The Annual General Meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Guild was held on Saturday 4th July 1981 in the Chantry Hall, following a ringers' service in St. Mary's church, Southampton, specially devised and taken by Canon R.J.Milner and Miss M.Ivin. Mrs G.W.Davis, the Guild Master, was in the chair, supported by the Hon. General Secretary Mr. D. C.Jackson and the Hon. General Treasurer Mr. J.P.Colliss. Mrs. Davis opened the meeting at 1455 hours with a prayer and then welcomed 74 members of the Guild. She thanked those who had made her welcome at the seven Annual District Meetings in January, and during various visits she had made during her first twelve months of office. Mrs. Davis commented that it would be difficult to emulate her predecessor, Mr. K.S.B. Croft, whose period of office coincided with both the visit of the Central Council and the Guild Centenary. His service to the Guild during the trienniel period, and during the seven years he served as Guild Treasurer was exemplary. It gave her great pleasure to make a surprise presentation to Mr. Croft of an illuminated address, carefully designed, drafted and prepared by Messrs. J and A.V. Davis, and containing details of Mr. Croft's ringing career. Members affirmed the Master's words, with acclamation.

Apologies for absence

Written apologies had been received from:-

Mr.C.Denyer, Mr.G.K.Dodd, the Andover band, Miss G.Collins, the Ringwood band, Mr.&Mrs. Holdsworth, Mrs. B.Salmons, Mr.R.Downer, and Mr.F.Green.

Verbal apologies were made on behalf of:-

Mr.&Mrs.D.Chapman, the Micheldever band, the Steep band, Mr.S.Castle, Mr.T. Menzies, Miss.E.Forster, Mr.G.Evenden, Mrs.M.Sterry, Mr.K.Sansom, Mr.P.Taylor, Miss.C.Joyce, Mr.&Mrs.T.Fortin, Mrs.G.Matcham, Miss.M.Hoole, Miss.A.Brunton, Mr.&Mrs.Weaver, Mr.J.Mussell, Miss.C.Moreton, Mr.K.Allington, Mr.W.Palmer and Miss.M.Wardell.

Loss of members through death

The meeting stood in silence to respect the following deceased members:-

Mr.C.Burridge (Winchester); Mr.L.V.Smith (Hon. Life member. Fawley); Mr.P.Hope-smith (Christchurch); Mr.T.R.Taylor (Hon. Life member. Portsmouth); Mr.T.White (West Meon).


Minutes of the A.G.M. held on 5th July 1980 in Alton had been duplicated and circulated with the agendas by the secretary. Mr.L. Bailey apologised for giving the name of Dr.Whittaker instead of Dr. Whitehead, and asked that this be corrected. The meeting then agreed that the Master sign the amended minutes as correct.

Matters arising

(a) The Christian name of Mr. Archibald Aliston had been inserted in the previous minutes.

(b) A letter of thanks was sent to Mr. J. Ingram in July 1980.

(c) The increased insurance cover on the Guild library and its contents has been effected.

(d) £400 from the B.R.F. has been sent to Minstead P. C.C, and £40 to Blackmoor. Letters of thanks have been received.

(e) Letters have been sent to Mr.J.Mussell and Mr.W.Clift, our newest Hon. Life members, by both the Gen. Secretary and the Master.

(f) The two Guild sponsored students at the C.C. Ringing School were Mr. Michael Goss and Mr. Keith Gillings.

(g) Letters concerning the publication "Churches and Bells of Hampshire" had been sent to Mr. Philip Taylor and to Mr. David Holmes. The former prefers to work alone, and submitted a progress report to the March executive.


(a) A copy of the current Winchester Diocesan Directory had been received. Details about the Guild appear therein.

(b) A copy of the current Salisbury Guild Report had been received. Membership fees do not appear in their rules; just a statement that they shall be determined at the A.G.M. of the Guild.

(c) On page 363 of "Ringing World" issue 3652 appears a letter from the chairman of the C.C. Bell Restoration Funds Committee informing the Exercise that a charitable trust has made money available for bell restoration work. The General Secretary had made contact with Mr. Barnes and with the Vicar of Yateley on this matter, and had formally applied for a grant to assist with the restoration of Yateley bells. Mr.K.Croft, a member of this committee, was able to inform the meeting that, at a committee meeting that week it had been agreed to recommend the offer of £1000 to Yateley.

(d) The secretary had sent correct details about the Guild and its officers to Mr. Viggers for publication in the 1982 "Ringers' Notebook and Diary". A photocopy was available so that those concerned could check the accuracy of his communication.

(e) The General Secretary had received from Buckingham Palace a Royal Missive, concerned with the forthcoming marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, addressed to the Guild, and commencing "Dear All". The contents were read to the meeting.

Hon. General Secretary's report

This was printed in the 1980 Guild Report. It was accepted, nem. con.

Hon. General Treasurer's report

The full balance sheets were printed in the 1980 Guild Report. Mr.L. Bailey congratulated the treasurer on an excellent year's work. No one wished to comment or ask for further details, and the meeting accepted this report, nem. con.

Hon. Peal Recorder's report

This too was printed in the 1980 Guild Report, and was accepted, nem. con.

Hon. Librarian's report

Mrs. Nabb's report also appears in the current Guild Report. In addition the Library fund has been "topped-up" to £50 from the Central Fund by the Executive Committee. Since the A.G.M. venue coincided with the location of the library, Mrs. Nabb had prepared a display of a selection of books from the library, and this could be inspected during tea. This report was accepted, nem. con.

Bell Restoration Fund

Mr. Colliss commented upon the accounts, printed in the current Guild Report. He also requested that the newer forms of fund raising be encouraged and expanded, namely the quiz and draw at the Striking Competitions, the sale of coffee mugs, a district tower open day (Winchester had organised one for 1981, and Basingstoke had offered to do so for 1982), and a revival of £10 donations from towers. Mr.Esbester explained that he was arranging for the production of beer mugs with a Guild motif, and displayed a sample bearing a picture of a couple called Charles and Diana.

On behalf of the trustees, Mr.F.E.Collins explained that only one request had been received for a grant, from Andover. The total cost of restoration by Taylor's, and of sound proofing the ringing chamber, totalled approximately £1000. The trustees recommended that a grant of 10% be paid from the Fund, i.e. £100. It was proposed by Mr.Colliss and seconded by Mr.Milford that this recommendation be adopted. Mr.Waldron asked whether Guild members could now ring at Andover, to which the secretary replied that everyone would be most welcome on a Sunday for ringing and the following service. The proposition was carried, nem.con.

Education sub-committee

The convener, Mr. R.Cater, stated that his report was printed in the 1980 Guild Report. He then gave a summary of the events planned for the remaining six months of 1981, details of which will be circulated in good time.

Mr.A.P.Smith, of this sub-committee, wished to discuss the matter of insurance of Guild members, following the report by informed members of the Central Council, printed in "Ringing World" number 3644, on page 195. He proposed that the Guild appoint an ad.hoc. group to consider this report and make recommendations. This was seconded by Mr.R.Cater. Questions were then put by Messrs. W.O.Haythorne, P.Murduck, R.Green, J.Hartless, G.Nabb, J.Foot and P.Wotton. Mr.Smith was able to provide satisfactory answers. The proposition was carried, nem.con.

Mr.H.Milford proposed, and Mr.P.Murduck seconded, that the Guild Officers set up this committee. Mr.R.M.Esbester proposed an amendment, seconded by Mr.G.Nabb, that the meeting appoint the committee. The amendment was carried, Mr.J.Foot was proposed by Mr.R.M.Esbester and seconded by Miss.M.Roach. Mr.A.P.Smith was proposed by Mr.R.Green and seconded by Mr.B.J.Fry. Mr.G.Nabb was proposed by Mr.R.Cater and seconded by Mr.Collins. The Guild Secretary and Treasurer were proposed by Mr.A.P.Smith and seconded by Mr.R.M.Esbester. It was agreed, nem.con. that those proposed would form the committee.

Striking Competitions sub-committee

The convener, Mr.J.Hartless, thanked the bands who had hosted the competitions. The six-bell competition would be held on 17th October at Goodworth Clatford, and duplicated details were available. The 1982 eight-bell competition would be arranged somewhere in the east. Mr.J.Foot wished to disagree with the new rule which would make it difficult for 6-bell towers to compete in the 8-bell competition.

1981 Guild Dinner

The convener, Mr.K.S.B.Croft, stated that this was held on Saturday 25th April at the Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea. In spite of low numbers it was a very pleasant evening. Mr.R.M.Esbester suggested that an effort should be made to encourage more members to attend this social function, and that we have fewer guests and overheads.

Social Committee

The convener, Mrs.G.Cater, stated that this new committee consists of seven members, one from each district. The list of members, printed on page 9 of the 1980 Guild Report, was then read out to the meeting. Two functions were planned, a dance for Guild Members at East Meon on 3rd October, and the Guild Dinner at the Potters Heron Hotel, Ampfield on 1st May 1982.

Mr.Bailey asked if the committee could consider arranging a Guild Luncheon on the Isle of Wight, with ringing arranged at island towers before and after the meal. Mr.Colliss proposed that the balance of monies passed to him from the 1981 Guild Dinner sub-committee be used to provide a working balance for this new committee. This was seconded by Mr.K.S.B. Croft, and carried, nem.con.

Report of the 1981 Central Council Meeting

Mr.A.P.Smith reported that this was held at Rochester, Kent, on 26th May, starting at 1000 but not finishing until 1920 hours. Mr.Smith referred members, for accuracy, to the reports of the meeting, found in "Ringing Worlds" issue 3661, page 559, issue 3662, page 583, and issue 3663, page 607.He mentioned, in particular, the elections of Messrs.K.S.B.Croft and J.Hartless as honorary members, and of Mr.J.Foot from Droxford, as the new representative for the Liverpool University Society. There are now ten resident members of our Guild involved with the Central Council in some capacity.

1981 Central Council Ringing School

Each district was asked to propose one candidate for sponsorship, at £15 per student, to this school. Names were written on papers and then placed in a top hat, provided by the secretary. The Master drew two names, these being Steven Gibbons of Basingstoke district and Brian Curtis of Cbristchurch & Southampton district. Both districts were instructed to substitute another candidate in the case of illness etc.

Implementation of Rule 10

Broughton members had requested transfer from Andover to Winchester district. Also, Channel Islands members had requested transfer from Christchurch & Southampton district to a new Channel Islands district. In both cases all the ringers were in agreement and all three Annual District Meetings had agreed to the transfer requested. It was proposed by the secretary and seconded by Mr.K.S.B.Croft that the meeting confirm these transfers. This was agreed, nem.con.

Mrs.Kippin asked that letters be sent to those concerned. Mr.Tremeer asked if this meant that A.G.M.s could now have the venue of Channel Islands on the rota. The Master, replied, "No, it was not included in the A.G.M. rota."

Change of Rule 7

This change was as follows:-

(see 1981 Guild Report)

It was proposed by the Executive Committee and was seconded by Mr.K.S.B. Croft after the treasurer had explained the need for increased subscriptions to keep the Guild solvent. Mr.Mather recommended the scheme used by the Salisbury Guild who do not include details of membership subscriptions in their rules. Mr.Esbester requested that the next Executive Committee meeting consider this. Mr.Foot spoke in support of the increase, explaining that Portsmouth District experienced financial difficulties during 1980. Mr.Murduck warned that a 100% increase would result in a membership loss, and recommended a rise of only 50%. On being put to the vote, the change of rule was agreed, nem. con.

Change of Rule 6

The Executive Committee proposed a change concerning elections of members outside the Guild area. Mr.A.P.Smith then proposed an amendment, and this was seconded by Mr.Esbester. It allowed for the problems of the Channel Islands District which cannot meet every three months. Contributions by Messrs. Forder, Le.Marechal, Cater and others resulted in a confusion of intention. It was proposed by Mr.Forder and seconded by Mr.Peachey, that this matter be referred back to the Executive Committee. This was carried by 35 votes against 10.

Change of Rule 14

This change was as follows:-

Add to the first sentence of the third paragraph "… by the Districts, except in the case of the Channel Islands District where fifty percent is retained, for the …"

It was proposed by the Executive Committee, and seconded by Mr.F.E.Collins. Mr.Hartless proposed and Mr.Foot seconded that the first paragraph also be altered, to read "Seventy percent (fifty percent from Channel Islands District) of all subscriptions …" This was carried, nem.con.

Change of Rule 2

This change was as follows:-

Add to Vice presidents:-

"The Very Rev. The Dean of Guernsey"
"The Very Rev. The Dean of Jersey"

It was proposed by the Executive Committee, seconded by Mrs.Hall, and carried by a large majority.

Change of Rules 4 and 5.

It was proposed by the Executive Committee that a "Guild Public Relations Officer" be added to the list of officers. This was seconded by Mr.A.P.Smith,and carried by a large majority. After the secretary had read out a list of tentative terms of reference, drawn up by himself and Mr.G.Nabb, Mr.Hartless suggested that such an officer be allowed a free hand to develop the job in his own way.

Election of Guild Public Relations Officer

Mr.G.Nabb was proposed by Mr.F.E.Collins, and was seconded by Mr.J.Foot. Mr.B.F.Peachey was proposed by Mr.J.Hartless, and was seconded by Mr. R.McGowan. On a show of hands, Mr.Nabb was declared elected by 37 votes to 11.

Guild Draw for BR.F.

The secretary reported that, as of first light that morning, £153 had been banked, but a considerable sum had been handed to him that day. The actual draw for the cash prizes would take place at tea time. All profits would be placed in the Bell Restoration Fund.

1982 Annual General Meeting

By rule this should take place in the Andover District and by tradition should be held on Saturday 3rd July 1982,We had received an invitation to base the meeting at Highclere. It was proposed that we accept this date and venue by Mr.T.Matcham, seconded by Mr.J.J.Hill, and carried.

Any Other Business

(a) Mr.Waldron asked if any action had been taken concerning three hoax peals which appeared on page 77 of "Ringing World" No.3639, all attributed to our Guild. The Master replied that the secretary had written to the editor at the request of the Executive Committee, and also she had received a written apology from a member of our Guild.

(b) Mr. K.S.B.Croft wished to congratulate the Master on her excellent chairpersonship, and the meeting expressed similar approbation.

The Master closed the meeting, with prayers, at 1712 hours.