1977 Annual General Meeting

The 1977 Annual General Meeting was held in the Priory Hall Christchurch on Saturday 2 July commencing at 2.30 pm. The Master, Mr R R Savory, was in the chair supported by the Hon. General Secretary, Mr B J Fry, and the Hon General Treasurer, Mr K S B Croft. The Master opened the meeting by welcoming new members and friends present. Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Mr C E Bassett, Mr M Bubb and the Guernsey ringers, Mrs I McCallion, Mr M Palmer, Mr L Bailey, Mr M J Butler, Mr D Hughes, Messrs K & R Tipper, Mr D Wilson, Mr & Mrs H Mitchell, Mrs G Cater, Mr P Murduck. Mr & Mrs Bert Mitchell having recently been involved in a road traffic accident and still in hospital, the Secretary agreed to write sending the best wishes of the meeting to them for a speedy recovery. The following members had died since the last meeting: Harry Balaam (Basingstoke), Walter Mulford (Goodworth Clatford), Gerald Scragg (Christchurch), Mrs Brenda Jordan (Bitterne Park), Fred Davies (Kings Somborne), Albert Green (Woolton Hill), Dr D Cecil Williams (St Mary’s, Southampton). The meeting stood in silence as a token of respect.

The minutes of the 1976 Annual General Meeting had been circulated previously, and with two minor amendments they were agreed to be a correct record of the meeting. There were no matters arising. Correspondence the Secretary had written to Canon M Manktelow of Harrogate on his appointment as the new Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke, and to Canon F C Carpenter of Portsmouth Cathedral upon his appointment as Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, inviting them to become Vice-Presidents of the Guild, and he read their several replies accepting the invitations. The Secretary had also written to the existing Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, Ven. Scruby, who was to become Archdeacon of Portsmouth, and read his reply. The secretary had sent the best wishes of the Guild to Rt. Rev. Colin James on his translation to the See of Wakefield and read the Bishop’s reply. The Master had written to the Bishop of Winchester expressing the Guild’s sympathy upon his sudden very serious detracted eye retina, and the Secretary read a letter of thanks from Mrs Taylor.

The Treasurer reported that he had supplied information about the Guild and the Bell Restoration Fund to the Victoria and Albert Museum for use in their exhibition “Change and Decay”. The Executive Committee had appointed Mr W S Croft to represent the Guild at the 1977 Central Council Meeting in place of Mr Nabb who had resigned. As Mr W S Croft had discharged this duty at the last meeting of the present Council, there was no need for the election to be ratified by the meeting and had been placed on the agenda by way of information. The General Secretary’s Report had been published in the Annual Report and was accepted on a proposition of Mr J P Colliss, seconded by Mr J Launderbury. The General Treasurer’s Report and the Accounts had also been printed in the 1976 Annual Report and Mr Croft drew attention that 1976 was the last year when the Guild’s Central Income was derived from the old subscription rate. Cmdr. W Harris remarked that the Central Officers’ claimed expenses were ridiculously low and it must be obvious that the officers were subsidizing the Guild out of their own pockets, and he hoped that they would put in for more realistic reimbursement. The Treasurer’s Report was accepted nem con upon a proposition by the Rev R A Southwood seconded Mr J Chesterman.

The Hon. Peal Recorder’s Report for 1976 had been printed in the Annual Report, and Mr Fry drew attention to several points from the report and a couple of printing errors and omissions. The report was accepted nem con on a proposition of Mr J P Colliss, seconded by Rev. P Robbins. In the absence of the Hon. Librarian, Mr M J Butler, the Secretary read his report and this was accepted upon a proposition of Mr F E Collins and seconded by Mr J Chesterman.

Striking Competitions - The Report of the outgoing Committee regarding the 1976 competitions had been printed in the Annual Report. With regard to the 1977 competitions, Mr J Hartless reported on the 6 bell competition held at Lockerley on 21 May when ten teams had competed, Eling being the winners. Rev Roger Keeley, Master of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild had been judge. The 8 bell and Inter District Competitions would be held at Bishop’s Waltham on 22 October when the judge would be Mr A P Cannon. The committee would welcome any helpful suggestions for future competitions.

Guild Course - Mr J P Colliss gave details of the Ringing School to be held at Fareham Park School on 1 October, and of the arrangements made. Application forms were being made available through District Secretaries.

Report on the 1977 Central Council Meeting - Mr W S Croft gave a very full and humorous report of the meeting in Derby. This was accepted with spontaneous applause from the meeting.

Redundant Bells - Mr Fry gave details of the relationships he was developing with both Diocesan authorities, and of the present position regarding bells in redundant Churches. As a result of regular contacts with the Winchester Diocese, members had assisted in the removal of the Clock bells from the Holy Trinity Church, Bournemouth. The hour bell had been broken up in situ by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and the net proceeds of sale of the metal, some £900, had gone to the Diocese, leaving the four quarter bells intended for augmentation work in the Diocese. These four bells were at present in store at St Michael’s Church Southampton, having been moved there by various members under the supervision of Mr M K Waldron, whose lorry had been used for this purpose. It was intended that the large bells be recast to provide metal for two new trebles at Eling, and the other bells may possibly be used to augment the bells at Minstead to five. All this had only been possible by the encouragement and willing support of many members, and it was hoped that this type of work and help to the Diocese will develop in the future. Mr Fry asked members for help by monitoring the situation in their own localities, and advise him of any redundancies, etc. at the earliest possible stage.

Report of the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund - The accounts of the Fund had been printed in the Annual Report and Mr K S B Croft drew the attention of the members to various points. The list of towers giving donations was incorrect in that Milford-on-Sea should be inserted in place on Lymington. He thanked, in particular, those members who covenanted their donations, and all members in maintaining an income of approximately £1 per member per annum. A coffee morning at Ringwood held by Mr & Mrs F E Collins had raised a very handsome sum, as had a sponsored peal at Nether Wallop, and the Portsmouth District had been very active socially in aid of the fund. The trustees had invested a further £1000 with the City of Southampton in a 2 year bond yielding 13% per annum interest. There followed open discussion regarding the fund in which most speakers supported the prudent policy being adopted by the Trustees.

Requests for Grants from the Bell Restoration Fund - Mr F E Collins gave details of the one request that had been received which had come from Petersfield where the two trebles were to be recast. The Trustees recommended a grant of £200 and he proposed that the meeting authorize this grant. This was seconded by Mr J Colman and carried nem con.

Guild Dinner - The Master reported that the 1977 Dinner had run at a loss owing to the lower numbers attending, and in view of this drop in support he wondered if it was worthwhile continuing this. Various people spoke in favour of having a less formal function, and on being put to the vote the majority were in favour of experimenting with this type of function. Mr D C Jackson proposed that a small sub-committee be formed to make some arrangements, and that Miss Charlotte Olding and Miss Christine Morton form this committee with power to co-opt as necessary. This was seconded by Mr R M Esbester and carried nem con. Mr R Le Marechal proposed that whatever function was arranged be held at about the same time of year as past dinners. Mr A Davis thanked Mr R R Savory and Mr D C Jackson for all their work arranging past dinners for our benefit.

Honorary Life Members - The Master was pleased to announce that Mr C Turner of Hambledon and Mr A Bone of Alton had both been members for 50 years and thus became Honorary Life Members in accordance with Rule 6.

Triennial Elections

(a) The Master. Mr Savory announced that he had very much enjoyed the past nine years as Master and his time as General Secretary before that. He would be away from time to time on business, and felt that it was now time for him to retire. He proposed that his successor as Master be Mr Kenneth S B Croft, who had put in so much work and enthusiasm as Treasurer. This was seconded by Mr F E Collins, and there being no other nominations, Mr Savory invested the new Master with the Badge of Office. Mr Croft invited Mr Savory to continue in the Chair for the remainder of the meeting. (b) The Hon General Secretary Mr Savory said that he had had a great deal of support and help from Mr Fry during the time he had been Secretary, and that it must be clear to members the great deal of work and effort the Secretary had put in on behalf of the Guild. He proposed that Mr Fry be re-elected as Secretary for what would prove a very arduous term with the Centenary Period and the envisaged visit of the Central Council coming up. Mr Fry’s nomination was seconded by Rev R A Southwood, and there being no other nomination he was declared elected. (c) Hon General Treasurer Mr John P Colliss was proposed as Treasurer by Mr B J Fry and this was seconded by Mrs J Kippin. There being no other nominations he was declared elected. Hon Peal Recorder Mr B J Fry said that he had very much enjoyed his term as Peal Recorder, and he nominated Mr R Le Marechal to succeed him in this office, and this was seconded by Mr J P Colliss. There being no other nominations he was declared elected. Hon Librarian - Mrs P Nabb was nominated by Mrs M Croft and seconded by Mrs A Esbester. There being no other nominations she was declared elected. The Secretary agreed to write to the retiring Librarian, Mr M J Butler to thank him for all his work in the office over the last few years. Hon Report Editor - Mr G Nabb was nominated by Mr F E Collins and seconded by Miss V C Ball. There being no other nominations he was declared elected and thanked for his past work. Appointment of Hon Auditor - Mr L Bailey was nominated by Mr R R Savory and seconded by Mr J Coleman. There being no other nominations he was declared appointed and thanked for his work in this capacity over the last few years. Central Council Representatives - Mr K S B Croft and Mr R R Savory were nominated by Mr G Nabb and seconded by Mr D C Jackson. Mr R Cater was nominated by Mrs J Kippin and seconded by Mr M K Waldron. Mr J Hartless was nominated by Mr F E Collins and seconded by Mr J Cadman. Mr G K Dodd was nominated, but wished to retire. Mr R M Esbester was nominated, but did not wish to stand for election. There being no other nominations, Messrs. Croft, Savory, Cater and Hartless were declared elected. Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund - Winchester Diocese - Mr F E Collins was nominated by Mr J Cadman and seconded by Mr G Nabb. There being no other nominations he was declared elected. Portsmouth Diocese Mr R M Esbester was nominated by Mr J Coleman and seconded by Mr G Nabb. There being no other nominations he was declared elected. Mr Savory thanked all the previous officers for their past support, and wished the newly elected officers well in the future.

Election of a Centenary Celebrations Committee to serve up to and through the Centenary period. Mr B J Fry proposed that the three Principal officers be members of the Committee, and this was seconded by Mr H Milford. Mr G K Dodd was nominated by Mr W S Croft and seconded by Mr B J Fry. Mrs J Kippin was nominated by Mr G Nabb and seconded by Mr J J Hill. Miss C Morton was nominated by Mr R R Savory and seconded by Mr G Nabb. Miss S Hartless was nominated by Mr D C Jackson and seconded by Mr R Jackson. Mr P Young was nominated by Mr P Miller and seconded by Miss V C Ball. The Committee was formed with the persons nominated with power to co-opt as necessary, and with the Hon General Secretary as Convenor.

Venues of the 1978 and 1979 Annual General Meetings - The Executive Committee proposed that the venues of these meetings as per the rota in Rule 5 be reversed in those years so that the Centenary meeting be held at Basingstoke where the Guild was founded, and that the 1978 meeting be on the Isle of Wight on 1 July 1978. This was agreed nem con

Any Other Business - Mr A A J Buswell gave details of the quarter peal cards he produces with the profits going to the Bell Restoration Fund. The Secretary read out details of a meeting of the Southern District of the Ladies Guild to be held within a few weeks. Miss V C Ball reported that Mr Walter J Scott, an Hon Life Member of Newport, had died in June. It was reported that Milford-on-Sea practice was now held on Mondays by arrangement only, and that Liss practice was now Tuesdays instead of Thursdays. There being no other business Mr Savory declared the meeting closed at 4.35 pm, and this was followed by the Guild Service in the Priory Church and tea in the Priory Hall.