MINUTES OF THE 1980 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD IN ST. LAWRENCE
CHURCH HALL, ALTON ON 5th JULY 1980
The Master, Mr. K.S.B. Croft, was in the chair, supported by the Hon. Gen. Secretary, Mr.B.J.Fry, and the Hon. Gen. Treasurer, Mr. J.P. Colliss. The Master opened the meeting at 2.18p.m. welcoming the members and friends present, and commencing with prayer. The Guild Office had preceded the meeting, and had been held in St. Lawrence Church.
Apologies for absence were received on behalf of G.K.Dodd, R.Savory, B.&H.Peachey, R.N.Lawrence, W.O.Haythorne, S.Castle, A.Davis, Rev. N.de Keyser, Miss R.Shearing, Mr.& Mrs.Webster, R. Downer, J.Frodsham, J.Dodd, Miss L.Pilip, Mrs. R.Lee, P.Matthews, I.Holdsworth.
The following members had died since the previous meeting, and the members stood in silence as a token of respect:-
Mrs. Alice Sullivan (née White), Rt. Rev. K.E.N.Lamplugh, Charles Denness, Ernest Dowling, William Goddon, Fred Barron (Alverstoke), Dr. J.Bruce Williamson (I.O.W.), Bernard Castle, Harold Blanchard, Archibald Aliston (Whitchurch), Arthur Bone (Alton).
The Secretary read the minutes of the Centenary Annual General Meeting held in Basingstoke on 7th July 1979, and it was agreed nem.con. that these were a full and accurate record of the previous meeting. Under matters arising, it was announced that the method originally rung as Superlative Minor Surprise Major had been renamed Old Superlative Surprise Major. The suggestion by the Central Council that Guilds and Association appoint a Publicity Office had been considered by the Executive Committee who had felt that we had no need for such an office at the present time. The meeting confirmed the appointment made by the Executive Committee of Mr. D.C.Jackson as a representative to the 1980 Central Council Meeting, in place of Mr. R.R.Savory who had resigned from the post due to his extended employment in North America.
The Hon. Gen. Secretary's report for the previous year had been printed in the Centenary Report, and was accepted nem. con.
The Hon. Gen. Treasurer's Report for 1979 together with the audited accounts had been printed in the Centenary Report and were accepted nem. con. Cmdr.W.Harris R.N. felt that expenses claimed by the officers should be more realistic since it was obvious from the accounts that the officers were subsidizing the expenses incurred in office from their own pockets, and that this factor might deter some from standing for the various offices concerned.
The Hon. Peal Recorder's Report for 1979 had been printed in the Centenary Year Report, and it was accepted nem. con., it being noted that the peals rung in the Alton and Petersfield District towers had been comprised of all district members.
The Hon. Librarian's Report and details of the Library Fund had been printed in the Centenary Report. The locks on the library bookcase had been renewed and air ventilation holes made in the side panels, this being the work of John Ingram of St. Mary's, Southampton, and it was agreed that a letter of thanks be sent to him. A detailed valuation of the books in the library had assessed the total replacement cost at £2650 (the most valuable volume being £300), with the handbells valued at £850. The insurance cover would accordingly need to be increased, and on a proposition of Mr. A.P.Smith, seconded by Mr. H.Milford, the principal officers were empowered to increase the insurance cover to a more appropriate level, and this was agreed nem. con. Mr. D.C. Jackson felt the Guild owed a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Nabb for the work she had put in to improve the state of the library.
The report of the Striking Competition Committee had been printed in the Centenary Report, and Miss S.J.Hartless read a rider on behalf of the Convenor, Mr. J.Hartless. There had been more support for the 8 bell competition in 1980 which was encouraging.
The report of the Guild Ringing School Committee had been omitted from the Centenary Report, and was read by the Convenor, Mr.R. Cater. A further course had been held at Eastleigh on 3rd May, and a course on conducting would be held in Basingstoke on 4th October. A series of evening lectures on ringing theory would be held on three Tuesday evenings in November at a location in Winchester. The Committee had now changed their title to Education Committee.
The report of the Central Council Visit 1980 committee had been printed in the Centenary Report and gave an outline of the events that had been arranged. Brochures of these events and the various tours organised had been sent to all Council members, with copies sent to Districts. 250 guests had attended the Reception at The Castle, Winchester. The raffle organised by Mr. D.C. Jackson had resulted in a gross profit of £559-80, and the net proceeds would be placed in the Guild's Reserve Account pending further consideration by the Executive Committee. The New Forest District Council, the licencing authority, required a certificate completed certifying the accounts of the draw, and it was agreed that the officers could complete this, on a proposition of Mr.H.Milford, seconded by Mr.F.E.Collins. Mr Jackson volunteered to organise a further draw in 1981 in aid of the Bell Restoration Fund, and Mr.F.E.Collins proposed that we accept this offer, and this was seconded by Mr.R.M. Esbester and agreed nem.con. It was agreed to renew the relevant New Forest District Council Licence. Cmdr.W. Harris R.N. proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Jackson for his work with the draw to meet costs of entertaining the Council.
Central Council Meeting 1980. Mr. D.C. Jackson gave a full account on the Council Meeting held at King Edward VI School when 177 Council Members had attended, just 4 short of the record attendance at previous meetings. The Guild had been the leading peal ringing society with 328 peals in 1979, these including 33 first pealers. Mr.F.E.Collins had been elected a Life Member of the Council. He gave details of the Reception at Winchester, and the open meeting held at Portsmouth. The financial situation of "The Ringing World" was then considered and its viability discussed, and this was assisted by an outline of the current situation given by Mr.C.Denyer, Editor of "The Ringing World", who was present at the meeting. The best way of ensuring the healthy future of the paper was to increase regular sales, but Mr. John Croft felt the Executive Committee should consider donating a monetary sum to the journal. Members were asked to consider points raised in the District Meetings and to bring them to the Executive Committee meeting in October.
The Report of the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund together with the accounts for 1979 had been printed in the Annual Report. The fund currently stood at £4802, with £497 having been received this year. Mr. P.Murduck felt that the Trustees might consider placing some of the liquid funds with the Diocesan Board of Finance of Winchester where a good rate of interest could be obtained to our mutual benefit. The trustees reported that the matter of investing liquid funds had been kept under constant review during the period of fluctuating interest rates that had been experienced in recent months. The report and accounts were accepted nem.con.
The Master, Mr. K.S.B. Croft, thanked all the officers for the work they had undertaken on behalf of the Guild together with all the members who had assisted over the Central Council visit held a few weeks beforehand.
Requests for grants from the Bell Restoration Fund. Mr. F.E.Collins on behalf of the Trustees, reported that three requests for assistance had been received for consideration. At Yateley the bells had been recast and were to be installed in a new frame lower in the tower once work in putting right the fire damage in the structure had been completed. On the estimates received it would seem that there would be a shortfall of some £6500 taking into account the insurance monies allocated following the fire. At Minstead the existing three bells had been tuned and rehung on new fittings, and two treble bells added to make a ring of five, this work costing approx. £6500. At Blackmoor certain remedial work had been undertaken to the frame and fittings at a cost of some £650. Bearing in mind various factors, the trustees proposed that grants of £400 each be made to Yateley and to Minstead, and £40 to Blackmoor, and this was seconded by Mr. P.Murduck. Mr.MK Waldron reported that foundry costs were currently rising by 18% per annum. There followed considerable discussion as to what percentage of the work ought to be given, and to what size of capital sum should be maintained in times of high inflation. Eventually Rev.P.T.Robins proposed that "Grants made be 10% of the net cost of the work to be done, £650 to Yateley, £650 to Minstead, and £65 to Blackmooor". This was seconded by Mr. J.J.Hill, but on being put to the vote was defeated. The trustees original proposition was then put to the vote and carried nem. con. The Treasurer, Mr. J.P.Colliss, commended covenanting to the fund to maintain a good annual income.
Guild Dinner. Members were asked whether they would wish to have a formal dinner again in 1981. The 1980 Dinner had broken even, thanks to interest received on ticket monies held for several months between sales and payment of the hotel bill. The 1980 Dinner held at The Southampton Park Hotel had once again been a very happy occasion, but costs were rising every year. Mr.L.Bailey proposed that a formal dinner be held in 1981, and on being put to the vote this was carried with one against. It was felt that the organisation should be put into the hands of a sub-committee, and Mr.R. Cater proposed that "A Guild Social Committee be formed to look into and arrange a dinner and/or other social functions in 1981". This was seconded by Mr.D.C. Jackson, and carried nem.con. It was left to the Executive Committee to appoint members to this committee at its next meeting in October.
Hon. Life Members. Mr. Jack Mussell and Mr. William Clift had both been members for 50 years, and the Master had pleasure in proposing their Life Membership as laid down in rule 6. The Secretary was asked to write to both members expressing the acclamation of the meeting at their election to life membership.
Central Council Ringing School. A Residential Ringing School was to be held at King Alfred's College, Winchester, between 29th - 31st Aug under the auspices of the Central Council Education Committee, and on behalf of that body, Mr.R. Cater thanked the Guild for its support and encouragement over this first course. The Executive Committee had authorised for two students to be sponsored for the Potential Leaders Course on a non-residential basis, at a cost of £18 each student. From a list of names submitted from Districts the following two names were drawn. Michael Goss (Andover); Alan Purkiss (Basingstoke). Mr. D.C. Jackson asked for volunteers to assist over the weekend with the practical ringing sessions in the various towers involved.
Bell Maintenance Teams. The Hon. General Secretary, Mr.B.J.Fry, felt that the Guild had amongst its membership many members with skills and experience in bell installation, maintenance and repair, and that there were probably many others who would be prepared to give time to this important work, who could be given training under the auspices of the Education Committee. He listed several examples where work had been carried out recently where the ringers had done a let of good work with consequent savings on expense. Much remained to be done and he wished to see the Guild taking a lead in establishing maintenance teams of volunteers in the various areas on an informal basis to take action wherever there was a need. In this way rings which might become unringable would be kept in order, and remedial work done before things got in too bad a state and an expensive job was required. In this way the Guild and the Church it seeked to serve would both benefit. Mr.R.M. Esbester thought that this scheme had much to commend it and hoped that this would proceed further.
Hampshire Church Bells. The original book by W.E.Colchester was full of inaccuracies and insufficient detail when published 60 years previously. It had now been reprinted in a facsimile edition however there was a real need for a comprehensive survey of the bells of the County, so that we had an accurate record of our heritage, and the Hon. General Secretary had been looking into the possibility of revision with Mr. David Holmes. Mr. Philip Taylor, formerly of Highclere, was now preparing and undertaking a full survey of the bells in the Churches and Civic Buildings in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with a view to publishing a work, the 4 chapters of which he outlined. The towers in Dorset would not be included since these would be covered in a book on Dorset bells by Christopher Dalton to be published in the near future. Towers were asked to co-operate with Mr. Taylor in his work. Mr. Lester Bailey reported that a manuscript on the bells of the Isle of Wight had been produced in about 1928 by Dr. Whitehead, and this was to be found in Newport Library. It was hoped to be able to obtain a copy of this document.
Amendment to Rule 18. The Executive Committee propose an amendment as to the allocation of peal fees so that one third would in future be credited to the Bell Restoration Fund, with the remaining two thirds retained in the Central Fund towards the cost of printing peals in the annual report, which had been the original purpose of the fees. On being put to the vote the change of rule was carried with a large majority over the two thirds required.
Election of Officers for the next Trienniel Period. The Master, Mr.K.S.B.Croft, removed his badge of office but remained in the chair as he did not seek reelection. THE MASTER. Mrs.G.Davis was proposed by Mrs. J.Kippin and seconded by Mr.F.E.Collins. Mr.D.J.Forder was proposed by Mr.R.LeMarechal and seconded by Mr.J.P.Colliss. Mr.B.J.Fry was proposed by Mr.L.Bailey and seconded by Mr.E.F.Salmons. The Chairman then gave the members an opportunity to ask the candidates general or specific questions which several did. Mr.H.Milford then proposed that the vote be taken by ballot, and papers were distributed. Messrs.M.J. Church and C.Denyer were appointed tellers. Whilst the ballot slips were being counted the chairman proceeded with
Any Other Business. Mr.B.J.Fry reported that the Channel Islands towers were now in consultation with each other over the formation of a Channel Islands District, and would be holding a meeting in Jersey on 13th September to discuss this further. The Executive Committee had approved the formation of a separate District in the Channel Islands the previous October should the members there wish to go ahead with the scheme, and this they were now in a position to do. There would be no change of rule necessary to accommodate this move, and the table of A.G.M. venues would not be altered at this stage in view of the general transport difficulties in holding a meeting in the islands. Mr.F.E.Collins proposed the approval of the meeting for a new District in the Channel Isles, and this was seconded by Miss.S.J.Hartless and carried nem.con, the meeting giving every blessing and encouragement.
Mrs.J.Kippin thanked Mr.K.S.B.Croft for all the work he had done for the Guild over the last few years, as Treasurer and then Master.
Mrs. J.Hall of Hambledon was present at the meeting and was congratulated on being appointed an O.B.E. in the recent Honours List.
APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR. Mr.L.Bailey was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins and seconded by Mr.J.Hunt. There being no other nomination he was declared elected and thanked for his work in the post over the years.
The result of the ballot for MASTER was handed to Mr.Croft by the tellers, and he declared Mrs.G.Davis elected, and invested her with the badge of office. Mrs. Davis expressed her thanks for the honour of being elected to the post of Master, and with the meeting's approval asked Mr.Croft to continue in the Chair for the remainder of the meeting. The two other candidates were thanked for being prepared to serve the Guild in this office.
HON. GENERAL SECRETARY. The outgoing secretary, Mr.B.F.Fry, did not wish to stand again after two terms as Secretary. Mr.D.C.Jackson was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins and seconded by Mr.G.Nabb. There being no other nominations he was declared elected.
HON. GENEEAL TREASURER. Mr. J.P.Colliss was proposed, by Mr.D.A. Chapman and seconded by Mr.L.Bailey. There being no other nominations he was declared elected.
HON. PEAL RECORDER. Mr.R.LeMarechal was proposed by Mr.A.P.Smith seconded by Mr.J.P.Colliss. There being no other nominations he was declared elected.
HON. LIBRARIAN. Mrs. P.Nabb was proposed by Mr.D.A.Chapman and seconded by Mr.D.C.Jackson. There being no further nominations she was declared elected.
HON. REPORT EDITOR. The outgoing editor, Mr.G.Nabb, did not seek reelection. Cmdr.W.Harris R.N. was proposed by Mr.J.Hunt and seconded by Mr.L.Bailey, Mr.B.J.Fry was proposed but did not wish to stand. There being no further nominations Cmdr.Harris was declared elected,
TRUSTEE OF THE BELL RESTORATION FUND (Winchester Diocese) Mr.G.Nabb was proposed by Cmdr.W.Harris and seconded by Mr.J.Hunt. Mr.F.E.Collins was proposed by Mr. J.P.Colliss and seconded by Mr. M.K. Waldron. On being put to the vote Mr. Collins was elected.
TRUSTEE OF THE BELL RESTORATION FUND (Portsmouth Diocese) Mr.R.M. Esbester was proposed by Mr. L.Bailey and. seconded by Mr. G.C.Grant. There being no other nominations he was declared elected.
CENTRAL COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES (4) Mr. R.Cater was proposed by Mr.G.C.Grant and seconded by Mr.K.Sansom. Mr.A.P.Smith was proposed by Mrs. J.Kippin and seconded by Mr. J.P.Colliss. Mr.J.Hartless was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins and seconded by Mr.D.Holmes. Mr.D.C.Jackson was proposed by Mr.L.Bailey and seconded by Cmdr. W.Harris. Mrs. G.Davis was proposed by Mr. R.Green and seconded by Mr.C.H.Kippin. It was decided to ballot for the four representatives with Messrs. M.J.Church and C.Denyer as tellers and voting papers were distributed.
Rev'd. P.T.Robins on behalf of the meeting thanked the retiring secretary, Mr.B.J.Fry, for all the work he had done for the Guild over many years previously.
The Chairman then closed the meeting, and tea was served. During tea the result of the ballot for Central Council Representatives was announced, with Messrs. R.Cater, A.P.Smith, D.C.Jackson and Mrs. G.Davis being elected.