A move was then made to the light and airy hail (and comfortable chairs) of the Whitchurch Centre, where the usual business was conducted. Of particular note (as usual) was the report of the Central Council’s somewhat chaotic weekend from Geoff Dodd - the only speaker to receive an ovation both before and after his report! It was announced that the Guild Bell Restoration Fund had now reached £1,226. Grants of £50 to Sherfield-on-Loddon towards the cost of rehanging and tuning and £25 to Tangley towards a general overhaul left the Fund still well intact. General pleasure with the size of the Fund was tempered by the views, of some that it could still do with much enlargement.
Details of the Guild’s first Day Ringing Course, to be held at Eastleigh on October 5, were given. An interesting and helpful theoretical and practical programme has been arranged by Ted Colley and his keen committee and it is hoped for a large attendance. The Guild’s forthcoming centenary was discussed and various ideas were aired. Although the Central Council has been invited to Hampshire in 1980, this was not to the liking of some, who thought 1979 better, as the Guild had been founded in June 1879. One member pointed out that if the Central Council would meet over the August Bank Holiday weekend the difficulty would be solved, as the Guild would by then be 100 years old!
THE NUMBER OF SPOTS!
An adjournment was then made to another room, where the best ringers’ tea many could remember was laid on by Ken Foulds and his helpers. A dalmatian dog was produced by Philip Murduck and for 10p everyone had three chances to guess the number of spots. No-one was right but Jeffrey Hill came very near and won a bottle of sherry. Proceeds went to the Bell Restoration Fund. The usual thanks were given for all the excellent arrangements. The new Guild badge was on sale before and after tea and a large number were sold, just managing to keep the Central Fund from bankruptcy!
The election of officers for the next triennial period occupied most of the resumed meeting. The results were: Master, Roger Savory; General Secretary, Richard Green; Treasurer, Ken Croft; Peal Recorder, Barry Fry; Librarian, Maurice Butler; Report Editor, Graham Nabb; Auditor, Lester Bailey; Central Council Representatives: Geoff Dodd, Bill Perrins, Ken Croft and Richard Green; additional Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund: Fred Collins (Winchester Diocese) and Ted Colley (Portsmouth Diocese).
Following the re-election of Mr. Savory as Master after a vote, Mr. Collins, who had temporarily taken over the chair, delivered his rehearsed speech word-perfectly. Some wondered what speech he would have made had the voting gone the other way! Derek Jackson was very sincerely thanked for his excellent work during the last three years as general secretary. As many said, he has been the best general secretary for a very long time. Dan Matkin was equally well thanked for his good and meticulous work over many years as peal recorder. The successors of both will have to work very hard to equal them.
After one or two other items, the meeting was closed and many members went off to ring at the towers open. Several also went to check - with enthusiasm for their task - the accuracy of the Good Beer Guide. Perhaps a Good Curry Guide would be equally appropriate for occasions such as this?
The address of the new General Secretary is High Ridge, Curdridge, Southampton, SO3 2BD. Telephone No.: Botley 2466.
The Ringing World No. 3300, July 26, 1974, page 608