About 95 members and friends of the Guild gathered in the Chantry Hall, St Mary's, Southampton, on July 4 for the AGM. This was Mrs Davis's first general meeting in the chair, and after a prayer and welcoming all present, her first duty was to make a presentation to her predecessor Ken Croft. A superb illuminated address had been produced by Arthur and John Davis and was presented to Ken as a mark of appreciation for his work during three years in office, which included the centenary celebrations.
Derek Jackson (secretary) reported that a grant of £1,000 had been promised to Yateley by the Manifold Trust towards the restoration of the tower and bells. Work could now progress and may be complete by the autumn.
A comprehensive report of the deliberations of the Central Council was recounted by our junior C.C. member (Tony Smith). It was noted that no fewer than nine resident members of the Guild are also serving C.C. members.
A draw took place to decide which two members the Guild would sponsor for places on the C.C. Course. The winners were Steven Gibbons (Basingstoke) and Brian Curtis (Brockenhurst).
An idea first mooted in centenary year to form a Channel Islands District finally came to fruition through a complex set of alterations to the rules. The officers of the new District had been elected already and a meeting held, and it is pleasing to know that this active ringing area now has its own identity and authority within the Guild.
The next change of rule was a proposition to increase subscriptions by 100%. This it was anticipated would guarantee a long discussion and hot debate, but the few voices in opposition found little support and the proposal was passed in record time.
The meeting's passion for the election of subcommittees was satisfied with the formation of an official Social Committee, a sub-committee to investigate insurance needs, and even a new officer was elected - Guild Public Relations Officer. The Guild's work continues to expand.
The grand draw was duly drawn and benefited Mrs Hoole of Hordle by £25 and the Restoration Fund by £221.61. It seemed a pity that this may be Derek Jackson's last grand draw and that we may not see him in his famous hat selling tickets next year. No doubt another idea will come to him.
A grant of £100 was promised to Andover to help with sound-proofing and it was reported that the four at Southwick were to be rehung and increased to five.
After the Master had been duly complimented on her capable handling of the meeting the more immediate business of the ringers' tea had to be tackled. What a pleasure that was. This had been prepared by the members of the newly-formed Southampton City Centre band who allegedly had no experience with ringers' teas but succeeded in producing a first-class feast.
The Ringing World No. 3669, August 21, 1981, page 746