. A good triennial report had just been produced, into which a lot of hard work had gone, and Mr. Kippin urged members to keep the report in its current form.
Mr. Dodd then stated that his main objection to the ruling had been the inability of non-resident members to even purchase a report which they may have helped to subsidise by way of peal fees. The Guild Executive Committee had, however, assured Mr. Dodd that surplus copies of the report were available to people outside the Guild at cost price. In view of this decision Mr. Dodd withdrew his motion.
The general secretary announced a request he had received from the Florence Nightingale Memorial Committee for peals to be rung to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Florence Nightingale. She was a Hampshire woman and is buried at Wellow, near Romsey. A memorial service is to be held at St. Mary's Church, Southampton, on August 14th, in connection with the dedication of a Memorial Chapel at Southampton General Hospital. Any peals rung to mark the occasion, the general secretary stated, should be forwarded to him, so that they could be contained as one item in "The Ringing World. "
The place and date of the 1961 annual general meeting was then discussed and upon the proposition of Mr. L. Bailey, it was agreed to go to Newport and Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, on July 1st, 1961.
Two new life members were elected at the meeting: Mr. E. V. Lowten, of Alton, and Mr. E. Lampard, of Winchester.
Before closing the meeting the Master thanked all those who had helped to make this such a successful meeting, particularly Mr. G. K. Dodd and Mr. A. W. Alliston. Mrs. Kippin then proposed a vote of thanks to all the Officers of the Guild for their work during the past year.
The meeting was followed by the annual service, held in All Hallows' Church, conducted by a Guild member, Rev. P. K. Venner, of Abbot's Ann.
Following an excellent tea prepared by wives of members of the Whitchurch band, ringing was resumed at Whitchurch, Overton, Laverstoke, Deane and Kingsclere until 8.45 p.m. by which time even our visitor, A.P.C., had decided that it was time to turn his attention to Kingsclere's "White Hart" and a session with the handbells to end a very successful day.
R. R. S.
The Ringing World No. 2570, July 22, 1960, page 497